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Showing posts from November, 2013

Hyper V Server 2012 remote management from Windows 8

Now that we have had  a look at how to do the Installation and initial configuration of Hyper V Server 2012 in my previous blog post , lets start on the management part. In this blog, I will explain how to manage your Hyper V installation from a Windows 8 machine Remote management: Since Hyper V Server 2012 server core machine, you may want to manage it remotely using the familiar GUIs and MMC consoles. You can do so remotely, but before that you need to set the firewall rules to allow that.In the command prompt windows of the server, get a poweshell prompt by typing in "powershell". Now you can execute the following powershell command Enable-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup * Note: I used this command since it is my test network, you may want to lockdown the firewall rules a bit if in case of production network Inorder to connect to the Hyper V server using MMC from my PC, I had to run the following command in the PC command prompt cmdkey /add:<ServerNam

Hyper V Server 2012 installation on VMware Workstation 8

Having heard a lot about the latest free virtualization from Microsoft, Hyper-V server 2012 , I coudnt resist giving it a whirl.. After all, it is not daily that Microsoft comes out with "free" offerings ;) Let us admit it..Ever since the advent of virtualization, we have few physical servers lying around.All of them have joined the virtualization bandwagon. My case was no different, so I decided to try out  Hyper-V server 2012 as a virtual machine in VMware Workstation 8 installed in my PC. Installation preparation: Few things to be taken care before you start the actual installation 1)Download the Hyper V Server 2012 ISO from Microsoft site: 2)VMware workstation 8 does not have Server 2012 in the Windows OS list.Hence you need to select the option "Windows Server 2008 R2 x64" when you create the Virtual machine 3) There is a small tweak to the Processor settings that should be d

Windows server 2012: where is my start button??

If you have been using Windows Server OS for a while, the one thing that will strike you most when you login to a Windows server 2012 is that there is no start button!!.. What??..How am I going to manage it?? Microsoft feels that you really dont need a start button, since you can do almost everything from your server  manager or even remotely from your desktop. After all the initial configurations are done, you could also do away with the GUI and go back to server core option.(In server 2012, there is an option to add and remove GUI). So does that mean, you need to learn to live without a start button. Actually no, the start button is very much there .Lets start looking for it. Option 1: There is "charms" bar on the side of your deskop, where you will find a "start" option. You can use the "Windows +C" shortcut to pop out the charms bar Option 2: There is a hidden "start area"in  the bottom left corner of your desktop

Windows Server 2012 Editions & hardware requirements.

This article gives a brief about the various editions of Windows server 2012 available: If you are purchasing or downloading the ISO, there are only two editions of Windows server 2012 available . They are   Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition   Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition As opposed to windows server 2008,  there is functionally no difference between both editions, ie clustering, hyper v etc possible in both. Also there is no hardware limitations between the editions. Only difference is in the virtualization rights. While standard edition licenses upto 2 vituial instances , Datacenter provides license for unlimited virtual instances. There are other flavors of the OS that are available through OEM. Given below are the details : Windows Server 2012 Foundation server  Windows Server 2012 Essentials  Windows storage Server 2012 workgroup Windows storage Server 2012 standard Windows Multipoint Server 2012 Standard Windows Multipoint Server 2012 P

DNS Round Robin

DNS Round Robin and NLB are two configurations that can be used to ensure application availability in scenarios where there are no shared storages in use. They are usedful for applications which handle one time requests and need not be handled by a singler server throughout the session. This article aims at explaining the basics of DNS Round Robin technique DNS Round Robin: Here the load-balancing act happens at the Name resolution stage. There will be multiple entries in the DNS server for a host name , pointing to application server IPs across which the load should be balanced. For eg: there will be n number of IP addresses associated with a host name . When the first client request a name resolution, the first IP from the list is returned.When a second client request a name resolution, the next IP is returned. Thus we can ensure that the incoming requests for a particular application is equally distributed among the available application servers. An additional option named ne

Windows server 2003 to 2008: upgrade considerations

If you are planning to upgrade from Windows server 2003 to 2008, here are some guidelines..  The normal boot-from-CD procedure doesnt work for the upgrade.You will have to start the upgrade process from within the windows server 2003 You can upgrade to an equalent or higher edition of windows server 2008 ie you can upgrade from from windows server 2003 standard edition to server 2008 standard or Enterprise edition, but you cannot upgrade from 2003 Enterprise edition to 2008 standard edition However the upgrade options are slightly different in case of Web or datacenter Edition. You can only upgrade from Windows server 2003 web Edition to Windows server 2008 Web edition. Same with Datacenter Edition The final condition is that Windows server 2003 Service pack 1 should be installed if you want to upgrade to server 2008.This means that if you have Windows server 2003 R2, the upgrade is possible without any further service pack installation The following upgrade paths are possib

Understanding different editions of Windows server 2008

It is important to understand the various 'flavors' or Editions of Windows server 2008 before you start planning the deployment of same in your infrastructure. Given below is a brief description of the various versions and scenarios Standard Edition: This edition is ideally suited for the role of DC, File and print server, DNS,DHCP & application server in medium-small sized buisiness. Basically all your infrastructure network requirements can be met by this edition.It also supports Network load balancing clusters Processing Power maximums:   4 GB RAM, & 4 Processors in SMP configuration(32-bit(x86) version) 32 Gb RAM & 4 processors in SML configuration(64-bit(x64)version) Limitation: Cannot be used in failover clustering or installation of enterprise edition features like AD federation services. Though it spoorts Hyper-V, it will bundle windows license for only one VM.Hence it is not an ideal choice for large scale virtualization Enterprise

Azure SQl administration: useful commands

Command to create a new Db as a backup/clone of existing DB: Connect to the master DB and  execute the following command: CREATE DATABASE <newDBname> AS COPY OF <name of DB to be backed up>; Eg: CREATE DATABASE DB2 AS COPY OF DB1 One important thing  to note is that the actual Db copy wouldn't be completed even if the command complete successfully. Inorder to check the status of the copying , you can use the following command SELECT name, state, state_desc FROM sys.databases WHERE name = 'Databasenew' The value of  State_desc column in the output will be  'online' when the copying is completed and DB is ready for use.The status will be shown as 'copying' when the DB copy is in progress Rename database: Again you need to connect to the masterDB and execute the following query USE master; GO ALTER DATABASE <DB name> Modify Name = <new DB name> ; GO Rename Table: If you need to rename a table in a DB, use the f

Securing Windows Azure SQL using service accounts

When you create an SQL server in Windows Azure,you need to create an administrator username and password . This will be the super user account for that server, using which you can carry out any operation in any databases of the databases. That means you can also delete or rename databases using this account.Hence you need to be very careful if you are planning to use this credentials in your application to access the Azure SQL database. Creating service accounts for SQL is a safe option to restrict access to you database , and also to avoid use of the super admin account.You could create service accounts and add them to appropriate SQL roles which has required permissions in the database, say read, write, execute etc..Lets see how to achieve this: First create  an SQL login after connecting to the Master DB. Note that you would need your super admin account for connecting to the master DB.           CREATE LOGIN  <ServiceAccountname>  WITH password=' <passwo

Windows Azure architecture and workflow

So,you just need your .cspkg and .cscfg file to do a deployment to Azure. When the deployment is complete, the instances are spinned up, application is up and running and during the whole process you didn't have to move a finger!!! That is what we call PAAS magic. But what actually happens in the background, lets find out.. Red Dog Front End(RDFE) : When you interact with the Azure platform through management portal or Visual Studio, you are actually talking to the API called RDFE .The request are passed on by the RDFE to Fabric Front end(FFE) layer Fabric Front End(FFE) : It receives the request from RDFE and  converts them to Azure fabric commands which are then passed on to what we call Azure Fabric Controller. FFE decides on the location of the VM based on inputs such as affinity group and Geo Location, and also based on the Fabric inputs such as machine availability Azure Fabric controller : This is considered to be the kernel of the Cloud OS, simply because it manages

SSL cert considerations in Windows Azure

If your windows Azure application is using an SSl certficate, you need to configure it in both your service definition file and .cscfg file. The whole process is explained clearly in the following Microsoft article: Here, I am going to discuss about few considerations while configuring SSL. As you can see from the above Link, the certificate should be defined in the csdef file     <Certificates>         <Certificate name="SampleCertificate"                       storeLocation="LocalMachine"                       storeName="CA" />     </Certificates> The store can be either 'LocalMachine' or 'CurrentUser'. And the storenames can be one of the following - My ,  Root ,  CA ,  Trust ,  Disallowed ,  TrustedPeople ,  TrustedPublisher , AuthRoot , and  AddressBook . You can also create your custom store name, which in case the store will be cre

Net use : System error 67 has occured

While trying to map a sharepoint location using net use command,the following error was thrown. System error 67 has occurred. The network name cannot be found. Command used was : net use m: https://<sharepointurl>  /user: domain\user   <password> Solution: This can happen if the "desktop experience" feature is not installed in Windows server 2008 R2. Install the feature from server manager, restart the server  and it will sort the issue.