Deploy OMS Step by Step – Quick, Easy, Free

Operations Management Suite is Microsoft’s Azure-based Cloud monitoring solution. As is the case with all their Azure solutions, OMS has seen tremendous development and enhancements since its evolution from Operational Insights. Over the past couple of years, I have run an Intro to OMS session at least a dozen times, and each and every time the content has been different. OMS is not System Center Operations Manager in the Cloud, nor is it a replacement for SCOM…at least not yet. It does, however, interface really well with SCOM to augment the solution, providing you with deep analytics and cloud...

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Windows 7: Good to the last drop

For the majority of organizations, Windows 10 adoption can’t happen soon enough.  The security enhancements bring on a sigh of relief in an age of Ransomware and devastating zero-day threats.  There are, however, still isolated environments and service applications that happily run Windows 7, and will likely continue to do so up until Jan 14, 2020, when Microsoft stops providing security updates for the operating system. Given there’s just under three years until 7’s end of support, some companies are even undertaking the grueling task of managing 2 production OSs, slowly upgrading to Windows 10 as hardware is refreshed. ...

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A bit of a RoCE start…

While presenting about S2D (Storage Spaces Direct) during MVPDays, I was asked if the benefits of RDMA over Converged Ethernet was worth replacing existing 10GbE infrastructure for a cluster.   To answer this, we first need to understand how a shared-nothing Storage Pool works.   Consider a traditional converged datacenter, with storage separated from compute and network. The SAN is responsible for disk/controller availability, providing shared volumes over fiber or iSCSI network connections identically to all hosts in the cluster. Simultaneous disk reads and writes occur within the SANs backplane itself and do not traverse the network...

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Harnessing the Power of #PowerShell #DSC to build my #RDS Farm Part 1 #mvphour

So, I have a new project coming up where I will be required to manage, maintain, and support an RDS Deployment for a local engineering firm. And after working with some of the brightest PowerShell experts in the world on the Master PowerShell Tricks series I decided to cut ties to the GUI and build it 100 % using PowerShell. The requirements for me to test this are actually a bit complicated because I wanted to have a test lab to play with. Luckily, I had already build my BigDemo PowerShell Script that included all the functions I would...

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PowerShell –Managing the Datadog Cloud Service

PowerShell to the rescue again! Datadog is a Cloud service for aggregating real-time metrics, events and logs from all your servers. The easiest way is to install an agent and let it report via HTTPS directly to the internet or via a web proxy. Another cloud aggregation solution that I’m more familiar with is Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). Both of these services provide access via PowerShell.

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Nutanix Technology Champion #NutanixNTC for 2017 #MVPHour

  I have been working with HyperConverged Infrastructure for the better part of 2.5 years now.   As such I had my chance to do my very first Nutanix Hyper-V Deployment over the summer.   The platform teams, support engineers, and everyone at Nutanix have been super helpful in learning Prism and the Platform.   I am likely one of the only ones that specializes on the Hyper-V Platform for Nutanix which is fine… having been a Hyper-V Evangelist since it came out I know how this goes.   Give it a few more years and we will have...

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Microsoft OneDrive Expert #MODE Charter Member #mvphour

Today I had a rather exciting email come in from Microsoft. It turns out that I was selected to be a Charter Member in Stephen Rose’s @stephenlrose program called the Microsoft OneDrive Expert. As a Microsoft MVP and Community Influencer this is not the only program that I have been fortunate to be selected for. To date I have the following Community Awards: Microsoft MVP, Veeam Vanguard, 5Nine Software Evangelist, Nutanix Technology Champion, and now this amazing one called MODE.   This is going to very cool to hang out with some more of the product teams at Microsoft...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 12 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

In Part #11 of this blog series we chatted about expanding an existing Virtual Disk and respective Volume. Now what about expanding the Storage Pool itself. Let’s say for argument sake that you have run yourself out of space in your Storage Pool. Luckily you still had some room left in your Storage Enclosure so you have decided to add some additional disks. This blog post will show you how to add additional storage to your Storage Pool by simply adding additional disks.   Expand the Pool by adding more disks So now the time has come to expand...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 11 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

One of the most common administration tasks of a SAN Administrator is expanding a LUN or Volume. In this 11th part of our Blog Series on Storage Spaces Direct we will look at the process to expand an existing Virtual Disk and corresponding Volume. Expand a Virtual Disk   Let’s assume that our volume size when we initially created our Storage Spaces Direct Virtual disk was 200 GB configured in a 2-Way Mirror. This would mean that we would be consuming 400 GB of space from the Storage Pool. The day has come that we have run out of...

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SMB Special: #StorageSpacesDirect on Fanless Xeon Servers #MVPHour @ecabot

I had a chance to watch this amazing session delivered by one of our Principal Consultants Emile Cabot at MVPDays 2017. He took some Fanless Xeon Servers and built them live during this 45-minute session and did an absolutely amazing job. This session was a spin off from the Project Kepler design that Microsoft has at Ignite 2016. You can check it out here it is also up on Channel 9 if you want the direct link.   No PowerPoint here! At this session, we’re going to take Storage Spaces Direct to commodity hardware, and build two...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 10 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

Sometimes after we have configured a piece of infrastructure in production it would be nice to see what we have done right? Well, unfortunately for Storage Spaces Direct a lot of these functions are still trapped inside of the PowerShell Providers that are exposed. So, we need to work a little bit of magic to get the information that we want out. Fortunately for you there are some extremely smart people that work on the Microsoft Storage Team and one of them is Cosmos Darwin. He has authored the amazing Script ShowPrettyLittleVolumes and I use it all the time...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 9 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

We have a Storage Spaces Direct Cluster now what? Wouldn’t it be nice to maybe create a HyperConverged Virtual Machine on it or present some storage for a Scale out File Server (SOFS). Well fortunately we have another Good News Scenario for you. Guess what it is?   ………..   Is the suspense killing you ? It only takes a single line of PowerShell to make this magic happen. So let’s have a look shall we.         Provision Storage Virtual Disks (CSV)   As we are in only a 2 node S2D configuration we cannot take...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 8 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

So, the day has finally arrived and you have successfully completed the first 7 parts of this Blog Series. Now you actually want to deploy Storage Spaces Direct. Well this is a good news bad news scenario. Let’s start with the good news:   Good News There is really only one PowerShell CMDlet to run. Way to go Microsoft I like Easy. Bad news You are about to check out a feature that is so cool that you are going to want to spend more money on cooler hardware. (There really isn’t any bad news) Let’s get this party...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 7 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

Prior to deploying Storage Spaces Direct we should probably make sure that our Storage Subsystem is healthy and ready to go. Here are some quick PowerShell commands that you can use to validate your S2D Configuration. Validate the Cluster prior to Configuring Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)   It is important to run a few validation tests prior to enabling S2D. This can be done by running the following PowerShell commands. get-storagesubsystem   Get-StorageSubSystem View   You want to ensure that the OperationalStatus is OK.   get-physicaldisk Get-PhysicalDisk View   You want to ensure that all of the disks that...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 6 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

Before we can successfully build our Windows Failover Cluster we need to assign some IP Addresses to our nodes and their respective virtual adapters. Let’s do this now   Configuring the IP Addresses for the S2D Nodes #Configure S2DNode1 New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 16 -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (SMB_3)" -DefaultGateway Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (SMB_3)" -ServerAddresses New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (SMB_4)" New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (HB)" New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (LM)" #Configure S2DNode2 Invoke-Command -ComputerName S2DNode2 -ScriptBlock { New-NetIPAddress -IPAddress -PrefixLength 16 -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet (SMB_3)" -DefaultGateway Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceAlias "vEthernet...

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PowerShell – Updating the .DEFAULT and All User Profiles Registry

There are times that you may need to push out a change to all existing user profiles and to new profiles that are created on a system. I’ve seen a few PowerShell scripts floating around out there, but they didn’t seem to work for Windows 7 SP1. You may or may not be surprised, but there are many organizations that still run Windows 7. The script is actually pretty simple. Here is the breakdown of the script: Enumerate all the existing user profiles Add the .DEFAULT user profile to the list of existing user profiles Iterate through all the...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 5 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

As promised this is a bonus post that will take us into a bit deeper dive on the core Networking stack of Windows Server 2016. Specifically, the new SET Team and RDMA Configurations required for Storage Spaces Direct. Configuring Datacenter Bridging   The following Windows PowerShell script provides an example of how to enable and configure Data Center Bridging (DCB) for SMB Direct on S2DNode1: # # Turn on DCB Install-WindowsFeature Data-Center-Bridging # # Set a policy for SMB-Direct New-NetQosPolicy "SMB" -NetDirectPortMatchCondition 445 -PriorityValue8021Action 3 # # Turn on Flow Control for SMB Enable-NetQosFlowControl -Priority 3 # # Make...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 4 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

Post-Configuration of the S2D Nodes With the nodes now fully turned on we can connect the S2D nodes to complete their final configuration tasks. It normally takes less than 1 hour to complete the entire post configuration. You can further automate this entire process by using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) or SCCM. Our nodes were pre-configured with an evaluation build of Windows Server 2016 Data Center Edition trial.   At a high level the remaining tasks are as follows: Change the names of the HyperConverged nodes Join the S2D nodes to a Domain (this is required if the...

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Exporting SCCM Boundaries and Boundary Group Information

Working with SCCM 2012 R2 and SCCM 2016, there are PowerShell cmdlets to export several types of objects from System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Alas, the boundary group Cmdlets just aren’t there yet. Here are a few examples of SCCM objects that support exporting. CommandType Name Version Source Cmdlet Export-CMAntimalwarePolicy 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMApplication 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMBaseline 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMCollection 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMConfigurationItem 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMDriverPackage 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMPackage 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMQuery 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMSecurityRole 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMTaskSequence 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Cmdlet Export-CMWindowsEnrollmentProfile 5.0.8373.1189 ConfigurationManager Here are the commands that work with...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 3 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

In this third part of our Blog Series on Deploying Storage Spaces Direct we will talk about probably the most important configuration – Network. Storage Spaces Direct relies on having a solid, high performing, and reliable network configuration in order to operate optimally. Microsoft has extended the capabilities of a feature called Remote Direct Memory Access or RDMA with Windows Server 2016. This feature enhancement is one of the key drivers that has enabled Microsoft to step into the HyperConverged arena with market leaders such as Nutanix and Simplivity. So to ensure our network is configured properly let’s dive...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 2 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

This second part of our series on Deploying Storage Spaces Direct will focus on the core Switch Configurations. For this blog post series, we have chosen to use Cisco Nexus Switches and given the running configuration. Obviously, not everyone is going to be using Cisco Switches for their infrastructure. The nice thing about this post is that it is easy enough to configure other switches with a good running config example.   So let’s get started then….   Cisco Nexus 9372x Switch Configuration Windows 2016 uses a feature called SMB Direct, which supports the use of network adapters that...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 1 #StorageSpacesDirect #mvphour

Deploying Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) The day has arrived for your company to start deploying its newly acquired HyperConveged Infrastructure from SuperMicro. Fortunately, the Out of Box experience process has been greatly simplified and a near instant-on infrastructure can be achieved. Your Vendor has pre-imaged all of the nodes with a copy of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition. As you follow this blog series we will walk you through the post-configuration steps necessary to deploy a hyper-converged Storage Spaces Direct configuration.   One box arrived today at your company’s headquarters in Calgary, AB, Canada. Currently all that is configured...

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#1 Best Selling Book – Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 2 – Free for the next 48 hours #PowerShell

Backed by popular demand #1 best-selling authors: Dave Kawula MVP – @daveKawula Thomas Rayner MVP – @mrthomasrayner Sean Kearney – @EnergizedTech Ed Wilson “The Scripting Guy”- @scriptingguys Mick Pletcher MVP – @mick_pletcher Allan Rafuse Future MVP – @AllanRafuse     Have decided to give their book Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 2 away for free as a limited Amazon Kindle Promotion.   So, grab you copy today for FREE: (Or just Search Amazon for Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 2     This book is currently ranked #1 on Amazon Kindle in several categories.   We really hope you...

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#MVPDays – Storage Spaces Direct – Getting your feet wet

Today at the #MVPDays Vancouver we talked to people who had never heard of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direction (S2D). It’s hard to believe, but yes there are people out there that haven’t had the chance to get up to date on the latest Windows Server 2016 Operating System. This is usually due to meetings, ongoing projects and running older version of the Windows OS. So what were the big take aways from the session?

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Opening/Upgrading SCCM 2012 R2 PowerShell

Nothing truly new here, but it is a new year and a new environment for me. I’ve just sat down at my seat at a customer’s location and wanted to inventory a bunch of things inside their System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 CU3 environment. Regardless it’s older and we’re in the process of migrating to Configuration Manager 2016! Exciting times ahead! In any case, I installed the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 console on my Windows 7 laptop (64-bit). See where things are going. We’re not running the latest and greatest… yet 😉

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