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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

#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...

Read More

#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?

Read More

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 😉

Read More

The Ultimate Veeam Production-Replica Test Lab Step by Step

As a consultant, I implement many different solutions, be they pilot, production, or proof-of-concept. In any organization of any size, it is important to test the implementation, functionality, and management of a new solution before the production environment is touched. To do this we use a test lab. Generally, there are three types of labs: Sandbox: A sandbox is typically isolated, with internet connectivity separate from the production network, and contain a series of VMs with any mix of forests/domains/services. They are often for educational purposes and do not contain any representation of the production environment. Several people have...

Read More

The Worlds Largest Availability Conference – VeeamOn, May 16-19, New Orleans

2017 is a big year for IT infrastructure. Non-volatile SSDs are readily available, Azure datacenters are cropping up in all corners of the planet, and HyperConverged Infrastructure is free to everyone running Windows Server 2016. A lot of companies have been keeping existing systems running for a few years now, as IT budgets were severely cut due to the economy. Hardware, along with operating systems, are due for a refresh. Now oil is on the rise, the government is bloating the deficit with financial incentives, and a production outage has suddenly opened the door to some new upgrades. Time...

Read More

GPO/GPP – Control the Local Administrators Group

One of the issues that data center or even any Windows Administrator has is managing the local administrators group on each and every one of their domain members. There is a lovely security setting that has been around for many years, Restricted Groups, which can be controlled via local security policies of via GPO. This works, but has a few pitfalls as you’ve probably run into once in a while. Keep reading to see how you can solve some of them with Group Policy Preferences.

Read More

Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 2 – Now Available on Kindle

This time with the help of these amazing Co-Authors we have released another amazing volume of Master PowerShell Tricks.   This time we have some new MVP’s that helped out and in no particular order here they are:   Thomas Rayner – MVP and Honorary Scripting Guy Will Anderson – MVP and Honorary Scripting Guy Mick Pletcher -MVP Allan Rafuse – Future MVP Myself – Dave Kawula – MVP And of course, the legendary Ed Wilson – The Scrpting Guys at Microsoft You can get it in paperback or on kindle today. Thanks, Dave...

Read More

Free Azure Training – Microsoft Tech Summit Sessions on #Azure from 2016

Did you miss out on the Microsoft Tech Summit in Toronto, October 27-28, 2016? Well you can check out all of the amazing #Azure Sessions that were recorded. It is an amazing opportunity to ramp up your skills.   Hope you enjoy, Cristal   All Azure Sessions at Tech Summit Looking for Azure session content from the Microsoft Tech Summits? Here is a directory of all of the Azure sessions. Click the link to see the session post, view the PowerPoints, and ask questions.       Find a city near you! Find a city near you! ...

Read More

SCCM – Using Multiple SUPs, but clients aren’t switching

One of the issues I’ve come across is using Configuration Managers (2012 R2+) feature of being able to deploy multiple Software Update Points (SUP) within a site. This scenario is essentially to avoid using traditional network load balancing (NLB) and offload the work to the clients. One would think, if one SUP is not available it’s pretty simple, switch to the next one in the list. Well this doesn’t always happen as one may expect. Why?

Read More

Great Free Training – Live Stream Tech Field Day #TFD13

Hey folks you definitely need to check out this live event streaming via LiveSteam called Tech Field Day.   My good friends and colleagues from Veeam Rick Vanover and Clint Wyckoff are presenting later this afternoon. The best part is that this 3-day event is streaming live for free.   You can check it out here:     Hope you enjoy  ...

Read More

Configuring Multiple Software Update Points (SUP) in SCCM

I was working on a SCCM deployment where there was already one existing Software Update Point (SUP). Due to new firewall restrictions, a few new SUPs were required. Microsoft has changed their best practices with SCCM in regards to using multiple SUPs. The best practice is to share the WSUS Database (SUSDB) and the WSUS content directory. This cuts down on a lot of space, replication and administrative issues.

Read More

Master PowerShell Tricks – Volume 2

With the amazing success of our first release of Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 1 we have commenced Volume 2 already. This time we have added some amazing new Authors to the series. It is going to be another huge success and hit the #1 Best Sellers list just like Volume 1. Here is a quick look at the talent that we have assembled for this Volume: About the Authors Dave Kawula – MVP Dave is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. His background includes data communications networks within multi-server...

Read More

Edmonton MVPDays Early bird tickets Sold Out #mvphour @mvpdays

Still want to attend MVPDays? Well you can you just have to pay for your ticket. I know you are asking yourselves: Man I wish I was faster and got one of the Free Early Bird tickets! Now I have to pay $99.00 to attend. Why would I do that? Well let’s see what your $99.00 gets you: Access to some of the brightest Speakers from all over North America You are fed all day long (Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, and a Cocktail hour at the end) (FYI…The food and beverage costs are a lot more than $99.00 per person...

Read More

Free E-Book Available for the next 72 Hours – Master Storage Spaces Direct

Just for you we have a promotion running on our latest book called Master Storage Spaces Direct Volume 1. This time it is 100 % free on Amazon for the next 72 hours.   In this book, you will learn how to deploy Microsoft HyperConverged solution called Storage Spaces Direct. We have included as bonus content in this book all of the scripts that we used to stand up our own lab environments. So, after reading this you should be able to stand up very own Microsoft HCI Solution. You can learn a lot more about the content this...

Read More

Free E-Book for the next 48 hours – Master PowerShell Ticks

  Just for you we have a promotion running again on Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 1. This time it is 100 % free on Amazon for the next 48 hours.         The coolest part about this is we are currently ranked #329 on the Bestsellers list at #Amazon.       So, you have one job… Download the book, read it, enjoy it and help us get closer to #1.   Thanks,  ...

Read More

Free – Azure Training!

On-going training is something that anyone in IT needs. IT changes as fast as the clouds come and go! You need to keep up! There are several ways to easily keep your head in the clouds using Microsoft’s resources and social media. The New Year is here and one of your new year resolutions or opportunities that you have is to take advantage of free training that is provided by Microsoft. It’s time to upgrade, it’s time to improve your skills, yearly performance plans and salary talks are coming. Be prepared! Get educated and get compensated for your knowledge...

Read More

Comparing Office 2016 and Office365 ProPlus

With the widespread adoption of Office365, a popular question that comes our way is whether to deploy the Office 2016 Client, Office365 Client, or a hybrid of the two. The Office365 ProPlus client is available to license as a standalone monthly/annual subscription, or comes included in many of the subscription levels available on, whereas Office 2016 is licensable software that adheres to traditional software purchase practices…a one-time cost for the license which you then own for the life of the product. In this post I’m not going to provide you with a cost-benefit analysis of subscription vs. perpetual...

Read More

PowerShell – My way to prepare a SQL Server VM

As I get called on a lot of to do SQL Server installations, I’ve come up with what I’ve found works best for me. Every location has different infrastructure, security, networks and their way of doing things. Since I’m the one doing the installation, and I know I’ll get called back in the future at some point to upgrade, troubleshoot or manage the SQL Server environment, I like to have a set of standards. Documentation, I actually do enjoy writing it (yes I may be sick), but having a self-documenting PowerShell script is even better!

Read More

Translate our Blog

Subscribe to our Blog


Microsoft MVP


Nutanix NTC

Veeam Vanguard

Follow me on Twitter

Follow @AllanRafuse on Twitter