Migrate a SQL Server database to Azure SQL Database

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Azure Database Migration Service partners with DMA to migrate existing on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL databases to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance or SQL Server on Azure virtual machines.     Moving a SQL Server database … Continue reading

Migrating VMware Virtual Workloads to Microsoft Azure Cloud

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Overview Migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to be difficult, but many organizations struggle to get started. Before they can showcase the cost benefits of moving to the cloud or determine if their workloads will lift and shift without effort, … Continue reading

Understanding Dynamic Quorum in a Microsoft Failover Cluster

Windows Server 2012: Failover Clustering Deep Dive

Microsoft introduced an advanced quorum configuration option in Windows Server 2012/R2. You can choose to enable dynamic quorum management by cluster. There are major benefits of having dynamic quorum in any Microsoft cluster whether for Exchange DAG, SQL cluster, Hyper-v cluster or file server cluster. When you configure dynamic quorum, the cluster dynamically manages the vote assignment to nodes, based on the state of each node. Votes are automatically removed from nodes that leave active cluster membership, and a vote is automatically assigned when a node re-joins the cluster. Dynamic quorum remove dependencies of a quorum disk in Hyper-v and also enable multi-site cluster in a diverse geographic location without sharing common disk.

Pros:

  • With dynamic quorum management, it is also possible for a cluster to run on the last surviving cluster node.
  • By dynamically adjusting the quorum majority requirement, the cluster can sustain sequential node shutdowns to a single node.
  • The cluster software automatically configures the quorum for a new cluster, based on the number of nodes configured and the availability of shared storage.

Cons:

  • Dynamic quorum management does not allow the cluster to sustain a simultaneous failure of a majority of voting members. To continue running, the cluster must always have a quorum majority at the time of a node shutdown or failure.
  • If you have explicitly removed the vote of a node, the cluster cannot dynamically add or remove that vote.

How to configure a dynamic quorum?

Configure a standard cluster as you do in a Microsoft environment. Then use Quorum Configuration Wizard in Cluster Manager to configure advanced quorum.

  1. In Failover Cluster Manager, select the cluster that you want to change.
  2. With the cluster selected>under Actions>click More Actions> and then click Configure Cluster Quorum Settings> Click Next.
  3. On the Select Quorum Configuration Option page>click Advanced quorum configuration and witness selection
  4. On the Select Voting Configuration page>select an option to assign votes to nodes. By default, all nodes are assigned a vote.
  5. On the Configure Quorum Management page> enable the Allow cluster to dynamically manage the assignment of node votes
  6. On the Select Quorum Witness page>select Do not configure a quorum witness, and then complete the wizard
  7. Click Next>then click Next.

Once quorum is reconfigured then you run the Validate Quorum Configuration test to verify the updated quorum settings. Follow the steps to validate quorum.

  1. In Failover Cluster Manager, select the cluster> run the Validate Quorum Configuration test to verify the updated quorum settings.

VMware vSphere 6.0 VS Microsoft Hyper-v Server 2012 R2

Since the emergence of vSphere 6.0, I would like to write an article on vSphere 6.0 vs Windows Server 2012 R2. I collected vSphere 6.0 features from few blogs and VMware community forum. Note that vSphere 6.0 is in beta program which means VMware can amend anything before final release. New functionalities of vSphere 6.0 beta are already available in Windows Server 2012 R2. So let’s have a quick look on both virtualization products.

Features vSphere 6.0 Hyper-v Server 2012 R2
Certificates

 

Certificate Authority Active Directory Certificate Services
Certificate Store Certificate Store in Windows OS
Single Sign on VMware retained SSO 2.0 for vSphere 5.5 Active Directory Domain Services
Database vPostgres database for VC Appliance up to 8 vCenter Microsoft SQL Server

No Limitation

Management Tools Web Client & VI

VMware retained VI

SCVMM Console & Hyper-v Manager
Installer Combined single installer with all input upfront Combined single installer with all input upfront
vMotion Long distance Migration up to 100+ms RTTs Multisite Hyper-v Cluster and Live Migration
Storage Migration Storage vMotion with shared and unshared storage Hyper-v Live Storage Migration between local and shared storage
Combined Cloud Products Platform Services Controller (PSC) includes vCenter, vCOPs, vCloud Director, vCoud Automation Microsoft System Center combined App Controller, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Virtual Machine Manager
Service Registration View the services that are running in the system. Windows Services
Licensing Platform Services Controller (PSC) includes Licensing Volume Activation Role in Windows Server 2012 R2
Virtual Datacenters A Virtual Datacenter aggregates CPU, Memory, Storage and Network resources. Provision CPU, Memory, Storage and network using create Cloud wizard

Another key feature to be compared here that those who are planning to procure FC Tape library and maintain a virtual backup server note that vSphere doesn’t support FC Tape even with NPIV and Hyper-v support FC Tape using NPIV.

References:

http://www.wooditwork.com/2014/08/27/whats-new-vsphere-6-0-vcenter-esxi/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/vmware-vs-hyper-v-can-microsoft-make-history-again/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/microsofts-hyper-v-server-2012-and-system-center-2012-unleash-ko-punch-to-vmware/

https://araihan.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/hyper-v-server-2016-whats-new/

Deploy Web Application Proxy Role in Windows Server 2012 R2 –Part II

Deploy Web Application Proxy Role in Windows Server 2012 R2 –Part I

Assumption:

I assume you have the following infrastructure ready.

  • Domain Controller: DC1PVDC01
  • Certificate Authority: DC1PVCA01
  • AD FS Server: DC1PVADFS01
  • Exchange Server: DC1PVEXCH01

Naming Convention:

  • DC1= Data Center 1 (location)
  • P=Production Systems
  • V=Virtual Server
  • DC=Domain Controller

So on so forth.

Proposed Web Application Proxy Server:

Option Description
Virtual Machine Name DC1PVWAP01
Memory 4GB
vCPU 1
Hard Disk 1 50GB
Network Adapter 2
Guest Operating System Windows Server 2012 R2
Hyper-v Integration Service Installed

Windows Server Role:

Role Web Application Proxy

 

Network Configuration

The network adapter name used within the operating system should be changed to closely match the associated WAP network name. The following binding order will be maintained within Windows operating systems:

  1. First in Order- WAP internal adapter connected to the trusted network.
  2. Second in Order- WAP external adapter connected to the un-trusted network.

The following are the network configuration for WAP server.

Option IP Address Subnet Default Gateway DNS
Internal Network 10.10.10.2 255.255.255.0 Not required 10.10.10.1
External Network 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0 192.168.1.254 Not required

Important! External Network can be assigned public IP if WAP server isn’t placed behind frontend router/firewall. In an edge configuration WAP external network is configured with public IP and internal network is assigned an IP address of internal IP range.

Configuration Step 1 – Rename Network Adapters:

Rename all network adapters to descriptive names that ideally match the connection type and WAP wizard/console names. For example:

  • WAP adapter connected to the trusted network: Internal Network
  • WAP adapter connected to the un-trusted network: External Network

Configuration Step 2 – Configure Network Adapters:

The Internal Network adapter will normally be connected to your trusted environment. This could be your actual internal network (LAN) or could be a private DMZ (perimeter network) if using an intranet/back firewall.

Internal Network Adapter

  • Default Gateway should not be defined
  • DNS Servers should be defined
  • Client for Microsoft Networks binding – Enabled
  • File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks binding – Enabled
  • Register this connection’s address in DNS – Enabled
  • Enable LMHOSTS Lookup – Disabled
  • NetBIOS over TCP/IP – Default

The External Network adapter will normally be connected to your un-trusted environment. This could be your actual Internet connection if using an edge deployment, or could be a public DMZ (perimeter network) if using an existing edge/front firewall.

External Network Adapter

  • Default Gateway should be defined
  • DNS Servers should not be defined
  • Client for Microsoft Networks binding – Disabled
  • File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks binding – Disabled
  • Register this connection’s address in DNS – Disabled
  • Enable LMHOSTS Lookup – Disabled
  • NetBIOS over TCP/IP – Disabled

Please Note: The ‘File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks’ binding on the TMG internal adapter is left at the default settings of Enabled on the WAP Internal Network adapter. This allows for the use of the Internal Network adapter for intra-array services when using a WAP cluster.

Configuration Step 3 – Amend Bind Order:

Edit the network adapter bind order to place the Internal Network adapter at the top (highest) position and the External Network at the bottom (lowest) position. For example:

  1. Internal Network (Highest)
  2. External Network (Lowest)

To amend network binding follow the steps below:

1. Click Start, click Network, click Network and Sharing Center, and then click Change Adapter Settings.

2. Press the ALT key, click Advanced, and then click Advanced Settings. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

3. Click the Adapters and Bindings tab, and then, under Connections, click the connection you want to modify.

4. Under Bindings for <connection name>, select the protocol that you want to move up or down in the list, click the up or down arrow button, and then click OK.

DNS Forwarding:

The following Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) will be forwarded from ISP to your router:

Purpose Public Host Name Public IP Address
Exchange webmail.yourdomain.com 203.17.x.x
SharePoint sharepoint.yourdomain.com 203.17.x.x

 

External Firewall Rules

The following NAT rules will be added into perimeter network to publish application and services through WAP. This rule is only apply if you please Web Application Proxy (WAP) behind a firewall or Cisco ASA otherwise you don’t need it.

Rule(s) Description Source IP Destination IP Address Port NAT Destination
1 Exchange Any 203.17.x.x 443 192.168.1.2
2 SharePoint Any 203.17.x.x 443 192.168.1.3

 

Building Web Application Proxy Server on Windows Server 2012 R2 Steps:

  1. Install Windows Server 2012 R2.
  2. Configure TCP/IP of Windows Server 2012 R2
  3. Join Web Application Proxy server to Domain
  4. Install Web Application Proxy Role
  5. Configure Kerberos Constraint Delegation
  6. Configure the firewall to allow HTTPS traffic on port 443 for clients to communicate with the AD FS server
  7. Configure Firewall if WAP Server placed behind a Cisco ASA
  8. Install Public certificate into Web Application Proxy Server
  9. Publish Application

Configure Kerberos Constraint delegation

1. On the domain controller, open Server Manager. To do this, click Server Manager on the Start screen.

2. Click Tools, and then click ADSI Edit.

3. On the Action menu, click Connect To, and then on the Connection Settings dialog box, accept the default settings to connect to the default naming context, and then click OK.

4. In the left pane, expand Default naming context, expand DC=yourdomain, DC=com, expand CN=Computers, right-click CN=DC1PVWAP01, and then click Properties.

5. On the CN=DC1PVWAP01 Properties dialog box, on the Attribute Editor tab, in the Attributes list, select servicePrincipalName, and then click Edit.

6. On the Multi-valued String Editor dialog box, in Value to add, enter HTTP/DC1PVWAP01.yourdomain.com and click Add. Then enter HTTP/DC1PVWAP01 and click Add. The Values list now contains two new entries; for example, HTTP/DC1PVWAP01.yourdomain.com and HTTP/DC1PVWAP01.

7. On the Multi-valued String Editor dialog box, click OK.

8. On the CN=DC1PVWAP01 Properties dialog box, click OK.

9. In Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.

10. In the navigation pane, under yourdomain.com, click Computers. In the details pane, right-click the Web Application Proxy server, and then click Properties.

11. On the DC1PVWAP01 Properties dialog box, on the Delegation tab, click Trust this computer for delegation to specified services only, and then click Use any authentication protocol.

12. Click Add, and on the Add Services dialog box, click Users or Computers.

13. On the Select Users or Computers dialog box, in Enter the object names to select, enter the name of the web servers that use Integrated Windows authentication; for example, WebServ1, and then click OK.

14. On the Add Services dialog box, in the Available services list, select the http service type, and then click OK.

15. On the DC1PVWAP01 Properties dialog box, click OK.

Configure AD FS (Optional when using pass-through pre-authentication)

1. On the Start screen, type AD FS Management, and then press ENTER.

2. Under the AD FSTrust Relationships folder, right-click Relying Party Trusts, and then click Add Relying Party Trust to open the Add Relying Party Trust Wizard.

3. On the Welcome page, click Start.

4. On the Select Data Source page, click Import data about the relying party published online or on a local network. In Federation metadata address (host name or URL), type the federation metadata URL or host name for the partner, and then click Next.

5. On the Specify Display Name page type a name in Display name, under Notes type a description for this relying party trust, and then click Next.

6. On the Choose Issuance Authorization Rules page, select either Permit all users to access this relying party then click Next.

7. On the Ready to Add Trust page, review the settings, and then click Next to save your relying party trust information.

8. On the Finish page, click Close. This action automatically displays the Edit Claim Rules dialog box. For more information about how to proceed with adding claim rules for this relying party trust, see the Additional references.

9. in the AD FS Management console, you must set the endpoint to be Proxy Enabled

Configure Certificate Template in CA

Note: This steps is only applicable when using Enterprise certificate authority.

1. Open the Certificate Templates snap-in.

2. In the details pane, right-click an existing certificate that will serve as the starting point for the new certificate, and then click Duplicate Template.

3. Choose whether to duplicate the template as a Windows Server 2003–based template or a Windows Server 2008–based template.

4. On the General tab, enter the Template display name and the Template name, and then click OK.

5. Define any additional attributes such as mark “private key exportable” for the newly created certificate template.

Export & Import Certificates into Web Application Proxy Server

This is a very important steps for published app to work correctly. You must export .pfx certificate from application servers (Exchange, SharePoint or Lync Server) to Web Application Proxy Server so that internet explorer, web application proxy server and application servers validate same certificates.

Exporting a .pfx File

  1. On the Start menu click Run and then type mmc.
  2. Click File > Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Certificates > Add.
  4. Select Computer Account and then click Next. Select Local Computer and then click Finish. Then close the add standalone snap-in window and the add/remove snap-in window.
  5. Click the + to expand the certificates (local computer) console tree and look for the personal directory/folder. Expand the certificates folder.
  6. Right-click on the certificate you want to backup and select ALL TASKS > Export.
  7. Choose Yes, export the private key and include all certificates in certificate path if possible.
    Warning: Do not select the delete private key option.
  8. Leave the default settings and then enter your password if required.
  9. Choose to save the file and then click Finish. You should receive an “export successful” message. The .pfx file is now saved to the location you selected.

Importing from a .pfx File

  1. On the Start menu click Run and then type mmc.
  2. Click File > Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Certificates > Add.
  4. Select Computer Account and then click Next. Select Local Computer and then click Finish. Then close the add standalone snap-in window and the add/remove snap-in window.
  5. Click the + to expand the certificates (local computer) console tree and look for the personal directory/folder. Expand the certificates folder.
  6. Right-click on the certificate you want to backup and select ALL TASKS > Import.
  7. Follow the certificate import wizard to import your primary certificate from the .pfx file. When prompted, choose to automatically place the certificates in the certificate stores based on the type of the certificate.

Install Web Application Proxy Role

1. On the Web Application Proxy server, in the Server Manager console, in the Dashboard, click Add roles and features.

2. In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, click Next three times to get to the server role selection screen.

3. On the Select server roles dialog, select Remote Access, and then click Next.

4. Click Next twice.

5. On the Select role services dialog, select Web Application Proxy, click Add Features, and then click Next.

6. On the Confirm installation selections dialog, click Install.

7. On the Installation progress dialog, verify that the installation was successful, and then click Close.

Configure Web Application Proxy

1. On the Web Application Proxy server, open the Remote Access Management console: On the Start screen, click the Apps arrow. On the Apps screen, type RAMgmtUI.exe, and then press ENTER. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes.

2. In the navigation pane, click Web Application Proxy.

3. In the Remote Access Management console, in the middle pane, click Run the Web Application Proxy Configuration Wizard.

4. On the Web Application Proxy Configuration Wizard, on the Welcome dialog, click Next.

5. On the Federation Server dialog, do the following, and then click Next:

  • In the Federation service name box, enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the AD FS server; for example, fs.yourdomain.com.
  • In the User name and Password boxes, enter the credentials of a local administrator account on the AD FS servers.

6. On the AD FS Proxy Certificate dialog, in the list of certificates currently installed on the Web Application Proxy server, select a certificate to be used by Web Application Proxy for AD FS proxy functionality, and then click Next.

7. The certificate you choose here should be the one that whose subject is the Federation Service name, for example, fs.yourdomain.com.

8. On the Confirmation dialog, review the settings. If required, you can copy the PowerShell cmdlet to automate additional installations. Click Configure.

9. On the Results dialog, verify that the configuration was successful, and then click Close.

Publish Application using AD FS Pre-Authentication

1. On the Web Application Proxy server, in the Remote Access Management console, in the Navigation pane, click Web Application Proxy, and then in the Tasks pane, click Publish.

2. On the Publish New Application Wizard, on the Welcome page, click Next.

3. On the Pre-authentication page, click Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS), and then click Next.

4. On the Relying Party page, in the list of relying parties select the relying party for the application that you want to publish, and then click Next.

5. On the Publishing Settings page, do the following, and then click Next:

  • In the Name box, enter a friendly name for the application.
  • This name is used only in the list of published applications in the Remote Access Management console.
  • In the External URL box, enter the external URL for this application; for example, https://sp.yourdomain.com/app1/.
  • In the External certificate list, select a certificate whose subject covers the external URL.
  • In the Backend server URL box, enter the URL of the backend server. Note that this value is automatically entered when you enter the external URL and you should change it only if the backend server URL is different; for example, http://sp/app1/.
  • Web Application Proxy can translate host names in URLs, but cannot translate path names. Therefore, you can enter different host names, but you must enter the same path name. For example, you can enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of http://app-server/app1/. However, you cannot enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/internal-app1/.

6. On the Confirmation page, review the settings, and then click Publish. You can copy the PowerShell command to set up additional published applications.

7. On the Results page, make sure that the application published successfully, and then click Close.

Publish an integrated Windows authenticated application

1. On the Web Application Proxy server, in the Remote Access Management console, in the Navigation pane, click Web Application Proxy, and then in the Tasks pane, click Publish.

2. On the Publish New Application Wizard, on the Welcome page, click Next.

3. On the Pre-authentication page, click Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS), and then click Next.

4. On the Relying Party page, in the list of relying parties select the relying party for the application that you want to publish, and then click Next.

5. On the Publishing Settings page, do the following, and then click Next:

  • In the Name box, enter a friendly name for the application.
  • This name is used only in the list of published applications in the Remote Access Management console.
  • In the External URL box, enter the external URL for this application; for example, https://owa.yourdomain.com/.
  • In the External certificate list, select a certificate whose subject covers the external URL.
  • In the Backend server URL box, enter the URL of the backend server. Note that this value is automatically entered when you enter the external URL and you should change it only if the backend server URL is different; for example, http://owa/.
  • Web Application Proxy can translate host names in URLs, but cannot translate path names. Therefore, you can enter different host names, but you must enter the same path name. For example, you can enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of http://app-server/app1/. However, you cannot enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/internal-app1/.
  • In the Backend server SPN box, enter the service principal name for the backend server; for example, HTTP/owa.yourdomain.com.

6. On the Confirmation page, review the settings, and then click Publish. You can copy the PowerShell command to set up additional published applications.

7. On the Results page, make sure that the application published successfully, and then click Close.

Publish Application using Client Certificate Pre-Authentication

You can publish an application using pre-authenticated client certificate. This steps only be performed using Windows PowerShell. Open Elevated Windows PowerShell prompt in WAP Server. Change the following command as required and issue the command.

Add-WebApplicationProxyApplication

-BackendServerURL ‘https://app.yourdomain.com/&#8217;

-ExternalCertificateThumbprint ‘1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b’

-ExternalURL ‘https://app.yourdomain.com/&#8217;

-Name ‘Client certificate preauthentication application’

-ExternalPreAuthentication ClientCertificate

-ClientCertificatePreauthenticationThumbprint ‘123456abcdef123456abcdef123456abcdef12ab’

Publish Application using Pass-through Pre-Authentication

1. On the Web Application Proxy server, in the Remote Access Management console, in the Navigation pane, click Web Application Proxy, and then in the Tasks pane, click Publish.

2. On the Publish New Application Wizard, on the Welcome page, click Next.

3. On the Preauthentication page, click Pass-through, and then click Next.

4. On the Publishing Settings page, do the following, and then click Next:

  • In the Name box, enter a friendly name for the application.
  • This name is used only in the list of published applications in the Remote Access Management console.
  • In the External URL box, enter the external URL for this application; for example, https://maps.yourdomain.com/.
  • In the External certificate list, select a certificate whose subject covers the external URL.
  • In the Backend server URL box, enter the URL of the backend server. Note that this value is automatically entered when you enter the external URL and you should change it only if the backend server URL is different; for example, http://maps/.
  • Web Application Proxy can translate host names in URLs, but cannot translate path names. Therefore, you can enter different host names, but you must enter the same path name. For example, you can enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of http://app-server/app1/. However, you cannot enter an external URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/app1/ and a backend server URL of https://apps.yourdomain.com/internal-app1/.

5. On the Confirmation page, review the settings, and then click Publish. You can copy the PowerShell command to set up additional published applications.

6. On the Results page, make sure that the application published successfully, and then click Close.

Publish Application using Windows Store App or Oauth2

You can publish an application using pre-authenticated Windows Store App. This steps only be performed using Windows PowerShell. Open Elevated Windows PowerShell prompt in WAP Server. Change the following command as required and issue the command.

Set-WebApplicationProxyConfiguration –OAuthAuthenticationURL ‘https://fs.yourdomain.com/adfs/oauth2/&#8217;

Add-WebApplicationProxyApplication

-BackendServerURL ‘https://storeapp.yourdomain.com/&#8217;

-ExternalCertificateThumbprint ‘1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b3c4d5e6f1a2b’

-ExternalURL ‘https://storeapp.yourdomain.com/&#8217;

-Name ‘Windows Store app Server’

-ExternalPreAuthentication ADFS

-ADFSRelyingPartyName ‘Store_app_Relying_Party’

-UseOAuthAuthentication

Part 1: Install and Configure Forefront UAG Step by Step

Part 2: Publish RDS using Forefront UAG 2010 Step by Step

Part 3: Publish Exchange Server 2010 Using Forefront UAG 2010 Step by Step

Part 4: Redirect Web Application from HTTP to HTTPS using Forefront UAG 2010 Step by Step

Part 5: Publish SharePoint Server 2010 Using Forefront UAG 2010 Step by Step

Part 6: Forefront UAG Patching Order

Forefront TMG 2010: How to install and configure Forefront TMG 2010 —-Step by step

Deploy Web Application Proxy Role in Windows Server 2012 R2 –Part I

Deploy Web Application Proxy Role in Windows Server 2012 R2 –Part II

Web Application Proxy is a role in Windows Server 2012 R2. Web Application Proxy brings some functionality of Microsoft Forefront TMG and Microsoft Forefront UAG but not all of them. Since Microsoft phased out Forefront product line except FIM. Web Application Proxy provides functionality or role in Windows Server 2012 R2 for customer who still wants use Microsoft platform to publish their application such as Exchange 2013, Lync 2013 and SharePoint 2013 to external clients and vendors.

Web Application Proxy provides pre-authentication and authorization method using Active Directory Federation Services including multifactor authentication and access control. Deployment of ADFS is separate to Web Application Proxy which means you must have a separate server hosting ADFS role.

Benefits of Web Application Proxy

  • Pre-authentication—Only authenticated traffic can get into the corporate network.
  • Network Isolation—Incoming web traffic cannot directly access backend servers.
  • Selective Publishing—Only specific applications and paths within these applications are accessible.
  • DDoS Protection—Incoming traffic arrives at Web Application Proxy before hitting the corporate network. Because Web Application Proxy acts as a proxy, many DDoS attacks can be prevented from reaching the backend servers.
  • Selective Ports- Apply deny ALL and allow selected ports. This policy will prevent SQL injection.
  • Extended validation– URL validation and verification using public certificate authority. Support strong security and encryption using SHA and 2048 bit certificate encryption.

Web Application Proxy Infrastructure

  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  • Internal Domain Naming System (DNS)
  • External DNS Name Resolver or ISP
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
  • Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)
  • Web Application Proxy Server(s)
  • Public Certificate Authority
  • Internal Enterprise Certificate Authority
  • Backend Application Server(s)

Web Application Proxy Network

Web Application proxy can be deployed in several topologies. In all these scenario Web Application Proxy needs two network adapter.

Edge Firewall: Behind a frontend firewall like Cisco ASA to separate it from internet. Firewall must allow HTTPS (443) traffic to and from Web Application Proxy server.

DMZ: Behind a frontend firewall like Cisco ASA to separate it from internet and before corporate firewall like Cisco ASA to separate it from corporate network. Firewall must allow HTTPS (443) traffic to and from Web Application Proxy server. For client certificate authentication, you must also configure the firewall to allow traffic on port 49443.

Edge Configuration: One network adapter directly connected to internet and another network adapter connected to corporate network. Web Application Proxy can be a member of an Active Directory Domain.

TCP/IP Configuration Examples

Scenario Internal NIC External NIC
non-domain joined IP: 10.10.10.20Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Gateway: 10.10.10.254

DNS:10.10.10.21

IP:192.168.0.10Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Gateway: NIL

DNS: NIL

Domain Joined IP: 10.10.10.20Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Gateway: NIL

DNS:10.10.10.21

IP: 203.17.x.x Public IPSubnet: 255.255.255.0

Gateway:203.17.x.254 Public Gateway

DNS: 8.8.8.8 or Public DNS

DNS Requirement

  • Internal DNS: Web Application Proxy must resolve internal fully qualified domain name of backend application server such as Exchange or SharePoint server. You must configure correct DNS record and TCP/IP Settings of Web Application Proxy Server either using DNS server or editing hosts file in WindowsSystems32DriversEtc location.
  • External DNS: External client must resolve fully qualified domain name of application. In this case, you must configure HOST (A) record in public DNS server. Note that the external URL must resolve to the external IP address of the Web Application Proxy server, or the external IP address of a firewall or load-balancer placed in front of the Web Application Proxy server.

Load Balancer Consideration

Web Application Proxy does not have in-built load balancer or ISP redundancy functionality. Depending on your requirements, you can use any hardware or software load-balancer to balance load between two or more Web Application Proxy Servers.

Domain Joined or non-domain joined

Web Application Proxy can be deployed without joining the server to an Active Directory domain or by joining the Web Application Proxy server to a standalone domain in a perimeter network.

You can deploy Web Application Proxy with a read-only domain controller. However, if you want to deploy Web Application Proxy and DirectAccess on the same server, you cannot use a read-only domain controller.

Authentication Consideration

Web Application Proxy can work with the following authentication protocols.

  • AD FS pre-authentication
  • Integrated Windows authentication
  • Pass-through pre-authentication

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

You must have a proper NTP server in your organization. NTP server can be your domain controller or a Cisco Core Switch. Timestamp must identical between AD FS and Web Application Proxy Server.

Certificate Authority

There are two types of certificate requirements for Web Application Proxy Server- Public CA and Enterprise CA.

  • Public CA: External clients to be able to connect to published web applications using HTTPS, Web Application Proxy must present a certificate that is trusted by clients. In this case you must bind a public certificate with published application in backend server and web application proxy server.
  • Enterprise CA: AD FS certificates must match federation service value. AD FS can use internal Enterprise CA. For examples, Common Name (CN) of Certificate is adfs.superplaneteers.com

Supported Certificate Template

Web Server Certificate with single common name, subject alternative name (SAN) certificates, or wildcard certificates.

Pass-Through Pre-Authentication

When you publish Exchange and SharePoint using Web Application proxy Server, you can pass-through authentication to the specific application instead of AD FS or Web Application Proxy. In this case Web Application Proxy forwards the HTTPS request directly to the backend server using either HTTP or HTTPS. Pass-through authentication is still a worry-free deployment because it prevent DDoS and SQL injection and provide network isolation.

Resolved: WSUS Post Deployment Failed on Windows Server 2012

Error:

2013-11-21 09:43:36  Config file did not contain a value “ContentDirectory”
2013-11-21 09:43:36  Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.CommandException: A required configuration value was not found in the system. This is usually caused by installing WSUS through PowerShell and not specifying a configuration file. Review the article Managing WSUS Using PowerShell at TechNet Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=235499) for more information on the recommended steps to perform WSUS installation using PowerShell.
   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.PostInstall.GetConfigValue(String filename, String item)

Issue: This is a known issue on Windows Server 2012. Microsoft WSUS team posted an work around to resolve the issue.

Solution: In the WSUS server, open PowerShell, type the following depending on which database you have:

For WID
%programfiles%update servicestoolswsusutil.exe postinstall CONTENT_DIR=C:Wsus

SQL Server databases
%programfiles%update servicestoolswsusutil.exe postinstall CONTENT_DIR=C:Wsus SQL_INSTANCE_NAME=<database server name>

Here content_dir is your real directory where you would like to install WSUS and pointed that directory during WSUS installation and rest are self explanatory. Once you do that you will see output in the logs available in C:UsersthermomixadminAppDataLocalTemp directory.

2013-11-21 09:56:46 Postinstall started

2013-11-21 09:56:46 Detected role services: Api, Database, UI, Services

2013-11-21 09:56:46 Start: LoadSettingsFromParameters

2013-11-21 09:56:46 Content local is: True

2013-11-21 09:56:46 Content directory is: E:WSUS

2013-11-21 09:56:46 SQL instname is: SQL Server Name

2013-11-21 09:56:49 Value is E:WSUS

2013-11-21 09:56:49 Fetching group SIDs…

2013-11-21 09:56:49 Fetching WsusAdministratorsSid from registry store

2013-11-21 09:56:49 Value is S-1-5-2

2013-11-21 10:17:41 Saving Subscription

2013-11-21 10:17:52 Creating default subscription succeeded.

2013-11-21 10:17:54 Populating Auto-Approval Rules.

2013-11-21 10:18:18 Populating Auto-Approval Rules Succeeded.

2013-11-21 10:18:23 StartServer completed successfully.

2013-11-21 10:18:23 Marking PostInstall done for UpdateServices-Services in the registry…

2013-11-21 10:18:23 Mark initialization done in database…

2013-11-21 10:18:25 End: Run

2013-11-21 10:18:25 Postinstall completed

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter: Switching from vSphere to Hyper-v Made Easy

    Are you having difficulty funding a renewal license of expensive VMware vSphere? There is an alternative brand that adds greater value to the business reducing costs, and accelerating your journey to the cloud. Making the shift from VMware to Microsoft could be the wise decision you ever made after years of working as a CIO or IS Manager. By migrating from VMware to Microsoft, you gain a unified infrastructure licensing model and simplified vendor management, off course it gives you less pain in your wallet too.
    Whether you are looking to add value to your organisation, save cost, support grown or you are a fanatical environmentalist reducing carbon foot print, Hyper-V is the correct choice for you. A move to Microsoft’s virtualization and management platform can help you better meet your business needs. Simply buying Windows Server 2012 data center, you get the cloud computing benefits of unlimited virtualization and lower costs consistently and predictably over time.
    System Center 2012 enables physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud management using a single platform. It offers support for multi-hypervisor management, third-party integration and process management, and deep application diagnostics and insight. You can see what is happening inside the performance of your applications, remediate issues faster, and achieve increased agility for your organization.
    With the help of free tools like Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP), and with the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC), you can quickly, easily and safely migrate over to Hyper-V.  For enterprise customers with large numbers of virtual machines to migrate, the Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT) provides the scalability to handle mass migrations in an automated fashion. System Center 2012 and Hyper-v Server 2012 support guest virtual machine of all major Linux and Unix distribution inclusive Microsoft OS off course.
    In a nutshell Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter:
  • Provides a quick, low-risk option for VMware customers to evaluate Hyper-V.
  • Converts VMware virtual machines to Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • Convert virtual hardware and keep same configuration of original virtual machine.
  • Supports a clean migration to Hyper-V with un-installation of VMware tools on the source virtual machine.
  • Provides GUI or scriptable CLI and Windows PowerShell, making it simple to perform virtual machine conversion.
  • Installs integration services for Windows 2003 guests that are converted to Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 4.1 and 5.0 hosts.
  • Support migration of guest machine that is part of a failover cluster.
  • Supports offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V-based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).
      • Relevant Articles
        Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator
        Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT)
        Cost Calculator
        Download Windows Server 2012
        Download System Center 2012
        Hyper-v vs vSphere
        Is VMware’s fate heading towards Novell?

        Windows Server Patching Best Practices

        This article provides actionable advice about how to manage patches to reduce downtime while still maintaining the security of software services through the proactive reduction of dependencies and the use of workaround solutions.

        Patching Requirements

        Windows Server patches, hotfixes and service pack is critical for compliance, service level agreement and security purposes. Keeping an operating systems and application up to date is the key to align your infrastructure with latest software. Patches and hotfixes also enable you to prevent any security breaches and malware infection.

        Windows Patch Classification

        The following are strongly recommended patches:

        1. Critical
        2. Security
        3. Definition Updates for malware
        4. Service packs

        Windows Product Classification

        It is highly recommended that you patch Windows Servers, Windows Clients, Office, Applications (Silverlight, .Net Framework, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, FF TMG).

        Patching Groups

        Consultants should take time to test the patches in a non-production environment prior to being deployed to production. This will help to gauge the impact of such changes. Ideally you will have the following patching groups:

        1. UAT (UAT1, UAT2, etc)

        2. Test Environment (Test1, Test2, etc)

        3. Development Environment (Dev1, Dev2 etc)

        4. Production (Prod1, Prod2, etc)

        If you have clustered environment like SQL, Exchange and SharePoint then create Prod1, prod2 group and place each node on each group.

        Change Management

        System administrators should maintain a log, written or electronic, of all changes to the operating environment, to include hardware, system security software, operating system, and applications. Prior to any changes being implemented on a system, the system administrator should receive approval of stakeholders.

        Backup

        Why am I discussing backup with patching best practice? In case of emergency you can rollback completely and restore a server to its original state if necessary. It is very important that servers be backed up on a regular basis. Depending on the use of the server, it may be adequate to backup the server once per week. A backup of a more critical environment may be needed daily, and possibly continuously. The backup program provided with Windows is capable of backing up to virtually any writable media, which can include network drives provided by a server in another physical location. This program is also capable of scheduling backups which can ensure backups occur on a regular interval.

        Microsoft strongly recommends that you create the following backups before you install an update rollup, service pack and patch on Exchange and SQL:

        • A full backup of all databases on the server.
        • A full backup of transaction log and log backup
        • A system state backup of the server.
        • A snapshot of virtualized exchange server. Delete snapshot after successful patching and updating.

        Application Compatibility

        Read release notes of each hotfixes you are going to apply so that you are compliant with the application installed on the server. Consult with application vendor before applying service pack to any server if the server is hosting specific business application. Consult with application engineer about the importance of server patching. Inform and educate application engineer as much as possible to avoid conflict of interest.

        Documentation

        Documentation released with the updates is usually in the form of web pages, attached Word documents and README.TXT files. These should be printed off and attached to change control procedures as supporting documentation.

        Back out Plan

        A back-out plan will allow the system and enterprise to return to their original state, prior to the failed implementation. It is important that these procedures are clear, and that contingency management has tested them, because in the worst case a faulty implementation can make it necessary to activate contingency options. Historically, service packs have allowed for uninstalling, so verify there is enough free hard disk space to create the uninstall folder. Create a back out plan electronically and attach with change management software.

        User Notifications

        You need to notify helpdesk staff and support agencies of the pending changes so they may be ready for arising issues or outages.

        Consistency across Servers

        Always install the same service packs or hotfixes to each SQL server node, Exchange DAG member and Domain Controller.

        Routine Maintenance Window

        A scheduled maintenance window must be agreed with business so that application outage and server reboot can maintain a respectable Service Level Agreement (SLA). If you have a large infrastructure with thousands of servers and many regions working round the clock then you must consider application dependencies. A patching schedule can be considered in between every Friday of every month at 6:00 P.M. Friday to 6:00 A.M Monday. Setup maintenance window in system center or deadline for WSUS to make sure patches are applied when you want instead of when patch is available. In this way you will have a complete control over change windows approved by change advisory board (CAB). Do not allow end users to update patches on their client machine according to their wishes and happiness! then user will never install any patch.

        Patching Tools

        I strongly recommend that you spend few $$$ to buy Microsoft System Center 2012 to manage and deploy Windows patches, service pack and hotfixes. However you can use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) as poor man’s patching solutions.

        Patching DMZ server can be accomplished using WSUS offline patching solutions available for free to download from http://download.wsusoffline.net/.

        Automate, Automate and Automate!

        Automated patch management using System Center could enable a single IT administrator to access a pre-populated patch policy. He then could execute the command and with the press of a single button, download the patches from Microsoft’s website, install them on a test machine and test for compatibility issues. Meanwhile, an automatic inventory check could search for systems with the affected software, wake them up, check their readiness and push the verified patches out to waiting machines. The patches would then be automatically installed on each system, and they’d reboot as necessary. The final step is an automated report on the status of the remediated devices.

        Standardize Patch Management Processes

        Standardized patch management processes could allow for daily assessment and remediation of client devices and weekly assessment and remediation for servers. Reports can then be generated to validate system status on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. A systems monitoring task that used to take days now takes minutes, and patches are deployed more completely and consistently across the entire IT environment. A single IT administrator can proactively manage thousands of systems tasks in the same amount of time it took an entire team to do the tasks manually.

        Reboot Windows Computer

        Some application may require reboot of server before patching such as RSA Secure Console. However most of the server must be rebooted after patching. Do not suppress reboot after patching in any circumstances or you will have a messy environment and broken clusters.

        X86 and X64 Windows Systems

        The most prominent 32-bit application you’re likely to see on a 64-bit Windows system is Office. In this sort of situation System Center benefits most because you can adjust and make decision based on architecture and compliance as well. You can approve patches based on “Needed and Not Installed”. If a server or client need update it will install if not then it will not installed. It’s safe to do so.

        Antivirus and Antispyware

        Servers are vulnerable to many forms of attack. Implementation and standardization of security methods should be developed to allow early and rapid deployment on servers. It’s important that a Windows server be equipped with a latest centrally managed Antivirus program. Antivirus update must be scheduled with the same maintenance window to update antivirus with latest definition.

        Audit Practices

        Servers have a powerful auditing feature built in. Typically, server managers would want the auditing system to capture logins, attempted logins, logouts, administrative activities, and perhaps attempts to access or delete critical system files. Auditing should be limited to gathering just the information that is needed, as it does require CPU and disk time for auditing to gather information. Log Management software should be used, if possible, for ease of managing and analysing information. Report can be generated from Systems Center and WSUS as proof of patching cycle.

        Log Retention

        Servers keep multiple logs and, by default, may not be set to reuse log file entries. It is a good practice to expand the size of the allowed log file and to set it to reuse space as needed. This allows logging to continue uninterrupted. How far back your log entries go will depend on the size of the log file and how quickly you are accumulating log data. If your server environment is critical, you may wish to ensure that the log file size is sufficient to store about 30 days of logging information, and then rotate log files once per month.

        Installing Updates on a single Exchange Server

        Download Exchange Update from Microsoft Download Center. Record Current Exchange Version information

        Check for publisher’s certificate revocation

        1. Start Internet Explorer.

        2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.

        3. Click the Advanced tab, and then locate the Security section.

        4. Clear the Check for publisher’s certificate revocation check box, and then click OK.

        5. After the update rollup installation is complete, select the Check for publisher’s certificate revocation option.

        Pre-check before installing

        1. Determine which update rollup packages are installed on your Exchange server roles

        2. Determine whether any interim updates are installed

        3. Review interim updates

        4. Obtain the latest update rollup package

        5. Apply on a Test Exchange Server

        Install Exchange Update

        1. Ensure that you have downloaded the appropriate rollup to a local drive on your Exchange servers, or on a remote network share.

        2. Run the Windows Installer *.msp Setup file that you downloaded in step 1.

        Install Exchange Update on DAG Member

        To update all DAG members, perform the following procedures on each DAG member, one at a time. Set the member server in maintenance mode using this PowerShell Command.

        .StartDagServerMaintenance.ps1 <ServerName>

        Install the update rollup

        1. Close all Exchange management tools.

        2. Right-click the Exchange update rollup file (.msp file) you downloaded, and then select Apply.

        3. On the Welcome page, click Next.

        4. On the License Terms page, review the license terms, select I accept the License Terms, and then click Next.

        5. On the Completion page, click Finish.

        Once installed exit from maintenance mode run the StopDagServerMaintenance.ps1 script. Run the following command to re-balance the DAG, as needed

        .RedistributeActiveDatabases.ps1 -DagName <DAGName> -BalanceDbsByActivationPreference -ShowFinalDatabaseDistribution

        When the installation is finished, complete the following tasks:

        • Start the Services MMC snap-in, and then verify that all the Exchange-related services are started successfully.
        • Log on to Outlook Web App to verify that it’s running correctly.
        • Restore Outlook Web App customizations, and then check Outlook Web App for correct functionality.
        • After the update rollup installation is complete, select the Check for publisher’s certificate revocation option in Internet Explorer. See “Certificate Revocation List” earlier in this topic.
        • Check Exchange 2010 version information
        • View Update rollup in Control Panel>Programs and Features

        Patching Microsoft Failover Cluster

        You can install Windows service packs on Windows Server Failover Cluster nodes using the following procedure. Administrative privilege is required to perform the following tasks.

        Procedure to install Windows service pack or hotfixes in Windows Server 2003:

        1. Check the System event log for errors and ensure proper system operation.
        2. Make sure you have a current backup and updated emergency repair disk for each system. In the event of corrupt files, power outage, or incompatibility, it may be necessary to revert back to the state of the system prior to attempting to install the service pack/hotfixes.
        3. Expand Node A, and then click Active Groups. In the left pane, right-click the groups, and then click Move Group to move all groups to Node B.
        4. Open Cluster Administrator, right-click Node A, and then click Pause Node.
        5. Install the service pack on Node A, and then restart the computer.
        6. Check the System event log for errors. If you find any errors, troubleshoot them before continuing this process.
        7. In Cluster Administrator, right-click Node A, and then click Resume Node.
        8. Right-click Node B, and then click Move Group for all groups owned by Node B to move all groups to Node A.
        9. In Cluster Administrator, right-click Node B, and then click Pause Node.
        10. Install the service pack on Node B, and then restart the computer.
        11. Check the system event log for errors. If you find any errors, troubleshoot them before continuing this process.
        12. In Cluster Administrator, right-click Node B, and then click Resume Node.
        13. Right-click each group, click Move Group, and then move the groups back to their preferred owner.

        Procedure to install Windows service pack or hotfixes in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012:

        1. Check the event log for errors and ensure proper system operation.
        2. Make sure you have a current backup and updated emergency repair disk for each system. In the event of corrupt files, power outage, or incompatibility, it may be necessary to revert back to the state of the system prior to attempting to install the service pack/hotfixes.
        3. On Node A, Expand Services and Applications, and then click the service or application
        4. Under Actions (on the right), click Move this service or application to another node, then choose the node or select Best possible.
        5. In the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, right-click Node A, and then click Pause.
        6. Install the service pack/hotfixes on Node A, and then restart the computer.
        7. Check the event log for errors. If you find any errors, troubleshoot them before continuing this process.
        8. In Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, right-click Node A, and then click Resume.
        9. Under Actions (on the right), click Move this service or application to another node, then choose the node.
          Note: As the service or application moves, the status is displayed in the results pane (in the center pane). Follow the Step 9 and 10 for each service and application configured on the cluster.
        10. Install the service pack/hotfixes on Node B, and then restart the computer.
        11. Check the event log for errors. If you find any errors, troubleshoot them before continuing this process.
        12. From the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in, right-click Node B, and then click Pause.
        13. In Failover Cluster Manager, right-click Node B, and then click Resume.
        14. Right-click each group, click Move Group, and then move the groups back to their preferred owner.

        You can use the following PowerShell Cmdlet to accomplish the same.

        1. Load the module with the command: Import-Module FailoverClusters

        2. Suspend (Pause) activity on a failover cluster nodeA: Suspend-ClusterNode nodeA

        3. Move a clustered service or application (a resource group) from one node to another: Get-ClusterNode NodeA | Get-ClusterGroup | Move-Cluster Group

        4. Resume activity on nodeA that was suspended in step 5: Resume-ClusterNode nodeA

        5. Move a clustered service or application (a resource group) from one node to another: Get-ClusterNode NodeB | Get-ClusterGroup | Move-Cluster Group

        6. Suspend (Pause) activity on other failover cluster node: Suspend-ClusterNode nodeB

        7. Resume activity on nodeB that was suspended in step 10 above: Resume-ClusterNode nodeB

        Conclusion

        It is critical that when service packs, hotfixes, and security patches are required to be installed, that these best practices be followed.

        Bottom line

        1. Read all related documents.

        2. Use a change control process.

        3. Apply updates that are needed.

        4. Test patches and hotfixes on test environment.

        5. Don’t get more than 2 service packs behind.

        6. Target non-critical servers first.

        7. Service Pack (SP) level consistency.

        8. Latest SP instead of multiple hotfixes.

        9. Apply only on exact match.

        10. Subscribe to Microsoft email notification.

        11. Always have a back-out plan.

        12. Have a working Backup and schedule production downtime.

        13. Consistency across Domain Controllers and application servers.

        Additional Readings:

        SQL Server failover cluster rolling patch and service pack process

        Patch Management on Business-Critical Servers

        Windows Server 2012 R2—First Look

        Visit What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 to find more about Windows Server 2012 R2.

        Download Windows Server 2012 R2

         image

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        Changes in Windows Tasks Bar.

        image

        Start Window presents necessary administrative Tile

        image

        What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2

        Technology

        What’s New

        iSCSI

        • Prevent data corruption during power failure.
        • sessions per target has increased to 544, and logical units per target has increased to 256.

        SMB

        • Support for Hyper-V Live Migration over SMB
        • Support for using shared VHDX files as shared storage for guest clustering
        • improved SMB bandwidth management
        • Support for multiple SMB instances on a Scale-Out File Server
        • Automatic rebalancing of Scale-Out File Server clients

        WDS

        PowerShell cmdlet scripting

        Active Directory

        Working anywhere approach, access protected data, multi-factor authentication

        DFS

        • Windows PowerShell module for DFS Replication
        • DFS Replication WMI provider
        • Database cloning for initial sync
        • Cross-file RDC disable
        • Database corruption recovery
        • Preserved file restoration
        • File staging tuning

        DHCP

        DNS suffix based policies

        DNS PTR registration options

        MSCS Cluster

        • Virtual machine network health detection
        • Virtual machine drain on shutdown
        • Shared virtual hard disk (for guest clusters)
        • Deploy a cluster without network names in Active Directory Domain Services
        • Dynamic witness
        • Force quorum resiliency
        • Tie breaker for 50% node split
        • Configure the Global Update Manager mode
        • Turn off IPsec encryption for inter-node cluster communication
        • Cluster dashboard

        GPO

        Policy Caching

        Item-Level Targeting,

        Hyper-v

        • Shared virtual hard disk
        • Storage Quality of Service
        • Virtual machine generation
        • Enhanced session mode
        • Automatic Virtual Machine Activation

        IP Address Management (IPAM)

        • Role based access control
        • Virtual address space management
        • External database support
        • Upgrade and migration support

        Supported Upgrade Path

        From

        To

        Windows Server 2008 R2 Web, Datacenter or enterprise with SP1

        Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, standard

        Windows Server 2012 Standard, datacenter

        Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

        Hyper-V Server 2012

        Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

        In-place upgrade of the following is unsupported:

        • from 32-bit to 64-bit architectures
        • from one language to another
        • from one build type to another (fre to chk, for example)
        • Upgrades from pre-release versions of Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview are not supported. Perform a clean installation to Windows Server 2012.
        • switch from a Server Core installation to the Server with a GUI mode

        Feature Removed or Deprecated in Windows Server 2012 R2

        Removed features

        Alternative

        File Backup and Restore

        File History feature

        System Image Backup

        Reset your PC

        Drivers for tape drives

        Use manufacturer drivers

        Creation of recovery disk on CD or DVD

        Use the Recovery Disk to USB feature

        Windows Authorization Manager (AzMan)

        use new management tools for virtual machine

        Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) SDK

        AD RMS SDK 2.0

        The Application Server role

        Use features and roles

        IIS CertObj COM interface

        None

        GAA_FLAG_INCLUDE_TUNNEL_BINDINGORDER

        None

        Dfscmd.exe

        Use PowerShell

        Mount-IscsiVirtualDiskSnapshot, Dismount-IscsiVirtualDiskSnapshot

        Use PowerShell

        Nfsshare.exe

        Use PowerShell

        NFS 2

        NFS 3 or NFS4

        Network Access Protection (NAP)

        Windows Web Application Proxy

        Server for Network Information Services (NIS) Tools

        Use native LDAP, Samba client, Kerberos

        SMB 1.0

        SMB 2

        Telnet server

        Remote desktop

        Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) 3.5

        Use WIF 4.5 and .net framework 4.5

        SQL lite

        SQL LocalDb

        WMI version 1

        WMI version 2

        References:

        Release Notes: Important Issues in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

        System Requirements

        What’s New

        Windows 8: Configuring AppLocker Step by Step

        AppLocker is a customizable rules that allow/disallow applications, scripts and installers on a per user or per group basis. By using this feature, an administrators can ensure that security and licensing compliance needs are met, and to provide granular level security to align with corporate security compliance. You can configure the following rules in AppLocker via group policy object

        • Executable Rules
        • Windows Installer Rules
        • Script Rules
        • Packaged App Rules

        AppLocker can be found in Computer ConfigurationWindows SettingsSecurity SettingsApplication Control PoliciesAppLocker location shown in picture

        image

        an administrator creates or edits a Group Policy Object based on business needs. Rules can be created to allow/deny any applications/scripts/installers to run per user or per group. The following is an example to create a rule allowing Adobe Acrobat using AppLocker.

        Right Click on Executable Rules, Click Create New Rule

        image

        On the Permission page, Click Allow, Click Next

        image

        Select Publisher, Click Next

        image

        Click Browse and go to the C:Program Files (x86)AdobeAcrobat 10.0Acrobat and select Acrobat.exe. If you would like to select specific version, Click Next otherwise drag mouse product name shown product name. in this way you have selected Adobe Acrobat and any version will be allowed by this rule.

        image

        image

        On the Exceptions page, Click Next

        image

        On the Name page, Click Create.

        image

        Now you will see the rule in the following screen

        image

        AppLocker is a robust tool to manage corporate compliance and security on the desktop and server platform.

        Windows Server 2012: Failover Clustering Deep Dive

        Physical Hardware Requirements -Up to 23 instances of SQL Server requires the following resource:

        1. Processor 2 processors for 23 instances of SQL Server as a single cluster node would require 46 CPUs.
        2. Memory 2 GB of memory for 23 instances of SQL Server as a single cluster node would require 48 GB of RAM (2 GB of additional memory for the operating system).
        3. Network adapters- Microsoft certified network adapter. Converged adapter or iSCSI Adapter or HBA.
        4. Storage Adapter- multipath I/O (MPIO) supported hardware
        5. Storage – shared storage that is compatible with Windows Server 2008/2012. Storage requirements include the following:
        • Use basic disks, not dynamic disks.
        • Use NTFS partition.
        • Use either master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT).
        • Storage volume larger than 2 terabytes, use GUID partition table (GPT).
        • Storage volumes smaller than 2 terabytes, use master boot record (MBR).
        • 4 disks for 23 instances of SQL Server as a cluster disk array would require 92 disks.
        • Cluster storage must not be Windows Distributed File System (DFS)

        Software Requirements

        Download SQL Server 2012 installation media. Review SQL Server 2012 Release Notes. Install the following prerequisite software on each failover cluster node and then restart nodes once before running Setup.

        1. Windows PowerShell 2.0
        2. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
        3. .NET Framework 4

        Active Directory Requirements

        1. Cluster nodes must be member of same Active Directory Domain Services
        2. The servers in the cluster must use Domain Name System (DNS) for name resolution
        3. Use cluster naming convention for example Production Physical Node: DC1PPSQLNODE01 or Production virtual node DC2PVSQLNODE02

        Unsupported Configuration

        the following are the unsupported configuration: 

        1. Do not include cluster name with these characters like <, >, “,’,&
        2. Never install SQL server on a Domain Controller
        3. Never install cluster services in a domain controller or Forefront TMG 2010

        Permission Requirements

        System admin or project engineer who will be performing the tasks of creating cluster must be a member of at least Domain Users security group with permission to create domain computers objects in Active Directory and must be a member of administrators group on each clustered server.

        Network settings and IP addresses requirements

        you need at least two network card in each cluster node. One network card for domain or client connectivity and another network card heartbeat network which is shown below.

        image

        The following are the unique requirements for MS cluster.

        1. Use identical network settings on each node such as Speed, Duplex Mode, Flow Control, and Media Type.
        2. Ensure that each of these private networks uses a unique subnet.
        3. Ensure that each node has heartbeat network with same range of IP address
        4. Ensure that each node has unique range of subnet whether they are placed in single geographic location of diverse location.

        Domain Network should be configured with IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and DNS record.

        image

        Heartbeat network should be configured with only IP address and subnet mask.

        image

        Additional Requirements

        1. Verify that antivirus software is not installed on your WSFC cluster.
        2. Ensure that all cluster nodes are configured identically, including COM+, disk drive letters, and users in the administrators group.
        3. Verify that you have cleared the system logs in all nodes and viewed the system logs again.
        4. Ensure that the logs are free of any error messages before continuing.
        5. Before you install or update a SQL Server failover cluster, disable all applications and services that might use SQL Server components during installation, but leave the disk resources online.
        6. SQL Server Setup automatically sets dependencies between the SQL Server cluster group and the disks that will be in the failover cluster. Do not set dependencies for disks before Setup.
        7. If you are using SMB File share as a storage option, the SQL Server Setup account must have Security Privilege on the file server. To do this, using the Local Security Policy console on the file server, add the SQL Server setup account to Manage auditing and security log rights.

        Supported Operating Systems

        • Windows Server 2012 64-bit x64 Datacenter
        • Windows Server 2012 64-bit x64 Standard
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Datacenter
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Enterprise
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Standard
        • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Web

        Understanding Quorum configuration

        In a simple definition, quorum is a voting mechanism in a Microsoft cluster. Each node has one vote. In a MSCS cluster, this voting mechanism constantly monitor cluster that how many nodes are online and how nodes are required to run the cluster smoothly. Each node contains a copy of cluster information and their information is also stored in witness disk/directory. For a MSCS, you have to choose a quorum among four possible quorum configurations.

        • Node Majority- Recommended for clusters with an odd number of nodes. 

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        • Node and Disk Majority – Recommended for clusters with an even number of nodes. Can sustain (Total no of Node)/2 failures if a disk witness node is online. Can sustain ((Total no of Node)/2)-1 failures if a disk witness node is offline.

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        • Node and File Share Majority- Clusters with special configurations. Works in a similar way to Node and Disk Majority, but instead of a disk witness, this cluster uses a file share witness.

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        • No Majority: Disk Only (not recommended)

        Why quorum is necessary? Network problems can interfere with communication between cluster nodes. This can cause serious issues. To prevent the issues that are caused by a split in the cluster, the cluster software requires that any set of nodes running as a cluster must use a voting algorithm to determine whether, at a given time, that set has quorum. Because a given cluster has a specific set of nodes and a specific quorum configuration, the cluster will know how many “votes” constitutes a majority (that is, a quorum). If the number drops below the majority, the cluster stops running. Nodes will still listen for the presence of other nodes, in case another node appears again on the network, but the nodes will not begin to function as a cluster until the quorum exists again.

        Understanding a multi-site cluster environment

        Hardware: A multi-site cluster requires redundant hardware with correct capacity, storage functionality, replication between sites, and network characteristics such as network latency.

        Number of nodes and corresponding quorum configuration: For a multi-site cluster, Microsoft recommend having an even number of nodes and, for the quorum configuration, using the Node and File Share Majority option that is, including a file share witness as part of the configuration. The file share witness can be located at a third site, that is, a different location from the main site and secondary site, so that it is not lost if one of the other two sites has problems.

        Network configuration—deciding between multi-subnets and a VLAN: configuring a multi-site cluster with different subnets is supported. However, when using multiple subnets, it is important to consider how clients will discover services or applications that have just failed over. The DNS servers must update one another with this new IP address before clients can discover the service or application that has failed over. If you use VLANs with multi-site you must reduce the Time to Live (TTL) of DNS discovery.

        Tuning of heartbeat settings: The heartbeat settings include the frequency at which the nodes send heartbeat signals to each other to indicate that they are still functioning, and the number of heartbeats that a node can miss before another node initiates failover and begins taking over the services and applications that had been running on the failed node. In a multi-site cluster, you might want to tune the “heartbeat” settings. You can tune these settings for heartbeat signals to account for differences in network latency caused by communication across subnets.

        Replication of data: Replication of data between sites is very important in a multi-site cluster, and is accomplished in different ways by different hardware vendors. Therefore, the choice of the replication process requires careful consideration. There are many options you will find while replicating data. But before you make any decision, consult with your storage vendor, server hardware vendor and software vendors. Depending on vendor like NetApp and EMC, your replication design will change. Review the following considerations:

        Choosing replication level ( block, file system, or application level): The replication process can function through the hardware (at the block level), through the operating system (at the file system level), or through certain applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server (which has a feature called Cluster Continuous Replication or CCR). Work with your hardware and software vendors to choose a replication process that fits the requirements of your organization.

        Configuring replication to avoid data corruption: The replication process must be configured so that any interruptions to the process will not result in data corruption, but instead will always provide a set of data that matches the data from the main site as it existed at some moment in time. In other words, the replication must always preserve the order of I/O operations that occurred at the main site. This is crucial, because very few applications can recover if the data is corrupted during replication.

        Choosing between synchronous and asynchronous replication: The replication process can be synchronous, where no write operation finishes until the corresponding data is committed at the secondary site, or asynchronous, where the write operation can finish at the main site and then be replicated (as a background operation) to the secondary site.

        Synchronous Replication means that the replicated data is always up-to-date, but it slows application performance while each operation waits for replication. Synchronous replication is best for multi-site clusters that can are using high-bandwidth, low-latency connections. Typically, this means that a cluster using synchronous replication must not be stretched over a great distance. Synchronous replication can be performed within 200km distance where a reliable and robust WAN connectivity with enough bandwidth is available. For example, if you have GigE and Ten GigE MPLS connection you would choose synchronous replication depending on how big is your data.

        Asynchronous Replication can help maximize application performance, but if failover to the secondary site is necessary, some of the most recent user operations might not be reflected in the data after failover. This is because some operations that were finished recently might not yet be replicated. Asynchronous replication is best for clusters where you want to stretch the cluster over greater geographical distances with no significant application performance impact. Asynchronous replication is performed when distance is more than 200km and WAN connectivity is not robust between sites.

        Utilizing Windows Storage Server 2012 as shared storage

        Windows® Storage Server 2012 is the Windows Server® 2012 platform of choice for network-attached storage (NAS) appliances offered by Microsoft partners.

        Windows Storage Server 2012 enhances the traditional file serving capabilities and extends file based storage for application workloads like Hyper-V, SQL, Exchange and Internet information Services (IIS). Windows Storage Server 2012 provides the following features for an organization.

        Workgroup Edition

        • As many as 50 connections
        • Single processor socket
        • Up to 32 GB of memory
        • As many as 6 disks (no external SAS)

        Standard Edition

        • No license limit on number of connections
        • Multiple processor sockets
        • No license limit on memory
        • No license limit on number of disks
        • De-duplication, virtualization (host plus 2 virtual machines for storage and disk management tools), and networking services (no domain controller)
        • Failover clustering for higher availability
        • Microsoft BranchCache for reduced WAN traffic

        Presenting Storage from Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard

        From the Server Manager, Click Add roles and features, On the Before you begin page, Click Next. On the installation type page, Click Next. 

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        On the Server Roles Selection page, Select iSCSI Target and iSCSI target storage provider, Click Next

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        On the Feature page, Click Next. On the Confirm page, Click Install. Click Close.

        On the Server Manager, Click File and Storage Services, Click iSCSI

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        On the Task Button, Click New iSCSI Target, Select the Disk drive from where you want to present storage, Click Next

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        Type the Name of the Storage, Click Next

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        Type the size of the shared disk, Click Next

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        Select New iSCSI Target, Click Next

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        Type the name of the target, Click Next

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        Select the IP Address on the Enter a value for selected type, Type the IP address of cluster node, Click Ok. Repeat the process and add IP address for the cluster nodes.   

        image

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        Type the CHAP information. note that CHAP password must be 12 character. Click Next to continue.

        image

        Click Create to create a shared storage. Click Close once done.

        image

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        Repeat the step to create all shared drive of your preferred size and create a shared drive of 2GB size for quorum disk.

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        Deploying a Failover Cluster in Microsoft environment

        Step1: Connect the cluster servers to the networks and storage

        1. Review the details about networks in Hardware Requirements for a Two-Node Failover Cluster and Network infrastructure and domain account requirements for a two-node failover cluster, earlier in this guide.

        2. Connect and configure the networks that the servers in the cluster will use.

        3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for physically connecting the servers to the storage. For this article, we are using software iSCSI initiator. Open software iSCSI initiator from Server manager>Tools>iSCSI Initiator. Type the IP address of target that is the IP address of Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012. Click Quick Connect, Click Done.

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        5. Open Computer Management, Click Disk Management, Initialize and format the disk using either MBR and GPT disk type. Go to second server, open Computer Management, Click Disk Management, bring the disk online simply by right clicking on the disk and clicking bring online. Ensure that the disks (LUNs) that you want to use in the cluster are exposed to the servers that you will cluster (and only those servers).

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        6. On one of the servers that you want to cluster, click Start, click Administrative Tools, click Computer Management, and then click Disk Management. (If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.) In Disk Management, confirm that the cluster disks are visible.

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        7. If you want to have a storage volume larger than 2 terabytes, and you are using the Windows interface to control the format of the disk, convert that disk to the partition style called GUID partition table (GPT). To do this, back up any data on the disk, delete all volumes on the disk and then, in Disk Management, right-click the disk (not a partition) and click Convert to GPT Disk.

        8. Check the format of any exposed volume or LUN. Use NTFS file format.

        Step 2: Install the failover cluster feature

        In this step, you install the failover cluster feature. The servers must be running Windows Server 2012.

        1. Open Server Manager, click Add roles and features. Follow the screen, go to Feature page.

        2. In the Add Features Wizard, click Failover Clustering, and then click Install.

        image

        4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation of the feature. When the wizard finishes, close it.

        5. Repeat the process for each server that you want to include in the cluster.

        Step 3: Validate the cluster configuration

        Before creating a cluster, I strongly recommend that you validate your configuration. Validation helps you confirm that the configuration of your servers, network, and storage meets a set of specific requirements for failover clusters.

        1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

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        2. Confirm that Failover Cluster Manager is selected and then, in the center pane under Management, click Validate a Configuration. Click Next.

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        3. On the Select Server Page, type the fully qualified domain name of the nodes you would like to add in the cluster, then click Add.

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        4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the two servers and the tests, and then run the tests. To fully validate your configuration, run all tests before creating a cluster. Click next

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        5. On the confirmation page, Click Next

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        6. The Summary page appears after the tests run. To view the results, click Report. Click Finish. You will be prompted to create a cluster if you select Create the Cluster now using validation nodes.

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        5. While still on the Summary page, click View Report and read the test results.

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        To view the results of the tests after you close the wizard, see

        SystemRootClusterReportsValidation Report date and time.html

        where SystemRoot is the folder in which the operating system is installed (for example, C:Windows).

        6. As necessary, make changes in the configuration and rerun the tests.

        Step4: Create a Failover cluster

        1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

        image

        2. Confirm that Failover Cluster Management is selected and then, in the center pane under Management, click Create a cluster. If you did not close the validation nodes then the validation wizard automatically open cluster creation wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify, Click Next

        • The servers to include in the cluster.
        • The name of the cluster i.e. virtual name of cluster
        • IP address of the virtual node

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        3. Verify the IP address and cluster node name and click Next

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        4. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, to view a report of the tasks the wizard performed, click View Report. Click Finish.

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        Step5: Verify Cluster Configuration

        On the Cluster Manager, Click networks, right click on each network, Click Property, make sure Allow clients to connect through this network is unchecked for heartbeat network. verify IP range. Click Ok.

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        On the Cluster Manager, Click networks, right click on each network, Click Property, make sure Allow clients to connect through this network is checked for domain network. verify IP range. Click Ok.

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        On the Cluster Manager, Click Storage, Click disks, verify quorum disk and shared disks are available. You can add multiple of disks by simply click Add new disk on the Task Pan.

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        An automated MSCS cluster configuration will add quorum automatically. However you can manually configure desired cluster quorum by right clicking on cluster>More Actions>Configure Cluster Quorum Settings.

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        Configuring a Hyper-v Cluster

        In the previous steps you have configured a MSCS cluster, to configure a Hyper-v cluster all you need to do is install Hyper-v role in each cluster node. from the Server Manager, Click Add roles and features, follow the screen and install Hyper-v role. A reboot is required to install Hyper-v role.  Once role is installed in both node.

        Note that at this stage add Storage for Virtual Machines and networks for Live Migration, Storage network if using iSCSI, Virtual Machine network, and Management Network. detailed configuration is out of scope for this article as I am writing about MSCS cluster not Hyper-v.

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        from the Cluster Manager, Right Click on Networks, Click Network for Live Migration, Select appropriate network for live Migration.

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        If you would like to have virtual machine additional fault tolerance like Hyper-v Replica, Right Click Cluster virtual node, Click Configure Role, Click Next.

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        From Select Role page, Click Hyper-v Replica broker, Click Next. Follow the screen.

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        From the Cluster manager, right Click on Roles, Click Virtual machine, Click New Hard Disk to configure virtual machine storage and virtual machine configuration disk drive. Once done, From the Cluster manager, right Click on Roles, Click Virtual machine, Click New Virtual machine to create virtual machine.

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        Backing up Clustered data, application or server

        There are multiple methods for backing up information that is stored on Cluster Shared Volumes in a failover cluster running on

        • Windows Server 2008 R2
        • Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
        • Windows Server 2012
        • Hyper-V Server 2012

        Operating System Level backup

        The backup application runs within a virtual machine in the same way that a backup application runs within a physical server. When there are multiple virtual machines being managed centrally, each virtual machine can run a backup “agent” (instead of running an individual backup application) that is controlled from the central management server. Backup agent backs up application data, files, folder and systems state of operating systems.

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        Hyper-V Image Level backup

        The backup captures all the information about multiple virtual machines that are configured in a failover cluster that is using Cluster Shared Volumes. The backup application runs through Hyper-V, which means that it must use the VSS Hyper-V writer. The backup application must also be compatible with Cluster Shared Volumes. The backup application backs up the virtual machines that are selected by the administrator, including all the VHD files for those virtual machines, in one operation. VM1_Data.VHDX, VM2_data.VHDX and VM1_System.VHDX, VM2_system.VHDX are stored in a backup disk or tape. VM1_System.VHDX and VM2_System.VHDX contain system files and page files i.e. system state, snapshot and VM configuration are stored as well.

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        Publishing an Application or Service in a Failover Cluster Environment

        1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

        2. Right Click on Roles, click Configure Role to publish a service or application

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        3. Select a Cluster Services or Application, and then click Next.

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        4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the following details:

        • A name for the clustered file server
        • IP address of virtual node

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        5. On Select Storage page, Select the storage volume or volumes that the clustered file server should use. Click Next

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        6. On the confirmation Page, review and Click Next

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        7. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, to view a report of the tasks the wizard performed, click View Report.

        8. To close the wizard, click Finish.

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        9. In the console tree, make sure Services and Applications is expanded, and then select the clustered file server that you just created.

        10. After completing the wizard, confirm that the clustered file server comes online. If it does not, review the state of the networks and storage and correct any issues. Then right-click the new clustered application or service and click Bring this service or application online.

        Perform a Failover Test

        To perform a basic test of failover, right-click the clustered file server, click Move this service or application to another node, and click the available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice. You can observe the status changes in the center pane of the snap-in as the clustered file server instance is moved.

        Configuring a New Failover Cluster by Using Windows PowerShell

        Task

        PowerShell command

        Run validation tests on a list of servers.

        Test-Cluster -Node server1,server2

        Where server1 and server2 are servers that you want to validate.

        Create a cluster using defaults for most settings.

        New-Cluster -Name cluster1 -Node server1,server2

        Where server1 and server2 are the servers that you want to include in the new cluster.

        Configure a clustered file server using defaults for most settings.

        Add-ClusterFileServerRole -Storage "Cluster Disk 4"

        Where Cluster Disk 4 is the disk that the clustered file server will use.

        Configure a clustered print server using defaults for most settings.

        Add-ClusterPrintServerRole -Storage "Cluster Disk 5"

        Where Cluster Disk 5 is the disk that the clustered print server will use.

        Configure a clustered virtual machine using defaults for most settings.

        Add-ClusterVirtualMachineRole -VirtualMachine VM1

        Where VM1 is an existing virtual machine that you want to place in a cluster.

        Add available disks.

        Get-ClusterAvailableDisk | Add-ClusterDisk

        Review the state of nodes.

        Get-ClusterNode

        Run validation tests on a new server.

        Test-Cluster -Node newserver,node1,node2

        Where newserver is the new server that you want to add to a cluster, and node1 and node2 are nodes in that cluster.

        Prepare a node for maintenance.

        Get-ClusterNode node2 | Get-ClusterGroup | Move-ClusterGroup

        Where node2 is the node from which you want to move clustered services and applications.

        Pause a node.

        Suspend-ClusterNode node2

        Where node2 is the node that you want to pause.

        Resume a node.

        Resume-ClusterNode node2

        Where node2 is the node that you want to resume.

        Stop the Cluster service on a node.

        Stop-ClusterNode node2

        Where node2 is the node on which you want to stop the Cluster service.

        Start the Cluster service on a node.

        Start-ClusterNode node2

        Where node2 is the node on which you want to start the Cluster service.

        Review the signature and other properties of a cluster disk.

        Get-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2" | Get-ClusterParameter

        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk for which you want to review the disk signature.

        Move Available Storage to a particular node.

        Move-ClusterGroup "Available Storage" -Node node1

        Where node1 is the node that you want to move Available Storage to.

        Turn on maintenance for a disk.

        Suspend-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2"

        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk in cluster storage for which you are turning on maintenance.

        Turn off maintenance for a disk.

        Resume-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2"

        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk in cluster storage for which you are turning off maintenance.

        Bring a clustered service or application online.

        Start-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to bring online.

        Take a clustered service or application offline.

        Stop-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to take offline.

        Move or Test a clustered service or application.

        Move-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to test or move.

        Migrating clustered services and applications to a new failover cluster

        Use the following instructions to migrate clustered services and applications from your old cluster to your new cluster. After the Migrate a Cluster Wizard runs, it leaves most of the migrated resources offline, so that you can perform additional steps before you bring them online. If the new cluster uses old storage, plan how you will make LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster (but do not make changes yet).

        1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

        2. In the console tree, if the cluster that you created is not displayed, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage a Cluster, and then select the cluster that you want to configure.

        3. In the console tree, expand the cluster that you created to see the items underneath it.

        4. If the clustered servers are connected to a network that is not to be used for cluster communications (for example, a network intended only for iSCSI), then under Networks, right-click that network, click Properties, and then click Do not allow cluster network communication on this network. Click OK.

        5. In the console tree, select the cluster. Click Configure, click Migrate services and applications.

        6. Read the first page of the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, and then click Next.

        7. Specify the name or IP Address of the cluster or cluster node from which you want to migrate resource groups, and then click Next.

        8. Click View Report. The wizard also provides a report after it finishes, which describes any additional steps that might be needed before you bring the migrated resource groups online.

        9. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the following tasks:

          • Choose the resource group or groups that you want to migrate.
          • Specify whether the resource groups to be migrated will use new storage or the same storage that you used in the old cluster. If the resource groups will use new storage, you can specify the disk that each resource group should use. Note that if new storage is used, you must handle all copying or moving of data or folders—the wizard does not copy data from one shared storage location to another.
          • If you are migrating from a cluster running Windows Server 2003 that has Network Name resources with Kerberos protocol enabled, specify the account name and password for the Active Directory account that is used by the Cluster service on the old cluster.
        1. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, click View Report.

        14. When the wizard completes, most migrated resources will be offline. Leave them offline at this stage.

        Completing the transition from the old cluster to the new cluster. You must perform the following steps to complete the transition to the new cluster running Windows Server 2012.

        1. Prepare for clients to experience downtime, probably brief.

        2. Take each resource group offline on the old cluster.

        3. Complete the transition for the storage:

          • If the new cluster will use old storage, follow your plan for making LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster.
          • If the new cluster will use new storage, copy the appropriate folders and data to the storage. As needed for disk access on the old cluster, bring individual disk resources online on that cluster. (Keep other resources offline, to ensure that clients cannot change data on the disks in storage.) Also as needed, on the new cluster, use Disk Management to confirm that the appropriate LUNs or disks are visible to the new cluster and not visible to any other servers.

        4. If the new cluster uses mount points, adjust the mount points as needed, and make each disk resource that uses a mount point dependent on the resource of the disk that hosts the mount point.

        5. Bring the migrated services or applications online on the new cluster. To perform a basic test of failover on the new cluster, expand Services and Applications, and then click a migrated service or application that you want to test.

        6. To perform a basic test of failover for the migrated service or application, under Actions (on the right), click Move this service or application to another node, and then click an available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice. You can observe the status changes in the center pane of the snap-in as the clustered service or application is moved.

        7. If there are any issues with failover, review the following:

          • View events in Failover Cluster Manager. To do this, in the console tree, right-click Cluster Events, and then click Query. In the Cluster Events Filter dialog box, select the criteria for the events that you want to display, or to return to the default criteria, click the Reset button. Click OK. To sort events, click a heading, for example, Level or Date and Time.
          • Confirm that necessary services, applications, or server roles are installed on all nodes. Confirm that services or applications are compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2 and run as expected.
          • If you used old storage for the new cluster, rerun the Validate a Cluster Configuration Wizard to confirm the validation results for all LUNs or disks in the storage.
          • Review migrated resource settings and dependencies.
          • If you migrated one or more Network Name resources with Kerberos protocol enabled, confirm that the following permissions change was made in Active Directory Users and Computers on a domain controller. In the computer accounts (computer objects) of your Kerberos protocol-enabled Network Name resources, Full Control must be assigned to the computer account for the failover cluster.

        Migrating Cluster Resource with new Mount Point

        When you are working with new storage for your cluster migration, you have some flexibility in the order in which you complete the tasks. The tasks that you must complete include creating the mount points, running the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, copying the data to the new storage, and confirming the disk letters and mount points for the new storage. After completing the other tasks, configure the disk resource dependencies in Failover Cluster Manager.

        A useful way to keep track of disks in the new storage is to give them labels that indicate your intended mount point configuration. For example, in the new storage, when you are mounting a new disk in a folder called Mount1-1 on another disk, you can also label the mounted disk as Mount1-1. (This assumes that the label Mount1-1 is not already in use in the old storage.) Then when you run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard and you need to specify that disk for a particular migrated resource, you can look at the list and select the disk labeled Mount1-1. Then you can return to Failover Cluster Manager to configure the disk resource for Mount1-1 so that it is dependent on the appropriate resource, for example, the resource for disk F. Similarly, you would configure the disk resources for all other disks mounted on disk F so that they depended on the disk resource for disk F.

        Migrating DHCP to a Cluster Running Windows Server 2012

        A failover cluster is a group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability of applications and services. The clustered servers (called nodes) are connected by physical cables and by software. If one of the cluster nodes fails, another node begins to provide service (a process known as failover). Users experience a minimum of disruptions in service.

        This guide describes the steps that are necessary when migrating a clustered DHCP server to a cluster running Windows Server 2008 R2, beyond the standard steps required for migrating clustered services and applications in general. The guide indicates when to use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard in the migration, but does not describe the wizard in detail.

        Step 1: Review requirements and create a cluster running Windows Server 2012

        Before beginning the migration described in this guide, review the requirements for a cluster running Windows Server 2008 R2, install the failover clustering feature on servers running Windows Server 2008 R2, and create a new cluster.

        Step 2: On the old cluster, adjust registry settings and permissions before migration

        To prepare for migration, you must make changes to registry settings and permissions on each node of the old cluster.

        1. Confirm that you have a current backup of the old cluster, one that includes the configuration information for the clustered DHCP server (also called the DHCP resource group).

        2. Confirm that the clustered DHCP server is online on the old cluster. It must be online while you complete the remainder of this procedure.

        3. On a node of the old cluster, open a command prompt as an administrator.

        4. Type: regedit Navigate to:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesDHCPServerParameters

        5. Choose the option that applies to your cluster: If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2008, skip to step 7. If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2:

          • Right-click Parameters, click New, click String Value, and for the name of the new value, type: ServiceMain
          • Right-click the new value (ServiceMain), click Modify, and for the value data, type: ServiceEntry
          • Right-click Parameters again, click New, click Expandable String Value, and for the name of the new value, type: ServiceDll
          • Right-click the new value (ServiceDll), click Modify, and for the value data, type: %systemroot%system32dhcpssvc.dll

        6. Right-click Parameters, and then click Permissions.

        7. Click Add. Locate the appropriate account and assign permissions:

          • On Windows Server 2008: Click Locations, select the local server, and then click OK. Under Enter the object names to select, type NT ServiceDHCPServer. Click OK. Select the DHCPServer account and then select the check box for Full Control.
          • On Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2: Click Locations, ensure that the domain name is selected, and then click OK. Under Enter the object names to select, type Everyone, and then click OK (and confirm your choice if prompted). Under Group or user names, select Everyone and then select the check box for Full Control.

        8. Repeat the process on the other node or nodes of the old cluster.

        Step 3: On a node in the old cluster, prepare for export, and then export the DHCP database to a file

        As part of migrating a clustered DHCP server, on the old cluster, you must export the DHCP database to a file. This requires preparatory steps that prevent the cluster from restarting the clustered DHCP resource during the export. The following procedure describes the process. On the old cluster, start the clustering snap-in and configure the restart setting for the clustered DHCP server (DHCP resource group):

        1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Management. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

        2. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster that you are migrating settings from. Expand Services and Applications and then, in the console tree, click the clustered DHCP server.

        3. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, do not restart.

        This step prevents the resource from restarting during the export of the DHCP database, which would stop the export.

        1. On the node of the old cluster that currently owns the clustered DHCP server, confirm that the clustered DHCP server is running. Then open a command prompt window as an administrator.

        2. Type: netsh dhcp server export <exportfile> all

        Where <exportfile> is the name of the file to which you want to export the DHCP database.

        3. After the export is complete, in the clustering interface (Cluster Administrator or Failover Cluster Management), right-click the clustered DHCP server (DHCP resource group) and then click either Take Offline or Take this service or application offline. If the command is unavailable, in the center pane, right-click each online resource and click either Take Offline or Take this resource offline. If prompted for confirmation, confirm your choice.

        4. If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, obtain the account name and password for the Cluster service account (the Active Directory account used by the Cluster service on the old cluster). Alternatively, you can obtain the name and password of another account that has access permissions for the Active Directory computer accounts (objects) that the old cluster uses. For a migration from a cluster running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, you will need this information for the next procedure.

        Step 4: On the new cluster, configure a network for DHCP clients and run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

        Microsoft recommends that you make the network settings on the new cluster as similar as possible to the settings on the old cluster. In any case, on the new cluster, you must have at least one network that DHCP clients can use to communicate with the cluster. The following procedure describes the cluster setting needed on the client network, and indicates when to run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

        1. On the new cluster (running Windows Server 2012), click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

        2. If the cluster that you want to configure is not displayed, in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage a Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster that you want.

        3. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster.

        4. Expand Networks, right-click the network that clients will use to connect to the DHCP server, and then click Properties.

        5. Make sure that Allow cluster network communication on this network and Allow clients to connect through this network are selected.

        6. To prepare for the migration process, find and take note of the drive letter used for the DHCP database on the old cluster. Ensure that the same drive letter exists on the new cluster. (This drive letter is one of the settings that the Migrate a Cluster Wizard will migrate.)

        7. In Failover Cluster Manager, in the console tree, select the new cluster, and then under Configure, click Migrate services and applications.

        8. Use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate the DHCP resource group from old to the new cluster. If you are using new storage on the new cluster, during the migration, be sure to specify the disk that has the same drive letter on the new cluster as was used for the DHCP database on the old cluster. The wizard will migrate resources and settings, but not the DHCP database.

        Step 5: On the new cluster, import the DHCP database, bring the clustered DHCP server online, and adjust permissions

        To complete the migration process, import the DHCP database that you exported to a file in Step 2. Then you can bring the clustered DHCP server online and adjust settings that were changed temporarily during the migration process.

        1. If you are reusing the old cluster storage for the new cluster, confirm that you have stored the exported DHCP database file in a safe location. Then be sure to delete all the DHCP files other than the exported DHCP database file from the old storage. This includes the DHCP database, log, and backup files.

        2. On the new cluster, in Failover Cluster Manager, expand Services and Applications, right-click the clustered DHCP server, and then click Bring this service or application online. The DHCP service starts with an empty database.

        3. Click the clustered DHCP server.

        4. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, do not restart. This step prevents the resource from restarting during the import of the DHCP database, which would stop the import.

        5. In the new cluster, on the node that currently owns the migrated DHCP server, view the disk used by the migrated DHCP server, and make sure that you have copied the exported DHCP database file to this disk.

        6. In the new cluster, on the node that currently owns the migrated DHCP server, open a command prompt as an administrator. Change to the disk used by the migrated DHCP server.

        7. Type: netsh dhcp server import <exportfile>

        Where <exportfile> is the filename of the file to which you exported the DHCP database.

        8. If the migrated DHCP server is not online, in Failover Cluster Manager, under Services and Applications, right-click the migrated DHCP server, and then click Bring this service or application online.

        9. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, attempt restart on current node.

        This returns the resource to the expected setting, instead of the “do not restart” setting that was temporarily needed during the import of the DHCP database.

        10. If the cluster was migrated from Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, after the clustered DHCP server is online on the new cluster, make the following changes to permissions in the registry:

        • On the node that owns the clustered DHCP server, open a command prompt as an administrator.
        • Type: regedit Navigate to:
          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesDHCPServerParameters
        • Right-click Parameters, and then click Permissions.
        • Click Add, click Locations, and then select the local server.
        • Under Enter the object names to select, type NT ServiceDHCPServer and then click OK. Select the DHCPServer account and then select the check box for Full Control. Then click Apply.
        • Select the Everyone account (created through steps earlier in this topic) and then click Remove. This removes the account from the list of those that are assigned permissions.

        11. Perform the preceding steps only after DHCP is online on the new cluster. After you complete these steps, you can test the clustered DHCP server and begin to provide DHCP services to clients.

        Configuring a Multisite SQL Server Failover Cluster

        To install or upgrade a SQL Server failover cluster, you must run the Setup program on each node of the failover cluster. To add a node to an existing SQL Server failover cluster, you must run SQL Server Setup on the node that is to be added to the SQL Server failover cluster instance. Do not run Setup on the active node to manage the other nodes. The following options are available for SQL Server failover cluster installation:

        Option1: Integration Installation with Add Node

        Create and configure a single-node SQL Server failover cluster instance. When you configure the node successfully, you have a fully functional failover cluster instance. At this point, it does not have high availability because there is only one node in the failover cluster. On each node to be added to the SQL Server failover cluster, run Setup with Add Node functionality to add that node.

        Option 2: Advanced/Enterprise Installation

        After you run the Prepare Failover Cluster on one node, Setup creates the Configuration.ini file that lists all the settings that you specified. On the additional nodes to be prepared, instead of following these steps, you can supply the autogenerated ConfigurationFile.ini file from first node as an input to the Setup command line. This step prepares the nodes ready to be clustered, but there is no operational instance of SQL Server at the end of this step.

        image

        After the nodes are prepared for clustering, run Setup on one of the prepared nodes. This step configures and finishes the failover cluster instance. At the end of this step, you will have an operational SQL Server failover cluster instance and all the nodes that were prepared previously for that instance will be the possible owners of the newly-created SQL Server failover cluster.

        Follow the procedure to install a new SQL Server failover cluster using Integrated Simple Cluster Install 

        1. Insert the SQL Server installation media, and from the root folder, double-click Setup.exe. To install from a network share, browse to the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.
        1. The Installation Wizard starts the SQL Server Installation Center. To create a new cluster installation of SQL Server, click New SQL Server failover cluster installation on the installation page

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        1. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

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        1. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report. To continue, click Next.
        2. On the Setup Support Files page, click Install to install the Setup support files.
        3. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue.

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        1. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.
        2. On the Product key page, indicate whether you are installing a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product.
        3. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the license terms and conditions.

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        1. To help improve SQL Server, you can also enable the feature usage option and send reports to Microsoft. Click Next to continue.

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        1. On the Feature Selection page, select the components for your installation. You can select any combination of check boxes, but only the Database Engine and Analysis Services support failover clustering. Other selected components will run as a stand-alone feature without failover capability on the current node that you are running Setup on.

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        1. The prerequisites for the selected features are displayed on the right-hand pane. SQL Server Setup will install the prerequisite that are not already installed during the installation step described later in this procedure. SQL Server setup runs one more set of rules that are based on the features you selected to validate your configuration.

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        1. On the Instance Configuration page, specify whether to install a default or a named instance. SQL Server Network Name — Specify a network name for the new SQL Server failover cluster. that is the name of virtual node of the cluster.  This is the name that is used to identify your failover cluster on the network. Instance ID — By default, the instance name is used as the Instance ID. This is used to identify installation directories and registry keys for your instance of SQL Server. This is the case for default instances and named instances. For a default instance, the instance name and instance ID would be MSSQLSERVER. To use a nondefault instance ID, select the Instance ID box and provide a value. Instance root directory — By default, the instance root directory is C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server. To specify a nondefault root directory, use the field provided, or click the ellipsis button to locate an installation folder.

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        1. Detected SQL Server instances and features on this computer – The grid shows instances of SQL Server that are on the computer where Setup is running. If a default instance is already installed on the computer, you must install a named instance of SQL Server. Click Next to continue.

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        1. The Disk Space Requirements page calculates the required disk space for the features that you specify, and compares requirements to the available disk space on the computer where Setup is running. Use the Cluster Resource Group page to specify the cluster resource group name where SQL Server virtual server resources will be located. To specify the SQL Server cluster resource group name, you have two options:
        • Use the drop-down box to specify an existing group to use.
        • Type the name of a new group to create. Be aware that the name “Available storage” is not a valid group name.

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        1. On the Cluster Disk Selection page, select the shared cluster disk resource for your SQL Server failover cluster. More than one disk can be specified. Click Next to continue.

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        1. On the Cluster Network Configuration page, Specify the IP type and IP address for your failover cluster instance. Click Next to continue. Note that the IP address will resolve the name of the virtual node which you have mentioned earlier step.

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        1. On the Server Configuration — Service Accounts page, specify login accounts for SQL Server services. The actual services that are configured on this page depend on the features that you selected to install.

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        1. Use this page to specify Cluster Security Policy. Use default setting. Click Next to continue. Work flow for the rest of this topic depends on the features that you have specified for your installation. You might not see all the pages, depending on your selections (Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services).
        2. You can assign the same login account to all SQL Server services, or you can configure each service account individually. The startup type is set to manual for all cluster-aware services, including full-text search and SQL Server Agent, and cannot be changed during installation. Microsoft recommends that you configure service accounts individually to provide least privileges for each service, where SQL Server services are granted the minimum permissions they have to have complete their tasks. To specify the same logon account for all service accounts in this instance of SQL Server, provide credentials in the fields at the bottom of the page. When you are finished specifying login information for SQL Server services, click Next.
        • Use the Server Configuration – Collation tab, use default collations for the Database Engine and Analysis Services.
        • Use the Database Engine Configuration — Account Provisioning page to specify the following:
        • select Windows Authentication or Mixed Mode Authentication for your instance of SQL Server.

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        1. Use the Database Engine Configuration – Data Directories page to specify nondefault installation directories. To install to default directories, click Next. Use the Database Engine Configuration – FILESTREAM page to enable FILESTREAM for your instance of SQL Server. Click Next to continue.

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        1. When you are finished editing the list, click OK. Verify the list of administrators in the configuration dialog box. When the list is complete, click Next.
        2. Use the Analysis Services Configuration — Account Provisioning page to specify users or accounts that will have administrator permissions for Analysis Services. You must specify at least one system administrator for Analysis Services. To add the account under which SQL Server Setup is running, click Add Current User. To add or remove accounts from the list of system administrators, click Add or Remove, and then edit the list of users, groups, or computers that will have administrator privileges for Analysis Services. When you are finished editing the list, click OK. Verify the list of administrators in the configuration dialog box. When the list is complete, click Next.

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        1. Use the Analysis Services Configuration — Data Directories page to specify nondefault installation directories. To install to default directories, click Next.

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        1. Use the Reporting Services Configuration page to specify the kind of Reporting Services installation to create. For failover cluster installation, the option is set to Unconfigured Reporting Services installation. You must configure Reporting Services services after you complete the installation. However, no harm to select Install and configure option if you are not an SQL expert.

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        1. On the Error Reporting page, specify the information that you want to send to Microsoft that will help improve SQL Server. By default, options for error reporting is disabled.

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        1. The System Configuration Checker runs one more set of rules to validate your configuration with the SQL Server features that you have specified.

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        1. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

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        1. During installation, the Installation Progress page provides status so that you can monitor installation progress as Setup continues. After installation, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes. To complete the SQL Server installation process, click Close.
        2. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you have finished with Setup.
        3. To add nodes to the single-node failover you just created, run Setup on each additional node and follow the steps for Add Node operation.

        SQL Advanced/Enterprise Failover Cluster Install

        Step1: Prepare Environment

        1. Insert the SQL Server installation media, and from the root folder, double-click Setup.exe.

        2. Windows Installer 4.5 is required, and may be installed by the Installation Wizard. If you are prompted to restart your computer, restart and then start SQL Server Setup again.

        3. After the prerequisites are installed, the Installation Wizard starts the SQL Server Installation Center. To prepare the node for clustering, move to the Advanced page and then click Advanced cluster preparation

        4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

        5. On the Setup Support Files page click Install to install the Setup support files.

        6. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

        7. On the Language Selection page, you can specify the language, to continue, click Next

        8. On the Product key page, select PIDed product key, Click Next

        9. On the License Terms page, accept the license terms and Click Next to continue.

        10. On the Feature Selection page, select the components for your installation as you did for simple installation which has been mentioned earlier.

        11. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

        12. To complete the SQL Server installation process, click Close.

        13. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now.

        14. Repeat the previous steps to prepare the other nodes for the failover cluster. You can also use the autogenerated configuration file to run prepare on the other nodes. A configurationfile.ini is generated in C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server110Setup BootStrapLog20130603_014118configurationfile.ini which is shown below.

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        Step2 Install SQL Server

        1. After preparing all the nodes as described in the prepare step, run Setup on one of the prepared nodes, preferably the one that owns the shared disk. On the Advanced page of the SQL Server Installation Center, click Advanced cluster completion.

        2. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

        3. On the Setup Support Files page, click Install to install the Setup support files.

        4. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

        5. On the Language Selection page, you can specify the language, To continue, click Next.

        6. Use the Cluster node configuration page to select the instance name prepared for clustering

        7. Use the Cluster Resource Group page to specify the cluster resource group name where SQL Server virtual server resources will be located. On the Cluster Disk Selection page, select the shared cluster disk resource for your SQL Server failover cluster.Click Next to continue

        8. On the Cluster Network Configuration page, specify the network resources for your failover cluster instance. Click Next to continue.

        9. Now follow the simple installation steps to select Database Engine, reporting, Analysis and Integration services.

        10. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

        11. Once installation is completed, click Close.

        Follow the procedure if you would like to remove a node from an existing SQL Server failover cluster

        1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe. To install from a network share, navigate to the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

        2. The Installation Wizard launches the SQL Server Installation Center. To remove a node to an existing failover cluster instance, click Maintenance in the left-hand pane, and then select Remove node from a SQL Server failover cluster.

        3. The System Configuration Checker will run a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

        4. After you click install on the Setup Support Files page, the System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue.

        5. On the Cluster Node Configuration page, use the drop-down box to specify the name of the SQL Server failover cluster instance to be modified during this Setup operation. The node to be removed is listed in the Name of this node field.

        6. The Ready to Remove Node page displays a tree view of options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Remove.

        7. During the remove operation, the Remove Node Progress page provides status.

        8. The Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the remove node operation and other important notes. To complete the SQL Server remove node, click Close.

        Using Command Line Installation of SQL Server

        1. To install a new, stand-alone instance with the SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search component, run the following command

        Setup.exe /q /ACTION=Install /FEATURES=SQL /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER

        /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”<DomainNameUserName>” /SQLSVCPASSWORD

        2. To prepare a new, stand-alone instance with the SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search components, and Reporting Services. run the following command

        Setup.exe /q /ACTION=PrepareImage /FEATURES=SQL,RS /InstanceID =<MYINST> /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

        3. To complete a prepared, stand-alone instance that includes SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search components run the following command

        Setup.exe /q /ACTION=CompleteImage /INSTANCENAME=MYNEWINST /INSTANCEID=<MYINST>

        /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”<DomainNameUserName>” /SQLSVCPASSWORD

        4. To upgrade an existing instance or failover cluster node from SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008 R2.

        Setup.exe /q /ACTION=upgrade /INSTANCEID = <INSTANCEID>/INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /RSUPGRADEDATABASEACCOUNT=”<Provide a SQL DB Account>” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

        5. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server 2012 to a different edition of SQL Server 2012.

        Setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /PID=<PID key for new edition>” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

        6. To install an SQL server using configuration file, run the following command

        Setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=MyConfigurationFile.INI

        7. To install an SQL server using configuration file and provide service Account password, run the following command

        Setup.exe /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword”

        /ASSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /ISSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /RSSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword”

        /ConfigurationFile=MyConfigurationFile.INI

        8. To uninstall an existing instance of SQL Server. run the following command

        Setup.exe /Action=Uninstall /FEATURES=SQL,AS,RS,IS,Tools /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER

        Reference and Further Reading

        Windows Storage Server 2012

        Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server

        The Perfect Combination: SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012

        EMC Storage Replication

        Download Hyper-v Server 2012

        Download Windows Server 2012

        Windows Server 2012: Failover Clustering Deep Dive

          Physical Hardware Requirements -Up to 23 instances of SQL Server requires the following resource:

        1. Processor 2 processors for 23 instances of SQL Server as a single cluster node would require 46 CPUs.
        2. Memory 2 GB of memory for 23 instances of SQL Server as a single cluster node would require 48 GB of RAM (2 GB of additional memory for the operating system).
        3. Network adapters- Microsoft certified network adapter. Converged adapter or iSCSI Adapter or HBA.
        4. Storage Adapter- multipath I/O (MPIO) supported hardware
        5. Storage – shared storage that is compatible with Windows Server 2008/2012. Storage requirements include the following:
          • Use basic disks, not dynamic disks.
          • Use NTFS partition.
          • Use either master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT).
          • Storage volume larger than 2 terabytes, use GUID partition table (GPT).
          • Storage volumes smaller than 2 terabytes, use master boot record (MBR).
          • 4 disks for 23 instances of SQL Server as a cluster disk array would require 92 disks.
          • Cluster storage must not be Windows Distributed File System (DFS)

              Software Requirements

              Download SQL Server 2012 installation media. Review SQL Server 2012 Release Notes. Install the following prerequisite software on each failover cluster node and then restart nodes once before running Setup.

              • Windows PowerShell 2.0
              • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
              • .NET Framework 4

                Active Directory Requirements

                  • Cluster nodes must be member of same Active Directory Domain Services
                  • The servers in the cluster must use Domain Name System (DNS) for name resolution
                  • Use cluster naming convention for example Production Physical Node: DC1PPSQLNODE01 or Production virtual node DC2PVSQLNODE02
                    1. Unsupported Configuration

                      the following are the unsupported configuration: 

                      1. Do not include cluster name with these characters like <, >, “,’,&
                      2. Never install SQL server on a Domain Controller
                      3. Never install cluster services in a domain controller or Forefront TMG 2010

                        Permission Requirements

                        System admin or project engineer who will be performing the tasks of creating cluster must be a member of at least Domain Users security group with permission to create domain computers objects in Active Directory and must be a member of administrators group on each clustered server.

                        Network settings and IP addresses requirements

                        you need at least two network card in each cluster node. One network card for domain or client connectivity and another network card heartbeat network which is shown below.

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                        The following are the unique requirements for MS cluster.

                        1. Use identical network settings on each node such as Speed, Duplex Mode, Flow Control, and Media Type.

                        2. Ensure that each of these private networks uses a unique subnet.

                        3. Ensure that each node has heartbeat network with same range of IP address

                        4. Ensure that each node has unique range of subnet whether they are placed in single geographic location of diverse location.

                            Domain Network should be configured with IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and DNS record.

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                            Heartbeat network should be configured with only IP address and subnet mask.

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                            Additional Requirements

                            1. Verify that antivirus software is not installed on your WSFC cluster.

                            2. Ensure that all cluster nodes are configured identically, including COM+, disk drive letters, and users in the administrators group.

                            3. Verify that you have cleared the system logs in all nodes and viewed the system logs again.

                            4. Ensure that the logs are free of any error messages before continuing.

                            5. Before you install or update a SQL Server failover cluster, disable all applications and services that might use SQL Server components during installation, but leave the disk resources online.

                            6. SQL Server Setup automatically sets dependencies between the SQL Server cluster group and the disks that will be in the failover cluster. Do not set dependencies for disks before Setup.

                            7. If you are using SMB File share as a storage option, the SQL Server Setup account must have Security Privilege on the file server. To do this, using the Local Security Policy console on the file server, add the SQL Server setup account to Manage auditing and security log rights.

                                1. Supported Operating Systems

                                • Windows Server 2012 64-bit x64 Datacenter

                                • Windows Server 2012 64-bit x64 Standard

                                • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Datacenter

                                • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Enterprise

                                • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Standard

                                • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit x64 Web

                                    Understanding Quorum configuration

                                    In a simple definition, quorum is a voting mechanism in a Microsoft cluster. Each node has one vote. In a MSCS cluster, this voting mechanism constantly monitor cluster that how many nodes are online and how nodes are required to run the cluster smoothly. Each node contains a copy of cluster information and their information is also stored in witness disk/directory. For a MSCS, you have to choose a quorum among four possible quorum configurations.

                                    • Node Majority- Recommended for clusters with an odd number of nodes. 

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                                        • Node and Disk Majority – Recommended for clusters with an even number of nodes. Can sustain (Total no of Node)/2 failures if a disk witness node is online. Can sustain ((Total no of Node)/2)-1 failures if a disk witness node is offline.

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                                            • Node and File Share Majority- Clusters with special configurations. Works in a similar way to Node and Disk Majority, but instead of a disk witness, this cluster uses a file share witness.

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                                                • No Majority: Disk Only (not recommended)

                                                    Why quorum is necessary? Network problems can interfere with communication between cluster nodes. This can cause serious issues. To prevent the issues that are caused by a split in the cluster, the cluster software requires that any set of nodes running as a cluster must use a voting algorithm to determine whether, at a given time, that set has quorum. Because a given cluster has a specific set of nodes and a specific quorum configuration, the cluster will know how many “votes” constitutes a majority (that is, a quorum). If the number drops below the majority, the cluster stops running. Nodes will still listen for the presence of other nodes, in case another node appears again on the network, but the nodes will not begin to function as a cluster until the quorum exists again.

                                                    Understanding a multi-site cluster environment

                                                    Hardware: A multi-site cluster requires redundant hardware with correct capacity, storage functionality, replication between sites, and network characteristics such as network latency.

                                                    Number of nodes and corresponding quorum configuration: For a multi-site cluster, Microsoft recommend having an even number of nodes and, for the quorum configuration, using the Node and File Share Majority option that is, including a file share witness as part of the configuration. The file share witness can be located at a third site, that is, a different location from the main site and secondary site, so that it is not lost if one of the other two sites has problems.

                                                    Network configuration—deciding between multi-subnets and a VLAN: configuring a multi-site cluster with different subnets is supported. However, when using multiple subnets, it is important to consider how clients will discover services or applications that have just failed over. The DNS servers must update one another with this new IP address before clients can discover the service or application that has failed over. If you use VLANs with multi-site you must reduce the Time to Live (TTL) of DNS discovery.

                                                    Tuning of heartbeat settings: The heartbeat settings include the frequency at which the nodes send heartbeat signals to each other to indicate that they are still functioning, and the number of heartbeats that a node can miss before another node initiates failover and begins taking over the services and applications that had been running on the failed node. In a multi-site cluster, you might want to tune the “heartbeat” settings. You can tune these settings for heartbeat signals to account for differences in network latency caused by communication across subnets.

                                                    Replication of data: Replication of data between sites is very important in a multi-site cluster, and is accomplished in different ways by different hardware vendors. Therefore, the choice of the replication process requires careful consideration. There are many options you will find while replicating data. But before you make any decision, consult with your storage vendor, server hardware vendor and software vendors. Depending on vendor like NetApp and EMC, your replication design will change. Review the following considerations:

                                                    Choosing replication level ( block, file system, or application level): The replication process can function through the hardware (at the block level), through the operating system (at the file system level), or through certain applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server (which has a feature called Cluster Continuous Replication or CCR). Work with your hardware and software vendors to choose a replication process that fits the requirements of your organization.

                                                    Configuring replication to avoid data corruption: The replication process must be configured so that any interruptions to the process will not result in data corruption, but instead will always provide a set of data that matches the data from the main site as it existed at some moment in time. In other words, the replication must always preserve the order of I/O operations that occurred at the main site. This is crucial, because very few applications can recover if the data is corrupted during replication.

                                                    Choosing between synchronous and asynchronous replication: The replication process can be synchronous, where no write operation finishes until the corresponding data is committed at the secondary site, or asynchronous, where the write operation can finish at the main site and then be replicated (as a background operation) to the secondary site.

                                                    Synchronous Replication means that the replicated data is always up-to-date, but it slows application performance while each operation waits for replication. Synchronous replication is best for multi-site clusters that can are using high-bandwidth, low-latency connections. Typically, this means that a cluster using synchronous replication must not be stretched over a great distance. Synchronous replication can be performed within 200km distance where a reliable and robust WAN connectivity with enough bandwidth is available. For example, if you have GigE and Ten GigE MPLS connection you would choose synchronous replication depending on how big is your data.

                                                    Asynchronous Replication can help maximize application performance, but if failover to the secondary site is necessary, some of the most recent user operations might not be reflected in the data after failover. This is because some operations that were finished recently might not yet be replicated. Asynchronous replication is best for clusters where you want to stretch the cluster over greater geographical distances with no significant application performance impact. Asynchronous replication is performed when distance is more than 200km and WAN connectivity is not robust between sites.

                                                    Utilizing Windows Storage Server 2012 as shared storage

                                                    Windows® Storage Server 2012 is the Windows Server® 2012 platform of choice for network-attached storage (NAS) appliances offered by Microsoft partners.

                                                    Windows Storage Server 2012 enhances the traditional file serving capabilities and extends file based storage for application workloads like Hyper-V, SQL, Exchange and Internet information Services (IIS). Windows Storage Server 2012 provides the following features for an organization.

                                                    Workgroup Edition

                                                    • As many as 50 connections

                                                    • Single processor socket

                                                    • Up to 32 GB of memory

                                                    • As many as 6 disks (no external SAS)

                                                        Standard Edition

                                                        • No license limit on number of connections

                                                        • Multiple processor sockets

                                                        • No license limit on memory

                                                        • No license limit on number of disks

                                                        • De-duplication, virtualization (host plus 2 virtual machines for storage and disk management tools), and networking services (no domain controller)

                                                        • Failover clustering for higher availability

                                                        • Microsoft BranchCache for reduced WAN traffic

                                                            Presenting Storage from Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard

                                                            From the Server Manager, Click Add roles and features, On the Before you begin page, Click Next. On the installation type page, Click Next. 

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                                                            On the Server Roles Selection page, Select iSCSI Target and iSCSI target storage provider, Click Next

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                                                            On the Feature page, Click Next. On the Confirm page, Click Install. Click Close.

                                                            On the Server Manager, Click File and Storage Services, Click iSCSI

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                                                            On the Task Button, Click New iSCSI Target, Select the Disk drive from where you want to present storage, Click Next

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                                                            Type the Name of the Storage, Click Next

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                                                            Type the size of the shared disk, Click Next

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                                                            Select New iSCSI Target, Click Next

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                                                            Type the name of the target, Click Next

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                                                            Select the IP Address on the Enter a value for selected type, Type the IP address of cluster node, Click Ok. Repeat the process and add IP address for the cluster nodes.   

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                                                            Type the CHAP information. note that CHAP password must be 12 character. Click Next to continue.

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                                                            Click Create to create a shared storage. Click Close once done.

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                                                            Repeat the step to create all shared drive of your preferred size and create a shared drive of 2GB size for quorum disk.

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                                                            Deploying a Failover Cluster in Microsoft environment

                                                            Step1: Connect the cluster servers to the networks and storage

                                                            1. Review the details about networks in Hardware Requirements for a Two-Node Failover Cluster and Network infrastructure and domain account requirements for a two-node failover cluster, earlier in this guide.

                                                            2. Connect and configure the networks that the servers in the cluster will use.

                                                            3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for physically connecting the servers to the storage. For this article, we are using software iSCSI initiator. Open software iSCSI initiator from Server manager>Tools>iSCSI Initiator. Type the IP address of target that is the IP address of Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012. Click Quick Connect, Click Done.

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                                                            5. Open Computer Management, Click Disk Management, Initialize and format the disk using either MBR and GPT disk type. Go to second server, open Computer Management, Click Disk Management, bring the disk online simply by right clicking on the disk and clicking bring online. Ensure that the disks (LUNs) that you want to use in the cluster are exposed to the servers that you will cluster (and only those servers).

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                                                            6. On one of the servers that you want to cluster, click Start, click Administrative Tools, click Computer Management, and then click Disk Management. (If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.) In Disk Management, confirm that the cluster disks are visible.

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                                                            7. If you want to have a storage volume larger than 2 terabytes, and you are using the Windows interface to control the format of the disk, convert that disk to the partition style called GUID partition table (GPT). To do this, back up any data on the disk, delete all volumes on the disk and then, in Disk Management, right-click the disk (not a partition) and click Convert to GPT Disk.

                                                            8. Check the format of any exposed volume or LUN. Use NTFS file format.

                                                            Step 2: Install the failover cluster feature

                                                            In this step, you install the failover cluster feature. The servers must be running Windows Server 2012.

                                                            1. Open Server Manager, click Add roles and features. Follow the screen, go to Feature page.

                                                            2. In the Add Features Wizard, click Failover Clustering, and then click Install.

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                                                            4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation of the feature. When the wizard finishes, close it.

                                                            5. Repeat the process for each server that you want to include in the cluster.

                                                            Step 3: Validate the cluster configuration

                                                            Before creating a cluster, I strongly recommend that you validate your configuration. Validation helps you confirm that the configuration of your servers, network, and storage meets a set of specific requirements for failover clusters.

                                                            1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

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                                                            2. Confirm that Failover Cluster Manager is selected and then, in the center pane under Management, click Validate a Configuration. Click Next.

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                                                            3. On the Select Server Page, type the fully qualified domain name of the nodes you would like to add in the cluster, then click Add.

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                                                            4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the two servers and the tests, and then run the tests. To fully validate your configuration, run all tests before creating a cluster. Click next

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                                                            5. On the confirmation page, Click Next

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                                                            6. The Summary page appears after the tests run. To view the results, click Report. Click Finish. You will be prompted to create a cluster if you select Create the Cluster now using validation nodes.

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                                                            5. While still on the Summary page, click View Report and read the test results.

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                                                            To view the results of the tests after you close the wizard, see

                                                            SystemRoot\Cluster\Reports\Validation Report date and time.html

                                                            where SystemRoot is the folder in which the operating system is installed (for example, C:\Windows).

                                                            6. As necessary, make changes in the configuration and rerun the tests.

                                                            Step4: Create a Failover cluster

                                                            1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

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                                                            2. Confirm that Failover Cluster Management is selected and then, in the center pane under Management, click Create a cluster. If you did not close the validation nodes then the validation wizard automatically open cluster creation wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify, Click Next

                                                            • The servers to include in the cluster.

                                                            • The name of the cluster i.e. virtual name of cluster

                                                            • IP address of the virtual node

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                                                                3. Verify the IP address and cluster node name and click Next

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                                                                4. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, to view a report of the tasks the wizard performed, click View Report. Click Finish.

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                                                                Step5: Verify Cluster Configuration

                                                                On the Cluster Manager, Click networks, right click on each network, Click Property, make sure Allow clients to connect through this network is unchecked for heartbeat network. verify IP range. Click Ok.

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                                                                On the Cluster Manager, Click networks, right click on each network, Click Property, make sure Allow clients to connect through this network is checked for domain network. verify IP range. Click Ok.

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                                                                On the Cluster Manager, Click Storage, Click disks, verify quorum disk and shared disks are available. You can add multiple of disks by simply click Add new disk on the Task Pan.

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                                                                An automated MSCS cluster configuration will add quorum automatically. However you can manually configure desired cluster quorum by right clicking on cluster>More Actions>Configure Cluster Quorum Settings.

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                                                                Configuring a Hyper-v Cluster

                                                                In the previous steps you have configured a MSCS cluster, to configure a Hyper-v cluster all you need to do is install Hyper-v role in each cluster node. from the Server Manager, Click Add roles and features, follow the screen and install Hyper-v role. A reboot is required to install Hyper-v role.  Once role is installed in both node.

                                                                Note that at this stage add Storage for Virtual Machines and networks for Live Migration, Storage network if using iSCSI, Virtual Machine network, and Management Network. detailed configuration is out of scope for this article as I am writing about MSCS cluster not Hyper-v.

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                                                                from the Cluster Manager, Right Click on Networks, Click Network for Live Migration, Select appropriate network for live Migration.

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                                                                If you would like to have virtual machine additional fault tolerance like Hyper-v Replica, Right Click Cluster virtual node, Click Configure Role, Click Next.

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                                                                From Select Role page, Click Hyper-v Replica broker, Click Next. Follow the screen.

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                                                                From the Cluster manager, right Click on Roles, Click Virtual machine, Click New Hard Disk to configure virtual machine storage and virtual machine configuration disk drive. Once done, From the Cluster manager, right Click on Roles, Click Virtual machine, Click New Virtual machine to create virtual machine.

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                                                                Backing up Clustered data, application or server

                                                                There are multiple methods for backing up information that is stored on Cluster Shared Volumes in a failover cluster running on

                                                                • Windows Server 2008 R2

                                                                • Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

                                                                • Windows Server 2012

                                                                • Hyper-V Server 2012

                                                                    Operating System Level backup

                                                                    The backup application runs within a virtual machine in the same way that a backup application runs within a physical server. When there are multiple virtual machines being managed centrally, each virtual machine can run a backup “agent” (instead of running an individual backup application) that is controlled from the central management server. Backup agent backs up application data, files, folder and systems state of operating systems.

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                                                                    Hyper-V Image Level backup

                                                                    The backup captures all the information about multiple virtual machines that are configured in a failover cluster that is using Cluster Shared Volumes. The backup application runs through Hyper-V, which means that it must use the VSS Hyper-V writer. The backup application must also be compatible with Cluster Shared Volumes. The backup application backs up the virtual machines that are selected by the administrator, including all the VHD files for those virtual machines, in one operation. VM1_Data.VHDX, VM2_data.VHDX and VM1_System.VHDX, VM2_system.VHDX are stored in a backup disk or tape. VM1_System.VHDX and VM2_System.VHDX contain system files and page files i.e. system state, snapshot and VM configuration are stored as well.

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                                                                    Publishing an Application or Service in a Failover Cluster Environment

                                                                    1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

                                                                    2. Right Click on Roles, click Configure Role to publish a service or application

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                                                                    3. Select a Cluster Services or Application, and then click Next.

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                                                                    4. Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the following details:

                                                                    • A name for the clustered file server

                                                                    • IP address of virtual node

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                                                                        5. On Select Storage page, Select the storage volume or volumes that the clustered file server should use. Click Next

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                                                                        6. On the confirmation Page, review and Click Next

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                                                                        7. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, to view a report of the tasks the wizard performed, click View Report.

                                                                        8. To close the wizard, click Finish.

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                                                                        9. In the console tree, make sure Services and Applications is expanded, and then select the clustered file server that you just created.

                                                                        10. After completing the wizard, confirm that the clustered file server comes online. If it does not, review the state of the networks and storage and correct any issues. Then right-click the new clustered application or service and click Bring this service or application online.

                                                                        Perform a Failover Test

                                                                        To perform a basic test of failover, right-click the clustered file server, click Move this service or application to another node, and click the available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice. You can observe the status changes in the center pane of the snap-in as the clustered file server instance is moved.

                                                                        Configuring a New Failover Cluster by Using Windows PowerShell

                                                                        Task

                                                                        PowerShell command

                                                                        Run validation tests on a list of servers.

                                                                        Test-Cluster -Node server1,server2

                                                                        Where server1 and server2 are servers that you want to validate.

                                                                        Create a cluster using defaults for most settings.

                                                                        New-Cluster -Name cluster1 -Node server1,server2

                                                                        Where server1 and server2 are the servers that you want to include in the new cluster.

                                                                        Configure a clustered file server using defaults for most settings.

                                                                        Add-ClusterFileServerRole -Storage "Cluster Disk 4"

                                                                        Where Cluster Disk 4 is the disk that the clustered file server will use.

                                                                        Configure a clustered print server using defaults for most settings.

                                                                        Add-ClusterPrintServerRole -Storage "Cluster Disk 5"

                                                                        Where Cluster Disk 5 is the disk that the clustered print server will use.

                                                                        Configure a clustered virtual machine using defaults for most settings.

                                                                        Add-ClusterVirtualMachineRole -VirtualMachine VM1

                                                                        Where VM1 is an existing virtual machine that you want to place in a cluster.

                                                                        Add available disks.

                                                                        Get-ClusterAvailableDisk | Add-ClusterDisk

                                                                        Review the state of nodes.

                                                                        Get-ClusterNode

                                                                        Run validation tests on a new server.

                                                                        Test-Cluster -Node newserver,node1,node2

                                                                        Where newserver is the new server that you want to add to a cluster, and node1 and node2 are nodes in that cluster.

                                                                        Prepare a node for maintenance.

                                                                        Get-ClusterNode node2 | Get-ClusterGroup | Move-ClusterGroup

                                                                        Where node2 is the node from which you want to move clustered services and applications.

                                                                        Pause a node.

                                                                        Suspend-ClusterNode node2

                                                                        Where node2 is the node that you want to pause.

                                                                        Resume a node.

                                                                        Resume-ClusterNode node2

                                                                        Where node2 is the node that you want to resume.

                                                                        Stop the Cluster service on a node.

                                                                        Stop-ClusterNode node2

                                                                        Where node2 is the node on which you want to stop the Cluster service.

                                                                        Start the Cluster service on a node.

                                                                        Start-ClusterNode node2

                                                                        Where node2 is the node on which you want to start the Cluster service.

                                                                        Review the signature and other properties of a cluster disk.

                                                                        Get-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2" | Get-ClusterParameter

                                                                        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk for which you want to review the disk signature.

                                                                        Move Available Storage to a particular node.

                                                                        Move-ClusterGroup "Available Storage" -Node node1

                                                                        Where node1 is the node that you want to move Available Storage to.

                                                                        Turn on maintenance for a disk.

                                                                        Suspend-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2"

                                                                        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk in cluster storage for which you are turning on maintenance.

                                                                        Turn off maintenance for a disk.

                                                                        Resume-ClusterResource "Cluster Disk 2"

                                                                        Where Cluster Disk 2 is the disk in cluster storage for which you are turning off maintenance.

                                                                        Bring a clustered service or application online.

                                                                        Start-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

                                                                        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to bring online.

                                                                        Take a clustered service or application offline.

                                                                        Stop-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

                                                                        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to take offline.

                                                                        Move or Test a clustered service or application.

                                                                        Move-ClusterGroup "Clustered Server 1"

                                                                        Where Clustered Server 1 is a clustered server (such as a file server) that you want to test or move.

                                                                            Migrating clustered services and applications to a new failover cluster

                                                                            Use the following instructions to migrate clustered services and applications from your old cluster to your new cluster. After the Migrate a Cluster Wizard runs, it leaves most of the migrated resources offline, so that you can perform additional steps before you bring them online. If the new cluster uses old storage, plan how you will make LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster (but do not make changes yet).

                                                                            1. To open the failover cluster snap-in, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

                                                                            2. In the console tree, if the cluster that you created is not displayed, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage a Cluster, and then select the cluster that you want to configure.

                                                                            3. In the console tree, expand the cluster that you created to see the items underneath it.

                                                                            4. If the clustered servers are connected to a network that is not to be used for cluster communications (for example, a network intended only for iSCSI), then under Networks, right-click that network, click Properties, and then click Do not allow cluster network communication on this network. Click OK.

                                                                            5. In the console tree, select the cluster. Click Configure, click Migrate services and applications.

                                                                            6. Read the first page of the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, and then click Next.

                                                                            7. Specify the name or IP Address of the cluster or cluster node from which you want to migrate resource groups, and then click Next.

                                                                            8. Click View Report. The wizard also provides a report after it finishes, which describes any additional steps that might be needed before you bring the migrated resource groups online.

                                                                            9. Follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the following tasks:

                                                                            1. Choose the resource group or groups that you want to migrate.

                                                                            2. Specify whether the resource groups to be migrated will use new storage or the same storage that you used in the old cluster. If the resource groups will use new storage, you can specify the disk that each resource group should use. Note that if new storage is used, you must handle all copying or moving of data or folders—the wizard does not copy data from one shared storage location to another.

                                                                            3. If you are migrating from a cluster running Windows Server 2003 that has Network Name resources with Kerberos protocol enabled, specify the account name and password for the Active Directory account that is used by the Cluster service on the old cluster.

                                                                          1. After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, click View Report.

                                                                                14. When the wizard completes, most migrated resources will be offline. Leave them offline at this stage.

                                                                                Completing the transition from the old cluster to the new cluster. You must perform the following steps to complete the transition to the new cluster running Windows Server 2012.

                                                                                1. Prepare for clients to experience downtime, probably brief.

                                                                                2. Take each resource group offline on the old cluster.

                                                                                3. Complete the transition for the storage:

                                                                                1. If the new cluster will use old storage, follow your plan for making LUNs or disks inaccessible to the old cluster and accessible to the new cluster.

                                                                                2. If the new cluster will use new storage, copy the appropriate folders and data to the storage. As needed for disk access on the old cluster, bring individual disk resources online on that cluster. (Keep other resources offline, to ensure that clients cannot change data on the disks in storage.) Also as needed, on the new cluster, use Disk Management to confirm that the appropriate LUNs or disks are visible to the new cluster and not visible to any other servers.

                                                                                    4. If the new cluster uses mount points, adjust the mount points as needed, and make each disk resource that uses a mount point dependent on the resource of the disk that hosts the mount point.

                                                                                    5. Bring the migrated services or applications online on the new cluster. To perform a basic test of failover on the new cluster, expand Services and Applications, and then click a migrated service or application that you want to test.

                                                                                    6. To perform a basic test of failover for the migrated service or application, under Actions (on the right), click Move this service or application to another node, and then click an available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice. You can observe the status changes in the center pane of the snap-in as the clustered service or application is moved.

                                                                                    7. If there are any issues with failover, review the following:

                                                                                    1. View events in Failover Cluster Manager. To do this, in the console tree, right-click Cluster Events, and then click Query. In the Cluster Events Filter dialog box, select the criteria for the events that you want to display, or to return to the default criteria, click the Reset button. Click OK. To sort events, click a heading, for example, Level or Date and Time.

                                                                                    2. Confirm that necessary services, applications, or server roles are installed on all nodes. Confirm that services or applications are compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2 and run as expected.

                                                                                    3. If you used old storage for the new cluster, rerun the Validate a Cluster Configuration Wizard to confirm the validation results for all LUNs or disks in the storage.

                                                                                    4. Review migrated resource settings and dependencies.

                                                                                    5. If you migrated one or more Network Name resources with Kerberos protocol enabled, confirm that the following permissions change was made in Active Directory Users and Computers on a domain controller. In the computer accounts (computer objects) of your Kerberos protocol-enabled Network Name resources, Full Control must be assigned to the computer account for the failover cluster.

                                                                                        Migrating Cluster Resource with new Mount Point

                                                                                        When you are working with new storage for your cluster migration, you have some flexibility in the order in which you complete the tasks. The tasks that you must complete include creating the mount points, running the Migrate a Cluster Wizard, copying the data to the new storage, and confirming the disk letters and mount points for the new storage. After completing the other tasks, configure the disk resource dependencies in Failover Cluster Manager.

                                                                                        A useful way to keep track of disks in the new storage is to give them labels that indicate your intended mount point configuration. For example, in the new storage, when you are mounting a new disk in a folder called \Mount1-1 on another disk, you can also label the mounted disk as Mount1-1. (This assumes that the label Mount1-1 is not already in use in the old storage.) Then when you run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard and you need to specify that disk for a particular migrated resource, you can look at the list and select the disk labeled Mount1-1. Then you can return to Failover Cluster Manager to configure the disk resource for Mount1-1 so that it is dependent on the appropriate resource, for example, the resource for disk F. Similarly, you would configure the disk resources for all other disks mounted on disk F so that they depended on the disk resource for disk F.

                                                                                        Migrating DHCP to a Cluster Running Windows Server 2012

                                                                                        A failover cluster is a group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability of applications and services. The clustered servers (called nodes) are connected by physical cables and by software. If one of the cluster nodes fails, another node begins to provide service (a process known as failover). Users experience a minimum of disruptions in service.

                                                                                        This guide describes the steps that are necessary when migrating a clustered DHCP server to a cluster running Windows Server 2008 R2, beyond the standard steps required for migrating clustered services and applications in general. The guide indicates when to use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard in the migration, but does not describe the wizard in detail.

                                                                                        Step 1: Review requirements and create a cluster running Windows Server 2012

                                                                                        Before beginning the migration described in this guide, review the requirements for a cluster running Windows Server 2008 R2, install the failover clustering feature on servers running Windows Server 2008 R2, and create a new cluster.

                                                                                        Step 2: On the old cluster, adjust registry settings and permissions before migration

                                                                                        To prepare for migration, you must make changes to registry settings and permissions on each node of the old cluster.

                                                                                        1. Confirm that you have a current backup of the old cluster, one that includes the configuration information for the clustered DHCP server (also called the DHCP resource group).

                                                                                        2. Confirm that the clustered DHCP server is online on the old cluster. It must be online while you complete the remainder of this procedure.

                                                                                        3. On a node of the old cluster, open a command prompt as an administrator.

                                                                                        4. Type: regedit Navigate to:

                                                                                        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\DHCPServer\Parameters

                                                                                        5. Choose the option that applies to your cluster: If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2008, skip to step 7. If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2:

                                                                                        1. Right-click Parameters, click New, click String Value, and for the name of the new value, type: ServiceMain

                                                                                        2. Right-click the new value (ServiceMain), click Modify, and for the value data, type: ServiceEntry

                                                                                        3. Right-click Parameters again, click New, click Expandable String Value, and for the name of the new value, type: ServiceDll

                                                                                        4. Right-click the new value (ServiceDll), click Modify, and for the value data, type: %systemroot%\system32\dhcpssvc.dll

                                                                                            6. Right-click Parameters, and then click Permissions.

                                                                                            7. Click Add. Locate the appropriate account and assign permissions:

                                                                                            1. On Windows Server 2008: Click Locations, select the local server, and then click OK. Under Enter the object names to select, type NT Service\DHCPServer. Click OK. Select the DHCPServer account and then select the check box for Full Control.

                                                                                            2. On Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2: Click Locations, ensure that the domain name is selected, and then click OK. Under Enter the object names to select, type Everyone, and then click OK (and confirm your choice if prompted). Under Group or user names, select Everyone and then select the check box for Full Control.

                                                                                              8. Repeat the process on the other node or nodes of the old cluster.

                                                                                              Step 3: On a node in the old cluster, prepare for export, and then export the DHCP database to a file

                                                                                              As part of migrating a clustered DHCP server, on the old cluster, you must export the DHCP database to a file. This requires preparatory steps that prevent the cluster from restarting the clustered DHCP resource during the export. The following procedure describes the process. On the old cluster, start the clustering snap-in and configure the restart setting for the clustered DHCP server (DHCP resource group):

                                                                                              1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Management. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.

                                                                                              2. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster that you are migrating settings from. Expand Services and Applications and then, in the console tree, click the clustered DHCP server.

                                                                                              3. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, do not restart.

                                                                                              This step prevents the resource from restarting during the export of the DHCP database, which would stop the export.

                                                                                              1. On the node of the old cluster that currently owns the clustered DHCP server, confirm that the clustered DHCP server is running. Then open a command prompt window as an administrator.

                                                                                              2. Type: netsh dhcp server export <exportfile> all

                                                                                              Where <exportfile> is the name of the file to which you want to export the DHCP database.

                                                                                              3. After the export is complete, in the clustering interface (Cluster Administrator or Failover Cluster Management), right-click the clustered DHCP server (DHCP resource group) and then click either Take Offline or Take this service or application offline. If the command is unavailable, in the center pane, right-click each online resource and click either Take Offline or Take this resource offline. If prompted for confirmation, confirm your choice.

                                                                                              4. If the old cluster is running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, obtain the account name and password for the Cluster service account (the Active Directory account used by the Cluster service on the old cluster). Alternatively, you can obtain the name and password of another account that has access permissions for the Active Directory computer accounts (objects) that the old cluster uses. For a migration from a cluster running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, you will need this information for the next procedure.

                                                                                              Step 4: On the new cluster, configure a network for DHCP clients and run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard

                                                                                              Microsoft recommends that you make the network settings on the new cluster as similar as possible to the settings on the old cluster. In any case, on the new cluster, you must have at least one network that DHCP clients can use to communicate with the cluster. The following procedure describes the cluster setting needed on the client network, and indicates when to run the Migrate a Cluster Wizard.

                                                                                              1. On the new cluster (running Windows Server 2012), click Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Failover Cluster Manager.

                                                                                              2. If the cluster that you want to configure is not displayed, in the console tree, right-click Failover Cluster Manager, click Manage a Cluster, and then select or specify the cluster that you want.

                                                                                              3. If the console tree is collapsed, expand the tree under the cluster.

                                                                                              4. Expand Networks, right-click the network that clients will use to connect to the DHCP server, and then click Properties.

                                                                                              5. Make sure that Allow cluster network communication on this network and Allow clients to connect through this network are selected.

                                                                                              6. To prepare for the migration process, find and take note of the drive letter used for the DHCP database on the old cluster. Ensure that the same drive letter exists on the new cluster. (This drive letter is one of the settings that the Migrate a Cluster Wizard will migrate.)

                                                                                              7. In Failover Cluster Manager, in the console tree, select the new cluster, and then under Configure, click Migrate services and applications.

                                                                                              8. Use the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate the DHCP resource group from old to the new cluster. If you are using new storage on the new cluster, during the migration, be sure to specify the disk that has the same drive letter on the new cluster as was used for the DHCP database on the old cluster. The wizard will migrate resources and settings, but not the DHCP database.

                                                                                              Step 5: On the new cluster, import the DHCP database, bring the clustered DHCP server online, and adjust permissions

                                                                                              To complete the migration process, import the DHCP database that you exported to a file in Step 2. Then you can bring the clustered DHCP server online and adjust settings that were changed temporarily during the migration process.

                                                                                              1. If you are reusing the old cluster storage for the new cluster, confirm that you have stored the exported DHCP database file in a safe location. Then be sure to delete all the DHCP files other than the exported DHCP database file from the old storage. This includes the DHCP database, log, and backup files.

                                                                                              2. On the new cluster, in Failover Cluster Manager, expand Services and Applications, right-click the clustered DHCP server, and then click Bring this service or application online. The DHCP service starts with an empty database.

                                                                                              3. Click the clustered DHCP server.

                                                                                              4. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, do not restart. This step prevents the resource from restarting during the import of the DHCP database, which would stop the import.

                                                                                              5. In the new cluster, on the node that currently owns the migrated DHCP server, view the disk used by the migrated DHCP server, and make sure that you have copied the exported DHCP database file to this disk.

                                                                                              6. In the new cluster, on the node that currently owns the migrated DHCP server, open a command prompt as an administrator. Change to the disk used by the migrated DHCP server.

                                                                                              7. Type: netsh dhcp server import <exportfile>

                                                                                              Where <exportfile> is the filename of the file to which you exported the DHCP database.

                                                                                              8. If the migrated DHCP server is not online, in Failover Cluster Manager, under Services and Applications, right-click the migrated DHCP server, and then click Bring this service or application online.

                                                                                              9. In the center pane, right-click the DHCP server resource, click Properties, click the Policies tab, and then click If resource fails, attempt restart on current node.

                                                                                              This returns the resource to the expected setting, instead of the “do not restart” setting that was temporarily needed during the import of the DHCP database.

                                                                                              10. If the cluster was migrated from Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2003 R2, after the clustered DHCP server is online on the new cluster, make the following changes to permissions in the registry:

                                                                                            • On the node that owns the clustered DHCP server, open a command prompt as an administrator.

                                                                                            • Type: regedit Navigate to:

                                                                                              HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\DHCPServer\Parameters

                                                                                            • Right-click Parameters, and then click Permissions.

                                                                                            • Click Add, click Locations, and then select the local server.

                                                                                            • Under Enter the object names to select, type NT Service\DHCPServer and then click OK. Select the DHCPServer account and then select the check box for Full Control. Then click Apply.

                                                                                            • Select the Everyone account (created through steps earlier in this topic) and then click Remove. This removes the account from the list of those that are assigned permissions.

                                                                                                11. Perform the preceding steps only after DHCP is online on the new cluster. After you complete these steps, you can test the clustered DHCP server and begin to provide DHCP services to clients.

                                                                                                Configuring Print Server Cluster

                                                                                              • Open Failover Cluster Management. In the console tree, if the cluster that you created is not displayed, right-click Failover Cluster Management, click Manage a Cluster, and then select the cluster you want to configure.

                                                                                              • Click Services and Applications. Under Actions (on the right), click Configure a Service or Application. then click Next. Click Print Server, and then click Next.

                                                                                              • Follow the instructions in the wizard to specify the following details: A name for the clustered print server, Any IP address and the storage volume or volumes that the clustered print server should use

                                                                                              • After the wizard runs and the Summary page appears, to view a report of the tasks the wizard performed, click View Report.To close the wizard, click Finish.

                                                                                              • In the console tree, make sure Services and Applications is expanded, and then select the clustered print server that you just created.

                                                                                              • Under Actions, click Manage Printers.

                                                                                              • An instance of the Failover Cluster Management interface appears with Print Management in the console tree.

                                                                                              • Under Print Management, click Print Servers and locate the clustered print server that you want to configure.

                                                                                              • Always perform management tasks on the clustered print server. Do not manage the individual cluster nodes as print servers.

                                                                                              • Right-click the clustered print server, and then click Add Printer. Follow the instructions in the wizard to add a printer.

                                                                                              • This is the same wizard you would use to add a printer on a nonclustered server.

                                                                                              • When you have finished configuring settings for the clustered print server, to close the instance of the Failover Cluster Management interface with Print Management in the console tree, click File and then click Exit.

                                                                                              • To perform a basic test of failover, right-click the clustered print server instance, click Move this service or application to another node, and click the available choice of node. When prompted, confirm your choice.

                                                                                                1. Configuring a Multisite SQL Server Failover Cluster

                                                                                                  To install or upgrade a SQL Server failover cluster, you must run the Setup program on each node of the failover cluster. To add a node to an existing SQL Server failover cluster, you must run SQL Server Setup on the node that is to be added to the SQL Server failover cluster instance. Do not run Setup on the active node to manage the other nodes. The following options are available for SQL Server failover cluster installation:

                                                                                                  Option1: Integration Installation with Add Node

                                                                                                  Create and configure a single-node SQL Server failover cluster instance. When you configure the node successfully, you have a fully functional failover cluster instance. At this point, it does not have high availability because there is only one node in the failover cluster. On each node to be added to the SQL Server failover cluster, run Setup with Add Node functionality to add that node.

                                                                                                  Option 2: Advanced/Enterprise Installation

                                                                                                  After you run the Prepare Failover Cluster on one node, Setup creates the Configuration.ini file that lists all the settings that you specified. On the additional nodes to be prepared, instead of following these steps, you can supply the autogenerated ConfigurationFile.ini file from first node as an input to the Setup command line. This step prepares the nodes ready to be clustered, but there is no operational instance of SQL Server at the end of this step.

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                                                                                                  After the nodes are prepared for clustering, run Setup on one of the prepared nodes. This step configures and finishes the failover cluster instance. At the end of this step, you will have an operational SQL Server failover cluster instance and all the nodes that were prepared previously for that instance will be the possible owners of the newly-created SQL Server failover cluster.

                                                                                                  Follow the procedure to install a new SQL Server failover cluster using Integrated Simple Cluster Install 

                                                                                                1. Insert the SQL Server installation media, and from the root folder, double-click Setup.exe. To install from a network share, browse to the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

                                                                                                  1. The Installation Wizard starts the SQL Server Installation Center. To create a new cluster installation of SQL Server, click New SQL Server failover cluster installation on the installation page

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                                                                                                    1. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

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                                                                                                        1. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report. To continue, click Next.

                                                                                                        2. On the Setup Support Files page, click Install to install the Setup support files.

                                                                                                        3. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue.

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                                                                                                            1. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

                                                                                                            2. On the Product key page, indicate whether you are installing a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product.

                                                                                                            3. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the license terms and conditions.

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                                                                                                                1. To help improve SQL Server, you can also enable the feature usage option and send reports to Microsoft. Click Next to continue.

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                                                                                                                    1. On the Feature Selection page, select the components for your installation. You can select any combination of check boxes, but only the Database Engine and Analysis Services support failover clustering. Other selected components will run as a stand-alone feature without failover capability on the current node that you are running Setup on.

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                                                                                                                        1. The prerequisites for the selected features are displayed on the right-hand pane. SQL Server Setup will install the prerequisite that are not already installed during the installation step described later in this procedure. SQL Server setup runs one more set of rules that are based on the features you selected to validate your configuration.

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                                                                                                                            1. On the Instance Configuration page, specify whether to install a default or a named instance. SQL Server Network Name — Specify a network name for the new SQL Server failover cluster. that is the name of virtual node of the cluster.  This is the name that is used to identify your failover cluster on the network. Instance ID — By default, the instance name is used as the Instance ID. This is used to identify installation directories and registry keys for your instance of SQL Server. This is the case for default instances and named instances. For a default instance, the instance name and instance ID would be MSSQLSERVER. To use a nondefault instance ID, select the Instance ID box and provide a value. Instance root directory — By default, the instance root directory is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\. To specify a nondefault root directory, use the field provided, or click the ellipsis button to locate an installation folder.

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                                                                                                                                1. Detected SQL Server instances and features on this computer – The grid shows instances of SQL Server that are on the computer where Setup is running. If a default instance is already installed on the computer, you must install a named instance of SQL Server. Click Next to continue.

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                                                                                                                                    1. The Disk Space Requirements page calculates the required disk space for the features that you specify, and compares requirements to the available disk space on the computer where Setup is running. Use the Cluster Resource Group page to specify the cluster resource group name where SQL Server virtual server resources will be located. To specify the SQL Server cluster resource group name, you have two options:

                                                                                                                                      • Use the drop-down box to specify an existing group to use.

                                                                                                                                      • Type the name of a new group to create. Be aware that the name “Available storage” is not a valid group name.

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                                                                                                                                        1. On the Cluster Disk Selection page, select the shared cluster disk resource for your SQL Server failover cluster. More than one disk can be specified. Click Next to continue.

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                                                                                                                                            1. On the Cluster Network Configuration page, Specify the IP type and IP address for your failover cluster instance. Click Next to continue. Note that the IP address will resolve the name of the virtual node which you have mentioned earlier step.

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                                                                                                                                                1. On the Server Configuration — Service Accounts page, specify login accounts for SQL Server services. The actual services that are configured on this page depend on the features that you selected to install.

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                                                                                                                                                    1. Use this page to specify Cluster Security Policy. Use default setting. Click Next to continue. Work flow for the rest of this topic depends on the features that you have specified for your installation. You might not see all the pages, depending on your selections (Database Engine, Analysis Services, Reporting Services).

                                                                                                                                                    2. You can assign the same login account to all SQL Server services, or you can configure each service account individually. The startup type is set to manual for all cluster-aware services, including full-text search and SQL Server Agent, and cannot be changed during installation. Microsoft recommends that you configure service accounts individually to provide least privileges for each service, where SQL Server services are granted the minimum permissions they have to have complete their tasks. To specify the same logon account for all service accounts in this instance of SQL Server, provide credentials in the fields at the bottom of the page. When you are finished specifying login information for SQL Server services, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                      • Use the Server Configuration – Collation tab, use default collations for the Database Engine and Analysis Services.

                                                                                                                                                      • Use the Database Engine Configuration — Account Provisioning page to specify the following:

                                                                                                                                                      • select Windows Authentication or Mixed Mode Authentication for your instance of SQL Server.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. Use the Database Engine Configuration – Data Directories page to specify nondefault installation directories. To install to default directories, click Next. Use the Database Engine Configuration – FILESTREAM page to enable FILESTREAM for your instance of SQL Server. Click Next to continue.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. When you are finished editing the list, click OK. Verify the list of administrators in the configuration dialog box. When the list is complete, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Use the Analysis Services Configuration — Account Provisioning page to specify users or accounts that will have administrator permissions for Analysis Services. You must specify at least one system administrator for Analysis Services. To add the account under which SQL Server Setup is running, click Add Current User. To add or remove accounts from the list of system administrators, click Add or Remove, and then edit the list of users, groups, or computers that will have administrator privileges for Analysis Services. When you are finished editing the list, click OK. Verify the list of administrators in the configuration dialog box. When the list is complete, click Next.

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                                                                                                                                                                1. Use the Analysis Services Configuration — Data Directories page to specify nondefault installation directories. To install to default directories, click Next.

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. Use the Reporting Services Configuration page to specify the kind of Reporting Services installation to create. For failover cluster installation, the option is set to Unconfigured Reporting Services installation. You must configure Reporting Services services after you complete the installation. However, no harm to select Install and configure option if you are not an SQL expert.

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                                                                                                                                                                        1. On the Error Reporting page, specify the information that you want to send to Microsoft that will help improve SQL Server. By default, options for error reporting is disabled.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. The System Configuration Checker runs one more set of rules to validate your configuration with the SQL Server features that you have specified.

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                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    1. During installation, the Installation Progress page provides status so that you can monitor installation progress as Setup continues. After installation, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes. To complete the SQL Server installation process, click Close.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you have finished with Setup.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. To add nodes to the single-node failover you just created, run Setup on each additional node and follow the steps for Add Node operation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        SQL Advanced/Enterprise Failover Cluster Install

                                                                                                                                                                                        Step1: Prepare Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Insert the SQL Server installation media, and from the root folder, double-click Setup.exe.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Windows Installer 4.5 is required, and may be installed by the Installation Wizard. If you are prompted to restart your computer, restart and then start SQL Server Setup again.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. After the prerequisites are installed, the Installation Wizard starts the SQL Server Installation Center. To prepare the node for clustering, move to the Advanced page and then click Advanced cluster preparation

                                                                                                                                                                                        4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

                                                                                                                                                                                        5. On the Setup Support Files page click Install to install the Setup support files.

                                                                                                                                                                                        6. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

                                                                                                                                                                                        7. On the Language Selection page, you can specify the language, to continue, click Next

                                                                                                                                                                                        8. On the Product key page, select PIDed product key, Click Next

                                                                                                                                                                                        9. On the License Terms page, accept the license terms and Click Next to continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                        10. On the Feature Selection page, select the components for your installation as you did for simple installation which has been mentioned earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                        11. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

                                                                                                                                                                                        12. To complete the SQL Server installation process, click Close.

                                                                                                                                                                                        13. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        14. Repeat the previous steps to prepare the other nodes for the failover cluster. You can also use the autogenerated configuration file to run prepare on the other nodes. A configurationfile.ini is generated in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Setup BootStrap\Log\20130603_014118\configurationfile.ini which is shown below.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Step2 Install SQL Server

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. After preparing all the nodes as described in the prepare step, run Setup on one of the prepared nodes, preferably the one that owns the shared disk. On the Advanced page of the SQL Server Installation Center, click Advanced cluster completion.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. On the Setup Support Files page, click Install to install the Setup support files.

                                                                                                                                                                                            4. The System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue. You can view the details on the screen by clicking Show Details, or as an HTML report by clicking View detailed report.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5. On the Language Selection page, you can specify the language, To continue, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Use the Cluster node configuration page to select the instance name prepared for clustering

                                                                                                                                                                                            7. Use the Cluster Resource Group page to specify the cluster resource group name where SQL Server virtual server resources will be located. On the Cluster Disk Selection page, select the shared cluster disk resource for your SQL Server failover cluster.Click Next to continue

                                                                                                                                                                                            8. On the Cluster Network Configuration page, specify the network resources for your failover cluster instance. Click Next to continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                            9. Now follow the simple installation steps to select Database Engine, reporting, Analysis and Integration services.

                                                                                                                                                                                            10. The Ready to Install page displays a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Install. Setup will first install the required prerequisites for the selected features followed by the feature installation.

                                                                                                                                                                                            11. Once installation is completed, click Close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Follow the procedure if you would like to remove a node from an existing SQL Server failover cluster

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe. To install from a network share, navigate to the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The Installation Wizard launches the SQL Server Installation Center. To remove a node to an existing failover cluster instance, click Maintenance in the left-hand pane, and then select Remove node from a SQL Server failover cluster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. The System Configuration Checker will run a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4. After you click install on the Setup Support Files page, the System Configuration Checker verifies the system state of your computer before Setup continues. After the check is complete, click Next to continue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                5. On the Cluster Node Configuration page, use the drop-down box to specify the name of the SQL Server failover cluster instance to be modified during this Setup operation. The node to be removed is listed in the Name of this node field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                6. The Ready to Remove Node page displays a tree view of options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Remove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                7. During the remove operation, the Remove Node Progress page provides status.

                                                                                                                                                                                                8. The Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the remove node operation and other important notes. To complete the SQL Server remove node, click Close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Using Command Line Installation of SQL Server

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. To install a new, stand-alone instance with the SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search component, run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=Install /FEATURES=SQL /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER

                                                                                                                                                                                                    /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”<DomainName\UserName>” /SQLSVCPASSWORD

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. To prepare a new, stand-alone instance with the SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search components, and Reporting Services. run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=PrepareImage /FEATURES=SQL,RS /InstanceID =<MYINST> /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. To complete a prepared, stand-alone instance that includes SQL Server Database Engine, Replication, and Full-Text Search components run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=CompleteImage /INSTANCENAME=MYNEWINST /INSTANCEID=<MYINST>

                                                                                                                                                                                                    /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”<DomainName\UserName>” /SQLSVCPASSWORD

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. To upgrade an existing instance or failover cluster node from SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008 R2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=upgrade /INSTANCEID = <INSTANCEID>/INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /RSUPGRADEDATABASEACCOUNT=”<Provide a SQL DB Account>” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server 2012 to a different edition of SQL Server 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /q /ACTION=editionupgrade /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /PID=<PID key for new edition>” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. To install an SQL server using configuration file, run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=MyConfigurationFile.INI

                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. To install an SQL server using configuration file and provide service Account password, run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword”

                                                                                                                                                                                                    /ASSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /ISSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword” /RSSVCPASSWORD=”typepassword”

                                                                                                                                                                                                    /ConfigurationFile=MyConfigurationFile.INI

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. To uninstall an existing instance of SQL Server. run the following command

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Setup.exe /Action=Uninstall /FEATURES=SQL,AS,RS,IS,Tools /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reference and Further Reading

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Windows Storage Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Perfect Combination: SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    EMC Storage Replication

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Download Hyper-v Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Download Windows Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is VMware’s fate heading towards Novell?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Previously I wrote a blog on comparing price and features of Hyper-v and VMware. I got lot of feedback and questions why I believe Microsoft will win the battle. Here is a short answer for this question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Living in mining city of Australia, its truth that most mining, oil and gas company isn’t adopting Microsoft Hyper-v yet excluding Fortescue Metals (FMG). FMG took a smart decision to go for Microsoft cloud than any other cloud technology. But wind is shifting quickly. Not just mining, oil and gas companies. Here are other examples: ING Direct case study and Suncorp Bank case study. There is nothing to hide that Microsoft came late to Hypervisor game. Slowly but surely Microsoft is gaining momentum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I worked in almost 15 years now. I have seen in many occasions that Microsoft crashes its opponent and gain market in their own business. This is what happening in Hypervisor battle. Let’s be honest VMware is THE leader in virtualization. I am sure there are skeptics who believe, beating VMware isn’t possible. Those skeptics betted their money on Novell Netware, IBM Lotus Notes and Corel Word Perfect in those days. If I had told you in year 2000 that Active Directory would beat Novell e-directory, you would have burst out of laugh. But now there’s nothing to comment on this. By now you rarely see and work e-directory, word perfect or lotus notes. These examples says it all. VMware’s fate is written when Microsoft released Windows Server 2012, Hyper-v Server 2012 and System Center 2012. By the next Windows, Hyper-v and System Center release VMware may extinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you need more evidence then you can find Microsoft’s Oil and Gas customer’s success stories on Microsoft View Point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Performing a Staged RODC Installation using the GUI

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Staging an RODC allows an administrator to perform installation without travelling to the site. You can stage a RODC installation in four steps. Step1, Step2 and Step3 are performed in Head office by a member of domain admin where authoritative domain controller is located. Fourth step is performed in site office where site admin and RODC is located.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Assumption:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · RODC NetBIOS Name: DC4

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · RODC Security Group: RODCAdmins

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · Forest: Superplaneteers.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Step1: Prepare Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · Install Operating System on RODC Server

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · Activate Windows Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · Configure TCP/IP Properties of the Server

                                                                                                                                                                                                    · Rename RODC Server to desired NetBIOS name (Example-DC4)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Step2: Add Site Admin into RODCAdmins Security Groups in AD

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Open Active Directory Users and Computers, Right Click on desired OU, Click new, Click Group, Create a Security group named as RODCAdmins.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add Site Admins into RODCAdmins group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Step3: Create an RODC Computer Account

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Open Active Directory users and Computers, Select Domain Controllers OU, Click on Action, Click Pre-create Read-only Domain Controller account

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Click Next, On the Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, if you want to modify the default the Password Replication Policy (PRP), select Use advanced mode installation, and then click Next.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Network Credentials page, under Specify the account credentials to use to perform the installation, click My current logged on credentials, Click Next

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Specify the Computer Name page, type the computer name of the server that will be the RODC.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Select a Site page, select a site from the list or select the option to install the domain controller in the site that corresponds to the IP address of the computer on which you are running the wizard, and then click Next.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, make the following select Domain Naming System (DNS), Global Catalog (GC), Read-only Domain Controller (RODC) and then click Next:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Delegation of RODC Installation and Administration page, type the name of the user or the group who will attach the server to the RODC account that you are creating. To search the directory for a specific user or group, click Set. In Select Users, Computers, or Groups, type the name of the user or group. When you are finished, click Next.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Summary page, review your selections. Click Back to change any selections, if necessary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    When you are sure that your selections are accurate, click Next to create the RODC account.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Step4: Attach a server to an RODC account using Server Manager

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This step is performed in the site office where the RODC is located. The server where you perform this procedure must not be domain member. In Windows Server 2012, you use the Add Roles Wizard in Server Manager to attach a server to an RODC account. Follow the procedure to promote a RODC at the branch office.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Log on to Server DC4 as local Administrator. In Server Manager, click Add roles and features. On the Before you begin page, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. On the Select installation type page, click Role-based or feature-based installation and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. On the Select destination server page, click Select the local server from the server pool, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. On the Select server roles page, click Active Directory Domain Services, click Add Features and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. On the Select features page, select any additional features that you want to install and click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. On the Active Directory Domain Services page, review the information and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. On the Confirm installation selections page, click Install.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. On the Results page, verify Installation succeeded, and click Promote this server to a domain controller to start the Active Directory Domain Services Configuration Wizard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    9. On the Deployment Configuration page, click Add a domain controller to an existing domain, type the name of the domain superplaneteers.com and specify an account who is a member of RODCAdmins group that is delegated to manage and install the RODC, and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. On the Domain Controller Options page, click Use existing RODC account in this case DC4, type and confirm the Directory Services Restore Mode password, and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    11. On the Additional Options page, select the head office domain controller that you want to replicate the AD DS installation data from or if you have correct sites configured then allow the wizard to select any domain controller and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    12. On the Paths page, type the locations for the Active Directory database, log files, and SYSVOL folder, or accept default locations, and then click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    13. On the Review Options page, confirm your selections, click Next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    14. Once Prerequisites Check is successful then click Install.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    15. To complete the AD DS installation, the server will restart automatically.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pasting text to Hyper-V guests sometimes results in garbled characters- An Work Around

                                                                                                                                                                                                    To work around this issue:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • RDP to virtual machine using the mstsc.exe
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Increase the keyboard class buffer size in the virtual machine
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Disable the synthetic keyboard in the virtual machine to force using the emulated keyboard

                                                                                                                                                                                                    To Increase the keyboard class buffer size in the virtual machine

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Logon to a running virtual machine as an Administrator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Hover mouse on the right hand side top corner, Click Search, Type regedit, and Right Click on Registry Editor, Click Run As Administrator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Locate and then click the following registry entry:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServiceskbdclassParameters

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. In the details page, double click: KeyboardDataQueueSize

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Select Decimal and type a value data of: 1024

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. Click Ok. Close the Registry Editor. you can modify the same registry for a group of Hyper-v virtual machines using GPO. GPO location is Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Registry. Right Click and add new registry. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    To disable the synthetic keyboard for a virtual machine

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Logon to a running virtual machine as a member of the Administrators group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Hover mouse on the right hand side top corner, Click Search, Type devmgmt.msc, and then Right Click on device manager, Click Run As Administrator. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Click Keyboards, right click Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Keyboard and click Disable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Close the Device Manager snap-in. Restart Virtual Machine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. On Windows Server 2012 Core, download DevCon.exe from the Windows Driver Kit to disable this driver using the command-line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Deploy Windows 8 Enterprise using Lite Touch Deployment Method

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    System Requirements: Windows 8 Enterprise Version Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012 Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5 with SP1 or later Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 or later Windows 7 Automated Installation Kit Active Directory Domain Services Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol … Continue reading

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft’s Hyper-v Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Unleash KO Punch to VMware

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hyper-V has been integral part of Windows Server 2008 and enhanced with great features in Windows Server 2012. According to Gartner’s magic quadrant Microsoft Hyper-v has been positioned in the leader category second to VMware. Combining Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 provide you a high performance Cloud Technology. Microsoft licensing model is highly flexible and charges only by physical processors and offer unlimited virtualization rights with Datacenter editions. With Hyper-v, your return on investment (ROI) increases as your workload density increases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pricing Comparison:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The pricing is based on the following assumptions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Average consolidation ratio of 12 VMs per physical processor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Number of physical hosts required 21. Each physical host contains 2 physical processors with six cores each.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Three years License and Maintenance; VMware cost includes Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition for running guests
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • costs do not include hardware, storage or project cost
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pricing is based on published US prices for VMware and Microsoft as of September, 2012.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The cost above doesn’t include Microsoft Windows Server license cost for guest operating system.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter allows you to run unlimited Windows Server 2012 on Hyper-v Server 2012 host.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Server Virtualization Environment:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pricing Summary:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft Server Virtualization Cost break-down

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    VMware Server Virtualization Cost break-down

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Features VS Cost Breakdown- Multi-Site Private Cloud Computing

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Together with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 is truly a cloud and datacenter management solution with eight separate components such as management, monitoring, provisioning, disaster recovery integrated into one unified product. A unified System Center management solution delivers greater OPEX cost savings than VMware in addition to CAPEX cost savings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    image

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Number Game:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Breakdown in resources (/Host/Guest/Cluster):

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Network Virtualization

                                                                                                                                                                                                     image

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DR Solutions

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Truth about VMware lies:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    You don’t have to be Einstein to understand that VMware is in significant pressure from all sides. Hence they are misleading Cloud market with biased information. I would strongly recommend you to assess your business position, compare apple to apple before renewing/buying your next Cloud products. Though VMware is still no.1 player in Cloud Computing market but their fear is real that VMware loyal Customer is switching continuously to Microsoft Cloud Technology. A declining enterprise market leads them to spread the following one sided information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. VMware claim: VMware vSphere 5.1 can achieve an 18.9% higher VM density per host than with Microsoft Hyper-V.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: In one of VMware’s own tests, when provided adequate memory to support the number of users the performance variance between vSphere 5.1 and Hyper-V R2 SP1 was only 2% (using 24VM’s).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. VMware claim: Hyper-V performance is poor. If performance is important to you, choose VMware.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: In reality, Hyper-V offers near-native levels of virtualization performance, for which there are multiple supporting proof points (including independent third party validations):

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Enterprise Strategy Group Report (2011) – SharePoint, Exchange, & SQL on Hyper-V Host.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Microsoft & Intel – 700,000 IOPS to a VM | Near Native with VMq: Windows Server and Hyper-V are not a limiting factor to IO performance. There shouldn’t be any significant concern around IO for virtualizing with Hyper-V.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Project Virtual Reality Check (Terminal Services on Hyper-V).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. VMware claim: Hyper-V isn’t ready for the enterprise. It can’t handle the most intensive of workloads like VMware can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Hyper-V offers near native levels of performance for key workloads, ensuring that customers can virtualize their mission critical, high-performance applications and workloads with confidence on Hyper-V. Additionally, a growing number of enterprise customers are running their businesses on Microsoft Hyper-V. Please read Microsoft Private Cloud success stories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. VMware claim: Hyper-V is lacking some of the key VMware features today. Features such as vMotion, HA, Memory Overcommit, DRS, Storage vMotion and Hot-Add are important features for us, and Hyper-V simple doesn’t come close.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Hyper-V R2 SP1 and System Center 2012 provide Live Migration, High Availability, Storage Live Migration, Dynamic Memory Allocation, Hot-Add and subsequent removal of storage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. VMware claim: VMware vSphere 5.1 is more secure than Hyper-V because it’s architecture and small code base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Small footprint doesn’t equal a more secure hypervisor. Both vSphere and Hyper-V use the same memory footprint to run. The disk Footprint in ESXi 5.0 (144 MB) doubled from ESXi 4.0 (70 MB). Microsoft follows the rigorous, industry-leading Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL) for all its products. It is possible to achieve a 40-60% reduction in patches using Server Core based on historical data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. VMware claim: There is no virtual firewall in Hyper-V while VMware provides vShield Zones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Windows Server 2012 also includes an integrated firewall with advanced security features. An old version of vShield Zones is included with vSphere 5.1 (details here) and vShield Zones has several limitations like every VM’s traffic passes through the Zones virtual appliances which slows down the traffic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. VMware claim: Microsoft doesn’t offer anything comparable to VMware Fault Tolerance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: VMware Fault Tolerance has limited applicability and severe limitations. It cannot function with:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Thin Provisioning and Linked Clones
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Storage vMotion
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hot plug devices and USB Pass-through
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • IPv6
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • vSMP
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Serial/parallel ports
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Physical and remote CD/floppy drives
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • no more than 4 FT VMs per host be used

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. VMware claim: VMware significantly support for Linux operating systems than Hyper-V.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: In production environment, Hyper-v supports Microsoft Windows Server and Linux Server without modifying any guest operating systems or installing tools.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    9. VMware claim: VMware supports broad applications, while Hyper-V does not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Since VMware does not have certified logo program for any application, they are not in position to dictate which application are supported or not. On the contrary, every single application that achieves a logo for Windows Server can be run on guest operating system on a Hyper-V, and is therefore inherently supported. There are over 2500 ISV applications listed on Microsoft Pinpoint that work with Hyper-V. Truth is neither Microsoft nor VMware mention which application you can install on a guest operating systems. It’s completely up to you what you would like to run on guest operating systems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. VMware claim: VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) enables us to simplify our DR story, and provides us with a solution to not only perform a planned failover, but test it whenever we like. Microsoft simply can’t deliver an alternative to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: System Center 2012 components like Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator can provide tailored DR solutions. Windows Server 2012 includes an inbox replication capability, Hyper-V Replica, at no cost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    11. VMware claim: Microsoft Hyper-v isn’t ready for Hoster or Service Provider.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Hyper-v has been adopted by service provider industry to host their own infrastructure and public cloud simultaneously on Hyper-v utilizing Microsoft Network Virtualization. Click here and filter using hosting and public cloud to find the list of hoster. Examples: hostway, softsyshosting , hyper-v-mart , geekhosting , BlueFire and many more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    12. VMware Claim: Hyper-v does not fully comply with Trunking, VLANs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facts: Microsoft Network virtualization is more advanced than VMware standard Switch and DV Switch. Microsoft Hyper-v is fully compliant with 802.1q trunking, VLANs, VIP, networking Tunneling, multitenant IP management. VMware is catching up on network virtualization. Being in back foot VMware advertised to hire a PR professional to campaign on network virtualization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bottom-line: Why Selecting Hyper-v Over VMware

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Other than cost savings, the following reasons why you should select Hyper-V and System Center 2012 over VMware vSphere 5.1

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Built-in Virtualization: Hyper-V is an integral part of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Familiarity with Windows: In-house IT staff can utilize their familiarity and knowledge of Windows environment to deploy Hyper-v minimizing training cost and learning time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Single Platform Cloud Management Technology: System Center 2012 enables you to manage physical, virtual, private and public cloud using a common console view for multi-hypervisor management, 3rd party integration and process automation, ability to manage applications via a single view across private and public clouds, and deep application diagnostics and insights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Running common Microsoft Application: It is obvious that Microsoft application will run better on Hyper-v 2012. Still Microsoft has published third-party validated lab results that prove best-in-class performance for Microsoft workloads on Hyper-V.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. Private, Public or Hybrid Cloud: Microsoft provides complete solutions for Private, Public or Hybrid cloud with next generation computing technology like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. Value for Money: Microsoft Private Cloud provides value for money. You will receive unrestricted virtualization license once you buy Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and System Center 2012.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. Easy Migration: Convert VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Hyper-v virtual machine in few easy steps. See this link.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. Single Vendor: Since your existing virtualization workload is mostly Windows Server, from vendor communication and contract management point of view, having Microsoft Hyper-v make more sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    References:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft Cloud Summit Australia

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft Private Cloud Cost Calculator

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft Private Cloud Success Stories

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Microsoft Cloud Computing

                                                                                                                                                                                                    System Center 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Windows Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hyper-v Server 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Download Microsoft System Center Private Cloud Evaluation Software

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Windows Server 2012 Step by Step Book

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is my first book published on December 2 2012. The following is the chapters available in detailed in the book titled “Windows Server 2012 Step by Step” Chapter 1: Introduction to windows server 2012 Chapter 2: Installing and navigating … Continue reading

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Client Hyper-V in Windows 8

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Client Hyper-V on Windows 8 provides a rich virtual platform for developers and IT professionals. You can create and manage virtual machines using client Hyper-V leveraging the security, scale, and manageability of Windows 8 and Server Hyper-V platforms. This is … Continue reading

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hardening Security of Server- The Bottom Line

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Securing Servers from internal and external threat is the key aspect of managing and administering Windows Servers. If you carefully design, implement and maintain IT Infrastructure you will have a better night sleep knowing you are safe. There will not … Continue reading