Category Archives: Server 2012 R2

Migration and Disaster Recovery to Azure using Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft Azure have announced the general availability of Azure Site Recovery services. The announcement by Abhishek Hemrajani is as follows.

“I am excited to announce the GA of the Disaster Recovery to Azure using Azure Site Recovery. In addition to enabling replication to and recovery in Microsoft Azure, ASR enables automated protection of VMs, remote health monitoring, no-impact recovery plan testing, and single click orchestrated recovery – all backed by an enterprise-grade SLA.

The DR to Azure functionality in ASR builds on top of System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Windows Server Hyper-V Replica, and Microsoft Azure to ensure that our customers can leverage existing IT investments while still helping them optimize precious CAPEX and OPEX spent in building and managing secondary datacenter sites.

The GA release also brings significant additions to the already expansive list of ASR’s DR to Azure features:

  • NEW ASR Recovery Plans and Azure Automation integrate to offer robust and simplified one-click orchestration of your DR plans
  • NEW Track Initial Replication Progress as virtual machine data gets replicated to a customer-owned and managed geo-redundant Azure Storage account. This new feature is also available when configuring DR between on-premises private clouds across enterprise sites
  • NEW Simplified Setup and Registration streamlines the DR setup by removing the complexity of generating certificates and integrity keys needed to register your on-premises System Center Virtual Machine Manager server with your Site Recovery vault”

The following scenarios are supported.

Costing can be found here – http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/site-recovery/

You can read more from the blog post here – http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/10/02/disaster-recovery-to-azure-using-azure-site-recovery-is-now-ga/

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 Essentials Log Locations

Here is a list of where you can find important log files for Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

Server-side Logs:

In Windows Server Essentials 2012 and 2012 R2, the location of the log files is under %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs.

Service Integration Log Files:

O365/On-Premise Exchange/Intune   SharedServiceHost-EmailProviderServiceConfig.log
Windows Azure Backup   OnlineBackupGettingStartedWizard.log

Backup Log Files:

Server Backup Configuration wizard SBCW.log
Server Backup restore wizard ServerFFR.log
Client Backup Feature server side log Backup-<date>.log
Client backup database cleanup RunTask-BackupCleanup.log
Client backup database checker RunTask-Consistency check

Storage and Devices Log Files:

User/Device management feature SharedServiceHost-ManagementServiceConfig.log
Storage features Storageservice.<date>.log
Storage related feature Storageutil.<date>.log

Azure Backup Log Files:

Location: C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Backup Agent\Temp
Azure Backup Logs CBEngineCurr.errlog
Failed Azure Backup Logs LastBackupFailedFile#####.txt

Other Helpful Log Files:

DC Promo DCPromo_date.log
Health evaluation schedule task RunTask-AlertEvaluation.log
Macintosh Clients Status update RunTask-MacintoshStatusReport.log
Server DNS status ServerBeacon.log
Customer Experience Improvement RunTask-SaveCustomerExperienceImprovementProgramData.log

Program and Service Quality Measurement Log Files:

CA Role installation CA_ROLE_INSTALL.log
Media pack installation (2012 R2) MediaPackInstalltionWizard.xxxx.log
Media Service (Specially with RWA) MediaStreamingProvider.log
O365 (Assign/Un-assign Accounts) TaskStatus-OIMAddin.log

 

Client-side Logs:

The client-side log files are located in the folder %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\logs. They are as:

Client Deployment ClientDeploy.log
Client package installation Failures ComputerConnector.log
Client backup restore mount driver BackupDriverInstaller.log
Client operation for File history Sync ClientOperator.log
Main log for client launch pad LaunchPad.log
Password synchronization feature in AAD PasswordSyncClientAlerts.log
Add-in feature on client RunTask-Add-in Management.log
Health evaluation schedule task RunTask-AlertEvaluation.log
Client Backup scheduled task RunTask-ClientComputeBackkup.log
Connector uninstall cleanup task RunTask-Connector cleanup.log
Update health definition file from server to client task RunTask-HealthDefinitionUpdate.log
RDP feature for RWA RunTask-RDP Group Configuration.log
Client VPN connectivity issues RunTask-VPN Routes Repair.log
Client network status update ServerLocator-<date>.log
Client deployment API call (Client deployment fails) Setupapi.dev.log
Health alert feature SharedServiceHost-HealthServiceConfig.log

 

 

Reference – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/09/30/windows-server-essentials-log-files.aspx 

Explored: 7 Key Areas of Hyper-V – FREE eBook from Altaro

Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V Backup, have put out a really good eBook detailing how you can improve the core areas of your Hyper-V environment.

Altaro-eBook

From the website, the eBook will help you master Hyper-V:

  • How to secure your Hyper-V deployment beyond the basics, managing access to Virtual Machine functions, applying Group Policy, best practices on antimalware, and more
  • How to get the most out of Hyper-V Manager, setting up Native Network Teams and how Hyper-V’s Virtual Switches work
  • Understanding the concept of vCPUs and how to undertake capacity planning for Hyper-V
  • Learn the proper use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks, how they operate and common myths surrounding the topic
  • How to connect storage to Hyper-V, including a variety of options as well as best practices.

Here is a list of the chapters.

  • Chapter 1: Seven Keys to Hyper-V Security
  • Chapter 2: Hyper-V Manager – An Introduction
  • Chapter 3: Set Up Native Network Teams for Hyper-V
  • Chapter 4: A Quick Guide to Hyper-V’s Virtual Switch
  • Chapter 5: Hyper-V Virtual CPUs
  • Chapter 6: Proper Use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks
  • Chapter 7: Connecting Hyper-V to Storage

You can download the eBook here – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/lp/ebook/7-key-areas-improving-hyper-v-guide-ebook.php.

*Thanks to Dr Tom Schinder for the link!

Windows Storage Server Essentials is still with us

Here is a bit of news from Thecus, a NAS device vendor – http://www.thecus.com/media_news_page.php?NEWS_ID=15373

09/10/2014- Thecus Technology Corp. today announces another world first: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is now available for NAS users. Available this October, the 2-bay W2000, 4-bay W4000, and the 5-bay W5000 offer a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services, and secure remote access.

“Thecus NAS provide users with a complete solution to their storage needs. With the additions to the W Series, Thecus is able to offer a more diversified product to its customers. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is an ideal pairing with Thecus NAS and will equip small businesses with a powerful and trusted storage solution.” – Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp.

By running Windows Server software on a Thecus NAS, users will be able to simplify the integration of Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. These new NAS offerings provide users with an affordable, flexible solution that minimizes resources spent on business operations while still optimizing productivity.

“The Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials software allows small businesses to protect, centralize, organize, and access their data anywhere by using almost any device,” said Peter Han, Vice President of Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft. “We believe offering our software on Thecus NAS devices will provide an excellent solution for those small businesses looking to protect their data while optimizing their resources with a hybrid, on premise, and cloud-connected offering.”

Thanks to proven Thecus hardware based on the Intel Atom platform, serviced by dual LAN ports and no less than 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and all featuring media connectivity (HDMI and VGA), the new line of world-first Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials NAS are user-friendly yet robust answers to the data needs of every forward-thinking small to medium-sized business.

 *Thanks Susan Bradley, for the link

Hotfix: Resolve Issues in mixed Windows Server 2003 and 2012R2 Domain Controller environments

The issues were documented here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2014/07/23/it-turns-out-that-weird-things-can-happen-when-you-mix-windows-server-2003-and-windows-server-2012-r2-domain-controllers.aspx

The main issue is that users could not log on to the domain and Kerberos errors (EventID 4) were logged. This could lead to issues, and frustration, especially in migration situations.

The hotfix can be obtained here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2989971

Enabling Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials integration with Microsoft Online Services when there are multiple domain controllers

The latest August 2014 update rollup for Windows Server 2012 R2 has addressed this issue. The integration feature previous only worked when the Essentials server was the only domain controller in the domain, which led to some difficult workarounds in migration scenarios.

The rollup can be downloaded via Windows Update or directly here – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975719.

You can read the Microsoft announcement here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/08/13/announcing-the-availability-of-enabling-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-integration-of-microsoft-online-services-in-environments-with-multiple-domain-controllers.aspx.

Hyper-V and the “Windows cannot find the Microsoft software license terms” error

I was building a new Hyper-V server using Windows Server 2012 R2 and ran into this error. The scenario? You set up a new VM using the default settings, and configure the use of Dynamic RAM.

Once the VM is set up, you start this and get to the point of typing in the license key. In the case of the Datacentre edition, with Generation2 VMs, you can use the Automatic Activation Keys as detailed in the Technet article here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/dn303421.aspx. And the following error occurs – “We couldn’t verify the product key. Please check your installation media.”

Alternatively, you may get the following message after selecting the operating system – “Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation.”

The solution is straightforward. You need to assign at least 576MB RAM as the starting value for the VM to bypass this problem. I usually configure my virtual servers to start with a minimum of 1024MB RAM.

 

 

Step by Step Windows 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services

Here is a link to an excellent series of blog posts on how to set up and configure Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) in a clear and easy manner.

  1. http://msfreaks.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/windows-2012-r2-remote-desktop-services-part-1/
  2. http://msfreaks.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/windows-2012-r2-remote-desktop-services-part-2/
  3. http://msfreaks.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/windows-2012-r2-remote-desktop-services-part-3/
  4. http://msfreaks.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/step-by-step-windows-2012-r2-remote-desktop-services-part-4/

 

We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Error on Windows Server 2012 R2

I ran into this problem with 3 Virtual Machines. All of them were brand new installations, so it was not an issue with badly behaving applications.

The cause appeared to be the way Gen2 virtual machines worked with a particular recent update. Gen 1 virtual machines did not present this issue.

Thanks to Susan Bradley and GurliGebis on the technet forums here (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/e58c8b30-b91a-4d90-a1b5-8859ffc3b92c/kb2920189-fails-to-install-on-generation-2-vms?forum=winserverhyperv), we have a workaround.

  1. Shutdown the Virtual Machine.
  2. In the VM settings, disable Secure Boot.

  3. Start the VM and install the updates.
  4. Shutdown the VM and re-enable Secure Boot again.
  5. Start up the VM.

 

Replication Health Mailer for Hyper-V Replica

Here is a cool script that mails Replication State, Replication Health and resource usage by virtual machines. The report is produced in a table format, emails to one or more recipients and can be scheduled as a task.

The script was written by Sangeeth on the Microsoft Virtualization Team and can be downloaded for free here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Replication-Health-Mailer-4066632c