The Essentials team have blogged the step by step instructions on how to configure Microsoft Azure backup integration with an on-premises installation of Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
The blog post can be found here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/05/01/configuring-microsoft-azure-online-backup-on-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials.aspx
Note that there is currently an issue if you are using the Essentials role enabled on Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter edition in Azure (I have not verified if on-premises Datacenter edition is OK). You will receive an error, when attempting to install the Add-in – “The add-in cannot be installed because it is not compatible with WIndows Server 2012 R2 Essentials”. We hope that there will be a fix for this soon.
Join me this coming Thursday 20 March 2014 for an online presentation “Virtualization with Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials for Small Business.” You can register for the session here – https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032577184&Culture=en-AU
I will be presenting the session in conjunction with the MVP Community Camp 2014, where MVPs from around the Asia Pacific Region will present online and live sessions on a plethora of topics.
Join us on Saturday 22 March 2014, if you are in any major city for live sessions – Especially if you live in Adelaide!
For more information, visit http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/ComCamp2014.aspx to register.
Microsoft has released version 2 of their Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica tool. This tool is run on each primary host and provides data and metrics useful for administrators in determining their environment and how Hyper-V Replica will impact on the performance of the server and network.
The tool can be downloaded here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39057
If you have DVD media or and ISO of your Operating System, you can quickly and easily create a sysprepped VHD or VHDX image. With this Virtual Hard Disk file, you can set up a Virtual Machine and boot it directly to the Out of Box Experience, thus saving about half an hour to an hour of installation time.
The process for doing this and PowerShell script called Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 is documented in the Technet Script Repository here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Convert-WindowsImageps1-0fe23a8f
Note: This latest release (v6.3) now supports the creation on Generation 2 VMs.
Joining a server to the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain has never been easier. The Connect Computer wizard has now been enhanced to allow joining a server to the Essentials network. The wizard effectively joins the server to the Active directory and adds the server to the list of servers in the dashboard. The connector wizard will join Windows Servers 2008 R2 and above in this manner.
From the server to be joined, open an Internet Explorer window and browse to http://[servername]/connect
Click on Download software for Windows to launch the Computer Connector Wizard. Accept the license terms and click Next.
The Connector wizard will be downloaded from the server.
Type in the domain administrator user name and password and click Next.
Confirm that you are using the administrator account. NOTE: Click No here (read the question carefully!).
Click Restart to restart the server. The wizard will do the rest and connect the server to the domain.
The final steps are to confirm that the computer will be set up for the administrator user. Click Next.
Add a computer description and click Next.
The server will complete the final configuration.
Click Finish when the task is complete.
Microsoft have released a bunch of new visual guides to the various features of Windows Server 2012 R2. As per the Microsoft description “These posters provide a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2. They focus on Generation 2 virtual machines, Hyper-V with virtual hard disk sharing, online virtual hard disk resizing, storage quality-of-service, enhanced session mode, live migration, Hyper-V failover clustering, and upgrading your private cloud. This visual reference is available as a complete wall poster or as individual components that are suitable for printing on most standard printers.”
The link to download these posters is here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40732
Those with MSDN subscriptions can now download and install Windows Server 2012 R2 as a preview edition and begin to experience the exciting new features as highlighted in my previous blog post – http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/features/windows-server-2012-r2-whats-in-it-for-the-smb/
Microsoft introduced the next generation of their solutions at TechEd North America 2013 today. It was no surprise that much of the offerins were targeted towards large enterprise and cloud computing, as this is where the company is firmly focussed at the present. You can read the official press release here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/jun13/06-03TechEd13PR.aspx
So, what is in it for the traditional small and micro business? Office 365 currently offers a good alternative to running your own email server on premises after the Small Business Server line up was discontinued. Wave 15 of Office 365 continues this with infrastructure built upon the Server 2013 family of products. However, Microsoft announced a further release of their server operating system named Windows Server 2012 R2. In this new release, there are a number of features that will be really beneficial to the small and micro business.
Windows Server. A host of new features were announced here. Among the main SMB friendly features are performance improvements, support for dynamic memory and dynamic disks in Linux virtual machines, Drag and drop live migrations, enhanced Remote Desktop experience, and better VM debugging and management. Storage Space has been given an overhaul, and this is a good to to re-evaluate this new technology and see how it can be beneficial to the SMB market. Work Folders encrypts and replicates user data between file servers and devices, and allows for remote wipe of corporate data.
Windows Server Essentials. This final legacy of the Small Business Server has now been completely integrated into the Windows Server 2012 R2 product. Whilst it can still be installed as Windows Sever 2012 R2 Essentials, it can now also be installed as a role in Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacentre.
Hyper-V new Features. A whole host of new changes have been incorporated into Windows Sevrer 2012 R2 Hyper-V. First, there is a new VM standard called generation of virtual machines which run only as VMs. They are UEFI based and can only run Windows 8, Windows 2012 or higher operating systems, and do not support legacy devices. VHDx files can now be resized online. USB passthrough is now implemented. Hyper-V Replica has now been extended to allow a target VM to be replicated on to another target amd there are now choices for the replication intervals.
You can find out about these new developments as they are announced via the live North America TechEd 2013 streaming and videos here – http://channel9.msdn.com/