How can we improve the installation and patching of Windows Server? (Survey Request)

Do you want your server OS deployment and servicing to move faster? We’re a team of Microsoft engineers who want your experiences and ideas around solving real problems of deploying and servicing your server OS infrastructure. We prefer that you don’t love server OS deployment already, and we’re interested even if you don’t use Windows… Read more

Configuring Site Awareness with Multi-active Disaggregated Datacenters

In a previous blog,I discussed the introduction of site-aware Failover Clusters in Windows Server 2016. In this blog, I am going to walk through how you can configure site-awareness for your multi-active disaggregated datacenters. You can learn more about Software Defined Storage and the advantages of a disaggregated datacenter here. Consider the following multi-active datacenters,… Read more

Hyper-converged with Windows Server 2016

One of the big hot features in Windows Server 2016 which has me really excited is Storage Spaces Direct (S2D).  With S2D you will be able to create a hyper-converged private cloud.  A hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) consolidates compute and storage into a common set of servers.  Leveraging internal storage which is replicated, you can create… Read more

Site-aware Failover Clusters in Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016, debuts the birth of site-aware clusters. Nodes in stretched clusters can now be grouped based on their physical location (site). Cluster site-awareness enhances key operations during the cluster lifecycle such as failover behavior, placement policies, heartbeating between the nodes and quorum behavior. In the remainder of this blog I will explain how… Read more

Workgroup and Multi-domain clusters in Windows Server 2016

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and previous versions, a cluster could only be created between member nodes joined to the same domain. Windows Server 2016 breaks down these barriers and introduces the ability to create a Failover Cluster without Active Directory dependencies. Failover Clusters can now therefore be created in the following configurations: Single-domain Clusters:… Read more

Cluster Shared Volume – A Systematic Approach to Finding Bottlenecks

In this post we will discuss how to find if performance that you observe on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) is what you expect and how to find which layer in your solution may be the bottleneck. This blog assumes you have read the previous blogs in the CSV series (see the bottom of this… Read more

Virtual Machine Compute Resiliency in Windows Server 2016

In today’s cloud scale environments, commonly comprising of commodity hardware, transient failures have become more common than hard failures. In these circumstances, reacting aggressively to handle these transient failures can cause more downtime than it prevents. Windows Server 2016, therefore introduces increased Virtual Machine (VM) resiliency to intra-cluster communication failures in your compute cluster. Interesting… Read more

Microsoft Virtual Academy – Learn Failover Clustering & Hyper-V

Would you like to learn how to deploy, manage, and optimize a Windows Server 2012 R2 failover cluster?  The Microsoft Virtual Academy is a free training website for IT Pros with over 2.7 million students.  This technical course can teach you everything you want to know about Failover Clustering and Hyper-V high-availability and disaster recovery,… Read more

Storage Spaces Direct using Windows Server 2016 virtual machines

Windows Server 2016 introduces Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), which enables building highly available storage systems which is virtual shared storage across the servers using local disks. This is a significant step forward in Microsoft’s Windows Server Software-defined Storage (SDS) story as it simplifies the deployment and management of SDS systems and also unlocks use of new classes of… Read more

Windows Server 2016 Failover Cluster Troubleshooting Enhancements – Active Dump

Active Dump The following enhancement is not specific to Failover Cluster or even Windows Server.  However, it has significant advantages when you are troubleshooting and getting memory.dmp files from servers running Hyper-V. Memory Dump Enhancement – Active memory dump Servers that are used as Hyper-V hosts tend to have a significant amount of RAM and… Read more