Recently I’ve been using Hyper-V quite a lot due to the convenience of it being part of Windows 10 Pro and Server 2016. This got me wanting to try out Hyper-V Server 2016 for home lab use. After getting errors trying to connect Windows 10’s Hyper-V manager to the Server and doing some googling I realized it wasn’t going to be as simple to manage as ESXi/XenServer/Proxmox. In a domain it’s much easier to manager Hyper-V Server but, like most home users will find, when you’re not on a domain, things aren’t so simple.
If you’ve set up WDS you’ll likely want to customize your windows image to have software already installed. You may need some Antivirus software or utilities for work such as Microsoft Office.
In this guide I’ll be presuming you have some basic knowledge and a similar setup from my guide on setting up WDS.
Windows Deployment Services (WDS for short) is what we use to deploy operating systems on network computers. This means you won’t have to go to each computer with a USB stick and install/setup windows manually.
I’ll be presuming you’re doing in an Active Directory based environment.
In this guide I’ll show you how:
- Install and Configure WDS
- Boot and install Windows over LAN
In this guide we will enable NIC Teaming in Windows Server 2016. This will enable load balancing of outbound traffic and fault tolerance in case one connection goes down.
Having fault tolerance is important as you’ll be eliminating another point of failure in the network. Ideally you’ll also be able to plug in both NICs to different switches on the same network, in case one of switch failure.
As of Server 2012 it’s really easy to setup DHCP failover and should be done whenever possible. The last thing you’ll want is a bunch of computers not on the network because your DHCP server crashed, right? Let’s get to it.
In an environment with many people relying on server access you never want down time because of a hardware failure. To help ensure your Domain Controller is always accessible, you’ll need at least two or more Domain Controllers. This is true with other services too as you don’t want a hardware failure taking out DHCP, Exchange or file servers. I’ll show you here how to add additional Domain Controllers to your network.
In Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 and newer we have a feature called Storage Spaces. This feature lets you group multiple disks together in a Storage Pool and then create Virtual Disks within the Storage Pool. When creating Virtual Disks you can select from different layouts that act like different RAID modes. You can also have many Virtual Disks on a single Storage Pool of all different layout types. This makes it extremely powerful for managing where important data is kept.
In this article I’ll explain:
- How to get Storage Spaces setup
- How to add disks to a pool
- Simulate and recover from a disk failure
In my home lab setup I’ve currently got 1 FreeNAS box and 1 ESXi box. They’re connected using a multipath iSCSI link on cheap quad-gigabit cards I brought used. This setup works quite well for home lab use and provides a safe enough place to store my VMs. In this article I’ll guide you through the setup process I’ve used to get iSCSI working between FreeNAS and ESXi.
I’ll presume you’ve got a fresh FreeNAS and ESXi install on both systems and quad or dual gigabit links between them.
If you have a medium to large scale deployment of servers then you don’t want to go to each one to administer it. Windows Server comes with tools built in for remotely administrating servers. You can do things like add roles and features, view event logs, view running services, gauge performance, restart and much more. I’ll explain how to add your servers to the Server Manager presuming you’ve added your servers to the domain already.
In an ideal network you’ll have more than one server, this means you’ll need to be adding servers to the Domain. You can have large deployments with hundreds of servers managing hundreds of thousands of users. In this article I’ll be explaining how to add servers to an existing Domain.
I’ll be presuming you have a fresh install of Server 2016 on your new Server/VM.