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.
In this article I’ll be covering the very basics of Organizational Units (OUs) and Group Policy Objects (GPOs).
An OU is very much like a folder in which you can place Users, Groups, Computers and other OUs. GPOs allow for very fine grain control over what users are able to do with their computers. For example, being able to open Control Panel, change the Desktop Background or open Task Manager. You can also map network drives at login and other useful tasks. You can link GPOs to a Domain or OU and everything within the Domain/OU will inherit the GPOs.
Hyper-V is Microsoft’s entry in to the virtualization market. Virtualization allows you to run multiple operating systems (Virtual Machines) on a single physical machine known as the host. With the resources available in a modern server you can often run dozens or more virtual machines on a single host allowing for considerable hardware consolidation.
In this guide I’ll be installing the Hyper-V role on to Windows Server 2016 Standard 180 day trial so you can easily follow along. I would recommend doing this on a physical machine rather than inside an existing VM unless you know what you’re doing.
The main point of Active Directory is to make managing large amounts of users and computers much easier. If you had 5,000 computers and users in a company, having a local account on every single computer for each user simply wouldn’t be manageable. If someone joined or left the company, got a promotion/demotion and needed different permissions/restrictions it would be infeasible to go to every single computer and make the necessary changes. Active Directory solves this by having a large database of users and computers and allows you to manage them easily within Groups and Organizational Units.
In this article I’ll be covering creation of User Accounts, adding Computers and managing both within Groups.