Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 35 – Did you say #S2D for Free? #MVPHour #StorageSpacesDirect .@MS_Ignite

Eliminating Maintenance Contracts will pay for Storage Spaces Direct! One of the games our industry has played for as long as I have been around, is with maintenance contracts. These contracts are the lifeblood of most of these organizations as they generate run rate revenue well beyond the initial sale. If you don’t read the fine print in your contract most vendors have clauses written into them that allow them to increase the MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) at a reasonable rate each year. Or in some cases they can just raise it as they see fit. So here...

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Active Directory – When was this user/computer Created #PowerShell #MVPHour #

A pretty simple request came across my desk today. I was requested to send a report of users that were created after a specific date. Do you remember the Windows Server 2003 and prior? Before PowerShell? We had to use what I’ll term loosely as “wonderful” LDAP queries. Also the query result was pure text, we couldn’t do anything easily with it short of magical text parsing! Well here is my PowerShell script I quickly whipped up!

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 34 – Patching Offline S2D Labs with Cumulative Updates #MVPHour #StorageSpacesDirect

Hey Storage Spaces Direct fans, over the course of the past few months we have been showing you how to build your own S2D environment using PowerShell and scripts like Big_Demo. We have gone almost 6 months now and there are some really critical Windows Updates that need to make their way into your lab. Normally this isn’t that big of an issue as we can setup internet access into the lab and just run Windows Updates or setup a WSUS Server to patch the S2D hosts with Cluster Aware Updating. However, this week I have a situation with...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 33 – Is Apple is causing the worldwide DRAM & NAND Shortage? #MVPHour #Apple #StorageSpacesDirect

Hey Storage Spaces Direct fans, I have now had 3 separate customer cases where their Storage Spaces Direct hardware has been severely delayed due to shortages of Flash Memory. This is because the world is moving away from traditional storage “Spinning Rust’ and moving to Flash. This is apparent in almost every Hyper Converged design that I have done over the past 24 months. 100 % of them are all Flash and that isn’t changing anytime soon.   Here is where the rubber is coming off the road for your projects… Lead times are at least 6-10 weeks from...

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NON-RDMA STORAGE SPACES DIRECT STRESS TEST STEPS and RESULT – #WINDOWSSERVER #S2D #MVPHOUR #STEP-BY-STEP

Today, I am going to do stress test for NON-RDMA Storage space direct servers, the customer use their existing Cisco Catalyst 4500-x for Storage space direct servers, as we know, it doesn’t support DCB and PFC function, so, we will focus on stress test result for Storage space direct servers without enable RDMA and see how’s the performance.

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 32 – @MellanoxTech Hidden Device Manager Settings #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Networking fans, I’m back again this time with a really cool little trick to determine what protocol your ConnectX-3 Pro card is running. Also, how you can quickly get into the Event Viewer and build a filter for your card.   Let’s start off by opening Device Manager and checking out our adapter card:   Where you would normally head is to Network Adpaters, Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro Ethernet Adapter, right click properties, and view information like our current Driver Version or Firmware (Oops guess I should downgrade this à as of today June 19, 2017 à Firmware 2.40.7000...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 31 – @MellanoxTech Capture RoCE v2 or Infinniband Traffic with #WireShark and IBDump.exe #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Networking fans, I’m back again this time with a really cool little trick to capture RoCE v2 traffic and view it using WireShark. Now I know what all of you are thinking… How can you capture traffic that is offloaded from one Nic to another NIc directly to the OS. Heck if you watch Task Manager you don’t even see any traffic. Well there is a trick and here is what is required: You need to get yourself a custom build of WireShark from Mellanox. https://community.mellanox.com/docs/DOC-2362 You will also need to use IBDump.exe which is located at C:\Program...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 30 – @MellanoxTech System Snapshot 2.6 Documentation #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Networking fans, a few posts back we dug into the Mellanox PowerShell providers that come as part of their driver package. Today I wanted to showcase a little hidden gem that they have included as part of their tools. After installing your Mellanox CX3-Pro drivers you can browse to the installation directory. In my case, it was the default in program files… Once there go to the following path c:\Program Files\Mellanox\MLNX_VPI\Tools You will find a little utility called MLNX_System_Snapshot.exe. Well friends this is your Node auto documenter on steroids. I decided to run it an I was pleasantly...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 29 – The Death of #StorageSpacesDirect on #NanoServer #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Storage Spaces Direct fans, I some very unfortunate news for you.  Nano Server + Storage Spaces Direct have broken up. In what seemed to be a meaningful relationship that was mutually beneficial has come to an abrupt end. This could spell disaster for OEM Vendors that were poised to build solutions using Nano Server and Storage Spaces Direct but that is the life of technology. This move is reinforcing Microsoft’s push towards the cloud and they seem have no strategic interest in continuing development on our smallest footprint Storage Spaces Direct design. So time to scrap all those...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 28 – @MellanoxTech #PowerShell Reporting Script #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Storage Spaces Direct fans, I know we have had a lot of chatter going on regarding Mellanox’s recent bad firmware release. As I banged my head up against the wall I discovered that Mellanox actually provides some really nice PowerShell Cmdlets with their WinOF drivers. When looking into them I figured why not build out a nice little reporting script that would grab the Mellanox NIC Configs from my Storage Spaces Direct Environment. This will help me discover driver, firmware, and settings drift quite easily. As we can see we have some Firmware Drift in my farm… better...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 27 – @MellanoxTech Physical Port Mapping #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Hey Networking fans, I have been working with Windows infrastructure for a very long time now and one of the biggest pains around is figuring out the Logical to Physical Port mapping on a NIC. I stumbled across this nice little guide from the Mellanox Technical Support Forum today.   Here is how you can trace these port mappings on Mellanox Cards and various WinOF drivers. Details courtesy https://community.mellanox.com/docs/DOC-2236     Adapter Mapping (ConnectX-3/ Pro/ ConnectX-4, WinOF/WinOF-2 Driver) In case you have more than one Mellanox adapters on the same server, you need to be able to map the...

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UPDATE – June 16, 2017 – Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 26 – @MellanoxTech Firmware Bug CX3-PRO #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

Important UPDATE June 16, 2017 – by Dave Kawula Hey folks –> I have posted this issue up in the Mellanox Support forums and the community has been great getting back to me.  Mellanox to this point not so much.   Basically, there was a user that said RoCE was broken on Windows Server 2016.   He downgraded the Firmware and the oldest driver for 2016..   Hi, Dave! Thanks for confirming, I’m not alone with this problem.     I’d also like to say, we have faced with this problem while running previous version of firmware (2.40.5032) and drivers (5.35.12970.0)....

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 25 – Zero Downtime Migration to S2D #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #HyperV

You have your new Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct hyperconverged HyperV Failover Cluster built. How can we move your workloads from your existing Hyper-V Failover Cluster to this new farm with Zero Downtime?   Well this process is extremely easy to accomplish using Cluster to Cluster Shared-Nothing Live Migration. I have used the process below a lot in production and it works great! Here is the actual step-by-step Method of Procedure Document (MOP) that we use for this.   Shared Nothing Live Migration from Hyper-V Cluster to another Hyper-V Cluster (Without Down Time) In this solution, you will be able...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 24 – Planned Power Outage of S2D #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour #Hyper-V

One of the challenges with any hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is that sometimes you need to shut things down for maintenance. This normally happens to some of my customers a few times a year depending on what part of the world they live in. I thought that it would be nice to document the supported process to shut down a Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) cluster. It is really as easy as 1-2-3 and is documented here by Microsoft: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/clustering/2013/08/23/how-to-properly-shutdown-a-failover-cluster-or-a-node/ – Authored by Elden Christensen (Principal PM at Microsoft of Clustering and HA) – so you know the steps are correct (Now I know this...

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STEP BY STEP MIGRATE EXCHANGE FROM ON-PREMISES TO OFFICE 365 PART 15 – ENABLE MRSPROXY SERVICE AND CREATE MIGRATION ENDPOINT #OFFICE365 #MVPHOUR #STEP-BY-STEP

Prior to performing on-boarding and off-boarding remote move migrations in an Exchange hybrid deployment, we recommend that you create Exchange remote migration endpoints. The migration endpoint contains the connection settings for an on-premises Exchange server that is running the MRS proxy service, which is required to perform remote move migrations to and from Exchange Online.

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 23 – Mellanox CX3-PRO on Dell R730XD Blue Screen #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour @Mellanoxtech

I recently came across a post on the Dell Support forum listing issues with a BLUE Screen on Dell R730XD Servers and Mellanox CX3-Pro Adapters. It is a really interesting read and here are some of the highlights of the case. BTW -> you can check it out yourself here: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/956/t/20010905 Basically user M.Olsson was deploying a small 3x node Storage Spaces Direct cluster with brand new Dell PowerEdge 730xd’s. He ordered the Mellanox Connectx-3 pro nics direct from Dell. This is interesting for me as I have the exact same configuration coming up in a few weeks and...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 22 – Critical Firmware Update for HPE Controllers lockup 0x13 #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour @HPE

If you are planning on deploying Storage Spaces Direct on HPE G9 hardware make sure that you check your Host Bus Adapters (HBA)’s to ensure that your firmware is up to date and current. Back in April 2017 HPE released a Critical Firmware Update for the H240ar Controllers. Here is a quick list of the issues that are resolved by having at least the 5.04 Firmware or later. Kernel core dump using kdump might not complete in Linux when using Smart Array Gen9 firmware version 4.52. Intermittent memory errors might cause the controller to stop responding. (POST Lockup 0x13)...

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Deploying Storage Spaces Direct – Part 21 – Reference Architecture #StorageSpacesDirect #MVPHour @LenovoPress

Great reference architecture is really something that vendors should pride themselves on. When looking at Storage Spaces Direct Deployments I would say that one of the leaders in getting quality documentation out to the field is @LenovoPress. Their latest work is a really great Reference Architecture Document published on March 24, 2017. Lenovo is a great partner of Microsoft and has a certified solution for Storage Spaces Direct. Building great documentation is key in today’s world because transparency in the builds is what MVP’s like myself, Dave, Allan, and Emile are looking for. I have to give a big shout...

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