Hyper-V ‘Quick Deploy’ VMs with Powershell & Differencing Disk

Creating VMs in Hyper-V the manual way is easy enough – lovely wizard, boot from ISO, install your OS, boot in, patch it up, be on your way. But it takes time I don’t have. It also takes tons of disk space, which I also don’t have (I’m running off a laptop’s SSD). How can we speed things up while slimming down?  Continue reading


Hyper-V Core 2016: Building A Workgroup Cluster – Part 4, Cluster Setup

Windows Server 2016 features workgroup cluster support. In Part 4, I’ll give an overview of putting the actual cluster together. If you’ve never build a Windows cluster, the most important thing is ensuring you keep all nodes in lock-step with each other, so pay close attention and be consistent. Continue reading

Automating VMWare NFS Datastore Creation using the NetApp Powershell Toolkit

20151023 powershell datastores

Let’s say the Widgets team asks you, the storage administrator for a new datastore to be added in VMWare…

What information do you need to collect about the nature of the datastore?

  • Do you want that on SAS or SATA (maybe these VMs run everything they need in RAM, and rely little on disk, but need a lot of it)?
  • In which datacenter will this datastore reside?
  • What’s the purpose of this datastore, ie, how can it be differentiated from the others, and therefore named?
  • Which environment is it for? Production, Test, Dev, DR, a specific team?

Great, now that we have the facts, what are the steps for delivering the new datastore? Continue reading

NetApp & The Powershell Toolkit – Building More Intelligent Aggregate Selection

Give me all the disks of a certain flavor
I am new to Powershell, but realize its value and significance in the future — after all, Windows Server Core has arrived, environments are growing in breadth and number, and there will be a tipping point where some degree of automation is going to be the only way a sysadmin can keep up.

To that end, I’ve been working with the NetApp Powershell Toolkit for some time. I’ve been using modified sample scripts to do things like create scheduled Flexclones of volumes containing SQL databases (and other no-SQL DB volumes) for Disaster Recovery or testing purposes. Now, with the help of my DevOps teammate I am attempting to leverage some Powershell voodoo to create more exciting home-grown scripts. Continue reading