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

Hyper-V Core 2016: Building A Workgroup Cluster – Part 3, Security Setup

Windows Server 2016 features workgroup cluster support. In Part 3, I’ll give an overview of the required security adjustments you’ll need to make on your hosts and admin PC to get everyone to play nice. Continue reading


Hyper-V Core 2016: Building A Workgroup Cluster – Part 2, Hardware

Windows Server 2016 features workgroup cluster support. In Part 2, I’ll give an overview of the lab on which I built my cluster. Continue reading


Hyper-V Core 2016: Building A Workgroup Cluster – Part 1


If you’re keeping up with the latest release of Windows Server, Windows Server 2016 brings some interesting new features to the table. One particular item caught my eye: multi-domain and workgroup clusters. Does it work? Can I use it on the free Hyper-V Core? Let’s check it out. Continue reading


Bypassing NetApp’s LUN Geometry Limit


When you’re creating a LUN for the very first time, you may not consider the future, but there’s an aspect to LUN sizing that can be very important further down the road. Getting this detail wrong means sometime in the distant (or not) future copying all your data from this LUN onto a new one. Think this one through.

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Fixing a Broken CIFS/NetBIOS Alias

After shifting CIFS duties off a Windows server and onto our NetApp SAN, we wanted to take over the name of the Windows Server and have those requests hit the SAN instead. We kept our directory structure intact, hoping that users wouldn’t need to make any changes, in order for their usual paths to still work.

Well, one alias worked just fine, and the other didn’t.

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Using NetApp ‘Open Systems SnapVault’ to Perform Data Migration

If you’re familiar with Open Systems Snapvault, then you know it’s a way for a non-NetApp system to ‘vault’ it’s data off onto NetApp storage. NetApp intends to provide a way to keep data backed up in the Vault… but what if you’re trying to migrate off that source system? 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