Historically, the adoption rate on major server releases is slow. With Windows Server 2016 about to hit one year in the release cycle, more organizations are gearing up to deploy the operating system in their environments. That being the case, it seemed appropriate to walk through an install of Microsoft Windows Server 2016 as the guest OS in a vSphere 6.5 environment.
NOTE – Server 2016 is fully supported from ESXi 5.5 and up, as per the VMware Compatibility Guide.
Here is an issue more on the obscure side; nevertheless, it may prove beneficial to someone, somewhere, at some point. The issue pertains to a SQL database going Suspect after a Zerto Failover. To adequately explain the cause, we will first look at Microsoft SQL Server best practices for both VMware and Zerto.
Let’s start with VMware best practices. Assuming the back-end storage is spinning disks and the virtual disks reside on VMFS volumes, VMware recommends separating SQL files. Meaning, SQL Server binaries, SQL data (mdf), SQL transaction logs (ldf), and tempdb files are placed on separate VMDKs. Since SQL Server accesses all that data in different I/O patterns, separating their files helps minimize disk head movements and limits I/O contention; thus optimizing storage performance. The disk configuration in the affected environment looked like this:
Attention Veeam and Microsoft Exchange 2016 users; if you are running Veeam B&R against your Microsoft Exchange 2016 environment, you may want to wait to upgrade to Exchange Cumulative Update 5.
As noted in Veeam Digest, customers who upgraded to CU5 are experiencing restore failures while utilizing Veeam Explorer for Exchange.
The specific restore failures pertain to mailbox item-level recoveries, which are failing due to a significant change in the mailbox database structure. Typically, users receive an error stating Invalid property BLOB.
Veeam is in the process of updating Veeam Explorer for Exchange to be able to parse the new blob format correctly. They plan to include the fix in Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 2.
If you are trying to install .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2016, there is a good chance you will run into this error. The prompt states ‘Do you need to specify an alternate source? One or more installation selections are missing source files on the destination.’
Unlike other features of Windows Server, .NET Framework needs access to the source directory to install.
To begin, ensure that you have the Server 2016 installation media readily available. In this byte, we will be mounting the media to the virtual machine from a datastore in our environment.
In line with our Windows Server 2016 Data Deduplication topic yesterday, I wanted to provide some additional information on the deduplication process, including how to enable or disable this feature.
First, a little bit of background. Deduplication has been around for years, but in recent years it has taken a more prominent role. In its simplest form, deduplication optimizes free space on a volume by identifying and eliminating redundant data. During the deduplication process, once redundant data is identified, it is effectively removed and a reference is made to a unique copy of the data. This allows you to store more data in less space. Space savings from deduplication ranges depending on dataset content. Datasets with large amounts of duplicated data can see optimization rates up to 95%. More on typical space savings can be found here.
Installing Data Deduplication Server Role:
Navigate to Add Roles and Features from the Server Manager Dashboard.