Archive for January, 2009

1

A little trouble with Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V on an HS21 blade

I loaded Server 2008 R2 on an IBM HS21 blade to finally get my feet wet with Hyper-V.  Honestly until the changes in R2 I was not at all interested in the product, especially being the VMWare bigot that I am.  It was an extremely simple install, but after creation of my first VM I ran into a little trouble.

Its complaint was:

The virtual machine could not be started because the hypervisor is not running.

hyperfail

Well Hyper-V requires a little more assistance from hardware to run than ESX does.  The first thing I took care of was the setting the hypervisor to auto in the Boot Configuration Data Store with bcdedit.  The command is:

bdcedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto

Then I went ahead and updated the blade’s bios to the latest version, which is v1.12 for this model 7995 I’m running.  As with anything dealing with IBM’s website it took most of the morning just locating what I needed.  Once that was done it was time to dive into the bios settings.  Under Advanced Setup -> CPU Options I had to set “Processor Execute Disable Bit” to Enabled.

hypervbios

Once that was done Hyper-V decided to play nice and allowed my VM to boot up.  On to the next adventure with familiarizing myself with Hyper-V.

2

New Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Features

The first thing I noticed is that you actually have to forestprep and domainprep your domain in preparation for a 2008 R2 Domain Controller.

forestprep

Powershell 2.0

Windows Server 2008 R2 intriduces PowerShell 2.0, which significantly enhances the earlier version with the inclusion of more than 240 new pre-built cmdlets as well as a new graphical user interface (GUI) that adds professional-level development features for creating new cmdlets. The new GUI includes colored syntaxing, new production script debugging capabilities, and new testing tools.

PowerShell 2.0 also has a deeper reach than its predecessor, with enhanced support available on both Windows 7 and the Server Core role (which previously could not run PowerShell).

The current Active Directory command line functions have been replaced with 85 Active Directory related cmdlets.  It is also now installed out of the box, and no more installing it from the features portion of Server Manager.

graphicalpowershell

2008 R2 Functional Level

Active Directory Domain Services will be sporting a new forest functional level.  This will no doubt bring a lot of new features with it, and I’m not sure if any or all of these features listed will require that functional level.

Active Directory Recycle Bin

Deleted Active Directory items can be found in a recycle bin and can be restored as such.  I believe this will require the R2 functional level.

Offline Domain Joining

Windows 7 machines can have domain joining automated offline with XML files.  Domain Join (djoin.exe) is the tool to do so.

djoin

Authentication Assurance

Authentication Assurance provides an authentication mechanism that allows administrators to map specific certificates to security groups using certificate policies.  This is described in more detail here.  http://blogs.technet.com/activedirectoryua/archive/2008/11/21/authentication-mechanism-assurance-in-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx

Active Directory Administrative Center

The Administrative Center replaces the current Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) MMC Snap-in (dsa.msc).

actdiradmcenter

The new Management Console is a graphical shell for Powershell.  The cool thing is that after clicking together your commands, the administrative center shows the corresponding Powershell command on the screen and then executes it. Similar to Exchange 2007 Management Tools and Virtual Machine Manager 2008.

Best Practices Analyzer

Accompanying the Active Directory Administrative Center is the Active Directory Best Practices Analyzer (ADBPA), which will help Active Directory administrators to correct Active Directory problems proactively and compare Active Directory performance with previously made baselines.  Similar to Exchange’s BPA.