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Live Podcast tonight at 9E Wed June 26th Installing Windows Server 2012 R2


Dave
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Hey Guys,

 

Tonight I'll be installing WS2012R2 live and while that's going on we will be taking a look at Jim's install and discussing.  We'll take the install all the way and follow up in subsequent shows.  I'll open it up to what we do to my installation.  I'm also open to inviting you guys on future shows to configure the base install.

 

Let me know how you want to tear up my install!

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I realize this is a little late, but I had a couple questions and comments on the show.

 

1) What was the discussion about installing 2012 R2 Essentials in "virtual mode"? There is a deployment for Hyper-V for the Datacenter edition, and of course as you discussed you can enable the Hyper-V ROLE in 2012 R2 Essentials, but I'm assuming you meant something different. And if so, how would one "deploy it in virtual machine mode" without a hypervisor (presumably Microsoft's Hyper-V) already installed?

 

2) I believe some people are missing the main point of the Essentials role in Server 2012. As Jim stated, you can not add 2012 Essentials (R2 or original) into a pre-existing domain. You can, however, add 2012 Server R2 into a pre-existing domain and enable the Essentials role. It's not going to give you the dashboard on the Server GUI, but you get the remote dashboard capability - and really most will switch the installation from the "with a GUI" to the less taxing core model after installation is complete and do remote management anyway.

 

3) Jim - I assume you've figured out by now that running an Essentials VM on an Essentials hypervisor in the home is a lesson in futility, since you can't add the second Essentials server (the VM) to the already created domain from the hypervisor Essentials. Unless you're running multiple domains - and then to do so from the same physical equipment is great for testing but clearly not conducive to any real world production.

 

4) The comment about not using Essentials as the primary DNS that was made by (I believe) either Mike (P.S. praying for you brother, since I don't do the science - although I do know the difference between MM and CM ;) or Paul was a little glossed over or point missed. What those of us that run separate routers (i.e pfSense or Untangle) have found is Essentials is pretty much like any MS Server OS, in that it absolutely needs to be the primary for it's DNS zone. Before everyone falls asleep with DNS talk, I'll add that most registrars still insist on at least two DNS managers for any zone (historically primary and backup) but if the MS server isn't the primary you're going to have a bad time getting computers to find it to communicate - whether they are actually attached to the domain or use the reg hack to bypass. This is why MS is so reluctant to "fix" this problem - it just isn't that easy to guarantee a computer will find the server to back up to it if a server in the domain isn't the authoritative DNS provider for systems both in - and connected to - the domain.

 

5) Jim, you're using way more RAM than needed for your VMs. :)  That said, 32 GB for a server isn't "a lot." 96GB is the low end for our VM hosts, and most of ours start at 192GB. No - this isn't home use, I realize. But remember that Hyper-V allocates "dynamic" memory differently than ESXi. ESXi won't immediately assign the memory you say to use and then move up to the maximum, but Hyper-V by default does allocate that memory to begin with.

 

6) I know M. Faucher said to not put the VMs on the OS drive, and I agree. However, using a RAID array of 10K SAS drives for the server OS and a 1TB spindle for the VMs and data is backwards. You'd be better of using the 1TB drive as the boot and data, and placing the VMs on the RAID array. Or breaking the array out into a one drive "array" for the OS, the others in a RAID 1 or 0 depending on your need for redundancy (or RAID 5 if you have 3 or more left) and use that for the VMs then put your data and server backup on the 1TB.

 P.S., Jim, I have plenty of 74, 140, and even some 300GB 10k 2.5" SAS drives if you need them. (Example: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3427371/SAS10K.jpg) Just shoot me an email before 15 JUL and they're destroyed.

 

7) Finally, anyone actually buy Server 2012 Essentials? I know we're talking about how this is the next step up from WHS 2011 and how the "forcing you into a domain" may be what prevents home users from using it. How about the fact that WHS 2011 is < $50 while 2012 Essentials is ~$500? If you didn't have Technet I doubt you'd be rushing to NewEgg to purchase it. So consider the audience; if you're paying that much money for an OS - admittedly a pittance compared to full blown server - you're probably happy that it is conveniently setting up both DNS and FSMO DC roles with relatively little user knowledge or intervention. 

 

Okay, soap-box away. I love the podcast and have been a fan since episode 1. But I hope we remain true to the HOME server group, not just the "I have a TechNet account and want to experiment" group. Even if that means moving outside the MS comfort zone and trying low/no cost home server solutions from other OS's. It *is* the "homeservershow" site, not the "Microsoft homeservershow" site, right?

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TimeKills - you are right on all points about me.  I am very new to the VM environment and am still learning.  Thanks for the schooling.

 

I would take any 3 or 4 drives you are willing to part with.  They will go into a RAID 5 so all the same size would be great.  Let me know and I will cover your shipping.

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That was a great post.  I am learning from you guys as well.  Anytime you can chat with us we could follow up on these points.  Count me in on the drives to! Let me know where to send ya the shipping costs!  Mostly though, thanks for taking the time to put that here in the forum.  Great stuff.

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7) Finally, anyone actually buy Server 2012 Essentials?

No way.  I've been "testing" S2012E in a production environment (side-by-side with WHS2011) and there are just too many problems in a home environment which I'll happily continue using WHS2011.

#1 reason NOT to use S2012E in 'my' household...Wife complains every morning that "the internet is broken AGAIN" because the DNS was reset to the server and not Google (8.8.8.8).

Sorry I missed the show, but you guys are about 6 hrs behind me and I didn't feel like waking up an 0300 on my day off. ;)

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It very well could have been me that said I use pfSense for DNS and I do.  At home I am not running a domain and not running Server 2012.  My knowledge of domains is very limited, and since I am not running one at home, my comment was not really relevant in that discussion.

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I realize this is a little late, but I had a couple questions and comments on the show.
 
1) What was the discussion about installing 2012 R2 Essentials in "virtual mode"? There is a deployment for Hyper-V for the Datacenter edition, and of course as you discussed you can enable the Hyper-V ROLE in 2012 R2 Essentials, but I'm assuming you meant something different. And if so, how would one "deploy it in virtual machine mode" without a hypervisor (presumably Microsoft's Hyper-V) already installed?
 
2) I believe some people are missing the main point of the Essentials role in Server 2012. As Jim stated, you can not add 2012 Essentials (R2 or original) into a pre-existing domain. You can, however, add 2012 Server R2 into a pre-existing domain and enable the Essentials role. It's not going to give you the dashboard on the Server GUI, but you get the remote dashboard capability - and really most will switch the installation from the "with a GUI" to the less taxing core model after installation is complete and do remote management anyway.
 
3) Jim - I assume you've figured out by now that running an Essentials VM on an Essentials hypervisor in the home is a lesson in futility, since you can't add the second Essentials server (the VM) to the already created domain from the hypervisor Essentials. Unless you're running multiple domains - and then to do so from the same physical equipment is great for testing but clearly not conducive to any real world production.
 
4) The comment about not using Essentials as the primary DNS that was made by (I believe) either Mike (P.S. praying for you brother, since I don't do the science - although I do know the difference between MM and CM ;) or Paul was a little glossed over or point missed. What those of us that run separate routers (i.e pfSense or Untangle) have found is Essentials is pretty much like any MS Server OS, in that it absolutely needs to be the primary for it's DNS zone. Before everyone falls asleep with DNS talk, I'll add that most registrars still insist on at least two DNS managers for any zone (historically primary and backup) but if the MS server isn't the primary you're going to have a bad time getting computers to find it to communicate - whether they are actually attached to the domain or use the reg hack to bypass. This is why MS is so reluctant to "fix" this problem - it just isn't that easy to guarantee a computer will find the server to back up to it if a server in the domain isn't the authoritative DNS provider for systems both in - and connected to - the domain.
 
5) Jim, you're using way more RAM than needed for your VMs. :)  That said, 32 GB for a server isn't "a lot." 96GB is the low end for our VM hosts, and most of ours start at 192GB. No - this isn't home use, I realize. But remember that Hyper-V allocates "dynamic" memory differently than ESXi. ESXi won't immediately assign the memory you say to use and then move up to the maximum, but Hyper-V by default does allocate that memory to begin with.
 
6) I know M. Faucher said to not put the VMs on the OS drive, and I agree. However, using a RAID array of 10K SAS drives for the server OS and a 1TB spindle for the VMs and data is backwards. You'd be better of using the 1TB drive as the boot and data, and placing the VMs on the RAID array. Or breaking the array out into a one drive "array" for the OS, the others in a RAID 1 or 0 depending on your need for redundancy (or RAID 5 if you have 3 or more left) and use that for the VMs then put your data and server backup on the 1TB.
 P.S., Jim, I have plenty of 74, 140, and even some 300GB 10k 2.5" SAS drives if you need them. (Example: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3427371/SAS10K.jpg) Just shoot me an email before 15 JUL and they're destroyed.
 
7) Finally, anyone actually buy Server 2012 Essentials? I know we're talking about how this is the next step up from WHS 2011 and how the "forcing you into a domain" may be what prevents home users from using it. How about the fact that WHS 2011 is < $50 while 2012 Essentials is ~$500? If you didn't have Technet I doubt you'd be rushing to NewEgg to purchase it. So consider the audience; if you're paying that much money for an OS - admittedly a pittance compared to full blown server - you're probably happy that it is conveniently setting up both DNS and FSMO DC roles with relatively little user knowledge or intervention. 
 
Okay, soap-box away. I love the podcast and have been a fan since episode 1. But I hope we remain true to the HOME server group, not just the "I have a TechNet account and want to experiment" group. Even if that means moving outside the MS comfort zone and trying low/no cost home server solutions from other OS's. It *is* the "homeservershow" site, not the "Microsoft homeservershow" site, right?

 

Really nice write-up TimeKills!  I always enjoy reading your postings.

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No way.  I've been "testing" S2012E in a production environment (side-by-side with WHS2011) and there are just too many problems in a home environment which I'll happily continue using WHS2011.

#1 reason NOT to use S2012E in 'my' household...Wife complains every morning that "the internet is broken AGAIN" because the DNS was reset to the server and not Google (8.8.8.8).

Sorry I missed the show, but you guys are about 6 hrs behind me and I didn't feel like waking up an 0300 on my day off. ;)

 

As has been mentioned in other threads, if you're running a Windows Domain, then it's important to use the Domain Controller as the DNS server. Fighting that requirement will lead to frustration. With the DC properly set up as the DNS, access to both local computers and the internet will work properly.

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It very well could have been me that said I use pfSense for DNS and I do.  At home I am not running a domain and not running Server 2012.  My knowledge of domains is very limited, and since I am not running one at home, my comment was not really relevant in that discussion.

Mike,

I came across much worse than I intended; mia culpa. I only started using pfSense after your excellent original super router write up, and am a bonofide neophyte, especially compared to you. I was pretty proud of myself building a fail-over triple VPN connection into my pfSense VM here in Iraq (can't get to anything without using a VPN from here) that specifically allows me to come out in Europe for NFL GamePass (and 90% of other traffic), in the US for Netflix, and my house for banking.

 

I have, and do, manage a LOT of MS DNS machines though. And they don't play nice. Every time I've fired up 2012 Essentials in either a VM here or at my house prior to deploying I've regretted adding anyone's PCs to it besides mine. Invariably it will eventually wreak havoc with my pfSense DNS (straight 8.8.8.8/8.8.4.4) or even my home wireless router, causing one or more PCs on it to have no name resolution capability.

 

I love the speed in backups and relative ease of management it brings, but it also brings the requirement to do honest to goodness server management which I can't always do at my house when the "internet is down" and I'm 15,000 miles away. WHS 2011 may be slower, but if it goes down, that is ALL that goes down.

 

Not trying to play Debbie Downer here, I just think we (and I mean the royal we - really the core group of y'all who lead the voice of the podcast" should be careful in being advocates of this for the home. it's expensive, it requires a modicum of troubleshooting and maintenance, and there are other options, even still in the MS world.

 

P.S. I still can't believe your physician mixed up MM and CM (milimeters and centimeters.) Granted my background was in chemistry, but come on. There are a few places you just don't mess up on measurements that I can think of and probably 5 of the top 10 are all in the medical fields. Explosives come to mind in that top ten as well...I mean there is standard deviation and then there is "WTF, over?"

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15,000 miles? Wait a sec, the whole planet is only 25,000 miles around. Doesn't that mean you're 10,000 miles away from home?? :D :D Just teasing BTW; I know it could be 15,000 flying miles to get home ;)

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