Windows Server

Hyper-V, and Automatic Virtual Machine Activation in Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced a feature called “Automatic Virtual Machine Activation” (AVMA), and now in Windows Server 2016, this feature has been carried forward. This feature was primarily designed for Web Hosters but found usefulness in internal Hyper-V server for testing lab machines.

What is Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA)?

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation is a feature that handles the activation process for an instance of Windows Server inside a Hyper-V virtual machine so it does not need to directly contact any other system to activate the Windows Server instance.

AVMA is engineered to digitally facilitate the guest virtualization rights allowance of the Windows Server Datacenter license. If the physical host is properly licensed to run Windows Server Datacenter, then any number of virtual instances running the same or a lower edition and the same or earlier version of Windows Server is included.

Requirements for Automatic Virtual Machine Activation?

You must have a Datacenter Edition of Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 2016 installed as the management operating system with the Hyper-V role enabled. AVMA is a feature of the operating system, not Hyper-V itself.

How to Configure a Virtual Machine for AVMA?

When prompted for a license key, you simply give it the key that matches the operating system of the virtual machine.

Guest Operating System’s and Keys

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
K2XGM-NMBT3-2R6Q8-WF2FK-P36R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
DBGBW-NPF86-BJVTX-K3WKJ-MTB6V

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
Y4TGP-NPTV9-HTC2H-7MGQ3-DV4TW

Windows Server 2016 Essentials
B4YNW-62DX9-W8V6M-82649-MHBKQ

Windows Server 2016 Standard
C3RCX-M6NRP-6CXC9-TW2F2-4RHYD

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
TMJ3Y-NTRTM-FJYXT-T22BY-CWG3J

These keys will be accepted by any operating system but if AVMA is not detected they will move into an unlicensed mode.

Ref: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-R2-and-2012/dn303421(v=ws.11)

 

Windows Server 2016 Core: Active Directory Domain Services

To lower my memory footprint in my home lab I decided to move from into Windows Server 2016 Core.  That said running Active Directory Domain Service seems to be the perfect candidate to start with my new architectured lab environment.

There are several prerequisites required for enabling ADDS, but I am not going to get into those here as if your reading this, there is a good chance you already know what those are.

We will be installing what is commonly referred to as a new forest/domain.

Step 1: Validate your hostname, IP address, and DNS settings

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed
  3. Use the setting options to validate your host’s configuration

 

Step 2:  Installing Domain Services 

  1. From the Windows Server 2016 Core command prompt type: powershell then press enter.
    This will change your shell mode to PowerShell allowing you to use additional commands.
  2. Type Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services -IncludeManagementTools
    This will install the ADDS roles on the Windows Server 2016 Core System
  3. When completed type: Install-ADDSForest -DomainName yourdomain.tld
    Here is where you choose the name of your domain to be installed.
  4. You will be required to provide a recovery password, please enter one and take note of it
  5. Next, you will be asked to confirm the pending changes and allow the server host to be restarted
    Click yes to continue
  6. Your server will be restarted and return as a Domain Controller

 

Step 3: Validate DC Services

  1. From the Windows Server 2016 Core command prompt type: powershell then press enter.
    This will change your shell mode to PowerShell allowing you to use additional commands.
  2. Issue the following command line: Get-Service adws,kdc,netlogon,dns
    This will return details on the installed services 
  3. Issue the command Get-SmbShare
    This returns details about available shares, specifically the systvol and netlogon shares
  4. Use the get-eventlog command to review logs
    Example: get-eventlog “Directory Service” | select entrytype, source, eventid, message

 

Windows Server 2016 Core: Apply Windows Updates, with SCONFIG

In my previous post ‘Windows Server 2016 Core Configuration, with SCONFIG‘ I stepped through how to use the sconfig tool to modify settings on Windows Server 2016 Core.  In this post, I will introduce you to how to go about running Windows Updates and applying them to your server.

Here are the steps I used:

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed
  3. Select 6 from the Server Configuration List
    This opens the Windows update software, allowing you to search for updatable software
  4. Select from the list of results the software update that you would like to download and install.
    You can choose a single update or update them all
  5. Depending on the update you may be required to reboot your system, select yes to restart

That’s it – Congrats you have updated your Windows Server 2016 Core Server

Windows Server 2016 Core Configuration, with SCONFIG

Windows Server 2016 Core has a built-in configuration tool named Sconfig.  This tool is used to configure and manage several aspects of Server Core installations. This simplifies tasks such as changing settings such as network, remote desktop, hostname and domain memberships, etc.

To use the Server Configuration Tool

  1. Log into the console of your Windows Server 2016 Core System
    You need to log in as an administrator and should arrive at a command prompt
  2. Enter the command Sconfig and press enter
    The Server Configuration tool interface should be displayed

 

Note: You can use Server Configuration Tool in 2016 Server Core and 2016 Server with Desktop Experience installations.

Install VMware Tools Windows Server 2016 Core

I just completed my install of Windows Server 2016 Core as a guest in my VMware Lab. Now that this has been completed the next step is for me to install the VMware tools so that I can take advantage of various features; specifically, template deployment with customization options

About:VMware:Tools: VMware software tools enhance the performance of the guest operating system and improve the management of the virtual machine guests operating systems.

How to install:

  1. Select your VM from vCenter and select ‘Guest OS > Install VMware Tools
    This mounts the VMware CD Image containing the installation files
  2. Inside the guest machine type ‘powershell’
    This will drop you from the command shell to powershell prompt
  3. Next type the command Get-PSDrive
    This will return the drives attached to the system
  4. Change to the drive that the VMware tools are currently mounted
    In my case, this was drive letter “D”
  5. Issue the command .\setup64.exe to start the install process

    Note: issuing just setup.exe or setup64.exe will end in an error as Windows poweshell does not load commands such as this by default 
  6. Follow the steps of the VMware tools installer and restart when completed.

 

Ref: http://jermsmit.com/howto-install-vmware-tools-on-windows-server-2102-r2-server-core/