Been a hectic past year, but I’ll hopefully be updating this blog a bit more frequently now.
After all the fun of dealing with NETBIOS in a previous Field Notes post, you would have thought I would have learnt my lesson: always check NETBIOS name resolution when working with System Center products! Alas, I encountered another head-scratcher, and (spoiler alert!) NETBIOS was once again the culprit.
Traditionally, IT departments have been seen as either “the people who fix the magic box I use for work” or “the people who break the magic box I use for work”. They are black holes for budgets, always under-staffed and overworked, blamed when something changes, but never praised when it all carries on serenely. IT departments are not all cloud providers, and so resource is almost always constrained in some respects, but the rest of the business is rarely aware of this fact.
Microsoft has made a big push for Server Core as the default installation option for servers in recent times in order to reduce the number of required patches, reduce the installation footprint, and make the OS more secure by removing unnecessary features. As a result of this, knowing how to do things in PowerShell is becoming absolutely essential and, with the introduction of Nano Server in Windows Server 2016 (which has no GUI at all!), the command line will once again be king.
If you are using HNV for your VMs, you may run into the following error when connecting a VM to a VM network:
As you may have guessed from recent posts, I have been doing a bit of work around upgrading the System Center components for a customer from 2012 SP1 to 2012 R2. Part of doing this work in different environments is finding out all of the little niggly things that could go wrong as part of the upgrade, as well as any undocumented post-upgrade tasks to get your environment back up and running smoothly again.
Sometimes when you are doing an upgrade of a piece of software, you come across some …interesting problems. I encountered a couple such problems recently when upgrading System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 SP1 to R2.
I’ve been working with a customer to perform an upgrade of their entire System Center suite from 2012 SP1 to 2012 R2. Microsoft have the order and procedures for the upgrade fairly well documented on Technet, but there are a few pieces missing; I encountered one such piece when upgrading Operations Manager (SCOM).
Tale 1 – VMM
Network Virtualisation using Generic Route Encapsulation (NVGRE) is one of the main network virtualisation technologies in the industry today. Championed primarily by Microsoft, it utilises GRE tunnels to encapsulate network packets from VMs and thus segregate traffic between virtual networks. It is one of the key components of Hyper-V Network Virtualisation (HNV), along with the Hyper-V virtual switch; the packets are encapsulated on egress through the virtual switch on a “compute” host, and de-encapsulated on ingress into another virtual switch on a “gateway” host. The traffic is then routed accordingly by a VM, or cluster of VMs, sitting on this gateway host. The virtual networks are known as “Customer” networks, and the encapsulation network is known as the “Provider” network.