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Technical Articles

Building and Maintaining a Microsoft Cloud

Step-by-step technical articles documenting how to deploy and manage a hyper-converged Microsoft cloud infrastructure with Windows Server 2016.


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Monitor Storage Spaces Direct Pool Capacity with PowerShell

This article provides PowerShell code and examples to analyze Windows Storage Spaces Direct pools and returns the current storage capacity, free space and other values including the amount of free space required to automatically rebuild a failed disk. Purpose Monitoring ... continue reading

Configure Storage Spaces Direct on a Virtual Lab – Step by Step

Last year Argon Systems created a very popular article Configuring Storage Spaces Direct – Step by Step. That article described the process of building an Storage Spaces Direct hyper-converged cluster on actual hardware servers. We recently published a related article How to Build ... continue reading

How to Build Windows Storage Spaces Direct on a Virtual Lab

This article describes how to build a Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct virtual lab, step-by-step on a Windows 10 desktop or laptop PC. This virtual lab environment is capable of emulating a complete cluster of storage servers, each with ... continue reading

Ultimate Performance for Database Storage with Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-converged Infrastructure

Argon Systems has developed the ultimate high-performance storage solution using Storage Spaces Direct on Windows Server 2016. It is an all flash array configured with NVDIMM and NVMe hardware and high speed networking components. Hyper-converged storage technology has been focused on a converged compute ... continue reading

How to Verify Your Hardware is Microsoft Logo Certified

Microsoft has an extensive and active program to certify hardware and software from Microsoft partners.  This certification includes numerous software tests which verify that the hardware or software product works correctly in a Microsoft infrastructure. Components that can be certified ... continue reading

New DHCP Server shows 169.254.xxx.xxx

When configuring a new DHCP server, often the configuration wizard automatically creates a binding to a random network adapter. If this adaptor is not configured or is unplugged, then the DHCP wizard will use the IP address available – often ... continue reading

Configure the Network Ports on a Windows Cluster

Windows clustering requires the network configuration be complete and accurate. The network ports should be configured with IP Addresses, DNS, Default Gateways and any other relevant networking details. The DNS IP address will likely be your Active Directory servers, otherwise you ... continue reading

Creating a Windows 2016 Installer on a USB Drive

Windows Server 2016 can be installed in a similar fashion as the last several releases. In this example we will create a bootable USB drive with Windows Server 2016 available to install. The classic method of creating a Windows Installation USB drive ... continue reading

Create Scale-Out SMB Shares

Now we will create SMB shares on the Windows Scale-Out File Server.  Each share will be attached a Virtual Disk. Multiple shares can be created for a Virtual Disk, or you can elect to create only a single share for ... continue reading

Configuring Storage Spaces Direct on Windows Server Core

Windows Server Core is a trimmed down version of Windows which has no GUI support. Management of Server Core is accomplished either by command line local to the server, or via GUI utilities from a separate server running Windows GUI ... continue reading

Create the Windows Cluster

We will now create the Windows 2016 or 2012r2 cluster on the domain joined systems. Log onto one of the systems using a domain administrator account. This procedure is run on only one node. Run the following PowerShell command: Test-Cluster –Node node-1,node-2 ... continue reading

Name the Systems and Join to Windows Domain

We are joining the Storage Spaces cluster to a Windows Domain.  Join every cluster node to your domain and rename the nodes to match your IT standard naming scheme. This is done in the standard Windows methodology via the Server ... continue reading

Supermicro IPMI and Active Directory Integration

Supermicro IPMI has the capability to use Active Directory to authenticate users without having to add each individual user to the IPMI system on each server device.   Instead of authenticating a user against the internal IPMI user database, the IPMI ... continue reading

Create Scale-Out File System on Windows Cluster

The Scale-out File System service provides a distributed multi-access service for SMB shares on Windows 2012r2 and 2016.  This allows access to network file shares as a service, so access can migrate from node to node, and in some cases allow simultaneous access ... continue reading

Add Storage Spaces as a Cluster Resource

This article will show a step-by-step procedure on how to add Storage Spaces storage and disks as a Windows Cluster Resource on Windows Server 2012r2 and 2016 We will use the Failover Cluster Manager instead of PowerShell for the next operations since these same ... continue reading

Create a Two-Node Windows Cluster

This article describes the steps to create a Two-Node Windows 2012r2 Cluster to be used for storage services as well as host Hyper-V VMs. Prerequisites Both nodes should be domain joined Prerequisite Roles and Features installed (see Windows Cluster and Storage ... continue reading

Windows Cluster and Storage Spaces Prerequisite Roles and Features

Each cluster member server requires a set of Windows Roles and Features to be installed and configured. Note: These prerequisites must be installed on every cluster node. Open a PowerShell window and run the following commands on all nodes.  At ... continue reading

Create a Virtual Disk on Storage Spaces Standard

Creating Virtual Disks This article describes how to create Multiple Virtual Disks (Spaces) on a single Windows 2012r2 Storage Pool .  Each Virtual Disk can be configured with various performance and reliability parameters.   The parameters on the Virtual Disk can be ... continue reading

Create Storage Pool on Storage Spaces Standard

Windows Storage Spaces pool is a data structure that groups disks into a pool.  Virtual Disks are carved out of disks within a pool.  Disk failures are also repaired within a storage pool. This procedure applies to Windows Server 2012 R2. For the following ... continue reading

Configure network ports on Windows Clustered Systems

Each node of a Windows Cluster should be configured exactly the same including the networking parameters (other than unique IP addresses for each system). Configure IP Addresses Every node on a Windows Cluster should be configured with IP Addresses DNS ... continue reading

Installing Mellanox Network Card device drivers

The drivers for the Mellanox NIC card may already be on the Windows distribution, but should be updated to the latest version.   Download the drivers and run the setup file that comes with the driver package. Datasheets and documentation: ConnectX®-3 EN ... continue reading

Configuring Multipath IO on Windows Cluster Systems

Multipath IO (MPIO) is required when more than one computer system is attached to the same set of shared disks. MPIO is also required when attaching additional storage externally via the SAS ports located on the rear of each of the system nodes ... continue reading

Hyper-V VMs fail with error 0x80070569 while Starting or Live Migrating

Symptom Virtual Machines on Hyper-V fail with error 0x80070569 to Start, Stop or fail to move (Live Migration or Quick Migration).   Also new Virtual Machines fail.  The error messages may vary, but if running the command:  GPUPDATE /force fixes the situation, ... continue reading

Network Tuning – BIOS settings for Mellanox Network cards

This article documents the BIOS parameter settings to achieve the best performance for Mellanox Network Cards. Adjust the following BIOS settings Disable Hyper-Threading Set CPU Power to High Performance Procedure Boot to BIOS and go to Advanced Select CPU Configuration ... continue reading

System Error 1240 Has Occurred

Attempting to mount a client to an SMB network share and you can receive the message: Err Msg: System Error 1240 Has Occurred. The Account is Not Authorized to Login from This Station. Symptom When connecting to a network share ... continue reading

Configuring a Windows Cluster Quorum Witness

Computer clusters require 3 or more voting member systems to be stable. A 2-node cluster can become unstable in certain circumstances without a third node or a disk or network share quorum member.   This separate disk or network share acts as ... continue reading

Windows can’t be installed on drive…

When installing Windows onto a new system and the target drive was previously used for another purpose or operating environment, the Windows Installer sometimes fails with the message “Windows can’t be installed on drive …” Symptom When the Windows Installer attempts to install on ... continue reading

Expanding Virtual HDs managed by Windows Failover Cluster

This article explains how to expand a VHD or VHDx Virtual Hard Drive on hosts under the control of Windows Cluster Services while the VM is down or offline. Step 1 - Use Cluster Manager to expand the VHD file ... continue reading

Configuring Storage Spaces Direct – Step by Step

This article is a simplified walk through for configuring Storage Spaces Direct on a four node cluster running Windows 2016 Technical Preview 5.  TP5 has a new feature set which will build the storage pool and storage tiers automatically. In ... continue reading

Clearing Disks on Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

This article provides instructions to clear out old storage pools, virtual disks and meta data left behind on hard drives on Storage Spaces Direct infrastructures. Introduction When inserting disk drives into servers, and the disk was pulled from a server which had ... continue reading
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