I have a stack of old laptops sitting here from work (I occasionally get the old ones back when they are retired). It occurred to me that laptops would make a very good “home server stack” environment. Here is my reasoning…
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Today I am working on setting up a BackupPC server to take remote internal centralized backups of some of our other servers on the cheap.

I already had BackupPC installed and the basics configured but I needed to add a new drive to the system (for additional backup data storage) and I also needed to setup a new NIC connection. My Ubuntu Server is running on Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 on a Server 2012 host machine so adding all the new hardware was as simple as a few clicks.

Normally I am a command-line guy but this server is going to be managed ongoing by folks who are less Linux savvy so I wanted to install some additional software that would make their life easier. To that end, I am using Webmin.

During the course of adding additional storage to my VM I ran into some headaches related to Hyper-V and Linux storage formatting of GPT disks larger than 2 TB.

Sounds like a very specific use case? I think it is quicky becoming more common as A.) Storage gets cheaper and therefore larger and B.) Microsoft Hyper-V sees more adoption as it is now decently featured and has attractive pricing for people with existing Windows infrastructure. Hopefully this article will help you avoid the trouble I ran into when setting up a new large disk on an Ubuntu Hyper-V VM…
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I have been seeing some really odd issues lately on a couple of our Hyper-V hosts. I initially had chocked the issues up to slow storage access speeds caused by a possibly defunct storage controller on one particular server. However, recently the issues got worse. I was getting random errors that were preventing me from deleting snapshots. After a quick google search the answer came back as “turn off your server’s anti-virus”. Sure enough, turning the anti-virus software off cleared up the issues I was having.

This is just one more thing that persuades me that Antivirus software tends to cause more problems than it prevents. I get the argument for it. Especially on endpoints where PEBKAC issues run rampant… But it causes a lot of headaches…

My-2-cents…

The company I work for has some rather remote offices and we are in the process of virtualizing some of our infrastructure components, particularly our remote domain controllers. I have done a remote DC deployment in one of our other foreign offices and the replication of the Domain took quite a while. In that case, I didn’t realize I would be rebuilding a domain controller in virtual until after I showed up at the office. This time though I know what I am going into. So… the goal? Build the DC here as a Hyper-V VM, export it to an encrypted drive, take it with me, and re-import the VM to the new Hyper-V server I will be putting in on the other side. I realize I will need to make some DNS updates as the AD server’s IP will be changing but, based on what I have read, I think this should go pretty smoothly! Wish me luck!

The company I work for is a relatively small shop when it comes to virtualization and especially when it comes to Hyper-V. So that means I am usually working on individual host servers and not doing any kind of grand scale configuration using SCCM or some other enterprise level tool. I think most folks in small-to-medium size businesses with existing infrastructure probably have a similar “use-case scenario” when it comes to Hyper-V.

We use Hyper-V primarily for development and test servers and often enough I get asked to deploy new servers. Now, the way I used to go about doing this was to create a new blank server, new empty VHD file, insert Server 2012 (or 2008 R2 or whatever…) CD/DVD ISO file and install from scratch. In this case, the actual install isn’t all that bad. Server 2012 particularly installs quite quickly. However downloading and installing all of the bloody Microsoft updates can take hours, tack onto that configuring the server for our environment and well, it gets to be a couple hours of work at least.
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