Tag Archives: Windows Server 2008

Server Core – What's in it for me?

Server Core, it’s sweet isn’t it? Well, it seems there’s a few of us who actually believe it is. There seems to be a huge misunderstanding that it’s hard to configure, hard to use and that it has to defend itself every time someone even thinks about selecting it from the install menu.

In a few videos I’ve shown how to install it, initial configuration and lastly how to install and configure a failover-cluster with iscsi on Server Core.

If you need more help and maybe some stuff to print out you can find it here:

Microsoft Server Core Step-by-Step-guide: http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library/47a23a74-e13c-46de-8d30-ad0afb1eaffc1033.mspx?mfr=true

Petro.co.il has a guide too: http://www.petri.co.il/managing-windows-2008-server-core-locally.htm

Jorge de Almeida Pinto has a guide also: http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/jorge/archive/2008/03/26/a-new-gang-in-town-server-core-w2k8.aspx

Sander Berkouwer has one too: http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderberkouwer/archive/2008/03/24/sc-enario-the-kitchen-cupboard-server.aspx

Andrew Masons blog: http://blogs.technet.com/server_core

Microsoft Technet Forums: http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=582&SiteID=17

As you might have guessed by now, there’s a bunch of guides. There’s a bunch of users. CMD will get you eventually and rule the world probably.

Server Core Cluster – How it's done

Having received a bunch of emails (what’s wrong with the comment-section?) about the failover-cluster construction, I’ve decided to explain it in a little bit more detail.

The basic network layout looks something like this


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After that setup in Hyper-V I installed Starwind from Rocketdivision which lets my Windows Server 2008 act as an iSCSI-target for the other machines. I created two disks and connected to these with the ISCSICLI on Server Core making the connections persistent. You’ll need to enable shared access for clustering to work.

The commands used are:

Starting the service:
sc config msiSCSI start= auto (note the space)
net start msiSCSI

Connecting the disks:
iSCSIcli QAddTargetPortal [Portal IP Address]
iSCSIcli ListTargets
iSCSIcli QloginTarget [Target Name]
iSCSIcli PersistentLoginTarget [Target Name] T * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 0
iSCSIcli ListPersistentTargets
iSCSIcli ReportTargetMappings

If you know the names of the disks you can skip adding the target portal and listing the disks. You might need to add each server to the initiator list and if you’re adding authentication you’ll need to logon. (My example doesn’t use that yet, hence I haven’t tried it)

Once the disks are connected to one server you can either connect to the VDS with the MMC (just make sure the firewall is open on both servers for it to work) or configure the disk with diskpart from command-line.

You can find Starwind here:
 http://www.rocketdivision.com/wind.html

Here’s a great link with more information about iSCSI: http://blogs.technet.com/josebda/archive/2007/12/18/configuring-the-microsoft-iscsi-software-target.aspx

And here’s the movie with the result:

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