DPM 2016 Modern Backup Storage ReFS Volume offline and in RAW state

A couple of weeks ago a customer reported problems with a DPM 2016 server with Modern Backup Storage (MBS). Modern Backup Storage is a new approach of DPM to get a more efficient and flexible storage pool without the known limitations of the LDM database. With MBS you use storage spaces on the DPM server to add the disks to a large pool. Then on top of the storage space you create a volume or several with shares that the DPM server can use as storage instead of adding unallocated disks that DPM manages.

An explanation on MBS is not part of the scope of this blog but the problem that we had with it is related to Storage Spaces and more specific to ReFS volumes. ReFS is the new file system Microsoft has been cooking on for the last 6+ years. It has many improvements and several of them are used to make sure data corruption does not occur and if it occurs it repairs it automatically or takes actions to prevent it.

So why seems the volume on this DPM server offline, inaccessible and corrupt in a RAW file format?

In this setup

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Windows Azure Pack Support

Since the announcements and public previews of Microsoft Azure Stack (MAS), everybody including myself  is talking about and testing with MAS. But the reality is that a lot of companies have invested in Windows Azure Pack and were a little surprised that Microsoft announced before this summer that Windows Azure Pack on Windows Server 2012 R2 is supported until July 2017.

azurepacksupport

Several weeks ago Microsoft made another announcement that they are continue to invest and support in Windows Azure Pack (WAP) next to Azure Stack for 11 years! But to use the extended support you need to bring your Azure Pack environment to Windows Server 2016. MAS release is aimed for the summer of 2017 so very likely there will be a gab between end of support of WAP on Server 2012 R2 and any public available MAS appliances from HP, Dell or Lenovo…

From several customers i received questions about the support statement and what needs to be updated. Turns out it’s not that well documented and known. As you can see in the screenshot above, it states Windows Azure Pack (on Windows Server 2012 R2) and Windows Azure Pack (on Windows Server 2016). But as we all know, Windows Azure Pack is a solution based on lots of components from the Windows and the System Center family.

What to upgrade

As i said before Windows Azure Pack leans on a lot of Windows features like a Active Directory domain, IIS and Hyper-V but also on System Center components like VMM and SPF.

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System Center 2016 VMM Logical Switch Improvements

Over the last month I had some time to play around with Windows Server 2016 TP3 and VMM 2016 TP3. There were some nice improvements in the logical switch section that makes our job a bit more easy.

Back in VMM 2012 R2 you could create a logical switch with uplink profiles and classifications that you can use for all hosts and then add the virtual switch per host. Then you also have to create all virtual nics also on a per host bases. That can be a lot of work and creates room for error and name mismatches.

Now in VMM 2016 you can create you’re VNic’s in the Logical Switch object.

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SCVMM 2012 R2 UR5 Bare metal deploy downloading wrong Operating System VHDX

Last week I ran into an issue with SCVMM and Bare metal deploying Hyper-V hosts. During testing I was deploying several HP blades with the same Physical Computer Profile. But some hosts had the Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 OS, which was the one I configured in the Physical Computer Profile and others had the Windows Server 2012 R2 OS.
After recreating the .vhdx file the problem seemed to be gone, but it returned. During the deployment of de host in the WinPE mode I pressed Shift+F10 to open a command prompt and opened the VMMAgentPE.exe.log file to view any error’s. There I discovered it was downloading the wrong VHDX file.

Localized VMM 2012 R2 UR6 Console crash when changing/creating Hardware Profiles

Not very often I see server software in a different language than English but last week I was working with a customer that wants the dutch language on every server and software. There are several good arguments not to… but as the say in the Netherlands “a customer is king” 😉 So the Dutch language it is!

I installed VMM 2012 R2 in a cluster with UR6. After working with it for a while I got the error message below. After a restart I got it again when I wanted to create a hardware profile. Also when deploying a VM and got to the hardware part the console crashes. So no matter what, when I access hardware settings in VMM, the console crashes.

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