Hyper-V Server 2016 in a workgroup – Part 1

Pop quiz: Which Operating System edition from Microsoft has been free for use throughout it’s almost 10 year long lifespan?

Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

What is it?

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization product. It lets you create and run a software version of a computer, called a virtual machine. Each virtual machine acts like a complete computer, running an operating system and programs. When you need computing resources, virtual machines give you more flexibility, help save time and money, and are a more efficient way to use hardware than just running one operating system on physical hardware.+

Hyper-V runs each virtual machine in its own isolated space, which means you can run more than one virtual machine on the same hardware at the same time. You might want to do this to avoid problems such as a crash affecting the other workloads, or to give different people, groups or services access to different systems.

Virtualization

VMware

There are 3 big players in the virtualization scene. VMware is probably the most well-known player and has been around for a long time. I have worked with ESX from their 2.5 days somewhere in 2004. While many things have changed, the basics are still the same.

You start with the Hardware > Installation of Hypervisor > Management through web interface. This is basically it. ESX has become picky with web browsers but in theory all you need is your web browser to do all the things on your server.

Hyper-V

Microsoft began with Hyper-V as a direct competitor against VMware with the introduction of Windows Server 2008 (aka the Vista edition). Yes it was a 1.0 product for them but it worked. One advantage and probably a disadvantage at the same time was that it could be a dedicated role on your server but it also allowed you to use your server as a regular server with the role Hyper-V on the side. Management throughout the GUI was done by a MSC (Microsoft Management Console snap-in). If you had a full server installed with GUI it was easy to manage on the server itself otherwise you almost had to have the server joined in a domain to manage it. It was possible to manage it from a workgroup but you would have to ‘break’ security on the server-side and perform some DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) actions on the managing computer that resemble working with a crowbar.

XenServer

Xen backed by Citrix is the third player in the Hypervisor scene. Began as open-source project, was bought by Citrix and given back to the community. In comparison to VMware and Hyper-V it looks more like VMware. I have never worked with the pre-Citrix area of this product but from version 5.6 on you could manage your server through the XenCenter application, a Windows only program. There were alternatives for Linux like OpenXenManager but they were not officially supported by Citrix. The XenCenter application allows to connect to your server over the network with a username and password.

The Interfaces

vSphere 6.5 webclient, navigation bar on the left, menu bar on the top, content in the large screen. It’s okay for regular use. In previous versions you could ‘hack’ the performance monitoring tab to extend the only one hour limit of the free version to 3 days but this doesn’t seem to be possible anymore which is a shame and kind of negative point if you don’t have another system monitoring performance (which is kind of unusual in homelab setups)

Vsphere 6.5 interface

Hyper-V Manager, traditional MMC layout. List on the left, middle part has the content, right side covers the action bar. The Hyper-V Manager has has the basics of what you could do with a VM. Performance monitoring is real-time and will show only live CPU usage and Memory demand/usage.

Hyper-V 2016 interface

XenCenter, navigation bar on the left, toolbar with operations on the top, works with tabs for each different feature. Works great and I love the performance graphs. In previous releases Citrix sometimes used to change the feature level of the free edition and in the 6.x era you could enable enterprise features by using an older client but there is no need for these tricks anymore for regular users.

XenServer 7.2 interface

And XenCenter has one small benefit over the other 2 products with small and simple console allow you to start or shutdown VM’s on the console.

And XenServer has a simple interface on the server for basic operation.

 

Part 1 Finished

I won’t be going into much details which product is better for what reason but I chose Hyper-V Server for 1 reason as my ‘home‘ server. While VMware and Xen are pure virtualization hosts Hyper-V allows me to use my server also as a file server.

Sure you can run a guest VM on VMware or Xen with multiple terabytes storage but my files are more important that a virtual machine and keeping my files on my harddisk on a VMFS formatted datastore in a VMDK or a XenServer Storage Repository running LVM and ext3 could be hell is something goes wrong with the hypervisor. I prefer to have my files on a harddisk and in case of a server failure I can remove the disk out of my server and plug it into a USB dock. Couldn’t be more simple than that.

Next time

Part 2 will cover the commands to make the most kickass home server setup for file sharing and running some VM’s.

 

H.264 H.265/HEVC Video Extension – Windows 10 Insider

Windows 10 logo

About restoring your video playing experience. HEVC Video Extension on Microsoft Store

The last fey days I had some trouble getting the latest Windows insider slow ring update on my main pc. (Version 16232). I’ve seen this screen a few times now:

Something to do with drivers on my installation. I had to uninstall some drivers from my mouse, audio- and graphics-card to get the update the update installed. Stupid thing about the error was that the GSOD (Green Screen of Death) was at the end of the setup and it automatically did a rollback. I couldn’t choose any other way and with the rollback it also wiped the installation files. Thankfully the rollback works great and as soon as the old Windows installation is up and running it sees an insider update and downloads the whole set again and again and so on….

But anyway I’m running now Build 16232 with the Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge functionality. More info on this feature here and here.

The next day after installing the update and my drivers again 🙂 I wanted to resume watching a video on my pc. The video opened with the default Movies and TV app which I actually really like and audio started but my screen kept black.

Maybe I didn’t see the announcement (or maybe there is no announcement as I still can’t find it when googling for it now) but it looks like Microsoft has pulled H.264, x264, H.265 aka HEVC codec support and maybe more from their base OS. You now have to install a small add-on from the store to get the functionality back.

Download it from Microsoft here:

microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/hevc-video-extension/9n4wgh0z6vhq

It probably has something to do with royalties or some lawsuit for a patent infringement but it’s a bit weird there was absolutely no information out there before this happened. The word H265 or H264 hasn’t been mentioned at the Windows Insider blog for the last year.

After installing this add-on I could play my video files again.

 

 

Windows Home Server 2011 End of Mainstream Support – Users left abandoned

Windows Server logo

Windows Home Server 2011 mainstream support has ended in the second quarter of 2017

What does this mean for you?

This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for the Home Server-specific components that make up Windows Home Server 2011. If you are still running Windows Home Server 2008 or Windows Home Server 2011, Microsoft recommends bringing in a new device running Windows Server Standard or Windows Server Essentials and migrating your roles, features and data to the new appliance. Today’s new hardware is significantly faster and cheaper and can better handle the latest Windows security infrastructure, roles and features. Customers moving to a modern operating system will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device support, higher user productivity, and a lower total cost of ownership through improved management capabilities.

Why migrate from Windows Home Server to Windows Server Essentials?

The latest versions of Windows Server Essentials support improvements in security, scalability, and manageability, and it contains device driver support for new hardware and silicon.
Simplified setup. There is no easier way to set up a server than using the Windows Server Essentials Out-of-Box experience. Windows Server Essentials configures AD, certificate services, and DNS. It helps get a public domain name set up, and it generates and installs SSL certificates and everything you need to get started with your own hybrid cloud setup.
Data redundancy and single pool of storage. Windows Server Essentials includes a feature called Storage Spaces that provides data redundancy and storage pooling functionality like that provided by Drive Extender in WHS. Windows Server Essentials has a much more reliable and resilient storage subsystem.
Centralized PC backup and restore. Windows Server Essentials includes the next generation version of the centralized PC backup and restore functionality from Windows Home Server 2011 as well as centralized File History storage for all your PCs. Windows Server Essentials supports up to 75 PC backups vs. Windows Home Server’s 25 PC backup limitation. Windows Server Essentials 2016 also supports backing up volumes to Azure and backing up VMs to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).
Centralized PC and server health monitoring. Windows Server Essentials includes health monitoring, both for the server itself as well as for all the connected PCs.
Document and media sharing. Windows Server Essentials can share content using SMB, iSCSI or NFS. Windows Server Essentials 2016 no longer includes the media streaming codecs, however, we found that people were not actually using that feature and they prefer to decode in the respective media applications.
Remote access. Windows Server Essentials has the remote access gateway feature that automatically generates SSL certificates for your server from GoDaddy. Essentials includes a web-based client for accessing home documents and media, and you can also remote desktop into the server if needed for administration purposes.

IO

Yeah, so this means the product line Home Server is dead and users are forced to migrate an domain, certificates and data. Well data migration isn’t that hard, a basic copy can do the job, but before they can do this they need to setup Storage Spaces which is a new concept for them.

Storage Pools

Do you know how to setup a storage pool with existing data? Well you don’t because it’s not possible…

Migrate Domain

Migrating a domain controller and removing the first existing domain controller used to be a lot of work if done properly. Good thing Microsoft made it easier with 2016. Basically all you need to do is delete the Computer Account from Active Directory Sites and Services (dsa.msc) and after this open a elevated Command Prompt or Powershell and

type ntdsutil and enter. 
Then metadata cleanup
Next type remove selected server <yourservername>

There is still one little issue with this. Server 2016 Essentials is designed to be a domain controller. If you are following the wizard pages after you login you will end up with another domain and joining the first domain will be a hard job. You have to cancel the wizard and join your new 2016 Essentials server manually to the existing domain.

Certificates

You will also have to import the EFS (Encrypted File System) and CA (Certification Authority) from one server to another.

EFS migratation contains files and certificates. The File is located in

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA

And you will need to export a certificate under the Administrator account Certificates\Personal\ of the File Recovery type. Export with private key or else you can’t use it.

For the CA feature there are more guides around on the interwebs.

Microsoft hasn’t made a guide for the 2016 edition yet, but the 2012 doesn’t seem that off.

 

So does this sound easy peasy for you? Well go ahead then with your new server (with new harddisks) if you have the funds and are willing to pay for it. It’s just $559 at the Microsoft Store 🙂 Not really a home product isn’t it….

YouTube Flash app for TVs no longer available

News from YouTube: full article here

The YouTube Flash app on older TV device models will no longer be available starting June 26th 2017. If your TV model is from 2012 or earlier, you likely have this older version of the YouTube app which looks like this:

https://lh6.ggpht.com/NtgdkDiRhyp6p7ip4ucrWS7enrV6She7q1aVV0frGra1Lnk5guTQYeeYo7UQhDFz8f5z_k8=w280-h158

In 2012, YouTube and our device partners started distributing an HTML5 version of the YouTube app for TVs. This app has many new features and other improvements that are not available on the older Flash app. We now think it is the right time to end-of-life this app because as we continue to roll out new features to the current YouTube on TV app (topic tabs, improved search, watch next, recommendations, better transport controls, etc.) the legacy devices using the Flash app cannot get them.

How to continue watching YouTube

If your device is impacted by this launch, you can still continue watching YouTube using the following methods:

Buy Buy Buy!

YouTube and TV manufactures aren’t giving you any option if you’re TV isn’t working anymore with probably the most used app on a smart tv besides buying some additional or a new device.

I feel that everyone who bought a 2012 or 2013 line-up tv and has no more YouTube support is being screwed by the tv maker. They should have made an update for their existing (another word for already sold) products if they sold their product as a smart tv. I can’t image that a car manufacturer would get away if they knew the tire would fall of in a few years and they didn’t do anything about it, waited until the tire felt off it and told you to buy a new car.

Wish they would make tv without any kind of smart function in it. I would even prefer that version of the tv if it’s the same price as an identical one with a Soc, extra Memory, Storage, WiFi, etc, etc.

 

Wrecked (2016-) – a Lost spoof

About

A new comedy on TBS about a bunch of nobodies who get stranded on a desert island after their plane goes down and all hell breaks loose.

Storyline

Wrecked follows a group of extremely diverse survivors of a plane crash on a remote island who must adjust to life in a dangerous new world that poses unique threats — mostly brought upon themselves. No longer plugged in, the group must navigate this new society and learn to live without the comforts of modern life…like social media, Wi-Fi, indoor plumbing and Chipotle.

Cast

Ratings

IMDB 7.0/10

Audience Score 84%

Critics Consensus: Wrecked is an imaginative spoof of Lost with a game cast that doesn’t have enough good material to work with.

Trivia

Season 1 is filmed in Puerto Rico, Season 2 in Fiji.

“Wrecked” plays as an amalgamation of three different television series: “Lost”, “Gilligan’s Island”, and “Police Squad”, with the actors playing out the absurd situations (most of which they unwittingly create themselves) and dialogue completely straight.

The character of Liam is clearly an homage to the character of Jack in Lost. Liam dies in the pilot episode when the nose of the plane crushes him. The original idea in Lost was to have Jack killed off in the pilot episode

Personal View

Wrecked: a nice show that will not become primetime number 1 watched show of the week but will do just fine when you want to see something funny in under 25 minutes.

First episode

Website

tbs.com/shows/wrecked

Premiere date

The 10-episode first season premiered on June 14, 2016. On July 6, 2016 TBS renewed the show for a second season which will be shot in Fiji. The second season premiered on June 20, 2017.

Runtime

around 21 minutes, 12 episodes in a season

Studio

TBS

Spotify for Windows 10 – finally available in the store

Microsoft announced that Spotify for Windows 10 is now available to download in the Windows Store*. Microsoft announced their partnership with Spotify in early May and is  bringing the Spotify app to Windows 10 and Windows 10 S customers following on the heels of the release of Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S last week. The Spotify app is available today in all 60 countries where Spotify is available and offers the same familiar experiences as the Win32 application**.

With Spotify on Windows 10, you can enjoy, discover and share millions of songs wherever and whenever you want. Make and share your own playlists, or let Spotify suggest something great for you. Listen for free or subscribe to Premium for higher quality listening and to take your music offline

*PCs and tablets. To download this app, your PC or tablet must be running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or greater. 

**The Spotify app for Windows 10 is available in the following markets, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Windows 10 Insider – Gaming improvements

Windows 10 logo

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16226 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring yesterday.  They have spent some time on making improvements for gamers this time. cross-platform multi-player could become a less exotic thing.

Gaming Improvements

New help options: We have added a new “Xbox Networking” section under Settings > Gaming. Here, we’ll help you attempt to identify and resolve issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

 

Track your GPU performance

For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. Our engineering team used the feedback you gave us that is part of this Feedback Collection https://aka.ms/olx5pn to prioritize and to design the feature – thank you! The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs.

Fargo – Season 3

Fargo Season 3

About

Set in 2010, the third installment of Fargo centers on Emmit Stussy and his slightly younger brother Ray (Ewan McGregor in dual roles).

Emmit, the “Parking Lot King of Minnesota,” is a handsome, self-made real estate mogul with a perfect family – a real American success story. His slightly younger brother Ray is more of a cautionary tale. Wilted from a lifetime of living in Emmit’s shadow, Ray is a balding, pot-bellied parole officer with a huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he’s been dealt – and he blames his brother.

The only bright spot in Ray’s life is the love of a not-so-good woman, Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), one of his parolees. Nikki has brains, beauty and a deep and abiding passion for competitive bridge. She decides to help Ray turn his fortunes around, by essentially stealing back his good karma. Unsurprisingly, things quickly get out of hand and petty theft leads to murder.

When the mayhem crosses county lines, Eden Valley Police Chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon), a newly divorced mother, is called upon to investigate. Normally steady and imperturbable, Gloria is shaken when the case takes an unexpectedly personal turn. Meanwhile, Emmit’s perfect life is upended when he receives an unwelcome business proposal from a mysterious loner and true capitalist, V.M. Vargas (David Thewlis), whose bosses plan to become business partners with “The Parking Lot King” whether Emmit likes it or not.

Cast

Ratings

IMDB 9,0/10

Audience Score 95%

Critics Consensus: Thanks in part to a memorable dual performance from Ewan McGregor, Fargo mostly maintains the sly wit and off-kilter sensibility it displayed in its first two seasons.

About the true story disclaimer

As with the original film, each episode begins with the superimposed text:

This is a true story. The events depicted took place in Minnesota in [year]. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

To give you a short answer, it’s all complete fiction. Doing some research and reading the stories I tend to dislike the Coen brothers. Remember season 2? An interview:

“There are actually two little elements in the story that were based on actual incidents,” Joel Coen told HuffPost. “One of them is the fact that there was a guy, I believe in the ‘60s or ‘70s, who was gumming up serial numbers for cars and defrauding the General Motors Finance Corporation. There was no kidnapping. There was no murder. It was a guy defrauding the GM Finance Corporation at some point.”

Okay… so there was a guy scraping serial numbers for car chassis…… Why fool the audience every episode with the true story crap?

Big thumbs up for the makeup department

Ewan McGregor
as
 Emmit Stussy

 

 

 

Ewan McGregor
as
 Ray Stussy

 

Ewan McGregor in regular life

 

 

Trailer

Website

fxnetworks.com/shows/fargo

Release information

The third season premiered on April 19, 2017

Runtime

10 episodes of 50 minutes each.

Original Network

FX

The 100 – Season 5 news

The 100

I just finished S04 and am glad that the show did great after a not so good S03. IMDB ratings picked up from a 7.8 and 7.9 for the first two episodes to end with a 9.3. Now that’s what you call a great end! The final 3 minutes of the seasons last episode did bring up a lot questions with the fans. Here’s some explanation.

A chat with executive producer Jason Rothenberg

My initial thought when I saw the little girl with Clarke was “She’s way too old to be her actual daughter.” Who is she?
Well, it’s not her biological daughter, but what we’ll see in Season 5 is that this relationship is hugely important for Clarke. She’s a Nightblood named Maddie, and she’s been with her for five years. They are, for all intents and purposes, bonded the way a mother and daughter would be. So Clarke loves her, and her decision-making process has changed, just as it does for anyone who has a child. … We’ll tell the story of how they came together in Season 5, and how they’ve been surviving as the only two people on the planet — until that ship shows up.

Yeah, about that spaceship… Should we just assume it’s packed with angry prisoners?
We will definitely tell their story. Some of them will probably be angry. All of them will be home, alive and back on Earth. I think, in some really cool ways, it’s a rebooting of the entire story. The 100 were prisoners when they came to the ground, and they thought they were alone, but they weren’t. There were Grounders in this world, which we learned when a spear came out of the woods and impaled Jasper’s chest. Now Clarke is the Grounder, and these prisoners are the 100. We screw with people’s perspectives. Of course, the prisoners are going to start as antagonists, but we’ll probably dimensionalize them as we do with all of our bad guys.


The 100 Promotes Tasya Teles (Echo) to Series Regular in Season 5

Echo was last seen blasting off into space with Bellamy, Raven, etc. during Wednesday’s fourth season finale, “Praimfaya.” Echo was first introduced as a prisoner in Mount Weather towards the end of The CW drama’s second season, and has maintained a tenuous connection to Clarke and Co. ever since. Despite being one of the “good” (or at least “better”) characters, Echo has been known to behave erratically, occasionally dipping her toe in the betrayal pond.


Isaiah Washington (Jaha) Not Returning as Series Regular in Season 5

But don’t go throwing dirt on Jaha’s grave just yet; at this point, it’s unclear how Washington’s character will be written out of the show, nor is it known whether the actor may appear again in a guest-star capacity.

Washington’s character, Thelonious Jaha, has undergone a radical transformation since we met him three years ago. After being stripped of his chancellor title, Jaha became a lost soul, eventually finding salvation — or so he thought — via the promises of an evil technological being known as A.L.I.E. Following her defeat, Jaha attempted to redeem himself, most recently helping his people gain access to a top-secret bunker that could save them from an impending nuclear death wave.

Netflix – each country’s favorite show

 

This is awesome, a map with the most popular show based on queries from finder.com

Click here for a full size version

It’s cool to see the differences in each country / culture. In North and South America almost every country has a different most popular TV show, only Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are listed twice.

In Western Europe House of Cards is very popular, recently American politics became an almost weekly item in the news here with the colorful (Orange 😀 ) Trump. Maybe interest has grown after that for a show about manipulation, blackmail, greed and determination in politics.

Also interesting to see that some countries in the Middle East and Central Asia like the older shows Lost and Friends.

 

TOP 5 MOST POPULAR NETFLIX SHOWS IN THE WORLD

  1. Sherlock
  2. Friends
  3. Narcos
  4. House of Cards
  5. New Girl

 

MOST POPULAR NETFLIX SHOWS IN 91 COUNTRIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

Country Favorite Netflix Show
Algeria The Black List
Argentina Grand Hotel
Armenia Sherlock
Australia Jane the Virgin
Azerbaijan Sherlock
Bangladesh Sherlock
Belarus Bones
Belgium New Girl
Bolivia Futurama
Bosnia nd Herzegovina Breaking Bad
Brazil Pretty Little Liars
Bulgaria Scrubs
Canada Bates Motel
Chile Breaking Bad
Colombia Carlos
Costa Rica The Walking Dead
Cyprus Narcos
Czechia The Big Bang Theory
Denmark Rita
Dominican Republic Sense8
Ecuador The Walking Dead
Egypt Lost
El Salvador American Horror Story
Estonia Sherlock
Finland The Bridge
France The Returned
Georgia Breaking Bad
Germany House of Cards
Ghana The Originals
Greece Grand Hotel
Guatemala Narcos
Hong Kong Black Mirror
Hungary Family Guy
India Friends
Indonesia Love Rain
Iran Love Rain
Ireland Black Mirror
Isreal Grey’s Anatomy
Italy Gomorrah
Jamaica The Originals
Japan Hibana
Jordan Friends
Kazakhstan Scrubs
Kenya Sense8
Kuwait Narcos
Kyrgystan The Black List
Latvia Friends
Lebanon Friends
Lithuania Shameless
Malaysia Love Rain
Mexico Las Aparicio
Moldova The Vampire Diaries
Morocco Narcos
Nauru Friends
Nepal Friends
Netherlands Sons of Anarchy
New Zealand Wentworth
Nigeria Boys Over Flowers
Norway The Americans
Pakistan New Girl
Peru The Wonder Years
Philippines My Love from the Star
Poland House of Cards
Portugal Shadowhunters
Romania The Vampire Diaries
Russia Arrow
Saudi Arabia Lost
Serbia Gossip Girl
Singapore Daredevil
Slovakia The Mentalist
South Africa New Girl
South Korea Soul Eater
Spain Narcos
Sri Lanka Arrow
Sweden Dexter
Switzerland House of Cards
Taiwan My Love from the Star
Thailand Soul Eater
Tunisia Hannibal
Turkey The Tudors
Ukraine Friends
United Arab Emirates Gotham
United Kingdom Call the Midwife
United States Shameless
Uruguay Breaking Bad
Uzbekistan Suits
Venezuela Pablo Escobar
Vietnam Empresses in the Palace
Zimbabwe Scandal