Speaking at Nordic Infrastructure Conference 2016

The Nordic Infrastructure Conference (NIC) conference will be held in Oslo, Norway on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th of February 2016 (with a pre-conference day on Wednesday February 3rd).

This will become the 5th edition of NIC, a conference dedicated to driving technical IT best practice across IT Professionals.

Once again I’m honored to be a speaker at this great conference, where I’ll be delivering two sessions. One on my own, and one together with my good friend Aleksandar Nikolic.

The session me and Aleksandar will be delivering is called Remote Management of Nano Server, where we will showcase remote script authoring, remote debugging, improved file transfer as well as some practical demos showing how to manage server roles such as DNS Server and Hyper-V both using PowerShell and familiar GUI tools.

The other session I will deliver is called PowerShell Desired State Configuration – Real World Experiences, where I will share experiences from implementing PowerShell DSC in a production environment. The first half of the session will be based on a project for deploying Hyper-V hosts on a larger scale leveraging PowerShell 4.0 and a local PowerShell DSC pull server. The second part will show how PowerShell DSC was integrated into a fully automated VM deployment solution, where PowerShell 5.0 is leveraged together with Azure Automation DSC as a pull server.

Less slides, more demos!

Event information

Windows PowerShell DSC Resource Kit Community Edition

During the Christmas holiday the Windows PowerShell team published a holiday gift to the community: The Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Resource Kit.

The resource kit contains a module with 8 DSC Resources for managing domain membership, websites, Hyper-V VMs, VHDs, switches and so on. The resources is prefixed with “x” – where the “x” stands for experimental, meaning these resources are provided “as is” and are not supported through any Microsoft support program or service. It is also stated that anyone can adapt the resources, but it is suggested to rename them with your own naming convention like Contoso_cWebsite.

The DSC Resource Kit is now published on PowerShell.orgs DSC Repository on GitHub, where the “x” has been renamed to “c” (short for “community”):

Resource

Description

cComputer

Name a computer and add it to a domain/workgroup

cVHD

Create and managed VHDs

cVMHyperV

Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Machine

cVMSwitch

Create and manage a Hyper-V Virtual Switch

cDNSServerAddress

Bind a DNS Server address to one or more NIC

cIPAddress

Configure IPAddress (v4 and v6)

cDSCWebService

Configure DSC Service (aka Pull Server)

cWebsite

Deploy and configure a website on IIS

This means anyone in the community now can contribute with bug fixes or additional functionality.

 

Thanks to the PowerShell Team for shipping the DSC Resource Kit! Since the Resource Kit is named “DSC Resource Kit – Wave 1” its also likely to see more releases coming out.

Using the CIM Cmdlets in Windows PowerShell to solve a challenge

Introduced in PowerShell 3.0 and further enhanced in PowerShell 4.0, the CIM (Common Information Model) Cmdlets makes it easier to work with WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation). You can find an introduction to the new CIM Cmdlets in this article on the Windows PowerShell Teams blog.

In this article we will look at a usage scenario for the new CIM Cmdlets.

The Challenge

When adding a disk to a Windows Failover Cluster, the clustered disk is added to the cluster as a resource. The resource is automatically named “Cluster Disk N”, where N is the first available number. The challenge we are going to solve is renaming the newly added cluster disk based on the name (File System Label) of the underlying disk volume. This is typically an NTFS volume which is initialized and formatted before the disk is added to the cluster:

image

Using the Failover Cluster Manager in Windows Server we can view the name of the underlying volume:

image

Based on this observation we can manually rename the cluster resource. However, in a large cluster with many disks this task is a good candidate for automation.

Solving the challenge using CIM Cmdlets

By using the Get-ClusterResource cmdlet in the FailoverClusters PowerShell module we can view information about the disk, but there isnt an easy way to view the name of the underlying volume.

Due to that, we can rather leverage the Get-CimInstance cmdlet to list all cluster resources in the MSCluster_Resource class:

image

We use the –Filter parameter to specify that we only want cluster resources of the type “Physical Disk”, if not we would also get cluster resources such as cluster IP addresses, cluster names and so on.

Based on the information available on the object produced by Get-CimInstance, we can see many cluster related properties. However, no information about the underlying volume is available.

There is one cmdlet in the CIMCmdlets module which can get all the associated instances for a particular instance – the Get-CimAssociatedInstance cmdlet. In this scenario, we want to find all related volumes for the cluster disks. We start by finding all related instances:

image

This produced a large list of different kind of objects. We can use Get-Member to view information about the objects, and Select-Object to view the unique object types:

image

Based on the above output, the MSCluster_DiskPartition looks like a good candidate. We can use the –ResultClass parameter of Get-CimAssociatedInstance in order to narrow down the results to the class we want:

image

This is excactly what we want, as we can see the VolumeLabel property on the above output.

Now that we have the information we want – the VolumeLabel property – we need to find a way to rename the cluster resource (“Cluster Disk 1”). We can start by looking for a Rename method on the MSCluster_DiskPartition object. Normally, we would use Get-Member to view the available methods:

image

Since the CIM cmdlets is using the Ws-Man (WS-Management) protocol, the objects we get returned is serialized/deserialized. Thus the objects methods is remove since we arent working with a “live” object. The Get-CimClass cmdlet can be used to get the class schema of a CIM class, which includes the methods.
Instead let`s try the Get-CimClass cmdlet to view the methods available on the mscluster_resource class:

image

As we can see, there is a Rename method which takes one parameter: newName.

In order to invoke the method, we can use the Invoke-CimMethod cmdlet where we specify Rename as the MethodName and provide the value we want to configure as a hash table on the Arguments parameter:

image

We provided the VolumeLabel property returned by the Get-CimAssociatedInstance cmdlet as the value for the newName parameter, effectively solving the challenge.

After invoking the method, we can see the name of the cluster disk is immediately updated in Failover Cluster Manager:

image

When working with multiple cluster disks, we can use a foreach loop in order to invoke the rename method for all disks  if the name of the cluster resource does not match the name of the underlying disk volume:

Resources

How to install Windows PowerShell 4.0

Windows PowerShell 4.0 is part of the Windows Management Framework 4.0, which includes the following:

  • Windows PowerShell
  • Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)
  • Windows PowerShell Web Services (Management OData IIS Extension)
  • Windows Remote Management (WinRM)
  • Windows Management Infrastructure (WMI)
  • Server Manager WMI provider
  • Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)

 

Windows Management Framework 4.0 supportability matrix

Operating system

Windows PowerShell 4.0 available

Prerequisites

Installation file

Windows Server 2012 R2

Built-in

N/A

N/A

Windows 8.1

Built-in

N/A

N/A

Windows Server 2012

Yes, part of WMF 4.0

.NET 4.5 (built-in)

x64: Windows8-RT-KB2799888-x64.msu

Windows 8

No, user must upgrade to Windows 8.1

N/A

N/A

Windows Server 2008 R2

Yes, part of WMF 4.0

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

.NET 4.5

x64: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu

Windows 7

Yes, part of WMF 4.0

Windows 7 SP1

.NET 4.5

x64: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu

x86: Windows6.1-KB2819745-x86.msu

 

Installation

  • Verify that all prerequisites is installed according to the Windows Management Framework 4.0 supportability matrix above. To verify the presence of .NET 4.5, you may use the Test-Net45 function available in this article on the Hey Scripting Guy! Blog
  • Run the installation file applicable to the operating system
  • Reboot the computer, start Windows PowerShell and verify that the output of $PSVersionTable shows 4.0 as the value of the PSVersion property

 

Known issues

 

1 – Installation succeeds even if .NET 4.5 is not installed

Scenario: Installing WMF 4.0 on a computer that is not running .NET Framework 4.5 will report that the installation is successful, but the components of WMF 4.0 (such as Windows PowerShell, WMI, etc.) will not be updated.

Solution: Install .NET Framework 4.5, and then run the WMF 4.0 installer again.

More information:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2013/10/29/wmf-4-0-known-issue-partial-installation-without-net-framework-4-5.aspx

 

2 – Compatibility issues

There are known compatibility issues with several Microsoft server-class applications:

· System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (not including SP1)

· System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (including SP1)

· Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

· Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

· Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Read the WMF 4.0 Release Notes for more information.

 

Related KB articles

 

This article is also posted on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki. If you have corrections or additional information, please update the Wiki-article.