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Windows 2012 Hosting - Top 6 Features in Windows Server 2019

clock July 31, 2018 08:47 by author Kenny

A preview of Windows Server 2019 adds features for hyperconvergence, management, security, containers and more.

Because Microsoft has shifted to a more gradual upgrade of Windows Server, many of the features that will become available with Windows Server 2019 have already been in use in live corporate networks, and here are half a dozen of the best.

Enterprise-grade hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)

With the release of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft rolls up three years of updates for its HCI platform. That’s because the gradual upgrade schedule Microsoft now uses includes what it calls Semi-Annual Channel releases – incremental upgrades as they become available. Then every couple of years it creates a major release called the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version that includes the upgrades from the preceding Semi-Annual Channel releases.

The LTSC Windows Server 2019 is due out this fall, and is now available to members of Microsoft’s Insider program.

While the fundamental components of HCI (compute, storage and networking) have been improved with the Semi-Annual Channel releases, for organizations building datacenters and high-scale software defined platforms, Windows Server 2019 is a significant release for the software-defined datacenter.

With the latest release, HCI is provided on top of a set of components that are bundled in with the server license. This means a backbone of servers running HyperV to enable dynamic increase or decrease of capacity for workloads without downtime.

GUI for Windows Server 2019

A surprise for many enterprises that started to roll-out the Semi-Annual Channel versins of Windows Server 2016 was the lack of a GUI for those releases. The Semi-Annual Channel releases only supported ServerCore (and Nano) GUI-less configurations. With the LTSC release of Windows Server 2019, IT Pros will once again get their desktop GUI of Windows Server in addition to the GUI-less ServerCore and Nano releases.

Project Honolulu

With the release of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft will formally release their Project Honolulu server management tool. Project Honolulu is a central console that allows IT pros to easily manage GUI and GUI-less Windows 2019, 2016 and 2012R2 servers in their environments.

Early adopters have found the simplicity of management that Project Honolulu provides by rolling up common tasks such as performance monitoring (PerfMon), server configuration and settings tasks, and the management of Windows Services that run on server systems. This makes these tasks easier for administrators to manage on a mix of servers in their environment.

Improvements in security

Microsoft has continued to include built-in security functionality to help organizations address an "expect breach" model of security management. Rather than assuming firewalls along the perimeter of an enterprise will prevent any and all security compromises, Windows Server 2019 assumes servers and applications within the core of a datacenter have already been compromised.

Windows Server 2019 includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that assess common vectors for security breaches, and automatically blocks and alerts about potential malicious attacks. Users of Windows 10 have received many of the Windows Defender ATP features over the past few months. Including Windows Defender ATP on Windows Server 2019 lets them take advantage of data storage, network transport and security-integrity components to prevent compromises on Windows Server 2019 systems.

Smaller, more efficient containers

Organizations are rapidly minimizing the footprint and overhead of their IT operations and eliminating more bloated servers with thinner and more efficient containers. Windows Insiders have benefited by achieving higher density of compute to improve overall application operations with no additional expenditure in hardware server systems or expansion of hardware capacity.

Windows Server 2019 has a smaller, leaner ServerCore image that cuts virtual machine overhead by 50-80 percent. When an organization can get the same (or more) functionality in a significantly smaller image, the organization is able to lower costs and improve efficiencies in IT investments.

Windows subsystem on Linux

A decade ago, one would rarely say Microsoft and Linux in the same breath as complimentary platform services, but that has changed. Windows Server 2016 has open support for Linux instances as virtual machines, and the new Windows Server 2019 release makes huge headway by including an entire subsystem optimized for the operation of Linux systems on Windows Server.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux extends basic virtual machine operation of Linux systems on Windows Server, and provides a deeper layer of integration for networking, native filesystem storage and security controls. It can enable encrypted Linux virtual instances. That’s exactly how Microsoft provided Shielded VMs for Windows in Windows Server 2016, but now native Shielded VMs for Linux on Windows Server 2019.

Enterprises have found the optimization of containers along with the ability to natively support Linux on Windows Server hosts can decrease costs by eliminating the need for two or three infrastructure platforms, and instead running them on Windows Server 2019.

Because most of the "new features" in Windows Server 2019 have been included in updates over the past couple years, these features are not earth-shattering surprises. However, it also means that the features in Windows Server 2019 that were part of Windows Server 2016 Semi-Annual Channel releases have been tried, tested, updated and proven already, so that when Windows Server 2019 ships, organizations don’t have to wait six to 12 months for a service pack of bug fixes.

This is a significant change that is helping organizations plan their adoption of Windows Server 2019 sooner than orgs may have adopted a major release platform in the past, and with significant improvements for enterprise datacenters in gaining the benefits of Windows Server 2019 to meet security, scalability, and optimized data center requirements so badly needed in today’s fast-paced environments.

Best Windows Server 2012 Hosting Recommendation

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Windows 2012 Hosting - Easy to Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2012

clock July 24, 2018 07:48 by author Kenny

This article will walk you through setting up the Active Directory Role on a Windows Server 2012. This article is intended to be used for those without an existing Active Directory Forest, it will not cover configuring a server to act as a Domain Controller for an existing Active Directory Forest.

Install Active Directory

  1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.
  2. From the Server Manager Dashboard, select Add roles and features. This will launch the Roles and Features Wizard allowing for modifications to be performed on the Windows Server 2012 instance.
  3. Select Role-based or features-based installation from the Installation Type screen and click Next.
  4. The current server is selected by default. Click Next to proceed to the Server Roles tab.
  5. From the Server Roles page place a check mark in the check box next to Active Directory Domain Services. A notice will appear explaining additional roles services or features are also required to install domain services, click Add Features.
  6. Review and select optional features to install during the AD DS installation by placing a check in the box next to any desired features, and then click Next.
  7. Review the information on the AD DS tab and click Next.
  8. On the Confirm installation selections screen, review the installation and then click Install.

Start remote registry service

Before promoting the server to domain controller, the remote registry service must be started.

  1. Click Start > Control Panel.
  2. Under Services, right-click Remote Registry and open the Properties menu.
  3. From the *Startup type:** drop-down menu, select Automatic.
  4. Under Service Status, select Start.

The remote registry service will start.

Configure Active Directory

Once the AD DS role is installed the server will need to be configured for your domain.

  1. If you have not done so already, Open the Server Manager from the task bar.
  2. Open the Notifications Pane by selecting the Notifications icon from the top of the Server Manager. From the notification regarding configuring AD DS, click Promote this server to a domain controller.
  3. From the Deployment Configuration tab select Add a new forest from the radial options menu. Insert your root domain name into the Root domain name field, and then click Next.
  4. Select a Domain and Forest functional level, and then input a password for the Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) in the provided password fields. The DSRM password is used when booting the Domain Controller into recovery mode.
  5. Review the warning on the DNS Options tab and select Next.
  6. Confirm or enter a NetBIOS name and click Next.
  7. Specify the location of the Database, Log files, and SYSVOL folders and then click Next.
  8. Review the configuration options and click Next.
  9. The system checks to ensure all necessary prerequisites are installed on the system prior to moving forward. If the system passes these checks, proceed by clicking Install.

After the server reboots, reconnect to it via RDP. Congratulations on successfully installing and configuring a Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2012.

Best Windows Server 2012 Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server 2008. We offers Windows hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Windows server 2008/2012/2016 Hosting, we should be your best choice.



Windows 2012 Hosting - Ensure Super Fast SSAS Tabular Models

clock July 17, 2018 13:00 by author Kenny

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular is a popular choice as an analytical engine for many customers. With its state-of-the-art compression algorithms, multi-threaded query processor and in-memory capabilities, SSAS Tabular can provide super quick access to data by reporting client applications. However, as a consultant, we have been called by many clients to resolve slow query performance when accessing data from SSAS Tabular models. Our experiences have taught us most, if not all, of the performance issues can be resolved by taking care of the following five subject areas. 

Estimate Current Size and Growth Carefully

Tabular models compress data really well and on an average, you can expect to see 10x the compression rates (though it can be much more or less depending on the cardinality of your data). However, when you are estimating the size of your model as well as future growth, a rough figure like this is not going to be optimal. If you already have data sitting in a data warehouse, import a subset of that data — say a month — to find the model size for that and then extrapolate the value based on the required number of rows / years as well as the number of columns. If not, try to at least get a subset of the data from the source to find the model size. There are tools like BISM Memory Report and Vertipaq Analyzer that can further help in this process.
It is also important to record the number of users who will be accessing the system currently as well as the estimated growth for the number of users.

Select or Upgrade Hardware Appropriately

Everyone knows SSAS Tabular is a memory intensive application, and one major issue I have seen is only the RAM is considered when hardware selections are made. However, just focusing on the RAM is not enough and there are a lot of other variables. Suppose all the other variables are constant and there is an unlimited budget, these are the recommendations:

CPU Speed – The faster, the better, will help in computing results faster especially when there is a bottleneck on the single-threaded formula engine.

CPU Cores – In theory, the more the better as it helps in managing concurrent user loads. However, in reality, a rise in the number of cores usually corresponds to a decrease in the CPU speed due to management overload. So a balanced approach has to be taken when determining the CPU Cores and Speed. Also, licensing cost increases with the number of cores for many software.

CPU Sockets – The lesser, the better as SSAS Tabular is not NUMA aware till SQL 2014. However, this is expected to change in SQL 2016 where some NUMA optimization has been made. For large tabular models, it might be a challenge to go single socket as the amount of RAM that can be supported on a system will depend on the CPU sockets.

CPU Cache – The more, the better. Retrieving data from CPU caches are 10-100x faster than retrieving data from RAM.

CPU Architecture – The newer, the better due to the hardware performance optimizations. For eg, Intel Xeon processors with Haswell architecture is always going to be faster than Sandy architecture keeping all other variables constant.

Amount of RAM – Should have at least 2.5x the model size, if the model is going to be processed on the same server. The amount of RAM can be lesser in cases of certain scale out architectures where the model is processed in a separate server.

RAM Speed – The faster, the better (yes, RAMs have speed too!) This is very important for a memory-bound application like Tabular and should always go for the faster speeds, if budget allows.

Storage – Not important at all as it does not have any effect on query performance. However, if budget allows, it might not be a bad idea to get faster storage like SSDs, as that will help in maintenance related activities like backup, storage or even getting the tabular model online faster when the service is restarted. Apart from this, there are other factors also like network latency, server architecture (scale out), etc that have to be considered, but depending on the budget and specific customer requirements, a balanced approach will have to be made.

Design the Data Model Properly

Tabular is really good at performance and in the case of small models, is extremely forgiving in terms of bad design. However, when the amount of data grows, performance problems begin to show up. In theory, you will get the best performance in SSAS tabular if the entire data is flattened into a single table. However, in reality, this would translate to an extremely bad user experience as well as a lengthy and expensive ETL process. So the best practice is to have a star schema, generally. Also, it is recommended to only include the relevant columns from the source tables, as increasing the columns will result in an increase in model size which in turn will result in slower query performances. Increase in number of rows might still be ok as long as the cardinality of the columns don’t change much.
Depending on the specific customer requirements, there could be deviations from the best practices. For e.g., we built custom aggregate tables along with the detailed fact table in the case of a very large production model for a client. The resultant measure had a conditional statement to retrieve data from the aggregate table if the detailed level dimension data was not used in the report. Since the aggregate table was only 1/10 the size of the detailed fact table, the query came out 10x times faster whenever the details were not used, which was almost 90% of the times.

Optimize the DAX Calculations

In case of small models, Tabular is extremely forgiving in terms of bad DAX code also. However, just like in the case of bad design, performance takes a hit for the worse as you increase the data, add more users, or run complex queries. DAX performance tuning is the most difficult to tune from the current list, and it is important to have a strategy for maintaining and tuning the performance. A good place to start would be the Performance Tuning of Tabular models in SSAS 2012 whitepaper.

Monitor User Query Patterns and Train Users

Once your model is in production, it is important to keep monitoring the user query patterns as well as the resources to see potential bottlenecks. Through this, you can find whether the performance issues are being caused due to inefficient DAX, bad design, insufficient resources or most importantly, whether it is just because a user is using the model inefficiently. For e.g., in one of the cases, we found out the slow performance for all users was due to a single user dumping the entire 100 GB model into spreadsheets so he could perform custom calculations on top of it. This blocked the queries for all the other users and made things really slow for them. With appropriate requirement gatherings, we ensured all the required calculations for that user were there in the model and then trained the user to use the model for his analytics.

Best Windows Server 2012 Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server 2008. We offers Windows hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Windows server 2008/2012/2016 Hosting, we should be your best choice.



Windows Server Hosting - Configure DNS In Windows Server 2012 Step by Step Tutorial

clock July 10, 2018 12:01 by author Kenny

DNS (Domain Name System) carries a major role in any version of SharePoint in various scenarios / configuration levels, like:
– Alternate access mapping
– Configuring App model
– Configuring Active Directory Domain Services
Let us see the step by step approach to configure DNS in windows server 2012 for SharePoint 2013. Configuring DNS involves adding DNS role in server 2012. Below steps walk us through the same:
1. Open server manager by start -> Server Manager. Then click on Add roles and features. Then click on Next in the “Before You Begin” wizard. Then in the Installation Type select the default “Role-based or feature-based installation” radio button.
2. Select the desired server name to be configured the DNS in the list.



3. Then Click on Next, then in the Server Roles, select “DNS Server”. 



4. Click on check box to restart the server after the role configuration and click on Install to configure DNS.

Best Windows Server 2012 Hosting Recommendation

ASPHostPortal.com provides our customers with Plesk Panel, one of the most popular and stable control panels for Windows hosting, as free. You could also see the latest .NET framework, a crazy amount of functionality as well as Large disk space, bandwidth, MSSQL databases and more. All those give people the convenience to build up a powerful site in Windows server 2008. We offers Windows hosting starts from $5/month only. We also guarantees 30 days money back and guarantee 99.9% uptime. If you need a reliable affordable Windows server 2008/2012/2016 Hosting, we should be your best choice.



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