Sunday, December 27, 2015

Deploying the first server: CARBON.Unit34.co

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I've selected the WD Sentinel DS6100 as my server for Unit34.co. In this post I'm going to walk through how I've set this up and then leave it up to you to adapt it to your server.

I've named my first server Carbon. Carbon will have a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2 with the File and Storage Services and Hyper-V role installed. All other servers that we will deploy for Unit34.co will be deployed as Hyper-V virtual machines on Carbon. One of these Hyper-V virtual machines will be called Hydrogen. Hydrogen will be our first Windows domain controller.

Perform a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2


Start by performing a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2 on your server. I've decided to go with the Datacenter edition of Windows Server 2012 R2 so that I can have unlimited activated instances of Windows 2012 R2 virtual machines. If you're using the WD Sentinel DS6100 as your server just like I am, I've written a guide for you here on how to perform a clean install of Windows Server on that server.

Before installing Windows, partitioned the boot drive of your server with the following schema. You can do this with diskpart. Install Windows on partition 4.

PartitionSizeTypeLabel
1300 MBRecoveryWindows RE tools
2100 MBEFISystem
3128 MBMSRMicrosoft Reserved
460 GBPrimaryWindows (C:)
5Remaining Disk SpacePrimaryHyper-V (D:)


Once Windows Server 2012 R2 is installed, choose a password for the local Administrator account. We will use this account until domain accounts have been setup. As always, run Windows Update after a clean install to make sure your system is fully patched.

Important notes about the WD Sentinel DS6100


After performing a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2, the LCD screen will not work and the system fan will spin at full speed. To fix this, you need to install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role and the WD components. Do not do this until you have domain joined your server to your domain!

If you install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role before a domain join, it will automatically convert your server to a domain controller and create a new domain. This is not what we want.

Rename the server to CARBON


After performing a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2, the first thing we want to do is rename our server to CARBON. You can do this during the domain join however we recommend you take care of this early. To rename your server;
  1. Log onto CARBON with the local administrator account, Server Manager should automatically start once logged in.
  2. Select Local Server on the left-hand side in Server Manager.
  3. Bring up the System Properties window by clicking on the computer name in the main pane.
  4. To rename your server click Change and then enter in CARBON for the computer name.
  5. Click OK to confirm the name change. You'll need to restart your server before it will take effect.

Configure NIC teaming (or not)


The WD Sentinel DS6100 has two gigabit network ports we would like to take advantage of. There are a few ways to take advantage of this. The first is to dedicate one port to CARBON and the other port to the virtual machines that CARBON will be hosting. The second is to configure the networks ports into a team which is what this article is going to do. To configure NIC teaming;
  1. Log onto CARBON with the local administrator account, Server Manager should automatically start once logged in.
  2. Select Local Server on the left-hand side in Server Manager.
  3. Open the NIC Teaming window by clicking on NIC Teaming in the main pane.
  4. The NIC Teaming window has three panes. In the TEAMS pane, select the TASKS drop down menu and then select New Team.
  5. Enter Ethernet Team as the team name and select Ethernet and Ethernet 2 as member adapters.
  6. Under Additional properties, make sure the following is configured.
    • Teaming mode: Switch Independent
    • Load balancing mode: Dynamic
    • Standby adapter: None (all adapters Active)
  7. Press OK to create the NIC team.

Install and configure the Hyper-V role


The File and Storage Services role is installed by default on all Windows Server 2012 R2 installs. Before CARBON can host virtual machines like our domain controller, the Hyper-V role needs to be installed. To install Hyper-V;
  1. Log onto CARBON with the local administrator account, Server Manager should automatically start once logged in.
  2. Under the Manage menu on the top right, select Add Roles and Features.
  3. Go through the wizard by clicking Next until you get to the page, Server Roles. Leaving everything in the other pages on its defaults is fine for now.
  4. When prompted to include the management tools for Hyper-V, click on Add Features to add the management tools.
  5. Continue through the wizard until Hyper-V is installed.

Earlier when we performed a clean install of Windows Server 2012 R2, you may have notice that we created partition call Hyper-V. This is where we are going to store our virtual machines. Once Hyper-V is installed change the following default directories in the Hyper-V settings.

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