Oct 112021
 
Windows Server 2022 Logo

Today we’re going to discuss and deploy Active Directory Certificate Services on a Windows Server 2022 Server. Additionally, we’ll also be generating a domain certificate request inside of IIS and then assign the resultant certificate to a WSUS Server.

This video will demonstrate and explain the process of deploying a Windows Server 2022 Certification Authority with AD CS.

Check it out and feel free to leave a comment! Scroll down below for more information and details on the guide.

Windows Server 2022: Active Directory Certificate Services Discussion and Installation Guide

Who’s this guide for

This guide is perfect for a seasoned IT professional or a beginner who is looking at getting experience with Windows Server 2022.

What’s included in the video

In this guide I will walk you through the following:

  • Discussion
    • SSL Certificates (Host verification)
    • Internal Root Certification Authorities (Root CAs)
    • Internal Root CA vs Public Trusted Root CAs
    • HTTPS Scanning (Web Filtering) and SSL Certificates
    • Intermediate Certificate Authorities
    • Why ADCS?
    • AD CS Certificate Templates
    • Encryption
    • Certificate Issuance
  • Demonstration
    • Server Manager Role Installation
    • MMC Snap-in for Certificates (Local Computer)
      • Root CAs
    • Install Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)
      • Add Server Role
      • Root CA Trust Discussion
      • AD CS Installation on Domain Controller Installation
      • AD CS Prerequisites
      • Web Enrollment Discussion
      • AD CS and IIS Discussion
    • Install Internet Information Services (IIS) as pre-requisite
    • Configure Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)
      • Credentials
      • Role Configuration
      • Enterprise CA vs Standalone CA
      • Root CA vs Subordinate CA
      • Private Key Creation and Cryptographic options
      • Root CA Naming
      • Validity Period
    • Certification Authority MMC Usage
    • Root CA Replication to Domain (“gpupdate /force” and restart)
    • AD CS Certificate Templates Overview
      • Certificate Templates MMC
      • Duplicate and Customize Web Server Certificate Template
      • Enable Auto-Enrollment for Certificate Template
    • Use IIS to request certificate from Active Directory Certification Authority
      • Create Domain Certificate
    • Enable SSL on WSUS Server using Active Directory Certificate Services Certificate
      • Bind new certificate to IIS Web Server
      • Update GPO to reflect SSL URL and port number
      • Run “iisreset” on elevated command prompt
    • Demonstration Summary

What’s required

To get started you’ll need:

  • 1 x Server (Virtual Machine or Physical Server)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Licensing
  • A running Windows Server 2022 Instance (OSE)
  • A network router and/or firewall

Hardware/Software used in this demonstration

  • VMware vSphere
  • HPE DL360p Gen8 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022
  • pfSense Firewall
Oct 102021
 
VMware vSphere 7 Logo

In this post, I wanted to go over some Backup and Restore tips and tricks when it comes to VMware vCSA Updates and Upgrades.

We’ve almost all been there, performing an update or upgrade of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance when it fails, and we must restore from a backup. There’s also times where the update or upgrade has been successful, however numerous issues occur afterwards prompting for the requirement of a restore from backup.

In this post, I wanted to briefly go over the methods of backups (and restores) for the vCSA, as well as some Tips and Tricks which might help you out for avoiding failed updates or upgrades in the future!

We all want to avoid a failed update or upgrade! 🙂

vCSA Update Installation
vCSA Update Installation

VMware vCSA Update Tips and Tricks for Backup and Restore

Please enjoy this video version of the blog post:

vCSA Update and Upgrade – Tips and Tricks for Backup and Restore

vCSA Backup methods

There are essentially two backup methods for backing up the vCenter Server Appliance:

  1. vCSA Management Interface Backup
  2. vSphere/ESXi Virtual Machine Snapshot

vCSA Management Interface Backup

If you log in to the vCSA Management Interface, you can configure a scheduled backup that will perform a full backup of your vCSA (and vCenter Server) instance.

This backup can be automatically ran and saved to an HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SFTP, NFS, or SMB destination. It’s a no-brainer if you have a Windows File Server or an NFS datastore.

vCSA Backup Screenshot
vCSA Backup

In the event of a failed update/upgrade or a disaster, this backup can be restored to a new vCSA instance to recover from the failure.

For more information on backups from the vCSA Management Interface, please see https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vcenter.install.doc/GUID-8C9D5260-291C-44EB-A79C-BFFF506F2216.html.

For information on restoring a vCSA file based backup, please see https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vcenter.install.doc/GUID-F02AF073-7CFD-45B2-ACC8-DE3B6ED28022.html.

vSphere/ESXi Virtual Machine Snapshot

In addition to the scheduled automatic backups configured above, you should snapshot your vCSA appliance VM prior to initiating an update or upgrade. In the event of a failure, you can easily restore the vCSA VM snapshot to get back to a running state.

vCSA Snapshot Screenshot
vCSA Snapshot

Only after you test and confirm the upgrade or update was successful should you delete the snapshot.

You should also have your Backup application or suite performing regularly snapshot based backups of your vCSA.

Additional Tips and Tricks

I have a few very important tips and tricks to share which may help you either avoid a failed update or upgrade, or increase the chances of a successful restore from backup.

  1. Gracefully Shutdown and Restart the vCSA Appliance before Upgrading
  2. Application Consistent Snapshot – Snapshot after graceful shutdown

Let’s dive in to these below.

Gracefully Shutdown and Restart the vCSA Appliance before Upgrading

I noticed that I significantly reduced the amount of failed upgrades by simply gracefully shutting down and restarting the vCenter Server Appliance prior to an upgrade.

This allows you to clear out the memory, virtual memory, and restart all vCenter services prior to starting the upgrade.

Please Note: Make sure that you give the vCSA appliance enough time to boot, start services, and let some of the maintenance tasks run before initiating an upgrade.

Application Consistent Snapshot – Snapshot after graceful shutdown

Most VMware System Administrators I have talked to, usually snapshot the running vCSA appliance and do not snapshot the memory. This creates a crash consistent snapshot.

If you follow my advice above and gracefully shutdown and restart the vCSA appliance, you can use this time to perform a VM snapshot after a graceful shutdown. This will provide you with an application consistent snapshot instead of a crash consistent snapshot.

If you perform an application consistent snapshot by gracefully shutting down the VM prior to creating the snapshot, the virtual machine and database inside of it will be in a cleaner state.

Conclusion

Some of the Tips and Tricks in this post definitely aren’t necessary, however they can help you increase the chance of a successful upgrade, and a successful restore in the event of a failed upgrade.

For more information on upgrading the vCenter Server Appliance, please visit https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/7.0/com.vmware.vcenter.upgrade.doc/GUID-30485437-B107-42EC-A0A8-A03334CFC825.html.

Oct 092021
 

One of the new real cool features of the Synology C2 Cloud and Synology DSM 7.0 is the ability to back your Synology DiskStation NAS up to the cloud.

Using the Synology’s “C2 Storage” service, you can use Synology Hyper Backup on DSM 7.0 to backup your your File Shares, NAS, applications, and data to the cloud.

Below, I will show the process of creating a Hyper Backup Backup task to backup a few Synology File Shares to the Synology C2 Storage Service.

NAS Backup (and Restore) with Synology C2 Cloud Video

For a full video guide and demonstration, please enjoy this video! Please continue scrolling for a text guide (with images).

Synology DiskStation NAS Backup (and Restore) with Synology C2 Storage Cloud!

Backup NAS to Synology C2 Storage

It’s very easy to back your NAS up to the cloud. Here’s a quick guide showing how it’s done.

We’re going to assume you already have some File Shares configured on your NAS. These can be Windows File Shares, NFS Exports, and even Active Backup for Business storage repositories. In my case, I want to back up 2 Windows File Shares to the Synology C2 Storage service.

  1. Open Hyper Backup
  2. If you have no existing backup jobs, the “Backup Wizard” should automatically open to configure a new job. If you have existing jobs, select the “+” on the top left of the window.
  3. Under “Backup Destination”, choose “Synology C2 Storage”.
    Hyper Backup Destination
  4. This will open a new window asking you to log on to the Synology C2 Storage Service. You may have to create a new account, or log in with your existing Synology credentials. From here you can start a free trial.
    Synology C2 Storage - Get Free Trial Now
  5. Choose a subscription and plan. You should get a 30-day free trial.
    Synology C2 Storage - Select your C2 subscription
  6. Confirm your subscription
    Synology C2 Storage - Confirm Subscription
  7. Accept the TOS (Terms of Service)
    Synology C2 Storage - Terms of Service
  8. You must now “Grant access to C2 Storage”. This will allow your user account to access the C2 Storage service.
    Synology C2 Storage - Grant Access
  9. You will now be presented with information on your Synology C2 Storage Account
    Synology C2 Storage Account Information
  10. You will now be redirected back to Hyper Backup. You’ll need to create a name for the new backup task destination directory.
    Hyper Backup Destination Settings
  11. Here’s where you will configure which File Shares (or volumes) to backup to Synology C2.
    Hyper Backup Choose Data Backup Sources
  12. You also have the ability to backup Synology Applications. This is helpful should you wish to backup your entire Synology NAS to Synology’s C2 cloud. I’m only doing shares, so I hit next without selecting anything.
    Hyper Backup Application Backup
  13. Now we will configure the Backup Task settings. This includes the task name, notifications, file change logs, bandwidth limits, backup schedule, and integrity check schedule. We can also “Enable client-side encryption” which we will use to encrypt the data on the cloud.
    Hyper Backup Backup Settings
  14. After proceeding, we will now configure backup rotation settings. I enabled backup rotation with “Smart Recycle”.
    Hyper Backup Rotation Settings
  15. If you enabled encryption, you will be prompted to download your encryption key. Save this file in a safe location as you will need it in the event your NAS fails and you need to access your cloud storage.
    Hyper Backup Synology C2 Encryption PEM key file

And that’s it! You have now configured your NAS to backup to Synology C2 Cloud!

Hyper Backup NAS Backup to Synology C2 Cloud
Hyper Backup NAS Backup to Synology C2 Cloud

We have now configured the backup job. Let’s go ahead and kick off a backup by clicking on “Back up now”.

And that’s it! After some time, your backup should complete and you data should be safe on the Synology C2 Cloud.

What happens when your run of out space

This is a question many of you will be asking, and I was curious myself. I went ahead and uploaded a bunch of garbage data to max out my plan.

Synology Hyper Backup C2 Storage - Not enough quota available on the target
Synology Hyper Backup C2 Storage – Not enough quota available on the target

To my surprise Synology allowed me to exceed my plan by a decent amount of storage until the backup job went in to a “Suspended” state reporting “Not enough quota available on the target”. I actually exceeded the storage by 128GB!!! This is extremely generous!

Synology C2 Storage - Storage overage
Synology C2 Storage – Storage overage

To find out how well the NAS would recover from this situation, I logged on to the Synology C2 Storage service and increased my purchased storage. I was able to simply click on “Action” and “Resume” the backup without any issues… It actually resumed where it left off.

Conclusion

The Synology C2 Storage Cloud service is a great option for backing up your DiskStation NAS and all your important files to the cloud. In my case I use my NAS as a backup, and then further backup my NAS both to a removable hard drive, and the Synology C2 Cloud, keeping me compliant with the 3-2-1 backup rule.

The pricing is amazing and there’s extra cost to backup and restore, which means no upload or download costs. They even provide de-duplication so you’re not paying to store duplicated data.

As part of the backup process, Hyper Backup only copies over blocks of data and files that have changed, which significantly helps bandwidth usage as only what’s changed is copied.

I highly recommend using Synology C2 Storage with your Synology DiskStation NAS!

Oct 072021
 
Windows 11 Logo

When attempting to upgrade to Windows 11, you may receive the message “This PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements”.

Windows 11 has a new set of minimum system requirements and these include certain CPUs as well as a TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module Version 2.0) chip.

I ran in to this issue on a Lenovo X1 Carbon as well as an HP Z240 Workstation. The Lenovo X1 Carbon does have a TPM 2 chip, however still would not install.

If you’re trying to a fresh installation instead of an upgrade, please see Windows 11 Fresh Install – This PC can’t run Windows 11 for instructions on performing a Fresh install with TPM and Secure Boot bypass.

The Problem

You’ll see this message if your system doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.

Windows 11 installer failing with "Windows 11 - This PC doesn't currently meet Windows 11 system requirements"
Windows 11 – This PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements

On most systems, you’ll see the following 2 prequisite checks fail:

  • “The processor isn’t supported for this version of Windows”
  • “The PC must support TPM 2.0.”

One thing to note is that you may see these messages even if your system has a TPM 2.0 chip.

You’ll also need to make sure your system has UEFI/EFI and has Secure Boot enabled.

The Fix

You have TPM 2.0 but can’t upgrade to Windows 11

Try to check and see if you have a TPM 2.0 chip. Most systems purchased in the last 6 years probably have a TPM 2 chip that just needs to be enabled via the system BIOS or UEFI.

If you boot to your BIOS/UEFI, you can attempt to enable the TPM 2.0 chip.

You may also already have it enabled, however it is configured to run at version 1.2. If this is the case, change it to version 2.0.

You’ll also need to make sure you have “Secure boot” enabled.

Bypass the check for TPM 2.0

If you don’t have TPM 2.0, you can disable the TPM 2.0 check on the Windows 11 installer. Please note, you still require TPM 1.2 for this bypass to function.

To do this, we must make a registry key.

  1. Start -> Run -> “regedit.exe” (without quotations)
  2. Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup”
  3. On the right pane, right-click an empty space, select “New”, and select “DWORD (32-bit) Value”
  4. Name it: “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” (without quotations)
  5. Set it to “1” (without quotations)

After creating this, it should appear like so:

REG_DWORD: AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU set to “1”

After setting this you should now be able re-launch the Windows 11 installer, and successfully install Windows 11. You’ll now notice the new message below:

Windows 11 – Bypass TPM and CPU Disclaimer

Simply “Accept” the warning and continue!

Please Note: Microsoft has warned that by using this TPM 2.0 bypass, you may run in to compatibility issues: “Your device might malfunction due to these compatibility or other issues. Devices that do not meet these system requirements will no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates.”

You’ll see this disclaimer and warning on the Windows 11 installer after enabling the TPM 2.0 check bypass.

Additional Resources

Sep 252021
 
Windows Server 2022 Logo

Today, I will be showing you howto install, configure, and deploy Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) on Windows Server 2022. I’ll also show you how to use the WSUS MMC interface, approve/manage updates, and more!

This video will demonstrate the process of the WSUS role installation, post-installation tasks, first-time WSUS configuration wizard, and the WSUS MMC.

Check it out and feel free to leave a comment! Scroll down below for more information and details on the guide.

Who’s this guide for

This guide is perfect for a seasoned IT professional or a beginner who is looking at getting experience with Windows Server 2022.

What’s included in the video

In this guide I will walk you through the following:

  • Server Manager
    • Windows Server Update Services Role Installation
  • WSUS Considerations and Requirements
    • WID (Windows Internal Database)
    • SQL Express
    • GPO Group Policy Objects
    • WSUS Maintenance
    • Upstream and Downstream WSUS Servers
    • Bandwidth Optimization
  • WSUS Usage and Platform
    • WSUS Infrastructure Design
    • WSUS Synchronization Schedule
    • WSUS Language, Products, and Classifications selections
    • WSUS MMC Overview
    • “gpupdate /force” command usage
    • WSUS Update Approval
    • WSUS Reporting

Additional Information

Please see below (click to enlarge) for a WSUS GPO Configuration Example.

GPO Settings for WSUS Configuration
WSUS GPO Configuration Example

Please Note: This example contains configuration to automatically install updates. This example should only be used for workstations and not servers. Please use this example as a guide for your own study.

What’s required

To get started you’ll need:

  • 1 x Server (Virtual Machine or Physical Server)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Licensing
  • A running Windows Server 2022 Instance (OSE)
  • A network router and/or firewall

Hardware/Software used in this demonstration

  • VMware vSphere
  • HPE DL360p Gen8 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022
  • pfSense Firewall

Blog Posts mentioned in this video

Sep 202021
 

Welcome to Episode 03.1 of The Tech Journal Vlog (Special Episode on VMware Horizon 8 Version 2106)

In this episode – VMware Horizon 8 Version 2106

This is a special episode dedicated to the release of VMware Horizon View 8, version 2106.

What’s new

In the video, I cover what’s new in the 2106 release.

My Favorite Changes & Enhancements:

  • Audio recording support for 48Khz Audio via RTAV, defaults to 16Khz
    • Persistence on Audio quality recording settings across sessions
    • Sample Rate can be configured via GPO
  • VMware Horizon Linux Client supports Microsoft Teams Optimization
    • Linux Based Zero Clients should add functionality shortly (10ZiG already has!)
  • Raspberry Pi 4 Support!!!!
    • Also supports RTAV

Other interesting changes and enhancements:

  • UI Change on VMware Horizon Client
  • Instant Clones now support SysPrep: Instant Clones with Parent
    • No duplicate SIDs when using SysPrep
  • Ability to use 6 x 4K Displays
  • No Longer have to re-install VMware Horizon Agent after VMware Tools Upgrade
  • Forgot to mention: Support added for USB Redirection with Xbox Gaming Controllers

Additional Items:

  • VMware OSOT Optimization tool Versioning now matches Horizon
    • Removal of Custom Templates
  • VMware VDI Base Image Creation Guide has been updated
    • New guide on automating the VMware VDI Base Image Creation added

Links Mentioned in this post:

Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Leave a comment, feedback, or suggestions!

Sep 192021
 
Windows Server 2022 Logo

Today we’re deploying a Windows Server 2022 member server and joining it to the domain we created in previous videos. I’ll also be explaining the difference between Domain Credentials and Local Credentials on member servers.

This video will demonstrate and explain the process of deploying a Windows Server 2022 member server, network configuration, DHCP vs Static IPs, and domain credentials vs local credentials.

Check it out and feel free to leave a comment! Scroll down below for more information and details on the guide.

Who’s this guide for

This guide is perfect for a seasoned IT professional or a beginner who is looking at getting experience with Windows Server 2022.

What’s included in the video

In this guide I will walk you through the following:

  • Document a new Server deployment
  • Configure Networking
  • Join Windows Server 2022 Server to domain as member server
  • Discussion on time importance with Active Directory and Domains
  • Discussion on Domain Credentials vs Local Credentials

What’s required

To get started you’ll need:

  • 1 x Server (Virtual Machine or Physical Server)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Licensing
  • A running Windows Server 2022 Instance (OSE)
  • A network router and/or firewall

Hardware/Software used in this demonstration

  • VMware vSphere
  • HPE DL360p Gen8 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022
  • pfSense Firewall
Sep 192021
 
Windows Server 2022 Logo

Today, I will show you how to create an Active Directory Domain on Windows Server 2022.

This video will demonstrate and explain the process of configuring, and deploying a Windows Server 2022 instance as a Domain Controller, DNS Server, and DHCP Server and then setting up a standard user.

Check it out and feel free to leave a comment! Scroll down below for more information and details on the guide.

Who’s this guide for

This guide is perfect for a seasoned IT professional or a beginner who is looking at getting experience with installing Windows Server 2022.

What’s included in the video

In this guide I will walk you through the following:

  • Document a new Server Installation and domain
  • Promote a Windows Server 2022 Server to a Domain Controller with Active Directory
    • Installation and configuration of Microsoft Active Directory
    • Promote a server as a new domain controller
      • Overview of Forest Functional Level
      • Overview of Domain Functional Level
      • Overview of DSRM (Domain Services Restore Mode) and Password
    • Installation and configuration of DNS Role
    • Installation and configuration of DHCP Role
  • Setup and configuration of a new user account on domain
  • Creation of DHCP Scope for Network

What’s required

To get started you’ll need:

  • 1 x Server (Virtual Machine or Physical Server)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Licensing
  • A running Windows Server 2022 Instance (OSE)
  • A network router and/or firewall

Hardware/Software used in this demonstration

  • VMware vSphere
  • HPE DL360p Gen8 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022
  • pfSense Firewall
Sep 182021
 
Windows Server 2022 Logo

With the recent release of Microsoft Windows Server 2022, I felt I needed to give it a shot. Join me as I install Windows Server 2022.

These instructions are also valid for previous versions of Microsoft Windows Server.

This video will demonstrate and explain the process of installing, configuring, and deploying a Windows Server 2022 instance.

Check it out and feel free to leave a comment! Scroll down below for more information and details on the guide.

Who’s this guide for

This guide is perfect for a seasoned IT professional or a beginner who is looking at getting experience with installing Windows Server 2022.

What’s included in the video

In this guide I will walk you through the following:

  • Installing Windows Server 2022 (with Desktop Experience)
  • Document a new Server Installation
  • VMware Tools Installation
  • Configuring Network Settings
  • Computer Name Change
  • Windows Server 2022 Server Manager Overview
  • Windows Updates

What’s required

To get started you’ll need:

  • 1 x Server (Virtual Machine or Physical Server)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Licensing
  • A network router and/or firewall

Hardware/Software used in this demonstration

  • VMware vSphere
  • HPE DL360p Gen8 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2022
  • pfSense Firewall
Sep 182021
 

Welcome to Episode 03 of The Tech Journal Vlog at StephenWagner.com

In this episode

Fun Stuff

  • Homelab Video Demo (https://youtu.be/oaZv2hpQKac)
  • Telus Fiber 1G Internet (for Business)
    • Sophos UTM Dual WAN Balancing
  • Synology
    • Synology Diskstation DS1621+
    • DSM 7.0
    • Synology C2 Cloud Backup

Work Update

  • VDI Consulting
    • VDI Golden Images for Non-Persistent VDI
  • DUO MFA/2FA
    • Implementations of DUO with Horizon
  • Exchange Projects
  • IT Director as a Service 🙂

Life Update

  • Back at the Gym
  • Travel is Back (Regina, Vancouver)

New Blog Posts

Current Projects

  • Synology DS1621+
  • AMD S7150 x2 MxGPU
  • NVME Storage Server Project
  • 10ZiG Thin Clients

Don’t forget to like and subscribe!
Leave a comment, feedback, or suggestions!