Getting Started with Nano Server

The next generation of Windows server is soon to be released, the final release date is estimated to Q2/Q3 2016.

Windows server 2016 is very exiting and will for sure change things up the way we administer servers.
Microsoft have added a new installation mode in Windows Server 2016. Nano Server.

Nano Server is truley a “Core Server”. It will not include the option to install GUI, you will not be able to logon to the server localy or through RDP.
This make it possible to build the microsoft OS on a completely new minimal level than before.
All management will be handeld remotly through WMI/Powershell.

Several microsofts enginners claims that the Nano server will require up to 80% less reboots.
This thanks to the servers will not contain any gui,it will have fewer services and processes running and it will require less critical patches.

Checkout some information from Teched’s great video at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLtfDzJngQg

Lets go!!

Its time to get familiar with the new Windows Nano server.
Im going to run a Nano Server as a VM in my test-enivoroment. Here is how to get started:

Step 1:

Download the Windows Server 2016 TP4 at:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

Be sure to login and registry for the evaluate copy.

Save the .ISO file to C:\TEMP\NanoServer

download_iso

 

Step 2:

Now its time to download all powershell scripts needed

Download the script “Create a New Nano Server VHD/VHDx” from Script center
Save the .ps1 script to C:\TEMP\NanoServer

download_script

You will also need the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 from https://raw.githubusercontent.com/PlagueHO/Powershell/master/New-NanoServerVHD/Convert-WindowsImage.ps1
Save the .ps1 script to C:\TEMP\NanoServer

This becuase there is currently a bug in the orgiginal Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 that causes the TP4 not to work as it should.

Now you should have the thease files under C:\TEMP\NanoServer

10586.0.151029-1700.TH2_RELEASE_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.iso
Convert-WindowsImage.ps1
New-NanoServerVHD.ps1

Step 3:

Now it´s time to start the accual making of the .vhd file:

Start powershell ISE as Administrator

cd to C:\TEMP\NanoServer

Paste the following script and edit it how you would like to have the settings:

.\New-NanoServerVHD.ps1 `
-ServerISO ‘c:\temp\NanoServer\10586.0.151029-1700.TH2_RELEASE_SERVER_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.iso’ `
-DestVHD c:\temp\NanoServer\NanoServerTP4_C.vhd `
-ComputerName NanoServerTP4 `
-AdministratorPassword ‘Secr3Tp@ssw0rd’ `
-Packages ‘OEM-Drivers’,’Guest’ `
-IPAddress ‘192.168.1.55’

The .vhd file is now beeing created with the specifics above.

crate_vhd_file.JPG

Now when you have the .vhd file ready, you only need to create a new GEN 1 vm and attach the .vhd disk, and then youre all set to start using Windows Nano Server!

This is how Nano Server looks through the Console in Hyper-V:

nanoserver_ready

 

Connect to the Nano server through powershell:

# Enable powershell remoting
Enable-PSRemoting -Force

# You might want to change * to the name or IP of the machine you want to connect to
Set-Item “wsman:\localhost\client\trustedhosts” -Value “*” -Force

# Credentials
$creds = Get-Credential servername\Administrator

# Enter PSSession, you must change “ServerAddress” to the name or IP you want to connect to
Enter-PSSession -Computername 192.168.1.55 -Credential $creds

 

Some (hopefully) basic usable powershell scripts:

Allowing ICMP trafic in the Nano firewall:

# Enable ICMP on Nano Server

# Start by importing the NetSecurity Module
Import-Module NetSecurity

# Create a new Firewall rule that will allow ICMP
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “Allow ICMP” -Direction Inbound -Action Allow -Protocol icmpv4 -Enabled True

# Controle that the new firewall rule is listed in the rules list
Get-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “Allow ICMP”

Result:

Nanoserver_ICMP.JPG

Allowing SMB browsing to the Nano Server:

# Enable SMB browsing on the Nano Server

# Start by importing the NetSecurity Module
Import-Module NetSecurity

# Create a new Firewall rule that will allow SMB Sharing
Set-NetFirewallRule -DisplayGroup “File And Printer Sharing” -Enabled True

Before:

SMB_access

After:

smb_working

 

More about the Nano Server:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt126167.aspx

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