Using Nano Server

Lately I have been working with Nano and needed to say that it´s really something what we are looking for. If you compare it to full server you have quite many benefits to use Nano server for example as Hyper-V host. You don´t need to update it as much as you need to do with full server and the management is really easy. Let me show you an example how to quickly build up Nano server.

I´m mostly referring Microsoft great document which you can find Here.

I´m going to setup physical Nano server for demo purposes which is currently running with Windows 2016 TP5 full GUI. First I´m going to create image for the Nano server.

First we need to copy NanoServerImageGenerator folder from the \NanoServer folder in the Windows Server Technical Preview ISO to your physical Host. As I don´t currently have DHCP in my demo environment I will also assign static IP-address for the image.

Command is like:

You can see all the needed parameters from the Microsoft articleBasically what I´m creating here is the vhd image from the Nano server which will be automatically join to the domain with static IP-address. If you created image with the another computer, then just copy the image to physical host where you want to run Nano Server.
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Next attach the disk to your physical host:
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Next we need to configure physical host to boot from the image.

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Then detach vhd and ensure that our server boot is configured correctly. After that reboot server.
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After few minutes you have Nano server up and running. If you have possibility to use iRMC, iLO etc, you can check Recovery console as well. As we joined host to the domain you are able to login the Recovery console with your domain account.
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Alright, let´s manage Nano Server via powershell as we can see that it´s working correctly so we don´t need to use Recovery Console. Just keep in mind that if you have some network issues you can check many things from the recovery Console.

First connect we connect to Nano server and check what package providers are available. Package Providers gives us a possibility to install Windows Packages using PowerShell cmdlets.


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Next we will install Nano Server package provider:

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Now we can search windows Packages that are available in the online repository.

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As you can see it really easy to check the available packages and then you can easily install needed packages.

What comes to Windows update and Nano Server you can refer Microsoft documentation which can be found Here.
Only what you need to do is to run few lines of powershell and Nano server is up to date:

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You can also check what patches are installed on Nano Server:

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You can also list all processes which are running on Nano Server:

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What comes to VMM 2016 you can also manage Nano server from the VMM.
Only thing what you need to do is to install few packages to Nano server and then you have possibility to add Nano Server under VMM management.
Please refer this Microsoft Article to Add Nano Server to VMM.

In next blog post I will show you how to manage Nano server with new tool called Server management tools preview which can be found from Microsoft Azure.

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