Friday 30 December 2016

Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - WAP Architecture (STANDALONE & HIGH AVAILABILITY) - Part 4

Hello Everyone,

This post is to explain about WAP Architectures from 2 different scenarios: STANDALONE DEPLOYMENT & HIGH AVAILABILITY DEPLOYMENT.




To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - INTRODUCTION - Part 1, Click Here!

To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - Components & Deployment Types- Part 2, Click Here!

To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - Complete Setup Deployment Requirement - Part 3, Click Here!

Let's start understanding both deployment types in details below...😉


Below is the simple architecture for STANDALONE DEPLOYMENT:

Mostly, STANDALONE DEPLOYMENT is used for POC/Staging/Dev Testing environment purposes only. So, You can use minimal resources for the complete deployment which may have differ architectures.

Above architecture includes below key sections:


All Management Servers (Explained in Management Layer section below) & Cloud Infra Servers (Explained in Cloud Infra Servers Layer section below) must be joined to active directory. 

Active Directory will also be used for creating accounts which will be used for deploying complete setup. All setup VMs will be part of Active directory.


This section includes Physical Management Servers & Virtual Management VMs which are created on those physical management servers (where complete setup will be installed). 

As shown in above architecture diagram, I have shown only 1 Physical Server with 1 additional disk where all Virtual Hard Disks will be placed for all Management VMs. Disk size will be based on capacity planning for complete setup deployment where You have to calculate complete required size (will explain sizing details during prerequisites for each components in upcoming posts).

You can also use Physical 'N' numbers of Management Servers as per Your environment requirements.


This section is basically consider as standalone deployment if You are deploying each component on 1-1 VMs respectively with their Database as shown below:

In this case, if any of VM or individual service goes down, Your complete setup will be down. There will be no Failover of services on VMs without High Availability. 

This is why STANDALONE DEPLOYMENT is not recommended for Production Environment but You can use it on Your own risks.


This section will includes those servers which will have Cloud VMs on their hyper-v and CSV or Local disks.

As shown in diagram below, I have shown clustered server with CSV (Clustered Shared Volume) volume where all Tenant's VMs will be placed:

It is not mandatory to have Clustered Servers. You can also use standalone physical servers with local additional disks but in that case, if physical server goes down then all VMs will be goes down & Your tenants can not access them.

 If using clustered infra then if any server goes down then VMs can float (Live Migrate) to other available servers.

NOTE: Always keep in mind that Clustered should be created with concept like n-1, n-2 or n-3 and so on based on environment requirements - availability & usages of resources.

Consider "n-1" where N = 4. So All 4 servers will be part of cluster and all CSV volumes are shared on all physical nodes but 1 Node will be always empty (No VM should be deployed on that server) because when any node out of other 3 nodes goes down, then all VMs can be fail-over (or Live Migrate) to complete available empty physical server to utilise resources. This "n-1" will be called as 1 Failover. Similarly, if You are using "n-2", then You can go for min 2 Failover.

Now, You may get confused here with above calculation because if You are deploying VMs on all nodes then You may think that even though Clustering is configured still You can not live migrate VMs. 

So, Understand the concept that clustering is a concept of combining physical resources in such a way that if 1 nodes goes down then VM which was using resources of that node can use the next available physical nodes resources. By resources I mean to say Memory & CPU. 

If Your VMs are assigned with Static Memory with Higher size and When any node goes down but next available node doesn't have required resource available then Your VM will still migrate on next available node but will go in saved-critical state. 

That's why for best practices I have explained concept for n-1, n-2 or so on based on Your environment requirement.   ***APPLICABLE FOR PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT (NOT MANDATORY BUT RECOMMENDED).

All is a game of capacity planning & utilization reports. You must use best practices calculations in such cases for better performance & resource optimization.


This layer is nothing but using Your Tenant VMs via Internet access. You will be given Tenant portal access from where You can provision VMs to Cloud Infra Servers and check their status, report and take console from that portal itself. Cloud is nothing but using Your servers over Internet (Web access).
This layer includes same VMs which are deployed on Cloud Infra Servers where Cloud Infra Servers is known as Back-end Infrastructure and Cloud Layer is front-end portal for Tenants.


Each section individually is explained in details above. Summary of above deployment is each Management Servers (both physical & virtuals) will be joined to Active Directory. Cloud Infra Servers will be added to SCVMM. All cloud resources (network, storage. compute, subscriptions) are managed by SCVMM. Tenants will be provided access to only required resources. SPF will play as intermediate role between SCVMM & WAP which will be responsible to handle all request/responses in both directions.


In this architecture, all physical & virtual management layer will be in HA mode i.e. in physical & guest clustering configuration mode. Required min 2 or more Physical Servers for Management Physical Servers & Min 2 or more Virtual Servers for each components will be required for WAP Setup.

Architecture will be like shown below: (Simple architecture shown, will differ for each different requirement & environment based on capacity & utilisation plannings):

All layers are same as explained above. Only difference comes with configuring everything in High-Availability mode.

For virtual management layer, Each components will have min 2 VMs or max You can take as per Your wish with resources availability (as per my suggestion, 4 VMs will be enough but resource utilisation will be more so consider resource planning as well while planning for deployment).

SCVMM will be configured for Guest Clustering while other 2 components (SPF & WAP) will be configured with NLB (Network Load Balancer) as shown in above diagram. Each component Database will be configured on separate DB VMs which will be configured with Guest Clustering SQL Always-on Mode.


Other components like SCOM, SCCM don't support guest clustering concept. Instead of that, In SCOM, You can have more Management Servers in environment while in SCCM, You can deploy CAS environment with multiple Primary & Secondary sites.

Rest all concept is already explained above.

This is all about basics of both architecture deployment types. These both are very basic methods to just explain & clear Your understanding on WAP. 😊😊

For detailed sizing calculation & prerequisites for both deployment, I will explain in next post with examples.

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

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Wednesday 28 December 2016

Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - Complete Setup Deployment Requirement - Part 3

Hello Everyone,

This post is to explain You about complete setup requirement for Private Cloud in Your environment.

There are 2 Main types for deployment - Standalone Deployment or High Availability Deployment.

Let's start understanding different architecture for deployment...


Below explanation is shared based on my personal experience. For better planning, understanding & deployment, I will suggest You to get well-designed solution documents & architecture from Microsoft or Microsoft's Partner companies based on Your environment requirements. My blog post will help in learning technical background only. 

To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - INTRODUCTION - Part 1, Click Here!

To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - Components & Deployment Types- Part 2, Click Here!


As explained in my previous post (Click Here to see Previous Post!), there are 2 types for WAP Components deployment types - Express or Distributed Deployment Types. 

Microsoft has explained both deployment types with detailed architecture diagram & requirements so for this, I don't need to explain here. You can see the same by clicking on below link:



Now, You might be confused here why I mentioned 2 different headings for WAP Setup. There are 2 things to understand here:

  • WAP Component Deployments - Which includes WAP IIS Components for Admin & Tenant Portals.

  • WAP Setup Deployments - which includes back-end infra setup which will be integrated with WAP Portal to provide IAAS & other services to tenants.

This explanation is given to give You more clarity between both so that You don't get confused with deployment. 

If You deploy, WAP Components only doesn't means that Your Private Cloud setup is ready to work until Your back-end infrastructure and other components not ready with integration with each other.  

WAP Component Deployment can be understand from Microsoft Link shared above but now You must understand what all other back-end infrastructure is required to make Your private cloud setup ready to use in production.


System Center Suite which includes 7 components and Windows Servers (either standalone or clustered) are the back-bone of private cloud setup. Not all System components are mandatory to use but few are required.

Below are details for components used in WAP Setup:


  • SPF: Service Provider Foundation (Available in Orchestrator Setup) is the inter-mediator between SCVMM & WAP which helps in performing request-response responsibility using SCVMM power-shell scripts stored in SPF machine. All request generated via tenant/admin portal are forwarded to SCVMM via SPF and vice-versa for all responses. CLICK HERE: LEARN COMPLETE SPF FROM BEGINNING!!!


  • SCCM: This component is used for patching, generating compliance report, inventory report, application deployment etc. I haven't written any series on this component yet because already many great Bloggers have written very good posts on this component. Few reference links are mentioned below (I am following these few blogs when required on this components):

  • SCO: This component is used for automating certain tasks using integration between all components and then using scripts. (Yet to start the series on this!)

  • SCSM: This is a ticketing tool for generating tickets based on certain request like IR, SR etc. Didn't worked on this tool yet 😏

Above description will clear Your concept about all components used for Private Cloud Setup.

Now, Decision required is to deploy Private Cloud Setup as STANDALONE or HIGH AVAILABILITY?

Difference between both is:

  • STANDALONE environment will be deployed on single VMs for each components. If any machine goes down, Your complete setup will be down.

  • HIGH AVAILABILITY environment will have min 2 VMs for each components with guest clustering or software NLB (Network Load Balancer) configured which will gives You 1 fail-over availability. By 1 Failover availability, I mean to say that suppose You have used 2 VMs as guest clustering then if 1 VM goes down then 2 VM will become active node and all service will start on other node automatically. 

I will explain about both scenarios with architecture diagram in my next post. This post is just to clear Your logic behind all deployments.

After explaining with architecture diagram, You will be easily able to design Your architecture based on Your environment (NOTE: Still, Communicate with Microsoft for best solution for Your environment. 😉)

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

Happy Reading!!!

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Sunday 25 December 2016

Microsoft Outlook - Repair & Recover corrupt PST Files using Stellar Phoenix PST Repair Tool

Hello Everyone,

This post will explain the process to repair & recover corrupt PST files using Stellar Phoenix PST Recovery tool.

This tool helps in complete recovery of corrupt files which includes contents like email, attached files, calendar etc. 

Not only corrupt files can be recovered with this tool but You can also recover mails which are accidentally deleted.

Recovered files are saved as new PST file which You can import in MS Outlook again and start working on recovered files.

Let's start understanding more about the tool in details below...  


This tool has very useful key features which You must know:

  • Repair/Recover corrupt or damaged Outlook files.
  • Recover accidentally deleted files from emails.
  • Export recovered files in multiple formats which includes EML, MSG, RTF, HTML or PDF.
  • You can recover file with large size (Tested upto 2 GB - can go for more size as well).
  • Helps in recovery from encrypted PST files as well


Hardware Requirement:

Below are the key requirements to install this tool:

  • RAM - 512 MB (I will suggest to have max 2 GB for better performance)
  • CPU - 2
  • HDD - Requires on 50 MB free space so You can take total 50 GB OS Drive only.

Supported OS:

  • Win 10/8/7/Vista 

In my lab I have worked on Win 2012 R2 to see if this will work and it Works fine... 😉😋

Supported MS Outlook Versions:

  • 2016/2013/2010/2007/2003/2002(xp)/2000 -  NOT BAD 😎

Software Requirement:


Installation is very simple for this tool. Let's see below step by step with screenshot...

 Run the setup as Administrator:

Click Next:

Accept License Terms and Click Next:

Click Next:

Click Next:

Click Next:

Click Next:

Click Finish:

This is the complete installation process. It's very easy & simple to install... 😊😊


In very first screen it will ask You select corrupt PST file to Scan:

To explain console overview, I have closed this above screen. So, Below is the main Screen of Tool:

In Above screen, You see left menu where You will multiple tabs like Mail, Calendar. Task, Notes, Journal, Contacts which means that when You will recover any corrupt files then each particulars files will be scanned, segregated and stored in each respective tab. After that You will be having option to even search any particular mail, contacts, notes etc as per Your requirement.

If You want to save completed recovered PST into new PST file, You must have registered the tool using Online or Offline method. For this, You must have license Key with You.

To register Your trail product, Click on Registration Tab and then Click on Register:

A new window will open which will ask You to choose method to register as online or offline:

NOTE: For online registration, Internet must be running on machine. For offline Registration, You must have valid license key.



Now, let's see how we can recover any corrupt PST file using this tool.

Click on File Tab & then Click on Select Outlook Mailbox option:

Click on Select Outlook File option:

Once file is selected, Click on Scan Now:

This scan will take some time to recover based on the size of PST File. Once Done, Click OK:

And WOW... This recovered complete PST File, placed all files in respective folders which also give total counts in each folders:

Now, With this, Option to Save file and Find message in menu tab is also enabled. Using find tab, You can find any particular mail or attached file.

Now, to see if all files are recovered, You can also see log files. For this, click on View Tab and then click on Log Report:

This will show You status of each recovered file whether repaired or not with description, You can also save this log file:

This is all about evaluation result.


Based on my evaluation observation, This tool is really very useful to recover corrupt/damaged PST files. 

Key Benefits which I observed are:

  • Very easy and simple to use 
  • Fast recovery of large size of files.
  • Recover accidentally deleted files easily.
  • You can easily find messages 
  • Log files helps You to see status of recovered files.
  • Support not only Client OS Version but works fine on Server OS as well (Tested on Win 2012 R2 Server 😋😀)


Company Link:

Product Page Link:

Knowledge Base (KB):

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

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Friday 23 December 2016

Microsoft Windows Server - Evaluation Key Install, Upgrade & Rearm Process

Hello Everyone,

This post includes the steps to explain how to install/upgrade Evaluation License key or rearm evaluation key to extend the time for evaluation.

By default, any evaluation version for Windows Server includes 180 Days. During that period of time, You can evaluate all server features & functionality. But after that period, You need to upgrade Your license to retail version.

If You want to extend Your evaluation period for more times then Microsoft has provided You with an option called "Rearm" which gives You opportunity to extend the evaluation period by 6 Rearm Count. 

Each rearm count extend the evaluation time period by 10 Days which means You can extend the evaluation period for 60 more Days. After that, You have to upgrade license to full retail version else after every 2 hours, Your Server will automatically power off.

Now, How to check Your evaluation time period left is using below command:

Open command prompt and run this command - slmgr /dlv: 

This will open a small window which includes time period left & rearm count left:

Microsoft has provide KMS Client setup keys for all versions. KMS Client setup key is used only for some Volume License Key editions servers. In some Volume License editions, KMS key is enabled by default. 


How to install KMS Key? 

For this, You need to follow below steps:

1. Check the current server edition using below command:

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

This will give the current running edition details:

2. Run the below command to install key for both Editions:

Standard Edition:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

Datacenter Edition:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

NOTE: Same command is used to upgrade from evaluation version to retail version. You must have retail version Product Key from Microsoft.

This will require reboot. 

3. Run below command to enable KMS Key:

slmgr /ipk <Product_Key_for_Running_Edition>  

NOTE: Either Standard or Datacenter Product Key which is running

If facing any issue during installing KMS Key, then restart the KMS Service by running below commands:

net stop sppsvc

net start sppsvc

4. Once all done, You can check if key is successfully installed by running below command:

slmgr /dlv 

How to enable rearm count?

This is very simple command to enable rearm count, run below command:

slmgr /rearm  -> Press Enter

This will require reboot. 


Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012!!!

This is all about Installing/Upgrading or enabling rearm count for License Key in Windows Server.

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - Components & Deployment Types- Part 2

Hello Everyone,

This post will help You understand WAP Components & Deployments types (In Simple terms, different ways to Deploy WAP in Your Environment).

To see Microsoft Windows Azure Pack (PRIVATE CLOUD - WAP) - INTRODUCTION - Part 1, Click Here!

Let's start understanding WAP Components first...


Basically, WAP includes multiple APIs which perform respectively back-end process (task) to integrate WAP Portals with Infrastructure (back-end servers) & give response based on request to WAP Portal. These multiple APIs are known as WAP Components (This term is defined by me based on my personal experience on Private Cloud).   

Microsoft provide options to either deploy WAP Components as a bundle or using individual components. 

Let's start understanding each components one by one in details below:


Below are the required components:


This performs all administrative tasks for Administrators using Administrators Management Portal.


Helps Tenants to manage cloud services based on plans which is subscribed to their account. Users can perform all tasks using self-service tenant portal.


This API helps in providing all required services to Tenants which they subscribed for from back-end.


To Login to Admin Portal, authentication is required whether login user is authorised to login or not. By default, it is windows administrator (Local Account). But You can also configure Windows Azure ADFS (Active Directory Federation Service) as well to provide user access to the Admin Portal.


This helps in providing authentications to management portal for tenant users. By Default, it uses ASP.Net Membership provider authentication method.


This is a Management portal for Administrator to perform all management tasks on portal. Using this portal, Administrator manage all resources like cloud, user account, plan, quotas, prices, manage subscriptions etc. Using this portal, Administrator has to register Virtual Machine Cloud for resources availability on portal.


This portal is a self-service tenant portal for all tenant users. Using this portal, all tenants deploy (provision) virtual machines, monitor & manage all services.

NOTE: Both Admin & Tenant Portals are custmizable and console looks can be changed as per Your requirement by development team.



You can enable website as a service which will help in creating shared web hosting platform for ASP.NET, PHP & NODE.js web applications.


This is mostly used components for providing Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS) to tenants for Windows & Linux Virtual Machines. Using this, Tenants can deploy & used Virtual Machines on portal.


This helps in providing messaging services between distributed applications.


This helps in automating custom services integration using scripts or runbook on portal.


This is also known as DATABASE As A Service where You can deploy SQL/MYSQL Databases for Tenant Users.

Above all are the components which are available in Windows Azure Pack. You can also integration On-premises WAP with Microsoft Azure (Public Cloud).

Let's now try to understand concept for Deployment Types below....


As per Microsoft, There are 2 types of deployment:


This deployment is used to show Proof of concept (POC) for Windows Azure Pack. This deployment requires minimum resources for deployment for each components. You can use only 1 VM to deploy all WAP Components with Database as well on same machine.

Minimum Resource requirement includes (Using Virtual Machine):

  • 4 GB vRAM
  • 4 vCPU
  • C Drive: 50 GB for OS & D Drive: 100 GB for SQL WAP DB


This deployment is used in Production environment. In this method, as per Microsoft, WAP components are distributed (or installed) on multiple different Virtual Machines. This is based on categories like:

  • Public facing components (Tenant Components on 1 VM).
  • Back-end components related to management services on 2nd VM.
  • Other Service components on other VMs.

Above 2 deployments types are based on Microsoft. But, based on my experience to deploy WAP in production environment, We can deploy all components on 1 VMs itself with High Availability. HA means all components will be deployed equally on 2 VMs with NLB (Network Load Balancing) Configured. 

This is basic information explained above to understand meaning of each components & concept of deployment types. 

In my next post, I will explain different WAP Architectures based on deployment types in details which will also include capacity planning & prerequisites for WAP Deployment.

Share Your feedback or any query!!!

Happy Reading!!!

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