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Potential indicators of a processor bottleneck

A sustained queue of greater than 1.

A sustained time of 85% or greater.


Normal disk queue length and % time

Queue of 2 plus the number of disk spindles.

Under 90%.


Potential indicator of a memory bottleneck

Over 20 pages per second


VHD is supported by what Generation(s) of VMs?

Virtual Disk supported by both Gen 1 and 2


VHDX is supported by what Generation(s) of VMs?

Virtual Disk supported by Gen 2 VMs only


Disk(s) and file system(s) compatible with Data Deduplication

Compatible with either MBR or GPT disks.

Compatible with NTFS only.


For a Windows Server Backup, what is contained in the "System State"?

- boot files
- Active Directory files
- sysvol, when run on a domain controller
- the registry
- other info, depending on the computer configuration and installed roles


Recommended block size for a disk containing SQL Server database and log files



Maximum size of a VHD?

2 TB


The default number of max failures before a role will transfer to a new node



What role do we add in Failover Cluster Manager to replicate virtual machines?

Replica Broker


Requirements for expanding or shrinking a virtual hard disk

- VHDX format (VHDs cannot be resized)

- SCSI controller (IDE is not supported)

- Dynamic type (Fixed disks cannot be resized)


What must be done in Active Directory for a Kerberos constrained delegation of a shared-nothing live migration?

The following services must be added to the Delegation tab for each server participating:

- cifs (used for the storage migration)

- Microsoft Virtual System Migration Service (used for the live migration)


True or False: In order for Microsoft to support a Failover Cluster, you must run all tests in the "Validate a Configuration Wizard" and have all run as successful.



When configuring a new failover cluster with a disk witness, if using the GUI wizard, what disk is used as the witness?

It will automatically choose the LUN shared by all nodes which is of the smallest size.


What are the types of quorum for a failover cluster?

- Disk Witness
- File Share Witness
- Cloud Witness


Define Guest Clustering and list some example usage scenarios

A Guest Cluster is a failover cluster consisting of VM nodes which themselves exist on a host cluster. Good usage scenarios:

- DHCP Server
- DFS Namespace Server
- WINS Server
- File Server (not SoFS)
- iSNS server
- Generic App/Script/Service


Determine scenarios for a SoFS versus a clustered file server

- SoFS is recommended for use by applications such as Hyper-V or SQL Server; applications that leave files open for extended periods of time.

- Clustered file server is recommended for traditional file services: user shares (aka Folder Redirection), and server applications that open and close files frequently.

- Either are equally recommended for "standard" SMB shared applications such as SMB encryption, SMB Continuous Availability, SMB Direct, or SMB Multichannel.


True or False: When adding a role to a cluster, the wizard will automatically install any necessary Windows roles or features on nodes selected to have the role.


Necessary roles and features must be installed on the nodes prior to adding the role to the cluster.


How many cluster roles can a LUN be assigned to serve as storage for?

One, and only one.


Protocols and features supported by a clustered file server vs. a SoFS

File server:
- SMB protocol
- NFS protocol
- Distributed File Services (DFS) Replication
- Data Deduplication
- File Server Resource Manager

- SMB protocol
- none of the others above
- Allows an active-active file share, where all nodes can access the share simultaneously.


Prerequisites for Server to Server Storage Replica

Both the source and destination server must:

- run Datacenter Edition of Server 2016

- be domain-joined

- have the File Server and Storage Replica roles installed

- each have a volume for the data to be replicated, with the same size partition for the source and destination. It cannot be the volume the OS is installed on.

- each also have a volume for logs, each with at least 8 GB free

Additional notes:

- High performance storage, such as SSD, is recommended for log disks

- all disks must be GUID Partition Table (GPT)


When should you use Synchronous Replication for Storage Replica?

Enable synchronous replication to guarantee a zero data loss, zero recovery point objective for all replicated volumes.

Synchronous replication may lead to reduced application performance and requires 5 ms or less average round trip network latency between cluster nodes.


When should you use Asynchronous Replication for Storage Replica?

Enabling asynchronous replication is less likely to reduce application performance and allows use of higher latency, lower bandwidth, and longer range networks.

It does not guarantee zero data loss or zero recovery point objectives.


Difference between hyper-converged and dissaggregated Storage Spaces Direct

Hyper-converged: The Hyper-V role and Storage role are on the same cluster. VMs and their storage are hosted together.

Disaggregated: The computing and storage are separated, so the file server role, or SoFS, is run on a separate cluster from the Hyper-V role. VMs and their storage are hosted separately.


Describe different types of SMB Shares

- Quick: the basic profile, typically used to share files with Windows-based computers. Suitable for general file sharing; advanced options can be configured later.

- Advanced: offers additional options.

- Applications: has settings appropriate for Hyper-V, certain databases, and other server applications


Define CSV

Cluster Shared Volume


Define "VM Network Health Protection"

When enabled on a VM, if the VM detects that there is a network problem, it will, of its own accord, move itself to another cluster node. It's detected from the VM itself, not from the Failover Cluster Manager.

In Hyper-V Manager, go to VM Settings > Hardware > Network Adapter > Advanced Features > Protected Network (check box)


What is VM Monitoring, and what are the steps to configure it?

A capability of the Failover Cluster server role, VM Monitoring allows you to monitor guest VM service heath, and receive health alerts at the cluster host level.

To configure:

1. Have admin privileges on each guest VM.

2. Enable the Virtual Machine Monitoring Windows Firewall rule exception from within each VM to be monitored.

3. Configure service monitoring from the Properties sheet of each VM from within Failover Cluster Manager, or via PowerShell.


What are the network protocols (operation modes) you have the option of choosing when setting up an NLB?

Unicast, multicast, and IGMP multicast


What are the pros and cons of using Unicast for NLB?

- Always works
- Requires no special network configurations

- Requires second NIC on NLB hosts
- Causes subnet flooding


What are the pros and cons of using Multicast for NLB?

Pros: Does not require second NIC on NLB hosts

- Causes subnet flooding
- Requires special network configuration
(network has to support multicast; other routing entries are required)


What are the pros and cons of using IGMP Multicast for NLB?

This is the only best practice use for a NLB cluster in any production environment.

Pros: Does not cause subnet flooding; does not require second NIC on NLB hosts

Cons: Requires network support; requires special network configuration (needs networking equipment that supports IGMP Multicast)



This rebalances the use of the storage pool between performance tier and capacity tier, based on current configuration and usage


What is NLB useful for? What are good use cases?

Websites; Webservers; static content or services


Affinity options when configuring NLB?

None: Clients will go to any NLB node (based on balance needs). Only useful if the service is stateless (no information needs to be cached on the NLB node). Very easy to balance traffic evenly and efficiently.

Single: A single client gets directed to the same NLB node for its entire session, based on its IP address. Good for stateful connections, like shopping carts on websites, etc.

Network: An entire subnet gets directed to the same NLB node; but it becomes more difficult to evenly balance traffic, if subnets vary significantly in size.


In the context of NLB, what is "drainstop"?

It stops the NLB service on an NLB node, but before stopping it, it waits for all inbound connections it's currently processing to be "drained" (concluded or migrated) to another NLB node. This way, no stateful connections are interrupted.


Steps for upgrading an NLB cluster

For each node:
- Drainstop
- Power off
- Upgrade
- Power on
- Rejoin cluster


In the context of a failover cluster, what is Maintenance Mode?

A node is said to be in "Maintenance mode" if it has had all its roles "drained" and is paused from activity as a node.


In the context of Failover Clustering:

What is an Availability Set?

When multiple VMs are placed in an availability set, the cluster will attempt to place the VMs on different hosts and prevent them from running on the same host whenever possible.


In the context of Failover Clustering:

What are Group Dependencies?

Group Dependencies are configured to control the order in which VMs start up, by identifying roles that are dependent on other roles already running.


In the context of Failover Clustering:

What is Priority?

This sets the relative priority for start up and which roles are given start-up priority.


If an Availability Set configuration is in conflict with Preferred Owner settings, what takes priority?

The Availability Set takes priority over the Preferred Owner setting.


What failover options does Hyper-V Replica have?

- Test failover
- planned failover
- unplanned failover (in response to an outage)

- Hyper-V Replica does NOT have any automatic failover option


What is AVMA?

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation.

If a Hyper-V Host running Datacenter edition is licensed with a volume license key, all of its VMs can be automatically activated and tracked by the host.

(Software Licensing Management script)


What operating systems may be activated using AVMA?

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016, for Datacenter, Standard, and Essentials editions.

Note: If the host runs Server 2012 R2, then only Server 2012 R2 VMs can be activated with AVMA.


How do clients connect to a WSUS Server to obtain updates?

Over TCP Port 8530 for HTTP, or over TCP Port 8531 for HTTPS connections if an SSL cert has been configured.


What are the options for WSUS Database types, and what are their best-use scenarios?

Windows Internal Database:
- this is the default type. Recommended for:
- single WSUS server environments (up to 100,000 clients)
- multiple WSUS servers in different locations

SQL Database:
- environments that require a WSUS NLB Cluster (to server more than 100,000 clients in the same location)
- environments that require DBA's to manage all databases in the organization


What are the mode options for a downstream WSUS server?

Autonomous Mode: it downloads its updates from the upstream WSUS server, but its own settings are managed on its own.

Replica Mode: it inherits all settings from its upstream WSUS server. (Update approvals, settings, computers, and groups.) Note, groups are inherited, but groups membership is managed locally.


How do you configure a computer to get its Windows Updates from a WSUS server, instead of directly from Microsoft over the internet?

Through Group Policy


How do you integrate Windows Defender with WSUS?

In Update Services on the WSUS Server, go to Options > Products and Classifications, and ensure that "Windows Defender" is enabled as a Product, and "Definition Updates" is enabled as a Classification.

You can then further create a rule in "Automatic Approvals" to approve any updates classified as "Definition Updates."


After configuring a new backup in Windows Server Backup to back up to a local hard disk, you later find that the disk no longer appears in My Computer. What should you do first to troubleshoot this?

Nothing, this is normal. When a hard disk is selected to be dedicated for backups, it is formatted and becomes hidden from File Explorer.


In Windows Server Backup, when should you configure a VSS copy Backup instead of a VSS full backup?

Use a VSS copy backup if you are using another product or backup job to back up applications that are on the volumes included in the backup. This option retains the application log files.

(A VSS full Backup will update the backup history of each file and clear the application log files.)

In other words, a VSS copy backup will create its own backup without interfering with the work a separate, primary backup is supposed to do.


How do you back up Active Directory using Windows Server Backup?

Include "System State" as part of the backup of the AD server. System State includes, among other things, all files necessary for restoring Active Directory.


How do you backup a Web Server using Windows Server Backup?

In addition to backing up the files that make up the web application / website, you need to backup the IIS Configuration.

Create a local backup of the IIS metabase and other settings using this PowerShell command:

This backs it up to the file system, in C:
Windows\System32\inetsrv\backup , so it can subsequently be included in a file backup using WIndows Server Backup.

The PowerShell command can be scripted and scheduled, so it runs regularly to precede a scheduled Windows Server Backups.


What is the difference between a Standard Checkpoint and a Production Checkpoint?

Production checkpoints are "point in time" images of a virtual machine, which can be restored later on in a way that is completely supported for all production workloads. This is achieved by using backup technology (VSS) inside the guest to create the checkpoint, instead of using saved state technology.

Standard checkpoints (formerly called "Snapshots") capture the state, data, and hardware configuration of a running virtual machine and are intended for use in development and test scenarios. Standard checkpoints can be useful if you need to recreate a specific state or condition of a running virtual machine so that you can troubleshoot a problem.


When should you use a Standard Checkpoint, and why?

Microsoft strongly advises limiting use of Standard Checkpoints to development/testing environments.

Since the running memory state of the VM is saved in the Standard Checkpoint, server workloads that were active at the time of the snapshot may no longer be present when the snapshot is brought back. This can produce system stability and data integrity problems.


What features are available in Sever 2016 Datacenter Edition, but not available in Standard Edition?

- Unlimited VMs and Hyper-V Containers (instead of only 2 each in Standard edition)

- Storage Spaces Direct

- Storage Replica

- Shielded Virtual Machines

- Advanced Networking (Network controller, host guardian support for Hyper-V, and software defined networking)


What are the limitations of the Windows Server 2016 Essentials edition?

This edition only supports environments with up to 25 users and 50 devices.


What types of Containers are there, and what are the differences?

Windows Containers - Containers share the OS kernel with the container host. This is the more typical type of container.

Hyper-V Containers - The container host has the Hyper-V role installed. Containers run inside Hyper-V virtual machines. This gives containers additional isolation and security.


What types of containers are available, and how does it depend on the Host Operating System?

There are two container base images: Server Core, and Nano Server.

There are two types of containers: Windows Server Containers, and Hyper-V Containers.

Hyper-V Containers:
On Windows Server 2016, Nano Server, and Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise, you can run both Server Core or Nano Server container images.

Windows Server Containers:
On Windows Server 2016, you can run either Server Core or Nano server container images.
On Nano Server, you can only run a Nano server container image.
On Windows 10, Server Containers are not available.


What are the requirements and configurations to enable nested virtualization on a VM?

The host and VM must both run Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The VM configuration version must be 8.0 or greater.

Configure the VM as follows:
- Expose Virtualization Extensions
- Must have at least 2 processors
- Disable Dynamic Memory
- Enable MAC Address Spoofing on the VM Network Adapter

Then, of course, install the Hyper-V role on the VM.


What networking modes are available for containers to use?

- NAT: The default. The container receives an IP address on its own subnet, and the container host does NAT for it to get out to the internet. You'll need to use Port Mappings to access the container remotely from outside of the host.

- Transparent: The container is connected to the same network that the container host is on.

- L2Bridge and L2Tunnel: Allow you to do Layer 2 address translation, usually used in scenarios with multiple container hosts, with containers spread across those hosts, which you need to all be in the same virtual network. These are the preferred modes when using Software Defined Networking (SDN) with a Network Controller.


What is this command?

docker run

This command will deploy a container from an existing image.


What is this command?

docker build

This will create a new container image from a dockerfile as a source.


For what use cases would you deploy Nano Server, instead of Server Core or Server with Desktop Experience?

Exclusively for use in Containers.

(Originally, Nano Server was meant to serve infrastructure roles such as DNS servers, simple IIS applications, SoFS, Hyper-V hosts and clusters, and Microservice hosts. But since Version 1709, those have been dropped, and Microsoft only intends Nano for use in Containers.)


What graphical tools are available in Server Core?

- Task Manager

- Notepad

- Date and Time control panel (timedate.cpl)


What is:


A menu-based interface for configuring Server Core system, with networking, OS, and other configuration tools.


What is:


A PowerShell command that enables PowerShell Remoting on the server.

It opens any Windows firewall ports that are required, turns on the listener for remoting, and enables anything else required for remote PowerShell access.


What is Windows PowerShell DSC and how does it work?

"Desired State Configuration"

A particular type of PowerShell script (PS1 file). When run, it instructs a server to become something, by installing necessary roles, features, settings, etc. automatically.


PowerShell command to join computer to domain?

Add-Computer -DomainName "exampledomain.local" -Restart


PowerShell command to add roles and features to a server?


Example, to install the Web Server (IIS) role on a remote server named exampleserver1:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server - ComputerName exampleserver1


PowerShell command to enter a remote PowerShell session to a specified computer?


Enter-PSSession exampleserver1


What are the different Activation Models available?

- Retail and Multiple Activation Keys (MAK)
The standard key, either preinstalled by OEM, or manually typed in.

- Key Management Service (KMS)
A database to manage keys as a service, but has many practical problems.

- Active Directory-based Activation
Designed to replace KMS, but only works on Windows 8 and up, and Server 2012 and higher.

- Automatic VM Activation (AVMA)
VMs use their host's licensing and activation. Can only activate Server 2012 R2 and 2016 OSs.


What environment does a Nano Server console boot into by default?

What can you configure there?

The "Nano Server Recovery Console."

This is a text menu in which you are limited to configuring:

- Networking
- Inbound and Outbound Firewall Rules
- WinRM (Windows Remote Management)


PowerShell command to configure a computer's DNS server?


Example, if the DNS server is at

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -interfacealias ethernet -serveraddress


PowerShell command to enter a remote PowerShell session with a remote computer?



What is this command?

docker commit

This creates a new image from changes made to a container.


What is this command?

docker import

This is used to create an image from a Linux tar archive.


What is this command?

docker create

This creates a container.


What PowerShell command would create a new NanoServer Hyper-V container?

There are various options, but one example:

docker run -it --isolation=hypervmicrosoft/nanoservercmd


What is this command?

docker pull

This retrieves an image from a repository.


What is this command?

docker push

This writes an image to a repository.


What is this command?

docker tag

This tags an image with information like version and repository.


What is this command?

docker ps

This lists the images in a repository.


What is this command?

docker rm

This deletes a container.


What is this command?

docker rmi

This deletes an image.


What is this command?

docker system prune

This deletes all unused images in one action.


What are the requirements to install and run Hyper-V?

What CLI command will inform you whether you meet Hyper-V requirements?

- VM Monitor Mode Extensions
- Hardware assisted virtualization must be enabled in firmware
- Processor must support Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
- Processor must support Data Execution Prevention (DEP), and it must be enabled in firmware

This command will list the above four Hyper-V Requirements, and tell you whether or not they are met on the system:



What are the three types of PowerShell Direct sessions?

Interactive Session, Single-Use Session, Persistent Session


What is DDA?

Discrete Device Assignment

DDA makes physical hardware directly accessible to a VM. It works with a limited set of PCIe devices.

Since the device bypasses virtualization, it increases performance for VM activities.

It is used most often to pass-through GPUs and NVMe drives.


What are some cmdlets used to work with DDA?

Discrete Device Assignment cmdlets:

- to disable the device at the host

- to dismount the device from the host

- to add the device to the VM for access through DDA

- to remove the DDA device from the VM

- to return the device control to the host


What are some tools and cmdlets used to install and work with Data Deduplication?

Install-WindowsFeature FS-Data-Deduplication

- This gives you a space savings report for a volume you are considering enabling Deduplication on

- this reports current deduplication-related space savings on volumes deduplication is already enabled on

- this returns how much space would be recovered after file deletion and garbage collection

- this enables Deduplication for a specified volume or volumes

- this starts a specific Deduplication job on one or more volumes


What are "integration services"?

Integration services allow a guest OS to communicate with the host. There are a variety of available services.

Each service must be installed/enabled on the VM, and it also must be set as enabled in the VM settings from the host.

Integration services are installed onto the VM by default when its OS is created, and they are updated by Windows Update.

Available services are:

- Operating system shutdown
- Time synchronization
- Data Exchange
- Heartbeat
- Backup (volume shadow copy)
- Guest services


What are some cmdlets used to work with Windows Defender?

- updates the antimalware definitions on the computer

- modifies settings for Windows Defender. Can add exclusions for file name extensions, paths, and processes, and can add default actions for high, moderate, and low threats.

- removes all active threats previously detected on a computer


For what scenarios would you use a Gen1 or a Gen2 VM?

Generally, you should always use Generation 2 VM, except for the following:

- Your VHD is not UEFI-compatible
- You plan to move your VM to Azure
- Your OS is not supported on Gen2
- Your boot method is not supported on Gen2


What Guest Operating Systems are supported on Gen2 VMs?

- Windows 8 and newer (x64 versions only)

- Windows Server 2012 and newer

- a variety of Linux versions, typically the latest versions of each major distro


What boot methods are supported by Gen 1 and Gen 2 VMs, respectively?

- PXE boot by using a legacy network adapter
- Boot from IDE Controller VHD or virtual DVD ISO
- Boot from virtual floppy VFD

- PXE boot by using a standard / synthetic network adapter
- Boot from a SCSI VHDX or virtual DVD ISO


Besides the requirements to run any VM on Hyper-V, what additional requirements are needed to run shielded VMs?

- Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0)

- UEFI 2.3.1c


What is Enhanced Session Mode, and how do you use it?

It enables the redirection of locally-attached devices like those used in RDP sessions. Can be USB, hard drives, cameras, printers, the clipboard, etc.

Enabled by default on hosts running Windows 8 and up

Disabled by default on hosts running Server 2012 and up

Not available for Gen 1 VMs and VMs running non-Windows OSs

Guest VM must run Windows 8.1 or 10, or Windows Server 2012 and up, and must have Remote Desktop Services enabled

To use it, it must be enabled in Hyper-V Settings for the host, in both the server and User settings menus.


What is OOBE?

Out-Of-Box Experience


What is this?


A PowerShell cmdlet which will merge a difference disk with its template / parent disk, so that they become a single VHD.


What is this?


A PowerShell cmdlet which will reallocate space within a dynamic VHD.

Compacting files, reclaiming used blocks, rearranging blocks for more efficient space, and potentially reducing the total size of the VHD.


What is a VHD Set?

Formerly called "Shared VHDX files," now called VHD Sets.

The file type is .vhds

They are VHDs meant to be shared by more than one VM / Operating System. It can only be done as part of a clustered file system.


Explain Storage QoS

Storage Quality of Service

If multiple VMs have their storage in a shared location such as on the same SAN, a high amount of I/O operations on one VM could affect the performance of other VMs.

To protect against this issue, you can configure Quality of Service, either individually on a specific VHD belonging to a specific VM, or as a matter of Policy affecting all VMs connected to the shared storage location.

Doing it through a policy requires a Highly Available SAN, but it is the much more effective way of managing this issue, since the issue only occurs as a matter of multiple VMs having activities affecting shared storage.

In the VM settings, go to the hard drive, check the box for "Enable QoS management," and you can set a minimum or a maximum number of IOPS. Or, enter the Policy ID to use a Storage QoS Policy.


What kinds of volume contents are good and bad use cases for Data Deduplication?

Volumes that contain the following are good candidates for Data Deduplication:

- VHDs
- User Shares
- Software Deployment Shares
- Backup Volumes for SQL and Exchange

Bad candidates:

- SQL Server
- Exchange Server
- Hyper-V Hosts


What file systems are compatible with a SoFS?


(SoFS does not support ReFS)


What types of virtual switches can be used in Hyper-V?

- External
- Internal
- Private

- Additionally a NAT switch can be configured, which is an Internal switch that can still connect to the external network. This can only be configured through PowerShell.


What are the requirements of a live migration without failover clustering?

- Source and destination hosts must run Windows Server 2012 R2, or 2016.

- Source and destination hosts must be members of the same domain, or domains between which a two-way trust exists.

- You can use either Kerberos or CredSPP authentication:

- If using CredSPP, you must log into both hosts as a member of the local Hyper-V Administrators group, or local Administrators group.

- If using Kerberos, you must also configure constrained delegation between the two host servers.


What is node fairness?

In failover clustering, node fairness can be enabled to balance the movement of VMs so that nodes are less likely to become over- or under-utilized.

You can specify how aggressive node balancing is.

Node balancing uses Memory and CPU usage to calculate node utilization.


What is:

Nano Server Image Builder

A GUI tool that lets you:

- create a Nano Server image

- package an existing VHD or VHDX image to a bootable USB drive or bootable ISO

To use it, it requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) to he installed.


What is WDS?

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is the revised version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). WDS enables the deployment of Windows operating systems. You can use WDS to set up new clients with a network-based installation without requiring that administrators visit each computer or install directly from CD or DVD media.


What is VMQ?

It queues networking tasks between processors, so a single processor doesn't need to handle all of it.

It is enabled by default, but requires NIC hardware that supports it.

For a VM to support VMQ, it must have a synthetic adapter.


What is LBFO?

Load Balancing and Fail Over

a type of NIC teaming. Standalone teams, specific to a Hyper-V Host.


What is RDMA, and what is it used for?

Remote Direct Memory Access

A requirement for Storage Spaces Direct.

S2D requires that all host NICs support RDMA because of the need for low-latency interconnectivity among these hosts.)


What is a "Shared Nothing Live Migration"?

A VM migration which occurs between non-clustered hosts.


What are "Affinity Sets"?

Another name for Availability Sets.

When multiple VMs are placed in an Availability Set, the cluster will attempt to place the VMs on different hosts and prevent them from running on the same host whenever possible.


What is a workgroup cluster?

What are some configuration requirements?

A failover cluster that is deployed in a workgroup setting.

- All nodes must run Server 2016.

- Each node must have a local admin user with the same username and password.

- Authentication: You must use NTLM authentication. Kerberos and CredSSP authentication are not supported.

- Name registration: Must be done through DNS registration.

- Live migration of VMs is not supported; the only migration option is a Quick Migration.


When configuring Node Fairness, what values have what effects when setting the AutoBalancerLevel and the AutoBalancerMode?

The AutoBalancerLevel property has three possible values:

1: Low aggressiveness - move when the host is more than 80% loaded (default configuration)
2: Medium aggressiveness - move when the host is more than 70% loaded
3: High aggressiveness - move when the host is more than 60% loaded

The AutoBalancerMode property has three possible values:

0: Balancing is disabled
1: Load balance on node join
2: Load balance on node join and every 30 minutes


What are the different physical disk types, and what are their IOPS?



SAS - 200 IOPS

SSD - 1000s of IOPS


What are the different partition table formats, and what are their characteristics?

- Master Boot Record
- format from the 1980's
- supports partitions up to 2 TB
- supports a maximum of 4 primary partitions

- GUID Partition Table
- successor to MBR
- supports partitions up to 18 EB
- supports a maximum of 128 partitions

- the partition table format of an uninitialized disk


What are the different file system formats, and what are their characteristics?

- File Allocation Table
- basic file system
- partition size limits
- basis for FAT32 and exFAT

- New Technology File System
- support for metadata
- auditing and journaling
- security controls and encryption

- Resilient File System
- introduced with Server 2012
- backward compatible with NTFS
- includes all the same security controls
- support for larger files and volumes
- greater resiliency for error checking and correction


For what best-use scenarios should you choose an NTFS file system vs. a ReFS file system?

- The Windows OS must always be on an NTFS disk
- Active Directory Domain Services
- File Replication Service
- Volume Shadow Copy Service
- Distributed File System (DFS)
- These all rely on the security controls provided only by NTFS.

- Hyper-V Servers
- Volumes where you are storing VHD files
- Supports larger disks
- When working with large amounts of storage in a server cluster environment
- Storage Spaces Direct


What are the following:

Docker Client

Docket Toolbox

Docker Client can be installed on a Windows system. It communicates with the Docker Daemon running on Windows or Linux container hosts, enabling you to manage the containers locally or remotely.

Docket Toolbox is a "turnkey" installation package for Windows and macOS that provides tools to create and manage local containers.


What is the MAP Toolkit?

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

The MAP Toolkit is used for multi-product assessment and planning. It assesses a network environment using agentless data collection technologies to gather inventory and performance information. Then provides assessment reports to aid organizations with their IT infrastructure planning.

- It collects detailed VM information for both Hyper-V and VMWare systems.
- It collects information for servers running Windows Server 2000 or later.
- There are a variety of discovery methods available.


What types of software-based disk resiliency layouts are available, and what are their characteristics?

- no mirroring or parity; no added resiliency

Two-way Mirror
- Stripes data across multiple disks while writing 1 extra copy of the data.

Three-way Mirror
- Stripes data across multiple disks while writing 2 extra copies of the data.

Single Parity
- Stripes data across multiple disks while writing 1 copy of parity information

Dual Parity
- Stripes data across multiple disks while writing 2 copies of parity information

Parity optimizes capacity at the expense of some write performance.

Mirror optimizes performance at the expense of some capacity.


In a Failover Cluster, what happens when a failover occurs? What is a failover?

In failover, ALL WORKLOADS hosted by a particular cluster node are moved to another cluster host.


For Storage Replica:

What protocols are required to be open for traffic between each node in a stretch cluster?

In what directions must they be open, and what are their roles?

These must be open bidirectionally:

for the cluster heartbeat

- SMB (port 445, plus port 5445 for SMB Direct)
for the data replication traffic

- WS-MAN (port 5985)
for the remote management traffic


What steps would you follow to create a Nano Server VM in an environment that has never had one before?

Using the Windows Server installation DVD or ISO,

Copy the NanoServerImageGenerator folder from the disc's \nanoserver directory to the local hard drive

In an Admin PowerShell, use these cmdlets:




What is iSNS?

Internet Storage Name Service

A tool that reduces administrative overhead of iSCSI implementations in large environments, by providing centralized management and scalability.

Provides automatic discovery solution for iSCSI clients and can automatically propagate changes.


What is DCB?

Data Center Bridging

Enhances traffic between iSCSI targets and initiators. Can identify and correct bottlenecks in the network, and allow for QoS management at the network layer.

Requires DCB-capable network adapters and switches.


What is MPIO, and how do you configure it?

Multipath Input/Output

Adds redundant paths for systems connecting to storage over the network. Allows the systems to continue operating in the event of a failure at the network level.

To configure:

- Add physical redundancy at the network layer, with additional network cards, switches, etc.

- Configure an iSCSI target to have both IP address from a single initiator.

- In the iSCSI Initiator service, configure it to use multiple paths for MPIO.


What are the advantages to using Storage Spaces?

It allows you to set a size for a virtual disk that is larger than the capacity that your current physical disk have available, and you can add the extra physical storage later.

It allows for tiered storage between slower and faster disk media, and automatically locates data between those tiers based on usage.


What are the steps to creating usable storage using Storage Spaces?

1) create a storage pool

2) create a Storage Spaces virtual disk

3) create a volume


In Performance Monitor:

What is contained in the system performance template?

The system performance template provides:

- a single kernel trace item

- and a selection of performance-based counters for the processor, memory, and networking.


In Performance Monitor:

What is contained in the basic template?

The basic template provides:

- a single performance counter

- a single configuration item

- and a single kernel trace

to allow you to customize the collector set to your preference.


What is the LCM, and what blocks can be configured?

Local Configuration Manager (LCM)

An aspect of PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)

The LCM is configured by creating a file that is then converted into a meta-MOF file, which is then deployed to the DSC nodes to be configured.

This meta-MOF file differs from a standard configuration MOF file in that it can only have a certain number of blocks within it.

The possible blocks that can be configured:



What is an Active Directory-detached cluster?

What are some configuration requirements?

A failover cluster that does not create an Active Directory object for the cluster.

All cluster nodes must be joined to the same domain. (This is the primary difference from a workgroup cluster.)

Authentication: Cluster nodes use Kerberos authentication for intra-cluster communication (between nodes). Authentication against the cluster network name uses NTLM authentication.

Name registration: Must be done through DNS registration, since it is not registered with AD.

Live migration of VMs is not supported; the only migration option is a Quick Migration.

Configuration: You must use the New-Cluster PowerShell cmdlet. You cannot configure this with the Failover Cluster Manager.


What are the requirements for S2D?

- At least three storage nodes with compatible local storage

- All cluster host NICs must support RDMA


What file systems are compatible with Data Deduplication?

Only NTFS.


What are some PowerShell commands associated with DSC?

This cmdlet Is used to create checksum documents for DSC documents and resources. These checksum values are used by DSC pull servers to uniquely identify each DSC artifact.

After creating a DSC configuration MOF file, you run this cmdlet to push the configuration document to the target host and apply it

This cmdlet is used to publish a DSC configuration MOF file to a set of computers, but it does not actually apply the configuration


What is Network Controller?

Network controller is a server role that provides a centralized, programmable management point for Hyper-V network configuration, management, and troubleshooting.

It can be used to configure and manage physical networks, virtual networks, virtual NICs, and virtual switches.


When using the Move-VM cmdlet, what types of destinations are you able to specify?

If moving from a local directory:
you can specify a local directory or network share for the destination.

If moving from a network share or cluster shared volume (CSV):
you can specify a local directory, network share, or CSV as the destination.


What is S2D?

Storage Spaces Direct

S2D allows directly-attached storage to host highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage.

It can work with either ReFS or NTFS.


What features are available to S2D, depending on whether you're using ReFS or NTFS?

ReFS with S2D is capable of:
- real-time tier optimization for SSD and SAS storage tiers

NTFS with S2D is capable of:
- data deduplication
- compression
- several other features not compatible with ReFS


What is this command?


This cmdlet mounts a Windows image stored in a VHD in a way that allows you to apply update packages.


What is this command, and when would you use it?


This cmdlet allows you to apply pre-downloaded Windows updates to an offline VHD. The VHD must first be mounted as a Windows Image.

After you have applied the updates to the VHD, you must dismount the Windows image and save it, such as by this cmdlet:

Dismount-WindowsImage -Path .\MountDir -Save


In S2D, how are drives automatically configured as caches in a mixed drive configuration?

- SSD drives are read-and-write cache

- NVMe drives are read-and-write cache

- NVMe drives are write-only cache

- NVMe drives are write-only cache for the SSD drives, and read-and-write cache for the HDD drives


What is the Host Guardian Service?

This is the server role that manages Shielded VMs.

As with Shielded VMs, this was newly introduced in Server 2016.


How do you add server roles and features to a Server Nano VM?

Using DISM.exe

Deployment Image Servicing and Management

you can do either an "online" or "offline" service.

If the Nano Server is powered on, use a remote PowerShell session. This is "online."

If the Nano Server is powered off, do an "offline" installation by mounting the VHD in DISM.exe


What is a "hard fault" as displayed in Resource Monitor?

A hard fault occurs when data is swapped between memory and disk.


What is:


and what are some associated commands?

A .WIM file is a Windows Image File. It is used for custom installation images.

- this cmdlet captures a drive image to a new .wim file. It includes all data and non-empty directories.

- this saves the changes after modifying a mounted offline image file

- this copies an existing image file

- this captures customization files and directories