Building / Configuring Nano Server Cluster

We all have seen all the great new announcements about Azure Stack, System Center 2016, Server 2016 and off course Nano Server. In this post i am going ahead of preparing the new Azure Stack in my environment. In Azure Stack you can create Compute and Storage resources. The details about that I will save for a later blog post. Let’s first start by creating a Nano cluster. I am going to create a 2 node cluster.

So I created the following script to create the Nano server. In order to successful run the script I need to have the prereqs listed on http://aka.ms/nanoserver in place. So I have the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 downloaded and copied over the Nano.wim, Nano Packages and DISM files from the TP2 DVD and prepared an unattend.xml.

First I prepared the VHD:

If you get the error when running convert-windowsimage about “Windows version not compatible” you need to download the latest convert-windowsimage.ps1 script. When I unmounted the disk I made a copy of the VHD as reference for other nodes of the cluster. Next I prepared the unattend.xml. The XML I used is here:

Then I run per copied VHDX (for each node in my new cluster) the following script (first edit the content to match the specific node settings by editing the IP address in this script and the server name in the unattend.xml. As this is my lab I have set the Firewall to allow any. You might want to change that according your environment)

When the image is prepared i created the VM and moved the disk to the VM folder and booted it. I need to repeat the last script with the copied disk i made before. When both VMs are created and up and running we can join it to the domain

First I need to prepare the domain join configuration by running this on my domain controller:

Next I need to copy that file to my Nano server. you can do that simply by using UNC path to C$ of the Nano server. When the file is copied i need to remote into the Nano server or use invoke-command to join it to the domain.

And your node is joined to the domain. I have only 1 Domain controller running TP2 preview so I installed all RSAT features on that box so i can have some management consoles.
Now next step is to prepare the cluster. As I have the Failover Cluster tools installed I ran the following:

And my cluster is running. Now if you want to setup Compute or Storage resources its a matter of using remote tools to configure the nodes. I hope this gave you a quick overview of how to configure Nano Server Cluster.

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  • Grahame Horner

    great article I’m wondering if it’s at all possible to domain join the NanoServer cluster nodes to an Azure AD ?