Book Image

Getting Started with Nano Server

By : Charbel Nemnom
Book Image

Getting Started with Nano Server

By: Charbel Nemnom

Overview of this book

Nano Server allows developers and operations teams to work closely together and use containers that package applications so that the entire platform works as one. The aim of Nano Server is to help applications run the way they are intended to. It can be used to run and deploy infrastructures (acting as a compute host, storage host, container, or VM guest operating system) without consuming significant resources. Although Nano Server isn't intended to replace Server 2016 or 2012 R2, it will be an attractive choice for developers and IT teams. Want to improve your ability to deploy a new VM and install and deploy container apps within minutes? You have come to the right place! The objective of this book is to get you started with Nano Server successfully. The journey is quite exciting, since we are introducing you to a cutting-edge technology that will revolutionize today's datacenters. We'll cover everything from the basic to advanced topics. You'll discover a lot of added value from using Nano Server, such as hundreds of VM types on a single host through a small footprint, which could be a big plus for you and your company. After reading this book, you will have the necessary skills to start your journey effectively using Nano Server.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Customer Feedback


Thank you for purchasing Getting Started with Nano Server. The book you are holding is the result of 15 years of experience in the IT world and over 17 years of Windows Server experience that started with Windows Server 2000, moved on to Windows Server 2012 R2 and now, includes Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server. Modern data centers need a highly optimized server platform to run infrastructure services, distributed cloud-based applications, and containers apps based on the microservice architecture.

Nano Server is the first operating system released by Microsoft that was designed to deploy less on your servers, have less that you have to patch and reboot, and have fewer components that you actually need on your servers. Nano Server is a much scale down version of Windows Server that was built for higher density and more efficient OS resource utilization. Now moving to the cloud journey with Microsoft Azure, large server installations that have a lot of things installed require patching and rebooting, which interrupts service delivery. Nano Server is a deep refactoring initially focused on the CloudOS infrastructure and born-in-the-cloud applications; these applications were written with cloud patterns that allow you to run on top of Nano Server, and most importantly, highly optimized base OS images for Nano containers, so you can create containerized applications that are much smaller, more manageable, and easily shareable across different environments.

Our aim in this book is to provide you with the information you need to be immediately effective in deploying, managing, and administering Nano Server environments.

We hope that you get as much from reading this book as we did from writing it. Please be sure to post any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have about the book on the online author forum. Your feedback is important to us, in order to develop the best books possible in the future.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Introduction to Nano Server, covers why Microsoft developed Nano Server and why we need a server that is optimized for the cloud for running the fabric for born-in-the-cloud applications and for running Windows Server and Hyper-V containers. Nano Server is a different approach for Microsoft and for everyone; it comes from a historical position that started with Server Core in Windows Server 2008. It's completely a new headless operating system.

Chapter 2, Getting Started with Nano Server, focuses on how to get started with Nano Server. It covers how to add roles and features and how to create and customize a Nano image using a single line of PowerShell. This chapter also covers how to build and customize a Nano image using Nano Server Image Builder, the new graphical user interface-based wizard; and finally, we show you how to customize a Nano image using DISM.

Chapter 3, Deploying Nano Server in a Virtual Machine and on Physical Hardware, Covers how to create Nano Server images using Hyper-V Manager and Windows PowerShell. We also discuss the four deployment options for Nano Server on a bare-metal physical machine using WinPE and WDS; and lastly, we cover how to deploy a Nano Server VM in Microsoft Azure.

Chapter 4, Deploying Hyper-V Cluster on Nano Server, covers the steps needed to deploy Nano Server as compute, storage, and a hyper-converged cluster using Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) technology. There is also an introductory overview of running Nano Server as a compute and storage cluster in this chapter.

Chapter 5, Deploying, Managing, and Monitoring Nano Server with System Center 2016, focuses on how to manage and monitor Nano Server using System Center Virtual Machine Manager and System Center Operations Manager 2016. We show you how to deploy Nano Server using VMM as a Hyper-V host using bare-metal deployment, and as a virtual machine using VM templates. Lastly, we show you how you can push the Operations Manager agent to Nano Server using the operations console with Windows PowerShell.

Chapter 6, Managing Nano Server with Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell DSC, covers how to effectively manage a Nano Server installation using remote server graphic tools, Windows PowerShell remoting, and PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC).

Chapter 7, Managing Nano Server with Third-Party Tools, focuses on how to administer Nano Server using 5nine Manager from 5nine Software, and we show you how to create and manage a Nano Server Failover cluster.

Chapter 8, Running Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers on Nano Server, focuses on Windows containers and how they can change the way we deploy applications. We also cover the benefits of using containers and how they can integrate with Dev and Ops team to accelerate application delivery. Finally, we show you how to deploy and run Windows Server and a Hyper-V container on top of Nano Server using a Nano base OS image running IIS.

Chapter 9, Troubleshooting Nano Server, demonstrates how to troubleshoot a Nano Server installation using the Nano recovery console, Emergency Management Services (EMS), kernel debugging, and Setup and Boot Event Collection (SBEC), which is a new feature of Windows Server 2016. Lastly, we show you how to retrieve and read Nano Server Windows event logs and display them in a nicely formatted HTML report.

Chapter 10, Running Other Workloads on the Nano Server, covers how to run DNS and IIS on Nano Server. We also cover additional updates and tools that will help you streamline your experience using Nano Server. Finally, we discuss the future of Nano Server and Windows Server.

What you need for this book

To follow along on with this book, you need Windows Server 2016 ISO media, including System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager and System Center 2016 Operations Manager. We strongly believe in learning by doing; therefore, we encourage you to try out all of the technologies and principles covered in this book. You don't need a huge server. For most topics, you could use a single machine with Windows Server 2016 installed, 16 GB of memory, and by enabling Hyper-V nested virtualization, you could enable a few virtual machines to run concurrently. Ideally, having at least two physical workstations or servers will help you with the high availability clustering concepts. With Windows 10, the Hyper-V client is included in the box, so even without any kind of real server, it is possible to explore all the features introduced in Nano Server.

Who this book is for

This book is intended for anyone who wants to learn and master Nano Server and take advantage of all exciting new features that Windows Server 2016 has to offer. If you have basic knowledge of Windows Server and virtualization, it will be helpful, but it's not a requirement. If you are an architect, a consultant, a system administrator, or really anyone who just wants more knowledge about Nano Server, this book is for you as well.

Please note that in some chapters we go into advanced topics that may seem over your head. In those cases, don't worry. Focus on the preceding elements that you understand better and implement and practice them to nurture your understanding. Then, when you feel ready, come back to the more advanced topics and read them multiple times. Repetition is the key. The more you repeat, the more you understand.


In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "We are copying NanoServer folder from the mounted ISO image into C:\NanoServer locally."

A block of code is set as follows:

Import-Module "C:\NanoServer\ NanoServerImageGenerator\NanoServerImageGenerator.psd1" -Verbose

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

bcdedit.exe /set “{default}” description “Windows Nano Server 2016”

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text like this: "Right Click your WDS server in the Windows Deployment Services console and select Configure Server."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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