Caution: SqlServer Cluster Update patch from WSUS

Microsoft launched KB3194721 (for SqlServer 2012) and KB3194718 (for SqlServer 2014) this month though WSUS channel. If you choose to deploy them though WSUS, just as I did, you may face a bug on a cluster based SqlServer.

 

On the server with SqlServer installed as cluster, these patches just act as cancelled or failed. For digging the problem, I download the package from Microsoft Download Site and try to install them manually. The first step is decompressing. Files are placed on the largest drive (I dunno it based on the total or free space). In my case, one disk drive for a database role is chosen. Then the upgrading procedure starts, with a bug that is:

If the owner of this instance role of cluster is the same computer, the role will be automatically stopped during update process, and will be started later. But while the role is set to stop, the disk drive is offline with it. So, if that drive is the largest, sadly, the update procedure fails — source files of update package are missing.

 

Even you run these packages manually, not from WSUS, it’s still not possible to choose the folder to decompress. If some drive of database role of cluster is larger than all server self-owned disks, you may want to STOP THE NODE in cluster as a workaround.

When you fall in love with Spanned Volumes

In our company, our major productive servers are hosted in vSphere as Windows-based virtual machines. Some of them need very big disks. Through the largest disk space supported in vSphere is 16TB (or maybe more, i dunno), I’m not interested to create such a big file in VMFS. It will be really a pain your *** when you have to move such a big file among datastores, even among data facilities by using portable hard drives.

Creating smaller disks instead of a big one for every Windows-based VM, IMHO.

Fortunately, Windows support to merge small disks as a big one, using dynamic disk function. There are 4 kinds of volume can be supported in such a condition: Spanned, Striped, Mirrored and RAID-5. You can consider them like JBOD, RAID-0, RAID-1 and RAID-5 functions in a simple legacy storage device.

Because data protection is existed in the SAN, Mirrored and RAID-5 volumes are not considered at all. Striped will make it a little faster when lots of virtual disks fight for limited IOPS resources within one datastore. But there is no way to extend any stripped volume (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770938.aspx).

So, the useless volume format in a traditional world, spanned volume, is the best solution, maybe the only one. Next time when you need to create big virtual disks for Windows in any virtualization environment, don’t forget to consider using Spanned Volumes.

[Obsoleted] Windows 10.0.14393 cannot work with WSUS, yet

After several weeks testing, I’m sad to tell you all that at least currently, Windows 10.0.14394 (aka 1607) still cannot work with WSUS.

Problem: If there is Windows related package push from WSUS, svchost processes on Windows clients keep crashing.

 

Check this for details: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/31718a20-64dd-43f7-87d7-c86f03f74a4d/14393-windows-update-crash-every-minute?forum=win10itprogeneral

Add Windows 10 (1607/14393) boot files to WDS on Windows Server 2012 R2

I’m testing to add the boot.wim files from Windows 10 1607 (10.0.14393) installation discs to Windows Deployment Services on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Test 1: Add x86 and x64 boot files to WDS
Passed.

Test 2: Add drivers to boot files.
Failed with WDS client on Windows Server 2012 R2.
Succeeded with WDS client on Windows Server 2016 TP5 connected to the target WDS.

Test 3: Create discover images.
Passed but failed in Test 6.

Test 4: Create x64 capture image.
Passed.

Test 5: Boot from boot files.
Passed.

Test 6: Boot from discover images embedded in ISO files.
Failed with error: WdsClient: There was a problem initializing WDS Mode.
Try to use other images created from WDS clients of Windows Server 2016 TP5: failed in the same way.

Test 7: Boot from x64 capture image.
Passed.

Test 8: Capture an instance of Windows 10.0.14393.
Instance for test: Windows 10.0.14393.10 x86 with up-to-date Office 2016.
Passed.

Test 9: Deploy an instance of Windows 10.0.14393 through WDS.
Passed.