So, I finally have moved into a realm where I want to squeeze as much power out of my new servers. My latest purchase is a nice Dell 710 with a boat load of ram in it. I want that to be my hypervisor managing only the network connections. LOW OVERHEAD. That sounds great to me. Trouble is, I’ve never acutally configured a server without a GUI. I’ve dabbled in powershell and I’ve done plenty of unix/linux work from the command line though. How hard can it be?

Very, it turns out. I’m having a lot of inconsitent problems. I had no problem installing the OS. that went fine. I was even able to find plenty of documentation out there on, but not limited to Microsoft’s site. But I’m having strange problems I can’t find answers to.

The biggest is that I can enable remote desktop (can we really call it that in core? its just a command line prompt) but I cannot remotely access the event viewer, Hyper-v or disk managment…. I’ve configured it to do so.

first I found the sconfig command.

sconfig

That allowed me to “enable” remote access, turn on and install updates and powershell access. RDP seems to function fine. No other functionality is working. with Hyper-v I get RPC connection errors and network path not found with the remote computer managment.

the odd part is this: i removed the computer from the domain, re-added it and then I had access. This was late at night so I called it a win and went home. The next day I got back and there is no connection. restarted the server (its not in production yet) and still no love? what changed?

More as I work this out……

Update:

I spoke with my friend Steve who pointed out that I may be having firewall issues. so I turned it off!

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

Totally worked. I suspected as much, but think my settings aren’t sticking. What could cause this to happen? without me making any changes? GPO!!! (thanks again Steve, good to have friends.)

So I poped open my Group Policy Managment, looked up my server and the GPOs that are applied to it. Turns out there is a firewall policy applied to EVERY computer in my network. Upon inspection I see that there is a section that “allow inbound remote administration exception”. The question is this, “is this policy over-writting the policy in place or is it appending?” I’d think over-writting due to my funny errors. The policy itself is only set to enable remote access. Since I am enabling the policy, does it require that I explicitly set the rules for all the remote access? good question! I disabled the GPO that was setting some firewall options. Restart on the server to get the new GPO setup and viola, connections are working fine. the GPO was interfering. I’m a bit suprised, and now I have a bunch more work to get my GPOs set to provide what that old GPO did without messing up my new systems.
After all the basics got ironed out, I then found a nifty tool for configuring core installations. called Core configurtor 2.0 you can find it here
Core configurator 2.0
Make sure to copy it to a tools folder on your C:\
then you can run it by typing

cscript Start_Coreconfig.wsf

This tool gave me the ability to use a GUI to set some of the things I needed done. I did google for each command I was going to need and entered them one at a time. That’s the hard way. Done that, time for something easier.