KB4512534 fixes GUI activation issues with Windows Server 2019 MAK keys

KB4512534 fixes GUI activation issues with Windows Server 2019 MAK keys

Just a quick post to share some good news. In the recently released KB4512534 Microsoft fixed a rather long outstanding issue with the MAK activation of Windows Server 2019. I verified that KB4512534 fixes GUI activation issues with Windows Server 2019 MAK keys. Until now trying to activate a Windows Server 2019 installation with a MAK key via the GUI always failed. Using slmgr.vbs /ipk works.

This has been an issue since RTM. The error code is 0X80070490 and if you search for it you’ll find many people with that issue. See Getting error 0x80070490 while trying to activate win server 2019 and Server 2019 product key woes. There was no fix other than to use slmgr.vbs.

Activating with a MAK key via the GUI before KB4512354 failed wit error code 0X80070490

But that issue has now been resolved.

For the use cases where we need a MAK and a GUI is prefered by the support people, this was a bit annoying. For that reason, I was quite happy to read the following in the notes of KB4512534

Addresses an issue that prevents server editions from activating with a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) in the graphical user interface (GUI). The error is, “0x80070490”.

I had to try it and yes I can confirm that it works! It took Microsoft a while to fix this. As we had a working alternative (slmgr.vbs) and the VLK activation had no issues this problem was not a show stopper.

MAK key activation of Windows Server 2019 now succeeds after installing KB4512534
KB4512534 fixes the GUI activation issue with a Windows Server 2019 MAK key

KB4512534 is available via Windows Updates, WSUS and the Windows Catalog. Please find more information here. So one more annoyance fixed that many people can encounter when starting out with Windows Server 2019. That is a good thing

Configure Persistent Memory for Hyper-V

Introduction

I made a rough video on how to configure Persistent Memory for Hyper-V. The server in this demo is a DELL R740. The type of persistent memory (PMEM) is NVDIMM-N. There were 6 modules in the system. In collaboration with my fellow MVPs Carsten Rachfahl and Anton Kolomyeytsev I hope to showcase storage class memory (SCM) as well (Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory, and later also NVDIMM-P). I can only hope that NRAM gets to market for real in 2020 so we can get memory class storage (MCS) out there. That would change the storage and memory world even more. If it can live up to its promise.

The video

In the video on how to configure Persistent Memory for Hyper-V, I walk you through the NVDIMM configuration in the BIOS first. Then we configure the PMEM regions on the host to get PMEM Disks.

Interleaved PMEM on the host

After initializing and formatting them we create the new .vhdpmem type of virtual disk on them. The virtual machine we want to present them to requires a new type of storage controller, a virtual machine PMEM controller, to be able to add the .vhdpmem disks. Once you have done that the PMEM disks will be visible inside the virtual machine.

PMEM inside the virtual machine

Inside the virtual machine, we initialize those PMEM disks and format them with NTFS. We put some large test files on them and run a diskspd test to show you how it performs. That’s it.

Enjoy the video on Vimeo here or below.

Powershell

Below you will find the PowerShell I used in the video. Adapt where needed for your setup and configuration.

PowerShell on the host

<#
Didier Van Hoye
Microsoft MVP Cloud &amp; Datacenter Management
Twitter: @WorkigHardInIT
blog: https://blog.workinghardinit.work
#>

#Take a look at the unused PMEM regions
Get-PmemUnusedRegion

#We don't have PMEM disks yet
Get-pmemdisk

#We create PMEM disks from the unuses regions
Get-PmemUnusedRegion | New-PmemDisk -AtomicityType None
#Greate PMEM disk out of the unused regions
#New-PmemDisk -RegionId 1 -AtomicityType None

#List the PMEM disks
Get-pmemdisk


#Grab the physical disk that have Storage Class Memory (SCM) media or bus type.
Get-PhysicalDisk | Where Mediatype -eq SCM | ft -AutoSize
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq SCM | ft -AutoSize


#Initialize the pmem disks
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq SCM | Initialize-Disk –PartitionStyle GPT

#Take a look at the initialized disks
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq SCM

#Create partitions and format them
New-Partition -DiskNumber 6 -UseMaximumSize -driveletter P  | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel PMEM01 -IsDAX $True
New-Partition -DiskNumber 7 -UseMaximumSize -driveletter Q  | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel PMEM02 -IsDAX $True

Get-Partition | fl *
Get-Volume -driveletter P,Q | Get-Partition | ft Driveletter, IsDax

#Show that the volumes are DAX
fsutil fsinfo volumeinfo P: 

#On those PMEM disk with a DAX file system we create a VHDPMEM virtual disk
New-VHD 'P:\Virtual Disks\DEMOVM-PMDisk02.vhdpmem' -Fixed -SizeBytes 31GB
New-VHD 'Q:\Virtual Disks\DEMOVM-PMDisk02.vhdpmem' -Fixed -SizeBytes 31GB

Get-VMPmemController PMEMVM
(Get-VMPmemController PMEMVM).Drives

#We add a virtual PMEM controller to our VM
#make sure the VM is shut down.
Add-VMPmemController PMEMVM

#Check if it is there
Get-VMPmemController PMEMVM

#We add our VHDPMEM virtual disks to the VM
Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VMName PMEMVM -ControllerType PMEM -ControllerNumber 0 -ControllerLocation 1 -Path 'P:\Virtual Disks\DEMOVM-PMDisk02.vhdpmem'
Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VMName PMEMVM -ControllerType PMEM -ControllerNumber 0 -ControllerLocation 2 -Path 'Q:\Virtual Disks\DEMOVM-PMDisk02.vhdpmem'

#Check if the disks are there
Get-VMPmemController PMEMVM
(Get-VMPmemController PMEMVM).Drives

#That's it on the host, we now go in to the VM and initialize and format our PMEM disk there for use.
PowerShell in the virtual machine
Get-Disk | where bustype -eq SCM | ft -AutoSize

Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq SCM | Initialize-Disk –PartitionStyle GPT

New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -UseMaximumSize -driveletter P  | Format-Volume -NewFileSystemLabel VDISKVMPMEM01 -FileSystem NTFS -AllocationUnitSize 65536
New-Partition -DiskNumber 2 -UseMaximumSize -driveletter Q  | Format-Volume -NewFileSystemLabel VDISKVMPMEM02 -FileSystem NTFS -AllocationUnitSize 65536 

Performance Demo of PMEM in Hyper-V

Performance Demo of PMEM in Hyper-V

After a couple of successful presentations on Persistent Memory (PMEM) I created a performance demo of PMEM in Hyper-V video to showcase the performance. I am not a great video talent so this is a bit rough but it does get the message across.

The performance of PMEM is nothing short of impressive. A video might help showcase this better than a screenshot. If 1.5 million IOPS in a VM doesn’t get you excited look at the latency of 0.04 ms or less with a workload of 8K IO size, 30% write, 30% random IO.

The direct link to the video is https://vimeo.com/352583893

How to configure PMEM for Hyper-V

A follow-up video is to come soon. In that one, I configure PMEM in the BIOS, on the host and present it to a virtual machine on Windows Server 2019. I hope the results of the IO tests in this Performance Demo of PMEM in Hyper-V in this video will get you interested in how to set this up.

A bright future

Persistent Memory has a bright future all across the industry in servers, storage arrays, IoT and mobile devices, laptops and PC’s especially if MRAM and NRAM ever take off. My interest in it reminds me of the time when I started looking beyond 10/40Gbps networking and RDMA. The progress there converges excellently with persistent memory and FPGAs to show the path to composable infrastructure and help us deal with ever more data and processing needs.

Presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague

Presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague

I am happy to announce that I will be presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague. The conference is held between 20-22 November 2019. This is my first time speaking there and I am really looking forward to it.

I am speaking at Experts Live Europe 2019
My session is: Hyper-V backups – The good, the bad and the ugly

I will be talking about Hyper-V backups, the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people are still on older Windows Server versions and the improvements in backup alone should make for a strong use case to upgrade. I’ll show you why. I’ll share details improvements in speed, reliability, and scalability no matter what storage technology you use. Local, HCI, SAN, … they all benefit. We’ll share tips on how to leverage the improvements for the best results and make you backups shine. Finally, we’ll provide some feedback on what is still needs improvement. Remember as long as you run workloads on virtual machines you have to maintain it, keep it up to date and protected! If you know all this already, no worries, come for the over 40 other experts presenting. Take a look at the session catalog and see for your self.

Join us!

The conference focusses on Microsoft technologies at large and deals with Cloud, Datacenter, Security, Identity Management and the Modern Workplace. As such it realizes there is a lot of variety out there in building blocks used to make a company run. This means it offers content that reflects that reality and helps people succeed in their digital efforts to help their businesses run smoothly and securely on-premises as well as in the hybrid and public cloud.

I encourage you to attend if you have the opportunity. The content of other Experts Live Conferences I have done in the past was always excellent and the speakers were very knowledgeable. The same goes for Experts Live Europe I hear from my fellow MVP and colleagues who have attended before. Note that It is right after Microsoft Ignite 2019 and there are quite a lot of Microsoft attending as well. This means you’ll be getting some new information and insights hot of the press.

Life long learning is fun and doesn’t only happen at your desk or in a course. Get out of the office and into the world. It helps to get rid of the blinders and widen your view and vision on what is possible. It helps to learn from others, from your peers. So don’t delay and register here

Network, socialize, share and learn

With so many colleagues, experts, Microsoft Cloud Advocates, Program Managers and technologists at the event it offers excellent networking opportunities.

I will be around at the VIP Cloud Party, which provides plenty of networking opportunities and the chance to chat to the presenters and your peers. On top of that, I will be available between sessions and the “Ask The Experts” (ATE) speaker booth.

If you have questions about Hyper-V, Backup, Storage, Networking and best practices do come and find me. I don’t know it all, far from, but I have been able to help out many people before at conferences. Whether you work in small, medium or enterprise-sized organizations it’s free to ask and the worst that can happen is that I don’t know. I have a sweet spot for RDMA and PMEM, so if you ‘d like to chat, come find me!

Join us in Prague at Ask The Experts Europe

I hope to see you in wonderful Prague at a great conference! I am looking forward to meeting you there and presenting at Experts Live 2019 Europe in Prague. You can make new friends and catch up with others while you educate yourself. That’s a great deal.