Sunday, December 30, 2012

Storage Spaces known issues



Introduction
Not sure everyone have the similar problem that I have on the storage spaces. Would like some of the findings on it. As you know in my few blogs, I did share some of the steps of creation, adding and also deletion. One of the findings that I see is, each time when I reboot my lab, the disk health will become unknown. I try to figure out where there is any option in the server manager, but I run out of luck.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Re-import storage spaces pool


Introduction
Have ever you thought of migrating your storage spaces pool into a different server, what you should do about it without having any impact to the production?. I would like to share some of the steps that might be beneficial and it could be part of your work-plan  Although it is unnecessary for you to migrate now, but you might want to consider this in long run.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Local Wireless Password



Introduction
Getting to know that, wireless network have become a common part of the networking world. In the previous years, we are worry about the WEP security and from there we have new improvement on securing the wireless by using WPA or WPA2. Talking about the control, if the organization want to avoid the users from knowing the password, how they can do it?. By letting the administrator key in the password?. Does this work well?

The users can run a powershell command as per below to check the password. Think again whether it make sense to use  this. There is other method which provide a higher security such as integration with the Active Directory.

Sample script on powershell

PS C:\Users\user1> netsh wlan show profiles name="myssid" key=clear | Select-Object -l
ast 8

Security settings
-----------------
    Authentication         : WPA2-Personal
    Cipher                 : CCMP
    Security key           : Present
    Key Content            : P@ssword01201120122013


Summary
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monitor Storage Spaces bottleneck


Introduction
In order to run a system, we need to have a cpu, memory, network and also the disk.  The most challenging part to view on the this 4 component will be the disk component. Let me explain , if we are checking on the cpu, we will check whether it hits 100% of CPU usage. This goes the same to the memory, as we can check the balance of the memory in the task manager. For network part, mostly we will check on the byte sent out or byte sent in, however in a bigger environment, the latency of the network will need to take into consideration. Why I said the disk, is the most crucial part. The more application or VM you run on the disk, it will became slower and slower, but what is the right measurement for it?. I will explain more in detail

Disk monitoring
Windows Resource monitor it is a free tools from Microsoft that give you a very good glance on the overall performance of the system. I will explain on the area that you need to take note. The area when you would like to check will be the storage area. The thing that we are covering here is to check the disk whether it got the enough spindle to cope with the workload.

The areas that we are looking at will be the average disk queue length. Mostly people will said high disk queue length will cause the performance of the system is slow. But then again what is the right measurement. Base on the experience, the average disk queue length of 2-4 in a single subsystem, this is consider normal. But if its go beyond 4 it mean there is more disk to be added. Let said you have a 10 disk that are configure over a raid and you get the value of 20-30, this is consider fine.

Other matter will be the memory as well if you don't have enough memory which could cause a lot of paging in the disk. With the flexibility on the storage spaces which are introduce in windows server 2012 , the issues on extending the disk it is much more simpler.

Summary
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Storage Spaces Usage

Introduction

It's quite for some month, the technology was floating in the market and people are excited over the features. But however, you might need to perform some assessment the reason behind for moving toward the technology. Storage it is like a heart of the entire ecosystem, without it, your data will become useless. A lot of planning is required on the production system. Other factor such as cost, flexibility, support and agility might be part of the consideration.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 10



Introduction
In the previous post, I did share how the entire lab was been setup. As you can see that with the virtualization and also the hardware today. We can built any lab that we want with a minimum effort and cost. This would be the last session of the entire articles, I hope it give you a good way of learning.

Configuration
On this round, we will just going to plan on how to configure the  file server and by doing this, we will have a better understanding on how all the pieces join together to form a high availability server.

The first we need to add the file share. You can do this by right click on the FSHA2012.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 9

Windows server scale out file server configuration

Introduction
Its been a while, I didn't update my blogs. Apology to all of my followers:). Until now some of you might have create the lab till up with the storage, the hypervisor, the active directory and also the networking requirement.

On this articles, you will see how to create a scale-out file server. In other words, you can see this as a big areas of a cluster network.

Configuration
The first steps, is to click on the failover cluster manager and configure the role as per screen, you would need to install some features.

Installing scale out file server in windows server 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 8

Introduction
For now you should have a better understanding on how all the element connect together. On this articles, you will learn on how to configure the cluster disk and also some cleanup on the network configuration.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 7

Step by step on configuring the Microsoft WIndows Server 2012 cluster service
Configuration
On this session, we will proceed with the creation of the cluster. In the previous post, we use the option validate the cluster configuration and now we are using the create cluster option as shown per screen.

Create a cluster in windows server 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 6


Performing a cluster validation on windows server 2012
Introduction
The steps we have perform is here it is a check against the configuration we have and making sure we have all those in place before we use it in a production environment. What does it help is provide you an overview of the areas that you need improve covering the storage, network and etc. In the previous post, you have learn how to install clustering features via server manager and powershell. You did see which one that can help you more to perform an implementation. While on this round, I will show you how you can perform a validation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 5

Installing cluster services in windows server 2012

Introduction
Till now, I hope you did follow the rest of the configuration and you will see that , it is extremely easy to build a lab in a single PC.On this session, we will need to prepare the rest of the configuration. This round we will need to install failover clustering features in windows server 2012.

Configuration
We can install both of the features either by using server manager or powershell. In the first half of the screen , I will show you how to install the clustering features. You will need to install this to the server with the hostname FS1 and FS2.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook privacy

Introduction
Facebook have become a more common tools for social, sharing and also part of the marketing tools. However if its not been manage well, some other factor of security might be a shown concern. For example, do you want to let the public internet to search and to know who are your parent is and what are those activities.

To help and protect the privacy for all of the individual, each of us must have a responsibility to ensure everyone is protected in the internet. To do so, please start to share this practices to all of your member and friend.


1) PLEASE place your mouse over to the name of the person that you would like to protect (without clicking), a window will appear.

2) Move the mouse on "Friends" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear. 
3) Click "Comments and Like" and it would thereby remove the CHECK. By doing this my activity amongst my friends and my family does not become public. 


Summary
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Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 4

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 storage lab setup

Introduction
In order to start with the lab setup, in the previous blog, we have setup an Active Directory server. On the same VM as well, you will need to configure the virtualize storage that are running on the built-in iSCSi, to know more about the iSCSI, I would suggest you to read the following:

a)Introduction to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 iSCSI
b)Installation and configuration of the iSCSI setup
c)How to assign a virtual disk to the iSCSI
d)Configure FS1 and FS2 which we have created earlier to receive the disk





Other info


Summary
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 3

Windows Server 2012 active directory

Introduction
Centralized access is an important aspect in the security arena and its getting more and more common. Since this is part of building up a central access authentication for the lab. I am going to walk you through all over the screen, so that you are more prepare on the changes.

Configuration
As there are few revision have been made on the Active Directory since from the Microsoft Windows Server 2000. The complexity of setup is getting more and more simpler. In the previous version we are getting to know that the command dcpromo it is part of the starting point. With the new revision, dcpromo have been removed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 2

Introduction
Virtualization it is not something new when you talk about the new technologies. On this articles, I am going to show how you should plan and configure you hyper-v so that you can well prepare for the rest of the lab activities.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Building a LAB on Windows Server 2012 - Part 1


Introduction
With a limited budget and a high curiosity on the technology, have ever you wonder how you can achieve that?Since the Windows Server 2012 was released, there is a lot of people are looking forward on performing a testing over the software feature, but to create a test lab, it might be difficult if you only have a single PC. On this articles, I will share how you can built your own lab for the storage testing purpose. I have also draw a diagram for you on how it should look like and what are the component that you required.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Expand Storage Spaces - powershell

Introduction
As for now I will presume you have a better understanding on how to extend the size of the storage.On this round of the articles, I be sharing on how to extend the disk space in storage spaces.


1)get-storagepoolname

  • the command we use the get the storagepool friendly name which is SPN as per above.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Expand Storage Spaces - Server Manager


Introduction
For some of you who have following my previous blogs on how to create storage spaces, you might know what it is all about. But for the new readers who have just bump into this, you might want look into how to configure storage spaces. For this round, I am going to show you how to extend the storage spaces by utilizing the existing disk space.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Powershell to choose drive letter


Introduction
If you are using a graphical user interface in windows server 2012, findings a right driver letter it might be easier as the drive letter won't be exceeding and it can be count. 

But if you are using a core system, have ever you think how you can achived? You might think to use a command to get-disk and check the volume one by one or other method.

Do you know that there is one useful command which you can use which is Get-AvailableDriveLetter and by doing this, it will show you a list of drive letter you can use.

By using an another parameter which is Get-AvailableDriveLetter -ReturnFirstletterOnly you can get the the first assign letter. This is just a small trick you can play with. But in the actual environment, you might think a lot more to choose a meaningful drive letter for your application.

Summary
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Virtual labs


Introduction

Windows Server 2012 which also known as Windows Server 8 going to be released on September 4 this year. While if you are new to it, I would suggest you guys go ahead and play with the lab link as per below.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tools for Troubleshooting Storage Spaces


Introduction
Working on a new type of technologies sometime it could be scary as you might not sure what would happen and what could be the best way to deal with it.

The storage spaces failure can be category into 2, which the first on would be the administrative failure and the 2nd part would be maintenance failure. What it is all about?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Provisioning type in Storage Spaces



Introduction
As I recall, the first time when I use thin provisioning it was in VMware environment.Base on the comment and feedback during my time, thin provisioning it doesn't give a good performance, as it contain overhead. The first overhead would be the virtual disk expanding and it write on the physical disk. The 2nd would be the disk write inside the virtual disk.

As for now, everyone is using thin disk provisioning for virtualization. But do you still believe those overhead is still exists or vice versa?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Windows Server 2012 with 4 GUI option



Introduction
Since last year, I have show 2 steps of removing gui via powershell and server manager at http://www.wongchonkit.com/2011/10/removing-adding-gui-from-windows-server.html. In the latest revision, Microsoft has made it super easy to switch between the layer. You can read more from the following link http://blogs.technet.com/b/yungchou/archive/2012/07/18/windows-server-2012-installation-options.aspx

Switching method
Now we can convert Full installations of Windows Server 2012 and MinShell installations of Windows Server 2012 to Server Core with just one line of PowerShell:
Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart

To convert a Full installation of Windows Server 2012 to MinShell, run the following PowerShell command:
Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Restart

To convert from Server Core to MinShell, all you need to do is install the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart
  
To go from a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2012 or a MinShell installation of Windows Server 2012 to a Full Installation, simply add the Server Graphical Shell with the following command:
Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Restart


Summary
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

No more metro for Microsoft

Introduction
Privacy and infringement always become a top concern for providers.For developers you might want to read the following which was posted by Janet. I. Tu

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Licensing


Introduction
In a couple of few month, Windows Server 2012 will be available to the consumer for production usage. But however, do you know what are the changes in Windows Server 2012 licensing?. In the previous version, which is on windows server 2008 R2, we do have web, standard, enterprise and datacenter. 

The new release will have some changes, do have a look in the table below. As you can see there are no longer web version and also enterprise version.
 For more information you may click here for further information.

Summary
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Evolution of security risk in centralized computing



Evolution of security risk in centralized computing.
As in the 80’s we do see a lot of distributed computing, the only computer that does exist was mainframe which have been heavily use for large batch processing jobs as well as complex computing.
Security during that time was not really a concern as the dumb terminal doesn’t have a lot of option but that doesn’t mean we are living in the world of computing utopia.
As in the 20th century, technology change from distributed computing to centralized computing such as Active Directory from Microsoft. There is more integration of application and services with Microsoft Active Directory for authentication and authorization but however convenience over security could expose the system to a risk that might impact the business operation.

Storage Spaces Performance

Introduction
Have you ever thought of the storage performance on a lab with a 2 1TB of USB 3.0 storage would look like?. Would you expect this to be a lower performance or even faster?.

In my previous blog on Storage spaces introduction I have explained in term of what it is all about and also the reasoning behind it. If you would like to reread the articles, you may read it from here.

On top of that, I also do explain with step by step on how to configured the storage spaces with a simple lab setup. If you would have interest to know more , you can find the detail in here

Windows Server 2012 on Hyper-V 2.0 hotfix

Introduction
You might want to patch your windows server 2008 R2 SP1 with the above hotfix if you are running Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 as part of your VM. The experience you will get would be the VM stop responding. Please download from here if you encounter the similar issues.
Summary
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Status: 0x800f0906

Introduction
.Net have become a common prerequisite in all of the windows application. There are more and more apps are develop in this platform. However there are new version released which is version 4 in the Windows Server 2012 as part of features.

In the older days, when we think of installing .NET framework, the first thing that we would ever do is googling in the internet and search for the source files. However for now, the package come with the OS it self. You have an option to enable the package.

In Windows Server 2012, there are 2 version of .NET framework that is been offer. However, you only can turn on the version 4 from the server manager tools and you can't use the same technique for the version 3.5.

The reason behind this is because it is not contain in the sxs folder. In the internet forum, there are someone mentioning you can do this via the internet, but however I haven't test this out.

The 2nd option would be using the media it self by using few command.
  1. Add-WindowsFeature –name NET-Framework-Core –source :\sources\sxs 
  2. Dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source::\sources\sxs /LimitAccess  
You need to know the above as for some feature that you are enabled or you are installing some software such as MS SQL 2012, you would need to have this turn on before you can install the software.
 
Summary
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apple Apps Store - Proof Of Concept

Introduction

Few years back, we only get to know that, we can have the apple application for free after we have jailbreak our iDevices. But the trend now have changes and they are more vulnerabilities to be founded. Now we can have more genuine apps without jail breaking the iDevice. But i guess this won't last for few days:).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

TechEd 2012 Sessions Now

Introduction

Good morning afternoon and evening ,no matter where you are. Do you know recently Microsoft have some awesome information that have been shared in Microsoft TechED  2012 event.

Now you can download and enjoy more than 30 hours of the introduction of the latest product at channel 9. What you waiting for?

Ejecting CD-rom non stop

Introduction
Have you ever experience your cd-rom keep on ejecting non stop and you don't know what happen with your machines?

What you will do except than reboot your machines?. What are you waiting for?Start open your notepad and pastethe code on your machines and see it your self and prank your friend :). Remember to save the script with the .vbs. You can stop the script by stopping the wscript.exe process on the task manager.


Have fun with the code ^^.

Set oWMP = CreateObject("WMPlayer.OCX.7")
Set colCDROMs = oWMP.cdromCollection
do
if colCDROMs.Count >= 1 then
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count - 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
End If
wscript.sleep 5000
loop


Summary 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dangers of Man in the middle attacks to modern life


Overview
In hakin9.org May release, I have wrote more on the number of ways of performing MITM and also how to steal information from a SSL channel. Read more to the content and enjoy the journey.

Dangers of Man in the middle attacks to modern life
In modern times, we have been exposed through the use of any of the computers, smart phones or any device which are all connected in a consolidates network. When we term the word network, it means that we can communicate with the other party by sending information through the cables or even in the air.

Resilient File System (ReFS) in Windows Server 2012


Overview
ReFS which was first introduced in Windows Server 2012 was the next generation file system that are supported. It offer a lot of features that is beneficial to the corporate in term of hosting critical data application. What it mean to NTFS?. It is not going to be replaced the current file system structure, I will explain in detail why and there are some limitation it can. On top of that as well there are some features have been removed and it have been replaced with a new one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Best Practices Analyzer Window Server 2012


Introduction

Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) is a server management tool that was introduced in Windows Server® 2008 R2. It gives administrator an overview of the violation of configuration on the server. You can view this in server manager or the windows powershell.

At first I not even notice about this awesome tools. I only notice this when I was first installing Windows Server 2012 RC, there are some pop-up error messages. Let me explain more once we dive into it.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Online Backup Service - Part 3

Introduction
Backing up information to cloud something, it might look easy. But sometimes it could cause other issues too. But what is your view on this area ?Should we go for cloud backup or we just use what we are doing it now?

Configuration
To perform a restoration, it is not so hard as the console given you all the capability that you should know. The first thing you need to do is to click on the restore data option.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Online Backup Service - Part 2


Introduction
As per the previous post, by now you should have an idea on how does the Microsoft online backup services works. On this articles, I am going to show you some of the configuration that is required and also some of the findings during the backup. Please take note the testing above have been executed in a test environment with a 5Mbps links.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Online Backup Service - Part 1

Introduction
The Microsoft Online Backup Service is a cloud based backup solution for Windows Server “2012 RC” which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud in order to provide off-site protection against data loss due to disasters. 

What it mean by the statement is, you can recover the files from any location with the given authorization to the backup portal. It would be a good disaster recovery plan for some of the countries which have challenges to manage the backup infrastructure.

What would be the requirement from Microsoft Online backup service, you would required an good internet bandwidth.

The technology it is base on agent base, which mean you would need it in order for you to perform the backup of the server, it is the same as the native backup. But they are several concern that I would like to mention here too. 
  • If you would like to use this service, you must make sure that you have a good and stable internet connection, if not you will have a problem.
  • As for now it is beta, its not yet launch for production, customer would need to ensure how the data is manage. Especially for European country, they would required know where are those data store and how it was been handle.
  • For company perspective, you might want to plan a classification for it, such as when do you require to use such backup technologies?
  • One more thing, I notice on the backup software it self, it does provide a backup retention, but so far I didn't see how the incremental backup or differential or even full system backup take place. I might to dig more info on this portion.
  • Overall I would said this would be a good option for countries that would have a lot of natural disaster. As once we have this, we have no worry on where our tapes should be reside.
Check out more for more details on the above which will cover more on the configuration. In this articles, I would cover the neccessary software for installation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Installation Options


Introduction
As the product name was changed from Windows Server 8 to Windows Server 2012, they are few minor enhancement that have been implemented to the operating system. I will go through some of the changes and option on the product it self. Let get started....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate


Introduction
Guess what, since last year we have been blogging about Windows Server 8 Developer preview, follow by consumer release and now we have the release candidate which some of the minor bug will be fix.

Now available for download, the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate includes a made-over Server Manager and replaces the Start Menu with the Metro UI. Moreover, Microsoft has reportedly removed legacy code that would allow users to boot into the classic desktop Start Menu. Windows Server 2012 will also feature the new Resilient File System for handling heavy-duty data and manage shared storage across machines. Applications that run on the current Windows Server 2008 should be compatible with this new version.

What you waiting for?. Download a copy and play with it.:) 

Click here to download 

Summary 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Windows Server 2012 iSCSI Part 4



Introduction
This would be the last blog on iSCSI, by now you should know what would be the next. On this last blog, I will show you how to assign a disk to iSCSI. I hope you all enjoy reading the articles and help you in provisioning a new iSCSI.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Windows Server 2012 iSCSI Part 3


Introduction
In the previous article, I am sure now you should have a better understanding on what iSCSI is. On the rest of the chapter, you will learn on how to connect the pieces together and you can provisioning the infrastructure in a very short time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Windows Server 2012 iSCSI Part 2

Introduction
It's always good to have all the features bundle and use it. As some of you who have use the iSCSI version 3.3 before you would need to download the component from Microsoft website and configure on both client and server. Now with the latest version, installation is getting simpler and easy. Have a look at the below how you can get started to install a iSCSI server.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Windows Server 2012 iSCSI Part 1


Introduction

I have find the explanation on searchstorage. It give a very good explanation on what iSCSI mean. The articles is explain as below.

"iSCSI is Internet SCSI (Small Computer System Interface), an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). By carrying SCSI commands over IP networks, iSCSI is used to facilitate data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. The iSCSI protocol is among the key technologies expected to help bring about rapid development of the storage area network (SAN) market, by increasing the capabilities and performance of storage data transmission. Because of the ubiquity of IP networks, iSCSI can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Data Deduplication Part 5

The 5 master key
It is very important to have a planning for migration or an upgrade of the infrastructure before applying any changes on the infrastructure. I always have this in my practice, you must be crystal clear on what you need to implement as for this you can justified it why you do it. This articles going to be long compare to the previous few articles on data deduplication, as I believe not just for these area we need to emphasize with more effort. But then again, best practice it is not something mandatory, as it is a practice to avoid any disappointment or failure. To get started , I will run through with you on the 6 areas key question.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Data Deduplication Part 4


Overview of Powershell for Data-Deduplication
This is not a new information for some of you have read it before. If you did follow my previous post, you will see that I use a lot of powershell to configure the settings, in this articles I would like to give you an overview of what are those command are use for.

To get started, you must know the 3 basis command which as shown as below. This is important for you get understand what are those use for and learn it by your self.

Get-Help -Detailed
Get-Help -Examples
Get-Help -Full


I also have included a list of the command that you must know in data deduplication, however if you would like to use the GUI version that is fine too. This is just served as alternative if you are bored with GUI.

cmdlet
Description
Disable-DedupVolume Disables further data deduplication activity on one or more volumes.
Enable-DedupVolume Enables data deduplication on the specified volumes, using default settings.
Get-DedupJob Returns status and information for currently running or queued deduplication jobs.
Get-DedupMetadata Returns a Deduplication Metadata object for every volume that has data deduplication metadata.
Get-DedupSchedule Returns the Deduplication Job Schedule objects defined on the system.
Get-DedupStatus Returns a Deduplication Status object for every volume that has data deduplication metadata.
Get-DedupVolume Returns a Deduplication Volume object for each volume that has data deduplication metadata.
New-DedupSchedule Creates a new data deduplication schedule and returns a Deduplication Schedule object.
Remove-DedupSchedule Deletes the specified Deduplication Schedule object.
Set-DedupSchedule Sets data deduplication schedule settings.
Set-DedupVolume Sets data deduplication volume settings.
Start-DedupJob Queues a new data deduplication job of the specified type for the specified volumes.
Stop-DedupJob Cancels one or more specified data deduplication jobs.
Update-DedupStatus Scans one or more specified volumes to compute fresh data deduplication savings information and returns a Deduplication Status object.

The above table is from Microsoft Technet.

Reference

Summary 
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