Configuring Nano Server and Dedup

Data Deduplication is a feature of Windows Server since Windows Server 2012 that can reduce the on-disk footprint of your data by finding and removing duplication within a volume without compromising its fidelity or integrity. For more information on Data Deduplication, see the Data Deduplication Overview. Nano Server is a new headless deployment option in Windows Server 2016 that has a far small system resource footprint, starts up significantly faster, and requires fewer updates and restarts than the Windows Server Core deployment option. For more information on Nano Server, see the Getting Started with Nano Server TechNet page.

Data Deduplication is fully supported on Nano Server and while we think you’ll really love the benefits of deploying Windows Server and Dedup on the Nano Server, there are a few changes to get used to. This guide walks through a vanilla deployment of setting up Nano Server and Dedup in a test environment: this should give you the context needed for more complicated deployments.

Configuring Nano Server and Dedup

  1. Create a Nano Server Image. Unlike installing the Server Core or Full versions of Windows Server, Nano Server doesn’t have an installer option. The following commands will create a VHDX for use with Hyper-V or other hypervisor. You may also find it helpful to install Nano directly on a bare metal server. In that case, simply change the file extension on the path provided to the TargetPath parameter on the New-NanoServerImage cmdlet to “.wim” rather than “.vhdx”, and follow the steps in this guide instead of the next step. On Windows 10, open a new PowerShell window with Administrator privileges and copy the following:

    $iso = Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath Y:\ISOs\WindowsServer2016_TP4.ISO -StorageType ISO -PassThru

    $isoDriveLetter = ($iso | Get-Volume).DriveLetter + “:\”

    Remove-Item -Path C:\temp\NanoServer -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

    New-Item -Path C:\temp\NanoServer -ItemType Directory -Force

    Set-Location ($isoDriveLetter + “NanoServer\”)

    Import-Module .\NanoServerImageGenerator.psm1

    $password = ConvertTo-SecureString -String “t3stp@ssword!” -AsPlainText -Force # Note: password safe for testing only

    New-NanoServerImage -GuestDrivers -MediaPath $isoDriveLetter -BasePath C:\temp\NanoServer\base -TargetPath C:\temp\NanoServer\csodedupnano.vhdx -MaxSize 50GB -Storage -Clustering -ComputerName “csodedupnano” -AdministratorPassword $password -EnableRemoteManagementPort

    Set-Location C:\temp\NanoServer

    Remove-Item -Path .\base -Recurse -Force # Clean-up

    Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $iso.ImagePath # Clean-up

  2. Create a new Virtual Machine (VM) in Hyper-V or your hypervisor of choice and configure Nano Server as desired. If you are not familiar creating a VM in Hyper-V, this guide should help get you started. You may also wish to join your new Nano Server VM to a domain before continue on: follow these steps for more information.
  3. Create a CimSession for Remoting to your Nano Server instance:

    $cred = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList “csodedupnano”, $password

    $cimsession = New-CimSession -ComputerName “csodedupnano” -Credential $cred

  4. Create a new partition for Dedup on your Nano Server VM instance:

    $osPartition = Get-Partition -CimSession $cimsession -DriveLetter C

    Resize-Partition -CimSession $cimsession -DiskNumber $osPartition.DiskNumber -PartitionNumber $osPartition.PartitionNumber -Size 5GB

    $dedupPartition = New-Partition -CimSession $cimsession -DiskNumber $OsPartition.DiskNumber -UseMaximumSize -DriveLetter D

    Format-Volume -CimSession $cimsession -Partition $dedupPartition -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel “Shares” -UseLargeFRS

  5. Enable the Dedup Feature. On your Nano Server instance:

    Invoke-Command -ComputerName $cimsession.ComputerName -Credential $cred { dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:dedup-core /all }

    Enable-DedupVolume -CimSession $cimsession -Volume D: -UsageType Default

That’s it – you have now deployed Dedup on Nano Server! As always, please feel free to let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns with any of the content posted here either by commenting on this post, or sending the Dedup team a message directly at Thanks!