[MVA] Software-Defined Networking with Windows Server and System Center Jump Start

Free online event with live Q&A with the networking team: http://aka.ms/SftDnet
Wednesday, March 19th from 8am – 1pm PST

Are you exploring new networking strategies for your datacenter? Want to simplify the process? Software-defined networking (SDN) can streamline datacenter implementation through self-service provisioning, take the complexity out of network management, and help increase security with fully isolated environments. Intrigued? Bring specific questions, and get answers from the team who built this popular solution!

Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 are being used with SDN implementations in some of the largest datacenters in the world, and this Jump Start can help you apply lessons learned from those networks to your own environment. From overall best practices to deep technical guidance, this demo-rich session gives you what you need to get started, plus in-depth Q&A with top experts who have real-world SDN experience. Don’t miss it!

Register here: http://aka.ms/SftDnet

Check out the www.MicrosoftVirtualAcademy.com for other free training and live events.

[REVIEW] Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager: High availability and performance tuning

Not so long ago, I’ve got yet another book from Packt Publishing – “Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager: High availability and performance tuning“, written by a fellow MVP, Marius Sandbu.

As someone who is not an Configuration Manager expert, I’ve really enjoyed reading this book.
Why? Because it provides great reference list of all the things that make Configuration Manager deployment highly available (from Active Directory and SQL to the Configuration Manager components), packed in a great format (not too long, about 150 pages), and well-written. It also provides, from my perspective, high-level steps that can be taken to fine-tune your deployment – an aspect of the deployment which is usually forgotten.

I would recommend this book to anyone that needs to learn about the principles of high availability and performance tuning of Configuration Manager – it’s not a long read, it will save you some time and certainly help you get started right away! However, if you need deep-down information about specific component, in a “Bible” format, you’ll need to grab at least one additional book…

You can order this book here.

[MVA] Free eBooks from Microsoft!

Just a quick word about something both great & totally FREE from Microsoft. J

Most of you already know some of the free titles that Microsoft has been giving out for free. Now the guys at Microsoft have gone a bit further, and provided one convenient location for this great titles – Microsoft Virtual Academy!
More specifically, you can find the current list and downloads here.

Happy reading!

[VMM] Update Rollup 1 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

Well, it’s here – the first Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. J

Among other things, it fixes these issues:

  • System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager cannot deploy a new or imported VMWare template
  • A virtual machine with that uses VHDX cannot be refreshed correctly in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, and you receive error message 2912: “The requested operation cannot be performed on the virtual disk as it is currently used in shared mode (0xC05CFF0A)”
  • During the discovery of a network-attached storage (NAS) provider, the credentials that are used do not include a domain name
  • Database operations sometimes fail with “FailedToAcquireLockException”
  • A new virtual machine template from a template that specifies an operating system profile doesn’t use credentials from the operating system profile
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager service crashes if you disable one of the teamed network adapters
  • Template deployment fails, and you receive the error message 2904: “VMM could not find the specified path on the server. The system cannot find the path specified (0×80070003)”
  • Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) cannot be mounted on a host because VHD conflicts with other disks because of a stale entry that was left in the dictionary of Virtual Machine Manager memory
  • Differencing disk based deployment may fail because the parent disk is being refreshed as non-cached

You can find out more & download it here.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I wish that you spend the holiday season with your families and loved ones, ‘offline’ if possible. I’ll be back in 2014 with more technical posts, and with more than ever ‘consistent publishing schedule’, I hope. :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, all!

[TIP] Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview – Upgrade tips…

If you are planning to upgrade your Windows Server 2012 to the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview (and you are not planning to spend some time reading the documentation), here are some tips that can help you make this more quickly, and (hopefully) without errors:

  • CREATE A FULL BACKUP! (before proceeding with upgrade, of course)
  • you can only upgrade Windows Server installation which is installed onto physical disk (i.e. you cannot upgrade Boot from VHD(X) installation, as you will get error saying this in compatibility report before upgrade starts) (note that you still can upgrade Windows Server installation in virtual machines, though)
  • make sure that you have enough disk space available (the compatibility report says that at least 42609 MB of free space is required)
  • make sure that your applications (and drivers) support Windows Server 2012 R2 (unfortunately, site with the compatible apps and documentation (as it says inside the upgrade wizard – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=243105) still isn’t alive, so you can’t check your applications there)
  • make sure that you have enabled page file on C: drive (I’ve had one on D: only, and the upgrade kept failing until I’ve create one on the C: drive also)
  • make sure that you don’t go online and install updates during installation (as this will probably make the upgrade fail, saying that it cannot open Compatibility report)
  • remember – if you get error during upgrade, you can always check upgrade log files located in "$WINDOWS.~BTSourcesPanther" (or “%WINDIR%Panther”) folder

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p>I will update this list as something new comes up (also, feel free to comment with your upgrade experiences).

Thanks for reading (and good luck),
Tom

Windows Server 2012 R2: Hyper-V – What’s new (at first glance)?

Well, the new version (R2) of the best server operating system is on it’s way! Windows Server 2012 R2 brings many new & upgraded features as announced at TechEd: North America 2013 conference last week.

Although I like Windows Server 2012, I’m specially excited about the news coming in the next Hyper-V upgrade. Some of them are:

  • Gen2 VMs – imagine VMs that don’t have anything emulated – no emulated devices such as IDE disk controllers and NIC cards. Well, that’s coming in R2 – we will have the new virtual machines that will be capable of booting from SCSI disks, machines that can use Secure Boot feature introduced in Windows 8, etc. This will have one downside however – to use it, you will need to run Windows 8 (x64) or Windows Server 2012 as guest OS.
  • VM Direct Connect – the new feature that allows you remote desktop connection into the virtual machine, without using network and channels you usually use – this time, you are going into the machine from the “inside”, through VM bus.
  • Hyper-V Replica to a third site – now you can have two replicas of you VMs – pretty cool and veeeery useful, if I may say so!
  • Replica frequency – now you can control the replication frequency (no more fixed 5 minutes replication intervals which allows you to “fine tune” the replication intervals to your networking infrastructure).
  • Compression – allowing from 2x to 10x faster live migrations (depending on hardware used)… do I need to say more?
  • Dynamic Memory for Linux – finally we have support for Dynamic Memory on Linux virtual machines also.
  • Online VM exporting and cloning, VHDX resizing
  • and much, much more!

This is just a list of some features and improvements that caught my attention. More is available in Ben’s talk at TechEd - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2013/MDC-B330.

See you soon!

[Webcast] The Tipping Point Webcast Series – Telenor (May 24, 2013)

In any decision process, there is a tipping point. As companies plan their cloud strategy, the tipping point of when to go to the cloud – and how – is mission critical. Development and test is a great way to step into the public cloud with Windows Azure.

Telenor is a Norwegian telecommunications company who needed to upgrade to the latest SharePoint solution across 13 business units and 12 countries. Traditional approaches would have exceeded their timeframe and budget, so they turned to Windows Azure, spun up their SharePoint 2013 farms and reduced their setup time from 3 months to two weeks, saving not only time, but money with a 70% cost reduction on their test environment.

Come learn more about their decision making process, the results they have seen to date and ask questions directly of the Telenor team.

PRESENTER
Andreas Hogberg, Director of IT, Telenor

REGISTER
Register for this Webcast

My first article at the Official MVP Blog…

One word – cool! Smile

My first article was published today at the Official MVP Blog. I’m feeling so proud, so happy, so…
I know it’s not the best article of all times, but it’s (hopefully) first of many.

Have a nice week!

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Microsoft MVP for another year…

So… I’m Microsoft MVP for another year – for 3 years in a row (and counting Smile).
This year I’ve also changed my expertise, and now I’m part of “Virtual Machine” MVPs.

Thanks to everyone that constantly supports me in my “IT adventures” (special thanks goes to my family – without them nothing of this would be even remote possible!).

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