Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Windows Server 2012 RC is now out


http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download

http://www.tomontech.com/2012/05/windows-server-2012-release-candidate-now-available/

Did you hear the joke about how two HyperV’s walked into a bar?

One of Windows Server 2012’s secret weapons: Hyper-V Replica | ZDNet:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/one-of-windows-server-2012s-secret-weapons-hyper-v-replica/12707



So one of the potential interesting things for SMBs is HyperV replication.  You’d need two HyperV boxes and then a wizard.  Of course we have to test to see if this is possible from a support and licensing standpoint (I’m not holding my breath here), but Interesting huh?

This nic or that nic?


When getting your head around networking in HyperV the first time, I find it helpful if your network cards are different manufacturers.  Now in real life this is nearly impossible as the Quad card on most servers means all 4 are the same name.  That said as others have pointed out, even on a production box you can throw in a more generic network card for the management role so you can more easily know which nic is which.


And do you have iLos or Drac cards too?  Even the HP microserver comes with the ability to purchase a $80 remote access card to the hardware.  This is a card that will let you get to the base hardware even if the OS doesn’t boot.

FREE Online Certification Prep Training for #Office365 Exams 70-321 and 70-323

What are the requirements to earn the Microsoft Partner Network Small Business Competency? – Microsoft SMS&P Partner Community Blog – By Eric Ligman – Site Home – MSDN Blogs:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mssmallbiz/archive/2012/04/26/what-are-the-requirements-to-earn-the-microsoft-partner-network-small-business-competency.aspx


Remember 70-321/323 are some of the new small biz competency exams


FREE Online Certification Prep Training for #Office365 Exams 70-321 and 70-323 – IT Pros ROCK! – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2012/05/29/free-online-certification-prep-training-for-office365-exams-70-321-and-70-323.aspx

Microsoft Learning, the Partner teams, and the Microsoft Office team are bringing an exciting opportunity to learn the planning and deployment steps for Office 365 and also prepare you for the new Office 365 certification exams. As organizations recognize the benefits of providing users with anywhere-access to cloud-based email and scheduling, web conferencing, file sharing, collaboration and Office Web Apps at a low predictable monthly cost, demand for certified Office 365 expertise is climbing sharply in both the enterprise and small business space.

Leveraging the popular “Jump Start” virtual classroom approach, two of Microsoft’s most gifted Office 365 experts will lead an accelerated, engaging and demo-rich learning experience designed to teach IT Pros the concepts and technologies covered on Microsoft exam*70-321*
<http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-321&Locale=en-us>Deploying Office 365 as well as the prerequisite exam *70-323* <http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-323&Locale=en-us>(Administering Office 365).

This course will be delivered *May 30 – June 1, 2012* from *9:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Time* (Noon – 8PM Eastern Time) via live virtual classroom (online from wherever you are); due to the nature of this virtual classroom environment, hands-on labs will not be available. This is no charge for this virtual training event.

To register, please visit the following link:
http://mctreadiness.com/MicrosoftCareerConferenceRegistration.aspx?pid=325

Just around the corner

Getting ready for the ITpro conference in New Orleans?  I am. 


Nancy sent out this message last week!


For those coming in for the Brain Explosion, you will be able to check in for the conference early.  For all others we will have a registration table outside the St. Charles room starting at 4:00pm on Thursday, June 7.   The welcome reception will begin in the St. Charles ballroom at 6:00pm.


The weather in New Orleans is very hot this time of year so please pack accordingly. During the conference keep in mind that the hotel overcompensates on the air conditioning so while it may be blistering outside, inside the conference room may be a bit chilly. In years past the nightly events would take place outside, but this year is somewhat different. This year, each night will be either entirely indoors or offering a combined indoor and outdoor activity so there’s two important things to note:

1. We have reversed the Friday and Saturday night events from normal and what was originally posted for this year. The revision is that the “choose your restaurant night” is going to be Friday this year, so set your reservations accordingly for Friday (not Saturday).

2. Saturday night’s party will NOT be a casual night, we are instead having a traditional summer cocktail party and upscale old New Orleans dinner! Ladies are invited to wear a comfortable summer dress, skirts or slacks. Gentleman, please be business casual with a white shirt preferred, but no shorts or jeans for this night. Think of this as a costume party!


Wireless internet will be available in the conference rooms during the show.


We think it is fabulous that so many of you are bringing your spouses this year.   I have prepared to have the hotel concierge meet with the spouses on Friday morning to discuss options to see the sights of New Orleans.  Spouses should come prepared with questions and will have the option to sign up for various sight-seeing adventures.


If you have not already done so, please send me your travel itinerary.  I will do my best to pair up those that are arriving at the same time.   For those that arrive at times that don’t mesh with others, I will send you transportation options next week.  


Please feel free to contact me at any time regarding any questions you may have about New Orleans or the conference.  You can reach me at 360-440-3598 or nancyw@sbsmigration.com.  If, for some reason, you are unable to reach me, please contact HandyAndy at Andy@SBSmigration.com.

SSDs in servers?

So if you speak french there’s two videos on Dell’s site about SBS 2011 essentials.


http://media.zdnet.fr/partenaire/dell/article_video.php


You’ll have to pardon me as I get back into the swing about blogging on virtualization.  Right now my HyperV test server is in the back of my MINI boot to go back to the office for tomorrow’s Fresno user group meeting on Server 2012 topics.  I rebuilt my HyperV over the Memorial day weekend to be based on Windows 8 server so we could have a hands on server and demo box for the meeting tomorrow night.  Yes I do realize that there’s another version slated to come out next week (according to the OEM Microsoft web site and other reports) so I may be rebuilding that OS once more. 

One thing of interest I found that I had to use a legacy nic for a Server 2003 box.  So we may have support issues with Server 2003’s inside of HyperV 2012 boxes.  We’ll have to see what’s up with that later on with the RC stuff.


… so one the questions that comes up on various listserves is about putting a SSD drive as the bootable C drive.


I don’t know… I have put a SSD into my baby laptop and I guess I’m still old fashioned in that I want a good couple of years burn in and evidence before I’m ready to rip out RAID and redundant drives on servers.  I don’t reboot a server that often, so I remain to be convinced if having SSD drives as the C drive is what we should all be doing.  That said my benchmark is a laptop.  An OLD laptop that can’t even run Windows 8 so I don’t have any real world experience to base my blogging off of, other than just a thought of …can I see the mean life of those drives in a few years and get back to you?


More reading – http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html


http://thecoffeedesk.com/news/index.php/2009/04/26/ssd-in-the-data-center/


http://homeservershow.com/ssd-caching-on-hyper-v.html


 

Ignore this error ….

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange2010/thread/8d40910d-277f-4995-9707-36029969a03e/


It’s really frustrating to see a forum post where people realize an issue is two years old and Microsoft doesn’t appear to want to solve the problem.


Sync Issues folder for Outlook 2010 contains warnings such as “Synchronization of some deletions failed”:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2606009

Another ignore this …

Fresh Servers

Watching the bbc iplayer of the Chelsea flower show and thought I might grow myself a new server tonight as well.  I’ll still be blogging about HyperVing SBS Essentials, but how about we throw in some forwarding looking stuff by standing up a Beta (NOT TO BE USED IN PRODUCTION) of the Windows server 8 and see how it changed between what we’re used to in Server 2008 R2 HyperV.


Just like Chelsea Flower show did a category of “Fresh Gardens” consider this “Fresh Servers” tonight.


Server 8 aka Windows Server 2012 is really fresh and really different.


So fresh and so different that I’ve yet to figure out where the restart button is.



When you start server 8 aka Windows Server 2012, not only do you go whoa who moved the cheese, you probably go whoa who moved the entire dairy farm.


This is the gui for the datacenter edition and the server manager can not only control the local server but other servers.


We’re going to play with this as a HyperV server so for this we’re only going to add the one role and one role only.


We go into the role wizard



We select the server we’re on (like duh)



We select the role – HyperV



It confirms what is going to be installed



We click next



We don’t want to add any other features


 



It confirms our choices and reminds us we need to make sure we pick a network card.



We pick at least one active card to be our virtual switch.



Ooh this is new… until we start all doing clusters (which I’m still not convinced that mere mortal SMBs can afford server clustering, but we’re touch on that in a future blog post)



Why they pick “my docs” for storing stuff is beyond me.  I always change this, preferably to another partition away from the boot one.  This is where you do a 80 gig or so for the boot and then depending on your religion, chop up the rest of the server into chunks that match the vhds you are planning or I’ve also seen folks not chunk up the rest. 



Confirm



Install



..install



Get promoted to reboot.



…and then figure out that you can’t figure out how to reboot…. uh where’s the charms/shut down button on a server?


I ended up doing taskbar/run cmd and did a shutdown /r…. but surely there’s an easier way I missed?


(P.S. yes I’m using a UK proxy service to view the iPlayer programs as you can’t see them unless you or your computer, or the iPlayer thinks your computer is in the UK)


A problem prevented Customer Experience Improvement Program data from being sent to Microsoft

One of my pet peeves about how some of the decisions are being made on Windows 8 is something I’m calling “coding via telemetry data”.  Check out the Windows 8 engineering blog and the cite via their CEIP data how many of their customers are doing thus and so.


Well every night I see this in my event logs.


EVENT # 48405 EVENT LOG Application EVENT TYPE Error OPCODE Info SOURCE Microsoft-Windows-CEIP EVENT ID 1008 COMPUTERNAME   DATE / TIME   5/25/2012 11:23:42 PM MESSAGE A problem prevented Customer Experience Improvement Program data from being sent to Microsoft, (Error 80004005).


So tonight I decided to figure out why I’m not part of those telemetry numbers….


And found this:


A problem prevented Customer Experience Improvement Program data from being sent to Microsoft:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproinstall/thread/95931a6a-2edc-40be-af96-1c05fe1ef1e6


I love the answer… ignore it or disable it..


Interestingly enough… when you drill into the event log as per:


Event ID 1008 — CEIP Upload:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349464(v=WS.10).aspx

It looks like it really did complete.



So maybe I am being counted after all?

Planning for growth

Before we begin to install a virtual SBS Essentials, one has to determine what you want to do as far as planning for disk space.


http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/05/23/how-to-use-full-disk-for-the-o-s-install-in-small-business-server-2011-essentials.aspx


While you can follow the SBS blog for the how to use a config file to set the drive sizes,  you can also use Robert Pearman’s GUI scripting tool http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SBS-2011-Essentials-Answer-5bfc015a to set the configuration.



That’s the hard drive space used after about 22 computers, several with archived backups, along with two stored backups for computers that are now removed from the office…. When I did the very first backup of each computer, it was about 1T for the whole shebang.  The total of the drives that are being backed up is about 2T worth of stuff (on my box a bunch of ISOs that probably don’t need to back up.  So it’s about a 50% reduction of the drive space of the computers being backed up.


You can’t choose less than 60 gigs for the OS drive.  Then determine what your data drive is.  But be careful about the 2T brick wall.  Not that long ago Terrabytes were considered insanely huge.  Now we think a Terrabyte is normal.  There’s an issue when you have a drive greater than 2T on a Windows backup… Windows Backup has a 2T limit.  A good discussion is here:  http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2212-backup-limitations-a-counterpoint/  Chunk down your data so that you can get it backed up.