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Configuration Manager Servicing Extension for SCCM 2012 SP1 and R2

The package of service extension SCCM SP1 or R2 2012 is a very good resource for Admins of the SCCM stay updated regarding this product. He is still in beta, but already it is possible to see its advantages.

For those who want to download, subscribe in the beta at Connect:

The product installation is very simple, after accepting the contract he already is available in the Administration menu -> Site Servicing of SCCM, where we can see the current server version, a list of important updates are not installed and the summary of blogs and updates available for server and client:


Opening the menu options Site Servicing the first option to the show’s Website Version where are visible the Cumulative Update installed (CU), which in General is a very important piece of information that don’t always know to find it, since it is necessary to view installed updates to learn the CU:


Another option from the menu Site Updates filters which updates and cumulative updates for disppniveis version of SCCM 2012, allowing the administrator to download from the link provided:


The next menu Client Targets allows you to view the hostfixes and updates for agents/SCCM clients by version, as well as some of the above to the SCCM servers:


And finally, the menu Blogs will allow the administrator to view the messages posted on the blog of the product team and the support team, making it easier to update the news and latest product news:


MIcrosoft Azure-New Portal

For those who haven’t met the new Windows Azure portal, I intend to explain in this post a little its advantages and functionalities, which in the latter’s Preview release with virtually all features ready.

I’m sure at the end you will change your internet shortcut to the new address as I did today!!!


Last MVP Summit at Microsoft in November 2013 were presented to the new model of interface that Microsoft was studying. On the occasion of the meeting, Josué Vidal and I could see how would be the interfaces and opine about it.

The intention is to create modular interfaces that go without banning the user has access to the previous menu items. For every function selected, instead of the screen being changed right opens a panel with the requested data allowing you to scroll back to the open items, which greatly facilitates the operation in tablets and touch screens.

Using and Customizing the dashboard

When you open the new Panel it’s possible to see how he is interactive. The blocks below are all customizaveis, allowing “pinar” items, change its size or location on the screen, similar to the Windows Start Menu 8:


To include new items on the Panel (applications or shortcuts), simply use the “Browse” button:


The selected items are all interactive and as seen in the first screen clipping and open in the introduction blocks right allowing use with right click commands (pressing with touch screen):


Finally, we can customize the position of items in the main panel, changing its size or location:


Managing Items

Until the previous version of the Preview was not possible change, edit, or create items. It was only possible to view them and in the case of VMs even that.

In this version it is possible to create VMs and edit its properties, of very simple form. The images below are the scroll screen down from the properties of a VM:




Finally, even the change of type of a VM brings very important data, different from the first Azure portal that only had the characteristics of CPU and memory, bringing all the details now:



Do not stop using the new portal. In some situations he will request that uses the original portal, but are in pouquissimas situations, as for example, configure the VPN network Gateway.

Microsoft Azure (Iaas) Cost Estimator Tool

Yesterday Microsoft released an interesting tool to calculate costs of migration of virtual machines (from VMM or ESX) or physical.

The installation of the tool can be made by link

On the initial screen choose whether the inventory will be by VMM, ESX, Hyper-V or direct with the IPs of physical machines. For each of the types of inventory, he will ask the Manager data (VMM, Hyper-V or vCenter) or the IPs of physical machines.


In my example I used physical machines and select by type (Windows/Linux), IP, username and password. We can include up to 25 machines per cycle:


The next step is to choose the frequency with which you want the tool to do the research. As in my case the machine is linked don’t need to define recorrencias.


In the sequel the tool will list the capabilities of the machines that were analyzed and indicates the inventory data that are relevant to the making of the cost.


Finally, we have the report with the estimated costs for each Azure VM, choosing which region and the hardware profile for each VM chosen, besides the price profile:


This tool is very useful to allow the client has no idea what investment will be required in the migration, using real data!

Essential Articles about Cloud

Two recent articles about cloud that were released this month-end are very good to justify and plan implementations.

ROI with Windows Server 2012 R2

The first item is a Forrester document commissioned by Microsoft highlighting the economy achieved with the implementation of Windows Server 2012 R2 as Hypervisor.

The data were obtained from a client migration and contains the data than has been deprecated, which the investment required and the ROI obtained, including the hardware equipment that were provided with the implementation:

How not to lose the opportunity of the journey to the Cloud

The second document is an article written Mike McCaig that is an expert in Cloud Datacenter and highlights how not to lose the opportunity and investment in migration.

Highlights through topics important items that are generally unnoticed or treated with little attention:

  • Understand what will be moved
  • Control over how it will be conducted
  • Keep people engaged

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp

Microsoft recently announced the launch of this service, called RemoteApp.

Introduction to RemoteApp

TS RemoteApp is a service to allow execution of installed applications on Azure will be performed on Windows machines, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android.

It’s the same thing that the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for Windows Server 2012?

Basically Yes in use by the end user, but differs in operation compared to Remote Desktop Services available in Windows Server 2012.

At RDS we publish applications on Windows servers, and define the shortcuts of applications based on the RDS server farm that were created. Is based on applications that run on the server by creating instances of the applications. Is only possible to publish applications that are installed on the entire farm.

In Azure we do upload a RemoteApp virtual machine created in Hyper-V to the Azure and the system displays the applications available on this VM to be offered to the client. The instances that the user works on the auto-provisioning model, where the VM is created as the need for new plays. In addition, each VM can contain different applications and the Azure is responsible for starting the corresponding VM that application requested by the user.

Creating Service RemoteApp

As RemoteApp is still Preview, you must request access to it through the gate of the Azure, which can take up to a week to be granted. After receiving the e-mail releasing the use, we can see the service on the Panel.

Important to remember that the Preview period usage is free, but after the public availability or GA (General Availability) is a cost to use this service.

In the Microsoft Azure will be possible see RemoteApp and create services:

RemoteApp (1)

To create the service, simply use the "New" button of Azure and instantiate. In my example I used the VM already standardized with Office 2013 that Azure offers as standard, but see that the menu of service above we have the option "Template Images" where we can put our customized applications by using the Windows Server 2012 R2 with SysPrep.

After you create the instance of the service, the next step is to define the access. If your environment has the Azure AD you can use Domain users, if there is no integration we can directly use the Microsoft Accounts like the example below:

RemoteApp (2)

After setting the access and create the service we define which applications will be made available. This process can be made showing the applications by the path in the VM or from the Start Menu, like the example below:

RemoteApp (3)

RemoteApp (4)

Finished it, the applications are published and already it is possible to open the RDP client specific RemoteApp Azure.

Using the applications in Windows

Among the site and install the RDP client from Microsoft, as can be seen below:

RemoteApp (5)

When installing the client can view the published applications and use them, which is very easy and fast since it is linked to your user profile in the RemoteApp:

RemoteApp (6)

RemoteApp (7)

See the above example Excel has the icon with the RDS symbol, indicating that this is a remote application. But to the user, nothing changes and the whole execution is transparent.

Using the RemoteApp Azure on the iPad

The next step is to open in a non-Windows device. I used the iPad.

To start just enter the site and ask them to install the RDP client that automatically opened the Apple Store:

iPad (1)iPad (2)

When you open the Microsoft RDP client on the iPad use the "Add Microsoft RemoteApp" which is already available in this version of the client to include the Microsoft Account linked in RemoteApp, enter the access data and accept the invite shown:

iPad (3)iPad (4)

Automatically published applications are already available for use, very practical:

iPad (5)

By clicking on the desired application the RDP client will login to the Azure and instantiating the application selected dynamically:

iPad (6)

And the magic happens! Excel is open on the screen of the iPad with complete features and enabling remote desktop:

iPad (7)

Additional Questions

Is it possible to use RemoteApp to open applications on my local station or device (iOS and Android)?

No, the RemoteApp does not have access to local resources of the machine or device. However, he has currently defaults to saving the OneDrive which allows the exchange of the file with the default synchronization and has client to the devices supported.

Can I remotely administer the sessions as the RDS?

Yes, the Microsoft Azure console it is possible to send a message to the user, close session or disconnect all or a single user selected.

Is the complex process to publish my own applications?

No, it’s pretty simple. Create a VM in Windows Server 2012 R2 (using Gen1 with VHD, Azure doesn’t support VHDX), install applications and run SysPrep. After that the RemoteApp console use the option "Template Images" to upload the VHD.

It is possible to integrate the RemoteApp in an RDS or farm in my local network environment?

Yes, but this process is complex and requires a virtual gateway that points the RemoteApp for your environment with public IP. To make this process refer to the documentation available on the Microsoft Azure, which in the case of a Preview is not yet comprehensive and simple to be queried step-by-step.

Installation of SCOM Agent 2012 SP1 or R2 via Windows Update Fail

The monitoring agent’s update of the System Center Operations Manager SP1 and R2 can cause some errors when being installed, even for Windows Update in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 in some cases.

The problem usually happens on APM installation, a component used to make monitoring of applications in IIS, best known for bringing the performance of queries and pages into Java and .NET.


If the install Windows update and check for the error in the Event Viewer to find the error below, the APM is in trouble:

Product: Microsoft Monitoring Agent–Error 1923. Service ‘ @ C:\Program Files\Microsoft Monitoring Agent\Agent\APMDOTNETAgent\InterceptSvc.exe, -100 ‘ (System Center Management APM) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.



Many problems may have caused this error, in some cases it may even be necessary to reinstall IIS.

However, as the Application Monitoring feature is used in very specific cases and many times this error happens in different servers, for example, System Center, Exchange servers or others we will not monitor the application, there’s no need to debug the error in detail.


Find the Windows directory Update (C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution) agent’s file, which in version R2 UR2 is the KB2929891-AMD64-Agent.msp:


Run the following command to install the agent manually using the MSIEXEC without the option of the APM agent:

msiexec /update KB2929891-AMD64-Agent.msp NOAPM=1


Important: The recommended is to really solve the problem because other updates may generate error again. But for this you must use the MSIEXEC LOG and check the components that are in trouble.

System Center Advisor Preview-News

Already for a few years we are watching about System Center Advisor, since his name was Atlanta:

Now we have a new phase of this product that shows the evolution of monitoring services and servers using Cloud Computing. At TechEd this year in Houston, the product team has announced the Preview of the new version, which I will detail here after the Beta testing. The table on the site shows the evolution of resources:


Activation and Cost

So far as Preview, the SCA continues as a free product, simply by using a Microsoft Account (formerly Passport) to activate the account.

For customers who had already integrated the SCA with SCOM, the agent update is performed automatically.

If you don’t know, see instructions in the above items for activation and integration with SCOM.

New Interface

The interface of the SCA Preview is very similar to the Preview of Microsoft Azure and shows the tendency of new products in terms of design, and when opening the Home we have a Web-based interface, with a summary of all Intelligence assets and Packs the situation summarized for each item:

System Center Advisor

Intelligence Packs

The Intelligence Packs are monitoring packages that can be added to the account, as the additional "Configuration Assessment" that already exists in the current version. Remembering that the Intelligence Packs does not yet have the definition of the activation cost.

To add new Intelligence Packs or remove the already active use the +/-button in the upper right corner of the screen and have the list of Intelligence Packs available for activation, with some still not available and with the new time will be added:


As an example, activated Intelligence Pack of "Log Management ”"


To activate an Intelligence Pack this appears on the Home with the statement that needs to be set if necessary. In the case of "Log Management" performed by Setup include the log name of Windows that would be added and the event filter, if desired:


The next day, after activating monitoring for a few hours already have the data available, as the Home at the beginning of this article. Am customer "Log Management" we can see the details of data and use Queries to access the detailed Log data as the second image below where you can see the most common event type in a particular log:



Another Intelligence Pack added that brings a return valuable is the "Antimalware" to analyze possible security holes, updates not applied and even virus/trojans known:


For functions that already exist in the Advisor, there were substantial improvements as we can see in the summary below, where we have besides the more than 300 alerts available now we have recommendations based on KBs and the analysis of workloads, by type of product as can be seen below in the summary of configuration and detailing of alerts:




System Center Advisor is now mature and sure enough untold resource inclusions with the release of the final product.

For those who already have an account, simply activate the Preview in and using integrated with SCOM automatic will have the new features being monitored with the activation of Intelligence Packs.


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