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Windows 2003 EOL (End Of Live)-Part 1: Getting Started and Using the Microsoft Simulator

In July 14, 2015, less than one year from the date of today, Windows 2003 support ends and many companies still are not taking the necessary steps.

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Microsoft has made available a website where we can download the datasheets and use a wizard to generate reports: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-server-2003/

What are the risks and Problems
  • Order of Updates (Updates) – only the Windows Server 2008 operating systems and above will receive updates
  • With Compliance – credit card Operators and international banking systems (SOX, Basel, etc) did not allow transactions from this version
  • Affected security – all new methods of invasion, Protocol failures or OS problems will not receive correction, meaning greater investment in additional tools or poison-reverse methods and applications
  • High cost of maintenance – the new servers and hypervisors won’t provide drivers for Windows 2003, preventing hardware refresh and update version of hypervisor/VM tools
How to start from now on

The first step is to conduct an Assessment on the environment to discover all applications, for this we can use the MAP (Microsoft Assessment and Planning) that generates very good reports for migration. It even generates compliance data and directions for hardware virtualization.

To use the MAP was created a MVA last year, the focus was migration from Windows XP, but the tool operation and data generation is similar (Portuguese-Brazil): http://www.marcelosincic.com.br/blog/post/MVA-sobre-MAP-%28Microsoft-Assessment-Planning-and-Toolkit%29.aspx

The second step is to assess compatibility of existing applications, which includes the version of the web server and application components that are in these servers, database versions, etc.

This is where the big risk, many of the IT professionals who convert and companies are focusing on migrate AD, File Server and other parts of Windows, which Microsoft made easy since migration methods are Roles of the operating system. The problems are internally developed applications or not.

For example, SQL Server 2005 running on Windows 2003 will need to be migrated to SQL Server 2008 R2, applications written in .NET 1. x-2. x running on Windows 2003 IIS will need to be assessed very carefully, SharePoint 2003 and 2007 need migrated to SharePoint 2010 or 2013…

These examples make it clear that the work of migration goes far beyond just virtualization!

For this there are many software’s that do the role of parser, as for example, the Dell ChangeBase and AppZero. The first examines all the applications installed (similar to Microsoft ACT) and automatically tests standard methods and natives of compatibility. The second has several additional methods of compatibility and a tracking application, generating an MSI package, which is extremely useful in scenarios where we don’t have an installer and we don’t know the dependencies of an application.

The third step is to analyze the options, where we can evaluate a P2V (physical to virtual machine migration) on-push, migrating sites or database for Microsoft Azure, creation of VMs in the cloud with services and data transfer, etc.

This phase is where we need to create well defined migration plans for each of the applications and functions that today are in Windows 2003. This is the phase where we should concentrate on stopping services, sequence of operations, migration processes, etc.

Conclusion

Leave after the migration of the servers is much more serious than the migration seasons. Until today many companies still have XP and feel the difficulties and costs of maintaining an unsupported operating system. Start now to prepare and will be much easier.

In a next article I will talk more about the MAP and other tools for the Assessment.

Install and Using the VMM Network Builder

This new tool created by the VMM product team (Anjay Ajodha and Matt McGlynn) provides a graphical environment for creating virtual networks with System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2 2012.

Download: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43975

Installation

After downloading the installer, which is very simple to be used, will create a zip file on the desktop which will be imported by VMM console:

SNAG-0000

It is not necessary to make the extraction of the XML file inside the zip, just go in the VMM console in Settings – > Console Add-ins and import wizard indicating the zip created by the installer:

SNAG-0002

SNAG-0005

Using the VMM Network Builder

The next step is to use the Network Builder, and is very simple and can be done in menu Fabric -> Networking or by the Build Network button on the taskbar:

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At this point it will be possible to view the initialization wizard, where it will find the server and validate the existing data for the creation of a new virtual network:

SNAG-0007

The first setting that the administrator needs to set it if this new virtual network must have administrative and traffic segregation of data, which typically do not create every new virtual network. But if your design is to separate networks (NVGRE or others) is it worth to create the management network specifies:

SNAG-0008

Note: the network created will be called a "Management Network". If you rename it after created will be necessary to check dependencies with other objects.

Set if the hosts have physical network cards (NIC) separated or if management will also be virtual cards (vNIC):

SNAG-0009

The next step is to define the range of IPs that will be used for segregated management network:

SNAG-0010

Finally, we define the data network that the VMs will receive when using this virtual network, first setting a name for this network:

SNAG-0011

The next step is the definition of the name of the virtual network, VLANs (if any) and the IPv4 and/or Ipv6 range:

SNAG-0012

Note: the range of IPs management (Network Management) and (Logical Network) data may not be within the same range, in my case I used the values just as an example (see Tips at the end of the article)

Verify that the drawing was correct and whether you want a script to run on hosts. This script step is important, because the Network Builder will not change hosts for creating vSwitches. Therefore, request that the script is created and run it on the hosts that will use this new virtual network that is being created. Of course, you can also create the vSwitches manually on each host used the GUI:

SNAG-0013

Tips
  • Be careful when creating logical networks, because the VMM Network Builder does not validate the information, for example if the range of IPs management network is the same data network he shall acknowledge the error in the execution of the scripts of creation
  • Be careful when renaming objects after the creation of the network by the wizard, because the dependencies and the script for the host will not work unless fully verified and edited
Conclusion

Although very simple, the VMM Network Builder helps us a lot in managing virtual networks, preventing administrators who are getting acquainted with the tool forget some setting.

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: https://connect.microsoft.com/ConfigurationManagervnext/Downloads

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:

Tela1

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:

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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:

Tela2

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:

Tela4

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:

Tela5

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 https://portal.azure.com/ as I did today!!!

Introduction

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:

Portal1

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

Portal2

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):

Portal3

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

Portal4

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:

VM1

VM2

VM3

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:

VM4

Conclusion

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 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43376

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/D/E/5/DE54D714-0545-4399-A26B-3C09C4DB7877/The_Total_Economic_Impact_of%20Microsoft_Windows_Server_2012_R2_White_Paper.pdf

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

http://techpageone.dell.com/technology/cloud-computing/avoid-getting-lost-journey-cloud/#.U6rnW7G0Ps

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 https://www.remoteapp.windowsazure.com 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.

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