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Management Pack Updated for Exchange 2013 released!

Despite being a product already launched for some time, the Exchange did not have a Management Pack 2013 rich, being the same as the Exchange 2010 updated.

However, with the 2012 SCOM R2 and its new features for views and dashboards were very lack of inclusion of new counters, views more specialized and rich Web parts, as well as reports.

For some time that the MVPs of System Center received the betas to test and really was very good!

Follow the link to download: http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=39039

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Microsoft and Dell Launch Solution for Private Cloud

Yesterday Microsoft officially announced the availability of the CPS product (Cloud Platform System) which are racks of servers, storage and network ready with Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center and Windows Azure Pack: http://news.microsoft.com/2014/10/20/CloudDayPR/

For technical details on how the solution works, this post http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2014/10/20/unveiling-the-microsoft-cloud-platform-system-powered-by-dell.aspx?amp brings interesting information.

Basically it’s a rack packaged with solution ready for use, and can reach 4 racks:

CPS is a pre-pre-deployed, integrated, Microsoft validated solution built on Dell hardware, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center R2 and Windows Azure 2012 Pack. It combines the efficiency and agility of cloud computing, along with the increased control and customization achieved in virtualized, multi-tenant environments. CPS scales from a single rack to up to four racks and is optimized for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS for Windows and Linux) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) style deployments.

Let’s take a closer look at CPS

At the hardware layer, the customer can deploy CPS in increments from one to four racks.Each rack has

  • 512 colors across 32 servers (each with a dual socket Intel Ivy Bridge, E5-2650v2 CPU)
  • 8 TB of RAM with 256 GB per server
  • 282 TB of usable storage
  • 1360 Gb/s of internal rack connectivity
  • 560 Gb/s of inter-rack connectivity
  • Up to 60 Gb/s connectivity to the external world

A single rack can support up to 2000 VM’s (2 vCPU, 1.75 GB RAM, and 50 GB disk). You can scale up to 8000 VM’s using a full stamp with four of these racks. Of course customers have the flexibility of choosing their VM dimensions, as we have seen with the private preview deployments with CPS.

SCCM R2 2012 – Cumulative Update 3 and Identifying the Update Installed

Last week Microsoft released the Cumulative Update 3 for 2012 SCCM R2. This update is not being brought by Windows Update and needs to be accessed by the link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2994331

This update is important because it solves some problems with migration after the CU2 and includes versions of Linux with kernel v7:

  • Debian 7 (x 86)
  • Debian 7 (x 64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (x 64)
  • CentOS 7 (x 64)
  • Oracle 7 (x 64)

This update has automatically creates 3 packages to upgrade agent, console and services into a single package as happened with CU. Who remembers the 4 different packages that needed to be installed knows how it was complicated:

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How to identify the Cumulative Update Installed

It may seem simple, but many ask me how to identify whether or not the last cumulative update.

There are two ways to do this, the first is using the Service Extension, currently in Beta (http://msincic.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/configuration-manager-servicing-extension-for-sccm-2012-sp1-and-r2/)

The other way is by reading the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\Setup as below:

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Documentation of new features in Windows Server "10" Technical Preview

For enthusiasts on duty, is already available documentation on TechNet with Windows Server News "10".

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn765472.aspx

The page is separated by resources, which is very good for study.

For MSDN Subscriber who is already available for download from the Windows “10” Client, Windows Server “10” and System Center too!

Enterprise Mobility Management Free E-book

Recently Dell launched the Dell Software Mobile Workspace (http://software.dell.com/products/mobile-workspace/), software that allows you to have on mobile phones BlackBerry features and Good for Enterprise with data encryption, protecting files, etc.

These software’s are different from the default mail readers of cell phones, first because they offer a single interface on any device since they are based on third party software. Secondly because being external work in a “sandbox” where security encryption, and protection policy of company data are protected with a layer of proprietary encryption.

Accompanying this release, Dell released the book below the link https://software.dell.com/whitepaper/enterprise-mobility-management-everything-you-need-to-know-about-mdm-m827761

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This e-book brings a technical approach to meet the plans and architecture required for good MDM solutions, MAM and BYOD that go far beyond the product that will be used.

In a generation that cell phones and tablets dominate, know as the company must deal with this in depth is essential!

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.

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