AdinErmie.com

A site dedicated to Cloud and Datacenter Management

Archive By Category

NOTE: Not all of my articles are listed here, just the main System Center categories.

Azure Articles:

How do you classify Level 100-400? (10/19/2019) - We all have varying levels of experience and skillsets. And “experience” is relative. Perhaps I’m considered to be an “expert” in Azure Site Recovery (ASR), but that doesn’t mean I’ve worked with ASR in every configuration scenario possible (case in point, I haven’t used it for on-prem to on-prem replication). Does that make me less […]
Azure Web App - Modified Web.Config File Redirecting *.AzureWebsites.Net to Your Custom Domain (9/16/2019) - Have you ever created an Azure Web App to host a website or blog? Did you then decide to purchase a custom domain, and now want to re-direct all traffic to that custom URL? That’s the scenario that I found myself in recently (even though I’ve had a custom domain for several years). The reason […]
Azure Site Recovery – Ask Me Anything – September 2019 Session Summary (9/10/2019) - On Tuesday, September 10, 2019, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter and Reddit. This is a session where individuals from the Azure Site Recovery Engineering team are available on hand to answer any […]
HashiCorp Certified Vault Associate Study Guide (8/30/2019) - HashiCorp has just announced 2 certifications, one for Terraform and another for Vault. For the Vault exam, there are 10 objectives. I will do my best to find the relevant documentation for each objective and their sub-components to help everyone study and prepare for the exam. Note: I have not taken this exam yet, as […]
HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate Study Guide (8/29/2019) - HashiCorp has just announced 2 certifications, one for Terraform and another for Vault. Since I’ve been working with (and learning) Terraform for over a year, I am very excited about this method of validating my understanding and experience. For the Terraform exam, there are 9 objectives. I will do my best to find the relevant […]
Try Azure Migrate v2, No Server Required! (7/12/2019) - So, Microsoft just announced the v2 of Azure Migrate. You can read about some of the improvements and enhancements here. You may be all excited to try out the new features, but, what if you don’t have a spare VMware or Hyper-V server just laying around? Not to worry! You can easily try and experience […]
Azure Migrate v2 is Here! (7/12/2019) - Yesterday the Azure Migrate team announced the “General Availability” (or “GA”) release of the Azure Migrate v2 tool/service. Azure Migrate is designed as an end-to-end migration solution. Although it may not fully encompass everything as of yet, this is how it is progressing. If you’ve read my Demystifying Azure Migrations blog series, you’ll know there […]
Auditing for Disaster Recovery with Azure Policy (6/19/2019) - Here’s a scenario that I’ve been working on for a client recently that I wanted to share. Let’s say you want to ensure that all Production VMs deployed in Azure are protected by Azure Site Recovery (ASR). How would you check/confirm this, other than check each and every VM, and each and every Recovery Services […]
Measuring Metrics: Log Analytics vs Azure Metrics – Part 4 Conclusion (6/12/2019) - In this series, we took a look at the metrics we’re able to collect via Azure Monitor Logs (aka Log Analytics) and Azure Metrics. I wanted to provide a few tables that show metrics available in each tool side-by-side, to make it easier to reference. This first table shows when you might use metrics vs […]
Measuring Metrics: Log Analytics vs Azure Metrics – Part 3 Azure Metrics (6/5/2019) - In the first part of this series, we looked at some of the data we can collect through Azure Monitor Logs (aka Log Analytics), in particular, performance metrics. Now, we’re going to explore Azure Metrics to compare.   Overview To give you a quick high-level overview of Azure Metrics, it’s capable of supporting near real-time […]
Measuring Metrics: Log Analytics vs Azure Metrics – Part 2 Log Analytics (5/29/2019) - In the introduction to this series, we acknowledged that it can be difficult at times to understand which tool to use when trying to work with metrics, especially when there is some overlap. In this first part, we will start by exploring Log Analytics.   Overview To give you a quick high-level overview of Azure […]
Measuring Metrics: Log Analytics vs Azure Metrics – Part 1 Introduction (5/22/2019) - In the world of monitoring, there are many choices. It gets harder to make a choice when there are multiple tools that perform the same or overlapping functionality. I know, I gave a presentation on Azure Monitoring: What are the options and how do I use them? The topic in this article series is specifically […]
Azure Exams and Performance-Based Testing – How to create a VM without knowing PowerShell or CLI (5/8/2019) - Overview Recently, there’s been a lot of focus on the new Azure exams (with good reason, since all of the “current” exams/certifications expiring due to this, causing everyone to re-certify just to maintain their certifications and/or organization’s partner competency status). When the exams first came out (starting with the AZ-100 series, comprising of AZ-100 “Microsoft […]
Terraforming Azure Policy (4/23/2019) - Recently I’ve been working with Azure Policy and deploying said policies via Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) through Terraform. While working through this, I’ve come across a few gotchas that I’d like to share. Note: I’ll share a larger code-based mini-series in the future.   Management Groups When working in a larger environment, you may have more than […]
How to use the Azure Portal SVG Fixer to get the icons/logos you need (4/11/2019) - While preparing for my Global Azure Bootcamp presentation (I’m presenting on the topic: Azure Monitoring – What are the options and how do I use them?), I was in need of some of the latest icons and logos for various Azure services. Although you can find some (maybe most) online with a quick search, you […]
The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Terraforming Azure Network Security Groups (NSGs) (4/3/2019) - Here’s a scenario that I encountered recently with a client, and with the help of HashiCorp, was able to overcome.   Scenario Firstly, we have some Terraform code that sets up a VNet and corresponding Subnets. Aside from all the variables, and naming conventions we’re dynamically extrapolating, it’s fairly simple. Next, in a separate Terraform […]
Azure Site Recovery – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary (1/22/2019) - On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, between the hours of 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter. This is a session where individuals from the Azure Site Recovery Engineering team are available on hand to answer any questions we may have. […]
My Terraform Resources List (for those that insist on being “cloud agnostic”) (1/4/2019) - Over the past several months, I have been ramping up on the Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) templating language called Terraform for a project that I am engaged in. And while I do not have anything against Terraform (after all, it IS very easy to read), I have stated my opinions on the whole “cloud agnostic” statement via […]
Azure Security Center (ASC), Just-In-Time (JIT) VM Access, and ARM Resource Lock Bug (1/2/2019) - I encountered the following scenario in a client’s environment recently: When you remove a Virtual Machine (VM) from Azure Security Center’s (ASC) Just-In-Time (JIT) VM Access control, while it’s associated Network Security Group (NSG) is contained within a Resource Group that has a Resource Lock (more specifically the Delete Lock) enabled, the removal process is […]
Custom Images vs Azure Marketplace Images, Which to Choose? – Part 4: Summary (12/12/2018) - In the introduction to this series, I introduced you to my not-so-fictitious Client, which was using different toolsets for image creation and replication. The question we are trying to answer (or at least provide clarity on), is: Should we create a custom image, or use the Azure Marketplace image? We’ve already considered the value, steps, and […]
Custom Images vs Azure Marketplace Images, Which to Choose? – Part 3: Marketplace Images (12/5/2018) - In the introduction to this series, I introduced you to my not-so-fictitious Client, which was using different toolsets for image creation and replication. The question we are trying to answer (or at least provide clarity on), is: Should we create a custom image, or use the Azure Marketplace image? We’ve already considered the value, steps, and […]
Custom Images vs Azure Marketplace Images, Which to Choose? – Part 2: Custom Images (11/28/2018) - In the introduction to this series, I introduced you to my not-so-fictitious Client, which was using different toolsets for image creation and replication. The question we are trying to answer (or at least provide clarity on), is: Should we create a custom image, or use the Azure Marketplace image? Let’s dive into considering the Custom Image […]
Custom Images vs Azure Marketplace Images, Which to Choose? – Part 1: Introduction (11/21/2018) - Here is a scenario that has recently come up for a Client that I’m working with. This client is a large Azure consumer and utilizes Azure datacenters all over the world. Initially, they were using automation tools such as Concourse and image building tools such as Packer, to create their custom image in one Azure region, […]
Using Azure Policy to Audit Resource Group Resource Locks (11/19/2018) - When enterprises start their move to Azure, there is an endless list of things that need to be taken into consideration, from Security, Cost, BCDR, Identity and Access Management, Monitoring, Naming Standards, Automation, etc. One topic that’s been the growing focus is Governance. And with it, comes a far-reaching list of elements that touch nearly […]
Azure Monitor – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary (11/16/2018) - On November 15, 2018, between the hours of 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Monitor team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter. This is a session where individuals from the Azure Monitor Engineering team are available on hand to answer any questions we may have. Similar to my summary […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 16: Summary (11/14/2018) - In this series, we explored the many different tools, utilities, and options available to perform cloud assessments, planning, readiness checks, and migrations. We covered the different phases that make up the migration journey, namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Optimize. Many of these tools performed multiple functions across more than one phase of the migration […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 15 (Third-Party Tools) (11/7/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 14 (Manage and Optimize) (10/31/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 13 (Migrate): Azure Migration Center (10/24/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 12 (Migrate): Azure Migrate (10/17/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 11 (Migrate): Azure Database Migration Planner (10/10/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 10 (Migrate): Azure Websites Migration Assistant (10/3/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 9 (Assess): Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Deployment Planner Tool (9/26/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 8 (Assess): Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment (9/19/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 7 (Assess): Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator (9/12/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 6 (Assess): Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool (9/5/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 6: Conclusion (8/30/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost. Throughout this series, we explored the different tools from each of these categories that we have available in our Azure Governance Toolbox. As a recap…  Resource Organization Utilize Management Groups to apply […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 5 (Discover): Custom Scripts (8/29/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 5: Cost Controls (8/29/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost. In this part, we will focus on Cost Controls. You can break Cost Controls down into the following sub-categories: Azure Cost Management, and Azure Advisor. Let’s explore each of these. Azure Cost Management […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 4: Auditing (8/28/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost. In this part, we will focus on Auditing. You can break Auditing down into the following sub-categories: Activity Logs, and Alerts. Let’s explore each of these. Azure Activity Logs Azure Activity Logs is […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 3: Resource Security (8/23/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost. In this part, we will focus on Resource Security. You can break Resource Security down into the following sub-categories: Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Resource Locks, and Policy. Let’s explore each of these. Role-Based […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 4 (Discover): OVF/OVA (8/22/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 2: Resource Organization (8/22/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we listed the 4 high-level categories of Azure governance, namely resource organization, resource security, auditing, and cost. In this part, we will focus on Resource Organization.  You can break Resource Organization down into the following sub-categories: Subscriptions, Management Groups, Resources Groups, and Tags. Let’s explore each of these. Subscriptions Put […]
The Azure Governance Toolbox – Part 1: Introduction (8/21/2018) - In this series, we will explore all of the tools and mechanisms that make up an Azure Governance Toolbox. As in a normal toolbox, we have different tools for different jobs. Some have an overlapping function (i.e. you can use a hammer to subsequently use a nail to fasten 2 objects together, or you can use […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 3 (Discover): Service Map (8/15/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 2 (Discover): Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit (8/8/2018) - In the introduction to this series, we identified that there are multiple parts of the cloud migration journey; namely: Discover, Assess, Migrate, Manage, and Operate. We will cover various tools that either falls into one of or span multiple phases in the migration journey. As a quick-link reference, here is the list of tools this […]
Using Application Security Groups (ASGs) with VNet Peering and Their Limitations (8/3/2018) - This is a scenario that a client recently asked about, and through my research, I discovered some limitations. The question, in short, is: Can we use/reference Application Security Groups (ASGs) in a Network Security Group (NSG) through VNet Peering? First, allow me to explain the environment architecture.  The Environment Within this environment, there are multiple […]
Move Over Terraform, You’re Not The Only Code In Town! (8/3/2018) - It’s been a long standing “issue” and challenge with Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates. If you want to deploy an ARM template, you must already have a Resource Group created to deploy into. Workarounds have included writing a PowerShell script, which pre-creates the Resource Group and then calling the ARM template deployment. Other templating languages, […]
Demystifying Azure Migrations – Part 1: Introduction (8/1/2018) - So you’re interested in the Cloud, in particular, the Microsoft Azure Cloud. Great, now what? Where do you start? Most organizations that are interested in Azure start off by trying to determine which workloads could be moved to the cloud, and what type of return on investment (ROI) and cost savings they’ll receive. The challenge […]
Terraform Is NOT the Cloud Agnostic Platform You Think It Is! (7/24/2018) - I’ve been working with the Cloud, and more specifically, Azure, for many years. And things undoubtedly have progressed. From back when we used to have to modify XML files for networking (yes, that was a thing), to ARM and PowerShell, to now cross-platform command line (CLI) and Bash, etc. The way we interact with and […]
Azure Backup Deep Dive Whitepaper (7/16/2018) - For the past few months, I have been working with fellow MVP Charbel Nemnom (@CharbelNemnom) on the following whitepaper. Acknowledgements About the Authors Adin Ermie | @AdinErmie Charbel Nemnom | @CharbelNemnom   Description This whitepaper is written by Adin Ermie and Charbel Nemnom which describes Azure Backup service as a platform in Microsoft Azure public […]
Azure Backup – Ask Me Anything – Session Summary (7/10/2018) - On July 10, 2018, between the hours of 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), the Azure Backup team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Twitter. This is a session where individuals from the Azure Backup Engineering team are available on hand to answer any questions we may have.   I […]
Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Azure-to-Azure (A2A) Goes GA! (6/8/2018) - This week, the Azure Site Recovery (ASR) team, announced the general availability (GA) of the disaster recovery feature for Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Virtual Machines (VMs).  Now we can easily configure disaster recovery within a few minutes! With just a few clicks, not only your Virtual Machines will be protected, but the Resource Group, the Availability Set, and […]
New Azure Advisor Recommendations Available! (5/30/2018) - Not too long ago, I wrote the Azure Monitoring Tools Explained series. And within that series, there was a part on the Azure Advisor service. Well, the Azure Advisor team has been hard at work. And as of yesterday, they have released 3 new Advisor recommendations! If these recommendations are applicable to your subscription and resources used in […]
Cloning Azure VMs into Production via Azure Backup (5/16/2018) - I wanted to share this experience I had on a project, and some lessons learned about it.   Scenario This project was typical, with both Production and Non-Production environments; all hosted within Azure. In the Non-Production environment, the various Application Teams had engaged with their respective Vendors, to perform the supported installation and configuration of […]
Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 14: Summary (5/4/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
An IT Pro Rant – Azure Storage GRS is NOT VM Disaster Recovery (4/26/2018) - Here’s a topic that I encounter a lot with people that are tasked with designing and implementing disaster recovery in Azure, but don’t actually understand the Cloud model or environment.   Scenario A customer wants to design disaster recovery for their Virtual Machines that are running in Azure. They assume because they have chosen to […]
System Center Logos Combined Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 13: System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) (4/18/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Service Health - Feature Image Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 12: Service Health (4/2/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
AdinErmie.com SSL Using Let’s Encrypt With Azure Web Apps – Protect Your Blog (3/26/2018) - Here’s something that I’ve held off on for a while. I’ve always wanted to include an SSL Certificate for my blog. But, if you look at the Azure App Service Certificates service, the cost is high (at least in my opinion).   Let’s Encrypt Recently I was alerted to the Let’s Encrypt organization, which strives […]
OMS - Experience Center Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 11: Operations Management Suite (OMS) (3/16/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
The LAPS OMS Solution (3/2/2018) - Recently, I was engaged on a project for a customer, which included the need to manage local (non-domain) accounts across an entire environment (for both Servers and Workstations). In this type of scenario, I have seen a lot of anti-best practices being used in many different environments. For example, there are many organizations out there, […]
Network Watcher - Feature Image Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 10: Network Watcher (2/28/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Security Center - Feature Image Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 9: Azure Security Center (ASC) (2/12/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Backup - Backup Pre-Check - Warning Message VM Managed Disks, Resource Locks, and Failed Backup Snapshot Cleanups (1/31/2018) - Here’s another scenario that I ran into with a customer. In Azure, for Production workloads, it is considered a best practice to place Delete Locks on your Resource Groups, Resources, etc. in order to prevent accidental deletion. It is also considered a recommended practice, for Azure IaaS Virtual Machines, to use Managed Disks versus non-Managed […]
Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 8: Azure Monitor (1/26/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Security Center (ASC) - Backup Jobs Failures Getting Azure Backup to Work With Azure Security Center’s Just-In-Time VM Access (1/18/2018) - I ran into an issue recently with one of my customers, where the need for Security conflicted with the need for Backups. With some help from others that had similar issues, along with the awesome Azure Backup team (they are very responsive and supportive), I was able to successfully overcome the challenge. I thought I […]
Azure Monitoring - Azure Metrics Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 7: Azure Metrics (1/10/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 6: Azure Diagnostics (12/25/2017) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Monitoring - Azure Alerts Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 5: Azure Alerts (12/8/2017) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Comparing ARM Templates with Azure Building Blocks – Part 3: ARM In Action (11/28/2017) - In the previous post, we walked through all the components we need to install and setup in order to work with Azure Building Blocks (ABB). In this post, we will re-create the same components that were deployed through our Azure Building Blocks (ABB) parameter settings file, but in a standard ARM template.   Installation and […]
Azure Advisor Example Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 4: Azure Advisor (11/22/2017) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Comparing ARM Templates with Azure Building Blocks – Part 2: ABB In Action (11/16/2017) - In the first part of this mini-series, we introduced you to the new Azure Building Blocks (ABB) that Microsoft recently announced. In this part, we will run through the first Azure Building Blocks (ABB) tutorial to get a feel for this new deployment process, and then afterward, complete the same deployment using an ARM template […]
Become a DR Hero with Azure One-Click DR (11/8/2017) - If you’ve worked with Azure before, you may be aware that Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is the Disaster Recovery solution for the cloud. However, up until now, to protect an Azure Virtual Machine for disaster recovery, you would have to navigate to the Recovery Services Vault (RSV) > click “+ Replicate” > configure the Source […]
Azure Monitoring - Application Insights Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 3: Application Insights (11/6/2017) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure Building Blocks Comparing ARM Templates with Azure Building Blocks – Part 1: Introduction (10/31/2017) - Early in October, announced a new set of tools as a simplified deployment method for Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, called Azure Building Blocks (ABB). Put simply, you don’t have to create any ARM templates, you just need to create a parameter settings file, which is then used with best-practice defaults for the resource types […]
Azure Monitoring - Azure Activity Logs Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 2: Azure Activity Logs (10/20/2017) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
Azure File Sync Feature Image Azure File Sync In Action (10/12/2017) - This year at Ignite, Microsoft announced the Public Preview of Azure File Sync. I am very excited about this technology, as it gives us another option for file storage and backups in the cloud.   The Alternatives If you’ve worked with File Servers in relation to Azure in the past, you know there are a […]
Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 1: Introduction (10/4/2017) - In Azure, there are many different tools to do a job. In some cases, there is more than one tool that does almost the same thing as another tool, but not quite. The frustration with this is, each team inside Microsoft focuses on their own elements of Azure (usually without any or limited collaboration with […]
Using Azure Backup Logs in Azure Log Analytics (aka OMS) (8/30/2017) - If you’ve followed along with some of my previous posts (i.e. Azure Backup Now Has Reports or How-To Create Custom Azure Backup Reports Using the Data Model, then you should already have Azure Backup configured to send Log data to an Azure Storage account, and are using the PowerBI content pack for visualization of that data. […]
How-To Create Custom Azure Backup Reports Using the Data Model (8/3/2017) - With the recent release of the Azure Backup Reports by the Azure Backup team, we now are starting to gain insight and visibility into our backups. Sure, we can navigate to the Recovery Services Vault (RSV) in the Azure portal to check for any errors, issues, etc. But we can gain far more value through […]
Using ASR with a Standalone Hyper-V Host Configured as a Cluster (7/26/2017) - I ran into this scenario when attempting to configure a demo environment. The source environment had a single Hyper-V host, but, it was also configured as a Hyper-V cluster. Why this was is unclear, but it posed some issues when attempting to configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to replicate a demo Virtual Machine.   The […]
Using the Azure Backup Direct Agent to Backup System State (7/11/2017) - Recently, Microsoft released the next version of the Microsoft Azure Backup Server (also known by the acronym of MABS). With this new version of MABS, we now get enhancements like: Being able to protect applications such as SQL 2016, SharePoint 2016, Exchange 2016, and Windows Server 2016 Modern Backup Storage Protection against accidental deletion and against […]
Azure Backup Now Has Reports (6/30/2017) - Recently, the Azure Backup team released a set of PowerBI reports for Azure Backup. I had the privilege of being a part of the cognitive study while these reports were in development. Now, they are starting to become available for everyone.   New Azure Backup Reports If you have a Recovery Services Vault (RSV), you will […]
Backup is NOT Disaster Recovery, Why You Need Both to be Fully Covered! (6/27/2017) - A few years ago I had the privilege to attend Azure Site Recovery Boot Camp training at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley in Mountain View, CA. The experience was amazing, and I enjoyed it. In fact, we received a first-hand preview of the (yet to be released) ASR VMware replication/protection through the newly acquired InMage technology. The training was […]
Upgrading MABS v1 to MABS v2 (6/20/2017) - With the recent release of the Microsoft Azure Backup Server v2, we now have the ability to protect applications such as SQL 2016, SharePoint 2016, Exchange 2016, and Windows Server 2016. But we also get other benefits like: Faster disk backups, and less storage consumption using Modern Backup Storage (using Windows 2016 block cloning) Workload-aware backup […]
Azure – The Complete BCDR Story (6/13/2017) - I am going to tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was an organization. And this organization was interested in the cloud. And so, they migrated their datacenter to the cloud, but unfortunately, they believed that, since the cloud was everywhere, they did not have to worry about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery […]
Azure-to-Azure (A2A) Disaster Recovery (ASR) (6/1/2017) - Many organizations are moving mission critical applications to Azure. A lot of organizations are starting to explore Microsoft Azure as a Disaster Recovery (DR) site to their existing datacenters. If you haven’t started to consider this, Microsoft provides several tools to assess your “Cloud Readiness”, and help you estimate the costs, and ROI, in moving […]
First Podcast with Adaptiva: Microsoft’s Upgrade Readiness for Windows 10 (4/5/2017) - A few months ago I published a blog post on the OMS Upgrade Analytics (now called Upgrade Readiness). Recently I was asked to record a podcast based on content from my blog post. A big thank you goes out to fellow MVP Cameron Fuller, who put Adaptiva in contact with me. And so my first podcast […]
Orphaned Objects in Resource Groups – Lessons Learned (4/3/2017) - Recently, I developed and published my first OMS solution ARM template, namely the SCOM ACS Dashboard. That was definitely a learning experience in itself. However, when I was developing and testing my ARM template code, I obviously ran into issues with failed and partial deployments.   Partial Deployments Lead to Orphaned Objects One specific scenario that […]
The OMS ACS Dashboard Solution – Now on GitHub! (3/24/2017) - Several months ago, I posted an article on how I followed Wei Lim’s post on OMS equivalent SCOM ACS queries and built that into a custom OMS Solution. The article in reference can be found here: SCOM ACS Dashboard in OMS   Original Version The original version of the solution was just a custom OMS solution, in […]
Enhancing the OMS Security and Audit Solution (3/9/2017) - If you’re using Microsoft’s hybrid management toolset, called Operations Management Suite (OMS), and in particular the Security and Audit solution, then read on to discover potential ways to enhance the data this solution uses. Note: The material and points for this article are adapted from the Exam Ref 70-744 Securing Windows Server 2016 book.   OMS Security […]
Azure Site Recovery – Disks Not Coming Online Post Failover (3/1/2017) - Here is a scenario you might encounter with one of your customers, in using Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR).   The Environment Let’s say there is an environment, running on Hyper-V which contains 80 Virtual Machines. Let’s also make the assumption that the majority of these VMs are running […]
Azure Site Recovery Now Allows Longer Test Failover!!! (2/27/2017) - Back in May 2016, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) in the new Azure portal. True, ASR had been around before then, but in the Classic portal. With the release of ASR in the new Azure portal, Microsoft combined the Site Recovery and Backup services into a single “Recovery Services” solution. When […]
Three Ways to Restore Azure IAAS VMs (2/22/2017) - In our Cloud first world, many organizations are starting to explore and use Microsoft Azure as an extension (or maybe even a replacement) of their data centres. Either way, if you’re on this Cloud adventure, you probably have at least a few Virtual Machines running in Azure. If you do, then you need to extend […]
39 Tapes vs. 1 Azure Backup Cloud (2/13/2017) - Backup is always that unsung hero. It’s there in the background, and no one notices it, that is until it’s needed. And with the ever-growing volume of data, backing up becomes more and more of a challenge. Sure, storage companies continue to push the envelope on hard drive sizes, now reaching upwards of 10+ TB […]
Plan Your Windows 10 Upgrades… For Free! (1/31/2017) - Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably running/using Windows 10 right now. According to Microsoft, there are more than 400 million devices that are using Windows 10. But, if you’re an enterprise, you may not yet be using Windows 10. Perhaps you are starting to evaluate it, deploying Pilots or Proof of […]
How I Passed the 70-534 Exam (1/28/2017) - Recently I successfully passed the 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions exam.   I wanted to briefly share the resources that I used to accomplish this. Here’s the list in no specific order: Book: Exam Ref 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. I enjoyed this book, and although there were sections that I knew a lot of […]
My Experience with the SCCM OMS Connector (1/20/2017) - Today I finally got around to attempting to integrate SCCM with OMS. For those that may not be aware, with the release of SCCM 1606, Microsoft has included a new feature; a pre-release of the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) Connector. I started to follow the official documentation, found here: Connect Configuration Manager to Log Analytics. Step […]
How I Passed the 70-533 Exam (1/13/2017) - Recently I successfully passed the 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam. I wanted to briefly share the resources that I used to accomplish this. Here’s the list in no specific order: Book: Exam Ref 70-533 Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions I enjoyed this book, and although there were sections that I knew a lot of […]
ACS Summary Tile SCOM ACS Dashboard in OMS (10/14/2016) - A few months back, Wei Lim from Microsoft published a blog post about Mapping ACS Reports to OMS Search Queries. Being a SCOM guy, this interested me, since if you’ve ever worked with SCOM, and more specifically Audit Collection Services (ACS), it can be a complicated component to setup. I remember working with a Microsoft PFE […]
Operations Management Suite (OMS) Sessions at Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Video Links (9/30/2016) - For those of use that were not privileged enough to be able to attend Ignite this year, we have to rely on watching the video recordings afterwards. If you’re interested in System Center, then you will definitely want to watch all of the Operations Management Suite (OMS) videos. On the OMS blog, Satya Vel listed all of […]
Azure Portal - Blank Page The ‘New’ Face of the Azure Portal? (A Blank Page!) (6/17/2016) - Recently I’ve noticed that whenever I attempt to go to the Azure portal (portal.azure.com), that I receive a blank page/screen back! Notice that the URL shows as: https://portal.azure.com/signin/index/?cdnIndex=2&l=en.en-us The “l=en.en-us” part obviously means the language is English. But even if we remove that part, still nothing loads. Then we have the “cdnIndex=2” part. I’m not sure […]
Microsoft Launches IT Pro Cloud Essentials and Career Center (4/20/2016) - Want to get started with “the Cloud” but don’t know where to begin? Microsoft just announced free resources to help IT pros get started and build their careers in the cloud. Check out these two new awesome resources: Microsoft IT Pro Cloud Essentials Microsoft IT Pro Career Center With the IT Pro Cloud Essentials, you […]
Cyber Security Super Security Showdown – Part 5: OMS Security and Audit Solution (3/23/2016) - Continuing in our Super Security Showdown series, in the last article we reviewed the Azure Security Center. Let’s complete the series with the OMS Security and Audit Solution. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Azure Security Center OMS Security and Audit Solution   OMS Security and Audit […]
Cyber Security Super Security Showdown – Part 4: Azure Security Center (3/21/2016) - Continuing in our Super Security Showdown series, in the last article we reviewed the Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics. Let’s continue with Azure Security Center. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Azure Security Center OMS Security and Audit Solution   Azure Security Center Overview of Azure Security Center The Azure […]
Cyber Security Super Security Showdown – Part 3: Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) (3/17/2016) - Continuing in our Super Security Showdown series, in the last article we reviewed the new Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Let’s continue with Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Azure Security Center OMS Security and Audit Solution   Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) Overview of […]
Cyber Security Super Security Showdown – Part 2: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) (3/15/2016) - Continuing in our Super Security Showdown series, in the last article we reviewed the new public preview of Azure Active Directory Identity Protection. Let’s continue with the next most recent announcement of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics Azure Security Center OMS Security and […]
Cyber Security Super Security Showdown – Part 1: Azure Active Directory Identity Protection (3/11/2016) - Last week, Microsoft announced the Public Preview of Azure Active Directory Identity Protection. Also at the beginning of this month, they also announced the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Granted, security is a top concern for many organizations, but with all these similar security products and services being released, it can be a little confusing. So let’s take […]
Oh Where, Oh Where, Did My Azure PowerShell Go? (2/4/2016) - Today while preparing for an Azure Cloud Lab that I will be delivering next week, I installed the latest version of Azure PowerShell (which in this case is version 1.2.0). Normally, when you have Azure PowerShell installed, you can search for it and it will appear. Also, in the All Apps list (in Windows 10), […]
The Cloud Is Falling (Into Your Datacenter)! The Hybrid Cloud Just Got More “Azurey” (1/27/2016) - You may be familiar with the fable called “Chicken Little”, where a chicken keeps claiming that “The sky is falling!”. In fact, Disney made an animated movie of it. Well, consider this the techno-equivalent: “Azure Stack is coming!”   The Hype for Azure Stack At the Ignite 2015 conference in Chicago, Microsoft announced the new Azure Stack. […]
Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) AKA DPM “Lite” (1/15/2016) - Recently, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS). It’s technically a part of Azure Backup offering, but it’s a little different. In fact, it is more like System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) “lite”. Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS), is functionally equivalent to System Center DPM with 3 differences: It has no system center integration features […]
Using Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to Migrate VMware VMs to Azure – Lessons Learned (12/18/2015) - While assisting a customer recently to deploy and configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) in order to migrate on-premises VMware workloads into Azure, we ran into a few issues and potential “bugs”. I say “potential” bugs, as I have not heard back from the ASR Product Team yet, if this behavior is in fact a “bug”, […]
“To Market, To Market, To Buy A VM” (12/11/2015) - OK, so I guess that’s not how the nursery rhyme goes. But you have to admit, it fits for our day-and-age of IT, and especially Microsoft Azure. In Microsoft Azure, aside from all the “do-it-yourself” options in IAAS, other technology services running in PAAS, etc. there is actually a Marketplace as well. There are several […]
Using the ACE to Estimate Azure Migration Costs – Part 2: Scan Your Environment (12/4/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. In a previous series, we […]
Using the ACE to Estimate Azure Migration Costs – Part 1: Introduction & Installation (11/27/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. In a previous series, we […]
Using the MAP to Plan Azure Migration – Part 4: Azure VM Readiness/Capacity Assessment Results (11/20/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. This series we will look […]
Using the MAP to Plan Azure Migration – Part 3: Collect Performance Data (11/13/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. This series we will look […]
Using the MAP to Plan Azure Migration – Part 2: First Use & Perform An Inventory (11/6/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. This series we will look […]
Using the MAP to Plan Azure Migration – Part 1: Introduction & Installation (10/30/2015) - If you’re planning on migrating an on-premise workload into Microsoft Azure, but haven’t yet worked with Azure, you may want to know how much to expect your monthly bill will be. Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal in estimating costs, and assessing which systems are ready for Azure. This series we will look […]
Having Trouble Getting SCOM To Connect To OMS? (8/24/2015) - I encountered this issue first when trying out the System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. However, one of my fellow MVPs encountered the same issue with Technical Preview 3. Therefore, I thought I would write a quick post since I had some time to investigate further.   SCOM OMS Connection Issue First the […]
Unleash The Power Of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) (8/3/2015) - Recently I published an article on some of the new features of System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. Within that list of features, is the integration between Operations Manager (SCOM) and the new Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS); formerly called Operational Insight (or Ops Insight for short). Today, we’re going to explore the Microsoft […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 4: Provision and Configure Services (7/17/2015) - In our last post, we completed the express installation of the Windows Azure Pack. In this post we will cover provisioning and configuring services within our portal, for our tenants/clients to use. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites […]
Azure AD Connect Fails With Windows Server 2016 TP2 Forest Functional Level (7/15/2015) - I encountered this issue while attempting to setup Azure AD Connect from my lab into Azure. Lab Environment In my lab environment, I’ve built a new Domain Controller running on the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 Build 10074. The domain and forest functional level are both set to “Windows Server Technical Preview”. I’ve also built […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: Installation (Express Deployment) (7/10/2015) - In our last post, we went through the System Requirements and Prerequisites. Now we walk through one of the options for Installation. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: Installation (Express […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites (7/3/2015) - In our last post, we were introduced to the Windows Azure Pack. In this post we will cover the System Requirements and Prerequisites. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction (6/26/2015) - Since Windows Azure has been around for a while, although the features and abilities continue to be added/improved upon, not everyone is ready to move up to “the Cloud”. The Windows Azure Pack gives you the “Azure” portal feel, but for your on-premises datacenter. You can find more information here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-azure-pack/ Windows Azure Pack for Windows […]
Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) (6/5/2015) - My attention was drawn to the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Best Practice Analyzer recently, when attempting to install the Update Rollup 6 for WAP. After you deploy the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) it is a good idea to run the Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) in order to confirm everything is configured correctly and ready for […]
Windows Azure Pack (WAP) – Update Rollup Challenge (5/29/2015) - While upgrading all of my lab’s System Center installations to Update Rollup 6 (UR6), I ran into a confusing scenario with the Windows Azure Pack. Normally, in a lab environment, I would have installed the Windows Azure Pack as an “express” install, and have all of the components contained on a single Virtual Machine. However, […]
Azure Site-To-Site VPN – From Home Lab To The Cloud – Part 2: Create/Connect the Gateway (5/22/2015) - In the previous post, we configured a Virtual Network in Azure. Now we need to configure its connectivity to our on-prem. We will start by creating a Gateway. Logged into our Azure subscription, navigate to the Networks space that should show the Azure Virtual Network we created in the previous post. Click on the Virtual Network, […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
Azure Site-To-Site VPN – From Home Lab To The Cloud – Part 1: Creating the Virtual Network (5/15/2015) - Recently I was setting up my Site-to-Site (S2S) VPN in order to expand Active Directory into the Cloud. Microsoft has a very good tutorial walk through on creating a Cross-Premises Virtual Network for Site-to-Site Connectivity. This is the tutorial that I used to get things setup. It has a good diagram, but my home lab […]
MiCloud Website Now Migrated To Azure (1/12/2015) - Hello everyone, As previously planned, I have now successfully migrated this site onto an Azure-based WordPress site. This means that the URL will change from http://AdinErmie.Wordpress.com, to the new URL of http://adinermie.com/. This means you will need to re-follow this site based on the new URL, and re-share are articles you have previously shared. I will […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

App Controller Articles:

PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
SCAC 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Customize the Organization Logo) (1/26/2014) - You can customize the organization logo of the App Controller console. To customize the organization logo Navigate to the website root of the App Controller installation directory. By default, this is %PROGRAMFILES%Microsoft System Center 2012App Controllerwwwroot.  Create a backup of the default organization logos by renaming the files as follows: Rename SC2012_WebHeaderLeft_AC.png to SC2012_WebHeaderLeft_AC.png.old Rename […]
SCAC 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Connect App Controller to A VMM Management Server) (1/26/2014) - On the App Controller server, open a browser and navigate to the app controller site (in this lab example my site URL is https://SCSM.SC.LAB). Click on the ‘Connect a Virtual Machine Manager server and…’ link. In the Connect dialog box, enter a name for this connection. This name is displayed in the Name column of Clouds page. Add an optional description in […]
SCAC 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Enable Single Sign-On) (1/26/2014) - How to Enable Single Sign-On for App Controller By default, App Controller is enabled to prompt users to sign in by entering their Active Directory user name and password. The following procedures describe how to configure App Controller to use the user’s current Windows credentials to automatically sign on. To verify or change the authentication method […]
SCAC 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install App Controller) (1/26/2014) - We are ready to install SCAC. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install SCAC, we have to install a few prerequisites. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 .NET Framework 4.0 IIS (Web Server role) Common HTTP Features Default Document Directory Browsing HTTP Errors Static Content Health and Diagnostics HTTP Logging Request Monitor […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

SCCM Articles:

My Experience with the SCCM OMS Connector (1/20/2017) - Today I finally got around to attempting to integrate SCCM with OMS. For those that may not be aware, with the release of SCCM 1606, Microsoft has included a new feature; a pre-release of the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) Connector. I started to follow the official documentation, found here: Connect Configuration Manager to Log Analytics. Step […]
Deploying Office365 ProPlus with SCCM Fails to Detect Installation Completed Successfully (9/30/2015) - An associate of mine ran into this issue recently, and discovered that attempting to deploy Office 365 ProPlus with System Center Configuration Manager, by following this TechNet article (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn708063.aspx) doesn’t work.   NOTE: This post is also available in video format!   Let’s start with getting the install files, etc. prepared and ready for this […]
Update 1590 for System Center Configuration Manager 2016 Technical Preview 3 (9/28/2015) - Recently, Microsoft released the first update for System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 3, which leverages its new Updates and Servicing feature. So let’s take a look.   Introduction First off, according to the TechNet article, there are 2 new features that are included with this update: Combines End User Portals, and Client Piloting To […]
Cluster Patching Showdown: Comparing SCVMM and SCCM Patching (9/4/2015) - One of the new features in System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2016 Technical Preview 3 is the “Service A Server Cluster” feature. Since I’ve done some work with SCVMM’s Cluster Aware Updating recently, I wanted to compare these 2 features.   SCVMM’s Cluster Aware Updating First let’s look at the feature that has been available […]
First Look At System Center Configuration Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 (7/11/2015) - Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Configuration Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn965439.aspx Per the TechNet article: This release adds the following additional capabilities: Sideloading apps in Windows 10 Windows PE Peer Cache On-premises MDM: Adds support for Windows 10 desktop Bulk enrollment of Windows 10 devices Support for multiple Automatic Deployment Rules In addition […]
First Look At System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Service Pack 1 (6/19/2015) - Recently, Microsoft announced the general availability of Service Pack 1 for System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2, and Service Pack 2 for System Center Configuration Manager 2012. You can read the announcement here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrteam/archive/2015/05/14/announcing-the-availability-of-sysctr-2012-r2-configmgr-sp1-and-sysctr-2012-configmgr-sp2.aspx Check out this TechNet article to see What’s New in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1. Here are some interesting highlights of new features […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
Post-Install WSUS Configuration Fails With Error “HTTP status 503: Service Unavailable.” (3/19/2015) - I encountered this issue in my lab, when trying to setup WSUS for my SCCM server (to use as a Software Update Point). So after installing the WSUS role (using a SQL database, and not the WID option), you will notice that there are some post-install configuration required. When you click on the ‘Launch Post-Installation […]
Installing .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012 R2 Fails with Error Code 0x800F0906 (1/9/2015) - I encountered this issue while working on a project for a client, involving server build automation. The client provided me with a copy of their Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO, which I was using in my SCCM Build and Capture task sequence. As you can see from the screenshot, the Task Sequence includes copying the […]
Using WDS to Deploy SCCM Images without PXE-Enabled DPs (9/12/2014) - I ran into this scenario recently while at a client’s site, working with SCCM to create a server build task sequence. Let’s say you have SCCM installed, including a CAS, multiple Primary Sites and Secondary Sites, and many Distribution / Management Points. However, despite having Distribution Points in your environment, you do not have them PXE-enabled. […]
Integrate App-V with SCCM 2012 R2 Using Virtual Environments (7/11/2014) - As requested by one of my readers, the following is an article on integrating App-V with SCCM 2012 R2 along with Virtual Environments. For reference, here are some resources on the subject: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj591609.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/configmgrdogs/archive/2013/12/23/understanding-configmgr-2012-app-v-virtual-environments.aspx http://www.virtualvibes.co.uk/virtual-environments-in-configuration-manager-2012-sp1-flexible-connection-groups/ The following steps are from the following TechNet article (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj591609.aspx), with the addition of screenshots by me. How to Create […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

SCDPM Articles:

DPM Now Protects VMware (9/3/2016) - With the recent release of the “missing chapter” for the Microsoft System Center DPM VMware Private Cloud Protection book, Microsoft has now unveiled how DPM can be used to backup and protect VMware environments. Even though the original ebook stated that concerning chapter 6 “It will be included when this ebook is re-issued in summer 2015” this […]
Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) AKA DPM “Lite” (1/15/2016) - Recently, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS). It’s technically a part of Azure Backup offering, but it’s a little different. In fact, it is more like System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) “lite”. Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS), is functionally equivalent to System Center DPM with 3 differences: It has no system center integration features […]
First Look at System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 (7/29/2015) - Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Data Protection Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/mt125351 Installation Going through the installation, I noticed that it is simplified a little. Notice that on the Product Registration screen, there is no longer an option for entering a product key. There is also no Security Settings screen anymore. Also different is the […]
Data Protection Manager Remote Administration Console Error ID 948 (6/12/2015) - I encountered an issue with using the Data Protection Manager (DPM) console on a system that had the DPM Protection Agent also installed. Here is the synopsis.   Data Protection Manager (DPM) Configuration In my lab environment, I have deployed the entire System Center suite of products using the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). Note: The […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
SCDPM Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCDPM) (10/9/2014) - Install System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) Technical Preview In my Lab example, I am using the following: Windows Server Technical Preview SQL Server 2014 These have been setup as per my previous guides. IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center Technical Preview, you MUST be using the Windows Server Technical Preview, and SQL Server 2014; as […]
SCDPM 2012 R2 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCDPM) (9/19/2014) - As per a reader’s request, here is an updated guide for installing SCDPM 2012 R2. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install SCDPM, we have to install a few prerequisites. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 SQL Server IMPORTANT: This guide assumes that you have already installed SQL Server, and the DPM […]
DPM Central Console – ID: 810. Details: Fatal error during installation (7/20/2014) - I encountered this error while attempting to install the System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) Central Console on my Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Server. I was following this TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh758189.aspx. The TechNet article lists 2 steps for this process, namely Install the Operations Manager agent, and Install Central Console. Of interesting note, the second step […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Now Available (4/23/2014) - I just wanted to send out a quick post about the latest Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2, which was released today! Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available for download. This update rollup includes fixes for the following components: Data Protection Manager Operations Manager Orchestrator Service Manager Service Provider […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Protection Groups) (1/26/2014) - In order for DPM to protect our data, we need to have the DPM Protection Agent installed. But that’s not enough. We also need to add the system to a Protection Group. That’s what we will document here. Start by launching the DPM console, and navigating to the Protection area. On the toolbar at the […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Install Protection Agent) (1/26/2014) - Now that we have DPM installed, it doesn’t protect our environment if there are no Agents installed. Start by launching the DPM console and navigating to the Management space. Next click on the Agents link. In the toolbar, click Install. On the Agent Installation Wizard, Agent Deployment Method page, there are 2 options to choose […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure End User Recovery) (1/26/2014) - Configure Active Directory In reference to this TechNet article, by configuring Active Directory Domain Services to support end-user recovery. Start by launching the DPM console, and click on Management. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, click on Options. On the Options dialog, on the ‘End-User Recovery’ tab, click on the ‘Configure Active Directory’ button. […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Add Disks) (1/26/2014) - Adding a Physical Disk to a Hyper-V Virtual Machine NOTE: Some of these steps will need to be completed on the physical Hyper-V host, and others will be completed in the DPM VM after you have installed the Operating System. In order for DPM to be able to use a hard drive for backups, it […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCDPM Self Service Recovery) (1/26/2014) - Install DPM Self Service Recovery The Self-Service Recovery Tool (SSRT) for System Center 2012 – Data Protection Manager (DPM) enables end users to recover SQL Server databases that are backed up by the DPM server, without any intervention from the DPM administrator. Start by mounting/extracting the ISO (just like when we installed DPM). On the […]
SCDPM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCDPM) (1/26/2014) - We are now ready to install DPM. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install SCDPM, we have to install a few prerequisites. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Install SCDPM Start by either extracting the DVD contents, or mounting the ISO (the TechNet ISO is currently labelled as mu_system_center_2012_data_protection_manager_with_sp1_x64_dvd_1359086.iso). Start by running […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

SCOM Articles:

System Center Logos Combined Azure Monitoring Tools Explained – Part 13: System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) (4/18/2018) - In the first part of this series, we introduced the confusion and complexity that tends to occur when looking at the long list of monitoring tools available for Azure. We then provided a list of currently available tools that we will explore further. Part 2: Activity Logs Part 3: Application Insights Part 4: Azure Advisor […]
ACS Summary Tile SCOM ACS Dashboard in OMS (10/14/2016) - A few months back, Wei Lim from Microsoft published a blog post about Mapping ACS Reports to OMS Search Queries. Being a SCOM guy, this interested me, since if you’ve ever worked with SCOM, and more specifically Audit Collection Services (ACS), it can be a complicated component to setup. I remember working with a Microsoft PFE […]
SCOM 2016 TP4 Now Checks For MP Updates For You! (11/23/2015) - Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 4 of System Center Operations Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn997273.aspx.   Installation Going through the installation, everything that I could see looked the same as the other Technical Previews. Identical to the other SCOM Technical Preview installation, although I was installing on SQL Server 2014 SP1, there was still a dependency on some SQL […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 6: Customize Dashboards (10/23/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 5: Configure the SCOM Data Warehouse (10/16/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 4: Activation (10/9/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 3: Installation (10/2/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 2: Prerequisites (9/25/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Squared Up’s HTML5 Dashboards & Web Console for SCOM – Part 1: Introduction (9/18/2015) - Recently, I was contacted by Squared Up and asked if I would do a review of their product. Since I’ve reviewed other third-part products in the past, of course I would be willing to review this one. For reference, although not SCOM-based, here are some other products that I have reviewed: ITQ’s End User Portal […]
Having Trouble Getting SCOM To Connect To OMS? (8/24/2015) - I encountered this issue first when trying out the System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. However, one of my fellow MVPs encountered the same issue with Technical Preview 3. Therefore, I thought I would write a quick post since I had some time to investigate further.   SCOM OMS Connection Issue First the […]
Unleash The Power Of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) (8/3/2015) - Recently I published an article on some of the new features of System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. Within that list of features, is the integration between Operations Manager (SCOM) and the new Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS); formerly called Operational Insight (or Ops Insight for short). Today, we’re going to explore the Microsoft […]
First Look at System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 (7/27/2015) - Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Operatoins Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/dn997273.aspx Installation Going through the installation, everything that I could see looked the same as the SCOM 2012 R2 installation. I did notice that, although I was installing on SQL Server 2014 SP1, there was still a dependency on some SQL Server 2012 components, […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
SCOM Synthetic Transactions (4/24/2015) - I wanted to write about something that I haven’t used much, and therefore force myself to learn it better, especially since it is on the MCSE Private Cloud re-certification exam that I need to write. So, let’s discuss and learn together about the System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Synthetic Transactions. According to this TechNet article […]
SCOM SNMP Monitoring (2/27/2015) - To create a network devices discovery rule Open the Operations console with an account that is a member of Operations Manager Administrators. Navigate to the Administration workspace, right-click Administration, and then click Discovery Wizard. On the Discovery Type page, select Network devices, and then click Next. On the General Properties page, provide a Name for the […]
Customizing SCOM Alert Notifications – “Health Service Heartbeat Failure” and “Failed To Connect To Computer” (1/18/2015) - This post is in response to one of my blog followers, whom asked for assistance in customizing some common SCOM Alerts and the generate notifications. Customizing SCOM Alert Notifications The first scenario is when a server that is monitored by SCOM is shutdown, either on purpose or by accident. In effect, the server is offline. […]
Monitoring Linux with SCOM 2012 R2 – Part 3: Installing the SCOM Agent On Linux (11/7/2014) - In our last post, we went through preparing SCOM for monitoring Linux, which included creating Run As Accounts, and associating them to the applicable Run As Profiles. In this part, we will be installing the SCOM Agent on the Linux system.   Create Linux Accounts If you recall from our last post, we created 3 […]
Monitoring Linux with SCOM 2012 R2 – Part 2: Configure SCOM For Monitoring Linux (10/31/2014) - In our last post, we went through the Installation and Configuration of a Linux Virtual Machine. In this part, we will configure System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to be prepared to monitor UNIX / Linux systems. To accomplish this, we will need to setup a Resource Pool, import the appropriate Management Packs, Configure Name Resolution, […]
Monitoring Linux with SCOM 2012 R2 – Part 1: Installation and Configuration of Linux (SUSE) Virtual Machine (10/24/2014) - I wanted to write a post/series on something that I knew about, but never had the opportunity to actually do in a Production environment; monitoring Linux/UNIX servers using System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). All of my experience has been in a Windows-based environment. Even though the environments I have worked in did have some Linux/UNIX […]
SCOM Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCOM) (10/6/2014) - Install System Center Operations Manager Technical Preview In my Lab example, I am using the following: Windows Server Technical Preview SQL Server 2014 Web Server (IIS) These have been setup as per my previous guides for the OS and SQL setup. IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center Technical Preview, you MUST be using the […]
DPM Central Console – ID: 810. Details: Fatal error during installation (7/20/2014) - I encountered this error while attempting to install the System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) Central Console on my Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Server. I was following this TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh758189.aspx. The TechNet article lists 2 steps for this process, namely Install the Operations Manager agent, and Install Central Console. Of interesting note, the second step […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Agent On Service Manager Error: “The management group configuration could not be saved” (5/3/2014) - I encountered this error when attempting to configure SCOM monitoring of a Service Manager server. For those that may not be aware, you cannot push a SCOM Agent through the SCOM console onto a system the is running System Center Service Manager. Why is that? Well, because Service Manager is built on top of SCOM. […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Data Access Service (DAS) High Availability – Part 4: Enable NLB on each Management Server > Add A Host to NLB Cluster (4/25/2014) - In the previous post in this mini-series, we created a NLB cluster, and added the first SCOM Management Server. Now we will add the second SCOM Management Server to the cluster. Use the following procedure to add hosts to a Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster. You can also perform the task described in this procedure by […]
Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Now Available (4/23/2014) - I just wanted to send out a quick post about the latest Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2, which was released today! Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available for download. This update rollup includes fixes for the following components: Data Protection Manager Operations Manager Orchestrator Service Manager Service Provider […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Data Access Service (DAS) High Availability – Part 3: Enable NLB on each Management Server > Create A NLB Cluster (4/23/2014) - In the previous post in this mini-series, we installed the Network Load Balancing feature on each of our Management Servers. Now we will create a NLB cluster. To configure the Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster, you must configure three types of the parameters: Host parameters, which are specific to each host in a NLB cluster. Cluster […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Data Access Service (DAS) High Availability – Part 2: Enable NLB on each Management Server > Install Network Load Balancing (4/20/2014) - In the previous post in this mini-series, we configured each of our Management Servers with a static IP Address. Now we will enable NLB on each Management Server, by first installing the Network Load Balancing feature. To use Network Load Balancing (NLB), a computer must have only TCP/IP on the adapter on which NLB is installed. […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Data Access Service (DAS) High Availability – Part 1: Configure A Static IP (4/18/2014) - Hello All, and welcome to a new mini-series, these posts will be on SCOM High Availability, in particular the Data Access Service (which is what the Console connects to). By default if your Operations Manager Operations console is connected to the Data Access service of one management server and the connection fails, it does not […]
SCOM Agent Grayed Out When Trying To Monitor Domain Controller(s) (2/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Sorry that I haven’t been able to post anything for a little while. Here’s something I wanted to quickly share in relation to System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and monitoring Active Directory Domain Controllers. So, let’s say you have SCOM installed, and you want to monitor your Active Directory. So you go through […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]
SCOM 2012 R2 – Installation Guide (Gateway Server – Obtain Certificate from Active Directory Certificate Services) (1/25/2014) - Obtain Certificate from Active Directory Certificate Services Now that the certificate is created, for the trust to work we need to take the certificate from the Certificate Services and import it into the local Certificate Authorities (Root) certificate store. The default Certificate location is here: C:WindowsSystem32CertSrvCertEnroll, and it will have the file extension of .crt. In my […]
SCOM 2012 R2 – Installation Guide (Gateway Server – Prepare The Certificate) (1/25/2014) - Deploying SCOM Gateway Servers requires certificates on all servers in the Management Group and all Gateway Servers. In this lab example, we are using our own internal Certificate Authority (CA). If you need assistance in setting up a Certificate Authority, see my following guides: Active Directory Certificate Services – Installation Active Directory Certificate Services – Configuration Prepare the Certificate […]
SCOM 2012 R2 – Reporting Workspace Empty (1/25/2014) - Hey everyone, I wanted to share with everyone an issue I recently encountered (though I am sure it is not specific to System Center 2012 R2). After installing my first Management Server (which completed without issue), I then installed SCOM Reporting Server (on a dedicated SQL Server Reporting Server). After the installation though, there were […]
SCOM 2012 R2 – Installation Introduction (1/25/2014) - Recently I had time to install System Center 2012 R2. As a reference, I have upgraded my physical Hyper-V host to Windows Server 2012 R2. I have re-created my lab environment, using the Distributed Deployment model. My main reason for doing this, is to provide some more advanced articles/posts on SCOM. Here is a screenshot of my […]
SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Enable Notification Channels) (1/25/2014) - OK, so we now have SCOM setup, have installed the Agent on systems to monitor, and imported Management Packs to help monitor at the technology platform level. But what do we do with the Alerts that are generated by SCOM? Well, if you are the SCOM Administrator (or you have granted other users access), you […]
SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Import Management Packs) (1/25/2014) - So at this point we have SCOM setup and running, along with a few agents installed on other systems in our environment. Technically, you could say that we are monitoring our environment, however, this isn’t entirely accurate. In actual reality, SCOM is only monitoring the state of the Agent that is installed on the systems. […]
SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure Computers and Devices to Manage) (1/25/2014) - Hello everyone, if you have been following along with my guides, you should now have SCOM installed. But SCOM wont do you any good if it doesn’t have any computers or devices to manage, so that’s where we will start as part of these Configuration guides. First, start by launching the SCOM console. Now, navigate to […]
SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install ACS) (1/25/2014) - Install Audit Collection Services Since Audit Collection Services (ACS) is not a part of the main SCOM installation, we have to install it separately. NOTE: In a Production environment, ACS is normally implemented in a segregated space. The reason for this is because ACS is used to audit security and logons. Since the Administrator of […]
SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCOM) (1/25/2014) - Install System Center Operations Manager We are now finally ready to install SCOM. Install SCOM Start by either extracting the DVD contents, or mounting the ISO (the TechNet ISO is currently labelled as en_system_center_2012_operations_manager_with_sp1_x86_x64_dvd_1347175). Start by running the setup.exe. On the splash screen click the Install link. On the Select Features screen, select the feature […]

 

SCORCH Articles:

PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
Service Provider Foundation – Part 3: Installation (4/17/2015) - In the last post, we covered the Requirements for installing Service Provider Foundation (SPF). Now we will walk through the installation of Service Provider Foundation.   You can install Service Provider Foundation on a single server or on multiple servers, with at least one server that has Microsoft SQL Server installed to contain the Service Provider […]
Service Provider Foundation – Part 2: System Requirements and Prerequisites (4/10/2015) - Welcome to the second part in this series. In the first part, we were introduced to Service Provider Foundation. In this next part we will review what is required to prepare the environment and the system requirements. The following information is take from the following TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn266008.aspx. Here are the system requirements and considerations to keep in […]
Service Provider Foundation – Part 1: Introduction (3/27/2015) - Welcome to the first part in this series. In this series I am going to walk through the setup of the Service Provider Foundation. This is a key part to using the Windows Azure Pack (which will be posted in a different series). So let’s begin with an introduction. Introduction to Service Provider Foundation Service […]
SCORCH Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Orchestrator) (10/7/2014) - Install System Center Orchestrator Technical Preview In my Lab example, I am using the following: Windows Server Technical Preview SQL Server 2014 Web Server (IIS) These have been setup as per my previous guides for the OS and SQL setup. IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center Technical Preview, you MUST be using the Windows Server Technical […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 7: EUPSCO First Launch (6/8/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 6: Portal Configuration), we covered the post-install Portal Configuration. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the First Launch. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition of screenshots by me.   […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 6: Portal Configuration (6/2/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 5: Portal Installation), we covered the installation of the End User Portal. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the post-installation Portal Configuration. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition of […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 5: Portal Installation (5/26/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 4: Database), we covered setting up/preparing the Prerequisites. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the Portal Installation. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition of screenshots by me.   Portal […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 4: Database (5/21/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 3: Service Accounts), we covered setting up/preparing the Service Accounts. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the Database. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition of screenshots by me.   […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 3: Service Accounts (5/16/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 2: Prerequisites), we covered setting up/preparing the Prerequisites. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the Service Accounts. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition of screenshots by me.   Service […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 2: Prerequisites (5/9/2014) - In our previous post (ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 1: Introduction), we were introduced to the ITQ End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator. In this post we follow Damian Flynn’s steps on the Prerequisites. The following is a re-write (to accommodate screenshots) from Damian Flynn’s article, with the addition […]
ITQ’s End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator (EUPSCO) – Part 1: Introduction (5/9/2014) - Recently I came across this End User Portal for System Center Orchestrator. The concept behind it, is if you don’t have Service Manager (or the Service Manager Portal) implemented, you can still leverage the power of Orchestrator Runbooks to provide automation for activities. Here’s the official statement: “The ITQ End User Portal for System Center […]
Access Is Denied Error With Orchestrator Exchange Admin Integration Pack (5/5/2014) - While implementing System Center 2012 R2  Orchestrator for a client, I encountered this error when trying to setup/test connectivity into their Exchange environment. So, as all good consultants do, we go to our lab and try to mimic the environment/scenario. So in my lab, I am running System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator (with no Update […]
Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Now Available (4/23/2014) - I just wanted to send out a quick post about the latest Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2, which was released today! Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available for download. This update rollup includes fixes for the following components: Data Protection Manager Operations Manager Orchestrator Service Manager Service Provider […]
Configuring SCORCH Integration Pack Connection(s) Produces A “Blank” Error (3/19/2014) - Hi everyone, I came across this issue while recording some videos to go along with the articles I have written/posted (NOTE: MiCloud now has its own YouTube channel!). So, in System Center Orchestrator, after you have downloaded, installed, registered, and deployed Integration Packs, you need to setup/configure the connection between Orchestrator and the product. In […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
SCORCH 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Runbooks) (1/26/2014) - So at this point we have Orchestrator setup and running, but we don’t have any runbooks yet. So, we are going to use the Sample Runbook from this TechNet article: Creating and Testing a Sample Runbook. The following topic describes how to create and test a simple runbook. The purpose of this runbook is to detect […]
SCORCH 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Integration Packs) (1/26/2014) - Hello everyone, if you have been following along with my guides, you should now have Orchestrator installed. Orchestrator includes over 41 built-in workflow standard activities that perform a wide variety of functions. You can expand Orchestrator’s functionality and ability to integrate with other Microsoft and third-party platforms and products by installing integration packs. Integration packs […]
SCORCH 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Orchestrator) (1/26/2014) - We are ready to install SCORCH. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install SCORCH, we have to install a few prerequisites. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 .NET Framework 4.0 IIS (Web Server role) Here is a video walk through:   Install SCORCH Start by either extracting the DVD contents, or mounting […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

SCSM Articles:

Microsoft’s “Solution” to SCSM Console Performance – Buy a GPU! (11/30/2015) - If you’ve ever used System Center Service Manager, you know there are many challenges with the product. One of those being the performance and responsiveness of the Console. A few days ago, November 24th specifically, Microsoft wrote a post entitled “Improving SM console responsiveness with GPU”. They have since taken it down, presumably due to the […]
First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal! (11/12/2015) - Microsoft has released its latest Update Rollup (UR) for System Center Service Manager. With this UR, comes the long awaited (and newly designed) HTML5-based Portal! Despite the initial reports of issues (see this blog post: Microsoft Releases SCSM UR8 With the New HTML Portal – But Don’t Install It Yet!), I decided to install it […]
Microsoft Releases SCSM UR8 With the New HTML Portal – But Don’t Install It Yet! (11/11/2015) - Yesterday (November 10, 2015), Microsoft released Update Rollup (UR) 8 for System Center Service Manager. With this update, comes the long awaited (and very welcomed) new Self-Service Portal! This new portal is completely HTML based, and does not use Sliverlight. Here is a screenshot supplied by Microsoft showing what the new portal looks like. Although […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 6: Troubleshooting (2/20/2015) - Knowledge Base Extension for System Center Service Manager In the previous post of this series, we walked through the use of the SCUtils Knowledge Base add-on on the Self-Service Portal. In this post, we will list some of the issues. SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 5: Working With The Web Part (2/13/2015) - Knowledge Base Extension for System Center Service Manager In the previous post of this series, we walked through the Post-Installation configuration for the SCUtils Knowledge Base add-on. In this post, we will see the product in action. SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 2: System […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 4: Post-Installation Configuration (2/8/2015) - Knowledge Base Extension for System Center Service Manager In the previous post of this series, we walked through the Installation steps for the SCUtils Knowledge Base add-on. In this post, we will go through the Post-Installation configuration required to begin using it. SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 3: Installation (1/30/2015) - Knowledge Base Extension for System Center Service Manager In the previous post of this series, we reviewed the System Requirements for the SCUtils Knowledge Base add-on. In this post, we will walk through the Installation steps of the product. SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 2: System […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 2: System Requirements (1/23/2015) - In the previous post of this series, we were introduced to the SCUtils Knowledge Base add-on. In this post, we will review the System Requirements and other points about use of the product. SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 2: System Requirements SCUtils […]
SCUtils Logo SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 – Part 1: Introduction (1/16/2015) - System Center Service Manager – Knowledge Base If you have ever used System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager, no doubt you will agree that the product has some limitations and lacks some features. One of those areas is the Knowledge Base articles and Self-Service Portal Help Articles. There is a third-party company called SCUtils, with […]
SCSM Dashboard – Expit EnSight – Part 3: System Requirements and Installation (12/12/2014) - As was requested by one of my blog followers/subscribers, the following is a series evaluating the SCSM Dashboard “Ensight” by Expit. In our previous post, I walked you through the rather cumbersome process involved to download the product. In this post, we will cover the System Requirements and the Installation based on the information provided […]
SCSM Dashboard – Expit EnSight – Part 2: Downloading (12/5/2014) - As was requested by one of my blog followers/subscribers, the following is a series evaluating the SCSM Dashboard “Ensight” by Expit. In our previous post, we were introduced to the SCSM Dashboard called Expit EnSight. How To Download First, navigate to to the main EnSight page, located here: http://expit.com/expit-ensight/m/60. Click on the ‘Download‘ button. This will […]
SCSM Dashboard – Expit EnSight – Part 1: Introduction (11/28/2014) - As was requested by one of my subscribers, the following is a series evaluating the SCSM Dashboard “Ensight” by Expit. To start, here’s an introduction. What is Expit EnSight? An Advanced Dashboard and analytics platform  for Microsoft System Center Service Manager. Service Manager data analysis is simplified with Expit EnSight. Expit EnSight for Service Manager […]
SCSM Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Service Manager Management Server) (10/20/2014) - Install System Center Service Manager Technical Preview In my Lab example, I am using the following: Windows Server Technical Preview SQL Server 2014 These have been setup as per my previous guides for the OS and SQL setup. IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center Technical Preview, youMUST be using the Windows Server Technical Preview, and […]
Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012 by CodeCraft-Solutions – Part 4: Troubleshooting (10/17/2014) - In our last post, we covered the Installation of the Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012. In this post, we will walk through some Troubleshooting steps. According to the Installation Guide from the Vendor, here are the steps as requested by the Vendor.   Troubleshooting the Advanced Portal If you have any problems with the installation, please collect some […]
Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012 by CodeCraft-Solutions – Part 3: Installation (10/10/2014) - In our last post, we covered the Requirements of the Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012. In this post, we will walk through the Installation steps. IMPORTANT: If you have a previous Trial version installed, you will have to uninstall it before beginning the installation.   Advanced Portal Installation Start by downloading the current version of the Advanced […]
Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012 by CodeCraft-Solutions – Part 2: Requirements (10/3/2014) - In our last post, we were introduced to the Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012. In this post, we will walk through the Requirements, and get those ready.   Requirements To be able to use the Advanced Portal, you need to ensure that the server it will be hosted on meets the following requirements prior to starting […]
Advanced Portal for SCSM 2012 by CodeCraft-Solutions – Part 1: Introduction (9/26/2014) - If anyone has worked with System Center Service Manager, and in particular the Portal, you know that there is a lot to be desired by way of functionality, etc. Now, since the release of SharePoint 2013, and the Service Manager Portal NOT being supported on this platform (and through other comments I have read), this […]
SMTRAK Entreprise Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 4: Offline License Activation (8/29/2014) - In our previous post, we completed the Installation and Configuration of SMTrak. However, if your web server did not have an active Internet connection, you were not able to activate the trial license (which was the case in my lab). So, that means you need to perform an Offline License Activation. Here are the steps […]
SMTrak Entreprise Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 3: Installation And Configuration (8/24/2014) - In our previous post, we covered the Requirements to the Enterprise Dashboards by Signature Consultancy. In this post we will walk through the Installation.   Installation Steps Login to the web server with an account that has privileges to install a new application. Download or copy the installation file to the web server, and then run the .MSI file […]
SMTRAK Entreprise Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 2: Requirements and Prerequisites (8/15/2014) - In our previous post, we introduced you to the SMTrak Enterprise Dashboard by Signature Consultancy. In this post we will walk through the Requirements.   Requirements Following along with the Deployment and Configuration Guide provided by the Vendor, the use of these Enterprise Dashboards has the following requirements. System Center Service Manager 2012 (RTM or Later) System […]
SMTrak Entreprise Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 1: Introduction (8/7/2014) - If you have read/followed my SCSM 2012 Dashboard by Signature Consultancy series, you’ll know that the company recently released an Enterprise version of their dashboards. So, similar to my original series, here is a series about the Enterprise version of the Dashboards. Here is a description of the product: SMTrak is the only enterprise ready reporting […]
SCSM 2012 Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 3: Publishing the Dashboards (7/4/2014) - In our previous post, we completed the Installation of the SCSM 2012 Dashboards by Signature Consultancy. In this post we will walk through the process of Publishing the Dashboards in SharePoint. Portal Publishing – Signature SCSM dashboard Publishing Procedures IMPORTANT: These steps should be performed in SharePoint. You need to have SharePoint administrative privileges to do the configuration. Start by first accessing the SharePoint Central Administration site. From the menu, select Site Actions, and click New […]
SCSM 2012 Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 2: Requirements and Installation (6/29/2014) - In our previous post, we introduced you to the SCSM 2012 Dashboards by Signature Consultancy. In this post we will walk through the Requirements, and the Installation procedure. Requirements Following along with the Deployment and Configuration Guide provided by the Vendor, the use of these Dashboards has the following requirements. System Center 2012 Service Manager […]
SCSM 2012 Dashboard by Signature Consultancy – Part 1: Introduction (6/22/2014) - If anyone has worked with System Center Service Manager, and in particular the Reporting, there may be a little more desired; for example Dashboards. Here are some resources that might be of assistance: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh916549.aspx http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Using-Excel-to-create-SCSM-33bba2f8 http://blogs.technet.com/b/antoni/archive/2013/05/18/how-to-create-an-incident-dashboard-using-excel-in-system-center-2012-sp1-service-manager-scsm-2012.aspx Aside from these references, a company (Signature Consultancy) has created and released (for free) some dashboards for Service Manager. These […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
SCOM 2012 R2 Agent On Service Manager Error: “The management group configuration could not be saved” (5/3/2014) - I encountered this error when attempting to configure SCOM monitoring of a Service Manager server. For those that may not be aware, you cannot push a SCOM Agent through the SCOM console onto a system the is running System Center Service Manager. Why is that? Well, because Service Manager is built on top of SCOM. […]
Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Now Available (4/23/2014) - I just wanted to send out a quick post about the latest Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2, which was released today! Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available for download. This update rollup includes fixes for the following components: Data Protection Manager Operations Manager Orchestrator Service Manager Service Provider […]
Service Manager 2012 R2 Installation Fails To Identify SQL Server Instance, and Throws ‘Access Denied’ Error (3/26/2014) - I came across this error/issue when attempting to install System Center Service Manager in my lab. My architecture/design is to have 3 servers: One for the Service Manager Management Server along with its database One for the Service Manager Warehouse along with its database and SQL Reporting Services, and SQL Analysis Services One for SharePoint […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure SCOM Agents for Monitoring) (1/26/2014) - Management Group Names Must be Unique When you deploy both a Service Manager and data warehouse management server, you are asked to provide a management group name. You are also asked to provide a management group name when you deploy Operations Manager. The management group names that you use for the Service Manager management group, […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Set Up and Configure Notifications) (1/26/2014) - Before notifications are sent, first configure each notification channel, such as the settings for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Notification messages are sent based on a notification template. Therefore, you must create a notification template. You can then use the Notification Subscription Wizard to subscribe a group of users to a notification that will be […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure the SCVMM Connector) (1/26/2014) - To create a System Center Virtual Machine Manager connector In the Service Manager console, click Administration.   In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Connectors.   In the Tasks pane, under Connectors, click Create Connector, and then click Virtual Machine Manager connector. Complete these steps to complete the Virtual Machine Manager Connector Wizard: On the Before You Begin page, click Next.   On the General page, in the Name box, […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure the Orchestrator Connector) (1/26/2014) - To create an Orchestrator connector In the Service Manager console, click Administration. In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Connectors.   In the Tasks pane, under Connectors, click Create Connector, and then click Orchestrator connector. Perform these steps to complete the Orchestrator Connector Wizard: On the Before You Begin page, click Next. On the General page, in the Name box, type a name for the new connector. Make sure that Enable […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure the Configuration Manager CI Connector) (1/26/2014) - Important: Before you can create the Configuration Manager connector, you have to verify that System Center Configuration Manager is installed in your environment, and you have to turn on Windows User Account Control (UAC). To create a Configuration Manager connector In the Service Manager console, click Administration.   In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Connectors.   In […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure The Operations Manager Alert Connector And CI Connector) (1/26/2014) - Two connectors for Operations Manager are available in System Center 2012 – Service Manager: the configuration item (CI) connector that imports objects that are discovered by Operations Manager into the Service Manager database, and an alert connector that can create incidents based on alerts. System Center Operations Manager collects information about many different types of […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure the Active Directory Connector) (1/26/2014) - Now we are going to configure the Active Directory (AD) connector to Service Manager. In the Service Manager console, click Administration.   In the Administration pane, expand Administration, and then click Connectors.   In the Tasks pane, under Connectors, click Create Connector, and then click Active Directory Connector.   Complete these steps in the Active Directory Connector Wizard: On the Before You Begin page, click Next. On the General page, […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Register The Data Warehouse) (1/26/2014) - Hello everyone, if you have been following along with my guides, you should now have the Service Manager Management Server and Warehouse Server installed. We have a lot of configuration to go through. To start we will register the data warehouse. With an account that is a member of the Service Manager and data warehouse […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SharePoint / Self-Service Portal) (1/26/2014) - Now that we have the Service Manager Management Server, and the Warehouse Server installed, the last piece we need to install is SharePoint for the Self-Service Portal. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install Service Manager Self-Service Portal, we don’t actually have to install any prerequisites, because by installing SharePoint, […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Service Manager Data Warehouse Server) (1/26/2014) - Now that we have the Service Manager Management Server installed, we can move onto the Data Warehouse. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install Service Manager Management Server, we have to install a few prerequisites. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Management Objects Microsoft SQL Server Native Client […]
SCSM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Service Manager Management Server) (1/26/2014) - Install System Center Service Manager We are now finally ready to install Service Manager. As an FYI, Service Manager requires a minimum of 2 servers. This is the largest deployment (as far as VMs go) even in a lab. This is because we cannot deploy Service Manager on a single server, even in a lab/POC […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

SCVMM Articles:

Cluster Patching Showdown: Comparing SCVMM and SCCM Patching (9/4/2015) - One of the new features in System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2016 Technical Preview 3 is the “Service A Server Cluster” feature. Since I’ve done some work with SCVMM’s Cluster Aware Updating recently, I wanted to compare these 2 features.   SCVMM’s Cluster Aware Updating First let’s look at the feature that has been available […]
First Look at System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager Technical Preview 2 (7/21/2015) - Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dn705350.aspx and https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=46910   Installation Going through the installation, I noticed that the CEIP program page is different (compared to the SCVMM 2012 R2 installation), and no longer provides the option to “opt in” or “opt out”. When the installer runs the Prerequisites Check, it […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 4: Provision and Configure Services (7/17/2015) - In our last post, we completed the express installation of the Windows Azure Pack. In this post we will cover provisioning and configuring services within our portal, for our tenants/clients to use. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: Installation (Express Deployment) (7/10/2015) - In our last post, we went through the System Requirements and Prerequisites. Now we walk through one of the options for Installation. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: Installation (Express […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites (7/3/2015) - In our last post, we were introduced to the Windows Azure Pack. In this post we will cover the System Requirements and Prerequisites. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 2: System Requirements & Prerequisites Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 3: […]
Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server – Part 1: Introduction (6/26/2015) - Since Windows Azure has been around for a while, although the features and abilities continue to be added/improved upon, not everyone is ready to move up to “the Cloud”. The Windows Azure Pack gives you the “Azure” portal feel, but for your on-premises datacenter. You can find more information here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-azure-pack/ Windows Azure Pack for Windows […]
Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) (6/5/2015) - My attention was drawn to the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Best Practice Analyzer recently, when attempting to install the Update Rollup 6 for WAP. After you deploy the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) it is a good idea to run the Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) in order to confirm everything is configured correctly and ready for […]
Windows Azure Pack (WAP) – Update Rollup Challenge (5/29/2015) - While upgrading all of my lab’s System Center installations to Update Rollup 6 (UR6), I ran into a confusing scenario with the Windows Azure Pack. Normally, in a lab environment, I would have installed the Windows Azure Pack as an “express” install, and have all of the components contained on a single Virtual Machine. However, […]
PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Installer.ps1 Fails With “Failed Installing Server Feature Group 1” Error (5/18/2015) - I encountered this error when I attempted to re-build my lab environment. What is interesting though, is that I ran the Installer.ps1 script like I had done so in the past, with no new modifications to the Variable.xml file. But this time, I encountered an error that I never received before: “Failed Installing Server Feature […]
Patching Hyper-V Hosts with SCVMM 2012 R2 – Part 3: Update Baselines (1/2/2015) - In the last post we performed additional configurations. In this post we will create and configure Update Baselines to apply updates to our Hyper-V cluster. SCVMM Update Baselines Launch the VMM console, if it isn’t already open, and navigate to Library > Update Catalog and Baselines > Update Baselines. You should see two built-in baselines named Sample Baseline for Security […]
Patching Hyper-V Hosts with SCVMM 2012 R2 – Part 2: WSUS Configurations (12/26/2014) - In our last article we reviewed and setup the Prerequisites. In this article, we will finish with WSUS configuration, synchronize the updates, and connect WSUS to VMM. Synchronize WSUS Updates Now that we have WSUS installed, we need to sync updates with Microsoft. Start by launching the Windows Server Update Services console. The WSUS Console […]
Patching Hyper-V Hosts with SCVMM 2012 R2 – Part 1: Prerequisites (12/19/2014) - Recently, I assisted a client that was experiencing an issue/error with SCVMM. The client was using SCVMM 2008 R2. Although the issue eventually was resolved, I took the opportunity to educate the client on some of the enhancement/improvements with the SCVMM 2012 product. One of the best improvements with the product is the ability to patch your […]
Applying SCVMM 2012 R2 Update Rollups To Perimeter Hyper-V Hosts (11/21/2014) - I came across this scenario while writing my How to Add Hyper-V Hosts in a Perimeter Network in VMM 2012 R2 post. After adding my Hyper-V Host to my SCVMM installation, I installed the Update Rollup 3 to VMM. However, when doing so, even though the installation itself was successful, the status of the SCVMM Agent installed […]
SCVMM 2012 R2 Compliance Scan Fails With Error 2927 (11/14/2014) - I encountered this issue while writing my article series on Patching Hyper-V Hosts with SCVMM 2012.  As a reminder, my Hyper-V Host is NOT a member of my Lab domain. Therefore, it is added to SCVMM as a Perimeter Host. At first, I was actually encountering the following error. Error (24035) Compliance scan failed with error: […]
SCVMM Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCVMM) (10/8/2014) - Install System Center Virtual Machine Manager Technical Preview In my Lab example, I am using the following: Windows Server Technical Preview SQL Server 2014 Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 Update (Note the Update version reference) These have been setup as per my previous guides. IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center […]
How to Add Hyper-V Hosts in a Perimeter Network in VMM 2012 R2 (9/6/2014) - In my home lab environment, I have a single host, which is NOT a member of my lab’s domain. This is due to the fact that I am constantly re-building my lab environment, which includes my Active Directory Domain Controllers. Therefore, I don’t want to add my host to the domain, and then potentially loose […]
SCVMM 2012 R2 In A Lab – How to Create a Host Group Structure in VMM (7/26/2014) - This is an extension to my SCVMM 2012 SP1 in a Lab series, as was requested by one of my blog subscribers.   To create a host group structure Open the Fabric workspace. In the Fabric pane, expand Servers, and then do either of the following: Right-click All Hosts, and then click Create Host Group. Click All Hosts. On the Folder tab, in the Create group, click Create […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 4 (PDT GUI for PowerShell Deployment Toolkit) (6/14/2014) - Recently, via Twitter, I was alerted to something new and exciting with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT).  Previous, I have written a series on My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). which continues to get hits/views every day!  I was very excited to see a Tweet about a new PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) GUI! […]
Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 Now Available (4/23/2014) - I just wanted to send out a quick post about the latest Update Rollup for System Center 2012 R2, which was released today! Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available for download. This update rollup includes fixes for the following components: Data Protection Manager Operations Manager Orchestrator Service Manager Service Provider […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1) (1/29/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation. Installer.PS1 SCRIPT Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’. In the PowerShell command prompt, […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1) (1/26/2014) - In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components. Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need. For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft […]
SCVMM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Deploy an Agent to an Existing Hyper-V Host) (1/26/2014) - In our last post we finished installing Forecast Analysis Reporting. Now we will start on the configuration. Hello everyone, if you have been following along with my guides, you should now have SCVMM installed. But SCVMM won’t do you any good if it doesn’t know about any Hypervisor/virtualization hosts or VMs, so that’s where we will start […]
SCVMM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Forecasting Analysis Reporting) (1/26/2014) - By default, you should now have all the SCVMM reports available in SCOM’s Reporting space. However, there is an additional set of reports that is not made available by default. These are the Forecasting Analysis reports, and the only way to be able to use them is with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). Since SCVMM […]
SCVMM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install Reporting) (1/26/2014) - Now that we have SCVMM installed, we want to be able to report on the utilization and capacity of our hosts and VMs. The only requirement for SCVMM reporting, isn’t SCVMM at all, but rather System Center Operations Manager (SCOM)! Huh? Why do you need to install a different System Center product just to have […]
SCVMM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCVMM) (1/26/2014) - We are now finally ready to install SCVMM. Install Prerequisites To start, before we will actually be able to install SCVMM, we have to install a few prerequisites. Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8 Deployment Tools Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) WADK Install SCVMM requires the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit to be […]
My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1) (1/26/2014) - Hello Everyone, Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly. First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit. If anyone has following my guides on […]

 

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HashiCorp Certified Terraform Associate Study Guide (8/29/2019) - HashiCorp has just announced 2 certifications, one for Terraform and another for Vault. Since I’ve been working with (and learning) Terraform for over a year, I am very excited about this method of validating my understanding and experience. For the Terraform exam, there are 9 objectives. I will do my best to find the relevant […]
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What NOT To Do In Your Presentations (4/29/2019) - Recently, I presented at the Global Azure Bootcamp, in the Toronto area, hosted at the (current) Microsoft Canada headquarters. While I don’t think/claim that my presentation was perfect, while attending a few of my other fellow presenter’s sessions, I noticed a few things that could have been improved to enhance the overall experience. I decided […]
Rock Your LinkedIn Profile In 7 Easy Steps (3/13/2018) - While at the Microsoft MVP Summit this year, I was able to attend some of the pre-sessions on Sunday. These sessions are not under NDA, so we are permitted to share the content with others. One session that I really liked was the “Rock Your LinkedIn Profile” session by Doug Winnie and Walt Ritscher. Here are […]
MCSE Private Cloud Re-certification Exam – Skills Measured – Part 5: Configure System Center Integration (8/21/2015) - As you may know, I have obtained my Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) specifically in the solution area of Private Cloud. When you obtain a Microsoft Certification, there are some certifications that have an expiry date, meaning that to maintain a certification you need to re-certify. This is the case that I am in with […]
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Register to attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference (4/20/2015) - I wanted to let you know about a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference. The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of […]
Windows 10 Windows 10 Technical Preview – First Experiences (10/1/2014) - Hello All, For those that may not know, Microsoft announced yesterday the new version of Windows, called Windows 10. Yes, that’s right, we’ve gone from Windows 8/8.1 straight to 10, no 9. Why you may wonder? Well according to the Q & A session after the event (found here via TheVerge), one individual asked “Can […]
Windows Server 2012 R2 – Hyper-V Virtual Memory Error (1/25/2014) - Hello All, After upgrading my physical host to Windows Server 2012 R2, I noticed something different with Hyper-V. When you create a Virtual Machine (VM), you can choose to specify the Startup RAM, and also to enable Dynamic Memory. This is not something new. However, I have noticed that if you use 512 MB for […]
Active Directory Certificate Services – Configuration (1/25/2014) - If you are working with Active Directory in any enterprise type environment, more than likely the environment will also have Certificate Services deployed. Working with System Center, there are various uses of Certificate Services for the different components in the suite. So, if you wanted to mimic an enterprise environment in your lab, you will need […]
Active Directory Certificate Services – Installation (1/25/2014) - Install Enterprise Root CA using Server Manager Ensure that you are logged on to your server as an Administrator. Open Server Manager. Click on Manage and then select Add Roles and Features. On the Before You Begin page select Next. On the Installation Type page select Role-based or feature-based installation. On the Server Selection page ensure that the correct server is selected. On the Select Server Roles page select Active […]
Replacement PSU Arrives (8/15/2013) - After waiting for my PSU to arrive at Thermaltake, and for them to examine it; they have finally determined to send me a replacement unit. That replacement unit has now arrived! Everything is back up and running, with the addition of my new 512 GB SSD for more VMs. So, give me a little bit […]
New Hardware Arrival: New SSD (7/31/2013) - Hello All, Last Thursday I ordered a new SSD (the SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5″ 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive SSD) for my lab server, because I was running out of space. I received it yesterday, which is great, but also bitter-sweet since my Thermaltake PSU blew up on Sunday night! So, now […]
ASUS P9X79 WS with Intel 82579V NIC and Hyper-V (5/28/2013) - Hello Everyone, I wanted to briefly share something that I recently discovered. If you read my last post about OS Installation and Using A Server OS With A Workstation Motherboard you may recall that a little .inf modification is required in order to detect/use the Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC in Windows Server 2012. After getting this second NIC functional, […]
OS Installation and Using A Server OS With A Workstation Motherboard (5/26/2013) - Hello everyone, I have finished installing the Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Datacenter. Installation went smoothly without issue, and it was fairly fast installing it from my USB drive to the SSD. The first thing I did was, of course, patches/updates. That completed again, without issue However, I did encounter an issue with the OS […]
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Hardware Arrival: Mobo, RAM, GPU (5/21/2013) - Today I received in the mail my final package, containing my ASUS P9X79 WS motherboard, G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 64GB RAM, and EVGA 512-P3-1311-KR GeForce 210 512MB GPU. Let the building commence!
Hardware Arrival: Case, CPU, PSU, SSDs (5/17/2013) - Today I received in the mail my CoolMaster Cosmos II Ultra tower, Intel Xeon E5-2620 processor, Thermaltake Toughpower XT Platinum 1275W power supply, and my Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series SSD’s. Now all that I am waiting on is my mobo, RAM, and GPU. Then I can start “The Build”. Stay tuned.
Hardware Arrival: CPU Cooler (5/15/2013) - Today I received in the mail my CPU cooler! I’m very impressed with NewEgg, since I only order it yesterday. Now if only all my other parts would show up as quickly (NOTE: The order was split into 3 separate orders, due to part availability).

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