Showing posts with label SystemAdministration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SystemAdministration. Show all posts

Monday, April 21, 2014

Microsoft Posters Curah!

Curah! - Microsoft Posters

There are some great Microsoft posters around to provide visual representations of MS products, features, processes and solutions. This page captures those so that you can access them from a single location.

SNAGHTMLe94529

image

(via Kurt Shintaku's Blog - DOWNLOAD: Microsoft Posters collection)

I might be sorry I'm highlighting this. Not because the content isn't great, but I've just got bad feeling about Curah!. I have to wonder at its lifespan. Personally, I'm thinking about doing something like this, but using a public OneNote Notebook instead. Kind of, sort of the same thing, aren't they? Heck, I wonder if OneNote couldn't replace my blog! :P

In the mean time, this is still a cool resource and nice to have all these in one spot.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

PowerShell gets Chocolatey NuGet with OneGet

Stefan Stranger's Weblog - Manage your IT Infrastructure - Viewing NuGet Packages with the NuGet Explorer

You may have seen that we released the the Windows Management Framework V5 Preview and that one of the new features  is Windows PowerShell OneGet. OneGet is designed to dramatically simplify how you discover and install software packages.

Windows PowerShell OneGet

OneGet is a new way to discover and install software packages from around the web. With OneGet, you can:

  • · Manage a list of software repositories in which packages can be searched, acquired, and installed
  • · Search and filter your repositories to find the packages you need
  • · Seamlessly install and uninstall packages from one or more repositories with a single PowerShell command

This first version of OneGet installs and searches software from Chocolatey repositories.  Support of additional repositories will come in subsequent versions.

...

One of the things that comes getting up in discussions about using Chocolatey Packages with or without OneGet is the question how can I trust the Packages from a resource like Chocolatey? The Chocolatey Nuget Packages are build by the community so you need to be careful what you are downloading and installing like all other software from sources you don’t own yourself.

But what if there is a easy way to view the content of NuGet Package before installing the Chocolatey NuGet packages? And that is possible using the NuGet Package Explorer.

...

References:

http://mikefrobbins.com/tag/oneget/

image

While I had seen the WMF v5 news, I hadn't seen, or at least registered, the OneGet news. That really does look awesome and something I'm going to have to take a much closer look at...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Spelunking NuGet Packages with the NuGet Package Explorer (and creating, editing and publishing nupkg's with it too)
NuGet, Open Wrap, NPanday, Chocolatey, Chewie, Ninite, top Package/Dependency Management for .Net tools
NuGet your Enterprise?
North by Northwest [Cadence] - Up coming casts from Northwest Cadence

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Step-by-Step into your own private cloud, with the Windows Azure Pack and System Center

KeithMayer.com - Step-by-Step: Getting Started with On-demand Private Clouds using Windows Azure Pack

As I’ve been traveling and speaking to IT Pros about the great scalability, resiliency and offerings in our Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there’s also been lots of interest around deploying our free Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to bring the power and consistency of the same self-service Azure portal user interface to on-demand Private Clouds provisioned in an on-premises datacenter.

image

In this article, we’ll step through the process of setting up Windows Azure Pack in a lab environment for provisioning and delegating VM private clouds. Along the way, I’ll call out the specific details that I found helpful to successfully build my own lab environment.

What is Windows Azure Pack?

For a technical overview of the Windows Azure Pack, check out this great Microsoft TechEd session:

In addition, Thomas Maurer, MVP for Cloud and Virtualization, has written a great article that describes the overall architecture of Windows Azure Pack:

What are we building?

Windows Azure Pack certainly has the ability to scale to support very large Private Cloud environments consisting of multiple datacenters.  However, in this article, we’ll get started by building a basic lab environment that consists of the following four (4) VMs:

  • System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) management server VM
  • SQL Server 2012 database server VM
  • Service Provider Foundation (SPF) server VM
  • Windows Azure Pack (WAP) server VM

To configure all four (4) VMs in your lab environment, you’ll need a virtualization host with at least 16GB RAM and 300GB available disk space.

...

image ..."

You guys know how much I dig this idea, of having all that's good about Azure, inside my firewall, avoiding all the "security" and "OMG, the cloud? AAAHHHHhhhhhhh..." angst.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Deploying your own little cloud... "Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series
Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Monday, March 24, 2014

How-To schools you on SysInternals, "Using SysInternals Tools Like a Pro"

How-To Geek School - USING SYSINTERNALS TOOLS LIKE A PRO - Lesson 1: What Are the SysInternals Tools and How Do You Use Them?

image

This How-To Geek School series will teach you how to use SysInternals tools like a pro, so your geek cred will never be in question. Not that we are questioning your geek skills. You do use SysInternals tools, right?

SCHOOL NAVIGATION

  1. What Are the SysInternals Tools and How Do You Use Them?
  2. Understanding Process Explorer
  3. Using Process Explorer to Troubleshoot and Diagnose
  4. Understanding Process Monitor
  5. Using Process Monitor in the Real World
  6. Using Autoruns to Deal with Startup Processes
  7. Using BgInfo to Display System Information
  8. Using the Command Line Tools

There are many other admin tools built into Windows, available for free on the web, or even through commercial sources, but none of them are quite as indispensible as the SysInternals suite of tools. That’s right, there’s a full set of free tools to do almost any administrator task, from monitoring or starting processes to peeking under the hood to see what files and registry keys your applications are really accessing.

These tools are used by every single reputable computer guy — if you want to separate the wheat from the chaff, just ask your local PC repair guy what Process Explorer is used for. If he doesn’t have a clue, he’s probably not quite as good as he says. (Don’t worry, if you don’t have a clue about procexp.exe either, we’ll cover that in-depth starting in lesson 2 of this series tomorrow).

Remember that time Sony tried to embed rootkits into their music CDs? Yeah, it was a SysInternals utility that first detected the problem, and it was the SysInternals guys that made the announcement. In 2006, Microsoft finally bought the company behind SysInternals, and they continue to provide the utilities for free on their web site.

This series will walk you through each of the important tools in the kit, get you familiar with them and their many features, and then help you understand how to use them in a real-world scenario. It’s a lot of very geeky material, but it’ll be a fun ride, so be sure to stay tuned.

What Are the SysInternals Tools Exactly?

...

Nothing like a little SysInternals to make a Monday a little brighter... :)

Related Past Post XRef:
Mark TechEd's you... See all four of Mark Russinovich's recent TechEd North America sessions
The “Windows Sysinternals Primer: Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and More” from TechEd 2010 North America

"Utilizing SysInternals Tools for Windows Client" - The Seven Part Series..
A "Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference" book by Mark Russinovich? You had me a $30 pre-order special price (and Sysinternals... and Mark Russinovich... and... )
Sysinternals 101 – “Notes from the field,” a quick intro to a few Sysinternals utilities (Process Explorer, TCPView, Process Monitor, VMMap)
Hands On Learning How to Use the Sysinternals Process Monitor Utility

Process Explorer v16.0 is out and now cooking with VirusTotal
Disk2vhd turns 2, v2.0 that is, and a few more Sysinternals utility updates
New Sysinternals utility released today, Disk2vhd v1.0 – Yes ...

A Sweet Summer Sysinternals Suite Refresh
It's a sweet suite! Windows Sysinternals Suite gets a summer refresh [August 3, 2012]...
Sysinternals Suite 2010 Refreshed - All the latest versions, one 12.4MB zip…
Sysinternals Suite Refreshed – All the latest Sysinternals Utilities, one tiny zip (well 10MB zip…)
Sysinternals Suite (8MB of Complete Sysinternals Goodness)

Mesh'ing Live.Sysinternals.com, using Vista Scheduling and Robocopy|
A handy PowerShell script to keep your Sysinternals Suite up to date
The latest Sysinternals utilities are just a URL away, Live.Sysinternals.com

Use the Sysinternals Utilities? The EULA bug dialog you? Then try this…

More desktops for Windows 8 with Sysinternals Desktops v2.0
It's a sunny day when we get a new Sysinternals utility...
It’s a new Sysinternals Tool Day! RAMMap v1.0 released!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Very Limited Time Offer] O'Reilly offering 60% off on ALL ebooks from Microsoft Press (one week only!)

Tatworth - Microsoft Press 60% E-book deal

From now until 26th March 2014 05:00 PT, O'Reilly are offering 60% off all Microsoft Press E-books at ...

image

Farewell Microsoft Press!

For one week only, Save 60% on *all* ebooks from Microsoft Press

Microsoft Press is leaving oreilly.com, and we want to send them off in style by celebrating with a 60% off ebook Farewell Special.

This is your last chance to purchase DRM-Free Microsoft Press ebooks via oreilly.com. Get lifetime access to your books, read them on all your devices, and sync them with your Dropbox, Kindle, and Google Drive accounts. All of your Microsoft Press ebooks will continue to be available in your oreilly.com account.

oreilly.com will continue to be your best source of authoritative ebooks and video training on Microsoft technologies from O’Reilly, Wiley, Wrox, Packt, Infinite Skills,
and more.

Use discount code WKFAREW - Deal expires March 26, 2014 at 5:00am PT, and cannot be combined with other offers. Offer does not apply to Print, or "Print & Ebook" bundle pricing

image

60% off is an awesome offer. If there's an MS Press ebook you've had your eye on, now is the time to grab it at a great price...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Is a Private Cloud that cloud that seems to hang over your head? Nope, it's [read this..]

simple talk - cloud - Private Cloud, What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Private cloud’ is often presented as being the solution for all your computing issues. It promises benefits such as cost savings, energy savings, rapid deployment and customer empowerment. But what exactly is ‘private cloud’? Why are people reluctant to consider using private cloud? In this article I’d like to explain a bit more about private cloud, its definition and implementation, and the choices you have to make before adopting private cloud.

What exactly is cloud?

Before we can go into the technology, we have to take a closer look at the definition of cloud technology. A good place to start is the “National Institute of Standards and Technology” or NIST definition which states, "cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."

...

Also listed in the NIST definition are four "deployment models", this defines how and where the cloud infrastructure is built:

  • Private Cloud – this is a cloud infrastructure dedicated for only one customer. A private cloud can be located in the customer’s own datacenter or computer room but it can also be hosted in a service provider’s datacenter. A private cloud can be managed by the customer, by the hosting provider or by a 3rd party. The customer however is responsible for all costs of the solution at all times.
  • Public cloud – this is a cloud infrastructure that’s available for everyone, regardless whether the customer is a consumer or a (large) company. Public cloud is available just like electricity from a wall outlet or water from a tap. Again Office 365 is a great example of a public cloud solution and so is the Microsoft Azure solution.
  • Community Cloud – this cloud infrastructure is shared amongst multiple organizations or consumers with a shared goal or interest. Managing a community cloud can be done by one of the organizations or outsourced to a 3rd party.
  • Hybrid Cloud – this cloud infrastructure is a combination of the three above mentioned cloud infrastructures. In Microsoft Office 365 for example it is possible to have multiple mailboxes stored in Microsoft’s datacenters, but have this combined with Exchange servers and thus mailboxes on-premises. Together this is one large, hybrid messaging system.

...

Private Cloud

Now that we’ve seen the official definition of cloud and in particular private cloud, it’s time to have a look at the implementation of a private cloud.

Private cloud is all about flexibility and this can be achieved by using virtualization, whether it be Microsoft’s Hyper-V (with all System Center solutions around it) or VMWare. But the realization of private cloud goes beyond virtualization. According to Gartner, a successful implementation of private cloud depends on:

...

What’s in it for the organization? ...

How is it implemented?

When looking at private cloud implementations there are two options:

  • The private cloud is implemented in the customer’s own datacenter;
  • The private cloud is implemented in the service provider’s datacenter.

...

Summary

Private cloud is characterized by flexibility, flexibility that is achieved by on-demand self-service, resource pooling and a measured service. This means that end users, which can be departments or business units, are responsible for their own computing resource needs rather than the IT departments. The IT department is responsible for the overall infrastructure but no longer for the individual resources. End users can create their own resources, have to pay for its usage and can destroy resources when no longer needed.

In a typical private cloud implementation, virtualization is used and, in a Microsoft environment, this is the Windows Azure Pack or WAP. WAP is a hosting solution that's targeted towards enterprises and service providers that want to offer private cloud solutions.

Using private cloud solutions gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility, both technically and financially since you monitor and charge the actual usage. This might well be the future of computing!

image

..."

You've heard me go on and on about "Private Clouds," but maybe you, or those in your IT group, aren't really sure what that means or how it helps them help you. This article is a nice starting point for that discussion. (This reminds me of the "What's Intra/Extra/Inter..." conversations, remember those? Oh, you kids... lol ;)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"The Security Realm - A Microsoft Map of the Known World" (Here Be Dragons...and one really big jpg)

Microsoft Downloads - The Security Realm – A Microsoft Map of the Known World

The Security Realm: A Microsoft Map of the Known World

Version: 1.0

Date Published: 2/12/2014

The-Security-Realm-A-Microsoft-Map-of-the-Known-World.jpg, 103.3 MB

This is a Microsoft map infographic released at Black Hat 2013, that illustrates the various Microsoft security programs working to protect customers and their computer systems.

image

Kind of cute but wow, that's a JPG...

image

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Process Explorer v16.0 is out and now cooking with VirusTotal!

Sysinternals Site Discussion - Updates: Process Explorer v16.0, PsPing v2.01

Process Explorer v16.0: Thanks to collaboration with the team at VirusTotal, this Process Explorer update introduces integration with VirusTotal.com, an online antivirus analysis service. When enabled, Process Explorer sends the hashes of images and files shown in the process and DLL views to VirusTotal and if they have been previously scanned, reports how many antivirus engines identified them as possibly malicious. Hyperlinked results take you to VirusTotal.com report pages and you can even submit files for scanning.

...

Process Explorer v16.0

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas the information displayed in the bottom window depends on the mode that Process Explorer is in: if it is in handle mode you'll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened; if Process Explorer is in DLL mode you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. Process Explorer also has a powerful search capability that will quickly show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded.

The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

image

Nice... Of course a good virus will be cloaked via a rootkit, but still, I think this is pretty neat (especially have just finished Mark's Zero Day novel... ;)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Disk2vhd turns 2, v2.0 that is, and a few more Sysinternals utility updates
New Sysinternals utility released today, Disk2vhd v1.0 – Yes ...

Mark TechEd's you... See all four of Mark Russinovich's recent TechEd North America sessions
The “Windows Sysinternals Primer: Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and More” from TechEd 2010 North America

"Utilizing SysInternals Tools for Windows Client" - The Seven Part Series..
A "Windows Sysinternals Administrator's Reference" book by Mark Russinovich? You had me a $30 pre-order special price (and Sysinternals... and Mark Russinovich... and... )
Sysinternals 101 – “Notes from the field,” a quick intro to a few Sysinternals utilities (Process Explorer, TCPView, Process Monitor, VMMap)
Hands On Learning How to Use the Sysinternals Process Monitor Utility

A Sweet Summer Sysinternals Suite Refresh
It's a sweet suite! Windows Sysinternals Suite gets a summer refresh [August 3, 2012]...
Sysinternals Suite 2010 Refreshed - All the latest versions, one 12.4MB zip…
Sysinternals Suite Refreshed – All the latest Sysinternals Utilities, one tiny zip (well 10MB zip…)
Sysinternals Suite (8MB of Complete Sysinternals Goodness)

Mesh'ing Live.Sysinternals.com, using Vista Scheduling and Robocopy|
A handy PowerShell script to keep your Sysinternals Suite up to date
The latest Sysinternals utilities are just a URL away, Live.Sysinternals.com

Use the Sysinternals Utilities? The EULA bug dialog you? Then try this…

More desktops for Windows 8 with Sysinternals Desktops v2.0
It's a sunny day when we get a new Sysinternals utility...
It’s a new Sysinternals Tool Day! RAMMap v1.0 released

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cloud Design Patterns (24 design patterns, two primers, eight guidance topics and 10 sample applications)

Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft - Cloud Design Patterns now available

Great news for folks looking for guidance on developing apps for the Azure Cloud – take a look at the Cloud Design Patters – it includes the following
  • Twenty four design patterns that are useful in cloud-hosted applications. Each pattern is provided in a common format that describes the context and problem, the solution, issues and considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Windows Azure. Each pattern also includes links to other related patterns.
  • Two primers and eight guidance topics that provide basic knowledge and describe good practice techniques for developing cloud-hosted applications. The format of each primer and guidance topic is designed to present this information in a relevant and informative way.
  • Ten sample applications that demonstrate the usage of the design patterns described in this guide. You can use and adapt the source code to suit your own specific requirements.

...

Cloud Design Patterns

This guide from the Microsoft patterns & practices group, produced with the help of many people within the developer community, provides solutions for common problems encountered when developing cloud-hosted applications.

The guide:

  • Articulates the benefit of applying patterns when implementing cloud applications, especially when they will be hosted in Windows Azure.
  • Discusses the problems that the patterns address, and how these relate to Windows Azure applications.
  • Shows how to implement the patterns using the features of Windows Azure, emphasizing benefits and considerations.
  • Depicts the big picture by showing how these patterns fit into cloud application architectures, and how they relate to other patterns.

The majority of topics described in the guide are equally relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether hosted on Windows Azure or on other cloud platforms.

image

SNAGHTML49199975image

Cloud Design Patterns – Sample Code

The example applications for use in conjunction with the Cloud Design Pattern guide. It consists of 10 samples to show how to implement design patterns using the features of Windows Azure.

Version: 1

Date Published: 1/27/2014

Cloud Design Patterns Examples.zip, 1.9 MB

The example applications for use in conjunction with Cloud Design Pattern guide. It consists of 10 samples to show how to implement design patterns using the features of Windows Azure.
See the Readme for information about the sample code. Each sample has a corresponding readme for information about how to run the sample.

Note: The samples are simplified to focus on and demonstrate the essential features of each pattern. They are not designed to be used in production scenarios.

I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it many times again, I really need that UTB (USB To Brain) Interface installed... ;)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Run don't walk to this tip on how to add an Install as Admin for MSI's

How-to Geek - How to Force an MSI Package to Install Using Administrator Mode

image

When you need to install a program as an administrator, you can right-click on the .exe file and select Run as administrator. However, that option isn’t available for MSI packages. We will show you how to add an Install as administrator option for MSI packages.

image..."

No need to remember the misexec steps once you apply this reg hack...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Tips on being a little Modern in a Desktop world (Windows 8.1 Tips)

Groovy Post - Windows 8.1: Make Using Modern Apps From the Desktop Easier

Windows 8.1’s modern or metro-style apps are mostly an afterthought on a traditional computer with mouse and keyboard. However, on a touch-enabled device, they are much more useful and the desktop seems dated. It’s difficult to hit the targets on the desktop correctly using your finger. Although, I did write an article on how to make the desktop more touch-friendly.

...

Use ModernMix ...

Launch Modern Apps from Desktop ...

Bonus Tip: Stop Desktop Files from Opening in Modern Apps ...

image

A number of nice tips for those who live in the Windows 8.x Desktop but still like to visit the other world (whatever it's called).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Disk2vhd turns 2, v2.0 that is, and a few more Sysinternals utility updates

Sysinternals Site Discussion - Updates: Coreinfo v3.21, Disk2vhd v2.0, LiveKd v5.31

Coreinfo v3.21: CoreInfo is a command-line tool for reporting processor topology, NUMA performance, and processor features. The v3.21 release adds microcode reporting.

Disk2vhd v2.0: Disk2vhd, a utility for performing physical-to-virtual conversion of Windows systems, adds support for VHDX-formatted VHDs (thanks to Brendan Gruber for contributions), now supports WinRE volumes, can capture removable media, and includes an option to capture live volumes instead of relying on volume shadow copy (VSS).

image

LiveKd v5.31: LiveKd is a utility for performing live kernel debugging of native systems and virtual machines from the host ...

V2 for Disk2vhd seems weird doesn't it, given how long that utility has been around. In any case, it's great seeing it get some love. I wonder how it will evolve in the new Azure world? Disk2vhd2Azure would be kind of cool... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
New Sysinternals utility released today, Disk2vhd v1.0 – Yes ...

A Sweet Summer Sysinternals Suite Refresh

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Want an introduction to Microsoft System Center 2012 R2? This ebook might be what you need, "Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2"

Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2

We’re happy to announce a new free ebook – Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 by Mitch Tulloch with Symon Perriman and the System Center Team.

DOWNLOAD LINKS

  • Download the  PDF - here
  • Download the Mobi file for Kindle –coming soon
  • Download the ePub file – coming soon

Introduction

Microsoft System Center is one of the three pillars of Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision that will transform the traditional datacenter environment, help businesses unlock insights in data stored anywhere, enable the development of a wide range of modern business applications, and empower IT to support users who work anywhere while being able to manage any device in a secure and consistent way. The other two pillars of the Cloud OS are, of course, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Azure, and Microsoft Press has recently released free Introducing books on these platforms as well.

Whether you are new to System Center or are already using it in your business, this book has something that should interest you. The capabilities of each component of System Center 2012 R2 are first described and then demonstrated chapter by chapter. Real-world and under-the-hood insights are also provided by insiders at Microsoft who live and breathe System Center, and those of you who are experienced with the platform will benefit from the wisdom and experience of these experts. We also included a list of additional resources at the end of each chapter where you can learn more about each System Center component.

I've gotten really behind the ball when it comes to keeping up with System Center (I think SMS was the last time I felt I knew a little about it, so, yeah, a while). When/if I want to catch up, this book looks like a must read.

image

Monday, December 16, 2013

TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (aka 2013 Version) Now Available

Grant Holliday’s blog - TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (2013) Released

As I did after the last major TFS release, the TFS Administration Tool has been updated to depend upon the TFS 2013 Object Model. You no-longer need Team Explorer 2012 installed to use the tool. It can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model (http://aka.ms/TFSOM2013), TFS 2013 or Visual Studio 2013.

This release supports SharePoint groups/roles, thanks to a community contribution. There are no other major functional changed between the release and the previous (2.2) release.

http://tfsadmin.codeplex.com/

Currently, the MSI in the downloaded ZIP file is flagged by Windows SmartScreen as “unsafe” – based upon the experience of the last release, in about a week, it will build enough “reputation” to be considered safe.

...

Team Foundation Server Administration Tool

The TFS Administration Tool allows Team Foundation Server administrators to manage user permissions on all three platforms utilized by Team Foundation Server:

  1. Team Foundation Server,
  2. SharePoint, and
  3. SQL Server Reporting Services.
The tool also allows administrators to easily copy user permissions among team projects and to easily identify any missing permissions on any of the three platforms.
Announcements

December 16, 2013-TFS Administration Tool 2.3 released
We are pleased to announce that the TFS Administration Tool 2.3 has been updated to the Team Foundation Server 2013 object model and it can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model or Visual Studio 2013.

This release supports SharePoint groups/roles. There are no other major functional changed between the release and the previous (2.2) release.

It is not required to uninstall the previous (2.2) release. Installing this release will update the shortcut to the latest version.

Please download TFS Administration Tool 2.3, and let us know what you think about the tool. In case you run into a bug please open an issue and include either the contents of the "Output" window as an attachment or the contents of the log file saved in the "Logs" folder so that our team can easily reproduce and investigate the problem. Please feel free to remove the confidential information like user accounts, or server names.

Download TFS Administration Tool 2.3

image

I've found this a must have tool for any TFS Admin...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Team Foundation Server Administration tool v2.1 Released (Think “TFS2010 version”)
TFS Administration Tool - Having a problem installing v1.3 after having upgraded to TFS2008? Here's your ticket to v1.2 freedom...
Team Foundation Server Administration Tool 1.3 Released (with TFS2008 Support)
TFS Administration Tool 1.2 Released
TFS Permission Manager 1.5 Released
TFS Permission and Administration Tools
TFS Administration Tool

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Windows Server 2012 & R2 TechNet Library Documentation - One PDF (and only 7, 970 pages!)

Kurt Shintaku's Blog - DOWNLOAD: Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows Server 2012 TechNet Docs (110.9 MB, 7970 pages)

"This download is an Adobe® PDF of the entire contents of the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 section of the Microsoft TechNet Library, for the convenience of Windows Server users who have limited Internet access, or require a portable version of the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 documentation. The PDF is 116 MB, and 7,970 pages in length. Highlights of the PDF include the following. ..."

Windows Server 2012 R2 & Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library Documentation (110.9 MB, 7970 pages)

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library documentation as a PDF.

Version: 1.0

Date Published: 11/27/2013

WS12_R2_and_WS12_TechNet.pdf, 110.9 MB

SNAGHTMLbdf181e

This was just so over the top, I had to blog about it... 7,970 pages, that's awesome...

Reminds me of the days when we got the TechNet/MSDN stuff on the subscription CD-ROMs.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pst... Storing PST's on a network share? Still a no-no...

Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links

This article contains guidance on the limitations of using of personal folders (.pst) files over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link. Note that .pst files are not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.

...

The Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 team created .pst files in order to let users maintain a copy of their messages on their local computers. The .pst files also serve as a message store for users who do not have access to a Microsoft Exchange Server computer (for example, POP3 or IMAP email users). 

However, .pst files are not intended as an enterprise network solution. Although it is possible to specify a network directory or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path as a storage location for a .pst file, network usage is not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment. 

A .pst file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file.
This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN and LAN links use network-access-driven methods. These are commands that the operating system provides to send data to, or receive from, another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst file (over a network link), Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file. However, the operating system must then send those commands over the network because the file is not located on the local computer. This creates lots of overhead and increases the time that is required to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use of a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails.

For more information about issues that you may experience with network storage devices or with servers that host shares, visit the following Microsoft website:  

http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2007/01/21/network-stored-pst-files-don-t-do-it.aspx

Other behaviors of .pst files over WAN and LAN links

  • All operations take longer.
  • Write operations can take approximately four times longer than read operations.
  • Outlook has slower performance than the Exchange Client.

Because of these behaviors, Offline Folders (.ost) files and Personal Address Book (.pab) files on a network share that are accessed remotely are also unsupported configurations.

...

What to consider when you store .pst files

When you store .pst files, shares may stop responding. This behavior may cause several client-side problems, such as causing Outlook to stop responding or freezing desktops on client computers. Queuing in the Server service work queues is what causes this temporary condition. The Server service uses work items, such as a request to extend a .pst file, to handle I/O requests that come in over the network. These work items are queued in the Server service work queues. From there, they are handled by the Server service worker threads. The work items are allocated from a kernel resource that is called the nonpaged pool (NPP). The Server service sends these I/O requests to the disk subsystem. If, for reasons that are mentioned earlier, the disk subsystem does not respond in time, the incoming I/O requests are queued by using work items in the server work queues. Because these work items are allocated from the NPP, this resource eventually runs out. Running out of NPP causes systems to eventually stop responding and to log event ID 2019.

If you troubleshoot this issue, you can usually find evidence of a problem in Poolmon and Perfmon captures. For example, you may see the LSwn pool tag allocation climb in a Poolmon trace. These allocations are made by the Srv.sys program. The size of the allocation is configurable by using the SizReqBuf registry value. One allocation is made for each work item that is used by the Server service. When you use Perfmon to troubleshoot this issue, you see a steady decrease in the "Available Work Items" counter. If "Available Work Items" reaches zero, clients may be unable to access files. You may also experience event ID 2019 errors if the problem is LSwn allocations (NPP depletion). Another tag that indicates .pst file issues is the MmSt tag. This tag represents the Mm section object prototype PTEs, a memory management-related structure that is used for mapped files. (This is the pool tag that is used to map the operating system memory that is used to track shared files.) MmSt issues frequently manifest as paged pool depletion (Event ID 2020).

...

That said, there is ONE scenario that is supported;

Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010 hosted remotely by using Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) configuration

Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010 functionality is supported when networked .pst or .ost files are used under the following conditions: 
  • A high bandwidth/low latency network connection is used.
  • There is single client access per file (one Outlook client per .pst or .ost).
  • Either Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is used to run Outlook remotely.

...

In general, network share hosting of PST's is "bad" and the long you have them open, the more likely your going to jack them up. Also the impact on your file servers is pretty killer... BTW, this isn't new, there's guidance going back a decade that this is "bad."

Friday, November 15, 2013

New from NirSoft - WhoIsConnected[to my darn network]Sniffer

NirBlog - New utility that lists computers and devices connected to your network

WhoIsConnectedSniffer is a new utility that listens to network packets on your network adapter using a capture driver (WinpCap or MS network monitor) and accumulates a list of computer and devices currently connected to your network. ...

image

NirSoft - WhoIsConnectedSniffer v1.00

WhoIsConnectedSniffer is a network discovery tool that listens to network packets on your network adapter using a capture driver (WinpCap or MS network monitor) and accumulates a list of computer and devices currently connected to your network. WhoIsConnectedSniffer uses various protocols to detect the computers connected to your network, including ARP, UDP, DHCP, mDNS, and BROWSER.

For every detected computer or device, the following information is displayed: (Some of the fields might be empty if the information cannot be found inside the packets) IP Address, MAC Address, name of the device/computer, description, Operating System, Network Adapter Company, IPv6 Address.

After collecting the connected computers/devices information, you can easily export the list to tab-delimited/comma-delimited/xml/html file.

WhoIsConnectedSniffer vs Other NirSoft Tools

As you may know, NirSoft already provides other tools (Wireless Network Watcher, NetBScanner) that scan the network and show the computers that are currently connected. As opposed to the other tools, WhoIsConnectedSniffer doesn't perform any scanning and it doesn't send any packet to the other computers. WhoIsConnectedSniffer only listens to the packets sent by other computers and devices, analyzes them and then displays the result on the main window.

WhoIsConnectedSniffer also provides some information that the other tools cannot get, like operating system, description text of the computer, IPv6 address.

System Requirements And Limitations

  • Any version of Windows, starting from Windows 2000, and up to Windows 8. Both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported. When using Microsoft Network Monitor driver on 64-bit system, you must use the 64-bit version of WhoIsConnectedSniffer.
  • You have to install one of the following capture drivers:
  • WhoIsConnectedSniffer cannot detect a device or computer if it doesn't send any packet that is received by the computer running this tool.
  • WhoIsConnectedSniffer cannot detect computers from other subnets.

...

Protocols supported by WhoIsConnectedSniffer

  • ARP: WhoIsConnectedSniffer listens to this protocol to get the IP address and MAC address of computers and devices.
  • UDP: When a computer broadcasts a UDP packet to all other computers, WhoIsConnectedSniffer extracts from it the IP address and the MAC address.
  • DHCP: When a computer connects to the network, it usually sends a DHCP request. WhoIsConnectedSniffer uses this request to get the host name and IP address of the computer.
  • mDNS: This protocol is used on Linux and Mac OS systems. WhoIsConnectedSniffer uses it to get the host name and IP address of the computer, and also the operating system (on Linux)
  • BROWSER: This protocol is mainly used by Windows, but some Linux systems supports this protocol too. WhoIsConnectedSniffer uses it to get the name of the computer, description text of the computer, and the operating system.

...

License

This utility is released as freeware. You are allowed to freely distribute this utility via floppy disk, CD-ROM, Internet, or in any other way, as long as you don't charge anything for this and you don't sell it or distribute it as a part of commercial product. If you distribute this utility, you must include all files in the distribution package, without any modification !

...

Cool tool from the cool guys at NirSoft [insert my usual, "These guys are like the old Wininternals/Sysinternals guys" snip here. Mark R, you following these guys? ...]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Log Parser Day! Robert Sheldon shows how Log Parser can be used for ETL

SQL Home - SQL Tools - Microsoft's Log Parser Utility: Swell ETL

For loading text, CSV or XML files into SQL Server, the Log Parser utility, with its amazing SQL engine,  is likely to be the obvious choice. Although initially developed purely for converting IIS logs, the Log Parser can turn its hand to a range of formats including even event logs or the windows registry.  

First off, Microsoft’s Log Parser utility is not a SQL Server tool. Log Parser is a powerful Windows command-line utility that can extract data from a variety of sources—IIS logs, XML and CSV files, Active Directory objects, Network Monitor capture files, and the Windows registry, to name a few—and output the data to various files and systems, most notably SQL Server. In fact, Log Parser makes importing data into a SQL Server database so simple, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using the tool all along.

At the core of the Log Parser utility is a “SQL-like” engine that processes data as it’s retrieved from the source and sent to the destination. You can think of Log Parser as a mini extract, transform, and load (ETL) application that uses input formats to extract data from its source and output formats to send the data to its destination.

An input format provides the source data to the engine as a record set, similar to the way rows are stored in a table. Each input format serves as a record provider specific to the source from which the data is retrieved. For example, you would use the xml input provider to retrieve data from an XML file.

Output formats also present the processed information as record data, with each output format specific to the target destination type. If you were sending data to a SQL Server database, for instance, you would use the sql output format.

For details about the available input and output formats supported by Log Parser, as well as information about other features, see the Log Parser help file (LogParser.chm). The file is added to the directory where Log Parser is installed when you do a complete installation or you include the documentation component as part of a custom installation. You can download Log Parser from the Microsoft Download Center. There you will also find installation instructions.

Using Log Parser to retrieve data

Log Parser comes in two versions: a command-line executable and a DLL containing COM objects that applications can use to run Log Parser operations. This article focuses on the command-line utility and how you can use it to import data into a SQL Server database.

...

Working with Log Parser

The examples I’ve shown you in this article have all retrieved data from the System event log, but you’re certainly not limited to that log. You can retrieve data from other event logs, multiple logs, and a variety of other sources, such as Active Directory, the registry, IIS logs, text files, or information about the file directory itself. Log Parser is a flexible and powerful tool that can be useful in a variety of circumstances. And because of the utility’s “SQL-like” logic, most of the data you can retrieve through Log Parser can be saved to a SQL Server database. If you can write a T-SQL SELECT statement, you can use Log Parser to store all sorts of information in your SQL Server databases.

imageimage

Robert's post is actually a great, in-depth post on one more more useful yet overlooked utilities, Log Parser...

And anyway, it's been nearly a month since the last Log Parser post! You can't expect me to hold off forever, do you? :P

 

Related Past Post XRef:
PIE! (charts) - Log Parser and the Office Web Components together turns your logs into pie charts and more..

Log Parser Studio 2.0 now out (Log Parser GUI++)
Log Parser Studio - Think "Log Parser GUI" Or "Making Log Parser click-click fun and easy to use..." or "Query Analyzer for Log Parser"

Learning Log Parser Studio in two parts... (From Install to Library Ninja)

Here's a look at the Microsoft Log Parser from a different point of view, from the Computer Forensics' side of the house OR Check out a 'Query Analyzer/SSMS' for Log Parser called Log Parser Lizard

Log Parser Ping Graph Fun (aka “Using Log Parser to parse command line output”)
SELECT * FROM Log... with the cool tool that’s been around for years, Log Parser!

Download details: Log Parser 2.2

The Unofficial Log Parser Support Site
IIS Diagnostics Toolkit (January 2006)
SQL Server 2000 Report Pack for IIS Logs

Monday, November 04, 2013

"Windows 8.1 Quick [keyword] Guide for Business(?)"

Microsoft Downloads - Windows 8.1 Quick Guide for Business

Whether you’re brand new to Windows 8.1, or just want a refresher, this quick guide will show you the basics and beyond

Date Published: 11/1/2013

Windows 8_1_quick guide_download.pdf, 2.5 MB

Windows 8.1 brings together devices, apps and services so that they work intelligently and are a beautiful fit for the way your live and work. Put what matters most right on your Start screen, and get instant access to your favorite apps, sites, and more, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing. Whether you’re collaborating on a large project, preparing for an upcoming conference, or traveling for work, you can use touch, mouse, and keyboard together–seamlessly–to do what you want, the way you want. This quick guide will show you how to get around, navigate, manage apps, work on desktop, and personalize your Windows 8.1.

Not sure why this is a "Business" guide as I didn't see anything in the 16 pages that appeared "Business." That said, this does seem like a easy to read and understand quick guide to Windows 8.1. Forwarding it to friends and family who've recently upgraded...

image

 

Related Past Post XRef:
"Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals: Technical Overview" free eBook from Ed Bott
List of some of the new Windows 8.1 features that IT'ers might like...

Cloud VDI seems to be the new Dev desktop shiny, so I guess it's a good time for the new Virtual Desktop Architectural Reference Guides.

Welcome to the US SMB&D TS2 Team Blog - Virtual Desktop Architectural Reference Guides (Including Azure) Just Released

Josh Condie – With VDI becoming more and more an opportunity for partners who host client services for small and mid-sized customers, Microsoft just released the guidance necessary to help you design effective desktop services using our latest Hyper-V, VDI and RDS technology in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.  Key to success here is brining the costs of infrastructure down and ease of deployment and management up.  Microsoft made great strides in the Server OS in both departments.  For example, the support of Direct and SMB Share storage designs and inclusion of advanced storage management capabilities such as Storage Tiering, Deduplication and Thin Provisioning, bring costs down greatly for mid-sized deployments numbers.  ...

The Traditional Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide can be found here.

Using Azure:

For hosting partners looking for a rapid expansion of their capacity, we now offer Windows Azure as another avenue to achieve VDI scale.  Per the article:

“The primary goal is to enable hosting providers to create secure, scalable, and reliable desktop hosting solution offers for small- and medium-sized organizations with up to 1,500 users. The intended audience for this reference architecture is hosting providers who want to leverage Windows Azure infrastructure services to deliver desktop hosting services and Subscriber Access Licenses (SALs) to multiple tenants via the Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) program.”

A logical view of the Azure architecture looks this:

image

The logical architecture diagram shows a two-layer architecture with the following layer definitions:

· Desktop Hosting Service: Virtual machines, networks, and storage that make up the functional service for each tenant.

· Infrastructure Services: Consists of the Azure management portal, load balancer, VPN gateway, Windows Server operating system instances running the Hyper-V role used to virtualize the physical servers, storage units, networks switches, routers, and so on that make up the Azure Infrastructure Service. The Azure infrastructure Services allow the VMs, networks, storage, and applications to be created independently from underlying hardware.

For the full technical article and guide, navigate here.

...

Windows Azure Desktop Hosting - Reference Architecture and Deployment Guides

Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide

Summary: This document defines a set of architectural blocks for using Windows Azure Virtual Machines to create multitenant, hosted Windows desktop and application services, referred to in this document as “desktop hosting.” The primary goal is to enable hosting providers to create secure, scalable, and reliable desktop hosting solution offers for small- and medium-sized organizations with up to 1,500 users. The intended audience for this reference architecture is hosting providers who want to leverage Windows Azure infrastructure services to deliver desktop hosting services and Subscriber Access Licenses (SALs) to multiple tenants via the Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) program. To deliver a desktop hosting solution via Microsoft’s SPLA program, hosting partners leverage Windows Server and the Windows Desktop Experience feature to deliver Windows users an application experience that is familiar to business users and consumers. Although Windows 8, Windows 7, and earlier Windows client versions are not licensed for SPLA, the Desktop Experience feature in Windows Server 2012 provides a similar user experience and application support.

Author: Microsoft Corporation

Published: September 2013

Revision: 1.0

Download: To review the document, download it now.

Windows Azure: Desktop Hosting Deployment Guide

Summary: This document provides procedural guidance for deploying a basic desktop hosting solution based on the Windows Azure Desktop Hosting Reference Architecture Guide. This document provides you with a starting point for implementing a Desktop Hosting service on Windows Azure virtual machines. You’ll have to perform additional deployment steps in a production environment to provide advanced features such as high availability, customized desktop experience, RemoteApp collections, etc.

Author: Microsoft Corporation

Published: October 2013

Revision: 1.0

Download: To review the document, download it now.

Seems everyone, well bleeding edge early adopters anyway, are hosting their dev vm's in the cloud and using smaller end devices, like Surfaces, ultrabooks, etc to access them.

This the future of the dev desktop? It could be, if we can get over the security concerns... (or have them hosted on an in-house cloud, but there could be issues with that as well...). Anyway, I saw these guides and thought I should snag them for future reference.