Posts Tagged Windows Server 2008 R2

Training – Updating Your Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist Skills to R2

This week I have another couple of days out of the office (or our clients office) for yet more Microsoft Partner training – 2 days of updating your Technology Specialist skills Windows Server 2008 R2.

Updating Your Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist Skills to R2

This course is so hot off the press that the materials were only delivered last Thursday… e.g. buggy labs – fun to fix! ;-), no course DVD cut as yet, and a speaker that doesn’t know the materials, and fortunately doesn’t need too… as it’s being delivered by  Andy Mallone (www.quality-training.co.uk/blog/ & http://www.divedeeperevents.com/)

Andy is an MVP in Windows Server, has been an MCT for 15 years (had a 4-digit MCP id), is a speaker at various events inc. just back from TechEd delivering , and will be in Redmond in 2 months time as an external member of the Windows 8 product team… likely to be the first x64 only client OS from Microsoft.

Global Knowledge use the strap line ‘Experts teaching Experts’ – they have nailed it on this one. 🙂

Anyway, on to the course (Top tips as usual at the end..):

Activity name: 44CO149 – Updating Your Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist Skills to R2

Facility: Global Knowledge, London, 83 Baker Street, W1U 6AG

Who: Andy Mallone (www.quality-training.co.uk/blog/)
MVP Windows Server, MCT for 15 years, speaker at various events inc. just back from TechEd, and will be in Redmond in 2 months time as an external member of the Windows 8 product team!

Andy Malone has a deep and broad understanding so far beyond the subject (and that your average instructor) that allowed him to easily fill in the gaps in the somewhat lacking and already outdated course materials.  The result was ‘quality training’ that has made a real difference to our long term understanding and ability to work with Windows 7 and the supporting technologies.

Activity Link (URL): https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/SYS_Login.aspx?lang=en-gb&RU=https%3A//training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx%3FActivityId%3D549434%26UserMode%3D0

Activity description: 44CO149 – Updating Your Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist Skills to R2

Summary:

This two day intensive course is aimed at fast tracking Windows Server Technical Specialists and IT professionals onto the new technology of Windows Server 2008 R2. This course will also provide enough knowledge and skills for Partners to pass the new WS08R2 exam, due out later this year.

Prerequisites:

Students who attend this 2-day ILT should have the following prerequisite knowledge:
• Possess core Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist skills.

• Familiarity and experience with batch scripting or another scripting language.

• Experience with Windows deployment technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows networking technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Active Directory technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows Server 2008 server virtualization technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows Server 2008 Web application server technologies and implementation.

Objectives:

Students who attend this 2-day ILT should have the following prerequisite knowledge:
• Possess core Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist skills.

• Familiarity and experience with batch scripting or another scripting language.

• Experience with Windows deployment technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows networking technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Active Directory technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows Server 2008 server virtualization technologies and implementation.

• Experience with Windows Server 2008 Web application server technologies and implementation.

Top tips & links picked up during the course…

– Using VHD’s created in disk management for storage whatever you need, whereever you need it, appearing as local storage (disk, volume, etc.) – helping towards the goal of ‘elastic enterprise solutions’ & cloud computing

Demo on how to use a VHD to support native OS boot for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 – more at Keith Combes excellent blahg at http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2009/05/22/dual-boot-from-vhd-using-windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx

– AD Administration Center… the shape of AD admin to come..?
(an R2 RSAT feature..)

– Technologies you need to embrace to succeed in this industry in the next few years… Virtualisation, Cloud, IPv6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MinWin

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730985.aspx

– Encryption types, data at rest (e.g. encrypting on the disk with bitlocker) vs. data in transit (e.g. encryption on the network with IPsec)

– MSAT (Microsoft Security Assessment Toolkit) – is gold!

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The Full Circle secures Ascom Network Testing for Windows Server 2008 R2 Early Adopter Program

The Full Circle (www.thefullcircle.com) has been working with Microsoft Virtualisation technologies since before they were Microsoft Virtualisation technologies… (think back to Virtual PC from Connectix ;-)).

More recently and formally, we have been working with Microsoft Hyper-V since the v1 Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) in spring 2008.  We attended various RDP Bootcamp training and used pre-release/beta versions of Hyper-V extensively to accelerate testing and migration for our Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customer, Newman Martin and Buchan – read more at https://reubenjcook.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/windows-essential-business-server-2008-launch/

For Hyper-V v2 we are a UK Early Adopter Program (EAP) partner for Windows Server 2008 R2, with a focus on virtualisation, specifically Hyper-V with failover clustering.  We’ve been working with various builds and flavours of Hyper-V v2 including the command line only and free Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and also the full GUI versions available in the full Windows Server 2008 R2 product.

For an EAP, or TAP for that matter, you need a customer who’s willing to participate in deploying and testing early release software (Beta’s and Release Candidate builds) in a production environment, and then talk about it through press releases, case studies, etc. also known in Microsoft speak as ‘customer evidence’.
The benefits are many!  Microsoft gets real world deployments of their new product ahead of general release which helps with convincing the wider market that the technology is dependable and fit to deploy.  The customer gets to the latest technology for their business ahead of their competition, and often assistance/support such as sponsored consulting, licenses, etc.  The partner (us) gets supported training, technical assistance, and exposure to new products ahead of our competition, plus, of course, exposure in the market through PR & various co-marketing activities.

Our EAP customer deployment was with Ascom Network Testing (formerly Argogroup – www.argogroup.com).  Ascom Network Testing is part of the Mobile Test Solutions business of the Swiss company Ascom (www.ascom.com), and is a global provider of mobile test & measurement solutions for some of the worlds largest mobile network operators (the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, etc.). 
Specifically Ascom wanted to update and improve the backend server components of a product called Monitor Master.  Monitor Master is an end-to-end solution for measuring ‘User Experience’ and collates and presents measurement data from mobile services probes out in the field.  Monitor Master is a Business Intelligence (BI) platform with a data warehouse back-end running on Microsoft SQL Server.

The project was given the title ‘EPIC’ due to the scale of the larger deployments which can be several hundreds of Gigabytes of data.  The primary goals were to accelerate the quality and consistency of customer deployments of the Monitor Master server components.  This was achieved by defining and testing new reference architectures including O/S setup, database configuration, hardware platform architecture, and operational procedures to manage the environment.

Clearly Virtualisation can help accelerate almost any platform development project and due to the timings of the project, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V v2 was an obvious choice.  Soon into the project we came to realise that due to the performance and other benefits of Hyper-V v2 it could actually form part of the solution, not just a tool to help develop it! 🙂

Our old mate, business associate & mentor (for all things PR & communications), John Dean (COO of www.showmethegolf.tv) helped us put together a short release that announced this exciting project, it went out to coincide with the global Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 launch events and is available online via PRWEB (http://uk.prweb.com/releases/2009/10/prweb3039184.htm), but also below for your enjoyment!:

PRESS RELEASE

The Full Circle Secures Client for Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP

Ascom Network Testing Enrolled as Early Adopter for Hyper-V Virtualisation

London, 15 October 2009 – The Full Circle, the Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in virtualisation and infrastructure deployments, announced today that it had secured Ascom Network Testing’s participation in the Windows Server 2008 R2 UK Early Adopter Program (EAP).

Ascom Network Testing is a global mobile data software systems provider. They offer test and measurement solutions to many of the world’s largest mobile network operators, including Verizon, Orange, and T-Mobile.

The EAP enables selected partners to take part in co-funded consulting engagements to drive product deployments prior to full launch. This gives partners and customers strategic advantage while enabling Microsoft to develop public references for their marketing efforts.

Reuben Cook, Founder, The Full Circle – “We are delighted that Ascom Network Testing will be part of the Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP. We are confident it will offer tremendous value as it will enable them to reap the benefits that the new technologies can deliver to the business well in advance of their competitors.  Windows Server 2008 R2 is planned for release October 22nd”

Kit Smithers, Chief Technical Officer, Ascom Network Testing Ltd – ”We immediately recognised the benefits of participating in the program. We have a particularly strong interest in the benefits of virtualisation and consolidation, and look forward to enjoying the performance and flexibility benefits that it will give us.”

Mike Peers, Channel Development Manager, Virtualisation, Microsoft – “The Full Circle have been an active partner on our Windows Server 2008 R2 Early Adoption Programme.  The programme is designed to help partners gain early experience deploying Hyper-V, whilst also benefitting customers in the early adoption of the technology.”

Cook concluded: “At first we saw Hyper-V as a component that could accelerate Ascom’s internal solution development process.  But it has quickly become apparent that Hyper-V could in itself become part of their client solution offering, due to the power, performance and stability it offers.  It has been a great success.”

Ends:  340 Words

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WS2008-R2 Add Roles Hyper-V cannot be installed..

When trying to automate the build/deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (Full install) using scripts for adding roles and features beware using “start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V” as this may break your server from successfuly performing a Hyper-V install..

If you do use that script then something (quite a lot) happens and various components appear to be installed including a restart.  Don’t be fooled in thinking Hyper-V has installed as when checking, Hyper-V isn’t listed as an installed Role and the management tool is not installed…

Later attempts to use the Add Roles Wizard to add Hyper-V reports it cannot be installed, giving this error dialogue:

Hyper-V-cannot_install

The processor on this computer is not compatible with Hyper-V. To install this role, the processor must have a supported version of the hardware-assisted virtualization, and this feature must be turned on in the BIOS.

eek!  but my x64 bit server has hardware virtualisation support hasn’t it..?!?!?   of course the answer is yes, but this what you will see on a box that hasn’t.

After rebuilding my test platform I realised the fix to this was to revert the attempted Hyper-V scripted install by using:
start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V /uninstall
Allow the Windows Optional Component Setup dialogue to restart when prompted

Hope this helps save you a rebuild!

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IAMCP UK chapter meeting – 10th Sept. 2009

Today attended the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners (IAMCP UK) UK chapter meeting hosted at Microsoft’s very swish London Victoria offices.

IAMCP U.K Chapter Meeting Agenda

Date:            Thursday, 10th September, 2009.
Location:       Microsoft, 100 Victoria St, London, SW1E 5JL.
Timings:        09:30 to 14:00 

Time Slot: Agenda Item: Presenter:
09:30 Arrival and registration

 

 
10:00 Introduction; IAMCP Overview and Updates Kelvin Kirby, Chairman, IAMCP UK Chapter
10:15 Overview of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Aileen Hannah & Gareth Hall, Microsoft
10:50 Windows® Azure™ Platform – What does it mean to me? Dan Scarfe, Chief Executive, Dot Net Solutions
11.15 BREAK

 

 
11.30 Surviving in the Current Market Conditions Darren Shirlaw, Shirlaws

 

12.15 An Overview of the UK Public Sector ICT Market Stephen Roberts, Principal Analyst, Kable
12:45 Voices for Innovation Update Donna Whitehead, VFI

 

12:55 Close & Wrap Up

 

 
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch and Networking Partners are encouraged to stay and network over lunch.

 Aileen Hannah – Launch Lead for Windows Client
  Windows 7E (EU version) – dropped, Win7 in EU will be full product
  “Microsoft are 100% confident that 98% of Vista apps will work on Win7” (not inc. Security s/w! 😉
  Win7 DirectAccess – needs Windows Server 2008 R2 on back-end
  Win7 BranchCache – works with R2, but also will do P2P without R2
  Windows 7 Manageability
   Problem Recorder – automate screen grabs and email to support! J
   Troubleshooting Assistant
   MDOP costs $6 /seat /annum

brains and beauty... 2008 R2 & Windows 7 works better together 😉

Gareth Hall – Windows Server Product Manager, UK
  “$3B of investment covered in 3 minutes!” 😉
  Windows 7 & R2 is a combined sell – massive interest in both, ‘work better together’
  R2 upgrades do not require new CAL licensing, full version do
  Value of Windows Server practise – costs more, takes longer to implement… customer benefit? 😉
  R2 Active Directory Recycle Bin – ever spent 3 weeks trying to recover a bad AD object delete?
  DirectAccess – takes  a lot of setting up, but is very compelling.  Already IPv6 then easy, who is!?
  (services opportunity)
 
Dan Scarfe – CEO, Dot Net Solutions: Windows Azure Platform – What does it mean to me?
   “.NET for the Data Center”
  Azure (www.azure.com/PartnerQuickstart) is made up of:
    Windows Azure (Compute, Storage, Management)
    SQL Azure (Relational data, Management)
    .NET Services (Connectivity, Access Control) EasyJet are trialling connectivity from mobile devices to check-in systems so your mobile device will register you for check-in whilst you are in the queue.
  Generation 4 data centers – Chicago, IL 700,000 sq.ft (16 football fields), 60 megawatts, Dublin, 303,000 sq.ft (8 football fields), 22.2 megawatts – more DC’s planned
   Containers full of servers, whole container is connected, cannot walk inside, if a server goes down it is marked as bad like a sector on a disk, eventually the whole container is swapped out best energy efficiency for data center technology in the world
  Same platform as MS Online offerings (Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics)
  Azure app development is very easy for .NET developers
  Pricing – pay as you go, charges based on metering
  If going for a cloud based solutions you really are getting into bed with the vendor, it had better be the right one as bed hopping has serious ramifications!

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Hyper-V 2.0 has reached Release To Manufacturing (RTM)!

Yesterday Microsoft made the announcement that Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (both share the same code-base) have reached the RTM milestone!  Many thought this was tabled for August 6th, however that is when the likes of MSDN & TechNet users will be able to get theor mits on it!

Its all great news of course, but the important bit for us (www.thefullcircle.com), are the changes to Hyper-V, dubbed Hyper-V v2.

This is a major version upgrade to the product, indeed Microsoft is so confident in the robustness of Hyper-V 2.0 that it placed the public http://www.microsoft.com site on it! (already the whole of the TechNet site had been running on Hyper-V v1 since early 2008).

One of the most important inclusions in Hyper-V 2.0 is Live Migration. Live Migration allows you to move a virtual machine from one physical host to another with no down time, or at least good enough so the users, or even the network stack doesn’t see it!
While the existing release of Hyper-V supported quick migration, there were a few seconds of downtime associated with the move; that has been removed.

Another unheralded feature of Hyper-V 2.0 is Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). Essentially, if you tried to set up a cluster using Hyper-V virtual machines in the original release, for each virtual hard drive (VHD) you had to carve out a LUN on your SAN where that VHD could reside.

Using Cluster Shared Volumes allows you to place multiple VHDs on a single LUN, while the VMs themselves still act as if each VHD is on its own LUN. All CSV volumes are stored in the ClusterStorage root directory, so navigating the different volumes is as simply as using Explorer.

Hyper-V 2.0 also supports up to 64 logical processors on the host computer and includes the ability to add to a running virtual machine (and remove them) without needing to reboot the OS on that VM. You can also dynamically allocate memory without any interruption of service. Finally, the processor compatibility feature allows live migration across different CPU versions within the same processor family (for example, Intel-to-Intel and AMD-to-AMD), but not across processor vendors (same with VMware).

Hyper-V v2.0 is what Microsoft shops (and maybe even some VMware shops!) have been waiting for.
Hyper-V now offers feature parity with VMware’s enterprise solutions in some scenarios, and in others surpasses it (see how long merging a large snapshot on VMware takes.. ;-))

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Hyper-V Server R2 with WS2008 R2 iSCSI SAN PoC

today (and this week) I’ll mostly be building a Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 (Beta) with Windows Server 2008 R2 (Beta/RC build 7100) iSCSI SAN Proof of Concept enviornment..

Hardware platform:

PoC – Virtual Machine Hosts (x2)
HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, 250GB Non Hot-Plug SATA, DVD±RW, Gigabit Ethernet
4 x 2GB Unbuffered ECC PC2 6400 DDR2 SDRAM
1 x HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
 
PoC – SAN Shared Storage (iSCSI, Desktop SATA)
HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Xeon 3065 2.33/1333 Dual-Core, 1x1GB, 250GB Non Hot-Plug SATA, DVD±RW, Gigabit Ethernet
4 x 1GB Unbuffered ECC PC2 6400 DDR2 SDRAM
 
2 x HP 250GB Hard Drive
2 x Seagate ST3100340AS 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm *32MB Cache* (OEM)
1 x HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter

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