Cloud and Datacenter Management Blog

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud blogsite about Management

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Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 RC and Integration Pack for AD Beta



The Integration Pack for Active Directory is an add-on for System Center Orchestrator 2012 that enables you to connect System Center Orchestrator to your Active Directory Server to automate its management.

Feature Summary The Integration Pack includes the following activities:

  • CreateUser
  • DeleteUser
  • UpdateUser
  • GetUser
  • CreateComputer
  • DeleteComputer
  • UpdateComputer
  • GetComputer
  • CreateGroup
  • UpdateGroup
  • DeleteGroup
  • GetGroup
  • GetOU
  • ResetUserPassword
  • DisableUser
  • EnableUser
  • UnlockUser
  • MoveUser
  • RenameUser
  • AddUserToGroup
  • RemoveUserFromGroup
  • AddComputerToGroup
  • RemoveComputerFromGroup
  • DisableComputer
  • EnableComputer
  • MoveComputer
  • RenameComputer
  • AddGroupToGroup
  • RemoveGroupFromGroup
  • MoveGroup

The System Center Orchestrator 2012 Release Candidate Integration Packs provides the capability to interface and control other existing System Center products through custom activities which are used to create runbooks.
System Center products supported:

  • System Center 2007 Operations Manager
  • System Center 2010 Service Manager
  • System Center 2008 Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center 2010 Data Protection Manager
  • System Center 2007 Configuration Manager

Automation begins with Microsoft System Center Orchetrator and runbooks, Powershellscripts like I mentioned earlier before in SCVMM2012 :


Here you can download Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 RC with Toolkits and integrationPacks


Here you can download Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 integrationPack for Active Directory Beta



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Microsoft free online learning with MVA and Technet Virtual Labs for the IT pro

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Improve your IT skill set and help advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal. Learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies, gain points and get recognition.
For the IT Pro is this the Virtual Academy free learning portal from Microsoft to go to.
They have the following courses allready :

Go here to the Microsoft MVA free portal yourself

TechNet Virtual Labs enable you to quickly evaluate and test Microsoft’s newest products and technologies through a series of guided, hands-on labs that you can complete in 90 minutes or less.
You get a real online Hyper-V environment with the Microsoft product you choose to evaluate.

Go here to the Microsoft Technet Virtual Labs yourself

Here under you see the pictures of Virtual Lab Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 :




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User Roles in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

You can create user roles in System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to define the objects that users can manage and the management operations that users can perform. The following table summarizes the capabilities of each user role in VMMM :

User Role Descriptions for VMM

VMM User Role Capabilities
Administrator Members of the Administrators user role can perform all administrative actions on all objects that VMM manages.Administrators have sole responsibility for these features of VMM:

  • Only administrators can add stand-alone XenServer hosts and XenServer clusters (known as pools) to VMM management.
  • Only administrators can add a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server to VMM to enable updates of the VMM fabric through VMM.

To change the members of the Administrator user role, see How to Add Users to the Administrator User Role.

Delegated Administrator Members of Delegated Administrator user roles can perform all administrative tasks within their assigned host groups, clouds, and library servers, except for adding XenServer and adding WSUS servers.To create a delegated administrator, see How to Create a Delegated Administrator User Role.
Self-Service User Members of Self-Service User roles create, deploy, and manage their own virtual machines and services by using the VMM console or a Web portal. The Self-Service User role:

  • Specifies the private clouds to which their virtual machines and services are deployed and the actions that the users can take.
  • Grants access to logical and physical resources in the library and on their own user data paths.
  • Sets quotas on virtual machines and computing resources.
  • Specifies whether PRO tips can be viewed and implemented.

For more information, see How to Create a Self-Service User Role in VMM.

Read-Only Administrator Read-only administrators can view status, job status, and properties of objects within their assigned host groups, clouds, and library servers. The user role also specifies the Run As accounts that the read-only administrator can view.To create a read-only administrator, see How to Create a Read-Only Administrator User Role.

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Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 Release Candidate available


Operations Manager 2012 provides infrastructure monitoring that’s flexible and cost-effective, helps ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications, and offers comprehensive monitoring for your datacenter and cloud, both private and public. Operations Manager helps you better manage your datacenters by:

  • Delivering flexible and cost effective enterprise-class monitoring and diagnostics while reducing the total cost of ownership by leveraging commodity hardware, configurations, and heterogeneous environments.
  • Helping to ensure the availability of business-critical applications and services through market-leading .NET application performance monitoring and diagnostics and JEE application health monitoring.
  • Providing a comprehensive view of datacenters, and private and public clouds.

Download Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 Release Candidate with documentation here

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Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 with documentation


VMMSSP (also referred to as the self-service portal) is a fully supported, partner-extensible solution built on Windows Server® 2008 R2, Hyper-V™ technology, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). You can use it to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and to deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter. VMMSSP includes a pre-built web-based user interface that has sections for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers, with role-based access control. VMMSSP also includes a dynamic provisioning engine. VMMSSP reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding,” infrastructure request, and change management. The VMMSSP package also includes detailed guidance on how to implement VMMSSP inside your environment.

Important VMMSSP is not an upgrade to the existing VMM 2008 R2 self-service portal. You can choose to deploy and use one or both self-service portals depending on your requirements.

Feature Summary
The self-service portal provides the following features that are made available through a web-based user interface:

  • Register business units (business unit on-boarding): Using standardized forms, users can register their business units with the self-service portal; the self-service portal provides a simple workflow for the datacenter administrator to use when approving or rejecting registrations.
  • Manage infrastructure requests and change requests: Using standardized forms, users can request new infrastructures or request changes to infrastructures; the self-service portal provides a simple workflow for the datacenter administrator to use when provisioning, approving, or rejecting requests.
  • Move infrastructures between business units: The datacenter administrator can move an infrastructure from one business unit to another.
  • Support self-service provisioning of virtual machines: Depending on their user role, users can use standardized forms to request bulk creation of virtual machines.
  • Import virtual machines: The datacenter administrator can import existing virtual machines from Virtual Machine Manager.
  • Configure and allocate datacenter resources: The datacenter administrator can manage configuration information related to computer, network, and storage resources in the VMMSSP database.
  • Configure automatic email notifications: The datacenter administrator can configure VMMSSP to work with SQL Server® Database Mail to send email messages to designated recipients. The messages notify the recipients of such events as request approvals or rejections, or impending expiration of virtual machines.
  • Customize default virtual machine actions: Using a simple, web-based interface, the datacenter administrator can extend the default virtual machine actions; for example, the datacenter administrator can add scripts that interact with storage area networks (SANs) to support rapid deployment of virtual machines.
  • Define and use custom virtual machine actions: A datacenter administrator can now create up to five custom virtual machine actions and make them available to users on the Virtual Machines tab. For example, a datacenter administrator can create a Create Checkpoint action and add it to the list of actions on the Virtual Machines tab.
  • Use Opalis policies in virtual machine actions: In a datacenter that includes a deployment of Opalis Integration Server, a datacenter administrator can customize tasks in virtual machine actions to trigger Opalis policies instead of run scripts.
  • Define and use custom virtual machine properties: A datacenter administrator can define custom properties to collect information from users in the Create Virtual Machine wizard, and use these properties in the tasks of the CreateVM virtual machine action. For example, a datacenter administrator can create the properties RAM and CPU Count. Then the Create Virtual Machine wizard includes fields for RAM and CPU Count. When a user finishes the wizard, the wizard passes the RAM and CPU count values that the user entered to the tasks in the CreateVM virtual machine action.
  • Set virtual machine expiration dates: Depending on their user role memberships, users can set expiration dates for virtual machines. After a virtual machine has expired, it is no longer available for use in VMMSSP.
  • Manage virtual machine DVD drives and media: When working with virtual machines that have DVD drives, users can attach media such as ISO images to the virtual machines.
  • Localization: The self-service portal is now available in English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese

You can download SCVMMSSP 2.0 ServicePack 1 here


How Microsoft APP-V 4.6 works before you use it with SCVMM2012 “Software as a Service”

Configuration Manager and App-V Infrastructure Overview

Configuration Manager and App-V can be integrated to provide a comprehensive deployment and update service for virtual applications.  With Configuration Manager, the typical App-V infrastructure is reduced to the App-V Sequencer and Client.  Configuration Manager takes the place of the publishing and streaming components in a typical App-V full infrastructure.  The following figure illustrates the minimal Configuration Manager and App-V processes and components required to manage virtual applications with Configuration Manager.  The App-V Sequencer produces packages that can be distributed via a Configuration Manager infrastructure to the App-V Clients.  This eliminates the need for two separate infrastructures to support application deployment.  Configuration Manger can be used to deploy both traditional and virtual applications.

Publishing virtual applications using Configuration Manager requires a simple process to be followed. The following section describes the virtualization (using App-V) and distribution (using Configuration Manager) process.


At a high level, managing virtual applications with Configuration Manager requires applications to be sequenced, published using Configuration Manager Advertisements, and delivered to the end clients.  The following minimum process is required to support App-V in a Configuration Manager infrastructure.

Sequencing – The process of taking a physical application and turning it into a virtual application.  Configuration Manager requires sequencing applications with an App-V 4.5 or newer Sequencer to create the necessary files for publishing and delivery (Manifest.xml file).

Publishing – The process of provisioning virtual applications to users or computers in Configuration Manager.  Configuration Manager utilizes the Site Server components for publishing applications.  This process will present the application to the computer before the application assets have been delivered.

Delivery – The process of moving the virtual application assets to the client computers.  This is normally referred to as “streaming” in an App-V full infrastructure.  Configuration Manager provides two options for delivery of virtual applications (“Streaming” and “Download and Execute”).


Managing virtual applications with Configuration Manger will require an App-V Sequencer for creating packages, a Configuration Manager Site Server, Configuration Manager Distribution Point(s) for delivery of the packages, and Configuration Manager client computers with the App-V Client installed.  The following minimum components are required to support App-V in a Configuration Manager Infrastructure.

Microsoft App-V Sequencer – The App-V Sequencer ‘program’ is used to package virtual applications for deployment with Configuration Manager.

Configuration Manager Site Server – A part of the Configuration Manager Site hierarchy, the Configuration Manager Site Server manages virtual application distribution through Configuration Manager Distribution Points to target systems, either as a streaming service, or as a locally delivered package.

Configuration Manager Distribution Point (Distribution Point) – Configuration Manager Distribution Point site roles provide management services such as hardware and software inventory, operating system deployment, and software updates, as well as software distribution of both physical and virtual applications, to Configuration Manager target systems (often referred to as ‘clients’).

Configuration Manager / App-V Clients – Client devices include desktop/laptop PCs, terminal servers and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) clients.  Configuration Manager Clients that receive delivery of virtual applications from a Configuration Manager infrastructure require both the Configuration Manager Advanced Client and App-V Client software to be installed and configured.  The Configuration Manager and App-V Client software work together to deliver interpret and launch virtual application packages.  The Configuration Manager Client manages the delivery of virtual application packages to the App-V Client.  The App-V Client executes the virtual application on the client PC.

Install Process

Launch Process


App-V Client-Side Architecture


The Configuration Manager Advanced Client uses the functions provided by the App-V Client to provide virtual application publishing, intelligent delivery, and inventory management.  The following figure shows a high-level overview of the App-V client-side architecture and illustrates communication paths between the Configuration Manager Client and the App-V Client.

The App-V Desktop Client has been enhanced with the following new features to support integration with Configuration Manager and third-party solutions:

  • New App-V Client SFTMIME command line interface options provide greater external control of the operation of the App-V Client.
  • A new OverrideURL App-V Client registry value has been added to direct it to retrieve application packages from an alternate server location, regardless of the source path information contained within virtual application packages or the ASR (Application Source Root) registry setting.
  • A new App-V Client WMI provider has been added to enable any WMI-enabled application to perform WMI queries to retrieve information about the status of virtual applications residing in the App-V Client cache.
  • The App-V Client now includes support for streaming application packages via HTTP, HTTPS and Server Messages Block (SMB) network protocols. 

The Configuration Manager Advanced Client has been enhanced with the addition of new client agents and a new virtual application launcher process to support virtual application management. 

Here are video’s about Microsoft APP-V 4.6 Sequencing :


Updating APP-V 4.6 SP1 application video :

Enable and Use the App-V Read-Only Shared Cache :