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Microsoft SystemCenter blogsite about virtualization on-premises and Cloud


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Update Rollup released on January 27 2015 for Windows 10 Technical Preview #Winserv #Windows10 #Hyperv

Roll Update Windows 10

Improvements

This update rollup includes a collection of improvements:

  • Reliability improvements for virtual machine live migrations
  • Reliability improvements to prevent some system crashes in SettingsSyncHost.exe
  • Reliability improvements to prevent possible data corruption
  • Increased power efficiency to extend battery life
  • A fix for an issue that prevents the new Store (Beta) from appearing on the taskbar
  • A fix for an issue that could cause users to remain at the “Please Wait” screen when attempting to sign in with a Smart Card connected
  • A fix for an issue that could cause virtual machines (VMs) to lose connectivity to virtual hard drives (VHDs)
  • A fix for an issue that could cause error 0x8E5E05E2 when installing apps
  • A fix for an issue that could cause a delay when opening a new tab in Internet Explorer
  • A fix for an issue that could cause the system to fail to resume from sleep when connected to multiple monitors with some graphics drivers
  • A fix for an issue that could cause the Start Menu to be improperly registered and fail to launch
  • A fix for an issue that prevents launching XBOX Live enabled games that require sign-in, and would incorrectly result in the message, “To use this app, you need to sign in with the Microsoft account that was used to download it.”
  • A fix for an issue that could present the user with the incorrect End-User License Agreement (EULA) during upgrade

Prerequisites

To apply this update, you must be running Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9926.

Here you find more information about Update Rollup of January 27 2015 for Windows 10 Technical Preview


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Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10 Technical Preview #sysctr #SCVMM #Windows10

Windows 10 Family

The Windows ADK enables two key scenarios: Windows deployment and Windows assessment.
Windows Deployment is for OEMs and IT professionals who customize and automate the large-scale installation of Windows on a factory floor or across an organization. The Windows ADK supports this work with the deployment tools that were previously released as part of the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) including Windows Preinstallation Environment, Deployment Imaging, Servicing and Management, and Windows System Image Manager.

IT Professionals can use the tools in the Windows ADK to facilitate deployment of a new version of Windows. The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) inventories applications used in your organization and identifies potential applications compatibility issues. With the User State Migration Tool (USMT), IT Professionals can migrate user data from existing Windows installations. Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) enables IT professionals to deploy Windows installations in their organization and manage the activation status of their PCs.

Assessments are for OEMs, IHVs, enthusiasts, and IT professionals who measure the operational characteristics of a computer, including its performance, reliability, and functionality. Windows assessments are tools that help you make these measurements, diagnose problems, and determine how to make improvements. Windows assessments can help reduce support costs by identifying potential issues as you create your hardware and software experiences. By using these tools, you can help ensure that the hardware and software that you develop are responsive and high-quality.

The tools available in the Windows ADK include:

• Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT)
The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) helps IT Professionals understand potential application compatibility issues by identifying which applications are or are not compatible with the new versions of the Windows operating system. ACT helps to lower costs for application compatibility evaluation by providing an accurate inventory of the applications in your organization. ACT helps you to deploy Windows more quickly by helping to prioritize, test, and detect compatibility issues with your apps. By using ACT, you can become involved in the ACT Community and share your risk assessment with other ACT users. You can also test your web applications and web sites for compatibility with new releases of Internet Explorer. For more information, see Application Compatibility Toolkit.

• Deployment Tools
Deployment tools help you customize, manage, and deploy Windows images. Deployment tools can be used to automate Windows deployments, removing the need for user interaction during Windows setup. Deployment tools include Deployment Imaging Servicing and Management (DISM) command line tool, DISM PowerShell cmdlets, DISM API, Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM), and OSCDIMG. For more information, see Deployment Tools.

• Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) (New for Windows 10 Technical Preview) The Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) is an easy to use tool that lets you create a provisioning package that you can use to customize Windows devices without re-imaging, or build a customized Windows image for individual markets, regions, and mobile networks. Windows ICD is primarily designed for use by OEMs and ODMs, system integrators, and IT professionals.

• User State Migration Tool (USMT)
USMT is a scriptable command line tool that IT Professionals can use to migrate user data from a previous Windows installation to a new Windows installation. By using USMT, you can create a customized migration framework that copies the user data you select and excludes any data that does not need to be migrated. USMT includes ScanState, Loadstate, and USMTUtils command line tools. For more information, see User State Migration Tool.

• Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT)
VAMT helps IT professionals automate and centrally manage the activation of Windows, Windows Server, Windows ThinPC, Windows POSReady 7, select add-on product keys, and Office for computers in their organization. VAMT can manage volume activation using retail keys (or single activation keys), multiple activation keys (MAKs), or Windows Key Management Service (KMS) keys. For more information, see Volume Activation Management Tool.

• Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT)
Windows Performance Toolkit includes tools to record system events and analyze performance data in a graphical user interface. WPT includes Windows Performance Recorder, Windows Performance Analyzer, and Xperf. For more information, see Windows Performance Toolkit.

• Windows Assessment Toolkit
Windows Assessment Toolkit is used to run assessments on a single computer. Assessments are tasks that simulate user activity and examine the state of the computer. Assessments produce metrics for various aspects of the system, and provide recommendations for making improvements. For more information, see Windows Assessment Toolkit.

• Windows Assessment Services
Windows Assessment Services is used to remotely manage settings, computers, images, and assessments in a lab environment where Windows Assessment Services is installed. This application can run on any computer with access to the server that is running Windows Assessment Services. For more information, see Windows Assessment Services.

• Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)
Windows PE is a minimal operating system designed to prepare a computer for installation and servicing of Windows. For more information, see Windows PE Technical Reference.

Here you can download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10 Technical Preview 


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#SCVMM TEAM Blogpost : Setting up a Highly-Available VMM 2012 R2 Environment #sysctr

SCVMM High Available

~ John Patterson  | Program Manager | Microsoft

GearsThis article will guide you through the recommended way to setup and configure a typical, highly available (HA) System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) installation. Topics we’ll cover include the following:

  • Overview of a VMM 2012 Environment
  • What We Will Be Installing
  • The VMM Service Account
  • The Container in AD DS for Distributed Key Management
  • The VMM Failover Cluster
  • Installing Highly Available VMM

You can read more about John Patterson blogpost about SCVMM (HA) here on the Team Blog


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#Microsoft Virtual Academy #MVA Take The Challenge and Let’s Rock n Roll

MVA Rock and Roll

Which track will you rock?

No matter who you are — an IT pro, a developer or a student — there’s a topic that you know you need to skill up on. Once you accept the gig, Know It. Prove It. offer you eight MVA learning challenges to choose from, each with 28 days worth of learning.

Select an MVA learning challenge for more information.

MVA Rock

Here you go to the MVA Know IT Prove IT site

The ultimate learning challenge starts 2.1.15 (PST), lot of success and Fun !


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UPDATE Microsoft Message Analyzer tool for #ITPRO #Developer

Microsoft Message Analyzer

Message Analyzer enables you to capture, display, and analyze protocol messaging traffic; and to trace and assess system events and other messages from Windows components.

Microsoft Message Analyzer v1.2 is the current versioned tool for capturing, displaying, and analyzing protocol messaging traffic and other system messages. Message Analyzer also enables you to import, aggregate, and analyze data from log and trace files. It is the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4 and Message Analyzer 1.0. Message Analyzer is a key component in the Protocol Engineering Framework (PEF) that was created by Microsoft for the improvement of protocol design, development, documentation, testing, and support. With Message Analyzer, you can choose to capture data live or load archived message collections from multiple data sources simultaneously.

Message Analyzer enables you to display trace, log, and other message data in numerous data viewer formats, including a default tree grid view and other selectable graphical views that employ grids, charts, and timeline visualizer components which provide high-level data summaries and other statistics. It also enables you to configure your own custom data viewers. In addition, Message Analyzer is not only an effective tool for troubleshooting network issues, but for testing and verifying protocol implementations as well.

Please also visit Message Analyzer Team Blog for continued updates and helpful information.

You can download the Microsoft Message Analyzer here


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#Microsoft Data Deduplication Overview and DPM Storage #Winserv #sysctr #SCDPM

Data deduplication involves finding and removing duplication within data without compromising its fidelity or integrity. The goal is to store more data in less space by segmenting files into small variable-sized chunks (32–128 KB), identifying duplicate chunks, and maintaining a single copy of each chunk. Redundant copies of the chunk are replaced by a reference to the single copy. The chunks are compressed and then organized into special container files in the System Volume Information folder. The result is an on-disk transformation of each file as shown in Figure 1. After deduplication, files are no longer stored as independent streams of data, and they are replaced with stubs that point to data blocks that are stored within a common chunk store. Because these files share blocks, those blocks are only stored once, which reduces the disk space needed to store all files. During file access, the correct blocks are transparently assembled to serve the data without calling the application or the user having any knowledge of the on-disk transformation to the file. This enables administrators to apply deduplication to files without having to worry about any change in behavior to the applications or impact to users who are accessing those files.

DedupOn-disk transformation of files during data deduplication

After a volume is enabled for deduplication and the data is optimized, the volume contains the following:

  •  Unoptimized files. For example, unoptimized files could include files that do not meet the selected file-age policy setting, system state files, alternate data streams, encrypted files, files with extended attributes, files smaller than 32 KB, other reparse point files, or files in use by other applications (the “in use” limit is removed in Windows Server 2012 R2).
  • Optimized files. Files that are stored as reparse points that contain pointers to a map of the respective chunks in the chunk store that are needed to restore the file when it is requested.
  • Chunk store. Location for the optimized file data.
  • Additional free space. The optimized files and chunk store occupy much less space than they did prior to optimization.

To cope with data storage growth in the enterprise, administrators are consolidating servers and making capacity scaling and data optimization key goals. Data deduplication provides practical ways to achieve these goals, including:

  •  Capacity optimization. Data deduplication stores more data in less physical space. It achieves greater storage efficiency than was possible by using features such as Single Instance Storage (SIS) or NTFS compression. Data deduplication uses subfile variable-size chunking and compression, which deliver optimization ratios of 2:1 for general file servers and up to 20:1 for virtualization data.
  • Scale and performance. Data deduplication is highly scalable, resource efficient, and nonintrusive. It can process up to 50 MB per second in Windows Server 2012 R2, and about 20 MB of data per second in Windows Server 2012. It can run on multiple volumes simultaneously without affecting other workloads on the server. Low impact on the server workloads is maintained by throttling the CPU and memory resources that are consumed. If the server gets very busy, deduplication can stop completely. In addition, administrators have the flexibility to run data deduplication jobs at any time, set schedules for when data deduplication should run, and establish file selection policies.
  •  Reliability and data integrity. When data deduplication is applied, the integrity of the data is maintained. Data Deduplication uses checksum, consistency, and identity validation to ensure data integrity. For all metadata and the most frequently referenced data, data deduplication maintains redundancy to ensure that the data is recoverable in the event of data corruption.
  • Bandwidth efficiency with BranchCache. Through integration with BranchCache, the same optimization techniques are applied to data transferred over the WAN to a branch office. The result is faster file download times and reduced bandwidth consumption.
  • Optimization management with familiar tools. Data deduplication has optimization functionality built into Server Manager and Windows PowerShell. Default settings can provide savings immediately, or administrators can fine-tune the settings to see more gains. One can easily use Windows PowerShell cmdlets to start an optimization job or schedule one to run in the future. Installing the Data Deduplication feature and enabling deduplication on selected volumes can also be accomplished by using an Unattend.xml file that calls a Windows PowerShell script and can be used with Sysprep to deploy deduplication when a system first boots.

Plan to Deploy Data Deduplication

Install and Configure Data Deduplication

Monitor and Report for Data Deduplication

Deduplicating Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 DPM storage :

Business benefits
Using deduplication with DPM can result in large savings. The amount of space saved by deduplication when optimizing DPM backup data varies depending on the type of data being backed up. For example, a backup of an encrypted database server may result in minimal savings since any duplicate data is hidden by the encryption process. However backup of a large Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment can result in very large savings in the range of 70-90+% range, since there is typically a large amount of data duplication between the virtual desktop environments. In the configuration described in this topic Microsoft ran a variety of test workloads and saw savings ranging between 50% and 90%.

Recommended deployment
To deploy DPM as a virtual machine backing up data to a deduplicated volume Microsoft recommend the following deployment topology:

  • DPM running in a virtual machine in a Hyper-V host cluster.
  • DPM storage using VHD/VHDX files stored on an SMB 3.0 share on a file server.
  • For this example deployment Microsoft configured the file server as a scaled-out file server (SOFS) deployed using storage volumes configured from Storage Spaces pools built using directly connected SAS drives. Note that this deployment ensures performance at scale.

DeDup DPM storage

Note the following:

  • This scenario is supported for DPM 2012 R2
  • The scenario is supported for all workloads for which data can be backed up by DPM 2012 R2.
  • All the Windows File Server nodes on which DPM virtual hard disks reside and on which deduplication will be enabled must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update Rollup November 2014.

Sizing Volumes for Data Deduplication in Windows Server

More information on Deduplicating DPM storage you can find here

Microsoft System Center DPM Blog

Dedup