Azure Backup updates

October 5, 2015

We will soon be able to get backup of Microsoft SQL Server, Hyper-V VM, SharePoint Server and Windows Clients in Microsoft Azure Backup without System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM).

I assume that the binaries will be released during or after the Microsoft launch event October 6th 2015

AZbkp1

The Agent isn’t accessible yet but the download links are there with a link to a text file. AZbkp2 Stay tuned for an updated post once the binaries are released.

Update
Marius Sandbu has covered this in an excellent post. New Azure backup “agent”
https://msandbu.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/new-azure-backup-agent/

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Microsoft Ignite: Content Catalog Deep Dive

February 3, 2015

I have been playing around with the Microsoft Ignite Content Catalog and  must say I like what I see.

There are currently 274 282 371 Ignite Sessions listed in the Catalog and I think there will be more then a thousand sessions when the conference kicks of on Star Wars Day, May the 4:th.

So back to the Content Catalog with that huge amount of sessions there needs to be a great way to sort out the sessions. The session catalog of Microsoft Ignite is the best I have seen so far.

The catalog is dynamic in multiple dimensions and will automatically react to the settings you define. The result is a personalized list of sessions.

The Search Session Catalog function gives you the ability to search the entire catalog for keywords.

image

A quick look in the Products list displays 0 Azure Pack sessions but the search returns two hits at the moment. So don’t be alarmed if the topic you are looking for isn’t displayed, do a search for it. 🙂

Dynamic filters

On the left side are the filters sorted into six areas, Audiences, Topics, Formats, Products, Themes and Levels

image

Simply click the area/areas of interest and  the list will dynamically change to display the sessions associated with your selection.

Lets say you want to learn the best practices in upgrading SQL Server. You click SQL Server in the Products section, Best Practices in the Formats section and Level 400 in the Levels section. That will direct you to the session “Upgrading and Migrating Microsoft SQL Server”

Each area displays several related categories

The Audiences area displays the sub categories, IT Influencers and Implementers, Enterprise Developers, IT Decision Makers and Architects

image

In Topics we find Deployment & Implementation, Usage & Adoption, Development, Security & Access Management, Architecture, Operations & Management, Governance & Compliance, Upgrade & Migration

image

Formats lets you choose; Overview, Best Practices, Deep Dive, How to, What’s New, Pre-Day Sessions, Business Value, Strategy, Customer Showcase

image

Products, listed at the moment are:
Office 365, Azure, Exchange, SharePoint, Windows, Skype for Business, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Office Client, Yammer, Windows Server, OneDrive, Delve, System Center, Project, Surface, Visual Studio Online, Microsoft Intune, Application Insights, Team Foundation Server, Visio, .NET, ASP.NET, Azure Pack, Dynamics

image

Themes lists Productivity and Collaboration, Cloud, Big Data, Mobility, Unified Communications, Security and Compliance, Social and Internet of Things

  • image

All sessions are graded into Levels, 400, 300, 200, 100

image

Level 100;
is an introductory and overview session. Assumes little or no expertise with topic and covers topic concepts, functions, features, and benefits.

Level 200;
means intermediate leveled content will be presented. Assumes 100-level knowledge and provides specific details about the topic.

Level 300;
this session contains advanced material. Assumes 200-level knowledge, in-depth understanding of features in a real-world environment, and strong coding skills. Provides a detailed technical overview of a subset of product/technology features, covering architecture, performance, migration, deployment, and development.

Level 400;
this is the expert session often with detailed material. Assumes a deep level of technical knowledge and experience and a detailed, thorough understanding of topic. Provides expert-to-expert interaction and coverage of specialized topics.

This concludes my initial explanation of the Microsoft Ignite Catalog. I will continue this exploration when future functions are reviled. The schedule building process very much involves knowledge of the content catalog.

Have you registered yet? Go to the Microsoft Ignite Registration page and do it today

custblogbling

I hope we meet in Chicago…

Ahh I also found a currently hidden section in the content catalog when I poked around. The hidden section called Roles and I expect it to be reviled soon, perhaps in combination with the schedule builder function of the catalog. The list contains sub categories that will add further filtering options.

  • IT Generalist
  • CIO, CTO, CISO, or Chief or Sr. Architect
  • Cloud Services Architect/Administrator
  • Director of MIS, IS, or IT
  • Technical or Business Consultant
  • Mgr, Cloud Services, Planning, & Support
  • Cloud Services Support
  • Cloud Services/Business Systems Analyst
  • Security/Storage/Web Admins
  • Mgr, App Development & Support
  • Systems/Network/Datacntr Admin
  • Technology Trainer or Teacher
  • Chief or Sr. Architect
  • Mgr, Infrastructure, Networking, or Datacenter
  • CEO or CFO or COO
  • Help Desk/Call Center Support
  • Power Users
  • VP of MIS, IS, or IT
  • Business Analyst
  • Journalists
  • LOB Managers
  • Researchers
  • VP or Executive/Senior Vice President
  • Database, BI & Data Warehouse Admin
  • Owner/Partner
  • President/Chairman
  • Sales
  • Unofficial IT Person (Office Manager, SMB Owner)
  • Chief Officer
  • Social Manager

How to add a product key when you are installing System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager.

September 3, 2014

Once your installation is complete it’s time to make sure you apply your license key. As you know there isn’t any prompt for adding the license key during the installs.

Instead it’s a Post-installation task you must perform.

The process I really simple. We use the PowerShell Set-SCOMLicence cmdlet.

1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt. (Run as Administrator).

2. Type import-module operationsmanager.

3. Type New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection to connect your management group

4. Run the command Set-SCOMLicense -ProductId “<yourlicensekey>“

5. Check the settings by running the command:

Get-SCOMManagementGroup | ft skuforlicense, version, timeofexpiration –a

You may have to restart the Management server/-s to make sure that these changes are registered correctly.


System Center 2012 R2 – Register SPN fails

September 2, 2014

I received the following error wile pasting the command from my solution document.

C:\Windows\system32>SETSPN.exe -A MSOMSdkSvc/MyServer domain\service_account

Unknown parameter MSOMSdkSvc/MyServer. Please check your usage.

I have encountered this before and thought I would share the knowledge to save you some troubleshooting.

As you know the data access service account runs as a domain user and doesn’t have access to creation of the service principal names in Active Directory. There for you must run the commands with administrative or delegated privileges to user objects.

The syntax for adding SPN are two commands are found at TechNet http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd548282.aspx

SETSPN.exe –A MSOMSdkSvc/<ManagementServerFQDN> <domain>\<SDKServiceAccount>

SETSPN.exe –A MSOMSdkSvc/<ManagementServerNetBIOS> <domain>\<SDKServiceAccount>

It is really tempting to just copy the lines and replace the information between <> with your data. But if you do you should know that there are issues with that. Windows and the command prompt or PowerShell interprets the minus character differently.

To display the differences I have copied and pasted the same line from Notepad, the command prompt and from PowerShell into Notepad++.

Plain

As you can see there are no differences between the lines but if I display the text in Hex you will see where the problem occurs.

HEX

The Hex code for minus sign hyphen is 2d which both PowerShell and command prompt delivers correct (marked in green). But the line pasted from notepad displays something different (marked in red).

That is the reason you will get the error message even if it looks correct.

One way to sort this in your documentation is to use the slash / (hex 2f) which displays the correct character in all three cases instead of the minus sign. Another way is to change the minus sign in the prompt.


On demand training, Windows Azure Pack pt 2

August 15, 2014

Yesterday I posted a short article covering Windows Azure Pack video training resources. Today I will guide you to free hands on resources. 🙂

In case you dont know what Windows Azure Pac is the following text is taken from TechEd North America page on Channel 9

The Azure Pack is a collection of Microsoft Azure technologies available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost. Once installed in your datacenter, the Azure Pack integrates with Microsoft System Center and Windows Server to help provide a self-service portal for managing services such as websites, Virtual Machines, and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage resource clouds; scalable web hosting; and more.

Windows Azure Pack: Introducing Windows Azure Pack

Windows Azure Pack: Installation and Configuration

Windows Azure Pack: IaaS Management

Windows Azure Pack: Service Management Automation

Windows Azure Pack: Virtual Machine Roles


On demand training, Windows Azure Pack

August 14, 2014

July 16–17, 2014 Microsoft had a Live training event called Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service Jump Start ft a instructor team of Microsoft employees.

During two days you could learn how to use Windows Azure Pack to deliver Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in your datacenter. The content is now available on Microsoft Cannel 9

Have you checked out the Ch9 App for Xbox 360? Pretty nice to be able to watch the content on your home entertainment system 🙂

Full course outline for the two days:

Day One

Day Two

So join the Instructor Team for an exploration of Windows Azure Pack’s (WAP’s) infrastructure services (IaaS)

Windows Azure Pack builds on the power of Microsoft CloudOS brought to your local data center that enables you to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multitenant cloud infrastructure and application services based on Microsoft Azure, Windows Server and System Center technologies.

· Andrew Zeller | Microsoft Senior Technical Program Manager

· ​Symon Perriman | Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist
Twitter: @SymonPerriman

· Joe Levy | Microsoft Program Manager
Twitter: @Jodoglevy

· Shriram Natarajan | Microsoft Program Manager
Twitter: @shriramnat

· John Ballard | Microsoft Principal Program Manager

​· ​Vybava Ramadoss | Microsoft ​Program Manager
Twitter: @vybava

· Anshuman Nangia | Microsoft Program Manager


My blog 2.0

May 29, 2014

HomeLab I powerful lab doesn’t have to be expensive.

The reason I started blogging was that I wanted to help a friend of mine getting started with a lab setup and it turns out that that post has been one of the more popular ones. I have decided to be more active on my blog and share the things I find.

What would be better then start off the 2.0 version of the blog where I once started.

Building your own Azure in the living room

In a series of articles I will build a home lab complete with operations system, management software and virtual machines. I will use Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2. I will use evaluation software downloaded from TechNet Evaluation Center More on that in the next part of the series

Part 1: The hardware

I wanted two machines so that I could build a cluster. I got the hardware for the lab little over a year ago and have complemented the purchases since then. Each of the machines are equipped with a Intel i5 processor, 32 GB RAM and three hard drives, one mechanic large drive for more static content, ISO, templates and such and two blistering fast SSDs.

Some of the hardware is a little bit old at the moment so you might need to get some newer parts if you want to build the machines. On the other hand used parts are now a bit cheaper and the speed of this rig is pretty awesome so that might be a cheaper way to go.

I wanted to get some relative small form factor and decided to go with the Shuttle XPC Barebone PC.
The integrated motherboard and the ability toadd up to 32 GB RAM and the necessary expansion slots/functions needed for the lab. Based on my experience you can never get enough RAM so to lower the cost of the rig I decided to go for the i5 processor and get all the RAM at once.

The components I complemented the PCs with are listed below.

Processor:
Intel Core i5-2320 Quad-Core Processor 3.0 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80623I52320 (EOL)

Memory:
Corsair XMS3 — 32GB DDR3 Dual/Quad Channel Memory Kit

Storage:
OCZ Agility 3 – SATA III 2.5″120 GB (EOL)
INTEL 530 240GB SATA SSD MLC
WD Green WD20EARX 64MB 2TB

I use the smaller SSD drive for the OS and the Intel SSD for the VM:s as mentioned before the 2 TB spinning disk are used to store images and tools and less intensive VMs

Stay tuned for the next part in the Building your own Azure in the living room series.

Part 2: The Windows 2012 R2 installation

By the way my wife approves of keeping the machines in the living room.