Vol. 43, #8 - August 19, 2013 - Issue #943

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Rapid Release

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Reader Request
    • From the Mailbag
    • Rapid Release
    • Tip of the Week
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
    • Australia
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • Featured Webinar: Managing Exchange in a Post-PC World--Challenges & Best Practices
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Windows Server
    • SharePoint, Exchange and Office
    • Windows PowerShell
    • Hyper-V
    • VMware
    • Citrix
    • System Center platform
    • Miscellaneous cloud computing
    • Other stuff
    • Acknowledgements
  6. Windows Server News
    • Staging the battle plan for a graceful retreat from a cloud project
    • P2V migration for desktops: Need it or leave it?
    • Handle changing server workloads by employing high-performance GPUs
    • Tweaking vSphere's DRS advanced options can yield performance boost
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Who added Bob to the Domain Admins group? Netwrix Auditor knows the answer.

 

Who added Bob to the Domain Admins group?

Uncontrolled changes in Active Directory and Group Policy can lead to   unauthorized additions to groups, modifications to objects and permissions, or even worse, deletions of OUs.
Netwrix Auditor provides a complete visibility over changes in Active Directory and Group Policy, automatically auditing management of every object, giving answers to the questions around when changes are made, who made them and what was changed. Netwrix Auditor sends alerts in real time to notify IT managers on critical changes in their environments that can be rolled back easily.

Start your Free trial today >

 

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about the new rapid release cycle that Microsoft is moving towards with their products. What does this mean for the average IT pro like you or me? And what does it mean for businesses of all sizes that deploy and use Microsoft products? We'll start the discussion with this week's editorial and look to feedback from our readers to dig deeper into the ramifications of this new release paradigm.

But is rapid release really so new? Hasn't Apple been doing this for years with OS X e.g. from Wikipedia:

Personally, I'm holding off deploying Mac systems in my business until Apple releases OS X "Dinosaur" because as the following Dilbert comic informs us, the dinosaurs actually aren't extinct:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646180264

A request from a reader

A reader named Sanj sent us the following request:

Hi Wsn Team, I have been reading your articles for some time now. Many thanks for the information, knowledge that I have gained from your excellent services.

I have been in the IT business for over 20 years, working in operational, IT support 2nd and 3rd level, and as a Test Analyst working with for small, medium size organizations and now working for some big multinationals. I am now at a point where I need to do some more IT training but not really sure what I want to do. I keep thinking about Windows Server 2012, virtualization, storage, cloud, web and mobile technologies etc, but not sure which technologies I need to concentrate on first, and what is the best approach.

After work, it's very difficult to be get motivated and start to concentrate on learning all the new technologies. Plus having limited time after work to do all the training etc. I know you have recommended some training material that Microsoft provides and some excellent books and web sites to do some research.

The problem I am having is that you do a couple of hrs training, research etc, each day, but by the end of the week, I have already forgotten but I have learned at the beginning of the week.

Many thanks in advance.

Do any of you have any suggestions for this reader? More importantly, can you empathize with what he's describing? Email us your thoughts at [email protected]

From the Mailbag

First, in the Mailbag section of Data Dedup in R2 (Issue #942) we included an email from a reader named Barry who asked the following:

We run outsourced IT services for a large number of small and medium sized businesses and have installed Spiceworks at a few sites. It works great as we use it for network scanning, printer toner levels, etc but time consuming to RDP and login to check up on all our networks. I would like to have one master install at our office and maybe use VPN tunnels to keep each client as its own network so we have one centrally managed install. Or some other way might be better. The goal is one dashboard instead of 45+. Any ideas or am I trying to do something that it shouldn't?

Jeff, an IT Operations Manager based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, replied as follows:

My first suggestion is to post it in the [Spiceworks] community. My second is that I think you can do that, by installing the Master in your office and then remote collector installs in the various locations. The user Portal on the remote collectors can be customized so it reflects the local business. All tickets and scan data return to the master. I am pretty sure I have heard of some guys doing exactly this same thing in the community.

Concerning the main topic of this same issue, a reader named Carl said:

Although the article on Dedup in R2 (WServerNews newsletter from Aug 12th) was well written there was absolutely nothing in there that is specific to Windows Server 2012 R2 (preview) which the subject implies. It's all in there in the Windows Server 2012 RTM release. Also the statement that Dedup does not work on USB devices is plain wrong. It works perfectly, I have it setup and have been running it that way myself for more than a year on a 3 TB USB WD Essentials drive. The only caveat is that when attaching the USB drive to a computer which is not running the Dedup feature, e.g. Win7/8 all files on the drive are visible but the files which has been deduped are not accessible.

That was my mistake, the newsletter should have been titled Data Dedup in 2012 to highlight that it focuses on the Windows Server 2012 version of this capability. Sorry about that!

Next, in Security Auditing (Issue #941) we included a tip by reader Quentin Gurney about how to clean up Device Manager after a P2V Migration. A reader named Antonio from Australia noticed something missing from the tip:

I believe that you missed an very important step in removing all the non-present device drivers that are no longer required. you need to open a command prompt, and type the following command , and then press ENTER:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

Otherwise you won't see all the non-present devices.

You're right, and it was our fault--we forgot to include the following screenshot Quentin sent us:

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The missing screenshot from the Tip of the Week two weeks ago

Finally, in R2 Preview - Part 1 (Issue #938) and R2 Preview - Part 2 (Issue #939) I looked briefly at some of the things that get me excited about the latest version of Windows Server. Maybe too excited? A reader named Ian from the UK had this feedback:

Great newsletter (as always)! As a fellow server guy, I can appreciate your passion for all things server related and the top 10 reasons you give for showing R2 some love make me want to play with it even more (no chance from where I'm sitting at the moment sadly).

Keep up the good work!

Regards, Iain

P.S - looking through the editorial I noticed you added a line saying "I guess I'm a back end kind of guy..." Just to let you know, I'm not going to make any jokes around that sentence. I'm better than that! ;)

Yeah I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that.

And now on to the main topic of this newsletter...

Rapid Release

During his keynote address at the Build 2013 conference in June, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dropped the following bombshell:

I will say probably the No. 1 thing that I'm excited about, and the No. 1 thing that I'm happy to be able to do, is to welcome you back to a Build Conference so quickly after the last Build Conference. (Applause.)

And that's not even so much about the conference, but it's about the rapid pace of innovation. If there's not one other message that I reach you with in my opening remarks, it's about the transformation that we are going through as a company to move to an absolutely rapid release cycle -- rapid release, rapid release.

I've talked externally about the transformation that we're going through as a company who's a software company to a company that is building software-powered devices and software-powered services. And the only way in which that transformation can possibly be driven is on a principle of rapid release.

It's not a one-time thing. We're certainly going to show you Windows 8.1 today. But you can think of that in a sense as the new norm for everything we do. For Windows releases, in addition to what we're doing with devices through our partners, what we're doing with Azure and Office 365, rapid release cadence is absolutely fundamental to what we're doing, and, frankly, to the way we need to mobilize our ecosystem of hardware and software development partners.

You can find the full text of Steve's talk in the Microsoft News Center:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646210748

Steve's talk set the Internet into a tizzy. Orin Thomas probably summarized the matter best when he said "Will the new server operating system rapid release cycle exacerbate or cure upgrade procrastination?" in his blog post on the WindowsITPro network here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646216264

The upgrade procrastination he's referring to of course is that many businesses are still running Windows Server 2003, so getting them to accept a more rapid Windows Server refresh cycle is likely going to meet with stiff opposition.

On the other hand, I can relate to what Steve says in his keynote about the rapid pace of innovation happening with at Microsoft right now. Windows Server 2012 R2 is without any doubt the most innovative version of Windows Server yet delivered by Microsoft. The client version of Windows is of course truly innovative--but perhaps too so for some customers (and for IHVs that make computing devices that run Windows). Office 365 has caught up with Google Apps and surpassed it in my opinion. And it seems like new capabilities are being added to Windows Azure more rapidly than businesses can figure out how to use them.

This is clearly an exciting season for Microsoft. It will also likely be the start of a more stressful season for IT pros who deploy, manage and maintain Microsoft software for large and small businesses.

Who are the winners here? Who will be the losers? Can businesses really benefit from more frequent releases of core Microsoft platforms like Windows, Windows Server, and Office? Will rapid release drive more businesses into the arms of the cloud? Or will it drive them away from Microsoft into Apple's embrace? Will 2014 finally be the Year of the Desktop for Linux? What's going to happen in the next few years?

I don't have the answers of course, but I'd love to hear what you our readers have to say on the matter. Email me at [email protected] with your thoughts.

Tip of the Week

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

The following tip was sent to us by Scott Padgett who works as a Business Analyst for Hewlett Packard:

I just read the article on Windows 8 and when I got to the part about the method you were using to open a command prompt, I chuckled because I too had this issue when I first started using it.

Then I realized that Windows Key + R opens the "Run" Window from either the standard Desktop or the Metro Screen and from there I can type CMD or run anything else. This one realization has made Win 8 a lot smoother for me.

As an alternative, as you mentioned in the article you can pin a link to the command prompt to the Task Bar in the main Desktop and if you do this you could also pin it to the Metro Screen as well. This was my original solution until I realized the WindowKey + R worked the same in both screens.

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Figure 1

Something else that I did to help keep me in "Desktop" mode was to re-enable the Quick Start Menu and setup some icons and some "fly out" folders for easy access to frequently used programs:

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Figure 2

I hope this helps.

Thanks!

Recommended for Learning

Here are several announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

On-demand Jump Start: What's New in Windows Server 2012 R2

Take this Jump Start course at your own pace on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) and learn the latest and greatest in Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Rick Claus and Lead Architect & President of holSystems Corey Hynes show the new capabilities and features via numerous scenarios and demos, all while answering questions from the audience. Watch here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646225983

August 27: MVA Live Q&A: Windows Azure

Did you recently attend our Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start and have some follow-up questions? Here's your chance to get them answered! We've asked Microsoft Technical Evangelist and Azure expert David Tesar to host a 90-minute "MVA Live Q&A" session on the topic. If you're interested in learning more about Windows Azure, please join us.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646229904

Now on-demand: Advanced Tools & Scripting with PowerShell 3.0

Watch the second of the extremely popular two-part PowerShell Jump Start courses, now available on-demand, and discover how easy it is to use PowerShell scripts to automate processes in real time and create quick solutions to your business problems, in scale! Jeffrey Snover, Distinguished Engineer and Lead Architect for the Windows Server division, and Jason Helmick, Senior Technologist at Concentrated Technology, lead you through this course, presented by Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

Watch here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646235139

Quote of the Week

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be." - Oprah Winfrey

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Top 5 Free Tools that IT Pros Love. Free download.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376907710994

SolarWinds free Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor polls your interface as frequently as every half second and reports real-time bandwidth usage on an easy-to-understand graph. Download your free tool now.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376647508957

Free Tool: Idera Server Backup Free – fast, disk-based continuous data protection for Windows and Linux servers – back up and restore files in seconds.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376647525660

Microsoft Office 365 has become an option for organizations looking to move content – particularly Exchange – to the cloud. Learn about the new capabilities in Office 365 and what pitfalls await you.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376647528410

SetACL is a free, powerful and fast management of Windows permissions (ACLs) and object ownership:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376647532925

 

Events Calendar

Americas

Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646246733

Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646249030

SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646251123

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646253342

Europe

European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646255530

Australia

Microsoft TechEd Australia on September 3-6, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646258998

Microsoft TechEd New Zealand on September 10-13, 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646261592

Add your event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Webcast Calendar

Managing Exchange in a Post-PC World--Challenges & Best Practices

Join Exchange MVP Paul Robichaux on Wednesday, August 21st at 11am EDT / 8am PDT for a live webinar on how to use best practices to ensure visibility, reliability and supportability of critical EAS deployments.

Register today

Register for Webcasts

 Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

We're trying to make this section of our newsletter more useful by organizing articles into sections according to platform and topic. What do you think? Send us your feedback at [email protected]

Windows Server

Windows Server 2012 R2 - Storage Spaces (Part 1) (WindowsNetworking.com)

Scott D. Lowe explains how to create a storage pool and begin the process of creating a virtual disk.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646334593

Comparing The Costs Of WS2012 Storage Spaces With FC/iSCSI SAN (Aidan Finn, IT Pro)

Aidan says he has found the JBOD + Storage Spaces solution to be much cheaper than SAN storage, both on the upfront side (initial acquisition) and long term.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646339796

 

SharePoint, Exchange and Office

Office 365 Migration Considerations (WindowsNetworking.com)

Mitch Tulloch interviews Office 365 MVP Kelsey Epps in this first in a three-part series of articles describing various networking and planning considerations relating to Office 365 migration.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646344546

White Paper: Top 10 Reasons Why Enterprises Choose Office 365 (Why Microsoft)

This white paper lists ten reasons to choose Office 365 over Google Apps.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646348202

Continuous Backup for Exchange Server 2013 with DPM 2012 (Part 4) (MSExchange.org)

Rui Silva explains how to leverage the Windows Azure cloud to protect Exchange servers using DPM reports.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646352124

 

Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell 3.0 and Server Manager Quick Reference Guides (Microsoft Download Center)

Quickly learn tips, shortcuts, and common operations in the new Windows PowerShell 3.0, Windows PowerShell Workflow, Windows PowerShell ISE, Windows PowerShell Web Access, Server Manager for Windows Server 2012, WinRM, WMI, and WS-Man.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646356671

DAL in action: Managing Network switches using PowerShell and CIM (Windows PowerShell Blog)

Today's blog post covers management of network switches using CIM and WS-Man standards and how it applies to the larger topic of "Transform the Datacenter."
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646360296

 

Hyper-V

Export and Import of VMs in Hyper-V (Windows Server 2012) (Virtualization and Some Coffee)

A quick blog post highlighting the export/import enhancements in Hyper-V.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646364905

Top 10 Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V New Features (Windows IT Pro)

Michael Otey gives us his list of the top 10 new features in Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646368577

 

VMware

Understanding Virtual Networking in VMware Workstation 9 (WindowsNetworking.com)

David Davis looks at how virtual networking works in VMware Workstation and what's new related to virtual networking in Workstation version 9.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646373343

New Fling: VMware OS Optimization Tool by VMware Labs (Virtual Bits & Bytes)

VMware Labs released a new Fling called VMware OS Optimization Tool that optimize Windows 7 desktops for use with VMware Horizon View.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646377218

 

Citrix

The Citrix Universal Print Server and its limitations? (My Virtual Vision)

Kees Baggerman examines whether any features are missing fgrom the Citrix Universal Print Server
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646382452

 

System Center platform

STEK (Building Clouds Blog)

STEK is a set of examples service templates that provide a base for creating single and multi-tier web applications that are scalable using Windows NLB including SQL database tier. Use for rapid deployment of developer labs to build on or a base to build production deployments.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646386484

Introduction to Service Management Automation (Building Clouds Blog)

The Automation SMEs from the Building Clouds blog provide a detailed introduction and technical overview of Service Management Automation (SMA) and PowerShell v3 Workflow.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646390140

Service Template for SharePoint 2013 (Building Clouds Blog)

This series of blog posts will concentrate on one example of how you may leverage Virtual Machine Manager service templates to deploy a multi-tier workload (a three tier SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Farm) quickly and seamlessly within a private cloud.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646394421

Automation–Orchestrating Windows Azure–Solving the Public Cloud Puzzle with System Center 2012 SP1 (Building Clouds Blog)

This blog post provides 21 Example Orchestrator Runbooks as well as a video demonstration on how to manage the Windows Azure Public Cloud with On-Premises management tools (System Center).
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646398906

 

Miscellaneous cloud computing

Jordanian University Chooses Cloud Email Platform for 35,000-Plus Students (Microsoft Case Studies)

The Hashemite University in Jordan wanted a cloud-based system to provide a student email collaboration platform for more than 40,900 users.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646403296

New Free Service Cracks Weak Passwords (Dark Reading)

Cloud based password auditing service that ferrets out weak passwords and hashes.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646407827

 

Other stuff

Q & A with Marc Farley, author of Rethinking Enterprise Storage free ebook (Microsoft Press Blog)

As you might have seen, Microsoft Press published a new free ebook this week: Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model. Here is a quick Q & A with the author about the book.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646412984

Microsoft Message Analyzer Operating Guide (TechNet)

Microsoft Message Analyzer is a new 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.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646417093

 

Acknowledgments

We'd like to thank the following individuals for contributing items for this section from time to time:

 

Windows Server News

Staging the battle plan for a graceful retreat from a cloud project

As companies embark on their path towards the cloud, budget constraints, outages and application complexity issues will more than likely cause at least one failed project – and when this happens, retreat may be the best option. Gain expert tips to help you survive a failed endeavor without ruining your cloud reputation for future efforts.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646431390

P2V migration for desktops: Need it or leave it?

Just because administrators can convert physical machines to virtual desktops – doesn't always mean it's worth it. Hear from the experts about the practical uses of desktop P2V along with the major factors to weigh when considering a virtual desktop migration for your company.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646436062

Handle changing server workloads by employing high-performance GPUs

Originally, system designers opted to forego graphics processing units (GPUs) to lower costs and energy demands, but the recent advancements in virtualization and increased reliance on multimedia tools have driven businesses to reconsider. Learn about the advantages of deploying high-performance GPUs along with the installation process and software requirements.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646440937

Tweaking vSphere's DRS advanced options can yield performance boost

Experienced system administrators have an in-depth knowledge about how to fine-tune their environments, but there's always more to learn. Inside, find additional tech tips to help you get even more out of your virtual environment by utilizing vSphere's DRS advanced options.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646445125

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Image

It looks like the cabin of a private luxury jet, but is actually the inside of a humble Mercedes van:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646451015

Simulating 1 second of real brain activity takes 40 minutes and 83K processors:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646461015

News report from 1981 about the future of newspapers:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646467000

Nightvision - The greatest European architectural masterpieces:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1376646471922

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Who added Bob to the Domain Admins group?

Uncontrolled changes in Active Directory and Group Policy can lead to   unauthorized additions to groups, modifications to objects and permissions, or even worse, deletions of OUs.
Netwrix Auditor provides a complete visibility over changes in Active Directory and Group Policy, automatically auditing management of every object, giving answers to the questions around when changes are made, who made them and what was changed. Netwrix Auditor sends alerts in real time to notify IT managers on critical changes in their environments that can be rolled back easily.

Start your Free trial today >

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com

Ingrid Tullochis Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.