Vol. 19, #45 - November 10, 2014 - Issue #1005
Resources for Windows Server Technical Preview
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Resources for Windows Server Technical Preview
- Tip of the Week - Preparing for job interviews and the Cisco Packet Tracer
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Enterprise IT
- Windows Server
- Windows PowerShell
- Recommended TechGenix Articles
- Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
- Windows Server News
- The secret of cloud project success
- Strategies for managing multi-hypervisor environments
- How cybercrime, disgruntled workers affect DaaS security
- A library of VDI post project reports
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Jim Carrey - Cutting On Action
- Funny Mexican Guy with Groucho Marx
- Nik Wallenda Blindfolded Skyscraper Walk
- KLM Airlines Adorable Lost And Found Dog
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- PowerShell for newbies: Getting started with PowerShell 4.0
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about how you can start learning what's coming in the next version of Windows Server. Yes, the next version of Windows Server is just around the corner (well, not quite) so we've put together some resources you can use to learn more about the capabilities of the new platform--at least those capabilities that are more or less baked into in the Technical Preview (Build 9841) that is currently available for evaluation. This is just the first of several newsletter issues we'll be devoting to Windows Server "vNext" (a.k.a Windows Server "10") between now and RTM. We'll revisit the platform when the Public Preview is released, which will likely happen several months from now.
Speaking of something coming around the corner, this reminds me of one of my favorite Dilbert comic strips:
From the Mailbag
In Issue #1004 Power plan considerations, our guest contributor Jeff Stokes shared some considerations for implementing power plans in Windows Enterprise clients. A reader named Bill sent us his own thoughts on this as follows:
Thank you for finally discussing the taboo topic of power management! I have been hawking the use of "High Performance" mode in my database consulting business for some time now. Databases, in particular, will perform dramatically faster when a server (or even workstation) is configured for "High Performance" versus "Balanced" or "Power Saver" modes, due mainly to the fact that the OS will never see a high CPU load (and thus will never kick itself into the higher C State) on a typical database machine. It is especially bad when the BIOS is configured for power savings by default, and nobody bothers to check on it. Doing something simple like reading 50,000 database records (one at a time) can go from 17 seconds (Power Saver) to 3 seconds (High Performance). On my own high-end desktop, I see an improvement from 3.2 seconds to 1.7 seconds. It's not just databases, but many other applications (such as my Thunderbird Email client) also run much more "snappy" in High Performance mode.
How can you get good performance AND save the planet? Easy -- install the "Power Scheme" gadget! When I sit down at my desk, I enable High Performance mode with a single mouse click. At lunchtime and at the end of the day, I kick it back down into Power Saver mode, just as easily.
I do the same thing on my laptop -- leaving it in High Performance mode when plugged in, and slowing it to Balanced or Power Saver to extend battery life when unplugged. It's a few extra mouse clicks every day, but I rarely see slowness on my systems (except when I forget to set it).
Back in Issue #1002 More Shellshock for Windows admins, in the Ask Our Readers section of our newsletter, we published a request from a reader named Jim who is Chief of an IT group based in Pennsylvania, USA who was unable to reattach a PST file to Outlook after upgrading an important business PC. In the issue that followed (Issue #1003 POODLE for Windows admins) we included a number of responses we received from our helpful readers concerning Jim's problem. Here's the latest update from Jim concerning his situation:
We had no luck with any of the techniques that were offered. We have sent the file off to the Kroll recovery people (as suggested) to see if they are able to get anything back. I hope that they might be able to tell me WHY it went bad. One of your readers commented about a possible 32bit filesize limit in the backup program. We haven't been able to confirm or deny that but it might just be the issue. Who knew?
And, of course, that department head was just hit today with a discovery request which involves email… ARGH!!!
Thanks very much for the help. If nothing else, I'll hold your newsletter up in court to say that "no one else could save it either!"
For those who might be interested, here's a link to Kroll's website:
And now on to the main topic of this issue...
Resources for Windows Server Technical Preview
The Technical Preview for Windows Server "10" has now been available for several weeks from the TechNet Evaluation Center:
You'll need to sign in with your Windows Live ID and fill in a brief registration form to download it, and the download is available in both ISO and VHD format. But there's another easier way you can try out this next version of Windows Server, and that's in Microsoft Azure. If you already have an MSDN subscription then you get up to $160 per month of Azure credits you can use to build dev/test environments in the cloud:
If you don't have an MSDN subscription (and your company or organization doesn't have one either) then you can sign up for a free one-month trial of Microsoft Azure that includes $200 of Azure credits:
Either way, once you log on to the Azure Management Portal you can quickly deploy a virtual machine running Windows Server Technical Preview by using the built-in gallery:
Once your new virtual machine has been deployed in the cloud and you RDP into it, you'll see that it looks a lot like the current version Windows Server 2012 R2:
Of course the biggest cosmetic change is that when you click on the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard, the instead of the Modern user interface appearing you see a Start menu instead:
Not that this matters much as far as servers are concerned since most server management nowadays is performed remotely using Windows PowerShell, except in smaller environments where remote management might be done using Server Manager and MMC consoles.
So what else is new in Windows Server "10" apart from the Return of the Start Menu? Well, for one thing the Hyper-V role now only works on system hardware that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) which means your host system must have either Intel processors that support Extended Page Tables (EPT) or AMD processors that support Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI). For more information about SLAT and for a list of SLAT-capable processors, see the TechNet Wiki:
What this means from a practical perspective is that if your server hardware is more than about 6 years old then forget about using it as a Windows Server "10" Hyper-V host. You can still install Windows Server "10" on it and use it as a file server or for some other role, but you won't be able to run virtual machines on it.
The "What's New in Windows Server Technical Preview" page on Microsoft TechNet is of course the main place you should go to if you want to learn more about the new capabilities coming in Windows Server "10":
Note that many new capabilities coming in Windows Server "10" are not yet fully "baked in" in the current build, so you expect this What's New page to have lost more content added to it when the Public Preview becomes available.
Next here are a few blog posts you might want to check out if you're planning on testing and evaluating Windows Server "10" for your organization:
- Windows Server Technical Preview – Storage Survival Guide (links to articles, blogs, downloads) (Jose Barreto)
- Windows Server Storage Sessions from TechEd Europe 2014 (includes links to recordings and slides) (Jose Barreto)
- Storage Quality of Service Guide Released for Windows Server Technical Preview (Jose Barreto)
- Storage Spaces Shared Nothing in Windows Server v.Next (Johan Arwidmark)
- Hyper-V in new Windows Server technical Preview (Niklas Akerlund)
- Microsoft Teched Europe 2014 – Sessions to watch/attend (Niklas Akerlund)
- Upgrade VM Guest Version in Windows Server Technical Preview (Brandon Linton)
- Windows Server Technical Preview Hyper-V Missing VM's (Brandon Linton)
- New and Revised Networking Technologies for Windows Server Technical Preview (James McIllece)
Next, if you've got questions you need answered about Windows Server Technical Preview, the best place to ask them is probably the TechNet Forum for Windows Server Technical Preview:
Finally, if you find any other good resources kicking around anywhere online that you would like to share with our readers, be sure to email us at [email protected].
Tip of the Week - Preparing for job interviews and the Cisco Packet Tracer
Back in Issue #997 IT Job Hunting, guest contributor Ken Rideout shared about the challenges of finding a new IT job when you've been let go or "downsized" from your previous position. We recently heard from Ken again and were glad to hear that he has managed to secure a position as a Network Analyst for a great organization in the town he lives in. Along his IT job-hunting journey Ken says he picked up a few good pieces of information that he wanted to pass along to us in hopes other readers of this newsletter will find it useful. Here's what Ken shared with us:
The first tidbit of information relates to a failed interview I had with an organization that was known to me. Both this organization and the one I previously worked for, had used the same contractor. We had almost the identical san and blade setup in our respective data centers. This seemed like it would be a great benefit to me for this position; sharing the same technologies and having been fully trained to support them. When I didn't get the job, I was let down. I knew I was the best candidate but they didn't pick me for some reason. I asked for a debrief of the interview to see where I fell short(something I highly recommend doing).
It took a while but when I got the response back, I was shocked. I totally bombed the interview in their eyes. Just about every answer I gave was negatively received, but one particular question stood out above them all. I'm going to pass it along in hopes it will help you see the questions within the questions that you may be asked in an interview and how best to answer them.
The question they asked was how would I use Windows Server 2012 R2 in their organization. I thought about it for a few seconds, then mentioned I would look into using hyper-v to virtualize some of the backend servers that were not critical to production. This would reduce the licensing costs and lower the load on their blades.
Their comment to my answer was that I didn't know enough about Server 2012 R2. Well...I...but...sheesh, how did they come to that conclusion?
After I had settled down, I realized that it wasn't their fault for getting the wrong impression. When I get asked a wide open question like that and I give a narrow answer, well, the result speaks for itself. I failed to get this particular job because I failed to understand what they were actually asking. That is the critical point I am trying to make here.
The best way to learn how to answer the questions within the question, is to practice interviews with friends and family. I also recommend recording these practice interviews so you can hear your answers and how you presented them. You need to train your brain to handle what for most of us is not a natural setting. You will be better prepared to pick up on and answer the layered questions and to stand out in your interview. Remember, it's up to you to sell yourself and that's a skill that takes practice.
The second tidbit of information relates to the Cisco Packet Tracer program. As an IT generalist for most of my career, I have a wide but somewhat limited understanding of a great many things IT. Taking on a network analyst position relies a lot more on my switching, routing and subnetting skills than what I am used to offering. Throw on a large multi-site network with equipment I have never worked on and you have an overwhelmed analyst with bus tire tracks on his shirt.
Enter Cisco Packet Tracer. I find this to be a wonder tool to relearn the skills for setting up a network. For the past few days I have been building a replica of the actual network I am supporting. From this, I have learned the routing and subnet structure and I have (once again) relearned the basic Cisco command set. I now have a much better picture of how the actual network is put together and will be much better prepared to support it. I highly recommend, especially if you only occasionally work on network gear, to get a copy of the packet tracer program and play with it.
Just to give you an idea of the power of Packet Tracer, I'll describe my test layout.
All of the 50+ sites are connected via an ISP provided vlan using a /24 cidr. Each of the sites has an average of four networks with subnets using a /22 cidr. Each site connects to the ISP via a router and each router feeds a layer three switch which in turn feeds the closet switches.
For my replica network, I picked four of the sites then setup the ISP vlan, routers and switches. I even have a server running dhcp and ospf running on the routers. I can ping across sites from wifi and wired workstation.
This tool is just to cool not to play with and will help you be better at networking in general (not just with Cisco gear either).
You can download Cisco Packet Tracer by following the instructions here:
(requires Cisco NetSpace login credentials)
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
This week we list some new and popular books for administrators who work with Windows servers:
Training Guide Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Guide)
Training Guide Administering Windows Server 2012 R2 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Guide)
Training Guide Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 R2 Services (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Guide)
Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2
Mastering Hyper-V 2012 R2 with System Center and Windows Azure
Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
November 26: Customizing ASP.NET Authentication with Identity
Learn how to use the new ASP.NET Identity system to manage access to your web apps and services, and get real-world guidance on how to implement it. In "Customizing ASP.NET Authentication with Identity," on November 26, join the entertaining team of Adam Tuliper and Jeremy Foster, as they explore everything you need to know to implement, extend, and customize ASP.NET Identity. Don't miss it! Register today!
On-demand from MVA: Faster Insights to Data with Power BI
Are you a power Excel user? If you're trying to make sense of ever-growing piles of data, and you're into data discovery, visualization, and collaboration, get ready for Power BI. Excel, always great for analyzing data, is now even more powerful with Power BI for Office 365. Watch this Jump Start, and learn about the tools you need to provide faster data insights to your organization, including Power Query, Power Map, and natural language querying. These demo-rich sessions provide a drilldown into Power BI features and capabilities, led by the team of Microsoft experts who own them. View the course here:
Quote of the Week
"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough." --Mark Zuckerberg
Until next week,
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.
Veeam Endpoint Backup Free provides a simple and free solution to back up Windows-based desktops and laptops. Register for beta now!
Free Altaro Hyper-V Backup. Easy & Fast Hyper-V Backups. In a matter of minutes you will be running your first backups. Grab your free (forever) copy now.
Why are your Apps so slow? SolarWinds® Server & Application Monitor provides capabilities for alerting & understanding application latency—includes SaaS-based, on-premise, or a hybrid approach.
With the Hydra Privacy Card Series II Personal Encryption Device users can only store encrypted files and folders on the drive, and each file individually encrypted with a unique key:
System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Toolkit contains fifteen downloadable tools to help you manage and troubleshoot Configuration Manager:
Convergence 2015 on March 16-19 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Microsoft Ignite on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Planning Considerations for BYOD and Consumerization of IT (Part 4) (WindowSecurity.com)
How to configure Forefront UAG as an SSTP VPN Server (ISAserver.org)
Kerberos and Windows 2012: Our Favorite Monster Is Changed (Again) (Fabrizio Volpe)
Windows Server 2012 R2 Deduplication (WindowsNetworking.com)
PowerShell DSC for Linux, Step by Step (Building Clouds)
Track user logons with a PowerShell script (4sysops)
Troubleshooting Hyper-V Network Virtualization (Part 2) (WindowsNetworking.com)
How to Build an Enterprise-Grade Hyper-V Infrastructure on an SMB Budget (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Now's the time for hyper-convergence (Around the Storage Block Blog)
EMC Goes for Hyper-Consolidation of Enterprise Storage With VMAX3, TwinStrata Acquisition (Data Center Knowledge)
16 Tips to Optimize Exchange 2013 (Part 1)
Active Directory Migration Considerations (Part 3)
Is Microsoft Windows Security Essentials Enough for Enterprise Security?
How to configure Microsoft RDS Universal Printing Deepdive
The secret of cloud project success
Cloud admins are constantly learning from their failures to improve their cloud projects and avoid repeated struggles in the future, but there's also a lot to be learned from their achievements. Learn why studying what went right in a cloud project is the real secret to success in the future.
Strategies for managing multi-hypervisor environments
Many administrators are running into challenges trying to manage their multi-hypervisor virtualized environments. Fortunately, leveraging key tactics can help you overcome common obstacles. Get tips and strategies for streamlining management in your multi-hypervisor environment.
How cybercrime, disgruntled workers affect DaaS security
Companies choose a DaaS provider whom they believe will ensure the security of their hosted virtual desktops and infrastructures, but disasters outside of the provider's control can still occur, and if that happens, then what? Learn about the potential risks that come with DaaS that you may not have thought of before.
A library of VDI post project reports
Access an exclusive library of post project reports submitted by your peers that have recently completed a VDI initiative. Discover the total costs of their projects, top obstacles they experienced, advice they'd give to others, and much more. Complete a quick VDI questionnaire to gain immediate access.
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]
Jim Carrey - Cutting On Action
What can be done by combining scenes using an editing technique called 'cutting on action?' See for yourself. Starring Jim Carrey:
Funny Mexican Guy with Groucho Marx
Ramiro G. Gonzalez, a very funny guy who was on the 50's game show 'You Bet Your Life' hosted by Groucho Marx:
Nik Wallenda Blindfolded Skyscraper Walk
Relive Nik Wallenda's two incredible tightrope walks between Chigago skyscrapers - uphill at a 15 degree angle, then blindfolded - breaking 2 world records:
KLM Airlines Adorable Lost And Found Dog
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently hired Sherlock the beagle to help hunt down passengers and reunite them with possessions they left behind on planes:
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 and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-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 Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.