Vol. 17, #17 - April 23, 2012 - Issue #876

Fun with Roles and Features

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Guest Editorial
    • Windows Server 2012 Beta makes it possible to deploy servers slightly different
    • Send Us Feedback
    • Tip of the Week
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Webinars & Seminars
    • Conferences, Expos and Other Events
    • Upcoming Microsoft Webcasts
    • Upcoming O'Reilly Webcasts
    • VMware Webcasts
    • Cisco Events
    • Oracle Events
  4. Tech Briefing
    • MDT 2012 is now available for download
    • How to build a demo lab
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 domain/forest functional level 
    • Troubleshooting Boot Issues due to missing Driver signature (x64)
  5. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  6. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring   

 

New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring

Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor, SolarWinds’ latest and greatest free tool, allows you to monitor interfaces on your network, see how much bandwidth is in use, or how much is traffic is currently on the interfaces. Now you can poll your interface as frequently as every half second. Set critical and warning thresholds to instantly see when usage is out of bounds. Monitoring a troublesome interface has never been so easy!

Download Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor

 

Editor's Corner

Save this newsletter so you can refer back to itand find helpful tips, tools and other resources that can help you when you face some planning decision, management task or troubleshooting headache!

Our Mistake

In the FAVE Links section of the previous issue we included a link to American Idol contestant Jessica Sanchez performing the song "I Will Always Love You" which we said was written by Whitney Houston.

We were wrong. The song was actually written by Dolly Parton.   

Our thanks to the individual who corrected us concerning this matter.

Short Personal Note

I've just been re-awarded Most Valuable Professional status by Microsoft in the area of Windows Server [Setup/Deployment]. That now makes eight years in a row for me as an MVP. For more info about Microsoft's MVP program, see here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334913706328

What are the benefits of being an MVP? Fame! Fortune!! Lunch with Brad and Angelina every weekend on the Aegean island of Santorini and a starring role in their next movie!!!
 
If only...heh.

Guest Editorial

In datacenter environments it's important to be efficient in everything you do. That includes deploying Windows servers. If you've ever needed to mass-deploy hundreds or even thousands of Windows servers, you know that preconfiguring them can take a lot of effort. Windows Server 2012 (formerly code-named Windows Server "8") includes some new functionality that now makes preconfiguring servers easier than ever, and here to tell us about it is Mikael Nystrom of TrueSec, a leading IT-security company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Mikael is a Senior Executive Consultant focusing and specializing in OS Deployment and Virtualization, and his blog The Deployment Bunny can be found here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334913737497

But first, check out these HOT BABES AT NASA WEARING BUNNY SUITS:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334913749634 

Windows Server 2012 Beta makes it possible to deploy servers slightly different

By Mikael Nystrom

In Windows Server 2012 Beta it is possible to do some things differently, in some cases very different. I have been working in the area of OS deployment many years and the basic concept has been the same. With Windows Server 2012 Beta it will be different I think.

The Server Manager

With Windows Server 2012 Beta Server Manager we can start doing multi server management, so from one single console we can add/remove features and roles on Windows Server 2008 and above (You need to add software to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2), but we can of course switch into using PowerShell and using that makes it possible to add/remove roles on multiple machines at the same time. This is not all you can do, there is many more things but one really useful feature is the capability to add roles and features directly into VHD(x) files, so it is possible to create a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V based on a Reference Disk (sometimes called Golden Image) either using differencing disks or just making a copy, create the Virtual Machine, add the roles and then start the new Virtual Machine with all the roles and features added, the only thing you need to do now is to configure the basic things and your new Windows server is done and since everything can be done using PowerShell it can then be automated.

Create a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V

Before we can add the roles we would like to have in our server, we first need to create a Virtual Machine and since I already have a Reference Disk ready (made in MDT 2012 of course) and that Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 Beta supports PowerShell directly I can fire up the following script which I named MakeVM-Diff.ps1 to create the Virtual Machine:

Param

(

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a name.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMName,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a location.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMBaseLocation,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide the amount of starting memory.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMMemory,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a RefDisk.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMRefDisk,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a Switch.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMNetwork
)

$VMLocation = New-Item -Path "$VMBaseLocation\$VMName" -ItemType Directory -Force

$VMDiskLocation = New-Item -Path "$VMLocation\Virtual Hard Disks" -ItemType Directory -Force

$VMDisk01 = New-VHD -Path $VMDiskLocation\$VMName-OSDisk.vhdx -Differencing -ParentPath $VMRefDisk

$VMDisk02 = New-VHD -Path $VMDiskLocation\$VMName-DataDisk01.vhdx -SizeBytes 60GB

 

$VM = New-VM -Name $VMname -MemoryStartupBytes $VMMemory -VHDPath $VMDisk01.path -SwitchName $VMNetwork -Path $VMBaseLocation

Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VM $VM -Path $VMDisk02.path -ControllerType SCSI -ControllerNumber 0

Set-VM -VM $VM -DynamicMemory

The script first asks for some parameters, like name, memory and such things and then it creates the VM in less than 1 minute. Here is the script in action with parameters:

Figure 1: Example of using MakeVM-Diff.ps1 script

Adding the roles and features before we start the Virtual Machine 

So, on a Windows Server 2012 Beta with access to the VHDx file we start Server Manager and then we run the Add Roles and Features Wizard but instead of selecting a server from the server pool, we will select a Virtual Hard Disk and a also a server that will mount the VHDx file and inserts the components I select like this:

Figure 2: Adding roles and features to virtual hard disk file.

Now we flip through the wizard and add whatever we would like to have in the VM and when we are done we start the Virtual Machine. Now you have a Windows server with all roles and features added before you even started it up and I think that is something that could change the way we install and configure some servers!

Send Us Feedback

Have you had a chance yet to play around with Windows Server 2012 Beta? What do you like about the product? What don't you like? Let us know at [email protected].

Tip of the Week

Users are often the weak link in the security of an organization. For example, many users will click links in email messages they receive without any concern about the possible consequences. Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010 can display a warning message when the user clicks a potentially harmful link within a message. To enable this functionality, see the "Let me fix it myself" section of Microsoft Knowledge Base article 925757:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334913864468 

Note that users won't be able to circumvent this functionality by installing alternate browsers lie Chrome or Firefox on their system.

Recommended for Learning

Two new security titles this week:

Practical Malware Analysis from No Starch Press is a fascinating book designed to teach you the tools and techniques for safely analyzing, debugging and disassembling malware. If you don't have a programming background you can still benefit from reading this book, but the more you know about C programming (and assembly language) the more you can gain from working through the book and doing the lab exercises at the end of each chapter. While I enjoyed reading through parts of this book, I had one complaint: it focusses mainly on Windows XP. It may be true as the authors state on page 31 that XP is still widely deployed (ack!) but their statement that "most malware still targets x86 machines running Windows XP" (page 226) is debatable and in my opinion makes the book feel a bit dated. On the plus side however, the book includes very detailed answers to the end-of-chapter lab exercises, so you can probably learn a lot by working through these exercises and then carefully reviewing the answers.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334913964173

The CERT Guide to Insider Threats from Addison-Wesley provides guidance for organizations concerning about malicious insider threats such as IT sabotage, theft of intellectual property, and fraud. The book is written with a diverse audience in mind that includes IT staff, security staff, upper management, and human resources. Included in the book are numerous case studies that can give you insight into the different kinds of insider threats, how they may be perpetrated, how to deal with them, and how to mitigate the potential risks your organization may face from such threats.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914018289

Quote of the Week

"Keep looking up, that's the secret of life" --Peanuts comic

Sitting on my desk is a Hallmark ornament showing Snoopy and Woodstock sitting on the ground looking upwards. Beside them the above statement is written. Peanuts used to be my dad's favorite comic strip, and when I was a kid I collected books of Peanuts comics. I even copied Peanuts comics by hand and bound them into my own books. Looking back at those hand-drawn comics years afterwards, I was surprised at how fascinated I seemed to have been with Charlie Brown's feelings of insecurity. Did those comics resonate with me because I felt insecure myself? Or did they condition me and lead to my feelings of insecurity? Chicken or egg? Egg or chicken? Who knows, the mind of a child is a mystery.
Then much later, a couple of years ago I picked up Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914257719

When I read the book I was disappointed--the creator of Snoopy and Charlie Brown had flaws. He may have been the most beloved cartoonist of all time, but he wasn't necessarily a lovely person. He was just an ordinary guy with problems like all of us, but somehow he created something magical that resonated in the hearts of millions of kids (and adults!) around the world. How is that? Another mystery--how flawed human beings can find truth and create beauty. Just my thought of the day... and don't forget to keep looking up.

Save this newsletter so you can refer back to it later for tips, tools and other resources you might need to do your job or troubleshoot some problem you're dealing with.

Forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague who might find the tips and tools in it helpful for performing their job.

Send us feedback if you have questions, comments or suggestions concerning anything in this newsletter: [email protected]

Cheers!
Mitch Tulloch

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Free StealthTOOLS solve the SharePoint versioning dilemma and powerful Regex Engine for DLP.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334916140648  

rDirectory’s free Community Edition web-based directory deploys in minutes and immediately allows users to search Active Directory data  anywhere, anytime, from any computer.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334916167058

Need a secure offsite backup solution for your home or business? Recommended by our readers:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914376794

 

Webinars & Seminars

Conferences, Expos and Other Events

June 11-14, 2012 - Microsoft TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando, USA:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914442907

June 26-29, 2012 - Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914455340

July 8-12, 2012 - Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914466650

August 27-30, 2012 - VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, USA:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914479785

October 9-11, 2012 - VMworld 2012 in Barcelona, Spain:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914497366

Nov 12-15, 2012 - Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas, USA.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914509098

Upcoming Microsoft Events and Webcasts

Sign up for these and other Microsoft events and webcasts at:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914642337

Upcoming O'Reilly Webcasts

Sign up these and other O'Reilly webcasts at:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914687390

VMware Webcasts

Sign up for these and other VMware webcasts at:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914742957

Cisco Events

Browse the Cisco Corporate Events Calendar to find Cisco at events, trade shows and conferences around the world:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914770257

Oracle Events

Browse the Oracle Events page to find in-person events and live webcasts for your location:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334914790100

Would you like to list your IT event, webcast, or seminar in this section? Contact Michael Vella, the WSN Account Manager at [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

MDT 2012 is now available for download

MDT 2012 is the newest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and supports deploying Windows 7, Office 2010 and 365, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915101133

How to build a demo lab

Irish MVP Aidan Finn describes how to do it in this excellent post on his blog:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915136046

Windows Server 2008 R2 domain/forest functional level

Microsoft PFE Greg Jaworski describes two issues you should know about before raising the domain and/or forest functional level to Windows Server 2008 R2:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915147840

Troubleshooting Boot Issues due to missing Driver signature (x64)

Microsoft Support Escalation Engineer Parthiv Seth explains how to troubleshoot a scenario where a system won't boot in normal mode but boots fine if you press F8 and select Disable Driver Signature Enforcement:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915160023

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

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

Extreme radio-controlled airplane flying over Monument Valley with HD cockpit camera video-feed. It's like wingsuit-flying without the risk:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915200552

Top Gear Italy put spiked tires on a Peugeot 207 Super 2000 and took it to the ski slopes. You absolutely have to watch the Peugeot take on fearless downhill skier Anna Andreussi in a one-to-one race down the Italian Alps.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915211488

Peruvian national champion mountain bike rider Alejandro Paz takes his helmet-cam for a fast ride down a rocky mountain trail:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915222328

Have you ever told your parents and friends they should stop using Internet Explorer? You aren't alone:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915233652

The stars are the highlight of this astral time-lapse taken from the International Space Station:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915264800

A pilot shows off his amazing skill by flying his bi-plane sideways while racing with a Lamborghini 10 feet above the ground:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1334915279961

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring

Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor, SolarWinds’ latest and greatest free tool, allows you to monitor interfaces on your network, see how much bandwidth is in use, or how much is traffic is currently on the interfaces. Now you can poll your interface as frequently as every half second. Set critical and warning thresholds to instantly see when usage is out of bounds. Monitoring a troublesome interface has never been so easy!

Download Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor

 

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 Tulloch is 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.