Build your own FREE virtualization lab environment

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The most affordable toolkit to meet your goals!

There is no better way to start virtualizing than with a FREE Microsoft Hyper-V environment, free backup, free virtual storage and free management software!

With this free toolkit, you can create your own test lab, run a small business or even scale your production environment up to 1,000 VMs. It’s a FREE way to virtualize!

  1. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
    Free Hypervisor with all the functionality of it’s ‘big brother’, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication
    Effective and easy-to-use tool for Hyper-V backup
  3. StarWind Virtual SAN
    Reliable shared storage with unlimited storage capacity for a single-node device
  4. 5nine Manager
    Simple and easy-to-use Graphical User Interface, local or remote, to manage Hyper-V virtual machines

Start today!!

And if you would like to just download Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, please click here.

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How to: Directly install from a distribution point during OSD in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

During a OS deployment with ConfigMgr 2012 R2, the WIM file is downloaded locally and than installed on the C: drive of your system. The download proces for the install.wim file takes a while! This post will discribe how to configure the task sequence to directly apply the install.wim from the distribution point.

1.) Open the task sequence and select the step “Apply Operating System”. Navigate to the “Options” tab.
2.) Select “Access content directly from the distribution point” and select “Apply”
3.) Navigate to your Operating System Images and select the properties of the image
4.) Navigate to the “Data Access” tab
5.) Select “Copy the content in this package to a package share on distribution points”
6.) Select “Apply”
7.) The install.wim file will be copied to the SMSPKGE$ folder on your distribution point
8.) Right click on the image and select “Update Distribution Points”
9.) Wait until the content status is “Success”
10.) Start a deployment of a system
11.) The download step is gone now and the image will be installed directly from the distribution point

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How to: Install ConfigMgr 2012 R2 hotfix KB2910552 during OSD

A few weeks ago Microsoft has released a update KB2910552 for ConfigMgr 2012 R2. This update fixes a lot of issues, but also speed up the OSD within ConfigMgr 2012 R2. I should highly recommend to install this hotfix in your environment. The hotfix is updating the site system automatically, but the client not. This blogpost will discribe how to install this hotfix during a OS deployment (OSD).

1.) First install the hotfix KKB2910552. The hotfix is vissible in the installation folder of ConfigMgr. In my example E:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\hotfix\KB2910552\Client
2.) Copy the content in this folder to your source directory.
In my example \\CM01\Sources\OSD\Hotfix\KB2910552\Client
3.) Add a new package and configure the source location to the right directory.
In my example \\CM01\Sources\OSD\Hotfix\KB2910552\Client
4.) Select “Do not create a program
5.) Distribute the package to your distribution point(s)
6.) Open the task sequence and add a new step “Run Command Line
7.) Select the right package and configure the command line
cmd.exe /c xcopy x64\*.* “C:\Hotfix” /E /H /C /I /Q /Y
This is for x64 systems only! Change x64 to x86 for deployment to x86 systems
8.) In the “Setup Windows and Configuration Manager” step, add the following installation properties
PATCH=”C:\Hotfix\configmgr2012ac-r2-kb2910552-x64.msp”
This is for x64 systems only! Change x64 to x86 for deployment to x86 systems
9.) Start the deployment of a x64 system
10.) After the deployment has finished, navigat to the control panel and Configuration Manager
11.) On the general tab you’ll see the new version number 5.00.7958.1104

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Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI available

Working with System Center products is one of my favorite things!! A great solution I’m using is the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT). The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) is a set of scripts and knowledge for automated deployment of System Center 2012 SP1/R2, including SQL all prerequisites, and all automatable post-setup integration. PDT is written by Rob Willis.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) here.

Because Powershell Deployment Toolkit contains some Powershell scripts and XML files, this is not a easy thing for everyone! To make this powershell scripts just more powerfull, the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI is created!! This is a graphical user interface for the Powershell Deployment Toolkit. The original PDT is created and maintained by Rob Willis from Microsoft Corporation. The PDT GUI is created and maintained by German Microsoft Partner ‘Elanity Network Partner GmbH’ and is not an official Microsoft Product. The PDT GUI helps to create fast PDT Configuration-Files (Variable.xml) for Zero Touch System Center Deployments. PDT GUI creates and validates the configuration files for PDT, it does not alter the existing PDT in any way. An installed PDT is neccessary for a succesful PDT Deployment.

Download the Powershell Deployment Toolkit GUI here.

Benedict Berger (Hyper-V MVP and Hybrid Cloud Geek) and Kamil Kosek (Powershell Geek and Automation IT Pro) teamed up end created this free tool. Special credits to this guys, great job!!

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Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 Architecture Poster

Microsoft has released the Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 Architecture Poster. This poster gives you an overview of all the components, load-balancing and possibilities of Exchange Server 2013. Nice to print on the wall in your studyroom ;)

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You can download the Architecture poster here.

Free ebook: Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform

Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform
David Ziembicki and Mitch Tulloch, Series Editor
April 2014
80 pages

This book is organized by cloud type and begins with a short overview of the Cloud OS strategy from Microsoft and a high-level hybrid cloud architecture. It also covers the design and deployment of private cloud solutions using Windows and System Center to deliver the software-defined datacenter where storage, network, compute, and management are all virtualized and delivered by the Microsoft platform.

Download the PDF
Download the EPUB file
Download the Mobi for Kindle file

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Free webinar Cisco UCS, Veeam and Nimble on 23th of April

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On the 23th of April Veeam is going to hold an interesting FREE webinar (Veeam and Cisco UCS) – “A modern approach to building and protecting your virtualization infrastructuur”.

Demands for better storage performance, scalability, improved data protection and simplicity are growing in today’s datacenters. With the right components and configuration, you can deliver efficient computing, networking and storage, with powerful, easy-to-use and affordable data protection.

Join this webinar to see how Cisco UCS, Nimble Storage and Veeam Backup & Replication can provide:

◾Unified and embedded management of all software and hardware components
◾Flash-optimised hybrid storage performance
◾High performance backups, restores and flexible design
◾Reduce cost and protect virtualization investments
◾And more!

You can register for this FREE webinar here.

How to: Configure a “Boot to desktop” group policy for Windows 8.1

New in Windows 8.1 is the “Boot to Desktop” feature, where the user can choose not to boot to the Windows Tiles, but directly to the desktop! That’s a really nice feature if you ask me! How can we centrally configure and manage these feature for all my users or just a group of users? Exactly, through a group policy with User Preferences. It’s a user settings, so you could also use RES Workspace Manager for example.

1.) Navigate to your Group Policy Management Console
2.) Create a new Group Policy and disable the Computer Settings
3.) Open the policy and navigate to User Configuration / Preferences / Windows Settings / Registry
4.) Create a new Registry Item
5.)  Choose for Hive “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” and Navigate in the Key Path to:
Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage
6.) The Value name is “OpenAtLogon
6.) Choose the Value type “REG_DWORD
7) The Value data is:
Boots to Desktop = “0″
Boots to Start Menu = “1″
8.) Attach the group policy to a organizational unit(s) and login to your Windows 8.1 machine!

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