Archive for the ‘Microsoft Windows Server 2012’ Category

How to: Implementing Storage Spaces insides Azure Virtual Machines

Within an Azure Virtual Machine, you should never store your (personal) data on the C: drive or the temporary disk. You can attach new storage disks to the virtual machine, how many disks depends on the VM size you’ve choosen.

View all VM sizes in Microsoft Azure:

In my example I’ve choosen the ‘DS1v2′ VM size, so I can attach two extra (premium storage) disks. Because the maximum size of an disk in Microsoft Azure is 1023 GB, I’ve created multiple disks. Both disks are attached to the virtual machine and we’re going to implement Storage Spaces within the virtual machine. Storage Spaces is software defined storage (SDS) from Windows Server 2012 R2 and above.

Storage Spaces is a built-in Windows Server Role. When combining all the data disks, you can create one, or more, big data volumes in your Windows Virtual Machine. Extremely powerful for example file servers.

1.) First of all I’ve created a new virtual machine using the Azure Portal

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2.) Next I’ve created two new disks (premium storage – SSD) with tthe size of 1023 GB.

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3.) Next I’ve logged in into the new created virtual machine and configured Storage Spaces.

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4.) The next step is to create a new virtual disk

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5.) The final step is to create the new volume for storing your data on.

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As you can see, there’s a new volume of 2 TBwithin the virtual machine. If you’re changing the size of the virtual machine, it is also possible to add some more disks to the virtual machine and extend the Storage Spaces with more terabytes!!



How to: Initialize, format and label disks during OSD Task Sequence in SCCM 2012 R2

During a task seuence in Microsoft SCCM 2012 R2, the operating system and applications are installed on the C: drive in most situations. But in some deployments, you definitely want to create more disks. For example, you want to create a D: and E: partition for storing some other data. Maybe for Microsoft SQL or Exchange installation, databases, logfiles or just some other data.

The following script will do all these steps for you during the task sequence. The script initialize, format, partition and label the disks for you….fully automated! :)

The script first checks how many disks are attached to the server.
If there is only one disk attached, you’ll have only a C: drive available after the deployment.
If there are 2 disks attached, you’ll have a C: and D: drive avalailable after the deployment.
If there are 3 disks attached, you’ll have a C:, D: and E: drive available after the deployment.

The CD-ROM drive will alse changed from E: to X:.

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How to: Change computername in Windows Explorer on Windows Server 2012 R2

When you’re are using a lot of virtual machines or environments, it’s somethimes realy usefull to see in what environment or on what server you’re logged in. If created a really nice solution for my servers, basically Remote Desktop Services in different environments, that does exact my I need! I’ve changed the displayname in Windows Explorer to the value “user on server”, for example: “mark on prod-rds-01″.

You can set this new value with Group Policy Preferences or some other scripting.

1.) Create a new GPO in the Group Policy Management Console
2.) Navigate to “User Configuration / Preferences / Windows Settings / Registry
3.) Create a new registry item and browse to the following registry key:
4.) Change the default REG_SZ value to “%username% on %computername%”
5.) Login to the specific server where you targeted the GPO and open Windows Explorer
6.) The name of your computer has changed to “username on computername”

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How to: Remove “Connect to a remote PC” in RDS 2012 R2

When you deploy a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment and you’re going to use also RDS Web Access, the default website (RDWeb) contains some features that you’re maybe not going to use. For example “Connect to a remote PC”. This features gives the user te ability to connect to a remote computer using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

I want to remove this option from my RDWeb website. This is a realy easy job in Windows RDS 2012 R2. Without hacking some files or running custom script, within a few seconds the option is gone!

1.) Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Management Console
2.) Navigate to “Sites / Default Web Site / RDWeb / Pages” and select “Application Settings” in the right pane
3.) Navigate to “ShowDesktops” and change this value from true to false
4.) The new value is immediately live!
5.) As you can see, the option is gone now…

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SCCM 2012 R2 Build and Capture…installing updates takes a long time!

This month I’ve to install and configure a Microsoft SCCM 2012 R2 environment. This customer is going to use SCCM basically deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machines. For the task sequences I’ve used the Windows Server 2012 Update 1 ISO, but there’re a few updates available in the past (around the 122 updates!!)

So I’ve configured a new Build and Capture task sequence to deploy a “Golden Image”. I’ve also integrated Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) within SCCM, so during the Build and Capture task sequence the updates will also be installed. The task sequence takes a long time. After some troubleshooting, I’ve found some of the main reasons….Update KB3000850. This update is around the 700 MB and takes a long time to install!

First of all, I’ve updated the Windows Server 2012 R2 WIM from the ISO with the latest Windows updates using Offline Servicing. This great feture is available within SCCM 2012 R2. With Offline Servicing it is possible to apply Windows Updates in a WIM file offline. After applying update KB3000850 in the WIM image, the Build and Capture task sequences is going realy faster!! :)

SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 CU1….Why are my task sequences not visible?

This week I’ve upgraded a SCCM 2012 R2 environment to Service Pack 1 with update CU1. After the upgrade, I noticed that not all my task sequences (deployment) where available after PXE boot. Why is that? Is this a ‘new feature’ or just a ‘bug’? After some Troubleshooting I’ve figured out that there’s a strange thing in my deployments!

As you can see in my example I’ve created a collection with 3 deployments active. After PXE boot a virtual machine, only the first deployment is available?!?! :S The other two deployments are also active, but not available…

When we go to the properties of the other two deployments, and change the schedule 1 day back in the time, the deployment became available!! Very strange behavior, but this is the only ‘solution’ I’ve figured out!

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