Category Archives: Uncategorized

Replacing Server 2003 with Linux Alternatives

For some organizations that use only a small subset of Windows Server 2003’s features and who have appropriately trained systems administrators, it may make sense to migrate some servers to Linux rather than to a newer version of Windows Server.

For example, rather than migrating a Windows Server 2003 DHCP server to Windows Server 2012 R2, some organizations may instead choose to implement a solution that has DHCP hosted on a computer running a Linux operating system.

While the idea of replacing a Microsoft server with one running a distribution of Linux might have seemed anathema a decade ago, it’s worth pointing out that many server management tools like Chef and Puppet can be used to manage servers running both Linux and Windows. Microsoft has also been working to bring tools like PowerShell to Linux and it might not be too long a bow to draw to hypothesize that one day it might be possible to use PowerShell Desired State Configuration to configure a server running Linux in the same way that it can be used to configure a computer running a Windows Server operating system.

The key to whether it is a good idea to replace services hosted on a Microsoft OS with services hosted on a Linux OS is whether or not your systems administration team is familiar with managing servers running Linux. If your team has skilled Linux systems administrators, then transitioning is definitely a reasonable option. If your team is unfamiliar with Linux, you are likely to be better off upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2.

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Active Directory Concepts and Installation with Windows Server 2008 R2

In this guide I go through all the main concepts of Active Directory Domain Services within Windows Server 2008 R2. Covering What all the basic terms mean within the domain, and also how to install Active Directory on Windows Server 2008 R2.

These are concepts all covered in the Microsoft MCTS 70-640 exam for Active Directory in Windows Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft Reissues Flawed Windows Security Update With New Flaws

Microsoft today re-released the updates for security bulletin MS14-045. This update had been released on the August Patch Tuesday, August 12, but withdrawn later in the week after user reports of blue screen crashes and disabled systems.

At the same time Microsoft withdrew MS14-045, it withdrew three non-security updates, KB2970228, KB2975719 and KB2975331. None of those have been reissued and we have no further information on them.

Updated on August 27: With respect to these remaining updates, Tracey Pretorius, Director, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing,  “[w]e continue to work diligently to get the Windows August Update released to customers.”

A blog entry from Pretorius implies that the problem was related to a change in the release schedules for non-security updates.

The Knowledge Base article for the revised update (KB2993651) lists a confusing set of Known Issues remaining with the update.

  • With the update installed, fonts in the system that are not in the default fonts directory (%windir%\fonts\) cannot be changed when loaded in an active session. For more detail, see the KB article.
  • With the update installed, the z-order (depth) of some windows is changed. This means they can be hidden and therefore invisible. Four other earlier updates also cause this problem:
    • 2965768 Stop error 0x3B when an application changes the z-order of a window in Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • 2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows
    • 2973201 MS14-039: Description of the security update for Windows on-screen keyboard: July 8, 2014
    • 2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2

Two of these (2970228 and 2975719) are among the updates withdrawn by Microsoft along with MS14-045. The other two have not been mentioned previously with respect to the recent problems. Those two now-problematic updates are also still available for download as of late afternoon on August 27.

The security bulletin says that “Microsoft strongly recommends that customers who have not uninstalled the 2982791 update [i.e., the old version, released on Patch Tuesday] do so prior to applying the 2993651 update [the new version].” This recommendation applies to users whether they are having problems with the old update or not. Note that Windows Update and Automatic Updates do not remove the old version.

To uninstall the update go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, Installed Updates, find the 2982791 update in the Microsoft Windows section, right click and uninstall. You can find the update by searching for “KB2982791” in the Control Panel for uninstalling updates. See the screen capture below. 

The update addresses three Windows kernel bugs, two of which could result in privilege elevation and the third in exposure of sensitive kernel information.

 

Microsoft Warns Mainstream Windows 7 support ends Jan 2015

Microsoft has made an announcement stating that several of its products will be reaching the end of mainstream support in six months’ time. The products include Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft usually provides mainstream support for its products for a five-year period, where the company provides free updated features and/or performance enhancements which include but are not limited to security updates. After this period Microsoft starts providing extended support for the product, where users receive free security fixes but pay for other types of updates, typically for five years also.

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Free mainstream support for all versions of Windows 7 will end on 13 Jan 2015, but the company has promised to provide security patches through to 2020, according to Business Insider. This notice of intent from Redmond could affect the decisions of some businesses which are currently migrating away from Windows XP and on to Windows 7 rather than Windows 8.X. However, as seen with XP, Microsoft has previously pushed back end of support dates.The end of mainstream support date for Windows 8.X is 9 Jan 2018. For further future-proofing you might wait to buy PCs with the next version of Windows, ‘Threshold’, which is expected to debut in April 2015.

Other products reaching the end of mainstream support in January 2015 include Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Exchange Server 2010, Windows Storage Server 2008, Dynamics C5 2010, NAV 2009 and NAV 2009 R2. Windows Phone 7.8 mainstream support ends even sooner – 9th September this year.

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Patch Tuesday
Microsoft has also issued six security bulletins for all versions of its IE and Windows on July 2014 Patch Tuesday.
The first critical patch within the crop is one which “resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and twenty-three privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.” The other critical patch fixes a vulnerability in Windows Journal; apparently after opening a “specially crafted Journal file” you could be left open to remote code execution.

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Hyper-V R2 Features: Top 10 Resources

These resources include our top 10 most popular guides, tips, articles and quizzes about the features of Hyper-V R2 for solution providers. Discover the pros and cons of Hyper-V R2, virtualization learn to evaluate alternative management software and discover the setbacks you might face during implementation. These are suggestions for some of the most anticipated features of Hyper-V R2, including Live Migration, Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV), Jumbo Frames support, and high availability.

Comparing Hyper-V R2, vSphere and XenServer 5.5 pros and cons

Learn the pros and cons comparison of Hyper-V R2, vSphere and XenServer 5.5. There are a number of Hyper-V R2 as a familiar interface and extensive hardware compatibility, which make the transition to Microsoft hypervisor less complicated for your customers. But there are also some components of Hyper-V R2 that could be a problem for your customers, the lack of third party support.

Microsoft Hyper-V R2 features and comparison guide

If you are wondering how the features of Microsoft Hyper-V R2 compares with VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer 5.5, read this guide. Solution providers can learn about resilience, capabilities, hot-add and remove, Live Migration and CSV. The answers to all outstanding questions you may have about the density of Hyper-V R2, prices and licenses are also available.

Three setbacks when designing Hyper-V R2 high availability

Customers can look at the experience solution provider ‘in the design properly R2 Hyper-V high availability. However, there are some setbacks key that you need to consider when implementing a highly available infrastructure. Be prepared to troubleshoot hardware bottlenecks and learn how to use Hyper-V R2 cluster to address the problems of memory, and will help to ensure a regular distribution.

Most useful Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V R2 features

Live migration draws much attention, but there are plenty of other features in 2008 R2 Hyper-V R2 and Windows Server that are useful for you and your customers. These features include jumbo frames, which can help solution providers with installation, and new clustering capabilities. A new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2, Remote Desktop Services, offer Remote Desktop connections to servers. Learn to Cluster Shared Volumes in Hyper-V R2 fit in their service offerings as well.

Hyper-V R2 Live Migration and other features: Study guide

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of Hyper-V R2 Live Migration and other features such as high availability, virtualization management software, and jumbo frames. From the research of many logical processors Hyper-V R2 can support know what their new protocols can offer this practice test will teach you about the Microsoft hypervisor and give you access to more resources.

Evaluating virtualization management software for Hyper-V R2

You can not underestimate the importance of software virtualization management Hyper-V R2. Among the main reasons to use this software is automated distribution models, which ensures that virtual machines (VMs) are distributed quickly. Better management and performance monitoring can also help to encourage customers to use the software virtual management.

Migrating from Microsoft Virtual Server to Hyper-V R2

Follow these steps to help customers migrate from Microsoft Virtual Server, Hyper-V R2. The first step is to identify the server resources that will eventually house the new Hyper-V R2 VM. When you’re done with the process, do not forget to turn on the virtual machine and install special drivers for Hyper-V R2. As a solutions provider, it is important to ensure a smooth migration for customers. Doing so will increase the likelihood of future business opportunities.

Why Hyper-V R2’s Cluster Shared Volumes saves time and money

Cluster Shared Volumes in Hyper-V R2 can help keep your storage infrastructure and help customers avoid purchasing additional storage. Lots of storage customers is wasted RAM buffer that could be used in virtual machines. Using this tip, you will learn how to free up additional space as CSV and can make it easier for solution providers to manage the migration of virtual machines between nodes in the cluster.

A ‘boatload’ of Hyper-V R2 features

Download the podcast or read the transcript to learn about the new features of Hyper-V R2. In this interview, virtualization expert Greg Shields discusses the difference between Quick Migration and Live Migration and the time you can save your customers. Also find out how the features of Hyper-V R2 are compared with those of the previous version, such as Live Migration and CSV affect when to use a cluster file system to third parties.

Microsoft’s Hyper-V R2 about more than Live Migration

Features of Microsoft Hyper-V R2 provide more than just a live migration. Solution providers will find that support jumbo frames and CSV provide many useful benefits. Jumbo frames allow virtual machines to send packets much larger than usual data. And using CSV, solution providers no longer have to assign a single virtual machine to a single logical unit number (LUN). Now you can group in relation to four VMs on a LUN for its clients, so will be invaluable in the event of failure of the VM.

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