Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo

Yahoo! and Microsoft announced an agreement that will improve the Web search experience for users and advertisers, and deliver sustained innovation to the industry. In simple terms, Microsoft will now power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! will become the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers.

Read more here

Monday, July 27, 2009

SCCM Step-by-Step Guide Operating System Deployment

Today the Configuration Manager Support Team blog posted a step-by-step guide to perform OSD (operating system deployment) using SCCM 2007.

Check it here

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cluster SQL 2005 in Windows 2008 R2 RC

In this demo I'll show you how to cluster SQL 2005 in a Windows 2008 R2 RC build.

In the demo I'll show you how to solve most of the common errors during setup process:
"The Virtual Server name you provided is not valid. To proceed, provide a virtual server name".
"You do not have privileges to add accounts to the domain groups specified for this failover cluster. Ask your domain administrator for privileges to add new accounts to the domain groups, or log on using an account that does have permission."
and others...

We'll also check how to cluster MSDTC in Windows 2008 R2 and configure the Firewall to allow Transactions.

Check how easy is to cluster SQL 2005 in Windows 2008 R2.

Note: The video doesn't show the configuration for SQL ports. To configure the firewall please check the following links:
Configuring the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access
For multi-homed SQL servers check:
How to Configure a Multi-Homed Computer for SQL Server Access

Enjoy :D

Friday, July 24, 2009

VMware finally warming up to EMC

EMC has owned VMware since 2004, but for the most part, the two companies have continued to operate separately. Very separately.

That may be changing.
Read more here

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2: Bare Metal to Live Migration (In about an hour!)

Check how Matt McSpirit Partner Technology Specialist at Microsoft UK, walks through a bare-metal installation of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (RC) on 2 physical nodes, hooks them up to an iSCSI SAN, configures the SAN storage, and then, from a Windows 7 (RC) laptop, validates, and builds a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (RC) Cluster. The end result? A Highly Available, Live Migratable, Virtual Machine.

Click here to see it.

Virtual Hard Disk Getting Started Guide

This guide provides an introduction to virtual hard disks (VHDs) in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It includes an overview of technologies that you use to configure VHDs, as well as procedures to help guide you through deploying VHDs.
Click here

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Performance & Tuning

- Searching for important tuning parameters and settings that can result in improved performance for the Windows Server 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 operating system?
- Not sure how to use Performance Monitor?
- Memory Sizing Guidance for Windows 7?

Here are some docs that may help you to complete that task:
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2
Memory Sizing Guidance for Windows 7
Windows Performance Monitor (Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista)
Using Hardware Performance Counters on Windows

Have Fun :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finally... Windows 7 client and Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V standalone are RTM

Finally Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 are RTM’d...
Congratulations Microsoft.

Read more:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Reaches the RTM Milestone
Windows 7 Has Been Released to Manufacturing
And also the new features of Hyper-V
Windows Server 2008 R2 & Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM!!!!

Check this post to get some official dates.

Windows 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Upgrade Paths

If you're one of those guys that are planning to upgrade your systems to Windows 7 or 2008 R2, Microsoft has released two documents that may help you about that task. In my opinion you should (when possible) perform migration instead of in-place server upgrades, but we don’t leave in a perfect world and sometimes things can’t be done the way we want. If you've no choice then these docs will help you to do things in the right way.


Windows 7 Upgrade Paths

Windows Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Paths

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Windows 7 RTM? When?!!!

Although it hasn’t been RTM’d, the Windows blog gave us some dates and sounds that this will happen between today and the first date listed.

Here's a quick Summary:
- OEMs will receive Windows 7 RTM software images 2 days after the official RTM date.
- August 6, 2009: Partners (ISVs and IHVs) can get it from Microsoft Connect or MSDN.
- August 7, 2009: If you are a Volume License (VL) customer with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license you will be able to download Windows 7 RTM in English starting August 7th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC). Other languages available a couple of weeks after that.
- August 16, 2009: Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to download the English version. (Remaining languages available for these folks on October 1, 2009).
- August 23, 2009: Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers – English version of Windows 7 RTM. (Remaining languages available for these folks on October 1, 2009).

Read more here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit available for download

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless toolkit that finds computers on a network and performs a detailed inventory of the computers using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and the Remote Registry Service. This agent less and scalable toolkit has the ability to discover all computers within Active Directory and workgroup environments. It performs key functions that include hardware and device inventory, hardware compatibility analysis, and generation of actionable, environment-specific IT proposals for migration to most major Microsoft technologies.

Download it here

Hyper-V Integration Component drivers for Linux as Open Source

This is the first time that Microsoft has contributed code to the Linux kernel.
The Hyper-V Linux device drivers will be licensed under GPLv2. That's 20,000 lines of code that provide the synthetic device drivers and VM bus implementation needed for a Linux guest OS to run "enlightened" on either Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to Disable IPv6 in Windows 2008 Full and Core editions

IPv6 is by default enabled in Windows Vista and Windows 2008. Many people argue that they’re having issues because they’re not using it and some apps may fail to work correctly due the fact of miss IPv6 configuration address or because the Apps don't understand IPv6. Before disabling IPv6 be aware that some new features on windows will require IPv6 to work, so be aware of that before starting to make changes to your servers or workstations.

So how to disable IPv6?
Simple, first disable IPv6 under your NIC properties (if you've multiple interfaces do it for each one)

To completely disable IPv6 go to the following registry (Remember to ALWAYS backup the registry keys that you're changing before changing the):

Create the following registry value (DWORD type): DisabledComponents

Note that “DisabledComponents” is case sensitive and should be typed exactly like that.
DisabledComponents is set to 0 by default. To disable IPv6 support on all interfaces, set the value to FFFFFFFF. The registry entry will look like below:

Restart the computer for the changes to the DisabledComponents registry value to take effect.

Okay, fine, but... and if I have a Windows Core version?!!!!

In Windows core edition we don’t have GUI to disable the IPv6 under NIC properties, so option is to directly edit the registry.

To start lets try to disable IPv6 only in one adapter as if we were in a FULL installation mode :)
First let's identify the adapter to be disabled, to do that type:


Identify the NICs that you want to disable IPv6.

In this scenario I want to disable the interface that has the ipv4 "" and IPv6 "fe80::9d2d:fc06:8abd:44ef"

The interface SettingID is "{93145725-C49B-4A42-87F0-415B6335D211}"
(Remember, always backup your registry before making any changes).

Then type regedit to open registry editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Linkage
Open the “Bind”, “Export” and “Route” String Values and remove the Adapter SettingID that corresponds to the listed NIC that you want to unbind IPv6.

(in this scenario is the Adapter ID {93145725-C49B-4A42-87F0-415B6335D211})

Then navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
Now you need to identify where youre NIC is at... To do that select the subkeys "0000", "0001", "0002" and so on untill you get desired NIC, to identify the NIC, you need to know the Description and SettingID that we get from WMIC cmd, then compare the values, if they match you're on the right place. In this scenario the Description is "HP NC364T PCIe Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter" and the SettingID is "93145725-C49B-4A42-87F0-415B6335D211"

As you see the correspondent value is "0005"

The next Step is to unbind the Tcpip6 from the adapter, to do that open the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\xxxx\Linkage\UpperBind key and remove the entry for Tcpip6.

After the change:

Reboot the server.
After the reboot, type from cmdline:
Now, as you can see you no longer have the IPv6 bound the that adapter.


Q: And if I want to do this for more adapters?
A: Repeat the same process for each adapter that you want to disable IPv6.

Q: Can I use the “DisabledComponents” reg key as I did in Windows FULL edition?
A: Yes you can. In that Scenario you need to remove all the values from “Bind”, “Export” and “Route” that are under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Linkage, then, configure the “DisabledComponents” reg key as you did in Windows FULL edition under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\tcpip6\Parameters\ .
(No need to disable Tcpip6 under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\xxxx\Linkage\UpperBind )
You must restart the computer for the changes to the DisabledComponents registry value to take effect.

Q: Do you know any issue when using "DisabledComponents" in Windows Core?
A: Yes. after you configure the DisabledComponents in windows Core and reboot, if you use Computer Management to remotely connect to that server Core you may see a warning for the 6TO4 Adapter - "This device cannot start. (Code 10)".

To solve this problem you need to disable the 6TO4 adapter (since that you're not using it) using the Netsh cmdline:
You must do this before you configure the DisabledComponents reg key!!!
The correct order is:

- Clear the DisabledComponents reg key (if it is configured).
- Reboot the server.
- From cmdline type: <netsh in 6to4 set state disable>

- Configure the DisabledComponents reg key
- Reboot the server.
- Use the Computermanagement to remotely connect to the server core and confirm that everything is ok now.

IF this doesn't solve your problem you've another option:
(Warning: the next procedure is to uninstall the 6TO4 adapter from your system, you may have problems by doing that, and I rather disable than removing it, proceed at your own risk)

Okay let's assume that the previous procedure didn't solved the 6TO4 adapter warning, the additional option is to uninstall it from the system.

- In Windows 2008 FULL edition, you need to open the device manager, then right click in the adapter and choose the option "uninstall". Then reboot the server and the error should be fixed.

- How do I uninstall this device in Windows Core Edition? Simple, from command line type:
netcfg -u *6to4mp
Then reboot the server and the error should be fixed.

Q: After I fix the 6TO4 adapter warning, I decided that I want that adapter back but I can't ...
A: You need to remove the setting for "DisabledComponents" and remove all the values from “Bind”, “Export” and “Route” that are under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip6\Linkage
If you disabled the adapter: you need to enable it again using the following cmd:
Netsh i 6TO4 set state enable, after that Reboot the server

If you uninstalled the adapter: Just reboot the server.

As final note, you may want to reconfigure your Hosts File and disable the Localhost for IPv6 by placing a "#" before ::1 Localhost, then save the file...

Additional Information:
The DisabledComponents registry value is a bit mask that controls the following series of flags, starting with the low order bit (Bit 0):

Bit 0 Set to 1 to disable all IPv6 tunnel interfaces, including ISATAP, 6to4, and Teredo tunnels. Default value is 0.
Bit 1 Set to 1 to disable all 6to4-based interfaces. Default value is 0.
Bit 2 Set to 1 to disable all ISATAP-based interfaces. Default value is 0.
Bit 3 Set to 1 to disable all Teredo-based interfaces. Default value is 0.
Bit 4 Set to 1 to disable IPv6 over all non-tunnel interfaces, including LAN interfaces and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)-based interfaces. Default value is 0.
Bit 5 Set to 1 to modify the default prefix policy table to prefer IPv4 to IPv6 when attempting connections. Default value is 0.

To determine the value of DisabledComponents for a specific set of bits, construct a binary number consisting of the bits and their values in their correct position and convert the resulting number to hexadecimal. For example, if you want to disable 6to4 interfaces, disable Teredo interfaces, and prefer IPv4 to IPv6, you would construct the following binary number: 101010. When converted to hexadecimal, the value of DisabledComponents is 0x2A.

The following table lists some common configuration combinations and the corresponding value of DisabledComponents.

Configuration DisabledComponents value
Disable all tunnel interfaces 0x1
Disable 6to4 0x2
Disable ISATAP 0x4
Disable Teredo 0x8
Disable Teredo and 6to4 0xA
Disable all LAN and PPP interfaces 0x10
Disable all LAN, PPP, and tunnel interfaces 0x11
Prefer IPv4 over IPv6 0x20
Disable IPv6 over all interfaces and prefer IPv4 to IPv6 0xFF

Have Fun :P

Monday, July 13, 2009

SCVMM 2008 R2 - Quick Storage Migration

Here's an interesting article about some of the new functionalities in SCVMM 2008 R2.
Quick Storage Migration (QSM) is one of the new cool features included in SCVMM. This feature enables the migration of the storage of VM from one location to another, for example, the migration between different SANs.

But How How QSM Works works?
Edwin Yuen explains that here...

Windows Server 2008 R2 Core SCONFIG

Are you using Windows Core edition? Are you having trouble configuring it?

Windows 2008 R2 will have the SCONFIG to help you with some of the most common tasks on Server Core.

SCONFIG will help you with:

-Domain join
-Rename Computer
-Configure Remote (Enable management via Server Manager, & PowerShell including properly configuring the firewall.)
-Configuring Windows Update
-Enabling Remote Desktop (in case you want to login remotely.)
-Configuring Networking (static vs. DHCP and for multiple NICs)

All you have to do is type sconfig at the command line.

SCONFIG is also localized in almost 20 languages

Still in Windows 2008?
Don't worry, and check some similar tools:

SCregEdit.wsf - Script Built with server core, all you have to do is type from cmd:

C:\Windows\System32>cscript SCregEdit.wsf
C:\Windows\System32>cscript SCregEdit.wsf /CLI

From codeplex you also have the core configurator:
Windows 2008 Server Core Configurator
"Another" Core Configurator (although I never used it) GUI version

Have fun :D

Windows Firewall DOCs

Here's some Microsoft documents for Windows Firewall.

Introduction to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
Windows 7 Network Location
HomeGroup and Firewall Interaction

Those documents covers Windows Firewall with Advanced Security in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, additionally you have details how HomeGroup interacts with firewalls, using Windows Firewall as an example.