August, 2006

  • My RSS Bandit on Vista

    Still having some difficulties running RSS Bandit on Vista. My current build is 5536 and I can use RSS reader but I have some troubles configuring the reader. Thanks to workaround of Eric Denekamp I can now configure the RSS.

    On his blogpost he explains that he found out why RSS bandit runs but cannot open the config windows. It must be something with the Aero Glass theme, when you disable the theme and run it in the standard theme you can open the config windows of RSS Bandit.

    I like the RSS Bandit very much so I hope they will fix that soon or should I use another way to read my feeds using outlook perhaps.

    Anyway I will use this workaround to configure my reader and enable Glass as soon as I finish with this task.

     

    Technorati Tags: ,
  • System Center Operations Manager 2007 Beta 2

     

    Before installing System Center Operations Manager 2007 Beta 2 (SCOM 2007) the setup process will check your server against the prerequisites:

     

     

    What you need is:

    • Windows 2003 SP1
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (can be Express edition)
    • MDAC 2.80 or higher
    • .NET Framework v2.0
    • WinFX Runtime Components (or should we replaced it by the .NET Framework 3.0)
    • Windows Powershell

    After installing all the prerequisites you will be ready to install SCOM 2007 Beta2.

     

     

    Here you can select which components of SCOM 2007 you want to install did you notice the "MOM Monad Command Shell" yes SCOM is the second product after Exchange 2007 that uses the Powershell scripting shell. What can you do with Powershell? You can have script based access to MOM data and operations like for example install a agent onto a computer (install-AgentManaged Computer). I will play around with Powershell and write some blogposts later about that.

     

    Next fill in the Management Group name. Now you will need to select the SQL server where you want to host the SCOM Database. I installed SQL Server 2005 Express edition which is  free version of SQL Server(the limitations of this database should be enough for me here).

     

    The next step in the install process is to define the size and location of the database. The size will depend on the size of your environment (number of objects) the more servers and managed clients the bigger the database will need to be. I used the default size  and location.

     

    Now you need to fill in a Management Server Action account, you can either choose the local system user or fill in a user from AD. Personally I recommend to create a MomServer account which will give you more control about how SCOM will have access. This user is for example needed to deploy agents to computers.

     

    Another account will be needed for the SDK and Config Service in MOM. The SDK service is a data access layer between the agents, consoles and databases and the Config service is responsible to distribute the configuration to the agents. We recommend you to take another account because this account will logon to the database.

     

    The last step is to enable the Error reporting, by doing that SCOM will send error reports to Microsoft which helps us to create a better SCOM.

    We now have a SCOM 2007 up and running and are ready to deploy the agents and start monitoring my environment. First I will try to find some interesting Management Packs but that's for later.

     

    Technorati Tags: ,
  • I want this Laptop

    With Vista we introduced computer performance rating and I just found out which laptop I want. My US colleague Keith Combs has the fastest laptop (Lenovo ThinkPad T60p) according to the tool I saw.

     


    Keith explains in his blogposts how the performance rating is working in current builds.

    I wish I had this laptop, this is my best machine:

     

    Who has a better rating on his laptop then 4.1????? Let me know arlindoa@Microsoft.com 

    Technorati Tags: , ,

     

  • Howto track all executed commands Exchange 2007

    This weekend I read on Damien Caro how you can save every command that has been executed on an Exchange 2007 environment.

    Because Exchange 2007 is completely based on Powershell, which means that every change made through the Exchange Management Console or through the management shell can be logged.


    Damien explains which keys you have to change in order to log the commands:

    For the Exchange snap-in we will have to set the following regsitry key:

    Powershell command:

    set-itemproperty HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Msh.Admin -Name LogpipelineExecutionDetails -value 1

    Registry Key:

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Msh.Admin LogpipelineExecutionDetails 1

    From now on all commands executed by the Exchange management console will be stored into the event viewer of the server which could be monitored by Operations Manager (MOM)

    Technorati Tags: ,

  • Vista:: Gadgets changes in 5536

    I noticed that some of the gadgets in build 5536 have been changed or added.

     

    Let me know if you have any cool and useful gadgets. 

    Technorati Tags: ,
  • Visual Web what????


    Yeah just finished downloading Visual Web Developer. I want to develop a litle website with some database functionality. Where to start? I started with the installation of Visual Web developer and my colleague Tom Mertens pointed me to some starter kits where I could find pre-defined websites.

    I found 5 different starter kits:

    Coming weeks or maybe better months I wil TRY to create such a site.What do I want simple I need a member list with personal info, easy to filter, change and add records and the second db I need is to create some news items and if it would be rss enabled it would be even better. I am not a developer, I never created much more than some VBscripting and a bit of Powershell scripting. I will let you know how easy it was. If you don't here from me anymore it means I failed. But I won't (I hope).
  • Tech-Ed: IT Forum 2006 - Speaker Idol


    Ever dreamed to talk at the Tech-Ed: IT Forum 2007 which is our biggest European event for IT Pro's. Now is the time and join the Speaker Idol contest. Will you be the next Top speaker @ Technet IT Forum 2007.

    What can you win:
    Winner gets free entrance (no Travel & Expense) and the opportunity to speak at Tech-Ed: IT Forum 2007.

    How to subcribe:
    Presentation submissions to be emailed to SpeakerIdol-ITF@mseventseurope.com, together with participant name, company name, job title, email address and contact telephone number

    Who can subscribe:
    • Contest open to delegates who have registered to attend Tech·Ed: IT Forum (14-17 November 2006)
    • A delegate is someone who has registered and paid in full for Tech·Ed: IT Forum (14-17 November 2006) 
    • Delegates must be over the age of 18 years old and reside within EMEA (Europe, Middle East or Africa)
    • Contest excludes delegates who are representatives or employees of Microsoft Corporation or its affiliates in any capacity – i.e. full time employees, vendors, interns, contractors, etc. 

    For more information about this contest: Tech-Ed: IT Forum Speaker Idol

    Let me know if you are one of the Speaker Idol winners. I hope to meet you in Barcelona.
  • Do you find the Ipod to expensive??? Try the cohPod

    Just finished reading a blogpost about the cohPod on Frederik Vandeputte his blog. If you like him find the Ipod to expensive go ahead and try the cohPod it's quite cheaper but less cool.

    There are two versions of the cohPod a 700MN and a 4,7GB.

    If you compare the costs of both then the conclusion is :

    The 4,7GB cohPOD costs less than 0,001 EUR per song. 

    The 4GB Ipod costs about 0,259 EUR per song.

    Curious on how this device looks just take a look here :)

    He calls it the one dollar Ipod.

    I will just wait until Zune is there:)

  • Vitruvian Man anno 2006

     

    Vitruvian Mann

    I should defenitvely add scuba diving to this picture. I found this cool so I wanted to share this with you.

    Vitruvian Mann

    Found on wouter.net (dutch blog)

  • Microsoft ExTRA 1.0

     

    Yesterday we released the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant (ExTRA).

    ExTra is an union of the Exchange Performance Troubleshooter (ExPTA),  the Disaster Recovery Analyzer (ExDRA) and a new analyzer called the Mailflow Troubleshooter (ExMFA). 

     

    So in short ExTRA is ExPTA, ExDRA and ExMFA and in a later stadion we might add ExBPA wow and that in one line.

    The ExMFA is the new part into ExTRA. The mailflow troubleshooter attempts to walk  through the process by starting with a issue and go further towards the root cause of the issue. The initial set of issues the tool will deal with are:

    · Non-delivery reports (NDR's) are being received.

    · Mail from an external source is slow or blocked.

    · Mail to an external source is slow or blocked.

    · Mail queues are backing up.

    Technorati Tags:
  • Vista:: Flip 3D

    I know most of you know what Flip 3D is and how to activate it (windows key + tab) and there was also a key combination which you could retain the windows on screen without the need to press the key combination ctrl + windows key + tab. I just found this little trick to let the flip 3D on the screen with only the windows key + tab.

     

    Howto? Press the window key + tab but release them very fast. Don't know if it's a feature or bug?

    Technorati Tags:
  • Exchange 2007 Server Roles

    I am currently building my new test environment with Virtual Server 2005 R2.

    After installing my Exchange 2007 server with the new server roles I will go on and install System Center Operations Manager 2007 Beta 2 (see next post), I installed the Mailbox, Hub Transport and Client access roles.

    There are two other roles available Unified Messaging role and Edge Transport role.

    Let me explain briefly what these roles do:

    Mailbox role: This role can be compared with the back-end role in Exchange 2003, it is holding all mailboxes and public folders. It is also responsible for all MAPI client access.


    Hub Transport role: This role is responsible for the mail delivery within your Exchange 2007 environment, it is like the bridgehead server in Exchange 2003. You can deploy message hygiene software (anti spam) onto this server. The Hub Transport roles also accepts the mails that are coming from the outside world through the Edge Transport role. Hub Transport agents can also be deployed to enforce corporate policies such as message retention and other custom made rules.

    Client Access role: This role is like the Front-End role in Exchange 2003, it is responsible for handling all client connectivity from owa, outlook (RPC over HTTPs) to Activesync with Windows Mobile.


    Unified Messaging role: This rule is very very new and cool it integrates your VOIP infrastructure with your Exchange environment. So you will get your voice mails within your mailbox.


    Edge Transport role: This server role needs to be installed at the edge of the network (DMZ) and is installed on a stand alone server with no access to Active Directory, however an Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) is used to synchronize the mailbox accounts with this server. The Edge transport role is responsible for the mail flow from your Exchange 2007 environment to the Internet and vice versa. The Edge Transport role performs a number of functions including Anti-spam and Anti-virus protection. The Edge Transport uses connection-, content- and recipient filtering, SenderID, sender and IP reputation to reduce the amount of Spam delivered to the users inbox.

     

    My next step is to install System Center Operation Manager 2007 Beta 2 (SCOM 2007) onto another server. I will use the Operation Manager to monitor my Exchange 2007 server whenever the Management Pack will be ready.  I just downloaded System Center Operation Manager 2007 Beta 2 and prepared my Windows 2003 R2 server. (see next post)

      

    Technorati Tags: , , , ,
  • Technet Evening

    In September we will start again with the monthly organized Technet Evenings. During these 2 hours sessions we or one of our partners, speakers will talk about Microsoft Technology, sometimes it can be an overview of an upcoming product or sometimes it can be a deep dive into our current technology.

     

    So the first Technet Evening of our new fiscal year will be :

    Designing, Managing and Maintaining Exchange Server 2007 beyond the basics:

     

    "With the release of Exchange Server 2007 approaching fast we want to provide you with some of the best practices for designing Exchange Server 2007 environments. We’ll provide you with guidance on server & storage configurations to build a well balanced platform for Exchange Server 2007. We’ll also dive into the Exchange Server 2007 Best Practices analyzer and how it is an integrated part of the setup routine. To close the session we’ll go into some of the finer details of maintaining and controlling a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 environment."

    Register here:

    Dutch - French

     

    Hope to meet you there.

  • Technet Event:: Security and Management Solutions

    Join us at Kinepolis Brussels on Monday September 25th to discover the latest trends in security and management solutions from Microsoft. You have the choice between 2 tracks. The first full day track covers our the Microsoft Forefront security portfolio. The second full day track will provide an in depth update on the Microsoft System Center management portfolio.

     

    Microsoft Forefront Security

    Discover Microsoft Forefront, a comprehensive line of business security products that provides greater protection and control through integration with your existing IT infrastructure and through simplified deployment, management, and analysis.
    During this full day track you’ll get an overview of the Microsoft Forefront strategy and roadmap. Next we’ll take a deep dive into the most important aspects of the Microsoft Forefront product portfolio with a technical session on Forefront Antigen for Exchange, ISA 2006 Server and ForeFront Client Security.

    Register Forefront Dutch - French

     

    Best of Microsoft Management Summit

    The annual Microsoft Management Summit tour through Europe once again makes a stop in Belgium. During this full day track you’ll get an update on Microsoft’s overall infrastructure management strategy and a deep dive into current and upcoming versions of products such as System Center Operations Manager 2007 (MOM v.Next) and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SMS v.Next). We’ll give you an insight into how products such as codename “Carmine” will change the way Virtual Machines are managed and how all of this integrates into the overall vision of the Dynamic Systems Initiative.

    Register MMS Dutch - French

    Note: This event is free of charge - hope to meet you there

  • Vista:: Internet Explorer 7 final name?

     

    That's it the Internet Explorer team listened to the feedback they got from you. They changed the "Internet Explorer 7 +" into "Internet Explorer 7" which is a good thing. My feelings says don't make it to difficult and don't change the names to often but there is still a difference between IE7 for Windows XP and IE7 for Vista which is the protected mode feature. So we will need to clearly mention it when we talk about protected mode features.

    Technorati Tags: , , ,
     
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1

    I just received a mail to say that we released the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 (SCVMM Beta1).

     

    Howto download:

    1. Go to http://connect.Microsoft.com/vmm/downloads

    2. Sign in with your Passport or Windows Live ID

    3. Select "VMM Beta 1"

    4. Please note that SCVMMM Beta 1 is for "test/lab environment" deployments only

    5. Make sure you read the Getting Started with Virtual Machine Manager and Requirements for Deploying Virtual Machine Manager  before installing Beta 1.

     

    I can't wait to test this out as I really like Virtual Server and I also like the fact that with SCVMM I will be able to manage them better. I wrote an article about SCVMM (code name "Carmine") a while ago when I was at the MMS2006 conference in San Diego. I told you that I would start testing the SCVMM very soon. I think I will install it somewhere this week and blog about it later on.

     

    Technorati Tags: ,
  • Terminal Services in Longhorn

    I still do love the Server Based Computing technology and we are making the product even better within the next release of our server product longhorn.

    Last week there was a chat with our Terminal Server Product team, unfortunately I missed it. If you also missed it I found a good article on Brian Madden his site that wraps-up what the changes are on Terminal Services.

    These are some of the changes:

    • Application Publishing with client-side file type associations
    • Seamless Windows
    • A Terminal Server Gateway (TSG)
    • Intelligent Avalon/WinFX Remoting
    • A Unified Management Console
    • Redirection of Plug-n-Play devices with UDMF drivers
    • Major Reworking of the Logon Process
    • Per-User Licenses will be Tracked
    • Web interface
    • RDP 6
    • A Refined Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM)
    • WMI Interface for Everything
    • RDP Virtual Channel Tuning.

    The above features are discussed in more detail here.

     

    Personally I think we are still far away from the feature set Citrix has onto their Presentation Server, but we have now some interesting features which makes Terminal Services without presentation server more useful in smaller environments. Citrix is really an Enterprise management layer onto TS.

    Longhorn Terminal Server in combination with the recently announced Windows fundamentals for Legacy PC's (which is basically a stripped down Windows XP) or with full thin clients can save many customers money onto their TCO and will also extend the lifecycle of their PC's. With the acquisition of Softricity you could also improve the application installation, compatibility and/or coexistence on server based computing environments. 

    I know from my many years of SBC experience that application deployments on Terminal Servers can be very difficult, not only the deployment but also how to manage all those different applications. I coming months I will setup Longhorn with TS and Softricity in my test lab.

    Mmmm with all those products coming up I will have to choose which I will test.

     

  • Pro Exchange UG meeting::SAN, NAS, and backup/restore procedures for Exchange.



    Just received my invitation for the second Pro-Exchange user group meeting.

     
    Here’s a detailed overview of what we have planned for you:

    When? Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

    Where? Astrid Park Plaza, Antwerp

    Schedule?

                6PM-7PM: Arrival

                7PM-8PM: Breakout Session

                8PM-9PM: Networking (with the little help of a drink)

    Targeted Audience? All members of Pro-Exchange.be

    Breakout Session?

    We will have a session on Hardware Requirements of Exchange now and in the future.  And we will introduce some of the products EMC Insignia has available just for the Exchange administrator.  Please note, that this session is definitely NOT a marketing session, but we will dive into this wonderful world of SAN, NAS, and backup/restore procedures for Exchange.

    It's always interesting to see what the hardware players are offering towards, the storage, backup and restore possibilities for the Exchange environment

    I'll be there if you want to come to this meeting register yourself at the Pro-Exchange site. Hope to meet you there.

  • Blogging with Windows Live Writer

    This post and many other posts on this blog have been created with the new blogging tool "Windows Live Writer"

    What do I like about this tool, the fact that this tool downloads the template from your blog. Now you can see how your post will look like even before you post it onto your online blog. Very cool.

     

    A nice feature is the "Insert Map" which lets you insert a Windows Live Local map directly into your post.

     

    The Windows Live Writer SDK allows developers to extend the capabilities of Writer to publish additional content types. Actually there are already some community plugins available :

    Go ahead and test the Windows Liver Writer Beta 1 blogging tool. I subscribed to the RSS feed

     

    Update:  JefTek has a good list of plugins

    Technorati Tags:
  • Operations Manager 2007 and Powershell

    In my previous post I showed how to install Operations Manager 2007, in this post you will get a first look at powershell in Operations Manager 2007. 

    Like in the new version of Exchange 2007, Operations Manager 2007 also makes usage of powershell.

    Let's start with the beginning, open the MSH console, Powershell will open and automatically connect to the Management server, in my case it was SRVMOM01 (see the screenshot)

    There are not so many cmdlets (command in Powershell) available for Operations Manager 2007 then for Exchange. I hope they will extend the number of cmdlets as you already know now I am a BIG FAN of Powershell (see my previous posts about Powershell : http://blogs.technet.com/aralves/search.aspx?q=Pow...)

    But if you want to know which are the commands available for Operations Manager 2007 then just type get-momcommand

     

    The first command you could try out is DIR when you do this in the default MSH console the this command will return the different groups there are available, for example "AllComputersGroup"

     

    Lets connect to this group with the following command:
    cd Microsoft.SystemCenter.AllComputersGroup
    if you do a DIR now you will have a list of computers which are managed by Operations Manager 2007. I already installed the agents onto my two servers.

     

    Let's create a list of all resolved alerts we have:  get-alert | where { $_.ResolutionState -eq "Resolved"}

    This will return a big lists with all information about the alerts. The second step here is narrow the returned information

    We will use the same command but with additional parameters:
    get-alert | where { $_.ResolutionState -eq "Resolved"} | format-list manage*, name, ResolutionState,monitoring*

    This command will have the following output (example based on my environment):

    You can do the same for all new alerts:
    get-alert | where { $_.ResolutionState -eq "New"} | format-list manage*, name, ResolutionState, monitoring*

    You can output the results to a file for later usage.

     

    Another command is the resolve-alert command which will let you easily resolve alerts in bulk. Here is an example:

    get-alert | where { $_.ResolutionState -eq "New"} | resolve-alert

     

    I think that powershell can be useful in Operation Manager but I would like to see the Management console changed like in the Exchange console where we show which command (and parameters) has been used to perform a certain action.

    It's still Beta software so maybe it could change later on. I will post this request to the product team.

     

     

  • Live Writer: Code Highlight Plug-in


    Gabriel Lozano-Morán
    writes on his blog that
    Christoph De Baene created a plug-in for Windows Live write. The plug-in can be useful for the developers amongst us (mmm are there any developers reading my blog??).

    The plug-in is called syntaxColor4Writer, it enables you to embed syntax highlighting in your blog posts.

    Want more info read this

    Update:  JefTek has a good list of plugins

    Technorati Tags: Windows Live Writer

  • Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate

    It's there we released IE7 RC1. You don't have to uninstall any previous installed beta as we will do it for you during the RC1 install.

    You can dowload IE7 RC1 from http://www.microsoft.com/ie.

     

    Please install this version and let us know what you find about it. This version will not install on Windows Vista,  a new version of IE7 for Vista will be released with the next public build of Vista. For more info see IE BLOG

     

    Read Paul Thurrot's review about this release.

     

    Technorati Tags: ,
  • Belux: Upcoming TechNet Events

    Maybe you didn't noticed my previous posts about the upcoming TechNet events in Belux. The registrations for both events are still open, if you didn't registered yet just click the links below:

     

    Sept 6 TechNet Evening:

    During this 2 hours Technical session our speaker Ilse Van Criekinge will talk about several Exchange 2007 features like: Hardware requirements, Server roles, Transport roles, how the expba has been integrated into the setup, High availability (LCR, CCR) and much more.

    Level: 300

    Where? NH Hotel Diegem

    Timing: 18:00 - 20:00

    If you're interested, click here to register!

    Original post: http://blogs.TechNet.com/aralves/archive/2006/08/0...

     

    Sept 25 TechNet Event:

    This a full day event with two tracks.The first full day track covers our the Microsoft Forefront security portfolio. The second full day track will provide an in depth update on the Microsoft System Center management portfolio.

    Microsoft Forefront Security   - Level 300 -Register here Dutch - French

    Best of Microsoft Management Summit  - Level 300/400 - Register here Dutch - French

     

    If you want more info about this event

     

    Original post: http://blogs.technet.com/aralves/archive/2006/08/0...

     

    Note: These events are free of charge - I hope to meet you there