• Microsoft Download Center: Windows Azure Datacenter IP Ranges & Windows Azure Mini Case Studies

    Hi All,

    Today, I am sharing couple of useful resources around Windows Azure available on Microsoft Download site.

    First one is Windows Azure Datacenter IP Ranges…This file contains the Compute IP address ranges (including SQL ranges) used by the Windows Azure Datacenters. Each section specifies the geographic region and the IP address ranges associated with that region.



    Second one is about Windows Azure mini case studies featuring ISVs for your reference.


  • Demystifying the unknown text box floating on the desktop…

    Few times I noticed that there is a text box floating around desktop and there is no way to identify or trace by looking at it.

    This is the text box….


    So, how to find what is that box. Well, there is a utility in Sysinternals Tools called Process Explorer. You can use that to find out what is the process running.

    So open up Process Explorer…Click & Drag the Bull’s eye icon to the running window. And it would point you to the process running behind that box.


    And the process Adobe Reader. Just right click on the process & KILL IT. That’s it Smile 

    Thank You!

  • Active Directory Management tool by Stellar Active Directory Manager (1 Year Free Registration)

    Hi Everyone,

    In this post I am going to talk about a 3rd party Active Directory Management Tool from Stellar. I have been evaluating this tool recently & thought to share this with you all. There are many tools available in the market today that IT Administrators use.

    As always make sure you test & evaluate it in your test lab environment first before deploying it in your production environment.


    Today, almost every organization has a complex user network distributed across multiple departments. Managing large number of users and computers in such big organizations is considered to be a tedious and time consuming job. Most of the organizations use Active Directory Management Services (ADMS) to manage the users in the organization. The Active Directory Management Services is a very useful service to handle a limited number of users in an organization. However, in an organization having large number of users, it is very difficult to manage user accounts and resources. Handling a large number of users manually is extremely time consuming, tiresome, and prone to errors. Moreover, the administrator needs to have an in-depth knowledge about the Active Directory Management Services.

    The Active Directory tool also requires various admin inputs and can create further complexities while handling it. The IT administrators come across such challenges almost on a daily basis. For them, resetting thousands of expired and forgotten password of the users is routine work. It is one of the most common tasks handled by an IT administrator. It requires taking the time out from a busy schedule and lowers productivity. The admin also devotes a considerable amount of time while handling groups. Moreover, it allows you to configure or assign various group attributes for just one group at a time. Creating and Managing Contacts in an Active Directory is considered equally important as they have directory information associated with them. It is very important to ensure that a Contact has all the relevant information about a person as it helps in communicating with the people inside and outside the organization. In order to have an authenticated and reliable communication, most of the organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server. The MS Exchange Server works in synchronization with the Active Directory and considered as the backbone of the messaging service. Hence, it is as important as managing Active Directory for any administrator. Managing Microsoft Exchange Server for optimal performance is a very challenging task. Moreover, it is impossible to simultaneously manage Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007/2010/2013 in a single console. When it comes to sharing resources, it brings a major concern of assigning different resources at different levels of a network. The Active Directory uses a very long approach to manage file servers as it handles one user at a time. For example, whenever a new employee is added to an organization, the admin needs to grant him access to various shared resources such as organizational policies, staff details, HR policies, etc. However, granting access to any confidential data is not required, as it may lead to misuse of data. Such permissions need to be carefully granted to ensure data safety and security.

    There are many native Exchange and Active Directory tools, which claims to monitor and manage the Active Directory and Exchange to ensure best performance. Most of them tend to fail in handling Active Directory Domain Services. Active Directory Domain Service is a very complex service and lacks a user friendly approach.

    Stellar Active Directory Manager is a simple and user-friendly tool, which overcomes all the complexities involved in Active Directory Services. It simplifies the complexities of Active Directory Domain Service and provide you a complete control over Active Directory environment. The tool eases various management operations of Active Directory administrator with complete security and authentication. It comes with a complete set of management tools for efficient management of Active Directory. You can perform bulk operations on the user account, computers, contacts, and groups from a centralized location. It also has an inbuilt feature to run queries and generates detailed log report. It also enables the administrator to manage Resources, Account & Audit policies and resources & devices. Thus it helps in avoiding errors and saves a lot of time and cost.

    Some important features offered by the Stellar Active Directory Manager which efficiently addresses these concerns are: · Performs bulk operations on User's, Group, Deleted Objects, Saved Query etc. from a centralized location
    · Manages policies related to users account, audit, securities, rights, and resource management locally as well as remotely
    · Schedule events, manage tasks, and assigns rights for users and computers
    · Manages Sessions, Services , Events and Disk Space on target computers.
    · Generates AD Reports
    · Support for Windows 8/7Vista/XP and Windows Server 2008/2003 (32 & 64Bit)

    Stellar Active Directory Manager Screenshot


    To know more about the tool & get your 1 year free registration key please visit: http://www.stellarinfo.co.in/adm/

    Thank You.

  • Microsoft Top Support Solutions for Q2

    Top Support Solutions have been updated with new information.

    A very handy & useful set of links to most common customer issues.

  • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager (SCOM 2012) Create a Maintenance Mode Report

    Hi Everyone,

    Recently while working for a customer, I got a query around generating a real time report of all the objects in the maintenance mode. They wanted to schedule a maintenance mode report so that every time they run a report that should display a all the objects (servers, clients etc.) in the Maintenance Mode State. Ideally, when you use Operations Manager console, you can see the objects like servers in the maintenance mode state. However, if you want to generate a report then we have to make use of the Reporting capability & it gives us the historic data by querying on to the Operations Manager Datawarehouse DB. So, when I was looking for a solution to share with my customer, few of my Microsoft colleagues pointed me to a blog post written by Microsoft PFE UK Manageability Team. Microsoft PFE Richard Hawes have written 5 Part blog series around generating different types of HTML based report using PowerShell scripts.

    Part 5 of the blog mentioned about generating the real time information of all the objects in the Maintenance Mode.

    Here is the link http://blogs.technet.com/b/manageabilityguys/archive/2013/10/01/how-to-create-daily-reports-with-system-center-operations-manager-2012-and-powershell-part-5.aspx

    You can download a PowerShell scripts from their blog, which generates a nice HTML based report. So, in a nutshell, you need to use PowerShell to generate the information about what all objects are currently in the Maintenance Mode. Here is a sample

    $mc = get-scomClass -name Microsoft.Windows.Computer
    Get-SCOMClassInstance  $mc | Where {$_.InMaintenanceMode -eq 'True'}


    When you use the PowerShell from the blog you will see the following output in the HTML formatted report.

    Of course, since it is PowerShell based cmdlets you can definitely customize the details, fields etc. and also use the scheduling options to generate a report every hour, day depending upon your requirement.

    For the detailed instructions, visit the blog by Microsoft UK PFE Team. I hope this is a useful information for all of those looking for this kind of a requirement.

    Thank you.

    Aviraj Ajgekar
    Technical Specialist – Datacenter
    Microsoft Corporation – New York Metro