• Windows 10 for IT Professionals

    On September 30th 2014, Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore of the Windows team unveiled Microsoft’s latest client offering, Windows 10 . With 1.5 billion users currently working with Windows, todays announcement embarks on the next chapter of client computing on path towards ubiquitous computing. What was also reviled was the importance of the IT Professional amidst this new client offering and...
  • Step-By-Step: Setting up the new Azure AD Sync Tool

    Hello Folks, A while back, Anthony Bartolo wrote about Syncing An On Premise AD with Azure Active Directory . But on September 16th 2014 Alex Simons announced on his blog that Azure Active Directory Sync is now GA! . So let’s revisit the topic and see how the new tool can help. as always, I recommend a few MVA modules to act as a primer if you’re not familiar with Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure IaaS...
  • Step-By-Step: Creating a custom UNIX provider for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

    When managing UNIX servers with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, the ability to configure collections, maintenance windows, and client settings are enabled to help management of said servers. Although the Configuration Manager client for UNIX does not have a user interface, you can force the client to manually poll for client policy. Niel Orcutt, Senior Software Development Engineer, has...
  • Tips on Migrating A Hyper-V Cluster

    Microsoft did a brilliant job in creating a procedure to upgrade Hyper-V Clusters from 2012 to 2012 R2. During this simple migration, not a single virtual machine experienced downtime nor did any user notice any performance degradation. The following steps were observed when completing said migration: 1. Verify that you are able to move the designated VMs Networks (you need to have the...
  • Step-By-Step: Creating a File Share in Azure

    Hello Folks, Last week I wrote about using Microsoft Azure to create an offsite copy of a fileset in Azure . Well it got me thinking that we had not looked at all the storage options in Azure. I suggest looking at following MVA modules as primer for storage in Azure. Microsoft Azure IaaS Deep Dive Jump Start Windows Azure Storage - Design and Implementation Jump Start Today I wanted...
  • Understanding Windows Server 2012 R2 Licensing

    Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2012 R2 as the “Gateway to the Cloud.” Allowing organizations to optimize performance for important workloads, Windows Server 2012 R2 also helps to protect against service outages with robust recovery options. It provides reduced complexity and cost with comprehensive automation plus storage and networking virtualization solutions based on industry-standard...
  • Review Hotfixes When Adding Your First Windows 2012 R2 Domain Controller

    One of our customers recently approved the upgrade of their infrastructure to Windows 2012 R2 Active Directory. The project was planned accordingly and the following phased approach was utilized when following high level steps to complete our Migration: 1. Create a new Conceptual Design for Active Directory 2012 R2 – Done! 2. Create a new Detailed Design for Active Directory 2012 R2 –...
  • Create an Offsite Copy of a Fileset in Azure

    Hello Folks, During our latest round of Azure Camps a question keeps coming back when we get to the Azure Storage management section. “Can I use it to store other type of Data? or just VHDs?” So I decided to give it a try. To do so I will create a Storage Account, then a container, and I will upload my family picture library. Just so I can tell my wife that our precious memories...
  • BYOD Basics: Securely Enabling iOS in the Workplace

    In light of recent announcements, IT professionals are now awaiting the onslaught of requests to add new iOS devices into the organization or business said IT professional supports. Embracing BYOD, through proper planning, thwarts the occurrence of Shadow IT and enables IT professionals to stay in control. Microsoft Virtual Academy provides a great starting point in regards to BYOD enablement in a...
  • Step-By-Step: Enabling A Primary AD FS Server in Azure for Office365 Single Sign-On

    This Step-By-Step will provide instruction to setup a primary AD FS 3.0 server on a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine in Azure. This post will accomplish the following: Create the Azure Cloud Service Build the Azure virtual machine Install the AD FS 3.0 role Configure AD FS 3.0 Federate with Office365 Microsoft Virtual Academy provides a great precursor...
  • 11 Sample Runbooks to Help You Build Your Own

    Hello Folks, 2 weeks ago, I posted an article regarding Automating Azure with runbooks . I got some really good feedback and some good questions I decided to address. But first, as usual, if you have not had any exposure to Azure. I recommend the following MVA modules as primer. Automating the Cloud with Azure Automation Microsoft Azure IaaS Deep Dive Jump Start Get Started with Windows Azure Today...
  • Step-By-Step: Adding Domain User Access to a Local User’s Profile

    Sometimes the best laid migration plans go awry. Why? Time after time the answer is the same: “Joe User” has a 50 gig (or larger) profile, which of course they claim it is work related. There are a plethora of methods to deal with large user profiles such as moving the data to another location and re-place post migration, utilizing hard-links that can be used to keep the data while moving...
  • What is Microsoft Virtual Academy?

    IT professionals are, for the most part, driven to best use technology to enable people from within the organization they support. To do so, system administrators, Infrastructure Specialists, Solutions Architects, etc, must keep their knowledge of IT best practices, solutions and tools current to ensure best efforts are always put forward to further enable organizations. IT professionals are a key...
  • Step-By-Step: Automating Azure with Runbooks

    Last week while I was traveling a reader (that’s you Jamie) reminded me that I had forgotten to write the promised part 2 of the “ Getting Ready to use Azure Automation ”. I don’t want to disappoint, so I jumped right on it. Before diving into automation. I do recommend the following MVA modules as primer. Automating the Cloud with Azure Automation Microsoft Azure...
  • Utilizing Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

    Windows Deployment Services (WDS), a service found in Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 R2 offering , enables IT professionals with the ability to deploy Windows operating systems via a network-based installation. This negates the need to install each operating system directly from installation media, such as a USB drive or DVD. Windows Deployment Services provides the following benefits to IT professionals...
  • Step-By-Step: Managing an Azure VM via Windows Server Manager

    Interest in cloud adoption has been notably increasing rapidly. Organizations of all sizes are researching its possibilities in enabling further growth and resiliency capabilities. What more, many organizations are looking at their existing infrastructure and are planning for the upcoming retirement of support for Windows Server 2003 . So should today’s business be all in with the cloud? The...
  • Step-By-Step: Enable Multi-Factor Authentication in Azure

    Hello Folks, lately I’ve been covering Azure and active directory pretty often. It’s because I believe that it’s crucial for us IT Pros to learn as much as we can about the cloud and the value it can bring our enterprises. In this next post we will do a simple setup of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) using a call back scheme to validate the user’s identity. but I do...
  • Top 3 Windows Intune Security Facts

    Windows Intune , now part of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Solutions offering (EMS), enables organizations to allow their people use the devices and applications while meeting the business’ security compliance needs. More than just your standard Mobile Device Management suite, Intune provides secure gateways for people to gain access to information that matters to them most. With Intune being...
  • Step-By-Step: Assigning VMs with Static IP addresses in a Virtual Network

    Hello Folks, in order to follow along you should be familiar with IaaS. The easiest way to do that is to listen to the Windows Azure for IT Pros Jump Start on Microsoft Virtual Academy. Over the last few weeks we published a lot of information regarding Microsoft Azure . I’ve actually concentrated on the networking side of things because after many conversations with ITPros it was clear...
  • What is Microsoft Azure StorSimple?

    In the enablement of people centric IT or BYOD, people are empowered at their organization to use devices such as smartphones and tablets to consume and create content on behalf of their organization. While focus on security has been top of mind as of late, some IT departments are now focusing on a new growing problem. Where to store all the data being created? In light of this, Microsoft has combined...
  • Step-By-Step: Restoring A Deleted Object via Active Directory Recycle Bin

    Accidents happen from time to time and files and/or objects can be mistakenly deleted. As penned in a previous post entitled Step-By-Step: Enabling Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2012 R2 , all is not lost. System administrators are now empowered with the ability to restore deleted objects from within Windows Server 2012 R2's offering of Active Directory once the feature is enabled...
  • BYOD Basics: Mobile Device Enablement Via Office 365

    In Canada, and in many other countries around the world, small businesses equate to more than half of the organizations contributing to said country's bottom line. What has been interesting observation as of late is the ability of many small businesses to compete alongside larger sized incumbents. Being smaller is no longer a challenge, rather an opportunity to be more nimble by adopting strategies...
  • The Microsoft Azure Portal is now build around ME!

    Hello folks, Lately I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on Azure. There is a good reason for that. I truly believe that cloud services s the way of the future. It will change and expand what we do the same way the personal computer changed the way system administrators managed the computing resources in the 80 and the same way virtualization has changed the way we managed datacenters in the last 5...
  • Step-by-Step: RemoteApp Hybrid Deployment–Part 2

    Hello Folks, I started this deployment on July 9th in Step-by-Step: RemoteApp Hybrid Deployment–Part 1 . I stopped short of completing it frankly because it was way too late and I needed my beauty sleep. Now. We complete it. First if you’re looking for more information about Azure or to increase your Azure skills, I highly recommend you take advantage of the Microsoft Virtual Academy...
  • Step-By-Step: Migrating From VMware to Microsoft Azure

    Microsoft's investment in Azure is tremendous and by today's announcements show no signs of stopping. Announcements made at World Partner Conference also highlighted significant gains in Hyper-V 2012 R2 adoption over previous years. In light of this, last year's post entitled Step-By-Step: Migrating From VMware to Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 now becomes the first step to an even larger...