Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

July, 2013

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Test Lab Guide - available for download

    The Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Base Configuration test lab, using computers running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, With the resulting test lab environment, you can build test labs based on other Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview-based TLGs from Microsoft, TLG extensions in the TechNet Wiki, or a test lab of your own design that can include Microsoft or non-Microsoft products.

    For a test lab based on physical computers, you can image the drives for future test labs. For a test lab based on virtual machines, you can create snapshots of the base configuration virtual machines. This enables you to easily return to the base configuration test lab, where most of the routine infrastructure and networking services have already been configured, so that you can focus on building a test lab for the product, technology, or solution of interest.

    Go get it @

  • Mail Protection Reports for Office 365 - download now available

    This reporting workbook provides you with a detailed view into the email protection data that is available in the Office 365 Reporting dashboard. This workbook is available to all Exchange Online and Exchange Online Protection customers. The workbook provides summary graphs for a number of different types of email message filtering. This includes messages identified as spam, malware, or good mail (mail that cleanly passed all filtering). It also shows graphs for messages that were identified by either a transport rule or DLP policy (Exchange Online customers only).

    The data for the summary graphs is pulled locally via a web service call. After loading the summary data into the workbook, you can perform deeper analysis through the use of data slicers. These allow you to change the view of the data in order to identify trends or unusual activity. When such a condition is found, you can click through from the summary to the detail data. Another web service call will be made to pull the detail data that you can use to identify the actual messages that caused the condition seen in the summary graph.

    Go get it @ I really need to try this with my accounts.

  • Office 2010 Admin Template files (ADM, ADMX/ADML) and Office Customization Tool download

    OfficeThis download includes Group Policy Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool files for use with Office 2010 applications. It also includes an \Admin folder with an Office Customization Tool, and ADMX, ADML, and ADM versions of Office 2010 system Administrative Template files.

    For administrative template files, you may use the ADM files for any Windows operating system, or the combination of ADMX and language-specific ADML files on computers running at least Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.

    This download version contains updates to support Office 2010 SP2. For the latest information about policy settings, please refer to the updated Microsoft Excel 2010 workbook, Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls, which is available in the Files to download section of this download page. The updated workbook, Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls, contains settings changes that were made after the download package was built.

    Go get it @

  • Virtual Fibre Channel Design Guide - Get your I/O On


    I still remember the magic of touching my first fibre HBA.  Releasing the server form the shackles of SCSI chaining and throughput issues.  It seems like a long time ago, but improvement continues to march on and one of our teams just released a nice article called the “Hyper-V Virtual Fibre Channel Design Guide” written by Microsoft Consulting Services Senior Consultant, Jason Dinwiddie.  Be sure to check it out.  Definitely worth the short read.  See for other articles on Hyper-V.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview now available for download

    As we set out to further invest in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, we wanted to build upon the great primary server experience that exists today with Windows Server 2012 Essentials, while at the same time providing a new level of flexibility in terms of how your server can be deployed. The Windows Server Essentials team is excited to announce the availability of the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview, and the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role for the Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacenter editions!  MORE