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  • Blog Post: Why you should avoid manual ‘server hardening’

    Sachin Kumar , a Premier Field Engineer from the India team, discusses a very important topic in this post. Many support incidents are actually triggered by non-standard (and sometimes unsupported) settings which are picked from outdated hardening guides. Read on for more details and for information...
  • Blog Post: Security, Security, Security, Security!

    Lots of security-related news to catch up on. (Ed note: I’m one of the developers/maintainers of the Security Health Check 4.5 offering, so I try to keep abreast of developments at home and elsewhere in the industry.) Alexandre Marins introduces the new Attack Surface Analyzer . Attack Surface Analyzer...
  • Blog Post: Bruce’s Core Survival Guide

    Bruce Adamczak continues to dig into the Server Core installation mode of Windows Server 2012, with some bite-sized nuggets of goodness in his Core Survival Guide. The list of Core topics he’s planning to cover is extensive, but he’s blazing through them! I like many of you keep notes to remember all...
  • Blog Post: Monitor Windows Server 2012 from SCOM 2007R2 with a new MP

    Monsieur Holman brings word of a Base OS MP Update . Lets talk for a minute about Windows Server 2012.  This new server OS has hit RTM already.  However – initially this OS version was only going to be supported as an agent monitored system for SCOM 2012.  There was to be no support for...
  • Blog Post: Headless installation of Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Tobias Hertkorn , one of our Microsoft Premier Field Engineers from Germany would like to share with you his tips on installing Windows 2012 Essentials, using a neat little trick and help from Hyper-V.   The trick Headless installation can be cumbersome and nerve-wrecking. “Did it boot from my USB...
  • Blog Post: Enriched Remote Access experience in Windows Server 2012

    Article written by Aydin Aslaner, a Premier Field Engineer based in Dubai (UAE). He is a Networking/Security PFE who focuses on Remote Access technologies and IPv6. With this series of blog posts I will try to provide you an overview of some key highlights in Windows Server 2012, from an administrator...
  • Blog Post: What is Cluster Aware Updating in Windows Server 2012? (Part 2) [VIDEO]

    Summary : This article is contributed by Ryan Doon , a Premier Field Engineer based in Canada. In this post (the second of a two part series), he walks us through a video demonstration of the new Cluster Aware Updating feature of Windows Server 2012, and how it can be used to easily update clustered...
  • Blog Post: Measure Boot Performance with the Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit

    Article written by Bhumit Shah, Premier Field Engineer at Microsoft India, who specializes in tuning Windows Server performance. Common questions I hear from my customers are: “ My desktops and laptops are taking long time to boot, can we find out why? ” and “ What can I do to...
  • Blog Post: File Share witness vs Disk witness for local clusters

    This article was contributed by Ryan Doon , a PFE working at Microsoft Canada. Clustering in Windows 2008 R2 has been greatly simplified, and one of those areas of simplification includes choosing which quorum model to use. Based on the cluster configuration, the best quorum model will be chosen...
  • Blog Post: Bruce continues to learn Windows Server 2012 (and wants to drag you along with him)

    There’s no better way to learn something than to teach someone else! (With some possible exceptions ). Bruce Adamczak has been going hammer and tongs at the Windows Server 2012 feature set, and has been publishing links and summaries at a rapid pace. Here’s a no-particular-order selection! Follow me...
  • Blog Post: Why Windows Server 2012 Parity Storage Spaces Might Perform Slowly

    Summary: Gregg O’Brien , a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer from Canada, walks us through some lessons he learned when testing Storage Spaces, a new feature in Windows Server 2012 that’s meant to provide enterprise-level storage performance, flexibility, and scale. The moral of his story...
  • Blog Post: How to: Ensure Hyper-V live migrations move at “Warp Speed!”

    David Hail over at the PFE Virtualization Blog notes a correlation between BIOS power state settings (c-states) and Hyper-V performance during live migrations: How long does it take for you to do a live migration between hosts? I ask that of all the customers I talk to that are using Hyper-V...
  • Blog Post: DirectAccess for Windows 7 works! But stops sometimes. Why?

    My sometime partner in crime Chad Duffey posted a tip he came across from a couple of DirectAccess deployments where Win7 clients mysteriously stopped workin g: I'm seeing lots of cases were a Direct Access proof of concept has been set up and it works really well for a while with both Windows 8 and...
  • Blog Post: Uncovering a hidden gem: PSR.exe

    Hmm… let’s see… I can remember the old Program Status Register from the Intel x86 days. Or maybe PSR stands for Physicians for Social Responsibility? No? Then what is it? Our colleague, Mike O'Neill from the PFE – US West team explains what PSR is all about in his recent blog post . PSR is Problem Steps...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell Web Access?

    (Huh!?) My old PFE flame* Chad Duffey has a short and sweet post on an interesting new feature in Windows Server 2012: Powershell Web Access . There is a nifty feature that comes with Windows Server 2012 which allows you to use PowerShell in a web browser. There are a million use cases for that! Maybe...
  • Blog Post: Faking Internet Connectivity for your Lab (Tricking NCSI)

    Sometimes, you’d do anything to keep your connection icons tidy! Chad (from the Canberra PFE team ) and I gave a talk on the new simplified DirectAccess at TechEd 2012 Australia , and we really wanted our demos to look good. Part of that was trying to convince the audience that network connectivity was...
  • Blog Post: What is Cluster Aware Updating in Windows Server 2012? (Part 1)

    Summary : This article has been contributed by Ryan Doon , a PFE working with Microsoft Canada. In this post (the first of a two part series), he talks about the new Cluster Aware Updating feature of Windows Server 2012, and how it can be used to easily update clustered servers while maintaining availability...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2012 - a look at the new Server Manager

    It’s a time of great change! Michael Hildebrand posted a quick overview of server management in past Windows versions, and a “walk around” the new Server Manager interface in Windows Server 2012 over on the Ask PFE Platforms blog. I say as someone that’s only been using it for a little while: It’s a...
  • Blog Post: Continuous Availability File Server in Windows Server 2012

    Dave Guenthner , a Premier Field Engineer working in the United States, discusses an exciting new feature in Windows Server 2012, Continuous Availability File Server . He shows how the combination of the transparent failover in Windows 2012 for these file share resources, combined with new client features...
  • Blog Post: Cloning, rolling back, and snapshotting Virtual DCs with Windows Server 2012

    Tom at AskPfePlat has put some time in to looking at virtualized Domain Controller support in Windows Server 2012. Until now, cloning, snapshotting, copying, or pretty much doing anything but rebuilding from scratch to a virtual domain controller wasn't just unsupported; it had the potential to be really...
  • Blog Post: GUI / Core conversion in Windows Server 2012

    More than once, I have made the mistake of installing Windows 2008 R2 with a full GUI, when I really just needed the Windows Core flavor. Now the only supported way to fix that was a complete rebuild. Argh Worry not anymore! With Windows Server 2012 there is an option to seamlessly switch back and forth...
  • Blog Post: Setting up Web Server SSL Certificates to Renew Automatically

    Amer Kamal offers a solution to a long-standing request for auto-renewing IIS web server certificates, over on the Windows PKI (ADCS) blog! The problem: Working with Internet Information Services (IIS) certificates can be a bit challenging especially during renewal time. Most organizations do not track...
  • Blog Post: Logging and Reporting the Last Interactive Logon time with Windows 2008+ DCs

    In a slight departure from our regular post style, I’m reposting an email sent by Mark Renoden in response to an internal Aussie PFE discussion about LastLogonTime. Sharing is caring. I thought I’d hijack the thread to discuss a feature we might be able to use more often, now that our customers are finally...