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  • Blog Post: Deployment–DSC Resources for System Center Deployment

    Readers of this blog are familiar with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT), which was developed to solve the problem of complex long running distributed deployment, primarily of the components used to manage the fabric of a private cloud i.e. Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure Pack...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–are you using PDT?

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted here… and there’s a good reason for that, which I hope to share soon. But first, I have a question: Are you using PDT, and if so, how are you using it? There have been over 12,000 downloads of PDT from the TechNet Gallery. Every week I get at least a couple of interesting...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–At last, a GUI for PDT!!!

    When I introduced the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit at both the Microsoft Management Summit and TechEd in 2013, I asked “Who’s afraid of XML?” A lot of hands went up. At the end of my breakout, I asked the question again… and again, a lot of hands went up, although I believe it was slightly less than...
  • Blog Post: Cisco UCS Power Scripting Contest

    Readers of the Building Clouds blog probably know me as the “PowerShell Deployment Toolkit” guy. PDT is all about deploying the management stack – System Center and Windows Azure Pack. PDT will even create the VMs needed to deploy that management stack to – as long as you are using Hyper-V, of course...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Minor PDT update 2.64.2608 now available

    I just posted an updated PDT 2.64.2608 to the TechNet Gallery here . This update resolves a few bugs, and adds: Installer.ps1 Supports extensions to Workflow.xml via Extender*.xml files New switch option –SkipValidation RoleCombinations New switch –MaxStage to control deployment in stages VMCreator.ps1...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–VMCreator updates with PDT 2.6

    PowerShell Deployment Toolkit 2.6 (PDT), which is available on the TechNet Gallery here , added new capabilities for VM Creation: Generation 2 VMs VLAN Tagging MAC Spoofing Autostop Settings Guest Services As a reminder, VMCreator.ps1 was introduced in this post . The PDT download includes a sample Variable...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT 2.6 is now available on the TechNet Gallery

    PowerShell Deployment Toolkit version 2.6 has now been posted to the TechNet Gallery here . Version 2.6 resolves a number of bugs, and also adds the following capabilities: High availability for roles that require network load balancing Shared VHDX creation VM creation updates: Generation 2 VMs VLAN...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Why does PDT think my Variable.xml is invalid?

    One question that I hear often on PDT is this – why does PDT think my Variable.xml is invalid? When you run any of the PDT scripts – Downloader.ps1, VMCreator.ps1, or Installer.ps1 – the script reads both Workflow.xml and Variable.xml. If either one of them is invalid, it just spits out a red error message...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT 2.5.2509, resolves Configuration Manager media validation

    Just posted a tiny update to the published version of PDT to resolve the media validation issue with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Prerequisites. There are no other changes in this release – a much larger update with lots of interesting new functionality is coming soon!
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Version 6.3 of Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 released

    When I introduced VMCreator.ps1, I recommended the use of Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 for creation of the parent disks. A new version – version 6.3 – of Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 has now been released. Amongst other things, this new version supports creation of parent disks for Generation 2 VMs – very useful...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Using existing SQL instances with PDT

    During a discussion with some Microsoft consultants using PDT today for some more advanced deployment scenarios, I was reminded that there is a very useful feature of PDT that I have never blogged about – the ability to use existing SQL instances, instead of having PDT install SQL. This feature has been...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Introducing PowerShell Deployment Toolkit

    In this post, I want to provide an overview of the “PowerShell Deployment Toolkit”, or PDT. PDT is a set of scripts and knowledge that can be used to deploy… well, probably just about anything, but the samples we provide are for deployment of System Center 2012 SP1. There’s nothing to stop someone from...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Minor PDT update 2.5.2502 available

    This release corrects a bug in the Windows Azure Pack configuration, and updates the download for SharePoint 2010 Foundation to SP2 since the original release is no longer available. Download here .
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT 2.5 is now available on the TechNet Gallery

    PowerShell Deployment Toolkit version 2.5 has now been posted to the TechNet Gallery here .  Version 2.5 adds a number of enhancements: Deployment of System Center 2012 R2 Preview. Creation of Active Directory during VM creation for end to end isolated environment creation. Static ports for SQL...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Installing VMM clusters with PDT

    This is the second of three posts that will explain how PDT can be configured to deploy a highly available configuration.  The first post covered SQL clusters, this post will cover Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) clusters, and the third post will cover scale out roles. High availability was one of...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–The PDT VM Creator

    I introduced the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit, or PDT, in a previous post .  As I mentioned in that post, PDT requires that the servers that System Center will be deployed to are already running, members of an Active Directory domain, and you have administrator permissions to those servers. ...
  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting Windows Azure Pack & Gallery Items (VM Roles) (Part 1)

    Hello readers Today we are going to look at another new area which came to market with Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and System Center 2012 R2. The new concept is called Gallery Items and is a new way to distribute applications and workloads (e.g PaaS apps, VM Templates) using Windows Azure Pack and Virtual...
  • Blog Post: Deployment-Minor PDT update 2.5.2508 now available

    PDT 2.5.2508 is now available on the TechNet Gallery here .  This release adds download locations for the two Windows Server MPs required for Operations Manager integration with Virtual Machine Manager, and corrects the filesize validation for the Configuration Manager Prerequisites download.
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT 2.3 is now available on TechNet Gallery

    Just a quick post to let everyone know that version 2.3 of the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit has now been posted to the TechNet Gallery here .  The major enhancement in 2.3 is pre-installation validation – Installer.ps1 will now run a series of validation checks based on the deployment specified...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–The PDT Downloader

    In my last post , I introduced the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit, or PDT.  As I mentioned in that post, before you are able to run Installer.ps1 from PDT, you will need all the software to be used in the deployment.  This is more than just the System Center 2012 SP1 bits – you will also need...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Using PDT for end-to-end deployment including Active Directory

    At the public conferences this year – MMS 2013, TechEd 2013 North America, and TechEd 2013 Europe – I gave a “sneak peak” of the PDT VMCreator doing a full end-to-end deployment of an environment including Active Directory.  By far the most common question I got after each session was “when will...
  • Blog Post: Building Clouds–An Introduction to the Deployment Track

    Charles , Shawn , and Mark have already introduced themselves and the Automation , Application Management and VM Migration tracks, so I thought it was time for me to introduce myself and the Deployment track of the Building Clouds blog. Why let the other guys have all the fun? The Deployment track will...
  • Blog Post: Deployment-Installing scale out roles with PDT

    This is the last of three posts that explain how PDT can be configured to deploy a highly available configuration.  The first post covered SQL clusters, the second post covered Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) clusters, and this post will cover scale out roles. Several System Center components offer...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Troubleshooting PDT

    The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit – PDT – performs distributed installations of System Center 2012 SP1, including SQL and all prerequisites.  If you are doing a full production highly available scale-out deployment, this could potentially be across a significant number of servers.  Keeping...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Installing SQL clusters with PDT

    In the introductory post to PDT , I mentioned that PDT can deploy a highly available configuration.  This is the first of three posts that will explain how PDT can be configured to deploy a highly available configuration.  This post will address SQL clusters, the other posts will cover VMM...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Installing Windows Azure Services with PDT

    Release 1005 of the Workflow.xml file for the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit is now available on the TechNet Gallery here . Release 1005 adds support for installing Windows Azure Services for Windows Server.  There are six roles added, all of which are required for Windows Azure Services.  These...
  • Blog Post: Deployment-Using SQL named instance static ports with PDT

    By default, a SQL named instance uses a dynamic port.  However, some System Center components cannot use a SQL named instance on a dynamic port.  Configuration Manager does not support a SQL dynamic port.  Service Provider Foundation and Service Management Automation both require you to...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Getting SQL “right” with PDT

    So far I’ve introduced PDT, explained the downloader and VM creator utilities of PDT, and given an overview of how to troubleshoot PDT.  So how do you actually use this thing to do something useful?  It’s time to start digging into how to customize a PDT deployment. The goal of PDT is to be...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT Workflow.xml 1004 now available

    Release 1004 of the Workflow.xml file for the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit is now available on the TechNet Gallery here . Release 1004 addresses the following issues: SharePoint Foundation 2010 fails to install when PowerShell execution policy is set to restricted - PowerShell execution policy is now...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–Non-default network identifier and PDT VMCreator

    If you’ve attempted a full deployment of System Center 2012 - Service Manager using PDT VMCreator and Installer, you have probably run into an issue where the VM being used for the SharePoint Web Parts piece of the Service Manager portal does not join the domain during sysprep.  This is because...
  • Blog Post: Don’t miss PDT at MMS 2013!

    Those of you attending MMS 2013 in Las Vegas next week, be sure to add SD-B302 “Automating System Center Deployment with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit” to your schedule on Thursday at 12:00PM in South Seas B.  I’ll be talking all about PDT, including some capabilities I haven’t blogged about...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT 2.4 is now available on the TechNet Gallery

    PowerShell Deployment Toolkit version 2.4 has now been posted to the TechNet Gallery here .  Version 2.4 adds more pre-installation validation, as well as several switches: Downloader.ps1 allows a switch -DeploymentOnly which will read the variable.xml and only download what is needed for the deployment...
  • Blog Post: Deployment–PDT update for System Center 2012 R2 now available

    PDT has been updated to support the general availability release of System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2.  PDT 2.5.2507 is available here . Note that Downloader.ps1 is no longer able to download evaluation versions of System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2012...