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  • 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: Exchange Server 2013 CU2 Service Templates - Prerequisites

    This blog post is part 2 of 3 in a series. This series of posts details how to deploy Exchange 2013 CU2 using Service Templates in Virtual Machine Manager. If you are just landing on this subject I recommend starting with Part 1 . This page will focus on what you need to do in advance to prepare...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Server 2013 CU2 Service Templates - Setup and Best Practices

    This blog post is part 3 of 3 in a series. This series of posts that detail how to deploy Exchange 2013 CU2 using Service Templates in Virtual Machine Manager. If you are just landing on this subject I recommend starting with Part 1 . This page will focus on what you need to do import and configure...
  • 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–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: 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-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: Introducing Lync Service Templates

    If you have been following the teams blog series on Service Templates you may have already come to the conclusion that the only one missing in the Microsoft productivity suite is Lync! Our goal as we began to build out this series of templates was to provide an automated way to stand up these core...
  • 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: System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 as Private Cloud Enabler (1/5): Concepts

    Hi Microsoft Private Cloud fans! This week we’re in for a special treat. Yung Chou , a Senior IT Pro Evangelist is allowing us to cross-post his five part series on using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to create and support a Private Cloud, which is originally published on his virtualization blog...
  • Blog Post: August 2013 was Automation Month at the Building Clouds Blog!

    Augomation? Autogust? Augustomania? Whatever you call it, with 16 Automation Track / Automation Track adjacent posts , it was Automation’s month to shine. You may have not even realized it – heck, I don’t think we did... The Posts… If you have been keeping up, fantastic...
  • Blog Post: Kristian Nese Explains Private Cloud Technical Concepts

    As I made clear in my two talks at TechDays 2012 in Belgium this week, private cloud computing is all about providing services to the consumers of your cloud infrastructure. This service providers approach is critical since in the future you, as a member of your corporate IT department, will be in direct...
  • 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: Fabric Management–Using F5 Load Balancers with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    With private cloud , one of the major differentiators is automation of service management. While you can do similar things in a traditional datacenter, the private cloud is, by design and intent, an automated and fully rationalized datacenter deployment. That is why I often say that private cloud is...
  • Blog Post: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud (Part 4)

    Hello Readers, welcome to the 4th and final post in this series on deploying the example VMM Service Template for SharePoint 2013 to your Microsoft private cloud. To recap where we’ve been: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud (Part 1) Introduction...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Server 2013 CU2 Service Templates for Virtual Machine Manager

    Welcome to the latest blog post about System Center service templates! When we asked our field what needed to be developed next, a very common ask was for a service template to deploy Exchange. This blog post is intended to teach you how to use System Center Virtual Machine Manager and a feature named...
  • 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: Switch to Hyper-V with the Hyper-V Switch Program – Part 1 by Michael Lubanski

    Switch to Hyper-V with the Hyper-V Switch Program – Part 1 By Michael Lubanski If you are thinking about travelling down the road to the Microsoft Private Cloud, one of the challenges you might face is how to migrate your virtual machines from your current VMware platform to a Hyper-V platform. Sure...
  • 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-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: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud (Part 3)

    Hey readers, I hope you had a great time at MMS 2013 (if you were able to make it!). If you did make it, you may have seen this service template featured on the big stage during Brad Anderson’s keynote. Pretty cool! Before we continue on to Part 3, review Parts 1 and 2 for background if you haven’t...
  • Blog Post: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud (Part 2)

    Hey Readers, so you’ve taken a look at the initial post and are ready for some more information I suppose. Well if you haven’t seen the previous post, before we dive in, make sure you review on where we started in Part 1 where you can get an idea of the high level goals, some information...
  • 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: The Top 10 Reasons You Should Attend our Sessions at MMS 2013!

    Trying to decide which sessions to attend at the 2013 Microsoft Management Summit ?  There are a lot of great options this year, and here are ten reasons we think you should check out the sessions hosted by the authors of the Building Clouds blog… You’ll get to learn all about the Fundamentals of...
  • 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: Application Management-Example-Deploying a Service to Your Private Cloud (Part 1)

    Featured during Brad Anderson's Keynote at MMS 2013!   Hey Readers, I have a real treat for you today.  You’ve seen the title so you already have a rough idea what I’m getting ready to cover.  This blog post is a first in a series to discuss an example downloadable System Center 2012 SP1...
  • 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...