Simon May

Client and cloud

January, 2013

  • Announcing System Center SP1, our UK MVPs

    Last night we announced general availability of System Center 2012 SP1, it’s great, expansive product that is absolutely key to delivering your Private Cloud, Managing your Public cloud and managing the consumerisaiton of IT. You can get the trail VHDs at the bottom of this post or download the installers– go give it a try. We’re also announcing our System Center 2012 IT Camps schedule today too!

    As System Center 2012 is such a large stable of technology I thought, rather than try to cover the expanse myself, I’d get some of our MVPs to write about some of their favourite features. These guys have been using SP1 for months, their thoughts, comments, expectations and experiences helping to form the SP1 update.

    We’ll start with Patrick Lownds, MVP. You can find Patrick on twitter.

    System Center Virtual Machine Manger 2012 (VMM 2012) introduced the concept of being able to deploy a bare metal host. This feature allows customers to order servers from their vendor of choice and simply plug in that server and automate the deployment of Hyper-V. The Hyper-V host could either be a standalone domain joined host or it could form or be part of an already formed cluster at a later stage.

    If you’re not familiar with the process, VMM 2012 leverages the baseboard management controller (BMC) to deploy an operating system image, which is contained in a VHD, together with any specific OEM drivers, that are contained in the VMM 2012 library, applies those drivers to the operating system image, enables Hyper-V, and then restarts the server.

    New in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 (VMM 2012 SP1) is the ability to do deep discovery of that bare metal host. This process boots the server to perform an inventory of the hardware, using a WinPE image. Once the information is collected the server shuts down and provides VMM 2012 SP1 with information about that host i.e.  processor, memory and network interface cards.

    This provides VMM 2012 SP1 with a greater insight into the hardware and allows you to configure in advance the more complex aspects of Virtual Machine Manager. For example, you could configure the use of DHCP or the use of an IP address from a pool of addresses managed by VMM, for each of the network interfaces detected, prior to deploying Hyper-V.

    Next up is Graham Davies, System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, you can find Graham’s blog, System Center Solutions here.

    As SCOM 2007 R2 gave way to SCOM 2012, we saw the Avicode .Net monitoring capability evolving into Application Performance Monitoring (APM). In SCOM 2012 this was initially focused on WCF based web applications although some flexibility in what was discovered was available by configuring the relevant overrides.

    SCOM 2012 SP1 has seen a huge jump forward in functionality not only in terms of what can now be discovered and monitored out of the box but also in terms of integration with Team Foundation Server (TFS). So what exactly does SCOM 2012 SP1 bring to the table:

    • The ability to monitor Windows Services, not just IIS-hosted applications.
    • Automatic Discovery of ASP.NET MVC3 and MVC4 Applications.
    • The ability to monitor SharePoint web front-end components.
    • Integration of Operations Manager and TFS

    You can configure Operations Manager to allow APM alerts to generate and synchronise with TFS work items and APM exception events can be saved in IntelliTrace file format directly from Application Diagnostics enabling Developers to stay within their familiar environment to examine the complete exception call stack.

    So SCOM 2012 SP1 both extends APM functionality improves the workflow between development and IT operations teams, improving efficiency and reducing the mean time to recovery for the problems detected by APM.

    .Net Application Performance Monitoring Template

    Integrating Operations Manager with Development Process

    Finally in this post Raphael Perez, Configuration Manager MVP , you can find him on his System Center blog

    Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, iPhones, Androids, Linux/Unix, Mac? How can we manage them? Application Virtualization, PowerShell, Mobility, Cloud, VDI, Security, Bring your Own Device (BYOD)? How can we integrate it?

    These are only few of many questions business need answer and it is simple: Configuration Manager 2012.

    The Service Pack 1 of Configuration Manager brings the world together, putting in a single console for management of Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems as well as a Microsoft Cloud and any device connected to it.

    SP1 also support Windows to GO USB devices, roaming profiles, folder redirection, intelligent mobile network detection, it means that SP1 will detect mobile networks (3G/4G) to prevent software deployment when data charges may apply, and many other features.

    As many other Microsoft systems, SP1 gives you support for PowerShell, it means that the administrator does not need to connect to the Configuration Manager console to perform the day-to-day tasks.

    We’ll hear more from the UK and Irelands MVPs here soon! Go give the Evaluation’s a try, we’ve already done most of the installation work for you! and don’t forget to sign up for our IT Camp events to learn more.

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 - Configuration Manager – Evaluation (VHD)

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 – Service Manager – Evaluation (VHD)

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 – Service Manager (Data Warehouse) – Evaluation (VHD)

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 – Operations Manager – Evaluation (VHD)

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 – Orchestrator – Evaluation (VHD)

    System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 – Data Protection Manager – Evaluation (VHD)

  • Error Code1 in Windows Update & 0x80004005 in ccmsetup.log

    Today I’ve been playing with my System Center Configuration Manager SP1 lab and came across a very painful little bug.  A little searching and I came across this thread on the TechNet forums.  Essentially the problem I suddenly started having today, after it was working fine last week, was that my Config Manager client wasn’t installing through Windows Update.

    It started by giving me a Code 1 message, as below:

    Windows Update Code 1

    That 1 update is the Config Man client being deployed through WSUS.  So the next thing I did was ran the ccmsetup.exe install from my Primary Site Server.  Nothing. So I checked out the ccmsetup.log file that’s in c:\windows\ccmsetup\logs and low and behold spotted the following:

    Couldn’t verify ‘c:\windows\ccmsetup\MicrosoftPolicyPlatformSetup.msi’ authenticode signature

    That line that says Couldn’t verify ‘c:\windows\ccmsetup\MicrosoftPolicyPlatformSetup.msi’ authenticode signature is a bit of a problem.  It turns out that there’s a bit of a bug luckily there is already a hotfix for it and there are some updates on Windows Update already to solve the issue…that said there is still work to do…

    In order to now install the Config Manager client on a new device we first need a patch in place on that client machine:

    KB2749655 for anything other than Windows 8 or Server 2012 and KB2756827 for Windows 8 or Server 2012.  I tested this on my Windows 8 client by manually running the MSU, then installing the update and the Config Manager client installed like a champ!

    Now however I need to be able to do OSD on a regular basis, so I just offline serviced my Windows 8 image with DISM to get the job done quickly…here’s what you need to do:

    • Make a directory (I use c:\test) to mount into.
    • Open a command prompt and type dism /mount-wim /wimfile:C:\sources\os\Win8\Sources\install.wim (obviously pointing to the right source wim).
    • Then Dism /Image:C:\test /Add-Package /PackagePath:C:\packages\ where dism is the name of the msu file for the OS
    • And finally Dism /Unmount-WIM /MountDir:C:\test\offline /Commit

    Then I updated my distribution points and jobs a good-un.  I did the same to my Windows 7 OS image too.

  • WSUS Service fails to start with error 193, WSUS Service is not a valid Win32 application

    As I continue to build my System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (CM12) lab I continue to shoot myself in the foot in a number of ways.  Over the weekend I discovered that my WSUS service was unable to start and was logging “WSUS Service is not a valid Win32 application” in the event log.

    After some digging around I found this great post by David Obrien (and great Config Manager blog by the way) that points to the issue:

    Essentially a file had been created called c:\program and it was stopping the service from starting and renaming it worked a charm.  I’ll have to dig around a little more to work out what really happened here down the line. But thanks David!

  • Build and Capture Error codes with System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager

    I’m currently spending some time build a test lab with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 (CM12 or SCCM 2012 if you like to shorten it) and during a build and came across a couple of errors (0x80070002 and  during my first build and capture task sequence.  I thought I’d just quickly document the error codes and fixes.



    This one is due to the credentials being used to access the DP being incorrect – I’d got the password wrong!

    To resolve this go to Administration, select Site Configuration > Sites and select the site you’re deploying from. Right click the site and select Configure Site Components > Software Distribution. Select the Network Access Account tab and click the Set… button to specify the account used for network access. Select New Account and correct the details for your network access account. Don't forget to verify the connection.




    This error was much harder to find, but I spotted a post that referred to problems capturing a VM, it then occurred to me that you need a minimum of 1024mb of RAM on the machine you’re capturing. For me this was a quick dive into Hyper-V settings and upping the minimum ram to 1024 mb from 512mb. You’ll need a minimum of 1024 even if you have Dynamic Memory enabled for the machine as WinPE doesn’t do Dynamic Memory.

  • Evaluate This–Windows Server 2012 AD DS

    Last time I posted about how you can use Windows Azure to setup a test lab for yourself without the need to spend anything or have any hardware lying around to play with.  In this video I show you how to take that one step further and build your first Domain Controller in your first forest, which is generally an essential step in any test lab.  The steps in this video are exactly the same if you want to do this same thing with your own hardware on-prem by the way.

    If you do want to do this on-prem you’ll need to download the Windows Server 2012 Evaluation.