About This Video
Jamie Schmidtke from Citrix Systems is back for episode 2 in this 3-part Better Together with Microsoft and Citrix series. (1, 3) And in this show we’re covering Desktop Virtualization and the integration between Citrix XenApp, XenServer, App-V, Windows Server and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.
Click here to learn more about Microsoft and Citrix
If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:
Microsoft and Citrix Relationship Manager, Jamie Schmidtke joins us on this show as we talk about how the two tech giants have teamed up to provide the best in class solutions for their customers and end-users. Tune in as we discuss private and public cloud technologies as well as virtualization and management solutions which in the end provide a seamless and flexible anywhere, everywhere and on any device work environment.
Click here to learn more about Microsoft and Citrix. If you're interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:
This is the last article of my 3-part blog post series for facilitating experienced Windows system administrators to get productive on Windows Server 2012 with a keyboard and a mouse as the input device. Part 1 and Part 2 are focusing on basic user operations with the new Metro UI. To conclude the series, here are two important facts that one should know when running Windows Server 2012.
Again, I want to underscore that Windows Server 2012 is designed with cloud computing in mind, and together with System Center 2012 as the foundation of Microsoft private cloud solutions. For those who are working for becoming a Microsoft private cloud expert, it is imperative to master Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 to develop technical depth in implementing and operating of a private cloud.
11. Wireless Support
The same with Windows Server 2008, a default installation of Windows Server 2012 does not add the wireless feature. In addition to network connectivity, wireless should also be considered as a security setting in corporate security policies applicable to a production server. To acquire wireless capability, go through Add Roles and Features wizard in Server Manager to add the feature as shown below.
A best practice to manage this setting is according to your corporate security policy with a GPO, such that wireless capability of a server is defined, predictable, and consistent in a target environment.
Worth mentioning here is that, Windows Server 2012 supports wireless in Hyper-V, while Windows Server 2008 does not. The following depicts that Hyper-V Virtual Switch Manager now recognizes both the physical and the wireless network connectivity in a typical OS instance with an onboard wire and a wireless connections.
And with the employment of a wireless connection in Virtual Switch Manager, Windows Server 2012 automatically creates logical bridging devices and displayed them in Network and Sharing Center as the screen capture shown below.
12. Error Message - “Not accessible – Verify earlier versions of Windows run the Management WTR package”
When adding an earlier version of Windows server to manage in Server Manager of Windows Server 2012, the operation may fail with the error message as shown below. This is due to an inconsistency of the management framework among versions of Windows servers.
To resolve the issue, run as administrator on a target Windows server to:
There is some reference of similar Server Manager remote management issues. Additionally, James Bannan also has a blog post summarizing this scenario well. Notice once the above three items are implemented, a server will become online, while not with performance counters started. On the Server Manager UI, right-click the target server to start performance counters and the server becomes online and manageable, as shown below:
[To Part 1, 2]
This is part 2, a continuation of the 3-part series of getting productive on Windows Server 2012, should you not have a touch device readily available. The user operations walked through here are fundamental and for most Windows users this post will be an easy read. However, if not already, one should read part 1 first.
Windows Server 2012 is designed with private cloud and System Center 2012 in mind. While the IT industry is transitioning into cloud computing and embracing consumerization of IT, as an IT professional, the two are my career priorities in the foreseeable future.
3. Settings of Current Screen
On any screen, use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + i, to bring up Settings options for the current screen. Or a user can also move cursor to UR/LR, i.e. the upper right or lower left corners of the computer screen, to bring up the Charms (as shown in part 1) in which Settings option is available as well.
On the right is a sample setting of the Start screen. Notice the lower portion highlight the characteristic settings of the PC, i.e. current OS instance. Click “More PC settings” at the bottom to bring up the PC Setting screen to personalize Lock and Start screens, add user account pictures, etc.
The upper area displays the settings of current page. Notice that by default, “Show administration tools” is configured as “Yes” in the Settings of Start screen as shown on the right. This enables administration tools to appear on the Start and Apps screens. When this is set to “No”, administration tools will not appear in Start, Apps, and search results.
4. Search from the Start Screen
Typing something on the Start screen, regardless where the cursor is, will instantaneously invoke the search function, use what has just been typed to form a pattern, and list out those applications, if any, matched the pattern. Searching from the Start screen is similar to the desktop search of a Windows Server 2008 desktop. The following two screen captures show after typing “fir” on the Start screen, the Search identified one application, “Windows Firewall,” and five Settings related entries matched the pattern.
For accessing a known application like the Run dialog or command prompt, one quick way is to directly type “run” or “cmd” on the Setting screen following by hitting the Enter key.
5. Windows Explorer
Within Windows Explorer, a user can right-click a folder from the navigation tree to pin the folder to the Start screen as illustrated below.
And right-click an application, here myApp.exe, with the Shift key pressed at the same time will provide options to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged on, in addition to pinning the app to the Start screen or the taskbar.
An interesting observation is that in Windows Server 2012 a user apparently pins objects directly to either Start screen or taskbar, and not to the desktop. That means we may start to see many clean and roomy Windows Server 2008 desktops now. And a user may become more selective on what to pin and where. As an option, a user can still create a shortcut and place it on the desktop.
6. Windows Store Apps
In Windows Server 2012 Beta, there are only a handful Windows Store apps included with a default installation. There are however many more Windows Store apps included in a default install of Windows 8. A Windows Store app when open and not in use is sent to the background, becomes inactive, and frees its resources. Notice that similar to a cell phone, tablet PC, or other mobile computing device, it is not necessary to close a Windows Store app when not in use. And there are routines to operate on Metro style apps.
Placing the cursor at the UL corner will show the thumbnail of those Windows Store apps currently inactive, and right-click from the UL corner will display the option to close or snap a Windows Store app, when applicable, as shown on the right. Also moving the cursor to the top edge of the screen so the cursor turns into a hand followed by dragging the app to the bottom edge will also close the Windows Store app. This as it appears is similar to swipe across the bottom edge of the screen on a touch device for closing an app.
7. Server Manager
This is the logical hub for configuring and administering both the local and remote Windows servers. By default, Server Manager starts automatically at logon. This setting is in Manage/Server Manager Properties of the upper right menu bar as the following screen capture shows. Notice under Tools is where administration tools are listed including Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Windows PowerShell ISE, etc.
The menu bar displays a Red Flag, when applicable, indicating some process/task failure and a need for operator’s attention. The welcome screen also highlight 3 orange tiles with Quick Start, What’s New, and Learn More information. Thou shalt not miss them. To hide these tiles, the setting is in View.
8. If You Need to Run, Don’t Walk
The beloved Run dialog is still there. On the Setting screen, simply type “run” will bring up the Search dialog and list the Run application. Or use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + r, to bring up the Run dialog, as needed. And as expected in Run dialog or Windows Explorer, typing CMD will faithfully bring up a long-missed command prompt.
9. Run As J. Smith
From Windows Explorer, right-click with Shift key on an intended executable will allow the program to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged in, as shown earlier under Windows Explorer. To run as an administrator from the Start screen, right-click an intended app to get the option, as applicable. Here shown on the right, PowerShell ISE is set to run as administrator from the Start screen.
10. Desktop Experience Feature
The assumption is that there is a seldom need to personalize the desktop background of a server. Hence, a default Windows server installation does not automatically add Desktop Experience feature. And different from that in Windows Server 2008, this setting is, as illustrated below, now moved and available under User Interface and Infrastructure. As always, adding this feature followed by enabling the Theme service will enable the personalization feature for changing the background of a desktop session.
At this point, a Windows server user with the information in the first 2 parts of this blog post series should be able to get productive quickly with Windows Server 2012. In part 3, two important facts I want to bring your attention to.
[To Part 1, 3]
This 3-part article details the 12 routines that I consider a Windows Server 2008 user ought to know first to accelerate the learning and adoption of Windows Server 2012 without the need of a touch device. For those IT professionals who are working towards becoming private cloud experts, it is imperative to master Windows Server 2012 which is an essential component in establishing a private cloud. And the earlier those master Windows Server 2012 platform, the sooner those will be become leaders in the IT transformation into private cloud computing. There is everything to gain to start learning Windows Server 2012 now as opposed to later.
The content of this series is based on Windows Server 2012 Beta as of May, 2012. It is intended for those who are familiar with the administration of Windows Server 2008 (or later) to become comfortable and productive with Windows Server 2012 within an hour using conventional input devices like a keyboard and a mouse, while a touch device may not be immediately available. The 12 routines as the following are to facilitate the learning. They are certainly not complete, nor the only ways to operate Windows Server 2012.
I organize the contents into 3 parts. Part 1 will cover the first two routines mainly on the usability. The next eight in part 2 are essential user operations, and part 3 (although not about operating a non-touch device) is to highlight two important facts: the wireless support and an error message that a user is likely to experience when trying to initially connect to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or other earlier version of Windows servers. The three parts together should provide pertinent information sufficient for an experienced Windows server user to get productive quickly on this exciting new version of Windows Server.
In Windows Server 2012, there are the Start screen as shown above, the traditional desktop and apps, and Metro style apps. The Start screen is now the default landing screen upon logging in and the hub of all installed applications. The traditional desktop itself is now the Metro app, Desktop. And the user experience of Desktop of Windows Server 2012 is very similar with the desktop experience in Windows Server 2008. Many UI features available in the desktops of Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 are very much applicable. For examples, shaking to minimize windows, snapping to resize or compare contents in two windows, minimizing all open windows by clicking at the lower right corner of the desktop, etc. work the same in Windows Server 2012. Nonetheless, since Windows Server 2012 is for both touch devices and those based on traditional keyboard-mouse inputs, there are new features and operations from a user experience point of view to accommodate the inputs from a touch device and keyboard and mouse within an OS instance.
1. Where Have All the Apps Gone
The first order of business in learning a new system is to find out where and what all the apps are, and make those frequently used apps easy to access for routine operations. From the get-go on the Start screen after logging on as local administrator, place cursor on the background color (i.e. not on a tile) and right-click. The All Apps click button will appear at the lower left part of the screen, as shown here:
Clicking All Apps bring up the Apps screen revealing all the apps currently installed in the system. On the Apps screen, right-click an app to mark and pin/unpin the app to desktop/taskbar, and right-click again to unmark, as needed. The following screen capture shows Resource Monitor is currently pinned to the Start screen and not to a taskbar. A user will notice that Apps screen lists out frequently used admin tools including: Control Panel, Services, Event Viewer, PowerShell, Windows Explorer, etc. which can be pinned to Start screen and taskbar for a direct access, as preferred. To get back to the Start screen at this time, mouse-click at lower left corner (LL) or simply press the Windows Logo key.
2. The Four Corners
These are what I call four "Magic Corners" on a Windows Server 2012 screen, i.e. LL UL, LR, and UR indicating lower left, upper left, lower right, and upper right corners, respectively, as shown on the Start screen earlier. Place cursor and click at each of the magic corners to toggle screens, list out inactive metro style apps, access settings of current screens, etc. These corners are to perform some essential user operations in Windows Server 2012 with a keyboard and a mouse as input devices. Apparently, mouse-clicks at LL or UL are to perform something similar to swipes across the left edge of a touch device screen, while LR and UR are for swipe actions across the right edge, for instance.
Either LL or the Windows Logo key is where to toggle between the Start screen and the last accessed app. This provides a direct and immediate access to the Start screen which is the logical hub of all the apps installed in current OS instance. When confused, just return to the Start screen and go from there.
Moving cursor to UL on a screen will give a thumbnail view of the last Metro style app accessed. And moving the cursor from UL down along the left edge of the screen will reveal all Metro style apps currently inactive. The following screen capture illustrates the steps to bring up an inactive Metro app from the Start screen.
Moving cursor to either LR or UR will bring up the so called Charms showed in transparency with the background. Moving cursor up or down at this time along the edge will highlight the Charms with a black bar and also show the current day, date, time, network, and power status. Notice Charms provides an access to the Settings options of both the current screen and the Start screen as well. Below are two screen captures of Charms showing one in transparency with the background, the other with a black bar and current time, day, date, etc displayed.
Moving cursor to the top edge changes the cursor from an arrow to a little hand, other than when on the Start screen. At this time, drag the screen down and then to the left or the right edges of the screen will, when applicable, snap the app accordingly. These operations make sense if one Imagines doing this by touching the top edge of the screen, dragging and swiping a current app to the left or the right edge of a touch device screen and snapping the app in place.
The following image shows the desktop snapped to the left with a thumbnail view of each app open on the desktop at the time, while I was actively working on PC Settings. Dragging the boundary of the two app to expand the area of desktop will snap PC Settings to the right, while the two apps remain both on the screen at the same time.
There are various ways to drag an app and snap it to the left or right, or the bottom to close it. Together with the Windows Logo key, one will be able to navigate among Metro apps and Start/Apps/Settings screens quite easily.
Knowing how to operate the four magic corners with keyboard-mouse inputs is essential for navigating among apps. The next is to know how to carry out routine user operations which Part 2 will cover. [To Part 2, 3]
[This is a cross-posting from http://aka.ms/yc.]
Highly managed systems and private cloud are the future of IT, and the future is now. In Part II of our IT Camp series, you will build a test lab with an AD domain, learn what you need to know to start or continue building a private cloud with the test lab, and witness System Center 2012 in action. We will also preview the next version of Windows Server 2012. Seating is limited so reserve your place now!
There is a hands-on part of the program and the format is “keep up with the presenter if you can”. We will be going through the content and you can follow along, if you like. In the lab, we will be setting up the server infrastructure that will be needed to deploy System Center 2012 basic components. This will include AD infrastructure and virtual machines that you can use to later install System Center or other workloads. If you want to participate in Hands-On, please notice the following:
CAMP REQUIREMENTS: Please bring your laptop with the following minimum requirements:
Download and install Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and optionally System Center 2012 to facilitate your learning. And for those who want to experience the next version of Windows, download the consumer preview of Windows Server 2012.
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