Gridstore + Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track

It was announced today in a press release by Gridstore that they have been approved into the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track Program. This is a major step forward by the industry towards accepting HyperConverged Technologies. Below is a sample illustration of a 6-node HyperCoverged Appliance from Gridstore. This configuration can come with over 100 TB of usable SSD Flash Disk. It is amazing to see how far things have come. D. See below for the Press Release from today: MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — (Marketwired) — 07/14/15 — Gridstore®, a leader in hyper-converged all flash infrastructure for the Microsoft Cloud-Inspired Data Center today announced certification of the Gridstore HyperConverged Systems in the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program. This program ensures that the Gridstore systems meet all of the specifications for delivering a Windows and Hyper-V based private cloud solution for the data center. Gridstore has also announced immediate availability of two higher density flash options that pack 96 2.9GHz cores of compute and 92TB of SSD storage into a 2U package. Gridstore now provides a range of All-Flash HyperConverged solutions to meet both Tier 1 and Tier 2 computing needs — while using the economics of hyper convergence to make the All-Flash datacenter a reality. The Gridstore HCI is one of the only HyperConverged solutions delivered solely for the Windows platform, allowing it to take full advantage of...

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Cannot find useable certificate in Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

I was doing some work on my home network this weekend, and in the process joined my Hyper-V hosts to a new domain. My demo laptop, which had about 20 VMs saved, threw an error when I attempted to start them, stating that Hyper-V could not find a useable certificate. To resolve this, I launched the Microsoft Management Console, clicked File -> Add/Remove Snap-in… and double-clicked Certificates. In the Certificates snap-in window, where it asks for the account to manage certificates for, choose the Service account radio button and click Next. Select the Local Computer radio button, click Next and select Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management as the Service account to manage, and click Finish and then OK in the Add/Remove Snap-Ins window. In the Console1 window, expand Certificates – Service (Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management) on Local Computer, then vmms\Personal, and click on the Certificates node. In the results (middle) pane, you will see a certificate(s) for your previous hostname/domain name. Delete these. Launch Services.msc, and restart any running services that start with Hyper-V. Now, back in the Microsoft Management Console, hitting F5 will refresh the screen and show your new valid certificate. You’re now free to go back to Hyper-V Manager and start your VMs.   É  ...

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System Center Configuration Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2 Released

Microsoft published Technical Preview 2 for SCCM today with a few new features. There’s support for side-loading Universal Windows Applications to Win10 devices, and the ability to manage Win10 PCs via MDM with on-premises SCCM infrastructure, using the same model that’s used for mobile devices in the first Technicial Preview. Also released is peer cache support for Windows PE during OSD…something you’ll be seeing more of on this blog as we get closer to the official release.   The iso is available on the Microsoft Download Center at Microsoft Download Center: É...

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How All-Flash Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is changing the Data Center – June 16, 2015 Calgary, AB

    Registration:   Abstract: Hyper-Converged infrastructure is transforming the economics, performance and complexity of the datacentre. Gridstore introduced the first all-flash hyper-Converged infrastructure purpose built for the Microsoft cloud.  Customers are achieving performance levels that are 10X faster using 75% less infrastructure and 4X lower TCO. Gridstore founder and CTO Kelly Murphy will provide an overview of hyper-Converged infrastructure and how it can transform the datacentre from traditional infrastructure. Kelly will also outline the pros and cons of different approaches to hyper-Convergence. Subject to availability, Dave Kawula, Microsoft MVP and founder of TriCon Elite, will provide a demo of what it takes to deploy and manage Gridstore’s all-flash hyper-Converged infrastructure. Don’t miss this event!  Event Details: Date:                     Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 Welcome Time:     6:00 pm (Registration and Networking) Start Time:            6:30 pm Finish Time:          8:30 pm Venue:                  Tillyard Management Conference Room                              (Adjacent to Alberta Blue Cross office)                               715 5 Ave SW Calgary AB T2P 2X6 Cost:                      Guests and Future CIC Members – $25.00                               New/Renewing CIC Members      – $65.00                               New/Renewing Student Members – $25.00                               Current CIC Members                 – FREE Payment:               VISA/MasterCard via EventBrite (+fees)                               Contact us for payment via:                               1.  Cash (at the door)                               2.  Cheque (at the door)                               3.  Interac e-Transfer (prior to event)                               4.  Invoice your employer (prior to event)   Note: New memberships are valid through December 31 2015. Guest fees will be credited to guests joining CIC within 30 days. ...

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MVPDays Facebook Fan Site

If you are looking to follow our announcements for the MVPDays Community including. Sessions, photos, recordings, speaker announcements, and much more. Go to Also don’t forget to register for this year’s show at You can use promocode: earlybird15 to get in for free until the end of June   Enjoy,   D....

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Introduction to Hyper-V Management for the VMware Admin

Join 5Nine Software for a free webinar on June 18!   Featuring Symon Perriman and Alex Karavanov from 5Nine Software. Hyper-V can be overwhelming for new users or VMware administrators managing Microsoft virtualization for the first time. In this technical webinar, you will learn about the key differences in virtualization management between vCenter and Hyper-V from Symon Perriman, former Microsoft virtualization worldwide technical lead and VMware Certified Professional. Gets tips about how to migrate VMware VMs to Hyper-V with the free 5nine V2V Easy Converter, then see how to manage the Hyper-V VMs, networks, storage, hosts and clusters with 5nine Manager, which looks and feels like vCenter. Finally you will learn best practices about how to secure your new virtualized environment with 5nine Cloud Security, the only agentless alternative to vShield. Ask your tough questions and see how 5nine Software has taken the best of VMware and applied it to Hyper-V! This webcast is running at two different times for your convenience:   June 18, 2015, 10 am GMT Register Now   June 18, 2015, 8 am PDT Register Now...

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Overview of Patch Solution

When I decided to write PatchSolution it was to solve some very specific issues with a customer that I was working with. I am really pleased to now be able to start documenting this and sharing with the community. When looking at PatchSolution below is the Architecture that we used when building it Remember PatchSolution is free and can be downloaded from Components Automatic Updates WSUS Patch Solution Scripts Scheduled Task Group Policy Configuring Computer Maintenance Windows Automatic Updates Most organizations will have an installation of WSUS. This minimizes the amount of updates that needs to be downloaded from the internet and distributed to servers or workstations. In turn, these devices have been configured to use WSUS. By default, download and install the patches at 03:00. This is so far away from a optimal solution for any company, regardless of size. There are many ways to configure automatic updates to download and install or notify the users or administrators to install patches. The Patch Solution aims at simplifying and centralizing the process. The Patch Solution is basically a wrapper that calls into the Windows Update API and forces it to do a update scan. Now again, as this uses the general Windows Updates API, if the computer is target to use the Microsoft Updates servers on the internet, then it will do just that. Of course after the...

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PatchSolution is now available via CodePlex

I am so pleased to announce that thanks to the amazing work of Allan Rafuse we have released “PatchSolution” We have decided to make to this available for how much… Guess it…. $$$$ … Free!! Why you ask? Well it’s because we love the community and feel that this type of solution should be available to everyone. This is the same solution that I recently demoed in my session during the MVP Virtual Conference.     Here is a little write up on just what the solution can do for you!   Project Description Patching is a problem or that topic that most people don’t want to talk about. There are many great solutions to managing patches, but the problem is defining when computers can actually install these approved patches. This is where the Patch Solution comes in. Overview The idea behind the patch solution is to apply approved patches to a computer at a specific time. Some computers may be part of a QA/Test environment and some may be part of a Production environment. Using the same solution and by modifying the XML configuration file, the solution can tell each type of computer when it’s allowed to patch. As these scripts use free tools, and in order to help companies and individuals environments keep their environments more secure, this solution is also free. Features Uses free tools Automated...

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Building Tiered Jobs with Veeam using PowerShell

As part of a new White Paper that I am putting together for Veeam I have written a cool PowerShell Script to help build tiered jobs using Veeam Backup and Replication. The purpose of this script was to help automate three tiers of jobs: Platinum Gold Silver   The job settings are built using template jobs that can quickly be created in the Veeam Backup and Replication Console.   Here is a sneak peek of the script in action.         When I started this project I was only going to build tiered Backup Jobs. As such the script has evolved into much more.   It can now do the following:   Job Creation based on VM Name Platinum-<VMNAME> Gold-<VMNAME> Silver-<VMNAME> Three tier Backup Jobs Three tier Replica Jobs Three tier Backup Copy Jobs Virtual Lab Creation Sure Backup Job Creation Master Delete options to wipe and start over in your lab   Here are some examples of how to use the script: .\Create_All_VeeamBackup_Jobs.ps1 –PlatinumJobs –GoldJobs –SilverJobs .\Create_All_VeeamBackup_Jobs.ps1 –PlatinumBackupCopyJobs –GoldBackupCopyJobs –SilverBackupCopyJobs .\Create_All_VeeamBackup_Jobs.ps1 –PlatinumSureBackupJobs .\Create_All_VeeamBackup_Jobs.ps1 –PlatinumReplicaJobs –GoldReplicaJobs –SilverReplicaJobs   Below gives you an idea as to the amount of work that has gone into creating this. Over 1200 lines of custom code.     Here is the best part as I love to give back to the community. Feel free to check out the script below.  ...

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Take Your Microsoft Certification Exams from Home – Now in Canada

  Yes it is official everyone!! I received an email from Microsoft Certification earlier today. In Canada from your Home!   You can now write Microsoft Certification Exams from the comfort of your own home or office! This is amazing news way to go Microsoft!   Below is the email that I received from them today!   Online proctored exam delivery (beta) is now available in your country: take your next Microsoft Certification exam online, nearly anywhere! Introducing a convenient way to take Microsoft Certification exams at the time and place that’s most convenient for you. Online Proctoring, offered by Pearson VUE, lets you choose the time and place to take any Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) or Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exam. Using a webcam and your personal computer, you can take your exams at home, work or just about anywhere you have internet access. How it Works Ensure your environment and system meet the requirements for online proctored delivery. You can take online proctored exams at home, at work, or at any other location that meets security and environment requirements. Review the hardware, software, and protocol requirements located here. If you ensure that these requirements are met before you check in for your exam, the check-in process should only take about ten minutes. Register for an online proctored exam. Choose an MCP or MTA exam (click here for...

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Microsoft to Open Azure Data Center in Canada in 2016

This is huge news everyone!! Microsoft will open it’s first Canadian Data Centers in Toronto and Quebec city in 2016. Here is a little snippet from their press release: Press Release From Microsoft: MICROSOFT CLOUD TO TOUCH DOWN IN CANADA Locally deployed Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online will help power Canadian business Toronto, June 2, 2015 – Microsoft today announced plans to deliver commercial cloud services from Canada. Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online will be delivered from Toronto and Quebec City in 2016, further strengthening Microsoft’s footprint in Canada’s competitive cloud landscape. “Soon, the Microsoft Cloud will be truly Canadian,” said Kevin Turner, Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft, who travelled to Toronto to make the announcement. “This substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed we are to bringing even more opportunity to Canadian businesses and government organizations, helping them fully realize the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud,” said Turner. According to IDC, total public cloud spend in Canada is projected to grow to $2.5B by next year. The fastest growth will be from Public cloud infrastructure with a strong 45 per cent increase by 2016. These new locally deployed services will address data residency considerations for Microsoft customers and partners of all shapes and sizes who are embracing cloud computing to transform their businesses, better manage variable workloads and deliver new...

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MVP Virtual Conference 2015 Sessions are now online

Great news everyone you can view all of the sessions for the amazing MVP’s that presented at the MVP Virtual Conference in May 2015. Click the link below to view any / all of them.

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MVPDays 2015 is coming back to Western Canada

I am so pleased to announce the MVP Days will be coming back to Western Canada this year. We are going to be visiting the following cities: Vancouver – September 21, 2015 Calgary – September 23, 2015 Edmonton – September 25, 2015 You can Register at using promo code EarlyBird15 to get in free before the end of June 2015. You can follow up at   This year we have launched a new mini-app and mini-event site for each city which should be fun.   Also don’t forget to follow us on twitter at #CDNMVPDAYS Thanks,   Dave...

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MVPDays 2014 Sessions are now Online

Great news everyone the sessions from MVPDays 2014 are online and available.     Don’t forget to register for this year’s roadshow at   We also have a Facebook Fan site at   Thanks for your support everyone!   Dave...

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25 Steps that will save your bacon when migrating from Windows 2003 to 2012 R2

Are you still struggling to get rid of your existing Windows 2003 Servers? Did you forget that July14, 2015 is the END? For more information you can go to:     Here is what we have been doing with our customers at a high level to fast track them off of their aging infrastructure. Follow these 25 steps and you will be able to migrate from Windows 2003 like a champ! Let’s take a Server that is running Windows 2003 and is a Domain Controller, DHCP, DNS, and some File Services. Build a new Windows 2012 R2 Server (Make sure you fully patch it) Join it to the Domain Install the AD, DHCP, DNS, and File Services (Including De-Duplication) Roles. Logon to the Existing Windows 2003 Domain Controller and stop the DHCP Server Service. Copy the DHCP Database from the from Windows 2003 (%windir%\system32\dhcp\dhcp.mdb) to the new Windows 2012 R2 Server (c:\Export\DHCP\dhcp.mdb) Make sure you only grab the DHCP Database and not the associated log files. Note: This will take all of the associated Scopes from the old server to the new one. It is a complete cutover. If you need to take individual scopes you should use netsh or the Server Migration Toolkit. Export the DNS Configuration for all of the Standard Primary and Secondary Zones (Forward and Reverse). To do this export the DNS Registry keys...

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Microsoft Intune Step by Step for Small Businesses with Office365

Many organizations today struggle with securing the plethora of devices that are used for business purposes, regardless of their size. Even users that have company-provided computers and phones will often still use their personal devices to some degree. For small businesses, many of whom have no computer/device management, this presents a problem in protecting company-sensitive data without a cost-effective solution. For organizations that use Office365, Microsoft Intune can be easily added with little effort. Its user-subscription model follows the same process as adding Office365 e-mail accounts, using the familiar Microsoft Online interface. NOTE: This guide is for small businesses that DO NOT use System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The process for integrating Intune with Configuration Manager is different, which will be discussed in a later post. Step 1: Microsoft Intune has a full featured trial for up to 100 users, which is perfect for small businesses. The first thing we need to do is create an Intune account. Go to and click the Try Now button on the top right, click Sign In and use the same UserID that was used to create the Office365 account, then click Try Now on the confirmation page. Step 2: After the account has been created, you will be brought to the Dashboard of the organization’s Microsoft Intune portal. On the dashboard you will see a rather large banner, suggesting that you...

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Register for the MVP Virtual Conference Today

Register to attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference     I wanted to let you know about a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.   The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.   Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone! Learn from the best and brightest MVPs in the tech world today and develop some great skills!   Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues.   The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.   Register now and feel the power of community!...

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Setting up Azure AD Connect Public Preview

QUICKPOST…. Hey there I wanted to write up a quick note on a new way to connect your on premise Active Directory to Windows Azure. It is called Azure AD Connect and can be is now available for download.   Basically you can now connect your On-Premise Active Directory to Azure in less than an hour. This is a big change from the previous configurations that required AD Federation components and some experience with the services to get them up and running.     To install you simply download the installer from the connect preview site and run it on a Server in your environment. For my example I have chosen to install this directly on one of my Domain Controllers named TCCALDC10. Locate the Installer and run AzureADCConnnect.msi Accept the EULA and click Continue Click Install to install the required Pre-Reqs Configured the SQL Server Name, Service Account and Default Groups Now I had already previously created an Azure AD Account. I simply used this to connect. This account needs to be in the Global Administrator Role Click on Use express settings to continue the setup Now enter a Service Account that will have Enterprise Administrator rights in Active Directory and click Next Last step click Install to complete the installation And there you have it… I tested in Azure AD and my accounts are now there....

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Taking Hydration to the Next Level – Part 4 – ViaMonstra SCCM Post Configuration

During the process of building the outline for our book Advanced Windows Deployments using 1E Software Emile and myself decided that it was really important to emulate a production environment. Most of the scenarios we had seen were simple configurations using a bare ConfigMgr environment. As such I decided to spend the time to write a proper ConfigMgr hydration script that would build all the necessary Packages, Programs, Collections, Deployments and settings required to follow along with our book. This was no small task as it took a little over 4 months of testing and development to figure out...

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Taking Hydration to the Next Level – Part 3 – ViaMonstra SCCM Post Configuration

This is the last video that will cover the ViaMonstra Post Configuration tasks required to get the Hydrated environment working. In this video we will focus on creating the required Firewall Exclusion Group Policies, enable the Client Push Account and give our ConfigMgr Client Push Account local admin rights on each workstation in ViaMonstra. I hope you enjoy the video and as always we welcome your feedback and comments. Thanks, Dave   Check out our book on Amazon    ...

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Taking Hydration to the Next Level

For a number of years now, Johan Arwidmark has been publishing Hydration Kits from his site. Hydration is the process of automating the build of an environment, either lab or production.  This is important because it provides a consistent implementation process that eliminates the possibility of misconfiguration, and quickly speeds up the creation of components that are often prerequisites to the solution you are testing. While writing our Advanced Windows Deployments book, we created some scripts that further extend Hydration.  Today we will show you the first one of these, which we run on the Hyper-V host to...

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Installing System Center Configuration Manager 2012R2 Cumulative Update 4 Step by Step

The first step to install Cumulative Update 4 is to download the actual CU4 update binaries, which can be acquired by going to and clicking on the Hotfix Download Available link, selecting the appropriate file (there’s only one) and providing your e-mail address. You will shortly receive an automated message from with the download link for a self-extracting executable. Save it to your machine and double-click 482009_ENU_x64_zip.exe to extract CM12-R2CU4-KB3026739-X64-ENU.exe to your Downloads folder, which is the one that we will need to copy to our Configuration Manager Site Server. As with all updates for Configuration Manager, these should be applied in a top-down fashion. If you’re in a really large organization that has a CAS server, the change needs to be applied there first. If not, we will copy it right to the Primary Site Server. We now need to log onto the Primary itself, and ensure that the console is closed. Before proceeding, ensure a Checkpoint is taken of the VM. This will allow us to revert the CU4 install and remediate any issues for a clean installation. Next, navigate to the location where CM12-R2CU4-KB3026739-X64-ENU.exe was copied and double click to launch the wizard.   Click Next, accept the License Terms and click Next again to bring you to the perquisite page. Address any warnings or errors here (a reboot is often required), and proceed...

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