Today at the #MVPDays Vancouver we talked to people who had never heard of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direction (S2D). It’s hard to believe, but yes there are people out there that haven’t had the chance to get up to date on the latest Windows Server 2016 Operating System. This is usually due to meetings, ongoing projects and running older version of the Windows OS. So what were the big take aways from the session?
Nothing truly new here, but it is a new year and a new environment for me. I’ve just sat down at my seat at a customer’s location and wanted to inventory a bunch of things inside their System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 CU3 environment. Regardless it’s older and we’re in the process of migrating to Configuration Manager 2016! Exciting times ahead! In any case, I installed the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 console on my Windows 7 laptop (64-bit). See where things are going. We’re not running the latest and greatest… yet 😉
One of the issues that data center or even any Windows Administrator has is managing the local administrators group on each and every one of their domain members. There is a lovely security setting that has been around for many years, Restricted Groups, which can be controlled via local security policies of via GPO. This works, but has a few pitfalls as you’ve probably run into once in a while. Keep reading to see how you can solve some of them with Group Policy Preferences.
One of the issues I’ve come across is using Configuration Managers (2012 R2+) feature of being able to deploy multiple Software Update Points (SUP) within a site. This scenario is essentially to avoid using traditional network load balancing (NLB) and offload the work to the clients. One would think, if one SUP is not available it’s pretty simple, switch to the next one in the list. Well this doesn’t always happen as one may expect. Why?
I was working on a SCCM deployment where there was already one existing Software Update Point (SUP). Due to new firewall restrictions, a few new SUPs were required. Microsoft has changed their best practices with SCCM in regards to using multiple SUPs. The best practice is to share the WSUS Database (SUSDB) and the WSUS content directory. This cuts down on a lot of space, replication and administrative issues.
Well it’s finally happened, I’m officially going to accept the title of author. After previous collaborating on a few books, and after a lot of time collaborating with other MVP rock stars and some hard work, our eBook, Master PowerShell tricks (Volume 1) has been released on Amazon.
Install-Module is a wonderful new cmdlet that comes with PowerShell v5 and can be found in Windows Management Framework (WMF) 5.0. This allows us to skip the whole search the Internet to find modules and pull them from pre-configured repositories. By default, your machines should be configured to look at https://www.powershellgallery.com/api/v2/ .
When writing PowerShell scripts, one of the most time consuming tasks is validating input and handling invalid input. PowerShell does have built in mechanisms to deal with this and ease these tasks so that we can focus on creating a production level script.
As I get called on a lot of to do SQL Server installations, I’ve come up with what I’ve found works best for me. Every location has different infrastructure, security, networks and their way of doing things. Since I’m the one doing the installation, and I know I’ll get called back in the future at some point to upgrade, troubleshoot or manage the SQL Server environment, I like to have a set of standards. Documentation, I actually do enjoy writing it (yes I may be sick), but having a self-documenting PowerShell script is even better!
Well as the title suggests, I’m happy with the code, but I always find myself adding more and more code around the cmdlets. Service control in Windows has been pretty straight forward for the past few decades. Obviously PowerShell can control the state and configuration of services, but one thing I’ve always run into with service control is reacting to how the service stops and starts and also managing the state of dependent services. I’m sharing some short code functions that I use.
Well I recently blogged about time syncronization issues in Windows Time Sync – The fixes!. This troubleshooting still works on Windows Server 2016, but hopefully we don’t need to do it as often!
Do you empower your customers whether they’re colleagues, internal departments or even 3rd party entities to provision virtual machines, databases or websites in your data center?
This has been a very common pain point for Active Directory administrators. AD is perfectly planned according to Microsoft’s best practices and successfully deployed. But as time goes on, network admins change the network topology, devices are added here and there and if there is no formal process of adding new networks, AD Sites and Services will mostly likely not be updated to reflect these changes.
How often are you given a list of servers and you need to quickly copy files to them? I used to always take the wonderfully format list given to me and format them into a PowerShell array buy putting quotes around each of them and commas. Example:
$Computers = @(
As many of you know when running a simple standalone machine at home, at work, in a datacenter or in the cloud, time keeping can be tricky. Very odd though, it’s been around for over a decade and people/enterprises still can’t seem to figure out how it really works or how they should configure it.
Every Windows computer has a lovely service on it that is called W32Time with a description that reads “Windows Time Service”. This service is set to manual, and for all intents and purposes can be left that way.
The goal of this project is to bring affordable Hyper-Converged infrastructure to environments of all sizes using 100% native Microsoft technologies and a few cool Open Source tools too. The cost to you is FREE.
What did you miss by not attending #MVPDays, Seattle 2016?