Preparing to Upgrade SQL Server? Data Migration Assistant! Part 1 #MVPHour #SQLServer #DMA

Datacenter’s and companies everywhere generally rely on a core piece of software to store their data and metrics, SQL Server. It’s nice to keep it up to date, but sometimes, and a lot of the time, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. SQL Server has been around for quite a while, there are many databases hosted by SQL Server. Microsoft has released many upgrade advisors over the years, but recently the SQL Server team has overhauled their traditional SQL Server Upgrade Advisor and have created a new product – SQL Server Data Migration Assistant (DMA), which is different than SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). To pull off a successful migration or upgrade, you need to do your detective work.


Windows 10 Enterprise as DirectAccess Client. Because Windows 10 supports automatic entry point selection and transparent failover, better scalability and performance. Also, windows 10 built-in DirectAccess connectivity status indicator, the administrators don’t have to deploy, manage, and maintain additional software.


DirectAccess provides users with the experience of being seamlessly connected to their intranet any time they have Internet access. When DirectAccess is enabled, requests for intranet resources (such as email servers, shared folders, or intranet websites) are securely directed to the intranet, without the need for users to connect to a VPN. DirectAccess enables increased productivity for a mobile workforce by offering the same connectivity experience both inside and outside of the office.

VMware Storage and PowerShell #MVPHour #PowerShell

Well I’ve been buried lately under a lot of LUNs. Spring is over and a customer I’m at has forgotten to do their spring cleaning! Needless to say, the LUN presentation and maintenance to their VMware clusters is a mess! In order to audit the system and ensure things were going in my favor, I wrote quite a few PowerShell code blocks/1 liners.

Active Directory – When was this user/computer Created #PowerShell #MVPHour #

A pretty simple request came across my desk today. I was requested to send a report of users that were created after a specific date. Do you remember the Windows Server 2003 and prior? Before PowerShell? We had to use what I’ll term loosely as “wonderful” LDAP queries. Also the query result was pure text, we couldn’t do anything easily with it short of magical text parsing! Well here is my PowerShell script I quickly whipped up!


Today, I am going to do stress test for NON-RDMA Storage space direct servers, the customer use their existing Cisco Catalyst 4500-x for Storage space direct servers, as we know, it doesn’t support DCB and PFC function, so, we will focus on stress test result for Storage space direct servers without enable RDMA and see how’s the performance.


Prior to performing on-boarding and off-boarding remote move migrations in an Exchange hybrid deployment, we recommend that you create Exchange remote migration endpoints. The migration endpoint contains the connection settings for an on-premises Exchange server that is running the MRS proxy service, which is required to perform remote move migrations to and from Exchange Online.


Today, a customer asks me to build a Site-to-Site VPN between their Meraki environment with Azure, they also need Veeam backup copy to Azure, they are using other cloud provider for their remote backup repository, this will save customer 13K per year after switch to Azure, let’s follow the steps and do it.

Yes, Veeam can back up your production physical servers!

For admins looking to reduce the amount of consoles that have to be managed, Veeam was, frankly, depressing. On one hand, the amazing validation and stability features to protect your virtual workloads are a must have, but on the other, its lack of physical support...


The Hybrid Configuration wizard helps you establish your hybrid deployment by creating the Hybrid Configuration object in your on-premises Active Directory and gathering existing Exchange and Active Directory topology configuration data. The Hybrid Configuration wizard also enables you to define and configure several organization parameters for your hybrid deployment, including secure mail transport options.

#VeeamON Day 3 #MVPHour #Veeam

The last day of VeeamON 2017. My head is hurting from all the great information that Veeam and other vendors have brought to the table. Today I’ve written about the highlights of the 3rd day!

#VeeamON Day 2 #MVPHour #Veeam

The morning of day 2 started off a little different for myself. Some of the media and Veeam Vanguards attended a media and session where they disclosed some information about Veeam and some of the new products. After that it was a free for all! Which breakout session to attend, do I have time to see all the vendor presentations!? Read on to see what I attended.

#VeeamON 2017 Day 1 – #Veeam #MVPHour

In the morning we listened to Michael White present on VAO and how it empowers businesses to maintain business continuity or at least speeds it up. If you’ve heard of VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Product, well you’ve got a great handle on how it works.

#VeeamON 2017 is available via @livestream #mvphour #veeam

Can’t make it down to the amazing venue in New Orleans, LA… Not to fear #VeeamON is available via LiveStream. Click below to add a reminder to your calendar to tune in LIVE for the VeeamON 2017 general sessions. Don’t miss out! Be a part of the experience!...

VeeamON 2017 is upon us! #VeeamOn #MVPHour #MVPBuzz

If you haven’t gotten your tickets and cannot be a part of #VeeamON this year, all is not lost! We here at will have you covered. If you’ve been following us or go look back at the #MVPHour posts, you’ll see that we have arrived here early. We are continuing to blog, tweet (@AllanRafuse) and are currently setting up our Live Stream system!

A Winning Combination – Veeam 9.5 and Windows Server 2016 – Part 1 #ReFS #Veeam #VeeamOn #MVPDays

In this post I’m going to touch on a few basic components that make Veeam 9.5 and Windows Server 2016 a winning combination. I will be presenting at a #VeeamOn breakout session on Thursday. We’ll be talking about using a Microsoft’s Storage Spaces Direct technology as a Veeam Backup and Restore File Repository. Which Operating and Filesystem do you think I’ll recommend?

I think we’ve all heard of Veeam by now, the most innovative and leading backup provider for virtual and physical environments. Regardless of hardware vendor, and regardless of hardware type, rackmount or hyper converged, it just works. But why is Veeam 9.5 and Windows Server 2016 a winning combination together? The two companies have worked hard together to simply and enhance existing technology not only to decrease backup and restore times, but to with storage technology to allow you to save space without deduplication and to guarantee the integrity of your data at rest. How? You’ll find out if you keep reading.

#PowerShell – The Patch Solution – Part 5

Having an email in your inbox outlining which machines in your organization that are going to be patched in the next day or two is every service owner/managers dream. So simple and proactive. The email also outlines when the machines are going to be patched and displays how many outstanding updates there are. This is a summary of what will happen in the days to come. Keep reading to see how you can dive into seeing the details of what is about to happen in your organization.

PowerShell – The Patch Solution – Part 4

The previous posts on The Patch Solution have outlined the though process and goals to a patching strategy. Now it’s time to start taking that strategy and putting it into practice. Now that we have defined some of our goals (See

The Patch Solution – Part 3 post), we can start looking at how we reach those goals. In my opinion, one of the easiest goals to attain is reporting. This gives you an attainable goal which is completely measurable and trackable. Simply run a report, see where you’re at, update a few machines, run a report and see where you got to. The solutions that we try and come up with at TriCon Elite is all about being free and giving back to the community. We like to strive for secure and simple. For The Patch Solution, we opted to use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

SCCM PowerShell and Connect to Multiple SCCM Sites at once (DEV/Prod)

There have been quite a few times that I’ve needed to do some comparisons, or even move some objects from one SCCM environment to another. The System Center Configuration Manager console has quite a few options for exporting objects, or saving things to CSV, but then you still need to import it. Check out the rest of this blog post to see how easy it is to report, compare or recreate things between your SCCM environments with PowerShell.

Deployment Options for Windows 10 in SCCM

With the release of Windows 10 came a new deployment option that Microsoft calls an “In-Place Upgrade.” But wasn’t that always a method, like when we went from Windows XP to Windows 7? Kinda sorta, but not really. Traditionally, we often used...

PowerShell – The Patch Solution – Part 1

Over the last few years, we here at TriCon Elite have been using what we call “The Patch Solution”. Boring name, but it also fits its purpose. Who loves deploying patches and reporting? There are many ways to patch your Windows Servers, but our slim, simple, PowerShell solution was created to solve a few key areas, for free. It has been released to the community for quite some time, but keep reading on why you should use it too!

Going to VeeamOn in New Orleans?

I wanted to do a shout out to all you folks that are registered for VeeamOn, to consider coming to town a few days early. On the Friday before VeeamOn, Vanguards Dave and Cristal Kawula will be hosting a 1-day conference, called MVPDays Community Roadshow...

S2D on Fanless Hardware

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with the Airtop-S Fanless Server from Compulab. This is a compact device, about the size of a Small Form Factor PC. What’s cool about it is that it uses a Natural AirFlow technology that does not require fans or...

Azure IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

One of the things that almost everyone asks me when starting cloud adoption, is what the difference is between the various as a Service models. So much so, that I recently did a presentation on the topic at MVPDays in Edmonton. Here are the main points that I talked...

Deploy OMS Step by Step – Quick, Easy, Free

Operations Management Suite is Microsoft’s Azure-based Cloud monitoring solution. As is the case with all their Azure solutions, OMS has seen tremendous development and enhancements since its evolution from Operational Insights. Over the past couple of years, I...

Windows 7: Good to the last drop

For the majority of organizations, Windows 10 adoption can’t happen soon enough.  The security enhancements bring on a sigh of relief in an age of Ransomware and devastating zero-day threats.  There are, however, still isolated environments and service...

PowerShell –Managing the Datadog Cloud Service

PowerShell to the rescue again! Datadog is a Cloud service for aggregating real-time metrics, events and logs from all your servers. The easiest way is to install an agent and let it report via HTTPS directly to the internet or via a web proxy. Another cloud aggregation solution that I’m more familiar with is Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). Both of these services provide access via PowerShell.

Microsoft OneDrive Expert #MODE Charter Member #mvphour

Today I had a rather exciting email come in from Microsoft. It turns out that I was selected to be a Charter Member in Stephen Rose’s @stephenlrose program called the Microsoft OneDrive Expert. As a Microsoft MVP and Community Influencer this is not the only...

#MVPDays – Storage Spaces Direct – Getting your feet wet

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?

Opening/Upgrading SCCM 2012 R2 PowerShell

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 😉

GPO/GPP – Control the Local Administrators Group

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.

SCCM – Using Multiple SUPs, but clients aren’t switching

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?

Configuring Multiple Software Update Points (SUP) in SCCM

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.

Master PowerShell Tricks – Volume 2

With the amazing success of our first release of Master PowerShell Tricks Volume 1 we have commenced Volume 2 already. This time we have added some amazing new Authors to the series. It is going to be another huge success and hit the #1 Best Sellers list just like...

Free – Azure Training!

On-going training is something that anyone in IT needs. IT changes as fast as the clouds come and go! You need to keep up! There are several ways to easily keep your head in the clouds using Microsoft’s resources and social media. The New Year is here and one of your...

Comparing Office 2016 and Office365 ProPlus

With the widespread adoption of Office365, a popular question that comes our way is whether to deploy the Office 2016 Client, Office365 Client, or a hybrid of the two. The Office365 ProPlus client is available to license as a standalone monthly/annual subscription, or...

PowerShell – My way to prepare a SQL Server VM

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!

PowerShell – Start-Service, Stop-Service, they work, but not always well enough!

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.

Master PowerShell tricks Volume 1

Update…. Order your copy today. Our E-Book is available on Kindle from Amazon Below is a preview of the Kindle Version that was just released as of today. December 19, 2016. The book documents the following Master PowerShell tricks that these two experts employ...

PowerShell – Is your AD Sites and Services missing subnets?

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.

Countdown to Orlando MVPDays

We are less than 1 week away from our last stop on the North American MVPDays Community roadshow. This time we are heading all the way down to Orlando Florida on December 2, 2016. We still have space left to come out and see some amazing presenters and support your...

Why Do Hyper Converged Installs fail?

About two years ago the term Hyper Converged infrastructure was not common in most discussions around that IT water cooler. Now it seems like this is all that people are talking about. Hyper Converged has skyrocketed onto the Gartner Magic quadrant and customers are...

Windows Time Sync – The fixes!

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.

@MVPDays Orlando Registration and Schedule now live

Hey @MVPDays fans registrations are now open for MVPDays Florida on December 2, 2016. #mvphour Checkout for more information   You can see the schedule and speakers for the event at:   See you all in a month in...

Storage Spaces Direct #S2D for Everyone

This week at #MVPDays Seattle we had a chance to have some really great discussions on the future of storage in the Data Center. As such I had a chance to attend a really great session delivered by MVP’s Anton Gostev @Gostev and Clint Wyckoff @clintwyckoff on...

Made the cut this week on Channel 9 at Microsoft

I am always extremely proud to be recognized out of the thousands of videos up on @ch9.   This week @clintwyckoff (Clint Wyckoff – MVP) and myself @davekawula made the cut. Our video on must attend sessions of MS Ignite was really popular and made the short list of...

My Favourite moments from MVPDays over the past 3 years

Hey folks I thought I would write this up as a quick post that truly shows the power of community.   Here are also a few of the top moments @twitter has captured for us. I love a lot of this pictures captured from Various #MVPHour sightings across north America....

My Sessions at Microsoft Ignite 2016

Show your support and come cheer us on at Microsoft Ignite 2016.   This year I have been so fortunate to have been selected for 2 x Sessions.     The First one will be on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – 11:30 – 12:15PM Room B203   Interact with an MVP discussion panel...

Must attend Sessions of Microsoft Ignite 2016

Attending a conference like Microsoft Ignite can be a daunting task. There are over 25,000 attendees + Speakers + Sponsors etc. Right now there is a list of over 1,000 sessions to choose from and there are so many choices it is actually quite confusing. So my friend...

MVPDays Website – Relaunch today

Well we were in need of a new website as the old one had been live since 2014. So today we rebranded and re-launched the website. We would love your feedback on it and as such send your comments via twitter to @mvpdays   Hope you enjoy the new look and...

HyperGrid V-Tax Refund Webinar recording now available

The recording of a webinar I did with Hypergrid is now available online at: Click here to view the Webinar   Replacing VMware with Hyper-V means a cool VMware tax refund. Do you know what your potential savings are? And while it looks great from a budget perspective,...