Deploying Windows 8.1 to SMBs using Nomad Branch Step by Step

In the first post in this series, we created an OSD Task Sequence that is ideal for the SMB market. We touched on some of the automation options available with MDT, and were ultimately able to deploy operating systems to machines at the main office. Our next step is to make this Task Sequence deployable to branch workstations so they don’t need a nearby Distribution Point, PXE Service Point, or State Migration Point. To do that, we’ll update a copy of the Task Sequence with some integrations that come with 1E Nomad. But first, let’s right click on our Task Sequence from the first post and choose Copy. We’ll append -Nomad to the task sequence name, so it looks like this: Once we have our copy, we’ll go in and edit the new sequence. However, before we start adding the Nomad injections, we need to fix a problem that Nomad will have with Bare Metal Deployments. When a brand new computer begins Task Sequence Execution, it will first partition and format the drive. The Task Sequence will perform some actions, and then ultimately format the drive again. This is a problem, as we’ve already started caching packages and created references to files that will be force-removed. Therefore, we need to get all the format stuff taken care of at the beginning. To do that, we’ll simply move the Format...

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Deploying Windows 8.1 to SMBs using Configuration Manager 2012 R2

This is the first post of a series that will walk you through the process to create a Task Sequence in Configuration Manager 2012 R2 that can be deployed for all scenarios (Bare Metal, Refresh, Replace). It uses MDT 2013 to augment the sequence and provide some location-based automation rules. To provide full OSD functionality to branch locations without the need for servers, in the next post we will go through the process to create a second Task Sequence specifically for Nomad-enabled sites. The third post goes over how to configure Automatic Deployment Rules to maximize workstation patching with minimal effort. Though not specifically related to OSD, a solid patching design will eliminate the need to perform Software Updates during a Task Sequence, further reducing execution time. There are a few prerequisites and assumptions that must be in place before we get started with our Task Sequence creation and tuning. The Configuration Manager environment must be healthy, and MDT 2013 installed and integrated with CM12. We also need to have an image to deploy with our new Task Sequence, along with Drivers and Packages. For most small organizations, it’s pretty common to see included in the gold image all the corporate used free apps, like PowerPoint Viewer, and software that has been purchased for the entire company, such as Microsoft Office. Usually the image is created using MDT, as...

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Upgrading to Windows 2012 Hyper-V – DR Site to Server 2012 and configuring Veeam Backup and Replication 7x for DR Replicas

For today’s mission I was tasked with building a DR Site for Hyper-V using Veeam Backup and Replication 7.x. I wanted to walk you through the steps that I took in order to accomplish this task.   The Current Configuration consists of the following:   First of all let’s talk a little bit about the hardware for the new DR Site   I was given a couple of re-purposed servers: HP DL 380P Gen 8 Server 128 GB RAM 2 x Processors 2 x 4(x) NIC’s one BroadCom and one Intel     1 x 4 Port – HP Ethernet 1 Gb 4-port 331FLR     1 x 4 Port – HP NC365T PCIe Quad Port Gigabit Server Adapter Currently Running Windows 2008 R2   Well first of all I had already upgraded this farm to Server 2012 with Hyper-V so step one will be to simply: Upgrade the Operating System to Server 2012 Install the latest Support Packs from HP Install all of the Hyper-V Hotfixes and Patches Run all of the Windows Updates   The design that I envision will look like below:   It will include 2 x standalone Hyper-V Servers that will run in this companies DR Location.   For the Provisioning I used the HP Intelligent Provisioning Software that was embedded in the server.   A couple of notes for this configuration are: QUICK Configs: Changed from Balanced...

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Upgrading from Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V to 2012 R2 – NIC Configuration

In this post I will show you how to move a Hyper-V Virtual Machine from one Hyper-V Server to another without the use of Live Migrations. If find this technique very useful when I am swapping out hardware and just need a simple process to follow to get the guest instances stood up on the new farm. This can of course be fully automated but the purpose of this exercise will be to show how to do it manually. Here are the steps I generally follow: Build the new Windows 2012 or R2 Hyper-V Server Download and Patch with all updates from Microsoft (The purpose of this is not to show all the updates) Download and install the latest Firmware and Drivers for the Hypervisor Run this NIC Configuration Script. I run this on all of my Hyper-V implementations in production Here is the source for the script: <# Script name: Hyper-V_ProductionScript_V1.0.ps1 Created:     2014-04-03 Version:     1.0 Author Dave Kawula Homepage: Comming soon … / / Homepage: Disclaimer: This script is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, confers no rights and is not supported by the authors or DeploymentArtist. Author – Dave Kawula Twitter: @DaveKawula Blog : (Coming Soon) / This Script will perform a base configuration of the Network Adapters on a new Hyper-V Host Server THis Script has been used in production and...

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Upgrading to Windows 2012 Hyper-V – IO Accelerator IOPS Testing

In this post I will show a server that we have taken from Server 2008 R2 and upgraded to Server 2012. This particular server had been in production for the past 2 years and ran all production workloads for this company. Now it is being refurbished and will be used for DEV / Stagging as bigger and better servers have replaced it since. It still has some decent hardware in it including a pair of: HP 160GB Single Level Cell PCIe ioDrive for ProLiant Servers   These IO Accelerators from HP offer amazing performance and we will do some testing after the Build with SQLIO to see just how well they perform. With Windows 2012 De-Deduplication these things go a lot farther than what they used to. The hardware is the early model HPDL380 G8’s with 256GB of RAM This customer wasn’t ready for Server 2012 R2 just yet so we went with 2012   So here is the order we did the upgrade:   Download the latest and greatest firmware from: Run the IO Accelerator Console Installer first… We update the firmware from this console after. We performed the steps in the following order: Run the HP_IO_Accelerator_3.2.6.1212_x64_WinServer 2008R2_2012_Win7_8.exe Click Run Accept the EULA It is a small installer for the HP IO Accelerator Complete the Setup Logon via the App that is loaded for the IO Accelerator...

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Deploying Active Directory Replica DC to Azure

A lot of us have been setting up Hybrid Cloud (Azure) environments and one of the first things that needs to be done is setup a Replica Domain Controller. This post will show the steps that I followed to get this done.   Before we get started it is important to note that the following steps have already been completed: Created a Virtual Network ( Connected the Virtual Network to a S2S (Site to Site) VPN to my On-Premise Network ( Created a Local Network which defined the On-Premise Network and my External IP from that location Configured an on premise Windows 2012 R2 RRAS Server to act as the other end of the VPN On-Premise Ran the downloaded 2012 RRAS Configuration Script from the Virtual Network / Gateway Dashboard Page Validated routing from my On-Premise Network to my Azure Virtual Network Azure PowerShell Module downloaded and installed   Where we will get started today is the build out of the new Azure Replica Domain Controller   Step # 1 – We need to a new Azure VM for this (We will use the smallest one to save costs) From the Azure Management Portal, Add a Custom Virtual Machine, Select Windows 2012 R2 DataCenter On the Virtual Machine Configuration Page Configure with the following options: Virtual Machine Name: TC-AZ-DC01TIER: BASICSIZE: A0 (shared core, 768 MB Memory)NEW USER Name: Administrator_<XXX>...

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