Archive for the 'Beta' Category

StorSimple Virtual Appliance

I have been interested in StorSimple for some time, but haven’t actually used it before.  Recently, Microsoft announced a virtual appliance preview.  It looks pretty interesting and I have a test scenario where I want to use it.  If my testing goes well, I may expand my use of it. 

The documentation on it is pretty intimidating, since there are 15 PDFs to help you get started.

It is supported running on VMware and Hyper-V, and use cases are:

  • File Server – User file shares or Department file shares
  • iSCSI Server – Small SQL databases or User home folders

My initial test will be as a small departmental file share.

Don’t instal build 10547

I have been very happy with the Windows 10 builds.  Most of them have at least been “no visible change” for me.  Build 10547 however, was not like that.

I had heard of some issues with that build from one of my co-workers, but nothing specific enough to not make think it was other than an anomaly.  However, when I installed the build, I was very unhappy. 

First, I rarely shut my machine down.  I had to do a hard shutdown 3 times on my machine after installing Build 10547, because the screen was black and only the mouse pointer was visible.   After I was able to get into the machine, the network adapter wasn’t working.  It has worked fine for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and every other build of Windows 10.  I kept getting activation errors for Office programs.  after 2 hours, I finally had to revert to the previous build. 

Build 10550 is supposed to have addressed some of these issues.  Cross your fingers.

Windows 8 Plans Leaked

So apparently, Windows 8 planning slides got leaked.  A good discussion about what is contained in the slides can be found in this blog post:

Long story short, these slide decks are chock full of internal thinking on Windows 8 — everything from customer target audiences to the Windows 8 developer market to the Windows 8 product cycle and much, much more.


While I agree with the author of the post, in that I feel bad for the person who leaked this, I do think it is pretty interesting to get a look at what Microsoft is thinking.  I always find it useful to know now where they think things are going to be in the future, in the hopes that I will make better decisions about how to position myself and the company I work for to take advantage of the “new stuff” when it gets here.

Error installing DPM 2010 Beta

I was installing the DPM 2010 Beta (finally) and had an issue trying to get the SQL 2008 to install.  Finally figured out that I had the install files stored too deeply in a network share.  I figure this out by running the SQL install directly and when it when to check prereq’s it had an error on one section and when you click for more info this is what you get:

Rule "Long path names to files on SQL Server installation media" failed.

SQL Server installation media on a network share or in a custom folder can cause installation failure if the total length of the path exceeds 260 characters. To correct this issue, utilize Net Use functionality or shorten the path name to the SQL Server setup.exe file.

So, I moved it to a shorter path and it installed just fine.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC)

Admin tools for Windows 7 (RC).  Windows 7 rocks so far.  I just got to the point where I decided to install the admin tools though. 

Installing Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC
You must be either a member of the Administrators group on the computer on which you want to install the Administration Tools pack, or you must be logged on to the computer by using the built-in Administrator account.
Important: Remove all versions of Administration Tools Pack or Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista with SP1 from the computer before installing Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC.
Important: Only one copy of Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC can be installed on a computer at one time. Before you install a new package, remove any existing copies of Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC. This includes any copies that are in different languages. To remove existing copies of Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC, see Removing the complete Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC pack on this page.
1. On a computer that is running the RC release of Windows 7 RC, download the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC package from the Microsoft Download Center.
2. Open the folder into which the package downloaded, and double-click the package to unpack it, and then start the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 RC Setup Wizard.
Important: You must accept the License Terms and Limited Warranty to start to install the Administration Tools pack.
3. Complete all the steps that you must follow by the wizard, and then click Finish to exit the wizard when installation is completed.
4. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
5. In the Programs and Features area, click Turn Windows features on or off.
6. If you are prompted by User Account Control to enable the Windows Features dialog box to open, click Continue.
7. In the Windows Features dialog box, expand Remote Server Administration Tools.
8. Select the remote management tools that you want to install.
9. Click OK.

Download details: Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC)

Hyper-V certificate expiration and resolution

If you see this:

‘VMName’ failed to initialize.
Could not initialize machine remoting system. Error: ‘Unspecified error’ (0x80004005).
Could not find a usable certificate. Error: ‘Unspecified error’ (0x80004005).

Then this could be your answer:

Symptoms and resolution:

§ You may be unable to start or connect to virtual machines running on Windows Server 2008 or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008. This occurs when connecting using vmconnect. Connections made using remote desktop won’t be affected.  

§ KB Article 967902 has been created that details the symptoms and resolution.  This KB article provides a direct link to download the quickfix to resolve this error.

Important Notes:

§ Though this error may occur, the Hyper-V service will continue to operate.   Neither the Hyper-V host nor the running virtual machines will go offline.

§ It is not expected that this issue can be exploited for malicious purposes.

§ Customers running Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V beta won’t experience this error.

That last line it my favorite…

I guess we should be running the beta in production…  and what’s with the ‘Unspecified error’?  


Windows Server Division WebLog : Hyper-V certificate expiration and resolution

New Features in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

Of the new features coming in the R2 versions of Windows Server 2008 and SCVMM, I think these two are the obvious winners:

Support for Live Migration: With Windows 2008 R2 adding support for Live migration, it’s now added as a new migration option in VMM R2. Live migration requires the source and destination host to be part of a failover cluster and that the VM is on a shared storage. Live migration means that there is no user perceived downtime; since the VM’s memory pages are being transferred, the hosts’ processors need to be the same (manufacturer and processor architecture). Our competition claims that Vmotion doesn’t require clustering but this only works for planned downtime and not for unplanned downtime. By combining Live migration and clustering, Hyper-V addresses both planned and unplanned downtime.

Multiple VMs per LUN: VMM 2008 didn’t allow placing multiple VMs per LUN even though Hyper-V allowed it and the reason was that the LUN ownership was on a per host basis. This meant that migrating any VM on that shared LUN would result in all other VMs being migrated as well which can result in a confusing user experience (I’ve blogged about this at length). With CSV (Clustered Shared Volumes) in Windows 2008 R2, a single LUN is accessible by all hosts within a cluster. This enables a VM that’s on a shared LUN to be migrated without affecting other VMs on that LUN. As a result, with VMM R2, we’ll allow multiple VMs to be placed on the same LUN if CSV is enabled on the cluster.

That is from the beta release announcement for SCVMM.  I have downloaded the beta, but haven’t had time lately to get it setup.  I am hoping to work on that this coming week… 

System Center Service Manager

When I first heard that Microsoft was going to release a “Service Desk” product, I was actually kind of excited.  I heard about it at MMS in 2006 (I think) and the things that they were planning for their Service Desk product sounded really useful and even a bit forward thinking.  Evidently, what they intended and what they built, wasn’t even close to what the customers wanted, because they scrapped it and started over completely.

Now they are once again trying to get feedback on a Beta version of System Center Service Manager.  We aren’t participating in the Beta this time (too much other stuff going on) so I haven’t kept up with what is happening, but here is a reply to a question someone had about the Service Manager Roadmap:

Thanks very much for your interest in Service Manager – this is great feedback for our team.  We will be adding many features into Beta 2, including OpsMgr integration, Service Maps, Reporting, Self-Service Portal, Knowledge Management, and Problem Management.  We are making infrastruture improvements that will enhance scalability and performance.  We are making usability improvements that will provide a better overall user experience.  We are also going to be providing a tool that will enable form customization, object model extensions, and IT process workflow authoring.
I’ll try to answer some of your other questions below.
1.  We don’t have plans today for a SCE connector. 
2.  We don’t have plans to have built-in integration with DPM – I would love to hear more details on how you think Service Manager could add value.  A step-by-step example would be most helpful 🙂
3.  We don’t have plans to directly control task execution in OpsMgr using Change Management workflows, although I believe the underlying Service Manager platform would support many scenarios.  We do have plans to launch the OpsMgr web console from the Service Manager console (on the same machine) — then you can run these tasks from the OpsMgr web console. 
4.  We are not going to have the ability to prevent changes from being applied using the Service Manager change management feature, however we are evaluating functionality to incorporate change windows at a future date.

Service Manager roadmap : Service Manager – General : System Center Service Manager : Microsoft TechNet Forums

Windows Experience Index

In Windows Vista, Microsoft is making an effort to help you figure out where your weaknesses are when it comes to PC performance.  The Windows Experience Index is an evaluation of key components of your system.  When you want to know what to do to improve performace, you can take a look at it and decide what areas to concentrate on. 

I think this will be a good tool for companies looking to move to Vista from XP.  You can test your various machine types and look at the Experience Index to determine if you want to replace the machines, add memory, or just move to Vista as is.

Here is a related article:


Windows 3.1??

I was looking around and found a blog entry that stipulates that Windows 3.1 is still alive.

Silliness prevails it seems.