David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center - 24th May 2011

    As many of you know, I'm getting more excited about how cloud and virtualisation will impact customers and partners.  I wanted to share details about this event on the 24th May 2011. The UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates for your datacentre & infrastructure investments. This event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever - with deep dive sessions on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, Hyper-V virtualization capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities. Join Microsoft and interact live with us, some of our key strategic partners and early adopter customers. For more information, please visit: http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/techdays-live/delivering-it-as-a-service-with-the-microsoft-private-cloud.aspx 08:30-09:30 Registration 09:30-10:00 Transforming Your Datacentre  10:00-11:00 Building The Foundation: Server Virtualization and Management 11:30- 12:00 HP: Hyper-V Cloud Reference Architecture 12:00-13:15 Managing Your Infrastructure with System Center 14:00-14:30 Risual: Building The Business Case for Private Cloud 14:30-15:45 Hyper-V and System Center – Competitive Comparisons 16:16-16:45 NetApp: Private Cloud Integration Components 16:45-17:45 Bringing Automation and Self-Service To Your Datacentre   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Virtualization , Hyper-V , System Center , Cloud , Private Cloud , Microsoft
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1 update on the Windows 7 Client Open the properties page in your Hyper-V Manager on Windows 7 SP1 and you can now edit the new properties Remember that Remote FX requires a Windows 7 SP1 (beta 1) guest and that Dynamic Memory requires (for the beta only) a Windows Enterprise or Datacenter guest with Standard and Web being supported when it is out of beta. See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/07/12/dynamic-memory-beta-supported-guest-operating-systems.aspx for some more details on dynamic memory support in the beta.   thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Hyper-V R2 , SP1 , Service Pack 1 , Dynamic Memory
  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows Phone   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtualisation , Office 2010 , Windows 7 , SQL Server 2008 R2 , Visual Studio , the Essential Mix , Rich Client , Windows Phone
  • Hyper-V Security and Management from Windows 7

    [modified 2/11/09 with new link] I’ve seen two Hyper-V announcements this week. One is about the new Security Guide and the other is how to manage Hyper-V from Windows 7. Security Guide Hyper-V Security Guide–Beta Now Available! Are your customers concerned about attacks on their virtualized servers? Help them secure their virtual environments with the Hyper-V Security Guide. The Hyper-V Security Guide , now under development, has tested guidance and best practices to boost the security of virtualized Windows Server environments. Want an advance look at this free guide? Join the beta program. Then bookmark this link to the program site to get the latest information about upcoming events. Hyper-V Management from Windows 7 This is something that caught me out. The Hyper-V Management tools for Vista do not load on Windows 7, but tools have been published. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d and install this. Then go to the Windows Features tool in Control Panel and find the Role Administration Tools. Select Hyper-V Tools from there and bob is your uncle. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Microsoft , Windows 7 , Windows Vista , Windows Server 2008 , Windows Server 2008 R2
  • SBS 2008 backup under Hyper-V R2 gets dynamically swappable drives and what else is coming in Hyper-V 2008 R2

    I saw this and thought I would share it. Hyper-V R2, which is in beta already supports hot add/remove of drives, so native SBS 2008 Backup will work as youcan now dynamically add and remove those USB drives and they can be configured as pass-through disks so you will not have to create VHDs on them. Other interesting features for me were the live migration and huge memory support , all in the free version along with the management console! Hyper-V R2 BETA is available to test here . There is also an overview document that can be found here . In the overview document is the summary of Hyper-V as shipping today and the products as of tomorrow: Capabilities Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 R2 EE, DC Processor Architecture x64 only Yes Yes Yes Hypervisor-based Yes Yes Yes Product Type Standalone product Standalone product Operating System Number of Sockets (Licensing) Up to 4 Up to 8 Up to 8 = EE | Up to 64 = DC Number of cores supported by the hypervisor 24 (with QFE) 32 32 Memory Up to 32 GB Up to 1 TB Up to 1TB VM Migration None Quick and live migration Quick and live migration (EE & DC) Administrative UI Command line, text based configuration utility and remote GUI management Command line, text based configuration utility and remote GUI management Command line, remote management, and local GUI (Hyper-V Manager MMC) Management Existing management tools Manageable by SCVMM Yes (SCVMM 2008) Yes (SCVMM 2008 SP1) Yes (SCVMM 2008 SP1) Virtualization Rights for Windows Server guests 0 0 EE = 4 VM DC Edition = unlimited VM per proc Number of running VM Guests Up to 192, or as many as physical resources allow Up to 256, or as many as physical resources allow Up to 256, or as many as physical resources allow Storage Direct Attach Storage (DAS): SATA, eSATA, PATA, SAS, SCSI, Firewire, Storage Area Networks (SANs): iSCSI, Fiber Channel, SAS Planned Guest OS support Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows 2000 Server, Novell SUSE Linux...
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy. The process in outline is below. If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book) Take a full system backup before starting Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC ( see here for details ) Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks. To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here . Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration. Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM. Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available. Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that...
  • Hyper-V Management console stops working after a month or so with error “Cannot connect to the RPC service on Computer ‘xxx’. Make sure your RPC service is running.

    [updated with net accounts command 20/2/2009] This can help diagnose and resolve the issue if like me, it was running fine and then it suddenly stops about 4-5 weeks after it all got started. My initial thought was that some update had changed things as the blog post here documented the initial setup where the same error was seen. The error once again looked like this: However checking all the same firewall and other settings revealed nothing. Finally I discovered that the user I had created had a password setting that meant the password had expired. Simple, yet checking from the command line is a right royal pain. To fix, these were the commands I used: net user <username> “<new or existing passsword>” /active:yes /expires:never /passwordchg:no net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited Simple, yet the cause of so much time trying to fix. Hopefully this will solve it for you too. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Hyper-V , Error , User , Password
  • How to size the hardware required for SBS 2008

    This question has been asked many times and was once again asked today on an internal forum.  It is hard to come up with an explicit answer, but I feel I can give you some (personal, non-binding, your mileage may vary, please take with a pinch of salt and don’t sue me) opinions.  For SBS 2003 the non-scientific sizing appeared to go like this: “between 2 & 4GB of RAM, depending on number of users”.  I often saw a machine for around 25 users with 4GB of RAM and there was headroom. Disk – don’t buy 1.5TB disks, but don’t by 30GB either.  Buy largish and try to size data before you make the decision 1 CPU or 2, or perhaps more importantly, a box that can take 1 CPU or 2? The the time SBS 2008 arrived the difference in cost of a 2GB or 4GB box was trivial.  Now SBS 2008, if you want to be scientific about it would look something like this: Minimum specs are found at http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx Think Windows Server 2008 for x users, plus Exchange sizing for x users plus some wiggle for all the SBS 2008 bits, including WSS, Backup.  Since working all the above out, I tend to use the following guides: 4GB of RAM for 1 User, 8GB for more than 30 or so, however this is MY opinion and not tested Disk as above, mirrored in h/w (yes, mirrored, not raid 5) Dual core for a starter system going to multi-cpu & multi core for a very busy system The Premium node is sized as any other Windows Server 2008 system SQL or Terminal Services or ISA… etc Now while this might sound very sketchy, I’ve never benchmarked any SBS systems and this is my rule of thumb.  I’ve seen some 5-person businesses that stressed a 4GB 2-cpu Xeon SBS 2003 system and I’ve seen 40 people lightly load a 1 cpu, 2GB RAM system.  Sizing is not a science and you should always put in more than you need as it is easier for something to be sat idle than to be “in need”.  Finally, on the sizing, consider your own system.  Put in SBS 2008 for yourself and can use yourself as a reference...
  • How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V, how to install RAID Management tools and how to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD

    Once I had built my Hyper-V Server I still had a few to resolve.  I thought I had better document the solutions I found to my 3 disk related problems from this entry . So the 3 issues covered are: How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V How to install RAID Management tools How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V (called a pass-through disk) Just to give you some background, I was moving a non-VM OS inside a Hyper-V system.  I had created the VM, but I could not get it to just “boot” from the old boot disk – the disk was not showing.  I’d read that this type of disk was a pass-through (or pass-thru) disk, but I could not find out how to configure it easily.  The solution turned out to be very simple.  Run DISKPART on the Hyper-V server, identify the disk and mark it offline.  It would then appear in the list of disks that could be installed.  What is more, if I ran out of disks I could install a SCSI controller and continue to add disks there too. So, the commands for DiskPart: List Disk Select disk n – pick the disk you want, replace n with the disk number from the List Disk output Offline Disk You then need to add the disk inside Hyper-V - How to install RAID Management tools I don’t have pictures for this, but you should get the idea.  I put in the CD for the RAID software and I found some EXE and MSI files ( DIR /s /a *.exe *.msi from a command prompt will do that).  I ran these (using common sense to work out which ones to try first) until the drivers were installed and also the raid configuration software.  I then looked in the C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) folders for exe’s, cpl and jar files ( DIR /s /a *.exe *.cpl *.jar ).  The exe’s can be services or tools to run, the cpl are control panel files and the jar files are Java modules.  It turns out that the configuration tools are Java based on my e-sata card. How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD Finally I had my disks and...
  • How to resolve errors like "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running" with Hyper-V Server and Hyper-V Manager

    In my last post on installing Hyper-V for my home setup I said I had a number of issues.  One was that the Hyper-V Manager kept on showing the error "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running".  This turned out to be several issues. To start with my Hyper-V box is in a workgroup, so security is manually configured.  Then there is the connection ID security - by hand and finally there is the client setup too.  I spent a long time with John Howard's blog which got me the following commands for the Hyper-V server: netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)" new enable=yes netsh advfirewall firewall set rule  name="Remote Administration (RPC-EPMAP)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (NP-In)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (RPC)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="remote desktop (tcp-in)" new enable=Yes profile=domain net localgroup “Distributed COM Users” /add David There was then a few things to do on the client PC where it would not connect.  Again the postings at http://blogs.technet.com/jhoward/archive/2008/03/28/part-2-hyper-v-remote-management-you-do-not-have-the-requested-permission-to-complete-this-task-contact-the-administrator-of-the-authorization-policy-for-the-computer-computername.aspx helped me solve the problems. I've put all this here as a reference really, because John has been a busy boy and now has a tool that does this for you called HVRemote . So, learn from my pain and use John's tool.  You should be able to add a user and set the permissions very quickly.   One thing I will say is that I use OneCare on my OC client and I had to add some rules in the OneCare firewall:   - Port 135 for...
  • Getting up and running with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, including getting my external SATA drives working, adding network drivers, enabling the remote management tools

    [updated 7th Dec 2008 with links to more answers] It has been a while since I posted on the blog - I've been writing a book and installing and upgrading SBS 2008 a few times. I decided that rather than have a bundle of servers under my desk I would buy one large server (well, quad core anyway) and run my operating systems using Hyper-V server. Let's start with the ingredients that you will need: Download Hyper-V Server - http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/how-to-get.mspx Hyper-V Configuration Guide - Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Configuration Guide Hyper-V Getting Started Guide - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=26426203-DE3C-4D74-851E-4E1388A81D5F&displaylang=en Download Management Tool (you probably only need one of the below) Vista 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Vista 64-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Server 2008 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB950050), 32-bit edition package now Server 2008 64-bit - Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB950050), 64-bit edition package now Server with good dose of RAM - mine has 8GB at the moment Server with multi-core CPU - I bought a new motherboard with an Intel Quad Core 9550 chip - heat is not bad and performance is much better than the P4 I had been using!! External disk array - I chose this one - http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=898755&Product=EdgeStore+DAS401+4xBay+USB+RAID+1+DAS+Enclosure+via+eSATA - 4 SATA drives that you slot in, 1 eSata cable and a PCI-X eStata card. So, you download the ISO, burn it to a disk, boot, install in about 5 mins and reboot. You then follow the configuration guide which is menu driven, but I did have a few problems. No network card was detected - below The external disks were not detected Once the network card was detected, I could not create any Virtual Machines - network issues with remote management No NAT networking I wanted to move from my existing...
  • Virtualisation Adoption Survey - if you are using virtualisation (from anyone), tell Virtualisation.info

    A Quick note - there has been lots of comments recently on who's virtualisation has what share of the market. I've just installed Microsoft Hyper-V server up and running with 3 VMs inside it (HomeServer, SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2003) and I expect a couple of small desktops too before long. Anyway, rather than just guessing, why not fill in Virtualization.info's survey? It took me about 45 seconds to complete at virtualization.info's Virtualization Adoption Surveys . I'll post on how I got everything working after I've got the next chapter of the book done. Should be 4 chapters done by the end of this weekend, although I'm behind a few pictures :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Virtualisation , Virtualization , SBS 2008 , Survey , virtualization.info
  • SBS 2008 & EBS 2008 – Virtualisation Webcast

    You can access the webcast at https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=249912# As a quick recap, Microsoft see’s virtualisation as more than than just machine virtualisation.  In the Microsoft, virtualisation is split into: Presentation Virtualisation – What would have previously been known as Terminal Services Application Virtualisation (App-V) – Where applications are “streamed” to your desktop or terminal services presentation without being installed Machine Virtualisation (Desktop aka VDI or Server) – what most people think of as “Virtualisation” Virtualisation will be supported in for a set of scenarios with SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  The first thing to understand is that the primary node has a large load on it and is not an ideal candidate to act as a host for virtual machines.  You also need to understand that the host can’t really be part of the domain if the primary node of SBS is virtualised on it as there are all sorts of nasty issues around dependency issues. You might want to run some virtualisations scenarios to enable: Enable more “servers” to be run on a single server Enable greater flexibility in migration and DR between machines Enable greater remote access capabilities to desktops or applications via Desktop or Presentation virtualisation So what was announced: SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Presentation Virtualisation host – i.e. run TS on the 2nd box and use the gateway functionality on the 1st system SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Machine Virtualisation host.  This box can run as both a host and guest, providing the host is used to simply run the Hyper-V role.  Both the 1st and 2nd SBS systems can be run as guests on the host. There are some other gotchas that need to be considered: The backup on SBS is based on USB removable disks, however the USB disks are not passed through to the virtual machine in the same way so you need to look at other strategies, such as creating a large VHD in the USB disks and...

(c)David Overton 2006-13