Installing Microsoft Private Cloud POC via Unified Installer

System Center 2012 Unified Installer is a “small” utility to perform a new installation of System Center 2012, so you can test and evaluate it.

With the Unified Installer it’s possible to install the following System Center 2012 components:

  • System Center Orchestrator 2012
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
  • System Center App Controller 2012
  • System Center Operation Manager 2012
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012
  • System Center Service Manager 2012
  • System Center Service Manager Data Warehouse 2012
  • System Center Data Protection Manager 2012

The user guide and all the requirements are in the following article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh751266.aspx

But it’s not that well documented, so I though I would share some of my notes when I installede it a couple of month ago:

- First create all the servers, you will need 9 in total one for each role above and 1 for running the Unified Installer from, in my environment I have named the role servers like this: mscloud-orch, mscloud-vmm, mscloud-app, mscloud-scom, mscloud-sccm, mscloud-scsm, mscloud-scsmdw & mscloud-dpm
Remember the system requirements

- Next download and extract all System Center software from here and place it in a central file share. The files you download from the link are the following:
AppController.RTM.exe
ConfigMgr_SCEP_2012_RTM_INTL_7711.exe
SC2012_UnifiedInstaller.exe
SC2012_VMM.exe
SC2012DPM.EVAL.Part1.exe
SC2012DPM.EVAL.Part2.exe
SC2012OMRTM.exe
SCSM2012_RTM.exe
System_Center_2012_Orchestrator.exe

- Now all the files needs to be extracted to separate folders in your fileshare. The files that’s not self-extractable use the /x command from a command prompt. eg. <filename.exe> /x

- When you have extracted and placed the System Center components into separate folders in you file share, you need to download and extract all the pre-required software also. The easiest way to find and download all the pre-requried software is to start the Unified Installer and go though it until you get to the screen telling you what you are missing and here there will be links to where it can be downloaded.

- I downloaded it all to the mscloud-orch server and made my file share look like this:
\\mscloud-orch\App (Including the extracted folder and files form “AppController.RTM”)
\\mscloud-orch\DPM (Including the extracted folder and files from “SC2012DPM.EVAL.Part1” and “SC2012DPM.EVAL.Part2”
\\mscloud-orch\Orch (Including the extracted folder and files from “System_Center_2012_Orchestrator”)
\\mscloud-orch\SCCM (Including the extracted folder and files from “ConfigMgr_SCEP_2012_RTM_INTL_7711”)
\\mscloud-orch\VMM (Including the extracted folder and files from “SC2012_V
\\mscloud-orch\SCOM (Including the extracted folder and files from “SC2012OMRTM”)
\\mscloud-orch\SCSM (Including the extracted folder and files from “SCSM2012_RTM”)

 

When you have made all these pre-requirements it’s simply to run the Unified Installer and it will take care of the rest. When it’s done you have all the servers and services to run a complete System Center 2012 Private Cloud.

Good Luck!

No Comments

Let users choose their own default printer in XenApp 6.5

Yesterday it happen again, I had a XenApp environment where the users needed to be able to choose there own default printer. This should be no problem to configure since 1 mil. consultants and administrators (including myself) have done this before and the Internet is full with articles, blog etc. about how to make this happen.

But as always when you are working with a new release of XenApp thinks can have changed and you need to be aware of the section “This document applies to:” in the Citrix KB’s :-)

The problem I ran into this time was that no matter what I tried the users default printer was not saved when they choose a network printer that was mapped with the Citrix Session Printer policy as there default printer.

The main problem here is that Windows always wipes the mapped devices from the users profile at logoff and thus the default printer is not remembered.

I my environment I use Citrix User Profile Management (UPM), so I had in mind that if I was not able to figure out how to keep the default printer saved, I could always just get UPM to save the registry keys in the “Inclusion list” policy….. BUT that’s not possible…. first of the devices are wiped from the profile before UPM kicks in and second if you enable the Registry “Inclusion list” policy, UPM will ONLY process the keys in the list :(

So back to the problem…

I use the Citrix Session Printer policy to map network printers from a print server and in the Citrix policies there are also a policy called “Default Printer” – These two policies are in the process of being merged together to one policy called “Printer Assignment”: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX132168/

But I still have both policies and the solution is also to use them both, you just have to make sure you have control of your policies.

Before XenApp 6, Citrix had a DefaultPrnFlag registry setting (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX119684/) where you were able configure the default printer behavior. But in XenApp 6 and forward this has changed to a number of separate registry values that are placed under one key http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX124885

The one I’m using is the DisableNetworkPrinterDisconnect which prevents Windows from wiping the users devices from the registry. The following Citrix KB also describes it: http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX130848/

INFO!
The devices are stored at the following location in the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Devices
and the default printer is saved here:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Now the tricky part is to make sure that nothing is touching the default printer selection when the users login and this is where the Citrix Default printer policy comes into the picture. Because this has to be set to “Do not adjust the user’s default printer” in the last policy that hits the server/user.

If you have multiple Citrix GPO’s that hits the user, then it’s EXTREMLY IMPORTANT that you set the default printer policy in the GPO that hits the users last, here is an example:

In my environment I have a AD structure almost like this:

image

So let’s say I create and link a GPO to the XenApp-Servers where I configure the basic Citrix settings. Then create and link one GPO for each of the department OU’s where I configure the settings for the department, like mapping the correct printers via Citrix Session policy etc.

Now if I configure the Default Printer policy in the GPO that is linked to the XenApp-Servers OU and set it to “Do not adjust the user’s default printer”,  this will have no effect because there are new Citrix policies applied in the GPO’s that are linked to the department OU’s

So if I want the Default Printer policy to work it has to be set in the GPO that are linked to the department OU’s, this is because Citrix don’t recognize that another Citrix Policy already has been applied and therefor just “overwrites” the settings. So if the last Citrix policy has the Default Printer policy set to “Not Configured” then Citrix will use the default setting and use the users main client printer as default printer.

Hope i t makes sense! :-)

No Comments

Installing Windows Server 2012 RC

So I just downloaded the bits for Windows Server 2012 RC and in the process of installing it into my test lab. I got my hands on a couple of IBM x3550 M3 servers with the following specs:

CPU: 2 x Intel 5620 4c
RAM: 48 GB RAM
Disk:  8 x 146 GB disk
10 G NIC: Intel x520-DA2

These two servers will be Hyper-V hosts and the reason for all the local disks and the 10G NICs is so I’m able to test the Hyper-V replica feature :)

I will try update my blog as I progress in this installation and test. So fare here is a screendump and I can say that you still need to reboot the server when changing the hostname :(

server2012

To be continue….

No Comments

Problem booting Windows 8 from VHD file

If you have used the VHD method to install Windows 8 and placed this VHD file on your host OS, you might experience getting the following error when booting at some point:

VHD_BOOT_HOST_VOLUME_NOT_ENOUGH_SPACE

win8error

 

Reason/Resolution

The reason you get this, is because you are able to install Windows 8 into a dynamic VHD file (Thin Provioning), but Windows 8 still looks at how much space there are left on the host volume where you have placed the VHD file. So if you have made a 20 GB dynamic VHD file and only using 10 GB, but the host volume only have 8 GB left, then you will get this error.
So you must always make sure that you have as much space available on your host volume as the VHD file can grow.

No Comments

How to change the ADFS 2.0 URL in a deployment used with Office 365

I just wanted to share an good article I followed yesterday when I needed to change the URL and therefor also the certificate in a Office 365 ADFS setup:

http://www.proexchange.be/blogs/office365/archive/2011/11/06/how-to-change-the-adfs-2-0-url-in-a-deployment-used-with-office-365.aspx

Remember always to use a public certificate in production environment and this is also required if you need SSO for you Office desktop deployment. You also required to use ADFS Proxy or publish ADFS though TMG if you need to use SSO.

I found this great video that explains how to publish ADFS though TMG:

!!!Remember as it also shows in the video, when creating the web listener and you are using a star(*) certificate like *.yourdomain.dk, that you type *.yourdomain.dk in the Internal site name.

No Comments

Microsoft’s Certifications Reinvented for the Cloud

 

Microsoft has just announced that they are changing there certification program and by that also bringing back MCSE – this time MCSE I short for "Microsoft Certified Solution Expert”

The new certification program also has a lot more focus on Cloud technology, by making specific cloud certification paths. They have also divided the main titles into three categories: Associate, Expert and Master as you can see in this picture:

image

You can read more about this new certification program here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/2012/04-11CloudCertifications.aspx and there are also a small video explaining the new program.

No Comments

Citrix Cloud Portal Services Manager–Videos

 

citrix_cloudFebruary last year (2011) Citrix announced that they had acquired the company called EMS Cortex. EMS Cortex makes a web based control panel that integrates into a lot of different Microsoft and Citrix products and easies the administration and provisioning of services within these products, which includes Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Web hosting, SQL Server, DNS, RDS, MS CRM, Hyper-V and XenApp.

 

The EMS Cortex control panel is now part of the Citrix product suite and has been renamed to “Citrix Cloud Portal Service Manager

The acquisition is a part of Citrix’s cloud strategy and the fact that they have seen a big potential in delivering software for the service providers out there. Since the acquisition I have been following with a great deal of curiosity how and when Citrix will make this a part of there product suite, because there are no doubt that all the Citrix CSP’s will benefit a lot from this acquisition if the price will be right.

Also it’s really exciting to see how Citrix will connect/integrate all there products together into one big cloud framework which now include the following products: Cloud Portal Service Manager, Cloud Gateway, Cloud Bridge, cloud.com (Cloud Stack/Open Stack), ShareFile (Follow me data).

Almost a year after the acquisition Citrix is finally ready with there first version of Cloud Portal Service manager, which properly don’t have that many new features but most of all is just a rebranded version of EMS Cortex control panel, but this most likely change in the future and we will properly see integrations coming this year to more Citrix products and new Microsoft products.

With this new release Citrix has published 13 videos which explains how to deploy and configure Cloud Portal Service Manager, they are all available at CitrixTV and I have listed them here:

No Comments

NetApp pocket guide commands

The last couple of weeks I have been working on installing and configuring a new NetApp setup and searching for something else I ran over the following blog post from blogspot.com: http://unixfoo.blogspot.com/2009/07/pocket-guide-for-netapp-commands.html

It’s a nice list of all the most common and usefulle NetApp commands, I have printed two copies and placed one next to the NetApp storage and one at my desk :)

To make it more easy I desicede to also post the list here and add some additional commands and will add more in the future if I find more or new ones will be added in the OnTap OS.

  • ifgrp status : shows status of you vifs (replace vif status)
  • sysstat –x 1 : A tail of the statistic
  • sysconfig -a : shows hardware configuration with more verbose information
  • sysconfig -d : shows information of the disk attached to the filer
  • version : shows the netapp Ontap OS version.
  • uptime : shows the filer uptime
  • dns info : this shows the dns resolvers, the no of hits and misses and other info
  • nis info : this shows the nis domain name, yp servers etc.
  • rdfile : Like “cat” in Linux, used to read contents of text files/
  • wrfile : Creates/Overwrites a file. Similar to “cat > filename” in Linux
  • aggr status : Shows the aggregate status
  • aggr status -r : Shows the raid configuration, reconstruction information of the disks in filer
  • aggr show_space : Shows the disk usage of the aggreate, WAFL reserve, overheads etc.
  • vol status : Shows the volume information
  • vol status -s : Displays the spare disks on the filer
  • vol status -f : Displays the failed disks on the filer
  • vol status -r : Shows the raid configuration, reconstruction information of the disks
  • df -h : Displays volume disk usage
  • df -i : Shows the inode counts of all the volumes
  • df -Ah : Shows “df” information of the aggregate
  • license : Displays/add/removes license on a netapp filer
  • maxfiles : Displays and adds more inodes to a volume
  • aggr create : Creates aggregate
  • vol create <volname> <aggrname> <size> : Creates volume in an aggregate
  • vol offline <volname> : Offlines a volume
  • vol online <volname> : Onlines a volume
  • vol destroy <volname> : Destroys and removes an volume
  • vol size <volname> [+|-]<size> : Resize a volume in netapp filer
  • vol options : Displays/Changes volume options in a netapp filer
  • qtree create <qtree-path> : Creates qtree
  • qtree status : Displays the status of qtrees
  • quota on : Enables quota on a netapp filer
  • quota off : Disables quota
  • quota resize : Resizes quota
  • quota report : Reports the quota and usage
  • snap list : Displays all snapshots on a volume
  • snap create <volname> <snapname> : Create snapshot
  • snap sched <volname> <schedule> : Schedule snapshot creation
  • snap reserve <volname> <percentage> : Display/set snapshot reserve space in volume
  • /etc/exports : File that manages the NFS exports
  • rdfile /etc/exports : Read the NFS exports file
  • wrfile /etc/exports : Write to NFS exports file
  • exportfs -a : Exports all the filesystems listed in /etc/exports
  • cifs setup : Setup cifs
  • cifs shares : Create/displays cifs shares
  • cifs access : Changes access of cifs shares
  • lun create : Creates iscsi or fcp luns on a netapp filer
  • lun map : Maps lun to an igroup
  • lun show : Show all the luns on a filer
  • igroup create : Creates netapp igroup
  • lun stats : Show lun I/O statistics
  • disk show : Shows all the disk on the filer
  • disk zero spares : Zeros the spare disks
  • disk_fw_update : Upgrades the disk firmware on all disks
  • options : Display/Set options on netapp filer
  • options nfs : Display/Set NFS options
  • options timed : Display/Set NTP options on netapp.
  • options autosupport : Display/Set autosupport options
  • options cifs : Display/Set cifs options
  • options tcp : Display/Set TCP options
  • options net : Display/Set network options
  • ndmpcopy <src-path> <dst-path> : Initiates ndmpcopy
  • ndmpd status : Displays status of ndmpd
  • ndmpd killall : Terminates all the ndmpd processes.
  • ifconfig : Displays/Sets IP address on a network/vif interface
  • vif create : Creates a VIF (bonding/trunking/teaming)
  • vif status : Displays status of a vif
  • netstat : Displays network statistics
  • sysstat -us 1 : begins a 1 second sample of the filer’s current utilization (crtl – c to end)
  • nfsstat : Shows nfs statistics
  • nfsstat -l : Displays nfs stats per client
  • nfs_hist : Displays nfs historgram
  • statit : beings/ends a performance workload sampling [-b starts / -e ends]
  • stats : Displays stats for every counter on netapp. Read stats man page for more info
  • ifstat : Displays Network interface stats
  • qtree stats : displays I/O stats of qtree
  • environment : display environment status on shelves and chassis of the filer
  • storage show <disk|shelf|adapter> : Shows storage component details
  • snapmirror intialize : Initialize a snapmirror relation
  • snapmirror update : Manually Update snapmirror relation
  • snapmirror resync : Resyns a broken snapmirror
  • snapmirror quiesce : Quiesces a snapmirror bond
  • snapmirror break : Breakes a snapmirror relation
  • snapmirror abort : Abort a running snapmirror
  • snapmirror status : Shows snapmirror status
  • lock status -h : Displays locks held by filer
  • sm_mon : Manage the locks
  • storage download shelf : Installs the shelf firmware
  • software get : Download the Netapp OS software
  • software install : Installs OS
  • download : Updates the installed OS
  • cf status : Displays cluster status
  • cf takeover : Takes over the cluster partner
  • cf giveback : Gives back control to the cluster partner
  • reboot : Reboots a filer

No Comments

VDI in the cloud with HP

Benny Tritsch posted this great little article about his trip to HP Discover 2011 and how he was trying to find someone in the HP zoo who know something about how they will support VDI in the cloud computing space :-)

Good reading.
http://drtritsch.com/2011/12/vdi-in-the-cloud-at-hp-discover-2011

hpdiscovery

No Comments

CloudCoverTV

If you would like to follow the cloud computing world more broader than just what the big companies do in this space, the CloudCoverTV is a good place to look.

They have interviews with big and small vendors and providers in the cloud and they also keeps you up to date with the resents news in this industry.

cloud cover tv[5]

You can also follow them on Facebook

No Comments