SCVMM 2012 SP1 CTP2 crash (display resoltuon too high?)

I’ve deployed SCVMM 2012 today and noticed the service was crashing (causing a disconnect of my console session). It appears that the cause of this was my Remotefx resolution being outside of the expected range. The reason I believe it was this is that the error (virtual Machine Manager – event ID 1 stated System.infexOutOfRangeException: Index was outside the bounds of the array. at Microsoft.VirtualManager.Utils.MonitorResolutonLimits.GetMonitorResolution(int32 numMonitors, Int32 monitorsResolutionIndex)

In addition to this I noticed that the dynamic memory maximum amount was also outside of a supported configuration limit of SCVMM. Since changing the memory limits and setting any remotefx adaptor resolutions to 1280 x 1024 the crashes and event logs have stopped. (edit: Its been about an hour now and no service crashes!)

Why Hyper-v??

If you ever need a list of reasons as to why Server 2012’s hypervisor is a good thing here it is:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/A/0/5A0AAE2E-EB20-4E20-829D-131A768717D2/Competitive%20Advantages%20of%20Windows%20Server%202012%20RC%20Hyper-V%20over%20VMware%20vSphere%205%200%20V1%200.pdf

It will be interesting to see what occurs in hypervisor space now that Windows has started to get some legs 😉

System Center service manager web portal issues

It seems the configuration routines for installing the portal components don’t configure it’s or the web config files correctly for https. Manual editing of the web config files, bindings and .net application settings URL (on the service manager portal) are required. On share point foundation I also had to manually start the share point web services root application pool and modify the web config files to only have https bindings (I removed the http ones).

Planning to deploy Windows 8? Where do I start?

Understand the as-is state

    Use tools available, MAP, ACT, SCCM and other SAM/Inventory tools…
    Enhancing the end user experience: Compile a list of (10) enhancements that the new deployment will have. e.g. Automated software deployment (group policy), enhanced security (bitlocker), Removal of user administrator rights (Group Policy), improve patch management (monthly restart feature), remove password reset burden from the service desk (Self service reset), providing self service re-deployment capabilities…. The list could go on and on.
    In my mind this list is important, it can be used as a measure of success and also will help focus on key areas of enhancement. Build these from the business and IT discussions, compile them then have IT and the Business sign them off.

So do I know if I was successful?
Often IT projects will run with no formal investigation to establish the success… sure great for the times when things don’t go quite to plan… but its a bit of a head in the sand approach. Once complete and the dust has settled, send out a survey to your user base. Find out if you were successful and take the feedback as a lessons learnt.

Automation, automation, automation… am I clear about this?

Ever since I was tasked to build more than handful of PC’s (migration, refresh or new deployment) I started to automate. While my colleagues would spend hours installing Windows manually or creating ad-hoc ghost images, I was building an unattended install and a syspreped image…. this soon became the standard mechanism and changed the way OS installation was viewed at the company. If you are deploying Windows 8 to more than a handful of devices I would automate. If we take 4 hours (seems to be the accepted figure for client builds) per pc @ 50 pc’s we have 26.7 days of effort.
If we spent a week creating an image and we half the time it takes to deploy we end up with 17.4 days that’s a 9.3 day saving of effort. As you can see even on small scale it makes sense to automate.

I hope this start help to begin to draw a picture of how to approach a Windows upgrade. There is always loads of guidance from Microsoft that’s always been really useful to me so if you get stuck the answers are never too far away.

Windows 8 Planning

Windows Server 2012

I’ve started to write a Server 2012 Core Active Directory Installation Guide. 2012 has heap of new features, configuration posibilities and what appears to be a better management hat on. One of the cool articles I have just read exaplins a little about how 2012 can help in terms of forest restore capabilities.

How Windows Server 2012 Improves Active Directory Disaster Recovery Process

I’ll be writing a series of how to’s and posting them in the near future.

Watch this space!

Office 2010 Customised Install

If like me your memory sometimes fails you here is a quick step by step guide for creating a customised office 2010 deployment. Remember you need to have a VL edition, retail media does not include the admin folder.

1. Run Setup.exe –admin
2. Select Create a New Setup Customization file for the following product
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4. Click OK
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6. Select required document format
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8. Click Install Location and Organization
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10. Fill in as required
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12. If required specify network installation points
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17. Select the required features
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19. Configure outlook options
20. When complete select FILE SAVE AS
21. Save the file in the office source\update folder (.msp)