Hyper-V Replica Capacity Planner

Windows Server 2012 introduced a new feature for  Hyper-v  – the Hyper-v replica. As discussed here Hyper-v replica allows you to replicate virtual machines to a secondary or offsite data centre to allow for easy disaster recovery.

Microsoft have now released a capacity planner which will be useful especially if you are working with a third party so you can keep costs for offsite hardware to a minimum.

You can download the capacity planner for here >> http://www.microsoft.com/en-eg/download/details.aspx?id=39057


System Centre 2012 SP1 Rollup 2 for VMM


Microsoft released Update Rollup 2 for System Centre 2012 SP1 a few weeks back but with this release there was one missing component – VMM. Last week Microsoft updated RU2 to include the fixes for VMM 2012 (under the KBs KB2826405 & KB2826392).

It is worth noting that you MUST uninstall VMM RU1 before you install this RU2 release, this is due to a problem with the original Update Roll up 1 and the way the files were packaged.

If you download RU2 from the Microsoft update catalogue and have already manually installed it, you must uninstall RU2 then uninstall RU1 and reinstall RU2 again. If you use WSUS for your updating you won’t receive RU2 until you have manually uninstalled RU1.

Microsoft has released an apology for all this installing and uninstalling you have to do:

‘We apologize for any inconvenience this causes your organization. We have performed cause analysis on the issue and have established processes to prevent future recurrences of this situation.’

The updated fix and list of updates are available here >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2802159

SCOM 2012: System Centre Global Service Monitor (GSM)

Most businesses will be monitoring their IT services from an internal perspective with SCOM. Problems such as SQL service failures, disk failures or a web application pool that has stopped responding foe example but none of these monitoring from an external, customer perspective.

With System Centre 2012 SP1 Microsoft has released its System Centre Global Service Monitor (GSM) service. This new service allows you to test your externally facing websites and even more impressive is that your also able to configure multi step web transaction testing.

With GSM you will be able to test from a true user perspective – GSM can be a customer or user of your external site or service. A good example would be an online shop. You could have GSM login as a user, browse the store and try to preform a transaction on the checkout.

Its likely that you would know if your store was down completely – your internal SCOM monitoring would hopefully alert you to this but how about transactions times? Are customers going to wait if your checkout process is not rapid? With GSM feeding information back into SCOM (think Application Monitoring – APM) drill down into this data and if there is a delay taking place e.g. if there was a SQL query that was slowing your customers down for example you can get SCOM to automatically create a standard SCOM alert and if integrated with SCSM (System Centre Service Manager) get it to raise a service ticket for your development team to look into – very cool stuff!

Microsoft currently has the following 15 locations from around the world that you can test from which should cover the requirements of most users:

  • Australia: Sydney
  • Brazil: Sao Paulo
  • Europe: Amsterdam, London, Paris, Stockholm, Zurich
  • Russia: Moscow
  • Singapore
  • Taipei
  • United States: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, San Antonio

You can currently sign up for a free 90 day trial from here >> https://orgaccount.microsoft.com/signup?offerIds=BE2A46EF-0639-43a4-8323-BB5E1D4340D3. You will need to use a Microsoft Organisational account (if you use Office 365, Intune, Online Backup, CRM Online for example you already have one of these – if not you can create a new account for the trial period.). It is worth noting that you MUST have an active software assurance policy with Microsoft if you want to extend this into a full blown subscription after your 90 day trial is up.

To use GSM within your environment you need to be using the latest System Centre 2012 SP1 version which has recently gone to GA status so available for download from here >> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh505660

Once you have SCOM SP1 downloaded, installed and configured just download GSM & install into your SCOM server which will install and import the required management packs.

This video from the 2012 European TechNet event shows all this in action >> http://channel9.msdn.com/events/TechEd/Europe/2012/MGT307

System Centre 2012 SP1: Update Rollup 1

Hot on the heels of System Centre 2012 SP1 release which was released to TechNet, MSDN and VLC customers towards the end of last year and hit GA for everyone else earlier in the month a new Update Rollup (RU1 – KB2785682 ) has now been released. This update includes fixes for a few issues features found in the initial SP1 release code. The main area of focus is SCOM and VMM and App Controller. You can find the update here >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2785682.

Good bye 2012 – A year in review for Microsoft

2012 has been a huge year for Microsoft – one if not they biggest since its beginning on April 4, 1975. Some of their achievements this year include:

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Hyper-v 3.0
  • Latest release of Windows Azure
  • Windows 8
  • System Centre 2012 SP1 going RTM
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Windows Surface RT

Microsoft have released a video to remind us of the hard work they have been doing this year!


System Centre 2012 SP1–the wait is over

A couple of days late posting this but the service pack everyone has been waiting for is now available for TechNet and MSDN subscribers (MSLV customers will need to wait a little longer). System Centre 2012 SP!!! General availability will be available in early January (something for you to have a play with after the Christmas break!!).

The release notes for SP1 have now also been published in the TechNet library as of the 20th of December, you can find these here:

Enjoy an early Christmas present from Microsoft 😀

Update KB2506143 breaks SCCM 2012

Microsoft have recently released (on the 12/12/2012) a Microsoft update for Windows Management Framework under the KB2506143.

This update KB2506143 breaks SCCM 2012 (pre SP1 being installed). The latest recommendation from Microsoft is that you do not install this update until SP1 for SCCM 2012 is in place.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 will provide official support for Windows Management Framework 3.0 once it is released early in 2013 so is not impacted by this issue.   If KB2506143 has not yet been deployed to your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment then the recommended action is to wait for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

This happens because the SCCM client released at RTM is not compatible with Windows Management Framework 3.0. Each day the ‘Client Health evaluation’ will mistakenly find the WMI repository to be corrupt and due to the client self healing abilities built into SCCM 2012 tries to rebuild and reinstall the client.  The rebuild of the repository by CCMEval.exe causes loss of MP specific information, methods, etc., from WMI which as a result causes the MP to fail.

An updated KB describing the problem and a work around if you have the unfortunate situation of having installed this update can be found here (KB2796086).