Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience.
Get started with Windows Azure Pack
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 brings to market new in-memory capabilities built into the core database, including in-memory OLTP, which complements our existing in-memory data warehousing and BI capabilities for the most comprehensive in-memory database solution in the market. SQL Server 2014 also provides new cloud capabilities to simplify cloud adoption for your SQL databases and help you unlock new hybrid scenarios.
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 (CTP1) installation limitations:
- Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 is pre-release software and should be installed only on a clean machine. It does not support upgrade from or side-by-side installations with any previous version of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2012. In addition it does not work with or support side by side installations with any client redistributables of SQL Server such as feature pack components, Visual Studio 2012 or earlier versions, SQL Server Data Tools, Data Tier Application Framework, etc.
- To administer Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 use only SQL Server Management Studio that ships as a part of Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1.
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release is NOT supported by Microsoft Customer Services and Support (CSS).
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release is only available in the X64 architecture.
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release is a NON-PRODUCTION release and should not be installed and used in production environments.
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release does NOT have an associated Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Feature Pack.
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release on Windows Azure VM is only intended for functional development and testing, and not for performance testing.
- The Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 release contains branding and versioning from older Microsoft SQL Server releases.
See more at the product details page.
Review SQL Server 2014 CTP1 system requirements.
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System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager helps IT empower people to use the devices and applications they need to be productive while maintaining corporate compliance and control. When combined with Windows Intune, it provides a unified management infrastructure across physical, virtual, and mobile client environments.
System Center 2012 R2 Endpoint Protection protects client and server operating systems against the latest threats using industry-leading malware detection technologies. It is built on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, giving customers a unified infrastructure for client security and compliance management.
Need more information about System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Endpoint Protection Preview? See the product details page.
Review System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Endpoint Protection system requirements.
Download Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection Previ
Microsoft System Center is a comprehensive IT infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud management platform. With System Center 2012 R2, you can more easily and efficiently manage your applications and services across multiple hypervisors as well as across public, hosted, and private cloud infrastructures to deliver flexible and cost-effective IT services for your business.
Review System Center 2012 R2 system requirements.
Download Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Preview
Windows Server 2012 R2 provides a wide range of new and enhanced features and capabilities spanning server virtualization, storage, software-defined networking, server management and automation, web and application platform, access and information protection, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.
Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview now supports two types of activation:
- Datacenter Product Key:
- Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) Key for Datacenter Server:
Review Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview system requirements.
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Microsoft released their third and final Beta of Microsoft Message Analyzer which will be followed up by the official release in the fall. There will be a Beta 3 refresh in a few weeks.
Microsoft Message Analyzer is the successor of Microsoft Network Monitor.
At this point, the product is feature frozen and getting ready to fine tune the experience for release. You may notice that the preview features have been removed as Microsoft wants to focus on the quality of some core features first. You’ll need to uninstall Beta 2 first before installing the new version.
Beta 3 is available on our Connect site
You have to sign-in and join our site on https://connect.microsoft.com. After creating an account on Connect, you can join our site by looking in the Directory. My connection below shows that I’m already joined.
Microsoft has continued to add new features and refine the existing ones. In addition to the new functionality, they improved performance and reduced the memory footprint. Here is a list of the new features highlights.
Centralized Sharing Infrastructure — users can now utilize the new Message Analyzer sharing infrastructure to create Library items as shareable assets that that you can import, export and share with others. Manageable asset types include Trace Scenarios, Filters, Viewpoints, Color Rules, Column Layouts, and Sequence Expressions.
User Libraries — Above assets are available under centralized User Libraries
Home tab — includes new Ribbon reorganization and enhancements that include the following features:
- Viewpoints — specify preset viewpoints so you can view data from the perspective of a protocol, in addition to hiding operations in the current view and resetting the default viewpoint.
- Time Shifts — specify time shifts that adjust for machine skew or time zone changes across traces.
- Chart tab — enables you to create, edit, save, and share your own Composite Chart viewers that can contain custom-configured pie, bar, timeline, and grid chart components, similar to the built-in Protocol Dashboard.
- Session Status — includes a new progress bar indicator in Session Explorer for loading, capturing, filtering, sorting, finding, and grouping data, in addition to applying sequence matching. Also displays the number of messages in a session and the number of messages in a session after Viewpoints or View Filters are applied.
Tool Windows — the following new tools are now available:
- Diagnostics window — summarizes diagnosis errors in a session and enables you to easily jump to a corresponding diagnosis message in the Analysis Grid. You can also filter Diagnostics window columns to isolate specific column data.
- Call Stack tool window — displays the message stack for any selected message row in the Analysis Grid.
- Bookmarks window — an annotation window that enables you to mark one or more messages of interest, which includes adding links, attachments, and different colored flags.
- Comments window — an annotation window that enables you to quickly add basic comments to one or more messages.
- Server Response Time — a new Global Annotation entity from Column Chooser that you can add as a data column in the Analysis Grid viewer, to measure the time interval between a request operation to a server and the first server response. Provides a context for assessing server performance.
Hyper-V Switch trace capability — capture traffic from individual VMs on a host by tying into the local Hyper-V switch.
Sequence Expression Editor — develop and save sequence expressions based on message traffic that you have captured. You can also manage sequence expressions as assets that you can share with your colleagues.
Filtering Language enhancements — the Filtering Language has been extended to include support for IP sub-netting and DateTime literal expressions.
OPN behavior scenario extensions — support has been added for using an Xpath-like notation when creating OPN sequence expressions, to enable you to specify constraints on message origins. In addition, support is now included for arbitrary expressions (including annotations) in reference patterns.
Centralized Field Chooser — a new feature that extends the Column Chooser so that it is available to other tools that require you to choose fields, for example, when configuring a Sequence Expression.
Provides instructions to create the Windows Server 2012 R2 Network Virtualization with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) test lab, using computers running Windows Server 2012 R2.
- This Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Server 2012 R2 Network Virtualization with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) test lab, using computers running Windows Server 2012 R2. This test lab is based on four physical computers, each hosting multiple virtual machines.
IdFix is used to perform discovery and remediation of identity objects and their attributes in an on-premises Active Directory environment in preparation for migration to Office 365. IdFix is intended for the Active Directory administrators responsible for DirSync with the Office 365 service.
The purpose of IdFix is to reduce the time involved in remediating the Active Directory errors reported by the DirSync appliance. Our focus is on enabling the customer to accomplish the task in a simple expedient fashion without relying upon subject matter experts.
New Features: IdFix now supports both Multi-Tenant and Dedicated rule sets. Multi-select has been enabled in the datagrid for faster editing and the ISO 3166-1 checks for c and co have been deprecated.
The Microsoft Office 365 IdFix tool provides the customer with the ability to identify and remediate object errors in their Active Directory in preparation for deployment to Office 365. They will then be able to successfully synchronize users, contacts, and groups from the on-premises Active Directory into the Microsoft Office 365 environment.
Leveraged extensively by both external customers and Microsoft Product Groups alike to profile and measure Windows networking performance, updated versions of NTttcp (a Winsock-based port of BSD’s TTCP tool) have remained 'internal-only' for the past five years (the last public version, v3.0, was released in 2008). That is, of course, until now!
Download: NTttcp v5.28
I’m excited to announce that the latest version of NTttcp is now also publicly available, posted on TechNet Gallery bundled with an updated EULA. This latest version (v5.28) brings forth both performance improvements and feature enhancements including:
- Optimizations added for 10GigE interfaces
- Increased platform support: x86, x64 and ARM
- Simplified usage (e.g. sender and receiver functionality determined with a simple parameter switch)
- Dynamic allocation of threads across all system cores (using ‘*’ for the processor ID mapping value)
- Startup order dependency removed (i.e. server/receiver will wait for the other rather than time out)
- Custom warm-up and cool down options available
- Results can be outputted to XML
- Ability to bind sender traffic to a specific IP address
- Synchronization of data ports, useful when running multiple instances
- An option to set the WAIT_ALL flag when using recv or WSARecv functions
Overall, the basic program workflow follows the previously released public version (v3.0), with the most notable exception related to the setup of the sender and receiver. Rather than needing to rename the program based on function, parameters enable the selected functionality: '-s' for the sender and '-r' for the receiver.
A toolkit for deploying and configuring security mitigation technologies
The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is designed to help prevent hackers from gaining access to your system.
Software vulnerabilities and exploits have become an everyday part of life. Virtually every product has to deal with them and consequently, users are faced with a stream of security updates. For users who get attacked before the latest updates have been applied or who get attacked before an update is even available, the results can be devastating: malware, loss of PII, etc.
Security mitigation technologies are designed to make it more difficult for an attacker to exploit vulnerabilities in a given piece of software. EMET allows users to manage these technologies on their system and provides several unique benefits:
1. No source code needed: Until now, several of the available mitigations (such as Data Execution Prevention) have required for an application to be manually opted in and recompiled. EMET changes this by allowing a user to opt in applications without recompilation. This is especially handy for deploying mitigations on software that was written before the mitigations were available and when source code is not available.
2. Highly configurable: EMET provides a higher degree of granularity by allowing mitigations to be individually applied on a per process basis. There is no need to enable an entire product or suite of applications. This is helpful in situations where a process is not compatible with a particular mitigation technology. When that happens, a user can simply turn that mitigation off for that process.
3. Helps harden legacy applications: It’s not uncommon to have a hard dependency on old legacy software that cannot easily be rewritten and needs to be phased out slowly. Unfortunately, this can easily pose a security risk as legacy software is notorious for having security vulnerabilities. While the real solution to this is migrating away from the legacy software, EMET can help manage the risk while this is occurring by making it harder to hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the legacy software.
4. Ease of use: The policy for system wide mitigations can be seen and configured with EMET's graphical user interface. There is no need to locate up and decipher registry keys or run platform dependent utilities. With EMET you can adjust setting with a single consistent interface regardless of the underlying platform.
5. Ease of deploy: EMET comes with built-in support for enterprise deployment and configuration technologies. This enables administrators to use Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager to deploy, configure and monitor EMET installations across the enterprise environment.
6. Ongoing improvement: EMET is a living tool designed to be updated as new mitigation technologies become available. This provides a chance for users to try out and benefit from cutting edge mitigations. The release cycle for EMET is also not tied to any product. EMET updates can be made dynamically as soon as new mitigations are ready
In Exchange support many of our engineers use the tool to solve real world issues every day and in turn share with our customers, empowering them to solve the same issues themselves moving forward. LPS is still an active work in progress; based on both engineer and customer feedback many improvements have been made with multiple features added during the last year. Below is a short list of new features:
Improved import/export functionality
For those who create their own queries this is a real time-saver. We can now import from multiple XML files simultaneously only choosing the queries we wish to import from multiple query libraries or XML files.
Search Query Results
The existing feature allowing searching of queries in the library is now context aware meaning if you have a completed query in the query window, the search option searches that query. If you are in the library it searches the library and so on. This allows drilling down into existing query results without having to run a new query if all you want to do is narrow down existing result sets.
Input/Output Format Support
All LP 2.2 Input and Output formats contain preliminary support in LPS. Each format has its own property window containing all known LP 2.2 settings which can be modified to your liking.
Exchange Extensible Logging Support
Custom parser support was added for most all Exchange logs. These are covered by the EEL and EELX log formats included in LPS which cover Exchange logs from Exchange 2003 through Exchange 2013.
I can't tell you how many times myself or another engineer spent lots of time creating the perfect query for a particular issue we were troubleshooting, forgetting to save the query in the heat of the moment and losing all that work. No longer! We now have the capability to log every query that is executed to a text file (Query.log). What makes this so valuable is if you ran it, you can retrieve it.
There are now over 170 queries in the library including new sample queries for Exchange 2013.
Continue at source and download: Log Parser Studio 2.0 is now available - Exchange Team Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs