Test Lab Guide: Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Network Virtualization with System Center 2012 R2 VMM

Posted by bink on June 20 2013, 7:34 PM.

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 DirSync Error Remediation for Office 365 Tool

    Posted by bink on June 20 2013, 7:26 PM.

    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.


    NTttcp Version 5.28 released

    Posted by bink on June 17 2013, 9:37 PM.

    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.

    More info: Hybrid Cloud Networking Help with NTttcp Version 5.28 - Building Clouds Blog - Site Home - T

    Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 4.0

    Posted by bink on June 17 2013, 9:35 PM.

    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



    Log Parser Studio 2.0

    Posted by bink on June 17 2013, 9:32 PM.

    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.

    Query Logging

    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

    Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers for iPhone released

    Posted by bink on June 14 2013, 11:26 AM.

    Microsoft Office Mobile is the official Office companion optimized for your iPhone. You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.

    Access documents from virtually anywhere:
    * Cloud – With your phone, you can access Office documents that are stored on SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro, or SharePoint.**
    * Recent Documents – Office Mobile is cloud-connected. The documents you’ve recently viewed on your computer are readily available on your phone in the recent documents panel.
    * Email Attachments – You can view and edit Office documents attached to email messages.

    Office documents look stunning:
    * Great-Looking Documents - Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents look great on your phone, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt Graphics, and shapes.
    * Optimized for phone - Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been optimized for the small screen of your phone.
    * Resume Reading - When opening a Word document from SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro on your phone, it automatically resumes at the place where you left off reading, even if you last viewed the document on your PC or tablet.
    * Presentation Views - The Slide Navigator view in PowerPoint lets you browse slides faster, while speaker notes help you practice your presentation.

    Make quick edits and share:
    * Edit - You can make quick edits to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
    * Documents Remain Intact - Formatting and content remain intact when you edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on your phone.
    * Edit While Offline - Your device doesn’t have to be continuously connected to the network to work on an Office document that is stored online. You can view and edit recently used documents even while you’re offline. Your changes will be saved online when your device reconnects to the network or to Wi-Fi.
    * Create – You can create new Word and Excel documents on your phone.
    * Comments - You can review comments that have been made in Word and Excel documents on your phone and add your own comments.
    * Share - When you’re done with your edits or comments, simply send the document in email or save it to SkyDrive or SharePoint.

    * An Office 365 subscription is required to use this app.
    * Compatible with iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation. Requires iOS 6.1 or later.
    * Microsoft Office 2013 on a PC is needed for features like recent documents and resume reading.

    **Office 365 account and setup necessary. Data connection required. Storage limits and carrier fees apply.

    off365 iphone iPhone Screenshot 2

    iPhone Screenshot 3   iPhone Screenshot 5

    US only for now: Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers for iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th

    But available in these languages: English, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian.

    Update: more information also at Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft rolls out Office Mobile for iPhone  ZDNet

    SQL Server 2014 Replica on Windows Azure

    Posted by bink on June 6 2013, 2:30 PM.



    SQL 2014 will include a cool feature so you can add a replica on Azure. The replica will run on a VM on Windows Azure IaaS that is autmaticly created for you through a Wizard in SQL Studio.

    Main benefits
    • Easily deploy one or more replicas of your databases to Windows Azure
    • No need for a DR site (rent, hardware, ops)
    • Use these replicas for Disaster Recovery
    • Workloads (reads/backups)


    Outlook Connectivity to Office 365 Troubleshooter Now Available

    Posted by bink on June 6 2013, 1:28 PM.

    EHLO Blog: It is no secret that if you are an Exchange/Office 365 administrator you will no doubt have to troubleshoot Outlook connectivity at some point. Whether you use Exchange Online, on-premises, or some combination of both, you will inevitably have an issue with Outlook performance, connectivity, profile corruption, or some other unknown Outlook disease before retirement.

    To assist you with these issues, we have released a Guided Walk Through (GWT) for troubleshooting Outlook Connectivity issues in Office 365.  There are a couple of ways to access the troubleshooter.  You can access it directly at: http://aka.ms/outlookconnectivity

    In addition, it will be embedded in various Outlook connectivity technical resources such as the following:

    The purpose of this walk through is to assist you in resolving these complex issues by focusing on the scoping and steps used to isolate and resolve problems. Therefore the walk through starts by focusing on commonly encountered symptoms related to Outlook connectivity.


    Consider that there might not be a single solution, but a combination of factors contributing to the problem. Following the walk through will allow you to isolate and remedy the most common causes of Outlook connectivity issues to Office 365.

    This walk through is not meant to replace all of the data that helps you understand Outlook connectivity issues, but rather quickly give you the steps you need to help find the solution. The walk through focuses on all version of Office 365. Outlook Connectivity to Office 365 Troubleshooter Now Available - Exchange Team Blog - Site

    SQL Server 2014 details

    Posted by bink on June 6 2013, 1:25 PM.

    Designed and developed with our cloud-first principles in mind, SQL Server 2014 builds on the momentum of SQL Server 2012, released just 14 months ago. We are excited to share a closer look at some of the exciting capabilities included in SQL Server 2014 that will help you unlock real-time insights with mission critical and cloud performance.

    SQL Server 2014 helps organizations by delivering:

    • Mission Critical Performance across all database workloads with In-Memory for online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing and business intelligence built-in as well as greater scale and availability
    • Platform for Hybrid Cloud enabling organizations to more easily build, deploy and manage database solutions that span on-premises and cloud
    • Faster Insights from Any Data with a complete BI solution using familiar tools like Excel

    Mission Critical Performance with SQL Server 2014

    SQL Server 2014 delivers new in-memory capabilities built into the core database for OLTP and data warehousing, which complement existing in-memory data warehousing and business intelligence capabilities for a comprehensive in-memory database solution. In addition to in-memory, there are new capabilities to improve the performance and scalability for your mission critical applications.

    In Memory Built-In

    • New In-Memory OLTP – built in to core SQL Server database and uniquely flexible to work with traditional SQL Server tables allowing you to improve performance of your database applications without having to refresh your existing hardware. We are seeing customers such as EdgeNet and bwin achieve significant performance gains to scale and accelerate their business.
    • Enhanced In-Memory ColumnStore for Data Warehousing – now updatable with even faster query speeds and with greater data compression for more real-time analytics support.
    • New buffer pool extension support to non-volatile memory such as solid state drives (SSDs) – Increase performance by extending SQL Server in-memory buffer pool to SSDs for faster paging.
    • New Enhanced Query Processing – speeds all SQL Server queries regardless of workload.

    Enhanced Availability, Security and Scalability

    • Enhanced AlwaysOn – Built upon the significant capabilities introduced with SQL Server 2012, delivers mission critical availability with up to 8 readable secondaries and no downtime during online indexing operations.
    • Greater scalability of compute, networking and storage with Windows Server 2012 R2 –

    - Increased scale – Continue to benefit from scale for up to 640 logical processors and 4TB of memory in a physical environment and up to 64 virtual processors and 1TB of memory per VM.
    - Network Virtualization – Abstracts networking layer so that it you can easily migrate SQL Server from one datacenter to another.
    - Storage Virtualization with Storage Spaces – Create pools of storage and storage tiers allowing your hot data to access the premium storage and cold data to access standard storage improving resilience, performance and predictability.

    • Enhanced Resource Governance – With Resource Governor, SQL Server today helps you with scalability and predictable performance, and in SQL Server 2014, new capabilities allow you to manage IO, in addition to compute and memory to provide more predictable performance.
    • Enhanced Separation of Duties – Achieve greater compliance with new capabilities for creating role and sub-roles. For example, a database administrator can now manage the data without seeing sensitive data or personally identifiable information.

    Platform for Hybrid Cloud


    Continue at source: SQL Server 2014 A Closer Look - SQL Server Team Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    Active Directory Replication Status Tool 1.1

    Posted by bink on June 6 2013, 1:23 PM.

    The Active Directory Replication Status Tool (ADREPLSTATUS) analyzes the replication status for domain controllers in an Active Directory domain or forest.

    The Active Directory Replication Status Tool (ADREPLSTATUS) analyzes the replication status for domain controllers in an Active Directory domain or forest. ADREPLSTATUS displays data in a format that is similar to REPADMIN /SHOWREPL * /CSV imported into Excel but with significant enhancements.
    Specific capabilities for this tool include:

      • Expose Active Directory replication errors occurring in a domain or forest
      • Prioritize errors that need to be resolved in order to avoid the creation of lingering objects in Active Directory forests
      • Help administrators and support professionals resolve replication errors by linking to Active Directory replication troubleshooting content on Microsoft TechNet
      • Allow replication data to be exported to source or destination domain administrators or support professionals for offline analysis
        • Windows 2000 not supported due to lack of support for .NET Framework 4.0 Hot smile

            Outlook 2013 RT Coming to Windows RT Tablets as part of Windows 8.1 Update

            Posted by bink on June 5 2013, 1:34 PM.

            Today at Computex 2013, Tami Reller, CFO and CMO of Microsoft's Windows Division, announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be available on Windows RT tablets as part of the free Windows 8.1 update coming later this year.  This means that if you have a Microsoft Surface or a Windows RT tablet made by one of our hardware partners, or you are planning to buy one, you'll soon have access to the familiar tools in Outlook that help you communicate with others, manage your contacts and appointments, and find information fast.