Archive for May, 2010
Reminder - PowerShell Script Club next Tuesday 1 Jun 2010 in Zurich. This is moderated by our very own PowerShell MVP. Bring your questions and/or answers to share with your fellow IT Pro peers!
Registration for this free event and more information here. If you are interested and are located outside of Zurich (anywhere in the world), please tell us anyway by posting a comment with your real email address*. With enough interest, we may extend this with Live Meeting and make it a regular event
* will be kept private
A topic very close to heart is Windows PowerShell. With its interactive shell and scripting capabilities, you can administer OCS 2007 / R2, Exchange 2003 as well as perform typical Active Directory tasks (pre-Windows Server 2008 R2).
Although these platforms did not come with any native PowerShell support or management console like that in Exchange 2007/2010, it is still possible to manage them using the built-in Get-WMIObject. This is true since PowerShell v1.0 and virtually any product with WMI repository is supported. This particular cmdlet is one of the very few that can be deployed to remotely administer a system with exciting enhancements introduced in v2.0.
From TechNet Edge video, TechEd/TechDays events, user group meetings, blog posts to technical articles, I have covered this and related topics in varying degrees and depth for some time now (see here for more). Recently, a feature article in TechNet Next Hop was posted.
Entitled “Ten Steps to PowerShell Scripting with Office Communications Server 2007 R2“, the article walks through the basics of setting up PowerShell to the use of Get-WMIObject and the functions delivered in OCS-r2.ps1 (OCS-All.ps1) as part of the OCS 2007 R2 Resource Kit. The author also provided a number of useful functions that work with LDAP queries and the OCS back-end SQL databases to soliciting and validating user information.
IT Pros looking to deploy Windows PowerShell should consider using this article as a guide to manage OCS 2007 in their Active Directory environments.
The DPM team has made it relatively easy to upgrade DPM 2010 Release Candidate, RC* and DPM agent on protected machines to the RTM (or Evaluation) version. After you have determined and completed the upgrade process of the main DPM application with the help of the System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 Upgrade Advisor, start the DPM Administrative Console and navigate to the Management tab. A machine reboot is not needed unless prompted whether upgrading the DPM application suite or PA.
Under “Protected computers with protection agent” next to each protected entity, you will find that the columns “Agent Status” and “Agent Updates” will show “Needs updating” and “Update Available”. Simply click on the link to start the process; no Wizard walk-through will be shown.
If you find that after an update for a protection agent has been triggered, it may appear stuck at “Upgrading: 5%” for an undetermined period of time. Some may reach 99% and still fail to complete the upgrade. You may eventually succeed after several tries, although this is not always the case as evidenced from different posts in the Microsoft DPM newsgroup and forum.
The “Refresh Information” context-sensitive menu option is not available and restarting the DPM Administrative Console is one way to refresh the agent status. Except in the event log, no additional information will be shown in the DPM console. An entry from the source DPM-EM registers a warning with Event ID 370 on the DPM server as follows:
Agent operation failed. (ID: 370)
The agent operation failed because of a communication error with the DPM Agent Coordinator service on <fqdn_protected_machine>. (ID: 319)
On the protected computer, a similar error may be logged:
Der Dienst “DPM AC Service” wurde mit folgendem dienstspezifischem Fehler beendet: 2157513244 (0×80990A1C).
Manually starting the DPM AC Service and DPMRA services on the protected machine will not help. The former service exists in transient only for the purpose of installing or upgrading the DPM Protection Agent.
For this incident, you can find out exactly what the root cause is by running DPMAgentInstaller_x86.exe <FQDN_DPM_Server> (or x64) on the protected computer. The failure will immediately become apparent:
Installing agent and configure for dpmserver = [domain\DPM_Server]
Installation of a knowledge base article 975759 has failed. This is required for the DPM agent to function correctly.
Install knowledge base article 975759 from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=184897, and then try installing the DPM Agent again.
Check log files in [WINDIR]Temp\MSDPM*.LOG
Press Enter key to close the window
DPM 2010 RTM will automatically try to install KB975759 if it is missing. The protection agent upgrade process via the DPM Administrative Console apparently failed because it was unable to download and/or install this pre-requisite from remote. This could be caused by security restrictions imposed on the default browser (Internet Explorer). A machine restart is required after installation of this patch. Subsequently, KB978243 is recommended; no restart is essential here.
As soon as this criteria is fulfiled, clicking on the “Update Available” will enable the DPM agent to be correctly updated to the RTM version. DpmAgentInstaller_x??.exe resides in <drive_letter>\%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\ProtectionAgents\RA\<build number>.
* DPM 2010 core application, Administrative Console, DPM Management Shell
Various network settings on local and remote machines can be configured using the netsh utility shipped in Windows. Run it interactively at the command line or deploy it together with scripts and batch files, netsh provides functionality that are typically exposed in Microsoft Management Console (mmc) snap-in and more!
Certain network functionality and client technologies can only be accessed through netsh. Some examples include IPv6, remote procedure call (RPC), network bridge to Network Access Protection (NAP) client and Wirelesss Hosted Network. With no native graphical user interface to configure network settings in Windows Server 2008 R2: Server Core, netsh knowledge can save you hours of potential frustration.
You can consult the Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 Netsh Technical Reference to learn more about netsh. The acquired skills are applicable to Windows XP and above.
Tech Ed North America 2010 will take place in New Orleans in less than 3 weeks. From 7 to 10 June, 2010, I shall be contributing as an Ask the Expert staff in the Technical Learning Center - UNC Track Area. Working closely together with the Microsoft product teams, ATE will station at the Unified Communications (UNC) product demo booth areas.
This year, there are 3 IT Pro demos each dedicated to Exchange 2010 and Communications Server “14″ plus one developer track encompassing these two products. You can find me covering all the CS 14 product demos (UNC-5, 6 and 7) at TLC/Yellow/UNC throughout the week.
I look forward to meeting you in person and share the excitement around CS 14 and more! More information and registration can be found here.
UNC-7 Microsoft Communications Server “14″: Communicate from Microsoft Office
Microsoft Communications Server “14” works consistently with Microsoft Office, enriching the experience of familiar applications like Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft SharePoint, and more. Come see how this can help with broad user adoption in your environment!
UNC-6 Microsoft Communications Server “14″: Connect in new ways
Microsoft Communications Server “14” ushers in a new connected experience, transforming every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere. Come see how this captivating experience can engage your users!
UNC-5 Microsoft Communications Server “14″: Reduce costs, integrate communications
Microsoft Communications Server “14” provides a single experience and solution that unites voice, IM, audio-, video-, and web-conferencing into a richer, more simplified offering. Come see how this can help reduce costs in your organization!
UNC-3 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: Anywhere Access
Giving your users anywhere access to email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from all their devices is essential in today’s business environment. See demonstrations of how Exchange Server 2010 helps users manage their communications more effectively across the PC, Web browser, and mobile device. Also, learn how you can improve productivity and save your organization money by replacing your legacy voicemail system with Exchange Server Unified Messaging.
UNC-2 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: Protection and Compliance
Worried about employees accidentally leaking valuable corporate email? Stop by to learn about new methods of information protection and control powered by Exchange Server 2010. While you’re here, see how Exchange enables organizations of all sizes to cost-effectively address email archiving and compliance requirements.
UNC-1 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: Flexible and Reliable
Wouldn’t it be great if you could give giant mailboxes to all your users, without spending a bundle on storage hardware or sacrificing system uptime? Drop by to see how it’s done with the improvements we’ve made to high availability and storage flexibility in Exchange Server 2010.
UNC-4 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Communications Server “14″: Developer Demos
Come and experience the new Wave ‘14’ Developer Platform of Communications Server “14″ and Exchange 2010. Lean how you can build capabilities like voice-over IP telephony, conferencing, data collaboration, Presence and IM, email, calendaring and contact management right into your application. Demos and experts are provided!
It is possible to install SQL Server 2008 on a domain member server simply with a local administrative account. Besides specifying service accounts for the various SQL services*, you also need to add at least one user account that will be designated as SQL Server administrator(s) in Windows authentication mode. The same goes for account provisioning at the configuration step for the SQL Analysis service. Adding the current user (= <machinename>\Administrator) will work in both cases.
Next, you log on using an account with membership in the Domain Admins and RTCUniversalServerAdmins security groups and start the Monitoring Server Activation Wizard. At the “Select SQL Server Instance” page, you provide <machinename> as the SQL Server instance. Only the computer name is essential when SQL is configured to use the default instance. Clicking Next will cause an error message to be displayed:
An error occurred during the backend detection:
SQL instance detection failed.
Click ‘Cancel’ to close this wizard.
Click ‘Try Again’ to go back to the previous page and enter a different SQL instance.
Click ‘Continue’ to ignore this error.
Starting the SQL Server Management Studio using the same credentials at this point in time will also fail. To resolve this, logoff and log in with <machinename>\Administrator then add and assign the <domain>\administrator (or equivalent) account with SQL administrative permissions that are similar to the former. Rerun the Wizard by logging on with the domain administrative account to complete the activation process on the target Monitoring Server.
* NT AUTHORITY\Local System and NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM