Documentation: Cloud Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise IT

If you are designing Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 this set of documents will be very useful for a starting point. They will offer you the basics you will need in order to design your Cloud and take the necessary decisions. Download all 4 documents from here.

Hyper-V Replica and Riverbed document

This document captures the results from the bandwidth optimization experiments conducted in the Microsoft® Engineering Excellence Center (EEC) lab by using the Riverbed Steelhead appliance WAN optimization devices with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replica.

So basically if you use Hyper-V replica across WAN you should use WAN optimizers in order to reduce traffic and bandwidth. You can see the results from the document here.

New MP: System Center Management Pack for WSUS on Windows Server 2012

Another MP that covers monitoring for role or feature from Windows Server 2012. This management pack monitors a role that I have seen being used in almost every Windows organization. You can download the documentation and the MP from here. The guide doesn’t contain any information on how to configure the MP as it seems you install it and just works. In the guide can be found description on what is being monitored by the MP.

Patching Windows Server 2012 Clusters with SCCM

I am sure everybody has faced the challenge with patching clusters. In Windows Server 2012 we have the feature Cluster-Aware Updating to help us with applying software updates. Unfortunately if you use SCCM for patching you will probably continue using it even for 2012 clusters because you’ve already have some process in place and this new feature is no use, at least at first look. When you want to consolidate the work of two or more tools SC 2012 Orchestrator comes to the rescue. That is what Neil Peterson from MSFT have done and provided Cluster patching runbooks that leverage Windows Server 2012 Cluster and System Center 2012 Components. I haven’t tested them but feel free to test them and drop some comment here or in this page where you can download them..

New MP: System Center 2012 Monitoring Pack for RemoteAccess 2012

Another management pack for monitoring Windows Server 2012 role is out. This new MP will monitor Remote Access only in Windows Server 2012. Also SCOM 2012 or later is only officially supported. Accoriding to the documentation the following monitoring features are provided:

DirectAccess Monitoring
  • Issues with internal and external network adapter connection and settings such as forwarding
  • Teredo server state and configuration
  • Isatap availability and configuration such as name publishing and route publishing
  • 6to4 adapter and forwarding state
  • Heuristics around network security such as DOS attack, spoof attack and replay attack and state of IPSec
  • State of network infrastructure like Dns servers, Management servers configured for DirectAccess
  • IP-Https state and configuration
  • State of various underlying services such as BFE, IPHelper etc needed for Remote Access
  • Heuristics related to OTP

Most of the health monitoring scenarios that can be monitored using the native DirectAccess UI have been included in the management pack.

VPN Monitoring

Existing capabilities for RRAS management pack have been included in the unified management pack as well. We’ll summarize the monitoring capabilities for RRAS included in the unified management pack:

· Remote access (VPN) connection failures due to erroneous configuration.

· Demand-dial (site-to-site) connection failures due to erroneous configuration.

· Erroneous configuration of VPN tunnels:

· Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

· Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP/IPSec)

· Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)

· Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2)

· Connection licenses, registry corruption, authentication, and accounting issues for remote access

· VPN network access protection (NAP) enforcement and Network Access Quarantine Control access issues

· Erroneous configuration and setup issues involved with various routing protocols that are exposed through RRAS, such as the following:

· Routing Information Protocol (RIP) v1 and v2

· DHCP Relay Agent

· Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)

· DHCPv6 Relay Agent

· Monitors and alarms to notify the administrator about erroneous conditions. These conditions include the following:

· Hardware device error

· Protocol initialization failure

· Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN) service unexpected termination

· Routing and Remote Access service unexpected termination

· Routing and Remote Access service monitor

· Authentication or accounting failures

· Configuration failures

· IPsec-related failures

· Packet filter-related failure

· IPCP negotiation failure

· Memory allocation monitor

· Memory allocation failure

· No more licenses monitor

· Port open failures

· Support for monitoring performance counters and instrumentation, including the following:

· Total number of remote access connections

· Total number of timeout and serial overrun errors for this connection

· Total number of alignment errors for this connection (alignment errors occur when a byte received is different from the byte expected)

· Total number of buffer overrun errors for this connection (buffer overrun errors occur when the software cannot handle the rate at which data is received)

· Total number of bytes received for this connection

· Number of bytes received per second

· Total number of bytes transmitted for this connection

· Number of bytes transmitted per second

· Total number of cyclic redundancy check (CRC) errors for this connection (CRC errors occur when the frame received contains erroneous data)

· Total number of data frames received for this connection

· Number of frames received per second.


The MP and its guide you can download from here.