Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.1 Preview

Even though Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are two days from official preview release Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.1 Preview are available for download. This is great because in previous releases (Windows 7 and below) we had to wait even months after these tools are released.

TechEd 2013 Recap

I was not at the TechEd 2013 conference but I’ve watched closely like you. And based on what I’ve seen so far with announcement and TechEd videos from Channel 9 (I haven’t watched them all) there are some conclusions that can be made.

Certainly this is a big change for both Windows Server teams and System Center teams. Such big synchronization in work for so many teams can be beneficial but also very hard to achieve and because of that I expect some challenges to be met. On TechEd the focus was primary on Windows Server 2012 R2 and the times where System Center 2012 R2 was mentioned was because of SCVMM or Windows Azure Pack. All the new features that were shown are in SCVMM and Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and WAP is not even System Center component but it seems it is more related to System Center than to Windows Server. But why only VMM is announced with new features? The answer is actually very simple and I am sure you have found it even earlier. Windows Server released a major release last in year in September. They were even ready in August. System Center teams released 2012 SP1 at the beginning of the year in January. The release was ready in December but actually UR1 which was much needed was released also in January. So simply said System Center teams had less time to introduced new feature in the new R2 release. In this R2 release for Windows Server and System Center teams the second ones are followers. And do not get me wrong this is normal. The real benefits of this release will actually come in the next big release for Server and System Center. Showing only SCVMM at TechEd probably means that the other System Center components are not ready to be publically shown and probably there are not so many new features that will be announced for them. But that does not mean that these teams are just not working. Than what to expect from these other System Center components? For some of the components there might one or two new feature that could be announced, there will be definitely enhancement in the integration between the components like SCCM and SCOM supporting the same Linux operating Systems, SPF interacting better with System Center components. I also expect performance and scalability features (probably in the SCSM space), some new activates in Orchestrator and new integration packs. Based on these conclusions you can see one of the reason why Microsoft didn’t put these components in front at TechEd. Performance and scalability features usually do not WOW the audience at a conference.But I think that taking in consideration the short period for development System Center specialist would certainly would appreciate these features. At least I would. May be at TechEd Europe we will see more announcement when Preview versions of the products are expected to be released for download.

P.S. Now that it seems more likely that MMS will not be continued as event I just hope that next year we will see equal sessions for System Center and Windows Server at TechEd 2014 North America which was announced to take place between May 12 and May 15 2014.

Installing Windows Server Operating System version 6.0.7026.0 MP

I’ve deployed the latest version of Windows Server OS MP without any issues. It was quite easy so I will just share my experience for those who are interested.

1. Install the new version of the MP. Tip 1: I always install all MPs to one folder so I can find easy what MPs I have installed. Tip 2: I always make a copy of the previous version before installing the new one.


2. After the installation I import the new versions. Tip 3: I install only those MPs I need. In the case below I do not install MPs for Windows Server 2000 and 2003 because I do not have such servers in my environment.


3. Importing was successful.


4. After the import you will see the added collection rules in this new version.


5. I also check if there are any new alerts that may have risen because of this new MP in Active Alerts view.

6. If you synchronize objects from SCOM to SCSM you have to update the MPs in SCSM also.


Happy updating!

Updated MP: System Center Management Pack for Windows Server Operating System

As MSFT promised we have a new version of Windows Servers OS MP in Q2. The update brings a couple of bug fixes and one significant feature marked in bold:

  • Fixed a bug in where the performance information for Processor was not getting collected.
  • Made monitoring of Cluster Shared Volume consistent with monitoring of Logical Disks by adding performance collection rules. (“Cluster Shared Volume – Free space / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume – Total size / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume – Free space / %”,”Cluster Disk – Total size / MB”,”Cluster Disk – Free space / MB”,”Cluster Disk – Free space / %”)
  • Fixed bug in where the Cluster disks running on Windows Server 2008 (non R2) were not discovered.
  • Fixed bug ‘Cluster Disk Free Space Percent’ and Cluster Disk Free Space MB’ monitors generate alerts with bad descriptions when the volume label of a cluster disk is empty.
  • Added feature to raise event when NTLM requests time out and customers are unable to use mailboxes, outlook stops responding, due to the low default value for Max Concurrent API registry Key (HLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters) , which is a ceiling for the maximum NTLM or Kerberos PAC password validations a server can take care of at a time. It uses the “Netlogon” performance counter to check for the issue.
    The updated management pack and its guide you can find here. Smooth updating.