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  • What's new in Hyper-V 2016
  • Microsoft Azure

Category: Hardware

Azure Remote Server Management Nano Server

Manage Nano Server and Windows Server from Azure using Remote Server Management Tools

Today Microsoft announced the preview of the Remote Server Management Tools hosted in Azure, written by Kriti Jindal, a program manager on the Server management tools team. This service allows you to manage your servers directly from Azure using a web-based HTML5 portal. I personally think that this could replace Server Manager and allows you to easily manage non-GUI servers such as Windows Server Core and Nano Server. This is the first public preview of the Remote Server Management Tools and it limited right now to manage Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview server, hosted on-prem or in Microsoft Azure. The Remote Server Management Tools today include the following features:

  • View and change system configuration
  • View performance across various resources and manage processes and services
  • Manage devices attached to the server
  • View event logs
  • View the list of installed roles and features
  • Use a PowerShell console to manage and automate

Overview

To remotely manage your Windows Server from Azure, you have to deploy a Remote Server Management Gateway into your network. This can be a Windows Server 2012 R2 Server running the WMF 5.0 (Windows Management Framework 5.0) or Windows Server 2016 with no additional preparation. You also need a Microsoft Azure subscription and an account.

Microsoft Azure Server Management Tools Topology

The gateway will handle the connection to Azure, so the Remote Server Management Gateway needs connection to the internet. The managed servers do not need a direct connection to the internet, the gateway will connect to the managed server. With that, the gateway need connection to the sever which will be managed by Azure.

Setup Server Management Tools

Well to set this up some steps are required, first create a new server for the Remote Server Management Gateway. In my case I installed a new Windows Server 2016 virtual machine. I made sure I could connect to the internet and it has the lastest updates installed.

Microsoft Azure Server Management Tools New Connection

After I created the virtual machine I logged in to the Azure portal and added a new Server Management Tools Connection. You can search “Server management tools” in Marketplace or navigate to it: Marketplace -> Management -> More -> Server management tools. This will also create the first Server Management Tools Gateway for your connection.

Microsoft Azure Server Management Tools Connection

After the connection is created you can see the connection and but you will get the information that the gateway is not ready. As the next step you will configure the gateway on the prepared server.

Microsoft Azure Server Management Tools Gateway

Under the Server Management Tools Gateway blade you can find a setup for the gateway which will generate a custom install package for your gateway. You can copy this link to the server and download this package and install it.

  1. Allow gateway updates to be installed automatically (recommended), or choose to install updates manually. You may change this later under gateway settings.
  2. Click the below to generate a customized gateway deployment package link.
  3. Use the generated link to download the gateway deployment package now, or copy the link URL to download the package later from the machine on which you intend to install the package.
  4. From the machine that you want to designate as the gateway, unzip the package and run GatewayService.MSI.
  5. Once the gateway installation completes, return to the Microsoft Azure portal and reopen your Server management tools connection.
  6. You should now be able to manage your Windows Server 2016 machine if the Microsoft Azure portal can reach it through the gateway.

Azure Remote Server Management Gateway Installer

After you have installed the Remote Server Management Gateway package on your gateway server you can see the connection in the Azure portal.

Azure Remote Server Management Nano Server

Now you start remote manage your server. As mentioned before, this is really handy if you want to manage Server Core or Nano Server.

Additional Stuff:

There are some additions for the configuration if you want to manage servers in a workgroup environment:

In order to manage workgroup machines (e.g. non-domain-joined Nano Servers), run this command as an administrator on the Server management tools gateway machine:

winrm set winrm/config/client @{ TrustedHosts=”<<IP address>>” }

When creating a Server management tools connection to the workgroup machine, use the machine’s IP address as the computer name.

Additional connectivity requirements

If you wish to connect using the local Administrator account, you will need to enable this policy on the target machine by running the following command in an administrator session on the target machine:

REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1

If you wish to connect to a workgroup machine which is not on the same subnet as the gateway, run the following command in an administrator session on the target machine:

NETSH advfirewall firewall add rule name=”WinRM 5985″ protocol=TCP dir=in localport=5985 action=allow

Remote Management Server Tools Features

Azure Remote Server Management PowerShell

As mentioned the Remote Management Server Tools bring some really cool web-based management features. One of my favorites is the web-based PowerShell console.

  • Device Manager
  • PowerShell Console
  • Computer Configuration (Name, Domain,…)
  • Network Configuration
  • Task Manager
  • Process
  • Registry Editor
  • Roles and Features
  • Services
  • Local Administrators
  • Updates Management (coming soon)
  • Shutdown / Restart

More Information

 

 



SCU Asia and Australia

Speaking at SCU APAC and SCU Australia 2016

Yesterday I had the chance to announce that I will be speaking at the local Microsoft TechDays 2016 in Baden, Switzerland. Today I am pround to announce that I will speak at System Center Universe Asia and Australia 2016 both in March. After speaking at SCU Europe 2013, 2014 and 2015 I am sure my first visit to SCU APAC and SCU Australia will be great.

System Center Universe APAC 2016

This 2 days event will be showcasing upcoming System Center solutions and Cloud Technologies with integration of the latest Windows 10!

Over the past 4 years, SCU APAC have attracted attendees throughout the APAC region. Being the only event that is centered on System Center, made the decision for the team running the event to host several viewing parties across APAC region in the second year. These parties made registration for the second year double. SCU 2014 was even better and bigger although it did not have the viewing parties. It played host to more than 200 registered participants with international renowned speakers. These speakers are well known in the industry and are regulars at Tech Ed.

I will present two sessions about some new features in Windows Server 2016:

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V?

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Come to this session to get the details of all the new stuff that is in Hyper-V and learn about how you can play with it “hands-on.”

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Storage?

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Microsoft announced several new feature on Windows Server 2016 including a lot of new Storage features, such as Storage Spaces Direct, ReFS, Storage Replica and much more. In this session you get an overview about the new Storage technologies in Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V.

SCU APAC 2016

Date: March 8 & 9, 2016 Conference Venue: Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

System Center Universe Australia 2016

For the FIRST time ever, System Center Universe is coming to Australia in 2016! This is a first-class community conference where you can mingle with experts and fellow industry professionals to explore new technologies. The conference has been running for many years in Asia, typically Singapore and Malaysia and also in Europe and USA.

This one days event will be showcasing upcoming System Center solutions and Cloud Technologies with integration of the latest Windows 10!

I will present a session about the next version of Windows Server 2016 Storage:

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Storage?

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Microsoft announced several new feature on Windows Server 2016 including a lot of new Storage features, such as Storage Spaces Direct, ReFS, Storage Replica and much more. In this session you get an overview about the new Storage technologies in Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V.

SCU Australia 2016

Conference Date March 11, 2016 Conference Venue: Crown Promenade Melbourne, Australia

If you are interested in going, please contact me and may can give you a promo code. Hopefully see you there!



SCU Europe 2015 Azure Pack

You can now watch my System Center Universe Europe 2015 Sessions on Channel9

Great news today, some of my sessions I did at System Center Universe Europe 2015 in Basel, are now available on Microsoft Channel9. You can watch them directly on Channel9 with a lot of other great sessions from SCU Europe 2015, or you can just watch them here:

Nano Server the next generation of Cloud Server in your datacenter

In this session we will walk you through how Nano Server is changing the fundamental way we look at fabric Servers and workloads. Nano Server will change the way we build servers and solve fundamental challenges which we have encountered over the pact years embracing cloud fundamentals. Speaking together with Kristian Nese (Microsoft MVP)

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 for Hyper-V


With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft adds again exiting features to its Virtualization Platform. Learn in this session what Shielded VMs, Rolling Cluster Upgrades, Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper converged, PowerShell Direct, Windows Containers, and much more is and how you can profit from these new technologies. Speaking together with Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP)

Azure Site Recovery, 365 days later

Disaster Recovery, everyone talks about it – everyone claims they have it! But does it really work as expected?! Join us in the session about Azure Site Recovery, the business continuity service from Microsoft for all cloud platforms, on-premise – service providers – public cloud. You will learn how your company or customers can use ASR in their datacenter and which new scenarios have been added in the last 365 days, since we presented this topic at SCU 2014. Speaking together with Michel Lüscher (Microsoft)

Are ITIL and System Center BFFs?


In the modern world where organizations are facing new challenges to be more competitive, they are looking for better ways to improve the quality and efficiency of their IT Service delivery using the ITIL framework. Gain valuable insights and best practices on how you can adopt the ITIL framework to Microsoft System Center and OMS from real world experiences together with Savision, Jonas Lenntun, CEO and Solution Architect at Approved Consulting, and Microsoft MVPs: Robert Hedblom, Kristian Nese, Kevin Greene and Thomas Maurer.

 



diskpart fat32 and gpt

How to create Windows Windows Server bootable USB media for deployment on UEFI based systems

When you were create a USB media for PCs, notebooks and servers which were using BIOS you could use several tools to do this. Now most of the tools do not really create a USB media drive which can be used to boot and install Windows or Windows Server on a UEFI based system such a new servers and for example the Surface Pro line. But it is very simple to do this now, just follow this steps:

  • The USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be GPT and not MBR
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

diskpart fat32 and gpt

This is it, and here is how you do it:

First plugin your USB drive to your computer. The USB drive should be bigger than 4GB.

Open a CMD prompt or PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option and open diskpart. Now you can do list all this by using

Select the USB disk, in my case this was disk 1

Clean the disk. Be careful this will remove all files and partitions on the USB media.

Now convert it to GPT

Create a new primary partition. But make sure the partition is not greater than 16GB otherwise it can be formatted with FAT32.

Format the partition with FAT32

Assign a drive letter to the volume

now you can exit the diskpart and copy all files from the Windows or Windows Server to the USB drive and boot it. This works with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 or even Hyper-V Server in the same editions.

 



Microsoft Display Dock HD-500

First view on the Microsoft Display Dock HD-500 and Windows 10 Continuum for Phones

Some days ago I received my new Microsoft Lumia 950 XL, which is one of the first phones with Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft also created some new cool accessories, such as the Microsoft Display Dock HD-500. The Microsoft Display Dock allows you to connect your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL using a USB-C cable and adding a keyboard and mouse and connect it to a bigger screen. Windows Universal Apps such as for example, Mail, Outlook, Office, Edge, File Explorer and several others scale up on the connected screen like they would run on a desktop computer running Windows 10. This Windows 10 Mobile feature is called Continuum for Phones and it allows you to use your phone as a desktop PC. This is great for example think about it, you only carry your phone and when you need to do some real work you can connect it to mouse, keyboard and screen and you have a desktop ready to use.

Microsoft Display Dock

Display Dock Connections

The Microsoft Display Dock HD-500 has a USB-C Port for connecting and charging your phone, 1 powered and 2 full-sized USB 2.0 ports to connect keyboard, mouse, USB drives or external drives, a HDMI and a Display-Port for connecting the screen or beamer. The device supports a resolution up to Full HD (1920×1080).

Microsoft Display Dock HD-500 Lumia 950 XL

Continuum for Phones

Continuum for Phones makes it possible to use this feature. Now Continuum for Phone also works wirelessly using Miracast for example with the Microsoft Display Adapter or even using the Xbox One with the Wireless Display App (right now for Preview Members only). You can also connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your phone, so you can use this feature completely wireless.

Continuum for Phones

Continuum for Phones has also some limitations, right now it only supports Windows Universal Apps and no Win32 apps or old Windows Phone Apps.

Some apps which work with Continuum for Phones:

  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • File Explorer
  • Photos
  • OneNote
  • Excel
  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Messages
  • Maps
  • MSN Money
  • MSN Sports
  • MSN News
  • Alarm and Clock
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Xbox
  • Facebook
  • Fitbit
  • Cortana
  • Camera

I am sure a lot of developers are working on porting apps to the Windows Universal App Platform and make them available on several devices. Continuum for Phones is one of the best examples how Windows 10 and the Windows Universal Apps will improve the Windows Ecosystem. I think for some people and even employees, Windows 10 Mobile phones could replace the desktop PCs, since you have a lot of great Universal Apps for Mail, Office and other Offices tasks. If Microsoft makes a Universal App for Remote Desktop available you can even have a full desktop, with full desktop apps on your phone while docked to a screen. And with the new Mobile device Management options in Windows 10 Mobile, this can be perfectly managed by enterprises. They can also implement the Microsoft Windows Store for Business on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.



Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

First Impressions of the new Microsoft Lumia 950 XL – Microsoft did not compromise

For the past year I was using the Nokia Lumia 930 and the Lumia 1520 and I was really waiting for a new Windows Phone flagship. Microsoft finally released the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL last week in several countries including Switzerland. I am one of the lucky few, who got one last Friday and had the chance to test it over the weekend.

Lumia 950 Lumia 950 XL

First of all I was using Windows 10 Mobile for a while on my Lumia 930 and the Lumia 1520, so there are not a lot of surprise for me here. I a really like Windows 10 Mobile, it still looks a lot like the first Windows Phone 7 and 8 versions but it looks a little bit cleaner and more mature. Especially the built-in apps like Mail, Calendar, People, Office and the MSN apps go a total redesign and a lot of new features.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and Surface Book

So here are some of my first impressions of the device:

First thing you notice the device feels and looks, like a lot of the recent Microsoft devices, a like a high quality premium device, and Microsoft did not compromise on features. You basically get everything you ever wanted in a device.

  • You get a amazing 5,7-Zoll-Quad-HD AMOLED ClearBlack Display (2560 x 1440 Pixel and 518 ppi) which just looks gorgeous.
  • You get one of the fastest mobile processors out there: the Snapdragon 810 Octa-Core 2,0 GHz. With that Windows 10 Mobile
  • One of the greatest thing about the Lumia Smartphones always were the cameras. Especially since the Lumia 1020 you always had a great camera. And with the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL you definitely get a perfect mobile phone camera. For me the camera of my mobile phone is very important since I take my mobile everywhere and take pictures with it. The camera of the Lumia 950 XL is just amazing, especially in difficult low light situations. If you are looking for a phone with an absolutely great camera you should definitely have a look at the latest Lumias. The main camera is a 20.0 MP, Auto focus with two-stage capture key, 6-lens optics, aperture: f/1.9, Backside-illuminated image sensor, PureView, True 16:9 sensor, Fast Focus, High resolution zoom and 4K Video support. For the front-facing camera you get a Full HD 5 MP wide angle camera with a aperture: f/2.4, perfect for selfies.
  • You get also the following features:
    • Glance Screen
    • Wireless charging
    • Fast charging
    • Replaceable battery (3340 mAh)
    • 32GB internal Memory
    • Micro-SD card support
    • 3GB of RAM
    • USB-C 3.1 connector
    • Great antenna technology
    • Dual SIM option
    • Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Barometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, SensorCore
    • Corning Gorilla Glass 4
    • Super sensitive touch display
    • Bluetooth 4.1
    • NFC: Pairing, Secure NFC for payment, Sharing, Tagging
    • WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO, Wi-Fi call
    • Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
    • AV connectors: 3.5 mm stereo headset connector, DisplayPort over USB-C
    • and a lot more…
  • You also get the full Microsoft Office suite with OneNote, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Which is great especially if you are using it to edit your documents or present it to other on the go.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Windows Continuum 3

  • Windows 10 Continuum: One of the biggest new features of Windows 10 Mobile. Windows 10 Continuum let’s you connect your phone to a bigger screen and use it as a light Windows 10 desktop together with a keyboard and mouse. You can use Continuum using the Continuum dock or wireless. Unfortunately I don’t have Display Dock right now, so I could only test Continuum using the wireless connection using my Xbox One which worked great. You can also use the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to connect your phone and use it with Windows 10 Continuum. Right now Windows 10 Continuum only Windows 10 Universal apps, like Mail, Calendar, Photos, Office and others. If you think about this feature, this is something Windows 10 can really be unique and may replace a computer for some people and employees out there.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Windows Hello

  • Another very cool Windows 10 feature is Windows Hello. This is also included in the desktop version of the OS and it allows you to login using fingerprints, face recognition or in the case of the Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL Iris face recognition. You just have to press your the power on button and the camera try to recognize your iris, and if it can, it will log you in, without the need of a PIN or password.

I think, with the Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft didn’t compromise on anything here. Microsoft just built a phone with all the features people requested. I really like the phone, the new Windows 10 features like Continuum and especially the camera.

Here a picture of the Lumia 930, Lumia 950 and the Lumia 1520:

Lumia 930 950 1520

I also got the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard which is a perfect companion to your Microsoft Lumia 950 with Windows 10 Continuum :

 

 

 

 



Surface Book

My first impressions of the Surface Book

Last week Microsoft released some of their new device including the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book and the Microsoft Band. I was one of the lucky few who had the chance to pick up a Surface Book in Las Vegas during the VeeamON Conference. I didn’t really plan to get the Surface Book in the US since it has another keyboard layout, instead I planed to get the Surface Pro 4. But when I had the chance to have a look at the Surface Book I really had to get it. The Surface Book is the first laptop made by Microsoft, and I have to say it is gorgeous and fast! I think this is the fastest machine I have ever owned. The reason for that is not only the new Core i7 processor from Intel or the dedicated Nvidia graphics card, in my opinion the reason for that is also the integrated flash storage which is extrem fast. This factors and some tuning by Microsoft really makes it fast. In the Microsoft Store in Las Vegas they only had one version left, which was the Core i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage version. I really would have loved to get the version with 16GB RAM to run more Hyper-V Virtual Machines, but well I am happy I could at least get one.

Surface Book

I will write a full review later on but let get the quick impressions I could get during the short time I had to use it.

  • The display is amazing, the color and brightness is stunning.
  • The display ratio of  3:2 is perfect, I loved it on the Surface Pro 3 and I love it on the Surface Book. you have much more space to work on.
  •  It is fast, Microsoft was not lying when they said it is fast, this is the fastest machine I ever owned.
  • The detachable screen, which makes it to a tablet is very light, even lighter than a Surface Pro
  • Build quality is great as even better than the Surface Pro 3
  • The keyboard is also some of the best keyboards I have ever used, it feels great to type on.
  • The trackpad is maybe the best trackpad you can find on a Windows laptop
  • Audio Quality is good as well.
  • Detaching the screen from the keyboard is easy but it takes some time, it is not as fast as you could do it with the Surface Pro.
  • Design is just great it looks and feels premium.
  • Windows Hello on Windows 10 which allows you to sign in via face recognition work perfect, even in a dark hotel room. I think I will never sign it using a password 😉
  • The new Surface Pen feels a lot better than the old one, it feels more writing on paper instead of a glass screen than before.
  • There are some minor driver issues for example screen flickering when you install the Hyper-V role, or some battery drain during the sleep time which can be solved by disabling the WiFi connected during sleep (under settings).
  • The screen is a little bit larger than the one on the Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4, which I really like for my daily work machine.
  • I still like the concept of the Surface Pro which allows you to faster switch between notebook and tablet mode. Over the past 3 years I really got used to it by using the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and the Surface Pro 3. I think I still have to test the Surface Pro 4 which brings the most of the improvements the Surface Book has, including the better screen.

This are my first impression of the Surface Book, if you have any questions just ask it in the comments of this post. I will write a full review after a couple of weeks using it.