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  • Microsoft Azure
  • Virtual Machine Manager

Category: Windows 8

CLIXML Export Import

Save PowerShell Object to file for Remote Troubleshooting

This is not something new to the most of you PowerShell guys out there, but still there are a lot of IT Pros which do not know about this. Sometimes we have to do some remote troubleshooting without having access to the system itself. The thing you can do is to let the customer send you some screenshots but that doesn’t really show everything and maybe you have to contact the customer like 100 times to get the right information. A better solution is to let the customer to run a PowerShell command or script and send you the output. But even a text file or screenshot of the PowerShell output is not the best solution. If you get a lot of text in a TXT file it is hard to sort it and maybe there are some information missing because the txt output does not include all information of the PowerShell object.

I have started to use a simple method to export PowerShell objects to a XML file and import the object on another system. This can be done by the PowerShell cmdlets Export-Clixml and Import-Clixml.

What I do is, I tell the customer to run the following command to generate a XML with the PowerShell objects about his disks for example.

After I got this XML file, I can import it here on my local system and can work with it as I would be in front of the customer system.

CLIXML Export Import

As I said, this is nothing new but this can save you and your customer some time. Of course this works with other objects not just disks ;-) For example you can get Cluster Configurations, Hyper-V Virtual Switch Configurations and much more.

 

 



OneNote Overview

This is why OneNote is awesome

Well I know I normally blog more about Microsoft Datacenter and Cloud stuff especially Hyper-V and System Center, but I am a huge fan of Microsoft’s Office Suite. I really live in Outlook and Microsoft OneNote. I organize my private life, my work and university stuff in OneNote. I get often ask by customers or friends how I work and how I get things done. In this case I always show them OneNote, which is maybe one of the best keep secrets inside Microsoft.This post shows you why OneNote is awesome and shows you some of the hidden features you didn’t know about.

If you have more hidden features leave a comment on the post.

OneNote Dock to Desktop

OneNote Dock to Desktop Title

With the Dock to Desktop feature you can keep your notes visible by anchoring a OneNote window to the side of your desktop. Your notes will stay on top of your desktop while you are working in other programs.

Dock to Desktop

Linked Note taking

 

OneNote Linked Note Talking

While you are using the Dock to Desktop mode you can enable Linked Note Taking. This will automatically create a link to the page or office document you have open while you have taken note. This is perfect, while I was write a whitepaper for university and I had to do a lot of research I used this feature. While I was write the document I had to mention the sources as foot notes and sometimes it’s hard to find the source of something you have found on the internet. With linked notes I only had to check my nodes and all the sources and references were linked.

 Visio Integration

OneNote Visio Integration

A lot of other Microsoft products to integrate into OneNote. One of them is Visio, if you have Visio installed on our computer you can add an existing Visio diagram to you notes. You can also directly create a new Visio diagram from OneNote and add it to your notes.

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Sort Network Adapter via PowerShell

Sort Windows Network Adapter by PCI Slot via PowerShell

If you work with Windows, Windows Server or Hyper-V you know that before Windows Server 2012 Windows named the network adapters randomly. This was a huge deal if you were trying to automate deployment of servers with multiple network adapters. And of course Hyper-V Servers normally have multiple network adapters. In Windows Server 2012 Microsoft had some different ways how this was fixed. First there is CDN (Consistent Device Naming) which allows hardware vendors to integrate the names so the OS can pick them up and the second one being the possibility of Hyper-V Converged Fabric which is basically making our lives easier by having less network adapters.

Well a lot of vendors have not integrated CDN or you have some old servers without CDN support. Back in May 2012 before the release of Windows Server 2012 I wrote a little Windows PowerShell script to sort network adapters in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 by using WMI (Configure Hyper-V Host Network Adapters Like A Boss). Now for a Cisco UCS project I rewrote some parts of the script to use Windows PowerShell in for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V.

First lets have a look how you can get the PCI slot information for network adapters, luckily there is now a PowerShell cmdlet for this.

Now lets see how you can sort network adapters via Windows PowerShell.

This will get you a output like this:

Sort Network Adapter via PowerShell

Lets do a little loop to automatically name them:

So this names all the network adapters to NIC1, NIC2, NIC3,…

So lets do a PowerShell function for this:

Now you can run this by using Sort-NetworkAdapter for exmaple:

or

You can also get this script from the Microsoft Technet Gallery or Script Center.



Windows Server 2012 Logo

Recommend Hotfixes and Updates for Hyper-V and Failover Clusters

I the last couple of releases I always posted the pages where you could get the list of Recommended Hotfixes and Updates for Windows Server 2012 Failover Clusters and List of Hyper-V and Failover Cluster Hotfixes for Windows Server 2012. I want to upgrade the post with the links for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. So you can find all updates from a single site.

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2008 R2

Feel free to share this page and I always recommend to get the latest hotfixes when you are deploying a new Hyper-V or Scale-Out File Server environment. And definitely check also Aidan Finns blog from time to time where he does some deeper look at the Knowledge Base articles for Hyper-V.

 



Import MSOnline PowerShell Module

Manage Windows Azure AD using Windows PowerShell

Well I am a huge fan of Microsoft Office 365 and we are not only using this in our company, I am also using Office 365 for my mothers restaurant. It helps us organzise stuff very easily and allows us to work from everywhere. Now the great thing about using Office 365 and Windows Azure Active Directory it that I can manage it with the same management tools I also use for my on-premise Active Directory. My favorit is of course Windows PowerShell.

To manage Windows Azure Active Directory with PowerShell, where also your Office 365 users are stored, you have to do some simple steps.

First make sure you have installed the .NET Framework 3.5 on your management machine.

Install Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant: Install the appropriate version of the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant for your operating system from the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant for IT Professionals RTW.

Install Windows Azure AD Module for Windows PowerShell: Install the appropriate version of the Windows Azure AD Module for Windows PowerShell for your operating system from the Microsoft Download Center:

Import the MSOnline Windows PowerShell module

Import MSOnline PowerShell Module

Connect to your Windows Azure Active Directory Tenant or your Office 365 Tenant:

This will open a popup windows where you have to enter your credentials.

Now now you can start working with your Windows Azure Active Directory.

Connect Windows Azure AD via PowerShell



Server Posterpedia

Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8.1 App just updated

Some days ago Microsoft released some of the new architecture poster for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V. Today Microsoft released an update in the Windows App Store for their Server Posterpedia App including the new Hyper-V 2012 R2 posters and some design changes.

Server Posterpedia is an interactive app that uses technical posters as a reference for understanding Microsoft technologies. This app includes all the reference posters from different Microsoft Server Technologies such as Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, Exchange or Windows Azure. The great thing about this App, you can not only checkout the different posters and zoom in, if you click on a specific topic for you get directly linked to the right TechNet article. This can help find some TechNet references really easy and fast.

You can get the Server Posterpedia App in the Windows Store. and you can get some more information about this awesome App on my blog: Microsoft Server Posterpedia Windows 8 App or on serverposterpedia.com.



SMB 3 the future of Storage

EMC – SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

At the moment I am working in a lot of customer cloud deployment projects and the huge topic at the moment are networking and storage. In the networking part there is a lot of talk going on, on “small” things like NIC Teaming and also on bigger topics like Network Virtualization. On the storage part I think a lot of customers are ready to take new approach to save money and get a better solutions. The main parts I talk a lot about is Storage Spaces and Hyper-V over SMB. I already wrote a lot about Hyper-V over SMB, which is not only in my opinion the future of storage. EMC released a solution overview for their EMC VNX and VNXe solution which offer SMB 3.0. EMC calls SMB 3.0 “The Future of Storage”.

SMB 3.0 is the Future of Storage

SMB 3.0 in Windows 8 clients and Windows 2012 servers is the future of storage protocols. It gives excellent performance with low CPU overhead – plus fault tolerance. Its load balancing/scaling will adjust throughput to available NICs and it also supports simultaneous access by multiple cluster hosts, with build-in arbitration for data consistency. There’s also file-share VSS (RVSS) backup support that facilitates the capture of application-consistent backups on SMB shares. This resiliency, combined with increasing Ethernet speeds, open up the potential for demanding, mission critical workloads such as Hyper-V and Microsoft SQL Server, to be placed on NAS.

You can read more here: EMC VNX and VNXe with Microsoft SMB 3.0

As I already mentioned I deployed SMB 3.0 and Hyper-V over SMB a couple of times and for me this is absolutely the way to go: No Fiber channel, no more iSCSI. And it’s funny that EMC the owner of VMware is calling SMB 3.0 the Future of Storage. I have to admit the EMC VNX and VNXe solutions on paper look pretty great and it looks like EMC did a great job implementing SMB 3.0. Unfortunately I could not test and VNX or VNXe yet.

EMC SMB 3 the future of Storage

Btw make sure you read my other blog post on SMB 3.0: