Tag: Software

Download Azure Stack Update

How to install and manage Azure Stack Updates

At itnetX, we help customers to implement as well as to operate  Azure Stack. One part of operating Azure Stack is keeping it up-to-date. This means installing Microsoft Azure Stack Updates, hotfixes as well as OEM update packages like drivers and firmware. In this blog post, I will cover all the information you need to keep your Azure Stack up-to-date.

Why should you update your Azure Stack

Azure Stack Update

This may sound like a simple question, but a lot of people ask for it. First of all, Microsoft and the hardware vendors are delivering quality fixes and security updates to keep Azure Stack stable and secure. But Microsoft also adds new functionality with their updates packages to keep up with the rapid cloud development on Azure. This is important if you want that your Azure Stack stays consistent with Azure in terms of functionality.

Another essential reason to stay current is to remain supported. You are allowed to be behind two major versions of Azure Stack, which means 2-3 months. You basically should update monthly, to make sure that you are secure and stable. However, there are reasons why you might have to defer an update. For example, this can happen for some companies, when they are in a freeze period where they are not allowed to do changes in their systems. If you are more than three major versions behind, your Azure Stack is considered out of support and will not be supported from Microsoft, until you have the at least required version installed.

You can read more about the Azure Stack servicing policy on the Azure Stack documentation site.

Updates for the Azure Stack Integrated System

Azure Stack Operations

As mentioned before, there are three types of updates to Azure Stack. The monthly Azure Stack Update Packages from Microsoft, Hotfixes, and OEM updates.

  • Microsoft software updates – Microsoft is responsible for the end-to-end servicing lifecycle for the Microsoft software update packages. These packages can include the latest Windows Server security updates, non-security updates, and Azure Stack feature updates. These update packages are non-cumulative updates and need to be installed one after the other. These updates are fully automated and will update the complete Azure Stack infrastructure.
  • OEM hardware vendor-provided updates – Azure Stack hardware partners are responsible for the end-to-end servicing lifecycle (including guidance) for the hardware-related firmware and driver update packages. In addition, Azure Stack hardware partners own and maintain guidance for all software and hardware on the hardware lifecycle host.
  • Microsoft hotfixes – Microsoft provides hotfixes for Azure Stack that address a specific issue that is often preventative or time-sensitive. Each hotfix is released with a corresponding Microsoft Knowledge Base article that details the issue, cause, and resolution. Hotfixes are downloaded and installed just like the regular full update packages for Azure Stack. Other then the major updates, Azure Stack hotfixes are cumulative per iteration.
 ReleaseCumulativeWhere to find
Microsoft Software UpdatesMonthly (4th Tuesday of very month)NoRelease Notes
OEM Hardware Vendor UpdatesDepending on OEMDependsOEM Website
Microsoft HotfixesWhen neededYesKnowledge Base article

By the way, you can only update Azure Stack multi-node systems, and the Azure Stack Development Kit needs to be redeployed.



Install Sysinternals from PowerShell

Install Sysinternals from PowerShell via OneGet

Microsoft just announced the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview. The Windows Management Framework V5 preview adds some cool new feature called OneGet.

OneGet is a new way to discover and install software packages from around the web. With OneGet, you can:
  • Manage a list of software repositories in which packages can be searched, acquired, and installed
  • Search and filter your repositories to find the packages you need
  • Seamlessly install and uninstall packages from one or more repositories with a single PowerShell command

As I did some tests this is perfect to install new software packages very easily. So I started with one of my favorite tools called Sysinternals Suite.

Install Sysinternals from PowerShell

First I have check if there was a Sys internals Package available by using:

 
Find-Package Sysinternals

This checks online from different sources if there is a package available. After that I installed the package by using:

 
Find-Package Sysinternals | Install-Package

So this is really easy and guess what, it does not just work for Microsoft Software, there is a lot more of third party Software which can be installed with OneGet. So make sure you checkout the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview to get the new OneGet cmdlets.

 



Altaro gives away 50 free PC backup licenses to all Microsoft Hyper-V administrators

Altaro Software, a fast-growing developer of backup solutions for Microsoft Hyper-V, today announced that it is giving every Microsoft Hyper-V administrator 50 free licenses of Oops!Backup, their desktop backup solution.

“Following the success of our Hyper-V Backup solution this year, we wanted to give something back to the Hyper-V community during the holiday season” commented David Vella, CEO of Altaro. “Hyper-V admins can give out these licenses to their colleagues, friends and family, for use at work or at home.”

Oops!Backup is a popular desktop backup solution that allows users to preview & restore versions of their files from different points in time.

Any network administrator who uses Microsoft Hyper-V is eligible for the free license keys, they simply need to visit the Altaro website, send in a screenshot of their Hyper-V Manager and expect an email with their respective keys.



Cisco UCS Release 2.0

 CISCO UCS

This monday Cisco released the the UCS Software 2.0, which brings a lot of bug fixes and important features. This major software release brings a new drivers, BIOS, software and firmware.

New Hardware Features in Release 2.0(1)

  • Cisco UCS 6248 Fabric interconnect
  • Cisco 2208 IO Module
  • 2500 Watt DC Power Supply for the Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis

New Software Features in Release 2.0(1)

  • Licensing – Updated information for new UCS hardware.
  • Firmware Bundle Option – Enables you to select a bundle instead of a version when updating firmware using the Cisco UCS Manager GUI.
  • Disk Drive Monitoring Support – Support for disk drive monitoring on certain blade servers and a specific LSI storage controller firmware level.
  • iSCSI Boot – iSCSI boot enables a server to boot its operating system from an iSCSI target machine located remotely over a network.
  • Pre-login Banner – Displays user-defined banner text prior to login when a user logs into Cisco UCS Manager using the GUI or CLI.
  • Unified Ports – Unified ports are ports on the 6200 series fabric interconnect that can be configured to carry either Ethernet or Fibre Channel traffic.
  • Upstream Disjoint Layer-2 Networks – Enables you to configure Cisco UCS to communicate with upstream disjoint layer-2 networks.
  • Virtual Interfaces – The number of vNICs and vHBAs configurable for a service profile is determined by adapter capability and the amount of virtual interface (VIF) namespace available on the adapter.
  • VM-FEX Integration for VMware – Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) for VMware provides management integration and network communication between Cisco UCS Manager and VMware vCenter. In previous releases, this functionality was known as VN-Link in Hardware.
  • VM-FEX Integration for KVM (Red Hat Linux) – Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) for VMware provides external switching for virtual machines running on a KVM Linux-based hypervisor in a Cisco UCS instance.

More Information about the Cisco UCS Software 2.0 release



Microsoft’s Mouse Without Borders

Microsoft Mouse Without Borders

Microsoft released a free software called “Mouse Without Borders” which allows you running multiple computers with one keyboard and mouse like Synergy. But the “Mouse Without Borders” brings a lot of cool features and an easy setup.

  • Use your mouse seamlessly
  • Drag files across computers
  • Copy & paste across computers
  • Share one keyboard across computers
  • Lock or log into all of your PCs at one time and share screen captures from one PC to another

 



Windows Intune July 2011 Beta

Windows Intune Logo

Microsoft released the July 2011 Beta of Windows Intune yesterday. The new beta brings a lot of new cool features which were missing in the first version of Windows Intune.

  • Software Distribution
  • License Management for third-party software
  • Enhanced Reporting
  • Read-only Access Administrators
  • Offline Client Installation
  • Remote Tasks (Malware scan etc)
  • and more…

If you need more information on the July beta of Windows Intune you can download the Factsheet or get more information on technet.

I think through this update Windows Intune gets the features it needs to be successful. This is a great opportunity for small and mid-sized which not had a Software Distribution in place, to get an easy solution.



SVN Basic

subversionA colleague made a pretty cool blog post about svn basic on his blog. Subverion is a software versioning and a revision control system. At work all our program code and scripts, every little piece of code is going in your Subversion repository. This allows you to get back to earlier revisions of the code or simply share and work on code with other employees. Even your documentation is going into the Subversion repository.

On his blog post (German) he shows the basics of subversion, doing a checkout of e repository, adding files, changing files, removing files and more.

Here is a basic list of svn commands, if you need more information you should check the Subversion Homepage or try the Blog post from tspycher.com

svn checkout  http://svn.colab.company.com # SVN checkout
svn commit -m "My Message and Changes" # SVN committing changes and new files
svn add /files/*.* # Adding Files to the SVN Repository after this you have to commit that
svn update # Update your local copy

A lot of IDE’s (Integrated Development Environment) like Visual Studio or Xcode have SVN integrated.