You are browsing the archive for 2013 June.

Windows Server 2012 R2: Comeback of the Start button

11:50 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi everyone,

In the last few months, we heard a lot of stories about the Start button. Will this button be back? Or not? That was a big question.
The answer is yes, the start button is back, but not the old start menu.

On the left, you could see the new start button

A left click on it, you are redirected you to the Start menu.

A right click on the new start button opens the menu that we had before by doing a right click in the left corner.


Now, it’s really easier to get access to that menu.


New feature, you could now shutdown/Restart the server directly from this menu.



All the new Windows Server 2012 R2 features into a single pptx

11:22 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

My colleague Mark Wheatley did a great job by regrouping all the new features of Windows Server 2012 R2 into a single PowerPoint presentation.

You could view and download this presentation from SlideShare


I hope you enjoy it as much and I. Don’t forget, you could download the R2 preview bits already today from the TechNet Eval Center:




Azure pack for Windows Server available for download

10:23 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

To continue with great news, Microsoft also release the preview of Azure pack for Windows Server.

Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience.

The bits are available at the following url:

Cheers !


System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2 Preview: Installation Step by Step

9:50 am in Orchestrator by Christopher Keyaert

Hi all,

As you read in my previous blog post, Microsoft released the preview bits of System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on MSDN/TechNet.


As I want to focus on Orchestrator 2012 R2 installation itself and not on Windows Server 2012 R2, I will install Orchestrator 2012 R2 on a regular Windows Server 2012 (not R2).
Prerequisites for the installation of Orchestrator :

  • Windows Server 2012 server
  • .Net 3.5 SP1 features
  • A service account which is local administrator of the server



Let’s go with a step by step installation overview of Orchestrator 2012 R2 preview.

Double click on the mu_system_center_2012_r2_preview_orchestrator_x86_x64_2363715.exe file.
The Wizard is saying than the installation will start, in fact, it’s not really the installation, it’s just the extract of the files.
Click on Next to continue.

Specify the folder where you want to extract the bits. This is not the installation folder.
Browse the folder and click on Next.

Verify the information and click on Install.

Extract of the files in progress.

All the files have been extracted, click on finish.

Go to the folder that you specified earlier and double click on SetupOrchestrator.exe

Click on install.

If you didn’t install .Net 3.5 SP1, you will see the following error message.

Specify a Name and Organisation. No product key is required. Click in Next

Accept the license terms and click on Next.

Select all the features that you want to install on this machine and click on Next.

Prerequisites check is in progress.

Review the information, fix the problem and click on Next.

Orchestrator will automatically install and configure IIS role for the Orchestration Console, click on Next.

Configuration of the IIS role in progress.

All prerequisites are installed, click on Next.

Configure the service account that Orchestrator 2012 R2 will use.

Configuration the SQL instance for your installation.

Specify the DB Name.

Select which group (AD or local) will be have access to Orchestrator 2012 R2.

Specify the port used by the Web Console and Web Service.

Browse to the installation folder.

Select the most appropriate option for your environment.

Select the most appropriate option for your environment.

Review all the information and click in Install.

Installation of all the Orchestrator 2012 R2 features in progress.

Installation completed successfully.

Let’s start the Orchestrator 2012 R2 Runbook Designer for the first time

The deployment Manager

The Orchestrator Console



If you already installed Orchestrator 2012, you have noticed that the setup process of Orchestrator 2012 R2 is identical.
I will soon write a new post about what’s new in Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2.



System Center 2012 R2 Preview and Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview available

8:37 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi Everyone,

This night Microsoft released on MSDN and TechNet the bits for:

  • System Center 2012 R2 Preview
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview
  • SQL Server 2014 CTP1

Let’s download these bits!!!


Windows Azure Pack White Paper

4:18 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

If you followed the information delivered by Microsoft during TechEd NA 2013, you must be aware that Microsoft renamed Windows Azure Service for Windows Server to Windows Azure Pack.

The Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Windows Azure technologies available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost. Once installed in your datacenter, the Windows Azure Pack integrates with System Center and Windows Server to help provide the following capabilities:

  • Management portal for tenants
  • Management portal for administrators
  • Service management API
  • Web Sites
  • Virtual Machines
  • Service Bus *New Feature*
  • Automation and extensibility *New Feature*

Microsoft published a few days ago a white paper called: Overview of Windows Azure Pack.

You could download it via the following link:


TechEd Europe 2013: Live Streaming

1:40 pm in Event by Christopher Keyaert

Hi All,

If you don’t have the change to be at TechEd Europe in Madrid this year, Microsoft will publish on Channel9 website the recording of all the sessions.

Even better, tomorrow, we will be able to follow in live streaming Brad Anderson’s opening Keynote which will officially start TechEd Europe 2013.

This will happen directly on TechEd website:

Don’t miss it!


System Center Universe 2013: Speaking Engagement

12:17 pm in Event by Christopher Keyaert

Looking forward to September 2013: For the first time, the event System Center Universe is held in Switzerland! During two days, IT professionals are supplied with the latest information about Microsoft System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management topics in more than 40 sessions.

In four parallel tracks we will inform attendees about the latest products and technologies at the highest level. Top speakers and community experts from around the world deliver technical in-depth knowledge for IT professionals and provide a real added value! The sessions will be presented in German and English.

Top reasons to attend SCU 2013 DACH:

  • 1 keynote session
  • 40 breakout sessions in 4 parallel tracks
  • 4 lunch sessions
  • Top Speakers (MVPs, Microsoft employees etc.)
  • Technical in-depth, real-world sessions
  • Meet the expert’s sessions (discussions, Q&A)
  • Sessions in German and English
  • Networking with specialists and speakers
  • Sponsoring booths
  • Food & Beverages included
  • Networking party included
  • Early Bird (price reduction) until June 30th 2013

This will be a really great event, created by the Community, for the Community.
I will have the chance to present a session about the brand new Azure Pack for Windows Server with my friend Alexandre Verkinderen.

I hope to see you there!


Community Day 2013

12:06 pm in Event by Christopher Keyaert

Hi Everyone,

Last Thursday, it was the Community Day in Belgium.
I had the privilege to present a session about Windows Azure Service for Windows Server. Unfortunately, the sessions were not recorded, but below you could find the slide deck that I used: