You are browsing the archive for 2012 May.

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Configuration Manager 2012 Technical Documentation download

10:30 am in Uncategorized by timdk

The May 2012 product documentation for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is now available for download.

There are two formats available which allow you to have all the Configuration Manager 2012 documentation available at your fingertips.

Additionally you can download the Help Update Wizard to install a local copy of the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Documentation Library (CHM) which contains a copy of the guides in the TechNet documentation library. This is useful if a computer running the Configuration Manager console does not have Internet access or if you want a standalone copy of the documentation in CHM format.

Download the files here.

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ConfigMgr 2012 Day

4:00 am in Uncategorized by timdk

System Center User Group Belgium invites you to Configmgr 2012 day on July 4th 2012 !

It has been a few weeks since the official Configuration Manager 2012 release in Las Vegas at MMS 2012. So it’s time to provide the Belgian Configuration Manager Community a nice off-line event to share information about the new release.

During this event we will be joined by Wally Mead, Senior Program Manager for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. Wally Mead has been with Microsoft for 20 years, he’s been in the Configuration Manager product group for the past 11 years, working on all versions of the SMS/Configuration Manager product. Wally will provide you with 2 in depth sessions and one surprise session that will be worth the whole trip!

The other sessions will be presented by the Belgian Configuration Manager MVP’s and SCUG members with in depth technical knowledge about System Center technologies. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to socialize with fellow Configuration Manager administrators to exchange knowledge and meet with one of the most popular Microsoft speakers of all time and have a nice lunch with the SCUG product experts. Join us for an event designed to stimulate new thinking and forge lasting relationships among a rema rkable group of IT professionals

I expect this is going to be the best ConfigMgr event of the year! If you are unable to attend the Best Of MMS event one month earlier, or you do plan to attend best of MMS but are up for some more deep diving into Configuration Manager 2012, this is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss.

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 9:15 AM to 7:00 PM (GMT+0100)

Location: Business Faculty Brussel
St. Lendriksborre 6
1120 Brussels

Click here to register. Do it now before it is too late!

See you there!


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Community Day 2012

4:00 am in Uncategorized by timdk

imageThe Belgian community is organizing the 6th edition of Community Day! With 6 tracks and over 40 session this will be the biggest edition of the Community Day ever!

Community Day 2012 will take place on June 21st 2012 in Utopolis Mechelen and is a free event!

The System Center User Group will be presenting the following sessions:

  • How to automate your server provisioning
    Speaker: Christopher Keyaert
    Slot: Track 5 / IT Pro from 09.30 to 10.30 AM
  • App Controller: Installing, Configuring, Connecting to Private and Public Clouds, Working with VMs and the Library
    Speaker: Alexandre Verkinderen
    Slot: Track 6 / IT Pro from 05.15 – 06.00 PM

Also our fellow SCUG member Nico Sienaert, from Getronics, will be presenting an additional slot:

  • How does System Center deal with IT challenges of tomorrow like cloud, BYOD and Windows 8?
    Speaker: Nico Sienaert
    Slot: Track 4 / Dev & IT Pro from 02.30 – 03.30 PM

Event details, full agenda and registration information can be found here.

See you there!


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Microsoft Experience Days – Best of MMS

11:41 am in Uncategorized by timdk

In the upcoming weeks and months there are quite some interesting events on the agenda for the Belgian IT community. First one which I wanted to highlight are the Microsoft Experience Days which are scheduled on the 6th and 7th of June.

On the agenda for the second day are the following 3 tracks:

1. Private Cloud Launch – System Center 2012

Get an exclusive look into the future of cloud computing and start getting more from your IT infrastructure. Manage your apps more efficiently by locating and solving problems faster. Increase your VM density without increasing costs. And boost your efficiency by shifting seamlessly between the private and public cloud. Whatever your requirements, Microsoft’s cloud solutions give your business the freedom, flexibility and capacity it needs to keep on growing. Join us to experience the future, now.

More details and registration information can be found here.

2. Experience Windows Server 2012

By choosing to attend the "Experience Windows Server 2012" event you’re preparing yourself and your organization for the future. During this one day event you will discover how Windows Server is going beyond virtualization by scaling and securing workload, how it will enable the modern work style by giving people access to information and data regardless of the infrastructure , network, device or application they use to access it. And you will discover the power of many servers with the simplicity of one by efficiently managing infrastructure while maximizing uptime and minimizing failures and downtime.

More details and registration information can be found here.

3. Best Of MMS

This 1-day event will provide you with the best possible opportunity to learn about what’s new in System Center 2012 and with deep dive sessions on infrastructure management, service delivery & automation, application management, desktop & device management – which is an opportunity you won’t want to miss! Join the Belgian Experts (MVP) from the System Center User Group who attended and presented at MMS 2012 in Las Vegas. They will bring you the best content from MMS 2012.

More details and registration information can be found here.

Place to be is the following location:

  • Utopolis
    Spuibeekstraat 5
    2800 Mechelen

Only a few days left to register for this free event, so hurry up!

I will be attending the Best Of MMS track – Hope to see you all there!

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Building a lab environment with System Center Unified Installer – Part 3

4:00 am in Uncategorized by timdk

This post is the last part of this series. After defining the lab layout in Part 1 and doing the necessary preparations in Part 2. It is now time to run the System Center Unified Installer and watch our lab environment being built for us.

The installation needs to be ran with an account that has administrative permissions on all target computers. As such we will logon to the installer PC –OR1 in our case- with a domain administrator account and run the setup.exe from the UnifiedInstaller folder.

Now we need to walk through the wizard:

Click Install System Center and click OK on the pop-up.

Enter your product registration info and accept the license agreements before clicking Next.

Select the product you wish to install. For our lab we select Orchestrator, Configuration Manager and Operations Manager.

Specify the locations where the product installation sources can be found.

Accept the license terms and click Next.

Accept the license terms for the prerequisites and click next again.

Specify the location where the binaries for each prerequisite are stored.

Leave the default installation locations and click Next

Specify the target server names and click Next

Specify the domain administrator account as the service account and click Next.

Specify the name for the management group and the site code/site name for the CM site.

Decide whether to join the CEIP or not and click Next

Review the settings and click Install.

And now the beauty of the Unified Installer kicks in: you can leave the lab environment and spend some time away from your desk. When you return in a few hours your entire lab will be up and running. For our reference environment the installation took approximately 4 hours.

Once the setup is completed a summary page is shown. Verify all components were installed successfully and click close to exit the wizard.

Now would probably a good time to take a full snapshot of the environment again. At a later point in time, when you have completed specific tests, you can then always return back to this initial clean state.

All done!

Post installation note:

  • The Unified Installer installation process does not configure the memory for the backend SQL instances. You might want to configure the memory settings for each of them as per the best practices.

Conclusion: the Unified Installer offers a nice and fully unattended approach for deploying lab and demo environments for System Center 2012 products. Use it to start building your lab environments now!

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Building a lab environment with System Center Unified Installer – Part 2

4:00 am in Uncategorized by timdk

In the first part of the series we have outlined the requirements and the topology for the lab environment. Now we will start preparing the environment in which the System Center Unified Installer will be run.

Server Preparations

Except for the DC1 all virtual servers are configured with the following specs:
– 2 x CPU
– 2 Gb RAM
– 40 GB Hdd (SYSTEM)
– 1 NIC connected to the virtual switch (private)

Note: do not configure these systems with less then 2 CPU’s and 2 Gb of memory or the Unified Installer configuration wizard will not allow you to continue with the installation.

The DC1 server is configured as follows:
– 1 x CPU
– 512 Mb RAM
– 40 Gb Hdd (SYSTEM)
– 1 NIC connected to the virtual switch (private)

Base configuration for all 4 machines:
– Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1
– Networking configured (see topology figure in part 1 for details)
– .Net Framework 3.5.1 feature is enabled

Domain Setup

The DC1 server is promoted to become a domain controller for the Sandbox.Lab domain. DNS is installed and configured at the same time. For future purposes DHCP is also installed on the DC1 server.

Additionally an Organizational Unit called Servers\SC2012 was created. This is where the following computer objects will be placed: OR1, CM1 and OM1.

As this is a lab environment I decided to turn off the Windows Firewall on the machines. For this I implemented a GPO called “SC2012 srv config”. The FW configuration is done as follows: go to Windows Settings > Security Settings > Windows Firewall, then open properties and on the domain profile tab set firewall state to "Off".

Preparing the installer PC

The Installer PC will be the actual Orchestrator machine in the lab environment.

To make it possible for the remote boot strap process to complete successfully, some local policies need to be modified:

  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials
  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Credential Delegation / Allow Delegating Fresh Credentials with NTLM-only Server Authentication

The detailed procedure on how to do this is available here.

Preparing the target PC’s

Keep in mind that the Orchestrator machine in our scenario is not only the Installer PC, at the same time it is also a target PC.

Also here some local policies will need to be modified, for this we will update the “SC2012 Srv Config” GPO that was created earlier:

  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow automatic configuration of listeners
  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Management (WinRM) / WinRM Service / Allow CredSSP authentication
  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Allow Remote Shell Access
  • Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Remote Shell / Specify maximum amount of memory in MB per Shell

The detailed procedure on how to implement is available here.

Additionally you will need to run the following commands on each machine:

  • winrm qc –q
    winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{CredSSP="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{AllowRemoteShellAccess="True"}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{MaxMemoryPerShellMB="2048"}

This concludes the preparations – at this point I would recommend to take a snapshot of the entire virtual environment.

Preparing the installation sources

Once the basic infrastructure is ready we need to prepare the installation sources. We will need all System Center 2012 product binaries and all binaries for any prerequisites needed to complete the installation of those products. Additionally we will need the binaries for SQL Server 2008 R2 binaries plus Service Pack 1 and CU4.

At MMS 2012 the attendees were handed out a USB stick with all the required sources to deploy a lab environment. So we were lucky enough not having to download and prepare all sources. This is how the layout of the USB stick looks like. It gives an idea on how you could structure the binaries as you download them:

This is the root of the drive, you will only need the marked folders:

These are the contents of the prerequisites folder, the names are self-explaining:

And these are the contents of the SystemCenter2012 folder. For our lab scenario only the marked ones are required:

Make sure that all binaries are available on the installer PC, in our lab this will be the OR1 machine which will be running System Center Orchestrator.

That’s it for now.

In the final part of these series we will walk through the Unified Installer installation process.

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Building a lab environment with System Center Unified Installer – Part 1

4:00 am in Uncategorized by timdk

With the RTM release of System Center 2012 came the time to dispose my RC2 lab/demo environment and build a brand new one. To rollout my new environment as quickly and effectively as possible I decided to explore the capabilities of the System Center Unified Installer.

This blog series will outline my experiences building the lab, and will contain the following parts:

  • Part 1 – Designing the lab
  • Part 2 – Preparing the infrastructure
  • Part 3 – Deploying using System Center 2012 Unified Installer

Proceeding directly with the first part, lets outline the objectives and come up with a small design for the environment.

The current specs of my Hyper-V host machine do not support the full-blown installation of the entire System Center 2012 suite so my lab will run the following components:
– System Center Orchestrator
– System Center Configuration Manager
– System Center Operations Manager

Each of these components will get a dedicated machine. Additionally I will need a server to support the Domain Controller role and also the DNS and DHCP services. The following figure shows the topology of the lab:


No additional machines are required for hosting the databases. The backend databases for the System Center products will be running on the same server as the actual product.

That’s it for now. In the second part of the series we will start preparing the environment.