If you’re a Windows Server 2012 R2 user and you use the Essentials Experience role (same features as the standalone SKU) in a multi domain controller (DC) environment, you may have noticed that the wizards for integrating with Office 365 and Windows Azure Active Directory are disabled. This is because they were designed to function in a single DC environment.
Today, Microsoft has corrected this behavior as part of update rollup 2975719. If you install this update rollup, you should now be able to use the wizards as intended.
More info: Update Rollup August 2014 | Office 365 Integration KB
I am very pleased to announce that Microsoft has chosen me to be a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the 4th year in a row. As many of you may know, I have been an MVP for Windows Home Server. However, with the discontinuation of Windows Home Server, I have been chosen to be an MVP for Windows Server for Small and Medium Business.
I am honored to have been chosen, and I look forward to all the amazing community work ahead in 2014.
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Server for Small and Medium Business technical communities during the past year.
As some of you may have noticed, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials no longer includes media streaming functionality out of the box. This feature existed in the non-R2 version, as well as previous versions, dating all the way back to Windows Home Server v1.
Instead of keeping this feature in the base product, Microsoft have released the Media Streaming Pack for Windows Server 2012 R2.
The Media Streaming Pack adds media streaming functionality to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials as well as those Standard and Datacenter servers running the Essentials Experience role.
The following features are included:
- Streaming of media (photos, music and videos) to DLNA-compliant receivers
- Smooth streaming to HTML5-compliant browsers through Remote Web Access and web service applications
- Configuration through the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard
The Media Streaming pack is a free download from Microsoft and is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40837
It’s here! As part of the general availability of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, I’m releasing a new how-to guide. This guide is for installing Windows Server Update Services on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Windows Server Update Services is a valuable tool in any IT professional’s toolkit, and can be used to manage the distribution of updates to clients, be very useful in low-bandwidth environments where it is not a good idea to have 20 clients downloading the same files 20 times from the internet, and is a great way to get basic reporting about systems.
If you have feedback, either leave it in the comments or send me an e-mail (tom at tomontech dot com). NOTE: I can not provide individualized installation support, I simply don’t have the time.
WARNING: By viewing and / or downloading this guide, you assume all responsibility and liability in case anything goes wrong. You agree that I can not and will not be held responsible for any data loss or other issues resulting from the installation or use of Windows Server Update Services. This guide is intended to be a sample and is not representative of every scenario. Please consult with a qualified professional if you are unsure about any of the steps herein.
To view the guide, click here, or view the embedded version below. To download a PDF copy of this guide, click here.
This post is intended to be a supplement for the Installing WSUS on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials guide.
To configure your client workstations to connect to WSUS, it is highly recommended to use Group Policy. Below I have included examples of Group Policy settings and the necessary WMI filters that can be used as a baseline policy in any environment.
The Default Windows Update Settings policy is intended to the base / default policy that is applied to all systems in the domain.
The Windows Update Settings – Servers policy is intended to supplement the default settings and apply server specific installation settings to server OSes. This policy requires the Servers WMI filter.
The Windows Update Settings – Workstations policy is intended to supplement the default settings and apply workstation specific installation settings to workstation OSes. This policy requires the workstations WMI filter.
The following filters will work with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.
|Servers (applies to domain controllers and member servers)
||select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version >= “6.1%”) and ProductType = “2” or ProductType = “3”
||select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (Version >= “6.1%”) and ProductType=”1″
Today’s quick tip is for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2. If you’re attempting to use SQL Server Management Studio to manage the Windows Internal Database instance, the connection string has been changed.
To connect to Windows Internal Database on Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, you will need to use the following.
Today, Microsoft has released the RTM Windows Server 2012 R2 bits to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.
Microsoft has said that they will be continuing to improve the product between now and General Availability in October.
Windows Server 2012 R2 brings a ton of awesome new features from refinements in Server 2012 R2 Essentials, to the Windows Server Essentials experience, improved support for BYOD with Work Folders and Active Directory, Storage Tiering in Storage Spaces, and many other awesome features.
To learn more about What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2, I suggest visiting the TechNet Library, and reading Brad Anderson’s blog about the new features.
For the build curious amongst us, the build string for Windows 8.1 RTM is 9600.winblue_rtm.130821-1623. The SHA1 hashes for the ISO have been posted below along with steps to check the integrity of the downloaded ISO.
Hashes for today’s release:
To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.
- 1. Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
- 2. Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
- 3. Type “MSCDCRC InstallDVD.iso” (without quotes)
- 4. The integrity check will take a few moments to complete. After the check is complete compare the CRC and SHA hashes to the hashes posted above
In this R2 wave of Windows Server products, Microsoft is taking the time to update its “first server” version, Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
The Essentials SKU historically has been intended to be the entry level server for a small or midsize business. With Essentials R2, Microsoft is extending this feature set into the enterprise. Because the Essentials feature set is now an available role in the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2012 R2, companies with more than 25 users can backup their PCs, seamless integrate with cloud services or on-premise Exchange servers, and provide remote access to company data.
Besides the Essentials features now being available as a role, there are number of additional new features.
- Full PC Restore over the network is now supported
- Mobile Devices can be managed in the dashboard using Exchange ActiveSync
- Quotas can be set on shared folders in the dashboard
- The client connector can trigger a VPN connection so clients can always be connected to the network
- Now supported as a member server in a domain
- Health monitoring and reporting is now built-in
- Remote Web Access theme now follows in the style of SkyDrive
What I like about this release is that its the small things that really make it all come together. There is now an option in configuring the remote access website to allow direct RDP access to the server or only access to the dashboard. PXE boot restores of client computers is awesome and is something I’ve been asking for since the Windows Home Server days. The dashboard now lets customers integrate with Office 365, Windows Intune, and Windows Azure Backup. BranchCache is now supported as well. If a company has multiple servers, the connector will now let users switch between them.
These are just a few of the many examples of what Microsoft has brought to the R2 release of Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Over the next few days and weeks I’ll be posting some tours of the new functionality.
Microsoft has released the public preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is Microsoft’s “first server” solution.
Included in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials are:
- Backup of client computers
- Support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 File History
- Support for Storage Spaces
- Remote Web access to files, folders, and computers
- Remote Domain Join
- New Modern-style app for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for accessing files and folders stored on the server
- Integration with Office 365 or on-premise Microsoft Exchange
- Improved dashboard
- and more!
To download the preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205288.aspx
For additional resources go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205289
Tonight Microsoft has made available the public preview release of Windows Server 2012 R2. With this release, Microsoft is laying out its vision for what it calls the Cloud OS.
The Cloud OS is the platform that Microsoft is building with the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure. The four key tenets of the Cloud OS are:
- Transform the Datacenter
- Enable modern business applications
- Empower people-centric IT
- Unlock insights on any data
New to Windows Server 2012 R2 are such features as:
- Storage Tiering within Storage Spaces
- Software-defined networking
- Virtual IP Address management
- Windows Powershell 4.0
- Windows Server Essentials Experience
To get started with the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205286.aspx