Microsoft have released a series of guides to build Test Labs to check out various new features in Windows Server “8.” I’ve included a list below to some of the guides.
Test Lab Guide: Base Test Lab Guide for Windows Server “8” Beta – This Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Base Configuration test lab, using computers running Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Windows Server “8” Beta.
Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate High Availability Printing in Windows Server “8” Beta – This paper contains an introduction to Windows Server “8” Beta Printing and step-by-step instructions for extending the Test Lab Guide Base Configuration to demonstrate High Availability Printing.
If you’ve installed Windows 8 and the Remote Server Administration Tools, you’ve probably noticed that Server Manager loads each time you logon. I find this to be fairly annoying. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for now.
In Server Manager, click the Manage menu
Click Server Manager Properties
Check the Do not start Server Manager automatically at logon box and click OK.
Hopefully this is fixed between Beta and RC. I may bug it anyway.
I’ve arrived in New York City for the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup. For those of you just joining us, the Microsoft Imagine Cup is the premier student technology competition. I tend to tell people that it’s the Olympics of technology.
At the Imagine Cup, the top students from around the world come together to compete against each other in categories such as Software Design, Game Design, Embedded Development, and the Windows Phone 7 challenge just to name a few.
I’ll be here covering five teams and their progress throughout the Worldwide Finals. My teams are as follows:
The Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals begin this Friday, July 8th and end Wednesday, July 13th.
For more on Imagine Cup please visit www.imaginecup.com, or search for #ImagineCup on Twitter. You can also follow me on Twitter, @tziegmann, to follow along this week as well.
Figured I’d post this in case anyone else runs into this issue. I was performing an unattended install of Windows Home Server 2011 and the setup failed. I tried to use the same cfg.ini file again, however, setup didn’t like the file the second time around. Knowing that I hadn’t changed anything, I opened the file and noticed something strange. There was an additional line that Setup adds to the file once its used it.
The line added is located in the [WinPE] section and is called Processed=true.
In my testing, removing this line will allow the cfg.ini file to be used again.
Before setup runs After setup runs
This tip applies to:
- Windows Home Server 2011
- Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
- Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
Here’s the no frills quick and dirty run down on some of what was announced today at TechEd 2011.
- New May CTP of Windows Azure AppFabric with new messaging capabilities for publication and subscription. Available today.
- Coming in June, a CTP of AppFabric Application Manager and Developer Tools with enhancements to Visual Studio, new runtime capabilities for automatic deployment and application monitoring, and a new AppFabric Composition Model. Expected availability in June.
- Coming later this summer to SQL Azure, an enhancements to the web based management portal, better schema management, new service to manage SQL Azure databases through OData, and the integration of import and export features in the management portal. Features coming in a service update later this summer.
- Demoed System Center ‘Concero’ during keynote for managing private cloud resources and public cloud resources.
- System Center Orchestrator 2012 (Formerly Opalis) an IT process automation platform for orchestrating workflows across systems. Expected availability – Beta in June 2011
- Demoed System Center Connector for Visual Studio to quickly escalate issues to engineering teams for review and fixes if necessary. In beta today, final release date not yet known.
- Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012 announced today, built on System Center Configuration Manager, and designed to allow IT to use existing infrastructure to deploy and manage endpoints in their networks. In beta today, final release date not yet known.
Windows Phone 7:
- Lync 2010 for Windows Phone was shown off and will be available on the Windows Phone Marketplace around the time Mango is released.
- Out of box support in Mango for Office 365
- Conversation view, information rights management, pinnable email folders, complex password support and server side search for Outlook Mobile.
- All features coming with Windows Phone “Mango” around Holiday 2011
Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010:
- Service Pack 1 for both Office and Sharepoint 2010 will be released in June, with improved Internet Explorer 9 functionality, improvements to Office Web Apps, support for Google Chrome, and updates for other products in the Office 2010 family. Service Pack 1 will be released June 2011.
Quick note for those of you that may be setting up Small Business Server 2011 Essentials servers and are using the online documentation, there is a slight error. Currently the documentation for router configuration links to the wiki article for Small Business Server Standard and the ports required for proper operation of SBS Standard.
The only ports that need to be forwarded for Small Business Server 2011 Essentials are ports 80 and 443. Although, to be honest, you don’t even need port 80. Just train users to use https:// instead of http:// to access the Remote Access website.
P.S. If you use Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, the same port(s) need to be forwarded as well.
I’ll be in Seattle February 23rd-March 3rd for Microsoft Student Insider stuff and the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit. I’ll be taking my new SLR digital camera with me and taking lots of pictures, so look for those over the course of those eight days.
Please join me in welcoming the following to the Student Insider program for 2011:
- Den Delimarsky –@denniscode – dennisdel.com – Den is what I consider a Windows Phone Ninja. He knows the platform inside and out and blogs about it extensively on his own website and on DreamInCode.
- Drew Devault – @sircmpwn – sircmpwn.blogspot.com – Drew is an XNA and Silverlight wizard (and he’s still in high school!)
- Billy O’Neal – @MalwareMiniGun – winwrench.com
- Steven Nowak (Don’t have any blog or Twitter handle for Steven yet. When I do I’ll update this.)
MVP summit content is covered under the Non-Disclosure Agreement, so I’m not able to talk about what I’ll be doing there, other than to say that I’ll be meeting with the Home and Small Business Server team at various points through out the week. If you have any questions that you want me to try to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Today along with the release of the August Preview build of Windows Home Server “Vail”, Microsoft has released the first public preview of Windows Small Business Server “Aurora.”
Windows Small Business Server “Aurora” is what I’m going to call the younger brother of Small Business Server. Aurora is designed to be the “bridge to the cloud,” with on-premise features such as network monitoring, remote access, PC backup, and cloud features, such as e-mail and collaboration through services such as Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Services Standard Suite (BPOS).
Aurora is designed for small businesses with less than 25 users and do not have the resources or budget for an SBS or even higher setup.
Aurora and Vail share the same code base so there is some feature overlap, and in the case of Aurora, the “home” features such as media sharing have been removed. Some of the features of Windows Small Business Server “Aurora” are listed below.
- Active Directory integration for enterprise grade user and resource management.
- Remote Web Access to files, computers, and applications created by third parties
- Integration with Microsoft’s online service offering, BPOS
- Client Connector and PC Backup of Mac OS X clients (must be using 10.5 or above)
- Launchpad for quick access to common tasks
- Drive Extender storage technology, first introduced with Windows Home Server v1, for easy upgrades and management of server storage
While this release is a public preview, it is not recommended that you use Aurora for production use as there is no support and there are some issues around server storage. I’ve listed those issues below.
- There is a QFE available along with this build that addresses an issue where saving files to an Aurora server may fail when a large amount of data is present on the server. It is advised that this QFE be installed immediately after installing Aurora.
- Storage Check and Repair is broken in this release, as under certain conditions, there may be data loss.
- If a hard drive goes missing from the storage pool and you attempt to remove that missing hard drive from the storage pool, the removal wizard may inadvertently remove the wrong files from your server.
For the build number curious amongst us, this is Build 7657 and is available from Microsoft Connect today. The CRC and 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:
Volume label: GR0SAAxFRE_EN_DVD
To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.
- Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the Vail ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
- Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
- Type "MSCDCRC InstallDVD.iso" (without quotes)
- 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 below
- If the hashes match then you have successfully downloaded the ISO
The August Preview of Windows Home Server Vail is the gift that keeps on giving.
In this release, there is now a feature that enables you to plug a USB thumb drive into your server and create a bootable drive that contains the necessary software to perform a full system restore of a client PC.
The nice thing about the process is that the thumb drive is created for both 32 and 64 bit PCs meaning that you only need one thumb drive to restore any PCs in your house. Steps to perform a restore after the creation of the flash drive are largely unchanged from past releases or even WHS v1.
I performed a test restore of my netbook and I’ve included screenshots below of the restore process and the creation of the restore thumb drive.