Mark Minasi Asks Questions About Cloud

At another Connections conference show, Richard talks to the one-and-only Mark Minasi about his keynote at the conference in this RunAs Radio podcast. Mark aims his sights at cloud computing, asking the important questions about pricing, reliability and implementation challenges.

When Mark Minasi attended his first lecture about computers in 1973, he learned two things. First, computers are neat. Second, many technical people are very nice folks… but they can put you to sleep in an instant while explaining technical things. Mark transformed those two insights into a career making computers easier and more fun to understand. He’s done that by writing over a thousand popular computer columns, several dozen best-selling technical books, and explaining operating systems and networking to crowds from two to two thousand.

Awarded “Favorite Technical Author” by CertCities four times out of four, Mark is probably best known for his Mastering Windows Server and Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance books, both of which have seen more than 12 editions and sold over a million copies. An audience member at a recent talk remarked that he believed that Mark could “do a talk on watching paint dry that would be so good that people would be motivated to go home and paint a wall just to experience the joy of watching paint dry.” While this has led to many very tempting offers from Sherwin-Williams, he’s decided to stay with his first and best love… technology.

Hyper-V Now Available For Windows Server

Microsoft has released Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008, which is the company’s hypervisor virtualization platform. With it, you get multi-OS, highly-configurable and performance virtualized hardware capabilities on the Windows platform.

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, the next-generation hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, allows you to make the best use of your server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines (VMs) running on a single physical machine. With Hyper-V, you can also efficiently run multiple different operating systems — Windows, Linux, and others — in parallel, on a single server, and fully leverage the power of x64 computing.

For additional information, you might want to check out a RunAs Radio episode that Richard Campbell and I published back in April, when we spoke with Anil Desai on the topic of Hyper-V. Anil compared Hyper-V to ESX Server from VMWare and discussed the Microsoft offering in some detail.

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Isaac Roybal Gives Us New Modules For IIS7

A year after his first show (number 10!) Isaac Roybal comes back to talk about the state of IIS7 and the new modules being released by Microsoft. Recorded on the main floor of Tech Ed 2008 IT Pro in Orlando, Florida. And check out the new modules here.

Isaac Roybal is a Product Manager in Windows Server managing the Web Workload. His responsibilities cover all things Web related with Windows Server and has been involved with IT for over ten years. Five of those years have been with Microsoft. Isaac’s career started in Systems and Network Engineering working with Windows Server since NT 3.51 and IIS 4 in various capacities. Prior to his move to Windows Server he was an Operations Program Manager for Office’s Internet Platform group building and designing various systems and services. He has a Bachelors of Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University and has his MCSE certification in NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and 2003.

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Todd Lamothe Resets Our Computer With Windows SteadyState

Richard and I talk to Greg Lamothe at RunAs Radio about Windows SteadyState. SteadyState allows administrators to configure PCs to roll back to a base configuration after every reboot. Combined with Group Policy for restricting access to resources, you can create the perfect kiosk computer that cleans off all traces of the previous user, ready for the next.

Todd Lamothe is a Systems Administrator for the County of Lennox & Addington — Information Services Department; supporting their Libraries and Museums throughout their 12 points of service. He also provides support for the Leeds & Grenville and Prince Edward County public Libraries as well as other departments within the County of Lennox & Addington. He is a member of the Ottawa Windows Server User Group (OWSUG) and its associated certification study group, member of the board on the newly formed SQL Pass Ottawa Chapter and is also a Microsoft Certified System Administrator and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started using Windows SteadyState in the County of Lennox & Addington’s libraries when the program was in Version 1.1 and called the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit. He was part of the closed beta team for version 2.0 and now is working with 2.5.

RunAs Radio Interviews Garth Jones About System Center Configuration Manager

RunAs Radio talks to Garth Jones about SMS 2003 and its new version, System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Configuration Manager takes over where SMS left off, handling software distribution, updates, asset management, even working with Windows Deployment Services to do bare metal installations!

Garth Jones is the founder of the Ottawa Windows Server User Group (OWSUG) and its associated study group, He is an MVP for Windows Server System – SMS, who was recently profiled on the Can IT Pro Blog and is member of the myITforum Community Council. Garth is Chief Architect of Enhansoft, an Ottawa company that develops products and services to extend the value of System Center Configuration Manager 2007, SMS, Operation Manager, MOM and Virtual Server. He started working with Systems Management Server when it was a v1.1 (1996). He can be found in Microsoft newsgroups, on a few web forums, OWSUG.ca, SMSug.ca, FAQshop.com and myITForum.com and on the mailing list of myITforum.com. Garth has presented numerous times to OWSUG, created webcast for both SMSUG.ca & myITForum.com and has presented at Microsoft Management Summit.

Which Server Is Best To Serve?

Today Wayne asks:

At work i run a windows network with 112 workstations with a windows 2000 server (Active Dir). been toying with the idea of using a Linux Server instead.. but it does not seem to afford the power of managing profiles they way 2000 server does........ is there any work around this that will give me the power of a full domain system with Linux server?

As much as this may surprise you, I generally prefer to keep things pure. So if you have a working Windows network, I can’t see a lot of benefit in adding or replacing a server with Linux server in that network. For my money and time, I would just look at one of the existing Microsoft options if getting things up to date is a consideration. Otherwise, why add a potential problem where there currently is none. If this was a web server, that would be one thing. But this sounds like something local.

As for the Lockergnome community, they may have some ideas to take this even further. Perhaps specific recommendation that counters my own. So with that, let’s see what the community thinks.

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!”

Functional Levels In Windows Server 2008 Part I

The features available in a Windows Server 2008 domain depend on the functional level. Therefore, you can add additional features to a domain by raising the functional level. Windows Server 2008 supports three different domain functional levels. The three domain functional levels are:

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008

Windows 2000

When you configure a new Windows Server 2003 domain, the default domain functional level is Windows 2000. This functional level supports Windows 2000, 2003 and 2008 domain controllers. Other available features include universal groups, group nesting, group conversions and security identifier history.

Windows Server 2003

The second domain functional level is Windows Server 2003. Upgrading to this domain functional level provides support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 domain controllers. You get all the features under the Windows 2000 functional level and additional ones that include:

  • Netdom.exe management tool
  • Logon time stamp dates
  • Ability to redirect Users and Computers container
  • Ability for Authorization Manager to store its authorization policies in AD DS
  • Constrained delegation
  • Selective delegation

Windows Server 2008

The third domain functional level is Windows Server 2008. This domain functional level only provides support for Windows Server 2008 domain controllers. If you want to take advantage of all the features included with Windows Server 2008, you must implement this functional level. Along with the features introduced at the previous levels, you can also take advantage of the following:

  • Distributed File System
  • Advanced Encryption Standard support for the Kerberos protocol
  • Last Interactive Logon Information
  • Fine-grained password policies

Install Virtual Server 2005 On Windows Server 2008

Chances are you have already heard or seen the word “server virtualization”. Virtualization lets you consolidate multiple servers and operating systems on to a single computer. A major benefit is that instead of using a dedicated server for every application and service you require, you can run the applications and services in virtual server instances on a single computer. This allows you to continue to isolate applications and services while making better use of existing hardware.

Virtual Server 2005 does not officially support Windows Server 2008. However, you can still install the application — without the administration Web site. By completing the steps below, you will get an installation of Virtual Server that you can manage using a remote installation of the Virtual Server Web Application:

  1. Insert the Virtual Server CD-ROM to launch the Setup Wizard. The wizard can also be started manually using setup.exe.
  2. Click through the wizard until you reach the Setup Type page.
  3. Select Custom. Uncheck the options for Virtual Server Web Application. Click Next.
  4. On the Configure Components page, either accept the default Website port of 1024 or type in a new port number. Click Next.
  5. Click Enable Virtual Server exceptions in Windows Firewall if users will access the virtual server through Windows Firewall. Click Next.
  6. Click Install.

Click Finish when the Setup Complete page appears.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Recovering Windows Server 2008

Performing a recovery involves repairing an existing installation of your operating system. A repair installation can be used to repair damaged and corrupt settings and files while leaving all your data and programs intact.

The advantage to performing a repair is that you do not need to re-install any applications, restore any data (assuming it is on a different volume that the operating system files), or reconfigure any of your settings. The downside of this type of installation is that it does not clean up your system at all. In other words, it does not remove any clutter that has accumulated on your computer.

The basic steps for performing a repair of Windows Server 2008 is described below. These steps assume that your computer is running Windows Server Backup, a backup of critical volumes is available and you have access to the Windows Server 2003 setup media.

To recover your operating system:

  1. Insert the Windows Server 2008 Setup disk into the CD or DVD drive and turn on your computer.
  2. From the Setup Wizard, click Repair your computer.
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the System Recovery Options page, click Windows Complete PC Restore.
  5. Choose one of the following options, and then click Next:
    • Restore the following backup (recommended).
    • Restore a different backup.
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Choose how to restore the backup page, install any drivers that you need.
  8. Choose one of the following options, and click Next:
    • Format and repartition disks (to delete existing partitions and reformat the destination disks to be the same as the backup).
    • Restore only system volumes.
  9. Click Exclude disks to identify any disks that are not needed for a system restore.
  10. Click Next.
  11. Click Finish.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Schedule A Backup In Windows Server 2008

Windows Server Backup is an optional feature included Windows Server 2008. It provides administrators with a reliable solution for backing up and recovering the operating system, files and folders.

The Windows Server Backup program included with Windows Server 2008 lets you schedule backups to run automatically at specific times. Although this is by no means a new feature to the backup program, it is certainly an important one.

The steps below describe how to schedule a backup to run in Windows Server 2008.

  1. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Backup.
  2. From the Actions pane, under Windows Server Backup (Local), click Backup Schedule. This launches the Backup Schedule Wizard.
  3. On the Getting Started page, click Next.
  4. On the Select backup type page, choose one of the following options:
    • Full Server to back up all volumes on the server.
    • Advanced, and then click Next. On the Select backup items — Advanced page, select the volumes that you want to back up.
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the Specify backup time page, choose one of the following options:
    • Once a day. Select the time to start running the daily backup.
    • Multiple backups every day. Under Available time, select the time that you want the backup to start. Click Add to move the time under Scheduled time. Repeat for each start time that you want to add, and then click Next.
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Specify target disk page, select the external disk where you will be backing up to.
  9. A message appears informing you that the selected disk will be formatted and any existing data will be deleted. Click Yes.
  10. Click Next.
  11. On the Summary page, review the details, and then click Finish.
  12. On the Confirmation page, click Close.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Install Windows Server Backup In Windows Server 2008

You are always hearing about the importance of backing up the data on your computer and your network. When it comes to choosing a backup solution, your choices are never ending because there are many third party vendors selling backup software. Alternatively, if you are looking for a relatively simple solution, you can use Windows Server Backup that is included with Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server Backup is an optional feature included Windows Server 2008. It provides administrators with a reliable solution for backing up and recovering the operating system, files and folders.

Since Windows Server Backup is an optional component, it is not installed by default. By completing the steps below, you can add Windows Server Backup to your installation of Windows Server 2008.

To install Backup by using Initial Configuration Tasks:

  1. To start Initial Configuration Tasks, at a command prompt, type: oobe
  2. Under Customize this server, click Add features.
  3. On the Select Features page, select Windows Server Backup, and then click Next.
  4. On the Confirmation Installation page, click Install.
  5. Click Close.

To install Backup by using Server Manager:

  1. Click Start, and then click Server Manager.
  2. Under Features Summary, click Add features to start the Add Features Wizard.
  3. On the Select Features page, select Windows Server Backup, and then click Next.
  4. On the Confirmation Installation page, click Install.
  5. Click Close.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Install Windows Media Services In Windows Server 2008

Windows Media Service provides support for distributing audio and video using Advanced Streaming format over the corporate intranet and the Internet.

Windows Media Service is the server component used to distribute digital media content.

Windows Media Services is included with Windows Server 2008 but it is not installed be default. There are a couple of different ways that you can install the component. The method you use will depend on your computer’s configuration. For example, the steps differ slightly whether you are installing on a full installation or server core installation of Windows Server 2008.

The steps below demonstrate how to install Windows Media Services on a full installation of Windows Server 2008.

  1. Download and then run the MSU file for the Streaming Media Services role.
  2. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.
  3. On the Action menu in Server Manager, click Refresh, and then wait for the update to finish.
  4. Restart Server Manager.
  5. In Server Manager, click Add Roles under Roles Summary, and then select Streaming Media Services in the Add Roles wizard.

Note: If you have upgraded from Windows Server 2003 or an earlier version of Windows Server 2008, the steps will also differ.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Install DHCP On Windows Server 2008

Every workstation (actually, every device with a network interface card) on an IP network requires a unique IP address and a corresponding subnet mask. You can statically configure each device with an IP address or you can implement dynamic IP addressing through DHCP. The solution you choose will depend a lot on the network environment.

To illustrate one of the difficulties of using manually assign IP addresses, think of a large enterprise network that hosts thousands of users. It is possible to visit each workstation and manually configure IP addresses however; this would be extremely inefficient and time consuming. To top it all off, the work would not stop there. Any changes that must be made to IP parameters, such as the addition of a DNS server, will again require you to visit a number of workstations, if not all of them, to reconfigure the parameters. A more appropriate solution for networks that have a large number of workstations is to implement dynamic IP address assignment through DHCP.

To automate the process of assigning IP addresses to network clients, the DHCP Server service must be installed on at least one server. The steps required to install DHCP on Windows Server 2008 are outlined below.

  1. Open the command prompt and type: start /w ocsetup DHCPServerCore.
  2. Configure a DHCP scope at the command prompt by using netsh, or by remotely using the DHCP snap-in from Windows Server 2008.
  3. If the DHCP server is installed in an Active Directory domain, you must authorize it in Active Directory.
  4. Since the DHCP service does not start automatically, you need to manually start it. Use the following procedure to configure it to start automatically and to start the service for the first time.
  5. At the command prompt type: sc config dhcpserver start= auto. This configures the service to start automatically.
  6. To start the service, type: net start dhcpserver.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Install IIS 7.0 On Windows Server 2008

Internet Information Services 7.0 is a Web server component that is included with Windows Server 2008. By installing the service, you can turn your computer into a powerful Web server to host your Web sites, applications and so on.

IIS 7.0 is not installed by default on Windows Server 2008. You can install IIS using Server Manager. The ‘Add Roles Wizard’ will walk you through the process and prompt you for any required information. The steps for installing IIS 7.0 are described in detail below.

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools and click Server Manager.
  2. Click Add Roles.
  3. The Add Roles Wizard will appear. Click Next.
  4. If any required features are missing, you will be prompted to install them by clicking the Add Required Features button.
  5. From the Select Server Roles window, click the box beside the Web Server (IIS) option. Click Next.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the specific role services to install for IIS. If you are unsure what a service is for, select the service and a short description will appear.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Review your installation selections and click Install.
  10. When the installation is complete, review the results in the ‘Installation Results’ window and click Close.

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]

Windows Server 2008 System Requirements

Most operating systems are designed to run on a minimum set of hardware requirements to ensure adequate performance and not meeting these requirements often results in a failed installation. So save yourself both time, money, and possibly even a little embarrassment by verifying that the hardware in your system at least meets the minimum hardware requirements.

The minimum requirements to install Windows Server 2003 Standard Server include:

  • 1GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4 GHz (x64 processor)
  • 10 GB free hard disk space
  • 512 MB of RAM (a maximum of 4 GB is supported)
  • VGA or higher resolution monitor
  • One or more network adapters (required for a network based installation)
  • DVD-ROM drive (not required for network based installations)
  • Mouse, keyboard

Keep in mind when you’re choosing hardware that these are the bare minimum requirements to run the operating systems and does not take into account any network services or applications that may be running on the server. So plan to increase these requirements based on the role the server will play on the network.

Microsoft not only gives you the minimum requirements, but also the recommended requirements. As you likely guessed, the operating system will run better if you choose to go with the recommended requirements that are listed below.

  • 2 GHz or faster
  • 40 GB or more of free hard disk space
  • 2 GB or more of RAM
  • VGA or higher resolution monitor
  • One or more network adapters (required for a network based installation)
  • DVD-ROM drive (not required for network based installations)
  • Mouse, keyboard

[tags]windows server 2008, windows server[/tags]