Protect your Virtual Machines to the Cloud with Azure Site Recovery

Great news!

Microsoft have now made it possible to protect your Virtual Machines running on a Hyper-V server with Windows Server 2012 R2 by replicating them to Azure. In the past, this was only available for larger organizations that had access to System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Now, SMBs can take advantage of this service out of the box from Hyper-V without the need to purchase the SCVMM components.

Here is the link to the documentation on how to set this up – http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/hyper-v-recovery-manager-hypervsite/

How to change the criteria that Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 use to archive different item types

When archiving in Outlook, it is often useful to archive by the date of receipt for items. It is not a widely known fact that Outlook archives email messages by the last modified date. This is generally not an issue, unless you were performing some inbox cleaning out and moved an item from 2012 to another folder. At that point, the last modified date becomes the date of when you moved the email. So when you attempt to archive your mailbox, this item does not get archived.

The following KB article explains how you can change this default behaviour in Outlook – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553550

According to the KB article, by default, Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Microsoft Outlook 2013 archive different items based on the item type, as follows:

  • Email message: The received date or the last modified date and time, whichever is later.
  • Calendar item: The last modified date and time or the actual date that an appointment, event, or meeting is scheduled for, whichever is later.
  • Task: The completion date or the last modified date and time, whichever is later. Tasks that are not marked as completed are not archived. Tasks that are assigned to other users are archived only if the status is completed.
  • Note: The last modified date and time.
    Journal entry: The date when the journal entry is created or the last modified date and time, whichever is later.
  • Contact: Not archived.

To change this behaviour, you can create or modify the following registry setting.

Outlook 2010 – HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences

Outlook 2013 – HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Preferences

Edit or Create a new DWORD value, ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime, with a value of  1

IMPORTANT: You must restart Outlook after this change has been made.

12 Common Hyper-V Deployment Mistakes

HyperV

Altaro have put out a blog on 12 of the common Hyper-V deployment mistakes that people make. I think I have done a few of these before!

  1. Mis-Provisioning Resources in Hyper-V
    • Improper Balance of CPU and Memory
    • Improper Balance of Networked Storage and Network Connectivity
    • Improper Balance of SSD and Spinning Disks
    • Improper Balance of Networking Resources
    • Improper Focus of Resources
  2. Creating Too Many Networks and/or Virtual Adapters
  3. Creating Too Many Virtual Switches
  4. Optimizing Page Files
  5. Not Leveraging Dynamic Memory
  6. Leaving Default VM Configurations
  7. Not Troubleshooting the Right Thing
  8. Overloading the Management Operating System
  9. Leaving the Management OS in Workgroup Mode When there is a Perfectly Good AD Domain Available
  10. Not Testing
  11. Avoiding PowerShell
  12. Not Figuring Out Licensing in Advance

Read the entire article here – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/common-hyper-v-deployment-mistakes/

Unlimited cloud storage on OneDrive for Office 365 subscribers

Yes, that is not a typo. Microsoft is offering unlimited storage on OneDrive for Office 365 subscribers.

This news was released via their blog here – https://blog.onedrive.com/office-365-onedrive-unlimited-storage/

“Today, storage limits just became a thing of the past with Office 365. Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost. We’ve started rolling this out today to Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers. “

What about OneDrive for Business? That will be coming in 2015! – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/office-365-roadmap-FX104343353.aspx

“We are announcing the removal of current limits on external users for all SharePoint Online plans. Specifically, the changes will be as follows. The external users limit for Office 365 Small Business and Small Business Premium will change from 500 to Unlimited. The external users limit for Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Enterprise plans (including E1 – E4, A2-A4, G1-G4, and SharePoint Online Plan 1 and Plan 2) will change from 10,000 to Unlimited.

Microsoft® Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) 3.0 released

Microsoft has just released version 3 of their Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). This is a standalone tool that will covert virtual machines, hosts and physical machines to Hyper-V.

The new features of MVMC 3.0 include:

  • Converts virtual disks that are attached to a VMware virtual machine to virtual hard disks (VHDs) that can be uploaded to Microsoft Azure.
  • Provides native Windows PowerShell capability that enables scripting and integration into IT automation workflows.
  • Note The command-line interface (CLI) in MVMC 1.0 has been replaced by Windows PowerShell in MVMC 2.0.
  • Supports conversion and provisioning of Linux-based guest operating systems from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts.
  • Supports conversion of offline virtual machines.
  • Supports the new virtual hard disk format (VHDX) when converting and provisioning in Hyper-V in Windows Server® 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
  • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.1, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • Supports Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows Server® 2012, and Windows® 8 as guest operating systems that you can select for conversion.
  • Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts on any of the following operating systems:
    -Windows Server® 2012 R2
    -Windows Server® 2012
    -Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • Converts VMware virtual machines, virtual disks, and configurations for memory, virtual processor, and other virtual computing resources from the source to Hyper-V.
  • Adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
  • Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 5.5, VMware vSphere 5.0, and VMware vSphere 4.1 hosts to Hyper-V.
  • Has a wizard-driven GUI, which simplifies performing virtual machine conversions.
  • Uninstalls VMware Tools before online conversion (online only) to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
  • Important MVMC takes a snapshot of the virtual machine that you are converting before you uninstall VMware Tools, and then shuts down the source machine to preserve state during conversion. The virtual machine is restored to its previous state after the source disks that are attached to the virtual machine are successfully copied to the machine where the conversion process is run. At that point, the source machine in VMware can be turned on, if required.
  • Important MVMC does not uninstall VMware Tools in an offline conversion. Instead, it disables VMware services, drivers, and programs only for Windows Server guest operating systems. For file conversions with Linux guest operating systems, VMware Tools are not disabled or uninstalled. We highly recommend that you manually uninstall VMware Tools when you convert an offline virtual machine.
  • Supports Windows Server and Linux guest operating system conversion. For more details, see the section “Supported Configurations for Virtual Machine Conversion” in this guide.
  • Includes Windows PowerShell capability for offline conversions of VMware-based virtual hard disks (VMDK) to a Hyper-V–based virtual hard disk file format (.vhd file).

You can download the tool here – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

Cybersecurity Alert: Watch out for that Flashlight App

The video is well worth watching.

The bottom line is that if you have a third party flashlight app, you should remove it immediately … especially if you have an Android based phone (Samsung etc).

Here is the full report – http://www.snoopwall.com/threat-reports-10-01-2014/

Migration and Disaster Recovery to Azure using Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft Azure have announced the general availability of Azure Site Recovery services. The announcement by Abhishek Hemrajani is as follows.

“I am excited to announce the GA of the Disaster Recovery to Azure using Azure Site Recovery. In addition to enabling replication to and recovery in Microsoft Azure, ASR enables automated protection of VMs, remote health monitoring, no-impact recovery plan testing, and single click orchestrated recovery – all backed by an enterprise-grade SLA.

The DR to Azure functionality in ASR builds on top of System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Windows Server Hyper-V Replica, and Microsoft Azure to ensure that our customers can leverage existing IT investments while still helping them optimize precious CAPEX and OPEX spent in building and managing secondary datacenter sites.

The GA release also brings significant additions to the already expansive list of ASR’s DR to Azure features:

  • NEW ASR Recovery Plans and Azure Automation integrate to offer robust and simplified one-click orchestration of your DR plans
  • NEW Track Initial Replication Progress as virtual machine data gets replicated to a customer-owned and managed geo-redundant Azure Storage account. This new feature is also available when configuring DR between on-premises private clouds across enterprise sites
  • NEW Simplified Setup and Registration streamlines the DR setup by removing the complexity of generating certificates and integrity keys needed to register your on-premises System Center Virtual Machine Manager server with your Site Recovery vault”

The following scenarios are supported.

Costing can be found here – http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/site-recovery/

You can read more from the blog post here – http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/10/02/disaster-recovery-to-azure-using-azure-site-recovery-is-now-ga/

Windows 10 and Windows Server Previews

If you want to have a play with the various new preview releases of Windows, here are the links to resources and information on where to download these previews.

If you have a MSDN or Microsoft Azure subscription, you can get them directly via the respective site portals.

Otherwise, here are the public links.

Subnet Calculator and Cheat Sheet

Here are a couple of useful resources for working with Subnets.

 

 

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