Happy New Year … Not!
With the New Year comes a new class of malicious attack that can impact IT systems. This time, the attack is hardware based, affecting mostly Intel based systems, and to some extent, AMD systems as well.
Here is a list of resources that highlight what it is all about and how to mitigate against this new threat. In the words of Microsoft, “Don’t panic.”
Today, MIcrosoft announced the availability of a single update rollup package for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Some details for the rollup are as follows:
- All security and non-security fixes since the release up to April 2016.
- One installation package.
- Optional install – not offered via Windows Update.
- Monthly rollups after April 2016.
- Security bulletins will continue to link to a direct update.
- For Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and WIndows Server 2012 R2, there will be monthly rollup updates.
Thanks, Microsoft, for listening!
To get the rollups, you need Internet Explorer 6 or higher (not Edge – since this is not an update package for Windows 10). Get the updates here – http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574
At this stage, other browsers are not supported, although Microsoft have hinted that the site will be updated in the next few months.
One of the most popular posts on this blog has been the blog on setting up an Internal SMTP Service for SMBs that need to send server reports and support emailing from Internal devices that have move to cloud based email services.
One of the issues with this service is that is occasionally stops. There does not appear to be any reason why it stops, but it does. Restarting the SMTPSVS service does not restart the service, because it is based on IIS6.
Good news! You can use powershell to script the restart of this service.
Open an Administrative PowerShell window.
To Start the SMTP Virtual Server, type the following:
$SMTP.ServerState = 2
To Stop the SMTP Virtual Server, type the following:
$SMTP.ServerState = 4
A hotfix is available for systems broken by the MS15-010 (security update for Windows kernel mode driver: February 10, 2015) update.
When trying to restore files or folders on a client that is connected to the Windows Server 2012 or 2012R2 Essentials server from the dashboard, the following error occurs.
A hotfix for this is now available here – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3045682
You can read up more information on this issue here – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2015/03/13/the-ms15-10-security-update-for-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-and-the-client-restore-functionality.aspx
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
Here is a list of where you can find important log files for Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
In Windows Server Essentials 2012 and 2012 R2, the location of the log files is under %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs.
Service Integration Log Files:
|Windows Azure Backup
Backup Log Files:
|Server Backup Configuration wizard
|Server Backup restore wizard
|Client Backup Feature server side log
|Client backup database cleanup
|Client backup database checker
Storage and Devices Log Files:
|User/Device management feature
|Storage related feature
Azure Backup Log Files:
|Location: C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Backup Agent\Temp
|Azure Backup Logs
|Failed Azure Backup Logs
Other Helpful Log Files:
|Health evaluation schedule task
|Macintosh Clients Status update
|Server DNS status
|Customer Experience Improvement
Program and Service Quality Measurement Log Files:
|CA Role installation
|Media pack installation (2012 R2)
|Media Service (Specially with RWA)
|O365 (Assign/Un-assign Accounts)
The client-side log files are located in the folder %programdata%\Microsoft\Windows Server\logs. They are as:
|Client package installation Failures
|Client backup restore mount driver
|Client operation for File history Sync
|Main log for client launch pad
|Password synchronization feature in AAD
|Add-in feature on client
|Health evaluation schedule task
|Client Backup scheduled task
|Connector uninstall cleanup task
|Update health definition file from server to client task
|RDP feature for RWA
||RunTask-RDP Group Configuration.log
|Client VPN connectivity issues
||RunTask-VPN Routes Repair.log
|Client network status update
|Client deployment API call (Client deployment fails)
|Health alert feature
Reference – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2014/09/30/windows-server-essentials-log-files.aspx
Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V Backup, have put out a really good eBook detailing how you can improve the core areas of your Hyper-V environment.
From the website, the eBook will help you master Hyper-V:
- How to secure your Hyper-V deployment beyond the basics, managing access to Virtual Machine functions, applying Group Policy, best practices on antimalware, and more
- How to get the most out of Hyper-V Manager, setting up Native Network Teams and how Hyper-V’s Virtual Switches work
- Understanding the concept of vCPUs and how to undertake capacity planning for Hyper-V
- Learn the proper use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks, how they operate and common myths surrounding the topic
- How to connect storage to Hyper-V, including a variety of options as well as best practices.
Here is a list of the chapters.
- Chapter 1: Seven Keys to Hyper-V Security
- Chapter 2: Hyper-V Manager – An Introduction
- Chapter 3: Set Up Native Network Teams for Hyper-V
- Chapter 4: A Quick Guide to Hyper-V’s Virtual Switch
- Chapter 5: Hyper-V Virtual CPUs
- Chapter 6: Proper Use of Hyper-V Dynamic Disks
- Chapter 7: Connecting Hyper-V to Storage
You can download the eBook here – http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/lp/ebook/7-key-areas-improving-hyper-v-guide-ebook.php.
*Thanks to Dr Tom Schinder for the link!
I was building a new Hyper-V server using Windows Server 2012 R2 and ran into this error. The scenario? You set up a new VM using the default settings, and configure the use of Dynamic RAM.
Once the VM is set up, you start this and get to the point of typing in the license key. In the case of the Datacentre edition, with Generation2 VMs, you can use the Automatic Activation Keys as detailed in the Technet article here – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/dn303421.aspx. And the following error occurs – “We couldn’t verify the product key. Please check your installation media.”
Alternatively, you may get the following message after selecting the operating system – “Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation.”
The solution is straightforward. You need to assign at least 576MB RAM as the starting value for the VM to bypass this problem. I usually configure my virtual servers to start with a minimum of 1024MB RAM.
Here is a cool script that mails Replication State, Replication Health and resource usage by virtual machines. The report is produced in a table format, emails to one or more recipients and can be scheduled as a task.
The script was written by Sangeeth on the Microsoft Virtualization Team and can be downloaded for free here – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Replication-Health-Mailer-4066632c
The Windows Virtualization Team have set up a wiki to track and assist in troubleshooting issues in Hyper-V Replica. The guide contains links and resources to common Hyper-V Replica failure scenarios.
Here is the link – http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/21948.hyper-v-replica-troubleshooting-guide.aspx