Archive for the ‘Infrastructure’ Category

Download Microsoft Private Cloud Evaluation Software

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment
System Center 2012 Release Candidate plus optional Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 download

Download Microsoft Private Cloud

A Microsoft private cloud dramatically changes the way your business produces and consumes IT services by creating a layer of abstraction over your pooled IT resources. This allows your datacenter to offer true infrastructure service capability as well as optimally managed application services.

Microsoft private cloud solutions are built on System Center and Windows Server.

System Center 2012 Release Candidate empowers you with a common management toolset for your private and public cloud applications and services. System Center helps you confidently deliver IT as a Service for your business.

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (optional download) will give you improved powerful virtualization capabilities that can transform how you deliver IT services to your end users and enable you to lay the foundation of a private cloud infrastructure.

Please Note: Many Microsoft private cloud scenarios require Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. If you are using an older version, we highly recommend upgrading to experience the full Microsoft private cloud evaluation.
Need more information? See the product details page. Register to access technical product resources at the Microsoft Private Cloud Evaluation Resource Page.

The Microsoft private cloud evaluation includes:

System Center 2012 Release Candidate
Available in these languages: English

  • System Center 2012 Unified Installer is a utility designed to perform new, clean installations of System Center 2012 for testing and evaluation purposes only. If you want to upgrade from an existing System Center installation or choose set up options such as high availability or multi-server component installs, please refer instead to the System Center 2012 component installation guides located on the Microsoft Private Cloud Evaluation Resource Page.
    User’s Guide >>
  • System Center 2012 App Controller provides a common self-service experience across private and public clouds that can help you empower application owners to easily build, configure, deploy, and manage new services.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides comprehensive configuration management for the Microsoft platform that can help you empower users with the devices and applications they need to be productive while maintaining corporate compliance and control.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager provides unified data protection for Windows servers and clients that can help you deliver scalable, manageable, and cost-effective protection and restore scenarios from disk, tape, and off premise.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, built on System Center Configuration Manager, provides industry-leading threat detection of malware and exploits as part of a unified infrastructure for managing client security and compliance that can help you simplify and improve endpoint protection.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Operations Manager provides deep application diagnostics and infrastructure monitoring that can help you ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications and offers a comprehensive view of your datacenter, private, and public clouds.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Orchestrator provides orchestration, integration, and automation of IT processes through the creation of runbooks that can help you to define and standardize best practices and improve operational efficiency.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Service Manager provides flexible self-service experiences and standardized datacenter processes that can help you integrate people, workflows, and knowledge across enterprise infrastructure and applications.
    System Requirements >>
  • System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager provides virtual machine management and services deployment with support for multi-hypervisor environments that can help you deliver a flexible and cost effective private cloud environment.
    System Requirements >>

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (optional download)
Available in these languages: Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is designed to help you increase control, availability, and flexibility of your datacenter and desktop infrastructure while helping reduce costs.
    System Requirements >>

Know the Most Useful Active Directory Support Tools

July 2, 2010 3 comments

Windows Server 2008 R2 includes numerous support tools for configuring, managing, and troubleshooting Active Directory. Here is a brief overview of some of the most useful support tools and their executable.

ADSI Edit (Adsiedit.msc)
Opens and edits the Active Directory Services Interface for domain, schema, and configuration containers.

Active Directory Administration Tool (Ldp.exe)
Performs Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) operations on Active Directory.

Directory Services Access Control Lists Utility (Dsacls.exe)
Manages access control lists (ACLs) for objects in Active Directory.

Distributed File System Utility (Dfsutil.exe)
Manages the Distributed File System (DFS) and displays DFS information.

DNS Server Troubleshooting Tool (Dnscmd.exe)
Manages properties of Domain Name System (DNS) servers, zones, and resource records.

Replication Diagnostics Tool (Repadmin.exe)
Manages and monitors replication using the command line.

Windows Domain Manager (Netdom.exe)
Allows domain and trust relationships management from the command line.

From the Microsoft Press book Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition by William R. Stanek.
Categories: Infrastructure, Windows 2008 R2 Tags: ,

Egypt – Link Development awarded as the 2010 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year

July 1, 2010 3 comments

This is great news for my company 🙂

Link Development has been awarded as the 2010 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for Egypt. The Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award recognizes partners at the country level that have demonstrated business excellence in delivering Microsoft solutions to our mutual customers over the past year. This award showed effective engagement with their local Microsoft office, delivered customer satisfaction, showed innovation, won new customers, and created business impact.

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LINK Development is a leading regional software development company and is a subsidiary of Egypt’s number one internet service and solutions provider LINKdotNET and Orascom Telecom Holding Company.

Combining software development with creative design skills, LINK Development provides a unique offering that delivers complete e-business solutions. LINK Development has built an unparalleled track record of award-winning projects for governments, leading local companies and large multinationals in the Middle East and Europe since its inception over a decade ago.

The company places great emphasis on innovation and through its offices in Egypt, UAE, KSA, Qatar and Italy, it has continuously delivered various cutting-edge solutions to governments and enterprises alike. The company’s clientele cuts across all industry and government sectors and comprises global Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Intel and Pfizer as well as leading regional and multinational businesses and governments including the Egyptian government, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, Ajman Municipality, Mobinil, Arab Media Group, Dubai Bank and many more.

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In Europe, the company has also delivered various solutions and services to names like Tellas in Greece and WIND in Italy. LINK Development is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in five competency areas, which is the highest level of partner certification from Microsoft. The company employs the best of breed team of .NET developers, designers, architects, project managers and quality engineers and has more than half of Microsoft’s Most Valued Professionals (MVPs) in Egypt.

LINK Development is currently both ISO 9001:2000 certified and CMMI level 3 accredited. It has won a number of worldwide and regional awards from Microsoft, leading government agencies and non government organizations.

Categories: Infrastructure, Personal

Cluster Disk With Identifier (identifier) has a Persistent Reservation on it

November 27, 2009 5 comments

One of my customer’s team member had destroy the Hyper-V Cluster by mistake. He formatted the cluster nodes without evict them before doing that . The nodes of the clsuter used to be  part of old cluster that was destroyed by mistake.

I tried to build the nodes again from the scratch and Create new cluster, When I run the validation wizard I got this error:

Cluster disk with identifier (identifier) has a persistent reservation on it ,the disk might be part of other cluster. removing the disk from other validation set.

My SAN is HP EVA. The Cluster is not able to see any of my LUNS although I can see them from disk management and can’t create the cluster.

This error due to the fact that the LUNs still keeping the old identifiers from the old cluster, You have to use Cluster command line to clear the reservation by that command:

cluster.exe node %nodename% /clear:disknumber

Now everything should work fine and you can pass the validation wizard 🙂

Quick Tip: Query Active Directory Functional Levels

October 30, 2009 Leave a comment

To determine the domain functional level, Windows Server 2003 uses a combination of two attributes stored in Active Directory. To determine the forest functional level, Windows Server 2003 uses a single attribute.
To verify the forest and domain functional level by using ADSIEdit.msc:

  1. Open a Run command, and type ADSIEdit.msc
  2. Expand the Domain object, right-click domainname (where domainname is the distinguished name of the domain that you want to check), and then click Properties.
  3. Under the Attribute column, scroll until you locate the msDS-Behavior-Version attribute. Check the value of this attribute.
  4. Check the value of the nTMixedDomain attribute on the domain object. The following table provides the details for both attributes for the domain functional level.
Domain functional level msDS-Behavior-Version attribute nTMixedDomainattribute
Windows 2000 mixed 0 1
Windows 2000 native 0 0
Windows Server 2003 2 0

To verify the forest functional level, expand the Configuration object, and  then expand the CN=Configuration,forestname object (where forestname is the  distinguished name of the forest).

Right-click the Partitions container, and then click Properties. Locate the  msDS-Behavior-Version attribute, and check the value of this attribute. The  following table provides the details for the attribute for the forest  functional level.

Forest functional level msDS-Behavior-Version attribute
Windows 2000 0
Windows 2000 interim 1
Windows Server 2003 2

Source: Microsoft Corporation

Hyper-V Domain Controller Negative Ping Results

October 28, 2009 7 comments

This one was a little bit new for me, About 6 months ago one of my customers told me that some times his new virtual Domain Controller is giving a negative ping results.

Negative Ping

This DC was working fine and it was new installation Windows server 2003 Domain Controller. Every 5 minutes it reports an event 1054 saying that it cannot find the domain controller name.

Event ID: 1054
Source: Userenv
Type: Error
Windows cannot obtain the domain controller name for your computer network. (The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted). Group Policy processing aborted.

everything was fine and SRV and DNS records are created fine, Clients can logon and access the server with no problem and the group policy is being applied correctly.

As per Microsoft KB This behavior may occur if the address for the configured preferred DNS server on the client is invalid or unreachable. but everything from the client side is fine as expected.

That is odd. I was sure that no problem with the system at all. After some time searching for that I start to suspect the hardware or the network and Bingoooo I was right

Problem now resolved via a HP support article below


ION – CUSTOMER ADVISORYDocument ID: c01075682Version: 2
Advisory: (Revision) HP ProLiant Servers Using Dual-Core or More Than One Single-Core AMD Opteron Processor May Experience Incorrect Operating System Time When Running Systems That Use the System Time Stamp Counter
NOTICE: The information in this document, including products and software versions, is current as of the Release Date. This document is subject to change without notice.

Release Date: 2007-07-16

Last Updated: 2007-07-16

HP ProLiant servers configured with Dual-Core or with more than one single-core AMD Opteron processor may encounter Time Stamp Counter (TSC) drift in certain conditions. The TSC is used by some operating systems as a timekeeping source. Each processor core, whether it is a single-core processor or a dual-core processor, includes a TSC. The condition where the TSC for different processor cores becomes unsynchronized is known as TSC drift.

Note : The potential for TSC drift if the proper recommendations are not applied when using AMD Opteron 200-series, Opteron 800-series, Opteron 1200-series, Opteron 2200-series and Opteron 8200-series processors is not specific to HP ProLiant servers.

Whether or not the system is affected by TSC drift depends on the specific ProLiant server generation, the number and type of AMD Opteron processors installed, the operating system, and whether the AMD PowerNow! feature is being utilized. TSC drift can result in different symptoms and behaviors based on the operating system environment, as detailed below:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003
This condition affects operations such as network communications and performance monitoring tasks that are sensitive to system time. For example, Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers can report an Unexpected Network Error (Event ID 1054) with the following description:

Event Description:
Windows cannot obtain the domain controller name for your computer network. (An unexpected network error occurred.). Group Policy processing aborted.

In addition, a negative PING time or larger than actual PING time may be returned after issuing the PING command. The negative PING time occurs because of a Time Stamp Counter drift occurring on AMD Opteron platforms which include more than one processor core.


Any HP ProLiant server configured with more than one single-core AMD Opteron processor or configured with one (or more) dual-core AMD Opteron processors running the following operating systems:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (any edition)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (any edition)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4(x86) or earlier
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (AMD64/EM64T) or earlier
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 32-bit (x86) or earlier

Note : The issue does not affect systems with only one single-core processor installed.

The following servers are affected when running an affected operating system:

HP ProLiant BL465c Blade Server
HP ProLiant BL685c Blade Server
HP ProLiant BL25p G2 server
HP ProLiant BL45p G2 server
HP ProLiant DL145 G3 server
HP ProLiant DL385 G2 server
HP ProLiant DL585 G2 server
HP ProLiant DL365 server
HP ProLiant ML115 server

The following servers are affected ONLY when using the AMD PowerNow! feature and running an affected operating system:

ProLiant BL25p Blade Server
HP ProLiant BL45p Blade Server
HP ProLiant DL145 G2 server
HP ProLiant DL385 server
HP ProLiant DL585 server

The following operating systems are not affected by TSC drift because these operating systems do not use the TSC as a timekeeping source:

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (codename Longhorn)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (AMD64/EM64T)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 (x86)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 (AMD64/EM64T)
VMware ESX Server 3.0.0 (or later)


To ensure proper operation of tasks sensitive to system time, perform either of the following actions, based on the operating system environment:

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (any edition)
Edit the BOOT.ini file and add the parameter “/usepmtimer,” then reboot the server. Adding the “/usepmtimer” parameter to the BOOT.INI file configures the Windows operating system to use the PM_TIMER, rather than the Time Stamp Counter.

So the final solution was that

To resolve this problem, install the new AMD CPU driver. To do this, visit the following AMD Web site:

After you install the new driver, you must restart your computer.

Note The driver installation adds the /usepmtimer switch in the Boot.ini file. This switch is discussed in the above section.

Microsoft stuns Linux world, submits source code for kernel

July 23, 2009 1 comment

Network World – In an historic move, Microsoft on Monday submitted driver source code for inclusion in the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license.The code consists of four drivers that are part of a technology called Linux Device Driver for Virtualization. The drivers, once added to the Linux kernel, will provide the hooks for any distribution of Linux to run on Windows Server 2008 and its Hyper-V hypervisor technology. Microsoft will provide ongoing maintenance of the code.

Linux backers hailed the submission as validation of the Linux development model and the Linux GPLv2 licensing.

Virtualization, cloud underlie Microsoft’s Linux kernel submissionMicrosoft’s Linux kernel submission raises virtualization questions

Microsoft said the move will foster more open source on Windows and help the vendor offer a consistent set of virtualization, management and administrative tools to support mixed virtualized infrastructure.

“Obviously we are tickled about it,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “Hell has frozen over, the seas have parted,” he said with a chuckle.

Microsoft made the announcement at the annual OSCON open source conference that opened Monday in San Jose.Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux driver project lead and a Novell fellow, said he accepted 22,000 lines of Microsoft’s code at 9 a.m. PT Monday. Kroah-Hartman said the Microsoft code will be available as part of the next Linux public tree release in the next 24 hours. The code will become part of the stable release.

“Then the whole world will be able to look at the code,” he said.

The stable release is an interim build between each main release, which come in three-month cycles. The first main kernel release to include the open source driver technology will come in December as part of the 2.6.32 release, Kroah-Hartman said.The drivers will initially be part of the Linux kernel’s staging tree, a place where code is stored and polished before it is moved into the main tree. The code of every first-time kernel submitter begins life in the staging tree.

Kroah-Hartman said Microsoft’s submission was routine. “They abided by every single rule and letter of what we require to submit code. If I was to refuse this code it would be wrong,” he said.

Microsoft’s most important open source act

Sam Ramji, who runs the Open Source Software Lab for Microsoft and is the company’s director of open source technology strategy, called the Linux kernel submission the company’s most important Linux/open source commitment ever.

“It is a significant piece of technology. It is a strategic technology and it is under the GPLv2 license that the Linux kernel uses, and which the community is organized around.”

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