Friday, June 22, 2012

Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Beta Exams

This week I received a message from Microsoft that the first beta exams for the Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 portfolios are available now! Both exams can be registered through the Prometric website. Just have a look at the new (public) beta exams:

Successful completion of the 71-410 beta exam counts as credit toward the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 certification.

Successful completion of the 71-687 beta exam counts as credit toward the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows 8 certification.

Good luck with both exams!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ConfigMgr 2012 Software Update classifications

When implementing ConfigMgr 2012 it's a good thing to use the product for patch management also. This because of better management above of default WSUS functionality. In ConfigMgr 2007 I preferred the ConfigMgr way already instead of WSUS. In the 2012 release patch management is even better, so there will be less discussion about the topic. Just use ConfigMgr 2012 for patch management!

When adding the Software Update point role, there must be some kind of configuration take place. This can be done on the role mentioned and on Site Components. On the Software Update point role a Proxy server can be configured. All other configuration must be done on Site Components. The following classifications are available here:
  • Critical Updates: Broadly released fixes for specific problems addressing critical, non-security related bugs.
  • Definition Updates: Updates to virus or other definition files.
  • Feature Packs: New feature releases, usually rolled into products at the next release.
  • Security Updates: Broadly released fixes for specific products, addressing security issues.
  • Service Packs: Cumulative sets of all hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and updates created since the release of the product. Service packs might also contain a limited number of customer-requested design changes or features.
  • Tools: Utilities or features that aid in accomplishing a task or set of tasks.
  • Update Rollups: Cumulative sets of hotfixes, security updates, critical updates, and updates packaged together for easy deployment. A rollup generally targets a specific area, such as security, or a specific component, such as Internet Information Services (IIS).
  • Updates: Broadly released fixes for specific problems addressing non-critical, non-security related bugs.

In ConfigMgr 2007 there was also a Driver classification. That one isn't available anymore in the 2012 release. That's because of the driver catalog in ConfigMgr:

Remember: Selecting above items doesn't download anything for you. It will only replicate WSUS catalog data, so you can see if updates are needed or not.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Virtual Machine Manager 2012 RC to RTM upgrade

Today I want to install the System Center 2012 suite again with RTM version. Before I started the Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) must be upgraded from the RC to RTM version. This because my RC installation is expired (180 days evaluation) and cannot be used anymore. The following error message is displayed:

A default upgrade from SCVMM RC to RTM is not possible because it's not supported. The following error message is displayed then:

Microsoft has a SCVMM upgrade tool available for doing this. It can be requested HERE Best thing is to open a support incident via the web for free usage. In my case the upgrade tool was available within one (1) hour!

Just follow the steps described in the e-mail message which is send by Microsoft. The most important ones are in this blog post also.

First make sure no open connections are available to SCVMM. Also have a look at which service account is used for the VMM service. Then click uninstall, choose remove features and select the necessary modules. In my case I selected VMM Management Server, VMM Console and VMM Self-Service Portal. On the Database options page make sure to choose Retain Data.

After uninstalling, which takes a few minutes, the database must be upgraded from RC to RTM version. This can be done with the UpgradeVMM2012RC.exe tool, send by Microsoft. With UpgradeVMM2012RC.exe /?  you can see what different parameters you can use. The command I used here is showed in the picture. Good news: The upgrade successfully completed!

Now it's time to install SCVMM again. Just start the RTM setup and specify the VMM database retained from the RC installation. Also the Service account used for the VMM service must be filled in again. Select all the components to install the SCVMM RTM version.

When an error message is displayed that the upgrade cannot be done, make sure that all VMM RC components are uninstalled before. It's also possible that an error message is displayed that the VMM Library share already exists. Just remove the share before starting setup again.

After that the Setup completed successfully! Now it's time to look at new functionality and update the existing VMM Agents.