Windows ADK for Windows 10

ownload the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10 to get the new and improved deployment tools used to automate a large-scale deployment of Windows 10. The Windows ADK includes:

  • Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (Windows ICD) to customize Windows 10 images
  • The Windows Assessment Toolkit and the Windows Performance Toolkit to assess the quality and performance of systems or components
  • Several tools that are designed to help you deploy Windows

Learn about what’s new in the Windows ADK for Windows 10

Download the Windows ADK for Windows 10

How to setup a remote PowerShell-session with Exchange 2013

Now I want to manage my Exchange 2013 environment from the Windows 8 workstation, no Exchange tools are installed on the Windows 8 laptop. In a few simple steps you can open a remote PowerShell session to one of the Exchange Servers.

Logon to the Windows 8 machine and start the ‘Windows PowerShell ISE

 

$RemoteEx2013Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange `
                                     -ConnectionUri http://servername/PowerShell/ `
                                     -Authentication Kerberos -Credential (Get-credential)
Import-PSSession $RemoteEx2013Session

Save this to Remote Exchange 2013 Powershell.ps1

Don’t forget setting your Powershell to unrestricted with: set-executionpolicy unrestricted

Microsoft Ignite first things about Exchange Server v.Next & Skype for Business

Microsoft Ignite will be hell add may 4-8. The session catalog contains 275 sessions, covering products like Exchange (49), Office 365 (85) and Skype for Business (26). It will be the first major Microsoft event where details will emerge on the next version of Exchange, Exchange v.Next.

The next version of Exchange Server is arriving in the second half of 2015. A short heads-up as the session catalog for Microsoft Ignite has been published. So, if you are still undecided or already want to pick ‘must see’ sessions for your schedule, you can check the session catalog here.

I will not attend Ignite. But i hope the sessions wil be publishd on Channel 9 here.

Short List of sessions:
Tools and Techniques for Exchange Performance Troubleshooting
Meet Exchange Server v.Next
Choosing between Server, Online and Hybrid with Skype for Business
Deploying Exchange Server v.Next
Deep Dive into How Microsoft Handles Spam and Advanced Email Threats
Exchange Server Preferred Architecture
Experts Unplugged: New Exchange Scenarios
Exchange on IaaS: Concerns, Tradeoffs, and Best Practices

Moving to Office 365/Exchange Online? A good idea?

Reducing IT costs: Especially in challenging economic times, organizations need to cut costs wherever possible—but without reducing capabilities.

Increasing predictability of IT costs: Replacing or upgrading on-premises IT systems can require significant one-time capital expenditures.

Increasing user productivity: Users face growing volumes of email, and need tools to help them manage it more efficiently.
Enhancing collaboration: Increasingly mobile and distributed workers need technology that helps them work together wherever they are.

Reducing IT administration: IT can be stretched thin and spend too much time managing hardware, updates, and upgrades.
Increasing reliability and availability of email: Email is a business-critical application, and many organizations face challenges keeping it running—especially with shrinking IT budgets.

Staying up-to-date with the latest technology: To stay competitive and recruit the next generation of talent, businesses need to have the latest functionality. But, upgrading on-premises software can be a significant undertaking.

1 Simplified Administration

Managing corporate email can be complex. With Exchange Online, many of the most time-consuming tasks are taken care of by Microsoft, including the management of hardware, updates, and upgrades. Additionally, Exchange Online delivers a streamlined administration experience, making it easier for IT administrators to configure and manage email services in ways that benefit the business.

2 Conclusion

The benefits of moving email to the cloud are clear; including lower costs, increased agility, simpler management, and higher-quality services. Exchange Online meets these expectations by delivering a wide-range of features and capabilities that support anywhere access, protection and compliance, and simplified administration.

But now the real world experience with Exchange Online

If your organization is using google DNS servers. You will be redirected to the Exchange Online servers in America not Dublin if you live in The Netherlands.

Exchange Online works the best if you use cached mode.

The Question is do you want is you using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon (View)

Cached Exchange Mode in a Remote Desktop Session Host environment: planning considerations
Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links.

My Conclusion:
Exchange Online is great for most organizations. Lower costs, increased agility, simpler management, and higher-quality services.

But is your organization using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon (View). You need think twice for you migrate.

As IT admin you don’t want ost files locally on Remote Desktop or XenDesktop or VMware View Servers & Desktops or on your file server.

Saving money can mean angry & complaining customers….

Exchange Administrator’s toolkit

There are lots of tools for Exchange Server available, you can find most of them at the Exchange Server Wiki (some of the tools listed are for previous versions of Exchange).

Here is a short selection from the vast collection available:

Tune and optimize performance of your Office 365 connection

Microsoft has published a new course on Office 365 Performance Management at the Microsoft Virtual Academy, which contains 11 modules across planning and troubleshooting areas including:

  1. Office 365 Performance Management Course Introduction
  2. Office 365 Datacenters and Network
  3. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – Exchange Online
  4. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – Lync Online
  5. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – SharePoint Online
  6. The Baselining Model for Internet Capacity Planning
  7. Best Practices & Real Customer Projects Planning Internet Capacity
  8. Planning for Office 365 Firewalls Whitelisting
  9. Performance Troubleshooting Process and Tools Used
  10. Performance Troubleshooting Tests
  11. Troubleshooting SharePoint Online Customizations

MDT v.Next Coming….

New core tools

Windows 10 ADK supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 deployments.

Windows Image Configuration Designer (WICD), pronounced Wicked ?   🙂  Is supposed to be able to build a customized mobile or desktop image, and also create provisioning packages that allow you to customize a Windows device, without re-imaging.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit v.Next (MDT) (standalone)

New upcoming version of MDT is in development, not much info presented yet, but a few items were mentioned in the session:

Windows 10 Deployment and Upgrade Support, as well as updated Task Sequence binaries

Removed deprecated components from Deployment Workbench, and making OSD more accessibility compliant.

MDT documentation will be on TechNet (removed legacy help file and DOCX)

Deploy Windows 10 and Windows Server vNext Technical Preview Using MDT 2013

1. Mount boot.wim file
Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:”D:\DeploymentShare\Operating Systems\Windows Server Technical Preview\sources\boot.wim” /index:1 /MountDir:D:\offline

2. Copy the dism.exe and DISM folder from the Windows 10 Technical Preview boot.wim file to your deployment share, in my case D:\DeploymentShare\Tools\x64.

The dism.exe file and DISM folder are found in the X:\Windows\System32 on your boot image (once booted), or D:\Offline\Windows\System32 if you just mounted the boot.wim.

3. Unmount the image|
Dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:”D:\Offline” /Discard

4. Edit the Task Sequence
image image 

After copying the files, add two run command line actions to your Windows 10 Technical Preview and Server vNext Preview task sequence after Preinstall – Enable Bitlocker (Offline)

Copy WTP dism.exe
cmd /c copy %deployroot%\tools\%architecture%\dism.exe x:\windows\system32\ /y

Copy WTP DISM subsystem
cmd /c copy %deployroot%\tools\%architecture%\dism\*  x:\windows\system32\dism /y

5. Deploy Machines

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Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 Released

New Features in Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0
The 3.0 release of MVMC adds the ability to convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a virtual machine running on Hyper-V host.

Standard stuff is:

  • 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).
    Note The offline disk conversion does not include driver fixes.

Download

Source

Exchange Tools

Here I’ll share some free tools that can help simplify Microsoft Exchange deployment, troubleshooting, and administration. Some of the tools are simple—but still convenient—whereas others provide some powerful functionality.

There are some tools you can use during deployment to ease the process and reduce issues in the future, tools you can use for troubleshooting to reduce down-times, and tools you can use during day-to-day administration to monitor server health and perform tasks.

Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

Microsoft’s Exchange Server Deployment Assistant is an online tool that produces a custom step-by-step checklist you can utilize during a server installation or upgrade. It first asks you questions about your current and desired deployment environment, such as the deployment type (on-premise, cloud, or hybrid), migration questions, desired features/functionality, and other miscellaneous caveats that impact the installation or upgrade.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a website with many tools to help test and troubleshoot connectively of Exchange servers, Outlook, Lync, OCS, Office 365, and POP, IMAP, and STMP email. Plus it offers downloadable Connectivity Analyzer Tools for local testing and a message header analyzer.

PFDAVAdmin and ExFolders
These are tools that enable you to perform tasks on Exchange public folders and mailboxes, such as checking or changing permissions. It can also connect to mailboxes, check the contents, and generate reports. PFDAVAdmin is for Exchange 2000, 2003, and 2007 and ExFolders is the updated version for Exchange 2007 and 2010 SP1 and later.

Jetstress

The Jetstress tool simulates disk I/O load on your server, allowing you to specify the amount of simulated Exchange users and profiles. This can help you verify the performance and stability of your server before installing Exchange and putting it into production-use.

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculators

These are calculator tools that give sizing recommendations for your particular Exchange server roles for both client access and mailbox. The 2010 version is focused on mailbox calculations while the 2013 version includes recommendations on sizing Client Access servers too.

Exchange Environment Report

This Exchange Environment Report tool is from Steve Goodman and is a PowerShell script that generates an automatic overview of your Exchange environment. It supports Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 servers and database availability groups. It reports the number of and details about the servers, mailboxes, roles, and versions. It also gives you useful status on the Database Availability Groups (DAG) and non-DAG databases.

Exchange Reports

Exchange Reports offers reports on overall information about your Exchange Environment, supporting Exchange 2010 & Exchange 2013. You can keep an eye on configuration changes and status with Group Reports, Single Group Information, Mailbox Report, Single Mailbox Information, Message Tracking, and Environment Report.

The program doesn’t require any installation, but requires .Net 4.0, Powershell 2.0, and Remote Powershell access to the Exchange Server. Reports can be saved in history and also exported to Excel.

Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor (MFCMAPI)

Microsoft’s Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor (MFCMAPI) tool provides access to MAPI stores, useful when troubleshooting Exchange and Outlook issues, which can serve as a replacement to the old Microsoft Exchange Server Information Store Viewer. You can open and navigate through the message stores that are exposed through MAPI.

Free Exchange Monitor

The Free Exchange Monitor from SolarWinds supports Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and 2003. It keeps tabs on the Exchange server stats, services, mail queue sizes, and host server health. In addition to notifying you of outages it can be useful in troubleshooting Exchange server problems and even help with pro-active monitoring, for instance detecting growing mail queues that can indicate bigger issues like transport failures, Internet connection failures, and virus activity.

Free Exchange Monitoring

This is another monitoring application, but from ManageEngine and supports Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013. It gives stats on server health and Exchange services. It also provides details on the client access server, transport, Active Sync counters, and delivery aspects. You can generate real-time performance reports to be downloaded or emailed in PDF format.

Exclaimer Outlook Photos

Exclaimer Outlook Photos can help you import staff photos into the Active Directory so they’ll show up in the Outlook People Pane, SharePoint profile, and on Microsoft Lync. It can auto-match pictures from a batch to names or other data in Active Directory, and even automatically crop and center the photos as well.

Certificate Manager for Exchange 2007

Exchange 2007 enables SSL within IIS by default, but creating and managing SSL certificates via PowerShell commands can be confusing. However, the Certificate Manager for Exchange 2007 from U-BTech eases the process with a GUI.

You can generate an Exchange 2007 Certificate Signing Request and process the Certificate Authority and enable certificates for Exchange 2007 Services (POP, IMAP, SMTP, IIS, UM). Plus you can include additional subject names in a single certificate. It supports import and exporting as well.

Exchange PST Capture

Exchange PST Capture from Microsoft will search your network for PST files and then import those files to mailboxes in your organization. It supports both on-premises Exchange Server 2010 and 2013 and Exchange Online. This tool can help, for instance, during the initial deployment of an Exchange Server, to move local Outlook data files into the Exchange Server.

LINK