Setting up a Desired State Configuration Pull Server with Non-English Locales

When I started working with Desired State Configuration (DSC), I decided to use a pull server because I do not want to touch every machine. Configuring a pull server is a one time configuration identical on all machines. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a problem with my German locale which required fixing in the DSC module responsible for setting up the pull server in IIS.

Minimal Permissions for RunAs Account When Integrating vCenter in VMM

For System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage vCenter and connected ESXi hosts it requires an account with appropriate permissions in vCenter. Unfortunately, Microsoft states that an administrative user is required without enumerating the exact permissions necessary for integrating vCenter in VMM. Still VMM offers very detailed error messages mentioning the exact permission required to complete the given task. I have endured some pains to determine a very reduced set of permissions. Although this must still be considered work in progress, the result offers more security than using a full administrator.

The Case of the Limited Status of ESX Hosts in VMM

When adding an VMware ESX host to System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), it may show a status called “OK (Limited)”. Although it looks like an error, the issue can be left unresolved depending on your requirements. Let me elaborate …

Fifth Time MVP for Remote Desktop Services

I am honored and proud to announce that I have been awarded the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Remote Desktop Services (RDS). This has been the fifth time in a row!

Why to Use VMM on Top of vCenter at all and How to Make It Work

I have recently published two articles about managing ESX host with System Center Virtual Machine Manager. The first explained how to integrate vCenter with VMM and the second described the pains of working with VMM on top of vCenter. Now, I will focus on when using VMM and vCenter makes sense and present a few rule how to handle daily tasks.

Taking a Closer Look at WIMBoot in Windows 8.1 Update

When the Windows installer copies files it places two copies on the disk – the regular file is used for normal operations and the copy is compress for recovery and such. Now that Windows is also present on tablets, it consumes an aweful amount of space. As a consequence, devices require larger flash memory making them more expensive. With the release of KB2919355 – a.k.a. THE update – for Windows 8.1, it supports botting directly from the WIM file which was previously used as the installation source exclusively. Although Microsoft has published some documentation in TechNet, I found the commands to deploy WIMBoot to be scattered across several documents. Therefore, I will give you some background information and useful pointers how to deploy WIMBoot.

Deploying Windows Azure Pack with the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (Example Variable.xml)

The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) is an amazing tool to deploy components from the System Center suite. Unfortunately, manipulating the configuration to reflect your environment and requirements involves quite an amount of work. Therefore, I will share my configuration to make your life easier! But mind, I will not provide an introduction how PDT works.

Pains When Using VMM on Top of vCenter

After I had set up VMM with a vCenter server and ESX hosts, I started creating VMs, hardware profiles, templates and noticed several glitches that proove that Microsoft apparently supports a bare minimum with regard to vCenter. I have collected the pains I hve gone through to let you suffer with me ;-)

How to Manage ESX Hosts with VMM 2012 R2

Although Microsoft offers a step-by-step guide for setting up System Center Virtual Machine Manager with VMware vCenter, I found it to be missing details. Therefore, I have created an illustrated guide for integrating vCenter and ESX hosts into VMM.

Installing VMM 2012 R2 with an Empty Remote Database

Vendors have only recently realized that database administrators only relunctantly grant permissions in addition to a mere database ownership. In a previous post I ranted about the installer for Citrix EdgeSight. This time I will be more peaceful when telling about the pecularities of the installer for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. There is a blog post by Microsoft about using an empty remote database for VMM 2012 but some things have changed in R2.