Are You Separating Configuration and Environment Data in PowerShell DSC? You Should!

I have invested quite some time into learning about PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC). After reading many posts about DSC, I am still missing a comprehensive example that discusses working with configuration data. I will present two variants of the same example to demonstrate how parameters can be passed to a DSC configuration. In addition I will provide some thoughts about advantages and disadvantages of both methods. The content is closely related to separating configuration and environment data.

Upgrading XenApp/XenDesktop 7.5 to 7.6 may fail when using SQL Mirroring

When you are using SQL Server Mirroring to implement high availability for the XenApp database, you may see that a site upgrade fails while moving from XenApp 7.5 to 7.6.

Displaying RDS Event Log Messages with PowerShell

When you are tracing issues in Remote Desktop Services (RDS), you will have to look for events across several event logs. This makes it very hard to bring the individual events in the appropriate order to analyze the issue at hand.

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.