Blog Archives

Creating Your Own Personal Hydration Solution – Part 4: Configuration Manager Infrastructure

Part 0 Introduction
Part 1 Setting Up
Part 2 First VM – Windows Router
Part 3 Domain Controller
Part 4 Configuration Manager Infrastructure

Configuration Manager 1511

After completing the first three parts of this series you would have a virtual lab with 4 separate network segments all connected to and routed through a Windows 2012 R2 server (RTR01) acting as the router. This server will also provide Internet access to any virtual machines that are connected to the 4 network segments.  You also would have an Active Directory domain controller (DC01) that provides DHCP and DNS services to the lab.

In Part 4 we are going to build out a Configuration Manager 1511 infrastructure.  This will include a Primary site server (CM16) and 2 Distribution Points (DP16a & DP16b).

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Creating Your Own Personal Hydration Solution – Part 3: Domain Controller

Part 0 Introduction
Part 1 Setting Up
Part 2 First VM – Windows Router
Part 3 Domain Controller
Part 4 Configuration  Manager Infrastructure

DC01

After completing parts 1 and 2 of this series you would have a virtual lab with 4 separate  network segments all connected to and routed through a Windows 2012 R2 server (RTR01) acting as the router.  This server will also provide Internet access to any virtual machines that are connected to the 4 network segments.

In Part 3 we are going to build a domain controller (DC01).  This server will provide not only Active Directory Domain Services to the lab but also DHCP and DNS services as well.

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Creating Your Own Personal Hydration Solution – Part 2: First VM – Windows Router

Part 0 Introduction
Part 1 Setting Up
Part 2 First VM – Windows Router
Part 3 Domain Controller
Part 4 Configuration  Manager Infrastructure

RTR01

Routing between subnets and access to the Internet (required for Windows Activation) is handled by RTR01, a Windows server running Routing and Remote Access (RRAS).  This should be the first virtual machine to be built and configured as machines on the other subnets will need this server in place for them to successfully build.

This virtual machine will have 5 network adapters, one on each network.  The build will create a basic Windows server.  To configure the server you will need to run some PowerShell as well as manually configuring RRAS.

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Creating Your Own Personal Hydration Solution – Part 1: Setting Up

Part 0 Introduction
Part 1 Setting Up
Part 2 First VM – Windows Router
Part 3 Domain Controller
Part 4 Configuration  Manager Infrastructure

In this first installment we’ll work on getting the foundation set for building up the lab.  We’ll configure the virtual networks, the host networking and get our MDT environment installed and configured.  We are going to use a number of tricks that I’ve learned from others.

[This is going to be a long one.]

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Creating Your Own Personal Hydration Solution: Introduction

Setting up a lab can be a pretty time consuming project.  A number of people, myself included, have created various hydration kits in an attempt to make it easier.  One thing that they many have in common is that they use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to generate a large build ISO to be used for building each virtual machine.

Using an MDT build ISO has both advantages and disadvantages.  It is portable.  It is simple. But it takes massive amounts of disk space and changes are very time consuming.

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Road to MMS 2016

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After many years of trying I’m finally going to be attending one of the major IT Pro conferences in 2016.  In May I’ll be attending the Midwest Management Summit (MMS) in Minnesota for the first time.  I was lucky enough to convince my employer to split the cost with me.

To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  Like planning for the first day of school I’ve been making lists of what to bring, what I need to get, how to get there, etc.  I’m gathering up books just in case I can convince the authors to sign them for me.  What can I say, I’m a nerd!  I’ve started plotting out my drive.  Granted a small part of me is dreading the 10+ hour drive but I’m kind of looking forward to it.  It is going to be an adventure to say the least.  I’ll learn a lot.  Meet many new people.  And maybe see some sights along the way.

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Now, I just need to pull together a great playlist of driving songs to get started!

My Experience with a Microsoft Online Proctored Exam

This morning I sat for the Microsoft 70-689 exam (Upgrading your Skills to MCSA Windows 8).  For this exam I decided to give the new offering of taking the exam online as opposed to driving out to a testing center.

[With 2015 Microsoft changed testing partners here in the US and they began to offer the ability to sit for your exam and take it online.]

This was new to me but I thought I’d give it a try at least and see if it would be a method I would use again.

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More Microsoft Exams

Last night I received an invite from Microsoft to sit for the 70-695 and 70-696 beta exams.  Unfortunately there isn’t a big window to schedule them, so I have them lined up back to back on December 3rd.  This is on top of 70-689 I have scheduled for December 1st.

Three exams in 1 week?  My boss is not going to like the time off request…. 🙂

Windows 10: In-Place Upgrade (Part 1 – Background)

With Windows 10 Microsoft is heavily promoting the in-place upgrade.  In fact, Microsoft used the in-place upgrade internally when moving their systems from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

I first heard about this during a TechEd Europe session (EM-B326).  Shortly after the session was made available the System Center Configuration Manager team posted a blog entry explaining the basics on doing this.

I thought I’d dig a little deeper and try to tie together the SCCM blog posting and the information from the TechEd presentation.

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MDTLabBuilder – Roadmap

I thought I’d lay out some of the ideas that I have for the direction I plan to take my lab builder.  I”m wrapping up version 1.1, which handles standing up a basic Configuration Manager infrastructure (1 Primary Site and 2+ Distribution Points) and should have it ready in the next day or so.

NomadBranch and PXE Lite from 1E
We use this where I work and I think that it might be useful for others to see how it works.  My lab builder relies entirely on evaluation software, so I’ll have to see if an eval version of the software is freely available from 1E.

Multiple Subnets
This would make demonstrating NomadBranch and PXE Lite much easier, particularly when used for OS deployment.  Having a “remote” office where 1E’s software handles the PXE booting and content sourcing would be helpful.

Windows 10
I’d like to be able to put Windows 10 deployment and management through its paces, using both MDT as well as SCCM.

System Center Orchestrator
This one is for me.  Orchestrator has interested me but I’ve never really gotten a chance to really try it.

Thoughts?  Any suggestions as to what you would like to see?