Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 Update released.

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Today Microsoft released an updated version of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit. This release of Windows ADK includes new and updated functionality to improve assessment and deployment scenarios including support for Windows 8.1 Update.

To determine what version of the Windows ADK you have installed, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. The versions are:

  • Version 8.100.25984 is for the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 RTM
  • Version 8.100.26629 is for the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 Update

Version increments between 25984 and 26629 are updated versions of the RTM release. Version increments higher than 26629 are for the Windows 8.1 Update.

For a complete list of changes, see the Windows ADK Release Notes.

For a list of new features included in the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 Update, see What’s New in the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1.

Download Image Download the latest version of the Windows ADK

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Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.5 Beta Now Available

This week the Solution Accelerator Team announced the Beta version of Microsoft Assessment and Planning 8.5 (MAP) Toolkit. This new version of the Microsoft® Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit provides agentless discovery, inventory and assessment for a variety of scenarios. Some of the key features in this release are:

  • Newly designed user interface makes it easier to find and use the right tool for the job.
  • Added support for Lync 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Exchange 2013 Usage Tracking.
  • Advances in Virtual Machine Discovery to improve VM inventory results.
  • New Windows Volume Licensing scenario helps identify the licensing status of computers running Windows Vista SP1 or newer.

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This latest version of MAP adds new scenarios to help plan your environment with agility while lowering the cost of delivering IT. Included in MAP 8.5 are hardware and infrastructure readiness assessments to assist you in planning the deployment of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, preparing your migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines, readying your environment for Office 2013 and Office 365, and tracking your usage of Windows Server, Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange.

Continue reading “Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.5 Beta Now Available”

Brief overview of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0

Recently the Solution Accelerator Team released the RTM version of Microsoft Assessment and Planning 8.0 (MAP) Toolkit. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2010 and Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, Hyper-V, Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, and Windows Azure.

image Continue reading “Brief overview of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0”

Infrastructure Planning and Design guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager available!

Last week the Infrastructure Planning and Design team has announced the IPD guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager is available for download!

The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager outlines the infrastructure design elements that are crucial to a successful implementation of Operations Manager. It guides you through the process of designing components, layout, and connectivity in a logical, sequential order. You’ll find easy-to-follow steps on identification and design of the required management groups, helping you to optimize the management infrastructure.

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Download the Microsoft System Center 2012 – Operations Manager Guide

Launch the download of the IPD guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager.

Launch the download of the entire released Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide series.

Visit the Download Center to select other released guides in the Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide series.

Continue reading “Infrastructure Planning and Design guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager available!”

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 8.0 Beta Now Available

The latest release from the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) team provides organizations with tools to accelerate their migration to the cloud.

Download the beta materials on Connect: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=219165

Thanks for your ongoing interest and participation in the MAP beta review program. We hope you’ll take the time to preview and provide feedback on MAP 8.0 Beta.

Accelerate your Windows Server 2012 migration with Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 8.0 Beta. This latest version of MAP adds new scenarios to help plan your environment with agility and focus while lowering the cost of delivering IT. Included in MAP 8.0 Beta are hardware and infrastructure readiness assessments to assist you in planning the deployment of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, preparing your migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines, readying your environment for Office 2013 and Office 365, and tracking your usage of Lync.

Determine your Windows Server 2012 readiness

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT infrastructure for a Windows Server 2012 deployment. This feature includes detailed and actionable recommendations indicating which machines meet Windows Server 2012 system requirements and which may need hardware updates. A comprehensive inventory of servers, operating systems, workloads, devices, and server roles is included to help in your planning efforts.

Determine your Windows 8 readiness

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT environment for a Windows 8 deployment. This feature evaluates your existing hardware against the recommended system requirements for Windows 8. It provides recommendations detailing which machines meet the requirements and which may need hardware upgrades.

Key benefits include:

  • Assessment report and summary proposal to help you understand the scope and
    benefits of a Windows 8 deployment
  • Inventory of desktop computers, deployed operating systems, and
    applications

Assess your environment for Office 2013 and Office365

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses readiness for Office 2013 and Office 365 and provides an in-depth assessment of client desktops for upgrading or migration. This feature also offers support for Office 365 features such as web apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, or full Office 365 client support.

Migrate to Windows Azure VirtualMachines

MAP 8.0 Beta performs a comprehensive assessment of Windows Server and Linux machines to determine feasibility of a migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines. MAP then provides suggested changes to prepare targeted machines for migration. This feature helps you reduce the operating costs of hosting on-premise servers, as well as estimating the required size and monthly network and storage usage required to migrate on-premise Windows and Linux servers to Windows Azure Virtual Machines using actual data from the targeted environment.

For a comprehensive list of features and benefits, visit the Connect site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=219168

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 Beta 1—Now Available for Download

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1 Beta 1 is now available for download!

Download MDT 2012 Update 1 Beta 1 now! [http://connect.microsoft.com/site14/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=8689]

Download the latest release to stay up-to-date on your deployment needs. New features and enhancements make large-scale desktop and server deployments smoother than ever!

This release expands your deployment capabilities with support for the latest software releases, including Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate, and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Community Technology Preview.

Notable new features include:

· Support for using the DaRT 8 Beta with the Windows 8 Release Preview version of the Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).

· New “Build Your Own Pages” support for User-Driven Installation (UDI), enabling IT pros to create new wizard panes using simple drag-and-drop operations – no coding required.

· Integration with System Center Orchestrator, enabling task sequences to invoke Orchestrator runbooks at any point in the deployment process.

· Completely reworked “Roles and Features” logic, supporting both installation and removal, as well as providing a new Lite Touch wizard pane for selecting roles and features to install at deploy time.

· Support for PowerShell 3.0 to make it easier to run PowerShell scripts inside task sequences on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, and Windows PE 4.0.

· Simple monitoring functionality for Configuration Manager task sequences, leveraging the monitoring capabilities provided initially in MDT 2012 for Lite Touch deployments.

· Improved “boot from VHD” deployment capabilities, supporting both bare metal and refresh deployments.

Learn more

Visit the MDT home page: http://www.microsoft.com/MDT [http://www.microsoft.com/MDT]

Get the latest news straight from the MDT team: http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/ [http://blogs.technet.com/b/msdeployment/]

MDT works with the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit and Security Compliance Manager to help you plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies—easier, faster, and at less cost. Learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/solutionaccelerators [http://www.microsoft.com/solutionaccelerators].

Service Requests System Center Cloud Services Process Pack Failed #sysctr

Background

The System Center Cloud Services Process Pack provides a service solution for automating the deployment of private and public cloud infrastructures. With the System Center Cloud Services Process Pack, enterprises can realize the benefits of infrastructure as a service while simultaneously leveraging their existing investments in System Center 2012 – Service Manager, System Center 2012 – Orchestrator, System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), and System Center 2012 – Operations Manager.

The System Center Cloud Services Process Pack offers a self-service experience to facilitate private cloud capacity requests from your business unit IT application owners and end users, including the flexibility to request additional capacity as business demands increase.

You can download System Center Cloud Services Process Pack at the Microsoft Download Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=231143.

Service Requests System Center Cloud Services Process Pack Failed

In preparation of a Service Manager 2012 demo for the Pre-TechEd Europe 2012 event , organized by Microsoft, HP and Inovativ I was facing an issue. After submitting a cloud service request through the Service Manager 2012 Self-Service Portal all requests almost instantly failed.

The status of work items can also be viewed through the Service Manager console or by the Self-Service Portal.

When you drilldown to the workflows status section (Administration\Workflows\Status) and filter on cloud you’re able to find the faulting workflow which is related to the service request, in our case the Assign Virtual Machine Reviewer. (see also Troubleshooting Workflows in Service Manager for addtional throubleshooting tips)

When selecting the workflow we get clear where in the process the service request is failing, as you can see event 17 is faulting.

As sometimes error messages can be somewhat cryptically, a good next troubleshooting step is the Operations Manager eventlog. When searching the Operations Manager eventlog within the time range when the service request was failing Event 26319 got my attention. As you can see we found the root cause of our problem.

The user CONTOSO\svc-svcmgr-wf does not have sufficient permissions to perform the operation.

The CONTOSO\svc-scvmgr-wf is the Service Manager Workflow account. By simply adding the workflow account to the Activity Implementer user role the workflow account has the required permissions to successfully execute the workflow(s) which are part of the service request offerings.

After adding the Workflow account to the Activity Implementers user role and submitting a new request the service request wll succesfully processed.

Now the service request is ready to be approved…and provision the requested VM.

Many thanks to Raganathan Srikant (Program Manager at Microsoft) helping sorting this out.

Resources:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh546808

http://www.systemcentercentral.com/BlogDetails/tabid/143/IndexID/91323/Default.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/jeffa36/archive/2011/11/29/system-center-cloud-services-process-pack-beta-now-available.aspx