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HP0-794 Implementing Windows Server 2003 on HP ProLiant Cluster Solutions

Study Guide Prepared by HP Dumps Experts HP0-794 Dumps and Real Questions 2019

Latest and 100% real exam Questions - Memorize Questions and Answers - Guaranteed Success in exam

HP0-794 exam Dumps Source : Implementing Windows Server 2003 on HP ProLiant Cluster Solutions

Test Code : HP0-794
Test Name : Implementing Windows Server 2003 on HP ProLiant Cluster Solutions
Vendor Name : HP
Q&A : 69 Real Questions

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HP Implementing Windows Server 2003

put into effect IPSec on windows Server 2003 | Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps


EUC with HCI: Why It concerns

during this, the latest installment in our sequence of windows Server 2003 administration tutorials, we'll take a look on the technique of implementing IPSec on a home windows Server 2003 device. we are going to additionally examine some of the strategies you deserve to be privy to when performing this implementation on a are living network. after we're all completed, we will look again on the manner and weigh up the execs and cons, in search of to reply one standard query: Is it value in view that an IPSec implementation on your community?

IPSec a hundred and one

earlier than wading into a proof of the way to put in force IPSec, we should first take a moment to introduce you to, or refresh your abilities of, this free and extremely helpful formula of securing community transmissions.

On a theoretical degree, IPSec is a framework designed to give protection for IP based mostly network site visitors. On a practical level, it is a community layer protocol that encrypts records in order that it cannot be 'sniffed' from the community after which as a result examine or altered. IPSec achieves this functionality via two protocols referred to as IPSec Authentication Header (AH) and IPSec Encapsulating safety Payload (ESP).

IPSec AH does not in reality encrypt information, nevertheless it does supply authentication and assured information integrity. In different phrases, with IPSec AH, somebody can examine the facts in a transmission, but they can't alter it. Nor can a person false the source of the data. IPSec ESP, in contrast, focuses on securing the information within the transmission, even though it does also provide some authentication, and a measure of information integrity checking.

The respectable information is that in a home windows Server 2003 IPSec implementation, as with most others, you do not should choose from IPSec AH and IPSec ESP. you can use both protocols to get the whole advantage of IPSec – authentication, assured integrity of information, and encrypted information switch.

IPSec and windows Server 2003

Now that we have recapped what IPSec is and does, we will get on with looking at the way to put into effect it.

IPSec performance is supplied on a windows Server 2003 equipment throughout the IPSec capabilities carrier. So, the first step in configuring IPSec is to make certain that here's operating in your server by way of searching in the services MMC. On a domain controller, the services MMC may also be accessed throughout the Administrative tools menu. The IPSec carrier is configured to delivery instantly by default, so except it has been stopped or disabled, your assess should still be nothing greater than cursory.

determine 1.(click on for a larger graphic)

The subsequent a part of enforcing IPSec is identifying and assigning an IPSec policy. IPSec policies, as soon as assigned, outline what moves should be performed on incoming community site visitors that does or does not meet a exact standards.

IPSec policies, and their accessories, are configured in the course of the IP protection policy administration MMC snap-in. There isn't any shortcut to this MMC on the administrative equipment menu, so you'll deserve to open a blank MMC after which add the snap-in to it. after getting executed this, you are going to be capable of delivery working in the IP security management MMC snap-in as proven in figure 1.

structure of guidelines

The homes of an current rule can also be viewed through double-clicking the rule of thumb from inside the IPSec security guidelines snap-in. The properties web page for one of the crucial default policies, which are mentioned in a second, is proven in determine 2.

determine 2.(click for a larger picture)

As mentioned, guidelines outline what actions are performed on network traffic when the server is the usage of IPSec. guidelines are comprised of suggestions that outline what site visitors should be lined via the policy, what variety of authentication mechanism may still be used (greater concerning the options for authentication later during this sequence), and what occurs to site visitors when it does or doesn't meet the standards exact within the policy. This last manner is widespread as the filter motion. that you could additionally outline whether or no longer this rule applies to all community connections, simply those originating from the LAN, or just from far flung connections.

As which you can see from determine 2, there are three suggestions during this policy. the primary defines that safety should be requested for all IP traffic, and that the protection should use Kerberos (define) for authentication and encryption. The second rule defines that all ICMP traffic (similar to that associated with ping and tracert) (outline) is approved without a request for safety. The third rule (<default>) defines what occurs to site visitors that doesn't conform to either of the primary two suggestions.

HP looks to drive home windows Server 2003 end-of-life income | Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The transition of valued clientele away from home windows Server 2003 is being described as a $10 billion global chance. To take competencies of that possibility, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft these days at Microsoft's global partner conference right here rolled out a brand new joint program -- the HP Microsoft windows Server 2003 program – to rally partners, a yr to the day before windows Server 2003 end of lifestyles.

according to HP and Microsoft, there are more than eleven million servers working windows Server 2003. Microsoft mentioned there are greater than 22 million licenses that deserve to be migrated.

"we now have carried out the research and found that 60% of valued clientele haven't any migration plan in location and simplest twelve months to go before assist ends," spoke of Doug Oathout, HP's vice chairman of channel partners, alliances and OEM advertising.

And therein lies the partner probability.

The HP Microsoft windows Server 2003 program is designed to assist partners movement purchasers to a new Microsoft OS, servers, storage and networking wrapped with HP aid functions and HP monetary functions. or not it's purchasable automatically.

"Our simple path to market is in the course of the channel, with the aim of helping shoppers move safely, instantly and successfully to a brand new OS equivalent to home windows Server 2012 R2," observed Jim Ganthier, vice chairman of global advertising and marketing for HP's server division.

Migrations will take about 200 days on usual, the business talked about, so the time for clients and companions to get all started is now. purchasers that don't migrate off of the working device in advance of windows Server 2003 conclusion of existence possibility having functions that develop into non-compliant with govt laws, which is exceptionally important for healthcare and economic services companies; and missing protection updates and patches, which leaves systems liable to hackers.

valued clientele that update their OS can expect to peer performance enhancements and more suitable birth on company consequences that line-of-enterprise managers are seeking, in accordance with Ganthier.

Addressing the readiness of companions to seize this new business chance, HP reported that 60% of its partners have the services capabilities required. nonetheless, the supplier will give partners with a brand new set of equipment which have been jointly developed with Microsoft.

the new tools will enable partners to habits standard assessments for purchasers, that could develop into migration opportunities, Ganthier pointed out.

"We're taking the better of what we comprehend in conjunction with Microsoft and packaging it up so partners can learn the way to do assessments in keeping with greatest practices within the business," he pointed out.

The HP Microsoft windows Server 2003 program contains:

  • HP Flex-Bundles which are according to ProLiant Gen8 servers, storage and community solutions
  • home windows Server 2012 R2
  • HP installing and start-up functions for home windows 2012
  • HP and Microsoft collaborative assist services
  • HP Packaged Consulting capabilities (akin to HP Transformation Workshop for windows 2003, HP Migration evaluation carrier for windows 2003 or HP practising wants Advisement) to support partners bolster their consulting capabilities
  • A 20% bargain for companions that take choose courses from HP schooling features to upgrade their Microsoft and HP know-how abilities
  • The skill for HP ServiceOne business companions to promote and deliver HP Proactive Care
  • The skill for partners to promote Datacenter Care
  • The providers are additionally providing sales and marketing elements across the new software, including special promotions for home windows Server and Microsoft OS license combinations when a partner replaces a home windows Server 2003 installing; HP financial capabilities with aggressive economic incentives; revenue enablement and training substances; the home windows 2003 end-of-guide experience kit; and co-marketing belongings.

    figuring out and enforcing wise Card Authentication | Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

    an overview on Authentication and wise playing cards

    administrators must at ease the network from attacks launched with the aid of hackers, spies, terrorists, thieves and criminals. safety encompasses a lot of applied sciences, protocols, requisites, guidelines, passwords, and secret keys. All these mechanisms typically center of attention on the following:

    Authentication is the technique through which an entity identifies itself, earlier than network logon is approved. After a consumer is authenticated, entry handle defines what elements can also be accessed, what moves can also be performed on the resource, and whether these moves are audited or not. entry handle is carried out by way of specifying permissions for supplies and objects, and assigning rights to clients. records coverage comprises two safety ideas, particularly, information confidentiality, and data integrity. records confidentiality deals with securing information as it is transmitted over the community in the course of the software of cryptographic operations. Encryption algorithms and the utilization of inner most and public keys provide facts confidentiality. Any unauthorized events intercepting the message, will not be able to interpret the contents of the message. facts integrity is applied during the digital signing of messages, and files. by utilizing digital signatures, which you can assess no matter if the message become tampered with or no longer. From this short dialogue, you can see that many concepts and principals are included when discussing protection. So the place does smart playing cards fit into the process of securing a firm's network and components from malicious attacks. The answer is authentication.Understanding and Implementing Smart Card Authentication

    As outlined prior, authentication is procedure whereby which users or other entities determine themselves that will try to entry community substances. Authentication is the initial step within the procedure of enabling users to entry network components. In energetic directory, consumer authentication happens by the user presenting person account credentials, such because the user logon name, password, and the user's safety identifier (SID).

    Authentication in windows Server 2003 environments includes the following two strategies:

  • Interactive logon: Interactive logon happens when a consumer logs on to the device using a password or sensible card.

  • network authentication: network authentication happens when a person is accepted to access supplies, with out the user having to re-enter this password or the very own identification quantity (PIN) of the smart card.

  • The user or entity proves its id by using a shared secret. The shared secret can be one of the vital components listed below, and needs to be a secret between the consumer asking for authentication, and the authenticator, for authentication to be a success:

  • A password

  • An encryption key

  • A secret PIN

  • Authentication protocols are used to share the key between the person and authenticator. The authenticator then either allows for access or denies the requestor access. The authentication protocols that may also be used in windows Server 2003 environments are listed beneath:

  • Kerberos edition 5, used for community authentication. Kerberos version 5 is used for the interactive logon authentication system, and for network authentication in windows Server 2003.

  • secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer protection (SSL/TLS), used for community authentication and is in accordance with X.509 public key certificates.

  • Microsoft home windows NT LAN supervisor (NTLM), used for community authentication but mainly for Microsoft windows NT 4 compatibility.

  • Microsoft problem Handshake Authentication Protocol edition 2 (MS-CHAP v2), used for network authentication and dial-up authentication.

  • Password Authentication Protocol (PAP), used for network authentication and dial-up authentication.

  • Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport degree safety (EAP-TLS), used for wireless connection authentication.

  • Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), used for network authentication and dial-up authentication, and contains support for smart cards (hardware enabled authentication).

  • Hardware enabled authentication happens when encryption keys are stored on a wise card, a pc card, or any other cryptographic token mechanism, and the person must have the sensible card, and the PIN or password to flow authentication and entry the system. This gives an additional level of protection as a result of any unauthorized individuals making an attempt to access the gadget, needs the sensible card and the PIN or password.

    sensible card authentication is according to using sensible cards and is supported in windows 2000 and windows Server 2003. a smart card is a safety equipment or credit card sized hardware token which may also be used to provide extra insurance plan to purposes and security protocols.

    sensible playing cards deliver the following points:

    In community environments, they're typically used for following functions

    As mentioned earlier, smart card authentication offers very mighty authentication since the consumer has to own the smart card, and the user has to grasp the own identification number (PIN). that you can block a sensible card from the gadget after a successive number of unsuccessful logon attempts had been made. To permit these aspects, sensible card authentication contains the use of a smart card reader which is attached to the computing device. it's suggested to use Plug and Play (PnP) readers with windows Server 2003. The sensible card incorporates a microprocessor and permanent flash reminiscence that holds the user's logon information, deepest key, digital certificates, and different deepest counsel. When the user inserts the sensible card into the sensible card reader, the consumer has to give the PIN to go browsing to the gadget. sensible playing cards are designed to deliver tamper-resistant authentication. The change between sensible cards and utility private keys is that you can movement wise playing cards from one desktop to computing device.

    The wise card reader is usually attached to the serial port, USB port, or PCMCIA port of the desktop. because PCs, computing device computer systems, and PDAs have one of these ports, wise card readers are supported via all computer systems. wise playing cards can be found in a number of kinds. the majority although have a resemblance to credit score playing cards. The extra advanced smart cards make the most of magnetics. What this capability is that they do not need to have exterior contacts. a common kind is the dongle that may fit into a USB port. From right here, it is accessed by the Cryptographic service company (CSP). The dongle kind doesn't want any special reader. The downfall of the kind is that it is roughly four times extra costly than the frequent wise card forms. while the setting up of a wise card implementation will also be complex and costly, an additional tricky system is making a choice on which supplier to make use of. The drivers of wise card products from Gemplus and Schlumberger are in fact built into the working device.

    wise Card Deployment issues

    Authentication through sensible playing cards is supported in windows 2000 and windows Server 2003, however is dependent on the public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The PKI has to exist earlier than you can implement sensible card authentication. it's recommended to make use of an enterprise certification authority (CA) for authentication according to sensible playing cards. Stand-by myself CAs and external CA entities don't seem to be informed to be used with wise card authentication.

    whereas there are fairly a couple of vendors to make a choice from to deliver your smart card technology, bear in mind that windows Server 2003 does not assist on-Plug and Play wise card readers. it is informed to most effective use own desktop/smart Card (computer/SC) compliant sensible cards and readers, even when a dealer gives non-Plug and Play smart card readers that can operate with windows Server 2003. in addition to the implementation of a PKI, each laptop wants a sensible card reader.

    as a result of charge is at all times a vital component, which you could accept as true with the components listed beneath as people who affect the can charge of administering a smart card implementation:

  • The variety of users so that it will use the smart card program, as well as where these particular clients can be found.

  • The manner through which the clients are going to be issued sensible playing cards. The necessities for verifying user identities should still even be blanketed.

  • The manner for use when clients misplace or hurt the smart playing cards that have been issued to them.

  • When planning a smart card authentication answer, you have to define the authentication and logon methods which are going to be utilized. this would include:

    getting ready the PKI for a wise Card Implementation

    As outlined earlier, sensible cards are elegant on the implementation of a PKI. sensible cards want certificates to manipulate which clients are allowed to authenticate the usage of smart cards. Certificates are used to check the identities of clients, applications, computers, and functions; and might be used to comfortable e mail, for web and utility code authentication, and to permit the use of wise cards. A certificates authority (CA) concerns certificates to clients and other entities.

    The certificate would constantly include right here tips:

  • The serial variety of the certificate

  • assistance that identifies the user.

  • information that identifies CA that issued the certificate.

  • The user's public key

  • The validity length of the certificate

  • The exceptional identify of the issuing CA server

  • The potential of the PKI to assist sensible cards is a gorgeous characteristic of the windows PKI implementation. To put into effect smart playing cards, one of the vital first steps is to deploy certificates functions on a server inside your environment, and configure the server as an enterprise CA. After this, you possibly can deserve to create three certificates templates to allow the use of wise cards inside your company. certificate templates will also be described as a collection of rules and settings which specify the content and structure of certificates which are issued, in response to supposed use. You configure certificates templates on the CAs within your PKI implementation. The certificate template is applied when a consumer requests a certificates from the CA. most effective home windows Server 2003 business CAs makes use of certificates templates kept in energetic listing to create certificates for users and computer systems.

    For a sensible card implementation, you should create the following three certificate templates:

    imposing sensible playing cards

    The general steps for enforcing a wise card solution in a firm are listed under. The specific steps are decided via the method by which wise cards are used within the PKI:

  • Configure an enrollment station

  • define the crucial certificate templates for the CA and active directory.

  • outline enrollment agents who will situation smart cards

  • prepare the wise cards

  • subject certificatesto the sensible card for clients

  • Configure far flung access servers to settle for smart card authentication

  • sign up the servers for laptop certificates

  • because the certificates templates used through wise cards don't seem to be put in on an enterprise CA by way of default, you're going to should use the Certification Authority console to configure these certificates templates. apart from this, you should assign users the proper permissions for the certificate templates. To trade permissions for a certificates template, you should be a member of the domain Admins community within the wooded area root domain, or a member of the business Admins group.

    a way to set permissions on certificates templates
  • click on birth, Run, and enter certtmpl.msc within the Run dialog field. click adequate.

  • find and right-click the certificate whose permissions you need to modify, and then click on properties on the shortcut menu.

  • click the safety tab.

  • Assign users and companies who deserve to request certificates that are in keeping with the certain certificate template, the examine and join permissions.

  • click good enough.

  • The certificate server included in windows Server 2003 comprises a smart card enrollment station which can be used to distribute certificates to clients. that you can use the wise card enrollment station to request a sensible card certificate on a behalf of the person. This in turn enables you to preinstall it on the smart card of the person. earlier than clients can request certificates, you deserve to put together the enrollment station to create the certificates. step one in making ready the CA to concern wise card certificates is to create the Enrollment Agent certificate.

    how to create the Enrollment Agent certificate
  • click beginning, Administrative tools, after which click Certification Authority.

  • within the console tree, extend certificates Authority, <Server name>, and certificates Templates.

  • click New, and then certificate to subject from the motion menu.

  • opt for Enrollment Agent template. click ok.

  • On the motion menu, click on New, after which certificates to challenge from the motion menu

  • if you are looking to create certificates for consumer authentication, select the wise Card Logon certificate template. click ok.

  • in case you want to create certificates for user authentication, and for the encryption of the consumer's suggestions, choose the wise Card user certificates template. click ok.

  • The certificate templates should still now be displayed in the console window

  • close the Certification Authority console.

  • a way to create a wise card certificate enrollment station
  • log on to the computer

  • click on birth, Run, and enter mmc within the Run dialog container. click good enough

  • From the File menu, click Add/get rid of Snap-in, after which click on Add.

  • Double-click on the Certificates snap-in. click on ok.

  • click on close.

  • within the Certificates snap-in, extend Certificates, current person, after which personal.

  • choose All projects, after which Request New certificates from the motion menu.

  • When certificate Request Wizard starts, click on next.

  • When certificate forms page opens, click on Enrollment Agent and then click on next.

  • On certificates friendly identify and description web page, enter an outline for the certificates. click next.

  • When the summary web page opens, click finish.

  • developing users to utilize wise playing cards includes the purchase and installing of smart card readers for all consumer workstations. installation wise card readers that are Plug and Play compatible is constantly an easy hardware setting up.

    The smart card readers supported via home windows XP and home windows Server 2003 are listed below.

  • American specific, GCR435 – USB port

  • Bull, SmarTLP3 – serial port

  • Compaq, Serial reader – serial port

  • Gemplus, GCR410P – serial port

  • Gemplus, GPR400 – PCMCIA port

  • Gemplus, GemPC430 – USB port

  • Hewlett-Packard, ProtectTools, – serial port

  • Litronic, 220P, – serial port

  • Schlumberger, Reflex 20 – PCMCIA port

  • Schlumberger, Reflex seventy two – serial port

  • Schlumberger, Reflex Lite – serial port

  • SCM Microsystems, SCR111 – serial port

  • SCM Microsystems, SCR120 – PCMCIA port

  • SCM Microsystems, SCR200 – serial port

  • SCM Microsystems, SCR300 – USB port

  • Systemneeds, external – serial port

  • Omnikey AG, 2010 – serial port

  • Omnikey AG, 2020 – USB port

  • Omnikey AG, 4000 – PCMCIA port

  • Some wise card reader's drivers are preinstalled in home windows Server 2003, while others are not. which you could deploy a sensible card reader on the computer by way of attaching the sensible card reader to a serial port or USB port. For laptops, insert the smart card reader into a PCMCIA slot.

    After the sensible card reader is installed, the Enrollment Station must be used for the following initiatives:

    When the wise card readers are installed, the next step is to difficulty sensible card certificates to clients. This process is referred to as enrollment. before enrolling a person, and issuing the person with wise card, be sure to show clients on these facets:

  • clients should chorus from bending the sensible card as a result of they could harm the internal mechanisms of the sensible card.

  • clients may still give protection to the exterior sensible card chip from being scratched or dented. The smart card reader should be would becould very well be unable to read the information saved on the cardboard if it is broken during this approach.

  • clients should still save their wise playing cards in a fab dry location, and protected from another magnetic sources comparable to credit score playing cards. excessive sizzling temperatures may effect within the wise card fitting brittle and breakable.

  • To join a smart card consumer,

  • access the workstation using a user account which has the imperative rights within the Enrollment Agent certificates template for the domain containing the person account.

  • Open cyber web Explorer, and access the CA by using getting into http://CA server name/certsrv.

  • On the Welcome page, click Request a certificate

  • On the Request a certificate page, click superior certificate Request.

  • On the superior certificates Request page, opt for the Request a certificate for a wise Card on behalf of an extra person choice.

  • On the wise Card certificate Enrollment Station page, decide to create one in every of here:

  • in the certificate Authority list box, opt for the name of the CA for the domain that should still problem wise card certificates.

  • within the Cryptographic service issuer list field, enter the identify of the vendor which you are the use of for sensible cards.

  • within the Administrator Signing certificate field, enter the identify of the enrollment Agent certificates that will signal the certificate enrollment request. click on subsequent.

  • On the user to sign up page, click on select user to find the person account that you simply want to create a sensible card certificate for, and the click join.

  • location the smart card of the user in the smart card reader, and click on adequate.

  • Proceed to enter the initial PIN for the wise card.

  • click View certificate to investigate that the certificates changed into issued to the user which you certain.

  • A windows 2000 or windows Server 2003 remote access server helps smart card logon. To permit sensible card logon for these servers, you have to configure the RRAS provider to use the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). Then, you ought to specify smart card logon as the EAP method.

    To configure a windows 2000 or home windows Server 2003 faraway access server for smart card logon,

  • Open the RRAS console from Administrative Toos.

  • Proceed to open the residences dialog box of the far off entry server that should still accept sensible card logon.

  • click the protection tab.

  • click windows Authentication, and click on Authentication methods.

  • opt for the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) alternative.

  • click EAP strategies.

  • Use the available record to discover and double-click smart Card or different certificates. click ok.

  • Proceed to deselect the other authentication alternate options. click adequate.

  • in the residences dialog container of the server, click on adequate.

  • within the RRAS console, find remote access policies within the console tree.

  • Double-click permit access If Dial-In Permission Is Enabled.

  • When the properties dialog field open, click Edit Profile.

  • click on the Authentication tab.

  • click on EAP methods.

  • When the select EAP suppliers dialog box opens, click on Add.

  • within the Add EAP dialog box, opt for the smart Card or different certificate choice.

  • click on ok.

  • in the select EAP suppliers dialog container, click Edit.

  • When the smart Card or other certificate properties dialog box opens, within the certificates Issued To box, select the laptop certificates issued to the particular server.

  • click on good enough, and close all open dialog containers.

  • which you can allow certain policy settings in group coverage that can assist in simplifying wise card administration for your atmosphere:

  • Account lockout threshold: which you can use the settings of this policy to give protection to your smart card authentication manner from password attacks.

  • don't enable sensible card machine redirection: When enabled, clients will not be able to use sensible cards to log on to a Terminal services server.

  • On smart card removal: which you can use this surroundings to steer clear of clients working unattended lively classes. Use these settings to specify that the users' periods are locked, or logged off when they get rid of their smart playing cards from the wise card reader.

  • sensible card required for interactive logon: When enabled, a person can handiest log on to the native computing device the usage of smart card authentication. The consumer can't use a user account and provide the user identify and password credentials to log on.

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    Microsoft Announces Availability of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 With OEM Partners | real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    SAN DIEGO — April 4, 2006 — Today at Storage Networking World Spring 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced further progress toward its Universal Distributed Storage commitment with the availability of Microsoft® Windows® Storage Server 2003 R2 through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In addition, Microsoft announced the availability of software-enabled Storage Area Network (SAN) boot of Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 using Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) technology that was co-developed with IBM Corp. The company also highlighted new partner solutions within the Simple SAN for Windows Server Program.

    “Our commitment to Universal Distributed Storage means reducing storage costs and providing customers with high-end functionality on industry-standard hardware,” said Gabriel Broner, general manager, Storage Division at Microsoft. “Continued work with partners on the delivery of products such as Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 and the extended support for iSCSI demonstrates delivery on this commitment for our customers.”

    Windows Storage Server 2003 R2

    Available today via network attached storage (NAS) appliance products from OEMs, Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 is a dedicated and optimized file and print server that provides customers with improved manageability, enhanced end-user productivity and capabilities to meet the needs of branch offices. Partner storage products that are currently available, or will soon be available, with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 include PowerEdge-based Dell Storage Servers, HP ProLiant Storage Servers, IBM xSeries Storage Servers, the LeftHand Networks SAN Filer 150 and the Tacit Networks Ishared Branch Office in a Box platform. Partners Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Bull, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Iomega Corp. are among the more than 50 software vendors, hardware manufacturers and solution providers that have committed to building on or supporting Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 with their products and solutions in the near future.

    “HP is a leader in the Windows-based network storage market, and with four of our HP ProLiant Storage Servers now integrated with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, HP continues to provide customers with greater simplicity, agility and value in Windows storage environments,” said Duncan Campbell, vice president of marketing for the StorageWorks Division at HP. “As the first partner to ship Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, HP and its portfolio of NAS solutions are strongly positioned to offer customers greater manageability, increased performance and improved branch office operations.”

    Internal Microsoft deployments show that Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, based on the Windows Server 2003 R2 operating system, can reduce data management costs and disk use by up to 50 percent through single-instance storage and allow users to easily find documents via a text-based file search. Internal testing also shows that the product outperforms the file-serving capability of general-purpose file servers by up to 25 percent and is the only NAS operating system that allows multiple users to collaborate on documents by integrating Microsoft Windows SharePoint® Services. Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 customers will also benefit from high availability and easy integration with SANs, and the ability for the first time to run 32- and 64-bit versions. The complexity of branch deployments is reduced with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 because the Microsoft Distributed File System eases the complexity of replicating files over a wide-area network.

    “Dell and Microsoft have a proven track record of success and we’re building on that momentum with a growing portfolio of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2-based Dell Storage Servers,” said Praveen Asthana, director of Dell storage. “The combination of Microsoft’s Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 running on Dell’s PowerEdge 830 server offers the ease of implementation and advanced features that customers need for richer functionality and reduced complexity in branch office and small office environments.”

    Customer Specialty Sports, a conglomerate of 120 premier ski, bike, golf and fly fishing shops, is using Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 with LeftHand Networks’ SAN Filer 150 to provide file services for its Microsoft Windows-based desktop PCs. “It’s ideal for us to manage all our data — both block and file — through our SAN,” said Andrew Miller, former IT director and now consultant for Specialty Sports. “With Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, we can take advantage of crucial file management improvements and integrate seamlessly with LeftHand iSCSI SAN to store all critical corporate data.”

    New Technology to Help Make SANs More Accessible for Customers

    Today Microsoft announced support for software-enabled SAN boot of Windows using iSCSI and standard network interface cards (NICs), a technology co-developed by Microsoft and IBM. This implementation was piloted with IBM and will be published publicly for implementation by other Microsoft partners to develop iSCSI software-enabled boot solutions.

    “We are excited about developing and launching a solution for diskless boot of Windows using iSCSI on BladeCenter,” said Tim Dougherty, director of strategy for BladeCenter at IBM. “This solution will result in better storage utilization, reduced power consumption and increased SAN scalability for customers.”

    With Universal Distributed Storage, Microsoft has made the commitment to help maximize existing technology investments in networking so that new SAN solutions are more accessible for all customers. Microsoft created iSCSI software-enabled SAN boot solutions in response to the increasing popularity of the iSCSI protocol among Windows customers. As part of this program, Microsoft is working with server OEMs, network hardware vendors and solution providers to deliver this technology.

    Partners implementing a iSCSI software-enabled SAN boot in their products include Alacritech Inc., Broadcom Corp., emBoot Inc., IBM, Intel Corporation, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Neterion Inc. Additional partners that have signed on to support Microsoft’s iSCSI software-enabled SAN boot implementation with their products include ATTO Technology Inc., Azaleos Corp., Brocade, Cisco Systems Inc., Compellent Technologies, Crossroads Systems Inc., Dell Inc., EqualLogic Inc., FalconStor Software, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, Intransa Inc., LeftHand Networks, QLogic Corp., Network Appliance Inc., Nimbus Data Systems Inc., SANRAD Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

    Dickinson Wright PLLC, a Michigan-based law firm with six locations and more than 200 attorneys, has implemented Microsoft’s iSCSI software-enabled SAN boot on IBM BladeCenter. “With the iSCSI software-enabled SAN boot, we are able to deploy bootable volumes on remote IBM blade servers in five to 10 minutes. Normally the process would take as much as two hours,” said Alan Hunt, manager of operations for Dickinson Wright. “The solution helps us efficiently resolve labor-intensive issues and represents long-term cost savings for our firm.”

    Microsoft also announced details on how the WinTarget technology, acquired from String Bean Software last month, will be delivered to customers. The iSCSI target technology will be offered through OEMs as a feature pack of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, available with Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2. With the integration of this new iSCSI software target with hardware from OEM partners, Microsoft internal market research shows that the cost of deploying block and file storage devices will decrease by as much as 25 percent.

    Progress of Simple SAN Program to Ease SAN Management for Customers

    Simple SAN is a Microsoft partner program that helps ensure that SAN solutions for the Windows platform are easy to deploy, robust and serviceable and that they provide the programmatic framework to help meet the needs of small and medium-sized business customers. Today at Storage Networking World, strategic vendors EqualLogic, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM are showcasing Simple SAN-designated solutions. Solutions from IBM and EqualLogic are new Simple SAN designations this month. IBM’s solution integrates with QLogic Host Bus Adapters, QLogic switches and QLogic Virtual Disk Service application for storage management and provisioning. EqualLogic’s array includes Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator and Microsoft Storage Manager for SANs.

    Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

    Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

    Migrating from Windows Server 2003: 12 best practices straight from the trenches | real questions and Pass4sure dumps

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    Most of us have hopefully managed to get off the sinking ship that was Windows XP. As much of a recent memory as that has become, a new end of life is rearing its head, and it's approaching fervently for those who haven't started planning for it. Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, a solid server operating system that's now about eleven and a half years old, is heading for complete extinction in just under 300 days. Microsoft has a fashionable countdown timer already ticking.

    Seeing as we just finished our second server migration in a single week (a personal record so far), sharing some of the finer aspects of how we are streamlining these transitions seems like a timely fit. This braindump of sorts is a collection of best practices that we are routinely following for our own customers, and they seem to be serving us well so far.

    The best practices below all assume that you have gone through a full inventory of your current servers, taking note how many servers are still in production and what ongoing workloads they support. If you don't know where you stand, you have no idea where you're heading -- so stop reading here and start getting a grasp on your current server layout. I'm going to pen a fuller piece about how to inventory and plan a server move that addresses all of the non-technical criteria.

    Microsoft has put together a fairly good four-step first party guide that you can follow on their Server 2003 EOL website, but as you can expect, it's chock full of soft sells on numerous products you may or may not need, so take it with the usual grain of salt and get an expert involved if necessary.

    Given you have a solid inventory, a plan for replacement, and hardware to get the job done, here's a rundown of some of the things saving us hours of frustration.

    There's Nothing Wrong with Re-Using Servers -- In Some Cases

    Need to re-deploy another physical server after ditching 2003? Refurbishing existing servers for usage in your upgraded environment is not sinful, like some traditional MSPs or IT consulting firms may make it out to be. Many of the voices always pushing for "buy new!" are the ones who are used to making fat margins on expensive server purchases, so follow the money trail when being baited into a brand new server when it may not be necessary.

    The last server I just finished deploying was a re-purposed Dell PowerEdge R210 1u rack mount server that was previously being underutilized as a mere Windows 7 development sandbox. With only a few years of age, and no true production workload wear (this is a lower end box, but it was used as anything but a server), the box was a perfect fit for the 20-person office it would end up supporting for AD, file shares, print serving, and other light needs.

    We didn't just jump to conclusions on OK'ing the box to be placed back into production, mind you. Re-use of the server was wholly contingent upon the unit passing all initial underlying diagnostics of the existing hardware, and upon passing, getting numerous parts upgrades.

    For this particular Dell R210, we ended up installing the max amount of RAM it allows (16GB), the second fastest CPU it could take (a quad core Intel Xeon X3470), dual brand new Seagate 600GB 15K SAS hard drives, and a new Dell H200 Perc RAID controller to handle the disks. A copy of Windows Server 2012 R2 was also purchased for the upgrade.

    We also picked up a spare power supply for the unit to have on hand in case the old one dies, since the unit doesn't have warranty anymore. Having a spare HDD on hand doesn't hurt, either, for those planning such a similar move. You don't have to rely on manufacturer warranty support if you can roll your own, and the two most likely parts to fail on any server are arguably the PSU and HDDs.

    Still have a good server that has useful life left? Refurbish it! Consultants pushing new servers blindly usually have fat margins backing up their intentions. We overhauled a Dell R210 for a 20-person office for less than half the cost of a brand new box. Proper stress testing and diagnosis before deciding to go this route are critical. (Image Source: Dell)

    Still have a good server that has useful life left? Refurbish it! Consultants pushing new servers blindly usually have fat margins backing up their intentions. We overhauled a Dell R210 for a 20-person office for less than half the cost of a brand new box. Proper stress testing and diagnosis before deciding to go this route are critical. (Image Source: Dell)

    Instead of spending upwards of $5000-$6000 on a proper new Dell PowerEdge T420 server, this customer spent about half a thousand on refurbishment labor, and another $2000 or so in parts. In the end we ended up saving thousands on what I found to be unnecessary hardware.

    We also did a similar upgrade on an HP Proliant DL360e just a week prior. Second matching CPU installed, RAM increased, brand new Samsung 850 Pro SSDs put into a RAID 1, Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, and a couple of extra fans. We took a capital outlay that would have been no less than $5K and turned it into a $2K overhaul.

    Want to go the extra mile with the refurbished system and extend fan life? On all of our overhauls, we lubricate all of the server fans with a few drops of sewing machine oil. You can read about how great of a cheap lease on life this is per this TechRepublic blog post. A $5 bottle at Ace Hardware has lubricated dozens of servers and still has years of oil left.

    One last key: it's super important to ensure you are using the right software to diagnose the system's internals with all parts being installed. On server overhauls, we run diagnostics before the system is approved for an overhaul, and also after all new parts go in. Unlike a workstation where we can afford downtime due to a bad part in many cases, a server doesn't have this kind of leeway for being down.

    Almost every server maker out there has custom software for testing their boxes. Our favorite server OEM, Dell, has excellent utilities under the guise of Dell Diagnostics that can be loaded onto a DVD or USB stick and ran in a "Live CD" style. Only after all tests pass with flying colors is a box allowed to go back into production.

    In addition, we always stress test servers days before they are meant to be placed back into production with a free tool by JAM Software called HeavyLoad. It does the equivalent of red-lining a car for as many hours as you wish. We usually stress a server for 6-10 hours before giving it a green stamp of being ready for workloads again.

    In another related scenario last year, we had a client who had dual Dell PowerEdge 2900 servers in production. We refurbished both, and kept one running as the production unit on Windows Server 2012, with the second clone kept in the server cage as a hot spare and as a parts depot. It was a rock solid plan that is humming away nicely to this day, one year later nearly to the day.

    We have numerous clients running such refurbished servers today and they are extremely happy not only with the results, but also with the money they saved.

    Move to Windows Server 2012 R2 Unless You Have Specific Reasons You Can't

    I've talked about this notion so many times before, it feels like I'm beating the dead horse. But it's an important part in planning for any new server to be in production for the next 5-7 or so years for your organization, so it's not something that should be swept under the rug.

    There is absolutely zero reason you should be installing servers running on Windows Server 2008 R2 these days. That is, unless you have a special software or technical reason to be doing so. But aside from that, there are no advantages to running Windows Server 2008 R2 on new servers going forward. We've put Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 through extensive paces already in live client environments and the former is leagues ahead of the latter as far as stability, performance, resource usage, and numerous other areas, especially related to Hyper-V, clustering, and related functions.

    Need further reason to stay away from Windows Server 2008? Seeing as we are already halfway through 2014, you would be doing yourself a disservice since Microsoft is cutting support for all flavors of 2008 by January of 2020. That's a mere sliver of just over five years away -- too close for comfort for any server going into production today.

    Server 2012 R2 is getting support through January of 2023 which is much more workable in terms of giving us wiggle room if we need to go over a five year deployment on this next go around, with room to spare.

    At FireLogic, any new server going up is Windows Server 2012 R2 by default, and we will be anxiously waiting to see what is around the corner as Windows Server releases seem to have a track record lately of only getting markedly better.

    A quick note on licensing for Windows Server 2012 R2: do know that you can run three full instances of Windows Server 2012 R2 on any Standard copy of the product. This includes one physical (host) instance for the bare metal server itself, and two fully licensed VMs at no charge via Hyper-V off the same box.

    It's an awesome fringe benefit and we take advantage of it often to spin up VMs for things like RDS (Remote Desktop Services). You can read about the benefits of Server 2012 licensing in a great post by Microsoft MVP Aidan Finn.

    Ditch the SANs: Storage Spaces Is a Workable, Cheaper Alternative

    Like clockwork, most organizations with large storage needs or intent to do things like clustering, are listening to the vendors who are beating the SAN (Storage Area Network) drum near incessantly. If the clock were turned back just four to five years, I could see the justification in doing so. But it's 2014, and Microsoft now lets you roll your own SAN in Server 2012 and up with a feature I've blogged about before, Windows Storage Spaces.

    I recently heard a stat from an industry storage expert that nearly 50 percent or more of SANs on the market run Windows behind the scenes anyway, so what's so special about their fancy hardware that justifies the high price tags? I'm having a hard time seeing the benefits, and as such, am not looking at SANs for clients as first-line recommendations. Unless there's a good reason Storage Spaces can't do it, we're not buying the SAN line any longer going forward.

    Think Storage Spaces isn't capable of large production workloads yet? The Windows Release team replaced eight full racks of SANs with cheaper, plentiful DAS attached to Windows Server 2012 R2 boxes, using this production network to pass upwards of 720PB of data on a weekly basis. They cut their cost/TB by 33 percent, and ended up tripling their previous storage capacity. While far larger in scale than anything small-midsize businesses would be doing, this just shows how scalable and cost effective Storage Spaces actually is. (Image Source: Aidan Finn)

    Think Storage Spaces isn't capable of large production workloads yet? The Windows Release team replaced eight full racks of SANs with cheaper, plentiful DAS attached to Windows Server 2012 R2 boxes, using this production network to pass upwards of 720PB of data on a weekly basis. They cut their cost/TB by 33 percent, and ended up tripling their previous storage capacity. While far larger in scale than anything small-midsize businesses would be doing, this just shows how scalable and cost effective Storage Spaces actually is. (Image Source: Aidan Finn)

    The premise is very simple. Tie sets of JBOD roll your own DAS (direct attached storage -- SATA/SAS) drives in standard servers running Server 2012 R2 into storage pools which can be aligned into Storage Spaces. These are nothing more than fancy replicated, fault tolerant sets of DAS drives that can scale out storage space without sacrificing performance or the reliability of traditional SANs.

    Coupled with Microsoft's new age file system, ReFS, Storage Spaces are highly reliable, highly scalable, and future proofed since Microsoft is supporting the technology for the long haul from everything I am reading.

    While Storage Spaces aren't bootable volumes yet, this will change with time, probably rendering the need for RAID cards also a moot point by then, as I questioned in a previous in-depth article on Storage Spaces.

    You can read about Microsoft's own internal cost savings and tribulations in a post-SAN world for their Windows Release team, which has far greater data storage needs than any business I consult with.

    Clean Out AD/DNS For All References to Dead Domain Controllers

    This nasty thorn of an issue was something I had to rectify on a client server replacement just this week. When domain controllers die, they may go to server heaven, but their remnants are alive and well, causing havoc within Active Directory and DNS. It's important to ensure these dead phalanges are cleansed before introducing a new Windows Server 2012 R2 server into the fold, as you will have an uphill battle otherwise.

    In a current Windows Server 2003 environment, you can easily find your complete list of active and dead domain controllers via some simple commands or GUI-based clicks. Match this list with what you actually still have running, and if there are discrepancies, it's time to investigate if any of the dead boxes were handling any of your FSMO (Flexible Single Master Operation) roles. A simple way to view what boxes are in control of FSMO in your domain can be found on this article.

    While a potentially dangerous operation, if any dead boxes are shown as controlling any FSMO roles, you need to go through and seize those roles back onto an active AD controller (NOT on a potential new Windows Server 2012 R2 box). The steps to handle this are outlined here.

    In most small/midsize organizations we support, the FSMO roles are held by a single server, and we can easily transition these over to new Windows Server 2012 R2 instances after the Windows Server 2012 R2 box is promoted as a domain controller.

    Be sure that you also do a metadata cleanup of AD for all references of the old dead DCs, and finally, clean out your DNS manually for any references leftover as well -- this includes fine tooth combing ALL forward and reverse lookup zones for leftover records. Even a single remaining entry to a dead box could cause messes you want to avoid down the road.

    Once you have a fully clean FSMO role structure, which sit on a healthy DC, you can initiate proper formal role transfer over to the Windows Server 2012 R2 box after you have promoted the system properly through Server Manager. Canadian IT Pro blog has an excellent illustrated guide on handling this.

    Remember: your network is only as strong as its lowest common denominator, and that is the core of AD and DNS in most respects. A clean AD is a happy AD.

    Getting "Access is Denied" Errors on New Windows Server 2012 R2 DC Promotion? Quick Fix

    I lost hours on a recent migration to a Windows Server 2012 R2 server from a Windows Server 2003 R2 box due to this Access is Denied error. After cleaning out a few things which I thought may have been causing Server Manager's integrated ADPREP on 2012 R2 to bomb, I finally found the fix which was causing the below error:


    The fix? The Windows Server 2003 R2 server had registry issues related to not giving a proper key permissions to the LOCAL SERVICE account on that box. Prior to the adjustment, the registry key in question only had read/write access to the domain and enterprise admins, which was fruitless for what ADPREP wants to see in a full domain controller promotion of a Windows Server 2012 R2 box.

    The full fix is described on this blog post, and don't mind the references to Windows client systems -- the information is accurate and fully applies to Windows Server 2003 and likely Windows Server 2008 as well, depending on what your old server runs.

    Other problems that could lead to this nasty error include having multiple IP addresses assigned to a single NIC on a domain controller (not kosher in general); using a non-Enterprise Admin or Domain Scheme Admin account to perform the promotion; and having the new Windows Server 2012 R2 server pointing its DNS requests to something other than a primary Windows DNS server, likely your old DC itself.

    Follow Best Practices When Configuring 2012 R2 for DNS

    DNS by and far is one of the most misconfigured, maligned, and misunderstood entities that make up a Windows network. If I got a dime for every time I had to clean up DNS in a customer network due to misconfiguration... you know the rest.

    You can read my full in-depth post on how DNS should look inside a company domain, but here are the main points to take away:

  • Your Windows Server 2012 R2 server should always be the primary DNS record. I am assuming you will be hosting DNS on your new Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controller, as is the case with most small-midsize organizations. If so, the primary DNS records on both the server itself, as well as what is broadcasted over DHCP to clients, should be the actual internal IP of the server itself (or the NIC team you have setup for it).
  • Consider adding the IP of your firewall as a secondary internal DNS server. This goes more so for the DHCP settings being broadcasted to clients, but consider this: if your DNS server is undergoing maintenance or is rebooting, how do clients resolve internet addresses during this time? To avoid the helpdesk calls, I usually set secondary DNS to point to the Meraki firewall we deployed so it can handle backup DNS resolution. This works extremely well in periods of server downtime.
  • Never use public DNS servers in client DHCP broadcasting or on the IP settings of Windows Server 2012 R2. This is a BIG no-no when it comes to Windows networks, and I see it all too often on maligned networks. The only place public DNS servers should be used (Google DNS, OpenDNS, etc) is on the DNS Forwarders page of the DNS administration area on Windows Server 2012 R2. This ensures the internal network is trying to do first-level resolution externally, causing numerous headaches in the way AD wants to work. I discuss how to set this up on my aforementioned DNS Best Practices article.
  • Don't disable IPv6 in nearly all cases. Contrary to the notion of "less is more" in the world of servers, IPv6, while still not widely used, is having itself baked in as a dependency on many core Windows Server functions. Unless you specifically have tested to ensure disabling IPv6 doesn't cause any issues, I would almost always recommend leaving it turned on. It doesn't harm anything, and Microsoft even publicly advises against turning it off. As it state on its blog post, Microsoft does not do any internal testing on Windows Server scenarios with IPv6 turned off. You've been warned!
  • Take some time to ensure the above best practices are followed when setting up your Windows Server 2012 R2 DNS, because an improperly configured network will cause you endless headache. Trust me -- I've been knee deep in numerous server cleanups in the last few years where DNS was the cause of dozens of hours of troubleshooting down the drain.

    Use the Chance to Implement Resiliency Best Practices: Dual NICs, PSUs, RAID, etc

    A server update is the perfect chance to implement the kinds of things I wrote about in a piece earlier last week outlining what good backbone resiliency looks like on critical servers and network components. If you are purchasing new equipment outright, there is no reason at all you shouldn't be spec'ing out your system(s) with at least the following criticals:

  • Dual NICs or better: Windows Server 2012 R2 has NIC teaming functionality baked into the core OS -- no fancy drivers needed. It's easy to setup, works well, and protects you in the face of cable/port/NIC/switch failure during heavy workload periods.
  • Dual PSUs or better: The lowest end Dell server we will actively recommend to customers is the Dell PowerEdge T420 when buying new. This awesome tower/rack server has the ability to have dual power supplies loaded in which can be hot swapped and removed on demand in case of failure. Zero downtime needed. Can't spend the money on a hot-swap PSU server? Buy a spare PSU to have on hand, even if you have warranty coverage.
  • RAID-1 across (2) SAS or SSD Drives for Windows: Since Storage Spaces cannot be made bootable yet, we are stuck with using tried and true RAID for the core Windows installation on a server. Our go-to option is a pair of high-end SSDs or dual SAS drives paired in a RAID1 on a decent controller.
  • RAID-1 or Storage Spaces for data volumes: You have slightly more flexibility with data volumes since they don't need to be bootable to the native bare metal server. Our new up and coming favorite is Storage Spaces due to its cost effectiveness and flexibility, but if you have a RAID controller already due to needing it for your Windows install, then using it to build a 1-2 volume array for storage works well, too. We like RAID-1 sets due to their simplicity and ease of data recovery in the face of failure, but RAID 10 is an option if you want something a little more fancy and can spare the extra couple hundred bucks.
  • Dual WAN connectivity: For more and more businesses, having outside connectivity to the main office, or similarly, up to cloud services, is getting increasingly common and important. While Cisco ASAs or Sonicwalls used to be go-to options for many IT pros, these days we are finding huge success by choosing to go with Meraki firewalls and access points. Not only do they have dual WAN connectivity across their firewall line, but the boxes are fully cloud managed and receive firmware updates every few weeks automatically. Can't say enough good things about these excellent units.
  • Most of the items on the above list aren't going to increase costs that much more. For the amount of productivity loss and headache that not having them will cost otherwise, the expense up front is well worth it in my eyes and that of my customers.

    Promote, Test, Demote, Raise: 4 Keys to a Successful Domain Controller Replacement

    PTDR is a goofy acronym, but it represents the four key items that we usually follow when implementing new domain controllers into an environment, and wiping away the vestiges of the legacy domain levels. These steps ensure that you aren't removing any old servers before the functionality of new replacements are fully tested.

    It goes something like this:

  • Promote your new Windows Server 2012 R2 DC. After joining your new Windows Server 2012 R2 server as a member server, it needs to be promoted properly to be a domain controller on the network. Ideally, this means having it take over a shared role for handling DNS as well (if it will be taking over fully), and slowly transferring things like file shares, shared printers, etc. Get the basics in place for what you want this box to handle so you can allow time for step two.
  • Test the environment after promotion. Is everything working OK? Is the new server replicating AD information properly and handling DNS requests the way it should? Are there any other goblins coming out of the AD closet you need to tackle? Give yourself anywhere from a few days to a week of breathing room to let these nasties raise to the surface so they can be expunged properly before giving the new DC full control of the network.
  • Demote the old Windows Server 2003 server fully after transferring FSMO/DNS roles to it. After you had a chance to test all functionality, and transfer core server roles from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2, it's time to demote the server. A great guide on how this works can be found here. Once it gets demoted, that's it -- take it off the network, unplug it, and archive the contents of its system state into something like a Shadowprotect or Acronis backup.
  • Raise the functional levels of your forest and domain. Running a Windows Server 2012 R2 server on a network acting like it's a Windows Server 2003 one has few benefits. The former introduced numerous enhancements to AD and core infrastructure services within Windows Server, and none of those advantages can come to the surface until you raise your forest and domain functional levels. This is a one time change that cannot be undone, but if you have confirmed you have no other older servers running as DCs, you can safely perform these raises.
  • Some of the enhancements made in the Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 functional levels are described in an excellent WindowsITPro post.

    Virtualize Up Internally, or Better Yet, Virtualize Out via the Cloud

    It's no secret that virtualizing is an easy way to reduce the need for physical hardware. We tend to prefer using Hyper-V from Microsoft, mostly in the form of Hyper-V that is baked into the full Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition. It's Microsoft's go-to type 2 hypervisor option that allows us to host VMs on domain controllers for companies that don't have money for extra separate servers and don't want to move VMs into the cloud.

    The other option, which we haven't adopted with clients that widely yet, is the VMWare alternative called Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 which is a completely free type 1 hypervisor that lives natively on the raw bare metal itself. You heard right -- it's totally free, doesn't cost a dime, and is not feature crippled in any way. Do note that the sole purpose of this edition of Windows Server is to merely host Hyper-V virtual machines. It can'texplains why in detail.

    For many organizations, especially ones either looking to move from expensive VMWare rollouts, or considering going down that path, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is an awesome option. It receives full support from Microsoft in terms of Windows Updates (there are relatively few needed each month, but they do come out) and follows the same exact support lifecycle policy as Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, which has a sunset of Jan 2023.

    A lot of customers are curious as to what exact areas they can offload by using a cloud IaaS provider like Azure. This neat infographic explains it fairly well. Microsoft handles the networking backbone, storage arrays, servers themselves, virtualization hypervisor, and two items not shown -- the maintenance and geo-redundancy of the instances, too. Not as nice as what SaaS offers, but if you need your own full blown Windows Server instances, IaaS on Azure is as clean as it gets. (Image Source: TechNet Blogs)

    A lot of customers are curious as to what exact areas they can offload by using a cloud IaaS provider like Azure. This neat infographic explains it fairly well. Microsoft handles the networking backbone, storage arrays, servers themselves, virtualization hypervisor, and two items not shown -- the maintenance and geo-redundancy of the instances, too. Not as nice as what SaaS offers, but if you need your own full blown Windows Server instances, IaaS on Azure is as clean as it gets. (Image Source: TechNet Blogs)

    While keeping VMs internally is a great first-party option, and getting more mature by the day, we are actively recommending to many clients that moving their VM needs off to services like Azure or Rackspace is a much better bet, especially for organizations with no formal IT staff and no MSP to fall back on. These platforms take care of the hardware maintenance, resiliency, geo-redundancy, and numerous other aspects that are tough to handle on our own with limited resources.

    For example, we were at a turning point with a ticket broker who either needed to replace 4-6 standalone aging boxes with new ones, or opt to move them to the cloud as VMs. We ended up choosing to make the full move to Azure with the former boxes being converted into IaaS VMs. With the ability to create virtual networks that can be linked back to your office, we ended up tying those Azure machines back over a VPN being tunneled by a Meraki MX60 firewall. After stabilizing the VPN tunnel to Azure, the broker hasn't looked back.

    When deciding on whether to go cloud or stay on premise, there are numerous decision points to consider. We help customers wade through these regularly. But you can follow the advice I penned in an article from about a year ago that went over the core criteria to use when outlining an intended path.

    Evaluate What Internal Needs Can Be Offloaded to SaaS

    Pinning up extra servers just to continue the age-old mess of "hosting your own" services internally, whether it's on-prem via Hyper-V or in the cloud on Azure IaaS, is just plain silly. SaaS offerings of every shape and size are trimming the number of items that are truly reliant on servers, meaning you should be doing your homework on what items could be offloaded into most cost-effective, less maintenance-hungry options.

    For example, it's a no-brainer these days that Office 365, in the form of Exchange Online, is the best bet for hosting business email these days. Businesses used to host Exchange, their own spam filters, and archiving services -- all of which needed convoluted, expensive licensing to work and operate. Office 365 brings it all together under one easy to use SaaS service which is always running the latest and greatest software from Microsoft. I haven't been shy about how much my company loves Office 365, especially for email.

    Another item that can likely be evaluated to replace traditional file shares is SharePoint Online. Our own company made the switch last year and we are nearing our year mark on the product soon. While we keep a small subset of files on-premise still (client PC backups; too large to keep in the cloud), the bulk of our day to day client-facing documentation and supporting files are all in SharePoint Online now, accessible from OneDrive for Business, the web browser, and numerous mobile devices. It's an awesome alternative to hosting file shares, if its limitations work with your business needs.

    And for many companies, hosting their own phone server or PBX for VoIP needs has always been a necessity. But this day in age, why continue to perpetuate this nightmare when offerings like CallTower Hosted Lync exist? This hybrid UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) solution and VoIP telephone offering from CallTower brings the best of a modern phone system along with the huge benefits of Lync together into a single package. We have been on this platform ourselves, along with a number of clients, for a few months now and cannot imagine going back to the status quo.

    Still hosting your own PBX, plus paying for GoToMeeting/Webex, and maintaining PRIs or SIP trunks? CallTower has a UCaaS solution called Hosted Lync which integrates all of the above under a simple, cheap cloud-hosted PBX umbrella that runs over any standard WAN connection(s). I moved FireLogic onto this platform, and fully believe this is the future of UC as I can see it. (Image Source: CallTower)

    Still hosting your own PBX, plus paying for GoToMeeting/Webex, and maintaining PRIs or SIP trunks? CallTower has a UCaaS solution called Hosted Lync which integrates all of the above under a simple, cheap cloud-hosted PBX umbrella that runs over any standard WAN connection(s). I moved FireLogic onto this platform, and fully believe this is the future of UC as I can see it. (Image Source: CallTower)

    Hosting your own servers has its benefits, but it also comes with its fair share of pains that can, as shown above, be avoided by using cost effective alternative SaaS offerings. We almost always offload capable needs to SaaS platforms where possible these days for customers as it continues to make business sense from a price, redundancy, and maintenance perspective.

    Moving File Shares? Use the Chance to Clean House!

    Most organizations don't have good formal policies for de-duplicating data, or at the least, ensuring that file shares are properly maintained and not flooded with needless data. If you haven't skimmed your file shares recently, a server move to Windows Server 2012 R2 is the perfect chance to evaluate what exists and what can go.

  • Take inventory of current shares. As I mentioned earlier, if you don't know where you stand, you have no idea where you're heading. It's like one of those Google cars hitting snow or rain -- going somewhere, but not intelligently. Make a simple Excel sheet of all the shares, and a summary of who has rights to what.
  • See what can be culled -- less is more in the world of shares. There's no reason a company of 30 people needs 100 file shares. Someone wasn't in the driver's seat when it comes to saying no. Regardless of where you are, see what can be logically cut, and better yet, consolidated into other shares. Get rid of duplicated data, and use the chance to clean up internal policies on what gets stored where and for how long.
  • Move the shares to RAID-backed or Storage Spaces Windows Server 2012 R2 volume(s). File shares running off single non-redundant hard drives is policy for failure. Use this chance to not only clean up old data, but also place the cleansed data onto proper redundant, tested volumes that can handle the failure of any single given drive. Using Windows 7 or Windows 8 workstations as file share hosts is not best practice, either, no matter how cheap and friendly such an option may look.
  • In some cases, we won't let clients move data onto clean volumes of a new Windows Server 2012 R2 server until we have been able to sit down with them and verify that old garbage data has been culled and cleaned out. Garbage in, garbage out. Don't perpetuate a bad situation any longer than needed. A server upgrade is ripe timing to force action here.

    Is a Server Migration Above Your Head? Hire an Expert

    Moving between servers is something warranted once every 5-7 years for most companies, and especially for smaller entities without IT staff, handling such a move first party is rarely a good idea. Companies like mine are handling these situations at least once a month now. We've (almost) seen it all, been there, and done that -- not to brag, but to say that professionals usually know what they are doing since we are doing this week in, week out.

    The number of times we've been called in for an SOS on server migrations or email migrations gone south is staggering. And it's usually when we get the call which is generally the time it's too late to reverse course and start from scratch the right way. Customers hate emergency labor fees, but honestly, the best way to avoid them is to avoid the mess in the first place!

    Not only can a professional help with the actual technical aspects of a Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 server move, but also help evaluate potential options for slimming down internal needs and offloading as much as possible to SaaS or IaaS in the cloud. Increasingly, it is also important that organizations under PCI and HIPAA compliance umbrellas consider the finer aspects of end-to-end security such as encryption at-rest, in-transit, and other related areas. A professional can help piece such intricate needs into a proven, workable solution.

    With Windows Server 2003 being deprecated in under 300 days at this point, if you haven't started thinking about moving off that old server yet, the time to start is right about now. Seeing as organizations such as healthcare offices and those that handle credit card payments have much to lose with failing HIPAA or PCI compliance, for example, there's no reason to procrastinate any longer.

    Have any other best practices to share when moving off Server 2003? Share them below!

    Photo Credit: dotshock/Shutterstock

    Derrick WlodarzDerrick Wlodarz is an IT Specialist who owns Park Ridge, IL (USA) based technology consulting & service company FireLogic, with over eight+ years of IT experience in the private and public sectors. He holds numerous technical credentials from Microsoft, Google, and CompTIA and specializes in consulting customers on growing hot technologies such as Office 365, Google Apps, cloud-hosted VoIP, among others. Derrick is an active member of CompTIA's Subject Matter Expert Technical Advisory Council that shapes the future of CompTIA exams across the world. You can reach him at derrick at wlodarz dot net.

    HP Updates Workload Management Tool for Windows | real questions and Pass4sure dumps


    HP Updates Workload Management Tool for Windows
  • By Scott Bekker
  • September 23, 2002
  • In Windows 2000, Microsoft packaged a Process Control tool for workload management only in its high-end Windows 2000 Datacenter Server product. The OEMs who sell Windows Datacenter systems have typically layered on additional functionality with their own workload management technologies drawn from Unix or mainframe product lines. This month, Hewlett-Packard made its workload management tool more attractive to lower-end Windows Server users.

    HP is delivering the tool as part of its ProLiant Essentials line of software upsells for HP-Compaq ProLiant servers. With its Workload Management Pack 2.0, HP has broadened the tool's functionality beyond application management in four- and eight-processor server consolidation scenarios and slashed the price by nearly 75 percent.

    The original Workload Management Pack was released in January at a cost of $1,875 and was included in the Microsoft-certified ProLiant solution for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

    The original version, like Microsoft's Process Control, allowed users to assign processors and memory to specific applications to make it possible to assign higher priorities to the most important applications when several applications have been consolidated on one server running one instance of the Windows operating system. Like the Windows 2000 Datacenter Server Process Control tool, the ProLiant workload manager leverages Microsoft's Job Objects technology.

    "There was the Process Control functionality that [Microsoft] did deliver, but it's difficult to use and not very intuitive," says Lee Johns, software director for industry-standard servers at HP, on the reason HP originally brought out a similar tool. "We have the technology for our HP-UX boxes. Unix users take workload management for granted."

    Additionally, the HP 1.0 tool gave administrators trying to consolidate applications on four-processor and eight-processor systems an interface to perform workload management in Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. Microsoft plans to release a greatly enhanced version of its Process Control technology called the Windows Server Resource Manager with Windows .NET Server 2003 that will run in both the Datacenter Edition and the Enterprise Edition, which is the successor to Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

    In the 2.0 version of HP's workload manager, minor improvements have been made to the server consolidation/application consolidation functionality. The tool now records data in the Windows event log so that the alerts get scraped by system management tools from other vendors. HP also added a resource monitor to help users make more intelligent decisions about how to manage processes and workloads.

    But the major additions to the new $499 version involve technologies useful for users running Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server on ProLiant servers ranging down to as few as two processors.

    One level of functionality is the ability to put a boundary around the key application on a server. As an example, Johns says a two-way Exchange server will often have many side processes running. Guaranteeing a certain level of system resources for Exchange will prevent a memory leak in a side process from taking down the system or severely impacting Exchange performance.

    The tool also allows for scheduling resource allocation. Again with the Exchange example, an administrator might want to guarantee Exchange the use of three processors on a four-way system during the week, but reverse the processor allocation for weekend batch jobs.

    HP is also creating what it calls "cluster landing zones" in its Workload Management Pack 2.0. The idea is that in an active-active failover cluster, the key application that justifies the cluster in the first place often doesn't get the kind of priority it should have when it starts up on an active backup machine already running secondary applications. The cluster landing zone approach in the tool means the backup server is preconfigured to reallocate resources when the key application fails over to give that application top priority on the machine.

    HP's Workload Management Pack 2.0 is available immediately. The company is currently working on certifying its ProLiant solution for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server with the new version, and should be offering Datacenter systems with the new version in about a month, Johns said.

    HP makes no pretense that it will attempt to market the pack as a general tool for use on other vendor's hardware, although ProLiant customers alone represent a sizable portion of the Windows server market. But the tool does provide a glimpse into the type of workload management software hardware vendors are layering on top of Windows. Such software for prioritizing applications within Windows, in combination with more powerful and stable Windows operating systems, faster processors from Intel, larger SMP industry-standard servers from Unisys and IBM, and software from VMWare for running multiple instances of Windows servers on one box, is creating an environment for Windows server consolidation solutions that is getting more robust by the day.

    About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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