Events for Your September Calendar

Do not ask me what happened to August. I have no idea. But as September will be quickly upon us, you might need something to do.
The Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow might very well be coming your way.  Some awesome MVP will be talking about what you might be missing from Server 2012 R2 and what you need to think about when it comes to migrating from older versions of Windows that are in your datacenter.
CA
San Francisco
Tuesday, September 2
Doug Spindler
FL
Tampa
Monday, September 22
Adnan Cartwright, Telmo Sampaio, Max Trinidad (coordination w/Kevin Weilbacher)
IL
Chicago
Monday, September 22
Trevor Sullivan, Annur Sumar, Brian Desmond
WA
Bellevue
Tuesday, September 23
Brian Desmond (Coordination with Zubair Alexander)
AZ
Tempe
Wednesday, September 24
Jason Helmick, Rory Monaghan, David Lundell, Tom Ziegmann
TBD
CO
Denver
Thursday, September 25
Greg Shields
TX
Houston
Friday, September 26
Anil Desai
MI
Detroit
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Andy Syrewicze
OH
Cincinnati
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Kevin Royalty
Also, IT Roadmap is coming to San Jose on September 17.  I’ve attended this event two or three times over the years and it’s usually pretty interesting.  If you qualify, it’s free.
IT Roadmap San Jose
Wednesday, September 17
San Jose Convention Center
7:30 am – 4:30 pm

Get out there and stay busy!
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Modernizing Your Infrastructure – The Series Starts This Week!

For the next 6 weeks, IT Pro Tech Evangelists will be posting something daily around modernizing your infrastructure with hybrid cloud.  Each week will bring a TechNet Radio episode and four blog posts. You can find a complete list of the whole series as it’s posted at http://aka.ms/ModernCloud.

Matt Hester and Keith Mayer kick it off with Part 1 where they discuss the importance of planning for your organization’s move to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure.
  • [1:18] Why should I start planning now? 
  • [2:41] Why Migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2?
  • [5:45]  Why consider Azure as part of your migration strategy?
  • [12:38]  What tools are available to help in the migration process?
  • [17:40DEMO MAP and the Azure IaaS Cost Estimator
Also, stay tuned for later in the week when I’ll have post around some common workloads and scenarios you might consider for the cloud.

  • Tue: Assessing your current IT infrastructure with the MAP tool by Dan Stolts
  • Wed: Conducting a VM readiness assessment by Kevin Remde
  •  Thu: Estimating costs for migrating VM workloads to Azure by Dan Stolts
  •  Fri: Common Application Workloads and Scenarios for Azure by Me!

Windows Server 2012 R2 Brings Improvements to DNS and DHCP Management

DNS and DHCP – they are like two sides to same coin.  At the core, DNS maps human friendly names to IP addresses so we can find resources on the Internet easily, the other hands out IP addresses and other configuration information to computers so they can be accessible on the network.
Both have been around since what seems like the beginning of time, but both have some new improvements with Windows Server 2012 R2.

First, there have been some improvements for DNSSEC support. In Server 2012, the Key Master role only existed for AD-integrated zone, but now that has been extended to support file-backed multi-master zones as well.

Also, the key management service (key generation, storage, retirement) has been isolated to only the key master of a zone.  All other primary DNS servers for zone can continue signing a zone by accessing the keys managed by the master.

Next, let’s bring on the PowerShell improvements.  While DNS on Windows Server 2012 already has a substantial list of statistics available using the Get-DnsServerStatistics, new Zone related statistics have been added for zone query stats, zone transfer stats and zone update stats.

There are also some brand new cmdlets for controlling DNSSEC, to support some of the improvements, like managing Trust Anchors. You can find the complete list of the cmdlets on TechNet, at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn305898.aspx

For the DHCP Server, new PowerShell cmdlets have been added for managing superscopes and multicast scopes, as well as improvements in some of the existing commands for changing failover relationships and interacting with DNS. There are over a dozen new additions, but some of the cmdlets include:

  • Add-DhcpServerv4MulticastScope
  • Add-DhcpServerSecurityGroup
  • Get-DhcpServerv4MulticastScopeStatistics
  • Get-DhcpServerv4SuperscopeStatistics

But it’s not all about PowerShell improvements. There are two DHCP improvements that enhance client DNS registrations. 

The first one extends DHCP polices to configure conditions based on the FQDN of the clients. Or clients can be registered using a different DNS suffix than the one configured on the client.
The second enhancement enables you to configure the DHCP server to register only A records for clients with the DNS server.  This can avoid failed attempts to register PTR records when a reverse lookup zone isn’t configured. PTR record registration can be disabled for all clients of a DHCP server, or by specific subnet or attribute.

Overall these new features can give you better granular control of devices on the network, including workgroup and guest devices. 

Looking for more information about what’s new with Windows Server 2012 R2?  Check out the full list of blog posts in this series, Why Windows Server 2012 R2?.  Also, don’t forget to take a moment to download the Server 2012 R2 bits so you can try it all out for yourself.

The Blog Series: Why Windows Server 2012 R2?

Well, why not?  Join the Microsoft IT Pro Evangelists as they embark on another blog series hosted by Dan Stolts. 

Check out Dan’s official landing page to learn about Active Directory Certificate Services, iSCSI Target Server, Scale-out File Server, Tiered Storage Spaces and more!

The series runs from now until Thanksgiving so check in with Dan often for the newest post.

Meanwhile if you need the bits to Server or Hyper-V Server… get them here:

Get a Head Start this August… Evaluations, Training and Events

Time flies when you’ve started a new job, let me tell you! I’ve been spending a lot of my days learning new LOB applications, trying to read up on new technologies and brush up on some current technology that I haven’t needed to pay much attention to in the past.  I’ve even booked a slot to take my next certification exam, Upgrading your MCSA to Windows Server 2012.

So what am I using for all of that?

Well, I always fall back to books and articles on TechNet, but this time around I’m also doing a course on at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.  I’m also going to take the TechNet Virtual Labs  for a spin as well.

I’m also playing around with the previews of Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. You can get download evaluation version of that software and trying it out for yourself. There are a slew of great new features in each of those products that I’m looking forward to seeing in action. If you need a place to spin that stuff up, sign up for your Azure trial.

If you are looking for some in person events, check out my calendar of events in the sidebar. I’ve been trying to fill in dates for some of the events coming up this summer. Here are some highlights for August:

Now, back to work for me!