Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 Rollup 9 – Install Failed

Afternoon All,

So Microsoft released Rollup 9 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 last night, which has a large amount of bug fixes and enhancements.  I won’t bore you with a copy and paste on the details as they can be found here https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3112306

However some of our customers and testing internally has found the install to fail when using Azure Backup with DPM.

DPMR9Error

We have found that stopping the CBENGINE service and setting to DISABLE in Services until the update has completed resolved the issue. Remember to re-enable the CBENGINE Service Afterwards :).

cbengine

Microsoft Ignite 2016 Cancelled ?

Woke up this morning to see my twitter feed full of stories saying Ignite has been cancelled in 2016 Source. Whilst I wasn’t its greatest fan of the venue I do hope this is just a rumour mill. Maybe I cursed it yesterday when a client asked if there was going to be a TechEd Europe next year, I’m hoping this maybe what they are doing and going to back to the drawing board with smaller regional events.

If you are a UK Business or Microsoft Partner there are now only limited tickets to FutureDecoded on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th November. https://futuredecoded.microsoft.com/ 

 

Office Mix

Stumbled across this little gem today, it’s a free add in to Microsoft PowerPoint 2013+ which allows you to create and host interactive online presentations.   Easily embed the presentations on company blogs, websites, and social media.

Best bit its totally FREE, I’m guessing they may start shouting about this feature goes out of customer preview at a later date.

Key features:

  • Voice and Video
  • Digital Ink for annotations on your slides
  • Polls and Interactive Applications
  • Insight and Analytics into viewers of the content
  • Playback on ANY Device

 

But I Instantly thought of one of my education customers who are at the forefront of Technology in Education and how this could help them.  Now the analytics item stands out for me and this education customer, they will be able to see which student has viewed the presentation.  Even see how long they spent on a slide, so if a student was struggling with a particular question the teacher would be able to tell.  They can also see if a student quit the presentation early and at what point.

Take a look here https://mix.office.com

DPM 2012 – Drives Invalid

Had an odd one with a customer today, where some volumes within the DPM server had gone into an “INVALID” state and you couldn’t reactivate the disk.  Rebooted and yet more drives went offline, gone from 80 volumes to 57 working.  So lets give you a run down of the environment:

DPM 2012 R2 running as a Virtual Machine with 80x 1TB Volumes on a Scale out File Server (SOFS) with De-Dupe (works a dream by the way 84% dedupe rate).

So after some desperate googling came across something similar which mainly related to SAN volumes.  Thanks to Peter Zerger over at System Center Central for this one.

SAN policy was been introduced in Windows Server 2008 to protect shared disks accessed by multiple servers. The first time the server sees the disk, it will be offline, but after being brought online once, should be online even after reboot.You can change the San Policy setting to OnlineAllsetting to get around this, but it must be very clear that if the disks are shared among servers, this can lead to data corruption. Users are encouraged to use the proper SAN policy to protect data.

However, the VHD file in a highly available VM is not a shared disk in the same fashion, so in this case it should be safe. To avoid the issue newly deployed virtual machines, you’ll need to implement the fix in the VM before you sysprep the OS (create a template). You can check the current setting of the San policy using the DISKPART utility as follows:

DISKPART.EXE

DISKPART> san

SAN Policy : Offline Shared

The Fix

The fix is to use the DISKPART utility is to make a SAN policy change within the VM that is running DPM. The steps are once in DISKPART:

DISKPART> san policy=OnlineAll

DiskPart successfully changed the SAN policy for the current operating system.”

After this you should be able to bring your drives back on after a reboot.

Microsoft Intune April 2015 Update

Very exciting and feature rich update this month mainly focussed around the Standalone versions.   I suspect all these features will coincide with the SCCM vNext release in the coming month/s we shall see what happens at Ignite.

This service update will introduce several new features for Android devices plus much more.

New Intune standalone (cloud only) features that will be made available as part of this update include:

  • Management of Office mobile apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) for Android tablets. (Management of Office Mobile app for Android phones made available in February 2015)
  • Ability to restrict access to Exchange on-premises for Exchange ActiveSync clients on Android devices
  • Ability to create WiFi profiles with pre-shared keys (PSK) for Android devices
  • Ability to resolve certificate chains on Android devices without the need to deploy each intermediate certificate individually
  • Deployment of .appx bundles to Windows Phone 8.1 devices (Support for .appxPublish files made available inMarch 2015)
  • Management of Work Folders app for iOS devices
  • Updated Endpoint Protection agent for managing Windows PCs
  • Ability to manage Windows Defender on Windows 10 PCs running Windows 10 Technical Preview without need for separate Microsoft Intune Endpoint Protection agent to be installed
  • Combined Microsoft Intune Company Portal websites for PCs and mobile devices to provide a more consistent user experience across platforms
  • Added Windows and Windows Phone Company Portal apps to the Microsoft Download Center to provide an additional option for accessing these app downloads
  • Enhanced user interface for overview pages within Intune admin console

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoftintune/archive/2015/04/17/new-intune-features-coming-over-the-next-week-for-android-and-more.aspx

Microsoft Intune March Update

IntuneLogo

Its exciting to see the constant feature enhancements to the Intune product, I look forward to the next version of System Center Configuration Manager where I hope we too will see the constant update cycle.

Anyway enough mumbling this months latest features are:

  • Ability to streamline the enrollment of iOS devices purchased directly from Apple or an authorized reseller with the Device Enrollment Program (DEP)
  • Ability to restrict access to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business based upon device enrollment and compliance policies
  • Management of OneDrive apps for iOS and Android devices
  • Ability to deploy .appx files to Windows Phone 8.1 devices
  • Ability to restrict the number of devices a user can enroll in Intune

Additionally, as part of this service update, Microsoft will be providing hybrid customers with the ability to create custom WiFi profiles with pre-shared keys (PSK) for Android devices.

These are all really exciting features for my customers and I know for several the Pre-Shared Key deployment for Android will tick a lot of peoples boxes.

Azure Backup Pricing Changes

+new

So today Microsoft sprung upon us all a pricing structure change to Azure Backup with the view of it working out cheaper for customers.   As of yet details are quite sketchy which is disappointing and internally in the UK Microsoft Staff don’t appear to of been told anymore than we have.

Aidan Finn earlier today posted on his blog about the changes to Azure Backup also (http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=17739)

One thing I have had clarified today is that the term “Instances” is defined as a Virtual Machine or Physical host.  It does not mean a DPM Protection Group or a DPM Server.  So in the majority for UK customers this means £6.109 (if the backup is over 5GB otherwise we understand this to be free) per instance plus the cost of storage.  We still don’t know whether this is block or page blob storage and we have asked Microsoft for clarity on this as it will for large amounts of data have a noticeable price difference.

http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/backup/

As soon as I have any more information on this I will of course update this post.

Have  a good weekend.

Jamie

The Year of Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise Mobility Suite in action

I started to write this blog post before I went on holiday over new year (3 weeks in Thailand went far too quickly!!!!).   Then I thought no stop, you are in honeymoon period with a fantastic suite of products, have a holiday and come back….. Well I did and nothings changed.

The Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is a game changer in the Identity and Access space.  What product set provides you the below in the most case for sub £2 a month per user?

  • Self-service password reset for your people, to reduce helpdesk calls
  • Multi-factor authentication options for greater security
  • Group-based provisioning and single sign on for over 1000 SaaS apps
  • Machine learning-driven security reports for visibility and threat management
  • Robust sync capabilities across cloud and on-premises directories
  • Mobile application management across devices
  • Broad device support for Windows, Windows Phone, Apple iOS, and Android devices
  • Selective wipe of apps and data for greater security
  • Information protection from the cloud or in a hybrid model with your existing on-premises infrastructure
  • Integration into your native applications with an easy-to-use SDK

In all honesty when I’m talking to our customers and partners, the feature set blows them away and want to signup before they even hear the price.

So stay tuned as will be posting some technical tips & tricks very shortly.

Got to start somewhere?

Its been on my bucket list to actually get this going, and with so many new and exciting things happening in my life right now, its the perfect time to start.   So I suppose the best way is to start is with who I am.

My name is Jamie Bryant and like most people reading this are passionate about their technology and improving the way it works for their users, and that’s exactly what I want this blog to be for.    Actually lets list this out, stop me from waffling on and on :)

Name: Jamie Bryant

Location:  South-East England

DOB: 15/11/1990 (Feel free to send me presents then, or anytime :) )

Qualifications: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Private Cloud

Twitter: @MrCloudOS

LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/jamiebryantmcse 

Background: Well my journey with System Center and Hyper-V began back in 2008 working for a division Kent County Council which hosted one of the largest Hyper-V/Sharepoint/Lync/Exchange deployments in the country, when I joined the team there was only network and basic OS level monitoring provided by SolarWinds, no application level….. disaster waiting to happen, IT departments becoming smaller and time becoming gold dust to get things like this done.   1 month later after many late nights “I give you SCOM” I said to my bosses.   In a sick twisted way I enjoyed the entire learning curve with SCOM 2007 R2.  It gave me a great footing into the world of Systems Management and learning all the applications we supported as you need to know what your monitoring, right?  Throughout the years I have gained massive experience working with some of the best people in the industry at top consultancy practices, I am currently working for Comms-care|Platform. www.comms-care.com as a Cloud Strategy Specialist.  I spend the majority of time out with customers defining and implementing their cloud strategy alongside building upon our highly respected relationship with Microsoft.

Ok so I waffled on abit, but hope you stay tuned for my first technical post.