April 2010 - Posts

[MDT 2008] How do I know if the “Configure ConfigMgr Integration” wizard has been run for MDT 2008?

Is there an easy way to tell whether the "Configure ConfigMgr Integration" wizard has been run on a Site Server?.. [Go to article]

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MacBook Pro or HP EliteBook?

Decision time for my new laptop/ work PC – MacBook Pro or a HP 8540W? I’ve seen a few techies running Windows 7/ 2K8 R2 on MacBooks and just wondering what the REAL reasons are for this (other than a MacBook is shiny and looks cool), or whether there is some real benefit in doing so. Hardware spec wise (and I’m no guru when it comes to hardware), the machines look almost identical apart from the video card. Bottom line is do I stick with the HP/ PC (what I know) or will I really gain anything especially performance wise running Virtual Machines, etc. going down the Mac route.

If anyone can give me any pointers I’d really appreciate it.

Passed 70-680 Configuring Windows 7 Exam Today – Some FREE Exam Vouchers STILL Available

Well I delighted to say I sat and passed this exam today. I used the free MS Press Book Microsoft sent me to help prepare for this (see this post for details) which was a GREAT help especially the searchable eBook that comes on the CD included with the book.

So if you’re planning on taking this exam then don’t forget to check out the Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal where are still some free Exam vouchers available for this exam.

[ConfigMgr 2007] R3 Beta Now Available for Download from Connect

As announced by Brad Anderson at MMS 2010 the R3 Beta is now available for download from the Microsoft Connect Site.

To download R3:

  1. Goto https://connect.microsoft.com/site16
  2. Sign in to the site (you won’t be able to access the download until you do).
  3. You’ll then see two new items:
    • “R3 Beta Released!” – Consists of two items: The download itself (27 MB) and the ReadMe (21 KB)
    • “What’s New in ConfigMgr07 R3” – Provides details about R3 (IMPORTANT – Remember this is a “Live” page to subject to change at any time)



Go enjoy…!!!

[MMS] How can I keep up with what is happening at MMS 2010?

To summarise some information given by Jeff Wettlaufer on the best places to go to keep up with what is happening at MMS 2010:

The MMS website: https://www1.mms-2010.com/public/home.aspx - News, announcements, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Twitter - Look on Twitter for the #mms2010 Twitter hash tag - http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23mms2010

The System Center Team Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/

The Facebook "System Center" page - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/System-Center/150083395545?ref=mf

And of course “old faithful” the System Center Home Page on the Microsoft website - http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/default.aspx

Hope this helps you keep up and of course I’ll try and blog/ tweet about stuff as I see it.

[ConfigMgr] Announcements regarding ConfigMgr at MMS 2010 – INCLUDES SPOILERS

I saw this 20 ish minute posted on the TechNet Edge site and thought I’d share it here. Basically in this video Jeff Wettlaufer talks about the big ConfigMgr announcements at MMS 2010. If you don’t want to know what they are “STEP AWAY FROM THE MONITOR”. If you DO want to know then carry on reading.

OK the big ConfigMgr announcements at MMS this week are going to be around:

6-12 Months

  • The availability of the Release 3 (R3) Beta
  • A demonstration of the ForeFront Endpoint Client with ConfigMgr (this is cool integration and one demo I’m looking forward to seeing).
  • MDT 2010 Update 1  (User Defined installation support developed “in-house” at Microsoft)

12 months+ (ish)

v.Next – Availability/ timescales on release of the first Beta


To see this posting in full/ watch the video (which includes a demo of R3 and the new v.Next Administrator Console) goto:


[MMS] This Year’s MMS is Up and Running

Well MMS 2010 is up and running and here’s the first details from Brad Anderson taken from the Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog:

Hello from Las Vegas, where we just kicked off the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2010. This year’s theme is Manage the Future: Desktop to Cloud. This theme really reflects where IT systems management is headed right now. During customers conversations the past 6 months, and conversations at MMS so far, there’s a keen interest to understand how the economics, scalability and time to market of cloud services are being applied to desktop and datacenter management. These people want to understand the pros and cons of cloud services, and what we’re doing to ease the transition to cloud services.

We started the event today with a keynote from Bob Muglia, president of the Microsoft Server and Tools Business. Bob’s keynote discussed the transition that is occurring in datacenters as the focus shifts from servers to services, from manually operated to fully automated, all with a choice of models: traditional datacenter, virtualized, private and public clouds.

Bob showed how over the last seven years our investments to make IT more dynamic have resulted in products and a product roadmap that let customers transition to cloud computing on their terms. He also discussed the need to “mind the gap” when organizations look at cloud computing – the gap that exists between traditional on-premises datacenters and public and partner clouds. This is shown through customers concerns about the gap between their existing applications and those designed for the cloud, and about how they secure and manage their services or data across clouds. I believe that with all of Microsoft technologies and solutions, from the operations system, to the development environment, to our application and management capabilities, Microsoft is best equipped to help you bridge that gap.

Bob outlined how the Microsoft assets you have in your IT environment today—one platform, one development approach, one management solution—will be consistent with those in the public cloud. This bridging of the gap between on-premises IT and public clouds is something that only Microsoft can offer. For example, through customers’ upcoming ability to use System Center Operations Manager onsite to monitoring applications deployed within Windows Azure, there is a lot more to IT management than simply moving a VM to the cloud!

Bob also made some exciting product announcements for cloud and datacenter management capabilities, including System Center Virtual Machine Manager V-next, and System Center Operations Manager V-next, both of which are planned to be available in 2011. Check out the demos.

Tomorrow, with my fantastic demo team, I’ll deliver the day 2 keynote. I’ll share the progress we’ve made against the user-centric computing vision that I discussed at MMS 2009. In particular, I’ll demo the next version of System Center Configuration Manager, which will be available in 2011. This release will support new approaches to managing the end-user experience and will unify infrastructures to drive lowering costs while improving control for IT.

I will also discuss the following new products:

  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, which includes power management capabilities that could reduce your power bills by tens of dollars per PC, per year – a capability we’re already using internally at Microsoft.
  • The RTM versions of System Center Data Protection Manager 2010, System Center Service Manager and the new Compliance Pack for Service Manager—all designed to enable you to manage your complete IT environment in a more cost-effective way.
  • Windows Intune, a new desktop infrastructure solution that delivers security and management from the cloud. This is the evolution of the System Center Online concept I shared at last year’s MMS. Using Windows cloud services and Windows 7, Intune is designed for mid-sized businesses, who want to operate at great performance, from anywhere.

We are exploring the ability to deliver new business and operations models using the technology we have today and the new products in the years to come. We remain committed to delivering customers the tools that will enable them to lower the cost of their operations while delivering a more dynamic IT environment, from the desktop to cloud. I hope you can join the keynote tomorrow or view the recordings of the event online.



[MMS] See Bob Muglia’s MMS 2010 Keynote – 08:30 PST

If you want to catch Bob Muglia’s MMS 2010 Keynote “Managing Systems from the Datacenter to the Cloud” then head on over to the following link at 08:30 PST:


[MMS] Back Stage Videos from MMS 2010

Ever wondered what it’s like backstage behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain? Well in this series of videos Jeff Wettlaufer takes us behind the scenes and shows us some cool stuff:


I’m LOVING Adam’s new desktop.

It also seems that Microsoft use a product called DemoMate to capture and create their demos which looks very impressive (having the ability to be able to capture my demo (including steps and speaker notes), export it to Word, customise, format, tweak etc. and then export the demo script back into DemoMate looks seriously cool).

[MMS] Information for those affected by the Closure of European Airspace

The timing of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland couldn’t have come at a worse time for MMS. My thoughts are with all those wishing to attend MMS who now face cancellations and even the possibility of not being able to attend, as well as everyone else affected by this issue.

If you are faced with not being to make it to MMS the advice seems to be DON’T cancel your MMS Registration.

The MMS Team have covered this in more detail in a special European Attendee FAQ which you can access on the MMS Registration Site directly at:


Safe travels everyone wherever you are.

[TrainCert] Just passed the MDT Exam – 70-635

To help beef up my deployment skills and demonstrate to the outside world I know the difference between LiteTouch and ZeroTouch and all of the supported technologies/ scenarios, I decided to have a go at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) Exam 70-635 today.

I’m delighted to say that I passed with flying colours.

If you’re thinking of doing it then a good starting point is the recommended Preparation Materials (as there is no official MOC or books for this one but don’t let that put you off), details of which you can find at:


Rumour has it a MDT 2010 Exam is in the works although I’ve not seen anything official or heard of any timescales on this one.

Good luck if you do decide to do it and let me know how you get on.

Right off to start studying for 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring next (wish me luck).

[MMS] Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2010: Manage the Future – Desktop to Cloud

In case you missed the Best of MMS is making a VERY welcome return to the UK on the 18th May at Microsoft’s Cardinal Place in Victoria, London. Covering ConfigMgr, DPM, SCE, OpsMgr and other members of the System Center family it’s certainly one not to be missed and I’d recommend you register sooner rather than later.

Full details below and to Register online goto:


Look forward to seeing you there if you’re going…!!!

Event Overview

Best of MMS UK 2010 will provide the best possible opportunity to learn about the latest IT Management products, solutions and technologies from Microsoft and how to apply them in your organisation. With a number of significant management product releases and announcements planned from Microsoft in the coming year, including some early Beta releases, this is an opportunity you won't want to miss!

This 1-day event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates on Desktop, Datacenter and Cloud management features and solutions from Microsoft. The event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever, covering current System Center products as well as Windows platform management solutions for virtualization of servers, desktops and applications.

Please mark your calendar for Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2010 on Tuesday 18 May 2010 in London.

Join us and interact live with Microsoft, key partnerships and early adopter customers in this informative event near you. (Twitter – #mmsuk2010)



08.30 - Registration

09.30 - Session 1 (Keynote): Virtualization 360: Microsoft Virtualization Strategy, Products, and Management Solutions for the New Economy

10.30 - Session 2: Configuration Manager v.Next: Overview

11.30 - Break

12.00 - Session 3: What's New Since the Release of Operations Manager 2007 R2

13.00 - Lunch

14.00 - Session 4(A): Opalis IT Process Automation: Introduction & Technical Overview  OR Session 4(B): Introduction to Systems Management in Midsized Organizations with System Center Essentials 2010

15.00 - Break

15.30 - Session 5: Technical Introduction to Data Protection Manager 2010

16:30 - Session 6: Service Manager Integration with System Center

17.30 - Networking & Close


Session 1:

Learn about the Microsoft virtualization strategy from the datacenter, to the desktop, to the cloud--and how it will help you cut costs and build value. In this session we review and demonstrate Microsoft virtualization products and discuss how you can use them to solve today's IT issues (cost cutting, consolidation, business continuity, green IT), develop new computing solutions (VDI) and build a foundation for a more dynamic IT environment, including cloud computing. The session reviews all of the latest Microsoft virtualization products, including Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server, as well as the System Center management platform (including Virtual Machine Manager 2008). Learn about the innovative pricing and licensing structure that allows further savings to lower both acquisition and on-going ownership costs. Learn how you can enable IT to become a cost cutting mechanism with Microsoft virtualization and management technologies.

Session 2:

The next release of Configuration Manager is coming! For over a decade, Systems Management Server and Configuration Manager have been used by thousands of customers and partners to deliver classic management capabilities to clients and servers. As we enter a new era for IT Administration, the System Center flagship product is evolving. In this session we present our vision for user-centric client management, and demonstrate improvements from Configuration Manager 2007. This session promises to be very interesting. We demonstrate a functioning product to showcase some of these major improvements, so you know you can't miss it!

Session 3:

Join us to learn about developments which have taken place since the R2 release of Operations Manager 2007, including cumulative updates for SP1 and R2, new tools for diagnosis and troubleshooting, and new support for monitoring in the cloud.

Session 4A:

This session will walk you through the Opalis workflow designer demonstrating along the way how to integrate System Center products with other IT tools to create automated processes. You will also see how Opalis customers have automated best practices for incident management, provisioning and change management.

Session 4B:

For organisations up to 500 PCs and 50 servers, Microsoft is releasing System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE) to provide service monitoring, software deployments and updates, and management of physical and virtual machines. This single product is designed for midsized organizations, so this session will be full of demonstrations as we look at each of the major aspects of SCE 2010, including server and client monitoring, software deployment and patching, virtualization management and migration, and how to get started with easy setup and configuration. Come see it here first.

Session 5:

Data is core to a Service Management solution. Learn how to architect and extend the CMDB schema, how to set up and extend connectors, create new connectors, and lastly how the data moves to the Data Warehouse to deliver IT business intelligence.

Session 6:

The release of DPM 2010 is just a few weeks after MMS 2010 in Las Vegas, so this session will cover installing a new DPM 2010 server, and then provide an overview of the core capabilities and enhanced protection/recovery scenarios.

Registration Options

Event ID:

Register by Phone
0870 166 6670

[ConfigMgr 2007] TrueSec’s Mastering SCCM 2007 SP2 R2 Coming to London – Aug 2010

Whilst checking out the TrueSec website I noticed they are going to be running their “Mastering SCCM 2007 SP2 R2” course in London on the 25th August which is being taught by my fellow ConfigMgr MVP Kent Agerlund.

This looks to be a packed 3-day course, more details of which you can find out at:

[ConfigMgr 2007] New TrueSec Deploying Windows 7 using MDT 2010 and SCCM 2007 SP2 Course

My good friend and fellow MVP Johan Arwidmark is coming back to the UK on the 19th May to present Truesec’s new Deploying Windows 7 using MDT 2010 and SCCM 2007 SP2 Course. Having seen Johan present many times I’m sure this will be a very lively and educational course.

For complete details, booking information and details of other countries and locations where you can take the course goto:


Can you help? Looking for a HP EliteBook 8540w (WD930EA)

I’ve settled on the HP EliteBook 8540w Mobile Workstation (WD930EA) as my next laptop. If any of you either work for a HP Partner company or can recommend a good one please get in touch as I’m hunting round for the best price and availability at the moment.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

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