Step By Step: Evaluating Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)

Hello folks,

Microsoft just announced that Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) is generally available.

What is Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)?

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) helps IT departments identify advanced attacks with User and Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA).
ATA is an on-premises platform to help you protect your enterprise from advanced targeted attacks by automatically analyzing, learning, and identifying normal and abnormal entity (user, devices, and resources) behavior.

ATA runs in the background and automatically analyzes, learns, and identifies normal behavior on your network, alerting you to possible security concerns, including:

  • Abnormal user behavior: ATA uses behavioral analytics and machine learning to uncover questionable activities and abnormal behavior such as anomalous logins, abnormal resource access, abnormal working hours, unknown threats, password sharing and lateral movement.
  • Malicious attacks: ATA detects known malicious attacks almost instantly, including Pass-the-Ticket, Pass-the-Hash, Overpass-the-Hash, Forged PAC (MS14-068), Golden Ticket, skeleton key malware, reconnaissance, brute force, and remote execution.
  • Known security issues and risks: ATA identifies known security issues, such as broken trust, weak protocols and known protocol vulnerabilities.

In this blog post, I will share with you step-by-step instructions on how to deploy and simulate ATA in your environment today.

Microsoft ATA is pretty simple architecture, it consists of two main components and a MongoDB base where the data is stored.

The two components are:

ATA Center performs the following functions:

  • Manages ATA Gateway configuration settings
  • Receives data from ATA Gateways
  • Detects suspicious activities and behavioral machine learning engines
  • Supports multiple ATA Gateways
  • Runs the ATA Management console
  • Optional: The ATA Center can be configured to send emails or send events to your Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system when a suspicious activity is detected.

ATA Gateway performs the following functions:

  • Captures and inspects domain controller network traffic via port mirroring
  • Receive events from SIEM or Syslog server
  • Retrieves data about users and computers from the domain
  • Performs resolution of network entities (users and computers)
  • Transfers relevant data to the ATA Center
  • Monitors multiple domain controllers from a single ATA Gateway

I will use three virtual machines deployed on a single Hyper-V host: DC01, ATA-Center and ATA-Gateway.

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ATA Requirements

ATA Center: we need two static IP addresses, one will be used by the ATA center service to communicate securely with the ATA gateways, and the second one will be used by the ATA console. The ATA console runs on Microsoft IIS.

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ATA Gateway: we need two network adapters, one with IP Address for the ATA Gateway to communicate to the ATA center and devices on the network, and the second network card without IP Address for capturing the port mirrored network traffic of the domain controllers.

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Network traffic to and from the domain controllers is one of the sources of information used by the ATA, to get this information we must configure port mirroring to copy the network traffic to and from the domain controller to the ATA Gateway. The domain controller is configured as the Source, this will copy all network traffic on the virtual switch to the virtual machine (ATA-Gateway) that is configured as destination.

 ATA_Step-ByStep_04

The ATA Gateway is configured as the Destination.

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Finally, we need a read only user in the domain. ATA requires a user account that has read access to the domain. ATA will use this user account to query the domain for information about entities in the domain including users and computers.

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ATA Installation

Login to the ATA Center server as administrator and launch the Microsoft ATA Center Setup.exe file.

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Choose your preferred language and accept the end user license agreement.

In large deployments you’ll want the database and the database journal folders on separate physical drives.

Select the IP that the ATA Centers Service will be bound to, then select create self-signed certificate, self-signed certificates are for lab environments and testing only. However, in production deployments you should use certificates issued by your internal CA server, next select the IP that will be used by IIS for the ATA console. Then select create self-signed certificate, and lastly click Install.

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When the installation is done, click Launch to connect to the ATA console.

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Now you can login with the same username and password you used to install the MTA Center, the first time you login you’ll be prompted to enter the read only user and password and a fully qualified domain name or the FQDN of the domain, once you enter the username and password, click Save.

After saving the domain connectivity settings, you can now install the ATA gateway by downloading the ATA gateway setup package now.

ATA_Step-ByStep_10

Now, we are moving to the server where we will install the ATA Gateway.

Double click the Microsoft ATA Gateway setup .exe file to launch the installation for the ATA Gateway.

Click Next

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In the ATA gateway configuration section review the default location for the installation and then select create self-signed certificate.

Next, you’ll need to enter the username and password of the user who can access the ATA console. You can also enter a user who is a member of the total local administrators group or the Microsoft advanced trade analytics administrators group on the ATA Center server.

Click Install.

ATA_Step-ByStep_12

Now the installation will register the ATA Gateway with the ATA Center. Pull down the initial configuration and install the ATA Gateway service.

After the installation finishes, click Launch to connect to the ATA console and continue the configuring the ATA Gateway.

Login to the ATA Console and select the 3 dots on the toolbar, and then click Configuration.

ATA_Step-ByStep_13

On the gateway’s page, you will see the ATA gateway that was just installed, you’ll also see a alert that the ATA Gateway requires additional configuration.

ATA_Step-ByStep_14

This additional configuration is needed for the ATA Gateway to start collecting data. After the initial Synch completes, click on the gateway title and the setting section will automatically open.

You can add a Description for the ATA Gateway, enter the FQDN of the domain controller that will be monitored.

In this demo, the FQDN of my domain controller is DC01.VIRT.LAB. Choose which network adapter is configured as the port mirrored adapter, in my case it’s called (Capture). Lastly click Save.

ATA_Step-ByStep_15

At this point the ATA Gateway will pull down the updated configuration, you can now start to capture the port mirrored domain controller traffic.

To verify that ATA is working, you can search for various objects from the domain controller. simply enter the first few letters and the search will display all entities that match. I will select Super Virt user to see the profile created by ATA for that user.

ATA_Step-ByStep_16

Congratulations Smile

ATA_Step-ByStep_17

Simulate Attack

In this demo I will simulate a sensitive Account Credentials Exposed

1. I will create and add a test user to the “Domain Admins” group
2. From a standalone server that have TCP connection to my DC, I will run ldp.exe
3. I will Choose: Connection –> Connect – and type the DC’s IP address
4. I will Choose: Connection –> Bind – and select the “Simple bind” option
5. Lastly, I will provide the credentials of the test user with the format: domain\username

ATA_Step-ByStep_18

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We will wait a few seconds… Let’s login to the ATA Center Console and check.

Here you go, we have a suspicious activity logged Winking smile

ATA_Step-ByStep_20

You can download the GA evaluation bits today and implement ATA in your organization.

Until then, Happy Threat Analytics Winking smile

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Active Directory, ATA, Windows Server Tagged with: , , ,

Join Me To Learn About #HyperV Security Tips With #5nine #webinar @5nine_software

HyperV-Security-Tips01

Join me on this webinar and learn how to greatly secure your Hyper-V environment and make sure that it stays continually protected from any possible threats.

Learn about the best practices in Hyper-V security with 5nine Software, and see how to take your virtualized environment to a whole new level.

The webinar will take place on Thursday 27th of August 18:00 (GMT+4:00) and you can register for free. The webinar will be held in Arabic.

If you are interested in Hyper-V security (or course you do Winking smile), then you should definitely join this free webinar.

I look forward to seeing you at the webinar, and encourage you to view the recording after the event.

Thanks!
@Charbel

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Posted in 5nine, Hyper-V Tagged with: , , , ,

What’s New In Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3? #WS2016 #SysCtr2016

Cross-post from Microsoft MSDN Blog 
—————————————————-

Hello Folks!

In the unlikely event that you have not heard, Windows Server 2016 and System Center TP3 is now available for download.

The highlight in this TP3 release is the introduction of Windows Server Containers, Microsoft’s container virtualization platform which is part of the Docker open source project. Windows Server Containers can be deployed and managed using both PowerShell or the Docker Client as of today (which Docker announced yesterday).

Containers can be deployed either in Microsoft Azure, running in a TP3 core installation or in a Virtual Machine running on top of Hyper-V (Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 TP3).

New functionality provided in Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3:

New functionality provided in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3:

Technical Preview 3 provides updates for the following products part of the System Center suite:

Data Protection Manager

  • Protection of data sources in mixed-mode clusters
  • Hyper-V enhanced VM backup using resilient change tracking (RCT)
    • RCT provides a new form of built-in changing tracking for virtual hard disks of Hyper-V VMs, providing better resiliency than change tracking provided by VSS snapshot-based backups.
  • Inquiry performance improvements
  • Reporting enhancements

Operations Manager

  • Maintenance Schedules

Service Manager

  • Write collision avoidance
  • AD connector fixes and configurable sync schedules
  • MPSync job updates
  • Performance improvements

Virtual Machine Manager

  • Management capabilities for guared hosts and shielded VMs
  • Add Microsoft Azure subscription in VMM console
  • Consistent naming of virtual NICs
  • Simpler, more reliable methods for applying network settings consistently to hosts
  • End-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) for storage
  • Support for storage tiers
  • Support for Storage Spaces Direct
  • New storage provisioning and management capabilities
  • New management capabilities for hosts, host clusters and Scale-Out File Server (SOFS)

If you like to test those new features, Microsoft also released so called Experience step by step guides, walking through different scenario’s for the new functionality provided.

Happy testing!

Cheers,

@Charbel

Posted in Windows Server, Windows Server 2016 Tagged with: , , , ,

Windows Server 2016 & System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3 Now Available! #WS2016 #SysCtr

Hello folks,

Party on… Microsoft just released Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3 to the public Open-mouthed smile

windows-server-2016-tp3

You can download the evaluation bits from the following links:

Windows Server 2016 TP3:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/evalcenter/dn781243.aspx

System Center 2016 TP3:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-technical-preview

And What’s new in Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 3:

What’s New Windows Server 2016 TP3:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn765472.aspx

What’s New System Center 2016 TP3:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/mt445442.aspx

Happy downloading… Smile

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Windows Server, Windows Server 2016 Tagged with: , , , , ,

#Microsoft Released #Linux Integration Services Version 4.0 for #HyperV

Hello folks,

Microsoft has released version 4.0. of its Integration Services for Linux. Hyper-V supports both emulated (“legacy”) and Hyper-V-specific (“synthetic”) devices for Linux virtual machines. When a Linux virtual machine is running with emulated devices, no additional software is required to be installed. However, emulated devices do not provide high performance and cannot leverage the rich virtual machine management infrastructure that the Hyper-V technology offers.

The Linux Integration Services (LIS) 4.0 allows Linux guests to use Hyper-V virtualization on the following host operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (applicable editions)
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 8 Pro and 8.1 Pro
  • Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • Windows Server Technical Preview
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview
  • Microsoft Azure

The Linux Integration Services (LIS) is supported on the following guest operating systems:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5-5.11 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0-6.7 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0-7.1 64-bit
  • CentOS 5.5-5.11 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit
  • CentOS 6.0-6.7 32-bit and 64-bit
  • CentOS 7.0-7.1 64-bit
  • Oracle Linux 6.4-6.7 with Red Hat Compatible Kernel 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Oracle Linux 7.0-7.1 with Red Hat Compatible Kernel 64-bit

Current version is V4.0.11. Please refer to the Linux Virtual Machines on Hyper-V topics for up to date information on the LIS feature set, all supported Linux distributions, availability and download locations.
When installed in a supported Linux virtual machine running on Hyper-V, the Linux Integration Services provide:

  • Driver support: Linux Integration Services supports the network controller and the IDE and SCSI storage controllers that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
  • Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices now take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.
  • Time Keeping: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain accurate by synchronizing to the clock on the virtualization server via Timesync service, and with the help of the pluggable time source device.
  • Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager by using the “Shut down” command.
  • Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support: Supported Linux distributions can use multiple virtual processors per virtual machine. The actual number of virtual processors that can be allocated to a virtual machine is only limited by the underlying hypervisor.
  • Heartbeat: This feature allows the virtualization server to detect whether the virtual machine is running and responsive.
  • KVP (Key Value Pair) Exchange: Information about the running Linux virtual machine can be obtained by using the Key Value Pair exchange functionality on the Windows Server 2008 virtualization server.
  • Integrated Mouse Support: Linux Integration Services provides full mouse support for Linux guest virtual machines.
  • Live Migration: Linux virtual machines can undergo live migration for load balancing purposes.
  • Jumbo Frames: Linux virtual machines can be configured to use Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload.
  • VLAN tagging and trunking: Administrators can attach single or multiple VLAN ids to synthetic network adapters.
  • Static IP Injection: Allows migration of Linux virtual machines with static IP addresses.
  • Linux VHDX resize: Allows dynamic resizing of VHDX storage attached to a Linux virtual machine.
  • Synthetic Fibre Channel Support: Linux virtual machines can natively access high performance SAN networks.
  • Live Linux virtual machine backup support: Facilitates zero downtime backup of running Linux virtual machines.
  • Dynamic memory ballooning support: Improves Linux virtual machine density for a given Hyper-V host.
  • Synthetic video device support: Provides improved graphics performance for Linux virtual machines.
  • PAE kernel support: Provides drivers that are compatible with PAE enabled Linux virtual machines.

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Linux Tagged with: , , , ,

What’s New in #5nine Manager v7.1 For #HyperV ? @5nine_Software

Hello Folks,

I am glad to share with you that 5nine Software just released the latest 5nine Manager Version 7.1 for Hyper-V.

INTRODUCTION

5nine Manager is an easy-to-use and cost-effective management solution for Microsoft Hyper-V. It provides many of the features of Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager that you need for everyday Hyper-V and cluster management, at a fraction of the cost. 5nine Manager helps system administrators save time by automating multiple operations through various enhancements to 5nine Manager’s platform, views, wizards and antivirus features. The new version makes 5nine Manager look and feel like VMware vCenter and increases operational efficiency, enabling IT administrators that are new to Hyper-V to have an easier and more familiar management experience

In today’s blog post, I will share with you the latest features and enhancements that have been added into 5nine Manager v7.1 for Hyper-V.

WINDOWS 10 SUPPORT

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5nine Software is actively following the latest market tendencies and technologies and the new version 7.1 can manage and protect virtual machines running the latest Microsoft’s client operating system, Windows 10! Additionally the 5nine Manager console can also run directly on Windows 10, allowing you to administer your data center from your laptop.

NEW VIRTUAL MACHINE HEALTH SUMMARY VIEW

Expand your monitoring capabilities with the new Virtual Machine Health Summary view. In addition to viewing the batched information about the overall health of your virtualized infrastructure on a data center, cluster and host level, now you can gain additional insight through a new summary on the virtual machine level. It displays the health status of the VMs, including other helpful information such as state of the running VM, the generation, the host it is running on, the amount of available storage and much more.

With this new view, you can now control frequent actions of the selected VM right from the same panel. The new Virtual Machine Health Summary view displays the latest incidents for the selected VM in a sortable list. Now all the information you need to understand how your VM is performing is stored in one place!

5nine_manager_whats_new_7_1_01

ENHANCED VIRTUAL MACHINE CLONING CAPABILITIES

Make cloning of a VM into a fast and seamless process with the new Virtual Machine Cloning Wizard. Creating multiple copies of a VM is now possible just in a couple of clicks through a wizard available from a VM’s context menu or toolbar, making it easy to quickly scale up your data center.
You can create multiple clones simultaneously and they will appear in 5nine Manger. You can also specify whether the virtual hard disk files of the clones will be stored in the same directory as the original VM or you can choose another storage destination.

5nine_manager_whats_new_7_1_02

UPDATED VIRTUAL MACHINE EXPORT WIZARD

5nine Manager v7.1 provides a new way of exporting virtual machines. The Export Virtual Machine operation is now available in a separate wizard that can be invoked from both a toolbar and a context menu. If you are doing multiple exports, you can optimize your storage space with the “clear content” option before copying the virtual machine’s files.

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NEW ANTIVIRUS SUMMARY VIEWS & REPORTING

In the edition of 5nine Manager with Antivirus you can now see a summarized status of all the antivirus scans for all VMs running on the host. You can generate reports for the selected VMs in a single click that include information about the jobs, active protection, infections and more.

5nine_manager_whats_new_7_1_04

ENHANCED ANTIVIRUS THREAT MANAGEMENT SETTINGS

With the new 5nine Manger with Antivirus v7.1, system administrators have more control of their security scanning settings. There are always cases where a developer or user might need to keep some suspicious files on their virtual machine without the antivirus reporting it each time the disk is scanned. With the new Allowed Threats settings, you can ensure that these particular files will not be quarantined again upon the next AV scan.

To add an additional level of security, you can now centrally manage an Always Blocked lists. This will guarantee that certain files or folders always
stays blocked as a threat to prevent end users from accidentally opening or launching them.

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EXPANDED ANTIVIRUS GUEST OS & FILE SYSTEM SUPPORT

5nine Manger with Antivirus v7.1 can now support additional file system types to make the antivirus scans work more efficiently. In addition to NTFS, 5nine
can now scan VMs that are using File Allocation Table (FAT) for Windows systems and Extended File System (EXT) for Linux.

5nine Manager continues to support all Linux and UNIX virtual machines running on Hyper-V. These distributions include CentOS, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu,
RHEL Server, Debian, Oracle Linux and FreeBSD.

5nine Manager v7.1 is available immediately for free. For more information, please visit: http://www.5nine.com/5nine-manager-for-hyper-v-product.aspx

Until next time.

Cheers,
@Charbel

Posted in 5nine, Hyper-V Tagged with: , , , ,

Investing in the Cloud & The Technical Challenges of Cloud Adoption – Whitepaper & Webinar @Savision

Hello folks,

Thinking about moving to the Cloud? Then you have to check out Savision’s new whitepapers on Cloud Adoption, written by my fellow MVP Alessandro Cardoso. You will learn all the details about Cloud Adoption: the challenges in deployment, management and automation phases, and also include tips and considerations that you need to consider before, during and after the process of adopting the Cloud. To complement the whitepapers, there will also be free webinars hosted by MVP Alessandro Cardoso.

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‘Investing in the Cloud: Assessing IT & Business Requirements’ Whitepaper & Webinar

The Cloud approach addresses elastic scale, agility, costs and time to market, by allowing organizations not only to deploy a solution quickly but also to scale up/down based on demand. Cloud adoption is sky rocketing, there’s no doubt about it. However, when it comes to investments in the Cloud, how are you planning and assessing business and IT requirements? 

  • Download the whitepaper here
  • Register for the webinar: September 9 at 9:00 am CEST | 5:00 pm AEST
  • The webinar will be presented by MVP Alessandro Cardoso, and will be co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink.

‘The Technical Challenges of Cloud Adoption’ Whitepaper & Webinar

The Cloud can be a powerful platform and many organizations are building their business processes around Cloud capabilities as it addresses elasticity, agility, costs and time to market. Today, the decision to invest in cloud solutions has shifted to include other business units (e.g. HR, Finance, Marketing and Sales), each with their own business goals, services levels and IT needs. But how well can you ensure an optimal deployment, management, automation and user experience in the cloud?

Enjoy!

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Savision Tagged with: , , , ,

StarWind Software Inc. News 10 August 2015

Hello folks,

Here are the latest news from StarWind Software Inc.

1. Upcoming Events / Webinars

Live Webinar! Turn-key Hyper-Converged Virtualization Solution for SMBs / ROBOs
 StarWind_Webinar_11_August_2015

Date: 11 August, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET Speakers:

Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software Inc.

Ryan Brown, xByte Technologies

Register!

2. Live Demo: 3-2-1 Backup Rule in Real Life

Date: 13 August, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Host:
Oles Borys, Solution Engineer, StarWind Software Inc.

Register!

3. Recorded Tap Room Meetings and Webinars /webinars
 StarWind_Tap_Room_Oles

Webinar: StarWind H-CP: Hyper-V’s Most Integrated Hyper-Converged Platform

Tap Room: Мinimalistic 2-node Hyper-V cluster with ‪StarWind Virtual SAN

Tap Room: Neue Microsoft Storage Best Practices für Hyper-V und SQL Server: SMB 3.0 und Scale-Out File Servers

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, StarWind Tagged with: , , , ,

Windows 10 FAQ #Windows10

Hello folks,

People online are very excited about the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft received thousands of questions from all over the world and therefore I thought of sharing with you some of the most trending topics.

Upgrade Windows 10

People are asking if they can move to windows 10 even they didn’t follow the reservation process.

· “Yes, we recommend using the Windows Update feature as this will help ensure your system is compatible, you will need to reserve your copy and when it is available you will be prompted to begin the installation process.”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ… section How Do I Upgrade My Existing Device?

· “Due to the high level of interest, your upgrade may not be available immediately…but rest assured your copy is reserved and is free”

How do I install Windows 10?

·  “We recommend using the Windows Update feature as this will help ensure your system is compatible, you will need to reserve your copy and when it is available you will be prompted to begin the installation process.”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ… Section How Do I Upgrade My Existing Device?

· “Due to the high level of interest, your upgrade may not be available immediately…but rest assured your copy is reserved and is free”

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Why don’t I have the icon for upgrade? 

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ…..section Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 app?

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

How do I upgrade to the real Win 10 version from Win 10 preview?

· “You will need to roll back to your previously activated version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and then progress with the Windows 10 upgrade either via the reservation process or by downloading the ISO/Media creation tool”

· https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Can I install the upgrade on a different “clean” computer?

· “Yes, at this time it would only be a clean reinstall for the free upgrade.  You must first upgrade to Windows 10 and then you will need to create an ISO file on a USB or DVD and this is only recommended for individuals with a technical background and/or good understanding of computers see site http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

· Additional information can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Why doesn’t our Win 7/8.1 computer at our company get the free upgrade?

· “Each company may have a different support plan for Windows.  Please talk with your local IT Admin on the options that will be available for your company to upgrade to Windows 10”

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Why isn’t it free to upgrade from Win Vista which is older than Win 7 and Win 8?

· “Windows 10 was designed to run on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ….section What are the qualifications for the free upgrade?

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

How to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10?

· “Yes, we recommend using the Windows Update feature as this will help ensure your system is compatible, you will need to reserve your copy and when it is available you will be prompted to begin the installation process.”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ….section How Do I Upgrade My Existing Device?

· “Due to the high level of interest, your upgrade may not be available immediately…but rest assured your copy is reserved and is free”

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Where can I download?

· “In order to download and take the upgrade, you must have an activated version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1”

· “We recommend using the Windows Update feature as this will help ensure your system is compatible, you will need to reserve your copy and when it is available you will be prompted to begin the installation process.”

· “Due to the high level of interest, your upgrade may not be available immediately…but rest assured your copy is reserved and is free”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ…..section How Do I Upgrade My Existing Device?

· “If you have a technical background or good at understanding computers you may also choose to create an ISO file to USB/DVD and install Windows 10 upgrade. see site http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

· Additional information can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

Upgrade Windows 10 Process

How do I make a backup before installing Windows 10?

Recommend to use the Windows 7 Backup and Restore feature

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/backup-and-restore

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/restore-files-backup#1TC=windows-7

· Do not use Windows Easy Transfer – see VKB 3081030

Recommend to use Windows 8 File History feature

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/set-drive-file-history

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/what-happened-to-backup-restore

How do I start the update?

See for full details:  3081677 Walkthrough of the Get Windows 10 app experience

1. See What are the steps to Upgrade on Win10 FAQ
Make your reservation through the Get Windows 10 app. (you can cancel at any time)

1. Click on the Windows icon located at the right end of the taskbar. (Don’t see it? Click here.)

2. Click “Reserve your free upgrade” in the app window.

3. Enter your email if you want confirmation of this reservation.

2. Once you’ve reserved, watch for your upgrade notification.
When Windows 10 is ready for your specific device, we’ll download it in the background to make the upgrade experience easier for you.

1. When the download is complete, you’ll get a notification on your desktop. At that point, you can choose to upgrade right away or at a time that’s good for you.

When does the notification appear for starting the installation?

When do I get Windows 10 Upgrade?

Where’s my upgrade? It’s coming!

If you reserved your free upgrade, it’s on the way. 

We’re managing the upgrade process so everyone has a great experience.   

Watch for your notification in the coming weeks. 

When will I get my free upgrade? 

If you reserved your free upgrade, it’s on the way. 

You’re part of the largest software upgrade event ever and we’re managing it so everyone has a great experience. 

Your notification to upgrade is on the way – it could be as soon as a few days or several weeks.

Absolutely can’t wait? Tech savvy users can use the Media Creation Tool to install immediately on one or multiple devices (link)

Additional Info

· Windows Blog describing the Windows 10 rollout: http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/07/02/windows-10-preparing-to-upgrade-one-billion-devices/

· Windows 10 Reservations FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq

· Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/upgrade-faq-windows-10

Customers Upgrade their Windows 8.1 Pro and find themselves with Windows 10 Home

We’ll keep you on like-to-like editions of Windows. For instance, if you are using Windows 7 Home Premium, you’ll upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

· See Upgrade Editions section of Windows 10 Specifications page

Purchase Windows 10

When can I buy Windows 10 from the MS Store

https://vkbexternal.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=KB;en-US;3074758

To purchase at Microsoftstore.com:

Availability and dates vary by market.

· For full list of markets please see Agent Promotional SharePoint “Windows 10 Sales Matrix”

· For customers who do not have ESD available On July 29th, please use the following Microsoft Approved Messaging –

“We are working quickly to make Windows 10 available for purchase in [insert country], we do not have the exact date but it will be available for purchase within the next two weeks. Please keep checking back.”

Please note:   Japan is not expected to have an ESD purchase experience for approximately one month after launch. Agents should be aware that between August 31st and September 4th, Japan Online Store will not have a standalone version of Windows to sell.  

How I can buy Win10?

To purchase at Microsoftstore.com

Availability and dates vary by market.

· For full list of markets please see Agent Promotional SharePoint “Windows 10 Sales Matrix”

· For customers who do not have ESD available On July 29th, please use the following Microsoft Approved Messaging –

“We are working quickly to make Windows 10 available for purchase in [insert country], we do not have the exact date but it will be available for purchase within the next two weeks. Please keep checking back.”

Please note: Japan is not expected to have an ESD purchase experience for approximately one month after launch. Agents should be aware that between August 31st and September 4th, Japan Online Store will not have a standalone version of Windows to sell.  

Microsoft Store B&M, Online (also microsoftstore.com)

FPP availability via Microsoft Store.com is planned as a phased rollout for both Home and Pro.  Please note:  FPP availability is based on where media is sold currently.

What’s included inside the box?

• (1) USB full product

• Getting Started Guide (attached to the box, but is perforated so you can remove)

• Compliance manual (underneath the tray)

• Product key card

For full list of markets please see Agent Promotional SharePoint “Windows 10 Sales Matrix”

Please Note:  FPP will only be sold in markets where FPP media is available today, please check prior to referring customers.

Will it remain free of costs?

· “Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for a limited time as long as you’re running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. Once you download it all future updates will be at no cost as well!”

If customers ask for pricing information:

· US:  Cost will be $119 for Windows Home and $199.99 for Windows Professional

· ROW: If customers ask how much it will be to upgrade kindly inform the customer that information will be available at a later time.

Activate Windows 10

I cannot activate Win10?

Activation of Windows 10 – unable to activate

· See online resources at “Why can’t I activate?”

· For a full list of self-help online categories, please see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/support

Why is my Windows 10 no longer activated?

· “Some preview keys have been deactivated.  To upgrade to the final release version of Windows 10, you will need to roll back to your original Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 activated copy and progress to the upgrade process.”

· “We recommend using the Windows Update feature as this will help ensure your system is compatible, you will need to reserve your copy and when it is available you will be prompted to begin the installation process.”

· “Due to the high level of interest, your upgrade may not be available immediately…but rest assured your copy is reserved and is free”

· See customer facing Windows 10 FAQ….section How Do I Upgrade My Existing Device?

· “If you have a technical background or good at understanding computers you may also choose to create an ISO file to USB/DVD and install Windows 10 upgrade. see site http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

· Additional information can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

How do I reactivate Windows when I change hardware and need to do a new installation?

See KB 3082672        Troubleshooting: Windows 10 Motherboard Replacement (MBR) During PROMO

Reservation

When will my computer be upgraded since I have booked the upgrade all ready?

How do I know the status of my upgrade?

We’ll notify you when your device is ready to upgrade.

Additionally, you can confirm your reservation and see if your device is ready to upgrade by opening the Get Windows 10.

· See Win10 FAQ

Customers asking if they can move to windows 10 even they didn’t follow the reservation process

Can I get my free Windows 10 upgrade even if I didn’t reserve?

Yes, you can still get your free upgrade. Making a reservation is the first step. To reserve, click here.

· See Win10 FAQ

Can I upgrade without reservation?

Yes but recommend going through reservation process

· How do I upgrade my existing device?

Upgrading is simple:

· Reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now in the Get Windows 10 app.

· Upgrade when you get the notification that Windows 10 has downloaded and is ready for your device.2

· Enjoy Windows 10 for $119 free!

· Tech savvy customers can upgrade using Media Creation Tool from Software Download

o http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

I have reserved the upgrade, but I want to change HDD first before downloading Win 10. Can I install it on that new HDD?

Yes you can upgrade to Windows 10 after installing a hard drive or other hardware. You need to ensure that the version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 on the new HDD is Genuine or Activated before upgrading to Windows 10.

Office

Will Office 365/2013 work on Win 10?

Yes.  Office 365 and Office 2013 will both work on Windows 10.

Will my old Office 2003/2007/2010 work on Win 10?

What Microsoft Office versions are compatible with Windows 10?

Older versions of Office should run on Windows 10 but for peace of mind, we recommend you use the Get Windows 10 app to do a compatibility check. To get there: Click the menu in the upper left and select “Check your PC” or “Your PC is good to go” to displays any known compatibility issues and recommended resolutions. For the best upgrade experience, please plan your upgrade after getting the notification that Windows 10 is ready for your device.

Find more compatibility information at Windows | Compatibility Center

· Office 365

· Office 2013

· Office 2010 (exception Office Starter 2010)

· Office 2007

· Office XP (some versions)

See more info on Product description at Office Information Hub 3049388

Surface

If I buy a Surface 3/Pro 3 now, will it have Windows 10?

July 29th –

• Microsoft Store (North America – US & Canada) will sell select PCs that are pre-loaded with Windows 10. 

• If customers ask about other device or accessory availability with Windows 10, please use the following verbiage in response, “Microsoft Store will be selling additional devices with Windows 10, but we do not have the dates yet, please keep checking back.” 

Early August –

• Microsoft Store (Worldwide) Surface 3 and Pro 3 devices will be pre-loaded with Windows 10. Please use the   Agent Promotional SharePoint for full details. 

• If customer are inquiring about Surface 3 or Pro 3 availability with Windows 10 please use Approved Messaging:   “Microsoft Store will be selling Surface pre-loaded with Windows 10 starting early August, please keep checking back.” 

https://vkbexternal.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=KB;en-US;3074758#Sell10

MS Store

How do I download Minecraft for Windows 10?

I redeemed a code for Minecraft for Windows 10, but there was an error. Now it says the code is already used. What do I do next?

Players who already have the previous PC or Mac edition of Minecraft (running on Java) will be able to download Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta for free.

· See http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-on-windows/game-titles/minecraft-windows-10-edition-beta-faq

· Primary support will be through Xbox

Troubleshooting

Where do I find more information about Win10 Upgrade errors?

Windows 10 Upgrade errors are being identified and documented in customer facing content

· http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/upgrade-install-errors-windows-10

· Or look at Community and Forums

Some specific errors will be documented on VKBs as necessary

Where to find specific error code

· VKB 3075309

· VKB 3074619

Where to find errors with Windows 10 Media Creation Tool?

· Error “Something Happened” while running  Windows 10 Media creation tool –

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

https://vkbexternal.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=KB;EN-US;3080471

I hope it helps!

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 Tagged with: ,

How To Enable #HyperV On #Windows10 Using #PowerShell?

Hello folks,

Since Microsoft released Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. People online are very excited about it.

So what is the number one feature you want to enable after you install Windows 10?

Hyper-V of course Winking smile

In today’s blog post, I will show you how to enable Hyper-V on Windows 10 using PowerShell.

First we will check the Hyper-V state by running Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet.

Enable-HyperV-W10-01

The state is Disabled. Next, we will enable the Hyper-V feature using Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature

Enable-HyperV-W10-02

Reboot the computer and confirm that Hyper-V is enabled successfully.

Enable-HyperV-W10-04

One important point to mention is, with Windows 10 you can now use Hyper-V manager or PowerShell to manage down-level versions of Hyper-V. With Hyper-V manager in Windows 10, you can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1. The Hyper-V PowerShell module in Windows 10 shipped with two modules (V2.0 for server 2016 and V1.1 for server 2012 / R2). 

Enable-HyperV-W10-06

You can upgrade your management machine today to Windows 10 and start managing your existing Hyper-V hosts. 

Sure enough you can enable Hyper-V using Windows Features in Control Panel as well.

Enable-HyperV-W10-03

There are a lot of great new features in Hyper-V in Windows 10 such as PowerShell Direct, Production Checkpoints, Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory and more… You can read all about it here.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, Windows 10 Tagged with: , , ,

Skill Up Results – #PacktPublishing @PacktPub

Hello folks,

Last month, Packt Publishing had taken the Skill Up survey to get a greater understanding of the tech world.
Check out the results of this survey
https://www.packtpub.com/skillup and discover what everyone thinks will be the next big thing in tech and what skills the biggest earners in your sector have under their belt.

Packt_WEBDEV - FINAL_1Packt_APPDEV - FINAL_1

Packt_DATA - FINAL_1Packt_SYSADMIN - FINAL_1

Packt are committed to helping the world put software to work in new ways and have launched a whole range of exclusive offers to help you to Skill Up:

1. Every eBook and Video is now available for $10! Check out our Top 20.
2. Grab some great course bundles – 5 for $25 on every Video and eBook based on your most essential skills.
3. PacktLib with over 3000 titles in our library at a reduced rate of $80 for a limited time.

Grab now any book of your choice here.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Books, Hyper-V Tagged with: , , , ,

StarWind Software Inc. News 3 August 2015

Hello folks,

Here are the latest news from StarWind Software Inc.

1. Neue ‪Microsoft Storage Best Practices für Hyper-V und SQL Server: SMB 3.0 und Scale-Out File Servers (In Deutsch)

StarWind_Webinar_5_August_De

Datum: 5 August, 2:00 CEST

Vortraghalter: Taras Schwed, IT-Systemingenieur

Windows Server 2012 R2 bietet SMB 3.0 als neue Generation der schnellen und bequemen Speicher für Hyper-V und ‪‎SQL Servers an. In diesem Webcast erfahren Sie, wie Sie eine hoch verfügbare, robuste und kostengünstige SoFS Cluster mit maximaler Leistung und minimaler Hardware erstellen können.

Jetzt registrieren!

2. Are you the one who has missed StarWind webinar ‘StarWind H-CP: Hyper-V’s Most Integrated Hyper-Converged Platform’?

It is now available here!

A Hyper-Converged plug-n-play solution is the simplest way to build your virtualization infrastructure, saving time and effort by integrating servers, storage, network, management software and backup. Not only does this platform solve the problem of virtualization deployment complexity, it also saves you at least 40% of the cost compared to getting the same components separately.

Learn more about Hyper-Converged Platform by watching the recorded webinar!

Also, if you would be interested in sharing these articles for StarWind:

· “StarWind Software’s Hyper-Converged Platform (H-CP) Solution Meets SMB Needs” by David Marshall

· “My Home Lab Converged Infrastructure Challenge” by Eiad Al-Aqqad

· “Convert Different Virtual Images with a Free Tool: StarWind V2V Converter” by Lai Yoong Seng

Cheers,
~Charbel

Posted in Hyper-V, StarWind Tagged with: , , , ,

Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 is Now Available #SysCtr #SystemCenter #VMM

Hello folks,

I am glad to share with you that Microsoft just released the Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2.

Please find the description of the components that are updated in System Center 2012 R2 UR7 and the new features that are added for Virtual Machine Manager particularly:

Virtual Machine Manager (KB3066340):

  • Support for Windows 10 Client Operating System
    After you install this update, you can provision and customize Windows 10 Client Virtual Machines (VMs). This support does not include installing Virtual Machine Manager Console on Windows 10 operating system clients.
  • Support for new Linux Operating Systems
    After you install this update, you can provision and customize Debian 8 Linux as a Guest Operating System.
  • Support for VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios
    With
    Update Rollup 6, we announced support for basic management scenarios for vCenter 5.5. Building on our roadmap for vCenter and VMM integration and supportability, we are now pleased to announce a broader supportability matrix to manage vCenter instances in the VMM console.
    For a complete list of scenarios that are supported, click
    here.
  • Support for Multiple External IP Addresses per Virtual Network
    You can now have multiple external IP Addresses assigned to a single Virtual Network if you have Update Rollup 7 or a later version installed in your VMM environment.
    Update Rollup 7 includes the ability to set multiple IP addresses for NAT in VMM by using PowerShell. This update raises the capability to a higher level in the stack by having support in VMM for the Fabric Administrator.
    How do you use this functionality?

    $natConnection = Add-SCNATConnection -Name “NAT_Connection1_NatConnection” -VMNetworkGateway $VmNetworkGateway -ExternalIPPool $externalIpPoolVar -ExternalIPAddress “30.30.30.50”
    $natConnection = Add-SCNATConnection -Name “NAT_Connection2_NatConnection” -VMNetworkGateway $VmNetworkGateway -ExternalIPPool $externalIpPoolVar -ExternalIPAddress “30.30.30.51”

    After examining deeply all the pieces in the stack, we realized that the delivery of a secure and robust solution requires a bit more work and will not fit into a single UR release. Therefore, we are delivering the ability to set multiple IP addresses per virtual network by using an HNV NAT Gateway in a phased manner.
    A future update rollup for VMM will explore the properties through the complete stack and provide the following functionality all the way through Windows Azure Pack (WAP).

    • When you add a new NAT Rule, a tenant can now use an existing external address or specify a new one.
    • You can let the WAP Administrator set quotas for the external IP addresses that are enabled per user role within the cloud.

    We understand that there is lots of demand around this feature based on the amount of customer feedback that we have received. We are planning to deliver end-to-end support for this. We want to make sure that what we deliver is something that is secure, robust, and easy to use.

  • Option to Reassociate Orphaned virtual machines to their Service or VM role
    If you ever had to remove a host that hosted Service or VM role virtual machines, and you wanted to wave a magic wand to reassociate a virtual machine to its service or VM role after the host is recommissioned to VMM, we have the solution for you in Update Rollup 7.
    You can now reassociate an orphaned virtual machine to its service or VM role after the host server is recommissioned to VMM.
    For more information, click
    here.
  • Support for VMM DHCP Extension PXE/TFP Forwarding
    Administrators who depend on PXE to set up virtual machines or hosts can now perform a PXE boot by directly taking advantage of VMM DHCP extensions.

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:
3066340 Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

Components that are fixed in update rollup 7:
 Data Protection Manager

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3065246 Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

 Operations Manager

Coming soon – Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
For more information, click
here.

 Orchestrator

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3069115 Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator

 Service Manager

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3063263 Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager

 Service Provider Foundation

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3069355 Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Provider Foundation

 Windows Azure Pack

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3069121 Update Rollup 7 for Windows Azure Pack

 Windows Azure Pack Websites

See the following Knowledge Base article for details about these fixes and installation instructions:

3069358 Update Rollup 7 for Windows Azure Pack Sites R2 version 2

How to obtain and install Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2.

Please see each KB article above to obtain specific installation instructions for each component.

Warning! Please remember to try the update first in a dev/test environment before you install them in production!

Cheers,
/Charbel

Posted in System Center, System Center 2012 R2 Tagged with: , , , ,

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