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Tag Archives: Windows Server

Create Active Directory Visio diagram automatically using Active Directory Topology Diagrammer ADTD

One of the least favorite tasks of many administrators is to document. Good administrators also don’t want to manually do things when it can be automated. This is where Active Directory Topology Diagrammer (ADTD) can help to automate documenting your Active Directory environment.

Recently I have been working on a new Active Directory OU design and used the Active Directory Topology Diagrammer to create a Visio diagram for the AS-IS situation. I have to say it worked great. Keep in mind though that it will show the OUs and not any other containers.

Besides documenting AD OUs, the Active Directory Topology Diagrammer can document many other things as well. Take a look at the article “How To Use The Active Directory Topology Diagrammer” or play around with it yourself to see what it can do.

The tool can also be very helpful when:

  • You’re in a new environment and need to get a quick overview of the Active Directory.
  • When there’s no documentation available or when the available documentation is outdated.
  • When you’re auditing the quality of documentation.

For more tools, take a look at my website: http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/Lists/Applications/Summary.aspx

 

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Microsoft – Exam preparation resources wiki for Server 2012 and much more

Guido van Brakel (@guidovbrakel) has posted the great “Preparation resources for the exam 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012” on his blog http://www.enduria.eu some months ago.

Apparently he has now partnered up with the Microsoft Learning / Born To Learn team and is moderating wiki posts containing preparation resources for all kinds of exams including:

70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012
70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure

From what I can see in the wiki based on the placeholders, a lot of great content is planned for the future as well.

The Born To Learn blog , Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) and Server 2012 Virtual Labs are also great resources you may want to check out.

PS: If you’re Dutch or Belgian, you might also want to take a look at the Tweakers.net forum and especially the “[Microsoft Certified] Ervaringen en discussies – Deel 9” thread where lots of Microsoft Certification information is shared.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2013 in ICT, Learning, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2012

 

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Windows 8 – Running Windows 8 from USB stick or USB hard disk using Windows To Go (WTG)

Summary of what Windows To Go (WTG) is

In short, Windows To Go is a Windows 8 Enterprise feature that allows you to boot and run Windows 8 from a USB flash drive (USB stick).

Potential reasons and scenarios for using Windows To Go

There are many potential reasons and scenarios for using Windows To Go, but here are some of them from the top of my head:

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2013 in ICT, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2012, Windows 8

 

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PowerShell – Determine which Active Directory objects are protected from accidental deletion

In yesterday’s post I showed some commands to protect all or specific Active Directory objects from accidental deletion.

In some situations (by example preparing for a change) you might want to know which objects are protected from accidental deletion and which are not. Also when multiple people make changes in an Active Directory it might prove difficult to keep track of the changes.

To determine the protection status of AD objects, I use a script that checks the ACL of the AD Object. When Everyone is explicitly Denied access, it is protected from accidental deletion.

 

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PowerShell – Protect Active Directory objects from accidental deletion

In a previous blog post I explained how to enable the Active Directory Recycle Bin which allows you to restore deleted active directory object.

But even though it’s great to be able to restore objects, it is even better to prevent accidental deletion. What accidental deletion basically does, is modify the permissions on an AD object to Deny Everyone so you won’t be able to delete it by accident.

More information about protection from accidental deletion can be found in “Preventing Unwanted/Accidental deletions and Restore deleted objects in Active Directory” and “Windows Server 2008 Protection from Accidental Deletion“.

In Windows Server 2012 with all the new cmdlets, it has become much easier to enable protection from accidental deletion.

By example, you could use these commands:

#Get-ADobject class names
get-adobject -filter * | select objectclass | group objectclass

#Protect specific AD object classes from accidental deletion
get-adobject -filter * | where{($_.ObjectClass -eq “container”) -or ($_.ObjectClass -eq “organizationalunit”) -or ($_.ObjectClass -eq “user”) -or ($_.ObjectClass -eq “group”) -or ($_.ObjectClass -eq “computer”)} | Set-ADObject -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion $true

#Protect all AD organizational units from accidental deletion
Get-ADOrganizationalUnit -filter * | Set-ADOrganizationalUnit -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion $true

#Protect all AD objects from accidental deletion
Get-ADobject -filter * | Set-ADObject -ProtectedFromAccidentalDeletion $true

 

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Server 2012 Storage Spaces: theory vs reality

In Server 2012, Storage Spaces has been added. It allows you to pool multiple physical disks together (regardless of disk size and connection type) as one big logical disk. For those people familiar with Windows Home Server (WHS), the concept is similar to Drive Extender. For more information read the Storage Spaces FAQ or this blog post.

After the Storage Pool has been created, you can create one or more Storage Spaces (virtual disks) and configure them as either a simple volume, mirror volume or parity (software raid).

Even though this seems great in theory, in reality the write performance on a parity volume is painfully slow at about 25-30 MB/s. Besides the performance, there are also other aspects that you might not appreciate. So before implementing this in a production environment, test it extensively in a testing environment. You can also play around in Microsoft’s virtual labs.

It’s a pity Storage Spaces didn’t meet my expecations, because I was really looking forward to replace my Windows Home Server with Drive Extender. But for now I would recommend sticking with hardware RAID solutions.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 14, 2012 in ICT, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2012, Windows 8

 

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