Passing Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

I just passed Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions on the first attempt! So I figured I’d share my study material. First off, please know that I rarely deal with public cloud offerings and so I entered into this endeavor with only a little book knowledge but a lot of private cloud/IaaS experience. As much as…

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Free ebook: Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform

I've been heads down in Dynamics CRM for the past 6 months and just noticed that a free ebook was released: Microsoft System Center: Integrated Cloud Platform. I want to amplify and plug some great work from some good colleagues over the years from our diverse set of customers from around the globe. If you want…

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ACS Autopilot MP Now Provides ACS Debugging Capabilities

Overview The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” sums up why the latest updates to the ACS Autopilot management pack were made. If you ever have to spend some time troubleshooting problematic ACS forwarders, you may be aware of the capability to place a forwarder/collector in debug mode so as to dig deeper into…

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PS Script to Backup ACS Configuration on Collectors

Overview While the Operations Guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager prescribes how to backup the ACS database, this post seeks to enable you to automatically backup important data stored on the ACS collectors. The most important item to backup on the ACS collectors is the %WINDIR%\System32\Security\AdtServer\AcsConfig.xml file which is updated by the collector…

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How to Configure ACS Database for 2 ACS Collectors and Windows Authentication

Overview Beginning with OpsMgr 2007 SP1, one could install ACS backend with two ACS collectors that write security events to ACS database in an active/passive manner. This capability is still available for ACS in OM 2012 but still forces one to configure the security on the SQL database to be SQL Authentication which isn’t as…

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Auditing the Microsoft Private Cloud with ACS Autopilot – Part 3

Implement ACS Autopilot: Part 3 of 3 posts in a “mini-series” describing how to automatically audit private cloud enterprises. As stated in part 1 of this series, the task of enabling ACS forwarders on target endpoints is normally a manual procedure –and for good reason! If the automation in the accompanying “autopilot” management pack were to…

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Auditing the Microsoft Private Cloud with ACS Autopilot – Part 2

Deploy OM agents: Part 2 of 3 posts in a “mini-series” describing how to automatically audit private cloud enterprises. Before one can enable ACS forwarders (manually or with the autopilot MP), the OM agent must first be deployed and the agents homed to the management group. Given the scenario described in part 1, CONTOSO leverages…

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Auditing the Microsoft Private Cloud with ACS Autopilot – Part 1

Prereqs: Part 1 of 3 posts in a “mini-series” describing how to automatically audit private cloud enterprises. In order to automatically audit security events from Windows servers that are provisioned dynamically to private clouds, branch offices and the entire enterprise; Microsoft recommends Audit Collection Services (ACS) which is included in System Center 2012 – Operations…

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ACS Ramp Material

Since there isn’t much ILT or CBT material around for operations and maintenance of Audit Collection Services (ACS), I have been frequently asked to help folks ramp up on ACS. Here is the list of reference material that I usually recommend:  Eric Fitzgerald’s blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ericfitz “Chapter 10: Security and Compliance” in the “System Center 2012 Operations…

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Hello World

I’ve been with Microsoft for many moons now and have written loads of documentation for Microsoft customers, partners and colleagues that have been based upon training and experience as a Microsoft consultant. So I’m finally getting around to leveraging a blog to help with sharing knowledge in a more flexible and rapid manner. A hero…

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