Keep your friends close, but your cluster node configuration closer. (Comparing differences across failover cluster nodes).

  In my role, I often get to review failover clusters. Typically we look for configuration problems or deviations from best practices. One of the most challenging aspects of managing and maintaining a failover cluster is keeping the nodes identically configured. This means identical drivers, driver versions, service packs, hotfixes, services and applications across all… Read more

Failover Cluster Communication Failures

There are many potential causes for Cluster communication failures including: Network latency Network outages Faulty drivers or network cards, including TCP offload issues Misconfigured firewall rules Security software such as anti-virus, intrusion detection, etc. I was recently working with my customer on an issue where their Windows Server 2008 R2 eight-node Failover Cluster would randomly… Read more

PFE Troubleshooting Series – Second Post (and Happy New Year!)

Troubleshooting Series New Year greetings and salutations from Hilde and the rest of the PFEs out there!  This is the first posting to this blog in 2012 and the second post in a multi-part series on troubleshooting.  In this installment, I’ll be covering a real gem – the Event Viewer.  NOTE: The details of the tools… Read more

In Search Of…. Roaming Active Directory Clients. (How to scriptomatically identify missing Active Directory Subnet Definitions)

  If you want detailed information on how Active Directory sites and subnets work to help clients find their closest domain controller, there is good information on TechNet. In short, you need to ensure that you’ve defined (in Active Directory Sites and Services) Active Directory sites for all of your physical locations that have domain… Read more

PFE Troubleshooting Series – Initial Post

Hello, my name is Mike Hildebrand (aka ‘Hilde’) – I’m a Dedicated Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft.  Welcome to the first in a multi-part series from us on troubleshooting.  From mindsets to toolsets, a variety of Microsoft Premier Field Engineers (PFEs) will discuss a variety of skills, tips and tricks to help you build your ability… Read more

How to Implement the Central Store for Group Policy Admin Templates, Completely (Hint: Remove Those .ADM files!)

  Pre Req: This post assumes you are not using the TS method of managing GPOs documented, at In the field we commonly see two scenarios around the Central Store for Group Policy administrative templates. The first is that the Group Policy Central Store does not exist, meaning that the Policy Definitions folder with… Read more

Hello World!

Welcome to our unofficial blog for Microsoft Premier Field Engineers (PFEs) supporting the Microsoft Platform (server and client OS plus related components). We are a group of 11 PFEs who are dedicated to supporting Microsoft Premier support customers.  We are directly interacting with our customers daily – helping them to understand, use, administer and troubleshoot… Read more