Step-By-Step: Removing A Domain Controller Server Manually

The proper way to remove a DC server in an Active Directory infrastructure is to run DCPROMO and remove it. The following video provides an example of these steps: There are certain situations however, such as server crash or failure of DCPROMO option, that would require a manual removal of the DC from the system by cleaning up the servers metadata as…


Step-By-Step: Downgrading A Windows Server Domain and Forest Functional Level

Once upon a time, it was not possible to downgrade Windows Server forest and domain functional levels once upgraded. Enter Windows Server 2012 R2 and it's Active Directory enhancements, as detailed by the video below, backed by PowerShell automation capabilities. This enablement makes the forest and domain functional level downgrade even easier. Do keep in mind however that the lowest functional level…


Managing Azure Virtual Machines with Server Manager

One of the best and improved features in Server 2012 is being able to manage multiple servers from Server Manager either from Server or desktop. From a single pane of glass, I can easily check the status of other servers in my domain, install roles, and host of other functions. Check out the following video for further…


What You Should Consider When Upgrading to SQL Server 2014

Support for SQL Server 2005 comes to an end April 12 2016. Organizations should now start planning to upgrade their databases to SQL Server 2014. While it is SQL 2005 that is retiring, the reality is, there are still SQL Server 2000 databases that are still operational even though they have not been supported by Microsoft since 2013. In fact,…


Step-By-Step: Managing Multiple User Accounts Via Active Directory Admin Center

Normally in a Windows Server Active Directory environment, time is needed to apply same set of changes to a group of users. For example, let’s say a company's domain prefix changed. As the IT administrator you have been asked to change the UPN prefix for all users from abc.com to xyz.com. How long would it take to complete this change if…


PowerShell Tips: Who has Access To This Directory?

Here's a question many IT Administrators get from time to time: "Can you tell me who has access to this directory?" This question is being asked more often as many more devices are trying to gain access to the data you secure. While it is easy to see all the groups that have access just by right-clicking…


Step-By-Step: Deploying Multiple Services via Azure Resource Manager

A few weeks ago, Pierre Roman explained the changes from cloud services in the classic portal to the new resource manager in the preview portal. He explained that the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) manages a Resource Group which contains all the application resources, from storage and networking to virtual machines. This Step-By-Step will provide details on how to deploy a basic infrastructure in a…


Step-By-Step: Seizing the Operation Master Roles in Windows Server 2012 R2

A disaster recovery plan is something every organization, no matter how small, should have. It provides piece of mind to not only the business decision makers, but the IT administrators that support said organization as well.  Unfortunately, not all organizations feel the same way and sometimes the perceivable cost is harder to swallow for some…


Step-By-Step: Setup and Installation of Windows Server Containers

Various new features have been announced in Microsoft’s upcoming release of Windows Server 2016. This Step-By-Step post will explore the new Windows Server Containers feature made available in the upcoming release.  The following video provides a great overview of the feature:   Setup/Installation Currently there are 3 ways that containers can be utilized. Containers Host…

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Step-By-Step: Compacting the DHCP database

To ensure top performance and availability, the DHCP server database requires maintenance from time to time. DHCP database can grow fast, especially in larger organizations, and compacting the DHCP database should be a regular occurrence to adhere to that. A recommendation from Microsoft actually states to compact any database larger than 30mb.   During Windows NT…