6 Steps For Managing Risk in IT Operations

Written by Mark Farrugia, Senior Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. BusinessDictionary.com defines Managed Risk as the following: Identified probability of loss, or exposure to a danger, that has been minimized to an acceptable level through careful planning and implementation of effective countermeasures. What Exactly Does That Mean? We all manage risk everyday through our everyday actions….


Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange: Outlook Connectivity Issues

Written by Gerald Ramich, Senior Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. This article is for folks who are trying to troubleshoot Microsoft Outlook Connectivity issues to Exchange servers.  I’ll look at a wide number of troubleshooting items, including: RPC through CAS for Mailbox Access:  How does it work? Troubleshooting Common RPC issues Common Root Causes For Receiving…


How to Manually Capture an OS Image using ConfigMgr

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. In System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (ConfigMgr), you can install the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 and it has a task sequence template that you can use to automate the OS deployment, SysPrep it and then Capture the OS as an Image as well. These are…


IT Configuration Monitoring: What is it, and why do we need it?

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Premier Field Engineer. Most companies today have some form of monitoring mechanism implemented to monitor different components of their IT system. There are various monitoring solutions out there. Some are more sophisticated than others, and, in general, there are different levels of monitoring available. I personally categorize most monitoring needs…


SQL Iterators: Making the Life of a SQL Server DBA That Much Easier

Written by boB Taylor, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. Many Microsoft SQL Server DBAs automate as many of their day to day processes as possible, freeing them to attend to higher impact activities. To do so, many DBAs leveraged two undocumented system stored procedures, namely sp_MSForEachDatabase and sp_MSForEachTable. The upside of using these stored procedures…


Troubleshooting OSD Task Sequences in System Center Configuration Manager 2007

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. One of the most annoying things when we have a problem with OSD (Operating System Deployment) Task Sequences in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (ConfigMgr) is that you don’t usually get any error indicating any problem. Most of the time, all you see is the…


Troubleshooting Outlook Connectivity: Understanding Outlook Profiles

Written by Gerald Ramich, Senior Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. This article is for folks who are trying to troubleshoot Outlook Connectivity issues. In my experience, many people confuse profile creation with connectivity to the server, so in this post I’ll explain what happens at profile creation time.  We’ll look at two Outlook Profile creation options:…


Creating Dashboards in Operations Manager 2007 R2 Using Visio 2010

Written by Neil Harrison, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. Have you ever wondered how to create your own dashboard views based off of System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr) 2007 R2 data but weren’t quite sure how? It turns out that there is a Visio Add-In tool available that makes this quite easy to do if you…


Windows Server Failover Clustering Quorum Configuration Models Explained

Written by Cheng Pei Koay, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. A Windows Server 2008 failover cluster is known to provide high availability for various types of back-end applications and services (note that failover clustering is designed for stateful applications). A common perception is to having 2 nodes clustered will accomplish the required level of high availability;…


How To Create a Certificate for a PXE Service Point in ConfigMgr 2007

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer Most companies that I come across run System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 mixed mode especially when they do not have any Internet-based clients. Of course, there are some companies who choose to use Native mode because of security requirements.  One thing about using Native mode…