Is Your IT Environment Healthy?

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. Operating an IT system nowadays is a no doubt daunting task. As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE), I have the honor of working with different customers of different sizes in different industries. I fully understand how overwhelming things can get. What I find it interesting…


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…


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…


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…


Visualizing Your IT Environment Using Technical Service Maps

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer. One of the key factors for successful operations is monitoring. The most common questions I get when helping customers plan their monitoring needs are: “How do I know what to monitor?” and “How do I know my system is healthy?” Yes, two very simple questions but…


Documentation: Yes, I know it's a pain, but it's needed.

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE), one of our primarily roles is to perform risk assessments on client IT environments. Of course, we always have very well defined scope as in which Microsoft product that we are reviewing. One of the major issues that always…


IT Operations: Technology Is Not The Sole Answer

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer Most people in IT have a strong tendency to resolve a problem with technology or introducing more technologies into a solution. I‘m guilty on this count too. Well, you know what? Technology is not always the answer. 3 key elements to successful IT operations are People,…


IT Operations: The Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Be Unique

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer In today’s world, we are brought up in a society where we are taught to be first, to be different and to be competitive. We are frequently being urged to be unique in order to stand out among the crowd. There is no doubt that an…


How a Simple IT Operations Checklist Can Prevent a Load of Grief

Written by Kip Ng, Principal Microsoft Premier Field Engineer, based in Canada. 6:05 p.m.: I was called and informed that the system had gone down. I rushed back to the office. 7:10 p.m.: I arrived and found that the drive containing the database had failed. How could it be? It was running on RAID-5. Well,…