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Update to Microsoft Deployment is available March 24, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in Deployment, Tool.
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This week Microsoft released the first update to Microsoft Deployment (the replacement for Business Desktop Deployment 2007). At the same time, they decided to change the name to Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008 (MDT). The update includes both fixes and new features:


  • Support for Vista Service Pack 1
  • Full support for Windows Server 2008
  • Additional Actions including Configure DHCP, Authorize DHCP, Configure DNS, and Configure ADDS during server deployment 
  • New scripts that will automate the installation of Mass Storage Drivers for Windows XP and Windows 2003 Systems
  • Ability to use a WSUS server for the Windows Update script
  • Improved performance for the PXE Filter for System Center Configuration Manager unknown computer support
  • Improved documentation including a new Quick Start Guide for System Center Configuration Manager and a guide for implementing the Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager

PS! From what I can see, the new automatic installation of mass storage drivers for XP and Windows Server 2003 is only during the unattended installation (when you create the master image). I was really hoping they would add this function so you don’t need to rebuild the master image every time you get a new storage controller:-(

Download Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008

Do you have problems organizing our inbox – have a look at xobni March 14, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in Outlook, Tool.
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Found information about xobni today and it looks extremely cool, hope I can get a test version soon. Click on the icon to read more about it.

Xobni outlook add-in for your inbox

System Center Essentials 2007 SP1 Released March 11, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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Yesterday Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for System Center Essentials 2007. This service pack includes both fixes and new features.

  • Up to 70 percent less memory consumption
  • Faster UI
  • Support for workgroup joined computers
  • Support for SNMP v1 devices
  • Improved setup
  • New update approvals rules
  • Enhanced third-party update experience
  • Support for Windows Server 2008.

Read more about the service pack.

Download Service Pack 1

Download an evaluation copy of SCE 2007 with SP1

New server family is born – Windows Essential Server Solutions March 2, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in SBS, Windows Essential Server.
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Last week Microsoft released a new server family “Windows Essential Server Solutions”. The new family includes to product suites today:

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (code name Centro)

This is a new suite that will fit medium sized companies (up to 250 users/devices). It will be available in to editions, Standard and Premium. Premium version has an extra server license and SQL 2008 except the following:

  • Windows Server 2008 standard (x64)
  • Microsoft System Center Essentials
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server
  • Next version of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server

Windows Small Business Server 2008 (code name Cougar)

This is the new version of the Small Business Server. I’m not sure if I would like to call it an upgrade (more a down grade if you ask me) since I think they removed two important applications. The first application that’s removed is ISA that has been includes in the last two versions. The second one is System Center Essentials – this one has never been included since it’s a new application but Microsoft have been telling us that it will be included but the product group decided to remove it. For me this is a bit irritating since I have been selling “Software Assurance” license just to get this new features. So, what does it include then:

  • Windows Server 2008 standard (x64)
  • Windows SharePoint Services v3
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange
  • Windows Live OneCare for Server
  • Integration with Office Live Small Business

System Center Authoring Console RC available for download March 2, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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If you plan to create MP’s for System Center Operations Manager or System Ceneter Essentials, Microsoft have now released the “real” authoring console.

Download System Center Authoring Console (Release Candidate)

Download Operations Manager Report Authoring Guide

Partner Management packs you might have missed March 2, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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Dell v.3.0

The Dell Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and System Center Essentials integrates Dell PowerEdge server alerts into Ops Manager. The Management Pack provides a list of Dell-specific views that you can use to observe and drill down the system status in a network

1) Added support for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007.
2) Enhanced health drill down model in Diagram views from overall Dell Hardware health to individual hardware components.
3) Includes support for the latest versions of Dell OpenManage Server Administrator v5.2 (including the enhanced Storage Management Service 2.2).
4) Supports monitoring of Dell printers using SNMPv2




Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT) Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and System Center Essentials is now available. This management pack enables the users of these applications to take advantage of the advanced, hardware-based system management capabilities of Intel® AMT, which are built into PCs with Intel® VPro™ processor technology. These capabilities will help reduce the cost of discovering, managing and securing desktop and mobile PCs in the enterprise and thereby improving compliance with corporate policies. Information Technology (IT) support staff can now rapidly and remotely communicate with, power up, reboot, control, inventory assets, and remediate desktop PCs with Intel® VPro™ processor technology even if the PC is powered off or the operating system is not functioning. Support staff are able to manage PCs more effectively from the IT support center which leads to a reduction in desk-side visits and hence the total cost of ownership of computing systems equipped with Intel® VPro™ processor technology.

Download the latest version of Intel® Active Management Technology Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations and System Center Essentials

More information about AMT MP 

Download Intel® Server Management Pack

Download Intel® Modular Server Management Pack

Updated 20080807 with new links Server Management Pack and a new download link to the Modular Server Management Pack

HP 1.5 (Note that this is a special version for SCE that includes both the Proliant and Blade MP’s)

The HP ProLiant Server and BladeSystem Management Packs for Microsoft System Essentials (SCE) expose the native management capabilities of HP ProLiant Servers and BladeSystems through SCE

  • Obtain greater visibility of ProLiant servers and BladeSystems utilizing SCE System, State, and Alert views
  • Quick root cause analysis with graphical server and blade characterization down to the subsystem level
  • Easily manage custom data for HP ProLiant servers with HP’s integrated Custom Data Manager


Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 has been released March 2, 2008

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCOM.
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Last week Microsoft released SP1 for Operations Manager 2007 that we all have been waiting for. Note that this service pack is not supported for System Center Essentials, this service pack will be released soon.


List of issues that are fixed in System Center Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1

Download the SP1 RTM Eval Web Package

Download the SP1 RTM Upgrade Web Package

The Deployment Guide updated for SP1

Operations Manager 2007 SP1 Training videos



If you are upgrading from SP1 RC (6246) to SP1 RTM (6278) then you may need to run repair to upgrade the agents rather than approve them from pending management view as agents needing upgrade may not appear in this view. This was not called out in the upgrade document we shipped in SP1. We have updated the web version of the upgrade guide as well as the release notes. Below are the steps that need to be taken after the upgrade if agents to be upgraded do not appear in the Pending Management view

To upgrade agents from Operations Manager 2007 SP1 RC (build 6246) to Operations Manager 2007 SP1 (build 6278) using the Operations Console

1.   Log on to the computer hosting the Operations Console with an account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators role for the Operations Manager 2007 management group.

2.   In the Operations Console, click Administration.



When you run the Operations Console on a computer that is not a management server, the Connect To Server dialog box appears. In the Server name text box, type the name of the Operations Manager 2007 management server to which you want to connect.

3.   In the Administration pane, expand Device Management, and then click Agent Managed.

4.   In the Agent Managed pane, select the agents that are listed as version 6.0.6246.0, right-click them, and then select Repair.

5.   In the Repair Agents dialog box, select the appropriate agent action account, and then click Repair.

When dealing with large numbers of agents requiring upgrade to the SP1 RTM build 6.0.6278.0, it is recommended to batch agent upgrades by muti-selecting sub-sets of agents to be repaired, verifying agent upgrade was successful (Agent Managed view, Version column indicates 6.0.6278.0, and then continuing with the next batch.