How to create a bootable USB drive for Windows Server 2016 (Windows 10 too!)

In this session we go through all of the steps to create your own bootable USB drive for installing Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 (probably other Windows OS will work with this method as well).

 

 

  1. Download Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 ISO Image and mount it.
  2. Insert USB Drive, migrate any existing data, clean and format the drive
  3. Copy boot sector to USB drive
  4. Copy ISO data to USB Drive
  5. Insert USB Drive in system and boot from USB
  6. Enjoy

Microsoft Surface Go Announced – Surface quality in a more compact option starting at $399

Microsoft on July 9th, 2018 announced to the world a new member to the Surface family, the Surface Go. The Surface Go is a 10″ tablet and/or 2-in-1 device with optional accessories starting at the attractive price of $399 and light weight of 1.15 pounds not including the Type cover.

The Surface Go comes in (2) basic models:

  • 64GB eMMC storage, Intel 4415Y Pentium Gold processor, and 4 GB RAM -$399
  • 128GB SSD storage, Intel 4415Y Pentium Gold Processor, and 8GB RAM – $549

All models ship with Windows 10 in S mode and a 30-day trial to Microsoft Office 365 Home. Windows 10 running in S mode only allows you to use apps exclusively from the Microsoft Store. You can switch out of S mode and run any native x86/x64 apps if you desire but S mode is enabled out of the box for more secure computing.

You may have noticed that All models ship with the same processor which is a fan-less model. The Intel 4415Y Pentium Gold Processor is a noted improvement over the Intel Atom processors that in the past shipped with similar devices but the big performance enhancement comes from the GPU which is powered by the embedded Intel HD Graphic 615.

The Surface Go features a 10″ PixelSense Display with a resolution of 1800 x 1200 (217 PPI). The display as with all of the currently supported Surface devices, supports 10-point multi-touch and is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The expected battery life of the Surface Go is up to 9 hours of video playback. The Surface Go includes a 5 MP front facing camera and an 8 MP rear-facing camera and the device also supports Windows Hello for authentication with your face.

Brand new accessories are also available for the Surface Go including several Signature Type covers starting at $129 for a full keyboard experience and a new Surface Mobile mouse starting at $34.99.

The Surface Go is also compatible with the existing Surface Pens that are available for $99.99.

When it is all said and done if you get the entry level Surface Go ($399) + Surface Pen ($99.99) + Surface Signature Touch Cover ($129.99) you are looking at about $628.98 before tax to enable all of the features and capabilities of the device to make a full well rounded system. But if I was buying today,  I would definitely step up to the model including the 128GB SSD + 8GB ram and that would put the total cost before tax at $778.98. I think this is the better buy to go for if the form factor of the Surface Go is what you are looking for in a new laptop/tablet/hybrid device.

One thing that may irk some buyers, is that the Surface Go only includes 1 x USB-C port and a micro-SDXC card reader. So for many of your existing peripherals if you decide to connect them to the Surface Go, you will need a dongle to convert from USB-C to USB-A, or USB-C to HDMI, or USB-C to [X] …. you get the idea. The alternative solution, if you will be using the device mostly at a desk is to pick up a Surface docking station.

 

 

 

Operations Management Suite Overview

In this session, we will take a look at the ‘current’ Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) Portal and discuss several of the available solutions.

  • Overview of the UI
  • Enabling OMS Solutions
  • AD and SQL Health Checks
  • Log Analytics
  • Security and Audit
  • Data Plan Options
  • Downloading and Installing Agents
  • Connected Data Sources – Storage Accounts, Log Data from Agents, SCOM, SCCM, AD, WSUS
  • Windows Telemetry data ingestion
  • Collecting Windows Event Logs and Performance Data
  • Collecting Linux Performance Counters

 

Note: It appears the OMS Portal will eventually be fully integrated within the Azure Portal. So some features you see in the OMS Portal may not currently show up in the Azure Portal, and some features in the Azure portal may not show up in the OMS Portal while the service is in this in-between transitional period.

Note: Even if you are on the FREE data plan, some solutions have a COST after a 60 day or less trial period. In particular the Security and Audit feature, now integrated within the Azure Security Center feature has a cost after the expiration of the trial period.

Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 Billion!

For the past few days there have been rumors of a pending acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft for $2 billion dollars or more. It is rumor no more. Today Microsoft announced that they are acquiring GitHub for a cool $7.5 billion dollars in stock. 

Microsoft’s Nat Friedman will assume the role of GitHub’s new CEO. Nat Friedman came over to Microsoft from their earlier acquisition of Xamarin.

GitHub has a very strong open developer community and hosts one of the largest open source software repositories in the world. Microsoft in the past few years has become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, contributors to open source on the GitHub platform.

Read more about it here: https://news.microsoft.com/2018/06/04/microsoft-to-acquire-github-for-7-5-billion/

 

Project Honolulu is now Windows Admin Center and GA!

Earlier we explored using Project Honolulu  and Installing Project Honolulu during its preview phase. Project Honolulu is now generally available and it has been rebranded as “Windows Admin Center”.

Microsoft has released Windows Admin Center, as a re-imagined Windows Server management experience. Windows Admin Center is intended to replace and or supplement the various MMC snap-in tools that an administrator use to do day-to-day activities. Windows Admin Center can be installed on a Windows 10 system, or on a Windows Server 2016 system or later.

Windows Admin Center supports managing Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, and later including the free Hyper-V editions of Windows Server remotely. If you need to manage Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2 you will need to install WMF 5.1 on the target server. Windows Server 2016, 1709, and 2019 Preview do not require any additional add-ins to be managed. Windows Admin Center leverages PowerShell and WMI primarily to perform its’ magic and no additional agents are required. It has no dependencies on Azure or any cloud services. Lastly, Windows Admin Center is quick to install, it does not require IIS or a SQL installation to get started. Currently it is supported on Microsoft’s Edge browser and Google’s Chrome browser.

The best part is that it is web browser based, has no additional cost, and has some functionality that is not available via MMC admin snap-ins or System Center out of the box.

Download Windows Admin Center Now.

 

In-Place upgrade Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2019 Preview! Maybe?

In this session we will be attempting to perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center to Windows Server 2019 Data Center.

Note that the release notes mention Windows Server 2019 R2  for an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2012 R2. We will explore if this is a misprint or if there are already plans for a Windows Server 2019 R2 release giving that Windows Server 2019 is not even out yet.

Lets Go!

Let me know your experiences as well in the comments.