Bye Bye Microsoft UAG !

Posted by Ahmed Nabil In | 1 comments»
Yesterday Microsoft Announced officially that there will be no new future full version of Microsoft UAG. Server 2012 and 2012R2 will cover some of the UAG features as Direct Access and basic secure application publishing. This was quite expected especially after the TMG retirement and the new web application proxy that was introduced in Server 2012 R2.


For more details on the latest changes to the Forefront family, please check the below article

http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2013/12/17/important-changes-to-the-forefront-product-line.aspx

Windows XP support will end April 2014, What about Microsoft Server 2003 ?

Posted by Ahmed Nabil | 2 comments»
A lot of companies nowadays are trying to move all their clients from the old windows XP platform to either Windows 7 or Windows 8.  By April 8, 2014 there will be no more support for Microsoft Windows XP, this includes windows updates, security updates, fixes and normal support. Although XP was a great product, Its highly recommended to move to a newer and more supported OS as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Its not recommended to run a 10 years old OS nowadays with all this new security challenges.

Client migration is real problem but also the Server migration is still a big issue. I was curious to know the status of the Windows 2003 Server OS that was released at the same time frame of Windows XP and the good news is that its end of support is July 2015. This is a good opportunity for organizations to plan the move of the 2003 servers, i still see Domain Controllers, Exchange, File and application servers still on 2003 or 2003 R2.

There might be a chance that some security or fixes released for 2003 servers might work for XP (Basically 2003 is the XP server version) However no one should take the risk and start phasing out XP and planning for 2003 phase out before July. 2015.


Microsoft Support Life Cycle Index:

http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeselectindex

System Center 2012 Products doesn't Appear on WSUS

Posted by Ahmed Nabil In , | 1 comments»
While checking the WSUS Products and Classifications i noticed that some products as the System Center Service Manager is not listed, also i noticed that the System Center 2012 R2 Products are not listed at all even with the latest updates (I am running WSUS on Windows server 2012 R2).

Upon checking the Microsoft Update Catalog on the Internet, i noticed that Service Manager is not listed/published on the Catalog as well, this explains why SCSM updates are not listed in the WSUS. For the current state WSUS is not designed to give SCSM under Products and Classifications as its not yet under the Catalog.

As for the System Center 2012 R2, they were just released less than 2 month ago and the next expected Rollup Will be mostly in the first quarter of 2014. I double checked with Microsoft Support team and they replied back that the Product team is working on WSUS hotfix/Service Pack/Release..........etc that might list the 2012 R2 Products.

Recommended links for WSUS

  1. Microsoft Update Catalog: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com
  2. Deploy WSUS 2012 and 2012R2 in your organization: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh852340.aspx


   

Two DNS Records with same IP Address. Aging and Scavenging problems with DHCP Lease duration !!

Posted by Ahmed Nabil In | 2 comments»
Aging and Scavenging is very crucial and important for Active Directory Integrated zone, it should be carefully planned and configured. We recently faced a problem when a System Admin reported to me having two DNS records having the same IP address in the DNS Active Directory Integrated zone.

The first thing that came to my mind was to check the Scavenging settings however they both (Refresh and Non-Refresh) seem to be fine compared to the DHCP release time. Always remember that the main rule for this setting is that the Non-Refresh Interval + Refresh Interval should be greater than the DHCP release time. You can tweak it depending on your network, IPs availability and how busy is your network with computers in and out but always keep in mind this main equation.

The second thing to check was the DHCP scope properties and specifically the DNS Tab. Upon checking this setting i noticed that Dynamically Update DNS only if requested by DHCP clients is selected as shown below.





It should be noted that with this above setting, only if the client initiate a request to renew or release by maybe using the ipconfig /release command, then the DNS record will be updated or removed from the DNS zone. As per Microsoft Support advice, in most circumstances, the DHCP client won't initiate the DHCP release request (The client is just removed from the network) and the DHCP and DNS integrated zone won't notice that this client is removed and they still think that this client is online.

After the DHCP lease duration ends, the DHCP server will get this IP back and another client may get this same IP and register itself with the same IP. Now remember the main equation we mentioned earlier, since the Aging and Scavenging time didn't end (They are greater than the DHCP lease), the result will be two records with the same IP address in the DNS zone.

The Solution to this issue is to ensure the DNS record is deleted once the Lease time is reached, we need to change the setting in the image above (Scope Properties - DNS) to Always Dynamically update DNS A and PTR Records.

After changing this setting you will need to restart both DHCP server and DNS server services.


Reference Link:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/03/19/don-t-be-afraid-of-dns-scavenging-just-be-patient.aspx



User Login is very slow on Virtual Machines connected to Broadcom Network cards !

Posted by Ahmed Nabil In | 1 comments»
A weird behavior was noticed on few Hyper-V host machines, these machines are mainly Dell Rack servers as the powerful R720 Model. These servers came with mix of Network adapters (based on your configuration) as the Broadcom built in adapters and extra Intel cards. The behavior noticed was that Virtual machines that are connected to the Broadcom NICs has poor performance and user login takes several minutes on these specific machines. VMs connected to the Intel Network card login normally and has better performance.

When I moved the VMs connected to the Broadcom NICs to the Intel NICs they behaved normally and users can login much faster. I then tried to move the VMs on the Intel Cards to Broadcom and we got the poor performance. We concluded it must be something related to the Broadcom Network card.

Troubleshooting steps:


  1. Updating the Broadcom NICs to the latest driver. Still No change.
  2. We compared the options/Properties of Intel Card vs. Broadcom card and it was noticed that Transmit buffers in Broadcom was 200 vs 500 in the Intel cards, I tried changing it to match the Intel settings. Still No change.

Resolution:

After several investigations, the problem turned out to be in the VMQ setting which was enabled on both Broadcom and Intel. When it was disabled on the Broadcom card, the VM worked perfectly. Looks like the Broadcom card is not compatible with the VMQ feature.


Reference Links: