Reverse DNS has been announced for all PaaS (Web/Worker roles) and IaaS (VM Instances) Cloud Services. This capability is being released for free and is available for all Cloud Services, both new and existing.
The latest revision of the PowerShell tools (0.8.5 or higher) are required for this capability
Reverse DNS entries are not created automatically and must be instantiated/set with the Set-AzureService cmdlet.
Only one fully qualified domain name is available for reverse DNS per Cloud Service.
Azure RemoteApp can be utilised in Hybrid scenarios where you wish to connect to your on-premises (or even purely Azure-based infrastructure) and leverage on-premises identities.
One interesting thing to note, is that when creating your link between your local domain and Azure, the Organizational Unit (OU) that will optionally host your RemoteApp computer definitions cannot contain a space in the name. The validation logic with the Azure Management Portal will prevent you from adding the necessary details.
The “easy fix” of course is to rename your OU to remove any spaces, and proceed with your Hybrid implementation.
Availability Groups are now supported between different Azure Regions. Any regions available today (4 in United States, 2 in Europe, 2 in Asia Pacific, 2 in Japan, and 1 in Brazil).
This builds on top of Microsoft Azure’s new support to connect VNETs in different Azure regions via secure tunnels. After connecting 2 or more VNETs, their VMs can connect to each other, and even join the same Windows domain, as if they were part of the same VNET.
Having Availability Groups spanning two or more Azure regions enables two important SQL Server scenarios on Azure Infrastructure Services: disaster recovery and geo-distributed read scale-out.
Microsoft Antimalware in Azure out of the gate doesn’t like to be managed manually. Microsoft has a great whitepaper that details all of the wonderful configuration options you can use and how to manage the Antimalware service (MsMpSvc) via PowerShell and the XML configurations, but if you’re looking for a quick turnaround sometimes it is easier to manage the service manually.
Executing the following from a command prompt will allow you to open the Endpoint Protection client and get back to breaking things.
The KB article for SP1 (KB2817429) has been updated with the following:
We have recently uncovered an issue with this Service Pack 1 package that may prevent customers who have Service Pack 1 from deploying future public or cumulative updates. As a precautionary measure, we have deactivated the download page until a new package is published.
The timing is slightly off, as clients have been requesting this patch lately as its been available for a bit now. I’ve had a few quibbles with Service Pack 1, particularly the poor implementation of registry permissions and general provisioning problems with Service Applications. Its nothing that can’t be overcome, but hopefully the Product Group can clean it up when the patch reappears.
Quick PowerShell Snippet - BITS Transfer Status with Progress
BITS Transfers are fun. They can be asynchronous, sometimes intelligent, and far more resilient than a traditional WebClient download.
As asynchronous transfers are occurring in the background, it can be helpful to monitor their progress. The following snippet allows us to do just that, outputting the progress on any current BITS transfers with a status (or JobState) of Transferring.
I had the pleasure of presenting at not one, but two (!!) user groups in Australia this past week to discuss the pitfalls of migrating to SharePoint 2013 and all the things that go wrong along the way.
First up, the Sydney SharePoint User Group located in the heart of the CBD. Sydney is my home away from home for the next few years, and I’m very grateful to the organisers for giving me the opportunity to come out.
The following day, after a quick train ride and some kangaroo sightings, it was off to Canberra for the Canberra SharePoint User Group. There were some projector issues, but I do hope that everyone that attended got something out of the session.
Creating a Windows Azure AD and Windows Server AD Environment using DirSync/ADFS
A new pair of Test Lab Guides (lovingly referred to as TLGs by those “in the know”) have been released today detailing two key scenarios for interfacing your on-premises Active Directory with Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD).
Determining Core Counts in Azure PowerShell the Easy Way™
In the past, to retrieve the number of cores in use in a given Azure subscription (or to retrieve the maximum number of cores available), we had to jump through some hoops to get the information we needed.
One method was to loop through ALL of the Services and then ALL of the Virtual Machines provisioned and maintain a running count of the consumed cores (Ex. Windows Azure compute cores and you. Not only is this tedious, it’s no longer necessary!
A new parameter has been introduced to the Get-AzureSubscription cmdlet called ExtendedDetails. By executing the cmdlet with the ExtendedDetails parameter, you’ll see not only the CurrentCoreCount and MaximumCoreCount, but also some metrics around the number of services you’re consuming (Cloud Services, Storage Accounts, etc.).
If you’ve been executing scripts to provision environments that consistently fail due to lack of cores, a quick check of the output of the Get-AzureSubscription cmdlet could save you some time.
These folders may have to be excluded from antivirus scanning when you use file-level antivirus software in SharePoint. If these folders are not excluded, you may see unexpected behavior. For example, you may receive “access denied” error messages when files are uploaded.
If Go Daddy is your DNS hosting provider, Office 365 can set up your domain for you automatically. Instead of going through all the manual steps, you can set up your domain with Office 365 in just a few minutes.
Differences between Office Web Apps (WAC) and Native Clients
It can be a little tough to discern the differences between the capabilities of Office Web Apps (WAC) and their fat-client counterparts in the desktop Office suite. While Microsoft doesn’t provide an outright comparison table, they do offer the following:
It is recommended to install June 2013 CU before SP2. June 2013 CU might not correctly identify the SP2 baseline. If SP2 has already been installed and June CU does not install you need to wait for August CU which will correctly identify the SP2 baseline.
Guess it wasn’t such a smart installer after all was it?
Let’s take a look at the version numbers based on installation order:
SP2 only - 14.0.7015.1000
June CU only - 14.0.7102.5004
SP2 then June CU - 14.0.7015.1000
June CU then SP2 - 14.0.7102.5004
Based on the original guidance from MS, you might be running the June 2013 CU baseline, but your build version will still show as SP2.
One of the frequently asked questions we get is “when will I get upgraded?” Some customers want to get upgraded as quickly as possible; other customers want more time to prepare. One thing that’s common is that every customer wants to know when they’ll get upgraded.
One important warning about changing the default sync folder: If you’re also syncing files using SkyDrive for Windows (the consumer version of SkyDrive), don’t use the same “root” folder to sync SharePoint libraries with SkyDrive Pro. The default root folder with SkyDrive for Windows is c:\users\[username]\skydrive.
So you’ve gone ahead and updated your Azure subscription to the latest billing model to take advantage of per-minute billing and no charge for stopped VMs? And now you’re still being charged for stopped VMs? As with all things Azure, there is Stopped and then there is
In Azure, all VMs are provisioned into the Fabric. When you stop a VM (either by shutting it down from within a RDP session or with the -StayProvisioned parameter of Stop-AzureVM) the resources assigned to your VM are left in place. This includes the VIP assigned to the Cloud Service your VM runs in as well as the dynamic DHCP lease assigned to it.
Taking a step back, now you’re thinking to yourself there is no such thing as a parameter called StayProvisioned on the Stop-AzureVM cmdlet. Well, what fun would it be if the product team kept the online documentation up-to-date? Let’s take a look at the cmdlet from a local PS session:
Get-Help Stop-AzureVM --detailed
Keeps the VM provisioned.
Accept pipeline input? false
Accept wildcard characters? false
OK. So if we shut a VM down from a RDP session or with the StayProvisioned parameter it sticks around. What if we shut it down from the management portal or we leave that parameter off?
We can see the status of our machine has transitioned to StoppedDeallocated. In this state, we’re no longer provisioned into the Azure Fabric and we’re not charged for compute resources.
Remember that stopping a VM isn’t always going to be enough to not be charged for compute resources. Also, keep in mind that if you stop a VM from a RDP session you can no longer issue a Shut Down command from the management portal so you’ll have to either restart it and shut it down from the portal or issue a Stop-AzureVM command.
Inconvenient Settings Loss With Dismount-SPContentDatabase
Are you someone that likes to go through your web applications and dismount your databases prior to patching? Or maybe you’re just moving a content database from one web application to another. Or maybe, just maybe, you want to dismount a content database for the fun of it!
Well, if that’s you, you might have noticed (or maybe not), that when the content database is remounted, a few properties get reset to their default values such as MaximumSiteCount and WarningSiteCount (2,000 and 5,000 respectively). This can be pretty inconvenient (to say the least!) if you’ve modified these settings in any way and even more inconvenient if you didn’t document them before running Dismount-SPContentDatabase.
Once again, it’s our friend PowerShell to the rescue. The following functions allow you to dismount all of the content databases in a given web application (Dismount-SPContentDatabases) while retaining the pertinent settings in CSV file. The function helpfully titled Mount-SPContentDatabases will remount the content databases (using Mount-SPContentDatabase) to the supplied web application using the previous settings (including the original DatabaseServer), thus saving you at least 5 minutes to enjoy an additional cup of coffee.
Imagine you have a web application with the name ContosoIntranet.
SharePoint 2013 Additional Prerequisites Unavailable for Download
As you’re all aware, SharePoint 2013 has some additional prerequisites that are required for a proper installation that aren’t included in the Prerequisite Installer. Todd Klindt just had a great post on this (so go there for the extra details), but he forgot to mention that 2 of the required hotfixes don’t currently have publicly available request forms. Todd was also nice enough to include some download links, so I’m posting them here as well for posterity.
KB 2759112 - A hotfix is available for the .NET Framework 4.5 that resolves an ASP.NET race condition issue in Windows Server 2008 R2 – Download
KB 2765317 - A hotfix is available for the .NET Framework 4.5 that resolves an ASP.NET race condition issue in Windows Server 2012 – Download
Coming in March 2013, following the release of the next version of Office 365, users will be presented with a streamlined sign-in experience. The sign-in page will a feature responsive design and was designed to “provide the best possible performance and experience on computing devices”.
If you’d like to opt-in earlier and test drive the new experience, click here.
Post opt-in, here’s what you’ll experience on the desktop.
You’ve been busy spinning up your RTM SharePoint 2013 farms haven’t you? And of course, you’ve been deploying under the least-privileged security model like any good IT Pro. After you have everything configured, you open the event viewer and what to your wondering eyes should appear? An error of course!