Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2013

Today we are at Microsoft’s Cardinal Place offices in London Victoria for ‘Best of MMS’ – a regular fixture in The Full Circle calendar for a rapid-fire immersion in the latest Microsoft System Center technologies.  It’s also a great opportunity to catch-up with key System Center partners, the leader in this space being our good friends at Inframon.


‘Best of MMS’ is a one-day synopsis of the week long main event held in Las Vegas in April – see for the official MSFT site inc. videos, keynotes, etc…

This year’s event is just 1-day at 1-venue (last year was 3), however last year was product launch cycle with the 2012 wave whereas this year is mid-release improvements.

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War On Cost II, The Churchill War Rooms, London

Today I’m in London for what I expect will be one of the most valuable events of my calendar – Inframon’s now annual War On Cost event, this year held at The Cabinet War Rooms in London’s Westminster.

Inframon, headed by Gordon McKenna and Sean Roberts are old friends of ‘The Circle’ since we attended their System Center Train the Trainer workshop in November 2008.  Since then we’ve kept in touch at various events & launches, and when they are hosting they always deliver a cracking event.

Indeed, a fair summary as I wrote to some colleagues only a few weeks ago..

Coming up on the 5th November is Inframon’s War on Cost which is basically a 1-day systems management focussed preview of TechEd Europe which starts the following week in Berlin.
A whole bunch of senior Redmond folk come over the week before TechEd to present at this event, hit the town for a few beers (limited for me am afraid this year), stay the weekend in London before going on to Berlin for yet more & possibly better beer!
So, click on to register – I’ll absolutely guarantee you, if you have an interest/responsibility in managing a Microsoft estate then you will get a load of value from this event.

The official agenda is below, and if I made notes I’ve added them in-line with the agenda:

Event Schedule

Inframon, the UK’s leading specialist in the Microsoft System Center suite present "War On Cost 2010", a very exclusive event which will be taking place in the Cabinet War Rooms in the heart of London, an historic underground complex that housed a British government command centre throughout the Second World War.

The aim of this event is to give you valuable information on how you can help your organisation drive down the cost of managing your Windows and Non-Windows based infrastructure using the Microsoft System Center Suite of products.

Featuring two dynamic tracks aimed at both Business and Technical decision makers, to give you the knowledge you need to make a difference in your organisation.


09:00 – 09:30 INFRAMON KEYNOTE

Introductory keynote from Gordon McKenna, CEO at Inframon setting the scene for our theme "The War on Cost"

Unfortunately I missed the start of Gordon’s keynote as I was unable to enter the Cabinet War Rooms due to an ‘entry lockdown’ whilst waiting for the PM to arrive and enter the building… okay I was slightly late in the first place… but no, not a Churchill impersonator, but Mr David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister!
‘Dave’ as he’s known to his mates was at the war rooms for an interview with ITV – maybe related to the recent UK Government spending cuts and the UK’s War on Cost…? 😉


David Cameron speaking about The War On Cost..?

I eventually got in the building to then wander around the maze that was the cabinet war rooms and haunt of another famous conservative PM.. a certain Sir Winston Churchill!  to eventually find the Inframon team, Gordon, Sean and the guys in a War on Cost bunker that looked like it certainly did cost!  great venue!

Gordon McKenna was this BIG!!!

Partners (allies) in the battle of the war on cost…
ComTrade – MPs for Citrix & Seibel
Silect Software – MP Studio, CP Studio, ConfigWise
Flexera – Win7 migration application challenges (packaging & sequencing)
Savision – Live Maps & Vital Signs for System Center (extends SCOM with mapping and real-time performance dashboards)
BridgeWays – helps you convert from VMware… Also free Hyper-V MP @….
Odyssey Software –

prize draw for an Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC HD 7 – went to European Market Oct 21st, won’t be in the US till Nov 8th!  and they are as rare as rocking horse sh1t in the UK with one distributor saying to me on Friday 5th Oct “Unfortunately we are not likely to be able to supply the HD7 as all three of the new HTC devices are going to be network exclusives.”


Join us in the main auditorium for a first keynote from Microsoft’s Senior Director of System Center Product Marketing, Ryan O’Hara who will be giving us an insight on how Microsoft’s Datacenter and Cloud strategy can help you in the battle your organisation faces around reducing the cost of managing your IT infrastructure whilst trying to increase efficiency. Learn also how System Center can be a key business enabler in both on-premise and off-premise scenarios.


Ryan O’Hara & Justin Buffington (AKA The Professor)

Google, Salesforce, Amazon – don’t provide services that can run in your Data Center / stand up within your service offering

Ryan reckons that MS is the only single vendor that provided the widest reach of cloud based services to provide ‘IT as a service’

Self Service Portal for VMM – version being shown today along with VMM vNext. Capability for business process owners (application owners) to request and provision new data center services through a web portal.

VMM 2012 CTP demo
Moving from a server centric model to a service model – detaching the application from the O/S.

Create Cloud Wizard! 😉 what’s your job? I’m a cloud creator!

Demo of service maps – Opalis 6.3 available at the end of the month to all data Center management suite registered customers… & partners?

Acquisition of AVIcode allows 360 degree monitoring in delivering IT as a service. Black box & White box monitoring… Wazzthat then?

OpsMgr watcher nodes running outside your environment

SCOM2012 / OM10 – now with dashboards and can manage network infrastructure (at last! :-))


With end users increasingly mobile, consumerization impacting IT,  and security and compliance needs converging on the business you are likely considering options for desktop virtualization, endpoint protection, cloud management and application delivery. IT has an opportunity to simplify their investments, tools and processes in order to be ever more responsive to the changing face of their customer.  In this session, we’ll focus on effective solutions that will help you in the War on Cost – we’ll do this and take a forward look at upcoming System Center and Forefront technologies


Join Sean Roberts and Simon Skinner of Inframon for a walk through Microsoft’s new private cloud story. Learn how to build your own, internal private cloud solution with Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and the new Self Service Portal 3.0. See how you can drive more efficient use of your IT infrstructure using batch processing and chargeback reporting putting you back in control of your costs.

Sean Roberts & Simon Skinner …how many MVP’s needed to… don’t ask! Winking smile


This session will cover updates to Operation Manager 2007 since the release of R2, including the latest new features included in R2 CU3. We will also go over the next major release of Operations Manager including the vision and product demonstrations. This will be a demo packed session with plenty of time to interact and ask questions

  • OpsMgr R2 Sizing Helper
  • OpsMgr R2 Core MP updates
  • Service Level Dashboard 2.0
  • Cumulative Updates 3 (CU3) for OpsMgr 2007 R2
  • OpsMgr Sizing
    OpsMgr sizing helper to address the unknown around sizing – ‘ask 5 MS engineers an OpsMgr sizing question and you’ll likely get 5 different answers…’

    target environments:

  • Small to Medium deployment – 250-1000 computers
  • Large deployment – 1000-10000 computers
  • Use in conjunction with the OpsMgr design guide, an introduction is at

    OpsMgr R2 Core MP updates


    Cumulative Updates 3 (CU3) for OpsMgr 2007 R2

    Get it from the download Center at

    The KB article describing the fixes, changes, and instructions is at

    The high-level fixes are:

  • Feature Addition: Azure Application Monitoring
  • Feature Addition: Parameter Extraction in Web Application Synthetic Transactions
  • Multi-selection in the alert view is not maintained during a view refresh
  • Upgrading MPs that include new properties may not recreate views correctly
  • The Operations Manager Console stops working when a high number of instances of State Views / Alert Views are left open for extended durations
  • The Operations Manager Console stops working when creating an override on the cluster resource group monitor
  • When using a remote console the notification wizards does not work in certain situations
  • The SDK Services stops working due to an unhandled exception, and the operations console becomes unresponsive
  • The SDK service may stop working due to an arithmetic overflow error in very rare circumstances
  • The notification scheduler does not compensate correctly for different time zones
  • Alerts using the “Specific Time Period” criteria are not included during automatic alert view refresh
  • Generic performance reports consume a large amount of temporary database space and can fail for Windows Server 2003 Computer Groups
  • SCOM 2007 SP1 Reports do not run after a shared Data Warehouse is upgraded to SCOM 2007 R2
  • Monitoringhost.exe does not work reliably on Windows 2003 SP2 X64 Domain Controllers
  • The total transaction response performance counter in URL monitoring is not accurate
  • MPs with empty knowledge elements cannot be imported in Operations Manager 2007 R2
  • Language packs authored for a previous version of an MP cannot be imported once an updated MP is released
  • Language Pack import fails if the MP contains strings which are not contained in the English Management Pack
  • When Agentless Exception Monitoring (AEM) is set up to use SharePoint, reports from Watson are blocked
  • Some ACS reports do not work as expected with Windows Server 2008
  • ACS forwarders with 15 character names in workgroups are unable to communicate with the ACS collector
  • CU4 should be out at the end of Jan’11 – plan is to have quarterly updates

    There is a great post at which covers in-depth on CU3 and its deployment – essential reading!

    OpsMgr v.Next 2012, Daniel Savage, Senior PM Operations Manager

    Support for network device monitoring

    Support for Java EE (J2E) Web Service Monitoring – server level, not currently site/app level

    Release roadmap – Public Beta in Q2 CY11, RC Q3 CY11, RTM Q4 CY11



    In this session we will demonstrate how to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of managing deployments of Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, Windows CE, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad, Android and Symbian devices through comprehensive, centralized management of these devices utilizing Odyssey Software’s AthenaTM device management extensions for System Center Configuration Manager 2007.


    Learn how you can extend your Operations Manager 2007 platform beyond the Windows stack with Bridgewys cross-platform extensions and connectors, allowing you to manage platforms such as VMWare and Oracle from the same familiar console as the rest of your devices allowing you to consolidate your management tools, driving down your infrastructure costs,

    12:50 – 13:50 LUNCH

    Join us for lunch in our partner pavillion, where you can network with other delegates and meet our ISV partners and speakers


    The next generation of the world’s leading systems management technology is now in Beta!  As we enter a new era of work styles, with people working in new ways from new locations on new devices, the System Center flagship product is evolving.  In this session we present a demo rich technical highlight of the next release of ConfigMgr.  We will focus on our continued vision of User Centric client management, highlight new improvements to core capability, infrastructure simplification and more. 



    Breakout two, takes us on a journey into the world of IT service management with one of the newest members of the System Center family, Service Manager. Learn how you can pull together your IT resources with industry standard best practices, bringing disciplines like incident and problem and change and release management to your organisation allowing you to drive more efficient working processes across your organisation.


    This session will focus on leveraging Data Protection Manager’s protection and recovery capabilities in large datacenters.  We will look at how Data Protection Manager protects and recovers critical application workloads such as SQL, Exchange and SharePoint – as well as virtual machines within Hyper-V.  The session is full of demonstrations, including the new self-service restore capability for database administrators.  We will also look at combining on-premise and off-premise protection using both Data Protection Manager’s built-in replication mechanisms as well as cloud-based Data Protection Manager-partner repositories.

    One stat to take away… up to 60% of corporate data does not reside in the datacenter… Yikes!!!

    therefore backing up the client machines, with policies to not backup the junk, movies, music, etc.


    In one of the final sessions of the day we bring you the one solution that will probably give you the biggest set of tools in fighting the War on Cost. Microsoft’s newest addition to the System Center suite is Opalis, a robust and multi functional IT orchestration toolkit that can help drive incredible efficiencies in your organisation by automating many of your time consuming, day to day IT processes. This is not a session to be missed.

    16:10 – 16:30 CLOSING KEYNOTE

    Proceedings end with a closing keynote from Inframon CEO Gordon McKenna.

    16:30 – 17:00 TOUR OF VENUE

    Finally you are invited to take a tour of this very historic venue.

    Microsoft tech•ed Europe 2009, Berlin, 12 November 2009

    Slighty shabby and a late start to Thursday following the Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP dinner followed by the 1E TechEd party – a heavy night! 

    For the dinner, the UK team chose a fabulous Italian restaurant called Bacco ( which I’d definately go back to and hosted a great evening… many thanks to Stuart, Gareth, Neil, Alex, etc. from Microsoft UK. 

    We were also joined by Allen Stewart & Rajesh Dave from corp.  Allen is Principal PM for Windows Server and Raj is a PM for Windows Hyper-V.  Both very interesting & incredibly knowledgable guys with deep understanding across a wide range of topics (and not just Microsoft!).
    I pestered them for info on Hyper-V thin provisioning of memory and whilst they couldn’t confirm anything as we all said ‘we live in hope!’ 😉 

    …as for the  night, I’d been invited to the 1E TechEd Europe party at Spindler & Klatt – an uuber trendy restaurant/club in East Berlin frequented by the likes of Angelina, Clooney, and now Cook! 

    What a great party and many many thanks to the team at 1E (  Did I mention I was the 4th member of the business in the founding year?  (yes I probably did & several times.. lots to drunk! ;-)) We went our separate ways in 1999, oh for a slice of that now… anyway, moving on! 

    Seriously though hats off to Samir, Mark, and Phil – they have built a company that knows how to throw a great party (regarded as the best at TechEd), and a team of very bright, talented people who have a lot of respect for the company and its founders. 

    Ouch my head is pounding!  time to go to sessions, starting with… 

    ITS211 Keeping Your CIO Happy: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SLA Scorecarding with Operations Manager 2007 and SQL Server 2008

    Gordon McKenna & Sean Roberts speaking at TechEd
    Presenters: Gordon McKenna, Sean Roberts,
    Thu 11/12 | 10:45-12:00 | London 2 – Hall 7-1b
    Learn how you can create CIO level SLA scorecards in SharePoint Server 2007 for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 using some of the new features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services and to create Executive SLA views of your Operational Environment. The session looks at why these types of views are important to many companies, what impact this can have on your business, and what simple steps you can take to achieve very effective, high-level executive views of everything from performance and availability of your key LOB services and applications, whether important SLAs and KPIs are being achieved and whether your IT department is meeting the day-to-day needs of your business. The key demos in this session take you through the steps you need to implement effective business scorecarding in SharePoint Server 2007 using key metrics collected in the Operations Manager 2007 Datawarehouse based on “real-world” experiences gained from the field. After attending this presentation you will have a good insight into how CIO Scorecards can help you add value to your Operations Manager deployments, helping you to show real value to your executives.
    Tip – to remove parameter data from Ops Mgr reports imported into a SharePoint webpart, suffix the url with &rc:Parameters=collapsed
    Cracking session from Gordon & Sean on how to try and keep your CIO happy (if that’s possible! ;-))
    blog Daniel Savage

    Service Level dashboard – free solution accelerator dashboard on Microsoft 

    SVR401 & 402 DirectAccess Technical Drilldown, Part 1 of 2: IPv6 and Transition Technologies + Part 2 of 2: Putting It All Together

    John Cradock presents DirectAccess Technical Drilldown, Part 1 of 2: IPv6 and Transition Technologies 

    Presenter: John Craddock (
    Thu 11/12 | 13:30-14:45 | Helsinki – Hall 7-2a
    Take a sprinkling of Windows 7, add Windows Server 2008 R2, IPv6 and IPsec and you have a solution that will allow direct access to your corporate network without the need for VPNs. Come to these demo-rich sessions and learn how to integrate DirectAccess into your environment. In Part 1 learn about IPv6 addressing, host configuration and transitioning technologies including 6to4, ISATAP, Teredo and IPHTTPS. Through a series of demos learn how to build an IPv6 Network and interoperate with IPv4 networks and hosts. In Part 2 we add the details of IPSec, and components that are only available with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to build the DirectAccess infrastructure. Learn how to control access to corporate resources and manage Internet connected PCs through group policy. Part 1 is highly recommended as a prerequisite for Part 2.
    John Craddock is an extremely talented AD/identity expert, and deeply technical across many other fields – in this case IPv6 & DA.
    I was also lucky enough to have a drink with John and my old Microsoft PSS chum Paul Duffy on Monday night at the cleverly named hotel ‘Berlin Berlin’.
    John is a genuine international industry expert and a thoroughly nice bloke with it!   Paul, another ‘genie-I’ went on to become PM for Office Communicator and knows a thing or ten about OCS amongst other subjects to a deep level.  This probably explains why these two know each other!
    Anyway, back to the session plus my own notes, links, etc.
    Gems & Tips
    – be careful, not all apps will be compatible – test!
    – to be native will likely mean new network gear, is new network layer (layer 2 unchanged)
    – hex is back!  use of double colon notation, but can only be used once per address
    – cannot mix with ipV4 mask bit notation
    – host derived with mac address which has privacy issues, Win7 & R2 generate random based on interface, can be disabled (revert to mac based) with netsh interface ipv6 set global randomizeidentifiers=disabled
    – route print -6 will show IPv6 route table
    – ::1 is IPv6 loopback
    – if you have a registered IPv4 address then you automatically have an IPv6 address on the 6to4 network
    6to4 states 6to4 performs three functions:
    1. Assigns a block of IPv6 address space to any host or network that has a global IPv4 address.
    2. Encapsulates IPv6 packets inside IPv4 packets for transmission over an IPv4 network using 6in4.
    3. Routes traffic between 6to4 and “native” IPv6 networks.

    – you need to manually unblock ISATAP entry in DNS which can be done via the registry or command line, e.g. 

    C:>dnscmd /config /globalqueryblocklist wpad 

    Registry property globalqueryblocklist successfully reset.
    Command completed successfully. 

    ISATAP is a huge subject in it’s own right, the Intra-site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol Deployment Guide is available at 

    Putting it all together..

    – Check tunnel endpoint authentication using ‘klist’ to list Kerberos data
    – Use NRTP to direct DNS queries to a specific server for a particular names space (view using ‘netsh namespace show effectivepolicy’)
    – PKI needs to be right as certificates are the foundations
    – you must publish the revocation list
    – NLS (Nework Location Server) is just a https website accessible from the DA server, e.g.
    – if it doesn’t work, it could be a couple of days troubleshooting! 

    If you’re thinking of setting this up in a virtual lab, I also took note from Allen Stewart’s blog at

    …if you’re planning to virtualize your lab environment on Hyper-V, you should ensure you’re using Legacy Network Adapters for the child partition where you’re running the DAS. Using the default synthetic NICs is OK for all the other resources in the test lab, but for the DAS itself, it’s important to have both the Internet and Corpnet NICs as legacy ones, to ensure proper passing of traffic between both sides of the DAS. If you use the default synthetic adapters, you may end up in a situation where traffic doesn’t properly flow from the outside to the inside, even though all your IPsec, 6to4, Teredo, and IP-HTTPS settings are correct. Basically, you’ll be in a situation where connectivity will fail at a basic level, with you not even being to successfully ping the internal DNS server using its ISATAP address.If you’ve already built your lab on Hyper-V using the synthetic adapters, the fix is pretty simple. Just replace them with legacy ones, reconfigure the IP addressing as specified in the guide and rerun the DirectAccess wizard, again supplying all the information specified in the guide. After doing so, all your traffic should flow properly.

    – Thanks Allen!

    DAT312 All You Needed to Know about Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering

    Presenter: Gopal Ashok
    Thu 11/12 | 17:00-18:15 | London 3 – Hall 7-1b
    There are major architectural changes in SQL Server 2008 for failover cluster setup and management, geared towards increased reliability and high-availability. To learn all the benefits and changes, attend this session for a comprehensive overview direct from the product development group. We cover SQL Server 2008 failover clustering setup, underlying Windows Server cluster and how SQL Server uses it, what’s new in SQL Server 2008 for failover clustering, differences from previous versions of SQL Server and future directions. This includes details of SQL Server 2008 failover clustering setup operations together with demos to illustrate the new setup.

    – new features
    – applications need retry mechanisms built in to provide seamless failover
    – no longer have to take down the cluster to upgrade, supports rolling upgrades 

    Want to deploy stretched clusters?  lots do.  As in separate geo-redundant clusters, not separate nodes e.g. 

    Stretched SQL Clusters or the doodles of an artist?
    Stretched SQL Clusters or the doodles of an artist?

    – sql 2008 failover clustering install breaks on windows server 2008 R2 and needs to be slipstreamed with SP1 (If only we knew this last weekend!)
    (slipstreaming is incorporating patches into the installation media to effect a higher level of install base over RTM – Microsoft tend to do this but not always quickly!)
    see for more info
    – during upgrades to a 2-node cluster there will be a period of time when you are exposed to node failure, and must not have a failover attempt for fear of corruption.  removing the node from the cluster owners will stop premature attempted failover. 

    Further Microsoft resources.. (will add others also) 

          SQL Server ® 2008 Failover Clustering White Paper: 

          Recommended  Books Online  Doc Refresh #7 (May, 2009), or later: 

          Failover Clusters – Getting Started: 

          Rolling upgrade process and best practice: 

          Maintaining a Failover Cluster: 

          Setup command line usage: 

          Configuration.ini file usage: