Posts in category Hans Vredevoort

Offline Update of Windows Azure Pack and 3rd Party Components

Recently I needed to update a Windows Azure Pack installation from RTM to Update 2. Because the servers had no Internet access, I needed an offline approach.

One way is to download the Windows Azure Pack 2013 Update 2 components, extract the files and install them one by one, thereby carefully checking that only the installed components are updated. It is very easy to make a mistake and add unwanted ones on a WAP portal server.


Because this approach only works for the WAP 2013 Update 2 components and doesn’t give you the partner components such as Gridpro and Cloud Cruiser, the offline Web Platform Installer approach is the best choice. In fact WebPI has been upgraded from version 4.6 to 5.0 containing Update 2 plus the 3rd party components.

  READ MORE » Speakers at TechEd 2014 NA and HASMUG

Fellow blogger at Marc van Eijk did an amazing job. At his first TechEd he delivered no less than three presentations. I went to every single one of them and was really proud to see him be so successful. Great job Marc!

Lessons Learned: Designing and Deploying the Windows Azure Pack in the Real World

Effortless Migration from VMware to Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Transforming Bare Metal into Logical Switches Using Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

Cameron Fuller and Maarten Goet realized that there was still a full day available and many MVPs were still hanging around in Houston on Friday. In cooperation with the Houston Area System Management User Group (HASMUG) they found enough sponsors to organize #TE14D5 or an informal community event offering two tracks: Enterprise Client Management (ECM) and Cloud and Datacenter Management (CDM).

Both Marc van Eijk and Hans Vredevoort delivered a presentation:

Windows Azure Pack Usage Service and the System Center Components that it depends on
by Hans Vredevoort

WAP showdown – VM Template vs. VM Role
by Marc van Eijk

Reported problems after installing Update Rollup 2 for DPM 2012 R2

Today I saw several users having problems with their Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 Server after installing KB2958100 which is the specific update for DPM in Update Rollup 2.

My advice is to postpone the DPM update and allow Microsoft to look into the user reports. Correction is quite complex and requires modifications in the DPM database.

See the thread for more details:

Update 2 for Windows Azure Pack (April 2014)

Along with Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 (KB2932881), also Update 2 (KB2932946) for Windows Azure Pack was released. Update 2 fixes 10 known issues, amongst others a fix for the problem created with the Usage Collector in Update 1. Because WAP does not currently support rolling upgrades, it is necessary to schedule downtime for the WAP machines. Please be careful running this update in your production environment and expose them to a test environment first. There are so many components which depend on each other so take any precautions in the form of checkpoints (formerly called Hyper-V snapshots) and make sure you have recent full backups of your environment.

Although it is stated nowhere, you would be advised to first start with the System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 2 and run the documented SQL Scripts for VMM and SCOM first (important!) before you approve the Windows Azure Pack Update 2 installation. The SQL Script for VMM can be found in A reference to the path of the SQL Scripts for the SCOM OperationsManager and OperationsManagerDW databases can be found in


Veeam Rapidly Fixes Host Level VSS Backup for Hyper-V after KB 2919355 (WS2012 R2 Update)

Update (16 April 2014): see bottom of blog

I recently blogged about Windows Server 2012 R2 Update. As usual any update and certainly an update as large as this, has some risks. Therefore we usually advise to postpone Windows Updates, Update Rollups an Hotfixes and leave a couple of weeks before deploying updates in production. Always test in a lab if you can and if you can’t, keep an eye on the forums and the blogs from MVP’s specializing in the related technology.

Testing Host Level Hyper-V Backup

This weekend I came across a tweet from Richard Skinner who reported an issue related to Veeam Backup & Replication and Hyper-V Backup after applying the Windows Server 2012 R2 (Spring) Update. Meanwhile, Veeam had already confirmed the problem and was working frantically into the weekend to fix this nasty problem.

I decided to report a support case with Veeam as well, even though I’m only running it in a Windows Azure Pack lab. I found that the problem was easily reproducible, but only if VSS was enabled in the backup job.

The Problem: Using Hyper-V Checkpoints

When this selection is made as an alternative to Veeam’s default changed block tracking (CBT), the backup fails because it cannot deal with the file path of the checkpointed VHDX files. When you zoom in on the directory of a VM that is being protected, as soon as VSS kicks in, a checkpoint is made of the active disks. This causes the writes to be redirected from the VHDX to a corresponding AVHDX file which makes it possible for the backup software to take a clean and ‘frozen’ copy of the virtual hard disk. When the backup is ready, the written data to the AVHDX file is merged back into the VHDX file. Only briefly you’ll see n AutoRecovery.avhdx file created which is deleted when it is ready with the merge operation.

Important: Microsoft started to coin the term checkpoint in VMM. After Hyper-V had used the term Snapshot for a long time, this changed with Windows Server 2012 R2. We can now better distinguish between VSS snapshots and Hyper-V checkpoints. Backup software now uses Hyper-V checkpoints just as in Hyper-V Replica.

If you want to read more about the changed method of Hyper-V backup in Windows Server 2012 R2, please take a look at fellow MVP Aidan Finn’s post:


Boot from VHDX for Windows 8.1 Update

You may have seen my previous blogs on how to very quickly make your computer multi-boot into another operating system.

Now that Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update has been released, I’ll briefly repeat the steps.

  1. Download Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 and copy it to a temporary directory
  2. Start Windows PowerShell ISE in Administrator mode
  3. Run it with .\Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -ShowUI
  4. Choose the required ISO file
  5. Choose the SKU
  6. Choose the VHD/VHDX Format, Type and Size
  7. Modify the Working Directory if necessary
  8. Type a name for the VHDX
  9. Optionally add an existing Unattend.xml file for further customization
  10. Hit Make the VHD!

You will see

My Windows 8.1 Enterprise VHDX was only 7.6GB small which came as a pleasant surprise.

The VHDX should still be mounted under a drive letter. If not, right-click the VHDX and mount it.
In my case I had ejected the mounted disks and manually re-mounted under drive F:

The following steps are needed to make your computer boot from the VHDX file:

  1. Open an administrative command prompt via WIN+X Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Type bcdboot F:\Windows
  3. Type bcdedit /v to see the result in the Windows Boot Loader section

Taking the identifier you can change the description in your bootlist by typing:

bcdedit /set {545a3023-1918-11e2-bed1-bd8926e5c774} description “Windows 8.1 Enterprise with Update”

If you had configured Hyper-V on your Windows 8.1 computer, don’t forget to enable the hypervisor launchtype:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto

Memory Leak on HP ProLiant Servers with NIC Teaming

HP recently published a customer advisory explaining that HP ProLiant servers running Microsoft Windows 2012 as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 and using Microsoft Windows NIC Agent 9.40 may report a memory leak up to 5Mb/hour.

The memory leak is caused by HP’s Microsoft Windows NIC Agent 9.40.

The problem can be easily observed in Task Manager under Processing as you can see in below diagram.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update is Important

Today we received a note from Microsoft about the importance of Windows Server 2012 R2 Update which is coming to Windows Update on April 8th, 2014. For MSDN and TechNet subscribers this update is already available in the form of an ISO of Windows Server 2012 R2 with the Update included and a smaller collection of 6 updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

In a blog post published on April 2nd, the Microsoft Windows Server Team explains the importance of this update as it provides an easy way to get up to date with the patches, bug-fixes, and improvements that Microsoft has provided since the release of Windows Server 2012 R2. For failover clustering, this update is certainly important as it contains many of the “hoster patches” that Microsoft has worked on in the past six months. The Update consists of six files:

Microsoft recommends to install the Update in this order:

  1. KB2919442
  2. KB2919355
  3. KB2932046
  4. KB2937592
  5. KB2938439
  6. KB2949621

I tried the update on my Windows 8.1 tablet. Because of the large size of KB2919355 (707MB) this update can take a while, so a little patience is required. Of course for multiple clustered Hyper-V hosts, the manual update method is not to be advised. If you have not yet tried Cluster Aware Updating (CAU), an automated cluster aware update tool included with Failover Clustering and available since Windows Server 2012, I strongly advise you to try this out. It not only allows you to install Windows Updates, but also hotfixes, drivers and firmware for your server hardware. Take a look at fellow MVP Didier van Hoye’s blog and video Hands on with Hyper-V Clustering Maintenance Mode & Cluster Aware Updating TechNet Screencast. Another good explanation can be found in chapter 8 of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide by Aidan Finn, Patrick Lownds, Michel Luescher and Damian Flynn.



Makeover Hyper-V Update List for Windows Server 2012 and R2

There are several update lists available on TechNet. Some are curated by the product team and some are kept up-to-date by MVP’s and other people in the community. For easy reference we decided to place a shortcut to these lists in the header of

The following hotfix and update lists are available:

  • Hyper-V: Update List for Windows Server 2012
  • Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based failover clusters (updated by Cluster product team)
  • Hyper-V: Update List for Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012 R2-based failover clusters clusters (updated by Cluster product team)

Because notably the Windows Server 2012 list had become a bit of a mess, I have rearranged the list, removed outdated or replaced hotfixes and added a sorted date column.

I have also updated the XML file for both Windows Server 2012 and R2 so that you can use a PowerShell cmdlet to quickly scan your Hyper-V hosts if a hotfix or update is installed or not. These files can be downloaded from my OneDrive.

Run the update checker like this:
.\HyperV2012R2UpdatesCheck.ps1 [name host1]



Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012-based failover clusters

VConnect – A Windows Azure Pack Extension for VMware Hosts

While searching for new content for the Windows Azure Pack Wiki, I stumbled on a blog by RaviCK called Ravi’s Cloud 360o which pointed me to a video on how to integrate VMware hosts with Windows Azure Pack. In a recent project we integrated VMware hosts with Windows Azure Pack by means of Virtual Machine Manager and adding vCenter Servers and indirectly adding VMware hosts to a Microsoft Cloud. This approach has a few disadvantages because only standalone Virtual Machines can be deployed and Console Connect does not work for VMs deployed to VMware hosts. All the wealth of VMRole Gallery Items are lost in this solution.

So I was surprised to find that someone has actually written a custom extension for Windows Azure Pack called VConnect from Cloud Assert which brings VMware hypervisors to the platform. Administrators of Windows Azure Pack can now setup plans that provides Virtual Machine services based on VMware hosts.

VConnect is still in beta and only supports a few basic operations such as:

  • Adding a VSphere endpoint of a VMWare hypervisor server
  • Lists the Virtual Machines from all the added servers
  • Basic operations such as Power On, Power Off, Suspend and Reset VM
  • Connect to the VM via Remote Desktop (VMWare tools has to be installed on the VM)
  • Take a screenshot of the Virtual Machine screen
  • ShutDown, Standby and Reboot of Guest OS (VMWare tools has to be installed on the VM)

Take a look at the demo at

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