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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Analyze ZTIOSRole.wsf script in Microsoft Deployment Tookit 2012 (in Dutch)

Zoals bekend is in april 2012 de gehele System Center suite vrijgegeven en heeft het de status RTM gekregen.
In het voorbijgaan is de Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 ook vrijgegeven en is deze ook RTM.

MDT 2012 is een welkome aanvulling voor het OSD stuk van ConfigMgr 2012.
Naast het feit dat het integreren een best practice is van Microsoft bespaart het een hoop tijd omdat een groot aantal kant-en-klare scripts beschikbaar zijn die meteen gebruikt kunnen worden.

Om een task uit te voeren die onderdeel is van MDT 2012 zijn in totaal 3 tasks nodig:
– Use Toolkit Package
– Gather (voor het gemak local data)
– de taak zelf

Eén van de meest interessante MDT tasks is ‘Install Roles & Features’.
Het script wat hiervoor gebruikt wordt is ZTIOSRole.wsf.
Dit script kan eenvoudig gelezen worden in Notepad.

Deze blog beperkt zich uitsluitend op Windows Server 2008 R2.
Het commando wat het script gebruikt is ServerManagerCmd.exe.

Het is interessant dat ZTIOSRole.wsf het ServerManagerCmd.exe gebruikt terwijl Microsoft ook de IT wereld aanmoedigt om zoveel mogelijk met Powershell te werken.
Om deze task te gebruiken moet elke subfeature die bij een andere role of feature nodig is expliciet geselecteerd worden.
Dit gaat gepaard met veel zoekwerk.
In een ConfigMgr Task Sequence levert een ‘Run Command Line’ task die er als volgt uitziet hetzelfde resultaat:

PowerShell -Command “& {Import-Module Servermanager;Add-Windowsfeature GPMC,AS-NET-Framework,IH-Ink-Support,RDS-RD-Server -IncludeAllSubFeature}”
Ter illustratie, de gekozen roles & features zijn vereist voor een Citrix XenApp server m.u.v. Desktop Experience, die moet apart…

Men kan er nog voor kiezen om -Restart toe te voegen maar ikzelf kies ervoor om dit in een aparte task uit te voeren.

Conclusie van deze analyze is: de MDT Task is nuttig voor alle OS-en maar voor Windows Server 2008 R2 kies ik liever voor het Powershell commando.
Afhankelijk van de gekozen Roles & Features is er mogelijk geen herstart nodig…

OPMERKING: uiteraard kan dism.exe ook gebruikt worden maar is ten opzichte van Powershell nogal spartaans.

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ConfigMgr OSD to XenServer guests on HP BL460c G7 blades using Emulex 10 GBit/sec NIC: a real nightmare

You are required to automate server deployment (LTI or even ZTI) of guest machines.
The platform provided has the following properties:
– the hypervisor used is Citrix XenServer (5.x or 6.x doesn’t matter)
– The hardware consists of HP BL460c G7 blades which are equipped with Emulex 10 GBit/sec

Unfortunately, you’re in for a real treat because trying to achieve this goal will simply fail.
Here’s why:
– Citrix doesn’t support WinPE for XenServer guests
– Injecting the Xentools network drivers will not load the PVS drivers at WinPE.
The standard Realtek 8139 drivers will be loaded which will cause the WinPE phase to automaticcaly restart after the ‘Starting Windows’ message.
The guest machine will not be able to connect to any network shares (so no connection to a distribution point either)

If you would be able to interrupt the restart action by pressing F8 in WinPE, you’ll notice that the NIC is loaded and receives an IP address

Only the following alternatives can help you out:
– Replace all blades with the same types which are equipped with Broadcom NICs
– Install the OS manually
– Use a different hypervisor
– Contact Citrix to create a case and hope for the best, nevertheless it is still an unsupported deployment scenario in Citrix’ point of view

All alternatives mentioned will become political immediately.
Some of them will prevent you to achieve your goal.
I don’t think HP will replace the blades since they’re working properly.
Even though Citrix will be able to provide you an executable which will inject the PVS drivers properly, you’re still using an unsupported configuration…

I experienced this issue in my current project and I’m not alone in this which is proved here:

http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=284196&start=0&tstart=0

I am sorry Citrix, even though I’m not a virtualization expert I cannot recommend using the XenServer platform as a hypervisor.
Other hypervisors work flawlessly with this hardware.

Hopefully Citrix will be able to start supporting it and provide a solution that really works…

Marc

 

ConfigMgr: Installing Desktop Experience during OSD breaks the Task Sequence

Hi everyone,

In my current project I’m requested to create a Task Sequence which will automate the deployment of Citrix XenApp 6.5 using ConfigMgr 2012.

One of the required features for XenApp 6.5 is Desktop Experience.

A few methods exist to install Desktop Experience but beware: Desktop Experience requires Ink Support to be installed.

A nasty side effect is that both Desktop Experience and Ink Support require a restart. If you install Desktop Experience and add Ink Support during the installation, then it will cause the machine to reboot twice which will break the Task Sequence in the process.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to install Ink Support first, initiate a restart, and install Desktop Experience second. Different ways exist to achieve this, use your preferred method of choice (I like to use Powershell or MDT Task to achieve this).

 

One sidenote: if Desktop Experience is not present when starting the unattended setup of Citrix XenApp 6.5, then Citrix will install it for you which will also break the Task Sequence.

Better have all this stuff ready before starting the installation of XenApp 6.5…

Marc

 

As most of you already noticed, System Center 2012 went RTM…

just a quick one…

Title says it all.

I’m already working with ConfigMgr 2012 for my current project. Some things have changed a little compared to the RTM. I need to figure out what exactly has changed once I have some free time to figure it out.

Stay tuned for more information…

Marc

 

April 2012 has arrived, System Center 2012 suite release must be close…

The whole world is waiting for the RTM versions of the System Center 2012 suite. The release is close and everybody who is specialized is holding their breath until the final release date…

Fortunately for me, I’m on a project which requires me to design and implement SCOM 2012 and SCCM 2012, looks like I’m turning them into an early adopter for System Center, I think that’s great…

Note: it is possible I recommend them to use VMM 2012 as well since they use different hypervisors and I want to keep monitoring them as simple as possible.

For me this means I need to re-review all blogs regarding the SCCM 2012 RC1 and RC2 and check what is different in the RTM (and maybe do something about the layout).

Yes, exciting times await and I’m certain that others have the same excitement 🙂

One downside is that downloading the source might take a while once released…

 

 

 

 
 
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