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Upgrading Configuration Manager to 1610

Okay, Configuration Manager 1610 has been released for some weeks now and only recently I have got the chance to upgrade my lab environment. Microsoft is rolling out the update progressively so you may not yet see it available in your console. If you don’t see it in your console and want to upgrade your ConfigMgr environment to 1610, you can actually force this upgrade to be available in your console by enabling the fast update ring for 1610. How you do it? Download a simple executable zip file from here and then run the PowerShell script after you’ve extracted it from the zip. https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/ConfigMgr-1610-Enable-046cc0e9

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You may be asked to change your execution policy if you haven’t. Enter Y for Yes to proceed.

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Next you will be asked to enter your Site Server. I won’t tell you what it is because you should already know if but if you don’t, can easily find out.

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Next, you would want to force ConfigMgr to check for updates by right-clicking on Updates and Servicing, then selecting Check for updates.

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Give it some time and then the 1610 update should appear in your console shortly.

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To install ConfigMgr 1610, right-click on the update and then select Install Update Pack.

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In the General screen, except the defaults and then click Next. Optionally you can select the checkbox to Ignore any prerequisites check warnings and install this update regardless of missing requirements.

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In the Features screen, you can leave the defaults and click Next, or if you want to test out some pre-release features that come with the 1610 update you can go ahead and select them. You will be able to turn them on after the update is complete too.

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In the Client Update Options screen, choose whether you want to first go through your validation process of the new version of the client or just go ahead and roll the new version out to your organization. You would normally want to validate it first on your pre-production computers. Click Next after that.

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In the License Terms screen, you know what to do Smile, then click Next.

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In the Summary screen, click Next.

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And in the Completion screen, click Close.

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You’ll realise that it is now installing. Give it some time for it to complete.

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Reminders:

Treat this update just like any upgrade where you may want to first perform a /testdbupgrade on your ConfigMgr database first before you upgrade your production environment. Other precautions still applies like verifying your backups beforehand etc. You know the drill Smile.

 

 

 

Enjoy!!!

Setting Up An EMS Lab in ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Step-By-Step – Part 7

Quick links to the other parts of the post:-

 

What is an EMS lab without an EMS subscription, right? So now we’re gonna add an EMS subscription. We do this from the Office 365 portal https://portal.office.com. Once logged in, go to Billing > Subscriptions. There you will see that you can add subscriptions at the top right corner of the screen. Click + Add subscriptions.

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Here you’ll see heaps of different subscriptions you can add to your tenant. Scroll through the page and look for Enterprise Mobility Suite Direct and hover over it then click Start free trial.

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You’ll be asked to confirm your order then click Try now.

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In the order receipt page, click Continue.

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Now, this trial subscription will give you up to 100 users for up to 30 days. Now most of you do not want your lab to last only for 30 days, right? The good news is, from my experience you will be able to extend your EMS trial to 180 days. That’s 6 months…not too bad at all.

How you do this is to call up the Microsoft Online Services Support. I know this can be very difficult to find the right number to call so I’m gonna save you some misery. For Australia the number is 1800 197 503. For other countries look up the link below for your respective number to call. Look under the “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Microsoft Social Engagement and Parature, from Microsoft” section. Honestly I am not sure why it is under that section. In some other pages, this number is called the “Global Office 365 support phone numbers for admins”.

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/Global/CRM/support/support-news/Support_Telephone

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After the trial extension, you’ll it reflected in the portal page.

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It is a good thing to also now assign a license to the Global Administrator account as of the requirement from Microsoft since November 2015. Basically, go to Active users, highlight your admin user then click on the Edit link beside Product license.

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Click on the flip switch for Enterprise Mobility Suite, and then click Save.

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Click Close.

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If you don’t already know, EMS is a licensing construct that includes basically 4 products; Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune, Azure Rights Management and Advanced Threat Analysis. So once you’ve got the EMS subscription added you should be able to log on to the Intune portal at https://manage.microsoft.com. Remember to use another browser other than Microsoft Edge for this as currently the portal is still built on Silverlight. HTML5 to come soon.

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Once you’ve confirmed that you’ve got an Intune tenant, it is time to set up hybrid connection with Configuration Manager that we’ve installed for this lab. Back in the Configuration Manager console, navigate to Overview > Microsoft Intune Subscriptions. Right-click on it and the select Add Microsoft Intune Subscriptions.

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In the Introduction page, click Next.

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In the Subscription page, click Sign In.

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Select the checkbox for I understand that after I complete the sign-in process, the mobile device management authority is permanently set to Configuration Manager and cannot be changed. Then click OK.

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Log in with an administrator account to the Intune tenant, then click Sign in.

Note: If you do get an error after signing in, make sure you have Silverlight installed.

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Back to the Subscription page, click Next.

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In the General page, click the Browse button for the collection.

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Here you have an option of choosing a user collection that will allow its members to enroll devices to Intune. You can choose to create a custom collection to control the users who are allowed to enroll their phones to Intune or in my case, I’ve selected the default All Users and User Groups collection which allows basically every user in the domain to enroll the phones to Intune.

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Back in the General page, fill in the information for Company name, URL and the Configuration Manager site that you want Intune to be connected to. Typically this will be your CAS server if you have one, if not, this will be your Primary Site. Click Next.

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Fill in the information as needed then click Next.

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In the Company Logo page, you can browse for a company logo image or leave it for now and you can configure it later. Click Next.

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In the Device Enrollment Manager page, leave the default if you want to configure this later or add users as Device Enrollment Managers. Click Next.

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You can select to enable multi-factor authentication if you want to initiate a MFA request when a user enrolls a device. I’m gonna leave it for now as I can enable it later if I want to. Click Next.

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In the Summary page, click Next.

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In the Completion page, click Close.

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Enjoy!!!

Cannot Turn On Features in Configuration Manager Current Branch

 

If this is your first time seeing a bunch of feature that are turned on or turned off in the Administration > Cloud Services > Updates and Servicing > Features node of the console and wondering why the option to Turn On a particular feature is greyed out. This is because it has to be turned on in the Hierarchy Settings.

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The exact place to do it in the console is to browse to Overview > Site Configuration > Sites. Once there, click the Hierarchy Settings button at the ribbon.

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At the General tab of the Hierarchy Settings, select the checkbox for Consent to use Pre-Release features, then click OK.

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Back to the features node in the console and now, you have the option to Turn On a feature enabled.

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Enjoy!!!

Automating Start/Stop Azure VMs (Resource Manager)

This is part of what I was doing setting up my lab environment entirely in Azure cloud. To save some credits in my subscription I want to make sure my VMs shutdown everyday because we all know a running VM consumes credits. I’m gonna show you one really easy way of doing it without writing any codes.

Once you have logged into your subscription, browse to Automation Accounts and then add a new Automation Account. Here you will be asked for a name, subscription and resource group. Note: I should have named it with something to identify it as an Automation Account, perhaps with a “AA-“ prefix? Click Create.

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Once the Automation Account has been created, click on it and then click Runbooks.

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At the Runbooks blade, click Browse gallery. Then on the new blade, click Stop Azure V2 VMs. This runbook is created by the SC Automation Product Team.

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Click Import.

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Pretty simple here. Give it a name then click OK.

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Here, click the Edit button.

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All you need to do here is click Publish.

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At this point you’re almost done except that now you should tell it to run. Without it you would have to kick the runbook off manually. On the runbook, click Schedules, then click Add a schedule.

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Here, click Schedule – Link a schedule to your runbook, click Create a new schedule, give it a name, a time and date, click Recurring, set how frequent to run, then click Create.

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These settings are totally optional. This is to specify a specific Resource Group, a specific VM and to use a specific Connection Asset. Click OK twice.

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Now that you’ve created and configured an automated task to stop all VMs at a specific time of the day, you can now do a similar thing to start all VMs at a specific tome of the day. I normally do this to keep my AD Connect server in sync with Azure AD. So what I normally do as a daily task is to start my VMs up let’s say at 1am everyday and stop all my VMs at 3am everyday to just get everything in sync at the same time saving precious credits when not in use.

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You may encounter that your runbooks are not running anymore in the middle of the billing cycle. That’s basically because each Automation Account is configured to use the free tier which will give you 500 job minutes for free. If you do run out of those free minutes, go to the Automation Account > Pricing tier and usage, then click Pricing tier. This way your credits will be consumed to run your runbooks. Don’t worry, from experience it doesn’t cost very much.

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Enjoy!!!

Setting Up An EMS Lab in ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Step-By-Step – Part 6

Quick links to the other parts of the post:-

 

Now that we’ve come this far, it is time to setup synchronization with the on-premises Active Directory. Before that, back to the classic portal. We need to first turn on directory sync on the newly created directory.

Go to the directory and click on the Directory Synchronization tab. Then on the Directory Sync, click on ACTIVATED. Click Save.

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At the prompt, click Yes.

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Directory Sync is not activated. Now we can begin installing the AD Connect tool. The easiest way to get the latest version of the Azure AD Connect tool is from the classic portal. Alternatively, you can go here to download it. For more details about all the other previous versions of the tool, go here.

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Once downloaded, double-click on the installer to begin installation. At the Welcome page, select I agree to the license terms and privacy notice. Then click Continue.

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At the Express Settings page, click Customize.

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These settings are really up to you. I have specified a custom installation location and an existing service account. Then click Install.

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In this post I am not going to cover setting up single sign-on with ADFS thus we will just install a single AD Connect server. At the User Sign-In page, select Password Synchronization then click Next.

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Enter an Azure AD Global Admin account user name and password then click Next.

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At the Connect Directories page, enter a user account to connect to your on-premises Active Directory, then click Add Directory.

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The directory is added, click Next.

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At the Azure AD sign-in page, click Next.

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At the Domain/OU Filtering page, keep the defaults if you want to sync all objects in your on-premises AD, then click Next.

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At the Identifying users page, keep the defaults and then click Next.

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At the Filtering page, keep the defaults and then click Next.

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At the Optional Features page, select Password synchronization and Password writeback and then click Next.

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The default is to start the synchronization right after the install is complete. There is a second option to enable staging mode. This is a scenario where you can have a second AD Connect server to be kept in case of disaster which can be used to quickly get another AD Connect server up and running. Click Next.

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Once the configuration is complete, you can click Exit.

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Enjoy!!!

Setting Up An EMS Lab in ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Step-By-Step – Part 5

Quick links to the other parts of the post:-

 

Now that we have purchased a domain name, it is time to add that as a custom domain. Back to the Office 365 portal https://portal.office.com > Settings > Domains. Click + Add Domains.

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Enter your newly purchased domain name then click Next.

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Note the TXT value. You’ll need it for the next steps.

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Back to your domain hosting site. https://1and1.com. Once you’re logged in click on Domains on the left side of the page.

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Click on the down-arrow to expand the newly purchased domain name.

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Click Edit DNS Settings.

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Scroll down the page to the TXT and SRV Records section. Click Add Record.

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Enter the TXT value from the Office 365 portal as the value in the TXT record, then click Add.

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The TXT record is created. Click the Save button and then we wait for the record to be replicated across the Internet.

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Back to the Office 365 portal and depending on the time it takes record to be replicated across, you can occasionally click the Verify button to verify the ownership of the domain.

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Select I’ll manage my own DNS records, then click Next.

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Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click to select Skip this step, then click Skip.

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Click Finish.

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Enjoy!!!

Setting Up An EMS Lab in ARM (Azure Resource Manager) Step-By-Step – Part 4

Quick links to the other parts of the post:-

 

Now that we’re ready to add a custom domain, let’s go and purchase a domain name. We’re basically using this domain name for a test lab so unless you want to spend a lot of money for a domain name, I’ve found where you can get a domain name for as low as $0.99. Bear in mind I am in no way affiliated or receive any payment from this company. To date I have already bought several domains from 1 and 1. Yes, that’s the name. This step-by-step guide is going to be based on purchasing and configuring a custom domain from 1 and 1.

So, first things first, go to https://www.1and1.com/ on your browser. If you’re a first time customer, register for an account. I won’t go through the steps for that. But if you already have an account, go ahead and login at the top right of the page.

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I shouldn’t have to tell you how to log in. Tip: If you’ve got an existing domain name with them, you can log in using that as the username too.

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Once logged in, click on Domains, on the left hand side of the page.

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This is where you will have to spend some time searching for domain names that are available and picking the one you want. If you want to browse a list of prices for each different domain names, then click Domain Price List. I’ve found the cheapest ones are .space and .xyz which are $0.99 for the first year. Of course if you want to spend a little more for the one you love, go ahead.

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After some time, I finally decided on my domain name so I’m just going to add that to cart.

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Once you’re ready, go ahead and click Checkout.

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Click Continue.

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Confirm your details, then click continue to checkout.

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Check the box to say that you’ve read the terms and conditions, then click Order now.

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Congratulations, the domain name is your’s.

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Enjoy!!!