System Center ConfigMgr 2012 SP2/2012R2 SP1 Upgrade

Microsoft has recently released the System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Service Pack 2 and 2012 R2 Service Pack 1. These can be downloaded oddly from Microsoft’s evaluation page for System Center in a strangely and confusing manner unlike previous service packs. The updates come in two files that also confuse most folks with an awkward naming scheme, which is why so many folks have needed further clarification on their intended use.

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Building a Home Lab – Part 2 – Functionality

In a previous post “Building a Home Lab – Part 1 – Hardware” I talked about why I believe IT professionals benefit from having their own home lab environments. I also talked about the evolution of my home lab from multiple physical servers down to a single physical hypervisor. This single server would run virtual servers as needed and would no longer require expensive switches or complex network storage solutions. Continue reading

Building a Home Lab – Part 1 – Hardware

A personal goal of mine has been to try to educate myself as much as possible in all common enterprise technologies. I also believe that I am not alone when I say “building a home lab is what many IT professionals do to improve their skills and get some needed practice with common enterprise technologies”. In the past I have gone through several lab designs, but with the way technology is changing I found myself trying to virtualize as much as possible. Continue reading

Google Apps Password Sync (GAPS) Update

If you are a Google Apps customer, you may have received a barrage of emails from Google about their API change and how they will stop supporting previous versions of GADS and GAPS. So if you haven’t done so, you have a few days until April 20th, 2015 to complete this upgrade. After April 20th, Google will make their old APIs stop working causing older version of GADS and GAPS to seize functioning. Continue reading


XP_EndofLifeI meant to write this much sooner, but I have to say it’s been a busy past few months. In my previous post I wrote about a lot of the thoughts that crossed my mind during my discovery phase. This was a somewhat tedious process that is often forgotten through the project scoping phase and could later cause issues during the execution phase of a project.

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System Center Config Mgr 2012 R2 Hardware Sizing

I’ts been a while since I thought about writing up a detailed article about one of my most recent SCCM 2012 R2 builds for an environment of roughly 120,000 clients and 230,000 users. The main reason I wanted to write about this was mainly due to the lack of information I was able to find during my initial research. When I was first trying to get a feel on how the system should be configured and just how little information I could find pertaining hardware specs.

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SCCM 2012 R2 All Clients with Status Unknown

We recently had an issue where our clients in one of our primary site servers stopped functioning such as receiving windows updates, SCEP definition updates and reporting hardware/software inventory. If anything was deployed it would all come back as status unknown, making this a real annoying feature of centralized management.

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When to Start a New Job Search


I recently had some time to reflect on a recent discussion with an old acquaintance, about when to start searching for a new job. The discussion went back and forth talking about the perks of staying in a job for a lengthy period of time versus job hoping every year or two. Towards the end of our discussion we both agreed on a few fundamental items.

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Google Password Synchronization (GAPS)- Gotchas

We recently implemented Google’s Account Password Synchronization (GAPS) 1.1 into our environment. If you are not familiar with the product, it synchronizes passwords changed within Active Directory and a particular domain controller, over to the Google Apps directory on the cloud. This allows our users to use their AD passwords to access their Google Mail with mobile devices leveraging one single password.  Continue reading

How to Create a WinPE 3.1 Boot Image & Import it to SCCM 2012R2

Microsoft’s SCCM 2012R2 comes with WinPE5.0 by default and due to compatibility issues with Windows XP with that version I have proceeded to utilize WinPE3.1. To get WinPE 3.1’s image imported onto the SCCM2012R2 environment several steps had to be taken to extract the file and import the appropriate drivers before being able to re-import it back into SCCM.

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