Windows Deployment – Advanced Part 2: Using WSUS to inject updates during OS deployment

In this article, I’m going to demonstrate how to configure WSUS to work with MDT (or rather MDT to work with WSUS).

Now, updating the odd computer with the latest updates isn’t really an issue, even on the slowest of internet connections. But what if your trying to update tens, or hundreds of client computers during your image deployment? Every one of those clients is going to individually attempt to contact Microsoft and download necessary updates. You’ll find this quickly bottlenecks your internet feed, even on the fastest of connections.

What’s a WSUS?

No, cast that image that weedy person to one side!

WeedyMan

Because we’re talking about Microsoft WSUS!!

WSUS Logo

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Death from above: The silent server room killer

It was a Tuesday morning after a bank holiday. 90 minute trek into the office, which was quicker than the usual two hour slog out of Cornwall.

Turned the laptop on, and grabbed a coffee whilst the laptop finished installing its selection of updates for Windows 10 tech preview.

Upon firing up our service board application, I was greeted with hundreds of server alerts from the evening before.

Careful inspection of the alerts showed that the aircon had failed in one of our customers backup server rooms.

Luckily, the extractor fan we insisted on having installed (after a secondary aircon unit was considered too expensive) was able to assist with cooling the room. Not enough to keep the room cool, but helped prevent damage to the hardware.

The local aircon maintenance company were called out to perform an urgent repair.

After under an hour onsite, the aircon engineer had resolved the problem and the disaster had been averted.

The problem? Dandelion seeds.

An excess of dandelion seeds had blocked the external inverter units fan, causing it to overheat and trip out the power. This of course shut down the aircon to the server room.

Unbelievable, but true. If you have external aircon inverters, its worth getting them checked out!

What can I do to prevent this:
Of course having redundant aircon units on separate supplies is a great idea (with an annual maintenance contract) , if funds allow, but having email alerts coming through is a great warning system, and its little to no cost to implement. It’s also possible to shutdown servers if they get hot (though of course that can have its own issues with regards to continuity of service).

I recommend taking a look at this guide from the guys over at howtogeek

Enable Hyper-V replication between two workgroup servers

Hyper-V replication is an essential ‘server availability’ tool for any organization. Whilst it is not a substitute for good backups; it will allow you to restore an up-to-date copy of your virtual servers very quickly, should your primary host hardware fail.

In this tutorial, i have built two Windows 2012 R2 servers using a pair of old Dell Optiplex 580’s (AMD Phenom CPU, upgraded to 8GB RAM each), and a single 8 port Netgear GB switch.

Hyper-V-logo

The Primary server name is: Truro

The Secondary server name is: Exeter

Lets get started…

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