Exciting news! MVPDAYS is coming to Eastern Canada

Something that’s been brewing up for the past two years in Western Canada the MVPDays tour is finally making it’s way to Eastern Canada!

Keep your eyes out here for more details or follow the #CDNMVPDAYS hashtag for further details.

Dates and locations are already being announced by Dave Kawula from his recent Countdown Video for MVPDAYS on Channel 9.

  • Toronto on February 29th 2016
  • Ottawa on March 2nd 2016
  • Montreal on March 4th 2016

Keep your eyes peeled for details!

Sean
The EnergizedTech

Windows to Go and what you need to know.

One of the features brought forth in Windows 8 was Windows to Go.   A cool feature that allows you to deploy Windows onto an external USB stick.

First off the requirements (Note the licensing as well!)

A Supported version of Windows in this configuration when you have Software Assurance (This is the LICENSING requirement)

  • Windows 8.0 Enterprise
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Enterprise

A Certified Windows to Go Device (This gives you Support) The present list from Microsoft TechNet is as follows

For both Spyrus and Western Digital there is a special utility for each that is recommended to be used when Deploying Windows to Go. 

Once you have the proper pieces you will generally have two ways of deploying Windows to Go.  In the Windows Enterprise editions there is an option in the Control Panel marked “Windows To Go” which will take you through a Step by Step Wizard to build a Windows To Go key.

The end result of this process is a clean install of Windows Enterprise and nothing more magical than that.

The other process involves using one of many Scripts in PowerShell (Such as this example on TechNet) in which you manually target the Install.WIM file or your companies Gold image.   In all cases it must be an Enterprise version as well as on the proper device to get support for your users.   Also note that using Windows to Go on a MacBook is NOT supported at this time.

This Windows can be Joined to a domain as normal (manually) or you can drop your standard Unattend.xml directly into it’s file system to allow it to boot and Prepare itself normally as per your standard Out of Box Experience for your users.  

One of the other key pieces to note as well is if you want the device to TRULY roam, you’ll probably want to inject some NVidia or ATI drivers into the WIM file to allow proper video on more devices.  The same might be said for Network drivers as well.

Keep your eyes on www.scriptingguys.com near the end of this month (September 2015) as I’ll be posting a week long series on Windows To Go and PowerShell.

Cheers all!

Sean
The EnergizedTech

WordPress on Windows Azure–Don’t Use MySQL

I would say about 6 months or so ago (maybe more, maybe less) I sat down and decided to migrate EnergizedTech.com and PowerShell.ca to WordPress on Azure.  

I had been using a hosted WordPress.com site for years since spaces.live.com migrated to the platform and was quite happy with it.   Then when my site was hit by multiple spam requests and my current provider began CHARGING me for those hits I began to review my options.

The first option would have been just to point everything to ye110wbeard.wordpress.com.   But then I thought about ALL of those links that still get regular searches on Google.  

“Oh, crud” at which point I began looking into migrating all the content from my Previous movable Type to WordPress site.   This involved FTP to pull my image structure over (pretty easy), a little custom PowerShell to re-build my hard links (Not too nasty) and building a custom URL to match my old links.

The site ran great until about May at which point I could no longer log in.   The site was still live but I just could NOT login and access my content.   In addition I was receiving these persistent emails from ClearDB about my database being at it’s limit.

So some quick research later, Microsoft does NOT host the MySQL, it was handed to another company called ClearDB that does NOT leverage your Azure credits.

“Ugh!” was my first statement.   The cost was not particularly nasty ($3 a month) but it was the principal of running my websites 100% by just leveraging all this Azure credit I had at my disposal.

The temporary workaround was to spin up a VM with MySQL on it, use the following article to repoint it to the Hosted MySQL after I dumped the MySQL DB and uploaded it to the new instance on my VM.  Connecting a new MySQL Database to an existing Azure …

Once pointed I was online again and able to export my content directly in WordPress.

But I was missing something, High Availability (Which you DO incidentally get from ClearDB)

This was silly.   MSSQL on Azure is Highly Available.  That was “Free” within my Azure Credits budget.   If only there was a way to spin up WordPress on Azure with MSSQL.   

Fortunately there *IS*.  I stumbled across this reference on the Internet which allows you to create an Azure WordPress instance while leveraging MSSQL using the “Project Nami for WordPress” from this article on “Visual Studio Adventure”

Following these instructions I was able to spin up a New WordPress instance with MSSQL as the target Database, Migrate my Domains and content and get up and running.

Honest MySQL is a great solution but within Azure I think Microsoft should have either hosted it themselves or arranged some kind of credit program with ClearDB.

But I’m happy now with my Website and MSSQL in Highly available mode Smile

Sean
The Energized Tech