Meet Dick – Contest Winner

We’re 2015, time to meet Dick – contest winner of bad technology choices.Way too many purchasing decisions still seem to be made solely on check box ticking. That and a Gartner Magic Quadrant that is. Despite truckloads of management, strategy consultants, coaches, management self improvement books for clueless managers & a ton of professional coaches for whatever function you can think in the corporate world of over the past decades. It did not help. What do you expect from that crowd.


Never mind that in most SME’s the choice of technology is best made looking at their specific needs and for a period or 3 to 7 years ( the interval depends on how that business operates). That means current technology with an eye on vNext. Do that to the best of your ability and you’ll have served your business or customers very well.

But the ever lasting check box ticking game during the sales process is still strong. This is the easiest and laziest way of making decisions. When you don’t care about the outcome, why not. After all the harder you work the less you get paid I guess. Add to that the benefit of great CYA. This means we won’t see an end to this practice soon. After all:

  • All check boxes were green, it was the best possible decision.
  • The industry press stated (by regurgitating the original article or report) that the solution we bought is poised to success in this segment over the next 10 years.
  • Other buy it so it must be good

Dick, listen to me. We focus on the success of our own company in the next decade. If some tech company X goes down or doesn’t make it to the fortune 500 its tech just gets replaced and we’re done with it. Heck if they don’t deliver we’ll sew them (or cheaper, they just don’t’ get paid) and replace the solution sooner. That long green check box list will than be evidence in court to prove the deliberate ill intended of your “guidance”. Stupidity is rarely an excuse.

So, seeing this happen, on whatever side of the table, doesn’t to anything to reduce my generally poor impression of the intellectual prowess of the human species. Let’s face it, this practice has the intellectual maturity and relevance of a bunch of a dick-measuring contest. So every now and then when discussions tend to turn that way I’m tempted to suggest everyone whips them out and throws them on the table to be measured with a yard stick.


We can then declare who’s won the Mr. Dick contest and be done with it. Anything to get  the discussion back to what really matters like what suits the real needs the best. You’ll have enough money draining drama around technology projects to avoid anyway, don’t add to it. Check Box ticking solution selection is nothing but sad, lazy stupidity. The only thing that is measured and weighed is the professionalism of the ones engaging in it. Guess what, it has been found lacking. Measuring is important, but knowing what to measure is key.

Presenting at Experts Live 2015 On SMB Direct

I’m happy and proud to present that I’m presenting at Experts Live 2015 On SMB Direct on November 19th. I enjoyed this community driven very much last year. The speaker line up is awesome, the organization flawless and the attendees numerous and motivated. This make for a great one day conference where people come to learn, share experiences and network.


I’ll be doing a session called “SMB Direct, The Secret Decoder Ring” that has been updated with some tips and experiences learned for recent engagements. You can not afford to ignore SMB Direct, RDMA, Data Center Bridging as it is being leveraged for ever more workloads in ever more scenarios. The need for high performance combined with the steady progress of converged architectures makes it an essential part of your solutions.

There are many well respect speakers also presenting, people I learn a lot from and enjoy talking shop with. You can take a look at the line up of speakers here. It reads as a “who’s who” in modern Microsoft technologies. These are all people working in the field, who are active in the community and love to share. This means a wealth of knowledge is available to any one who attends to leverage it their own day jobs and companies.

You can follow a preferred track all day long or mix and match sessions between tracks. It’s your day, so you decide how to make the most out of it. Don’t forget to talk and network with your peers as this is an essential part of any conference.

I hope to see you there!

The Mysterious Case of Infrequent Network Connectivity Issues on 2 Hyper-V VMs Out of 40 Guests

In The Mysterious Case of Infrequent Network Connectivity Issues on 2 Hyper-V VMs Out of 40 Guests I share a trouble shooting experience with you. I was asked if I could possibly take a look at a weird, but very infrequent network issue with 2 VMs (W2K12R2) on a cluster (W2K12R2) running over 40 guests? Sure! These 2 virtual machines worked well 98% of the time. About 2% of the time they just fell of the network, sometimes both vNICs, sometimes both VMs. Asking what they meant, they said unreachable. But we can’t find anything wrong as all other VMs run fine with the same configuration on the same hosts. They told me there was nothing in the event logs of either the host or the guests to explain any of this. A reboot or 2 or even a live migration sometimes fix the issue. Normally the monthly patch cycle prevent to many problems with connectivity. Pretty weird! Usually bad firmware, drivers or bad offload feature support can cause issues, but that would not target just 2 out of 40 VMs that have the same settings.

It was only these 2 VMs, not matter what host the were running on in the cluster. As the the vNICs shared the same 2 vSwitches (teamed) with all other VMS that never had issues I was pretty sure the configuration of the switches, NIC, teams and vSwitch were OK. This was verified for due diligence and it  checked out on all hosts as expected. All firmware, drivers and offloads were done correctly.

I also checking the VLANs settings of the vNIC themselves for those two VMs and compared them a couple of VMs that had no issues what so ever and found them to be identical.

At first everything seemed fine and I was stumped. The event logs both in the VMs as on the hosts were squeaky clean. After that exercise I started running some PowerShell command lets to take a look at the configuration of the VMs on the hosts. You see the GUI does not expose all possible configurations and I wanted to look every configuration option. That’s when I found the following


The vNIC for the 2 offending VMs were in Access mode while the VlanList had a single value 0 (basically meaning untagged, it’s a reserved VLAN for priority tagging and the use is not 100% standard across switch vendors). This just didn’t compute. In the GUI we did not see this, there things looked normal.


You cannot even set this in the GUI, it won’t allow you.



But when run in a PowerShell command it allows you to make this configuration. So maybe that’s what’s happened.

Set-VMNetworkAdaptervlan -VMName DNS01 -Access -VlanId 0

No one knew, nor can I tell you. But I tested to verify this does run and makes that configuration without any issue, weird. Anyway, I resolved the issue by running the following command.

Set-VMNetworkAdaptervlan -VMName DNS01 –Untagged


The rare connectivity issue disappeared and all was well in 100% of the cases. That how The Mysterious Case of Infrequent Network Connectivity Issues on 2 Hyper-V VMs Out of 40 Guests came to a happy end.

Update that enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10

Today, a blog reader notified me that Microsoft released an update that extends KMS for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 to enable the activation of Windows 10-based clients. Find it here.


I blogged about the update for Windows Server 2012 (R2) and Windows 8/8.1 before but now these older operating systems can also serve as KMS servers for Windows 10. All you need is the update that enables Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 KMS hosts to activate Windows 10 as discussed in KB3079821

Until now the workaround was to leverage Active Directory based activation for Windows 10 whilst you left your KMS server in place for the older clients. That works well and I have used it before. But with this update you can use your older KMS servers for all activations of windows clients.