Using Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) in Windows Server 2012 R2

In the Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, administrators could manage and publish information in their Active Directory environments by using the Active Directory Users and Computers. Beginning in Windows Server 2008 R2, in addition to using Active Directory Users and Computers, administrators can manage their directory service objects by using the new Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC), which has been enhanced in Server 2012 with more features. It can be used to do following:

  • Create new user accounts or manage existing user accounts
  • Create new groups or manage existing groups
  • Create new computer accounts or manage existing computer accounts
  • Create new organizational units (OUs) and containers or manage existing OUs
  • Has Recycle Bin which once enabled, allows us to recover deleted objects
  • We can create Password Setting Object (PSO), also called Fine Grain Password Policies. These PSOs allow us to set up a different password policy based on security group membership.
  • Windows PowerShell History Viewer which allows us to view the power shell commands for all the tasks performed graphically on this tool.

Using Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) to enable Recycle Bin

IT professionals at one time or another have made the mistake of accidentally deleting an object in Active Directory that used to take countless hours to restore.  Active Directory Recycle Bin was created to adhere to that very problem and this step-by-step guide will showcase how easy it is to enable.  This procedure does not negate the need to have a proper system state backup which is always recommended and one must be aware that enabling this feature is one time and cannot be reversed under any circumstances.


Enabling Active Directory Recycle Bin

  1. In the management console, go to ToolsActive Directory Administrative Center Active Directory Administrative Center
  2. Select Local Domain and in the Tasks Pane Tasks Pane
  3. Select Enable Recycle Bin Select Enable Recycle Bin
  4. Click OK. NOTE: Be aware this feature cannot be disabled. Enable Recycle Bin Confirmation
  5. Click OK. Once enabled, wait for AD replication to complete as this is a change made on the configuration partition. This process may take a while should your organization have a large active directory infrastructure.

Please Refresh AD Administrative Center Now

A very simple enablement of a process that could save you hours of restore time.

Again this process cannot be reversed once invoked.


Fine Grained Password Policy

Let’s see how we can use ADAC for creating password setting for a Group.

  1. Open Server Manager Dashboard, click on Tools Menu, and click Active Directory Administrative Center. Server Manager Dashboard
  2. In the navigation pane, click msserverpro(local), then select System Container and double-click the Password Settings ContainerSelect System Container and Double-Click Password Settings Container

  3. In the Task pane at right side, click New and then click Password SettingsPassword Settings
  4. In the Create Password Settings dialog box, Enter the values from the table: Create Password Settings Table
  5. Click Add and type G_Managers, then click Check Names and click OKG_Managers Dialog Box
  6. In the Create Password Settings: ManagerPSO dialog box, Click OKCreate Password Settings: ManagerPSO Dialog Box
  7. Test the settings by changing the password for the Tom account, who is the member of G_Managers, to a noncomplex, four-letter password.

Hope this helps you make the jump to ADAC.

Deepika A.Author Spotlight: Unitek Education Instructor Deepika A.
Deepika A. has 14 years of experience in the information technology field; she has spent four of those years working as an instructor at Unitek Education. Well-versed in Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server technology in MCSE, MCTS, and MCITP editions, Deepika is also a proficient  MCITP Microsoft Server 2008 Administration and Enterprise Administration instructor.

Deepika holds various certifications directly related to her work as an instructor at Unitek Education. Her certifications include MCSE, MCTS, and MCITP certifications, among others.

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Unitek Education’s Windows Server 2012 R2 courses and boot camps help you to transform your IT operations, reduce costs, and deliver a whole new level of business value. Explore the range of Windows Server courses available at Unitek Education.

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2: 9 New and Updated Features

Microsoft has significantly improved their virtualization platform Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. There are lots of new and improved features compared with previous versions. Now the Hyper-V hypervisor is more robust and reliable for enterprise. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 supports the concept of a totally new architecture based on modern hardware with no emulated devices. This makes it possible to add a number of new features, such as secure boot for VMs and booting off of virtual SCSI or virtual network adapters. I will highlight a few exciting features of the latest version of Hyper-V which comes with Windows Server 2012 R2 as well as of course the standalone version Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.

At a glance, Microsoft has introduced and improved the following Hyper-V features which I have gathered from Microsoft Technet:

Hyper-V New and Updated Features and Functionalities

Hyper-V Replication Extension to Off-Site

You can configure extended replication with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. In extended replication, your Replica server forwards information about changes that occur on the primary virtual machines to a third server (the extended Replica server). Hyper-V Server 2012 is currently limited to a single replication target. This makes it difficult to support scenarios like a service provider wanting to act both as a target for a customer to replicate and a source to replicate to another offsite facility.

Live Migration with Compression for Faster Migration

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 improved the performance of live migrations by enabling compression of the data to reduce the total number of bytes transmitted over the wire. Tapping CPU resources for data compression could potentially impact other operations, so you’ll need to take that into consideration. The second option, SMB Direct, requires network adapters that support RDMA. Microsoft’s advice: If you have 10 GB available, use RDMA (10x improvement); otherwise, use compression (2x improvement). Compression is the default choice and it works for the large majority of use cases.

Dynamic Memory Support for Linux

Microsoft has improved a lot to support for Linux VMs. Now with Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V gains the ability to dynamically expand the amount of memory available to a running VM. This capability is especially handy for any Linux workload (notably Web servers) where the amount of memory needed by the VM changes over time. In environments with many Linux VMs, dynamic memory becomes even more critical to efficiently manage the total memory used by all running VMs. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 also brings Windows Server backups to Linux guests.

Virtual Machine Direct Connect

Connecting to a running VM over RDP requires an active network connection, which you can’t always count on. In addition to an active network connection, the VM must have an IP address reachable by the system attempting to connect, a requirement with potential management and security issues depending on the environment in which you’re running. All this changes in Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 with the addition of VM Direct Connect. This feature allows a direct remote desktop connection to any running VM over what’s now called the VM bus. It’s also integrated into the Hyper-V management experience.

Live VHDX Resizing

In earlier versions of Hyper-V, it was not possible to resize a virtual hard disk attached to a running VM. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 makes it possible to not only expand, but even reduce the size of the virtual disk (VHDX format only) without stopping the running VM. But you cannot compress an online VHD. Using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2, Hyper-V Manager, or the command line using PowerShell, you can make all of these adjustments.

Storage Quality of Service (QoS)

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 includes the ability to limit individual VMs to a specific level of I/O throughput. Initially with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, the only number that really makes a difference is the maximum limit. The IOPS are measured by monitoring the actual disk rate to and from the attached virtual hard drives. If you have applications capable of consuming large amounts of I/O, you’ll want to consider this setting to ensure that a single I/O-hungry VM won’t starve neighbor VMs or take down the entire host

Shared VHDX

With Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, Windows guest clusters (think traditional Windows Server failover clustering but using a pair of VMs) no longer require an iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN, but can be configured using commodity storage: namely a shared VHDX file stored on a Cluster Shared Volume. Note that while the clustered VMs can be live migrated as per usual, a live storage migration of the VHDX file requires one of the cluster nodes to be taken offline.

Live Virtual Machine Exporting and Cloning

With Hyper-V Server 2012, you need to stop a running VM before you can export or clone it. It’s simply not an option in production. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 removes this restriction. It’s now possible to export or clone a running VM from System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

Hyper-V Replication Frequency Cycle

Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 provides a fixed replication interval of 5 minutes. That being said, you can’t replicate any faster, even if you have the hardware or infrastructure to support it. Also you cannot replicate any slower, even if you don’t need such frequent copies.  Now Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 supports more frequent (every 30 seconds) and not so frequent (every 15 minutes) replication. This will even support an intermittent connection.

Unitek Education Instructor Abu Z.Author Spotlight: Unitek Education Instructor Abu Z.
Abu Z, a computer science graduate, has been in the technology industry for more than eight years, with six years’ experience as a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Abu spent much of his technology training career in the United Kingdom with different Microsoft CPLS partners. Abu’s Microsoft certifications include: MCSE, MCSA, MCP, MCTS, and MCITP. He takes pride in preparing IT professionals to succeed.

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Unitek Education’s Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center is a five-day instructor-led course that teaches you to consolidate workloads, improve server utilization, and reduce costs using Hyper-V. This Microsoft Official Course helps you become a virtualization expert and prepares you for the 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V Specialist Exam.

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The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Certification

The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Certification
Where are you taking your IT career? No matter where you are, or where you want to go, Microsoft Certification from Unitek Education can often get you there.

Are you a Desktop Technician?

Start with the MCSE Desktop Infrastructure Boot Camp, and move on to the MCSA Windows 8 Boot Camp.

Interested in a career in Server Infrastructure, Private Could, Communication, Messaging, or Microsoft SharePoint?

Take the MCSE Private Cloud Boot Camp, MCSE SharePoint Boot Camp, MCSE Communication (Lync 2013) Boot Camp, or MCSE Messaging Exchange Boot Camp, and continue with MCSA Windows Server 2012 (available as a Windows Server 2012 and Windows System Center 2012 combination boot camp and certification).

Maybe Data Platforms or Business Intelligence gets you going?

Enroll in MCSE Data Platform Boot Camp, and move on to the MCSA SQL Server 2012 Boot Camp.

The Impact of the Cloud on IT

The opportunity for cloud-skilled IT professionals continues to grow. Global enterprises are adopting the cloud at an ever-increasing rate, and are only being slowed by the limited number of IT professionals skilled in cloud computing. If businesses are moving to the cloud, that means jobs are too: there is a 92% higher demand for cloud related skills in 2013 versus 2012. Are your skills in demand?

There are currently 1.7 unfilled cloud-related IT jobs, and 61% of hiring managers are concerned about the availability of cloud skills in the job marketplace. One of the top three reasons cloud computing positions go unfilled is lack of relevant certification. Do you have the latest certifications? Unitek Education offers courses and boot camps that get IT professionals certified, and ready for the job market or career advancement.

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