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Automate Windows Server setup using an answer file

Par : Brandon Lee

Performing a manual installation of Windows Server is acceptable if you have only a single machine to install. However, if you deploy multiple instances, you want to use an automated approach. One of the oldest mechanisms provided by Microsoft for this purpose is answer files. This article shows you how to create them with Windows System Image Manager.

The post Automate Windows Server setup using an answer file first appeared on 4sysops.
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VMware Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer free tool

Par : Vladan Seget

The Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer (VMCO) is a free tool from the VMware Flings site at flings.vmware.com that enables you to capture information about the hosts and VMs running in your vSphere environment. It generates a report on your VMs and shows you whether your VMs are optimized. It takes the configuration of the host's memory and CPU into consideration.

The post VMware Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer free tool first appeared on 4sysops.
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How to install the PowerShell 7 Active Directory module

Par : Leos Marek

Officially, the Active Directory module for PowerShell 7 is only supported for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019. However, as it turns out, you can also install the PowerShell module on Windows Server 2016 and even Windows 7. On Linux and MacOS, you can leverage PowerShell remoting to manage Active Directory. This raises the question of whether Microsoft's cross-platform approach for PowerShell really makes sense.

The post How to install the PowerShell 7 Active Directory module first appeared on 4sysops.
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Send emails in Exchange Online using an alias address: Configuration with PowerShell and admin center

Par : Benjamin Bürk

Each Exchange mailbox can be assigned multiple email addresses. These proxy addresses are also called aliases. Until now, you could use them to receive messages, but to send emails, you had to use the standard address. Now Microsoft 365 also allows you to send email via an alias.

The post Send emails in Exchange Online using an alias address: Configuration with PowerShell and admin center first appeared on 4sysops.
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Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) is back as a member of SysInternals

Par : Wolfgang Sommergut

RDCMan is for users who need to manage many RDP connections. This tool consolidates them into groups and thus allows settings and actions to be applied to a collection of hosts. Microsoft took RDCMan off the market in 2020 because of security flaws, but it is back now as part of SysInternals.

The post Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) is back as a member of SysInternals first appeared on 4sysops.
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Manage Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (Office ProPlus) using the cloud policy service

Par : Brandon Lee

Group policies play a central role in the management of Microsoft Office, especially for security configuration. The cloud policy service allows admins to customize Office apps via an M365 service, even if the PCs are not members of a domain.

The post Manage Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (Office ProPlus) using the cloud policy service first appeared on 4sysops.
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BIOS optimization settings for VMware ESXi 7.x

Par : Vladan Seget

This guide provides information about BIOS optimization for VMware ESXi 7.x. When you buy new hardware, after verifying that ESXi 7.x is a supported hypervisor, you'll need to configure BIOS. The configuration process is, in part, about performance tweaks.

The post BIOS optimization settings for VMware ESXi 7.x first appeared on 4sysops.
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Configure automatic reply message in Exchange with PowerShell or ECP

Par : Roland Eich

The automatic or out-of-office "OOF" reply (also called "out-of-office assistant") has been available in Exchange for a long time and is one of the most important features for end users. If they can't set up their automatic replies themselves, the admin can use ECP and PowerShell to do so.

The post Configure automatic reply message in Exchange with PowerShell or ECP first appeared on 4sysops.
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Import Microsoft Defender Firewall rules from an Excel sheet with PowerShell in Windows 10

Par : Emanuel Halapciuc

With my PowerShell script, you can easily import rules from an Excel sheet to the Microsoft Defender Firewall in Windows 10. The script reads the ports that need to be opened or blocked from a simple CSV file.

The post Import Microsoft Defender Firewall rules from an Excel sheet with PowerShell in Windows 10 first appeared on 4sysops.
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ScriptRunner Portal Edition: Manage PowerShell scripts throughout your organization

Par : Brandon Lee

Managing PowerShell across an organization can be difficult. ScriptRunner Portal Edition R1 is a PowerShell management platform with a new web portal for PowerShell script administration.

The post ScriptRunner Portal Edition: Manage PowerShell scripts throughout your organization first appeared on 4sysops.
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Hardware, licensing, support: What Windows 11 means to professional users

Par : Wolfgang Sommergut

The UI facelift and some other innovations in Windows 11 have received the most attention so far. But some other changes might be more interesting for professional users. Microsoft is raising the hardware requirements for the new operating system, which many office PCs will not meet. In addition, there will be new rules for updates and support.

The post Hardware, licensing, support: What Windows 11 means to professional users first appeared on 4sysops.
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Analyze drmdump files with VMware DRS Dump Insight

Par : Vladan Seget

DRS Dump Insight is a portal where you can upload drmdump files for further analysis. VMware DRS Dump Insight 2.0 is an updated release that reflects changes within the VMware DRS mechanism, which I discussed in a previous article about VMware vSphere 7 DRS scoring and configuration.

The post Analyze drmdump files with VMware DRS Dump Insight first appeared on 4sysops.
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Migrate AD certificate services to a new server

Par : Brandon Lee

As businesses look at phasing out legacy Windows Server versions, core services may need to be moved or migrated to new Windows Server versions. One service you may need to move is Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS). Let's see how to migrate AD CS from Windows Server 2008 R2 to 2019.

The post Migrate AD certificate services to a new server first appeared on 4sysops.
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Secure domain controllers with LDAP channel binding and LDAP signing

Par : Philip Lorenz

The use of unencrypted LDAP poses a risk. It allows attackers to exploit a vulnerability to gain elevated privileges. These, in turn, can be used for man-in-the-middle attacks. Several LDAP settings can help admins protect their systems against these threats.

The post Secure domain controllers with LDAP channel binding and LDAP signing first appeared on 4sysops.
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Privileged access workstation (PAW) and lateral movement

Par : James Rankin

A popular topic in security circles these days is preventing lateral movement. Network segregation for admin tasks, or what Microsoft calls PAW—privileged access workstation—is key here.

The post Privileged access workstation (PAW) and lateral movement first appeared on 4sysops.
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Deactivate Windows 10 widget "News and interests" with Group Policy

Par : Wolfgang Sommergut

Since Windows 10 1909, Microsoft has displayed a widget in the taskbar that shows content from MSN, such as weather or stock quotes. These "news and interests" are probably not required or desired in most professional environments. They can be deactivated via Group Policy.

The post Deactivate Windows 10 widget "News and interests" with Group Policy first appeared on 4sysops.
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Microsoft Windows 365: Fixed-price cloud PC with simplified deployment

Par : Wolfgang Sommergut

Microsoft has announced yet another cloud service for virtual desktops called Windows 365. The main difference between this and Windows Virtual Desktop is that this service allows PCs to be provisioned and managed more easily. In addition, licensing is handled through a subscription per user and month.

The post Microsoft Windows 365: Fixed-price cloud PC with simplified deployment first appeared on 4sysops.
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Manage encrypted PCs remotely using BitLocker Network Unlock

Par : Brandon Lee

TPM+PIN decryption with BitLocker requires physical access to the device when the endpoint boots or resumes from sleep. This feature can be a challenge for remote helpdesk technicians attempting to remotely access the endpoint, install software, and perform other tasks using Wake on LAN. For this reason, Microsoft created BitLocker Network Unlock.

The post Manage encrypted PCs remotely using BitLocker Network Unlock first appeared on 4sysops.
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Microsoft 365 mail flow reports in the Exchange Admin Center

Par : Vignesh Mudliar

Understanding mail flow reports available in the Microsoft 365 Exchange Admin Center is essential for troubleshooting mail flow issues, reviewing email traffic, and formulating your security policies for mail flow; these are everyday tasks for Exchange admins. Mail flow reports can not only help you in these tasks but also give you early indications of impending issues.

The post Microsoft 365 mail flow reports in the Exchange Admin Center first appeared on 4sysops.
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