Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 2)

A Quick Start for Experienced Users

Windows Server 2012 is designed with private cloud and System Center 2012 in mind. While the IT industry is transitioning into cloud computing and embracing consumerization of IT, as an IT professional, building privte cloud with System Center 2012 is an immediate priority of mine and getting productive on Windows Server 2012 is a key step.

This is part 2, a continuation of the 3-part series of getting productive on Windows Server 2012, should you not have a touch device readily available. The user operations walked through here are fundamental and for most Windows users this post will be an easy read. If not already, one should read part 1 first.

3. Settings of Current Screen

On any screen, use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + i, to bring up Settings options for the current screen. Or a user can also move cursor to UR/LR, i.e. the upper right or lower left corners of the computer screen, to bring up the Charms (as shown in part 1) in which Settings option is available as well.

Shown below is a sample setting of the Start screen. Notice the lower portion highlight the characteristic settings of the PC, i.e. current OS instance. Click “More PC settings” at the bottom to bring up the PC Setting screen to personalize Lock and Start screens, add user account pictures, etc.

The upper area displays the settings of current page. Notice that by default, “Show administration tools” is configured as “Yes” in the Settings of Start screen as shown on the right. This enables administration tools to appear on the Start and Apps screens. When this is set to “No”, administration tools will not appear in Start, Apps, and search results.

4. Search from the Start Screen

Typing something on the Start screen, regardless where the cursor is, will instantaneously invoke the search function, use what has just been typed to form a pattern, and list out those applications, if any, matched the pattern. Searching from the Start screen is similar to the desktop search of a Windows Server 2008 desktop. The following two screen captures show after typing "fir" on the Start screen, the Search identified one application, "Windows Firewall," and five Settings related entries matched the pattern.

For accessing a known application like the Run dialog or command prompt, one quick way is to directly type “run” or “cmd” on the Setting screen following by hitting the Enter key.

5. Windows Explorer

Within Windows Explorer, a user can right-click a folder from the navigation tree to pin the folder to the Start screen as illustrated below. And right-click an application, here myApp.exe, with the Shift key pressed at the same time will provide options to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged on, in addition to pinning the app to the Start screen or the taskbar.

An interesting observation is that in Windows Server 2012 a user apparently pins objects directly to either Start screen or taskbar, and not to the desktop. That means we may start to see many clean and roomy Windows Server 2008 desktops now. And a user may become more selective on what to pin and where. As an option, a user can still create a shortcut and place it on the desktop.

6. Metro Style Apps

In Windows Server 2012 Beta, there are only a handful Metro style apps included with a default installation. There are however many more Metro style apps included in a default install of Windows 8. A Metro style app when open and not in use is sent to the background, becomes inactive, and frees its resources. Notice that similar to a cell phone, tablet PC, or other mobile computing device, it is not necessary to close a Metro style app when not in use. And there are routines to operate on Metro style apps.

Placing the cursor at the UL corner will show the thumbnail of those Metro style apps currently inactive, and right-click from the UL corner will display the option to close or snap a Metro style app, when applicable, as shown on the right. Also moving the cursor to the top edge of the screen so the cursor turns into a hand followed by dragging the app to the bottom edge will also close the Metro style app. This as it appears is similar to swipe across the bottom edge of the screen on a touch device for closing an app.

7. Server Manager
This is the hub for configuring and administering both the local and remote Windows servers. By default, Server Manager starts automatically at logon. This setting is in Manage/Server Manager Properties of the upper right menu bar as the following screen capture shows. Notice under Tools is where administration tools are listed including Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Windows PorwerShell ISE, etc.

The menu bar displays a Red Flag, when applicable, indicating some process/task failure and a need for operator’s attention. The welcome screen also highlight 3 orange tiles with Quick Start, What’s New, and Learn More information. Thou shalt not miss them. And to hide these tiles once reviewed, the setting is in View.

8. If You Need to Run, Don't Walk

The beloved Run dialog is still there. On the Setting screen, simply type "run" will bring up the Search dialog and list the Run application. Or use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + r, to bring up the Run dialog, as needed. And as expected in Run dialog or Windows Explorer, typing CMD will faithfully bring up a long-missed command prompt.

9. Run As J. Smith

From Windows Explorer, right-click with Shift key on an intended executable will allow the program to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged in, as shown earlier under Windows Explorer. To run as an administrator from the Start screen, right-click an intended app to get the option, as applicable. Here shown on the right, PowerShell ISE is set to run as administrator from the Start screen.

10. Desktop Experience

The assumption is that there is a seldom need to personalize the desktop background of a server. Hence, a default Windows server installation does not automatically add Desktop Experience feature. And different from that in Windows Server 2008, this setting is, as illustrated below, now moved and available under User Interface and Infrastructure. And as always, adding this feature followed by enabling the Theme service will enable the personalization feature for changing the background of a desktop session.

At this point, a Windows server user with the information in the first 2 parts of this blog post series should be able to get productive quickly with Windows Server 2012. In part 3, two important facts I want to bring your attention to.

[To Part 1, 3]

[This is a cross-posting from http://aka.ms/yungchou.]

More Stories By Yung Chou

Yung Chou is a Technology Evangelist in Microsoft. Within the company, he has had opportunities serving customers in the areas of support account management, technical support, technical sales, and evangelism. Prior to Microsoft, he had established capacities in system programming, application development, consulting services, and IT management. His recent technical focuses have been in virtualization and cloud computing with strong interests in hybrid cloud and emerging enterprise computing architecture. He is a frequent speaker in Microsoft conferences, roadshow, and TechNet events.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search and...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri, Inc, a leading provider of enterprise cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Tintri offers an enterprise cloud platform built with public cloud-like web services and RESTful APIs. Organizations use Tintri all-flash storage with scale-out and automation as a foundation for their own clouds – to build agile development environments...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...