Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview is now available, go get it!

Office 2016 Public Preview has been released today (04-May-2015)

New in Office 2016

In Office 2016, Mircrosoft is updating the Office suite for the modern workplace, with smart tools for individuals, teams, and businesses.

Your documents, anywhere—Across the Office 2016 applications, it’s easier to use the power of feature-rich applications to create, open, edit and save files in the cloud from your desktop, so you can access them from anywhere and on any device. In addition, new modern attachments in Outlook make it easy to attach files from OneDrive and automatically configure permission for the recipients—without leaving Outlook. All making it easier to share and collaborate on your work with others.

Collaboration—Real-time co-authoring is available in the Office Online apps today and we’re bringing that experience to the Windows Desktop applications, starting with Word. When you and your team are working in Word 2016 and/or Office online, you’ll be able to see where other editors are working and what they are writing—all in real-time.

Smart Applications—Applications will learn as you work, taking advantage of subtle cues and clues to help you stay on task and get more out of Office. Tell Me, a new search tool available in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, serves up the commands you need by simply typing what you want to do. Clutter—a new Exchange feature that lights up in Outlook—uses machine learning to analyze your email patterns and de-clutter your inbox by moving lower priority messages out of your way and into a new Clutter folder. And Insights, powered by Bing, finds you contextual information from the web within the reading experience.

Data analysis made faster and easier—New analysis capabilities are built into Excel, so you can pull, map, analyze and visualize your data faster and easier than ever.

  • One-click forecasting. Create forecasts on your data series with one click to future trends.
  • Intuitive data connecting and shaping capabilities. With integrated Power Query, use Excel as your personal analysis workspace by connecting to and viewing all the data around you. Take advantage of a broad range of data sources, including tables from websites, corporate data like SAP Business Objects, unstructured sources like Hadoop, and services like Salesforce. After bringing all your data together in one place, quickly shape and combine to fit your unique business needs and get to analysis in seconds
  • Easy data modeling and powerful analysis. With improved Power Pivot features as part of Excel, map different data sets with drag-and-drop ease to build data models to give you the bigger picture of your business. Take advantage of intuitive analysis functions, automatic time grouping and other features that enhance your PivotTable and PivotChart analysis experience. Now with the ability to calculate 100s of millions of rows of data, perform deeper analysis with high speed.
  • Publish to Microsoft Power BI Preview. Effortlessly publish and share your Excel workbooks to users of Power BI.
  • New modern charts and graphs, including TreeMap, Sunburst, Waterfall, Box & Whisker and Histogram & Pareto in Excel help you to present your data in fresh ways.

New for IT

Office 2016 will offer new security, compliance, and deployment features, giving organizations more control over sensitive data and IT more flexibility in deployment and management.

Compliance and security controls

  • Data Loss Protection (DLP). DLP is now available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. IT admins can centrally create, manage and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing. End users will see policy tips or sharing restrictions when the apps detect a potential policy violation.
  • Outlook Multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication now available in Outlook through integration with the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL).
  • Information Rights Management (IRM). IRM protection is now extended to Visio files, enabling both online and offline protection of Visio diagrams.

Flexible deployment and management options

  • Better network traffic management. New Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS) helps prevent congestion on the network. BITS throttles back the use of bandwidth when another critical network traffic is present.
  • Enhanced distribution management. Improved integration with ConfigMgr allows IT admins to efficiently download and distribute monthly Office updates using the native ConfigMgr features.
  • Flexible update management. Admins can now manage the pace at which they receive feature updates and bug fixes while continuing to receive regular security updates.
  • Simplified activation management. New controls in the Office 365 Admin Portal allows admins to manage device activations across users.

Download Links

Once the trial period expires, you will have the option to purchase an Office 365 subscription or reinstall your current version using your original product key, learn more.
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Posted in Office 2016

Cool Tool : Virtual Router Plus – Turn your Windows Laptop into a Wifi Hot Spot

Came across a very handy, useful tool which works like a charm :  Virtual Router Plus

Virtual Router Plus turns any Windows 7 and Windows 8 computer into a Wifi Hot Spot using Wireless Hosted Network technology.

Virtual Router Plus is a free, open source software based router for PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. Using Virtual Router Plus, users can wirelessly share any internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.) with any Wifi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.) These devices connect to Virtual Router just like any other access point, and the connection is completely secured using WPA2 (the most secure wireless encryption.)

vrouter

Virtual Router Plus Official Project Site

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Posted in Cool Tool

Grant console only access of a Windows virtual machine hosted on a vSphere server to users

I had a particular requirement wherein I had to grant few users console only access of a Windows virtual machine hosted on a vSphere server.

Well, VMware vCenter has predefined roles with which I could have assigned users limited access however, my requirement was to strictly restrict users to console only !

With little digging around the roles, I could create a role which would suffice my requirement.

Here are the details…

Open up vCenter and go to Roles

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In the left pane, Right click and click on Add, specify any name you wish ( say Console User).

In the Privileges section, Navigate and select Virtual machine \ Interaction \ Console interaction and click on OK.

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Now, grant desired users Console User permission on the particular Virtual Machine.

Right click on VM, click on Add Permission

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In the Assign Permissions,  select the Role which you have created, Add desired Users and click OK.

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Post doing the changes, users can connect to vCenter server and they would see only the VM on which they have permissions and they can access Console with all the VM options greyed out to them.

Users need to connect vCenter using vSphere client or vSphere Web Client.

– End of the Article –

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Posted in ESXi, How to, vCenter, VMware

VM Migration fails with error : Currently connected network interface ‘Network adapter 1’ uses network ‘VM Network’, which is configured for different offload or security policies on the destination host other than on the source host.

A little background of my private ‘cloud’ ;-) setup :

vCenter 5.1, ESXi 5.1 Update 1 hosts in a cluster setup, HA, DRS and vMotion are all enabled.

For some host maintenance activity,  I was trying to migrate live VMs from ESXi host A to ESXi host B. When I initiated the migration process from the wizard, I did see an error message and I couldn’t continue…

Here’s the error message:

Currently connected network interface ‘Network adapter 1’ uses network ‘VM Network’, which is configured for different offload or security policies  on the destination host other than on the source host.

err1

A quick search on google resulted in following KB article from VMware

Troubleshooting Migration compatibility error: Currently connected network interface uses network, which is configured for different offload or security policies (1003834)

In the aforementioned article, it was suggested to  review the settings in the Security tab and the Traffic Shaping tab between the hosts.

I did compare Traffic Shaping configurations between the hosts in question however, all the settings were identical.

Since, I couldn’t find anything handy to fix this issue, I started looking into the other network settings.

After scratching my head for few minutes, I remembered that (Eureka smiley_idea-1!!!) , on the destination host, I had enabled Promiscuous Mode on VM Network Properties.

err2

I disabled Promiscuous Mode on the destination host and I could migrate the VMs without issues !

Inference : If you come across such an error detailed in this article, make sure to look into all network configurations on source and destination ESXi hosts and their configurations are identical to each other.

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Posted in Break-Fix, Error, ESXi, vCenter, VMware

Unable to access ESXi shell from DELL iDRAC console

To access ESXi shell, first you need to enable that on ESXi host.

Following VMware KB articles provide details on enabling ESXi Shell

Using ESXi Shell in ESXi 5.x (2004746)

Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.x (1017910)

If shell is enabled and if you have direct access to the host, pressing keys Alt+F1 opens up ESXi shell.

I was trying to access to ESXi (ESXi 5.1) shell from DELL iDRAC remote console howerver, pressing keys Alt+F1 didn’t work.

It was like command didn’t reach the console, there was no activity or error message !

After scratching a head for a while, I started looking at “Keyboard” options on iDRAC console.

When ticked option Keyboard pass-through and pressed keys Alt+F1, Bingo !!! I could see ESXi Shell :-)

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HTH

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Posted in ESXi, How to, iDRAC, VMware

How to set Message Of The Day (MOTD) in vCenter ?

VMware vCenter has a cool (?) feature which lets you setting up a Message Of The Day (MOTD).

Why would you like to set up MOTD ?

  • For Fun (exploring the vCenter features)
  • For identification of vCenters in case you deal with multiple vCenters
  • You would like to display a legal warning message
  • Your IT organisation policy demands for MOTD
  • blah blah blah…

In fact, it’s very easy to set up a MOTD in vCenter. Only prerequisite is, you need to have vCenter Administrator privileges.

Alright, here’s how you can set MOTD.

Log on to the vCenter using vSphere client, Click on Administration, select Edit Message of the day…

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Now, type in the desired message and click OK.

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Now onwards, anyone who logs on to the vCenter, will see the MOTD for every new session.

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HTH

-End of the Article-

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Posted in ESXi, How to, vCenter

Failed to schedule Software Protection service on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Event ID: 16385

If you see an error “Failed to schedule Software Protection service” in event log with Event ID:  16385 on Windows Server 2008 R2, you can try below steps to fix the problem.

Run the below mentioned commands sequentially one by one from elevated cmd (Run as admin).

icacls %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform /grant “BUILTIN\Administrators:(OI)(CI)(F)” “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(OI)(CI)(F)” “NT Service\sppsvc:(OI)(CI)(R,W,D)” “NETWORK SERVICE:(OI)(CI)(F)”

net stop sppsvc && net start sppsvc

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Posted in Break-Fix, Event ID
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