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2013 in review

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on January 20, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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My Sessions on MMS 2013

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 6, 2013

This year I have the following sessions on Microsoft Management Summit 2013 at Mandala Bay.

DC-B309 Choosing the Right OS Deployment Tool Johan Arwidmark, Mikael Nystrom In this session, you will learn how to use the right tools to deploy Windows, how to decide which solution is right for you, and when to tweak – or stop tweaking and choose a different path. We will also cover tools and solutions like ADK, MDT Update 1, and Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.
DC-B303 Advanced Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 Customizations Johan Arwidmark, Mikael Nystrom In this session, you will learn about the new features in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 and how to customize it to fit your organization’s needs. This session will explore two competing perspectives on MDT enhancements, with live demos, tips, and tricks.
DC-B308 Deploying Windows 8 Using Lite Touch Mikael Nystrom Is it your job to deploy Windows 8? Would you like to use the free tools provided by Microsoft to do it? During this session, we will cover the basic steps needed to install the solution and how to configure it. You will learn things like reference images, Windows Deployment Services, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, Lite Touch, New Computer Scenario, refresh old computers and how to replace old computers while keeping user data and re–installing applications.
BOF02 Microsoft Desktop Deployment Toolkit Roundtable Johan Arwidmark, Mikael Nystrom During this session, share your tips, tricks and ask your hardest questions about the MDT Toolkit.
DC-B317 Deploying Windows To Go in the Real World Mikael Nystrom Windows To Go is a new and very useful feature in Windows 8, and creating a Windows To Go drive is pretty straight forward. In this session you learn how to make the needed customizations for the enterprise network, so when the end user plugs the device into a computer, it will be domain joined, customized to fit the organization and include all applications.
DC-B306 Building the Perfect Windows 8 Image Johan Arwidmark, Mikael Nystrom In this session, you will learn how to create a production–ready master image of Windows 8, automate builds of thin, hybrid, and thick images, and more. This session also discusses how Sysprep and the Unattend.xml work in Windows 8.

 

If you do attend the session, please swing by the podium before or after the session and say hi.

/mike

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Fast and Easy: Build a more or less complete Windows Server 2012 environment using PowerShell and Hyper-V

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on August 21, 2012

I promised to post this long time ago, so here it is. The script I use to build more or less complete quick and dirty demo environments. I did have another script before that did create all the VMs’, but then I still needed to configure things like name, IP, domain join and all that so I decided to do pretty much like a normal deployment solution do, use a template unattend.xml file that I then modify on the fly. It is possible to add even more parameters if needed.

How does it work?

It works like this, it will create a VM in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012 based on a differencing disk, add some more disks, mount the VHDx file, copy a unattend.xml to the virtual hard disk, edit the file by doing a simple search and replace on some keywords, save the file, close the disk, dismount everything and start the VM. The VM will go through mini setup and read the unattend.xml file and apply those settings. That way I can add things like IP, DNS, Name and so on. The script will accept a bunch of parameters which will be used both as parameters for the VM, but also for settings inside the VM. There for, the name on the VM will also be the name inside the VM. For me it takes less than 6 minutes to build 2-3 servers with the correct names and IPs and more.

What’s next?

Well, easy. First you need to create a reference image the VHDx format and that should be created using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1. But if you are lazy you can use WIM2VHD.PS1. You might also need WIMINFO.PS1 to find out the index number of the WIM. So now you have a reference image for Windows Server 2012 in the VHDx format. Next is to download this script pack, unpack it and the run it.

Here is an example that will create a VM based on a difference disk:

.\MakeVM-DiffwUA.ps1 -VMBaseLocation D:\VMs -VMMemory 1024mb -VMRefDisk C:\Ref\WS2012.vhdx -VMNetwork External -UAtpl .\uafor2012wg.tpl -PW P@ssw0rd -GW 192.168.0.1 -DNS 192.168.0.10 -VMName DEMO -IP 192.168.0.100

There are two template files, one is called uafor2012wg.tpl and the wg stands for WorkGroup, the other one is called uafor2012dj.tpl and in that case dj stands for Domain Join. I did not specify the domain name to join as a parameter, so you need to modify that manually or extend the script with parameters for that to.

Enjoy

/mike

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Nice to know: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1 is released

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on August 17, 2012

So, the day after Windows 8 was released to customers the deployment tools are also released. You can download it from here and you also need either the “old” WAIK or the new ADK, which you can download here. Upgrading are supported and it works, kind of. Any kind of wizard customization will be lost and you need to create that once more but there is one thing that you should have in mind and that is the Task Sequences them self, they are not upgraded, they are kept and that’s ok, but it might be a better idea to re-create them since they the will take benefit of all the new features, otherwise that step will missing. So, I suggest that you re-create the task sequences to gain full benefit from the update. So What’s new?, easy, there is a list here (not all but most important things)

  • Added support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
  • Support for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 CTP: Added support in MDT for deploying Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 with Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 CTP, while supporting all new Configuration Manager functionality (offline BitLocker, UEFI, and Assessment and Deployment Kit).
  • Support for DaRT 8 Beta: Updated MDT to support DaRT 8 for Windows 8 deployments, while continuing to support DaRT 7 for Windows 7 deployments. Added DaRT support for Configuration Manager scenarios.
  • New “Build Your Own Pages” User-Driven Installation (UDI) feature: Enhanced the UDI wizard and designer to enable IT pros to design their own wizard pages with little effort.
  • New System Center 2012 – Orchestrator support: Provided the ability to add steps into an OS deployment task sequence to execute Orchestrator runbooks as part of the deployment process.
  • Other improvements: Added support for Windows PowerShell 3.0, reworked Roles and Features installation logic for Windows 8, improved “boot from VHD” deployment scenarios, and added support for Configuration Manager monitoring

There is a nice blog post on Springboard you should read, it also has the links to ADK and MDT plus ACT 7.0

And by the way, Deployment Fundamentals Volume 4 is getting closer, the last two weeks Johan and I have been working on the book, now we just need to replace all the pictures in the book to match the current release of software…

/mike

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Windows Deployment Roadshow–September 2012, Sweden

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on August 13, 2012

image

Nu är det dags igen, Johan Arwidmark och jag (Mikael Nystrom) åker ut på turne för att prata OS deployment, för att visa Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 SP1 och en stor portition MDT 2012 Update 1 och för att ha skoj och för att få träffa dej så klart. Vi har under drygt ett år hållt på med Windows 8, Server 2012, System Center och MDT 2012 (nu senast med Update 1).

Det antal dagar, nätter, kvällar och mornar när vi två har suttit på hotelrum, tillsammans eller var för sej för att klura ut hur det egentligen är tänkt och vad man egentligen kan använda alla dessa nya funktioner till vill jag inte veta. Inte heller det antalet frustrerande mail som har bollats mellan oss och diverse @microsoft.com addresser, men äntligen ser vi ljuset i tunneln, vissa saker är bättre än vad vi trodde från början, vissa saker kanske borde ha gjorts annorlunda.

Vi äntrar scenenen med buller och bång i Malmö den 10:e september för att sedan fortsätta till Göteborg den 11:e september, Umeå den 12:e September och Grand Finale i Stockholm den 13:e september.

Läs den något mer detaljerade agendan här och gör din anmälan här…

Vi syns.

/mike

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Nice to know–New properties in MDT 2012

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on June 11, 2012

There are some new properties in MDT 2012 that can be useful.

ApplyGPOPack=YES/NO

In MDT 2012 there is a new function that will apply a local GPO during the deployment. In MDT 2012 there are four templates that will be applied automatically. If you open the templates folder in the deployment share you will see the following folders

image

If you don’t want them for some reason (not tested and verified) you can disable them using ApplyGPOPack=NO. I do however recommend you to download Security Compliance Manger 2.5 and import them and then verify that all security settings are correct according to your environment

HideShell=YES/NO

HideShell means that the desktop (explorer) does not show up until the deployment process is done, this will make it bit more complicated to interfere with the computer while it is being deployment. If you are deploying Windows 8 you should set this to YES otherwise the Metro UI will cover the deployment process UI and it will very hard to see if a deployment process is running

DisableTaskMgr=YES/NO

This one works in conjunction with HideShell, since HideShell does not prohibit the user to press ctrl-del and start the task manager, but this one does. My recommendation is to use this after you have verified that your deployment process works since it will also make it a bit harder to troubleshot some scenarios

OnBattery=True/False

This one is very nice to use, the new version of the gather process will now expose if we are running on battery and as you understand it is not a good idea to deploy a new OS on a machine that runs on battery, so modifying your customsettings.ini file like the example below will block any attempt to deploy a OS on a machine that runs on battery.

[Settings]
Priority=ByIsOnBattery, Default
Properties=MyCustomProperty

[ByIsOnBattery]
SubSection = ByIsOnBattery-%ByIsOnBattery%

[ByIsOnBattery-True]
OSInstall=N

[Default]
OSInstall=Y

/mike

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Setting ACL’s in the Hyper-V switch

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on June 6, 2012

Mr Adian Finn has done a very nice blog post on ACL’s in Hyper-V. Not so many know about this, trust me.

Here is an abstract….

There are many reasons why you might want to isolate virtual machines at the NIC level in Hyper-V. Maybe you have different tenants on a cloud. Maybe you have some stuff that has high security requirements. If so, then there’s a new feature in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V that you’ll like: Port ACLs (access control lists).

Port ACLs allow you to set rules as follows:

  • Local MAC/IP address: what local address does this apply to?
  • Remote IP/MAC address: what remote address does this apply to? Can be a specific IP address or network address or a wildcard.
  • Action: Do you want to block, allow, or measure traffic that this rule applies to?
  • Direction: Are you apply this rule to inbound traffic, outbound traffic, or traffic in both directions?

It’s important to note that Port ACLs works at the address level and not at the port or protocol level. If you need that level of granularity, then check out one of the certified Hyper-V Switch extensions that MSFT partners such as Cisco and 5Nine are producing

the rest you can read here….

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WIM2VHD using a PowerShell script (plus 2 more, WIMINFO and MakeVM-Diff scripts)

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on May 7, 2012

The Story

When using Hyper-V you need a VHD, so the correct way for creating a VHD is to use MDT 2012 (Lite Touch) and I do that for my production servers, but in some cases you do not have the deployment solution in a pocket, you just need the standard wim file converted into a bootable VHD file so you can use that as a template. Then when you have the template created you also need to be able to build new machines using that reference image and clicking in the UI is fun, for a while…

When Hyper-V was new Microsoft (a former MVP) created a VB script called WIM2VHD that I used all the time, a very nice script I think, but in Windows 8 we have all that stuff inside the OS and we do have a much stronger story in PowerShell

To be honest, I did create these script a while back, but today I was running a Windows Server 8 BETA Load fest and I used these scripts to build a bunch of demo machines, 2 minutes later our own staff was standing in line begging to get the scripts, so I gave them away but at the same time I thought you should also have access to them

The Solution

First of all, I’m not really a PowerShell “whiz kid”, I used to be the old “batch file” guy, but I’m converting (A nice thing is to have Niklas Goude that just happens to be an MVP in PowerShell in the organization).
Second, we need a couple of script. We need something to take a look inside a WIM, something that create a VHDX and applies the WIM to that VHDX and the last one, something that can build VMs using that ref image.

Script number 1: (wiminfo.ps1)

This script will mount the ISO image and read the content of the WIM file, this way we know what index we shall use.

Param
(
[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, I need the ISO image name, ok?")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$ISO
)
Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO
$ISOImage = Get-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO | Get-Volume
$ISODrive = [string]$ISOImage.DriveLetter+”:”
Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath $ISODrive\sources\install.wim
Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO

 

Script number 2: (wim2vhd.ps1)

This script will mount an ISO image, create the VHDx file, applies the WIM file to the VHDx file and then creates the BCD and dismounts everything.

Param

(

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, I need the ISO image name, ok?")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$ISO,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, I need the VHDx image name, ok?")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VHDx,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, I need the Index number in the Wim, ok?")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$Index,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, I need the Size of your VHDx, ok?")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$SizeGB

)

 

Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO

$ISOImage = Get-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO | Get-Volume

$ISODrive = [string]$ISOImage.DriveLetter+”:”

 

$VMDisk01 = New-VHD –Path $VHDX -SizeBytes $SizeGB

Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $VHDX

$VHDDisk = Get-DiskImage -ImagePath $VHDx | Get-Disk

$VHDDiskNumber = [string]$VHDDisk.Number

 

Initialize-Disk -Number $VHDDiskNumber -PartitionStyle MBR

$VHDDrive = New-Partition -DiskNumber $VHDDiskNumber -UseMaximumSize -AssignDriveLetter -IsActive | Format-Volume -Confirm:$false

$VHDVolume = [string]$VHDDrive.DriveLetter+”:”

 

dism.exe /apply-Image /ImageFile:$ISODrive\Sources\install.wim /index:$Index /ApplyDir:$VHDVolume\

 

BCDBoot.exe $VHDVolume\Windows /s $VHDVolume /f BIOS

 

Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISO

Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $VHDX

 

Script number 3: (MakeVM-Diff.ps1)

This script will create a VM in Hyper-V based on that VHDx file as a differencing file. It supports a bunch of command line parameters

Param

(

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a name.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMName,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a location.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMBaseLocation,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide the amount of starting memory.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMMemory,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a RefDisk.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMRefDisk,

[parameter(mandatory=$true,HelpMessage="Please, provide a Switch.")][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]$VMNetwork

)

 

$VMLocation = New-Item -Path “$VMBaseLocation\$VMName” -ItemType Directory -Force

$VMDiskLocation = New-Item -Path “$VMLocation\Virtual Hard Disks” -ItemType Directory -Force

$VMDisk01 = New-VHD –Path $VMDiskLocation\$VMName-OSDisk.vhdx -Differencing –ParentPath $VMRefDisk

$VMDisk02 = New-VHD –Path $VMDiskLocation\$VMName-DataDisk01.vhdx -SizeBytes 60GB

 

$VM = New-VM –Name $VMname –MemoryStartupBytes $VMMemory –VHDPath $VMDisk01.path -SwitchName $VMNetwork -Path $VMBaseLocation

Add-VMHardDiskDrive -VM $VM -Path $VMDisk02.path –ControllerType SCSI -ControllerNumber 0

Set-VM -VM $VM -DynamicMemory

 

Summary:

Now you have a solution that is capable of building a complete environment on a Windows Server 8 machine and a ISO image pretty fast.

Download Script

/mike

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

IT Camp Sweden – Private Cloud (Agenda Windows Server 8 Beta dagen)

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on May 4, 2012

IT Camp Sweden – Private Cloud

Windows Server 8 Beta (2012) – Fokus på Hyper-V.

Den här dagen lägger vi allt fokus på Windows Server 8 Beta (eller Windows Server 2012 som den kommer att heta när den släpps) under förmiddagen går vi igenom alla nya funktioner som relaterar till Private Cloud funktioner såsom lagring, nätverk, hög tillgänglighet, virtualisering och lite till. Vi lägger helt och hållet fokus på att förstå hur det fungerar och på vilket sätt man kan använda dessa funktioner för att automatisera, förenkla och minska administration och samtidigt öka tillgänglighet och prestanda för att kunna köra större laster på mindre mängd och billigare hårdvara. Förmiddagspasset är lämpligt för alla, inte bara tekniker.

Agenda förmiddag:

09:00 – 09:30 Välkommen

Under trivsamma former bjuder vi så klart på en enklare frukost och lite trevligt mingel med Ola, Micke och andra kompetenta personer inom området. Du har då chansen att ställa frågor som du vill att vi ska ta upp under dagen bland annat.


09:30 – 10:20 Windows Server 8 Beta – Del I

I första passet går vi bland annat igenom Server Manager, Installation och konfiguration av Windows Server 8 Beta, Utrullning av Windows Server 8 Beta men framför allt lägger vi ner mycket tid på den nya versionen av Hyper-V och allt nytt kring den.


10:40 – 11:50 Windows Server 8 Beta – Del II
I andra passet går vi bland annat igenom alla nya funktioner kring data lagring, nyheterna i feltoleranta system och nyheterna kring nätverk och tro mig, det är mycket nya saker att hålla reda på.

11:50 – 12:00 Tack för oss och svar på dina frågar

Vi avslutar förmiddagen genom att försöka svara på dina frågor

Vi byter sedan skepnad och växlar över till hands-on labbarna. Syftet är att du nu ska få prova hur det fungerar i verkligheten (det finns utrymme för att prova egna idéer om man vill). Du får ett enklare Lab materiel som guider dig igenom ett antal moment, men i princip bygger du upp en domän med fil lagrings tjänster, virtualisering och hantering av dessa funktioner och nu får du testa det mesta av det vi gick igenom på förmiddagen under avslappnade former. Under hela tiden finns jag och Ola där (samt förmodligen några till) som kan hjälpa dig med dina frågor och funderingar på hur det är tänkt och vad man kan göra med de nya funktionerna. Du kommer att installera, konfigurerara och använda i huvudsak följande komponenter:

  • Referens Image
  • DHCP (redundant)
  • DNS
  • Storage Pools
  • Virtual Disks
  • Hyper-V
  • Failover Cluster
  • PowerShell
  • Multi Server Management

Agendan för eftermiddagen ser ut som följer:

12:30 – 16:00 Hands On Lab – Windows Server 8 Beta
Under detta block labbar du tillsammans med en “lab-partner” i en servermiljö via remote desktop (glöm inte att ta med en egen dator som kör Windows XP eller bättre gärna uppdaterad och med ett antivirus program installerat). Fika kommer att finnas tillgängligt under del av eftermiddagen

16:00 – 16:30 Avslutning
Vi tackar för oss och svarar på de sista frågorna.

Anmälan – https://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=sv-SE&EventID=1032511416&IO=GdKZMz40g/Zi2jGEBbMuUg%3d%3d&goback=%2Egde_4343025_member_110049359

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/technetsweden#!/events/217603188340347/



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TechDays 2012 in Sweden – Detta får du inte MISSA!

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on April 23, 2012

Windows Server 8 Top Features 1

Join Mikael Nystrom, MVP in Setup/Deployment and part of the TAP/RDP program for Windows 8 in this dazzling two part session when you will learn the most important new features of the new Operating System from Microsoft. During these two sessions you will learn what the new features can do for your business, how they work and of course how to put them in action. The session is extremely demo intense. We will cover the new features and functions regarding the following topics:

Read more here

Windows Server 8 Top Features 2

Join Mikael Nystrom, MVP in Setup/Deployment and part of the TAP/RDP program for Windows 8 in this dazzling two part session when you will learn the most important new features of the new Operating System from Microsoft. During these two sessions you will learn what the new features can do for your business, how they work and of course how to put them in action. The session is extremely demo intense. We will cover the new features and functions regarding the following topics:

Read more here

Applikationskompatibilitet inte ett hinder

Under en utrullning av Windows 7 brukar diskussionen om applikationsproblem ofta dyka upp, men hur stort problem är det egenltligen, hur hittar man dessa och framför allt hur löser man dessa så att utrullningsplanen inte havererar. Under denna session kommer vi att visa dig dels hur man hittar felen i applikationerna, dels hur man löser många av dessa problem. Men också hur du genom andra metoder kan leverera applikationen till användarna, lösningar såsom App-V, Med-V, RDS och självklart

Read more here

Deploying Windows 7 and 8 with MDT 2012

Join Johan Arwidmark and Mikael Nystrom in a dazzling session on using the right tools for deploying Windows 7 and Windows 8. This is what you always wanted to know about OS Deployments using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012, but no one told you about, until now. They will show you how migrating to Windows 7 is a fast track to Windows 8 deployments. They will navigate you through the MDT 2012 platform and underlying technologies such as the new Assessment and Deployment Kit, Windows De…

Read more here

Windows Server 8 Deployment Nextperience

Join Johan Arwidmark, one of the world’s foremost deployment experts for a dazzling session on deploying Windows Server 8. You will learn about the new infrastructure changes and features in Windows Server 8 related to deployment, as well as dive deep into the solutions that drives the deployment. You will learn about MDT 2012, WinPE 4.0, Prestaging Bitlocker, Boot from VHD and how to maximize deployment performance. You learn about automating deployment of server roles, configurations and ne…

Read more here

A sneak peak of Windows 8 Security

A Live session performed Hasain Alshakarti, Microsoft Enterprise Security MVP. After spending almost a year with the Windows 8 TAP program we can now speak about the most security features in Windows since Windows NT. Features like Virtual Smart Cards, DNSSEC, Claim Based Access, the enhanced DirectAccess, Data Classification, Secure Boot, enhanced BitLocker, Expression Based Audit Policies and more are going to be demonstrated and explained so you get the correct picture of where, when and h…

Read more here

Windows 8 uefi, hyper-v och windows to go

I den här sessionen får du reda på allt du behöver veta om tre av de mest intressanta nyheterna i Windows 8 som kommer att förändra din världsbild när det gäller Windows. UEFI ger oanade möjligheter vad gäller säkerhet och prestanda, Hyper-V på Windows-klienten ger helt nya förutsättningar för virtualisering och Windows To Go kan förändra ett helt arbetssätt för dina användare.

Read more here

Windows 8 overview

Under detta pass kommer vi att dema en mängd nya versioner i Windows 8 för utvecklare och IT Pro. Garanterat få Powerpoint bilder!

Read more here

Windows Intune – Framtidens System Management Verktyg

Skulle du vilja kunna se in i framtiden? Kom då och lyssna på sessionen om Windows Intune vX där vi kommer visa alla nya funktioner så som Software Distribution, Remote Actions, license Management samt diskutera hur du kan effektivisera din klienthantering med Windows Intune.

Read more here

 

/mike

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