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My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 3 (Installer.ps1)


In our last post, we used the PDT’s VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs that are required to setup all System Center components.

Now, we are going to use the Installer.ps1 script to finish the installation.

Installer.PS1 SCRIPT

Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’.

Administrative PowerShell Prompt

In the PowerShell command prompt, change the working directory to where the Installer.ps1 script is located (in my example, in the Downloads folder); for example: cd “C:\Users\Adin\Downloads”.

Before running the script to execute the installation, it is best to run the validation option first, to ensure everything is in place. To do this, run the Installer.ps1 script with the “-ValidateOnly” parameter, like this: PS C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\PDT2.5.2509> .\Installer.ps1 -ValidateOnly. This will initiate the validation, which checks things like the VMs, dependencies, SQL Server installations, and media for installation.

As you can see in my lab example, the Media validation has failed.

PDTInstallerScript-MediaValidationFailed

You will notice that the Installer.ps1 script is looking for the media in the C:\Temp directory. But wait, didn’t we download all of the required files by running the Donwloader.ps1 script? Yes we did. Then why is this validation failing?

Simply, the Downloader.ps1 script downloaded all the required files, but rather than placing them into the C:\Temp directory, it put them in C:\Installer\Prerequisites. If you look at the Variable.xml file, specifically lines #7 and 8, you will see the following:

<Variable Name=”SourcePath” Value=”$SystemDrive\Temp” />
<Variable Name=”Download” Value=”C:\Installer” />

These lines tell the scripts where path to the source files are, and where (originally) to download those files.

So at this point, we have 2 choices. Either we can move all of the files into C:\Temp, or we can change the “SourcePath” directory to match where the files are downloaded to (namely C:\Installer\Prerequisites).

In my case, I’ll just move the files. But if you want, you could modify the SourcePath variable.

Re-run the Installer.ps1 script with the “-ValidateOnly” parameter. The validation for the Media should pass now. However, as you can see in my lab example, I am now getting validation failures on the Service Accounts.

PDTInstallerScript-ServiceAccountValidationFailed

So, how do we fix this? Well, first, I should mention that I am running the PowerShell scripts on my HOST machine; which is NOT a part of the domain. This is why the validation of the Service Accounts fails.

So you have 2 choices, either join your HOST to the domain, or copy the Installer.ps1 script and C:\Installer directory to the Domain Controller. Since I like to re-build my lab over and over, I don’t prefer to add my HOST to the domain. So, in my lab example I opted to copy the files to my Domain Controller VM, and re-run the Installer.ps1 script with the “-ValidateOnly” parameter.

Now, when I did this, I am STILL getting validation errors, but this time with the Server and Access validation.

PDTInstallerScript-ServersAndAccessValidationFailed

Why is this? Honestly, I don’t know. But I do recall reading/hearing somewhere about possibly having to run these scripts from an Administrator’s workstation, and NOT from any of the systems that the scripts are designed to work with. Since I was originally running the scripts on my HOST system that was NOT connected to the domain, that was one issue. Then I ran the scripts from the Domain Controller, which resolved the Account validation.

So, I thought that I would try one last thing. I decided to create an Administrator workstation and run the scripts from there. Now, of course I ran the Installer.ps1 script with the “-ValidateOnly” parameter just to see if everything passed prior to actually running the script to perform the installation. And guess what! Everything passed!

So, now that we know everything is green and we won’t end up with a partial/incomplete installation, we are now ready to run the Installer.ps1 script, and complete the final part of our installation.

Run the Installer.ps1 script, and the validation will be completed again (as designed), then the installation will be initiated.

PDTInstallerScript-InstallationStarted

Just like the VMMCreator.ps1 script, the display will turn green when each item is completed. Eventually, it will complete all pieces.

PDTInstallerScript-InstallationCompleted

Congratulations, you have now successfully used the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) to automatically install and configure an entire System Center environment!

One final note. You may not have noticed, but all of the System Center consoles were actually installed onto server RD01. Why is that? It’s not the Administrator’s workstation. The answer is because that server is the System Center Orchestrator Runbook Designer server, which requires all of the consoles for the interoperability/connectivity to create runbooks, and thus System Center automation.

SystemCenterConsoles

So, if you are looking for the console for a specific System Center component (i.e. SCOM, SCCM, etc.), you will need to log into the RD01 server and launch it from there. Alternatively, since we had to setup an Administrator workstation, you could install each console on the workstation as well.

I hope this post series on the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit has been helpful. Happy lab-ing.

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My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 2 (VMCreator.ps1)


In our last post, we used the PDT’s Downloader.ps1 script to download all the files, pre-requisites, etc. that are required to setup all System Center components.

Now, we are going to use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the VMs we need.

For more information about the VMCreator.ps1, see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/18/deployment-the-pdt-vm-creator.aspx

IMPORTANT: This script only support creating of VM’s on Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V.

Variable.xml File

The PDT2.5.2509 directory contains 2 important files, called Variable.xml, and VariableAD.xml. This is the file that tells the script what to label the VMs, etc.

NOTE: The file “Variable.xml” will create all VMs created for System Center, but requires the existing of Active Directory first. The file “VariableAD.xml” will create all the VMs including a Domain Controller with Active Directory. This is the best option to use if you want to re-build your lab environment completely automated. This is the file that I will be using.

Let’s first take a look at this file, so that I can point out the area(s) you may want to customize.

Start by editing the VariableAD.xml file.

VariableADXML

There are a few things to note.

First, you should take note that the domain used is “CONTOSO”. If you want to customize your setup to have a specific domain name, you will need to Find and Replace all entries of “CONTOSO” with your domain.

In my lab example, I am going to change it to “SC.LAB”. However, there are 2 different types of entries that contain the word “CONTOSO”. One for Service Accounts, using the ‘Domain\UserName’ pattern (44 entries), and another that uses ‘Domain.com’ (46 entries) for the database server references.

VariableADXML-ChangeDomain

Therefore, to make it easier to use Find and Replace, I have found that replacing the ‘Domain.com’ references first is best. In my case I will use Find and Replace and replace the existing “Contoso.com” with “SC.LAB”. If your domain uses the “.com” ending, then you can just simply replace all entries of “CONTOSO” with your domain name.

Once you have the domain modified, save the file as “Variable.xml” replacing the existing one, or you can name it something specific like “VariableADCustom.xml”.

VMCreator.ps1 Script

Now that we have a customized Variable.xml file, we are ready to make a few minor modifications to the VMCreator script and then run it.

If you have re-named the Variable.xml to something different, you will need to edit the VMCreator script first (because by default it looks for Variable.xml). I have not attempted this yet, so re-name your XML file to be “Variable.xml”. Once I have attempted with a re-named file, I will post an update to this section.

Now, before we can run the VMCreator script, we need to create a sysprep’d VHD file for each OS required (namely Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 R2). To make this easy, you can use the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 script (found here: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Convert-WindowsImageps1-0fe23a8f).

Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 Script

Using this command-line tool allows you to rapidly create sysprepped VHDX and VHDX images from setup media for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2, Windows 8/8.1/Server 2012/R2.

This script actually has a GUI to make it easier to work with, which I will walk though here.

Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’.

Administrative PowerShell Prompt

In the PowerShell command prompt, change the working directory to where the Convert-WindowsImage script is located (in my example, in the Downloads folder); for example: cd “C:\Users\Adin\Downloads”.

Now call the script, and include the “-ShowUI” parameter, like this: Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 -ShowUI. This will cause the GUI to appear.

ConvertWindowsImage-UI

From this UI, choose 1). the Source (which is the ISO of your Operating System), 2). the SKU (like Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, etc.), 3). specify the file format (I choose VHDX for 2nd Generation VMs running Windows Server 2012), Dynamic, and the size (I left mine at the default of 40 GB).

Leave the Working Directory as is, since that’s where the script is running from. Provide a name for the VHD file.

NOTE: If you do choose to provide a name, you MUST enter the file extension or else you will encounter an error as follows (i.e. W2012R2.vhdx).

INFO : Launching UI…
INFO : Opening ISO en_windows_server_2008_r2_with_sp1_vl_build_x64_dvd_617403.iso…
INFO : Looking for F:\sources\install.wim…
INFO : Scanning WIM metadata…
ERROR : There is a mismatch between the VHDPath file extension (), and the VHDFormat (.VHDX). Please ensure that these
match and try again.
INFO : Log folder is C:\Users\Adin\AppData\Local\Temp\Convert-WindowsImage\fe5ad446-cd0a-4e4d-b72b-f5916feb7d9e
INFO : Done.

ConvertWindowsImage-UI_ErrorOutput

When you are ready, click the Make My VHD button.

Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk Converter for Windows(R) 8
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Version 6.3.9600.3.amd64fre.fbl_core1_hyp_dev(mikekol).131226-2000 Release to Web

INFO : Launching UI…
INFO : Opening ISO en_windows_server_2012_r2_x64_dvd_2707946.iso…
INFO : Looking for D:\sources\install.wim…
INFO : Scanning WIM metadata…
INFO : Image 2 selected (ServerStandard)…
INFO : Creating sparse disk…
INFO : Attaching VHDX…
INFO : Disk initialized with MBR…
INFO : Disk partitioned…
INFO : Volume formatted…
INFO : Access path (F:\) has been assigned…
INFO : Applying image to VHDX. This could take a while…
INFO : Signing disk…
INFO : Image applied. Making image bootable…
INFO : Opening F:\boot\bcd for configuration…
INFO : BCD configuration complete. Moving on…
INFO : Drive is bootable. Cleaning up…
INFO : Generating name for VHDX…
INFO : Closing VHDX…
INFO : Closing Windows image…
INFO : Done.

The script will show in the PowerShell command prompt what it is doing.

ConvertWindowsImage-UI_Output

You will need to create 2 VHDs, one for Windows Server 2012 R2, and another for Windows 2008 R2. This is required because the System Center Service Manager portal runs on SharePoint 2010, which is only supported on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Variable.xml File (VHD Files)

Now that we have the sysprep’d VHD files ready, we can now use the VMCreator.ps1 script to create all the Virtual Machines (VMs) for all the System Center components automatically.

By default, the VMCreator.ps1 script uses the Variable.xml file to generate the VMs. Therefore, by default it will check for the VHD file in the following location: C:\VHD\WS12R2D.vhdx.

This means that you will have to either move/re-name your sysprep’d VHD file, or change the XML file to point to the correct location. In my example, I will change the XML file accordingly, as follows.

At line # 235 the section begins. Within there, there is a reference to which is the sysprep’d VHD file that we created (specifically the Windows Server 2012 R2 disk). Change this entry to meet the location and name of the VHD file you created with the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 script.

<OSDisk>
<Parent>C:\VHD\WS12R2D.vhdx</Parent>
<Type>Differencing</Type>
</OSDisk>

At line # 399 the  section begins. Within there, there is a reference to which is the sysprep’d VHD file that we created (specifically the Windows Server 2008 R2 disk). Change this entry to meet the location and name of the VHD file you created with the Convert-WindowsImage.ps1 script.

<OSDisk>
<Parent>C:\VHD\WS08R2E-SP1.vhdx</Parent>
<Type>Differencing</Type>
</OSDisk>

Variable.xml File (Virtual Switch)

Before you run the script, you also need to ensure that the Hyper-V Virtual Switch is already created.

In the Variable.xml file, at line # 222 the section begins. Change this entry to match whatever Virtual Switch you have created in Hyper-V, or create a Virtual Switch labelled the same “CorpNet01”.

<VirtualSwitch>CorpNet01</VirtualSwitch>

In my lab example, I created an Internal Virtual Switch, and labelled it “Internal Lab Virtual Switch”.

 

Variable.xml File (VHD Location)

One more minor note. In the Variable.xml file, at line # 208 and 209, there is a and reference. On your Hyper-V host, if you have a different drive that you want your VM files to be stored on, you need to change this reference. In my lab example, I have a dedicated SSD drive labelled as Y:\ for my VMs.

<VMFolder>C:\VMs</VMFolder>
<VHDFolder>C:\VMs</VHDFolder>

Now we are finally ready to run the VMCreator.ps1 script and watch it create all the VM’s for us!

VMCreator.ps1 Script (Continued)

Start by running PowerShell command prompt as Administrator. Right-click on PowerShell and choose ‘Run As Administrator’.

Administrative PowerShell Prompt

In the PowerShell command prompt, change the working directory to where the VMCreator.ps1 script is located (in my example, in the Downloads folder); for example: cd “C:\Users\Adin\Downloads”.

Now run the script: VMCreator.ps1. The command line will show you its progress. First it will validate everything, and then start creating the VMs. You will notice that it first creates the Active Directory Domain Controller, and waits for that to be up and running (with Domain Services installed), and then create the other VMs. This is because all other VMs are joined to the domain.

VMCreator-AD

VMCreator-AllVMs

Once all the Virtual Machines are up and running the script will appear to be completed, as follows.

VMCreator-VMsCompleted

However, if you connect to the Domain Controller, you will see that another script is running to install all the components for each System Center product.

VMCreator-DC-ComponentInstall

Eventually, you will notice that some lines will turn yellow. This is because some elements are dependant on others, so it needs to wait for those to complete. For example, SQL Server needs to be installed before Management Servers, Management Servers need to be up and running before Consoles are installed, etc.

PDT Installations Pending

When an element is complete, the line will turn green.

PDT Installations Completed

This entire process will take some time, and is dependant on your hardware. In Microsoft’s MMS demo, it took them just less than an hour. With my lab hardware (described here), it took approx. 1 and a half hours.

In the last post in this series, we will go onto using the next script, Installer.ps1.

My Experience With The PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) – Part 1 (Downloader.ps1)


Hello Everyone,

Despite not being able to post anything new for a while (in the process of moving), I thought I would share a few things quickly.

First, although this has been out for a little while, I happened to stumble across it recently, the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit.

If anyone has following my guides on installing and configuring the various System Center components, the PDT is absolutely amazing. For those that may not know, the PDT toolkit was created to setup an entire System Center environment, each/every component, in addition to post-installation integration. A big thank you goes out to Microsoft for releasing this to the community.

For further information on the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT), see the following: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2013/02/08/deployment-introducing-powershell-deployment-toolkit.aspx

So, with that being said, I will walk through my experience using this toolkit. This is very useful for re-building your lab when you need to.

Start by downloading the PDT toolkit. If you do a Google search for the “PowerShell Deployment Toolkit”, you will end up at the following (http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/PowerShell-Deployment-f20bb605).

DownloadPDT

Important: Please note that at the time of this writing, the current version is 2.5.2509, which resolves the media validation issue with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Prerequisites.

Download the ZIP file and extract it, which will contain the following files:

  • Downloader.ps1
  • Installer.ps1
  • Variable.xml
  • VariableAD.xml
  • VMCreator.ps1
  • Workflow.xml

Now that we have the scripts and XML files extracted, we can start with the first script: Downloader.ps1. This script will download all of the files required, including extracting them.

IMPORTANT: Downloader.ps1 must be run from a Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 system, since it uses the ability of those operating systems to mount and extract files from an ISO.

Copy the Downlaod.ps1 script to your Virtual Machine host. In my example, mine is in “C:\Users\Adin\Downloads\PDT2.5.2509”.

Now open a Administrative PowerShell prompt, by right-clicking on PowerShell, and choose ‘Run as Administrator’.

Administrative PowerShell Prompt

In the PowerShell command prompt, change your working directory to the location of the Downloader.ps1 script, like follows: cd “C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\PDT2.5.2509” and press Enter.

Now run the Downloadd script by typing Downloader.ps1 and pressing Enter. This will start the downloader script. This will download the files required.

DownloaderScript

When the script is complete, there will be a folder on the root of C:\ called Installer. Within here will be all the files required for installation.

NOTE: Depending on your Internet speed, the download can take several hours. According to Microsoft, the script will download approximately 15 GB of files, and will extract these into approximately 35 GB; so ensure that you have enough space.

In the next post, we will go onto using the next script, VMCreator.ps1

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