Using Powershell and Excel to compare Microsoft Hotfixs on Servers and Virtual Machines.

Hello All,


Two Types of Comparisons Devised

I have been working several Clustering and Hyper-V cases Recently.  I have come to a point where I notice the Virtual Machines rarely have the same level of  Microsoft Updates that the Cluster Node does. I finally had a few minutes to look at this issue, and I even made an Excel Spreadsheet to compare updates to other machines.

Fortunately, When I got serious about making a Spread Sheet Script, I noticed there were some pretty good work already available. In fact, I found one that will likely serve to compare updates on all the Nodes, all the VMs and more. I am sure I can do cross checks using a Host as the standard, and a bunch of VM’S as the comparisons.

So we are basically showing off two different ways of doing the same thing.  The Gallery script vs. MyExcelHotfixCompare. These are different things for different reasons. But its good to have them in the same place, Because they both have their own purpose.



First thing you want to do have is a copy of the spread sheet, MYexcelHotfixCompare , and a copy of the The Gallery script


Why Two Comparisons

So I made one up, and I found the other by accident! That is true. However, I discovered these both served different purposes.

The First method came from Stane Monsik. What this count does, is aggregate the KB’s for every server in the survey. So your Final report answers the question “when you updated Server Group X with KB Group Summation(A-Z), did you do that same thing to all the other servers? This is what I started out to have answered! If the answer to this is no, then I always tell my customer to finish his updates right away.

However, another question I was often asking, was not being answered by this script. The Questions was, When we know that there are X updates packages for Technology Y, how many of those updates did you apply to your server? Then Question #2,  For X and Y, did you apply these updates to just the server which had problems? The answer to this question should be that you updated all the servers which contained technology Y, with every Update Package X. I found this question was often met with Guesstimates more than actual proof; this was an easy question to get a good guess on. It’s also an easy question to just accept the guess and move on.  In today’s complex world, that is no longer acceptable. So I set out to easily answer this kind of question.


Method1 Script

This script will take “a list of Machines” and show you what updates the entire list has and does not have. Every KB gets added to the list, no matter what server it was found on.

The Script, located at , Goes to every server and pulls the list of hot fixes. Then it goes through the hot fix list and checks every computer, to see if the hot fix has been applied to the computer.

To make GetHotfixCompare_Gallery work, all you have to do is open the .PS1 file with notepad and add your list of computer names. You can add as many computers as you like, but realize it takes longer and longer and longer to complete. The text you are editing looks like this in the file:  See Figure 1. :

# —————————————————————————————————-

$computers = “ComputerName1”, “ComputerName2”, “ComputerName3”, “ComputerName4”, “ComputerName5”

# —————————————————————————————————-

The Result is a very nice HTML report:


Figure 1.



Once you populate the script with edits on the names of computers, you run the PS1 file by right Clicking the file and choosing Run With Power Shell. The Script runs (longer the more computers you select), then generates an HTML file of your KB’s. There is an orderly chart of stars telling you which KB’s have stars for the machine, and which do not have stars.


All in all, A  very good method. But in order for me to answer the technology related questions, I needed to use something different.


Method 2 Spread Sheet comparison (MY_excel_GetHotfixCompare)

On the Excel Help article, called “Compare two lists and highlight matches and differences” I use Example 4 of that section. Example 4 runs a comparison from column one (the update list of a server (get-hotfix)  against column two (the list of updates for the specific technology) .  The comparison Colorizes the two list columns to highlight where the updates match or are unique.

MY_ExcelGetHotfixCompare Is the name of the spread, and you just need to right click and save as to save the file as an XLSX file.

This method will always work, as long as you can find a list of key updates, Microsoft says is relevant. This list below is not unabridged. This is just areas where I work most often. Below are some Example Technology Patch lists, that will power column two, on your spread sheets.

Server 2012 and Exchange make you dig a little bit to get the actual KB list, but you get the Idea. The point is to get the list of “important hotfixes” and be able to use them to “audit” you current situation. So let’s get to the formulas and make a spread sheet!


Get Hot-fix Compare Spread Sheet

The Compare column Colorizes numbers in column A , that are also in column B. And Vice Versa. So there is only one caveat to this method. If the KB shows up twice in the same column, then the cell becomes colored, denoting that the patch has a match. But, This is an impossibility of the get-hot fix command. As long as your pasting in get-Hotfix results from only one machine per column, you will get a valid result. So the limitation of this, or any tool reviewing hot-fixes; don’t try to do two machines in one spread.

Steps to create:

  1. Open Excel and put your Values for Get-Hotfix (just the KB) into column 1.
  2. Copy the Hot-fix numbers for the relevant Microsoft KB numbers from your articles like above, into Column 2.
  3. With Excel at the Home Tab, Choose “Conditional Formatting” and Manage Rules . You will see a pop up window, New Formatting rule: (figure Below)




  1. Choose New Rule and “Format only unique or duplicate values”
  2. There is a little Drop down that says Duplicate or Unique- You will make that choice here



6.Then you see where it says no format set? (above) This is where you choose your color.

7. Hit the Format button. Then choose the Fill tab.

8. Now see the Fill tab below Choose your color and hit Ok.



9 Then Choose OK Below



10. Now Comes the important part. You simply highlight all values in both columns and there is a wizard that will form the formula for you based on how many rows each column has in it. I am showing the screenshot below, after I clicked into the “applies to field” and held down the left click of the mouse while I selected both columns and went down enough rows to cover all values in both columns. I also found that if you pre-select both columns, before clicking conditional format, then these vales will be there automatically


11.  The only thing you can’t see in the picture above is the dashed line that is now hovering over both columns. Once I hit OK or apply, it all goes away and my formula is:


Pre-Select your columns before you start with Conditional formatting

Now I found out some weirdness about the formula. If you have to go back and change the length of the column, you have to make the formula a little differently.  You click into the applies to field

and highlight Column one, then you type a comma, and then you highlight column 2. So the formula looks like this


The more general solution is coming up below:


I like the second formula better, because you can see the start and finish of each column. But the more general one covers all KB in both Columns. cant beat that. I am editing this sentence,

after the fact, and I found that if you select the columns, by Highlighting the columns entirely, you don’t have to deal with touching any formula aspect at  all.

Here the download again for My Excel HotfixCompare , You can also watch the video at the top and make your own spread.

Believe it or not, that is it! When you hit OK, your values immediately calculate out:



The next issue I tried to solve was the length of the column. It looks to me that this is the master formula, no matter how many KB s you have  (=$A:$A,$B:$B). This is for column A and B.

I do believe you could replace these values with columns a and c or b and E or whatever. This can help you move columns for your ease of use and you list can be as long or short as you want.

So use this in your Duplicate Values formula:


Again, I am coming back after the fact, and just saying to Highlight the columns you want to use, before you start, and you don’t have to deal with the formulas at all. I have a second Excel

Method for comparing up to 6 servers, but I will let you just download the Excel File and see how it works!!! Watch the video, I performed that in about 1 minute in the video. also

after the fact, and I found that if you select the columns, by Highlighting the columns entirely, you don’t have to deal with touching any formula aspect at  all.


How do I get my Hot-fix list = Get-Hotfix

So this is all we have left to cover. Below these are the steps I use to get that list of KB numbers isolated from the rest of the information you find when you run the Get-Hotfix command.


1. Open PowerShell as Administrator
2. You may run Get-Hotfix > c:\myhotfix.txt
3. Open Notepad ++ and Open myhotfix.txt
4. Hold Control and Alt Key on your keyboard at the same time
5. While (4) use the mouse to select just the KB column
6. once the KBs are highlighted Right click and choose copy.
7. Paste you KBs into notepad for transport to your work station.

That’s It! I hope you have enjoyed this article. In closing I have the original link for the script in the initial discussion. I also have a method to update your Hyper-V Cluster automatically with a script. That can be pretty handy.


Just the Shell commands for Skype Trouble Logging

I wanted to take a few minutes to just document a simple thing. Well the scope of the subject can become complex quickly. But this is not that. This is just a quick review of how to get the basic log output so you can troubleshoot a Skype issue.

I have a Video for this topic on Youtube.

So now matter how you approach logging, you will end up needing the Skype Debugging Tools.

The Debugging tool contains the Snooper log tool you will use to analyze the log. But It also contains the Skype GUI for also collecting the logs. So let me say your best method to collecting the Skype logs is to use the Gui in the Debugging tool kit. Here is a link for covering that topic: here

If the debugging tool kit is not working, you have another choice here that will act as a GUI for Log collection and analysis. Why not have a back up.

Command Line Logging

We are not going deep into Command line. If you want that please look here.

This is the emergency list of command if you just need to get logs now. below are the basic commands in order.


  • Show-CsClsLogging -Pools “”
  • Start-CsClslogging -scenario  alwayson
  • Stop-Csclslogging -scenario “AlwaysOn”
  • Search-CsClsLogging -OutputFilePath “C:\Users\admin\mylogs\ouput.txt


This is the bare bones commands you can use in a pinch to get your basic logs.

Scenarios there are many you can run

So the one item missing from the commands above is a way to get the different scenarios you can choose. In order to get this information, just run the following:

  • Get-CsClsScenario | fT name

This command is important as you can target what your looking for more clearly by using the right scenario to log:


So one thing to note is that the always on log will collect the sip stack trace, which is used in the lion share of Skype troubleshooting.

So now below I will include some examples of command you may find useful. this is not exhaustive, but this is the main things you may need for an average log collection


  1. Is logging running – Show-CsClsLogging -Pools “
  2. Run Edge Log- Start-CsClsLogging -Pools -Computers -Scenario alwayson
  3. Complex search by time- Search-CsClsLogging -pools “” -StartTime “11/20/2012 08:00:00 AM” -EndTime “11/20/2012 09:00:00 AM” -OutputFilePath “C:\Logfiles\logfile.txt”


To conclude, this is the crude basics you need to get those logs. if you want additonal information on hoe to make your own scenarios, that is very doable. see here for additional information if you are interested.


Thank you and happy logging.







Jetstress – Too Many IOPS? Andrew Higginbotham

Hello all,

This is a shout out at my Friend Andrew Higginbotham. This man is a multi-MVP and MCM in Exchange Server. He penned an article about Jet Stress, Which is very useful.

The issue is Page Fault Stalls/sec and the subject is SSD Solid State Drives.

I admit to not spending my time in Jet stress, as I don’t work on design elements as much as I do Skype. Andrew has come to my rescue on a few Design issues and Jet Stress on more than one occasion.

It turns out you should read this if you using SSD Flash Drives and Jet Stress= Here

This quick reference in my Blog is to support Andrews Blog and Recommend you read everything he writes. He is truly one of the best Exchange Persons around the US neighborhood.

Andrew thanks for your time on this case. I hate not being the expert but I am proud to work on a team with such strengths. I am just glad to be part of a team of individuals whose strengths compliment each other.



Edge Replication Status is false and the Last Update Creation time stops updating for command get-csmanagementstorereplicationstatus

When it comes to Edge Replication checking, this looks like a false positive below. But I know we all like to see true. So you see where the date says 6/22? That change means the last status report was a few month’s earlier. That missing update creation, is possibly saying the replication is not working. this is not hard to fix, so lets fix it!


Perform the steps below:

  1. Go to the Front end server and open Skype Management Shell
  2. Run the command Export-CsConfiguration –Filename C:\
  3. Copy the file to the Edge Server.
  4. Open the Skype for Business Deployment Wizard
  5. Choose Install Or Update Skype for Business Server System
  6. Choose install local configuration store.
  7. Browse to the file and finish the wizard.
  8. You can restart the Edge Server or just wait several minutes.
  9. If this fails, you just need to restart the SFB replication service on the FE and Edge Servers.


This is the point at which you browse to the configuration Zip file. Its Step 7.

I hope this helps your issue. I have seen this just stop refreshing and this step normally fixes the issue in my experience.



Creating or migrating the CMS of a SQL 2014 Always on Availability Group for Skype for Business 2015.

Creating or migrating the CMS of a SQL 2014 Always on Availability Group for Skype for Business 2015


I think one you get done with your deployment, you get to sit back and Enjoy the Honey of your Efforts. But If you are Migrating a SQL Always On Availability Group, See Below for some steps!



Basic Bullets steps


  1. Review Prerequisites
  2. Don’t try this on Lync 2013. This must be done using A fully patched SFB Fe Servers, as well as Fully Patched Server 2012 R2 Machine.
  3. So point # 2 is the reason for this article. The word is, Lync 2013 is not supported, but it works. Below you may see the gotcha, and be able to set it up.
  4. Install the Clustering Role on both SQL Servrs with Add-WindowsFeature Net-Framework-Core, Failover-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt,RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell -Source d:\sources\sxs
  5. Do not try to use SQL 2016. Only use SQL 2014 with SFB 2015 and Server 2012 R2-
  6. Test-Cluster -Node SQL1, SQL2 and make sure you have pre-requisites correct.

Follow the documentation of your choice to install your Skype for Business on SQL, but please review the notes from my friend in the Field, Timothy E Boudin. His notes may come in helpful, if you’re facing the move, and see no documentation. This is what he ran across, and brought to me. Thank you to Tim , for bringing this issue up so I could write about it:

First Find your Links for the Job




So to summarize, you should basically move the CMS when you do the SQL always on Availability group in my opinion. Otherwise, you are going to have to come back later, and do the second part of this cold. This is just an opinion. Below, Please Find Tim’s, Comments on his Move of the CMS with SQL Always on and Lync 2013, and SFB 2015 Migration.


Skype for Business setup using SQL always on Clustering

This configuration requires some unique settings for the build of the Skype for Business (SFB) support when dealing with the issue of supporting the CMS migration from Lync 2013 or previous versions to SFB 2015.


For this discussion the servers are as follows

Enterprise Front End Servers (3)

FE1, FE2, FE3

Always on SQL Cluster servers (2)

SQLNode1, SQLNode2, SQL Listener

During the process of defining a new Enterprise Front End pool, you provide the names of the Servers that are members of the pool as normal, but when providing the new Back end servers information you have to handle this in a specific way to be able to support fail-over.

Create the new SQL Server Store as follows


Fill in the name of the SQL Listener in the SQL Server FQDN field


Provide the name of the SQL Instance if your using one.

Check the High Availability Settings option

Select SQL Always-on Availability Groups

Fill in the name of the SQL Node1 server

Click OK and complete the Front End pool Wizard.  When you Publish the changes to topology you should be prompted to provide details on how you want to establish the tables for the Cluster.  If this is setup by a DBA check with them on location of the Data and Log files.

Once publishing is completed, go back and edit the SQL Store settings and change the SQLNode1 setting to SQLNode2 server name.


Publish the change and then do an Install or upgrade a Database

Once publishing is completed, go back and edit the SQL Store settings and change the SQLNode1 setting to the SQL Listener server name.  Now publish a finial time.  There is no need to do an Install Database for this change.


Once the finial publish is complete you should be able to start services on the Front End Pool servers.

Move the CMS

To move the CMS from the previous location to the Front End pool using the Always-on Cluster use the following process.

  • Stop Services on the Front End Pool to be hosting the new CMS location
  • Open the Lync Power-Shell and use the following commands:


  • Backup the CMS to a file with the following

Export-CsConfiguration –filename c:\media\

 Create the new Tables for the CMS on the new Front End pool specifying the node1 of the cluster, when you specify the database paths they are listed by Log file location first and then by Data file location.

Install-CsDatabase –CentralManagementDatabase –SQLServerFQDN -databasepaths g:\RTC_logs,f:\RTC_data -sqlinstancename RTC –verbose

 Once the tables have been created, have the DBA verify Mirroring between the nodes is in place.



If replication is good then move the CMS to new server by using the Move command on the Front end server in the target pool.



Once the move is complete, allow for server replication and then Run local Setup in the deployment wizard on all affected Front end servers and reboot them and Monitor replication


Get-CsService –CentralManagement


I hope this is helpful Documentation, if you have to face this situation.


Thank you,



Getting Accurate Latency from Dynamically expanding Hyper-V virtual Machine Disks


This Article is about the tool called Hyper-V Performance Monitor Tool (PowerShell)

you can download it from the tech net article down the page, or use the link above.

So Hyper-V gets thrown around loosely these days, when you talk about Virtualization or Performance Tuning, or Planning or any other aspect of the product life-cycle of a new Host Deployment.

Over the last few years, we have made rapid changes from Physical Host Machines for production work loads, to these Virtual monstrosities, that now host our whole company.

Along with this change, you may recall that Early Hyper-V documentation has gently let us know that monitoring inside the Virtual Machine was not going to give us the parity results to the Physical counters, depending on configuration.  This is for a few reasons, which are beyond this articles scope. However, I would like to shine light on this, so more people can think differently about their Virtual performance.

The most common measure of how well a server is performing is Latency in Milliseconds. Every one is most concerned with how much latency is in the storage system. Perhaps with good reason. The San storage vendors can perform so fast now days, that you can throw the empire state building at a server, and the Latency is less then 10 Milliseconds (MS). Or is it throughput?

To be clear, we are interested more in Latency then throughput. Latency should be minimized, and throughput will generally increase.

Can I make a case that Counters are not reliable?

Well let me tell your actual Latency is not as easily attained as you would think. If I told you that your tests are lying to you, would you believe me? Lets say your in shock. Without knowing your design, my generalized answer has a very high chance of being correct.  The issue is that you have a SAN and you are tying to get latency by measuring responses to a file, that go though 4 different filters, and then has to wait until it gets queued to a disk subsystem, that is always expanding. I promise you; your numbers are incorrect.

If you cannot quantify how latency and throughput are different, but related, then I would say you should not stop reading.

Storage Latency of VM guests

There are many problems with calculating storage latency, but disk is the model we are going to use to illustrate how tricky it can be to find out how your VM is performing.

The most common approach to gaining latency information is to use a command line tool. Normally the tool will work fine. The model breaks down when the Disk itself is changing, along with the Ram and processor availability. The bottom line is a Virtual machine may lie to you about resource numbers at any given time.  Add to the mix, that the clock cycle is a weakness in any virtualization platform. That means that the calculation of time itself can result In poor results based on good math with bad numbers.

There are a crowd of you who say that is bull. Well all I can say is; don’t read this and good luck solving your latency issues.

Let me try to list some areas where the numbers may go awry. I am just making a one line explanation with a link, so you can read more. I don’t want this to be about the problems. Below, I talk more about the solution. Read more if you have a specific issue:


I could keep going. Do you get the feeling there are a ton of variables that change how storage latencies should be calculated?

From my experience, I have found that every set of servers are their own data set of network behavior. There are some basic assumptions I found to pass along to Admins who want to find out latency of Virtual machines.

Guidelines for VM latency Study

Who to Blame

So again, the basic message is that the calculation of latencies is totally based on the sum of the deployment factors. In one data center you may find under reporting, and the other Over Reporting. Support agents do not have the Onus to prove why one is slower then the other. We will have to look at your Design and deploy and try to make a story of things we can identify. it is not likely we will find that moment where the Deployment deviated from your Baseline storage latency measurements. We offer Best effort, but encourage you to strip down your deployment to make a core Baseline latency for a Dynamically expanding VM. All Vms will compare to that one. We go from there.

Using the Stop Gap solutions for Monitoring Virtual Machines

SO it was just a few years ago, this issue with VM monitoring was not easily remedied. You could certainly use the Perfmon counters to get VM stats. But Customers just want to run Disk Speed or SQLIO, and get an output to look at. This did not exist for quite some time. Thankfully there is a script out there, that will now carve out some parity to those tools. the link is at the TechNet Gallery:


Hyper-V Performance Monitor Tool (PowerShell)

Below is the walk through of the basic performance collection.

you Just run the Script from an Admin PowerShell. There are a few ways to run it:


### export data to csv via GUI, defaults to current dir
.\Monitor-HyperVGuestPerformance.ps1 -ExportToCsv

### retrieve data as PSobjects, great for parsing and logging, -name parameter is optional, defaults to automatic discovery
.\Monitor-HyperVGuestPerformance.ps1 -PSobjects

### specify host and interval/samples manually
.\Monitor-HyperVGuestPerformance.ps1  -Name host1,host2 -PSobjects -Interval 2 -MaxSamples 5
### accepts pipeline input
| .\Monitor-HyperVGuestPerformance.ps1 -PSobjects

### Log to SQL server with Write-ObjectToSQL , this example uses SQL auth
.\Monitor-HyperVGuestPerformance.ps1 –PSobjects  |  Write-ObjectToSQL –TableName table –Database db -Server server –credential (get-credential)



If the domain connection fails, it tries for a Local connection:



In my case, I ran the tool on the Host, and this GUI below popped up. All I did was hit monitor, and I got an export vm_perfmon_stats file. This file can be used to find your latency.


While this method may not be pretty, It does follow the rules for Hyper-V guest. The main purpose for this tool would be to use instead of SQLIO or DISK SPEED. tools like these should be used for hardware testing. A Hyper-V Server, running on ISCSI shared storage, with two VHDX files attached, is likely going to come back with Erroneous Latencies. This may not be perfect, but I do believe you will see a consistent result that is not a totally unbelievable number.

See I changed the Sample and interval:


And I get a time-frame to wait for the test results:


Find the Link at the Microsoft TechNet Center. Thank you for taking the time to Read about Storage Performance for Hyper-V virtual Machines

I hope this helps in your Baseline Studies.

The result is a nice little Excel Display of the data, that I cleaned up a little with colors, to the Excel Fields.




Using Jperf Graphical Interface for Iperf, for basic network testing and Diskspeed or Dskspeed for storage testing.


Late night yawl.

Its 11:52 PM on 3/28/2017. It has been pouring in Edmond for a few hours now. For some reason I am not sleepy yet. I thought I would spend a few minutes putting together how to use a tool I was interest in.

Jperf is a script that runs on windows, and takes the place of IPERF.This little GUI should do most of the things you need, from a two windows machines. If you want to do it on Linux, then you can just use the Iperf command line.

Half the battle for Jperf is just finding the Bits. They are located here:

JPERF Download

There is also a copy of DiskSPeed or DSKSPEED.

The concept of running Jperf is simple:

  • Java must be running on both machines
  • Unzip the Jperf Folder to the Desktop
  • Use PowerShell 5 to run the Batch file on both machines
  • The server just sends data to the test subject, so to start the server, you just select the Server Radio button and hit Run IPERF in the upper right hand corner.
  • This will look like this:




and to run the script, all you had to do was run a batch file called Jperf.bat:



Now after starting the Jperf on the Server machine, you simply run the same batch file, on the machine that is going to be the client. Choose the client radio button, the Server Port, and Server IP. You have other choices, but you can test various packet configurations after you have showed that the two applications are doing the basic monitoring succeeding.


SO now that you have both GUIs up, chose run IPERF on the server, then on the client. you should see some graphing immediately.


The tool is nice to just show how the network is working between two points, with various network conditions, that you can control.

If you look at the enclosed User Guide, you will find where it calls out a baseline number you can use for making comparisons  the average file transfer size and the time for that average transfer, in the last line of the test is what I am talking about (see figure below)

These numbers you want to take note of. you can use this as your baseline, to compare other situations or other iterations of the test.


That’s IT!

Good luck and I hope this helps to explain how you can use IPERF with a basic GUI and provide good troubleshooting  information The tool is called Jperf and It uses Iperf. Its all in the download folder.

Next Time

Watch out next time when I will review the replacement for SQLIO. The tool is called DSKSPD or Disk Speed. We will talk about how  “dsksped test not valid for hyper-v virtual machine storage” Hyper-v performance is not as easy as just using Disk SPeed

MS even states that Dynamically expanding disks should not be used for production. That is also where counters start to come back with irrational results.

Here is something to read on Hyper-v Storage optimization, until I have time to write the next article