Applying BizTalk Hotfixes – Guidelines for Administrators

Microsoft Support have just a published a helpful support article discussing some of the general guidelines that need to be followed when applying BizTalk Server Hotfixes, applicable to all versions from BizTalk Server 2004 onwards.

The article covers some of the more salient points we need to remember as BizTalk Adminstrators, including:

  • Considerations when installing Hotfixes on 32-bit and 64-bit servers;
  • Considerations when installing Hotfixes in a multi-server BizTalk Group;
  • Considerations when un-installing or rolling-back Hotfixes, including how to roll-back SQL scripts.
  • Restart requirements after installing Hotfixes;

The ‘Information on BizTalk Server Hotfixes’ article can be found on Microsoft’s Support Site. Well worth a read.

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Easily Shutdown a Windows Server 2008 Core VM in VirtualBox

I run Windows Server 2008 Core in a VirtualBox virtual machine as my Active Directory Domain Controller for a small BizTalk test environment and I’ve discovered that it doesn’t take kindly to being ‘saved’ – when the server is resumed my other servers seem to be unable to communicate with it and do AD type ‘stuff’.

Shutting the sever down seems the best way to go, but given that Server Core is the window-less version of the OS, the shutdown command needs to be issued from the command-prompt. Unfortunately, I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to log-in just to shutdown….

I’ve recently discovered that Server Core will shutdown cleanly when sent the VirtualBox shutdown signal, issued when closing the VM – to bring up the Close Virtual Machine dialog (shown below), simply close the Window the VM is running in, type [Host Key]+Q, or issue the Machine->Close menu-command:

VirtualBox - Send Shutdown Signal

Select the ‘Send the shutdown signal’ option and click Ok (the VM sometimes doesn’t respond to the first attempt, but the second attempt is usually recognised).

Windows Server 2008 Core will kindly oblige and shutdown cleanly.