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  • Blog Post: Event: IT Camp Leeds Feb 28th

    Back in December Simon and I invited a few friends along to help us beta test a different kind of event, an IT Camp .  The idea is simply to do smaller, more interactive events where discussions and questions are encouraged.  The presenters, (Simon and I) being a bit more in the background...
  • Blog Post: Back to Skool

    Getting time, and resources to stay current with technology is always hard for IT professionals even when that training applies directly to your role. If you are thinking of cross training because for whatever reason you can’t see a future in doing what you are currently doing then you’re...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation for the DBA part 2 – SQL Server Management

    Given the almost mandatory drive to server virtualisation in data centres, what do you need to worry about and what’s in SQL Server to help you? The biggest worry is probably  trying to manage everything, as typically many organisations simply create a virtual machine for every physical server they...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation for the DBA part 3 – SQL Server Performance

    As I have said already in this series the major concern most DBA’s have when virtualising SQL Server is performance. I think this is actually a bit of myth for a number reasons: Virtualisation just keeps getting better .  This is down to a partnership between the hardware and software industries...
  • Blog Post: Dell and Hyper-V for the smaller business

    Over the last month I have been on tour with Dell showing what Hyper-V can do for small/medium businesses, and later this week I’ll be with them in Falmouth. The argument they put forward for Hyper-V is really simple: You want use a new server for virtualisation, and now that moderns servers...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Management event in Manchester

    Unlike Manchester United, SQL Server 2008 is under new management. What I mean by this is that there are a load of new tools to configure, tune and audit which are essential to keep a modern database in the premiership.  While I have done a few events on this theme in the London area, the TechNet...
  • Blog Post: How Dense are you?

    One of the drivers to moving to the cloud be that public or private is the promised reduced management overhead and cost savings. Part of this comes from how effectively infrastructure can be utilised and so partially idle virtual machines can be consolidated alongside each other to get the most out...
  • Blog Post: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, mixing Hyper-V and other applications in Windows Server

    I have got the highest respect for Hyper-V. It’s simple to use I don’t need to learn any new interface (it’s just another mmc snap-in)  in which to mange the virtual world.  However when someone asks me if they can install other roles alongside hyper-V in production I say “Oi mate NO don’t...
  • Blog Post: Managing a small private cloud

    In my last post I mentioned that the key to a private cloud was effective management.  If your organisation has less than 50 server and 500 clients, you’re new best friend could well be System Center Essentials (SCE) 2010 .  It’s a subtle blend of the important bits from the individual bigger...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation for the DBA part 4 – Licensing and Support

    To wrap up this mini-series on virtualisation, I wanted to clarify the support and licensing stuff you need to know if you want to Virtualise. The support is really simple, Microsoft support virtual machines just as though they are real environments.  The interesting bit is that this isn’t specific...
  • Blog Post: Woodland Trust and Green IT

    I was lucky enough to meet  Lionel Wilson , head of IS at the Woodland Trust at the Windows 7 launch last year.  He is now starting to implement what he saw on Hyper V and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2 as the trust prepares to move into it’s (literally) cool new HQ building...
  • Blog Post: Get your own best of the Microsoft Management Summit bits

    Many of us couldn’t afford to make it Vegas for the MMS 2011 so in the UK last month the UK TechNet team put together a one day event Best of MMS and we managed to get quite a few of the US speakers over for that.  However that day was quickly sold out, and I know many of you couldn’t get to it...
  • Blog Post: The 7P’s of projects

    Proper Preparation & Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance I mention this because the process of working out how to make changes to your data centre can and should take longer than doing the actual work.  For example if you are going to dive into virtualisation or do more with it,...
  • Blog Post: An introduction to Remote Desktop Services options

    I am sometimes confused when things get renamed, but it made a lot of sense for Microsoft to  renamed Terminal Services to Remote Desktop Services as it has changed out of all recognition from where it started.  In fact we made this simple video to show how much has changed in Windows Server...
  • Blog Post: Conversations on the Cloud

    One way to get interesting interviews is to put a group of people with differing views in a room and fire up the cameras.  So when Zane Adam (general manager for Azure) was over for IPExpo we thought is would be interesting to get him to talk to some of the leading lights in the Vmware community...
  • Blog Post: Putting SQL Server on the MAP

    Usually when I mention SQL Server and map in the same blog it’s a post on geospatial data but not today; today I want to talk about assessment and planning your SQL Server infrastructure.  I know of several DBA’s who don’t know how many SQL Servers they have much less what stare they are in i.e...
  • Blog Post: Help stamp out SQL Server neglect

    eI am thinking of starting a new royal society the for the protection of cruelty to SQL Server as I am seeing my favourite database suffering a lot of abuse out there as part of the blind rush to virtualisation.  A good example is, Gillian,  a dba I met at SQL Bits who was nearly in tears because...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server HP Appliances & the modern data centre

    There is a lot of advice on whether to virtualise SQL Server and many dbas are under pressure to do this.  There’s good advice here from SQL CAT on best practice on hyper-V and if you are in the business of acquiring hardware to run SQL Server virtualised then there are two reference architectures...
  • Blog Post: Search and deploy

    It’s a sad fact of life that search doesn’t always get you that answer you were looking for.  This is mainly because it isn’t always obvious what you are actually looking for especially when it comes to technical stuff.  My main problem when looking around for stuff is that there is sometimes...
  • Blog Post: What is the Private Cloud?

    One of my most read blog posts is Private Cloud? which means that the private cloud is of interest and hopefully what I wrote went over fairly well.  However greater minds than mine actually design all of this  and one of those minds is Zane Adam who is pretty much in charge of Windows Azure...
  • Blog Post: Virtual machine density in your data centre

    I can only run 11 server based  Virtual machines on my laptop, but all bar three of them are running SQL Server: 3 x VMs running SQL Server 2012 beta and the new AlwaysOn Cluster. Note one of these is running SQL Server 2012 on Windows Server Core 1 x VM running  SQL Server 2012 the database...
  • Blog Post: Licensing in a Virtual World

    Even if you work for Microsoft licensing can be complicated. I am pretty confident on what’s what with SQL Server, but I was in TV land yesterday at a large broadcaster, and they are looking to adopt Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 as a standard for all of their projects.  We spent an hour...
  • Blog Post: Server 4024 part 3 - Networking

    Databases are typically bound either by networking or IO and actually this can be two sides of the same coin if you are using remote storage.  So what’s new in Windows Server to improve networking both to improve access to shared storage and access to database workloads from another tier in a service...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server and dynamic memory with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1

    Running SQL Server in a virtual machine is a good thing for many reasons however there are two basic rules: don’t over commit processors use fixed or pass through disks (i.e. not dynamic one) The guidance from the SQL CAT (SQL Server Customer Advisory Team) doesn’t extend to memory as up until now you...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server performance in a virtual world

    Despite doing quite a few posts and talks on Virtualising SQL Server, I am still getting the odd comment on earlier posts, so please forgive this if you have heard it all before. Firstly these are my musings on the topic to date: Virtualisation for the DBA part 1  - Are you bovvered? Virtualisation...