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  • Blog Post: Virtual Machine Manager 2012R2 Templates cubed

    Up until now in my Lab Ops series I have been using bits of PowerShell to create VM’s in a known state, however this requires a certain amount of editing and I would have to write a lot more code to automate it and properly log what is going on. Plus I would probably want a database to store variables...
  • Blog Post: System Center: Use the right tool for the right job

    This post isn’t really about Lab Ops as it’s more theory than Ops, but before I dive in to the world of what you can do with System Center I wanted to stress one important concept: Use the right tool for the right job. That old saying that when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail can harm...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops– 16 System Center setup

    This post isn’t going to tell you how to install System Center screen by screen as there are some 434 of these to do a complete install and configure. That’s a lot of clicking with a lot of opportunity for mistakes and while I realise that not everyone needs to tear down and reset everything surely there...
  • Blog Post: Server 4024 part 2 - Management

    In the second post in this series I wanted to look at how changes to the way you manage things in Windows Server 2012 (WS 2012) affects your management of SQL Server 2012 (SQL 2012). Multi Server Management Traditionally to manage the OS we used to remote desktop onto every server we managed and applied...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Unleashed – Decks

    Quite a few people have asked me where the decks are for the SQL Server unleashed event and I now have an answer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/bb945096.aspx which I need to put on my blog so I can also remember myself! Also we have filmed this and I am hoping it will be on UGTV shortly as well...
  • Blog Post: 3 clouds and a screen

    No I haven’t got the numbers the wrong way round, the three clouds I am referring to are the three tracks we have put together for TechDays on 8th October and the screen is where you’ll be watching it as this is Online rather than in person. Those three tracks are: Cirrus Room - A high-level summary...
  • Blog Post: How to Manage Chaos with an ITIL Framework

    I have to confess I don’t know too much about the detailed mechanics of ITIL, but I couple of months ago I got chatting to an expert, Erin Palmer from Villanova University in the US, and over the Christmas holidays he’s written up a really good post by way of an  introduction..   So you think...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 7 – Setting up a pooled VDI collection in Windows Server 2012 R2

    In Windows Server you can create two kinds of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), personal or pooled.  A personal collection is a bit like a company car scheme where everyone chooses their own car. This means there needs to be car for everyone even if they are on leave or sick etc. and each car...
  • Blog Post: Metadata Databases & System Center Essentials 2010

    One of the reasons SQL server can spread through your organisation is that it underpins so many applications, including quite a few candidates from Microsoft, like Project Enterprise , Visual Studio Team Server, and the System Center line-up.  All of these use SQL Server to store metadata, for example...
  • Blog Post: Installing SQL Server in a Virtual World

    I do get occasional feedback that SQL Server is hard to install, all those screens all those checkboxes etc. etc.  This is simply a reflection that there is so much in SQL Server aside form the database engine, however if you know what you want and you are doing this regularly then script it, if...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure Update

    The annoying thing about cloud services like SQL Azure is that they keep changing as more features are added. The great thing about cloud services like SQL Azure is that they keep changing as more features are added. So if I write post about version x of SQL Server that has some value while that version...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–Server Core and MinShell

    In my last video I showed you how to use Server Manager to manage lots of servers, and given that you want to do that, there is less of a need to have all the management tools on every server.  So in this screencast I wanted to show you how to rip parts of the interface out of Windows Server to...
  • Blog Post: Normal Service has been resumed

    I’ve just got back from 5 weeks off in NZ to celebrate my 50th lap of the sun, hence the guest posts on here recently. Just before I went away  the UK TechNet team setup  Tech Days Online .. based on a chat Simon and I had about what 2011 holds for the IT Professional which you can watch here...
  • Blog Post: Orange Data Centre part 6 – Self Service Portal data centre administration

    Getting started with the Self Service Portal (SSP) for the System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), isn’t just turning on the portal and letting users create virtual machines at random, as that would cause a lot of sprawl and control.  Also you probably don’t want users creating these all...
  • Blog Post: A cloudy day at EZE IT

    I got asked to do a 40 minute slot on Virtualisation and cloud at a partner event to day run by EZEIT , while Simon got the tough job of condensing windows deployment down to  40 minutes as well (his post and deck is here).. I got a bit flat footed here, as the audience were already familiar with...
  • Blog Post: SCE Sunday part 3 – Post setup Administration

    In part 3 of my tour of System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE 2010)  , I have simply left SCE to bed in after installing and configuring it: During this time SCE will have  done the following: Implemented the group policy changes needed, Installed the agents on each of the computers I wanted to...
  • Blog Post: Just the Facts

    I spent the first part of my career working IT for various UK government departments, and in every case we had exacting methods for working out the total cost of ownership (TCO) of any IT system we acquired, the point being it was our model based on the way IT is run in our organisations.  This...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with SCOM 2012 beta

    System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 is now in beta along with all of the other System Center 2012 suite , and because it’s a beta the installation process is a little tricky. Having spent a morning on it I thought it would be good if I told you what I did so you don’t have to go through this...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure – Back to the Future

    As I write this I am setting up a SQL Azure database to use as the source for some of my BI demos over the coming months, and the experience takes me back to when I first started in business intelligence. If you haven’t come across SQL Azure, imagine someone  has set up SQL Server for you on a server...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2012 and the private cloud

    Putting up a marketing slide that says SQL Server is a good private cloud citizen is good marketing, but what’s in the box to back the claim up? My top three would be: Windows Server core .  Patching is a major maintenance problem with lots of virtual machines, and server core cuts that in half...
  • Blog Post: Are we spending too much time with Excel?

    Despite my love of SQL Server and my respect for Oracle, and MySQL the worlds number one database is excel.  I know that many purists and DBA’s will shudder at me grouping a spreadsheet with a database, but look at this form the perspective of number of hours of users using excel and the volume...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft System Center and BMC Management Tools Integration and Interaction

    In his second guest post Greg Charman from Kelverion has a look at BMC integration. Many customers have made large investments in both Microsoft System Center and BMC Datacenter Management Tools. Historically integrating these two vendors product sets has been challenging and time consuming.With the...
  • Blog Post: Educated desktops

    Simon and I have spent most of last week on stand duty at BETT one of the largest education events in the world. We were there to field questions from teachers and some of the hardest working IT Professionals, those supporting the IT in schools.  Agility is essential to cope with the new influx...
  • Blog Post: Woodland Trust Part 3–the New Building

    In my continuing saga on the Woodland Trust I was lucky enough to go to the formal opening of their new building last week. Unfortunately while all the IT is going smoothly it is the lack of water that is holding up the move, and this means that they can’t bring the new servers online because they...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server edition sprawl

    One of the confusing things about SQL Server is all the editions it comes in and one of the great things about SQL Server is er… all the editions it comes in. Recent additions to this edition sprawl are the SQL Server DataCenter edition, the SQL Server Parallel data warehouse and SQL Azure. Why is this...