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  • Blog Post: Lab Ops Redux setting up Hyper-V in a hurry

    I am at Manchester United as I write this and one of the delegates wanted to quickly try out Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012R2. I thought I had an all up post on that but it turns out I don’t, so Nicholas Agbaji this is just for you! You’ll need a latptop/desktop running Windows 7/Windows 2008R2 or later...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 19 – Software Defined Networking - where’s my stuff

    Well done if you got through my last post, I bolted a lot of stuff together and it all looks a bit confusing particularly if you are moving from Hyper-V to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (VMM). For a start where’s my network settings? When I was testing my rig I found I couldn’t swap out...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 18 Getting started with Software Defined Networking

    In my last post I finished up where I had my host under management of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and that was about it. As with Hyper-V I can’t really use VMM until I have my fabric configured and after adding in hosts the first thing we need to do is look at Networking. To recap my current setup...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 17 - Getting Started with Virtual Machine Manager

    In my last post I talked a lot about the way all of System Center works, now I want to look at one part of it Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as VMs in a modern data centre are at the core of the services we provide to our users. In the good old days we managed real servers that had real disks connected...
  • 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: Lab Ops part 15 - Combining MDT with Windows Update Services

    If we are going to deploy VDI to our users we are going to still have some of the same challenges as we would have if we still managed their laptops directly. Perhaps the most important of these is keeping VDI up to date with patches. What I want to do in this post is show who we can integrate Windows...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops - Part 14 Putting Applications into the VDI Template with MDT

    In my last post I created a process to quickly create what MDT refers to as a Reference Computer and directly boot this from the LiteTouchPE_x64.iso in the deployment share. This was then shutdown and sysprepped so that I could use it to deploy VDI collections in Remote Desktop Services. Now I want to...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops Part 13 - MDT 2013 for VDI

    The core of any VDI deployment is the Virtual Desktop Template (VDT) which is the blueprint from which all the virtual desktop VMs are created. It occurred to me that there must be a way to create and maintain this using the deployment tools used to create real desktops rather than the way I hack the...
  • Blog Post: Lab-Ops part 12 – A crude but effective Domain Controller

    I realised I need to recreate a Domain Controller in my labs and in so doing I noticed a snag in my earlier scripts that really breaks when I use the same snippet for a new DC.  I have this test to see if a VM is ready to be used.. do {Start-sleep –seconds 10} until(Get-VMIntegrationService $VMName ...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops - Stop Press Windows Server 2012R2 Evaluation edition released

    I have just got back to my blog after a few days at various events and I see the Evaluation edition of Windows Server 2012R2 has been released.  I need this for my lab ops because I am building and blowing away VMs for er… evaluations and I don’t want to have to muck about with license keys. For...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 11 – Server Core

    My laptop running Windows Server 2012R2 looks like this when it starts: This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing if: You have a server you want to connect to from a device with touch on that may have a smaller form factor and you have big fingers so you can get to the task you want in...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 3 – Storage in Windows Server 2012R2

    In this post I want to show what I plan to do with storage in Windows Server 2012R2 at the various events I get asked to present at.  If you have been to any of our IT Camps you will have seen Simon and I show off deduplication and storage spaces in Windows Server and now I want to add tiered storage...
  • 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: Lab Ops 4–Using PowerShell with Storage

    In previous posts I created a fileserver for my lab environment and used the UI to create a storage space on it.  Now I want to automate the creation of two storage spaces over the same storage pool, which will then underpin my VDI demos. At the time of writing the only resource I could find was...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 9 - an Introduction to Failover Clustering

    For many of us Failover Clustering in Windows still seems to be a black art, so I thought it might be good to show how to do some of the basics in a lab and show off a few of the new clustering features of Windows server 2012 R2 in the process. Firstly what is a cluster? It’s simply a way of getting...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 2–The Lee-Robinson Script

    In my last post I mentioned how Marcus Robinson & had adapted PowerShell scripts by Thomas Lee to build a set of VMs to run a course in a reliable and repeatable way.  With Marcus’s permission I have put that Setup Script on SkyDrive, however he has a proper day job running his gold partnership...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 8 –Tidying up

    If you have been to one of our IT camps you’ll know it’s all live and unstructured which  can mean things can go wrong, typically because we didn’t tidy up properly after the previous event. The problems of repeatedly creating VMs are that: The VM still exists in Hyper-V The files making up the...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 6 – Setup VDI in Windows Server 2012R2

    VDI bridges the world of the client and the server, and that can mean that in a world where IT professionals are either experts in one or the other ( Simon and I being  a case in point), most of us have a partial knowledge of how VDI works. There are other reasons why you might be forgiven that...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 5 - Access Rights in PowerShell

    In my last post I had a section in my script to create access right to a share I had just created and as promised I wanted to dissect that a bit more. To recap what I wanted to do was to create a share with sufficient privileges to use that share for storing VMs as part of my VDI demo. In order to understand...