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  • 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: Business Intelligence for the Private Cloud part 1

    If you have looked at any of the new components of System Center 2012 you may have noticed that everyone seems to have a bunch of reports, some of them have data marts or data warehouses and some of them have analytics in the form of analysis services cubes.  Apart from the confusion over when 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: Haiku-V

    Virtualisation Good management tools Private cloud appears     Public cloud worries Cause myth and uncertainty, Trust is essential   [ Haiku is a strict form of Japanese poetry dating back to the 1600s]
  • 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: 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 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: 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: SCO Saturday – part 1 What is System Center Orchestrator?

    Of all the bits of System Center to come out next year it is Orchestrator (SCO) I am most interested in, as it is one of the enablers to create a private cloud. It’s a new bit of the System Center suite and is the glue that not only integrates the rest of System Center, but also most of the popular non...
  • Blog Post: A gentle introduction to Opalis, Automating the Ordinary

    I go to many sites and get offered a lot of coffee , however it never turns out he same as there is no standard automated process to make coffee, there are different steps in the process, and of course people are on different versions for milk sugar and coffee. Most of the coffee is drinkable and so...
  • Blog Post: Orange Data Centre - part 1 introduction

    Dell have kindly loaned my a very Orange Dell Precision M6500 (aka Covet) and I plan to use it to show off the latest developments in SQL Server and System Centre etc.  However I won’t pretend I can run a private cloud on it as that needs at least one cluster and I don’t see me lugging two of these...
  • Blog Post: Notes from IT Camp, Leeds 28th Feb

    Simon and I did our first IT camp in Leeds on Tuesday, and I would like to say thank you to those that cam along as you were the beta testers for this new kind of event.  As you can see we had a much more informal setup of groups of 8 or 9 around tables with a lot more collaboration and interaction...
  • Blog Post: System Center 2012–It’s all about the application

    The Accountants, sales guys and lawyers in your business don’t understand or care about how fast your hypervisor is or how many nodes there are in your cluster. What they care about is that the e-mail works the intranet is up and the business can trade with its customers. In short they care about...
  • Blog Post: Hyper-V security

    Curiously one of the topics we hardly ever get asked about at our IT Camps is security in Hyper-V.  Perhaps it’s because you all have total confidence in our approach security, or you already have the facts to hand, but more likely is that you forgot to ask about because it’s not top of your agenda...
  • Blog Post: Exploiting Orchestrator - Tips to avoid the hidden bear traps

    Following on from my last post about getting started with System Center 2012 Orchestrator, I asked a good friend of mine Greg Charman from Kelverion , to share some of his experience.   System Center 2012 Orchestrator and its predecessor Opalis 6.3 are a very new subject to many IT Professionals...
  • Blog Post: How the Private Cloud affects your IT department

    My Desktop counterpart Simon May posted a great article on How the public cloud affects your IT department so here’s my corresponding thoughts on the private cloud .. Firstly the Private Cloud definition Microsoft uses is from the National Institute of Science & Technology .  For me this about...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Virtual Academy

    I don’t think data centre management or the private cloud is particularly difficult to learn, but it could be easier to find out where to start.  Of course if your focus is virtualisation or you only make tools in this space then your site should make this journey pretty straight forward. ...
  • Blog Post: System Center Advisor– now live

    I remember hearing about a Project Houston about a year ago, a cunning plan to allow Microsoft to check the heath of your SQL Server databases and the operating system it sits on. It is now live and it’s called System Center Advisor . It works by using an internet gateway server you setup which in turn...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops – part 1 Introduction

    For some people building demo setups is a part of the job,  for example Trainers pre-sales Technical roles and evangelists like me.  Everything shifts as these evolve for example a beta product comes out and we need to show new concepts that the technology introduces, for example software defined...
  • Blog Post: Extreme Standardisation

    I spent yesterday at the Best of the Microsoft Management Summit in London and rather than have endless debates about what is or isn’t private cloud the term extreme standardisation was used to explain Microsoft’s approach to the modern data centre.  Although this term doesn’t implicitly refer to...
  • 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: Orange Data Centre Part 2 – Getting ready for SCVMM

    I now have hyper-V running on my shiny new Orange Dell Covet (Precision 6500) and in order to manage it properly I want to setup SCVMM next to manage it.    Actually before I do that I am going to import a Virtual Machine(VM) I have already namely my Domain Controller (DC).  I have other...