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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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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: SQL Server Spruce up

    Landrovers, will take a lot of pounding and neglect, but when my wife drove hers to Australia she made very sure it was properly set up for 2 years on the road Similarly SQL Server is also often out in the wild far from DBA’s and inspection from maintenance tools, like System Center .  However now...
  • 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: IT Process Automation for Microsoft System Center

    a guest post by Greg Charman, Technical Solutions Professional, Microsoft UK In December 2009 Microsoft acquired Opalis, a specialist provider of IT Process Automation (ITPA) software. The Opalis product is currently in the process of being fully integrated into the System Center family of datacenter...
  • 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: Barriers to upgrading to SQL Server 2008

    Most IT Professionals like to use the latest (stable) version of a product, so what’s holding up your adoption of SQL Server 2008? Hardware. If you are moving from SQL Server 2000 to 2008 that’s probably going to mean a new server as you’ll probably want to move to 64 bit hardware and that could be tricky...
  • Blog Post: What Kind of MUG are you?

    Whether your thing is windows management or virtual machines there’s interesting user group activity coming up in the next few weeks.. The virtual machine user group (VMUG) in Leeds gets together on 16th November from 12-6pm at the Leeds Park Plaza hotel .. You’ll find me presenting...
  • 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: SQL Server Consolidation

    Whether you are into virtualisation or not, most organisations want to reduce the number of SQL Server Servers they have (and some don’t even know how many they have).  So here’s a new white paper on consolidation for SQL Server 2008 . One of the questions I do get asked a lot 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: Anti-Virus and Hyper-V, Yes or No?

    The parent operating system in Hyper-V is windows server and it’s a relatively simple matter to install your standard anti-malware tools on it, but is this a good idea? You can in fact install all sorts of applications and roles in the parent/physical operating system, and the guidance from Microsoft...
  • 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: Gone Critical

    Many of us would associate the the term critical with the Register, so when I was asked by Tim Phillips their broadcast and commercial editor to join a discussion titled “Going Critical” I was a little nervous.  The title refers to some Register commissioned research by Andrew Buss at Freeform Dynamics...
  • Blog Post: Event Handling for the IT Professional

    My diary is solid for the next few weeks as there seem to be a lot of events on. This is good for me as the best bit of my job is swapping ideas and stories with like minded individuals, not to mention the odd lively debate.  I also get the impression that many of you enjoy this too and I often...
  • Blog Post: Reach for the Cloud - System Center 2012

      For me the most interesting stuff in the System Center 2012 is the cloud stuff.  Some of this is obvious there’s cloud button in Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)  2012, and there’s even a new product in the line up, currently called Concero that is totally cloud focused as you can see from...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Security

    The biggest blocker to public cloud usage is concern about security and privacy.  This usually falls into one or all of these particular concerns: Do I trust cloud provider X to look after my data? Can I legally use cloud provider X given the regulatory framework in the UK? Can I setup good security...
  • 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: 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 on Windows Server Core part 2–Configuring Server Core

    Windows Server Core is a lightweight installation of any edition of Windows Server, and because it is so lightweight initial setup can be a bit tricky, so here’s what you need to know: Adding roles & features. There’s no Server Manager in Server Core and in any case you might want to do some configuration...
  • 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...