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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: 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: Managing Dynamic Memory with SCVMM 2008 R2 sp1

    Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1 introduced two key enhancement to Hyper-V, dynamic memory and remoteFX. RemoteFX is a way of sharing a physical servers GPU to provide a better VDI experience and I’ll leave that for Simon to blog about, so back to dynamic memory. This seemingly minor enhancement to Hyper...
  • 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: 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: 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: Applied Business Intelligence

    Like many IT Professionals, I love my gadgets but what really matters is what you do with them – so which games do you play  on your gamer PC what did you photograph with that monster lens you bought for your DSLR and  who did you hook up with on Facebook at the weekend?  The same is true...
  • 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: IT Camps

    We aren’t all the same, we learn differently, we work in a wide range of business that have very different needs, and we learn at different speeds.  So spending a day being lectured to on technical stuff,  isn’t going to be the right answer for everyone and no matter how good the speaker is...
  • 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: 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: Microsoft, and Hadoop for Big Data

    Despite common misconceptions Microsoft now has extensive interoperability with open source technologies for example you can run a php application on Azure, get support from us to run RedHat, SUSE or CentOs on Hyper-V and manage your applications from System Center. ,  So extending this approach...
  • 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: 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: 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: Evaluate this - Deduplication

    Deduplication is the business of compressing data without loss and this is now built into Windows Server 2012 as a role service.  The official marketing from us states that you will save somewhere between 20-70% of the space on your file servers if you implement this. If that’s sounds interesting...
  • Blog Post: Superglue now available for System Center 2012

    One of my frustrations to date when showing off System Center 2012 is that it doesn’t quite fit together yet; each of the individual products is in beta and works pretty well, however joining them up is not there yet.  This is not because there’s a flaw in the line up or missing functionality, it...
  • 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...