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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: IIS 7.5 and Windows Server Core

    There is so much stuff on Windows7 & 2008 R2 features out there, but not so much on IIS 7.5.  The other reason it slipped off my radar was that reporting services in SQL Server 2008 directly uses http.sys for its portal and there is no longer a need to install IIS at all.  Anyway it’s now...
  • 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: 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: Direct access to DirectAccess

    My favourite  thing Windows 7 working together with Windows Server 2008 R2 is DirectAcess , not because of how cool the technology is nor because its just built in, but because it gets me out of jail on so many occasions.   If you aren’t aware of it, it’s the power of a VPN without all ...
  • 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: Windows Server 2008 Enterprise edition and Virtualisation

    I get quite a few questions about virtualising SQL Server and typically today this is on VMWare so yesterday I went along to find out more at the VMWare London User Group.   In the current world of computing, vendors compete with everyone but also has alliances with everyone (a bit like the UN really...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server on Windows Server Core part 3–Installing SQL Server

    In my previous two posts in this series I have installed and configured Win Server Core, and now I am ready to install SQL Server. There are a number of things to be aware of here: Only SQL Server Denali is supported for server core. SQL Server depends on the .Net framework SQL Server needs...
  • 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: 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: Thoughts on Dynamic Memory

    Dynamic memory has some people worried.  I get it because even with my monster orange laptop (Dell Precision M6500) with 16Gb RAM and 600Gb of storage across 3  SSDs I can see my memory is better optimised and I can be really aggressive with the memory each virtual machine gets on start up...
  • Blog Post: Active Directory for Demos

    Are you bored setting up domain controllers for your demos to work with, not sure of all the prompts to fill in then try this on a clean copy of Windows Server 2008 R2.. Create a text file called NewDC.txt and copy this into it.. [DCINSTALL] InstallDNS=Yes NewDomain=forest10 NewDomainDNSName=Contoso...
  • 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: Hyper-V Snapshots in Production

    It’s sometimes quite difficult to talk and think at the same time, and at our camps last week I think we may have caused some confusion around snapshots for virtual machines (VM) that are in production so I wanted to write this up from first principles so that I have somewhere to refer to in future....
  • Blog Post: What is ADFS, and why you should care?

    Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) doesn’t sound like the most exciting topic for a post, but I am going to post on it anyway precisely because it is boring. First let me log in to windows with a Live ID.. You’ll notice I have used my Microsoft alias to sign in, and I haven’t entered my password...
  • 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: Windows 7 rumours and facts

    The latest rumours around Windows 7 can be found on this Reuters article citing a public release in October and I’ll leave you to judge the voracity of that.  However for those of you that haven’t tried it then it might be just as important to know why you should bother. My good friends James O...
  • Blog Post: Server Core in Windows Server 2008 R2 – part 2

    Server Core is lean and mean but what can it be used for aside from sitting behind your infrastructure? The biggest new thing is IIS, specifically  server core can now support asp.net websites. I think this is really useful as web servers need to be secure and increasingly highly available. Server...
  • Blog Post: Moving virtual machines in parallel or in serial?

    If I want to copy 10 files from server A to server B it doesn’t matter whether I copy them one at a time or try and launch 10 copy processes at once, both methods will take about the same amount of time and the limiting factor is the network bandwidth I have.  Now imagine I want to migrate ten virtual...
  • Blog Post: Guest Clustering–What is it and do you need it?

    I am pretty sure the term guest clustering is not a standard industry term nor is it official Microsoft speak, so what do I mean by it? I mean the business of creating a cluster out of a group of virtual machines – you might call this a virtual cluster but that might confuse it with clustering physical...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Woodland Trust part 2

    In my second interview with Lionel Wilson Head of IS  at the Woodland Trust,  I wanted explore what the challenges are of moving from this .. .   into a new sustainable HQ that wouldn’t look out of place in  Grand Designs albeit on a larger scale. It’s packed full of passive and active...
  • 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: Beta to release upgrade paths for Windows Server 2008 R2 sp1

    I see loads and loads of threads tweets and forum questions which run along the lines of “What is the upgrade path from [insert any Microsoft Product here] RC to RTM?” To which the answer is always “There isn’t one – you have to uninstall RC and install RTM”. First let me translate the acronyms: The...