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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: 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: Evaluate This–Server Core and MinShell

    In my last video I showed you how to use Server Manager to manage lots of servers, and given that you want to do that, there is less of a need to have all the management tools on every server.  So in this screencast I wanted to show you how to rip parts of the interface out of Windows Server to...
  • Blog Post: Server 4024 part 1 – Virtualisation

    A database is only as good as the operating system it resides on. SQL Server only runs on Windows and given that Windows Server 2012 (WS2012) is a huge change from what there was in Server 2008 R2 what does this new OS mean for the DBA.  The reference to Server 4012 is because that would be WS2012...
  • 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: Microsoft Valuable Penguin

    I sometimes think the IT industry is a bit like a load of penguins on the pack ice, each one checking the others out to see who going to brave the ocean first.  In IT it’s nervousness about when to jump onto a new technology and if there is one technology that makes IT professionals really nervous...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–File Classification

    In my last post & screen cast I showed how Dynamic Access Control (DAC) worked; the business of matching a users claims to the properties of a file (Resource Property in DAC), however the problem then becomes how do I correctly tag my files so that DAC works.  You shouldn’t necessarily be doing...
  • 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: 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: Evaluate This – Hyper-V Replica

    In many of the screencast in this series I have moved a VM around my demo setup, however there has only been the one copy of it whether it was on a scale-out file server, in a cluster or both. In any production environment you would want to augment this with additional disaster recovery techniques including...
  • 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: Evaluate This – NIC teaming

    In the third in this video series I wanted to show you NIC Teaming.. which is how you can provide a single network interface from multiple interface even if these are from different manufacturers. That's why in the video below I have used some Belkin USB Ethernet adapters combined with the on-board network...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–Storage Migration

    In some smaller organisations virtual machines (VM) often run on local storage DAS – Direct Attached Storage on the hosts whereas in bigger businesses many if not all production VMs are hosted on shared storage (e.g. a SAN) , so the virtual machine executes on a given host but the virtual hard disk and...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–DHCP Failover

    Having looked at how NIC teaming makes the best use of your network card in my last video I wanted to explore another networking feature in Windows Server 2012, DHCP Failover..     You might be wondering why this matters given that split scopes have been around for ages and you can also create...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This – Storage Spaces

    So far in this series I have used the new storage features of Windows Server 2012 as a  place to run VMs from, but there’s more to it than that.  Shared storage used to mean presenting SAN storage inside a cluster, and you relied on your SAN experts to provision the storage you needed. ...
  • 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: Read it and keep

    I have to confess to having quite a few real books in my house. Some of these books are reproductions of originals or have really big hi definition pictures in so they don’t work well as e-books.  I also find that on occasion technical books work better in print than they do on a small ebook reader...
  • 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: HD Insight

    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: Evaluate This – Hyper-V Server 2012

    Hyper-V Server is a free operating system specifically designed to just run Hyper-V so basically a cut down core installation of a paid for edition of Windows Server.  The cut down bit refers to the fact that only the roles and features needed to run Hyper-V are there. However Hyper-V itself is...
  • Blog Post: Working anywhere isn’t working

    I was invited to attend the EMEA Dell Partner Direct conference in Madrid last week, specifically to represent Microsoft, alongside Vmware at a discussion about consumerisation, hosted by Dell Wyse. There has been much written about this, the decline of laptop sales as other form factors such as phones...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This – Dynamic Access Control

    Managing users access to the right files is a pain on any OS, the best that’s going ot happen is that no one will complain about not having access to a file while none of your sensitive company data gets into the wrong hands.  In a traditional hierarchical business life was pretty easy you had a...
  • 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: Evaluate This–High Availability Virtual Machines

    Server virtualisation is all about decoupling the operating system form the hardware it’s running on, and one of the benefits of doing this is to ensure that a virtual machine (VM) can be made resilient to any underlying hardware failure.  In the world of Hyper-V this is achieved by building a Windows...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This - Shared Nothing Live Migration

    In earlier versions of Windows Server you needed to build a cluster with shared storage (i.e. a SAN) if you wanted to move a virtual machine from server to server without stopping it ( known as Live migration in Hyper-V ).  In server 2012 you just need to configure Live Migration in each of the...