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  • Blog Post: VDI–Shameless plug

    I have spent the last six months writing my first book, Getting Started with Windows VDI for Packt Publishing, basically because I want to create a one stop repository of the key elements you need to do this. The basic idea I had was to only use the Microsoft stack to do this and to explore the wider...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops – PowerShell 4 and PKI

    In a Remote Desktop Services lab setup involving a gateway to allow connections to our virtual desktops over the internet we are going to need to use an SSL certificate to secure traffic between the remote devices and the gateway. Typically in the past we would have gone into a server running IIS and...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft VDA and Windows Embedded – A game changer for VDI?

    If you are following me on Twitter then you may have noticed that a few of my friends are reviewing a book I am writing on VDI for PackT . I wanted to write this up as a one shop stop on all you needed to know about implementing Microsoft based VDI using the various Remote Desktop Services server roles...
  • 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: 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: Lab Ops part 15 - Combining MDT with Windows Update Services

    If we are going to deploy VDI to our users we are going to still have some of the same challenges as we would have if we still managed their laptops directly. Perhaps the most important of these is keeping VDI up to date with patches. What I want to do in this post is show who we can integrate Windows...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops Part 13 - MDT 2013 for VDI

    The core of any VDI deployment is the Virtual Desktop Template (VDT) which is the blueprint from which all the virtual desktop VMs are created. It occurred to me that there must be a way to create and maintain this using the deployment tools used to create real desktops rather than the way I hack the...
  • Blog Post: Lab-Ops part 12 – A crude but effective Domain Controller

    I realised I need to recreate a Domain Controller in my labs and in so doing I noticed a snag in my earlier scripts that really breaks when I use the same snippet for a new DC.  I have this test to see if a VM is ready to be used.. do {Start-sleep –seconds 10} until(Get-VMIntegrationService $VMName ...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops - Stop Press Windows Server 2012R2 Evaluation edition released

    I have just got back to my blog after a few days at various events and I see the Evaluation edition of Windows Server 2012R2 has been released.  I need this for my lab ops because I am building and blowing away VMs for er… evaluations and I don’t want to have to muck about with license keys. For...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 9 - an Introduction to Failover Clustering

    For many of us Failover Clustering in Windows still seems to be a black art, so I thought it might be good to show how to do some of the basics in a lab and show off a few of the new clustering features of Windows server 2012 R2 in the process. Firstly what is a cluster? It’s simply a way of getting...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 6 – Setup VDI in Windows Server 2012R2

    VDI bridges the world of the client and the server, and that can mean that in a world where IT professionals are either experts in one or the other ( Simon and I being  a case in point), most of us have a partial knowledge of how VDI works. There are other reasons why you might be forgiven that...
  • 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: 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: 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: Lab Ops Part 10–Scale Out File Servers

    In my last post I showed how to build a simple cluster out of two VMs and a shared disk.  The VMs are nodes in this cluster.. and the shared “quorum” disk is used to mediate which node owns the cluster when a connection is lost between them.. However this cluster is not actually doing anything;...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 7 – Setting up a pooled VDI collection in Windows Server 2012 R2

    In Windows Server you can create two kinds of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), personal or pooled.  A personal collection is a bit like a company car scheme where everyone chooses their own car. This means there needs to be car for everyone even if they are on leave or sick etc. and each car...
  • 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: Lab Ops 4–Using PowerShell with Storage

    In previous posts I created a fileserver for my lab environment and used the UI to create a storage space on it.  Now I want to automate the creation of two storage spaces over the same storage pool, which will then underpin my VDI demos. At the time of writing the only resource I could find was...
  • 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: 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: Lab Ops part 3 – Storage in Windows Server 2012R2

    In this post I want to show what I plan to do with storage in Windows Server 2012R2 at the various events I get asked to present at.  If you have been to any of our IT Camps you will have seen Simon and I show off deduplication and storage spaces in Windows Server and now I want to add tiered storage...