We have just launched a new SMB Server Experience Tool, a unique solution to simplify server selection in the SMB space.
This tool, which is now available at the Midsize Business Solution page at Microsoft.com, makes it easy for our SMB partners to see how Microsoft server & management solutions can address their customers’ current business needs.
The Windows Server Experiences component (blue track) is designed to show what a server can do for the business and how easy it can be to manage a server environment. Users will have the opportunity to walk through brief scenarios with SBS, Windows Server, and System Center Essentials, ranging from “New User Creation” to “Hyper-V Live Migration” or “Virtualizing a Physical Server.”
The Windows Server Selector component (green track) helps simplify the server selection process by recommending key products after answering just a few simple questions, can can also create a custom business case report—based on the recommended products and business concerns—supporting their customers’ ongoing IT strategies and investments.
Take a moment and explore the SMB Server Experience Tool today!
OK, I lied – it’s not possible to do it without installing anything. But most people would go down the route of re-partitioning their disks or adding a second disk just to install Windows Server 2008 R2. This method adds a single file to your system and updates your boot configuration database.
Most IT Professionals would love to try out new software features and/or learn how to use new products - but have limited access to hardware. This approach lets you use one machine for two purposes (Work & “Play” – where “Play” = learning), is easy to do and does not affect your work files.
Most laptops will need you to go into a BIOS based boot loader (F12 is the most common key).
Step through the Windows Server installation until you get to the “Where do you want to install Windows?” dialog (this is a Custom installation – NOT an Upgrade).
Exit DISKPART and close the command prompt.
Click Refresh and you will now see your VHD file appear as an additional disk drive:
Select this drive and proceed with the installation.
You can ignore the warning (Windows cannot be installed to this disk).
When the installation is complete you have a dual boot machine, with Windows Server 2008 R2 booting from VHD.
Quickly go into System settings and set your default operating system (the one you want your laptop to boot to without your input).
More and more customers are turning to Hyper-V as their first choice for virtualisation.
Come along and find out why; Hyper-V has grown up a lot over the last three years and now includes the core functionality you need to meet your business and technical requirements.
This session is a unique presentation that builds on your existing experience with virtualisation (regardless of hypervisor) and will equip you with up to date skills through in-depth, advanced, real world training that is not available anywhere else!
As a standalone, one day immersion into Hyper-V or as the first step towards certification from Microsoft Ireland, this is a not to miss opportunity!
· A history of Hyper-V and a glimpse into the future
· Hyper-V Architecture and Features
· Building a stable and reliable Hyper-V infrastructure
· Advanced topics: High Availability, Live Migration, Dynamic Memory & Linux Guests
Presenters: Aidan Finn (MicroWarehouse) and Dave Northey (Microsoft Ireland)
Audience: Infrastructure Specialists, IT Decision Makers, IT Generalists, IT Implementers, Administrators, Consultants, Technical Support.
Location: Microsoft European Development Centre,
Building 2 South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18
We will run the workshop from 9.30am until 5.00pm on 3 different dates; please choose one date which suits you:
· November 29th 2011 – click here to register
· December 1st 2011 – click here to register
· December 12th 2011 – click here to register
All participants to this 1 Day session will receive a priority invite to the in-depth ITPro training taking place in early 2012, and you will be entered into a fabulous draw in which we have 3 new Nokia Lumia 800 to give away.
Windows Server 8 is only in a developer preview cycle as yet, but it’s still making a lot of noise:
Watch this Windows Server 8 session from the //build conference. It’s long – but a must if you’re interested in some awesome new features and functionality (especially around Hyper-V).
I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read this Jason Perlow’s blog on Windows Server.
Aidan Finn being interviewed by Network World.
Michael Otey's Blog: Windows Server 8: Hyper-V 3.0 Evens the Odds with vSphere
Mike Neil’s blog post on Windows Server 8 Hyper-V
Cisco’s announcement that the Nexus 1000 and other Cisco technologies are coming to Windows Server 8 Hyper-V.
I can’t wait for eight!
You only have to read the news – but just in case you missed all of this:
VMware’s Iron Grip On Business World Loosens. Maybe
VMware may be losing dominance in server virtualization
Microsoft Hyper-V gaining on VMware in the virtualization market
If you’re virtualising Windows workloads the VMware cost is ALL overhead – Windows Server already includes the hypervisor, failover clustering, live migration and dynamic memory!
I realise that “it depends” and “your numbers will vary”, but ignore the numbers and this chart just demonstrates all that overhead!
Now, performance is a tricky subject to tackle, seeing as the VMware license agreement restricts the publishing of benchmarks which are not approved by them (i.e. benchmarks that show their product NOT performing as well as the competition). There are lots of reports out there that would have you believe that either VMware or Hyper-V are the fastest, most performant hypervisors on the market and they’ll all be sponsored by one side or the other – so take them with a pinch of salt. I will draw your attention however to a VMware report (summary here and details here). In this report VMware shines as outperforming Hyper-V by 18.9% – BUT..
BUT they only get that win by using something that they do NOT recommend in production – memory overcommit.
Without memory overcommit, VMware wins by just 2%. Now, are you prepared to pay 2.5 times as much for your solution for a meagre 2%?
I like this report from VMware (if you read it with your eyes open), as VMware are validating that Hyper-V R2 SP1 works as well as vSphere 5.0 under adequate memory.
If you’re interested in doing the right thing for your company and saving them money, then start your Hyper-V evaluation today. Links to evaluation software, advice and guidance and training are here.
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1
Totally free, optimised for virtualisation, but with everything that’s on a Hyper-V solution based on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition (Failover Clustering and Live Migration).
Overview here, download it here. and learn how to deploy and configure it here.
Windows Server 2008 R2 with built in virtualisation
Watch my six minute introduction webcast here.
And my ten minute installation and configuration webcast here.
Read Gerry Forde’s Hyper-V training recommendation here.
As customers upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 they’re having “fun” with printers!
Q. In my Windows Server 2003 environment, how can I add in a GPO to allow printer drivers install without the users requiring admin rights on their PC’s?
A. If you’re in a 2003 domain, you’re still using the old XP group policies.
- Ensure the drivers are up to date
- Share out the printers and drivers
- Install the right group policy ADM files on the domain – you need a Windows 7 machine to use RSAT and ensure that the versions are in sync (RSAT for Windows 7/Windows 2008 R2).
- Use the User GPO to automatically add in the printer mapping to the users profile
It’s not the 2008 AD that matters – it’s the 2008 (Windows 7) GPOs.
Q. I’m looking for training on System Centre Configuration Manager 2007
A #1. I’ll keep my eye open – but you’re more likely to start finding SCCM 2012 content to be honest (it launches towards the end of this year)..
A #2. There’s a bunch of Virtual Labs on 2007 (and 2012) here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ie/systemcenter/om/bb539977.aspx
Q. Bit of an odd question, but do you know off the top of your head what CMS MSN uses? We are looking at different CMS systems and trying to figure out the best one?
A. It’s probably some internal proprietary one (that scales to the hundreds of millions of users we have).
From us, SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites (FIS) is obviously the best there is.
Following on from my previous Introduction to Hyper-V post, I now go into a bit of detail.
I do want to re-iterate that everything I talk about is FREE (well, free if you’re virtualising Windows Servers – as Hyper-V is included in the Windows license). And there is a completely FREE option (Hyper-V Server) if you want the smallest footprint hypervisor.
In this ten minute video, I enable the Hyper-V role, explain the architecture of Hyper-V (how it runs underneath the installation of Windows and why it is the most performant hypervisor on the market) and the use of Hyper-V Manager. I create Virtual Networks and my first Virtual Machine. I then continue explaining how to create your first template virtual machine from which you can create all your subsequent ones.
Including Dynamic Memory allocation and processor weightings.
And I close with how users of your VMs do not need to use Hyper-V Manager – they just treat it like any other server on the network.
If you’re interested in evaluating Hyper-V you can download the evaluation of Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 here:
As I am always saying to the guys at Microsoft, You have some great free training material why don't you highlight it better to the Irish TechNet Community. This piece of online training is a real gem for anyone who is converting from VMware, those who are starting to build their own private cloud on Hyper-V/System Centre Suite or like myself would like to get a better knowledge of the similarities between VMware and Hyper-V .
This course provides valuable information in terms of Virtualization & Datacentre Planning. Viewers will receive a solid understanding of Hyper-V architecture and key Hyper-V features for management, networking and storage.
The course is delivered by two of the most respected authorities on virtualization technologies: Microsoft Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman and leading Hyper-V, VMware, and XEN infrastructure consultant, Corey Hynes. What I like about the way this course is delivered is that Symon gives you the technologies overview and Corey backs this up with his vast experience of real world onsite installation scenarios. They step you through the whole process with some great demo's so you get to see how exactly the technologies work. All the PDF's are available of all the slides presented. They also highlight some of the components that are overlook whenever I speak to anybody about the Microsoft solution, App-V, VDI, Remote Desktop Services, DPM etc.
Fortunate for anybody going to view this course its available to stream at their own convince, When I viewed this course it was delivered on American time so it was some late evenings for three nights, but in my opinion worth every minute.
And don't forget to to join the Microsoft Virtual Academy
Don’t forget you can download evaluation software for everything above. Windows Server here & System Centre here.
If you’re planning on virtualising Windows Servers, then regardless of who’s hypervisor you’re thinking of, you’ll more than likely end up buying the Datacentre or Enterprise licenses for Windows Server 2008 R2 (as that’s the cheapest route).
Windows Server includes its own hypervisor (Hyper-V) at no additional cost. The Enterprise and Datacentre editions of Windows Server include Failover Clustering at no additional cost.
Which makes me wonder why you would even consider spending more money on someone else’s hypervisor?
Have a look at this short (six minute) video, in which I demonstrate how Hyper-V and Failover Clustering are the perfect solution for virtualising Windows Servers and Microsoft workloads. We’re also very good at running most Linux distributions (we even offer full support for the major ones).
Please don’t just take my word for it – download the evaluation software and take Hyper-V for a spin. I’ll be posting some more detailed “how to” content soon to help you along your way.
Download the evaluation of Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 here: