Virtually Yours..

  • Comeback Post–My thoughts on Enterprise Mobility

     

    Okay.. After two years of asylum, I decided to come back to Blogosphere ( Homeland eh?) as I was finding 140 characters were too less to communicate my thoughts. If you’ve been following me on Twitter you know I have changed roles in Microsoft and now taken up role of Technology Solutions Specialist for Mobility and Devices.

    As we all know how the proliferation of devices has completely changed the way we now live our lives. I don't even remember last time I took out my work laptop just to check my mails and reply few of those which needed my immediate attention and response.  I am not just saying it because I work for worlds greatest technology company, its happening to everyone and in every Industry.

    As I speak to lot of employees of other organizations as a part of my day to day job, they tell me that they don't want to be tied down to their seats and their PC anymore. they’d like to work wherever they are and whatever device they have.

    Gone are those days when you have to drive to office on weekends just because you have to prepare an urgent business report that your boss have asked you to prepare on Friday evening and have to be submitted on Monday.  If you are not one of those consider yourself lucky, privileged and blessed Smile

    As a Modern Employee, I need the flexibility to work from anywhere anytime and still be productive and contribute effectively to my and my organisation success and at the same time take care of my personal life, be with my family and friends when they need me.

    I have seen people replying emails, chatting on IMs and even on call while waiting for a doctors consultations at a clinic on a working day. ( Too bad if you couldn't get a doctor’s appointment on a weekend )

    Organizations understand that this is a new trend or is more sophisticatedly called “Consumerization of IT”. Whether they like it or not it’s happening. Many organizations are now considering adopting this trend and enabling their employees to be productive on the move. This allows a better employee satisfaction as they get more flexibility to work while taking care of other important “Life” things and Organizations are able to squeeze more productivity out of an employee which otherwise may not be possible while they are on their desk for 8-9 hours. 

    Tip for Employers: Just blocking Facebook on your office network doesn't necessarily mean you are getting better productivity from your employees.. Smile

    In the next few posts, I'll talk about how Microsoft is enabling mobile productivity for employees and as an Organization what do you really need to get best from your employees while they may not be necessarily on their desk.

    Talk soon…

  • Coming back Soon…

    Dear all,

    I know I’ve been kind of away for an extended period from blogging, there has been quite a lot of things which kept me busy here at Microsoft, ofcourse changing role in the company was one of them. Now that I have quite settled down and started matching up with the pace of things here, I really look forward to resume my contribution here at blogsphere and share some interesting information with all of you.

    In the meanwhile, you can follow me on twitter.

     

    -Iftekhar

  • Microsoft Surface Keynote now available on Demand

     

    If you were not hooked up to your twitter timeline or Live blogging sites about Microsoft Media Conference at Los Angeles yesterday, You can watch the Keynote session on demand  where Microsoft announced Microsoft Surface Tablet devices for Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro.

    for more information, please visit http://www.Surface.com and check out the video.

    Exciting times ahead..!!

  • Hyper V in Windows Server 2012 at TechEd 2012

    At TechEd North America, which is happing right now in Orlando, Microsoft has demoed some great features of Hyper V in Windows Server 2012.

    There are a few demos you’ve got to see:

    • 64 virtual processors in a VM
    • 985,000 IOPs from a single Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V VM
      o    4k Random IO; Queue Depth 32, 40 concurrent threads
      o    VMware tops out at 300,000 per VM; VMware needs 6 VMs to achieve this;
      o    Read this bullet again
    • Offloaded Data Transfer ODX (file copies of 1 GigaBYTE) per second. Yes folks, copy a 10 GB file in 10 seconds.
      o    Works with SANs and the new Windows Server 2012 File Server
    • Cisco Nexus 1000v for Hyper-V
    • PowerShell as the engine for Run Book Automation with Hyper-V Replica
    • Extending on premise private cloud to service provider

    If you don’t believe these numbers, please go ahead and watch the Day 1 Keynote on Demand

    http://northamerica.msteched.com/#fbid=B9yr8ie09NS

  • All New Windows Server ‘8’ Hyper V Component Architecture Poster

    Microsoft has just released brand new Windows Server ‘8’ Hyper V Component architecture poster, if you haven't seen it yet, you can download it from following link

    DOWNLOAD NOW

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    Cheers,

    Iftekhar

  • System Center 2012 Support for “Windows Server 8 Beta” CTP Now available

     

    While we are gearing up for General availability of System Center 2012, SC product group is constantly working on new capabilities and features to be included in future releases.

    Last Friday, Microsoft announced CTP (Community Technology Preview) version of an update to System Center 2012 which supports “Windows Server 8 Beta”

    This update is targeted to Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager component to support and Manage “Windows Server 8 Beta”

    You can get more information from this blog post put up by Vijay Tiwari from VMM Team

    Cheers,

  • Microsoft Management Summit 2012 : Las Vegas, Here I Come, Again!

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    This is the time of the year when anybody who works on Microsoft Virtualization and System Center technologies gets excited about Microsoft Management Summit which happens every year where thousands of IT PROs joins to share knowledge, exchange ideas, indulge in networking and get to do some deep dive technical learning on new technologies and make themselves aware about new innovations that are happening around Microsoft Virtualization and System Center Technologies.

    Historically MMS has gained its reputation of a platform for major product announcements and launches, Last year at MMS 2011, we announced the availability of System Center 2012 Beta and discussed through our keynotes and sessions how it enables Microsoft Private Cloud Platform. It was really nice speaking and meeting lot of you last year at Mandalay Bay.

    I am really excited about our upcoming MMS 2012 which is scheduled to be held from April 16 – 20, 2012 at The Venetian, Last Vegas for so many reasons.

    We published the following abstract of Brad Anderson’s Keynote Speech to give you an insight what is stored for you in MMS 2012.

    Day 1: Microsoft Private Cloud. Built for the Future. Ready Now.
    Cloud computing and the delivery of true IT as a Service is one of the most profound industry shifts in decades. Join Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Management and Security Division, as he shares Microsoft’s vision for cloud computing and shows how System ...Center 2012, as part of the Microsoft private cloud, will enable you to deliver the promise of cloud computing in your organization today.

    Day 2: A World of Connected Devices
    Clouds and cloud-connected devices are changing the world of work and our daily interactions. Tech-savvy and always-connected, people want faster, more intuitive technology, uninterrupted services, and the freedom to work anywhere, anytime, on a variety of devices. Join Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of the Management and Security Division at Microsoft to learn how System Center 2012 and Windows Intune can help IT embrace this new reality today, and in the future, by making the right intelligent infrastructure investments.

    I am also excited to present this year about all new capabilities of System Center 2012- Virtual Machine Manager with following objectives in mind.

    • To provide you a Technical Overview of new Virtualization and cloud management capabilities in VMM 2012 and how it solves todays administrator's pain points.
    • Make you aware about the things you can now do with VMM 2012 which you couldn’t do earlier with VMM 2008 R2
    • Empower you to deploy or upgrade to VMM 2012 with minimum effort.

    You can get more information about the session below and if you are a registered attendee you should be able to add it to your Session builder.

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    In addition to the speaking opportunities, I would also be available to meet you all during "Speaker Q&A" session at the end of the day of the session and also at Microsoft Pavilion.

    Since I work very closely with Microsoft partners, I would like to meet few of you and discuss how we can enable you to drive, develop and design System Center and Microsoft Private Cloud solutions for our customers.

    Please use the Email Author link to drop me an email if you would like to meet, please mention your partner id so that I can get more information about your organization.

    And if you are a twitter enthusiast like me and would like to keep up with the event,  follow me at www.twitter.com/iftekharh

    See you at Las Vegas.

    Cheers,

    Iftekhar

  • Online Workshop: Automated Audit of Windows, UNIX and Linux Servers with Operations Manager 2007 R2

    Microsoft Partner Network

    My colleague Nikunj is delivering an online workshop for our Microsoft partners on Automating Audit of Windows, UNIX and Linux Servers with Operations Manager 2007 R2,

    Please feel free to register for the event using the link below if interested.

    Presenter Information

    First Name: Nikunj

    Last Name: Kansara

    Email: Nikunj.Kansara@microsoft.com

    Topic Information

    Primary Track: Systems Management

    Additional Track: Monitoring, Windows, Unix and Linux

    Session Type: Live meeting Session

    Level: 300 – Advanced

    Session Title: Automated Audit of Windows, UNIX and Linux Servers with Operations Manager 2007 R2

    Description:  Most of the organization today want to meet various security standards. But the auditor and IT security professionals struggle to keep the audit data at centralized location for later use. This session describes why security is important to organizations, how we can Meet regulatory compliance and Keep IT environment secure using SCOM 2007 ACS.

    Major Products or Technologies Covered:  SCOM 2007 R2, Windows 2008 R2, Red hat Linux 5

    Audience Category:  IT Professional

    Audience Type:  Infrastructure Architect, IT Manager, Network Administrator, Systems Administrator, Systems Engineer

    Partner Type : Hosted Services, Independent Software Vendor, Large Account Reseller (LAR), Network Services, Software Asset Management, Systems Integrator/Services, Value Added Reseller (VAR)

    Audience Key Learning:

    • The Objective of the session is provide the benefits of using SCOM 2007 R2 Audit Collection Services (ACS) for auditing Windows, Unix and Linux Servers.
    • This session would help audience understand why to use ACS, Scenarios when use ACS and how to use ACS.
    • Audience will get to know what kind of business and technical pain points SCOM 2007 R2 Audit collection feature are targeted to resolve.

    Proposed Demo – How to use Audit Collection Service Management Packs and Usage ACS reports, Example Scenarios for Audit Collection

    Date & Time : Sep 27th 2011, 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM Pacific Standard Time

    REGISTER NOW

    These sessions will be delivered through Microsoft Office Live Meeting with no extra cost, but time will be deducted from your available Partner Advisory Hours (Microsoft Partners are entitled to 10, 20, or 50 hours of Partner Technical Services Advisory Benefits based on your partner level or competencies.)

    Please contact me or email askpts@microsoft.com with your Partner ID, and contact number if you need more information.

    In case you need further information about the Partner Technical Services benefits,

    please visit us at the Partner Technical Services Web site, call us today at 1-800-MPN-SOLVE (1-800-676-7658), or email us to start taking advantage of your benefits.

    Latest Information! To stay updated on the latest offerings and Web seminars on new Microsoft technologies and solutions, subscribe to the U.S. Partner Technical Services Newsletter.

    Check out PTS Web seminars to view the lists of upcoming live Web seminars. Also, for more information download the PTS Catalog.

    Thank you,

    Iftekhar

  • Sneak Peak into Hyper V vNext in ‘Windows Server 8’

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    If you haven't seen it already, we gave a sneak peak into next release of Hyper V coming with “Windows Server 8” at Worldwide partner conference last week.

    We only demonstrated 2 of hundreds of features which is going to be available with next release of Hyper V to help your Private Cloud initiatives.

    You can take a look at these cool two features in the video hosted on WPC site

    1. Atleast 16 virtual processor support.
    2. Hyper V Replica.

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    Skip to At 36:50 of this online video to see them in action.

    And stay tuned for our BUILD conference in September for more revelation Smile

  • Bollywood Bytes: My first Windows Phone App

    I am happy to announce my first app for Windows Phone 7 is now available at Marketplace. I am not really a professional developer but I like coding and this time I took the opportunity to brush up some of my programming knowledge from my school and college days.

    Please review and provide feedback at Marketplace. App is not perfect and there may be some bugs unhandled, so please report them I promise to work on them in my free time.

    Have fun Smile

     

    App Name: Bollywood Bytes

    App Description:

    • A quality Bollywood news app on Windows Phone 7.
    • Bollywood Bytes collates latest Bollywood news feeds from popular Bollywood websites and brings it on your fingertips.
    • Be up to date with latest Bollywood news, gossips about your favourite Bollywood celebs, movie and music reviews from industry experts and previews of upcoming movies.
    • Also read what people talking about Bollywood on twitter with minute by minute updates.
    • You can share interesting articles with your friends and family through Email, Facebook and Twitter. If what you see on your screen is not enough, load the links to go directly to the website using your browser.

    download-for-windows-phone

    Screenshots:

     mp1mp2mp3mp4

    mp7mp8mp9mp10

     

    download-for-windows-phone

    Iftekhar

  • PTS Power Start Workshop : Understanding the Latest Management Packs for Operations Manager 2007 R2, SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010

    Microsoft Partner Network

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    Dear Microsoft Partners,

    My team is delivering some great webinars on Microsoft System Center technologies. In our continuous effort to ramp up our Microsoft partners on Microsoft technologies we are bringing some interesting of 1:Many Technical Webinars.

    If you are partner company focused on Systems management and networking and would like to learn more about new Management packs for System Center Operations Manager, I would strongly recommend you to attend the following webinar.

    Title: Power Start Workshop : Understanding the Latest Management Packs for Operations Manager 2007 R2, SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010.

    Description : This session will describe the features and configuration for the latest management packs from Microsoft and how that can be leveraged by IT professionals.

    Agenda: 

    • Deep dive into the newest packs for OpsMgr 2007 R2
      • Exchange 2010 Management Packs
      • Operations Manager R2 Core Management Pack
      • SharePoint 2010 Management Packs
    • Feature and Configuration Walkthrough.
    • How these MPs affect your role.
    • Understand and leverage MP improvements
    •  

    Date & Time : July 8th 2011, 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time 

    REGISTER NOW

    These sessions will be delivered through Microsoft Office Live Meeting with no extra cost, but time will be deducted from your available Partner Advisory Hours (Microsoft Partners are entitled to 10, 20, or 50 hours of Partner Technical Services Advisory Benefits based on your partner level or competencies.)

    Please contact me or email askpts@microsoft.com with your Partner ID, and contact number if you need more information.

    In case you need further information about the Partner Technical Services benefits,

    please visit us at the Partner Technical Services Web site, call us today at 1-800-MPN-SOLVE (1-800-676-7658), or email us to start taking advantage of your benefits.

    Latest Information! To stay updated on the latest offerings and Web seminars on new Microsoft technologies and solutions, subscribe to the U.S. Partner Technical Services Newsletter.

    Check out PTS Web seminars to view the lists of upcoming live Web seminars. Also, for more information download the PTS Catalog.

    Thank you,

    Iftekhar

  • Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 3): Adding an update server and enable orchestrated update management

    This article is cross posted from my original post on PTS Official Blog

    See the first two parts of this series here:
    Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 1): What's new with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
    Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 2): Creation of a Hyper-V Cluster Using VMM 2012

    In my last blog post, we saw how to create a Hyper V Cluster using the VMM 2012 cluster creation wizard as a part of preparing a fabric for the cloud.

    Virtual Machine Manager 2012 also provides a feature by which you can manage updates for your virtual machine hosts, library servers, PXE servers, the Windows Server Update Management (WSUS) server, and the VMM server itself in the VMM console.

    When you perform update remediation on a host cluster, VMM orchestrates the updates, in turn placing each cluster node in maintenance mode, migrating virtual machines off the host by using intelligent placement, and then installing the updates. If the cluster supports live migration of Windows Server-based virtual machines, live migration is used. If the cluster does not support live migration, VMM saves state for the virtual machines and does not migrate them.

    To manage updates in VMM 2012, you need a WSUS server

    Here are the prerequisites:

    1. You must install the 64-bit version of Windows Server Update Server (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
    2. VMM requires a single, dedicated WSUS root server; downstream servers are not supported.
    3. If you install WSUS on a remote server, you must install a WSUS Administrator Console on the VMM management server and then restart the VMM service.
    4. Before you install the WSUS server ensure that the server meets all WSUS prerequisites described on the Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 download page

    Once you have configured the WSUS server, lets add the WSUS server in VMM 2012.

    1. Open the Fabric workspace.

    2. On the Home tab, in the Add group, click Add Resources, and then click Update Server.

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    3. My WSUS server name is sccm.dd181028.com, hence I have put SCCM as Computer name with port number and credentials.

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    4. Once the WSUS server is added, click on Synchronize to sync the WSUS updates with VMM.

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    5. You will all the update metadata showing on your VMM

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    Create Baseline

    After you enable update management in VMM, you are ready to prepare for patching by configuring update baselines. An update baseline contains a set of required updates. During a compliance scan, computers that are assigned to a baseline are graded for compliance to their assigned baselines. After a computer is found noncompliant, an administrator brings the computer into compliance through update remediation.

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    6. Provide a Name and Description for your Baseline

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    7. Add the updates to your baseline against which your Hyper V hosts will be compared.

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    8. Assign the Baseline to the host groups.

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    9. Finish the wizard

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    10. You’ll see your newly created Baseline

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    To find out the compliance status for each baseline, you must scan the computer for compliance. When a computer is scanned for compliance, WSUS checks each update in the assigned update baselines to determine whether the update is applicable and, if the update is applicable, whether the update has been installed.

    After a compliance scan, each update has a compliance status of Compliant, NonCompliant, Error, or Unknown.

    clip_image022To scan computers for compliance

    1. In Compliance view of the Fabric workspace, select the computers that you want to scan.

    2. On the Home tab, in the Compliance group, click Scan.

    While the scan is in progress, the compliance status changes to Unknown. After the compliance scan completes, the computer's compliance status of each update is Compliant, NonCompliant, or Error.

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    Perform Update Remediations

    To perform update remediations, the target computers must be noncompliant. To make a compliant computer noncompliant, you might need to use Add and Remove Programs to temporarily uninstall one or more of the updates listed in Compliance view.

    On the Home tab, in the Compliance group, click Remediate. (The Remediate task is only available when the selected objects are noncompliant.)

    If you select the host cluster by its cluster name, VMM orchestrates remediations of the hosts in the cluster.

    VMM rolls through the host cluster, remediating one cluster node at a time. If a cluster node is compliant, VMM bypasses that node.

    Before VMM begins remediating a host, it places the host in maintenance mode and migrates all virtual machines to other hosts in the cluster. If the cluster supports live migration, live migrations are performed. If the cluster does not support live migration, VMM saves state before migrating virtual machines.

    If you prefer to restart the computers manually after remediation completes if any updates require a restart, select the Do not restart the servers after remediation check box.

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    Once the remediation is over, you’ll see your Hyper V cluster hosts as Compliant.

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    Hope this post was helpful for some of you who are evaluating VMM 2012 its update management feature.

    In my next post, we’ll configure the rest of the fabric components like Logical Network, Storage and Load Balancers.

    Stay tuned.

    Iftekhar

  • Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 2): Creation of a Hyper-V Cluster Using VMM 2012

    This article is cross posted from my original post on PTS Official Blog

    See part one of this series here:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 1): What's new with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    Before you start deploying cloud and services, we need to first start prepare the fabric.

    A cloud can also host HA applications and services and we need to setup a Hyper V cluster to enable that. VMM 2012 has now introduced inbuilt capability of deploying Hyper V Clusters.

    Fabric Prerequisites

    Make sure that fabric configuration meets the following prerequisites:

    • To use shared storage that is under VMM management, storage must already be discovered and classified in the Fabric workspace of the VMM Administrator Console. Additionally, logical units that you want to use as shared storage must be created and assigned to the host group where the Hyper-V hosts are located.
    • To use shared storage that is not under VMM management, disks must be available to all nodes in the cluster before you can add them. Therefore, you must provision one or more logical units to all hosts that you want to cluster, and mount and format the storage disks on one of the hosts.
    • One or more logical networks that are common across all of the Hyper-V hosts that you want to cluster must be configured in the Fabric workspace of the VMM Administrator Console. Additionally, the logical networks must be associated with physical network adapters on each Hyper-V host. Be aware that you do not have to create external virtual networks on the Hyper-V hosts. External virtual networks are automatically created when you run the Create Cluster Wizard.
    • Although highly recommended, having a common logical network is not required to complete the wizard. You can configure virtual network settings for the cluster later. To do this, make sure that the logical networks that you want to use are associated with physical network adapters on each Hyper-V host. Then, in the Fabric workspace, right-click the host cluster, and then click Properties. In the ClusterName Properties dialog box, click the Virtual Networks tab, and then click Create to add the external virtual network. If there is a common logical network, the external virtual network will be automatically created on the cluster nodes.
    • Let’s go through step by step deploying Hyper V cluster using VMM 2012.

    1. Before you deploy Hyper V cluster, you need to add the hosts in the VMM.

    Also if you are not using automated storage unmasking, you need to unmask the shared storage on these hosts.

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    2. Go to Fabric tab and click on Create Clusters

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    3. Specify the cluster name and provide your domain credentials which has rights to create clusters.

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    4. Select the host group where your standalone Hyper V hosts are located.

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    5. Select the hosts which you would like to be part of the cluster and click ADD

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    6. Ensure that the Network cards are picked up properly.

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    7. Provide a cluster IP address to the respective network card.

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    8. Wizard should automatically detect all the unmasked LUNs on the hosts and it will give you options to format the drives as NTFS or leave it unformatted.

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    9. You can also enable Cluster Shared Volume from here itself.

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    10. Wizard will automatically configure the volume with lowest capacity as Witness disk.

    11. Now you can configure Virtual Network on all the hosts in a cluster from this wizard itself, In order to do that you need to configure Logical Network on the physical network card.

    12. This way you can ensure that all the hosts has an identical Virtual Network to support HA VMs

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    13. Now on the summary page, click on the FINISH button and your cluster is on its way.

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    During the cluster creation process, VMM does the following:

     

    • Validates that all hosts meet the prerequisites, such as required operating system and domain membership
    • Enables the Failover Clustering feature on each host
    • Unmasks the selected storage logical units to each host
    • Creates the configured external virtual networks
    • Runs the cluster validation process
    • Creates the cluster with quorum and enables Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV)
    • For each logical unit that is designated as a CSV, assigns the logical unit as a CSV on the cluster.

     

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    14. Enabling Cluster Shared Volumes

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    Now your Hyper V cluster is deployed and you are ready to deploy HA VMs on it.

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    You can also destroy the cluster using VMM console.

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    If you choose to destroy cluster using VMM 2012, you need to go to your Active Directory and delete the Cluster object manually.

    That’s pretty much for today. In my next post, we’ll talk about update management and how VMM 2012 helps patching clustered nodes in an orchestrated manner.

    Stay tuned.

    Cheers

    Iftekhar

  • Private Cloud Management with VMM 2012 (Part 1): What's new with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    This article is cross posted from my original post on PTS Official Blog

    I have been delivering a lot of sessions on the all-new VMM 2012 lately to both external and internal audiences, so I thought of sharing some information with our online community as well.

    I am putting together a 3-part series of blog posts to cover all the aspects of VMM 2012 and how it enables Private Cloud Management. If you are new to Private Cloud concepts and its benefits, you may want to read some of my earlier posts on the same topic:

    Private Cloud– Part 1

    Private Cloud– Part 2

    In March at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 held in Las Vegas, we announced the public availability of VMM 2012 Beta. I know most of you are evaluating VMM 2012 in your environment and may need some guidance—hence this blog series.

    When we talk about Private Cloud, we expect following benefits:

    1. Reliability and predictability: We would want our application to be highly available and fault-tolerant, the remediation from failure should be simple, and it should be simple to re-start and re-deploy applications.

    2. Highly automated: We want our infrastructure to be highly automated to complete tasks like provisioning new systems and configuring storage, networking, and applications on its own without any manual intervention.

    3. Agility of speed: We would also expect better responsiveness and turnaround time to meet user needs. We want applications to be deployed faster, and changes to be made much easier and faster—not taking weeks to happen.

    4. Focus of Applications and services: Let’s face it, at the end of the day the consumer only cares about applications and services, uptime, and quality of the service as a measure for success of your private cloud. So as a cloud consumer I would want to focus on the application rather than underlying infrastructure.

    Today let’s go through a high-level overview of VMM 2012 and what kind of advanced management capabilities it brings to the table to for virtualized infrastructures and the Private Cloud.

    Microsoft has made investments in 4 different areas in VMM 2012:

    1. Deployment

    • HA VMM Server: VMM 2012 brings some enhanced deployment scenarios, where your VMM server itself is not cluster-aware, so now you can host VMM on a cluster and use the cluster name to connect your VMM console to the server.
    • Non-HA VMs on HA Host: Now you can create non-HA VMs on clustered hosts.
    • Cluster Creation: Now you can create Hyper-V® Host clusters directly from the VMM console itself, without having to go ahead and create clusters using Cluster Manager on the hosts. VMM Cluster creation also allows automated provisioning of storage and creation of CSV and virtual networks. You can even add or remove nodes, clusters, disks, and virtual network from existing clusters using VMM. You can also create clusters in untrusted domains.
      • MM now brings new custom properties not just for hosts, but also for components in VMM which can be really useful from a management perspective.
      • VMM also brings Windows PowerShell® 2.0 with new cmdlets to enable automation.

    2. Fabric Management

    • Bare-metal provisioning: VMM now allows provisioning of bare-metal Hyper-V hosts. VMM can deploy the OS on the host, enable the Hyper-V role, and add it to the cluster and deploy VMs or Service—so the entire VM host lifecycle is now managed by the VMM itself… Isn't that cool? :)
    • Heterogeneous Virtualization Management: In addition to supporting VMware, VMM 2012 now also provides support to manage Citrix XenServer.
    • Logical Network: VMM now can help define Logical Networks using VLANs and Subnets by datacenter location, and also provides feature to manage static IPs, load-balancer VIPs, and MAC addresses. You can now automatically provision a load-balancer.
    • Storage Management: VMM now also connects and queries your storage boxes with SMI-S provided by storage vendors. It can discover storage arrays and pools, and discover capabilities and capacity of storage devices. It can now automatically configure and assign LUNs to hosts and clusters.
    • Updates Management: VMM now offers support for orchestrating the OS update process of clustered hosts. It integrates with WSUS and can now automatically update your cluster nodes without any service disruption to your VMs.
    • Dynamic Optimization: If you have worked with VMM 2008 R2, you know the PRO feature where you can move VMs around from one node to another within a cluster if there is any resource crunch on the host. It used to require Ops Manager integration, but VMM 2012 now provides built-in support for load optimization for Dynamic Optimization, and no longer requires Ops Manager. For other PRO capabilities, Ops Manager 2007 R2 and above are required.
    • Power Optimization: With Dynamic Optimization, VMM also offers Power Optimization. With this feature you can now consolidate VMs on fewer hosts and shut down the rest of the hosts in a cluster in order to save power—powering them up when the load on these VMs increases and requires spreading out.
    • Enhanced Placement: VMM now does over 100 placement checks before placing the VMs on the hosts. It also supports custom placement rules, e.g. when you want to deploy these VMs on the hosts with custom values of Server Room Third Floor. Now you can deploy multiple VMs as a part of a multi-tier service (e g: front-end web server, middle tier, and database tier).

    3. Cloud Management: In VMM 2012, a private cloud provides the following benefits:

    • Self-service. Administrators can delegate management and usage of the cloud while retaining the opaque usage model. Cloud users do not need to ask the cloud provider for administrative changes beyond increasing capacity and quotas as their needs change.
    • Resource pooling. Through the cloud, administrators can collect and present an aggregate set of resources, such as storage and networking resources. Resource usage is limited by the capacity of the cloud and by user role quotas.
    • Opacity. Cloud users have no knowledge of the underlying physical resources.
    • Elasticity. Administrators can add resources to a cloud to increase the capacity.
    • Optimization. Usage of the underlying resources is continually optimized without affecting the overall cloud user experience.

    4. Services Management: It’s not VM Management anymore. Now with VMM you can deploy and manage multi-tier applications across multiple servers as a single unit. Scale out the service with minimal effort based on demand.

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    We'll discuss some of these great details in my new few blog posts and will also see how to deploy some of these. Stay tuned!

    Cheers,

    Iftekhar

  • My HTC Mozart is craving for some Mango..

    image

    My HTC Mozart is craving for some Mango..

    Coming this Holiday season.

     

     

     

    Phone Glyphs - Windows Phone 7 Series

  • Hello World: www.iftekharhussain.com

    Finally I bought my own domain name which was pending for quite some time now. I was surprised to see even though my name is quite a common name, nobody has acquired it yet and I didn’t want to leave this opportunity to let it go to anybody else.

    So I am glad to announce that from today I am a proud owner of www.iftekharhussain.com

    Not a bad deal for $12/year and I didn’t even had to compromise on my domain name like accepting iftekharhussy.info or iftekharhussain.mobi or crazyiftekharhussain.br, you get the point. Smile

    I do not have my own homepage as of now so for now this will redirect you all to my blog.

    but do expect some new content to go to my site.

    Stay tuned.. Smile

    Iftekhar

  • Configuring DirectAccess™ using Forefront UAG 2010 SP1

    I am really a great fan of DirectAccess and use it all the time to connect back to my corporate network when I am at home, traveling and sometimes even when I am on vacation Smile.

    I know being a Infrastructure consultant, I do not cover much on core Windows Server technologies like BranchCache and DirectAccess which are equally interesting as Virtualization. Thankfully I have some great colleagues who are passionate about these core technologies and working really hard to help customers and partners to realize the value of some of these new features which we added in Windows Server 2008 R2 and also enabling them to deploy and configure them effectively.

     

    Manoj Ravikumar Nair has posted a great screencast on Configuring DirectAccess using Forefront UAG 2010 SP1 and I couldn’t resist to share it with you all.

    In this video, you would learn the following:

    • System Requirements for Forefront UAG
    • Installing Forefront UAG on Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Performing the intial configuration of Forefront UAG 2010 SP1
    • Prepping up your environment for DirectAccess Deployment
    • Configuring DirectAccess using Forefront DirectAccess Configuration Wizard

     

    I personally feel this is a great way of learning for someone who is deploying and supporting DirectAccess.

    Manoj is also a fellow blogger, you can also check his Blog at http://www.powershell.ms for more information on Windows server Technologies, Virtualization and PowerShell.

    And if you have any questions, want to give him feedback or suggestions about the topics you want him to do more screencasts on, contact him using this link

    Cheers!

    Iftekhar

  • Datacenter Automation using System Center : Part 2 : Register NOW

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    Microsoft Partners, if you have joined our web seminar today for Datacenter Automation using System Center : Part 1, you must have seen some cool demos how you can do an automated provisioning of Virtual Machines by triggering a workflow from System Center Service Manager and using Opalis to initiate a VM creation using VMM 2008 R2.

    Part 2 of the series will be webcast live on 27th May 2010, I would strongly recommend you to join the session

    Join the PTS team in part two of "Datacenter Automation Using System Center." This session will help IT professionals optimize their technology, investments, and staff and also help them simplify data center management. Customer pain points and automation scenarios will be discussed.

    IT is always under constant pressure to contain and in many cases reduce costs. Much of the work performed today in Datacenter is manual involving multiple teams. In addition to the time, risk and latency the manual approach introduces, another huge concern for IT is the inability to scale. This session will help the IT professionals a path to optimize their technology investments, staff and simplify the datacenter management

     

    In this session, you’ll see a automatic consolidation of your physical server into Virtual Machines done by VMM 2008 R2 by triggering a workflow from Service Manager and few other cool demos

    If you are a Microsoft Partner, you are entitled to free competitive presales assistance and advisory services each year. Partners have access to 10, 20, or 50 hours of advisory assistance based on their partner level or competencies. Its time to leverage your Partner Advisory Hours to accelerate your business cycle and win at marketplace.

    We have limited seating so please register now!!!

    REGISTER NOW! 

    https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=736402

    Contact me if you have any difficulty in registration.

    Cheers

    Iftekhar

  • Get Started with RemoteFX Deployment

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    This article is cross posted from my original post on PTS Official Blog

    Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is getting momentum and more and more organizations are looking at VDI to provide Operating system environment to their users.

    One of the challenges that VDI is facing today is to be able to provide the same graphic experience of desktop Operating system as they have today on their physical PC.

    E.g:

    • Amazing Windows 7 Aero features
    • To be able to run 3D applications
    • Silverlight and Flash video etc.

    If you are following this blog and read my previous posts about features like RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory brought in by Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, you probably already know what is RemoteFX.

    Just to recap,

    " RemoteFX adds new capabilities to the Remote Desktop Services platform by delivering a full-fidelity Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and high-density, scalable, client-agnostic session virtualization capabilities, shifting delivery intelligence to host-based systems running RemoteFX. Through a new graphics payload purpose-built for RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), the session virtualization platform is tightly integrated with the RDP protocol, which enables shared encryption, authentication, management, and local device support."

    In layman’s term, RemoteFX extends the capabilities of GPU on your server hardware into your Virtual Machines running Windows 7 so that you can get rich graphic capabilities which are on par of a physical desktop running Windows 7.

    It leverages the power of virtualized graphics resources and advanced codecs to recreate the fidelity of hardware-assisted graphics acceleration, including support for 3D content and Windows Aero, on a remote user’s device. This allows for a local-like, remote experience.

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    RemoteFX USB Device Redirection

    RemoteFX also provides awesome Device Redirection of Virtually any USB devices, some of the features are:

    • Redirects devices at the USB Request Block (URB) Level.
    • No client drivers necessary
    • One method that works with many devices
    • Only one session can use a USB device at a time
    • Optimized for the LAN

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    Microsoft has recently released bunch of documents on Remote FX deployment and I would like collate all these documentations right here for you.

    Before I take you through the documentations, let me touch briefly on the deployment guidelines of RemoteFX.

    • RemoteFX for VDI is targeted at new deployments, so your existing Server Hardware, processor, GPU and OS may not really work with RemoteFX. It requires latest hardware:
    • Processor supporting SLAT (Second Layer Address Translation)
    • PCI-E x16 based server motherboards
    • Compatible GPU on Server hardware , few compatible GPUs (not limited to) are listed here.

    · clip_image011

    The RemoteFX encoder is optional and can be installed for additional scalability on the Microsoft® RemoteFX™ server,

    Latest Operating systems :

    Hyper- V Host

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 (Hyper-v, Standard, Enterprise, and DataCenter editions)

    VDI Virtual Machine

    • Windows 7 Enterprise with SP1
    • Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1

    Remote Client Device

    • Windows 7 with SP1
    • Devices with RDP 7.1

    Now lets review some of the great documentation released couple of weeks back about RemoteFX deployment.

    Microsoft RemoteFX for Remote Desktop Virtualization Host Capacity Planning Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

    This white paper is intended as a guide for capacity planning of Microsoft RemoteFX in Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. It describes the most relevant factors that influence the capacity of a given deployment, methodologies to evaluate capacity for specific deployments, and a set of experimental results for different combinations of usage scenarios and hardware configurations.

    Download

    Deploying Microsoft RemoteFX on a Single Remote Desktop Virtualization Host Server Step-by-Step Guide

    This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a working virtual desktop that uses RemoteFX and is accessible by using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) in a test environment. Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a virtual desktop with RemoteFX that can be connected to by using Remote Desktop Connection. You can then test and verify this functionality by connecting to the virtual desktop from a client computer as a standard user.

    Download

    Deploying Microsoft RemoteFX for Virtual Desktop Pools Step-by-Step Guide.

    This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a working virtual desktop pool that uses RemoteFX in a test environment. Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a virtual desktop pool with RemoteFX that users can connect to by using RD Web Access.

    Download

    Deploying Microsoft RemoteFX for Personal Virtual Desktops Step-by-Step Guide

    This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up a working personal virtual desktop that uses RemoteFX in a test environment.Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a personal virtual desktop with RemoteFX assigned to a user account that can connect by using RD Web Access. You can then test and verify this functionality by connecting to the personal virtual desktop from RD Web Access as a standard user.

    Download

    Configuring-USB-Device-Redirection-with-Microsoft-RemoteFX-Step-by-Step-Guide

    This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of setting up USB redirection with RemoteFX in a test environment. Upon completion of this step-by-step guide, you will have a personal virtual desktop with RemoteFX assigned to a user account that can connect by using RD Web Access.

    Download

    Microsoft RemoteFX for Session Virtualization: Architectural Overview

    This paper provides an architectural overview of RemoteFX in the context of session virtualization—using a new Windows Server role called the Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) designed specifically for modern session virtualization environments using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

    Download

    Deploying Microsoft RemoteFX on a Remote Desktop Session Host Server Step-by-Step Guide

    This document walks you through the process of setting up a working Remote Desktop Session Host that uses RemoteFX and is accessible by using Remote Desktop Connection in a test environment.

    Download

    I believe these documentations provides enough information about best way of deploying RemoteFX, in case you need more information or clarifications, please feel free to reach me.

    Cheers.

    Iftekhar

  • Microsoft Management Summit 2011: Las Vegas Here I come.

    MMS 2011 Design

    Hello Everybody,

    This is again a part of year where Microsoft reaches out to all its customers, partners, IT Pros and developers through its back to back technical conferences with some great announcements, Technical Sessions and demonstrations of its latest and cutting edge products and solutions.

    Year 2011 will start with Microsoft Management Summit 2011 next week in Las Vegas, followed by TechEd North America 2011 in May and then Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC) in July.

    MMS 2011 too expected to be all about Private Cloud, Datacenter Automation and Virtualization Management. The products which I am really looking forward to at MMS this year is VMM 2012, Opalis and Service Manager

    I’ll be working at MMS 2011 in Las Vegas next week as a Microsoft Speaker and product specialist for Virtual Machine Manager 2012.  All you partners, customers and IT Pros, Virtualization enthusiasts who are interested in Next Gen capabilities of Virtual Machine Manager 2012 and learn how it helps creating and doing end to end management of Private Cloud can meet me at VMM Booth at Microsoft Pavilion.

    In addition to my booth duty, I am really looking forward to meet and present to and some of customers, partners whom I work with and discuss their Virtualization and Private Cloud Practice, also hanging out with some old friends and explore Vegas..

    Though MMS 2011 is completely sold out for general attendees but here are other options. http://www.mms-2011.com/registrationoverview

    For those who are not attending but would like to be updated with what's happening in Vegas, I am planning to do some heavy duty tweeting..

    See you in Las Vegas.

    Cheers,

    Iftekhar

  • What’s new with SP1 for VMM 2008 R2

    This article is cross posted from my post on PTS Official Blog

     

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    As you all know that SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 just gone RTM adding two new virtualization capabilities: Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX

    Let’s first understand these capabilities in details.

    Dynamic Memory: An enhancement to Hyper-V R2, Dynamic Memory pools all the memory available on a physical host. Dynamic Memory then dynamically distributes available memory, as it is needed, to virtual machines running on that host. Then with Dynamic Memory Balancing, virtual machines will be able to receive new memory allocations, based on changes in workload, without a service interruption.

    clip_image002

    RemoteFX: Microsoft RemoteFX leverages the power of virtualized graphics resources and advanced codecs to recreate the fidelity of hardware-assisted graphics acceleration, including support for 3D content and Windows Aero, on a remote user’s device. This allows for a local-like, remote experience.

    clip_image003

    In the light of new features, service Pack 1 will also be released for VMM 2008 R2 to manage Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX on multiple Hyper V Servers from a single pane of glass.

    Lets understand the requirements on your Hyper V hosts and VMs to be able to manage by VMM 2008 R2.

    System Requirement for Manage Dynamic Memory:

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Host
    • Supported Operating System in the VM
    • Upgrade Integration Services in the VM

    RemoteFX Requirements on Hosts

    • CPU must support SLAT
    • One or more GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) that support DirectX 10
    • Enough GPU Memory available for max monitors and resolution
    • RemoteFX feature enabled under the Remote Desktop Services Role

    RemoteFX requirements on VMs

    • Supported Operating System in the VM
    • New Integration Services (part of Windows 7 SP1)
    • Can be combined with Dynamic Memory

    VMM 2008 R2 SP1 now has settings to manage Dynamic Memory setting of VMs which are as follows:

    • Startup Memory (8 to 65536 MB)
    • Maximum Memory (8 to 65536 MB)
    • Memory Buffer (0 to 95%)
    • Memory Priority
    • Normal, Low, High
    • Custom (0 – 10000)

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    To manage the RemoteFX , following settings have been added

    • Default Standard video adapter
    • New RemoteFX 3D video adapter
    • Maximum number of monitors: 1,2,3,4
    • Max monitor resolution
      • o 1024x768 (4 monitors max)
      • o 1280x1024 (4 monitors max)
      • o 1600x1200 (3 monitors max)
      • o 1920x1200 (2 monitors max)
    • Additional VM property
    • GPU ID (PowerShell only)

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    Since RemoteFX requires you to have SLAT CPU and specific GPU and available GPU memory, VMM 2008 R2 SP1 will also let you identify the following on the hosts.

    1. CPU Supports SLAT

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    2. GPU and available Memory

    clip_image011

    3. Intelligent Placement

    While creating a new VM or migrating a new VM from one host to another, VMM 2008 R2 SP1 added new check for Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX in the Intelligent placement.

    o Use Current Memory footprint for DM VMs on hosts: While doing the migration or creating new VM, VMM will check how much is the current memory the VM is running with, for E.g, you have specified startup memory as 1 GB and max memory as 6 GB but at the time of migration the VM is running at 2 GB memory. In that case, VMM will check if the other host has at least 2 GB free memory to be able to migrate this VM.

    o Check for GPU-compatibility when migrating RemoteFX VMs : While migrating a RemoteFX based VM, VMM 2008 R2 checks if identical GPU is available on the other hosts with required memory, Remote FX should be enabled in RDS.

    clip_image013

    4. Updates to Performance and Resource Optimization

    PRO ties specific Operations Manager alerts to remediation actions in VMM, VMM moves a load-balance VMs in a cluster when CPU or Memory exceed a threshold. SP1 update to VMM PRO Pack a consider Current Memory utilization and not the fixed memory for DM VMs and matches it with the memory available on the other nodes.

    How do I upgrade from SCVMM 2008 R2 to SP1.

    Pretty simple, just 4 steps to upgrade

    • Backup VMM Database
    • Launch setup and follow the Upgrade Wizard
    • Repeat on each box [Console, Self-Service Web Server, Operations Manager Server]
    • Remove, then import new PRO Management Pack in Operations Manager
    • R2 Agents are supported in SP1, no need to re-deploy agents to Hosts and Library Servers
    • Upgrade the Integration components on all the VMs.

    clip_image015

    VMM 2008 R2 SP1 will take the virtualization management to a whole new level and is scheduled to be released within 30 days of SP1 released by the Windows Server Team. So we can expect it sometime next month.

    I hope this post was of some help for those who are expecting VMM to be able to manage Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX on multiple hosts from a single console instead of managing it locally using Hyper V manager on each box.

    If you have any further queries, please feel free to reach me

    Cheers

    Iftekhar

  • PTS Workshop : Deploy VDI using RDS

     

    Microsoft Partner Network

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    Dear Partners,

    As you know, the PTS teams are available to help you accelerate your sales cycle, win against the competition, reduce development costs, lessen your time-to-market, and architect and deploy successful solutions.

    Partner Technical Services is now offering a workshop on how to deploy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) using Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

    Session Content:

    Day 1:

    • Why Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?
    • Introducing Remote Desktop Services (RDS).

    Day 2:

    • Step by Step Deployment
    • Integration with APP-V

    Description:

    This session is targeted to Microsoft Partners who are selling, designing, and deploying the VDI solution to their customers. This session will cover Microsoft VDI Stack; and provide a step by step guide for deploying Personal Virtual Desktop and Pooled Virtual Desktop. We will use the RDS tool from Windows Server 2008 R2, and APP-V to deploy applications in those Virtual Desktops.

    These sessions will be delivered through Microsoft Office Live Meeting with no extra cost, but time will be deducted from your available Partner Advisory Hours (Microsoft Partners are entitled to 10, 20, or 50 hours of Partner Technical Services Advisory Benefits based on your partner level or competencies.) 

    Please contact me or email askpts@microsoft.com with your Partner ID, and contact information.  The Event dates and timing will be sent to the registered partners later.

    At this time this offering is only available to Microsoft Partners in North America.

    In case you need further information about the Partner Technical Services benefits,

    please visit us at the Partner Technical Services Web site, call us today at   1-800-MPN-SOLVE (1-800-676-7658), or email us to start taking advantage of your benefits.

    Latest Information! To stay updated on the latest offerings and Web seminars on new Microsoft technologies and solutions, subscribe to the U.S. Partner Technical Services Newsletter.

    Check out PTS Web seminars to view the lists of upcoming live Web seminars.  Also, for more information download the PTS Catalog.

    Thank you,

    Iftekhar

  • PTS Blog: Private Cloud– Part 2

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    Part 2 of the series on Private cloud posted on GPS Blog

    In my last blog post, I talked about the how Virtualization plays a vital role in setting up a Cloud infrastructure and enables the kind flexibility, elasticity, and automation which cloud services requires.

    I also mentioned about Microsoft Hyper V Cloud offerings which we introduced in Berlin at TechEd Europe 2010.

    With Microsoft, partners can participate in the full range of cloud offerings across the public and private spectrum to create new business models and generate new revenue streams. Partners will be able to expand their role as trusted advisors through broader customer engagements. They’ll also be able to deliver increasing business value to customers by offering dramatic improvements in business agility, operational efficiency, and IT maturity—with significant cost savings. And they’ll be able to win more business by closing larger deals and expanding into new markets.

    Let’s look into these offerings in details and see what kind of role you as a Microsoft Partner can play and what kind of opportunities exists for you.

    READ THE COMPLETE POST ON PTS BLOG

  • PTS Blog: Private Cloud–Part 1

    image

    Here is the my blog post which i wrote for PTS blog

    Hello Everyone and welcome to the PTS Blog. My name is Iftekhar Hussain, and I am a Partner Technical Consultant here in the Microsoft Partner Technical Services team specializing in Virtualization technologies. Today I would like to talk about how Microsoft Virtualization can fuel private cloud within an organization and how Microsoft partners can tap this opportunity to help customers build their own private clouds.

    'Cloud', aren’t we hearing this word a lot these days? In almost every technical conversation, journals and magazines, conferences, everybody is talking about Cloud. Though there are large number of companies, groups, and individuals talking about Cloud, everybody has their own understanding and interpretation of Cloud.

    So What Is Cloud Computing??

    A very simple way to explain is that the cloud is a service with a certain set of tools and resources on the internet or in-house where you can perform all your computing tasks, save your data, generate and analyze reports, connect with people, or even have fun like playing games or watching TV or movies from any device like PC, TV, phone from any place.

    READ THE ENTIRE POST ON PTS BLOG

  • Introducing Official PTS Blog

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    As most of you know I work for Microsoft Global Partner Services focusing on Microsoft partners helping then design and develop Microsoft Virtualization Solutions for our customers. I am glad to inform that now we have launched our official team blog last week to communicate with our partners in a whole new way.

    Most of my team members ( Including me) around the world who are specialized in their own subject matter of technology will put together some really interesting series of blog posts in coming days. Technical topics related to Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, Windows Server, Virtualization, SQL, System Center etc will be covered, In addition to this we will also post our schedules of upcoming PTS webcasts, GPS offerings like Practice Accelerator etc and other future announcements.

    Access the new blog here : http://blogs.technet.com/ptsblog

    And please feel free to post your replies, comments, feedback and suggestions about kind of topics you would like to see on the blog.

    Stay tuned for some really interesting posts.

    Cheers.

    Iftekhar