March, 2010

  • Virtualization and Cloud: Part 2

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    In my last post Part 1 of Virtualization and Cloud, I mentioned about Microsoft Cloud computing strategy and how strongly we are committed to this new area of computing and how Microsoft Virtualization can help a great deal in setting up a private cloud.

    Today, I’ll talk about Microsoft’s Offerings in the Public Cloud, we’ll review some of the offerings and how it can help our customers to realize the full potential of their investments.

    Microsoft is uniquely equipped to help customers transition to the cloud by:

    1. Guiding customers, through Advisory services, to make the best choices about where to run their application workloads (on-premises, cloud, hybrid);
    2. Empowering a highly agile IT environment through our consulting and deployment services to support their choices; and,
    3. Delivering world-class support to our customers through Premier and CSS no matter where their software runs.
    • Windows: Windows Azure offers a flexible, familiar environment designed to create applications and services for the cloud. With Windows Azure, you can shorten your time to market and adapt as demand for your service grows.
    • SQL Server: Microsoft SQL Azure provides a highly scalable, multi-tenant database that you don't have to install, setup, patch or manage. Kelley Blue Book, 3M, Siemens and other leading companies are using SQL Azure today.
    • Exchange: Microsoft Exchange Online is highly secure hosted e-mail with "anywhere access" for your employees, starting at just $5 per user per month.
    • SharePoint: Microsoft SharePoint Online gives your business a highly secure, central location where employees can collaborate and share documents. That means more managed workflow, better version control, and "anywhere access" to business critical data.
    • Office: Microsoft Office Live Meeting provides real-time, Web-hosted conferencing so you can connect with colleagues and engage clients from almost anywhere – without the cost of travel. Microsoft Office Communications Online delivers robust messaging functionality for real-time communication via text, voice, and video. Microsoft Office Web Apps are online companions to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, giving you the freedom to access, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents from virtually anywhere.
    • Dynamics CRM: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online helps you find, keep, and grow business relationships by centralizing customer information and streamlining processes with a system that quickly adapts to new demands.

    We have already discussed Windows Azure in my last few posts, who have just joined the party read Here, Here

    Microsoft Software+Services : A greater Sum


    Together Anywhere

    As always do send your feedback, comments, suggestions. :)

    Cheers!!

  • Deploying Hyper-V R2 and NetApp

    Just came across a great article on deploying Hyper V R2 with NetApp with some specific guidance setting up High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions.

    Our partners over at NetApp and Avanade have written an article discussing a real world deployment of hundreds of virtual machines on Hyper-V R2 and what they learned.

    This article covers:

    • Information about our current virtual server environment
    • Our experiences moving to Hyper-V R2
    • Building for performance
    • Planning for live migration
    • Storage tips for cluster shared volumes (CSVs)
    • Server and storage management and virtual machine (VM) self-service portals

    clip_image001                 Figure 1) Avanade DCS Hyper-V R2 environment.

    Read the entire article here

    And as always do post your comments, feedback, suggestions, I love to read them all. :)

  • Partner Academy: Positioning and Selling Microsoft VDI

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    As a part of Partner Academy, following session is being hosted by Product group for Microsoft partners who are involved in selling and building Microsoft VDI Solutions.

    Any discussion around the future of the desktop includes a discussion on virtualization. Usually, customers want to start the conversation with VDI, before they discuss other desktop virtualization topics. On this Academy live, you will learn:

      1. How to have a conversation with customers around Microsoft VDI
      2. How to position our offerings against the competition
      3. How to take advantage of current offerings in the market.

    Target Partner Marketing Audience:  Partner Business Decision Maker, Partner Marketing, Partner Sales, Partner Training, Partner Developer, Partner IT Professionals.

    Level:  100

    Presented by Balagopalan Nikhil (Senior Product Manager, Microsoft)

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    9:00-10:00am Pacific Time

    Click here to calculate your local time

    Before the Webcast:

    To attend our upcoming Webcast you will need:

    Register here:

    https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=576408

    Happy Learning!!

    As always do send your comments, feedback and suggestions.

    Cheers. :)

  • We Listen : Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX Coming Soon to Hyper V

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    Microsoft Virtualization Hour is currently in progress and lots of announcements is made to day with respect to Microsoft Virtualization.

    Following Announcement is made : (from PressPass)

    1. New VDI promotions available for qualified customers to choose from today. Microsoft and Citrix Systems are offering the “Rescue for VMware VDI” promotion, which allows VMware View customers to trade in up to 500 licenses at no additional cost, and the “VDI Kick Start” promotion, which offers new customers a more than 50 percent discount off the estimated retail price. Eligibility and other details on the two promotions can be found at http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com.
    2. Improved licensing model for virtual Windows desktop. Beginning July 1, 2010, Windows Client Software Assurance customers will no longer have to buy a separate license to access their Windows operating system in a VDI environment, as virtual desktop access rights now will be a Software Assurance benefit.
    3. New roaming use rights improve flexibility. Beginning July 1, 2010, Windows Client Software Assurance and new Virtual Desktop Access license customers will have the right to access their virtual Windows desktop and their Microsoft Office applications hosted on VDI technology on secondary, non-corporate network devices, such as home PCs and kiosks.
    4. Windows XP Mode no longer requires hardware virtualization technology. This change simplifies the experience by making virtualization more accessible to many more PCs for small and midsize businesses wanting to migrate to Windows 7 Professional or higher editions, while still running Windows XP-based productivity applications.
    5. Two new features coming in Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack 1. Microsoft Dynamic Memory will allow customers to adjust memory of a guest virtual machine on demand to maximize server hardware use. Microsoft RemoteFX will enable users of virtual desktops and applications to receive a rich 3-D, multimedia experience while accessing information remotely.
    6. New technology agreement with Citrix Systems. The companies will work together to enable the high-definition HDX technology in Citrix XenDesktop to enhance and extend the capabilities of the Microsoft RemoteFX platform.

    So now Licensing for VDI is very simplified as VECD is now part of SA, So all SA customers dont need to purchase VECD separately to access their Virtual Desktops.

    DYNAMIC MEMORY: Another great announcement is new capabilities in Hyper V like Dynamic Memory, We have received lots of feedback from our customers about not having Dynamic Memory as in some scenarios they’d like to increase VM density with their current memory.

    Read more on Microsoft Official blog here

    Remote FX: Now experience Aero Glass, 3D Graphics and rich multimedia applications in Virtual Desktops without any changes into the VM. Run rich audio and HD video support like MP4, H.264 formats and more.

    Both these capabilities will be available in Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2:

    No Announcement made today with respect to release of the SP1 but watch out this space, you’ll be first one to know when that get announced. :)

    With all these announcements, Microsoft has made it very clear that how seriously we are committed to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and with our great portfolio of Virtualization Solutions from desktop to Datacenter.

    If you have missed today's Virtualization Desktop Hour Live… On Demand will be available Soon here http://www.desktopvirtualizationhour.com/

    Watch out this space for more….

    Bye for now :)

  • Virtualization and Cloud: Part 1

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    Aren't we hearing this word a lot these days? In almost all the technical conversation, Technical journals and magazines, Technical conferences,.. whole world talking about Cloud.

    Though there are large number of Companies, group and individuals talking about Cloud, everybody has their own understanding and interpretation of Cloud.

    So what is Cloud Computing??

    Okay, very simple way to explain is that cloud is a services with certain set of tools and resources on the internet or inhouse where you can perform all your computing task, save your data, generate reports and analyze it, 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.

    Recently Steve Ballmer in his speech in University of Washington discussed Microsoft strategy of Cloud and how Cloud computing will change the way people and businesses use technology.

    You can watch Steve’s complete speech here

    Cloud computing is based on these components:

  • Virtualization and automation

  • Interchangeable (fungible) resources such as servers, storage and network

  • Management of these resources as a single fabric

  • Elastic capacity (scale up or down) to respond to business demands

  • Applications (and the tools to develop them) that can truly scale out

  • Focused on the service delivered to the business

    There can be two type of Clouds:

    Private Cloud:  Its an internal service that can be hosted inhouse with set of tools like Windows Server, Virtualization and management solutions like System Center, it provides compatibility with local applications and keeps your data and information within premises.

    Public Cloud: Provided by service providers, public cloud offers customers the ability to deploy and consume services. In this category, Azure™ is a highly scalable services platform providing pay–as-you-go flexibility delivered from Microsoft’s datacenters.

    In the cloud, Automation is a great driver, without automation the whole purpose of cloud is defeated and its true potential cannot be realized. Following kind of automation is critical in the cloud:

    • Automatic provisioning of Operating Systems and application as and when user demand arises.
    • Automatically provision new server and other hardware when required
    • Applications can be scaled up with more memory and processor power and other resources whenever load increases.
    • Dynamic shift of load from one Workload to another depending upon certain scenarios.

    And thus Virtualization and integrated Management becomes a super critical component of a Cloud Platform.

    Following technologies from Microsoft can help creating a fully automated cloud services.

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper V: Virtualization Platform to host multiple Virtual Machines running business critical applications increasing the utilization of your hardware, saving cost in terms of power, space and management.

    System Center: With Integrated management feature of System Center products like Virtual machine Manager 2008 R2 and System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, a whole lot of automation can be achieved, Automated provisioning of Virtual Machines using templates and scripts, Optimize resources and performance of VMs and applications in them using PRO TIPS, End to End monitoring of Virtual Workloads, Physical Hardware, Applications, networks and other devices.

    With the help of System Center Configuration Manager,  OS and Software, Applications can be deployed both in Virtual machines and on physical servers, Patching OS, Applications, applying security updates, service packs was never so easy before.

    And ofcourse, protecting, securing and backing up the critical cloud components can be done using Data Protection Manager.

    With the help of PowerShell2.0 scripting, automation can be taken into great level.

    In my next post, we’ll see some scenarios where Cloud services can add great value and other Microsoft offerings to enable Cloud Computing.

    At this time, we are saying.. We’re All In (The Cloud) !!!

    Stay Tuned :)

     

     

     

     

  • What is Windows Azure?

    Whenever I speak to partners and customers about new Microsoft cloud platform, I always get a question “ What is Windows Azure?” and how it can help their business. I take more than 10 minutes to make them understand about Microsoft cloud strategy and all about Windows Azure.

    Now this 4 mins video save all of us some time :)

    Steve Marx from Microsoft Windows Azure team created this great hand drawn video which can help customers and partners to get familiar with new Windows Azure Platform.

     

    If you want to learn about behind the scene story how Steve made this awesome video check out his blog post.

    Hope you all like it :)