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About Keith Mayer

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About Keith ...

Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT Pros worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

You can contact Keith online at

  • Step-by-Step: Auto-join a Member Server VM to Active Directory Domain in the Azure Cloud with VM Agent Custom Script Extension

    In a prior article, we walked through the process of auto-provisioning a new Windows Server Active Directory domain in the Cloud using a custom script that was processed via the Microsoft Azure VM Agent Custom Script Extension. In this article, we’ll build upon this scenario by auto-joining a new Windows Server VM as a member server to this Active Directory domain.

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  • Step-by-Step: Auto-Provision a New Active Directory Domain in the Azure Cloud using the VM Agent Custom Script Extension

    The Azure Virtual Machine Agent Custom Script Extension allows you to download custom PowerShell scripts inside Azure VMs and execute them as part of the post-provisioning process.  Custom Script Extensions provide a great deal of flexibility for customizing the provisioning of new VMs without the need to maintain a distinct custom VM image for every individual workload scenario.

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    In this article, we’ll step through the process of using the Custom Script Extension to auto-provision a new Active Directory Domain Controller in a new AD Forest on a Microsoft Azure Virtual Network.

  • Step-by-Step: Quickly Build IaaS Server Farms in the Cloud using the new Azure Resource Manager and PowerShell

    Last week, I wrote an article about using the new Azure Preview Portal and new IaaS Resource Group Gallery templates to provision an entire cloud-based server farm in as little as eight mouse-clicks – complete with storage, virtual networking and multiple VM tiers.

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    Since publishing that article, I’ve been asked by a number of people how the same Resource Group model could be used to automate the provisioning of server farms using PowerShell.  Beginning in version 0.8.0 of the Azure PowerShell modules, the Azure PowerShell installation actually installs 3 modules:

    • The Azure module, for traditional Azure service management. This is what we’ve used in the past for scripting Azure environments using PowerShell.
    • The AzureResourceManager module, for using Resource Groups to work with multiple related cloud resources as a grouped entity.
    • The AzureProfile module, for managing and selecting Azure subscriptions.

    Azure Resource Manager can greatly simplify the management of multi-VM applications by allowing the related resources to be provisioned and managed as a Resource Group, rather than as a discrete set of individual resources. In this article, we’ll step through the process for leveraging the AzureResourceManager module to script the process for quickly building a new server farm in the cloud.

  • TechNet Radio: (Part 10) Building Your Hybrid Cloud - Windows Azure Pack Remote Console Support

    In our ongoing "Building a Hybrid Cloud" series, Keith Mayer and Andy Syrewicze , are back and in today’s episode they showcase the Windows Azure Pack Remote Console. Tune in for this in-depth, demo heavy episode as they show us how to configure a remote desktop gateway for VM console access. [ 5:50 ] Let’s discuss Remote Console Support in the Windows Azure Pack --- what is it and why is it important? [ 8:01 ] DEMO: How to configure a Remote Desktop Gateway for VM Console Access For more...
  • Step-by-Step: Deploy a Highly Available SharePoint Server Farm in the Cloud – in ONLY 8 Clicks!

    As of today, the Azure Preview Portal now has the ability to deploy and manage IaaS workloads, including Virtual Machines, Virtual Networks and Cloud Storage!  One of the key new enhancements that the new Preview Portal experience provides is the ability to setup complex multi-tier applications in the cloud as a single Resource Group to streamline and simplify the provisioning process.

    There’s a pre-built Azure Resource Group Gallery Template for SharePoint Server 2013 Farms that demonstrates the power of Resource Groups in the new portal.  Using this template, a complete highly-available SharePoint Server 2013 farm can be provisioned in the cloud … with as few as 8 clicks!

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    In this article, I’ll step through the process of using Resource Groups to deploy SharePoint Server 2013 in the cloud with the Azure Preview Portal.