Be an Early Expert on Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2, Azure and Windows 8.1

About Keith Mayer

Register for a free Azure Hybrid Cloud IT Camp near you!

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-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.

    Read this article ...

    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.

    Read this article ...

    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!

    Read this article ...

    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.

  • Accelerating DevOps with the Cloud using Microsoft Azure and Friends: The Series

    UPDATE! Today's article in this series is ...

    ADDED: New resources in Configuration Management section below for Puppet, Chef, Vagrant, Ansible and Docker based on popular requests. Feel free to suggest your own updates if you see any missing topics!

    Be sure to catch all the prior articles in this series, too! They're all linked in the series index in this article ...

    Read this article ...

    Have you heard about DevOps?

    Enterprise IT organizations are increasingly driven by business demands for faster, better solutions delivered more quickly than ever before.  Over the past few years, DevOps has emerged as a trend to help organizations evolve to better collaborate between development and operations teams for addressing these solution delivery challenges.  While a DevOps transformation can take time to fully realize within an organization’s people and processes, there’s opportunities to accelerate the path towards DevOps by smartly leveraging cloud capabilities that can reduce infrastructure complexity, simplify release management, and support end-to-end application visibility through all stages of a solution’s lifecycle.

    Step-by-Step: Follow us to DevOps with the Cloud

    Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of articles aimed at showcasing examples of leveraging relevant cloud technologies, such as Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio Online, that align and promote a DevOps mission within an organization.  Along the way in this series, we’ll provide real-world step-by-step guidance for using these capabilities so that you can easily follow along with us in your own cloud-based lab ...