KeithMayer.com

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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 http://aka.ms/AskKeith.

  • Building a Private Cloud VM Compute Foundation with the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012

    When designing your virtualization host framework for your Private Cloud, it's important to select platforms that use widely supported standards and provide cost-effective solutions for elastically scaling a resilient compute foundation.  With this criteria in check, you'll be able to grow your compute foundation to support additional capacity as needed while taking advantage of the latest advancements in hypervisor technologies ... AND without risk of being locked in to a single-vendor solution.  Virtualization and private cloud capabilities are expanding rapidly, and you definitely want to be sure that your ability to capitalize on new impactful features isn't being "boxed in".

    For these reasons, a ton of IT Pros that I speak with are experiencing great success today by expanding their compute capacity with the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 product, regardless of their current "incumbent" hypervisor. As an enterprise-grade, bare-metal hypervisor solution, Hyper-V Server 2012 offers the same level of scale, clustering, live migration and DR-replication capabilities as the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012, but at an unmatched feature/cost pricepoint in the industry -  an enterprise hypervisor feature set for FREE.  In terms of widely supported standards, Hyper-V uses the VHD virtual hard disk standard for broad industry compatibility - so there's no risk that your data will be locked inside a proprietary disk format. This provides unprecedented flexibility for growing your Private Cloud compute foundation via a hybrid mix of on-premise hypervisor hosts, public cloud fabric ( Windows Azure VMs also support VHDs ) and/or third-party service providers/hosting partners ... all of which empowers us to select the options which best support each of our individual application workloads.

    In this article, I'll walk through the resources you'll need to get started with Hyper-V Server 2012, and I'll also include more advanced resources for building a scalable and highly-available clustered compute foundation for FREE!

  • Step-by-Step: Build a FREE SharePoint 2013 Dev/Test Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

    RECENT UPDATES:

    • This Step-by-Step Guide has been leveraged to define a new Windows Azure Deployment Planning Service ( AZDPS ) for Microsoft Partners and Customers: Implementing Develop and Test Scenarios on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Customers can now engage authorized partners for planning and delivery of this solution AND customers with Software Assurance ( SA ) benefits attached to a Volume Licensing ( VL ) agreement can leverage SA to pay for all or part of this partner engagement. 
       
    • At the end of this step-by-step article, I've also included a downloadable lab guide and130-line PowerShell script for initial provisioning.  The PowerShell script helps to reduce the initial configuration time by automating the provisioning of a new Windows Azure Storage account, Virtual Network and Virtual Machines - after running the script, you'll just need to Remote Desktop into each VM to finish the OS and application-level configuration tasks. 

    Hope you enjoy!


    Now that SharePoint Server 2013 has been released, I frequently get asked about ways in which a SharePoint 2013 lab environment can be easily built for studying, testing, development, demos and/or performing a proof-of-concept.  You could certainly build this lab environment on your own hardware, but due to the level of SharePoint 2013 hardware requirements, a lot of us may not have sufficient spare hardware to implement an on-premise lab environment.

    This makes a great scenario for leveraging our Windows Azure FREE Trial Offer to build a free Dev/Test lab environment for SharePoint 2013 in the cloud.  Using the process outlined in this article, you’ll be able to build a basic functional farm environment for SharePoint 2013 with your free trial subscription for Windows Azure ...

  • Installing the NEW Office 2013 Customer Preview - Step-by-Step

    Today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Corporate Vice President Kirk Koenigsbauer announced the immediate availability of the Customer Preview of the NEW Office suite - Office 2013!  This latest version of Office provides new support for Touch Input, Cloud services integration and Social collaboration, powering new usage scenarios around digital note-taking, document reading and markup, meetings and presentations. View full details and step-by-step installation instructions ...

  • Tip-of-the-Day - Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise Activation #ITPro #Windows8

    Did you download Windows 8 Enterprise using your MSDN or TechNet subscription?  As a the full-feature "business edition" of Windows 8, the Enterprise SKU defaults to using corporate Volume License activation on a business network.  On a business network, this process provides a simplified end-user activation process, as Windows 8 Enterprise automatically determines which servers to activate against using DNS without you needing to manage individual activation keys for each PC.  But how do you activate Windows 8 Enterprise if you're not connected to a business network, perhaps when you are testing Windows 8 in an isolated lab environment?

  • Step-by-Step: Migrating to FREE Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 Servers AND Clusters from 2008 R2 and VMware

    UPDATE: I'm updating this article to also include a new Step-by-Step video and migration guide that was recently released by our Cluster team to provide guidance for using the Migrate a Cluster Wizard to migrate CLUSTERS of Hyper-V Server hosts from 2008 R2 to 2012, in addition to the other migration scenarios previously included in this article below.

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    Recently, I was involved in a project that was migrating from Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 to Hyper-V Server 2012.  Due to architectural changes involved in implementing the new features in Hyper-V Server 2012, a direct in-place upgrade is not possible.  However, the across-the-wire migration process we used below was straight-forward and worked very well.  A ton of work has been done by the product team on improving the virtual machine export/import process, and we definitely saw this area shine during our project. Here's the migration steps we used ...