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.

  • Backup and Recovery of Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 - Tip-of-the-Day

    Update for Windows 8.1: Note that System Image Backup in Windows 8.1 has been moved to the lower left corner of the File History tool in Control Panel as shown below. 

    File History tool in Windows 8.1

    In addition, the Windows 7 File Recovery tool in Control Panel has been renamed to the Recovery tool in Windows 8.1.


    Have you recently installed Windows 8?  In this article, we'll introduce you to the new options available for making Backup and Recovery in Windows 8 easier than ever, including Windows 8 File History, launching Windows System Backup and Windows 8 Refresh & Reset PC.

  • VMware or Microsoft? Comparing vSphere 5.5 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V At-A-Glance

    UPDATES: Based on strong feedback from the community, I've made the following updates to this article ...

    • Added new row for Virtualization of Serial Ports.
    • Added new row for Web-based Management.
    • Added new rows for Boot from Flash, Boot from SAN and VM Guest Clustering Maximum Nodes.
    • Added new rows for VDI management, Disk Footprint and 4K Disk Support.
    • Added ability to Download this technical comparison article as a Whitepaper for reviewing offline.

    Thanks for sharing your feedback to make this technical comparison a more useful resource!


    There’s been lots of buzz on the enterprise hypervisor front over the past month …  In August, Microsoft announced the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, the latest major releases of the Windows Server and System Center families.  In addition, at VMworld this year, VMware announced the latest edition of their vSphere hypervisor platform: VMware vSphere 5.5

    IT Pros have been very interested in learning about the pros and cons presented by each offering – particularly because the total cost of Windows Server 2012 R2 + System Center 2012 R2 can be quite attractive in comparison to VMware’s offerings. 

    • More information: See Shopping for Private Clouds for a sample cost comparison between Microsoft and VMware virtualization solutions based on real-world requirements.

    image

    With so many features called by differing names in each virtualization platform, comparing Microsoft and VMware solutions can sometimes seem a bit like comparing apples and oranges  But, I’ll try to boil things down to a real-world perspective based on my experience implementing both solutions in the field throughout my career.  In this article, I’ll provide a summarized comparison of the  virtualization and Private Cloud feature sets provided by each of these latest releases using the currently available public information from both Microsoft and VMware as of this article’s publication date ...

  • Step-by-Step: Build Your Cloud with System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure

    April 11, 2014: Updated to include additional resources ...

    Now, take Build Your Cloud on-the-go with Windows Phone!


    My fellow Technical Evangelists and I have authored a content series that steps through building your very own Cloud by leveraging Windows Server 2012 R2, our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services ( IaaS ) and System Center 2012 R2.  Week-by-week, we walk through the steps to envision, plan and implement your very own Cloud to take your existing data center to the next level and give you the tools and time back in your day for improving IT services and being able to change and shift with your business / IT needs.

    In this article, I introduce this series and provide a weekly breakdown of each topic that we've written to help you build your own Cloud ...

  • Windows 8 Pro vs Enterprise - What’s the Difference?

    Earlier today, my friend and colleague, Harold Wong, did a great job outlining the requirements for installing the various editions of Windows 8 along with noting the additional requirements for key product features. 

    Be sure to check out Harold’s BLOG ARTICLE for the details.

    BUT ... What extras do I get with Windows 8 Enterprise?

    Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise are both designed for business network environments.  However, at many of my events, a common question among IT Pros relates to the specific differences between Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise.  Below, I’ve included a chart that summarizes the key differences between the Professional and Enterprise editions for Windows 8.

  • 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!