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

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


Are you virtualizing your servers? Yes, of course!

Are you spending less time managing your servers as a result?  Hmm … No!

Server Virtualization is Great, But …

imageServer virtualization has been a great set of technologies to reduce our capital expenses and some operating expenses by consolidating a larger number of virtualized server workloads in a smaller footprint of physical rack space.  As a result, we’ve been able to purchase less data center hardware and likely have lower power and cooling costs in running our data center.

However, most IT Pros are not seeing a reduction in the amount of time they spend with day-to-day management of server operating systems and applications.  Let face it … whether you have 100 physical servers or 100 virtual servers, you still have 100 server operating system instances to administer, configure, monitor, patch and update.  In fact, because of reduced capital costs when using server virtualization, many IT Pros report that they are now faced with managing a much larger ( and growing ) number of operating system instances and applications – these days, it seems like everyone in the company wants their own VMs!  As a result, IT Pros are forced to spend most of their day managing VMs and applications, and often don’t have enough time to spend on improving their IT environments.

Hybrid Cloud … To The Rescue!

Well, Hybrid Cloud is the answer! Hybrid Cloud is not a product, but rather an approach for designing, implementing and managing your data center resources and application workloads by reducing complexity, increasing standardization and automation, and provide elasticity – the ability to easily scale your data center up, down, in or out – to support evolving business and technical requirements. 

Hybrid Cloud applies the same principles used for scaling and managing the world’s largest public clouds to your private data center environment, augmented by public cloud infrastructure where is makes good sense for your particular application workloads.  Now, you can have your very own cloud!

Build Your Cloud – The Series

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.

Below is the weekly breakdown of each topic that we've written in this series to help you build your own Cloud ...

WEEK 0 - Get ready to follow along!

Get prepared to follow along with our content series by downloading Windows Server 2012 R2, the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure.  Once you have these components, you’ll be ready to follow along with us as we build your Private Cloud together!

WEEK 1 – Build Your Private Cloud Foundation with Windows Server 2012 R2

WEEK 2 – Building Your Private Cloud Fabric with System Center 2012 R2

WEEK 3 – Configuring and Optimizing Your Private Cloud with System Center 2012 R2

WEEK 4 – Deploying and Servicing Applications in Your Private Cloud with System Center 2012 SP1

CONGRATULATIONS! But ... Let's Keep Going ...

You've built your Private Cloud, but you've still got to manage, protect and grow it as your business evolves.  Over the next few weeks, you'll learn to extend your base Private Cloud fabric and prepare for MCSE Private Cloud certification ...

WEEK 5 – Extending and Protecting Your Private Cloud

WEEK 6 -  Managing Hybrid Clouds, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuance

WEEK 7+: Study and Get Certified on Private Cloud

Prepare for the MCSE: Private Cloud certification exams with these popular FREE exam study guides:

How are you building your Cloud?

Do you have tips, questions or comments on building your own Cloud? Feel free to share below in the comments section!

See you in the clouds!

- Keith