Didn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry! This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros.
Today’s article focuses on the new Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, which provides an on-demand self-service experience for provisioning applications, VMs and Virtual Networks in YOUR datacenter in much the same way as our Windows Azure public cloud platform..
Bring Your Own Device! Ugh … BYOD has certainly been a growing challenge in many of our organizations, and lots of IT Pros are finding that their environments are broadening to include new device options that cannot be effectively managed using traditional tools. How do we support IT applications, data and security policies in this new BYOD age?
In this article, you’ll walk through a Guided Hands-on Lab, where you'll integrate System Center 2012 SP1 with Windows Intune, and then use this combined management duo to effectively manage mobile devices as part of a BYOD management strategy. Along the way, you’ll see how BYOD management can actually unlock new flexibility in device choices that empower users to do their best work while still providing the security and governance that business organizations require.
Didn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry! This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros. Today’s article focuses on enhancements for Private Cloud scenarios with the upcoming System Center 2012 R2 VMM release.
Last week at TechEd 2013 North America, we announced System Center 2012 R2 – the next major release of System Center! And, while each of the System Center components has significant updates planned in this R2 release, I was really impressed with the end-to-end Private Cloud fabric, VM and service management enhancements in Virtual Machine Manager.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of these enhancements that you will be able to leverage when building your Private Clouds with System Center 2012 R2!
There’s LOTS going on in June for IT Pros in the US Heartland!
Below is a list of my upcoming events, most of which are FREE or low-cost opportunities for you to attend to learn about IT Pro news, topics and resources! Be sure to check back weekly as we add new events to the list ...
Didn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry! This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros. Today’s article focuses on enhancements in Hyper-V server virtualization in the upcoming Windows Server 2012 R2 release.
Last week at TechEd 2013 North America, we announced Windows Server 2012 R2 – the next major release of Windows Server! We’ve already made significant virtualization improvements around Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 – across the board, including scale, availability, management, storage, networking – BUT there’s a TON of new and enhanced capabilities planned for Hyper-V in the forthcoming Windows Server 2012 R2 release.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of these enhancements. After you review these new capabilities, I’m sure you’ll see why the R2 release is a MAJOR RELEASE – so MUCH MORE than “just another” Service Pack release!
UPDATED: Added new Module 14 for What's New in Private Cloud with the new R2 Releases
My fellow Technical Evangelists and I have authored a content series that steps through building your very own Private Cloud by leveraging Windows Server 2012, our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012, Windows Azure Infrastructure Services ( IaaS ) and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1. Week-by-week, we walk through the steps to envision, plan and implement your very own Private 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 Private Cloud ...
This week at our annual Microsoft TechEd IT Pro conference, there's a huge concentration on helping IT Professionals improve their careers by mastering our Data Center / Private Cloud infrastructure solutions and getting certified. Today, I'll be delivering two Exam Prep sessions for the new MCSE Server Infrastructure and MCSE Private Cloud certification tracks.
Recordings of each session will be available on our Channel 9 site next week, but I'm including downloadable copies of my decks in this article, along with links to additional study resources to help you prepare for certification this week while you're still at TechEd.
In addition, Microsoft Learning is offering TechEd attendees the ability to pre-register for taking Microsoft certification exams at a 50% discount.
DO IT: Pre-register for 50% Certification Exam Discounts for TechEd attendees
DO IT: Pre-register for 50% Certification Exam Discounts for TechEd attendees
Ah, times ... they are a-changing ...with a rapid move towards embracing hybrid cloud IT scenarios ... that is, IT scenarios that leverage the best of both worlds: the predictability of an on-premises datacenter infrastructure with the cost-effective pay-as-you-go on-demand capacity of a cloud infrastructure platform, such as Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Today at MCTDayZero in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of presenting to a group of experienced MCTs ( Microsoft Certified Trainers ) on Leveraging "Cloud" as an MCT. In this article, I've provided a copy of my deck and additional links to resources to help you get started with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
In May, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I have authored a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. Each scenario is based on how we’ve seen IT Pros successfully leveraging Windows Azure in the field. In this article, I’ve provided a complete index to all 20 scenarios … just in case you missed any the first time around!
This month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I are authoring a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. You can catch the full series at http://aka.ms/CloudTop20. In today’s article in this series, we’ll be stepping through a Guided Lab for migrating existing cloud-based Windows Server VMs to Windows Azure Infrastructure Services from Amazon AWS.
This month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I are authoring a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. You can catch the full series at http://aka.ms/CloudTop20. In today's article in this series, we’ll discuss migrating virtual machines from an on-premises VMware environment to the cloud as a more cost-effective alternative for many scenarios, including disaster recovery, dev/test/staging, as well as production web application servers.
Hyper-V Replica is our included asynchronous site-to-site VM replication capability for Windows Server 2012 and our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 bare-metal enterprise hypervisor. Using Hyper-V Replica, you can quickly implement a cost-effective disaster recovery plan for your business critical VMs without the high costs involved in traditional DR solutions – you just need a Hyper-V host and/or cluster at each site and a IP WAN or Internet connection between them. No expensive shared storage or extra license are required!
In this article, you’ll walk through a Guided Hands-on Lab for planning host and network capacity for Hyper-V Replica using our new Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica tool.
UPDATE: Added a Step-by-Step article for building a Cloud Distribution Point to the list of Additional Resources in this article ...
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 ( “ConfigMgr 2012 SP1” ) offers lots of great new capabilities for IT Pros, but building a lab to evaluate, test and study ConfigMgr can be challenging if you don’t have spare hardware capacity in your data center. In this Step-by-Step Guide, I’ll walk through the steps that I used to build my ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 demo and study lab in the cloud on the Windows Azure platform.
This makes a great scenario for leveraging our Windows Azure FREE 90-Day Trial Offer to build your lab environment for FREE in the cloud for up to 90-days. Using the configuration outlined in this article, you’ll be able to build a functional lab environment that will be accessible for approximately 150 hours of compute usage each month at no cost to you under this 90-day trial offer.
Lab Scenario: ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 in the Cloud
UPDATE: I've provided links below to the decks I used to present at this training event ...
Windows Azure Infrastructure Services launched on April 16th for production workloads, and we're already seeing tremendous interest around Several Key IT Pro Scenarios relating to off-site backup, disaster recovery and running key web application VMs in the cloud, such as SharePoint Server 2013.
On May 21st, we'll be offering two FREE half-day hands-on training sessions in Detroit, MI for extending your Datacenter with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services to support common scenarios. Seating is very limited, so be sure to register today to learn how to master these popular scenarios!
UPDATED: Updated below to reflect new IP Address Ranges introduced in April 2013
Do you need to setup your firewall to communicate with the Windows Azure datacenters for the virtual machines and applications that you are building? Below is a list of the public IP ranges for each Windows Azure datacenter region to help you with setting up your firewall access lists.
UPDATE: There's ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT for the Microsoft Learning "Second Shot" exam voucher offer! Be sure to register and take advantage of this offer prior to May 31st, 2013 ... and use this proven study guide to help you quickly prepare for the MCSA Upgrade Exam on Windows Server 2012!
I’ve assembled all of the relevant content from the Windows Server 2012 “Early Experts” Challenge program into an accelerated Certification Study Guide for IT Professionals targeting Exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012.
In this article, I’ll provide a summary of this Study Guide along with the information needed to receive your own copy of this Study Guide for FREE!
In addition to IT Pros previously certified on Windows Server 2008, the MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification is also very relevant for IT Pros focused on SharePoint, Exchange and Lync solutions. Since SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013 all rely on a strong Windows Server 2012 foundation, you’ll find that the MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification is now a required prerequisite for achieving the new MCSE certifications for SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013.
UPDATE: At the end of this step-by-step article, I've also included a downloadable lab guide and a 130-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 90-day Trial Offer to build a free 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 that will be accessible for approximately 105 hours of compute usage each month at no cost to you under the 90-day Trial Offer ...
UPDATE: I've updated this Guided Hands-on Lab to reflect the new Virtual Network capabilities that were launched with the General Availability announcement of Windows Azure, including support for a Windows Server 2012 On-premises VPN Gateway device.
This month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I are authoring a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. You can catch the full series at http://aka.ms/CloudTop20. In today's article in this series, we'll discuss extending our On-premises Datacenter into a Hybrid Network Infrastructure with Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure Virtual Networks and Site-to-Site VPN Tunnels.
Windows Azure Virtual Networks offers the power to open up several cross-premises use case scenarios, including Active Directory Disaster Recovery, SQL Database Replication, Windows Server 2012 DFS-R File Replication, Accelerated Cloud File Services with BranchCache, Hybrid Web Applications and MORE! But … we need to configure the Virtual Network FIRST … which is what this Guided Hands-on Lab is all about!
This month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I are authoring a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. You can catch the full series at http://aka.ms/CloudTop20. In today's article in this series, we'll discuss accelerating content on cloud-based web and file servers using Windows Server 2012 BranchCache. Once implemented, this solution can dramatically improve the user experience when accessing content servers in the cloud across high-latency, low-bandwidth Internet connections.
Traditional file sharing protocols, such as Server Message Block ( SMB ) in Windows Server 2012, are primarily designed for low-latency, high-bandwidth scenarios commonly found in Local Area Networks ( LANs ). When attempting to move file server workloads to the cloud, many IT Pros find that the unpredictable latency and limited bandwidth related to most Internet connections can make it challenging to deliver file services from the cloud in a reliable manner.
In this Step-by-Step article, I’ll walk through a configuration that leverages the BranchCache feature available in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Enterprise. Once implemented, BranchCache can solve cloud networking challenges by implementing a Wide Area File Services ( WAFS ) solution that caches frequently accessed data locally, either in a Distributed Cache across local clients or on a local Hosted Cache Server.
Lab Scenario: BranchCache Accelerating Content Access from the Cloud
TechEd is our premier technical conference for IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers, and this year Microsoft TechEd 2013 North America will be in New Orleans, LA on June 3rd-6th. I’ll be speaking at sessions to help IT Pros prepare for MCSE certification on Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Private Cloud.
In this article, I provide links to my sessions and other resources to help you get started in your TechEd experience ...
This month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I are authoring a new articles series on 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. You can catch the full series at http://aka.ms/CloudTop20.
In today's article in this series, we'll discuss backup of SQL databases and logs to the Windows Azure cloud as an alternate off-site backup strategy to using tape. I think every IT Pro I’ve ever met hates tape backups … but having an offsite component in your backup strategy is absolutely necessary for effective disaster recovery.
One of the new features provided in SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update 2 is the ability to now backup SQL databases and logs to Windows Azure cloud storage using native SQL Server Backup via both Transact-SQL ( T-SQL ) and SQL Server Management Objects ( SMO ).
Backup to cloud storage is a natural fit for disaster recovery, as our backups are instantly located offsite when completed. And, the pay-as-you-go model of cloud storage economics makes it really cost effective – Windows Azure storage costs are less than $100/TB per month for geo-redundant storage based on current published costs as of this article’s date. That’s less than the cost of a couple SDLT tapes! You can check out our current pricing model for Windows Azure Storage on our Price Calculator page.
In this article, I’ll step through the process of using SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 native backup capabilities to create database backups on Windows Azure cloud storage ...
Windows Azure Infrastructure Services officially launched in April for supporting production Virtual Machine and Virtual Network workloads. Master the skills for leveraging Windows Azure as part of a hybrid cloud infrastructure and showcase your new knowledge to others in the "Early Experts” Cloud Quest … best of all, this program is completely FREE to all participants! Get the details in this article ...
Become an “Early Expert” on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services!
UPDATE: New Resources Included for System Center 2012 SP1
Getting ready to start prepping for the new System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Exam 70-243, but looking for some solid study materials? This study guide targets the certification objective domains for Exam 70-243 and is intended to assist in self-assessing your preparedness for this exam as well as providing FREE study resources for each objective area to quickly close knowledge gaps. I've assembled this study guide using the same materials that I used when I was preparing for this exam myself.
As I was preparing for the new Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Exam 70-247, Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 over the past several weeks, I saved links to all my study resources that I leveraged to study and pass this exam. I’ve incorporated this list of resources into a step-by-step Exam Study Guide for anyone else who may be interested in targeting this exam ...
This month, I spent a fair amount of time preparing for the new Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Exam 70-246, Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 and I saved links to all the study resources that I used to study and pass this exam as a step-by-step Exam Study Guide for anyone else who may be interested in targeting this exam. Download my FREE Study Guide for this Exam here ...