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  • Blog Post: The Case for the Offline Backup

    Over the past several weeks, my teammates have all contributed to a very valuable series of blog articles entitled “ Disaster Recovery Planning for IT Pros ”. They’ve covered topics such as how to get started in planning, and Server Virtualization and how it applies to Disaster Recovery, and testing...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 19 of 30: All About the Networking

    Have you ever been puzzled by some problem only to find out that it was related to how your network is configured? “Yes. All the time.” Of course you have. And when you add the potential complexities of supporting a Private Cloud in your datacenter, let alone extreme virtualization...
  • Blog Post: 31 Days of our Favorite Things: Highly Available DHCP in Windows Server 2012 (Part 28 of 31)

    We’re in the final stretch of our 31 days , and for today’s article Keith Mayer is going to give you all the details on how you can make DHCP highly available in Windows Server 2012 . “But.. couldn’t you cluster DHCP services before?” Yes, but clustering involves more...
  • Blog Post: 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services (IaaS): SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn in the Cloud

    “Hey Kevin.. How do I get high availability out of my SQL Server?” Cluster. Shared Storage. Windows Failover Clustering supports that. “But… I want my SQL Servers running in Windows Azure. And I don’t have shared storage in “the cloud”. But I still need...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 16 of 30: Where should the DC go?

    Disclaimer : This is a re-post of my Oct 4, 2011 blog post . But it fits our series, and it’s my content. So I am giving myself permission. Okay.. I feel like sharing this because it’s pretty stupid, but in a geeky-sort-of-way the solution was interesting enough to share. Think Chicken...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 20 of 30: San Antonio, have you seen a lot of H2O? Data Center

    Have you ever wondered how Microsoft supports so much scale online for our online services such as Hotmail, Windows Azure, Windows Live, Windows Updates, etc.? “Yes, I have. You must have a massive datacenter!” Actually, we have many massive datacenters. “More than 10, but less...
  • Blog Post: Launch Day! Windows Server 2012 is available today!

    Yessir!  According to the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform page, And that’s today!  Go to THIS PAGE to set up a reminder that at 8:00AM Pacific (10:00AM Central) time, the launch is happening. “Where will the Windows Server Launch be taking place?” Online.  Go to www.windows-server...
  • Blog Post: TechNet Radio: (Part 3) What’s New in 2012 R2: Enabling Modern Business Applications

    Brad Anderson and I wrap up our 3 part What's New in 2012 R2 series.  In today's episode we discuss how you can better enable modern business applications in your IT environment with the Windows Azure Pack .  Tune in as we go in detail about how IT Pros will be able to impact their organization...
  • Blog Post: How should I backup my Windows Azure VMs? (So many questions. So little time. Part 51.)

    This excellent question was asked by Ralph at our IT Camp in Saint Louis a few weeks ago: “One of the questions asked by our VP relates to Azure backups protecting from user error rather than hardware failure or disaster recovery.  What is the Microsoft guidance on backing up VMs in the cloud?”...
  • Blog Post: Can Windows Azure Backup support a bare-metal restore? (So many questions. So little time. Part 52.)

    Recently we’ve been showing off a capability (currently in preview) called “ Windows Azure Backup ”, which is a simple file system backup and restore to/from Windows Azure storage.  At our IT Camp in Saint Louis a few weeks back, David asked: “Can Windows Azure Backup do a bare metal restore in...
  • Blog Post: Full of I.T. Shark Week!: Gotta keep moving!

    There’s a theory that a Shark needs to keep moving, or else it will die. “Is that really true?” Do I look like Jacques Cousteau ? I don’t know. You look it up. But I think the same can be said for virtual machines. “They’ll die?” Stop interrupting...
  • Blog Post: TechNet Radio: (Part 1) - What’s New in 2012 R2 - Empowering People-Centric IT

    I had the privilege of welcoming Brad Anderson , Corporate Vice President for Windows Server and System Center to the show.  We discuss the latest features and enhancements made in Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Visual Studio 2013, Windows Intune as well as several...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 27 of 30: Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2011 Essentials and the Cloud

    “Hey Kevin – Is the cloud just for big companies?” Absolutely not. Certainly some implementations (private clouds, for instance) make more sense in organizations that A) are able to take advantage of delivering IT as a Service for their business units, and B) can justify the kind...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 26 of 30: Office 365 will not get you fired

    Are you concerned that the cloud will eat your job ? Perhaps. Every time there is a shift in how things are done based on improvements in technology or new options for efficiency, economics, scale… there is always someone crying foul. Or probably more appropriately, they’re worrying about...
  • Blog Post: Breaking News: New System Center 2012 Licensing Model Announced

    Today during the “ Private Cloud Day ” live webcast event, Microsoft announced a pretty big change in how we think of and purchase the System Center suite. Bottom-line.. it’s no longer a separate set of products, but it is just one product: System Center 2012 . (Well.. actually two...
  • Blog Post: VMware or Microsoft?–Shopping for Private Clouds

    What’s on your shopping list for your datacenter?  What do you need to run the business you’re supporting?  What capabilities do you wish you had?  Is your goal to provide a dynamic, scalable, cost-efficient “software driven datacenter”?  The list of what we want to provide can get...
  • Blog Post: In case you missed it: The Private Cloud Webcast

    Y esterday the big news from Microsoft was the announcement of and new details around the new System Center 2012 product, delivered via live Webcast.  I was very happy to be able to watch the webcast with John Weston and 88 of our closest friends in Saint Louis during our TechNet Event . “I wasn...
  • Blog Post: Doh! (What I learned about Windows Failover Clustering. The hard way.)

    Okay.. I feel like sharing this because it’s pretty stupid, but in a geeky-sort-of-way the solution was interesting enough to share.  Think Chicken & Egg. (or “Catch-22”). As the title of this post suggests, the subject is Windows Failover Clustering.  For those of you who are not familiar...
  • Blog Post: High Availability and Live Migrations: 20+ Days of Server Virtualization (Part 12)

    If you’re a VMware user, you’re probably familiar with the “ vMotion ” capability; moving a live, running virtual machine from one host to another.  Until recently, that move had to take place among and between clustered hosts, but recently Microsoft   Hyper-V (and later VMware in vSphere 5...
  • Blog Post: NEW: Virtualization IT Camps!

    Yes!  We’re coming back to a classroom near you (I hope) for an intense, full-day of training and hands-on with Windows Server 2012 , Hyper-V , and System Center .  If you’re using virtualization … “What do you mean, ‘if’?” Yeah, good point.  The modern datacenter is already virtualizing...
  • Blog Post: VMware or Microsoft?–How robust is your availability?

    Disclaimer: facts and figures in this article are based on the state of the technology as it exists at the date of its publication. Our article today in our “ VMware or Microsoft? ” series is about availability. When I say “availability”, I mean “high availability”...
  • Blog Post: Key Keynote Notes – TechEd 2013 Favorites

    So here it is, Day 3 of TechEd, and I’m already two days late on the first of our “ TechEd 2013 Favorites ” series.  (sigh)  But if you’ve ever been to a TechEd, or any other big conference like this, you know that it’s hard to find a spare moment to do things other than A) attend, and B) enjoy...
  • Blog Post: Kevin’s “Being What’s Next in I.T.” Event Resources

    As usual, here is the online version of the event resources I’ll be handing out to my central U.S. IT Camp Event attendees for the next several months. It is likely that this online version is even better, because A) it contains even more than what I could fit onto one page, B) items may have...
  • Blog Post: Cloud on Your Terms Part 25 of 30: Windows Intune

    Microsoft has some pretty interesting new direction with regard to what “the cloud” can do. For example – how about an Internet-based service that let’s you monitor, manage, and deploy software to the workstations you’re responsible for? “Yeah.. I’d love to...
  • Blog Post: VMware or Microsoft?– What is a “Purpose-Built Hypervisor”?

    In the first of our articles in the “ VMware or Microsoft? ” series, I’m going to address some misconceptions and misinformation about what Hyper-V actually is. In a currently available document that VMware provides, comparing vSphere 5 to the as-of-then beta of what is now Hyper-V in Windows Server...