Matt Hester's WebLog

Candygrams for the IT Pro on Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Server, System Center 2012, Azure, Windows 8, PowerShell, Cloud and Office 365

Matt Hester's WebLog

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  • Why Windows Server 2012 R2: Step-by-Step Workplace Join, Bringing Peace of Mind for BYOD

    imageAre you dealing with an explosion of devices connecting to your organization?  Trying to maintain your organizations compliance and security is critical.  Especially with users located all around the world across multiple platforms and devices.   

    If this sounds like you currently or is soon going to be you then you will want to check out Workplace join.  Workplace join allows users to register devices (including IOS) forsingle sign-onand access to corporate data.  Check out todays post to learn how to set it up

  • Why Windows Server 2012 R2: The Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Experience Step-by-Step

    With the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Server we really added many features to make this an even more rounded server.  The Essential server also provides a ton of flexibly for deployment and functionality.  We even included the popular client computer backup from Windows Home server.  The Windows Server Essentials Experience role is available in Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter. For this post I am going to step you through the installation of the Essentials experience on a Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter server.  In a future post I will take you through the rest of the configuration.

  • Setting Static IP Address in Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    One of the questions I have been asked for a while is how do you set static IP address in Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Well you can, check out my friend John Savill’s great article to see how: Set Azure VM Static IP Address While it is like a DHCP...
  • Build Your Private Cloud in a Month: Forging your Private Cloud from Bare Metal with System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager

    When you first start working with provision your private cloud, you will need to learn how to provision the physical hardware or bare metal of your environment.  Learning how to provision bare metal systems allows you to deploy physical systems to...
  • Windows 8.1 for Business: Oh Start menu, how do I miss thee…or do I?

    One of the most often questions/feedback we get regarding Windows 8.1 is where is my start menu.  These conversations can get very passionate, and usually turn into a commentary around on how much we miss our start menu.  I am sure some folks want to punch the screen.

    I totally understand your frustration and I went through this as well.  While Windows 8 does provide a big change to how we do things in the interface, it did make me re-think why I used my start menu.  What I learned from my own usage and talking to all you wonderful folks,  is that the start menu is used for small common set of minimum tasks.  Here is a list of the most common things folks like yourselves have told me, and I personally had problems finding in Windows 8.1:

    • Shutdown and Sign Out
    • Search
    • Launch and Find Recently Installed Applications

    Like all of you once I learned how to get around Windows 8 and find these basic tasks, I found that I will never need my start menu again.  In this article, I am here to help show you how to accomplish these tasks with ease in Windows 8.1.   In the end I hope you learn some new tips and tricks to improve how you use Windows 8.1

  • Disaster Recovery: What about Fluffy the Cat and Saving Your Desktops?

    Disaster recovery is about being able to get your business back up and running as quick as you can after the disaster happens. Throughout this series, my teammates have focused on the Infrastructure side of the house, servers, virtual machines…etc. You...
  • Group Policies and Access Denied

    One Technologies in Active Directory I am extremely passionate about is Group Policy and I would love to write some more articles on Group Policy, but I want to make sure I publish topics that are of interest to you. So if you would like see more on group...
  • Migration and Deployment: Installing the Migration Tools (part 8 of 19)

    One of the fantastic tools we included in Windows Server 2012 are the migration tools.  If you are familiar with Windows Server 2008 R2, then you are familiar with these tools.  The tools can easily help you to migrate either to a Windows Server 2012 full installation or a server core installation as your destination.

  • Windows 8.1 For Business: Remember Our Good Friend Group Policy

    Hopefully you never forgot Group Policy!

    Whenever the topic of working with desktops in business is brought up, IT Pro’s always want to manage and maintain those desktops.  For me the first thing that always come to mind is Group Policy and hopefully does for you as well.  Group Policy is one of the primary tools you can quickly leverage to help control your IT infrastructure.    What better way to manage our desktops than with a free tool that is built into Active Directory, and has been there since the Windows NT days.

    In today’s post I am going to take a look at some of the new features in Windows 8.1 Group Policy as well as some of then new settings you will want to learn to leverage to help manage your desktops.  Oh, by the way you can still change the users desktop background to blue, with blue labels on the shortcuts, or put the logoff command in the log in script, if you are so inclined not that I have ever done that.

  • Top Local Apps: Get Your Team’s Huddle in Order with Hudl

    This month my teammates( Kevin , Brian and Keith ) and I decided to highlight apps that have caught our eyes.  One of the apps that caught my eye is Hudl.  Before I go any further, I love football, and this is probably why this app caught my...
  • Windows 8.1 for Business: Getting Started with Client Hyper-V

    Windows 8.1 has a lot to offer Business, probably one of the bigger improvements is the inclusion of Hyper-V in the client.  This provides support for several scenarios including:

    • Test Lab:  This is what I use it mainly for to test all the wickedly cool technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2, among others.   It provides a great way to test and design basic infrastructures, especially leveraging the built-in virtual machine networking. 
    • Application Testing: Testing home-spun or package applications can be done very easily inside of Windows 8.1 client Hyper-V.....

  • Build Your Private Cloud in a Month: Foundation Windows Server 2012 Storage

    When you start to think of building a private cloud into your datacenters, you might naturally think you need run out and buy a SAN.  While you still may want to go buy a SAN, with Windows Server 2012 you do not necessarily need to.  In Windows Server 2012 there has been a tremendous amount of improvement done to the storage capabilities.  Specifically you now can have continuously available file shares on your cluster servers.  This is mainly due to the new SMB 3.0 protocol built-in to the server, it really has made storage a first class citizen in Windows Server 2012.  So for todays post I am going to take a look at how to build a Windows Server 2012 storage environment using Storage Pools and inexpensive Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) disks to provide the necessary storage backend for your private cloud infrastructure. 

  • System Center Operations Manager and Azure: Better Together with the Azure Monitoring Gateway Step-By-Step

    Good afternoon everyone! Yesterday I introduced you to a fantastic series my good friend and System Center expert Cameron Fuller wrote on an exciting new technology called the Azure Monitoring Gateway. You can get a quick peak here: Cameron wrote two...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 4) Hyper-V from a VMware Admin’s Perspective - High Availability

    Keith Mayer and Andy Syrewicze continue their look into Hyper-V from the view of a VMware admin’s perspective and in today’s episode they discuss in detail high availability and how to set up and manage a Hyper-V cluster. [ 3:17 ] What does high availability...
  • Want to go to TechMentor or Visual Studio Live? Read More to Register and Save $$$

    Last year I know quite a few of you attended one of these conferences, well they are happening again, and you can save some $$$. So if you are interested take a look below: Visual Studio Live! Las Vegas (March 10-14 2014) Much like outer space, the .NET...
  • Top Local Apps: Two Fun Games to Flag for Your Weekend Munchies

    So as we are heading into Christmas and the holidays, and I thought I would have a little fun with this Fridays post. So I decided to take you through two games I have been having some fun with. The first is a game called Bug Muncher . Very simple game...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 3) Hyper-V from a VMware Admin’s Perspective - Storage Options

    In part 3 of their "Hyper-V from a VMware admin's perspective" series Keith Mayer and Andy Syrewicze , explore the world of storage and its many options for users. [ 2:44 ] What are the storage options found in VMware and how does this compare...
  • Top Local Apps: The Bible YouVersion App

    I enjoy reading the Bible and I try to read it daily. When I am home I use the Life Application study bible , and it is a great Bible that has helped me tremendously! The only small downside is the Bible is fairly large and when I am traveling I do not...
  • System Center Operations Manager and Azure: Better Together with the Azure Monitoring Gateway Part 1 and 2

    One of the great things I love about my job is the amount of really smart and talented folks I get to work with. This is so true with my good friend Cameron Fuller . Some of you may know Cameron and read is blog, he truly is a System Center expert. Often...
  • Help Shape the Future Microsoft Virtualization, Cloud, and Datacenter Management Products

    Got some great ideas about what Microsoft should do with virtualization, the cloud and the datacenter? Do you actively virtualize systems or want to get more in-depth with the future of virtualization? Microsoft Windows Server and Systems Center Customer...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 2) Understanding BYOD: How to Make it Happen

    Kevin Remde and Yuri Diogenes are back for Part 2 of their BYOD solution series and in today’s episode they explore some of the technologies from Microsoft and how you can implement them into your organization’s BYOD strategy. [ 2:39 ] Let's talk...
  • Cloud OS MVP Roadshow --- Dallas January 14, 2014

    Join us as Windows IT Pro technical director and MVP Sean Deuby discussed how you can build and scale in the cloud. In this exciting ½ day event, learn how to: Confidently virtualize everything, including mission-critical SAP and Oracle workloads Take...
  • Getting Started with Windows Azure IaaS

    I was invited to write an article for the great folks over at Cloud Computing Journal ! I was asked to create a article on how to get started with Windows Azure IaaS . Here is the summary of the article Introducing the concept of cloud computing into...
  • Join Early Experts: Enhance Your Skills And Career For Free!!

    In an increasingly multi-hypervisor world, more and more IT organizations are using Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure to achieve superior performance and workload flexibility at the best possible price. With nearly two-thirds of businesses on more...
  • TechNet Radio: (Part 1) Understanding BYOD: What it Means for My Company

    In this two part series with Sr. Knowledge Engineer Yuri Diogenes and Kevin Remde we explore the world of “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD scenarios and how more IT organizations are trying to support it. In part one we try to help explain its benefits...