Throughout the Hyper-V release cycle, from pre-beta, through to RTM, there were a number of customers who wanted to embrace the technology early, and be supported by Microsoft whilst doing so. This support was provided through our Rapid Deployment Programme, and Perth and Kinross Council (along with their Partner, Charteris), up in Scotland, were one of the customers who were involved.
In a nutshell, the council wanted to save money (doesn’t everybody!) by halting server proliferation and reducing electricity consumption in its data centres while continuing to support e-government services delivery to citizens. I’d say that this is a pretty familiar scenario for anyone thinking about going down the virtualisation route, on the server side.
Now, as a result of embracing the Hyper-V technology, as part of Windows Server 2008,
“The council forecasts that in the first year it will save £100,000 compared to the cost of buying new physical servers. Its carbon footprint has improved with annual power savings of 350,000 kilowatt hours of electricity equating to an annual cost saving of £26,000 and 151 tonnes less in carbon dioxide emissions from April 2009.”
This is top stuff, and this is just one example of cost savings that virtualisation, as a technology, whether it’s Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, or whoever, can bring. £26k annually in power savings is a big saving, and better still, the carbon footprint is heavily reduced.
In terms of other summarised benefits:
Perth and Kinross have also embraced the recently released System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which “provides technicians with a centralised view of all virtual machines in the data centre landscape. This has helped ensure better business continuity for the council’s services. Wilson adds: “We have only had one failover so far and that was quickly rectified. We can make better use of our server resources without any disturbance to council employees. Specialised training also isn’t an issue with Microsoft technologies because we have plenty of skilled staff.”
I think the point made about training is an interesting one. The tools that ship around Hyper-V are intuitive, familiar, and yet powerful and extensible under the covers, providing a fantastic platform for Partners and Customers alike.
You can read the whole case study here: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000003241
Hot off the press, and hot on the heels of the last IPD Update I wrote, the IPD team have done it again, this time, for Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1. Firstly, in time honoured tradition, what is an IPD?
The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario”
Basically, they are there to provide background information, design ideas, key decision areas etc, that are important prior to rolling out the technologies.
“Each guide leads the reader through critical infrastructure design decisions, in the appropriate order, evaluating the available options for each decision against its impact on critical characteristics of the infrastructure. The IPD Series highlights when service and infrastructure goals should be validated with the organization and provides additional questions that should be asked of service stakeholders and decision makers”
If you want to find out which guides are already available, and how to get hold of them, refer to my previous post.
So, back to the DPM IPD guide…
“Considering a data protection strategy for your organization? This guide leads the reader through the process of planning a Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 SP1 infrastructure. Work through the infrastructure design process in a logical, sequential order. This IPD guide enables the reader to quickly identify what types of data will be protected, what the recovery goals are, and the protection strategy to achieve those goals. Other benefits of using this guide include best practice design guidance from the product group and an optimized infrastructure to best meet the business requirements”
There’s one subtle difference about this guide, when compared with the other IPD guides that are referenced in previous posts, and that’s because this one isn’t published yet. Well, not publicly anyway – it’s available on the Microsoft Connect website, over at http://connect.microsoft.com. Hit that link, and search, or, more specifically, hit this link: https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=14 to be taken to the IPD beta homepage, where you can sign up, and download the IPD Beta Guide for DPM 2007 SP1. You’ll see the link to download the guide right in front of you when you hit the IPD homepage.
Sometimes, I’m a bit pants with email – I’ll hold my hand up about that. I’m good with the majority of email, but there’s the odd one that you think, ‘that needs actioning, and I’ll get onto it tomorrow’. The problem is, you think it every day, so, to quote Ronan Keating, ‘tomorrow’ never comes. (Just to quash that rumour before it starts, I’m not a Ronan Keating fan, and I know the song is called ‘If tomorrow never comes’, but I was on a roll :-))
Anyway, as you can see:
This little beauty came through from Michael Walsh, way back in August (it’s my oldest Inbox email) and I’ve been meaning to blog about it since then, but, I just haven’t found the right time. That time is now.
Michael is one of the chaps involved in the fantastic Software Enabled Earth blog, which focuses on Green IT, and the Environment. If you haven’t seen it before, I’d strongly suggest you have a look.
The post I’m particularly interested in, relates to Microsoft’s System Center Management platform, and in particular, System Center Configuration Manager 2007. If you’re not familiar with SCCM, it’s what was SMS 2003, but with a big number of improvements. The best way that I personally can describe SCCM, in a nutshell, is your centralised server to deploy stuff. By stuff, I mean, Operating Systems, applications to be installed, virtualised applications to be streamed, hotfixes, patches, updates, etc. It will also provide you with asset inventory capabilities. You really have to see it in action to see the full benefit of this technology. I’m not aiming to provide that level of detail in this post, but I will provide some useful links below:
There are also a number of great hands-on-virtual labs for SCCM:
Anyway, enough rambling – what’s the link between SCCM, the Green IT stuff, and Energy Star?
Well, with System Center Configuration Manager 2007, you can easily monitor and capture the configuration information of servers, desktops, and laptops across your network. In doing so, Configuration Manager utilises Desired Configuration Management (DCM) to evaluate systems and determine whether they are configured in accordance with corporate requirements.
DCM supports imported configuration packs, which are best practices created by Microsoft and other software vendors to identify common configuration errors for applications and operating systems. We’ve recently launched a new DCM pack that fully complies with ENERGY STAR configuration guidelines. The new pack, which is endorsed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), enables customers to assess their client settings against the following ENERGY STAR defined efficiency levels and recommendations:
This SCCM 2007 based solution makes it easier for IT Pro’s to ensure that PCs are configured with the appropriate energy savings - driving improved power management implementations that can lower operational costs. The solution also provides a basis for compliance reporting against various pledge programs, such as Climate Savers Computing Initiative and ENERGY STAR Low Carbon IT Campaign. Sounds like a win-win to me.
You can read more about this, and more, here:
Short notice, but it will be recorded so you can watch it later!
WNS80PAL: What is New in Service Pack 1 for Data Protection Manager 2007
Presented by Jason Buffington
Friday, December 12, 2008 - 16:00-17:00pm GMT
It has been a year since System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 was released, and while we’ve already released a ‘Rollup Update’ in June, it is time to release the first service pack – which will be available for download by the time of this live webcast. Every workload that is protected by DPM 2007 received some incremental functionality within SP1, including mirrored database support for SQL Server, SCR protection with Exchange, significant optimization of SharePoint farm protection, and of course, Hyper-V protection. Additional capabilities around desktop protection and disaster recovery were also enhanced, as well as new protection scenarios for Branch Offices. And finally, a Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007 is also available to enable enterprise monitoring and management of the DPM environment.
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, you can Register Here (Live ID Required!)
If you’re interested in other Microsoft Virtualisation sessions, you can get the full list here!
WNS79PAL: Best Practices and Recommendations for Running SQL Server in Hyper-V environment
Presented by Lindsey Allen and Mark Pohto
Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 16:00-17:00pm GMT
In this session we will discuss the following: Consolidation considerations - when to consolidate SQL Server in virtualized environment. Best practices for running SQL Server workloads within Hyper-V Virtual Machines, monitoring Strategies, sample data points related to performance of SQL Server running within Hyper-V Virtual Machines.
If you’re interested in other Microsoft Virtualisation sessions, you can get the full list here! (including past sessions!)
I blogged about the KickStart Renewals Clinic back in April this year, and it’s come back round again, due to it’s popularity!
What is it?
Well, do you find the Microsoft Partner Programme confusing? There are a broad range of resources and support available to you through the programme, but it can be confusing trying to understand what to use - and when to use it. There are two ways you can increase your knowledge on the Partner Programme - you can watch our series of online training videos, or you can book onto one of the classroom courses which are run by the UK Partner Programme team.
As it says above, you have 2 options; Online, or Classroom. If we start with Classroom:
The UK Partner Programme team run training courses to help partners make sense of the tools and resources available and the benefits of being a Microsoft partner. The aim of this course is to show key programme administrators how to use the programme and how to get the most out of the available resources. The workshop-style course is free to attend and runs for half a day - it is suitable for Certified and Gold Certified partners, or Registered partners looking to move up to Certified or Gold Certified.
Find below the next series of training dates for the KickStart course. You can book onto any of the dates from the Partner Learning Centre. Just search for course code: 44WK018
The half-day course covers the following:
Alternatively, you have the option of using the Online Version of the training:
KickStart your knowledge of the Microsoft Partner Programme and understand how to get the most value from your partnership by watching this series of video casts. Whether you are the programme administrator interested in learning how to make your membership renewal process easier, or you're the marketing manager looking to gain leads from Microsoft, you can find all the information you need from these videos. The video’s on the site include:
Programme Administrator Training
Sales and Marketing Training
You can get all the details on the Partner Learning Center, here: https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40070075
It’s coming round very soon! That’s right, it’s the 3rd of the Microsoft Virtualisation User Group Meetings, and this session, there’s a good mix of presenters, and content:
So, we’re starting off with a nice bit of real-world Hyper-V info, from the guys at Unisys, along with their customer on the RDP programme, Slough Borough Council. Then we’ll dive into an overview of App-V, but not from a Microsoftee – instead, you’ll be able to hear a non-MS view of the technology – not to be missed! Last, but no means least, Justin is going to take a bit more of a deep look at what makes up App-V.
Hopefully I can make it, but not sure if my schedule will allow it, as I’m in Cheshire for the day, so getting back in time will be difficult, but we’ll see. If you can make it, I’m sure it’ll be worthwhile.
So, the final details you need are: