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  • Blog Post: Thank You TechEd Europe 2014!

    Hello Readers and Viewers! Quite a few Enterprise Cloud Group CAT Team Members / Building Clouds Bloggers were speakers at TechEd Europe this year! On behalf of the team, I would like to express our appreciation to the many thousands of attendees that showed up ready to learn and experience everything...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Rack Design - Part 1

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that we have all of our equipment, we need to figure out what our deployment footprint looks like. It’s worth noting that while we’re discussing this like it was a linear process, this is actually one of the many interdependencies we had to manage...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Network Purchasing (Device Types)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that Cisco has been chosen as the vendor for our network, we need to identify the layers of our network fabric, and the devices to be used in those roles. We'll have a 3-level network topology when done. Some devices will act as leaf node top-of-rack switches...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Network Purchasing (Vendor)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that our storage is straightened out, it's time to set our sights on network gear. As was mentioned earlier, this entire project is operating as an independent entity from Microsoft's normal IT operations. There's no shared network, authentication...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Storage Purchasing (SAS config)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that we've got our JBODs and our file servers, we need to tackle an underappreciated aspect of this solution: The SAS connectivity itself. How Many? After discussing our configuration and layout with folks inside of Microsoft with serious experience...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Storage Purchasing (File Servers)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that we have our JBOD's identified, we needed to decide what we were connecting them to. We seriously considered using some of our compute nodes as file server heads, but quickly ran into insurmountable problems. Precious I/O We designed our Scale...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Storage Purchasing (JBODs)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Today we're looping back to our first decision point: Storage. We already made our commitment to Storage Spaces on JBODs, now we had to find the right parts and vendors to fit our needs and build a good solution. JBODs Our search had to start with...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Fabric Choices (Network)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents In the prior post , we discussed how our major decision revolved around storage. The choices we made there would dictate the cost of the rest of the solution, so we had to make a decision there first, and carefully at that. Once we knew we'd be using Scale...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Fabric Choices (Storage)

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents The first step on the way to defining our architecture is designing our fabric. That involves taking the goals, users, services, and resources we talked about in previously, and then figuring out the optimal deployment configuration. Storage Choices Came First...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Hardware Resources

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents We've got our goals, users, and services roughly defined already, so we need to start figuring out what resources we need to actually build this cloud. What We've Got As an existing asset base, we have 288 HP Gen6 servers. While certainly not the newest...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Who are the Users? What is the Service?

    Contoso Labs Series - Table of Contents Now that we've laid out our high-level business goals for the project , we have to identify some basic information that will help define the service. Every well-executed IT project has to consider its users and the service they will be consuming very early...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Introduction

    Welcome to a new series here on the Building Clouds Blog: Contoso Labs .  A new post in this series will run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  What is Contoso Labs? Contoso Labs is a project that is being undertaken by our team in Windows Server and System Center (WSSC) with the intent...
  • Blog Post: Contoso Labs-Table of Contents

    This is a table of contents for the entire Contoso Labs series. Posts will be categorized by main topics that they cover. Introduction and Planning Introduction Who are the Users? What is the Service? Hardware Resources Fabric Choices (Storage) Fabric Choices (Network) Storage...
  • Blog Post: Security Series: Using PowerShell to Protect Your Private Cloud Infrastructure - Part 1

    In this first part of our three part series on using PowerShell to help secure your cloud infrastructure, Yuri Diogenes and I ( Tom Shinder ) will talk about how you can secure data in flight within your cloud infrastructure using SMB 3.0 encryption. The ability to secure the data moving over the cloud...
  • Blog Post: Hyper-V Virtual Fibre Channel Design Guide

    Virtual Fibre Channel for Hyper-V provides the guest operating system with unmediated access to a SAN by using a standard World Wide Name (WWN) associated with a virtual machine. Hyper-V users can now use Fibre Channel SANs to virtualize workloads that require direct access to SAN logical unit numbers...
  • Blog Post: Fabric Management–Using F5 Load Balancers with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    With private cloud , one of the major differentiators is automation of service management. While you can do similar things in a traditional datacenter, the private cloud is, by design and intent, an automated and fully rationalized datacenter deployment. That is why I often say that private cloud is...
  • Blog Post: TechEd 2013-Gayana Bagdasaryan Discusses Identity Infrastructure Fundamentals and Essential Capabilities

    We continue our march to TechEd North America and TechEd Europe with another star in the ARC track hit parade. In the world of cloud computing, identity issues are going to take an increasingly important role. That’s because in the worlds of private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud, it’s likely that...
  • Blog Post: The Top 10 Reasons You Should Attend our Sessions at MMS 2013!

    Trying to decide which sessions to attend at the 2013 Microsoft Management Summit ?  There are a lot of great options this year, and here are ten reasons we think you should check out the sessions hosted by the authors of the Building Clouds blog… You’ll get to learn all about the Fundamentals of...
  • Blog Post: Cloud OS Video Series 3-Creating Service Templates using VMware VMDKs

    The Cloud OS Video series is a collection of videos that help you understand the technology, deployment, and management of the Cloud OS leveraging Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. Each video is designed to be less than 10 minutes and cover a specific topic. These allows you to target your...
  • Blog Post: Hybrid Cloud Networking Help with NTttcp Version 5.28

    With the recent release of Azure Infrastructure Services we anticipate that a lot of you interested in the Microsoft cloud will be curious about the possibility of moving current on premises workloads to the Azure IaaS offering. There are a lot of good reasons to do this, such as potential cost savings...
  • Blog Post: Building Clouds – Introduction to “Fabric” Track:

    With the release of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 it is really amazing to see customers (including service providers) deploying large scale clouds to deliver services such as IaaS, DaaS and SaaS. While both these technologies possess a huge set of features that help to build a robust...
  • Blog Post: System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 as Private Cloud Enabler (1/5): Concepts

    Hi Microsoft Private Cloud fans! This week we’re in for a special treat. Yung Chou , a Senior IT Pro Evangelist is allowing us to cross-post his five part series on using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to create and support a Private Cloud, which is originally published on his virtualization blog...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Virtual Networks and IKE Versions

    Have you heard about Windows Azure Infrastructure Services? If not, then you’re in for a treat! Windows Azure Infrastructure Services enable you to put your virtual machines in the cloud. There are a lot of reasons why you might want to do this. Maybe your datacenter is at capacity and you need...
  • Blog Post: Evaluating Windows Server and System Center on a Laptop (or two, or three) – Failover Clustering (part 1)

    How to build a Failover Cluster on a single laptop Continuing on from my Introduction and Fabric posts, we’re now going to start playing with (learning) Failover Clustering for our evaluation of Windows Server and System Center . Note: This is NOT best practice deployment advice...
  • Blog Post: Secure the Private Cloud with Hyper-V PowerShell - Part 2

    In our first blog of this series, Using PowerShell to Protect Your Private Cloud Infrastructure , we defined the essential characteristics of cloud computing, briefly discussed some cloud security challenges, and started exploring network protection by using platform capabilities in Windows Server 2012...
  • Blog Post: Designing The Fabric: Introduction

    Enough introduction , on to the design!  Our first step was to decide on the configuration of our fabric; the network, storage, and I/O paths needed for cloud computing.  You’ll find we made some interesting decisions here, but then this is a real project with a real budget and timelines, not...
  • Blog Post: Cloud OS Video Series 2–VMware Integration

    The Cloud OS Video series is a collection of videos that help you understand the technology, deployment, and management of the Cloud OS leveraging Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. Each video is designed to be less than 10 minutes and cover a specific topic. These allows you to target your...
  • Blog Post: Evaluating Windows Server and System Center on a Laptop (or two, or three) – Fabric

    Building your Domain, Configuring Hyper-V and getting internet access for your VMs Continuing on from my Introduction post , we’re now going to get our laptops to become the Fabric (compute, network and storage) for our evaluation of Windows Server and System Center . Note: This is NOT...
  • Blog Post: The Perception of Infinite Capacity

    How many of you have infinite computing capacity in your data center?  From a consumer perspective, we certainly want infinite capacity.  Consumer in this sense could be a business unit in an enterprise.  IT organizations certainly want to be seen as a valuable and key part of the business...
  • Blog Post: System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 as Private Cloud Enabler (2/5): Fabric, Oh, Fabric

      Happy Thursday Microsoft Private Cloud fans! Today we are again honored to feature a great blog post by Yung Chou , a Senior IT Pro Evangelist who is allowing us to cross-post his five part series on using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to create and support a Private Cloud, which is originally...
  • Blog Post: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 as Private Cloud Enabler (3/5): The Power of Service Templates

    A primary focus of private cloud is service delivery. In contrast to the traditional datacenter approach to application deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting, private cloud refocuses our attention to the service that is actually being consumed by the user of the service. When you take a service...
  • Blog Post: Automated Fabric Patching for the Private Cloud

    When speaking of private cloud , the fabric is arguably the most unique piece of the cloud solution that separates it from a traditional datacenter. We’ve talked about the private cloud fabric in previous articles on the Private Cloud Architecture blog, such as the one done by Yung Chou entitled System...