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System Center: Use the right tool for the right job
This post isn’t really about Lab Ops as it’s more theory than Ops, but before I dive in to the world of what you can do with System Center I wanted to stress one important concept: Use the right tool for the right job. That old saying that when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail can harm...
21 Jan 2014
Lab Ops– 16 System Center setup
This post isn’t going to tell you how to install System Center screen by screen as there are some 434 of these to do a complete install and configure. That’s a lot of clicking with a lot of opportunity for mistakes and while I realise that not everyone needs to tear down and reset everything surely there...
15 Jan 2014
How to find your 'Happy Place'?
It's January it’s cold wet and windy so lets lift the mood and discuss happiness as this is a peak season for suicide and depression in the UK. My definition of happiness is taken from Robert Heinlein (the guy who wrote Starship Troopers) “Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long...
7 Jan 2014
Lab Ops - Stop Press Windows Server 2012R2 Evaluation edition released
I have just got back to my blog after a few days at various events and I see the Evaluation edition of Windows Server 2012R2 has been released. I need this for my lab ops because I am building and blowing away VMs for er… evaluations and I don’t want to have to muck about with license keys. For...
30 Oct 2013
Lab Ops 7 – Setting up a pooled VDI collection in Windows Server 2012 R2
In Windows Server you can create two kinds of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), personal or pooled. A personal collection is a bit like a company car scheme where everyone chooses their own car. This means there needs to be car for everyone even if they are on leave or sick etc. and each car...
28 Oct 2013
Green IT Fatigue
I recently got asked to do an interview on for TechWeek Europe about green initiatives in the IT industry. However let’s be honest, computers burn a lot of power, require a lot of power to make and are made of some nasty exotic compounds and chemicals, so they aren’t going to save the planet by...
22 Aug 2013
SQL Server Spruce up
Landrovers, will take a lot of pounding and neglect, but when my wife drove hers to Australia she made very sure it was properly set up for 2 years on the road Similarly SQL Server is also often out in the wild far from DBA’s and inspection from maintenance tools, like System Center . However now...
9 Aug 2013
Installing SQL Server in a Virtual World
I do get occasional feedback that SQL Server is hard to install, all those screens all those checkboxes etc. etc. This is simply a reflection that there is so much in SQL Server aside form the database engine, however if you know what you want and you are doing this regularly then script it, if...
29 Jul 2013
Microsoft Free Software – a personal top ten
You might think this will would make for a really short article post but actually there’s a huge amount of free tools and resource out there and I have had to restrict myself to a top ten across the server and client, based on what Simon and I have used. So please feel free to...
22 May 2013
The TechEd Challenge - It's still not too late to enter if you've not done so - a sneak preview of what you could win!
Have you entered the Tech Ed Challenge yet? If not, why not? Just by entering you could win a ticket to TechEd Europe , that's right, just by completing a form and downloading one of the products, you are entered into the draw. If you download/sign up for all three then you've got three times the...
7 May 2013
Tech.Days Online is Back! 24th/25th/26th April
New years resolution: must blog more! It's only taken me to the end of January to start my resolution but I'm going to try one blog article per month. We're bringing back Tech.Days Online on the 24th/25th & 26th of April. This time with more days and more topics. Simon and Andrew will be back...
30 Jan 2013
Evaluate This – Multi-server management
My favourite feature in Windows Server 2012 is it’s ability to manage and be managed. For those of you that aren’t yet PowerShell fans, then this means Server Manager and that's the main thing I am using in this screencast.. In a small business you could get away with just using server manager...
17 Dec 2012
TechDays Online 2012
Simon and I are doing so many events that frankly our blogs are nearly dying of neglect so I am not even sure if anyone is out there reading this! I am not apologising because it’s great to be out there meeting people at IT Camps, launch events etc. However not everyone can get to one of those...
5 Oct 2012
Moving to Hyper-V
I am being asked more and more often about how to move virtual machines onto Hyper-V and so I wanted to do a definitive post on the tools and techniques to do this. Whatever your reasons for doing this you’ll want to ensure your users have a good experience post migration and the secret to this...
11 Sep 2012
Data Centre Resource Planning and System Center 2012
Most of us like have the proper tools for the job; trying to undo Phillips screws with a penknife, using your gold card to get the ice off the windscreen or using notepad to write F# is no fun. I would argue that the proper tool for running a modern Data ...read more
24 Feb 2012
Managing a hybrid cloud with System Center 2012
Hybrid cloud is the term applied to the increasingly common scenario where a business runs some of its services in the public cloud but retains some on premise, although it is also possible to use assets from both to provide a service as well. For ...read more
17 Feb 2012
Microsoft System Center and BMC Management Tools Integration and Interaction
In his second guest post Greg Charman from Kelverion has a look at BMC integration. Many customers have made large investments in both Microsoft System Center and BMC Datacenter Management Tools. Historically integrating these two vendors product sets ...read more
14 Feb 2012
Superglue now available for System Center 2012
One of my frustrations to date when showing off System Center 2012 is that it doesn’t quite fit together yet; each of the individual products is in beta and works pretty well, however joining them up is not there yet. This is not because there’s ...read more
9 Feb 2012
Simon and I have spent most of last week on stand duty at BETT one of the largest education events in the world. We were there to field questions from teachers and some of the hardest working IT Professionals, those supporting the IT in schools. ...read more
16 Jan 2012
ITIL and System Center 2012
If ITIL is the Why , the What and the When of IT operations System Center provides the how.. I have been quite harsh with the tick boxes here, for example you could argue that part of Service improvement could be to redesign a process and this ...read more
9 Jan 2012
How to Plan an ITIL Infrastructure Implementation
In the last guest blog post from Erin Palmer he looked at how to manage IT chaos with the adoption of ITIL infrastructure. In this second guest post he takes a more detailed look at five key points from the TWDC case study that can help plan a successful ...read more
4 Jan 2012
How to Manage Chaos with an ITIL Framework
I have to confess I don’t know too much about the detailed mechanics of ITIL, but I couple of months ago I got chatting to an expert, Erin Palmer from Villanova University in the US, and over the Christmas holidays he’s written up a really good post by ...read more
3 Jan 2012
Introducing Dan Pilling – Fun, Music Addict, Petrol Head
I managed to grab 5 minutes to interview Dan Pilling, a recent convert to Technet UK as the IT Professional Audience Marketing Manager. And what better way to introduce Dan to you properly than with 10 Questions! 1. What is your name and where do you come from? (Imagine this being said Cilla Black...
11 Nov 2011
SQL Server 2012 and the private cloud
Putting up a marketing slide that says SQL Server is a good private cloud citizen is good marketing, but what’s in the box to back the claim up? My top three would be: Windows Server core . Patching is a major maintenance problem with lots of virtual ...read more
1 Nov 2011
Microsoft is all in – a guest post by Andrew Fryer
When Steve Ballmer says “We’re all in the cloud” this should be viewed in the same way as when Bill Gates talked about “a PC in every home”. I could quote statistics on the investment Microsoft is making in the cloud or show you some cool pictures of containers in one of the data centres...
5 Oct 2010
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