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  • Blog Post: Bumph or brilliance? Finding the place for Cloud in your business

    It comes as news to nobody that the IT industry is rocketing through a massive transformation, with every Marketing Exec and his dog bounding around phrases like ‘Cloud Computing’, ‘Big Data’ and ‘Internet of Things’ as if they’re going out of fashion. However...
  • Blog Post: Become an MVA Hero

    Sign up to MVA Hero today and get your free hero costume (t-shirt) and earn some great prizes! I am still surprised at how many IT Professionals and developers haven’t made use of the Microsoft Virtual Academy to learn about Microsoft technologies and stay up do date as new versions are released...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 18 Getting started with Software Defined Networking

    In my last post I finished up where I had my host under management of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and that was about it. As with Hyper-V I can’t really use VMM until I have my fabric configured and after adding in hosts the first thing we need to do is look at Networking. To recap my current setup...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops part 17 - Getting Started with Virtual Machine Manager

    In my last post I talked a lot about the way all of System Center works, now I want to look at one part of it Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as VMs in a modern data centre are at the core of the services we provide to our users. In the good old days we managed real servers that had real disks connected...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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
  • Blog Post: UK launches the Microsoft Virtual Academy - free training resource for IT Pros

    At the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas this week, one of the resource announcements was the “Microsoft Virtual Academy”. The Microsoft Virtual Academy offers no-cost, easy-access training for IT professionals who want to get ahead in cloud computing. Developed by leading experts...
  • Blog Post: Hyper-V security

    Curiously one of the topics we hardly ever get asked about at our IT Camps is security in Hyper-V.  Perhaps it’s because you all have total confidence in our approach security, or you already have the facts to hand, but more likely is that you forgot to ask about because it’s not top of your agenda...
  • Blog Post: Event: IT Camp Leeds Feb 28th

    Back in December Simon and I invited a few friends along to help us beta test a different kind of event, an IT Camp . The idea is simply to do smaller, more interactive events where discussions and questions are encouraged. The presenters, (Simon and I) being a bit more in the background. The first of...
  • Blog Post: Announcing System Center SP1, our UK MVPs

    Last night we announced general availability of System Center 2012 SP1, it’s great, expansive product that is absolutely key to delivering your Private Cloud, Managing your Public cloud and managing the consumerisaiton of IT. You can get the trail VHDs at the bottom of this post or download the installers...
  • Blog Post: Business Intelligence for the Private Cloud part 1

    If you have looked at any of the new components of System Center 2012 you may have noticed that everyone seems to have a bunch of reports, some of them have data marts or data warehouses and some of them have analytics in the form of analysis services cubes.  Apart from the confusion over when to...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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
  • Blog Post: Ten Top New Years Resolutions for IT Professionals

    At this time of year it’s traditional for everyone to start planning for next year but what are the most important things for an IT Professional to do in the coming year?  Next year is going to be the year when we start to see widespread cloud (both public and private) adoption now that some of...
  • Blog Post: 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
  • Blog Post: Guest Post: Supercharging private cloud efficiencies by Andy Hawkins

    by Andy Hawkins , Product Manager at 1E Organizations are continuing to face challenges in the data center. It’s true that virtualization has succeeded in addressing power and space concerns, but at most, it has only reduced spend marginally. Indeed, many companies are finding it hard to recognize ROI...
  • Blog Post: New MVA course available now: Enhancing Your Business and Career with the Private Cloud

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy team’s released a new course: Enhancing Your Business and Career with the Private Cloud . This course contains 3 modules focusing on how the private cloud can help your business and your IT pro career. The first module starts by covering the cloud business drivers and business...
  • Blog Post: 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
  • Blog Post: Case Study: Unilever Transitions to Private Cloud, Expects to Double in Size without Increasing IT Costs

    Unilever has been hugely successful in selling personal care, homecare, and food products to billions of c ustomers throughout the world—so successful that it expects to double in size in 10 years. To ensure that its IT organization could support this growth, Unilever worked with Avanade to...
  • Blog Post: Create and Scale Business Solutions Fast, On Your Terms Across Server, Private or Public Cloud

    The next wave of SQL Server investments will offer organizations the agility to quickly create and scale solutions that solve challenges and fuel new business opportunity from server to private or public cloud linked together with common tools for optimized productivity and cutting-edge developer technologies—build...
  • Blog Post: How the Private Cloud affects your IT department

    Before I get into this post I know the term Private Cloud is a dirty word for many IT Professionals, partly because it is seen as marketing fluff and partly because each vendor seems to have their own definition. The Private Cloud definition Microsoft uses is from the National Institute of Science &...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager IT Camp - An evaluation from TechED Europe 2012

    The IT Pro Team are either on holiday or at IT Camps at the moment so I’m left holding the fort. I thought I would use this as an opportunity to let you know about an event we are running on the 2 nd of July with Wally Mead from Microsoft HQ, Seattle We know that not everyone is able to attend...
  • Blog Post: Free ebook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions

    Ok, deep breath – long sentence coming up… This free, yes, free 400+ page ebook Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions: From the Desktop to the Datacenter, 2nd Edition is the book for IT professionals who want to learn more about the latest Microsoft virtualization technologies, including Hyper...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops – part 1 Introduction

    For some people building demo setups is a part of the job,  for example Trainers pre-sales Technical roles and evangelists like me.  Everything shifts as these evolve for example a beta product comes out and we need to show new concepts that the technology introduces, for example software defined...