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  • Blog Post: VDI–Shameless plug

    I have spent the last six months writing my first book, Getting Started with Windows VDI for Packt Publishing, basically because I want to create a one stop repository of the key elements you need to do this. The basic idea I had was to only use the Microsoft stack to do this and to explore the wider...
  • Blog Post: How to keep company data secure, in a ‘mobile first, cloud first’ environment

    It’s a Brave new world, a mobile first, cloud first world of technology. In that world there are many new ways of consuming data, on many new devices. Data security is of paramount importance to any user, IT Pro, Small Business or Enterprise, it is a universal requirement of making that data available...
  • Blog Post: IPAM – Part 3

    IPAM Part 3 focuses on the integration of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 R2 into the IPAM managed environment. What exactly does this mean? IPAM covers the entire Microsoft DHCP and DNS environment and monitors, manages and audits the deployment. Prior to Windows Server 2012...
  • Blog Post: IPAM – Part 2

    So, what IS new in IPAM in Windows Server 2012 R2? There is quite a long list here. One of the big additions is that IPAM now supports RBAC – Role Based Access Control, this now enables you to customise access and operations permissions for users and groups of users with granular control of IPAM...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops Redux setting up Hyper-V in a hurry

    I am at Manchester United as I write this and one of the delegates wanted to quickly try out Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012R2. I thought I had an all up post on that but it turns out I don’t, so Nicholas Agbaji this is just for you! You’ll need a latptop/desktop running Windows 7/Windows 2008R2 or later...
  • Blog Post: F1 for help

    Join us for two days of IT Camps for the Enterprise 8-9th April @ Lotus F1 ® HQ If there is one thing I have learnt from my time at Microsoft it is that we are all different. One area where this is obvious is that we all have different approaches to learning. Some people like to read the manual...
  • Blog Post: Virtual Machine Manager 2012R2 Templates cubed

    Up until now in my Lab Ops series I have been using bits of PowerShell to create VM’s in a known state, however this requires a certain amount of editing and I would have to write a lot more code to automate it and properly log what is going on. Plus I would probably want a database to store variables...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 19 – Software Defined Networking - where’s my stuff

    Well done if you got through my last post, I bolted a lot of stuff together and it all looks a bit confusing particularly if you are moving from Hyper-V to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (VMM). For a start where’s my network settings? When I was testing my rig I found I couldn’t swap out...
  • 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: What I wish I’d known in 2013, is how much improved Hyper-V would be!

    The winning story from our coveted Geekmas day one competition, David has shed some light on what he wished he’d known leading into this year and as a result has bagged himself loads of TechNet goodies inc. an MSDN subscription. His story focuses on the age old server virtualisation battle, see...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM availability

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 were released-to-manufacturing (RTM) on 9 February and will be made generally available on 22 February . Windows Server 2008 R2 will be taking advantage of this release to accelerate delivery of new features, mainly desktop virtualisation capabilities meeting...
  • Blog Post: Notes from IT Camp, Leeds 28th Feb

    Simon and I did our first IT camp in Leeds on Tuesday, and I would like to say thank you to those that cam along as you were the beta testers for this new kind of event.  As you can see we had a much more informal setup of groups of 8 or 9 around ...read more
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2012 IT camps

    I have been out in the US for the past four weeks, and during my absence the rest of the UK TechNet team have filled my diary with various events including the next series of IT camps.  These camps will all be  on Windows Server 2012 specifically around how virtualisation changes in this release...
  • Blog Post: System Center 2012–It’s all about the application

    The Accountants, sales guys and lawyers in your business don’t understand or care about how fast your hypervisor is or how many nodes there are in your cluster. What they care about is that the e-mail works the intranet is up and the business can ...read more
  • Blog Post: Server 4024 part 1 – Virtualisation

    A database is only as good as the operating system it resides on. SQL Server only runs on Windows and given that Windows Server 2012 (WS2012) is a huge change from what there was in Server 2008 R2 what does this new OS mean for the DBA.  The reference to Server 4012 is because that would be WS2012...
  • Blog Post: Spruce Up your Data Centre

    The summer holidays can generally be a quiet time for some IT Pros, depending on the industry you work in, so I wondered if this would be a good time for a bit of a tidy up in the data centre.  The easy bit of that is to actually tidy up the physical environment such as cabling left lying around...
  • Blog Post: Event Reminder: IT Pro Licensing Update - Reading - 28th March

    Just a quick reminder that this month we are hosting an IT Pro Licensing event in Reading. The event will provide you with a good licensing overview to help you understand Microsoft, it is run by LicensEase for Microsoft. Your trainer will Be Louise Ulrick. The areas that this event will cover are...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Valuable Penguin

    I sometimes think the IT industry is a bit like a load of penguins on the pack ice, each one checking the others out to see who going to brave the ocean first.  In IT it’s nervousness about when to jump onto a new technology and if there is one technology that makes IT professionals really nervous...
  • Blog Post: Guest Post: Window 8 and Hyper-V

    Matthew Hughes is an Independent SharePoint Consultant and the Director or SP365 Ltd. He runs various SharePoint related websites such as sp365.co.uk and is the founder of the Office 365 UK User Group who hold their first physical meeting in London on the 4 th September 2012. He is a MCTS, MCITP, MOS...
  • Blog Post: Private Cloud IT Camps

    I have covered some of what we do at IT camps in a couple of previous posts, but what we did in Birmingham and London this week was to launch a new kind of camp, on Private Cloud.  This builds on knowledge gained at a Hyper-V IT camp and on Microsoft Virtual Academy and explain the how and why of...
  • Blog Post: 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
  • Blog Post: Additional Dates added for London IT Camps

    Due to the popularity of our IT Camps in London we have added 2 new dates to our schedule:   Enterprise Consumerisation of IT :  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:30 AM The current pace of technology offers IT Professionals with a dilemma: deploying the devices that staff need to effectively do their...