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  • 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: Hyper-V Snapshots in Production

    It’s sometimes quite difficult to talk and think at the same time, and at our camps last week I think we may have caused some confusion around snapshots for virtual machines (VM) that are in production so I wanted to write this up from first principles so that I have somewhere to refer to in future....
  • Blog Post: More TechNet ‘newness’ – Virtualisation TechCentre now live

    Getting Business Done with Virtualisation is the fitting title of the new Virtualisation TechCentre on TechNet. Find all the latest guides and ‘how to’ material at your fingertips. Technorati Tags: Virtualisation , TechNet
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–Storage Migration

    In some smaller organisations virtual machines (VM) often run on local storage DAS – Direct Attached Storage on the hosts whereas in bigger businesses many if not all production VMs are hosted on shared storage (e.g. a SAN) , so the virtual machine executes on a given host but the virtual hard disk and...
  • Blog Post: Reminder: You can still catch day 2 & 3 of the Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals Jump Start online training

    We mentioned this a while back but I have seen just seen some pretty good feedback from Day 1 so thought I would send a quick reminder. Remember this is Pacific Time so it would mean a late night! The great news is that this will be available on demand from The Microsoft Virtual Academy soon after ...
  • Blog Post: System Center Advisor– now live

    I remember hearing about a Project Houston about a year ago, a cunning plan to allow Microsoft to check the heath of your SQL Server databases and the operating system it sits on. It is now live and it’s called System Center Advisor . It works by using ...read more
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This–Collapsed Cluster

    In my last post I used two clusters; one to host a high availability (HA) file server where I stored a virtual machine and another cluster to run the virtual machine.  The file server cluster was built from two virtual machines (VMs) and is commonly known as a guest cluster. However to enable HA...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This – Hyper-V Replica

    In many of the screencast in this series I have moved a VM around my demo setup, however there has only been the one copy of it whether it was on a scale-out file server, in a cluster or both. In any production environment you would want to augment this with additional disaster recovery techniques including...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops 2–The Lee-Robinson Script

    In my last post I mentioned how Marcus Robinson & had adapted PowerShell scripts by Thomas Lee to build a set of VMs to run a course in a reliable and repeatable way.  With Marcus’s permission I have put that Setup Script on SkyDrive, however he has a proper day job running his gold partnership...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation and Interoperability

    I often think that Microsoft is a bit like the English language, a lot of people speak it, a lot of people don’t and for many people it’s a second or third language they need for work e.g. air traffic controllers.  In technology few of us run a totally Microsoft environment, a few more will have...
  • Blog Post: Private Cloud–Nothing to see please move along

    One of the reasons the term Private Cloud is getting a bad press is that it’s all marketing fluff and isn’t real. In any data centre you are going to be doing thing like.. deploying applications fixing applications performance tuning load balancing resource ...read more
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Virtual Machines in Cartoon Format

    Steve Plank our resident Windows Azure guru has been getting creative and has just released this video showing the new elements of Virtual Machine Manager included in the June update for Windows Azure. Via: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/plankytronixx You can find out even more about using Windows Azure virtual...
  • Blog Post: Case Study: Council Expands Shared Services and Makes Significant Savings Through Virtualisation

    BUSINESS CHALLENGE Staffordshire County Council wanted to reduce costs through virtualisation—improving manageability and resilience by moving its infrastructure to the private cloud. It also looked to support shared services. SOLUTION Staffordshire County Council worked with Microsoft Gold Partner Risual...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops Part 10–Scale Out File Servers

    In my last post I showed how to build a simple cluster out of two VMs and a shared disk.  The VMs are nodes in this cluster.. and the shared “quorum” disk is used to mediate which node owns the cluster when a connection is lost between them.. However this cluster is not actually doing anything;...
  • Blog Post: Dell and Hyper-V for the smaller business

    Over the last month I have been on tour with Dell showing what Hyper-V can do for small/medium businesses, and later this week I’ll be with them in Falmouth. The argument they put forward for Hyper-V is really simple: You want use a new server for virtualisation, and now that moderns servers...