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  • Blog Post: Windows Server Technical Preview – My Favourite Features – Part 1

    Microsoft released the first Technical Preview of Windows 10 to much acclaim back in October. There have been three releases so far and we currently sit on the ‘last release of the Calendar year’ – Build 9879. The Technical Preview is intended primarily for the enterprise to evaluate...
  • Blog Post: Future Decoded – 12th November – Enterprise Mobility

    If you are at all interested in Enterprise Mobility then Wednesday 12th November at Excel in London is the place to be. This FREE event has lots going for it. Enterprise mobility is not all that is on offer. The morning is dedicated to some big-hitting keynote speakers. Including Professor Brian Cox...
  • Blog Post: Azure RemoteApp Part 2 – More RemoteAppyness from Azure

    Having published a post on Azure RemoteApp recently, I have been absolutely inundated with requests (well three people have asked me) for information on how to use Azure RemoteApp with an application that is not published by default and that I DON’T want to run on my own premises. So here...
  • 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: Reach for the Cloud - System Center 2012

    For me the most interesting stuff in the System Center 2012 is the cloud stuff. Some of this is obvious - there’s cloud button in Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012, and there’s even a new product in the line-up, currently called Concero that is totally cloud focused. Some of the cloud...
  • Blog Post: Virtualizing Tier 1 SQL Server

    A while back I published a couple of posts on virtualizing SQL Server, and in the light of developments in both the virtualization platform out there and SQL Server itself I feel the need to do a complete rewrite.  The traditional approach to implementing high availability (HA) in SQL Server has...
  • Blog Post: Evaluate This – Hyper-V Server 2012

    Hyper-V Server is a free operating system specifically designed to just run Hyper-V so basically a cut down core installation of a paid for edition of Windows Server.  The cut down bit refers to the fact that only the roles and features needed to run Hyper-V are there. However Hyper-V itself is...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation and the small business

    At this time of year our team is heavily into planning meetings. One debate I got into in one of these sessions was the importance of virtualisation to smaller businesses. The general reaction was that this is a technology more relevant to large organisations with large data centres or to hosters and...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • 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: Evaluate This – NIC teaming

    In the third in this video series I wanted to show you NIC Teaming.. which is how you can provide a single network interface from multiple interface even if these are from different manufacturers. That's why in the video below I have used some Belkin USB Ethernet adapters combined with the on-board network...