Caleb’s understanding of virtualization and Hyper-V was a surprise to me since I did not sit down and gave him a technical discussion or training of any kind in Microsoft virtualization, and yet he seemed quite comfortable with creating and operating a virtual machine (VM) in Hyper-V. He probably learned how to install Windows Server 2012 by being around in my home office after he’s out of school in those afternoons a few weeks ago, since while building VM images and developing demos I would then go through installing servers and verified settings back and forth many times.
What got me excited is not necessary that he’s able to follow the wizard and clicking through the settings. What has impressed me is that his confidence in describing the process, his comfort level in navigating through the UI, and his abilities to visualize some of the essential concepts of virtualization such as adding Hyper-V role, composing a VM, setting Dynamic Memory, creating a Virtual Switch, etc. And of course, most importantly snacked along the way and never left any cookies. :)
Keith Mayer and Yung Chou kick off their multi-part series on how to build a Private Cloud using System Center 2012 SP1. Tune in for part 1 as they discuss the difference between a Private Cloud and a Highly Virtualized Environment, how System Center 2012 components map to Private Cloud requirements as well as how the SP1 release allows for even greater improvements to managing your datacenters and applications.
Websites & Blogs:
The entire series is also available via http://aka.ms/bpc.
The entire series is also available via http://aka.ms/bpc.
In February, our team of 11 Microsoft US Platform Technology Evangelists presented 20 opportunities for IT professionals to better understand the migration and deployment of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure VM. Cloud is here to stay. With so many options and new scenarios, IT is being challenged with doing not just more, but everything more with less. Planning, executing, and harvesting along the way will be my strategy.
One essential characteristics of cloud computing is a self-service mechanism. Both NIST SP 800-145 and Chou’s 5-3-2 Principle have discussed well. The self-servicing capability is essential since not only it reduces support cost fundamentally, but making it easy for a user to consume provided services will continually promote the usage and ultimately accelerate the ROI. In System Center 2012 SP1, App Controller is the self-service vehicle for managing a hybrid cloud based on SCVMM, Windows Azure, and 3rd party hosting services.
This article assumes a reader is familiar with System Center 2012 SP1, and particularly System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and App Controller. Those who are new to System Center 2012 SP1 should first download and install at least SCVMM 2012 SP1and App Controller 2012 SP1 from http://aka.ms/2012 to better follow the presented content.
The concept of a role-based security model in SCVMM is to package security settings and policies on who can do what, and how much on an object into a single concept, the so-called user role. The idea of a user role is to define a job function which a user performs as opposed to simply offering a logical group of selected user accounts.
To delegate authority, a user role is set with tasks, scope, and quotas based on a target business role and assigned responsibilities. The members of a user role are then with the authority to carry out specific tasks on authorized objects for performing a defined business function. For instance, a first-tier help desk support may perform a few specific diagnostic operations on a VM or service, but not debugging, storing, or redeploying it, while a datacenter administrator as an escalation path for the first-tier help desk can do all. In this case, a help desk support and an escalation engineer are to be defined as two user roles for delegating authority.
Operationally, creating a user role is to configure a profile which include membership, scope, resources, credentials, etc. A user role defines who can do what and how much on an authorized resource. And in essence a defined user role is a policy imposed on those who are assigned with this role, i.e. having a membership of this role.
To set up a user role in SCVMM, use the admin console and go to Setting workspace followed by clicking Create User Role from the ribbon as shown below. There are four user roles profiles available in SCVMM 2012 SP1. Each profile includes membership, scope, accessible networks and resources, allowed operations, etc.
The self-service model of SCVMM is to employ App Controller and SCVMM admin console as the self-service vehicle and enables an authorized user to self-manage resource consumption based on SLA with minimal IT involvement in the lifecycle of a deployed resource and without the need to expose the underlying fabric which is a key abstraction in cloud computing.
A difference of using App Controller and SCVMM is that the former does not reveal the underlying fabric regardless, while the latter will according to the user role of an authenticated user.
In System Center 2012 SP1, there are a number of new operations available for App Controller as documented in http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj605414.aspx. These operations as listed below facilitate the migration and deployment of resources among SCVMM-based private clouds, Windows Azure, and 3rd party hosting services.
Cloud is here to stay and hybrid is the way to go. Be ready. Learn, master, and take advantage of it. Make profits. Grow a career. Eat well and sleep well while welcoming XaaS, Everything as a Service, which we will have a lot to talk about soon.
As IT architectures, methodologies, solutions, and cloud computing are rapidly converging, system management plays an increasingly critical role and has become a focal point of any cloud initiative. A system management solution now must identify and manage not only physical and virtualized resources, but those deployed as services to private cloud, public cloud, and in hybrid deployment scenarios. An integrated operating environment with secure access, self-servicing mechanism, and a consistent user experience is essential to be efficient in daily IT routines.
App Controller is a component and part of the self-service portal solution in System Center 2012 SP1. By connecting to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) servers, Windows Azure subscriptions, and 3rd-party host services, App Controller offers a vehicle that enables an authorized user to administer resources deployed to private cloud, public cloud, and those in between without the need to understand the underlined fabric and physical complexities. It is a single pane of glass to manage multiple clouds and deployments in a modern datacenter where a private cloud may securely extend it boundary into Windows Azure, or a trusted hosting environment. The user experience and operations are consistent with those in Windows desktop and Internet Explorer. The following is a snapshot showing App Controller securely connected to both on-premise SCVMM-based private cloud and cloud services deployed to Windows Azure.
A key delivery of App Controller is the ability to delegate authority by allowing a user to connect to multiple resources based on user’s authorities, while hiding the underlying technical complexities.
An user can then manage those authorized resources by logging in App Controller and authorized by an associated user role, i.e. profile. In App Controller, a user neither sees, nor needs to know the existence of cloud fabric, i.e. under the hood how infrastructure, storage virtualization, network virtualization, and various servers and server virtualization hosts are placed, configured, and glued together.
When first logging into App Controller, a user needs to connect with authorized datacenter resources including SCVMM servers, Windows Azure Subscriptions, and 3rd party host services.
The user experience of App Controller is much the same with that of operating a Windows desktop. Connecting App Controller with a service provider on the other hand is per the provider’s instructions. However the process will be very similar with that of connecting with a Windows Azure subscription.
Connecting App Controller with Windows Azure on the other hands requires certificates and information of Windows Azure subscription id. This routine although may initially appear complex, it is actually quite simple and logical.
Establishing a secure channel for connecting App Controller with a Windows Azure subscription requires a private key/public key pair. App Controller employs a private key by installing the associated Personal Information Exchange (PFX) format of a chosen digital certificate, and the paired public key is in the binary format (.CER) of the digital certificate and uploaded to an intended Windows Azure subscription account. The following walks through the process.
For those who are familiar with PKI, use Microsoft Management Console, or MMC, to directly export a digital certificate in PFX and CER formats from local computer certificate store. Those relatively new to certificate management should first take a look into what certificates IIS are employing first to better understand which certificate to use.
Since App Controller is installed with IIS, acquiring a certificate is quite simple to do. When installing App Controller with IIS, a self-signed certificate is put in place for accessing App Controller web UI with SSL.
The certificate store of an OS instance can be accessed with MMC.
The two export processes, for example, created two certificates for connecting App Controller with Windows Azure as the following.
Upon connecting to on-premise and off-premise datacenter resources, App Controller is a secure vehicle enabling a user to manage authorized resources in a self-servicing manner. It is not just the technologies are fascinating. It is about shortening the go-to-market, so resources can be allocated and deployed based on a user’s needs. This is a key step in realizing of IT as a Service.
This lab demonstrates the ability to easily deploy and manage a VM in Windows Azure. Here, this VM happens to be a SQL Server 2012 which makes it more interesting by walking through the process to configure and remotely maintain a SQL Server 2012 instance running in a Windows Azure VM. This is however not intended to be a SQL lab and SQL Server experience is helpful but not required for completing the following tasks:
Placing a SQL database in the cloud and maintaining it remotely is a straightforward concept. Similar to connecting to an on-premise SQL database, a database client configures a connection string and connects to a target database which in this case is a SQL Server 2012 instance running in a Windows Azure VM in the cloud. Regardless where a SQL instance runs much of the sys admin routine is much the same by configuring firewall rules, setting authentication methods, creating SQL users, etc. The following depicts the conceptual model.
A step-by-step, screen-by-screen lab guide as shown detailing the process and steps to deploy, configure, and test database connectivity is available for download.
Here I am making this lab guide available as a download in pdf. This is a lab that I believe will accelerate many of us to better understand cloud computing and Windows Azure. Either you are a system admin or a DBA, go through this lab will connect many dots for you. If nothing else, use this lab as a self-study material for Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 and update your skill set.
At the same time, I also want to ask all to help sharing this resource broadly across the IT community. So other fellow IT pros can also benefit from it. Click the button to post a short tweet about this document, and you'll automatically receive a direct link to download this lab guide immediately afterwards. I hope you will find the document helpful. If you prefer not to share it with a tweet, email me from this post and I will understand and direct you to download the document.
To do this lab, you will need to have a Windows Azure subscription for deploying VMs. If not already, this is a good opportunity to start and learn Windows Azure. You can sign up and use Windows Azure 90-day free trial at http://aka.ms/90 to do the lab. A screencast as a supplement to the lab guide is available at http://aka.ms/AzureVMSQL.
This particular blog post presents the routines to conduct a RDS Quick Start session-based deployment, which is also an accelerated learning roadmap of RDS in Windows Server 2012. These routines build the essential skills and set the foundation for later carry out a Microsoft’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment. Those who would like get familiar with RDS should first review the article, RDS Architecture Explained.
RDS is the delivery vehicle of Microsoft RemoteApp programs and VDI. In enterprise IT strategies, RDS plays an important role in adopting consumerization of IT and BYOD (or Bring Your Own Device) initiatives by minimizing application and desktop device requirements down to almost just an HTTP session for anytime, anywhere, any network access.
In Windows Server 2008 releases, setting up RDS can be a daunting task. There are many moving parts with various configurations, polices, certificates, etc. to integrate together. This is however not the case anymore. Now in Windows Server 2012, the RDS deployment and maintenance processes have been dramatically simplified and automated with a smooth and rich user experience as presented later in this article.
Above all, RDS realizes flexible desktop concept and the so-called modern work-style where authorized LOB applications with location and device transparencies following a user and not the other way around. RDS is becoming an essential part of enterprise infrastructure for enabling application deployment as a service.
The complexities of what happens under the hood in RDS can easily overwhelm even an experienced Windows administrator. Windows Server 2012 introduces the so-called Quick Start deployment. And as the name suggests it minimizes the infrastructure requirement and makes a deployment a very quick and straightforward process.
Quick Start is an option in RDS deployment during the process of adding roles and features with Windows Server 2012 Service Manager. It dramatically simplifies the deployment process and shortens go-to-market while still providing the ability to add additional RDS servers as needed. The abstraction formed by RDWA, RDCB, and RDSH offers such elegancy that the Quick Start process integrates the three and deploy all to one server in a process rather uneventful. For
For prototyping a centralized remove access environment, demonstrating and testing a VDI solution, or simply building a study lab for self-training, Quick Start is a fast track for getting RDS up and running in a matter of minutes.
At this time, RDS session-based deployment is in place with three sample RemoteApp programs published. Let’s examine the user experience of accessing RDS RemoteApp programs.
Once RDS RemoteApp programs are published, a user can simply access https://the-RDWA-Server-URL/rdwab. Once authenticated, authorized RemoteApp programs are presented to the user.
In January, our team had a fun project to tell 31 stories, present 31 opportunities for IT professionals to get started on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, something we all feel very passionate about. Cloud computing is an exciting movement and offering so much to grow as an individual, as an organization, as a business.
Find out who is your area Evangelist, stay in touch with the team, and move forward with the communities. Together, let’s welcome the challenges, embrace the changes, get started, learn it, master it, and take advantages of it. Now here are your 31 opportunities:
Windows Azure relevant to Microsoft private cloud solutions is, in my view, as critical as what Active Directory means to Windows infrastructure. In a Windows domain, Active Directory holds the one version of truth and is the ultimate authority of all resources defined. Similarly when it comes to Microsoft cloud computing, there is no question that Windows Azure is the de facto platform as an extension of Active Directory in the cloud. While enterprise IT is transitioning form on-premise deployment to an emerging architecture of hybrid cloud, IT professionals are facing unprecedented challenges to change from managing servers deployed on premise to managing services delivered with hybrid cloud, and at the same time extraordinary opportunities to upgrade and expand an individual's skill profile and become a leader in cloud initiatives and a contributor in IT communities.
For IT professionals, a productive and direct way to learn and master Microsoft cloud computing solutions is to walk through and gain hands-on experience of the features available in Windows Azure. And the 90-day free trial and many readily available resources offer IT professionals at no cost to access, experience, and experiment deploying cloud resources of VMs, web sites, media and mobile services, virtual networks, etc. There are now many options for IT professionals to better deliver services. The following highlights the available features in Windows Azure and the significance to IT professionals.
A noticeable capability now available in System Center 2012 SP1 is to COPY a stored VM from on-premise private cloud fabric to Windows Azure. This COPY process is to be initiated from App Controller with an established connection to an intended Windows Azure subscription. A prerequisite of copying a VM is that the VM must be in a “stored” state. Storing a VM and later deploying the stored VM may appear conceptually plain. They are actually quite interesting operations in implementation. These processes under the hood make several transitions while on the surface with App Controller the user experience is amazingly streamlined and simple. The logical model of the associated operations is actually a great tool to better understand how the private cloud fabric works. The following schematic depicts the conceptual model of copying a VM from on-premise private cloud fabric to Windows Azure.
Form a user’s point of view, the process to COPY a VM to Windows Azure requires first storing the VM. A VM once stored becomes a library object, or specifically an object in Cloud Libraries of the Library workspace in VMM admin console as shown below. To store a VM either in App Controller or VMM admin console, simply right-click a target VM and select the option to store it. At this time, the process actually moves/exports the VM from the default VM path (configured in Placement of the associated host properties) to “Stored VM path” defined in the associated cloud properties. Both paths are set with VMM admin console as illustrated in the following.
Once a VM is stored, as shown below the status of the VM will be set as “Stored.” Notice that the operations of storing a VM are very much like those in exporting one. The process will capture the state packaged with the content and configurations of the VM.
At this time, an authorized user can then in App Controller initiate a COPY process to bring a stored VM to Windows Azure. A stored VM can be also redeployed back to the state, where, and when the “Store” process was last performed. [Continued in upcoming posts]
If you cannot make one of these events, you may be able to find a similar event at a New Horizons learning center here.
Attendees are encouraged to participate Early Expert Challenge program and set up a test lab to facilitate the learning. To participate in the afternoon hands-on lab session, you will need to bring your own computer (laptop preferred) with the following minimum configuration:
For more information or to register, visit > www.technetevents.com OR CALL 1-877-MSEVENT
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VHD is a file format employed in Microsoft virtualization solution. Essentially it operates and behaves much just like a physical hard disk, while in fact it is a file. There has been much information already available regarding VHD and those who are not familiar with this format should review Virtual Hard Disk Getting Started Guide first. There are various way to create and manage a VHD. For those who are deployment focused or prefer operating via a command prompt, DiskPart is available. On the other hand, with GUI there are also Hyper-V Manager and Disk Manager with VHD operations. In this post, the focuses are on the VHD operations with Hyper-V Manager. And there are really just three routines: creating, editing, and inspecting a VHD. One can start these routines from Action dropdown menu and Actions pane of Hyper-V manager once a Hyper-V host is highlighted. To create, edit, or inspect a VHD, simply click the corresponding option as shown above.
The following individual routines present the user experience after a user starts a particular routine by clicking a particular option indicated by the top level heading. Also notice that the term, VHD, depending on the context stands for either a virtual hard disk itself or the format of a virtual hard disk.
This type allocates storage at VHD creation time. The size of a Fixed Size or Fixed VHD, as the name indicates, stays the same throughout the life of a disk. Since all available storage is allocated at creation time, a Fixed VHD offers a predictable and best performance on operations relevant to storage allocation and is recommended for production use.
In the process, Windows Server 2012 defaults the format of a new blank VHD to VHDX and the size to 127 GB. Here, the shown routine reset the size and created a 5GB VHD on the local hard disk. The 5 GB size here is chosen due to limited disk space availability on the associated hard disk. To create a VHD for installing OS, for example, the size of the VHD should be large enough to include OS, patches, applications, temp storage, page files, buffer space, etc.
This type of a VHD is first created with just housekeeping (or header/footer) information, i.e. the name, location, maximum size, etc. of the disk. As data are written into a Dynamic VHD, the total size of the VHD will grow accordingly. Here is a routine to create a 5 GB Dynamic VHD.
So a Dynamically VHD is rather small in size when first created and the size grows as data are written into the disk. At any given time, a Dynamic VHD is with a size of the actual data written to it and the housekeeping information. Notice, upon deleting data from a Dynamic VHD, the space of those deleted data is not reclaimed till an Edit Disk/Compact operation is operated upon which.
A Dynamic VHD is recommended for development and testing, since relatively small footprint to manage. A server intended to run applications not disk intensive is also a possible candidate for a Dynamic VHD. Still when it comes to performance, a Fixed VHD always performs better than a comparable Dynamic VHD in most scenarios by roughly 10% to 15% with the exception of 4k writes, where Fixed VHD performs significantly better as documented in Hyper-V and VHD Performance - Dynamic vs. Fixed.
For backward compatibility, here is a routine to edit and change the format of a disk from VHDX to VHD. Since this operations will create a new disk with a copy of the source content, there is an opportunity to specify both the format and the type of the new disk. And here in addition to the format, the type is changed from Fixed to Dynamic. In other words, the operations to convert a VHD in effect copy the source disk to a newly created disk with a specified format and a selected type.
Converting a format does not apply to a Differencing VHD since both the format and the type are dependencies between a child disk and its parent and not to be changed for the parent-child link to work, although the Convert option is available for a Differencing VHD.
To increase the size of a Dynamic VHD, edit and expand the disk. The process is fairly straightforward.
To permanent introduce changes captured in a child disk, edit a child disk and select the option to merge the child disk into the parent disk. On the left, the process shows that the changes can be directly merged into the parent disk itself or a newly created Dynamic or Fixed disk. This routine is likely to follow a successful test/validation of a target patch or a new device driver against a child disk with an existing deployment image as the parent disk, for example.
Windows Azure is a cloud OS. It is an infrastructure with computing, networking, and storage capacities; a global service publishing and distribution vehicle; and a security and system management framework capable of bridging and extending on-premise resources with those deployed in the cloud. With IaaS combined with the many features Windows Azure offers, the opportunities for enterprise IT as well as small and medium businesses are real and exciting to employ cloud as a delivery platform for LOB services including media and phone apps. Windows Azure combined with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 provide many options for IT to transition and transform existing establishments into a cloud-friendly, cloud-ready, and cloud-enabled environment. Deploying resources, migrating workloads, and expanding Active Directory to cloud have never been easier with so much predictability and quick ROI, and without compromising quality and security. While for developers, those applications deployed to Windows Azure PaaS environment will be by default delivered with SaaS globally. Windows Azure is a cloud OS, changes how IT does business, and opens many new possibilities to shorten go-to-market. The following schematic depicts Windows Azure features highlighting technical capabilities, target scenarios, and business objectives.
WEB SITES is to rapidly deploy highly scalable web sites on Windows Azure. It allows using languages and open source applications of a site administrator’s choice and deploying content with FTP, Git, and TFS. Integrations with Windows Azure services include SQL Database, Caching, Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Storage. This is an optimal solution for a web presence to start small and scale as traffic grows with scalability, high availability, and built-in monitoring of performance and usage data. This is also a perfect turnkey for running ephemeral, i.e. short-live and transitory sites, for contests, promotions, campaign, prototype, proof of concept, and so on.
VIRTUAL MACHINES is Windows Azure’s IaaS solution. This much needed and long waited capability enables enterprise IT to provision infrastructure and deploy VMs on demand. An administrator can now easily deploy and configure Windows Server and Linux VMs in minutes in cloud. Migrate workloads without having to change existing code and modify network configuration, while able to securely connect those VMs to on-premises corporate networks.
MOBILE SERVICES offers a secure turnkey backend-as-a-service solution readily available for mobile applications. This offer accelerates mobile application development by incorporating structured storage, user authentication, and push notifications, and shortens the process dramatically. The ROI of this offering for mobile application development and deployment is almost immediate.
MEDIA SERVICES has everything for delivering content to a variety of devices, from Xbox, Windows phone, Windows 8, to MacOS, iOS and Android while ingesting, encoding, converting, and protecting content with both on-demand and live streaming capabilities. As media increasingly becomes part of a delivery in both business and social settings, Windows Azure Media Services arrive with tremendous business opportunities and growth.
CLOUD SERVICES, a PaaS offering, provides an on-demand runtime environment. Published API enables developers to build or extend enterprise applications onto Windows Azure with high availability and elastic scale. This is a PaaS environment to deploy applications delivered as SaaS solutions to customers anywhere around the world.
BIG DATA is becoming a pressing issue and on-going challenge for enterprise IT as data continue to explode. We are now confronted with ever-increasing and unplanned bursting of data in the order of magnitude on a daily basis. IT needs to process more data today than those of yesterday’s, yester-week’s, and yester-month’s introduced by growing mobile devices and increasing dynamic traffic trigger by social networks. The new normal of enterprise IT is to have not only the capacity to store and process, but the ability to analyze and derive information, and deliver business values from a massive sample space with numerous data points which continue increasing. Facing this reality, Windows Azure features a 100% Apache Hadoop compatible, enterprise-ready HDInsight service and supports a variety of structured and unstructured data storage options, along with tools to help analyze and extract BI from data of any size. Enterprise IT may not overcome the challenges of big data overnight, the arrival of Windows Azure nonetheless offers a strategic platform to move forward with a convergent solution.
I want to call out and invite IT professionals interested in achieving Microsoft certifications to join, participate, and contribute to Windows Server Early Experts Challenge. This program is to learn about the latest version of Windows Server with excelling in related Microsoft certification exams in mind.
The Challenge involves a series of Knowledge Quests - starting with the Apprentice Quest below - and each Quest ends with a special completion certificate for you to promote your new knowledge! To make it easy to participate, each Quest is developed in a modular format that you can complete based on your own schedule and availability.
The first five Knowledge Quests are Apprentice, Installer, Explorer, Networker and Virtualizer. These Knowledge Quests target the objectives in Exam 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012.
Let me acknowledge that the contents presented in the Early Expert Challenge series are based on Keith Mayer’s work. HIs enthusiasm, efforts, and impact on helping IT pro communities adopt Windows Server 2012 have been inspirational, effective, and significant.
This program leverages the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for some of our free online study resources. You will need to first register for an MVA account using your Microsoft Account (aka., Windows Live ID) via the link below …
In this first knowledge quest, you will learn and explore the key new technical capabilities of Windows Server 2012 across the product pillars of virtualization, management, networking and storage, etc. to properly position them for relevant usage scenarios.
The seven modules in this course, through video and whitepaper, provide details of the new capabilities, features, and solutions built into the product. With so many new features to cover, this course is designed to be the introduction to Windows Server 2012. After completing this course, you will be ready to dive deeper into Windows Server 2012 through additional Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) courses dedicated to each topic introduced in this “Technical Overview.”
Alternate option: You can also attend a free Windows Server 2012 First Look Clinic at a Microsoft Learning partner near you if you'd prefer an in-person training experience.
With so much to learn in Windows Server 2012, building your own lab environment is the best way to REALLY learn new technology! You can download the Windows Server 2012 installation bits and start the process! We'll be using these installation bits in the coming weeks in the additional Knowledge Quests of the "Early Experts" Challenge. Be sure to download the bits in "VHD" format (not "ISO" format) as we'll be using the VHD bits to build your study lab and in future Knowledge Quests for hands-on activities.
Follow this step-by-step guide to build your own study lab as a dual-boot environment on your existing desktop or laptop PC. We'll leverage this study lab environment in future Knowledge Quests for hands-on activities. Hands-on experience with Windows Server 2012 will help you greatly in mastering the knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass the certification exams.
Participate in our Online Study Group Community on LinkedIn to post questions you may have, share your insights and collaborate with other members as we all prepare for certification! Each of us has unique insight and by participating in this community, we'll be able to expand our technical knowledge beyond our own experiences.
Now that you've completed this Knowledge Quest, be sure to share your success with your social network using one of the buttons below for Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. By sharing your success, you'll also help to encourage others to join our study group and increase the number of IT Pros working together to help grow our collective technical knowledge and share even more community insight that benefits us all!
Have you completed Steps 1 through 5? If so, follow these steps to validate your lab completion and claim your "Early Experts - Apprentice" certificate:
Once you've submitted your certificate request, feel free to keep going with the next Knowledge Quest below!
After you've completed the "Early Experts" Apprentice Quest, keep going with the next Knowledge Quest to continue your preparation for the MCSA on Windows Server 2012 Exams:
In today’s episode Yung Chou shows us how to use System Center 2012 App Controller to easily configure, deploy and manage virtual machines and services across private and public clouds. In part one of this series he demos for us how to connect App Controller to Windows Azure.
After watching this video, follow these next steps:
Step #1 – Start Your Free 90 Day Trial of Windows Azure and deploy VMs in the cloud Step #2 – Download and install Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Step #3 – Learn, build, and experiment IaaS
Although the published Windows Azure Security Guidance appears to be focused on PaaS. The concept is nevertheless directly applicable to Windows Azure Virtual Machine as I have highlighted on the following diagrams originally from the Guidance.
And when discussing cloud security, ask these questions first:
And as needed, reference the following diagrams to get specifics.
Sign up your Windows Azure 90-day free trial, deploy a Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 VM in Windows Azure, and test out IaaS solutions. There are also free resources available at http://aka.ms/free.
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In today’s episode Yung Chou shows us how to deploy and configure a SQL Server Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Tune in as he creates a new Windows Azure Virtual Machine of SQL Server, then shows you how to access and configure it as well how to test its connectivity using Microsoft WebMatrix. Either to test SQL connectivity, web site development, or Windows Azure service deployment, WebMatrix is easy to use and freely available.
In today’s Windows Azure Virtual Machine how-to, Yung Chou shows us how to customize our virtual machine through load balancing as well as how to make it highly available. Tune in as Yung walks us through configuration and set-up.
Step #1 – Start Your Free 90 Day Trial of Windows Azure Step #2 – Download Windows Server 2012 Step #3 – Begin building your own Virtual Machines in Windows Azure!
Continuing our Windows Azure how-to series, Yung Chou shows us how easy it is to capture a Virtual Machine as an image in Windows Azure and then use it as a template to deploy additional VMs. Yung also walked through the process to attach a data disk as a local storage for keeping user and application data. Sign up Windows Azure 90-Day Trial, tune in, and follow through the process to realize the power of Windows Azure and cloud computing.
In today’s episode Yung Chou shows us how we can create a Virtual Machine using Windows Azure. Sign up your free 90-day trial, if not already.In this how-to video Yung creates a Windows Server 2012 virtual machine within a matter of minutes, showing us what options are available as well as how you can manage and remote into it.
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Yung Chou is back for today’s Azure overview and in this episode he demos for us the Windows Azure website feature. Tune in as he shows just how easy it is to deploy and manage a website within minutes. This is a tool to quickly establish a solid web appearance while Windows Azure automatically provides scalability and high availability with built-in monitoring of performance and usage data. There are open source applications development tools and frameworks readily available as well.
Yung Chou kicks off this special edition Windows Azure series as he covers the basics of cloud computing and how this recent release will greatly impact IT Pros. Tune in as he explains the Infrastructure as a Service model and how this new functionality within Azure will allow for full control and management of your virtual machine and networking environment.
In Windows Server 2012, a Server Message Block (SMB) file share can now store virtual machine (VM) and SQL Server resources in addition to traditional end-user files like office documents. SMB protocol is a network file sharing protocol allowing applications to read and write to files and requesting services from server programs in a computer network. Windows Server 2012 introduces the new 3.0 version of SMB protocol. A Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host can employ SMB 3.0 file shares as shared storage for storing virtual machine (VM) configuration files, VHDs, and snapshots. Further, SMB file shares can also store user database files of a stand-alone SQL Server 2008 R2. This is a significant feature and provides a capability such that VMs or databases can be dynamically migrated. The following schematic highlights these features.
Hyper-V over SMB
A Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V host can now store virtual machine configuration files, VHDs, and snapshots in file shares over the SMB 3.0 protocol. This can be used for both stand-alone file servers and clustered file servers that use Hyper-V together with shared file storage for the cluster. This feature requires:
SMB 3.0 file share is based on Windows security model and Active Directory infrastructure is required. And the computer account of an intended Hyper-V host employing Hyper-V over SMB will be granted access. The SMB file server must be a Windows Server 2012 with which SMB 3.0 protocol is available by default. One can also use non-Microsoft file servers that implement the SMB 3.0 protocol. For backward compatibility, Hyper-V does not block older versions of SMB, however, the Hyper-V Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) issues an alert when an older version of SMB is detected. Notice a computer that is running Hyper-V is not to be used as the file server for virtual machine storage. This forms a so-called “Loopback” configuration which is not supported.
Configuring SMB File Share
The process to create an SMB share is uneventful and with basic Windows user operations. From Server Manage, go to File and Storage Service and then click Shares of a target server as shown in the following screen capture. Here the included screen capture shows the target server RDVH is remotely accessed via Server Manager. Either form the dropdowns or simply right-clicking to bring up the menu and start the wizard for creating a new share.
Along the process, a system administrator will specify one of the five included file share profiles. For the advanced profile, a target server must install File Share Resource Management for quota control as shown below:
An SMB 3.0 file share comes with various settings. A system administrator can specify Windows to enumerate items based on access control and display only those files and folders a user has permissions to access. In such case, Windows will hide a user from seeing those files the user does not have Read permission. Caching for offline access is optional and an SMB 3.0 share is also Branch Caching ready. File access with encryption is readily available and enabled with a checkbox. The following shows a sample based on the SMB Share – Advanced profile with both caching and quota control enabled.
Hyper-V over SMB signifies a newly emerging trend of cost reductions on storage hardware and a progressing standardization of storage virtualization solutions. With SMB 3.0, a storage administrator can now working on file shares instead of managing storage fabric and logical unit numbers (LUNs). The concepts and operations are directly applicable with those skill sets of Windows system administration, which reduces the overall training and operating costs. The hardware of SMB 3.0 file shares are based on existing converged network with no specialized storage networking hardware, which increases the benefits of existing networks and essentially reduces capital expenditures. The ease of provisioning and management makes storage virtualization solution a much manageable and affordable solution with long-term reductions on capital and operating expenditures.
Call to Action
In today’s episode, Yung Chou kick starts his Windows Server 2012 series by focusing on installation options for Server Core. Tune in as he demos for us how to configure and switch to this option from full install mode to the Minimal Server Interface
TechNet Virtual Labs: System Center 2012