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In today's TechNet Radio show, I'm back again for another episode in our System Center 2012 ConfigMgr SP1 series with Wally Mead, Senior Program Manager from the System Center Client Management team and all-around ConfigMgr Guru.  Tune in as we discuss new support for App-V 5 virtual applications and virtual environments. In this episode, we'll be covering ... New Support for App-V 5 virtual applications App-V 5 Connection Groups Deploying App-V 5 virtual applications Converting App-V 4.6 applications packages to App-V 5 Managing App-V 5 Virtual Applications with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Next Steps ... After watching this video, follow these next steps: Step #1 – Download System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 Step #2 – Download Windows Server 2012 Step #3 – Download Your FREE Copy of Hyper-V Server 2012 Want to Learn More? If you're interested in lea... (more)

Migrating to Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 from 2008 R2 and VMware vSphere

Hyper-V Server 2012 is Microsoft's completely free type-1 hypervisor product.  Unlike some other competing free hypervisors, Hyper-V Server 2012 has the same virtualization scale and availability features as the Hyper-V role in licensed editions of Windows Server 2012, but it's optimized for running only the Hyper-V hypervisor on bare metal.  It's a great solution when you're looking to deploy dedicated hypervisor hosts within your shop.  The result?  An enterprise-scale type-1 hypervisor for FREE! You can get more details on Hyper-V Server 2012 here. Recently, I was involved in a project that was migrating from Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 to Hyper-V Server 2012.  Due to architectural changes involved in implementing the new features in Hyper-V Server 2012, a direct in-place upgrade is not possible.  However, the across-the-wire migration process we used below was strai... (more)

Grid Experience Comes to Private Cloud Rescue

More enterprises are looking to the cloud compute model -- both public and private -- to efficiently support myriad applications and data workloads. Platform Computing, a pioneer in high-performance computing (HPC), is now jumping into the fray with a private cloud management platform: Platform ISF. Platform ISF, which becomes the centerpiece of the company's cloud computing strategy, creates a shared IT infrastructure from physical and virtual resource pools, to deliver application hosting environments, according to automated workload and resource scheduling policies. The Markham, Ont. company said its new offering will be released in beta this week, with general availability planned for the fall. Platform ISF leverages Platform’s resource sharing technology, EGO, and its virtual machine orchestrator (VMO), combine to deliver an infrastructure-sharing platform. Platf... (more)

Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud Service Goes Live

Well not to say I didn't see this coming over a year ago, Amazon has finally seen the light and rolled out a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Amazon describes their new Virtual Private Cloud in much the same way we do at Enomaly. To recap, my original definition of a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is as a method for partitioning a public computing utility such as EC2 into quarantined virtual infrastructure. A VPC may encapsulate multiple local and remote resources to appear as a single homogeneous computing environment bridging the ability to securely utilize remote resources as part of an seamless global compute infrastructure. A core component of a VPC is a virtual private network (VPN) and or a virtual LAN (Vlan) in which some of the links between nodes are encrypted and carried by virtual switches. According to the new VPC website, the "Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon... (more)

Minnesota and Private Cloud

I had a blog partially written for today when @GeorgeVHulme tweeted this: "WAHOO! Minnesota goes Private Cloud!". And that changed my thoughts and direction completely. Here’s the article George linked to State of Minnesota Signs Historic Cloud Computing Agreement With Microsoft. The fact that it was private cloud and with Microsoft got me to read the article. And it’s actually a pretty impressive story for both the state and for Microsoft. In essence, this takes “private cloud” to a different place than I would have envisioned. They’re outsourcing. Yes, there’s a line in the sand, beyond which the state has complete control, but they have essentially given Microsoft their infrastructure (the collaboration and email piece of it anyway) and are holding Microsoft accountable for security and software maintenance. That’s a pretty solid plan if the admins at the state ... (more)

Cloud Computing Goes Far Beyond Virtualization

Virtualization vs. private cloud has confused many IT pros. Are they the same? Or different? In what way and how? We have already virtualized most of my computing resources, is a private cloud still relevant to us? These are questions I have been frequently asked. Before getting the answers, in the first article of this two-part series listed below let's first go through a few concepts. Part 1: Cloud Computing Goes Far Beyond Virtualization (This article) Part 2: A Private Cloud Delivers IT as a Service Lately, many IT shops have introduced virtualization into existing computing environmentw. Consolidating servers, mimicking production environment, virtualizing test networks, securing resources with honey pots, adding disaster recovery options, etc. are just a few applications of employing virtualization. Some also run highly virtualized IT with automation provided ... (more)

Get Certified on MCSE Private Cloud with this Step-by-Step Study Guide

This month, I spent a fair amount of time preparing for the new Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Exam 70-246, Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 and I saved links to all the study resources that I used to study and pass this exam as a step-by-step Exam Study Guide for anyone else who may be interested in targeting this exam. Exam 70-246 is the final exam needed to complete the MCSE Private Cloud certification track.  The complete requirements for the MCSE Private Cloud track include: Achieve MCSA:Windows Server 2008 If you were previously certified as an MCITP on Windows Server 2008, you may be closer than you realize to achieving this certification requirement!  MCITP’s were grandfathered into the MCSA program automatically when the new MCSA program was introduced earlier this year.  Check your MCP Transcript at http://www.microso... (more)

Right-Size IT Budgets with Windows Server 2012 "Storage Spaces"

What is the Largest Single Cost Category in Your IT Hardware Budget? If you're like most of the enterprise customer organizations that were surveyed when we were designing Windows Server 2012, your answer is probably the same as theirs: STORAGE! For the organizations we surveyed, we found that as much as 60% of their annual hardware budgets were allocated to expensive hardware SAN solutions due to ever-increasing storage requirements. Wouldn't it be nice to have some of that budget back for other IT projects? YES! We agree too ... that's why the server team included "Storage Spaces" in Windows Server 2012! Get Ready for "Storage Spaces"! "Storage Spaces" is a new storage virtualization technology that's included in Windows Server 2012 and our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 to provide SAN-like storage capabilities and performance using commodity hardware components, such as ... (more)

Windows Azure VMs - New "Stopped" VM Options Provide Flexibility

Didn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry. This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros.  Today’s article focuses on a new, much-heralded enhancement to Windows Azure Infrastructure Services to make it more cost-effective for spinning VMs up and down on-demand on the Windows Azure cloud platform. New: VMs that are shutdown from the Windows Azure Management Portal will no longer continue to accumulate compute charges while stopped! Previous to this enhancement being available, the Azure platform maintained fabric resource reservations for VMs, even in a shutdown state, to ensure consistent resource availability when starting those VMs in the future.  And, this meant that VMs had to be exported and completely deprovisioned when not in use to avoid compute charges. In th... (more)

Building an Automated Tiered Storage Lab with Windows Server 2012 R2

I’ve been speaking with lots of IT Pros over the past several weeks about the new storage improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2, and one feature in particular has gained a ton of attention: automated Storage Tiers as part of the new Storage Spaces feature set. However, not all of us have multiple SSD and HDD disks in our demo or lab gear, so it’s sometimes challenging to evaluate and demo this new feature.  In this article, I’ll step through the process of leveraging Virtual Hard Disks ( VHDs ) to simulate SSD and HDD tiers for the purpose of evaluating and demonstrating the functionality of Storage Tiers in a Windows Server 2012 R2 lab environment. What are “Storage Tiers”? Storage Tiers combine the best performance attributes of solid-state disks (SSDs) with the best cost:capacity attributes of hard disk drives (HDDs) together by providing the ability to create ... (more)

ParaScale CEO Sees Storage Moving Increasingly to the Cloud

Cloud computing is grabbing headlines as more and more enterprises are turning to this emerging technology as a way to enable flexible computing power over the Internet. In 2008, many companies were wary of the risks and vulnerabilities of participating in the cloud computing model, and although the buzz was high, adoption was feathered. "This all changes in 2009," said Sajai Krishnan, CEO of cloud storage start-up ParaScale.  "The economic downturn and the addition of private cloud solutions to complement public offerings are creating an environment that enables incremental adoption of cloud storage on a very broad scale." In discussions with end users, ParaScale has found that the overwhelming majority indicate they are considering both public and private cloud storage. Storage Clouds are Attractive for Many Companies Krishnan identifies several considerations drivi... (more)