Microsoft Partner Enablement

As a Microsoft Partner, we’re often invited to attend various courses and seminars, this one in particular peaked my interest, an in-depth technical overview of some of the latest products and updates from Microsoft.

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

The course title was – Microsoft Visualization with Windows Server 2012 R2 & System Center 2012 R2

Coming from a VCP background and attended the relevant courses for the VMware VCP – vSphere Datacentre exams I was intrigued to look a bit more in depth to the Microsoft offering of Hyper-visors and the technology that Microsoft are looking to bolt into it to make an all encompassing container for business.

To my delight it is on par if not better. I say better because I use Microsoft products and they way it has been designed is similar to what I am used to with other Microsoft products, this I particularly like. It makes my hunting for particular features intuative and a better use of my time. At then end of the day, I want to complete something, not only do I want it done right, but I want it done quickly. An important first point I’d imagine a lot of technical people in my position would agree with.

The technology itself is very similar, there are swings and roundabouts that offset against each other in comparison tables, but for me Microsoft have it. Not only are they creating the Operating Systems and putting all the work into that side of things, but they are genuinely a player in the Hyper-visor level now, run an OS in a third party virtual environment or use a virtual environment that has been designed with the Operating System build in mind. It all makes obvious sense. Exchange and SQL performance improvements are a great example of this. *Insert ‘stat here* 🙂

The delivery of the course was by a very technically minded marketing person, he knew what he was talking about and didn’t sugar coat that there were some areas that need improvement, but better than that, each time we were informed of a possible issue with something and then quoted a possible time frame for this to be resolved and improved. Microsoft work on things, now! An understanding that not everything is going to be perfect first time round is the reason they are THE player in what they do – business IT solutions (all encompassing these days)

I digress…..

I am looking a bit further into a number of points that were raised during the course, new products and services available to utilize as well as some ‘features’ that were not available in the SP1 release of Windows Server 2012.

The list of other items I hope to tick off include (but not limited to);

Windows Azure

Windows Intune

System Center Configuration Manager

System Center Operations Manager

Hyper-V (R2)

As well as the inner workings of all of these products.

Windows 1.0, the first version, released in 1985

Windows 1.0, the first version, released in 1985 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not going to be able to do this all over night so I will tick the list off and post links on this particular post so you can see the progress, although checking back in to see the newest posts wouldn’t hurt the statistics? 😉

Anyhow, as a conclusion – Microsoft have done some pretty amazing things recently, I for one have had my glass emptied with VMware and now I’m ready to pour in the sweet sweet nectar of Hyper-V and all the possibilities the CLOUD OS provides.

Check back soon and thanks for viewing!

Microsoft UK HQ – Cloud OS Seminar #microsoft #cloudOS

Overview of Cloud OS

The vision associated with the whole ‘Cloud OS’ infrastructure and service is designed to address the following areas;

Microsoft UK HQ

Microsoft UK HQ

  • Social Web Analytics
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Cloud Scalability
  • Live Data Feeds
  • Mobility

The idea behind Cloud OS is to address the above but it does so much more than that, looking at the services that are provided by Microsoft shows its ability to create excellent Cloud Services and using its own design to fully establish successful applications and infrastructure.

The Cloud services Microsoft provide include over 200+ well established cloud based solutions, these include;

  • Bing
  • XBOX Live
  • Outlook.com
  • SkyDrive
  • Exchange Hosted Services
  • Office365
  • Skype
  • Lync
  • A multitude of other services covering everything from mobile devices (Intune) to fully hosted servers (Azure)

Microsoft were very keen to promote the idea of using Microsoft products on the journey to the cloud, by using Windows Server 2012 as the beginnings of a cloud journey. The particularly stressed the importance and ease associated with moving a Server 2012 Virtual Machine from on-prem to the cloud in Azure.

The idea was to create a platform that was consistent not only for the end users who utilise the ‘end result’ as such, but for administrators and the decision makers for the whole IT infrastructure of a company.

When I use the term ‘Cloud OS’, Microsoft defines this as some of its major products based in the cloud, as detailed below;

  • Azure – the platform of the cloud infrastructure sold as a service to utilise and scale as required.
  • Windows Server 2012 – The on-prem implementation of a virtual environment enabling fast transition and ease to the cloud.
  • SQL – Utilising data and enabling a data rich function to compliment the fantastic work of the Azure platform.
  • System Centre – enabling control and management of devices, users, profiles, software. This could be seen as the administrator’s hub for maintaining the cloud infrastructure and connected devices.
  • Visual Studio – For the developers of the world, this will enable excellent products to be released utilising the cloud, Visual Studio has been revamped for the cloud and as such will give the developers what they need to create fully functioning products for companies to utilise.
Microsoft know how to put on a good breakfast! :-)

Microsoft know how to put on a good breakfast! 🙂

Server 2012 Migration scenarios #migration

Cloud computing comes to NERSC

Cloud computing comes to NERSC (Photo credit: Berkeley Lab)

Migration projects involving servers can be categorized in a number of ways, depending on whether you are deploying a new infrastructure, upgrading or consolidating an existing infrastructure, or implementing a new infrastructure such as moving to the cloud. Other variables also include whether you are fully upgrading your entire infrastructure or only some of the server(s). There are also other scenarios such as managed or unmanaged environments, and whether the infrastructure is small or large.

You will find there is no single process for migrating a server but by utilising one or some of the follow migration best practices you will find your upgrade will be successful.

 

Windows Server 2012 has many possible migration scenarios, below I have briefly covered the main ways to move to Server 2012;

  • GreenField – Scenario where there is no current infrastructure, for example a new start up company.

 

English: Main components of a Service within a...
English: Main components of a Service within a Service Oriented Infrastructure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Forest Upgrade – Schema upgrade on current infrastructure using ADprep.exe command-line utility.

 

  • Mixed Environment – New hardware with 2012 and upgrade functional level within a legacy OS environment.

 

  • Server Consolidation – Using virtualisation to consolidate multiple physical servers to virtual hosts.

 

  • Private Cloud – Software as a Service (SaaS) / Platform as a Service (PaaS) / Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Utilising AD and System Center 2012.

 

  • Public Cloud – Hosting provider maintains a shared pool of resources – all customer data is fully isolated from others. Services such as Office 365 and Windows Azure offer this public cloud technology.

 

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