Category Archives: Virtualization

Another tough exam…

As a subject matter expert (SME) on virtualization, I was neither excited nor intimidated when Microsoft announced their new exam, 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.  Unlike many previous exams I did not rush out to be the first to take it, nor was I going to wait forever.  I actually thought about sitting the exam in Japan in December, but since I had trouble registering there and then got busy, I simply decided to use my visit to Canada to schedule the exam.

This is not the first exam that I have gone into without so much as a glance at the Overview or the Skills Measured section of the exam page on the Internet.  I did not do any preparation whatsoever for the exam… as you may know I have spent much of the last five years living and breathing virtualization.  This attitude very nearly came back to bite me in the exam room at the Learning Academy in Hamilton, Ontario Wednesday morning.

Having taught every Microsoft server virtualization course ever produced (and having written or tech-reviewed many of them) I should have known better.  Virtualization is more than installing Hyper-V.  it’s more than just System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and Operations Manager (OpsMgr).  It is the entire Private Cloud strategy… and if you plan to sit this exam you had better have more than a passing understanding of System Center Service Manager (ServMgr), Data Protection Manager (DPM), and Orchestrator.  Oh, and your knowledge should extend beyond more than one simple Hyper-V host.

I have long professed to my students that while DPM is Microsoft’s disaster recovery solution, when it comes down to it just make sure that your backup solution does everything that they need, and make sure to test it.  While I stand behind that statement for production environments, it does not hold water when it comes to Microsoft certification exams.  When two of the first few questions were on DPM I did a little silent gulp to myself… maybe I should have prepared a little better for this.

I do not use Service Manager… It’s not that I wouldn’t – I have a lot of good things to say about it.  Heck, I even installed it as recent as yesterday – but I have not used it beyond a passing glance.  The same used to be true of System Center Orchestrator, but over the last year that has changed a lot… I have integrated it into my courseware, and I have spent some time learning it and using it in production environments for repetitive tasks.  While I am certainly not an expert in it, I am at least more than just familiar with it.  That familiarity may have helped me on one exam question.  Had I taken the time to review the exam page on the Microsoft Learning Experience website I would have known that the word Orchestrator does not appear anywhere on the page.

Here’s the problem with Microsoft exams… especially the newer ones that do not simply cover a product, but an entire solution across multiple suites.  Very few of us will use and know every aspect covered on the exam.  That is why I have always professed that no matter how familiar you may be with the primary technology covered, you should always review the exam page and fill in your knowledge gaps with the proper studying.  You should even spend a few hours reviewing the material that you are pretty sure you do know.  As I told my teenaged son when discussing his exams, rarely will you have easy exams… if you feel it was easy it just means you were sufficiently prepared.  Five questions into today’s exam I regretted my blasé attitude towards it – I may be a virtualization expert, but I was not adequately prepared.

As I went through the exam I started to get into a groove… while there are some aspects of Hyper-V that I have not implemented, those are few and far between.  the questions about VHDX files, Failover Clustering, Shared VHDX, Generation 2 VMs, and so many more came around and seemed almost too easy, but like I told my son it just means I am familiar with the material.  There were one or two questions which I considered to be very poorly worded, but I reread the questions and the answers and gave my best answer based on my understanding of them.

I have often described the time between pressing ‘End Exam’ and the appearance of the Results screen to be an extended period of excruciating forced lessons in patience.  That was not the case today – I was surprised that the screen came up pretty quickly.  While I certainly did not ace the exam, I did pass, and not with the bare minimum score.   It was certainly a phew moment for a guy who considers himself pretty smart in virtualization.

Now here’s the question… is the exam a really tough one, or was I simply not prepared and thus considered it tough?  And frankly, how tough could it have been if I didn’t prepare, and passed anyways?  I suppose that makes two questions.  The answer to both is that while I did not prepare for the exam, I am considered by many (including Microsoft) a SME on Hyper-V and System Center.  I can say with authority that it was a difficult exam.  That then leads to the next question, is it too tough?  While I did give that some thought as I left the exam (my first words to the proctor was ‘Wow that was a tough exam!) I do not think it is unreasonably so.  It will require a lot of preparation – not simply watching the MVA Jump Start videos (which are by the way excellent resources, and should be considered required watching for anyone planning to sit the exam).  You will need to build your own environment, do a lot of reading and research, and possibly more.

If you do plan to sit this exam, make sure you visit the exam page first by clicking here.  Make sure you expand and review the Overview and Skills Measured sections.  If you review the Preparation Materials section it will refer you to a five day course that is releasing next week from Microsoft Learning Experience – 20409A- Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center (5 Days).  I am proud to say that I was involved with the creation of that course, and that it will help you immensely, not only with the exam but with your real-world experience.

Incidentally, passing the exam gives you the following cert: Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center.

Good luck, and go get em!

Counting Down the Classics with the US IT Evangelists

 

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall…”

“Thirty-five articles on Virtualization…”

Pale AleAll of these are great sing-along songs, whether for holidays, camping, bus-rides, or comparing virtualization technology.  Each one is a classic.

Wait… you’ve never heard the last one? That’s okay, we are happy to teach it to you.  It has a pretty catchy tune – the tune of cost savings, lower TCO, higher ROI, and a complete end-to-end management solution.

Even if you can’t remember the lyrics, why don’t you open up the articles – each one written by a member of Microsoft’s team of IT Pro Evangelists in the United States.

You can read along at your own pace, because no matter how fast or slow you read, as long as you are heading in the right direction then you are doing it right! –MDG

The 35 Articles on Virtualization:

Date Article Author
12-Aug-13 Series Introduction Kevin Remde – @KevinRemde
13-Aug-13 What is a “Purpose-Built Hypervisor? Kevin Remde – @KevinRemde
14-Aug-13 Simplified Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Host Patching = Greater Security and More Uptime Chris Avis – @ChrisAvis
15-Aug-13 Reducing VMware Storage Costs WITH Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
16-Aug-13 Does size really matter? Brian Lewis – @BrianLewis_
19-Aug-13 Let’s talk certifications! Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
20-Aug-13 Virtual Processor Scheduling Tommy Patterson – @Tommy_Patterson
21-Aug-13 FREE Zero Downtime Patch Management Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
22-Aug-13 Agentless Protection Chris Avis – @ChrisAvis
23-Aug-13 Site to Site Disaster Recovery with HRM Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
25-Aug-13 Destination: VMWorld Jennelle Crothers – @jkc137
26-Aug-13 Get the “Scoop” on Hyper-V during VMworld Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
27-Aug-13 VMWorld: Key Keynote Notes Kevin Remde – @KevinRemde
28-Aug-13 VMWorld: Did you know that there is no extra charge? Kevin Remde – @KevinRemde
29-Aug-13 VMWorld: A Memo to IT Leadership Yung Chou – @YungChou
30-Aug-13 Moving Live Virtual Machines, Same But Different Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
02-Sep-13 Not All Memory Management is Equal Dan Stolts – @ITProGuru
03-Sep-13 Can I get an app with that? Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
04-Sep-13 Deploying Naked Servers Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
05-Sep-13 Automated Server Workload Balancing Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
06-Sep-13 Thoughts on VMWorld Jennelle Crothers – @jkc137
09-Sep-13 Shopping for Private Clouds Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
11-Sep-13 Dynamic Storage Management in Private Clouds Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
12-Sep-13 Replaceable? or Extensible? What kind of virtual switch do you want? Chris Avis – @ChrisAvis
13-Sep-13 Offloading your Storage Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
16-Sep-13 VDI: A Look at Supportability and More! Tommy Patterson – @Tommy_Patterson
17-Sep-13 Agentless Backup for Virtual Environments Special Guest Chris Henley – @ChrisJHenley
19-Sep-13 How robust is your availability? Kevin Remde – @KevinRemde
20-Sep-13 VM Guest Operating System Support Brian Lewis – @BrianLewis_
23-Sep-13 How to license Windows Server VMs Brian Lewis – @BrianLewis_
24-Sep-13 Comparing vSphere 5.5 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V At-A-Glance Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
25-Sep-13 Evaluating Hyper-V Network Virtualization as an alternative to VMware NSX Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer
26-Sep-13 Automation is the Key to Happiness Matt Hester – @MatthewHester
27-Sep-13 Comparing Microsoft’s Public Cloud to VMware’s Public Cloud Blain Barton – @BlainBar
30-Sep-13 What does AVAILABILITY mean in YOUR cloud? Keith Mayer – @KeithMayer

…and as for me? Well it’s pretty simple… just go to www.garvis.ca and type Virtualization into the search bar.  You’ll see what I have to say too!

Hyper-V CPU Compatibility Mode

it is pretty well known that for Live Migration to work in Hyper-V, the CPUs on the hosts must be of the same family (Intel to Intel, AMD to AMD).  However it is not as simple as that. 

Both companies are constantly improving their products, so a CPU that Intel makes in 2013 will have more features than one they made in 2010, and because of that they will not be compatible for Live Migration.  In theory then, the Live Migration window is really closer to eighteen months before you are out of band.

So how impractical would it be if both VMware and Microsoft told companies that in order to have Live Migration their servers had to be less than eighteen months apart?  So several years ago Intel and VMware got together and addressed the problem.  The result was what they called Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC).  Essentially what they do for servers in a cluster where EVC is enabled is they simply mask the advanced features of the newer CPUs, which are usually only needed for sound and video and thus not for the majority of business servers.

Microsoft then introduced Hyper-V, and overnight (five years later) they are a real player in the virtualization realm.  In fact, there are some people who would say that they are equal to or better than VMware.  They need to implement a similar feature to prevent the same issue.  Unfortunately they can’t call it EVC because that includes VMware’s trademark vMotion.  Being better with technology than they are with marketing, they settled on calling it ‘Migrate to a physical computer with a different processor version…’ or MTAPCWADPV.  Try to say that three times fast ;)

While their feature name is nowhere near as easy as the equivalent from their competition, the technology is applied to the virtual machine rather than to the cluster.  So in your environment you could have a cluster where some VMs could migrate to some hosts but not to others.

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Now here’s the misconception: People seem to think that by enabling MTAPCWADPV you are sacrificing performance on your VMs.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The performance reduction of CPU compatibility mode is a myth.  What MTAPCWADPV does is it masks the newer features of the CPU – mostly multi-media signatures and such – but does not otherwise hobble the CPU.  Unless your VM requires those newer features there will be absolutely no performance decrease to the VM.  If they have VMs that DO need the newer CPU features then leave those on the newer blades.

The other myth, of course, is that it allows you to Live Migrate from Intel to AMD or vice versa.  Unfortunately that is not possible.  Will it be in the future?  Who knows… but under the hood the two families are still different enough that I don’t expect to see it anytime soon.

  1. So now that you know, go enable MTAPCWADPV!  Here’s how:
  2. Open the Settings window of your VM
  3. Expand the Processor section.
  4. Click on Compatibility.
  5. Select the check box called Migrate to a physical computer with a different processor version.

That’s it!  The only caveat is that the VM must be turned off before you do it.  Messing with the processor is not something you want to do live ;)

Live Migration can be performed between any servers with compatible CPUs… as long as they are within the same family.  Try it yourself!

Back on RunAs Radio!

Over the past few months I have recorded a number of webinars and webcasts on a plethora of topics around virtualization, but the one that seems to have gotten the most attention is the one I did for VMTraining that pitted me against Jeff Weiss – Microsoft versus VMware.

A few days later Richard Campbell, the host of RunAs Radio, reached out to ask if I would be interested in doing a similar discussion with him, but this time just ‘Why Microsoft Virtualization is better than VMware.’  I am always happy to sit down with Richard, so we did so last week.

Show #330 is not my first appearance on RunAs Radio.  In fact it is my sixth, dating back to their first year on the air – October of 2007.  I hope I have become a bit more polished since then, and hope you enjoy listening to this latest episode!

Episode 330

Actual Reality: Desktop Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft

In July I presented my first webcast with BrightTalk.  They were putting together a series on virtualization, and asked if I would be able to speak about VDI and Desktop Virtualization strategies.  It was my pleasure!

The webcast is now available on-line.  I encourage you to download it, and let me know what you think!

Download the webcast here!

Do You VDI? You should…

Over the past few months I have been doing more and more work in VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  Recently I wrote an editorial piece for WServerNews.com titled VD Why? VD Sigh… or VD Aye!

VDI has the potential to save organizations immense amounts of money, but some of those savings would be wasted if the environment is not planned and architected with all efficiencies taken into consideration.

For several years now I have been discussing the secure, well-managed IT infrastructure and the savings realized by doing VDI right are serious.  We have to start by knowing an understanding the components available to us.

Today I will be presenting a webinar for the BrightTALK Virtualization Summit.  I am calling it Actual Reality: Desktop Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft.  I will discuss all of the components available to build a homogeneous Microsoft VDI environment.

While Microsoft’s OS and productivity applications have been components of the VDI landscape for years, but until recently any environment larger than a few score desktops required a third party provider (usually Citrix) to provide and manage the infrastructure. 

While Microsoft is a relatively newcomer to the game, they have the background and products to do it right.  I will be discussing these components during the webinar.

Got 45 minutes? I hope you will join us!  Register at https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/286/80725 now to ensure your place.  I will be taking questions of course, but I am hoping to continue the conversation in this space over the next few months.  Let’s discuss it and get you on board!

Register now at https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/286/80725

Two Years Later, Gartner Makes it Clear!

It was two year ago this week that I published an article calling out Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure (Gartner agrees with me… Hyper-V is for real!).  I was thrilled that Gartner (a completely independent unbiased industry observer) evaluated Microsoft’s Hyper-V 2008 R2 and determined that it was indeed an industry leader.

Last week Gartner released its newest analysis of the same category, and determined that Microsoft is once again in the Leaders box, and has indeed advanced since the release of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012.  In fact, the piece seems to agree with me that functionally Microsoft has surpassed VMware.

Microsoft can now meet the needs of most enterprises with respect to server virtualization. Its challenge is not feature or functions, but competing in a market with an entrenched competitor, VMware.

Interesting…it is as if they read my mind!  Of course, I have been shouting it from the rooftops for nearly three years, but as I said it is great to hear from someone who is not paid to do so.

Microsoft was certainly not the first player in the virtualization space, but as I have been saying for years it is not about who is first… if it was we would all be listening to Marconi radios in our Daimler automobiles.  Just like I always say that IT should not be about religion, it should be about the best tool for the job.  Five years ago I was counseling all of my clients to virtualize their datacenters on ESX, but when Microsoft released a comparable solution at a much more reasonable price I switched.

Of course it has gotten even better with the recent release of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012.  As Gartner says:

Enhancements include significant scalability improvements (matching or passing those of vSphere for the first time), Hyper-V Replica for effective disaster recovery, the Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch and Network Virtualization, a more flexible live migration and storage live migration, Hyper-V clustering and clustered live migration, and improved Dynamic Memory.

So indeed, Microsoft may have come late to the table, but they are certainly seated in a place of respect.  In fact they are actually winning a lot of customers who also came late to the virtualization game…

Microsoft is now winning a good percentage of enterprises that are not heavily virtualized yet — especially those that are mostly Windows-based

Of course, with an estimated two thirds of server workloads already virtualized, they are going to have to find their way into companies that are already entrenched.  What they need to do is get a foothold into those organizations – whether that be a proof of concept, a test environment, or a niche.  As the Gartner article writes:

A growing number of large enterprises are finding niches in which to place Microsoft — for example, in stores, branch offices or separate data centers. This strategy of "second sourcing" will enable these enterprises to evaluate Hyper-V for further deployments and perhaps leverage the competition in deals with VMware.

I have spoken with hundreds of companies and partners over the past three years, and that is a common theme – either build a POC or a test environment.  While few companies that I have spoke with have completely replaced their entire VMware infrastructure, the vast majority of them now have some Hyper-V footprint in their organization.  It will continue to grow, and those footprints will continue to swell.  Some of them will eventually replace all competitive solutions, but that is a long way off.

The one point that i do not agree with in the piece is one of the notes of caution… the lack of centralized management.  The vast majority of an admin’s time for the virtual infrastructure will be spent in VMM, while the reporting will come from OpsMgr.  This is akin to the VMware world where the majority of infrastructure time will be in vCenter Server, and the reporting will either be in vCops or a third party solution.  And as a colleague of mine wrote recently:

VMware does not have one console. Service manager, vCloud Director, vCloud App Center etc. all have different UI’s. Definitely the vCenter UI is very rich and by virtue of having just that UI for managing the infra (vs. Hyper-V manager, Cluster manager and VMM in our case) helps them.

In short Gartner agrees that it is still an uphill battle, but there is no question that Microsoft is better equipped for that fight than ever before; they are hungry, they are innovative, and they have put their minds and resources to a goal.  As I have been saying for some time, I would not bet against them winning in the long run!

Hey Halifax! Here I come!

Hello Halifax IT Professionals!  You are invited to the following event:

 

An Introduction to Microsoft Virtualization and the Private Cloud with System Center 2012 and Hyper-V

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The event will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (ADT)

WHERE:

Nova Scotia Community College Institute of IT Campus
5685 Leeds Street,
Room D309
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 2T3
Canada
View Map

Attend Event  Yes No Maybe

Share this event:
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Spend an evening with Mitch Garvis, Virtual Technology Evangelist with Microsoft Canada, getting to know the Microsoft server virtualization story.  Learn not only about Hyper-V, but also the management and Private Cloud scenarios that System Center 2012 SP1 brings to the table,  Learn how to build your cloud, and also how Microsoft sets itself apart from (and ahead of) the competition in the world of virtualization, Private Cloud, and Datacenter Management.

We hope you can make it!

Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V now available!

I have been talking to you about it for several months, and am thrilled to tell you that it is now available… RTM for the Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V was announced at Microsoft TechEd North America today.  Here is the complete announcement from the Cisco Nexus 1000V Product Management Team –M

 

Cisco Cloud Networking and Services Platform team is excited to announce the availability of Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V as a part of our hypervisor-agnostic cloud networking strategy. This represents a major milestone for the Nexus 1000V platform which already has more than 7000 customers.  

We are also shipping Virtual Services Gateway (VSG) and Virtual Network Management Center ( VNMC)  for Hyper-V. With this introduction, enterprise and cloud provider customers will be able to extend Nexus experience to Hyper-V virtual environments. Learn More

Industry Award

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The Nexus 1000V is already a winner – Winner of Best of Microsoft TechEd 2013 award in the Virtualization Category TODAY.

We are also happy to announce our first production customer – a large financial enterprise, deploying Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V this week.

Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V Solution Highlights

· Advanced NX-OS features and associated partner ecosystem to Windows Server 2012

· Consistent operational model across hypervisors (vSphere & Hyper-V)

· Innovative network services architecture (via vPath) to support secure multitenant environments

· Tight integration with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) as well as support for PowerShell

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Cisco Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform also supports Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V to host VSM and VSG virtual appliances.

Features and Functionality

Capability

Features

Switching

L2-Switching, PVLANs, QoS, ACLs, port security etc.

Security

DHCP snooping, Dynamic ARP Inspection, and IP source guard

Monitoring

NetFlow, packet statistics, SPAN, and ERSPAN

Manageability

SNMP, NetConf, syslog, REST-APIs etc.

Virtual services

vPath architecture to enable services like VSG etc.

Note: Nexus 1000V feature-set will be consistent across all hypervisors

Pricing and Orderability

Nexus1000V pricing is consistent across hypervisors. Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V is available in two editions:

· Essential edition is available at no-cost

· Advanced edition (includes VSG for Hyper-V) is available at $695/CPU

Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V sales qualify for Q4, 2013 Nexus 1000V Sales Incentive Program For ordering assistance, please refer to Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V Ordering Guide

Paper License

Electronic License

Description

N1K-MLCPU-01

L-N1K-MLCPU-01

Nexus 1000V CPU Advanced License Qty.  1-Pack

N1K-MLCPU-04

L-N1K-MLCPU-04

Nexus 1000V CPU Advanced License Qty.  4-Pack

N1K-MLCPU-16

L-N1K-MLCPU-16

Nexus 1000V CPU Advanced License Qty.16-Pack

N1K-MLCPU-32

L-N1K-MLCPU-32

Nexus 1000V CPU Advanced License Qty.32-Pack

More Information

Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V with Microsoft SCVMM integration w/ live demo

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We are also planning for a joint Cisco/Microsoft webinar during the week of June 17th. Please look out for the calendar invites.

 

Resources

· Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V internal field portal: 
http://savtg.cisco.com/go/1000vhyper-v/

· Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V external cisco.com page: 
http://www.cisco.com/go/1000v/hyper-v/

· Cisco Nexus 1000V Public Community: 
https://communities.cisco.com/community/technology/datacenter/nexus1000v/

· Cisco-Microsoft partnership page: 
http://www.cisco.com/go/microsoft/

 

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure…

As many of you know I am not shy about sharing my opinions on the IT industry.  So when Mitch Tulloch – an IT Professional and writer of great renown – asked me to write an editorial for his site www.wservernews.com I was not about to pass up the opportunity.

Mitch asked me to discuss VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  I was excited because it is a topic that bridges three subjects that I am passionate about – virtualization, the Windows client (desktop), and the management tools that make them viable in the enterprise.  I had a lot to say on the subject, and although I am used to pushing up against deadlines, this time it was not because of procrastination.

My editorial was published Monday morning, and I am very excited to share it with you, and to hear your comments about it.  It is called VD Why? VD Sigh… or VD Aye!

Taking Back Your Lunch Hour: A Friday Funny

Someone just forwarded this to me.  It is a commercial for Windows Azure’s Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) offering, and it is absolutely hilarious!  Thanks for following guys… Let me end the week with one funny post!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vu0Mc3gY8yE

Two new books on Hyper-V: Networking & Storage!

I love promoting IT Pros and Microsoft, but when one of the champions is a Canadian it is even better for me.  Mitch Tulloch is an IT Pro author from Winnipeg, and is one of the guys I really look up to.  I have a bunch of his books, and every time a new one comes out I try to add it to my collection.  Here are two more that are right in my wheelhouse – Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012.  Pick them up and you will not regret it! –MDG 

Microsoft Press is releasing two new titles for IT pros who work with the Hyper-V virtualization platform:

The author team includes Mitch Tulloch, series editor, and over a dozen individuals at Microsoft including Support Escalation Engineers, Premier Field Engineers, Program Managers, Data Center Specialists, and experts from Microsoft Consulting Services.  These short titles will be available in June in both ebook and print format and while their primary focus is on the Windows Server 2012 version of Hyper-V, much of what they cover can also be applied to previous versions of Hyper-V.  Note that these titles are not intended as systematic guides and instead cover various scenarios on how to optimize Hyper-V environments and how to troubleshoot different kinds of issues involving networking and storage for Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines.

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Calgary Here I Come!

Even before joining Microsoft Canada’s DPE team as a Virtual Evangelist (the Virtual part means I am a contractor in case you were curious, but I also specialize in Virtualization so it works in my favour!) I have had the opportunity to crisscross our great nation talking to audiences of all sorts and sizes – communities and user groups, enterprise customers, internal and external audiences, and more.  I have the greatest position I could imagine!

It continues today… I am heading to Calgary Alberta – a city that I have now visited a half dozen times in as many months, and one that I consider to be an important city for many reasons.  In October I had the opportunity to host a Windows 8 Launch Party for Calgary at Bottlescrew Bill’s, and have been back since for Windows 8, Office 365, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012, and of course Hyper-V.  Every time I am there I am greeted by some of the greatest and most engaged and enthusiastic audiences.  Ever since I first spoke to the Calgary IT Community (CIC) in January of 2007, I have always been glad to go back to them.

While the CIC is going strong even today, a number of other user groups have popped up in that time.  The Calgary Systems Management User Group was founded in 2009 by Microsoft MVP Kevin Kaminski, and focuses on System Center, Desktop Deployment, and other topics of interest. 

The latest group to come about in Calgary is the Calgary Virtualization User Group (CVUG).  Founded by Marcos Noguiera, the group is one of the new breed of user groups that is technology agnostic and instead focuses on all topics related to virtualization.  The CVUG held their first meeting in February of this year, and they are building and growing, and from what I can tell all in the right direction.

Tonight (Monday April 15th) I will be speaking at CVUG for the first time.  For the first part of the meeting I will be comparing and contrasting VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Virtualization & Private Cloud, and for the second part I will be discussing how to manage a heterogeneous virtualization environment using Microsoft’s System Center 2012.  Needless to say it should be an interesting meeting, hopefully evoking a lot of great conversation and debate between the members.

The event is free for all; all you have to do is register on their website.  I hope to see you there tonight and remember… make sure you say hi! –MDG

If He Can Do It YOU Can Too!

I have been saying for the past couple of years that Microsoft’s Hyper-V is much simpler than vSphere, but I never imagined that I would see this:  Caleb, a 5th grader, shows us how to create a virtual machine, install an OS, and even create a virtual switch.  Not only was I impressed with how well he does it, but his communication skills far exceed those of many adult IT Pros that I have met!  (Not you of course… I mean the other guys…)

http://blogs.technet.com/b/yungchou/archive/2013/03/18/are-you-smarter-than-a-5th-grader-in-creating-hyper-v-virtual-machine-and-installing-windows-server-2012.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0

So the question is if he can do it, why can’t you?  Of course you can, it is that simple!