Getting Started with System Center 2012: OpsMgr & VMM

Let’s face it: System Center 2012 is BIG.  Microsoft literally took seven completely separate products – three of which were HUGE on their own, and combined them into a single product.  It’s no wonder so many IT Pros and hopefuls are so intimidated by it.  I am not going to guide you through the actual... Continue Reading →

Virtual Networking in Hyper-V 2012

Microsoft has released a poster diagramming virtual networking in Hyper-V 2012.  Much of it revolves around Virtual Machine Manager, and is actually branded System Center 2012 SP1.  If you are building or managing datacenters – even smaller ones – you should download this document and review it.  We all have something to learn from it!... Continue Reading →

Supported Hosts Revisited

In a recent article I posted a list of hypervisors that are supported by System Center 2012 (See  I have since been informed that although this list of hosts may work, the only supported hosts are indeed as listed in the TechNet article.  ESXi 5.0 is not supported, nor is ESX or ESXi 4.0.... Continue Reading →

A Response to VMware’s ‘Get the Facts’ page comparing vSphere to Hyper-V & System Center

For the sake of full disclosure, in case you did not know, I am not only a Microsoft MVP, I am also a Virtual Partner Technology Advisor for Microsoft Canada, and work very closely with that company’s Evangelism Team.  I hold most major IT-Pro focused certifications from Microsoft Learning that come close to pertaining to... Continue Reading →

The Great Debate: Virtualization Experts Butt Heads

On March 5th ZDNet hosted an on-line debate between two industry experts on server virtualization ( Jason Perlow (cleanly on the Hyper-V side) and Ken Hess (squarely and religiously in the VMware corner) are both recognized industry experts for whom I have a great deal of respect.  I did not watch the debate live, but... Continue Reading →

Virtualization Infrastructure: Which platform is right for you?

Over the past year as a Virtual Partner Technology Advisor for Microsoft Canada I have heard a lot of people say a lot of things about Hyper-V, and not all of it has been from people who work for (or are otherwise strongly invested in) VMware.  Some of those arguments are reasoned, others emotional, but... Continue Reading →

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA):

Occasionally there is an announcement or new offering worth calling special attention to and the teams at Microsoft wanted me to make sure everyone saw this one: Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): MVA has been around for a few months and we are trying to raise awareness about its existence to the broader community.  I... Continue Reading →

Creating a Virtual Machine from VM Templates and ISOs using System Center (Video)

If you are starting to use System Center Essentials (or, for that matter, System Center Virtual Machine Manager) to manage your virtual environment, then you can save a lot of time creating virtual machines by using VM Templates to build and configure the virtual machines, and ISO files stored in Virtual Machine Libraries to deploy... Continue Reading →

System Center Essentials: Microsoft monitoring and management for SMBs

Most of you know that Microsoft’s System Center family of products are the leading solutions for IT systems management.  They have come a long way in the past seven years, to the point where it is a rare company that does not have at least one System Center product installed in their organization. Although there... Continue Reading →

Gartner agrees with me… Hyper-V is for real!

In September Microsoft Canada contracted me as a Virtual Partner Technology Advisor, tasking me with evangelizing Microsoft virtualization solutions.  One of the reasons I was such a good fit for the role is that I am very familiar with both Microsoft’s and VMware’s server virtualization solutions – I teach and consult on both platforms.  I... Continue Reading →

Uninstall the VMM Agent from Server Core

I found myself with a weird problem this morning. Most of the time I manage my virtualization environment with System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  However because of a client project I have re-implemented System Center Essentials 2010, which has most of the VMM components that I use integrated into it.  In order to add virtualization... Continue Reading →

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