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Cloning with Customization Specifications

Being back in a VMware environment, there are a few differences I need to remember from Hyper-V and System Center.  It is not that one is better or worse than the other, but they are certainly different.

Customization Specifications are a great addition in vCenter to Cloning virtual machines.  They allow you to name the VM, join domains, in short set the OOBE (Out of Box Experience) of Windows.  They just make life easier.

The problem is, they do a lot of the same things as Microsoft’s deployment tools… but they do them differently.  We have to remember that Microsoft owns the OS, so when you use the deployment tools from Microsoft, they inject a lot of the information into the OS for first boot.  Customization Specifications work just like answer files… they require a boot-up (or two) to perform the scripts… and while those boots are interactive sessions, you should be careful about what you do in them.  They will allow you to do all sorts of things, but then when they are ready they will perform the next step – a reboot.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t use Customization Specifications… I love the way they work, and will continue to use them.  Just watch out for those little hiccoughs before you go 🙂

Reasons Why WordPress Cloud Hosting is a Great Idea

As The World According to Mitch grows in popularity, I get a lot of questions from people about the tools and platform that I use.  So when I was asked by Richard Myers if he could write a guest post about the platform I have been using for the past two years I was glad to accept.  I hope you enjoy his article! –MDG

clip_image002You will find that WordPress hosting is much like many other types of hosting companies that are available for various types of websites. Whether your site is a blog website, or a business website, or designed for advertising products, you will simply enjoy the benefits that come with WordPress hosting.

Getting started with your website

Setting up a new webpage can be quite the challenge because there are many things that you have to have in order so that you can successfully build the website. Being organized and knowing what you are doing is key to having a great webpage. However, no matter how much you organize, you will still find that you are in need of a server in order to properly run your website. Particularly if you are someone that is new at using WordPress or building your website, it might take you some time to learn more about how you are to go about setting your website up. It will all be worth it in the end though once you finally know what you are doing.

There are many options that you can choose from when it comes to choosing the right type of WordPress host that you want.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Within the benefits of hosting your site, you have the advantage of receiving managed hosting needs if you choose too. To have your website managed you will be doing a great thing because of the quality features that come along with it. There are simply so many different benefits that come with managed hosting for your WordPress site.

Web hosting companies

clip_image008After reading more about what benefits you can acquire with cloud, it’s about time that you start searching the internet for the right hosting companies to assist you with the needs that you have for your website. The good thing about hosting is that there seems to be endless companies for website owners to choose from. The downside about having so many options to choose from is that you most likely won’t know where to begin in your search. With that being said, one of the first things that you will need to do is make certain that you choose a web hosting company that will support the needs that you have for a cloud host.

Let’s take a further look at some of the different plans that are available. Since cloud offers multiple plans, you can easily choose the right one that you will suit your website needs.

Individual

Individual plans are typically going to be the ones that are the cheapest. You can easily afford an individual plan, and only pay a few dollars per month just to have your website hosted. It’s a great package deal to choose if you are only looking for the minimum support for your website. However, there will be some limits that you will have to keep in mind before choosing this plan. For instance you only get so much bandwidth and limited storage, so you will need to make sure that what you are getting is what you will need.

Dedicated

The dedicated hosting plan is another option that is available for you to choose from. Generally this option is the one that will be the most expensive, because it offers the max amount of features, including unlimited storage space and lots of bandwidth, because this option is for online websites that are very busy with traffic and have lots of product that they advertise/sell. The dedicated server is also one that is more customized to what the website owners want since they are spending more money.

Knowing which plan is good for you

Another thing that makes WordPress hosting for cloud such a great idea is that you can make a decision on which plan you want according to a few factors. By going through with these factors you can easily make up your mind on which plan you want.

Price

As they say, you get what you pay for. This saying is true when it comes to choosing the right cloud server host for your website. So you will pay more money for more features, but you also have the option to start out with the minimum if you are building small web business.

Reviews

The reviews that people leave about certain hosting websites will give you a heads up on what to expect and they will help you to make a better decision about which host company and plan would be better for you. Overall good reviews on a site should help you to see that the company is well trusted and has a good standing reputation with the majority of people.

One tip would be to try to steer clear of companies that have very few to no reviews at all on their hosting sites because this tells you that they are not well established, or possibly they are not yet a trusted company. There are many companies that you read up on to learn about the benefits and factors of hosting. Just do a Google search.

Personal Blog entries

So many people nowadays are using WordPress that you can look across the web for blogs and entries about their latest experiences with WordPress. WordPress servers are all great, but there can be some issues that people will mention in their blogs, or they just might have opinions about how something about the platform is working or not working and they want to be able to let other users know to perhaps get tips, etc. So, people basically help each other out by reading the blogs and sharing the latest news on their personal experience with WordPress. You might even want to start your own WordPress blog to keep others informed.

Features

The features for hosting are plentiful and they are features that come in handy for any WordPress website. Read more about some of these features below.

Mobile

Many of the latest WordPress themes have been upgraded so that they are compatible with various mobile phones and other gadgets, such as tablets, iPods, etc.

Plugins

clip_image006WordPress plugins are quite useful as well. Users are able to use various functions that will enable them to customize different plugin settings. Some of the features for the plugins include:

  • SEO
  • Navigation bars
  • Widgets

These are just to mention a select few of the useful features that are available within the plug-ins. The plug-ins on many of the themes are updated on a regular basis as needed.

Themes

You can choose from various WordPress themes which will allow you to personalize and customize the way your website looks.

Author Bio: Richard Myers is an app developer, tech buff and an overall geek. Years of working with servers of all kinds has endowed him with the knowledge that he now likes sharing with anyone who needs his help.

Two Factor Authentication for Office 365!

NOTE: I did not write this article; in fact, it is copied word for word from an e-mail I received from Scorpion Software.  However it is a solution I do believe in.  I am not selling for Scorpion Software, nor do I receive any benefit from their sales, nor are the links herein set to track you back to me.  I am friends with the owner of the company and a couple of their developers, but have not been asked to post this (nor have I been promised any remuneration for doing so). –Mitch

You can now use AuthAnvil to protect and streamline access to the cloud. We’re offering the world’s first strong, fully independent two-factor authentication and single sign-on solution for Office 365.

AuthAnvil for Office 365 provides maximum access security for your cloud-based services, plus the efficiency of logging in just once to access Office 365 throughout the day:

  • Available for all Microsoft’s Office 365 plans, including their P1 and P2 plans for small businesses.
  • Doesn’t require ADFS or DirSync – Microsoft’s complex system that requires extra servers and can take days to implement.

We invite you to attend our free webinar and visit our AuthAnvil for Office 365 page to learn more.

Email: sales@scorpionsoft.com
Phone: 1-888-407-4285 ext. 701
Free webinar: Introducing AuthAnvil for Office 365
We invite you to attend our free webinar and get a hands-on look at how you can gain
cloud-based trust with on-premise control.
September 24 at 10am PDT
Sign up for the free webinar >>

Private Cloud Training from Microsoft Learning

Hey folks!  I have been asked to post here information about the release dates for Private Cloud training from Microsoft, so here it is:

10747A: Administering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: June 29, 2012 (currently in Beta)

10748A: Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: June 29, 2012 (currently in Beta)

10750A: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012: July 30, 2012 (currently in Beta)

10751A: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012: July 30, 2012 (currently in Beta)

I hope this helps!

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