Architecting a Microsoft Private Cloud

The first part of a four-part article series titled Architecting a Microsoft Private Cloud, by myself and my colleague Adam Fazio (@adamfazio) has been published in TechNet Magazine here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/hh127072.aspx Microsoft Services has designed, built and implemented a Private Cloud/IaaS reference implementation using Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center. Our goal throughout this four-part series will be…

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From Virtualization to Dynamic IT

Issue 24 of the Microsoft Architecture Journal focuses on virtualization. My paper, From Virtualization to Dynamic IT, has been published in this issue. My thesis: Virtualization is a critical infrastructure-architecture layer that is required for achieving higher IT-maturity levels, but several others layers—such as automation, management, and orchestration—are equally important. For the last several months…

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Creating a Microsoft Virtualization Practice

With the release of Hyper-V R2 and Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, many service organizations are seeing a business opportunity around providing design, planning, and implementation services around Hyper-V and the rest of the Microsoft virtualization and management platform. To encourage this trend among our partners, Microsoft has created a Virtualization Practice Accelerator: Designed to…

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Everything you ever wanted to know about VHDs

The Virtual Hard Disk Getting Started Guide is 61 pages of great info outlining all the relevant scenarios, configurations, and options for using VHD files. This was release about 3 weeks ago but I missed it at the time due to training and TechReady9. The guide outlines basic scenarios like booting Windows 7 or Server…

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New Microsoft Security Site for Governments

A new Security section has been added to the government site on Microsoft.com. The site consolidates a number of relevant tools, solutions, case studies, and links relevant to Public Sector organizations. Several of the solutions call for specific mentions here: Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) Federal Server Core Configuration (FSCC) Infrastructure Optimization (IO) Server Virtualization…

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Dynamically Provisioning Customized Virtual Machines with VMM

There’s a good technical post over on Chris Adam’s blog about how to dynamically provision customized virtual machines by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager and unattend.xml. The unattend.xml file is used in combination with a sysprep’d image and applies customization (things like computer name, installed roles, etc) that are specified in the XML file….

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Download the Hypervisor Functional Specification v2.0

The Hypervisor Functional Specification v2.0 for Windows Server 2008 R2 has been posted to the web and can be found here. The original v1.0 version for Windows Server 2008 RTM was described in this post. Here is the overview of the v2.0 version: This document is the top-level functional specification (TLFS) of the second-generation Microsoft…

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Networking and Remote Desktop Technical Resources

The links below lead to a series of technical whitepapers on DirectAccess, BranchCache, and Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2. Networking Resources: DirectAccess and BranchCache Remote Desktop Resources: Kerberos, User Profiles, RemoteApp

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White Paper: Comparing the Power Utilization of Native and Virtual Exchange Environments

The Exchange team has published a whitepaper on TechNet comparing the power utilization of a typical 8 server physical Exchange environment compared to a a virtualized environment using the same number of logical processors but on only two Hyper-V host servers. The result: a 50% reduction in power usage (excluding storage). If storage is included…

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Windows Server 2008 R2 to RTM in July!

The Windows Server Division blog announced that Windows Server 2008 R2 is tracking with Windows 7 and both are planned to RTM in the second half of July with General Availability on Oct 22! That RTM date is earlier than I thought it would be, I was thinking late August. The more I dig into…

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