My working environment – Part 1

As products evolve, I want to use as much as possible the new technologies I have to support. To reach this goal I decided to build an environment respecting Microsoft security policies but enough flexible to host quickly and easily all kind of products and most of all : provide tools to troubleshoot customer issues !


From now, I have 4 more drafts in hand dealing with this subject (i.e. "My working environment") but I will begin by the beginning : describing what I installed and what I daily use in my job.

This first post will deal with an overview of the hardware involved and how I defined the job for each of the machines I have (hope nobody will ask me why I have so much machines 🙂 and how they work together.



I have some of those machines since my first(s) day(s) at Microsoft, I grabbed the old Dell OptiPlex when we had our last machines' upgrade and the GX620 from a team mate which has virtualized all his machines.






And a very old Dell OptiPlex I use to present SCSI disks to my HP xw6200.



All my machines are connected to a Gb switch which is connected to the Corporate Network through my IP Phone. This one is limited to 100Mb but as most of my traffic is between my computers it's not a real issue.

I also have a private network (also on a Gb switch) to allow communication between my Hyper-V server and my Virtual Server 2005 server. I can then have more virtual machines (well... not so much !) in the same environment and have some routing capabilities which is useful to test stretched clusters or running some repro scenarios when dealing with customer issues.
This private network is also used for my physical iSCSI network (where the Initiator Software Target is my HP xw6200) used to present shared disks to my physical cluster and to some virtual machines.

Here is a schema to understand how it is configured physically :



Machines roles

So here are the roles I  assigned to the machines :

  • Cluster Windows Server 2008
    • Clustered File Server
    • Clustered Print Server
    • Machines involved
      • Dell Precision 690
      • Dell OptiPlex GX620
  • iSCSI network
    • Used to share disks in my cluster
    • Machines involved
      • HP xw6200 : ISCSI Software Target Initiator
      • Dell Precision 690 : iSCSI Target
      • Dell OptiPlex GX620 : iSCSI Target
  • Hyper-V
    • Dell Precision 690
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1
    • HP xw6200
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008
    • Used to manage my Hyper-V and Virtual Server servers
    • Machine involved
      • HP xw6200
  • System Center Data Protection Manager 2007
    • Used to backup some data on my servers
    • Used to backup my laptop
    • Machine involved
      • HP xw6200


When I'm at the office, my laptop is the master commander of all of this. Through RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools), the diverse MMC consoles, Windows Remote Shell and of course Remote Desktop I have a large set of tools to manage the servers. But I'll speak about this in another post.

My next post regarding this theme will describe all the configuration steps I followed to set up this small infrastructure.


To be continued...


~ Guillaume

Comments (5)

  1. GuillaumeD says:


    I’m sorry to say that it’s internal stuf and I’m just allowed to use but not distribute them.

    Nevertheless, by browsing the TechDays and other events web sites from Microsoft where content is published, you’ll be able to find some of them 😉

    ~ Guillaume

  2. Hi Guillaume,

    just a quick question. From where do you have those images for the picture? I would make my own network map, and those images look very cool.

    Thanks for any hints.

    Peter Forster

    MVP Virtual Machine


  3. OK, I thought so. Thank for this info!

    Greetings from Austria, Peter

  4. GuillaumeD says:

    I think I remember I took drivers from Windows Vista x64. As the kernel is the same as Windows Server 2008, no issue there.

    Look at :

  5. Jay Antoney says:

    I would really like to know where you got the x64 drivers to Windows 2008 x64 on the XW6200..?

    none on the HP site 🙁


Skip to main content