Guided Hands-on Lab: Deliver Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) with Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM)

Implementing an effective Disaster Recovery and Business Continuance plan can be a really complicated and expensive ordeal for some Private Clouds.  In many cases, competing solutions either don't meet the Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) that an organization may require, or they are super-expensive to implement because they rely on costly site recovery management software and/or proprietary…

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Why R2? Your Next SAN with SMB 3.02 Scale-out File Servers

This month, my team of fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists are publishing a series of articles on Why Windows Server 2012 R2? that highlights the key enhancements and new capabilities that we’re seeing driving particular interest in this latest release of our Windows Server operating system in the field.  This article has been updated now…


Why R2? Step-by-Step: Automated Tiered Storage with Windows Server 2012 R2

This month, my team of fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists are publishing a series of articles on Why Windows Server 2012 R2? that highlights the key enhancements and new capabilities that we’re seeing driving particular interest in this latest release of our Windows Server operating system in the field.  This article has been updated now…


VMware or Microsoft? Shopping for Private Clouds

At a recent community event, I met “Scott”, a savvy IT Pro who was in the process of planning the architecture for a new datacenter location at his company.  Scott is an experienced datacenter engineer who manages several other virtualized datacenters.  Although he is currently running VMware for the hypervisor platform in his existing datacenters,…


VMware or Microsoft? Automated Server Workload Balancing for Heterogeneous Private Clouds

VMware vSphere 5.x includes automated server workload balancing in the vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise+ premium suites via two feature sets: Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Distributed Power Management (DPM).  DRS and DPM together are intended to provide an automated method for balancing compute capacity and reducing energy consumption in a highly virtualized datacenter.  It does…


Build Your Cloud – Migrating Cloud VMs from Amazon AWS to Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

UPDATE: Cloud Spectator recently released an independent study using standard Unixbench testing – Comparative IaaS Report: Analysis of 5 Large IaaS Providers – that concluded the following verbatim results regarding Windows Azure Infrastructure Services: “On average, the highest-performance provider over the test period is Windows Azure, and the lowest performance provider is Amazon EC2.” “The difference in performance:…

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VMware or Microsoft? FREE Orchestrated Patch Management for Continuous Availability with Hyper-V Server 2012

If you’ve supported enterprise IT solutions for as long as I have, at some point in time you have most likely witnessed The 3 Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management.  Respect these truths, and you’ll enjoy a stable, manageable datacenter environment.  Ignore these truths, and … well … let’s not even think about those possibilities!…

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VMware or Microsoft? Reducing VMware Storage Costs WITH Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces

As my colleague, Chris Avis, pointed out in his article yesterday ( VMware or Microsoft: Simplified Host Patching = Greater Security and More Uptime ), there’s tons of reasons that IT Pros have been moving new virtualization workloads onto Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server 2012 – to reduce capital and operational costs,…

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Windows Azure Datacenter IP Ranges

UPDATED: Updated to reflect new IP Address Ranges introduced in July 2013 Do you need to setup your firewall to communicate with the Windows Azure datacenters for the virtual machines and applications that you are building?  Below is a list of the public IP ranges for each Windows Azure datacenter region to help you with setting…


Step-by-Step: Build a FREE SharePoint 2013 Dev/Test Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

RECENT UPDATES: This Step-by-Step Guide has been leveraged to define a new Windows Azure Deployment Planning Service ( AZDPS ) for Microsoft Partners and Customers: Implementing Develop and Test Scenarios on Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Customers can now engage authorized partners for planning and delivery of this solution AND customers with Software Assurance ( SA )…

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