New TechNet Radio – How Microsoft IT Utilizes System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Windows Intune

Join me as I welcome Sr. Program Managers Bryan Allen and Mike DeGooyer to this edition of TechNet Radio as we discuss how Microsoft IT uses System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Windows Intune to help deploy Unified Device Management at Microsoft. Listen in as we chat about how Microsoft IT addressed change management concerns and how they planned for and implemented their solution for this BYOD scenario that affects many IT organizations today.

• [6:54] What is Unified Device Management (UDM) and what are its benefits to an IT organization? • [9:00] How does UDM address concerns for config admins who feel they may be losing control of the devices their organization supports? What management tools are available to them? • [11:56] How would you administer app certification in this scenario? • [14:56] What about helpdesk readiness and user readiness training?

PowerShell Toolbuilding Workshop – August 13th – Microsoft Campus – Alpharetta, GA

Join us for a PowerShell Toolbuilding Workshop on August 13th at the Microsoft campus in Alpharetta.  For more details and to sign up click here, while you are at it register for the Southeast Information Technology Professionals official meetup page as well:

http://www.meetup.com/Southeast-Information-Technology-Professionals/events/129998102/

Event Summary:  A script is something you create to automate some process. It may be long, is usually a bit ugly, and makes assumptions about how it will be run. Tools, on the other hand, are clean, powerful works of art that can be shared with others. In this presentation we will take a script and turn it into a tool by converting it into an advanced function, adding cmdlet style help, creating parameters, and accepting pipeline input. Then we will create a module to house our new advanced function and even create our own format specification. You will walk away with a new tool in your toolbox, the knowledge how to create your own tools, and even some ideas on what tools to create. This presentation will be based on material covered in the Learn PowerShell Tool-making in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones and Jeff Hicks available from Manning.

TechNet Radio: Delivering Results – How Microsoft IT Secures Applications for the Cloud

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns when it comes to cloud computing is security.  On this episode of TechNet Radio I welcome Sr. Security Engineer Varun Sharma to the show as we discuss how Microsoft IT secured their applications for the cloud. Tune in as we chat about the security process MSIT goes through when they move an application into the cloud as well as what user authentication considerations, risks and deployment techniques they must consider.

  • [1:47] How do security or compliance requirements play      a role in selecting applications?
  • [5:28]      Once an application has been selected to be moved to the cloud, how does      MSIT build security into it? Is there a process that is followed?
  • [7:08]      What about user authentication to web sites that hosted on Windows Azure?      Does the design change for that as well vs. on-premise hosted web sites?
  • [8:50]      What about phone or windows 8 modern apps? How do they authenticate to      services that are hosted on azure?
  • [12:10]      What are some of the unique risks or security issues that apply to azure      applications?
  • [15:54]      How are these applications deployed securely to Windows Azure?

Build Your Own Private Cloud Series Complete! Here is the list of articles and links:

Are you virtualizing your servers? Yes, of course!

Are you spending less time managing your servers as a result?  Hmm … No!

Server Virtualization is Great, But …

Server virtualization has been a great set of technologies to reduce our capital expenses and some operating expenses by consolidating a larger number of virtualized server workloads in a smaller footprint of physical rack space.  As a result, we’ve been able to purchase less data center hardware and likely have lower power and cooling costs in running our data center.

However, most IT Pros are not seeing a reduction in the amount of time they spend with day-to-day management of server operating systems and applications.  Let face it … whether you have 100 physical servers or 100 virtual servers, you still have 100 server operating system instances to administer, configure, monitor, patch and update.  In fact, because of reduced capital costs when using server virtualization, many IT Pros report that they are now faced with managing a much larger ( and growing ) number of operating system instances and applications – these days, it seems like everyone in the company wants their own VMs!  As a result, IT Pros are forced to spend most of their day managing VMs and applications, and often don’t have enough time to spend on improving their IT environments.

Private Cloud … To The Rescue!

Well, Private Cloud is the answer! Private Cloud is not a product, but rather Read more

Virtual Machine Templates in System Center 2012 SP1 VMM: Build Your Private Cloud (Series)

Today’s blog post in our “Build Your Private Cloud in a Month” series is the fourth of a 5-part mini-series we’re calling “Deploying Private Cloud Workloads”.  This week we (Kevin Remde, Blain Barton and I) are going to detail and demonstrate some of the key areas in System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager that support the foundational concepts and objects in your Private Cloud environment.  The mini-series parts are listed here:
1.  Hardware Profiles (Monday)

2.  Guest OS Profiles (Tuesday)

3.  Application Profiles (Wednesday)

4.  VM Templates (Thursday) <—Today!

5.  Service Templates (Friday)

Required if following along in the lab:

System Center 2012 w/SP1 Virtual Machine Manager should be installed properly on the domain with at least one Hyper-V host managed in the instance.  For my lab guide on deploying VMM check here:

http://www.virtuallycloud9.com/index.php/2013/04/build-your-private-cloud-installing-virtual-machine-manager-step-by-step/

What is a VM Template?

VM templates are preconfigured virtual machines images and configurations that are included in the library of Virtual Machine Manager(VMM), which are used for deploying new virtual machines into the environment.

Why is a VM Template useful?

Let’s suppose you have a gold image of Server 2012 that has software and settings customized to your particular needs by templating this image, it can be used to deploy future virtual servers without the need to walk through the same post OS installation steps time and time again.  VM templates can also be used as part of a VMM Service deployment as well, where a group of VMs are deployed to handle a given workload.  In this case, a web server might already be configured to work in a load balancing scenario so that the deployment of an extra VM into the cloud service takes minimal time. We will not be tackling cloud services in this module today however. Read more

Build Your Private Cloud: Installing Virtual Machine Manager – Step by Step

Our series is in full swing and now its time to walk through the installation of System Center 2012 VMM to begin managing our VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen hosts, virtual machines, and templates.  Assuming you have Server 2012 installed already, plenty of disk space and at least 4GB of ram, your first step is to go grab the VMM bits from here: System Center 2012 with SP1

When the download begins you can pause all of the other images except for VMM, so it would look like this:

image

Once you have the VMM server OS built, we need to install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit as it is a pre-requisite for the VMM installation process to be successful.  You can grab the toolkit Read more

Build A Private Cloud Series Has Begun!

Keith Mayer and Yung Chou kicked off our “Build a Private Cloud” series on Monday with this new TechNet Radio episode where they talk through many of the topics involved in Private Clouds and Virtualization environments.  Check out the episode here:

This video was then followed up by Yung Chou with his article on “Why Private Cloud?” In this article he dives into the benefits of building a private cloud in your datacenter, you can check it out here:

http://aka.ms/whyprivatecloud

Next Yung and Keith came back with a video for initial steps into building the proper foundation for a Private Cloud in their second TechNet Radio installment:

Matt Hester continues the series with his step by step guide to building out a proper storage foundation for the private cloud. Check out the article here:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/matthewms/archive/2013/04/03/build-your-private-cloud-in-a-month-foundation-windows-server-2012-storage.aspx

Keith Mayer will be back again next with his discussion on Networking. We hope you enjoy this series, now go get started on your Private Cloud!

Virtualization Experts Series – Virtualization From A Single Pane of Glass – System Center VMM – An Overview

As our virtualization environments continue to grow with VMware, Hyper-V,  and Xen Servers we need to take a new look at the management capabilities we require to properly do the job of VM administration.  In order to achieve a single pane of glass across all of these Hypervisors today we take a look at System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  With the release of System Center 2012 SP1 several new capabilities and features have been opened up, so let’s dig in.

A quick list of the new enhancements in System Center VMM:

  • Manage bigger clusters (Up to 64 Nodes versus the 16 Nodes in Previous Version)
  • Manage bigger hosts via Server 2012 (320 Cores and 4TB of Memory)
  • Administer larger VMs (64 vCPU, 1 TB Ram)
  • Create and Manage Isolated Tenant Networks Read more

New Series for the Month of March : 20+ Days of Server Virtualization

It’s March already???   Our new series is kicking off and this month we dig into server virtualization.  The first installment details out what all is coming this month.  As always, if you would like to contribute to one of these articles or have any tips you would like to share please give us a shout, it’s all about sharing information folks.  Now without further delay, here is the first post in the series:

http://itproguru.com/expert/2013/03/become-a-virtualization-expert-with-20-days-of-server-virtualization-virtexpert-itproguru-part-0-of-20/