Archive for Systems Management

Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2010: Manage the Future – Desktop to Cloud

Location: 100 Victoria Street London SW1 5JL United Kingdom
Start Time: 18 May 2010 09:30 GMT, London
End Time: 18 May 2010 17:30 GMT, London
Language(s): English.
Product(s): Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager,Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager,Microsoft System Center Essentials,Microsoft System Center Operations Manager,Other.
Audience(s): Infrastructure Specialist,IT Decision Maker,IT Implementer,IT Manager.
Event Overview
Best of MMS UK 2010 will provide the best possible opportunity to learn about the latest IT Management products, solutions and technologies from Microsoft and how to apply them in your organisation. With a number of significant management product releases and announcements planned from Microsoft in the coming year, including some early Beta releases, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

This 1-day event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates on Desktop, Datacenter and Cloud management features and solutions from Microsoft. The event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever, covering current System Center products as well as Windows platform management solutions for virtualization of servers, desktops and applications.

Please mark your calendar for Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2010 on Tuesday 18 May 2010 in London.

Join us and interact live with Microsoft, key partnerships and early adopter customers in this informative event near you. (Twitter – #mmsuk2010)

08.30 Registration
09.30 Session 1 (Keynote): Virtualization 360: Microsoft Virtualization Strategy, Products, and Management Solutions for the New Economy
10.30 Session 2: Configuration Manager v.Next: Overview
11.30 Break
12.00 Session 3: What’s New Since the Release of Operations Manager 2007 R2
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Session 4(A): Opalis IT Process Automation: Introduction & Technical Overview Session 4(B): Introduction to Systems Management in Midsized Organizations with System Center Essentials 2010
15.00 Break
15.30 Session 5: Technical Introduction to Data Protection Manager 2010
16:30 Session 6: Service Manager Integration with System Center
17.30 Networking & Close


Session 1:

Learn about the Microsoft virtualization strategy from the datacenter, to the desktop, to the cloud, and how it will help you cut costs and build value. In this session we review and demonstrate Microsoft virtualization products and discuss how you can use them to solve today’s IT issues (cost cutting, consolidation, business continuity, green IT), develop new computing solutions (VDI) and build a foundation for a more dynamic IT environment, including cloud computing. The session reviews all of the latest Microsoft virtualization products, including Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V, and Microsoft Hyper-V Server, as well as the System Center management platform (including Virtual Machine Manager 2008). Learn about the innovative pricing and licensing structure that allows further savings to lower both acquisition and on-going ownership costs. Learn how you can enable IT to become a cost cutting mechanism with Microsoft virtualization and management technologies.

Session 2:

The next release of Configuration Manager is coming! For over a decade, Systems Management Server and Configuration Manager have been used by thousands of customers and partners to deliver classic management capabilities to clients and servers. As we enter a new era for IT Administration, the System Center flagship product is evolving. In this session we present our vision for user-centric client management, and demonstrate improvements from Configuration Manager 2007. This session promises to be very interesting. We demonstrate a functioning product to showcase some of these major improvements, so you know you can’t miss it!

Session 3:

Join us to learn about developments which have taken place since the R2 release of Operations Manager 2007, including cumulative updates for SP1 and R2, new tools for diagnosis and troubleshooting, and new support for monitoring in the cloud.

Session 4A:

This session will walk you through the Opalis workflow designer demonstrating along the way how to integrate System Center products with other IT tools to create automated processes. You will also see how Opalis customers have automated best practices for incident management, provisioning and change management.

Session 4B:

For organisations up to 500 PCs and 50 servers, Microsoft is releasing System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE) to provide service monitoring, software deployments and updates, and management of physical and virtual machines. This single product is designed for midsized organizations, so this session will be full of demonstrations as we look at each of the major aspects of SCE 2010, including server and client monitoring, software deployment and patching, virtualization management and migration, and how to get started with easy setup and configuration. Come see it here first.

Session 5:

Data is core to a Service Management solution. Learn how to architect and extend the CMDB schema, how to set up and extend connectors, create new connectors, and lastly how the data moves to the Data Warehouse to deliver IT business intelligence.

Session 6:

The release of DPM 2010 is just a few weeks after MMS 2010 in Las Vegas, so this session will cover installing a new DPM 2010 server, and then provide an overview of the core capabilities and enhanced protection/recovery scenarios.

notes from the day..

OpsMgr 2007 R3 – a first R3 release for Microsoft

ConfigMgr 2007 -> ConfigMgr v.Next – embracing user centric targeting

SCE 2010 notes to follow..

DPM 2010, Anthony Tyler, Storage Strategy Architect (aka Foggy, and an old team mate of mine from PSS some 12 years ago!)

Backup to pretty much anything inc. “SAN in a can” but nothing seen as a removable device (so no USB unless you use iSCSI or a.n.other mapping technology)

tactical deployment in line with MS application deployment

i365 EDPM appliance – supports hetrogenius environments via eVault


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Microsoft Techdays: Virtualization Summit – From the Desktop to the Datacenter

Full agenda below, but key points for me:

VDI & App-V – still virtualise your apps when using VDI to leverage further coat savings & ROI

Win2008 R2 SP1 – Hyper-V gets ‘Dynamic Memory’ not same as memory over-commit but shares a pool of real server memory across VDI VM’s
‘Remote-FX’ – graphics rich across TS/RDP/VDI using server graphics capabilities – putting high-end GPU’s in the server!

‘Private Cloud’ & ‘Partner Cloud’ – enabling cloud based computing without the budget of Azure or Amazon Web Services!

Using optimised desktop for on-demand application provisioning & apparent coexistance of non-compatible apps

One image per major hardware type – more emphasis on process for application delivery & customisation/personalisation of the desktop.

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by using Remote Desktop Services Web Access step-by-step guide

VDI using Dynamic (“Non-Persistent”) Virtual Desktops
– master VDI image then pesonalisation & customisation streamed to image delta – discarded at logoff, roaming profile intact

Pooled VDI experience vs. RDS architecture (Shared Session Virtualisation)

giving a video interview with Stuart Leddy for TechNet Flash 🙂

Having an insightful chat with David Overton (SBS Guy) around the prospective launch date of SBS2008 R2.. we think that the announcement won’t be until WPC in July, and then tabled for release in the last calendar quarter of 2010 and very likley post Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1… hmmm!

Formal / published event information below..

Event Overview
Looking at virtualization but unsure about your options? Thinking about Windows 7 migration? Interested in VDI and server virtualization? Want to save on costs but wondering about ROI? Have more questions than answers on the topic?

This 1-day event will provide you with an understanding of the key products & technologies enabling seamless physical and virtual management, interoperable tools, and cost-savings & value. Microsoft Virtualization provides a completely virtualised infrastructure for your organisation, from the datacenter to desktop to the cloud. Please mark your calendar for Microsoft Virtualization Summit on Monday 12 April 2010 in London. Join us and interact live with Microsoft, key partnerships and early adopter customers in this informative event near you.

For all the latest agenda and speaker information, please visit our UK Techdays website:

Virtualization Summit –
From the Desktop to the Datacentre

Vue Cinema Shepherds Bush, Screen 9.

Looking at virtualization but unsure about your options? Thinking about Windows 7 migration? Interested in VDI and server virtualization? Want to save on costs but wondering about ROI? Have more questions than answers on the topic? This 1-day event will provide you with an understanding of the key products & technologies enabling seamless physical and virtual management, interoperable tools, and cost-savings & value. Microsoft Virtualization provides a completely virtualized infrastructure for your organisation, from the datacenter to desktop to the cloud. Please mark your calendar for Microsoft Virtualization Summit on Monday 12 April 2010 in London. Join us and interact live with Microsoft, key partnerships and early adopter customers in this informative event near you.
8.30am – 9.30am Registration
9.30am – 10.30am Virtualization 360 to End-To-End Virtualization
Dai Vu, Director, Microsoft Corp

Organisations today face many challenges and have certain priorities they must address. With Microsoft Virtualization they can address these challenges and concerns with the essential capabilities Microsoft delivers through the products they already own. When you couple Microsoft Virtualization solutions with integrated management to bring it all together you now have the visibility into your environment, while increasing your capability to respond to the ever changing business requirements. Also, learn how Microsoft Desktop Virtualization can help organisations with their access, data security, and compliance concerns while also providing anywhere access for their users. Learn how Microsoft Virtualization solutions in the datacenter help IT save money, increase availability and improve agility through the dynamic platform and management capabilities we provide to our customers. This allows IT to be more service-centric in how they provide to their customers. This vision of Virtualization will show that Microsoft today has the capabilities you need today with a path to the future.
10.30am – 11.30pm Next Generation Optimised Desktop
Keith Baker, Datacenter Technology Specialist

Many organisations are using Windows 7 migration as an opportunity to change how they provision and manage their desktops. The Windows Optimised Desktop is a vision for how organizations can bring down the costs of client computing while maximising flexibility, security, and manageability. Learn about the next generation of the Windows Optimised Desktop, which includes new technologies in Windows 7, Desktop Virtualization, Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) and System Center.
11.30pm – 12.00pm Break
12.00pm – 1.00pm Implementing a Comprehensive VDI Solution
Matt McSpirit, Partner Technology Advisor – Virtualisation & Management

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is one of the hottest topics in IT today and is an important cornerstone of the Microsoft’s Optimised Desktop strategy. Desktop Virtualization offers new and powerful opportunities for IT to deliver and manage corporate desktops and to respond to various user needs in a flexible way. For organisations to realise the full benefits of VDI, they need to ensure they choose a solution that addresses the key issues they face today. This session helps outlines the Microsoft VDI offering and benefits of an integrated and comprehensive approach toward desktop flexibility and manageability.
1.00pm – 2.00pm Extended Break – Time to grab a bite nearby
2.00pm – 3.00pm Physical to Virtual Management with System Center
Julius Davies & Clive Watson, Datacenter Technology Specialists

Virtualization has transformed how IT can deliver the applications and services to their customers in a very dynamic climate. But not all applications and machines are great candidates for virtualization, and it will take some time for IT to move all of the applications that can be converted to virtual machines. This session will discuss how an IT organisation can leverage System Center, a comprehensive set of integrated management tools, allowing you to keep complexity to a minimum and streamline operations. A common management environment reduces training, ensures uniform policy application and simplifies maintenance by leveraging your existing software, personnel, and most importantly, your existing IT management process.
3.00pm – 3.30pm Break
3.30pm – 4.30pm Deploying Business Critical Workloads and Applications
Dai Vu, Director Microsoft Corp

This session will cover how Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V provides an optimal platform for running your business critical workloads like Exchange, SQL and SharePoint as well as other various applications and workloads, including best practices, key concepts and other considerations.
4.30pm – 5.30pm Building a Foundation for Your Private Cloud
Sohbat Ali, Solution Architect

Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Microsoft System Center family of products are enabling customers to build the foundation for a private cloud infrastructure by using the Dynamic Infrastructure Toolkit for System Center (availability scheduled in the first half of 2010). This free, partner-extensible toolkit will provide you architectural roadmap, deployment guidance, best practices, and familiar tools to create agile, virtualized IT infrastructures. This session will provide more information on the toolkit components, and how you can improve your datacenter efficiency by lowering the overall costs of on-boarding, deployment, and management.

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Infrastructure Optimisation… where to start!?!?

This week I’m in the US working with a customers data center platform systems and doing some IO (Infrastructure Optimisation) activities.

IO has been around for a while as a Microsoft branded activity – see for a wealth of information on the IO optimization model and how to move up the stack.

However, before can start an IO improvements program you sometimes have to go right back to basics!

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New Microsoft management software on-route, clear-out the old beta’s

With the release of SCE2010 Release Candidate this last week, and coupled with a rebuild of our primary infrastructure & management server it’s been time to do a bit of overdue housekeeping in light of the new software available or about to be released..

This morning (whilst finishing our new Windows 7 with Office 2010 Beta build for the ThinkPad X series – yes I’m a sad git at 07:00!) I’ve deleted space consuming binaries and install media for older beta products that have been superceeded or are about to be.

For the cull are SCE2010 Beta, DPM 2010 Beta v3 (RC is due in early feb), and a really old SCVMM 2008 R2 RC…. saved a mere 26GB of disk space there! (yes this is sarcasm!)

Now I’m not intending to write possibly the most pointless and dull blog post in the history of the blaahhhg, but more as a reference to myself of our involvement in these stages of product testing and development.

If for some reason you’re not aware of how you get hold of Microsoft early release beta’s and release candidates then take a trip to  Be warned this may start a long and time consuming passtime of exploring new software, but the rewards are there for your efforts.

Anyway, its time to start reusing some of that reclaimed disk space and start extracting the 4.10GB of SCE2010 RC I downloaded the other day… who’s going to bet its even bigger than the beta? 😉

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Training – Accelerated Implementing & Managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and SCVMM

44CO134 – Server Virtualisation Competency Fast Track: Implementing and Managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and SCVMM

This course combines the syllabus of Microsoft courses 6422 and 6331 providing delegates with the knowledge to take Exams 70-652 and 70-403 which can lead to the new Server Virtualisation Competency.

This combined four day course teaches students how to implement and manage Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. It also teaches students how to manage Hyper-V with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and with PowerShell. The course then goes on to teach students how to implement a Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager V2 solution in an organization. The course also discusses how to install, configure, and deploy VMM.

Windows Server 2000/2003 System Administration

Basic understanding of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) (optional)

Server Virtualization using Virtual Server 2005, Virtual PC, or VMWare

Operating knowledge of System Center Operations Manager 2007

Delegates will learn how to
Install and configure Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
Understand Hyper-V Virtual Networking.
Understand the types of Virtual Hard Drives and their benefits.
Create and manage Virtual Machines on the Hyper-V server.
Understand how to configure the Hyper-V server to ensure high availability.
Monitor the performance of the Hyper-V server.
Understand how to use existing virtual machines in the Hyper-V server.
Understand the issues with migrating existing Virtual Machines to Hyper-V.
Understand how System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) can be used to manage Hyper-V servers throughout the enterprise.
Use PowerShell to manage the Hyper-V server and the virtual machines hosted on the Hyper-V server.
Implement a disaster recovery plan for Virtual Machines on Hyper-V.
Identify installation prerequisites and requirements for VMM, select secure settings for VMM installations; and install VMM management packs.
Describe prerequisites for installing the Administrator Console; configure the Windows Firewall for the VMM Administrator Console; and configure managed hosts.
Describe prerequisites for the VMM Self-Service Portal; configure IIS to support the Self-Service Portal; and install the Self-Service Portal.
Configure host server hardware to support VMs.
Add VM hosts to VMM; install the VMM agent; add VMWare servers to VMM; and create filters.
Configure delegated administration; set host or group permissions; and configure VMM settings to support a test environment.
Configure access to the VMM Self-Service Portal; configure quotas on the VMM Self-Service Portal; and self-provision VMs using the VMM Self-Service Portal.
Add a VMM library including library shares and library servers and manage the contents of VMM library shares.
Deploy VMs using multiple methods; and use Intelligent Placement to deploy VMs.
Identify considerations for SAN VM migrations; perform a Quick Migration; and use Intelligent Placement to move a VM.
Convert a physical computer to a VM.
Convert other VM formats to Hyper-V VMs using VMM.
Describe considerations for configuring host clustering and describe procedures for configuring host clustering.
Describe considerations for configuring guest clustering and describe procedures for configuring guest clustering.
Identify scenarios where VMM Checkpoints may be used to meet operational requirements and create a VM Checkpoint.
Describe considerations for patch management using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and deploy patches using WSUS.
Describe and configure SCOM reporting.
Use SCOM to select potential virtualization targets based on workload and performance characteristics.
Describe considerations for monitoring host server utilization; measure and analyze host server utilization; and identify important considerations in growth planning.
Monitor and manage the progress of VMM jobs.
Locate failed jobs and recover failed jobs.

Course outline
Module 1: Introduction to Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
This module introduces the concepts related to and the history of server virtualization. Through this module, the student will understand the business need for virtualization and how virtualization fits into their existing environment. Selecting the required hardware and basic installation and configuration are also covered.
Introducing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
Hyper-V Requirements
Installing the Hyper-V Server Role
Configure Hyper-V to Be Highly Available
Lab : Install Hyper-V and Perform Initial Configuration (Install Hyper-V; Explore the Hyper-V Management Console)
Module 2: Configure Hyper-V Settings and Virtual Networks
This module provides information on the configuration options available on the Hyper-V server and the Hyper-V Virtual Networks.
Configuring Hyper-V Options
Configuring the Virtual Network
Lab : Configuring Hyper-V and Virtual Networks (Configure Hyper-V Server Settings; Configure Hyper-V Virtual Networks)
Module 3: Hyper-V Remote Administration
This module explores the requirements for remote management of the Hyper-V Server and the tools available for remote management.
Configuring Hyper-V Remote Administration
Connecting to Hyper-V Remotely
Lab : Accessing and Managing Hyper-V Remotely (Configure the Windows Firewall; Install the Hyper-V Manager on Windows Vista; Connect to the Hyper-V Server Remotely)
Module 4: Creation of Virtual Hard Drives and Virtual Machines
This module explores the creation of the Hyper-V Virtual Machines and their associated Virtual Hard Drives. The options available for the Virtual Machines and the types of Virtual Hard Drives will be covered. This module also covers the importance of Hyper-V Integration Services and Hypervisor.
Creating Virtual Hard Drives
Creating Virtual Machines
Lab : Creating Virtual Hard Drives and Virtual Machines (Creating New Virtual Hard Disks; Creating New Virtual Machines)
Module 5: Virtual Machine Settings, Snapshots, and High Availability
This module explores the settings available on each Virtual Machines hosted on the Hyper-V server and how to use and manage Virtual Machine snapshots. The module will also cover configuring Hyper-V for high availability and performance monitoring on the Hyper-V server.
Managing Virtual Machine Settings
Using Virtual Machine Snapshots
Configuring Hyper-V for High Availability
Monitoring Hyper-V Performance
Lab : Managing Virtual Machine Settings (Configure Virtual Machine Settings; Monitor Hyper-V Performance)
Module 6: Migration of Virtual Machines to Hyper-V
This module provides instruction on how to migrate virtual machines hosted on earlier virtualization technologies to the Hyper-V server.
Migrating Legacy Virtual Machines
Understanding the Impact of Migrated VMs
Lab : Migrating Legacy Virtual Machines to Hyper-V (Migrate Existing Virtual Machines to Hyper-V; Troubleshoot Issues on the Migrated VMs)
Module 1: Installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager
Module 1 describes the installation prerequisites for VMM and describes the procedure for installing VMM. In addition, Module 1 describes the procedure to install the VMM Administrator Console and the VMM Self-Service Portal.
Installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server Components
Installing the VMM Administrator Console
Installing the VMM Self-Service Portal
Lab : Installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager (Installing VMM Server; Installing the VMM Administrator Console; Installing the VMM Self-Service Portal and Configuring a DNS Record)
Module 2: Configuring VM Hardware, Hosts, and User Roles
Module 2 describes host server hardware configuration considerations. In addition, Module 2 describes general host server configuration procedures including security configuration procedures.
Adding Hosts to VMM
Configuring Hardware
Configuring VMM Settings
Managing VMM Security
Lab : Configuring VM Hardware, Hosts, and User Roles (Configuring Hosts; Configuring VM Hardware; Configuring User Roles)
Module 3: Configuring the VMM Self-Service Portal and Library
Module 3 describes considerations and procedures for configuring the VMM Self-Service Portal and Library. This includes enabling user- or group-level access to the Self-Service Portal, configuring quotas, and using the Self-Service Portal to self-provision VMs. In addition, Module 3 describes procedures for maintaining VMM library servers and shares and the contents of library shares.
Configuring the VMM Self-Service Portal
Maintaining a VMM Library
Managing Library Files
Lab : Configuring the VMM Self-Service Portal and Library (Configuring the VMM Self-Service Portal; Maintaining a VMM Library)
Module 4: Deploying and Managing VMs
Module 4 describes VM deployment and management tasks. This includes using VMM Intelligent Placement, VM Templates, and other automated VM deployment tools. In addition, Module 4 describes using VMM to move VMs between available hosts.
Deploying VMs
Moving VMs Between Hosts
Lab : Deploying and Managing VMs (Deploying VMs; Using Intelligent Placement)
Module 5: Converting from Physical or Virtual Platforms
Module 5 describes important considerations for converting physical and virtual computers to Microsoft VMs. This includes procedures for using deployment agents to execute conversions to Microsoft VMs as well as converting from third-party formats.
Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines
Migrating Virtual Machines to Hyper-V
Lab : Converting Virtual Machines Using VMM (Converting a Microsoft Virtual Server VM; Converting a VMWare Virtual Machine)
Module 6: Deploying Highly Available VMs
Module 6 describes considerations and procedures for deploying clustered VMs.
Introducing Virtual Machine High Availability
Deploying Host Clustering
Deploying Guest Clustering
Lab : Planning for Highly Available Virtual Machines (Designing Host Clustering Hardware; Selecting Guest Clustering Type)
Module 7: Managing Virtual Machine Checkpoints and Updates
Module 7 describes procedures for managing VMs using checkpoints and updates. This includes identifying scenarios for using VMM VM Checkpoints and procedures for creating VM Checkpoints. In addition, Module 7 describes update deployment using WSUS and SCCM tools.
Managing Virtual Machine Checkpoints
Managing Virtual Machine Updates
Lab : Managing Virtual Machine Checkpoints and Updates (Managing Virtual Machine Checkpoints; Managing Virtual Machine Updates)
Module 8: Implementing Monitoring and Reporting
Module 8 describes procedures for integrating System Center Operations Manager with VMM to extend the capabilities of VMM. This includes using SCOM reporting with VMM. In addition, Module 8 describes using SCOM to select potential virtualization targets and to monitor and plan host server utilization.
Integrating System Center Operations Manager
Performance and Resource Optimization
Planning and Managing Hyper-V
Lab : Configuring VMM and Operations Manager for Reporting (Setting Up VMM for Reporting and PRO; Enabling PRO; Viewing Reports)
Module 9: Monitoring and Troubleshooting Jobs
Module 9 describes procedures for monitoring and troubleshooting VMM jobs. This includes monitoring and verifying multiple job types as well as recovering from failed jobs.
Monitoring Jobs
Troubleshooting and Repairing Jobs
Lab : Troubleshooting Jobs (Using PowerShell to View Jobs; Running PowerShell Script to Generate Jobs; Managing Jobs; Troubleshooting Failed Jobs)

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Microsoft tech•ed Europe 2009, Berlin, 12 November 2009

Slighty shabby and a late start to Thursday following the Windows Server 2008 R2 EAP dinner followed by the 1E TechEd party – a heavy night! 

For the dinner, the UK team chose a fabulous Italian restaurant called Bacco ( which I’d definately go back to and hosted a great evening… many thanks to Stuart, Gareth, Neil, Alex, etc. from Microsoft UK. 

We were also joined by Allen Stewart & Rajesh Dave from corp.  Allen is Principal PM for Windows Server and Raj is a PM for Windows Hyper-V.  Both very interesting & incredibly knowledgable guys with deep understanding across a wide range of topics (and not just Microsoft!).
I pestered them for info on Hyper-V thin provisioning of memory and whilst they couldn’t confirm anything as we all said ‘we live in hope!’ 😉 

…as for the  night, I’d been invited to the 1E TechEd Europe party at Spindler & Klatt – an uuber trendy restaurant/club in East Berlin frequented by the likes of Angelina, Clooney, and now Cook! 

What a great party and many many thanks to the team at 1E (  Did I mention I was the 4th member of the business in the founding year?  (yes I probably did & several times.. lots to drunk! ;-)) We went our separate ways in 1999, oh for a slice of that now… anyway, moving on! 

Seriously though hats off to Samir, Mark, and Phil – they have built a company that knows how to throw a great party (regarded as the best at TechEd), and a team of very bright, talented people who have a lot of respect for the company and its founders. 

Ouch my head is pounding!  time to go to sessions, starting with… 

ITS211 Keeping Your CIO Happy: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SLA Scorecarding with Operations Manager 2007 and SQL Server 2008

Gordon McKenna & Sean Roberts speaking at TechEd
Presenters: Gordon McKenna, Sean Roberts,
Thu 11/12 | 10:45-12:00 | London 2 – Hall 7-1b
Learn how you can create CIO level SLA scorecards in SharePoint Server 2007 for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 using some of the new features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services and to create Executive SLA views of your Operational Environment. The session looks at why these types of views are important to many companies, what impact this can have on your business, and what simple steps you can take to achieve very effective, high-level executive views of everything from performance and availability of your key LOB services and applications, whether important SLAs and KPIs are being achieved and whether your IT department is meeting the day-to-day needs of your business. The key demos in this session take you through the steps you need to implement effective business scorecarding in SharePoint Server 2007 using key metrics collected in the Operations Manager 2007 Datawarehouse based on “real-world” experiences gained from the field. After attending this presentation you will have a good insight into how CIO Scorecards can help you add value to your Operations Manager deployments, helping you to show real value to your executives.
Tip – to remove parameter data from Ops Mgr reports imported into a SharePoint webpart, suffix the url with &rc:Parameters=collapsed
Cracking session from Gordon & Sean on how to try and keep your CIO happy (if that’s possible! ;-))
blog Daniel Savage

Service Level dashboard – free solution accelerator dashboard on Microsoft 

SVR401 & 402 DirectAccess Technical Drilldown, Part 1 of 2: IPv6 and Transition Technologies + Part 2 of 2: Putting It All Together

John Cradock presents DirectAccess Technical Drilldown, Part 1 of 2: IPv6 and Transition Technologies 

Presenter: John Craddock (
Thu 11/12 | 13:30-14:45 | Helsinki – Hall 7-2a
Take a sprinkling of Windows 7, add Windows Server 2008 R2, IPv6 and IPsec and you have a solution that will allow direct access to your corporate network without the need for VPNs. Come to these demo-rich sessions and learn how to integrate DirectAccess into your environment. In Part 1 learn about IPv6 addressing, host configuration and transitioning technologies including 6to4, ISATAP, Teredo and IPHTTPS. Through a series of demos learn how to build an IPv6 Network and interoperate with IPv4 networks and hosts. In Part 2 we add the details of IPSec, and components that are only available with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to build the DirectAccess infrastructure. Learn how to control access to corporate resources and manage Internet connected PCs through group policy. Part 1 is highly recommended as a prerequisite for Part 2.
John Craddock is an extremely talented AD/identity expert, and deeply technical across many other fields – in this case IPv6 & DA.
I was also lucky enough to have a drink with John and my old Microsoft PSS chum Paul Duffy on Monday night at the cleverly named hotel ‘Berlin Berlin’.
John is a genuine international industry expert and a thoroughly nice bloke with it!   Paul, another ‘genie-I’ went on to become PM for Office Communicator and knows a thing or ten about OCS amongst other subjects to a deep level.  This probably explains why these two know each other!
Anyway, back to the session plus my own notes, links, etc.
Gems & Tips
– be careful, not all apps will be compatible – test!
– to be native will likely mean new network gear, is new network layer (layer 2 unchanged)
– hex is back!  use of double colon notation, but can only be used once per address
– cannot mix with ipV4 mask bit notation
– host derived with mac address which has privacy issues, Win7 & R2 generate random based on interface, can be disabled (revert to mac based) with netsh interface ipv6 set global randomizeidentifiers=disabled
– route print -6 will show IPv6 route table
– ::1 is IPv6 loopback
– if you have a registered IPv4 address then you automatically have an IPv6 address on the 6to4 network
6to4 states 6to4 performs three functions:
  1. Assigns a block of IPv6 address space to any host or network that has a global IPv4 address.
  2. Encapsulates IPv6 packets inside IPv4 packets for transmission over an IPv4 network using 6in4.
  3. Routes traffic between 6to4 and “native” IPv6 networks.

– you need to manually unblock ISATAP entry in DNS which can be done via the registry or command line, e.g. 

C:\>dnscmd /config /globalqueryblocklist wpad 

Registry property globalqueryblocklist successfully reset.
Command completed successfully. 

ISATAP is a huge subject in it’s own right, the Intra-site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol Deployment Guide is available at 

Putting it all together..

– Check tunnel endpoint authentication using ‘klist’ to list Kerberos data
– Use NRTP to direct DNS queries to a specific server for a particular names space (view using ‘netsh namespace show effectivepolicy’)
– PKI needs to be right as certificates are the foundations
– you must publish the revocation list
– NLS (Nework Location Server) is just a https website accessible from the DA server, e.g.
– if it doesn’t work, it could be a couple of days troubleshooting! 

If you’re thinking of setting this up in a virtual lab, I also took note from Allen Stewart’s blog at

…if you’re planning to virtualize your lab environment on Hyper-V, you should ensure you’re using Legacy Network Adapters for the child partition where you’re running the DAS. Using the default synthetic NICs is OK for all the other resources in the test lab, but for the DAS itself, it’s important to have both the Internet and Corpnet NICs as legacy ones, to ensure proper passing of traffic between both sides of the DAS. If you use the default synthetic adapters, you may end up in a situation where traffic doesn’t properly flow from the outside to the inside, even though all your IPsec, 6to4, Teredo, and IP-HTTPS settings are correct. Basically, you’ll be in a situation where connectivity will fail at a basic level, with you not even being to successfully ping the internal DNS server using its ISATAP address.If you’ve already built your lab on Hyper-V using the synthetic adapters, the fix is pretty simple. Just replace them with legacy ones, reconfigure the IP addressing as specified in the guide and rerun the DirectAccess wizard, again supplying all the information specified in the guide. After doing so, all your traffic should flow properly.

– Thanks Allen!

DAT312 All You Needed to Know about Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Failover Clustering

Presenter: Gopal Ashok
Thu 11/12 | 17:00-18:15 | London 3 – Hall 7-1b
There are major architectural changes in SQL Server 2008 for failover cluster setup and management, geared towards increased reliability and high-availability. To learn all the benefits and changes, attend this session for a comprehensive overview direct from the product development group. We cover SQL Server 2008 failover clustering setup, underlying Windows Server cluster and how SQL Server uses it, what’s new in SQL Server 2008 for failover clustering, differences from previous versions of SQL Server and future directions. This includes details of SQL Server 2008 failover clustering setup operations together with demos to illustrate the new setup.

– new features
– applications need retry mechanisms built in to provide seamless failover
– no longer have to take down the cluster to upgrade, supports rolling upgrades 

Want to deploy stretched clusters?  lots do.  As in separate geo-redundant clusters, not separate nodes e.g. 

Stretched SQL Clusters or the doodles of an artist?

Stretched SQL Clusters or the doodles of an artist?

– sql 2008 failover clustering install breaks on windows server 2008 R2 and needs to be slipstreamed with SP1 (If only we knew this last weekend!)
(slipstreaming is incorporating patches into the installation media to effect a higher level of install base over RTM – Microsoft tend to do this but not always quickly!)
see for more info
– during upgrades to a 2-node cluster there will be a period of time when you are exposed to node failure, and must not have a failover attempt for fear of corruption.  removing the node from the cluster owners will stop premature attempted failover. 

Further Microsoft resources.. (will add others also) 

      SQL Server ® 2008 Failover Clustering White Paper: 

      Recommended  Books Online  Doc Refresh #7 (May, 2009), or later: 

      Failover Clusters – Getting Started: 

      Rolling upgrade process and best practice: 

      Maintaining a Failover Cluster: 

      Setup command line usage: 

      Configuration.ini file usage: 

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Microsoft tech•ed Europe 2009, Berlin, 11 November 2009

A daily update from Microsoft tech•ed Europe 2009, Berlin, 8-13 November 2009

Not the best day for me in terms of TechEd objectives (i.e. attending learning sessions, etc.) with the first post of the day saying ‘decisions decisions… for sessions just 09:00-10:15’ as struggled to choose between:

DAT302 Top 10 Best Practices for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services
MGT11-IS Get Virtualized with Microsoft System Center Essentials!
OFS322 Overview of Social Computing in SharePoint 2010
SVR207 Windows Server 2008 R2 File Classification Infrastructure: Managing your file data more effectively.
SVR319 Multi-Site Clustering with Windows Server 2008 R2

Ended up doing none of the above, but did have a productive breakfast meeting with Stuart Leddy, UK Windows Server Product Marketing Manager.  Stuart has been heading up the Windows Server 2008 R2 UK EAP activities that we have been involved in with Ascom Network Testing (

The day turned into going from one full session to the next, and walking back and forth for what seemed like miles in between!
my TechEd tip for the day – for popular sessions get there 10 minutes before they start!

Eventually did get into a 1st choice session I wanted at 12:20…

MGT03-DEMO Introduction to Microsoft System Center Essentials 2010

Presenters: Ravikiran Chintalapudi, David Mills, Eamon O’Reilly, Jeremy Winter
Come see the new customer-driven enhancements and fully integrated virtual management capabilities in the next release of Microsoft’s unified IT Management solution for medium-sized businesses, System Center Essentials 2010!
– great product, can manage 50 servers and 200 clients

SVR307 Security Best Practices for Hyper-V and Server Virtualisation

Jeff Woolsey, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Virtualization

Virtualisation is one of the hottest topics in IT today and security is a top priory for IT staff. In this session we cover security best practices for Hyper-V and introduce the Hyper-V Security Guide. This guide is Microsoft’s reference for hardening servers running Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V enabled.

– Use of BitLocker
– AV scanning of offline VHD images… stale/dormant VMs that get reintroduced to the corporate network then can wreak havoc to new vulnerability exploits.  first product to do this is McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Offline Virtual Images (rolls off the toungue!)
– AV configuration… added benefit of passthrough disks – host AV will scan these disks.  install AV on the guests!
– VHD performance, 2nd most popular VM workload in Microsoft is SQL! fixed disk performance is now on par with raw/real disk!  but remember spindles still count!
– Dynamic VHDs are now up to 15x faster with R2 – still a 10-15% performance hit over fixed, and the risk of disk over commit
– Multipath I/O (MPIO) in R2 & Win7 is soo much easier with iSCSI Quick Connect
– Advanced Storage Capabilities… storage dedupe and replication, if it is block based it will work
Hyper-V Networking – don’t forget the parent is a VM too!  the Hypervisor slides in beneath the O/S once enabled.  More NICs the better, min 2, min 3 with iSCSI
Jumbo Frames… Significant performance increases, but the infrastructure must support it.  also needs to be end-to-end.  confirm test with ping host -l 4000 -f – if you get a response you have jumbo frames
Virtual Machine Queues – Hyper-V R2 supports processing offloading to newer network adaptors (Intel, Broadcom, etc.), most benefit with 10Gb/E
– more tips… turn off screen savers in guests, in Windows Server 2003 create using 2-way to ensure MP HAL

more of a best practise and walkthrough of some basic tasks like not forgetting to install Intergration Component, good session and great blogger (not me – Jeff! ;-))


DAT301 Building and Implementing a High Availability Strategy for Your Enterprise

Presenter: Gopal Ashok
Wed 11/11 | 17:30-18:45 | London 3 – Hall 7-1b
Every business has mission-critical applications running on Microsoft SQL Server that require maximum uptime. Some application data is more critical than others and requires strict guarantees with regard to data loss. Depending on the application requirements and IT constraints, the availability strategy and corresponding technology choices will vary. As an architect, DBA, or IT admin it is important to develop the right HA strategy and corresponding solution which meets the availability requirement and at the same time provides the cost benefit for your organisation. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Always On Technologies provide a full range of options to minimise downtime and maintain appropriate levels of application availability. Come to this session to learn how to develop a comprehensive HA solution using the Always On technologies. The session walks you through the various technologies and features, providing a cost-benefit analysis and comparison, talks about the key decision points to consider when choosing a technology, and showcases real-world examples of how these technologies are currently used to provide a High Availability solution for various customer environments around the world.

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