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  • A SpecTECHular follow-up: Windows Server 2012 #HyperV, #SysCtr 2012 and #Windows8

    - by KeithMayer
    Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting at the New Horizons SpecTECHular events (www.spectechular.com) in Cincinnati and Dayton OH.  It was great meeting some very engaged IT Pros and discussing the new features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, System Center 2012 / Private Cloud, and Windows 8.  Since there was so much interest in these topics, I've posted my decks online at the following link locations: What's New in Windows Server 2012 & Hyper-V What's New in Windows 8 for IT Professionals Building Private Clouds with System Center 2012 Once you've had a chance to review each deck, let me know if there's specific topics in which you have more interest.  If you have an IT Pro technical community located in the US Heartland, I'd also be happy to discuss presenting these topics at one of your upcoming events! - Keithhttp://keithmayer.com | Twitter: @KeithMayer | LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/KeithM

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  • FREE Technical Training on Windows Server 2012 Virtualization / Hyper-V / Private Cloud

    - by KeithMayer
    Microsoft Learning partnered with the Microsoft Server and Tools team and Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) to deliver the “Windows Server 2012 Jump Start: Preparing for the Datacenter Evolution” on June 20-21, 2012. Thanks to an amazing product and a phenomenal team effort, this event shattered two Jump Start records with 2,064 attendees from 103 different countries and extremely positive event feedback! We are excited to announce the release of the HD-quality video recordings available on TechNet Videos now!For complete details: http://aka.ms/TrainWS12JSIf I can help with any other learning topics, please feel free to connect with me and let me know!HTH,Keith http://keithmayer.com | Twitter: @KeithMayer | LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/KeithM

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  • Windows Azure VMs - New "Stopped" VM Options Provide Cost-effective Flexibility for On-Demand Workloads

    - by KeithMayer
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/KeithMayer/archive/2013/06/22/windows-azure-vms---new-stopped-vm-options-provide-cost-effective.aspxDidn’t make it to TechEd this year? Don’t worry!  This month, we’ll be releasing a new article series that highlights the Best of TechEd announcements and technical information for IT Pros.  Today’s article focuses on a new, much-heralded enhancement to Windows Azure Infrastructure Services to make it more cost-effective for spinning VMs up and down on-demand on the Windows Azure cloud platform. NEW! VMs that are shutdown from the Windows Azure Management Portal will no longer continue to accumulate compute charges while stopped! Previous to this enhancement being available, the Azure platform maintained fabric resource reservations for VMs, even in a shutdown state, to ensure consistent resource availability when starting those VMs in the future.  And, this meant that VMs had to be exported and completely deprovisioned when not in use to avoid compute charges. In this article, I'll provide more details on the scenarios that this enhancement best fits, and I'll also review the new options and considerations that we now have for performing safe shutdowns of Windows Azure VMs. Which scenarios does the new enhancement best fit? Being able to easily shutdown VMs from the Windows Azure Management Portal without continued compute charges is a great enhancement for certain cloud use cases, such as: On-demand dev/test/lab environments - Freely start and stop lab VMs so that they are only accumulating compute charges when being actively used.  "Bursting" load-balanced web applications - Provision a number of load-balanced VMs, but keep the minimum number of VMs running to support "normal" loads. Easily start-up the remaining VMs only when needed to support peak loads. Disaster Recovery - Start-up "cold" VMs when needed to recover from disaster scenarios. BUT ... there is a consideration to keep in mind when using the Windows Azure Management Portal to shutdown VMs: although performing a VM shutdown via the Windows Azure Management Portal causes that VM to no longer accumulate compute charges, it also deallocates the VM from fabric resources to which it was previously assigned.  These fabric resources include compute resources such as virtual CPU cores and memory, as well as network resources, such as IP addresses.  This means that when the VM is later started after being shutdown from the portal, the VM could be assigned a different IP address or placed on a different compute node within the fabric. In some cases, you may want to shutdown VMs using the old approach, where fabric resource assignments are maintained while the VM is in a shutdown state.  Specifically, you may wish to do this when temporarily shutting down or restarting a "7x24" VM as part of a maintenance activity.  Good news - you can still revert back to the old VM shutdown behavior when necessary by using the alternate VM shutdown approaches listed below.  Let's walk through each approach for performing a VM Shutdown action on Windows Azure so that we can understand the benefits and considerations of each... How many ways can I shutdown a VM? In Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, there's three general ways that can be used to safely shutdown VMs: Shutdown VM via Windows Azure Management Portal Shutdown Guest Operating System inside the VM Stop VM via Windows PowerShell using Windows Azure PowerShell Module Although each of these options performs a safe shutdown of the guest operation system and the VM itself, each option handles the VM shutdown end state differently. Shutdown VM via Windows Azure Management Portal When clicking the Shutdown button at the bottom of the Virtual Machines page in the Windows Azure Management Portal, the VM is safely shutdown and "deallocated" from fabric resources.  Shutdown button on Virtual Machines page in Windows Azure Management Portal  When the shutdown process completes, the VM will be shown on the Virtual Machines page with a "Stopped ( Deallocated )" status as shown in the figure below. Virtual Machine in a "Stopped (Deallocated)" Status "Deallocated" means that the VM configuration is no longer being actively associated with fabric resources, such as virtual CPUs, memory and networks. In this state, the VM will not continue to allocate compute charges, but since fabric resources are deallocated, the VM could receive a different internal IP address ( called "Dynamic IPs" or "DIPs" in Windows Azure ) the next time it is started.  TIP: If you are leveraging this shutdown option and consistency of DIPs is important to applications running inside your VMs, you should consider using virtual networks with your VMs.  Virtual networks permit you to assign a specific IP Address Space for use with VMs that are assigned to that virtual network.  As long as you start VMs in the same order in which they were originally provisioned, each VM should be reassigned the same DIP that it was previously using. What about consistency of External IP Addresses? Great question! External IP addresses ( called "Virtual IPs" or "VIPs" in Windows Azure ) are associated with the cloud service in which one or more Windows Azure VMs are running.  As long as at least 1 VM inside a cloud service remains in a "Running" state, the VIP assigned to a cloud service will be preserved.  If all VMs inside a cloud service are in a "Stopped ( Deallocated )" status, then the cloud service may receive a different VIP when VMs are next restarted. TIP: If consistency of VIPs is important for the cloud services in which you are running VMs, consider keeping one VM inside each cloud service in the alternate VM shutdown state listed below to preserve the VIP associated with the cloud service. Shutdown Guest Operating System inside the VM When performing a Guest OS shutdown or restart ( ie., a shutdown or restart operation initiated from the Guest OS running inside the VM ), the VM configuration will not be deallocated from fabric resources. In the figure below, the VM has been shutdown from within the Guest OS and is shown with a "Stopped" VM status rather than the "Stopped ( Deallocated )" VM status that was shown in the previous figure. Note that it may require a few minutes for the Windows Azure Management Portal to reflect that the VM is in a "Stopped" state in this scenario, because we are performing an OS shutdown inside the VM rather than through an Azure management endpoint. Virtual Machine in a "Stopped" Status VMs shown in a "Stopped" status will continue to accumulate compute charges, because fabric resources are still being reserved for these VMs.  However, this also means that DIPs and VIPs are preserved for VMs in this state, so you don't have to worry about VMs and cloud services getting different IP addresses when they are started in the future. Stop VM via Windows PowerShell In the latest version of the Windows Azure PowerShell Module, a new -StayProvisioned parameter has been added to the Stop-AzureVM cmdlet. This new parameter provides the flexibility to choose the VM configuration end result when stopping VMs using PowerShell: When running the Stop-AzureVM cmdlet without the -StayProvisioned parameter specified, the VM will be safely stopped and deallocated; that is, the VM will be left in a "Stopped ( Deallocated )" status just like the end result when a VM Shutdown operation is performed via the Windows Azure Management Portal.  When running the Stop-AzureVM cmdlet with the -StayProvisioned parameter specified, the VM will be safely stopped but fabric resource reservations will be preserved; that is the VM will be left in a "Stopped" status just like the end result when performing a Guest OS shutdown operation. So, with PowerShell, you can choose how Windows Azure should handle VM configuration and fabric resource reservations when stopping VMs on a case-by-case basis. TIP: It's important to note that the -StayProvisioned parameter is only available in the latest version of the Windows Azure PowerShell Module.  So, if you've previously downloaded this module, be sure to download and install the latest version to get this new functionality. Want to Learn More about Windows Azure Infrastructure Services? To learn more about Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, be sure to check-out these additional FREE resources: Become our next "Early Expert"! Complete the Early Experts "Cloud Quest" and build a multi-VM lab network in the cloud for FREE!  Build some cool scenarios! Check out our list of over 20+ Step-by-Step Lab Guides based on key scenarios that IT Pros are implementing on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services TODAY!  Looking forward to seeing you in the Cloud! - Keith Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012 Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

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  • Top 31 Favorite Features in Windows Server 2012

    - by KeithMayer
    Over the past month, my fellow IT Pro Technical Evangelists and I have authored a series of articles about our Top 31 Favorite Features in Windows Server 2012.  Now that our series is complete, I’m providing a clickable index below of all of the articles in the series for your convenience, just in case you perhaps missed any of them when they were first released.  Hope you enjoy our Favorite Features in Windows Server 2012! Top 31 Favorite Features in Windows Server 2012 The Cloud OS Platform by Kevin Remde Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 by Brian Lewis Feel the Power of PowerShell 3.0 by Matt Hester Live Migrate Your VMS in One Line of PowerShell by Keith Mayer Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Replica by Kevin Remde Right-size IT Budgets with “Storage Spaces” by Keith Mayer Yes, there is an “I” in Team – the NIC Team! by Kevin Remde Hyper-V Network Virtualization by Keith Mayer Get Happy over the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 by Matt Hester Simplified BranchCache in Windows Server 2012 by Brian Lewis Getting Snippy with PowerShell 3.0 by Matt Hester How to Get Unbelievable Data Deduplication Results by Chris Henley of Veeam Simplified VDI Configuration and Management by Brian Lewis Taming the New Task Manager by Keith Mayer Improve File Server Resiliency with ReFS by Keith Mayer Simplified DirectAccess by Sumeeth Evans SMB 3.0 – The Glue in Windows Server 2012 by Matt Hester Continuously Available File Shares by Steven Murawski of Edgenet Server Core - Improved Taste, Less Filling, More Uptime by Keith Mayer Extend Your Hyper-V Virtual Switch by Kevin Remde To NIC or to Not NIC Hardware Requirements by Brian Lewis Simplified Licensing and Server Versions by Kevin Remde I Think, Therefore IPAM! by Kevin Remde Windows Server 2012 and the RSATs by Kevin Remde Top 3 New Tricks in the Active Directory Admin Center by Keith Mayer Dynamic Access Control by Brian Lewis Get the Gremlin out of Your Active Directory Virtualized Infrastructure by Matt Hester Scoping out the New DHCP Failover by Keith Mayer Gone in 8 Seconds – The New CHKDSK by Matt Hester New Remote Desktop Services (RDS) by Brian Lewis No Better Time Than Now to Choose Hyper-V by Matt Hester What’s Next? Keep Learning! Want to learn more about Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012?  Want to prepare for certification on Windows Server 2012? Do It: Join our Windows Server 2012 “Early Experts” Challenge online peer study group for FREE at http://earlyexperts.net. You’ll get FREE access to video-based lectures, structured study materials and hands-on lab activities to help you study and prepare!  Along the way, you’ll be part of an IT Pro community of over 1,000+ IT Pros that are all helping each other learn Windows Server 2012! What are Your Favorite Features? Do you have a Favorite Feature in Windows Server 2012 that we missed in our list above?  Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below! Keith Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012 Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

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  • Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview now available for Windows 7 SP1!

    - by KeithMayer
    This week, the IE team released IE 10 Release Preview for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1!  You can download IE10 Release Preview for evaluation and testing (remember, it's still pre-release software) from the following link location ... Download IE10 Release Preview: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/downloads/ie-10/worldwide-languages You can get at overview of What's New in Internet Explorer 10 at: Internet Explorer 10 FAQ for IT Pros Of course, you can also get the full release of IE10 by downloading Windows 8 at http://aka.ms/dlw8rtm What's Next? After downloading IE10 Release Preview, begin setting up your lab environment to plan for how you'll customize and deploy IE10 in your environment when it's released with these resources: IE10 Customization and Administration Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) 10 Group Policy Settings Reference Hope this helps! Keith Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012 Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

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  • Right-size IT Budgets with Windows Server 2012 "Storage Spaces"

    - by KeithMayer
    What is the Largest Single Cost Category in Your IT Hardware Budget? If you're like most of the enterprise customer organizations that were surveyed when we were designing Windows Server 2012, your answer is probably the same as theirs: STORAGE! For the organizations we surveyed, we found that as much as 60% of their annual hardware budgets were allocated to expensive hardware SAN solutions due to ever-increasing storage requirements. Wouldn't it be nice to have some of that budget back

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  • Backup and Recovery of Windows 8 - Tip-of-the-Day

    - by KeithMayer
    Have you recently downloaded Windows 8 RTM? In this article, we'll introduce you to the new options available for making Backup and Recovery in Windows 8 easier than ever, including Windows 8 File History, launching Windows System Backup and Windows 8 Refresh & Reset PC. Use these options to define your backup and recovery plan so that you'll be prepared to restore the system and your data when needed.

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  • Step-by-Step: Implementing Hyper-V Network Virtualization with Windows Server 2012

    - by KeithMayer
    True network and virtual machine portability - that's the ultimate goal of Hyper-V Network Virtualization - allowing you, as an IT Pro, to align changing business needs with the best physical resource locations to run your VMs and network services - easily, without the sweeping network, router, switch, firewall and DNS changes with which we'd traditionally be plagued when merely attempting the feat of relocating VMs to a new rack, subnet or data center ... WOW!

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  • Server Core in Windows Server 2012 - Improved Taste, Less Filling, More Uptime

    - by KeithMayer
    Would you like to reduce your patch maintenance requirements by over 1/3rd? Of course! Who wouldn't? Server Core in Windows Server 2012 reduces the disk footprint of the operating system by approximately 4GB! When using the Server Core installation option, the features related to the Server Graphical Shell ( ie., Explorer, Start Screen, and Internet Explorer ) and Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure are not installed - GUI features that are usually not required on a dedicated s

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  • 12 Steps to NTFS Shared Folders in Windows Server 2012

    - by KeithMayer
    In the past, managing and sharing NTFS folders could be a real ordeal – there were different tools for managing NTFS permissions vs shared folders and most IT Pros generally used these tools on a server-by-server basis from each server’s console. Server Manager to the rescue! In Windows Server 2012, Server Manager provides a management facelift on top of the disconnected process that we’ve used in the past for sharing folders and setting NTFS permissions. In addition, Server Manager can

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  • Pushing Windows Store apps silently

    - by seagull
    As part of a requirement I have been issued, I seek the ability to push apps from the Windows Store (.appx) to remote users. The framework surrounding the data transmission is sorted; What I need to know is if there is a script that can be sent out along with a URI or the package proper to facilitate installation on the user-side of the Windows Store app. I am well aware that numerous guides exist from Microsoft on pushing out Line-of-Business (LOB) (AKA Enterprise) applications -- that is, apps that have been developed in-house and are not for the consumption of the Windows store. This is inappropriate for my requirement, however; the customer wants their clients to receive apps that appear currently on the Windows Store, and for them to be installed in a silent manner. I've seen this guide; http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/02/25/step-by-step-deploying-windows-8-apps-with-system-center-2012-service-pack-1.aspx, which details doing exactly this, but it is only applicable to machines that are administered by a system running Windows Server 2012 R2 with the 'System Center 2012' bundle installed. The systems I target are considerably more decentralised than this, making this guide inappropriate. I have a hunch that Microsoft have deliberately designed the Windows Store to be this way, but I figured I ought to ask around before I resign myself to the requirement. Much obliged

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