This 3-part article details the 12 routines that I consider a Windows Server
2008 user ought to know first to accelerate the learning and adoption of
Windows Server 2012 without the need of a touch device. For those IT
professionals who are working towards becoming private cloud experts, it is
imperative to master Windows Server 2012 which is an essential component in
establishing a private cloud. And the earlier those master Windows Server
2012 platform, the sooner those will be become leaders in the IT
transformation into private cloud computing. There is everything to gain to
start learning Windows Server 2012 now as opposed to later.
The content of this series is based on Windows Server 2012 Beta as of May,
2012. It is intended for those who are familiar with the administration of
Windows Server 2008 (or later) to become comfortable and productive with
Windows ... (more)
Author: Eric Slack, Senior Analyst, Storage Switzerland
Companies that need to improve application performance, for example, in
server virtualization or VDI environments, frequently come to the conclusion
that flash is the best strategy. SSD technology is becoming the "go to"
solution for enhancing the performance of these kinds of critical production
applications. After realizing that a flash-based solution is warranted, the
next question involves implementation. What is the most cost-effective way to
add solid state flash technology into an existing production environment? For
IT organizations that have multiple primary servers needing this performance
boost, most find themselves looking at network based storage appliances as
they can be easily shared across all servers and applications.
Two alternatives, all-flash arrays and hybrid storage systems, are often
Windows Server 2012 is designed with private cloud and System Center 2012 in
mind. While the IT industry is transitioning into cloud computing and
embracing consumerization of IT, as an IT professional, building privte
cloud with System Center 2012 is an immediate priority of mine and getting
productive on Windows Server 2012 is a key step.
This is part 2, a continuation of the 3-part series of getting productive on
Windows Server 2012, should you not have a touch device readily available.
The user operations walked through here are fundamental and for most Windows
users this post will be an easy read. If not already, one should read part 1
3. Settings of Current Screen
On any screen, use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + i, to bring up
Settings options for the current screen. Or a user can also move cursor to
UR/LR, i.e. the upper right or lower left co... (more)
In Windows Server 2008 R2 (WS2008R2), Terminal Services (TS) has been
expanded and renamed to Remote Desktop Services (RDS). RDS is the backbone of
Microsoft's VDI solutions. And in Windows Server 2012, RDS is further
enhanced and with a scenario-based configuration wizard. Still the concept
and architecture remain very much the same since WS2008R2. The new and
enhanced architecture takes advantage of virtualization and makes remote
access a much flexible solution with new deployment scenarios. To realize the
capabilities of RDS, it is essential to understand the functions of key
architectural components and how they complement one another to process a RDS
request. There are many new terms and acronyms to get familiar with in the
context of RDS. For the remainder of this post, notice RDS implies the server
platform of WS2008R2 and later, while TS implies WS2008.
We've tracked a trend for the past several years: customers aren't moving to
standardize on a single brand or type of server, operating system, or even
x86 hypervisor. But, in our in fifth annual x86 Data Center Survey
(2011-‘12 edition), we were somewhat surprised to find that customers were
using a wide range of different hypervisors to a greater extent than we
The total number of respondents in our survey was 345, with 40% of
respondents in mid-size and large organizations of 4,000 employees and above.
This was a global survey; 46% of respondents hailed from Europe, 40% from
North America, and 11% from Asia/Pacific. Respondents came from our Gabriel
Consulting Group survey data base of previous participants and from targeted
Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some
systems in their infrastructures.... (more)
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2011 ended with the popularization of an idea: bringing VMs (virtual
machines) onto the cloud. Recent years have seen great advancements in both
cloud computing and virtualization. On the one hand there is the ability to
pool various resources to provide Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a
Service and Platform as a Service. At its most basic, this is what describes
cloud computing. On the other hand, we have virtual machines that provide
agility, flexibility, and scalability to the cloud resources by allowing the
vendors to copy, move, and manipulate their VMs at will. The term virtual
machine essentially describes sharing the resources of one single physical
computer into various computers within itself. VMware and virtual box are
commonly used virtual systems on desktops. Cloud computing effectively stands
for many computers pretending to be one computing e... (more)
Hey there; the IT Dog back with some color commentary on our VDI experience.
When I first heard the name, I thought VDI was the latest model Volkswagen
diesel, but as the guy with the suit explained in the last blog, VDI is
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Now that you know what VDI means, I am sure
you know all there is to know about it, right? Well, I wish it was that
easy for me.
Where Do I Begin?
I guess I’ll start from the beginning. At my company, my IT guys were at
their wits end trying to manage the 1000 or so desktops, spread out over four
different locations, with various flavors of Windows and who knows how many
different versions of applications and other personal stuff. I kept getting
the ‘we need more staff to manage this mess’ line from them. A lot of
these problems had to do with acquisition and expanding business – which is
Queue th... (more)
I have been working for technology companies for 33 years now, so I don't
know why I'm always surprised at the technology myths that proliferate. For
example, there is a popular notion running around that Solid State Drives
(SSDs) will replace Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) as the dominant storage media.
So, which will win? Let me give you my answer upfront before I take you
through my arguments: both win, and the market size for both continues to
As I offer up this data and this perspective, I'll repeat some advice I
received early in my career. A mentor once told me, when searching for the
truth in business and technology "look to the economics" (maybe my version of
"go to the mattresses" for you "Godfather" fans).
Here is what I read and hear on a regular basis regarding the battle of HDDs
SSDs run circles around HDDs for performance SSDs will soon rep... (more)
Riverbed Technology, the application performance outfit, has some new
solutions developed in collaboration with its buddy VMware that are supposed
to provide a reliable and consistent desktop virtualization end-user
experience in organizations that deploy VMware's Horizon View 5.2.
The experience is supposed to be seamless regardless of where the data is.
The partnership between Riverbed and VMware has resulted in the support of
several Riverbed performance solutions in Horizon View deployments, including
certifying Riverbed's Granite widgetry for acceleration, control and
management in virtualized desktop initiatives.
Organizations that deploy Horizon View with Riverbed performance jumpers are
supposed to be able to achieve a more automated, flexible, scalable and
high-performing VDI environment. And those that want a virtual desktop
infrastructure (VDI) can reduce... (more)
Dell Software this week delivered Foglight for Virtualization, Enterprise
Edition to extend the depth and breadth of managing and optimizing server
virtualization as well as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and their
joint impact on such IT resources as storage.
Building on the formerly named Quest vFoglight Pro virtualization management
solution, Dell re-branded vFoglight to Foglight for Virtualization to make it
the core platform to the Foglight family. Foglight is not sitting still
either. Improvements this year move beyond monitoring support for VMware View
VDI, to later support for VMware vCloud Director, OpenStack, and Citrix Xen
VDI. [Disclosure: Dell Software and WMware are sponsors of BriefingsDirect
The higher value from such ecosystem and heterogeneous management support is
the ability for virtualization server and system administrators to ... (more)