Archive for the ‘Windows Server’ Category

DAMNIT! What the hell is this BDEDRIVE It’s keeping me from expanding my C:!

February 14th, 2014

So there you are, you notice that your VM is running out of disk space on the C: so you take the obvious action of adding additional disk space to your VM.



Yea, that’s right. The stupid BDEDrive which is created as part of the MDT.   You got it solid that this is the clear reason you’re prevented from actually expanding the space on disk!   So what do you do?   Rather than lie to you as I walk through the steps, instead I’d like to refer you to this awesome blog post by Joy Banerjee who does all of the work I’d normally put into a blog post!

I know this happens enough that I wanted to share the link to that blog post because the answer is at your finger tips! 

So be sure to hit up Joy’s blog post and BOOM your problems will be solved! :) <3

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Posted in Virtualization, Windows Server | Comments (1)

Free Training, Labs, Videos and more from Microsoft, VMware and @TrainSignal!

January 28th, 2013

From 2001 until 2006 I would regularly do presentations on OMG THERE’S FREE TRAINING OUT THERE WHY AREN’T YOU USING IT. Which even culminated in the release of a Technical Offerings training deck as noted in this blog post I published in 2006 (Yes, Seriously, in 2006) Well, guess what. A lot of that data is STILL highly relevant even today! So… Let’s get started! :)

Training Videos


Kicking off the realm of training videos I’d like to highlight our good friends at Microsoft with their release of the Microsoft Virtual Academy!

Microsoft Virtual Academy - Learn about Windows 8

The MVA has a LOAD and I mean a serious LOAD of information, from Training Videos, Courses, Tutorials, Walkthroughs, even Tests and points and contests to increase not only the ‘fun factor’ but provide additional context in your education.   For those of you VMwarriors out there who will discard this and say BLAH, SHOW ME THE VMware STUFF.   I even did a little search for VMware in the “Quick Search” button and lo and behold lookie at the results!

Microsoft gets serious with VMware Virtualization solutions in Microsoft Virtual Academy 

So whether you are a rockstar, a seasoned professional or someone looking to get started and want to know where to get some good and valuable information without spending hours and $$$ in a classroom, this is definitely an excellent way to get started, so jump on in!


I know some of you are fighting the constant battle of “Damnit, can I attend Microsoft TechEd or not…” And with TechEd 2013 going to be in New Orleans I cannot blame you in the LEAST! But for those of you who just truly cannot find the time, the ability and are able to get away… something you should know.


Yea. Seriously. It is.  It actually has been for like the last… Oh I don’t know… since 2004 I believe? And all of that past-content since they started posting and making it available online has been posted online.   For some reason I’m only able to find the 2012 content and the 2011 Archive but who really needs access to material on product versions which may not even exist or are supported anymore, if you truly need that let me know and I’ll find the link!

The Microsoft TechEd 2012 Content Catalog (and prior) are freeeeeeee!


A lot of you are familiar with TrainSignal and the loads of great content they create, produce and respectively sell out there (You can get access to their paid training video series and content on their website,  But when I reached out to their President asking, “Hey, you have any freeeeeee stuff!?!?!?” He pointed me over by here!  So here is a whole bunch of videos freeeeeeeeeeeee of charge!  And of course, don’t hesitate to check out the amazing content produced by the likes of Scott Lowe and David Davis and others!

OMG TrainSignal does Free Training Videos too?! Available on Youtube? Booyah!

Ya know… as an example here! :)

That should get you going on quite a load of stuff from Microsoft, to VMware, to Citrix and Cisco and beyond!   But let’s drill down a bit into VMware now…


When it comes to VMware there are loads and loads (and loads) of information in the world, and often we never really know where to start… Well, here is a place to start and it’s home is in YouTube!

OMG VMware has a LOT of Channels on YouTube!

Yea, that’s lame right? I mean on YouTube there’s like a dozen channels?!?! Well, there are. Just go and use them. BAM, and BOOYAH.

VMworld Presentations are FREE TOO LIKE TECHED?!?!?

Well, no. Not exactly. Sorry!   Although this last year VMUG Advantage did have a brief offer for free access to the VMworld content if you signed up for that…  I’m unable to find any data on it at the moment, so that may have expired, but it’s still worth checking out!


You asked for Labs and here they are! More labs than you can shake a stick at!

This picture 'borrowed' from !

Err, okay, maybe that was a little too literal!   Let’s get on with our labs though!

FREE Hands On Labs from Microsoft!

The thing about Microsoft is… for 8+ years they’ve had FREE access to all of their products in a Try-Before-You-Buy model where you can DOWNLOAD any Product and play with it (okay, seriously that’s been around for going on 20 years) but they also instituted the Hands On Labs where the lab environments would BUILD themselves, provide you with a Lab guide to follow (or ignore) and learn and play with it that way.   Not to mention all of the content they’d have in the Hands on Labs at TechEd would be POSTED and made available for you to go in and learn, explore and beyond!

This isn’t something new, it’s been around FOREVER, Here are links to where you can access it (as it’s actually available in several places).

Disclaimer: When I wanted to test something out, I’d spin up a lab which was designed to ‘best practice’ and go in and do whatever I wanted, I mean it was a lab environment available in minutes. Why not? 

Interesting Fact, some of the types of labs and solutions available out there which you can play and learn from:

  • How to setup a product from scratch, like Sharepoint, Microsoft Exchange, SQL
  • How to MIGRATE a product from one version to another (like those products mentioned above and more)
  • How to Develop in a language like C#, Visual Studio, Azure, PowerShell and more
  • How to do other advanced types of things
  • Alllllllllllll the labs that were available at TechEd, so you know what that means… and if not, check it out!
  • You can find TechEd Labs in the Additional Content section here with this Microsoft TechEd Virtual Labs flask icon next to it!
  • Here at the MSEvents site there are a number of Virtual Labs on the “Virtual Labs” tab to choose and play from!
  • At the TechNet Virtual Labs site you can dive a little deeper on more Microsoft Technologies…
  • Looking to dive even deeper, the MSDN Virtual Labs site will take you there.

So if for a minute you thought this was going to be easy, or a single click site with all the answers. HAH.


Well, not exactly.. I mean, sort of, kind of… but, well, let me explain.   VMware recently announced “Project Nee” my dear friend Simon Seagrave talks about about it here at his blog.  But ultimately, what Project Nee is intended to be is… VMware Hands On Labs publicly available online.  However it is still in Beta at the moment.   You can follow details of the VMware Hands On Labs by going here to the VMware Hands On Labs community!


Some additional places not even mentioned but you should check out, and all of the cited links for easy access and consumption:


So hopefully those of you out there who are looking to stay relevant, continue educating yourselves, maybe even heading down the certification track and whatnot will find this of benefit.   I won’t lie to you, I’ve used these resources countless times over the years and I encourage others to.   If you have any other sites to suggest, toss em into the comment section… This is an epic resources to reference from here until well.. until I write another one ;)

Educate and Enjoy!

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Posted in .NET, Careers, Certification, Cloud, Education, Evangelist, Exchange, Free, Hyper-V, Informational, Licensing, MCT, Microsoft, Sharepoint, SQL, TechEd, Technology, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, Windows Server | Comments (6)

Happy Virtual Holidays; Best Practices for Virtualizing Mission Critical Applications, Storage and Hyper-V!

December 13th, 2012

Hey everyone out there!   I hope this finds you well and your holidays are off to a festive start.   I find no better gift to you within the community than the motherlode and brainshare of information I’ve collected, assumed, and delivered throughout the years and even a rare ‘sighting’ of my own delivery of said material in case there is ever anything you’re wondering about the what, the where and so forth!

A little bit about this source material; The emphasis and focus on this is intended to be around virtualizing Exchange and SQL.   And while some of you hardcore VMware zealots expect me to only discuss VMware it does take into heavy consideration and discuss the materials at hand on how to go about addressing this within the body  of work that is Microsoft Hyper-V as well – So happy holidays to all virtualization! :)

To start I’d like to focus on my most recent delivery of this presentation material for our good friends at Windows IT Pro, Power IT Pro, and more specifically the instance of the discussion was with VM Tech Pro!

VMtech Pro - Virtualization Strategies - Putting VMware to Work for you 

There by clicking on the handy dandy image, or even by this embedded link you will have access to the live presentation I delivered for the folks over by there and the some ~130 or so attendees who were on the line (submitting questions, so on and so forth).   As most of you know this is something I’m particularly passionate about (Virtualization, Best Practices, Mission Critical Apps) all of that, and I do love to share my body of work to help make your day to day jobs even easier.    I definitely encourage you to go through the link to check out the live version of events (slides can only tell so much of the story, and I share a lot of stories not reflected directly in the slides) but I also encourage you to check out the links below which will have the original source material and SPEAKER NOTES OMG THE SPEAKER NOTES!  Those are filled with every ounce of material you need to help make your case and continue to make your case when it comes to virtualizing and driving your story home; it’s something you won’t regret having on hand. :)

I do encourage you to use this material to help make your case, if you’re going to publicly share the slides or use them in your own source (as many have done) I appreciate a reference or just letting me know (sometimes I update material and I’d hate for you not to have the latest material :))

Also anyone who wishes to contribute back into this living body of work, don’t hesitate to in the comments.   We’re only as good as our information and any chance to improve that I’ll be sure to reference back to you as well!   Thanks, and here is the rest of it! :)

Slides delivered for the Virtualization Strategies session (Hyper-V material had been hidden)

Slides delivered for The Experts Conference 2012 #TEC2012 – Best Practices for Virtualizing Mission Critical Applications

Slides delivered for The Experts Conference 2011 #TEC2011 Session (material was later updated in 2012, but I am full disclosure :))

… And just for good measure since I’m sharing… here for a little of storage is…

Slides delivered for The Experts Conference 2012 #TEC2012 Session of Storage, Backup, Recovery for HyperV

… And the holidays wouldn’t be proper without adding one last mini-gift! My Post-VMworld 2012 Update – Cherish :)

Slides delivered for the St Croix Solutions community with the Post VMworld 2012 Recap!


So a hearty happy holidays to you and your kind, as we launch into a brand new year… Oh the exciting things we will have to share when that time comes! :)

Stay tuned :)

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Posted in emc, Evangelist, Exchange, Hyper-V, Informational, Microsoft, Sharepoint, SQL, Storage, Technology, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, Windows Server | Comments (0)

Post-Mortem 70-693 Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: Why I said “Wow”

January 15th, 2010

Hey guys, it’s been a long while since I’ve done a Post-Mortem on an exam.. I just didn’t feel like it from the last few betas I took – So here you go, with so much interest in the Hyper-V exam here is my post-mortem analysis and not to mention what I felt about it, and why I said “Wow” :)

Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

About this Exam

This exam validates a candidates knowledge of Microsoft virtualization technologies.

Audience Profile

Candidates should have one to three years of experience using Microsoft virtualization products, including Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), in a Windows Server 2008 R2 infrastructure. Candidates for this exam are IT professionals who have jobs in which managing or deploying virtualization technologies is their main area of responsibility.

Credit Toward CertificationExam 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator: counts as credit toward the following certification(s):

Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

So, there is the high level view of the exam as listed at Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator and one of the most useful tools you will find on that page is the “Skills Measured” tab which happens to give you a comprehensive overview of what kind of content there is on the exam – If you follow that list and rule, you will indeed be prepared if you study against the skills measured!  I do want to note, I HIGHLY encourage you to check out the ‘Skills Measured’ from TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – Seriously!  – A slight disclaimer here.. I mistakenly wrote the reference material against last years 70-652 TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring – But take it for what it is.. Combine the two ‘skills measured’ from both exams and your chances of passing will increase exponentially!

Now what may be beneficial is a comprehensive understanding of… competitive pressures? Would you call it that? I have to say, I saw a damn lot of another vendors virtualization product (Some might call it, the largest virtualization product in the industry, not to mention the most deployed)   In the “Installing Hyper-V” section, as seen in Skills Measured, it mentions very briefly a coverage of clustering, storage – shared and otherwise – accounting for 14% of the exam.  To me it honestly felt more like 45% of the exam had some focus on Storage or Clustering.  I haven’t seen that much iSCSI, and FCP touted in a long time! (Take my NFS and CIFS Please! – Oh, yea while not mentioned, you probably want to ensure you’re up on the entire protocol stack, grin :))

Next, if you look across all 4 Skill areas, you’ll notice SCVMM is included in there.   Yea, there’s a reason for that.   Infact, I’d be surprised if there were any questions which DIDN’T include SCVMM! I say ‘mostly’ in jest, because it makes you wonder ‘Is this Hyper-V, or a purely SCVMM exam?!?” :)

As far as annoying faults in the tests go, I only found one major syntactical error which I reported, but on the whole the test itself was well formed and the questions were free of Grammatical mistakes.   Now, let’s get into the Wow section.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty when I said “Wow” about this exam.  Perhaps I should have placed myself more into the category of WTF?!?   So, feel free to see an intermingling of my thoughts on the exam now :)   The questions were well formed, perhaps even a little too well formed.   A number of them looked as though they were struggling to find examples of what WASN’T the right answer, because they were all pretty damn easy to answer in and out!   Am I saying I passed? There’s a pretty good chance, but I place no bets!    If you are NOT up on the competitive landscape as far as where Hyper-V plays in the industry, you better be to take this exam.  I wasn’t sure if I was sitting for the VCP, a minor in Citrix, or if this was infact an actual Microsoft Exam! (Yes, I know it was a Microsoft exam because all of the questions WERE very well formed, and a number of them… were sadly still written to the old adage of ‘Choose the microsoft answer’ ;)

This exam also included the recent name changes to products, so I commend it’s accuracy!    And the intimate level of focus on VDI – was quite amazing, but sadly I reach a saddening point.

If I am to fail in this exam under any circumstances? It is because of the number of ‘it depends’ questions they had in there.   What does that mean?   I’m sure providing details about how many interfaces you should have and factual information backing it is PERFECTLY okay, I can sign off on that – No problem, albeit Best Practice and ‘minimal acceptable’ is further subjective.   But when it comes to degrees of scale and how many VM’s I can actually host on a particular server?   Without raw details, a breakdown of workload, and not to mention this isn’t a different vendors solution so the pure economies of scale require me to be EXTREMELY conservative.   I’m not being negative I’m being factual, we all know that – and we know JUST how subjective things are when it comes to VM density.   With that said be very careful, I have no guidance there other than try to find out what the proverbial ‘microsoft answer’ is for what density looks like I’ve always seen it published as ‘not as much as others’ and some of the deployments in the exam outright scared me – And I don’t get scared by technology, I put fear into it’s heart!

I’m FAIRLY certain I didn’t say anything which violates NDA, since pretty much everything included here is referenced in the Skills Measured page Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator but incase I did… don’t spank me! preferably fix the questions which are wrong (glares in Liberty’s direction ;)) And… Well, have a good time – Use of the technology and understanding these skills are pretty much all you need in order to pass!

Now on a personal note! I’m going to be running the Boston Marathon in a few months in order to raise money for disabled children and every single dollar helps, so if you can help me in my cause these children and their families will greatly appreciate it!   Even if you can only afford $1 that’s perfectly fine! The more people who contribute the better! – Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children! - Help sponsor my run in the Boston Marathon on behalf of disabled children!

So, thank you all and I hope you find something useful from this post-mortem and truly every $1 helps, and I greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!

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Posted in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft, R2, VDI, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere, Windows Server | Comments (0)

Virtualization, HyperV and Microsoft oh my! (Beta time!)

August 13th, 2009

OMG! It’s Beta Thursday! Well, kind of… it’s the release of a ‘call for SME’s’ for the future Windows Server virtualization (re:Hyper-V) beta exam 70-659!

It will formally go by the name: Exam 70-659, TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization, which is frankly pretty sweet!   So if you’re an expert, I suggest you update your SME profile and get yourself in the running for setting the pace of the futures!

You can find similar information and how to get an SME profile via this post from the other day, Exchange 2010 Beta Exams are calling you! Update your SME Profile today!

However, for the ‘clicking impaired’ feel free to follow these steps!

  • Visit the Connect Home Page
  • Click on “Were you invited to join Connect?”
  • Put this invitation code into the box: SME2-JC3G-DKDY
  • Fill out the survey/profile

Wow, it’s that easy!

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Posted in Certification, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Virtualization, Windows Server | Comments (0)

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