Posts Tagged ‘Hyper-V’

OMG! Free Microsoft Virtualization Certification Voucher! (MS 74-409)

March 18th, 2014

So you’re all like, Whaaaaaat?!!? That’s right. Until June 30th 2014, you can get a free voucher in super fast fashion!

Visit this handy link;

Free Microsoft Certification!

Then just click on the “Get Free Voucher” – Which will pop up with a window like this; (And Yes, it is an ACTUAL Pop-up so pop-ups cannot be blocked)


Here is the real catch, you click the green check mark itself. Yes it says that, but sometimes we ignore the words it says.  :)

Then it will ask you to login to your Live account, or create an Microsoft Virtual Academy account (basically a live account) and boom! FREE VOUCHER!

Then it’s just a matter of scheduling your exam, studying of course and poof, getting another exam freeeee of charge! Good luck ya’ll!

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Posted in Certification, Education, Free, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Virtualization | Comments (0)

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)

Exchange 2010 Blasphemy, Virtualization and Rock Star Bloggers!

October 11th, 2010

Today I was cleaning up my mailbox when I came across some BLASPHEMY about Exchange! Okay, not blasphemy per se, but I continually hear from folks who are being incorrectly told “Exchange cannot be virtualized”.  I’m not exactly sure who started this ‘trend’ but that’s neither here nor there!   So I did a little digging [and you know, digging for me tends to turn into a blog post ;)]  And I came across not only some AMAZING Material! But I also want to make sure you’re following up on regularly posted updates from a Rockstar who’s clear focus is on Exchange!

Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010 with Confidence  Microsoft Exchange 2010 Zero-Data Loss Virtualization and Replication

These are two very SHORT and to the point, giving you the high-lights letting you know what is required to kick things off and something you can hand up to mgmt! So it’s great to not spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it’s saying!

One thing I’d like to bring particular attention on these papers is that these are not EMC Papers, but are in fact co-branded collaborations by Microsoft, EMC and others (the one below was Microsoft, Cisco and EMC, and some of the others involve Dell and Brocade) but either way, Microsoft was directly involved in their creation as opposed to ‘slap a tag on it’

STOP THE PRESS! (vicki vale!) – Check out this paper though!  It is definitely longer! 84 pages!  Filled with raw technical example, use cases, all that jazz! Great must read paper and not just words! Lots of pretty pictures!  Yes it is Hyper-V but that cmon, this was co-branded Microsoft.. :)  And note: Published October 2010! So Vicki Vale did get one thing right!

Business Continuity for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Unified Storage, Cisco Unified Computing System, and Microsoft Hyper-VWow, look at those DAGs!

Okay fine! Here is another paper! This one is a little older but I know you wouldn’t let me get away without giving you some VMware love! So here is one, with less pretty pictures!

 Microsoft Exchange 2010 Efficiency, Flexibility, Performance, and Availability at Scale Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, Virtual Provisioning and VMware vSphere VMAX it up!

Alright, one more then! This one was from August – not a whitepaper only a basic Reference Architecture, but I found it to be pretty damn cool looking!


EMC Virtual Infrastructure for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, VMware vsphere 4, and Replication Manager Pretty Reference Architecture

Okay, enough of these (albeit amazing papers!) With no further adieu I’d like to introduce you to Dustin Smith! I’d tell you all about him, but Brian interviewed him here so you can find out all about how he’s an MVP, MCM and so many other things!

So, Dustin has his own blog where he talks almost exclusively about Exchange (okay, I think it’s all about Exchange, but whatever! this is MY BLOG! ;))

Exchange In the Private Cloud is definitely a must check out blog if you care anything about Exchange, or have to deal with it!

I’d like to highlight a few of his blog posts here for you to check out:

  • Yes, Exchange Server is being virtualized!
    • Within EMC, our entire 40,000+ user infrastructure is virtualized on Exchange Server and the organization as a whole is moving towards virtualization of most all applications. Most all of the infrastructures we design and showcase within our Proven Solutions are geared toward virtualization, either with VMWare vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. See my previous blog post on what we recently did with the Tested Exchange Solutions Program case with Cisco and Microsoft where we showcased 34,000 users on Microsoft Hyper-V with Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC Unified Storage.
  • EMC Whitepaper, Exchange Tested Solutions Program
    • What we are showcasing in this whitepaper is a result of our joint solution development with Microsoft and Cisco that was deployed and tested in Microsoft EEC labs in Redmond. In the whitepaper you will find the reference architecture for 32,400 users across a three site Exchange DAG scenario leveraging Microsoft Hyper-V, EMC NS480 Unified Storage, and Cisco UCS B-series blade servers along with analysis of testing results and key best practices on virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 on Hyper -V on EMC Unified storage and Cisco Unified Computing System.
  • Exchange 2010 Backups? I don’t need any stinkin backups?!?
    • I think overall, the backupless/Exchange Native Data Protection option certainly brings a new element to the Exchange 2010 architecture discussions and different options for providing recovery when bad things happen. VSS based options (hardware and software based) are  still heavily used options to protect Exchange data that have been popular since the Exchange 2003 days and have increased with features and functionality into Exchange 2010.
  • Getting Exchange Server 2010 into the Private Cloud
  • Yes, EMC can do Exchange for SMB too

So, there are some teasers there of just some of the content that Dustin is putting out (There is obviously more.. but I’ll let you do the reading up on it! It’s definitely worth reading! – How so though, I just discovered Dustin TODAY and I’m sharing him with you a few hours after that point, So, yea I consider that to be pretty compelling :))

I want to leave you with links to all of the resources I mentioned above, so you can forth to gain access to the WP’s I mentioned and others I didn’t include pictures for!

There are so many more than just these links alone – I actually was surprised on how much content there was at ! – So check it out, and as always let me know if I can help you in a particular way :)

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Posted in Celerra, Cisco, CLARiiON, Cloud, DMX, emc, Exchange, FAST, Hyper-V, Iomega, Microsoft, SATA, SSD, Storage, Symmetrix, UCS, V-Max, Virtualization, VMAX, vmware, VPLEX, vSphere | Comments (7)

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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