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From the Blogosphere

Hopefully you never forgot Group Policy! Whenever the topic of working with desktops in business is brought up, IT Pro’s always want to manage and maintain those desktops. For me the first thing that always come to mind is Group Policy and hopefully does for you as well. Group Pol...
One of the most often questions/feedback we get regarding Windows 8.1 is where is my start menu. These conversations can get very passionate, and usually turn into a commentary around on how much we miss our start menu. I am sure some folks want to punch the screen. I totally unders...
Microsoft launched the Cloud OS Network today. Cloud Operating System - CloudOS - has a network of more than 25 cloud service providers (CSVs) who will deliver hosted services built on Microsoft Cloud Platform consisting of: Windows Servers with Hyper-V System Center Windows Azure ...
This month, Yung Chou, Mitch Tulloch and I have published a new book on Hybrid Cloud Management with System Center 2012 R2 App Controller, titled Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller. As part of a series of specialized guides on System Center, this book focuses...
These days, users are growing more and more accustomed to expecting that they can accomplish productive work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. As a result, IT professionals are increasingly faced with the challenge of balancing convenience with security, in an effort to pr...
With the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Server we really added many features to make this an even more rounded server. The Essential server also provides a ton of flexibly for deployment and functionality. We even included the popular client computer backup from Windows Home se...
Back for Part 3 of the “Building a Hybrid Cloud” series, Keith Mayer and myself chat about and demo the latest networking enhancements made in Windows Server 2012 R2. Keith really shows you how Windows Server 2012 R2 offers networks for your virtualization hosts but also your virtual ...
Are you dealing with an explosion of devices connecting to your organization? Trying to maintain your organizations compliance and security is critical. Especially with users located all around the world across multiple platforms and devices. In Kevin Remde's post this week he ta...
Keith Mayer and myself kick off our new multi-part series today on how you can build your hybrid cloud environment with Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Windows Azure by laying down a quick overview of what we can expect for the series as well as diving into the new featur...
Q: Windows Server 2012 R2 went to General Availability (GA) on Friday Oct 18th but without much fan fair. Where are the Launch events, were are all the free resources, where is all the information about the latest and greatest Windows Server OS? Where, Where, Where? Answer: Here! W...
Recently I have been involved in a couple of projects which required both Lync EV and Exchange UM. In order to do some testing I needed to get some kind of PBX into my lab environment. After searching the internet I found a ton of information but not a single source that showed all the...
There’s been lots of buzz on the enterprise hypervisor front over the past month … In August, Microsoft announced the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, the latest major releases of the Windows Server and System Center families. In addition, at VMworld t...
I’ve been speaking with lots of IT Pros over the past several weeks about the new storage improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2, and one feature in particular has gained a ton of attention: automated Storage Tiers as part of the new Storage Spaces feature set. However, not all of us...
Research has shown that approximately 65% to 70% of organizations today have more than one hypervisor deployed. This presents a large opportunity for IT Professionals to increase their technical differentiation and value in the IT marketplace by supporting multiple hypervisors. Using ...
If you’ve supported enterprise IT solutions for as long as I have, at some point in time you have most likely witnessed The Three Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management. Respect these truths, and you’ll enjoy a stable, manageable datacenter environment. Ignore these truths, and … we...
WOW! Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) extends site-to-site protection to entire Private Clouds by leveraging the Hyper-V Replica asynchronous VM replication capabilities in Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 enterprise-grade bare-metal hypervisors....
For software testers to create a detailed test case during the QA process can be tricky: sometimes it’s not an option; sometimes it’s wasted effort. Here are ways to help make that decision. Part of the skill set required to be a good tester involves the ability to assess a software p...
Do you need to migrate to Hyper-V to gain significant benefits in your datacenter from Windows Server 2012? Not necessarily! Windows Server 2012 can provide key advantages in one of the areas that is near-and-dear to every VMware administrator's budget: Storage! In this article, we'll...
When I’m speaking with IT Pros about the great multi-server management enhancements in Windows Server 2012, I’m frequently asked about ways in which servers can be programmatically added to the new Server Manager tool. This can be very useful when building many new servers and you’d l...
I’ve suffered through my share of SharePoint upgrade / migration projects now and I have really changed the way I look at them. Often when you get exposed to a new system, the lack of governance has led to a total mess with site sprawl as far as the eye can see. The architect in me m...
Microsoft held a Build conference targeting developers and showed significant their cloud capabilities. This note summarizes their strengths and challenges. When you think of IT vendors and cloud computing, companies like Amazon and Google first come to mind because they are very succ...
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 ...
It’s more than likely that a Windows Phone app will need to work with data that resides on the Internet. For example, an app may aggregate data from various news sources using RSS feeds. Consuming this type of data in a Windows Phone app is very similar to consuming it in an Android ap...
Sean Barger, CEO of Equilibrium: All Enterprise Content Management Solutions (ECMS) and Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) tend to limit user creativity and reduce productivity with workflow constraints, which can potentially delay revenue. MediaRich ECM for SharePoint helps users...
Are you still spending millions of dollars on storage? There’s no need to anymore with the Cloud OS from Microsoft. The new platform, based on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, is built to empower people-centric IT by managing applications and hardware in the cloud era more cost-e...
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the Hyper-V enhancements in Windows Server 2012 R2. After you review these new capabilities, I’m sure you’ll see why the R2 release is a MAJOR RELEASE – so MUCH MORE than “just another” Service Pack release! This month, we’ll be releasing ...
Hyper-V Replica is our included asynchronous site-to-site VM replication capability for Windows Server 2012 and our free Hyper-V Server 2012 bare-metal enterprise-grade hypervisor. Using Hyper-V Replica, you can quickly implement a cost-effective disaster recovery plan for your busine...
Windows Azure Virtual Networks offers the power to open up several cross-premises use case scenarios, including Active Directory Disaster Recovery, SQL Database Replication, Windows Server 2012 DFS-R File Replication, Accelerated Cloud File Services with BranchCache, Hybrid Web Applica...
My fellow Technical Evangelists and I have authored a content series that steps through building your very own Private Cloud by leveraging Windows Server 2012, our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012, Windows Azure Infrastructure Services ( IaaS ) and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1. Week-by-...
I’ve assembled all of the relevant content from the Windows Server 2012 “Early Experts” Challenge program into an accelerated Certification Study Guide for IT Professionals targeting Exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012. In this article, I’ll provide a sum...
Microsoft recently announced the PolyBase technology as part of SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse solution. PolyBase is a breakthrough new technology on the data processing engine in SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse designed as the simplest way to combine non-relational da...
Over the last week, the cloud world seems to have received some significant announcements from Microsoft and Amazon. Also, HP Cloud has introduced a new messaging service. Plus, Appcelerator has announced the release of Titanium 3.1 and Node.ACS GA. Here’s a quick sum up of Cloud happ...
Today, April 16th 2013, the Windows Azure team has announced that Windows Azure Infrasructure Services ( Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks ) has been released for General Availability ( GA ) for production workloads! Over 200,000 customers are actively using Windows Azure as their ...
Windows Azure Active Directory ( WAAD ), a cloud-friendly REST-based implementation of Active Directory for identity management of cloud applications, is now generally available for production cloud apps as a FREE service. WAAD provides consistent centralized identity management for M...
Virtual Machine Guest Clustering allows us to extend the high availability afforded to us by Windows Server 2012 Failover Clustering directly to applications running inside a set of virtual machines that are hosted on a Hyper-V Host Cluster. This allows us to support cluster-aware appl...
Traditional file sharing protocols, such as Server Message Block ( SMB ) in Windows Server 2012, are primarily designed for low-latency, high-bandwidth scenarios commonly found in Local Area Networks ( LANs ). When attempting to move file server workloads to the cloud, many IT Pros fi...
I think every IT Pro I’ve ever met hates tape backups … but having an offsite component in your backup strategy is absolutely necessary for effective disaster recovery. One of the new features provided in SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Cumulative Update 2 is the ability to now backup S...
Recently the Windows Azure Mobile Services team released official support for Android. Along with the SDK Microsoft has also written a number of tutorials to help you get started. The best place to start if you’ve never used Windows Azure Mobile Services before is the Getting started w...
Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on some content I’m excited to finally share with you through a series of blog posts. This series will introduce you to Windows 8 development from an Android developer’s perspective. Through the course of the series you’ll create your first...
This article is a summary of a seminar I attended on the key to an engaging presentation. Following up on my prior article, how to deliver effective demos, here are some guidelines how to deliver effective presentations. This is a summary of an excellent seminar I attended, given by T...