2 Day Jump Start: Building Private Cloud and Moving to Hybrid Cloud with Pete Zerger

My friend Pete will be leading two day MVA course. For those who haven’t find out this you can register:

Day 1: Building Private Cloud with Windows Server 2012 & System Center 2012 SP1

This June 18 Jump Start will be a scenario-based, bottoms-up approach to designing and building our private cloud on Windows Server 2012 and incorporating the full spectrum of System Center 2012 SP1 components.

MVP Pete Zerger and Microsoft Sr. Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman will focus on bringing a greater understanding to key topics related to the fabric – such as virtual networking, leveraging the storage and networking capabilities of Windows Server 2012, and creating service templates in VMM and on the Service Manager CMDB as we move up the management stack. Additionally, you will learn how the service-catalog comes together to deliver an intuitive self-service experience in a step-by-step approach that will address many common questions.

Day 2: Moving from Private to Hybrid Cloud with System Center 2012 and Windows Azure IaaS

This June 20 Jump Start is a continuation of Day 1 and will focus on successfully monitoring and managing ongoing operation of a private cloud environment.

MVP Pete Zerger and Technical Product Manager Matt McSpirit will provide examples of how to integrate Windows Azure IaaS into our private cloud to deliver hybrid cloud capabilities in System Center 2012 SP1, explain how to develop hybrid cloud self-service scenarios in System Center 2012 App Controller and in the System Center Service Manager Self-Service Portal, and demonstrate full integration of private and public cloud with ITIL.

Register for Day 1.
Register for Day 2.

Documentation: Cloud Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise IT

If you are designing Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1 this set of documents will be very useful for a starting point. They will offer you the basics you will need in order to design your Cloud and take the necessary decisions. Download all 4 documents from here.

Microsoft Private Cloud Computing – Book Review

During and after the holiday I had the chance to read the book Microsoft Private Cloud Computing. The book is authored by Aidan Finn, Hans Vredevoort, Patrick Lownds and Damian Flynn. All of the authors are well known experts in Hyper-V and VMM space. The book is 408 pages long and it is divided in 3 parts with a total of 13 chapters. The main focus of this book is System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 so it is VMM book. The reason why VMM is not mentioned in the title is because VMM is presented in the concept of the Private Cloud. This means that all the examples in the book are shown in a way that you can us them to build and managed your Private Cloud with Virtual Machine Manager.

The first two chapters explain the concept of the Private Cloud and the Microsoft Private Cloud in particular. If you are familiar with them you can skip these two chapters but I would suggest you to read them because you can always find something new that will be useful. These two chapters are the first part of the book.

Next 6 chapters are the second part of the book. These chapters describe every feature and configuration of System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager. Along with the descriptions there are detailed steps of how to configure and use these features. Screenshots are also not missing in the book which I think is always necessary to get a clear picture of the tool while reading. In fact the best way of reading this book is in front of the computer with test System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Environment. That way you will be able to execute every instruction in the book and get more familiar with VMM.

The third part of the book consists of four chapters. These chapters are about explaining how you can leverage VMM and other System Center components as a Private Cloud Solution. Included are examples with VMM Self-service portal, App Controller and System Center 2012 Service Manager with Cloud Services Process Pack. The chapters does not show how you can do some complex tasks as there are different scenarios in the Private Cloud. Instead they give you the elements which you can use and how to connect them to fit in your Private Cloud.

The biggest value of the book is that you can always turn to it if you face some challenges with building your Microsoft Private Cloud. In all in the book you will find also PowerShell scripts so you can leverage automation. I recommend this book for those who are not familiar with the Microsoft Private Cloud concept or System Center Virtual Machine Manger 2012. The book is also suitable for those advanced engineers who want to have a reading to which they can refer in time of need.

The book can be bought from Amazon:

Course 10750A: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 – Overview

Last week I was on course 10750A: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012. Even though I had took the exam to that course and I am MCSE: Private Cloud already it is always useful attending such course. The course includes all System Center 2012 components with exception of SCCM 2012 with focus on System Center 2012 Service Manager and System Center 2012 Operations Manager. I was surprised to found out that most of the lab time included exercises with SCSM 2012. This was surprise because when I was taking the exam for this course most of the questions were SCOM 2012 related. Even though focus is on SCSM and SCOM 2012 all the products are represented on basic level and the whole course is like an introduction to new versions of the components. Besides introducing the new versions the course will show you how you can integrate the components and leverage that integration which can be quite useful in real world scenario. For me the course was useful because of this. I didn’t learn something new for the product but I’ve managed to try new things in the labs. As a summary I would say the the course can be useful if you are specialist in one of the components and you want to learn more about the other components and how to integrate them. If you are looking to learn advanced stuff for any of the components this course is not for you. You can always advance in your knowledge on any of the System Center components by reading articles from MVPs over Internet or by reading books for example like this one for SCOM 2012.

VMware Users are vTax free… power to the customers

It seems the top 3 news from VMworld 2012 are:

  • vTax is removed
  • vTax is removed
  • vTax is removed

For me this decision comes a little bit too late but better late than never. As soon as I saw this news I cannot get out of my mind that somehow Microsoft contributed a lot for this to happen. For a long time VMware denied that Microsoft and Hyper-V are competitor and this wasn’t the best strategy. And now with this decision we know officially that VMware are looking at Microsoft as their primary competitor. Of course statements like this VMware: Microsoft’s “Good Enough” Approach Isn’t Good Enough will continue to emerge simply because this is a marketing game also. But lets take that statement and pretend it is true – VMware products are far far superior than Microsoft’s ones. In such case VMware is beating Microsoft at technology level but they still loose at price level even without vTax and what business looks when it buys a solutions is the Return of Investments and in most business scenarios Microsoft is the winner against VMware for a various reasons.

I personally like most of  VMware’s products and they are very good products but some of them come at a high price which can be a show stopper. It is good that they finally realized that nobody likes vTax and I am giving them thumbs up for that. As they now recognize Microsoft as competitor this could bring a lot of benefits to the users for both product because better than competition is the good competition.

Lets the battle begin.