Hyper-V Cloud. Links to download the Deployment Guides (via Virtualisation & Management Blog)

Another good Blog Post (Thanks)

As many are requesting the links to download the Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Deployment guides. Building Private Clouds With Hyper-V Cloud and the Windows Server Platform Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft’s server platform, already delivers comprehensive virtualization and management capabilities through Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. These technologies, along with Microsoft System Center, provide the components organizations need to implement priva … Read More

via Virtualisation & Management Blog

MS Support policy for SQL Server in a virtualization environment (via Virtualisation & Management Blog)

Sharing with all this blog post found on researching this topic, saved me some legwork (Thanks)

SQL Server 2005/ 2008 / 2008 R2 are supported in the following virtualization environments: Windows Server 2008 /R2 with Hyper-V Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 / R2 Configurations that are validated through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP), which includes VmWare and Citrix. Note The SVVP solution must be running on hardware that is certified for Windows Server 2008 to be considered a valid SVVP configuration. Restrictions and Li … Read More

via Virtualisation & Management Blog

NetApp Storage & Best Practices – VMWare / Hyper-V

Some useful resources…

NetApp Site: NetApp and VMWare vSphere Storage Best Practices PDF

NetApp Site:  Best Practices for running VMware vSphere on NAS PDF

NetApp Site: Comparison of Storage Protoocol Performance in VMWare vSphere 4

NetApp Site: VMware vSphere 4 performance with Extreme IO Workloads

NetApp Site: VMware vSphere 4 Performance Best Practices

NetApp Site: VMware vSphere 4 Exchange Storage protocols performance –  NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel

NetApp Site: VMware vSphere 4 Sharepoint Performance

NetApp Blog: NetApp and Hyper-V

NetApp Blog: NetApp and VMware

Squeezing Virtual Machines out CPU Cores – Dont Forget User Experience

Taken from http://www.vminstall.com/squeezing-virtual-machines-out-cpu-cores/

“The measurement of a successful virtual infrastructure deployment is not how many VMs can be hosted per host, it’s how many users can be satisfactorily serviced without them knowing they are using virtual technology. Virtualization should be invisible. Once users start noticing foot prints in the snow, it’s over…”

EMC Admits NetApp is the Leader

“…The Register recently published the article EMC races to catch up with NetApp, in which he covers a recent EMC webcast where EMC’s President and COO, Pat Gelsinger admitted EMC is hoping to catch up to NetApp in delivering storage efficiencies for virtual server and desktop environments….”


Covering your Virtualisation Bases – Don’t, Don’t believe the Hype….rvisor)

To take a holistic to view to Virtualisation you need to have an understanding of both worlds, before you can form any considered opinion and challenge any notions/ fight a corner.

Hyper-V and VSphere…. There’s only way to find out …. FIGHT!!!!

I liked this post….http://www.virtualvcp.com/news/158-why-im-swapping-vsphere-for-hyper-v

Microsoft #Exchange2010 HOT Links – includes SP1 for #Hosters

Todd Carter wrote: “Through hours of research and study, I’ve identified and collected a series of key resources regarding Microsoft Exchange 2010 and SP1 and have published a series on this topic that I will maintain and update. I hope that you will find these helpful too. Send me a note if you have some good ones too….”

Read more at: http://toddcartercissp.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsoft-exchange-2010-hot-links.html

ToddCarter Blog: What is #Office365 ?

Taken from http://toddcartercissp.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-is-office-365.html

What is Office 365?
Microsoft Office 365 provides customers with access to hosted cloud services, rich local applications, and web-based solutions with a progressive approach to cloud applications. Office 365 is designed to work for a business of one or a business of one million and one.

Office 365 replaces some previous and familiar brands, including Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business, and Live@edu. A single now provides a clearer picture to customers and consolidate a lot of previously separate functionality under one offering.

There are two versions of Office 365: Office 365 for small businesses and Office 365 for enterprises. Both are subscription services that include access to Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online (a next-generation version of Office Communications Server).

Office 365 small business version targets businesses with 25 or fewer employees and will cost $6 per user, per month. The enterprise version adds the Office 2010 Professional Plus client software, 24×7 support, and other features, and will cost $2 to $24 per user, per month, and have volume-license options.

The cloud-hosted Office 365 services will work through all major web browsers—including Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome—and via popular smartphones and portable devices, including Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry and the Apple iPhone and iPad.

More @ http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/online-services.aspx

Back to #Storage Basics #Exchange2010 #Sharepoint2010 #SQLServer

Block & Bytes

Understand and know the difference between Block Level Data and File Level  Data and  its storage….Its kind of key.
Refresh your memory here

Grasp the  Fundamental  Technologies: NAS Vs SAN (or DAS)

To select the most apppriate technologies such as NAS, SAN or DAS, you need to have a grasp of what each offers over the other. And to do this you first needed to have understood the above.  Some people think they need one, when actually other would suffice, or their workload dicates.
Refresh your memory on NAS / SAN here

Don’t over engineer a solution, think elastic, dynamic and above all be agile to changing demands, and workloads.

Think Billy Connelly Buisness Plan, but replace business needs with  Storage Needs….
We Want this (Size/ Scale/ Growth), and that (Speed/IOPS), plenty of this (lower TCO/ ROI), none of that (latency), none of this (Corruption/failures), and ***** stay awake as demands (workloads / app requirements)  will all be changed…..Billy Connelly Buisness Plan

Mind your Langauage

Learn the differences in the Storage Languages. How do the Storage protocols/ Transport methods stack up… FC vs iSCSI

Refresh your memory here.

RAID & Writes

The thing to remember is Reads will be generally consistent across all RAID Levels (1 IOPS per Read). However, Writes, will may be clearly different (4 IOPS per Write for RAID5)
(this is largely (not wholey) due to distributed parity, performance traded off for fault tolerance)

 RAID 1 Write Penalty


IO Impact
IO Impact



RAID 1 Write Penalty

Two Writes must be performed for every Write operation. Increased Read performance.
Two IOPS per Write Operation

The RAID5 Write Penalty

Because RAID 5 has distributed parity, two Reads and two Writes must be performed for every Write operation. Four IOPS per Write Operation

RAID 1+0

Creates a striped set from a series of mirrored drives. Two IOPS per Write Operation.
Half the RAID 5 Write Penalty, increased Reads.

In a failed disk situation, RAID 1+0 performs better because all the remaining disks continue to be used. The array can sustain multiple drive losses so long as no mirror loses all its drives.

RAID 0+1

Creates a second striped set to mirror a primary striped set.

The array continues to operate with one or more drives failed in the same mirror set, but if drives fail on both sides of the mirror the data on the RAID system is lost.

LUN scaling and performance  

LUN performance will vary according to the disk or configuration of disks upon which they reside, so it is important to consider the physical medium and its characteristics when planning LUNs as part of storage provisioning.

For example, a LUN that resides on a Fibre Channel 15,000 rpm disk will perform better than an identical LUN on a 5,400 rpm SATA disk. Raid configuration also affects performance and reliability, so the characteristics of the RAID type used for LUNs need to be taken into account.

Type of Workload

Sequential or Random Read/ Writes all impact the design descisions. DataBases – OLAP vs OLTP for example….Are you more interested in read performance than write performance. Are you willing to trade performance for Fault Tolerance and Data Integrity.

Calculate IOPS Required

Great post here by Scott Lowe

Table below courtesy of Scott’s article

Average IOPS / Drive
Average IOPS / Drive


The Right Questions to Ask

Before you can propose a solution you have to know the problem. Ensure happy customers by aligning the technology to the requirements
Know what questions to ask?

Read Storage area network fundamentals – Part 2

Read Storage area network fundamentals – Part 3

#SharePoint2010 Optimising #Storage and #SQLServer Series

Optimizing SQL Server for SharePoint 2010 (part 1)
Optimizing SQL Server for SharePoint 2010 (part 2) – Database Files and Their Location
Optimizing SQL Server for SharePoint 2010 (part 3) – Model Database Settings
Optimizing SQL Server for SharePoint 2010 (part 4) – Pre-Creating Your Content Databases

Related Reading:
Sharepoint 2010 : Optimizing Outside of SQL Server

#SharePoint2010 #Storage and #SQLServer capacity planning and configuration

“This article describes how to plan for and configure the storage and Microsoft SQL Server database tier in a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 environment.


If you need a refresher on the basiscs of SQL Server in a Sharepoint Server 2010 environment then below is the link for you. Last updated Aug 27 2010


Whitepaper: ‘Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure & Approach 2011’

Download the WhitePaper Here


1.   Cloud Computing – The New Platform For Next Generation Business

There has been a lot of hype in the industry around cloud computing. We’re seeing a proliferation of cloud service providers claiming to provide infrastructure, platform and application services consumable via the “cloud”.

What does this really mean from an IT perspective? Microsoft believes the industry is going through a significant transformation across the entire stack:

  • Datacenter and Hardware Model – We’re seeing significant advances and standardization in the Datacenter and associated IT equipment/hardware. From large monolithic datacenters that take significant time and cost to build out, various alternative models including containerized and modular/ pre-assembled datacenters are emerging. Hardware is becoming incredibly efficient and delivers large computing power at a fraction of the cost.
  • Application Model – Cloud computing provides the ability to quickly deliver highly-available, secure and infinitely geo-scalable applications and services while offering a rich end-user experience from anywhere and any device. 
  • Operational Model – Cloud services have inherent resilience to hardware or software failures due to redundant/self-healing service models combined with deep integration between ops & development/ test. These factors make it easy for operations to run & manage cloud apps with 24×7 availability without having to be “lights on” always.

2.       Business Benefits Offered By Cloud Computing

Once these cloud driven transformations become mainstream, enterprise IT will experience breakthrough business benefits, many of which Microsoft has been advocating as part of its multi-year “Dynamic IT” vision:

  • Increased business agility – Applications and services can be delivered to market in an extremely agile manner with the end-user & developer empowerment that cloud computing unleashes.
  • Costs/Operational Efficiencies – Cloud apps/services will be significantly cheaper and efficient, be it capital expenses (e.g. hardware/datacenter) or operational expenses (e.g. service management).
  • IT Maturity – Standardization will lead to much greater levels of IT maturity thus transforming the relationship between IT and the business from that of service provider to trusted advisor.


3.   Microsoft’s Approach To Help Enterprises Realize Cloud Computing Benefits

Microsoft has been providing industry level thought leadership to all of the above (based on running our cloud services out of our datacenters) and is investing in product capabilities so you can derive these benefits within your datacenters in the future. 

We will use the following principles in our approach to leading cloud innovation: 

  • Invest in our entire stack from infrastructure to applications with a service centric focus
  • Bridge the public & private cloud gap:
    • Ensure applications can run consistently across server and cloud – Provide the same  development tools/ technologies for cloud & on-premises environments
    • Providing unified management for apps/workloads across on premises and cloud environments (System Center will manage workloads across on premises and off premises)
    • Enable workload federation to enable hybrid cloud models
    • All the above principles will remain true whether it’s your assets or if you’re working with a service provider (e.g. a Microsoft hosting partner) or deploying to Microsoft’s datacenters (e.g. Windows Azure).

Only Microsoft has the developer tools, management, server and cloud assets to achieve the above described consistency between private and public cloud solutions.

4.      Private Cloud

There has been a lot of recent excitement around the potential benefits enterprise IT can derive by implementing a private cloud (or internal cloud) within their firewall. To better understand this aspiration, let’s look at some characteristics of Microsoft’s cloud services (e.g. Windows Azure) that we operate out of our datacenters:

  • Standardization – Homogeneous infrastructures with vertical integration across server, network, storage and OS. This is achieved by implementing a shared pool of virtualized hardware pools with centralized administrative control over apps/workload additions.
  • Service Focused – It’s all about delivering the application or service that the business demands and not the component services (e.g. infrastructure).
  • Automation – Significant levels of automation, based on cloud principled philosophies like resiliency, scalability and elasticity.
  • “Lights out” Operations – Scale through the app design and abstraction from infrastructure.
  • Utilization based chargeback

We believe there is an opportunity to bring in some of these characteristics and best practices to the enterprise datacenter and enable it with “cloud like” capabilities. Towards that, we’re investing in the following software enabled models:

  1. Standardized, Virtualized Hardware Model Standardize Datacenter infrastructure across compute (server), network, and storage through Virtualization. By standardizing, infrastructure resources can be pooled and consumed by any of your apps and services. While Virtualization is a key enabler to hardware abstraction, it alone will not solve the “virtualized silos” problem – we are referring to truly centralized IT resource sharing across business units.
  2. Virtualized, Abstracted Application ModelMost Datacenters have lots of apps and these were written for existing infrastructure. Application virtualization is a key technology enabler that helps abstract the application model from the underlying infrastructure. This creates application scale up/scale down flexibility by giving control over how services consume the pooled infrastructure. In addition, the application layer becomes distinct from the infrastructure layer thereby greatly simplifying management. 
  3. Service Centric Operational ModelAbility to compose, deploy and manage services exactly the way cloud apps are developed and deployed today. Need to have virtualized app/workload and infrastructure images that can be rapidly composed followed by “one click” deployment. End-to-end Service management – e.g. provisioning, monitoring, patching, configuration management, backups/restores – is accomplished with integrated automation and orchestration between various tasks and IT processes.

Finally, IT organizations will need to ensure their infrastructure management teams have a common view of the services (e.g. via software based service models, standardized service catalogs etc.) they offer their businesses while still retaining control of the resources they own and manage.

5.       Evolving Your Datacenters To Derive Cloud Like Benefits Today

Microsoft customers can begin their journey to the private cloud today by deploying the Microsoft products and technologies they know and trust. We have recently made Opalis and Service Manager available as part of System Center to help customers build deeper orchestration and IT process automation for their private cloud environments. As mentioned in earlier sections, Microsoft is fully committed to deliver richer private cloud capabilities mentioned above as part of the Windows Server and System Center roadmaps.

Presently, Microsoft is enabling customers build the foundation for a private cloud infrastructure using the Windows Server and System Center family of products with the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit (availability currently scheduled for June 2010). This will allow you to further leverage your existing investments in the Microsoft infrastructure platform while maturing your IT capabilities to consume advanced cloud capabilities in the future.

The Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit is a free, partner-extensible solution that will enable datacenters to dynamically pool, allocate, and manage resources to enable Infrastructure as a Service. Whether you’re an enterprise customer, a systems integrator, or an independent software vendor, the toolkit will help you create agile, virtualized IT infrastructures and enable business agility, reduced management complexity and operational efficiencies.

Some key Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit capabilities:

  • Automation and Guidance – To assess, plan and design your private cloud foundation infrastructure
  • Customer/business unit on-boarding –  Automated workflows to onboard LOBs to your virtualized shared resource pool
  • Dynamic provisioning engine – To rapidly provision virtualized infrastructure in conjunction with System Center and Hyper-V
  • Self-Service portal – To empower consumers of IT request infrastructure for their apps/services

Our Systems Integration partners can also offer you guidance on deploying your private cloud infrastructure using the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit.

Why Cloud? Whats the real value to Enterprise IT? (via Percipio – John C. Stame’s Blog)

I, as many others, have talked/blogged about what cloud is (as it evolves) and have briefly visited the value and economics of cloud recently.  But I want to revisit why cloud computing is important to enterprise IT, and specifically why it enables IT to better deliver to the Line of Business. If you step back and think about why cloud based services, like Gmail, Microsoft Online Services, Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services, etc., are becoming i … Read More

via Percipio – John C. Stame’s Blog