The Ops Team #011 – “BlurCam”

The Ops Team is a weekly show where 4 Technical Evangelists specializing in IT Operations get together to give you the deets on their 4 areas of expertise: Microsoft Azure/Cloud, On-premises datacenter technologies, Enterprise Mobility / Windows and DevOps.

This week on The Ops Team, there’s something seriously messed up with the security camera post-power outage, so if you’re wondering if your vision has taken a turn for the worse, or if you’ve had one too many alcoholic beverages prior to watching, fear not, it’s our sh**ty camera! Matt, David and Rick make it into the studio to give you the news, and in fact, so does Simon, just not at the same time as everyone else 🙂

In this week’s news…Rick shares some cool new Azure networking posters available for download, saves you some cash with Azure price reductions and evangelizes his ‘old’ job. David self-promotes his DevOps Dimensions show, and shares useful feature roadmaps for Visual Studio Team Services. Matt follows David down a road of self-promotion by sharing the latest episodes on the Containers Channel, whilst sharing some other useful community-delivered resources, and finally, Simon gives you the latest Intune gossip, all whilst ensuring no mice were awoken in the server room…

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Container Fundamentals | Part 4 – Resource Management

Following on from my previous post, which talked about shared folders and Windows Server Containers, in this episode on the Containers Channel, we’re continuing the Container Fundamentals series by looking at resource management.  As always, I was joined by Neil Peterson, Senior Content Developer, who walked us through how to manage resources, such as CPU, disk, memory and network, for individual Windows Server Containers. Neil delivers a comprehensive demo using PowerShell, that walks you through some of the configuration options for resource management with Windows Server Containers, and showcases the impact of some of the configuration settings.

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The Ops Team #010 – “Ghost Pepper Shots”

The Ops Team is a weekly show where 4 Technical Evangelists specializing in IT Operations get together to give you the deets on their 4 areas of expertise: Microsoft Azure/Cloud, On-premises datacenter technologies, Enterprise Mobility / Windows and DevOps.

This week on The Ops Team, Matt, Simon, Rick and Oguz make it into the studio, but so do 4 ‘healthy drinks’ courtesy of Rick. The concoction, consisting of ginger, lime, turmeric and ghost chili pepper, wasn’t pleasant, trust us!

In this week’s news…Matt brings the team up to speed with some new enhancements to Azure Site Recovery, DSC capabilities in OMS Automation along with a new cool eBook on OMS. Simon talks about the demise of older versions of Internet Explorer (before 11), along with the end of support for Windows 8. Rick shares some cool, new Linux-related info for running Linux on the Microsoft platform, and Oguz follows this nicely by delving deeper into some of the key Linux on Microsoft platform info, along with the announcement of the open sourcing of “Chaka Khan” 🙂

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Container Fundamentals | Part 3 – Shared Folders

Back in August, we made available the 3rd technical preview of Windows Server 2016. The significance of this particular milestone release was the first inclusion of a much-talked-about container technology, available in the box. The story became more rich a couple of months later, in November, with the release of technical preview 4, and the inclusion of Hyper-V containers. Regardless of whether you started your container journey in August, or November, or somewhere in between, what was clear to me, an IT guy, was that containers weren’t, let’s say, as natural for me as say, virtual machines, storage or networking. Yes, they use a form of virtualization, but having spent years with VMs, containers were a little more alien to me. Fortunately, help was at hand.

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The Ops Team #009 – “Egg-volution”

The Ops Team is a weekly show where 4 Technical Evangelists specializing in IT Operations get together to give you the deets on their 4 areas of expertise: Microsoft Azure/Cloud, On-premises datacenter technologies, Enterprise Mobility / Windows and DevOps.

This week on The Ops Team, Matt, Simon and David make it into the studio, whilst Rick is confined to his new office, after a recent role change. Even without Rick present, the team managed to figure out how to control all of the AV equipment, which itself, is a miracle!

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New MVA Course: Hybrid IT Management Part I – Insights, Visibility & Security Analytics

“And the award for the longest blog post title goes to….”

A month or so back, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours in the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) studios with Laura Cruz, Program Manager on the System Center and Services team, to work on part 1 of a multi-part series of MVA courses all focused on Hybrid IT Management. “What is Hybrid IT Management?” I hear you ask. Well, at a high level, it’s the management, automation and protection of heterogeneous infrastructure, workloads, apps and services, on both Windows and Linux, across any cloud, regardless of whether it’s running in your datacenter, with a service provider, in the public cloud, on platforms such as Azure, or a combination of all of those.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part III – Upgrades & Operational Efficiencies

Here we are in part three of the Q&A series, where I’m working through the multitude of questions that were asked during the recent ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview’ JumpStart course, which, if you haven’t heard, is now available on-demand, so check it out! In this post, I’ll be walking through the questions focused around upgrading to Windows Server 2016, specifically using the new rolling upgrade capabilities, then wrapping up with some questions under the banner of ‘Operational Efficiencies’, which, between you and I, are a load of cool and handy features that just make life better for the Hyper-V admin.  Here we go…

Rolling Upgrades

Can you upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016 or only from Windows Server 2012 R2?

No, as detailed on TechNet, this feature only works for clusters transitioning from Windows Server 2012 R2, to Windows Server 2016. Any earlier editions of Windows Server would have to be upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2, before you could take advantage of the rolling upgrade.  There are no plans to port this feature back to previous versions of Windows Server.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part II – Clustering & Availability

Here we are in part two of the Q&A series, where I’m working through the multitude of questions that were asked during the recent ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview’ JumpStart course, which, if you haven’t heard, is now available on-demand, so check it out! In this post, I’ll be walking through the questions focused around Failover Clustering and High Availability.  There was lots of interest in this topic, especially around the new Compute and Storage resiliency, along with enhancements to Shared VHDX.  On to the questions…

Failover Clustering

Will Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V support Fault Tolerance?

No, Fault Tolerance, a feature within certain editions of VMware vSphere, is not a feature within Windows Server 2016. Taking information from the VMware vSphere Availability Guide, whilst attractive on paper, protection of VMs is still limited to only 4 vCPU, and whilst this is enough for many workloads, Fault Tolerance cannot protect against application failures within the VM, cannot reduce downtime for patching-related outages within the guest operating system, and, the feature itself has resource requirements that can create additional overhead. Read that as ‘takes a performance hit’. You also lose flexibility, as the use of Memory Overcommit, and Hot-Add of disks is disabled.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part I – Virtualization Security

As mentioned in my previous post, back on August 18th and 19th, myself and Corey Hynes delivered a 2-day, live, Windows Server 2016 Preview Jumpstart. For the thousands of you that attended, thank you, it was a lot of fun, and I hope you learned a lot! There are certainly a lot of new features and capabilities coming in the next release of Windows Server! Some of them are incremental improvements, however there are many areas that are completely new to the Microsoft platform, such as Containers and Nano Server. Naturally, there were a large number of questions during the event, in fact, the number was so large, the team couldn’t answer them all in time, so, over the next few blog posts, I’ll be trying my best to answer your questions that were raised during the event.

In this first Q&A post, I’m going to focus on the large number of Security questions that were posed as part of the virtualization module.  The security capabilities that have been introduced in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, are incredibly powerful, but they are also a little complex.  I’d first urge you to watch the on-demand course, to help familiarize yourself with the concepts. If you’re short on time, skip along to the second module, Server Virtualization, around the 8:55 mark, as that’s where we start the security discussion.

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Big Training on Little Servers – It’s Nano Server on MVA!

Have you heard about Nano Server? I thought you might have done. It made just a little bit of noise when we announced it back in April, and since then, the momentum has been building!

For those of you that are thinking, what is Nano Server?, well, in a nutshell, and to steal a line or two from the above linked blog post, Nano Server is…

“a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers. As customers adopt modern applications and next-generation cloud technologies, they need an OS that delivers speed, agility and lower resource consumption.  Nano Server is a deeply refactored version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimized for the cloud and a DevOps workflow.  It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security”

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