Archive for category Virtualization

October 19, 2016: Optimizing Storage for Virtualization in Windows Server

BrightTalk-OptimizingStorageThe second of my three upcoming BrightTALK presentations is titled Optimizing Storage for Virtualization in Windows Server.  Here’s an overview of the topic for this free online webinar:

Virtualization workloads generate many requirements and challenges for IT departments, including high performance, low latency, high-availability and the ability to quickly move and reconfigure workloads based on changing demands.  This presentation focuses on best practices for employing a wide array of different storage features in the Windows Server platform.  Details range from the SMB 3.x protocol to data-deduplication, clustering, Hyper-V Replica, and many more related features.  The presentation will begin with suggestions for determining requirements for different kinds of virtual disks and different business workloads.  Based on these requirements, we’ll drill-down in to practical advice on how, when, and why these features can help increase service delivery and reduce costs for virtualized environments of all sizes.

If you can’t make it to the live session, it will also be available for viewing after the conference.

Update:  The presentation was originally scheduled for October 18th, and has been moved back by one day.  If the new time doesn’t work well for you, remember that the presentation will always be available on-demand, soon after the live recording.

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using https://www.brighttalk.com/search?q=Anil+Desai.

Sept. 20, 2016: Software-Defined Storage Features in Windows Server 2016

BrightTalk-SDStorageInWS2016I’ll be giving a presentation as part of BrightTALK‘s Software-Defined Week of presentations.  The free session (registration required) is titled Software-Defined Storage Features in Windows Server 2016.  Here’s an overview of the presentation topic:

Meeting storage-related requirements has been a long-standing challenge for IT organizations, and added workload requirements from cloud- and software-defined architectures can add quickly to the burden.  Common goals are to implement solutions that provide high-availability and high performance, with low capital and operational costs.  The Windows Server 2016 platform includes a tremendous list of improved and new features that are available “out-of-the-box”.  That makes the biggest barrier understanding how, when and why you can implementing these features.

This presentation will cover a wide array of different features in the Windows Server platform, including Storage Spaces and Storage Spaces Direct; SMB 3.x improvements; storage tiering; Storage QoS; Storage Replica; data de-duplication; and many other features.  When compared to the costs and administrative complexity of traditional SANs, these tools can provide ready solutions for environments of all sizes and types.  The focus will be on technical details about the features and capabilities of the Windows Server platform, and how organizations can make best use of them.

It would be great if you can make it for the live session, but if not, it will also be available on-demand after the event is complete.

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using https://www.brighttalk.com/search?q=Anil+Desai.

5 Strategies for Moving Your Business to the Cloud (Article)

BizTechLogoI recently wrote an online article for BizTech’s Small Business magazine, titled “5 Strategies for Moving Your Business to the Cloud“.  Here’s the introduction to the topic:
Small businesses can use the cloud to gain scale and ensure that their infrastructure keeps up with their growth ambitions.
When a small company finds itself growing, it often faces serious challenges in maintaining an IT infrastructure capable of keeping up with the rest of the business. Leveraging cloud implementations can provide huge benefits to small companies facing these challenges. However, as with any IT initiative, a sound technology strategy can make the difference between success and failure. Here are some important considerations, based on my consulting experience…
Please see CDW’s BizTech site for the complete (free) article and more cloud-related articles for SMB’s.

Attend the Microsoft BUILD Austin Event on May 29th, 2015

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There’s a lot of change that’s coming out for developers and IT pros that work on Microsoft technologies.  You can find more information about the available sessions at the Microsoft BUILD 2015 site, including the recordings of the keynote addresses from the live national presentation.  Just a sampler would include Windows 10 with huge consumer and Enterprise changes, UI design and development improvements, Azure, Visual Studio 2015, and a lot of other related topics.  Here’s an overview of what will be covered in Austin:

Friday, May 29, 2015 – 9:00AM

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
310 Willie Nelson Blvd
Austin, TX USA 78701

This event series brings the Build experience to cities around the globe.

As a developer, you can expect:

  • Best of Build announcements and insights
  • Deep dive in the Windows 10 developer platform for app and web developers
  • Coding sessions and exciting demos across devices
  • Partner showcases
  • Open Q&A and face-to-face time with Microsoft engineers
  • Each Event is Free

Build Tour Event Agenda

8:00 – close Registration
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 Keynote
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45 Session #1 Universal Windows Platform
11:45 – 12:45 Lunch
12:45 – 13:00 Challenge
13:00 – 14:00 Session #2 Microsoft Edge & Web Apps
14:00 – 15:00 Session #3 Lightning Talks
15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 16:45 Panel Q/A
16:45 – 17:00 Closing remarks

Best of all, there’s a good chance that the all-day event is coming free to a place near you.  While I won’t be presenting any specific sessions in the Austin BUILD Event.  I will be available on-site all day to answer questions during breaks.

Be sure to register, if you plan to attend this free event (it’s at the amazing ACL at the Moody Theater downtown).  If you’re unable to attend, you can still find the sessions you’re interested online at the Channel 9 BUILD 2015 site.

Building and Managing Storage Environments for MSPs: Free Webinar on 05/27/2015

I’ll be presenting a Ziff-Davis webinar on the topic of Building and Managing Storage Environments for MSPs.  The topic will cover best practices and considerations for moving from local-based storage architectures to storage-based service offerings.  For more information, or to register for the free webinar, please visit Building and Managing Storage Environments for MSPs.

Attend the Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference: May 14-15, 2015

MVP15_MicrosoftMVP_VC_EmailBannerMicrosoft is soon hosting a great free event that Microsoft and the MVPs are putting on, May 14th & 15th.  Join Microsoft MVPs from the Americas’ region as they share their knowledge and real-world expertise during a free event, the MVP Virtual Conference.  As a member of the IT Pro selection committee, I can definitely vouch for the many interesting session topics (I’m planning to attend as many as I can on both says).

The MVP Virtual Conference will showcase 95 sessions of content for IT Pros, Developers and Consumer experts designed to help you navigate life in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform, Steve Guggenheimer, will be on hand to deliver the opening Key Note Address.

Why attend MVP V-Conf? The conference will have 5 tracks, IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Portuguese mixed sessions & Spanish mixed sessions, there is something for everyone!

Come learn from the best and brightest in the tech world today. All of the sessions will all be delivered by the Americas’ Region Microsoft MVPs. These MVPs are experts who present at premiere conferences, independent community events and local user groups all over the globe.

This is a technical conference focused on helping attendees to learn and develop skills for everything from everyday technical work to wackier weekend projects. Whether it is on the IT Pro, Dev or Consumer side of things, you can bet that the content of MVP V-Conf will be cutting edge, exciting and relevant.

Be sure to register quickly to hold your spot and tell your friends & colleagues.

The conference will be widely covered on social media, you can join the conversation by following @MVPAward and using the hashtag #MVPvConf.   We hope to see you there!

Optimize SQL Server with Flash Storage: Webinar

On March 12th, I’ll be presenting a free online webinar titled, “Optimize SQL Server Performance with Flash-Based Storage – On a Budget“.  Here’s an overview of what the session will cover:

Are you tired of database latency? Low transaction throughput? Have you created a complicated storage design just to eek out a few more IOPS? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should consider investigating flash-based storage. A flash-based storage array provides consistent performance, simple storage design, and low latency for SQL Server workloads such as OLTP, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.

Register for the webinar to learn more about how moving to flash-based storage addresses many of the pain points that application owners and DBAs face in the spindle world.

SQL Server and storage-related issues are among the most common issues I run into with my clients.  This presentation, sponsored by PureStorage, will try to dispel many of the myths and not-so-best practices, and will include some real-world input from Rob “barkz” Barker, Solutions Architect at Pure Storage.  Be sure to register if you’re planning to attend!

Windows Server Software-Defined Storage and Networking Presentation: Dec. 5th, 2014

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I’m excited to have been given the opportunity to present at the December meeting of the Central Texas Systems Management User Group (CTSMUG)!  I’ll try to post some more details on the topic here within the next week. 

The meeting starts at 10:00am and includes lunch.  For details (including directions and a full agenda) and to register to attend, see the Event Details.  There are lots of other interesting topics on the agenda, so do try to attend if you’re in the Austin area!

BrightTALK Webinar: Windows Server Enterprise Storage and Networking Features

imageOn December 9th, 2014, I’ll be presenting a free online webinar titled, Windows Server Enterprise Storage and Networking Features.  Here’s a quick overview of the topic:

IT professionals face many challenges in their struggle to deliver the infrastructure, applications, and services that their organizations need. Common issues include limited budgets, datacenter infrastructure complexity, and technical expertise to support a wide variety of changing goals. The presentation will provide guidance and best practices for data center admins that are looking for cost-effective ways to increase automation, improve hardware resource utilization, and provide HA/DR features without having to make costly investments in third-party products.
This webinar will discuss:

  • Features that include support for iSCSI-based SANs,
  • SMB-based virtual disks
  • Management UI and automation improvements
  • The latest version of Hyper-V
  • Low-cost high-availability

Register online if you’d like to attend!

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using https://www.brighttalk.com/search?q=Anil+Desai.

Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow (Houston, TX)

Transform the Datacenter MVP RoadshowI’m excited to be presenting a free session that’s focused on how IT pros can use Windows Server 2012 R2 to improve their datacenter operations. 

The event will take place on the morning of Friday, September 26th, 2014.  The scheduled presentation will start at 9:00am and conclude at 1:00pm, including breaks and meals.  For more details, and to register, please visit the Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow page for this event.  Registration is free, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Here’s an overview of the topics I’ll be covering:

Session I: Transforming Your Datacenter: Why and How

a. Common barriers to replacing current OS, applications, network, storage, and related infrastructure

b. Addressing datacenter management challenges

c. Understanding the role and benefits of public/private/hybrid cloud approaches

d. Planning for and Migrating from Windows Server 2003

Session II: New Features in Windows Server 2012 R2

a. Microsoft server and cloud platform overview

b. Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage and Networking Improvements

c. Virtualization with Hyper-V 4.0

d. Additional features and tools / Q & A

Session III: Transforming Your Datacenter: Infrastructure and Cloud Benefits of Windows Server 2012 R2

a. Comparing Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud approaches

b. Understanding Microsoft Azure service offerings

c. Integrating cloud and local data-center infrastructure

d. Getting start with moving data, applications, and services to the cloud

One of the many benefits of being a Microsoft MVP is the opportunity to connect with IT professionals that are located in my area (Central Texas).  While there’s no shortage of online resources for technical content on this topic, sometimes an in-person, on-site session can help provide the much-needed opportunity to interact with peers outside your organization.  If you’re in the Houston or Central Texas area, please do try to attend!

Austin Code Camp 2013 SQL Server Presentations

If you’re in the Austin area and are interested in a free all-day conference on .NET development-focused topics, be sure to check out the Austin .NET User Group’s annual Austin Code Camp.  It takes place on Saturday, August 17th at the St. Edward’s Professional Education Center in Austin.  See the site for details on the speakers, sessions, and location. 

This year, I’ll be presenting on a couple of topics that were well-receiving in past years.  The sessions will be demo-focused, though you can also find the slides from my past presentations on this site.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments!

SQL Server Performance Monitoring & Optimization

Developers can dramatically improve performance by understanding how their queries are executing in the "real world". This session will cover ways in which attendees can monitor performance at various levels, and how they can use this information to optimize queries and improve overall application performance. We’ll start with a discussion of developing a performance optimization strategy and how various tools can help. Then, we’ll walk through the process of using SQL Profiler to collect data in a real-world case: Generating a "hit list" of worst-performing queries based on execution times and frequency.

Next we’ll look at using the Database Tuning Advisor to make suggestions related to physical database structures such as indexes and partitions. Also included will be ways in which built-in reports and dynamic management views can be used to monitor performance of production systems. Time permitting, the presentation will include methods for reducing deadlocks and managing long-running transactions. Finally, the presentation will include an overview of analyzing query plans. The overall emphasis will be on solving practical, real-world database performance problems.

SQL Server Reporting Services: Creating and Managing Reports

Using SQL Server Reporting Services, developers can author and distribute complex reports that come from a variety of data sources. The session will begin with an architectural overview of Reporting Services and how developers can install and configure the required services. Then, we will walk through the process of creating new reports by building connections and data sets using Report Builder 3.0 and Visual Studio 2012. Reporting design features including dynamic drill-downs, tablix reports, charts, and sorting will be demonstrated. Also included will be methods by which multiple levels of report parameters can be used to filter data and increase performance.

Next, we’ll look at deployment details, including scheduling report execution, report subscriptions, configuring caching, creating snapshots, and managing security. Time permitting, the presentation will include a demonstration of using Report Viewer controls within ASP.NET and Windows Forms applications.

Upcoming Cloud and Hyper-V Webcasts on BrightTALK

BrightTALK

I have a couple of upcoming presentations on the BrightTALK web site.  The presentations are free to attend are available online (registration is required).  Also, feel free to take a look at my previous BrightTALK presentations.

Designing Cloud Architectures with Hyper-V

August 8th, 2013 at 11:00am Pacific

Presentation Link

Designing Cloud Architectures with Hyper-VMany of the technical aspects of cloud-based solutions are a natural progression for those environments that want to expand upon their virtualization deployments. This webinar will provide technical details and best practices for deploying new features in the Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0 platforms. Topics will include reducing storage costs, implementing high-availability and disaster recovery, and improving automation to reduce data center costs and increase efficiency.

Streamlining IT Operations with Windows Azure

October 8th, 2013 at 3:00pm Pacific

Presentation Link

Streamlining IT Operations with Windows Azure

While few would call the use of cloud-based technologies a “quiet revolution”, Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform has expanded into a wide range of different services that can be leveraged to reduce costs and increase IT efficiency. The challenge for IT professionals is to arrange the pieces of the puzzle into an optimal arrangement for many different types of workloads. This presentation will focus on practical advice for using SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS approaches to building private, public, and hybrid clouds. It will include examples of applications and workloads that could benefit from the use of cloud technology, and the benefits and drawbacks each approach.

Note: To access the recording of this session (and all of my past BrightTALK webinars), please search using https://www.brighttalk.com/search?q=Anil+Desai.

MVP Award for 2013

I was really happy to find out that I have again received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award in the specialization area of Windows Server – Virtualization!  I’d like to thank my MVP Lead, Michelle Campbell, and everyone else at the Microsoft MVP program!

Dell Tech Page One Cloud and Virtualization Articles

imageI recently had the opportunity to write several articles for Dell’s Tech Page One blog.  I always enjoy thinking (and writing/speaking) about topics related to IT architecture changes.  Over the last several years, that has focused on virtualization technology and cloud computer.  A special

Below are links to those articles, with a brief intro for each.

With the seemingly endless list of daily IT tasks and projects, it’s difficult to step back and ask a hypothetical question: How would we build out data center infrastructures if we could completely start over?

The availability of new technology is often the beginning of a new set of challenges for IT professionals. The trick is in finding how to get the benefits of improvements while staying within the constraints of budgets, human resources, time, expertise, and business requirements.

When implemented correctly, virtualization helps reduce complexity, reduce management overhead, and increase overall operational efficiency. Those words should be music to the ears of any data center manager struggling to make their business requirements and technology ends meet.

The enigmatic world of quantum mechanics notwithstanding, it’s difficult to create something from nothing. That’s especially true if you’re an IT professional tasked with meeting storage needs.

A special thanks to Ziff Davis for providing the project and getting this published!

MVP Blog Post: Hyper-V High-Availability Without a SAN

imageI have mentioned before that my favorite features in Windows Server 2012 are related to improvements in the storage stack.  While it might not seem as exciting as some of the many other new features, the number and types of scenarios that storage and networking improvements allow are tremendous.  Best of all, these features ship “in the box” (that is, as part of the product itself), so no third-party tools, utilities, or drivers are required. 

I recently wrote an article for the Microsoft MVP Award Program blog that covers some ways in which IT pros can use these features to implement high-availability and other Enterprise-level features using Windows Server 2012.  Here’s a brief excerpt from the post:

Enter Windows Server 2012: A server product that ships with all of the required ingredients to brew your own highly-available storage environment. In this post, I’ll focus on the storage and high-availability-related features that ship as part of Windows Server 2012. Specifically, I’ll discuss what’s required to build and deploy a fault-tolerant Hyper-V deployment using only in-box features. I’ll start with the configuration basics and then list higher-end features that are available for production environments.

For the complete post, please see Windows Server 2012: Hyper-V High-Availability without a SAN, and feel free to post questions or comments there!