Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tech·Ed North America 2010 Call for Content invitation

TechEd North America 2010 is just around the corner (well in June). If you are interested in speaking at TechEd, and have an interesting topic you would like to discuss, please follow the instructions below for submitting content and if chosen, we would love to hear about it.

Tech·Ed North America 2010 Call for Content invitation

We have begun the planning for Tech·Ed North America 2010, which takes place in New Orleans from June 7-10, 2010, and the first step is to request Breakout Session topic ideas from product experts like yourself for the Virtualization track.

Virtualization Track (VIR)

This track will cover all aspects of Virtualization to address the current demands on IT Pros looking to virtualize their environment.  Understand the overall Microsoft Virtualization strategy and where the future of virtualization is heading: in the datacenter, from the client, all the way to the cloud.  Learn about Microsoft products in this space, including Windows Server Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server, App-V, MED-V, System Center Suite of tools (including System Center Virtual Machine Manager and System Center Operations Manager), Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services), and our new Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit for Enterprises. Beyond just understanding the current product capabilities, the attendees will also learn about the future directions and plans, and what we think the market and the other platforms will do over the next few years.

Steps for Call for Content submissions:

  1. Go to: https://northamerica.msteched.com/CFT
  2. Enter RSVP Access Code : RSVP10-VIR
  3. Complete all the fields and submit the topic/s you’re interested in presenting
  4. When returning to the Call for Content site, use the e-mail alias and password you entered when creating your Call for Content profile to review or edit your submission, or to submit another topic.

Deadline for Submissions:  January 15, 2010

Breakout Sessions are the primary way Tech·Ed attendees receive Microsoft content. These sessions are lecture-style presentations held in rooms seating anywhere from 200-1,200 people. Breakouts are 75-minutes in length and speakers use PowerPoint slides and demos; leaving 10-15 minutes at the end to answer questions. These sessions are recorded and available at Tech·Ed Online to all paid attendees from the 10 Tech·Ed conferences held around the world during the 12 months following Tech·Ed North America.

Additional conference information

The following information will be helpful as you think about the session/s you are going to submit and, if selected, present at Tech·Ed.

Tech·Ed is Microsoft's premier global conference designed to provide developers and IT professionals with the technical education, product information and community resources they need to design, develop, manage, secure, and mobilize state-of-the-art software solutions for a connected enterprise. Content focuses on current and soon-to-release (before June 2011) Microsoft products, technologies and services.

At Tech·Ed North America 2009, 70 percent of Tech·Ed attendees were IT professionals with the majority being Infrastructure Managers (48%) and IT Mangers (28%). They were interested in the best ways to plan, design, deploy, manage and secure connected enterprise systems. The remaining 30% of attendees were developers -- programmers (41%), architects (28%), designers (20%), and developer managers (12%) -- who wanted to dive deeper into the latest enterprise development solutions using Microsoft's developer tools, frameworks, and platforms. 

Review and notification

· Session submissions are reviewed to determine which best meet the needs of the Tech·Ed audience, adhere to the Track framework and content focus, and fulfill the messaging requirements of the product groups. 

· Session selections will be made and you will be notified by e-mail in February 2010.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to seeing your Breakout Session ideas. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about the submission process or would like to discuss topic ideas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blogging on Because it’s everybody’s business Site

IT isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it may be one of the most fun. It is amazing how folks see a challenge and then overcome it. Microsoft has created a place to help folks get through these challenges. Because it's everybody's business is your one stop shop for finding out about how we can help you face and surpass the challenges you come across everyday. It also shows how IT folks just like yourselves are becoming more efficient and saving money with Microsoft Technology. Why am I writing about it here? Well, they have asked me to be a Virtualization Expert on the site, blogging about the challenges customers face and how Microsoft Virtualization can help. I kicked off the blog with the following entry, and will continue to post on a regular basis.

Check it out.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

With R2 Microsoft can Dynamically Handle Virtual Workloads

Unless you have been under a rock for the past 6 months, you have probably heard that Microsoft now has the ability to move a running Virtual Machine from one box to another without downtime. With the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, or the free version Windows Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, we now have Live Migration capabilities. This was a feature that was lacking with the previous version and a major blocker for adoption by some organizations.

Now, Live Migration is available, great, but do I still have to manually pick and choose which VMs to move from one location to another. Answer, No, you don’t.

This TechEd Online TechTalk details how Microsoft dynamically handles changes in workloads.

Even before Microsoft released Hyper-V R2 with Live Migration Capabilities, they released a capability within the System Center Suite of Tools called PRO Tips (or Performance and Resource Optimization Tips) that, through the use of Management Packs in Operations Manager, monitors aspects of the Physical Layer, Virtual Layer, or Application Layer, and when an alert is generated, can automatically (or manually) take action within the Virtual environment. This video explains how PRO works, and discusses the benefits of PRO to enable a dynamic infrastructure.

Beyond that, take a listen to the following TechNet Webcast on PRO that describes in detail what PRO is, how it works, talks some on the Partner Integrations we have.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Do you have opinions and ideas? Would you like to share your thoughts on Virtualization and System Center (or Management as others would call it)?

Become and Influencer!!!

We are looking for folks that have an opinion, and I know you do.

Check out: http://bit.ly/2PfCpT and join Microsoft’s Influencer Program.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Microsoft Site Recovery Solutions Launch

An interesting Post today by Jim Schwartz, Director Virtualization Solutions, at Microsoft.

Basically, we are leveraging the openness of our Platform to allow partners to develop solutions that meet a customer’s particular need. In this case it is Site Recovery.

Despite tough times, an Enterprise Strategy Group study shows that 31% of businesses surveyed said DR will be their main driver for Virtualization in 2009.

These are some exciting solutions, and I can’t wait for the webcast to see what this will provide.

Take a look at the article, and let me know what you think of the webcast.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for SCVMM 2008 R2 Released

To help an organization answer the age old question,”How do i get started?” Our Solutions Accelerator Team has created an IPD Guide for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 as well as for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

These IPD Guides have Step by step processes to help guide an organization down the path of virtualization.

For SCVMM 2008 R2 the flow looks like the following:

IPD-SCVMM2008R2-flowchart1 IPD-SCVMM2008R2-flowchart2

For Windows Server 2008 R2 the 9-Step process is below:


These Guides are great and really help people embark on the journey towards virtualization where they can achieve the benefits of virtualizing their infrastructure more quickly than doing it on their own.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Still Strong after almost 2 years - Hey Dad MS Licensing Video

Back around this time in 2007, while I was still a Staff Systems Engineer over at VMware, I had a lunchtime meeting with an enemy TSP, Michael Cooper, from Microsoft. There we discussed how MS licensing (of the OS) in a Virtual environment worked. When could you VMotion (Live Migrate) these VMs, and what were the repercussions of the 90 Day Rule.

We actually did this with sweetener packets on the table and it really cleared things up for me.

From there, a year ago last January (2008), I created a First in a short lived (1) series of Videos called “Hey Dad”, where I worked with my kids to produce a little documentary on how the MS Licensing policy works.

I thought it was a nice video, and everyone that saw it seemed to understand the MS licensing scheme better. One of the coolest things about it was when someone from MS Europe sent me a request asking if they could use the Video in one of their internal trainings. Internal Trainings. At the time, I though, wow, shouldn’t this be easier? I get it, it doesn’t seem that hard, but really most people don’t, and hopefully after watching the video, they will.

Nearly two years later, and it is still one of the definitive training videos for MS Licensing of OSs in the Virtual World as referenced by one of Rich from Bechtle’s latest Blog Microsoft & Virtual Licensing

It is nice to see it still working. Now to expand the series for Licensing MS Apps in a Virtual World…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

VMworld 2009 Wrap-Up

Wow, how to sum it all up. Definitely, VMworld was fun, and VMware puts on a nice conference. I would have to say, however, that I was a little disappointed.

The keynotes didn’t show anything new? Everything I saw there was really everything I saw at VMworld Europe (in fact it was pretty much the same stuff I saw at last year’s VMworld), and to be honest, I think they presented it better at VMworld Europe. I wasn’t the only one to think so (Mike Laverick at rtfm-ed.co.uk):

And that was it. So nothing too radical or shocking - and more or less a restatement of the agenda in Canne…

If you happened to stay until the very end, you got a few seconds on SpringSource, but even that seemed not put together very well.

They did finish a big release cycle, and probably the next major release is a few years off, so they may not have the roadmap down right now, perhaps that is what it was.

There were a couple of sessions that I liked, but mostly, those were flat as well. The VMware Head to Head vs. Microsoft and Citrix was interesting, but obviously they are going to only show their good side there and put us in the most unfavorable light that they can.

The part I liked the best was the Solutions Exchange. Being the “little guy” at the conference, there was a definite feeling of excitement. It felt very similar to when I first started with VMware and was at the LinuxWorld conference. There was a feeling in the Microsoft Booth and with the customers and partners that I talked with where they wanted to work with us. As I was walking around the booths, or tweeting away, I was contacted by many different partners, and there was this energy about it. From DataCore and their help with my 3 Laptop Demo (which I didn’t show at the show), to Pano Logic to Citrix, to all of the partners at the show. They all seemed to want to work with us.

Everyone was really upbeat about Microsoft’s advances, and when we talked with customers, more and more “light bulbs” went off. I can really do all of that? It costs only that much? WOW!

It was really good seeing all of my old friends from VMware (and some from other companies), and though there were some awkward silences (when conversation switched to business), it was the best part of the whole show.

It is a two horse race now, and we are coming in strong. This year is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Self Paced Rave


Such a fantastic time! Props to the VMware Lab Team! Who actually did a lab last night?

It was great seeing all my friends at the SPR last night (next year I need to get the VIP Pass). Music was great, drinks were flowing, people were talking, and I am sure EVERYONE had a great time.

Best part of the show.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 2 Wrap-Up

Today was an interesting day. I sat and watched the Day 2 Keynote, looking at what VMware shows as the vision for the future.

I then went to watch a session on Virtualizing Exchange EA2631

I learned some things there:

Exchange has made itself (over time) better suited for Virtualization from Exchange 2003 –> Exchange 2007 –> Exchange 2010 due to less IO, and better design. Also, ESX has improved and the computers have evolved, so they have all joined together.

But on the MS Front, we have updated out sites with some new information from our Exchange and Virtualization Team on Virtualizing this Tier 1 application. Check out Zane’s Blog Post for more information.

After lunch I went to the VMware Head to Head comparison of VMware vSphere and ESX and Hyper-V with some SCVMM, and Citrix. It would have been a better conversation if it would actually have been more than one side. Their big comments on Architecture differences and memory overcommitment were old and tired. They were biased and based on conjecture. They commented that our “integrated” solution is a bunch of applications which we do need to work on, but when they showed them all, they showed many twice, and and some that you wouldn’t use except in some cases, but not when loading other apps that they showed.

They said we don’t have a Host Profile equivalent, when if you look at what System Center Configuration Manager does, it does a lot of what Host Profiles does. Of course they didn’t mention that to get Host Profiles, customers would have to buy the Enterprise Plus SKU.

They failed to mention that if you are comparing vSphere with Microsoft Solutions, you have to include all of the SMSD products, NOT just VMM and a little OM.

They failed to mention that you have to pay 3 times more to get a VMware Solution than you would have to pay to get the comparable solution from Microsoft, I wonder why?

Are we Enterprise Class? Yes, we are.

Do we have some work to do? Yes, we do.

Is VMware scared? Yes, they are.

Dr. Stephen Herrod’s Keynote

I always enjoy Day 2 Keynotes at VMworld. You always get to see something new. Dr. Stephen Herrod started the keynote today by sliding VMware View over to the left emphasizing that it is the biggest focus for VMware right now. He says managing the desktops will be the same as managing the servers. I don’t think that is the right way to look at it. Yeah, I believe it resonates to Server guys, but there are many, MANY differences between how you have to manage the desktop and the datacenter. It seems to VMware, that (like one of our TSPs told me at a conference earlier):

When all you have is a Hammer, everything looks like a nail

Key agreement with rto Virtual Profiles coupled with the ThinApp “bubble”. Create a master image of the OS, plop it down and keep each app out there encapsulated on its own.

Best User Experience to All Endpoints – From a WAN to a LAN environment to Local so you can run it on the net, and on the local machine to leverage the “Media” devices (Graphics, etc). PCoIP releasing later this year.

Employee-Owned IT – rebrand, revamp of ACE – VM on a DVD, or running directly on the laptop No host OS, Client Hypervisor (Client Virtualization Platform (CVP)) with Intel vPro. They have Win7 x64 running in a VM with the CVP underneath.

VMware Mobile Strategy – VCMA – a mobile app to manage your vCenter and now VMware View environment

Mobile Phone to Mobile Personal Computer - “Device Freedom” Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), and “Application Freedom”

All of this client stuff, still makes me think that they are trying to adapt and fit VDI as the solution for everything. Really now, shouldn’t it be that the customer should use the whole toolbox and not just the hammer. VDI works for some cases, but Terminal Services is better for other, and App-V solves other solutions. If you have a local user that needs to run a policy encapsulated VM, MedV will give you this. Microsoft has the Desktop solution that you can use for the challenges you face.

VMotion the Foundation of the Giant Computer – First VMotion, then Storage VMotion, then Network VMotion (Distributed Virtual Switch), now Long Distance VMotion

New workload – HPC

DRS – Shuffling VMs around for best performance. Squeezing more out of your systems, extending soon to include IO not just CPU and Memory. Tiering the needs and the applications with the Resources around you.

This could be interesting if they DRS the VMs, and also the Storage as your storage IO patterns change.

AppSpeed – Nothing new

vApp – IT Service Policy Descriptor SLA as metadata to the group of VMs using OVF.

VMsafe – Always on Security and Compliance via APIs. Aware of the application running in the VM, not the VM, so it can be smart in what it protects and secures.

Choice – Lab Manager to allow for self service portals.

Long Distance vMotion – Proactively move the DC when certain events will occur. Cisco with it Data Center Interconnect up to 200 km. F5 uses BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager to move different iSessions around.

VMware vCloud API – Programmatic Access to resources, Self Service Portals, vSphere Client Plugin (one vCenter to view local and Cloud resources).

After moving View to the left, they now added vApps to the right as a fourth pillar. vSphere provides IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Software is Middleware and Tools that is combined and hooked underneath termed PaaS (Platform as a Service). The middle yellow bar is the Automated, Policy enforcement, scalability. Developers only need to know the application interface, they don’t need to be bothered with anything else, and then there is SaaS (Software as a Service).

PaaS – Open set of interfaces for Ruby on Rails, Python, .Net, PHP, Rod says we want the developers happy, we want them to know about this as little as possible but enough to be productive. Can be deployed internally and externally, wherever.

How popular are these different interfaces? Azure provides this to our Developer community.

SpringSource -

Take advantage of the revolution…

I don’t see a revolution here, but I think some of the new capabilities are nice, and looking forward to see how we respond.

TA3438 – Performance Improvements of vSphere…

Or something like that. Was Top 10 blah blah blah in the syllabus, doesn’t matter, it was good. Richard McDougall was really good at showing the performance improvements of vSPhere 4 (actually of ESX Server 4).

He broke them down into a few different categories and the major improvements there:




  • Relaxed CoScheduling
  • Extended Fairness Support


  • 2nd Generation Hardware Assist
  • Large Page Support


  • 350,000 IOPS up from 100,000 IOPS
  • Reduced IO Overhead by 50%
  • Asynchronous IO forks offload IO to a different core
  • Paravirtualized SCSI driver

He also talked about DRS improvements.

He made a comment that not all hypervisors are the same, and that just leveraging the hardware improvements of the processors isn’t enough. There is more to virtualization, and the vmkernel provides much in terms of access, scheduling, and IO access.

I agree that all hypervisors aren’t the same, BUT all hypervisors now give you quality performance near native, for most things, isn’t that enough?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

BW4740 – Evangelizing the Value Proposition

We all know Virtualization is great, and it saves customers money. As Todd said in the keynote, Virtualization saves Financial Energy, Human Energy, and Earth’s Energy.

But, how do you demonstrate this savings to your upper management. How can you translate these IT Benefits into Business Value your Exec’s can understand.

IT Benefit

Solve Business Needs

Consolidate Resources

Lower Capital Costs

Reduce Complexity

Lower Operational Costs

Automated Management

Increased Agility

Availability and Disaster Recovery

Reduce Downtime

improved security

Reduce Business Risk and Increased Governance

From there, you can show them output from an ROI calculator. VMware’s ROI Calculator was created by Alinean, our ROI Calculator was created by Alinean as well. Take either of these reports and look at the results. YOU WILL SAVE MONEY WITH VIRTUALIZATION.

Now look at them, and remove the cost for VMware, that is what you will save with Microsoft.

If you are running Microsoft Operating Systems in the Guests, you buy the Windows Server Datacenter Edition and apply it to the host. Once applied, you can run unlimited Server VMs on that box (regardless of Virtualization Solution), but, with Hyper-V that license also includes the Virtualization Layer. With VMware you would have to buy a vSphere Bundle with that cost added ON TOP of the cost you are already paying for the Guest OS license where you get a Virtualization solution included.

If you are managing these Guests with System Center Configuration Manager, and System Center Operations Manager, then get the Server Management Suite Datacenter bundle to save money, and once you bundle with SMSD, you get SCOM, SCCM, SCDPM, and SCVMM. So you have the management pieces, and you don’t need to buy the vSphere Bundle.

You need to understand how Virtualization will save you money versus physical. What you really need to do is justify your Virtualization Solution of choice. As all of them will save you money, why not save the most and go with the Microsoft Solution?

EA3605 – Virtualizing Tier 1 Apps

VMware shows some graphs on good performance with Tier 1 Apps (Exchange, SQL, etc). Trying to give the customers ammo they can take back to get these apps virtualized.

Performance can’t be the issue now. It has to be “server huggers” or people afraid of change as the platform whether Hyper-V or ESX can run the workload.

They were talking about VMware products like vApps, FT, AppSpeed for monitoring, but the story isn’t all there today.

AppSpeed seems nice, but if you are running the SMSD suite of products, you can EASILY monitor your SQL servers and Exchange, and the apps you are using. System Center gives you insight into what is going on with your apps as well as your Guest OS, your Physical Systems, and the Virtualization Infrastructure.

FT only works for UP VMs, so doesn’t work for a Tier 1 app, but it will be nice when it does.

Join the New “C2D” Facebook Page

Please take time to join the new Microsoft Facebook page, “Client to Datacenter” at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Client-to-Datacenter/243255745091.

As a companion to the existing Virtualization Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Microsoft-Virtualization/33629325535) and the System Center Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/System-Center/150083395545), its intent is to pull together the overall Microsoft management + virtualization story, and make it easier for us to give our friends in the community a central place on Facebook to connect, comment, and get updates. In time, we will fill this in and draw a closer connection with our other social media presences on the Web.

· What you get out of it? A one-stop-shop for System Center and Microsoft Virtualization, and an easy way to find and connect with others in the community.

· What we get out of it? A way to better engage with the community in the exciting playground of social media.

Notes on the VMworld Opening Day Keynote

I didn’t want to do this, I had high hopes for this Keynote, wanted to hear something cool, but I wasn’t impressed. After sleeping through the Opening Day Keynote, So what is the future of VMware?

It was a very low and understated keynote. No excitement whatsoever. I will bold out what I think were cool announcements, and you can read my commentary on the rest.

Todd comes out and talk about how VMware is now this Platform of IT. He says that VMware has 96% of the Global 1000 and that at their Partner Conference they said get the rest. They got 10 more of these and so they have 97% of the Global 1000.

Financial Energy, Human Energy, Earth’s Energy

Kroger, Siemens, Fannie Mae *Customer video

42% Infrastructure Maintenance, 30% app maint, 23% app invest, 5% infra invest

10 minutes in, and nothing exciting or new talked about. Todd and Paul came in and beat their chests a little, but really there was NOTHING NEW. Disappointing. Take the Hardware, encapsulate the OS/App into a “little black box” lift it up and Slide VMware vSphere in there. Now you can push it out to the cloud.

Automatic Operations leads to Business Agility

This could be interesting. Reverse DPM? When Power is expensive (and usually demand for resources higher) squeeze the servers onto a box and save power.

32 minutes in, again, nothing new. Yawn. These are all slides I have seen before, and they weren’t presented very excitingly. I saw these at VMworld Europe, at the vSphere 4 Launch, nothing new.

VMware and IBM “dialing the power down” lessening the idle power.

Creating a new VM with Lab Manager, WOW?

vCenter Chargeback weight the resources

VMware Go? VMware Went…How do I make money off of those people that download and use ESXi for free.

vCloud Express – Fast and Cheap uhh, Fast and Cost Effective

vCloud API – Announcing (again?) this Open Cloud API

VMware View – Desktop as a Service

HP showed a couple of things that are interesting. First of all, they had this storage device and you could pull it out and all of the disks were built in to the side. That was cool.

Also, HP has built in their Insight Manager Tools built into vCenter which can monitor your servers and then if you need to go into their tools (you need more depth) then you can launch it. Paul commented on how this is a Single Pane of Glass for managing the physical and virtual. Granted you still have to pop out to get to the OA, but interesting.

PCoIP – we saw a small demo of it, it didn’t pop, but they are making progress.

SpringSource Acquisition – is this their compete to Azure?

Monday, August 31, 2009

VMworld Day 1 Wrap-Up

Just finished my Booth Duty at our 10x10, and all I can say is, “I’m Parched”. The booth was full, and there were people waiting left and right to speak to us. Some were there to say we will never have what VMware has, others were there because they were starting to look at Hyper-V and SMSD. Others are using us, and LOVE us. It was good to hear all of it. Folks are having great success with Hyper-V and SMSD, and with R2 those successes are growing.

There was a lot of buzz around the whole exhibit hall, and it will be nice to see the keynotes tomorrow.

I was able to meet a bunch of my old friends from VMware (some with VMware still and others that have moved on). This is such a great community, and Virtualization has been able to help so many companies that it feels like a family. I love coming back to VMworld it is like a family reunion. Yeah, my circumstances have changed, but with the friends I have made, it is almost like I just saw them yesterday. When I can talk “shop” with the VMware Compete Team, and ponder about the future of Virtualization with old SE buddies, that is a great feeling.

Tomorrow is another day, and we’ll see how it pans out, but I am excited to finally hit some sessions and let you all know my thoughts on those.

First Thoughts on VMworld

Just got back to my Hotel Room after checking in at VMworld, and pretty happy so far. First of all, the bag is nice this year. The past couple of years, the bags have been real throw-aways, but this year, nice.

After registration, I met up with a former colleague on the VMware Compete Team. We walked over to Chevy’s for lunch, and just so happened a few of the other Compete folks were there as well. I was a little nervous when they cornered me in the back and started pulling out their brass knuckles, but was able to get out unscathed. To be honest, when I looked again, the brass knuckles were really a basket of chips, and they offered us to join them at their table.

Actually, it was great to see them, and we spent lunch talking about old times, and how they still use that Memory Overcommit and Cost per Application tacts, while we still focus on (I say we and still use even though I really just started) the tried and true “VMware Tax”, and “Single Pane of Glass” arguments.

Times are changing, but some things, I guess, stay the same.

Why did they remove the boxes?

Eric Gray posted a new entry on his vCritical blog that VMware is changing its logo.

Ouch! That is sad. Speaking as a former VMware Employee (having spent nearly 10 years there (as an FTE)), I really liked the boxes.

When I originally started our logo was different:

It didn’t really give you any iconic representation of Virtualization, but was pretty cool. Then we came out with the Three Boxes.

That was it.


Though this Logo has gone through some changes, it was a fantastic way to brand virtualization. It showed a lot with a simple logo.

That is sad, I really think they had something there, but, hey, if they phase that out, then they lose focus and brand awareness, that is good for everyone else.

Follow Me for a Chance to Win a Zune HD

As you know, I am going to VMworld this week, and am excited to see everyone there. I hope to reacquaint with friends, and learn.

Microsoft has posted an event site for news and information about the event. They have also posted Twitter accounts for all of the MS experts that are attending VMworld this year. If you want to know our views and thoughts on the event, follow us on Twitter.

We’ve also added an extra incentive for following…A chance to win one of the new Zune HD 32GB Video and MP Players! How can you be eligible to win you ask? Simply, start following the MS Experts at VMworld (the sooner you follow, the better as we draw each day). To be eligible you need to be:

  • A new follower, who starts following between now and 5pm (PDT) September 4th, 2009.
  • A legal resident of the 50 US states or DC.

Note that you do not need to be at VMworld to be eligible.

So, start following me (@MS_Int_Virt) and check back often to see my thoughts on VMworld.

System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter (SMSD)

With VMworld coming up, I was wondering…

How do you treat your Virtual Machines? I mean, you have an OS, you have applications. For each of these guests, you have to install an OS and application, which you have to configure. Once they are up and running, you have to patch them, you have to maintain them, you have to monitor them, and back them up. Eventually, you have to retire them. Is this any different than how you manage your physical environments?

What tools do you use for this? For your Windows Operating Systems, do you use System Center Configuration Manager for the OS installation and maintenance processes, and System Center Operations Manager for the Monitoring of the Operating Systems and the Applications? Do you leverage System Center Data Protection Manager for Backups? If you are using these tools, are you leveraging the System Center Suites?

If you are using some of these tools for your Virtual Machines, you can get the most for your System Center Dollar, by using the Server Management Suite Datacenter bundle (SMSD). This bundle combines System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Data Protection Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager into one easy to acquire and license bundle. You license SMSD for the physical machine, and with the Datacenter bundle (SMSD), you get to run these products on all of the Operating System Environments on that box. Just like Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, you license the physical box and get unlimited Virtual Machines, you get the same for the management tools. We have an SMSE if you are running solely 4 Virtual Machines (just like Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise).

This is a tremendous value, and it can really save money on your Virtual Machine management because you only need to buy one thing and you get all of the management benefits for your Virtualized Environment that work for the entire stack, and all of your environment ie: the physical systems, the virtual systems, the underlying OS, the Virtualization Layer, as well as the Applications running inside of the Virtual Machines.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Which would you get?

I have an option of getting the Lenovo W500 with 8GB RAM, or the Lenovo X301 with 4GB RAM, or the Lenovo x200 Tablet with 4GB RAM

ThinkPad W500 15.4 UXGA (1920x1200), GMA 4500MHD/ATI FireGL V5700,C2D P9600,8GB PC3-8500 DDR3, WWAN Rdy, 160GB, Camera, DVDRW, Intel 5300AGN, BT, FPR, iAMT, 9c batt, MS Image, Display Port, No HDD return, asset tag, 3yr on site. BitLockerRdy, 6.2lbs


"ThinkPad X200 Tablet 12.1"" OEM Model, Pen TOUCH, Not Capacitive Touch (1280x800),C2D LV SL9400, 4GB DDR3,160GB, 5300AGN, BT,Camera, Ultrabase w/DVDRW, 9c batt, WWAN Rdy,MS Image,Asset Tag, 3yr no rtrn HDD,3yr onsite, 4.10lbs"


ThinkPad X301 13.3" WXGA+ LED (1440x900), GMA 4500MHD, C2D SU9400 ULV, 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3, WWAN Rdy, 128GB SSD, Camera, DVDRW, Intel 5300AGN, BT, FPR, 6c batt, Vista Custom Image, Display Port asset tag, No HDD return, 3yr on site, BitLocker Rdy, 3.35 lbs

Do I go for the Heavy Laptop with 8GB RAM, or a light one with 4GB RAM, or a Tablet with 4GB RAM?

I guess the W500 is best if I want to run Hyper-V (and a VM), but the tablet seems cool.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was testing FT from VMware today, and it worked nicely. After I fixed my network adapter and used the VMXNET2 instead of VMXNET3 adapter to work with FT. I was able to failover a VM from one system to another.

That worked well and the VM never went down (in fact I was RDS’d into the VM and pinging out to different machines, and I never lost connection or anything). To instigate the failure, I simply powered off my Dell 2900 by pressing the power button.

Problem was, when I rebooted that machine, it wouldn’t boot. I got some weird panic that made no sense. It seemed like the HDD was corrupt or something, which is understandable since I pulled the power away from the machine. I had to reinstall the OS. I am not complaining, as my Domain Controller stayed up during the “failure”, but I had to reinstall ESX to get my systems back up.

So, how does VMware ESX Server handle the power being pulled from a machine where they are FT’ing a VM? After reinstalling, and just trying a shutdown –r now or shutdown –h now those allowed me to reboot the machine and showed off FT, so I will do that instead of pulling the power cord for now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

VMM 2008 R2 Announcement

UPDATE: Just got a Tweet from @VMMDocsVirtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Library is now live: http://tinyurl.com/kpja45

Today, we released the 180-day eval of the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 RTM from here. See the System Center Blog for information on GA availability.

With System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, we have added a lot of new features from managing the capabilities of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V like Live Migration and Cluster Shared Volumes, as well as introducing new features like Quick Storage Migration and Maintenance Mode.

One new feature that we have added in VMM 2008 R2 after the RC is:

Support for VMware vSphere 4

What this means is that VMM will be able to manage VMware vSphere 4 environments to the same extent that they currently manage VMware Infrastructure 3 systems. We haven’t added new support (like IDE HDD, etc), but whatever you could do to a VI3 environment, it is now to supported as well with a VMware vSphere 4 environment.

Last Monday, 08/16/2009, I was a guest on the Frugal Tech Show. We talked about System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. Jeff Woolsey had done one earlier on Hyper-V talking about the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Private Cloud – Is it REAL?

When you hear Private Cloud, what comes to mind? What does it mean to you?

Is it a “Utility” of internally hosted resources that you can dynamically assign that the services your business units require?

I was asked by someone on the Cloud team here at Microsoft:

I want to know if customers are thinking of it as a solution and if so, how? I’d also like to know if Private Cloud even resonates with them, or is it just lost in all of the cloud hype.

Warren Whitlock has put up a nice blog post defining the cloud with a good video post that simplifies the explanation. But, it talks all-about off-premise. What about on-premise?

Doesn’t implementing Virtualization via Server Virtualization and Application Virtualization internally put a company on the path to a Private Cloud? What is needed for customers’ to gain the dynamic fluidity of the cloud? Does Live Migration integrated with the PRO Tips of VMM put us close? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So, What’s Missing?

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V is RTM, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 will be RTM shortly. They integrate with the other System Center Tools (OM, CM, DPM) which gives an IT Organization a complete management suite for their Physical Systems, Virtual Environments, and Applications. Hyper-V and VMM have increased their capabilities tremendously with the addition of Live Migration, Cluster Shared Volumes, Quick Storage Migration, and others. They achieve Dynamic Mobility of Virtual Machines through PRO Tips.

What I want to know is What’s Missing? Microsoft now provides a stable, well performing, and dynamic platform for running your Virtual Machines - Hyper-V, with a great management tool for managing your Virtual Workloads – SMSD (Server Management Suite Datacenter). What more do you need to realize the benefits of Virtualization in your Datacenter?

What more is “Got to Have”, and not “Nice to Have”? I think we are close if not there, what do you think?

Comments are Open, please reply (but keep it respectful). I will not moderate the comments, I want to hear it all, BUT please keep it clean.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heading to VMworld

So, at the end of August, I will be making the annual pilgrimage to VMworld. This will be my seventh VMworld, I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend ALL VMworlds (including Europe (though not the Technology Exchanges before VMworld Europe)), and am really looking forward to attending this year’s.

This being my first VMworld where I am not a VMware Employee, it will be interesting to look at it from an outsider’s eyes. I have really enjoyed the previous iterations as they have been industry events, but being a VMware Employee, everything revolved around our platform. Now, it will be different.

This year, I will be attending the sessions, and while attending, I will be blogging and twittering about what I see/hear, giving my opinions and Point of View. Here is my schedule, below. Take a look, and if you have any questions on what I am attending (if you can’t attend and you want me to try to find the answer for you), let me know and I will do my best. Also, I am excited about going to a few of these, and discussing how VMware’s Solutions compare with ours here at Microsoft.

Starting it off with Tier 1 App support, that is a topic NEAR and DEAR to my heart. I wholeheartedly believe that you can virtualize Tier 1 apps and have GREAT success. What are your thoughts on that?

DRS is a great solution for handling the dynamic changes in workloads. VMM 2008 R2 with Hyper-V has PRO Tips and Management Packs that, coupled with Live Migration, do something similar. I would like to see how they compare. In fact that is definitely a topic for a different post (Post-VMworld).

The Head to Head to Head comparison session will be interesting, I wonder which version of Hyper-V and VMM they are comparing against. I expect to tweet a lot during that one.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts, and what sessions you are looking forward to.



10:00 AM-11:00 AM


Virtualizing Tier 1 Applications: The Value of the vSphere Internal Cloud as a Better Platform for Apps

11:30 AM-12:30 PM


Overview of VMware vSphere

1:30 PM-2:30 PM


Top 10 Performance Features of VMware vSphere 4

3:00 PM-4:00 PM


Safe At Any Speed with VMware DRS & DPM

4:00 PM-5:00 PM


Cisco and VMware: Delivering Innovation for Virtualization

5:30 PM-7:00 PM


A Comprehensive Look at the Security and Compliance of vSphere 4


9:30 AM-11:00 AM


Virtualizing Exchange 2007 on vSphere 4 – Technical Considerations and Customer Success Story

11:30 AM-1:00 PM


vSphere – Evangelizing the Value Proposition

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
(Waiting List)


Security and the Cloud

2:00 PM-3:30 PM


Head-To-Head Comparison: VMware vSphere and ESX vs. Hyper-V and XenServer

4:30 PM-5:30 PM


Long Distance VMotion


9:30 AM-11:30 AM


VMware vCenter Chargeback

11:30 AM-12:30 PM


Virtual Network Performance

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
(Waiting List)


Tech Preview: VMware vCenter ConfigControl

2:30 PM-3:30 PM


Beyond Infrastructure as a Service: Developer and Runtime Services with VMware and our Partners

4:00 PM-5:30 PM


VMware vSphere 4 Networking Deep Dive

Moving to a new Position

A few months ago, I left VMware to pursue a Technical Marketing position at Microsoft. It was a difficult decision, but living up here in the Northwest, it was best for myself and my family. At Microsoft, I am a Technical Product Manager working on the Integrated Virtualization Team. What does that mean?

Within Microsoft we have a breadth of products that can help a customer solve the problems they are facing, whether it be Application Compatibility Issues, Server Sprawl, Call Center Management, High Datacenter Energy Costs, Small Office Server Management, etc. We also have relationships, and support, from many of our Partners in the Storage, Networking, ISV, Management, Development, and other spaces. My job is to help customers figure out how it all fits together, and what Microsoft and its partners can provide to help solve these problems.

What this means is that I will be doing my best to provide customers with the answers they need to their Virtualization questions. I was not brought on to focus on any other particular Virtualization Vendor, but simply to help with our Integrated Virtualization messaging.

Comparing Hypervisors

Last year I posted a blog entry comparing VMware ESX Server and Microsoft Hyper-V. Since not many companies had been able to perform a head to head comparison and gone through (or attempted to go through) the process to do it, I had gathered some performance data from a few different tests that were run on similar hardware and was able to draw some comparisons between the two Hypervisors.

Looking back, I feel that I need to update this blog, but instead of updating the original blog, I am posting this new entry.

Since this blog post, there have been a few comparisons that have been posted that do have head to head comparisons with VMware ESX Server and Hyper-V. Project VRC (Virtual Reality Check) has made some comparisons based on Desktop Workloads, and Virtualization Review posted an article comparing the different Hypervisors as well. Now some of these are contentious, and the benchmarking guidance that VMware gives is important as seen by their response, but the fact of the matter remains, they Hypervisors performed comparably.

I was looking at my previous blog, and reading the comments, and I think this blog should be updated. Some people, in the comments, are saying I am comparing Apples with Oranges in this post as there were a LOT of variables that were different between the two runs. The main differences (as noted at the end of the blog, and in the papers) were that the computers were very similar (same processor and same amount of RAM), but different (different numbers of DIMMs, and possibly different bus speeds), AND that the versions of vConsolidate were different. With the aforementioned, and the release of vSphere 4 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, the comparison below is probably not correct today. If you compared the versions mentioned in the post, you would probably see similar results, but BOTH companies have made major improvements in their Virtualization Technology, so take this blog for what it was (a sampling at the time), and hopefully, we will see some performance data comparing Microsoft and VMware in an independent Head to Head comparison. When we do, what we will probably see is that both products will beat the other in some capabilities, and lose to the other in others.

What really matters is that ANY company can benefit from virtualization NO MATTER WHICH vendor they choose, and if you aren't virtualizing START.