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Keith Mayer

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Top Stories by Keith Mayer

My good friend and colleague, Tommy Patterson, recently blogged about leveraging the Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) preview offering to build a FREE lab environment in the Cloud.  You can read Tommy’s step-by-step article at: Building FREE Lab VMs in the Microsoft Cloud What about a SharePoint 2013 Lab in the Cloud? Now that SharePoint Server 2013 has been released, I frequently get asked about ways in which a SharePoint 2013 lab environment can be easily built for studying, testing and/or performing a proof-of-concept.  You could certainly build this lab environment on your own hardware, but due to the level of SharePoint 2013 hardware requirements, a lot of us may not have sufficient spare hardware to implement an on-premise lab environment. This makes a great scenario for leveraging our Windows Azure FREE 90-day Trial Offer to build a free lab en... (more)

At-a-Glance: Comparing VMware vSphere 5.5 & Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

There’s been lots of buzz on the virtualization front over the past month …  In August, Microsoft announced the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, the latest major releases of the Windows Server and System Center families.  In addition, at VMworld this year, VMware announced the latest edition of their vSphere hypervisor platform: VMware vSphere 5.5. IT Pros have been very interested in learning about the pros and cons presented by each offering – particularly because the total cost of Windows Server 2012 R2 + System Center 2012 R2 can be quite attr... (more)

Office 365 - Installing and Configuring ADFS 2.0 for Single Sign-on

I've been talking with IT Pros in my community about integrating ADFS 2.0 with Office 365 to establish single sign-on capabilities.  Because the process involves a number of tasks and steps, I wanted to share three resources that I've personally found helpful in planning, installing and configuring ADFS for use with Office 365 ... Learn: Plan and deploy ADFS 2.0 with Office 365 This guidance provides a detailed step-by-step planning and deployment checklist that walks through the considerations and implementation of ADFS.  I recommend reading this guide end-to-end before trying an... (more)

Step-by-Step: Build Linux VMs in the Cloud with Windows Azure

The Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering supports running Windows virtual machines and Linux virtual machines in the Cloud. In this article, I provide step-by-step guidance for running a new Linux virtual machine in the cloud using our Windows Azure platform. Linux? That’s right, Linux! Windows Azure runs Linux VMs as a first-class citizen on our cloud platform, with support in the Preview offering for four common Linux distributions: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP2 OpenSUSE 12.1 CentOS 6.3 Ubuntu 12..04.1 and 12.10 The best news is … you can try t... (more)

Right-Size IT Budgets with Windows Server 2012 "Storage Spaces"

What is the Largest Single Cost Category in Your IT Hardware Budget? If you're like most of the enterprise customer organizations that were surveyed when we were designing Windows Server 2012, your answer is probably the same as theirs: STORAGE! For the organizations we surveyed, we found that as much as 60% of their annual hardware budgets were allocated to expensive hardware SAN solutions due to ever-increasing storage requirements. Wouldn't it be nice to have some of that budget back for other IT projects? YES! We agree too ... that's why the server team included "Storage Space... (more)