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Keith Mayer

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Top Stories by Keith Mayer

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 attractive in comparison to VMware’s offerings. More information: See Shopping for Private Clouds for a sample cost comparison between Microsoft and VMware virtualization solutions based on real-world requirements. With so many features called by differing names in each virtualization platform... (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)

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)

Step-by-Step: Speaking iSCSI with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V

Windows Server 2012 and our completely free Hyper-V Server 2012 certainly have some really cost-effective new storage options, with Storage Spaces and Hyper-V over SMB 3.0.  However, many IT Pros have already invested in iSCSI shared storage and, as a result, many Hyper-V deployments also need to be able to leverage these existing storage investments. iSCSI? No problem! Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 include native support for a software iSCSI initiator as well as MPIO ( Multipath IO ) for  resiliency and load balancing of storage IO over multiple network paths. In t... (more)

Orchestrated Patch Management for Continuous Availability

If you’ve supported enterprise IT solutions for as long as I have, at some point in time you have most likely witnessed The 3 Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management.  Respect these truths, and you’ll enjoy a stable, manageable datacenter environment.  Ignore these truths, and … well … let’s not even think about those possibilities! The Three Immutable Truths of IT Patch Management All software requires patch updates from time-to-time. All hardware requires firmware updates from time-to-time. If you attempt to dismiss #1 or #2 as being irrelevant to you, you may soon know well on... (more)