TechEd North America 204 Press Conference

James Well, Julia White, Mark Russinovich, and Brad Anderson are here for the keynote press conference, hosted by Joey Snow.

Key thing to take away: cloud can add value to everything you do – Brad Anderson. Enterprise mobility: integration across enterprise and Office 365. Cloud will manage Office on devices of all types, be that program, policy, or data. Azure Remote App will allow you to remote apps from the cloud to Windows, IOS, or Android.

Mark R: Talks about ExpressRoute for hybrid cloud. Azure Files brings consistency to hybrid cloud. Already  available in private cloud.  File sharing as a service (PaaS) in Azure so VMs can access shared files. Azure Site Recovery brings failover to the cloud for on-premise. Greatly reduces cost of DR & compliance. Manage anti-malware can deploy MSFT endpoint protection easily. Store logs in blobs. Symantec and Trend Micro have partnered with same portal and powershell. Trend Micro also allow encryption like BitLocker, with the key’s stored on your own site.

James Well: .Net stuff on cloud scale applications.

Julia: How do I secure data? New security and privacy stuff. Content categorization and security for data loss prevention. Files can be encrypted in OneDrive and SharePoint. New series of videos and blogs on the Office 365 Trust Center.

Brad: IT pros have concerns about their impact in the company. What has happend 6-2 months after adopting cloud? Their ability to contribute to the company has increased. MSFT has to help the world understand. Once a company embraces an element of cloud, the company and IT pros want to adopt more. These are “on ramps”.

Question: “Windows Server will fulfil the roles in your data center – 6 years ago. Has that changed to Azure?”. Brad – Azure is Windows Server. You deliver the best platform for your organization using a combination of on-premise and cloud. Do anything you need based on Windows Server and Azure. Mark – clarifies that it is Server and System Center. Brad – Azure is based on Hyper-V.

Question: Will Azure Site Recovery Manager require System Center? Brad – yes, it requires SCVMM.

NOTE – they lost the SME market.

Question: 3 differences between Azure RemoteApp and others. 75-80% of “VDI” is actually app remoting (session host) and not actually VDI. Reasons: costs. To build this for scale of users, you need lots of infrastructure. MSFT has that already, so you can use it with elastic demand/costs, without spending CAPEX.

Live Blogging From TechEd North America 2014 Keynote

Welcome to Houston where the keynote hall is full and they’re filling the overflow rooms for the Brad Anderson-led keynote at TechEd North America 2014. I am here with Petri IT Knowledgebase, sitting in the press section at the front of the hall.

I  live blogged as the event went on. Don’t expect much if anything in the way of Windows or System Center news. This will be a cloud year, where new features come out every 6 or so weeks, thanks to a cloud development cycle. I also do not expect Satya Nadella here.

Speaking of which; Nadella courted devs at a number of events in recent months, including Build. What will Microsoft do this week to convince influential IT pros that Azure won’t steal their jobs and that they are still important to Microsoft (they don’t feel that way lately)?

Right now a classical/electrical band called Flash Drive is playing pop muzak.

After a few songs they get a good reception. Now the 2 minute long teched countdown show kicks off with Joey Snow and Rick Claus.

Brad Anderson comes out sans-Aston Martin. He professes love for the new reign of Satya Nadella. As expected, Brad talks about devices and data of previously unimaginable growth. Cloud will be core to everything we do to manage devices (ever connected world) to derive insights from that data. There are no more devices than people on the planet.

On comes a video with some dude in black and white. It’s a new world, with low contrast film. It’s devices-devices-devices. No monkey boy dancing. Airy fairy stuff about storing data in trees. Yes; trees. I guess these guys are from MSFT Research.

Brad wants to talk about IT Pros. “IT pros are literally at the centre of cloud first and device first clouds”. “No longer think of public cloud as seperate; it is integral to your data center from this point forward”.

Three capabilities required when you consider a cloud. Choosing a cloud vendor wisely is critical for your future:

  • Hyper-V scale: able to grow fast than you. Only 3 companies operate at this scale. This scale drives innovation in infrastructure.
  • Enterprise capabilities and enterprise grade cloud. Financially backed SLA.
  • Hybrid: Works with on premise, partner hosted cloud, and public cloud all integrated. Only MSFT does this.

Right now, only MSFT meets all three requirements.

How could we change our industry if we had unlimited computing power. Here comes Respawn’s Titanfall, an Azure-powered online-only game. It had over 100,000 VMs on day 1, powered up around the world, with clients connected to the closest data centre. No worry about location or performance. They have solid and even compute capacity. They scale up and down as required to meet customer demand. They power lots of game functionality on the server, which they could not do on a console. 150 employees company has hundreds of thousands of VMs around the world.

16 regions. A new core is deployed every 5 seconds. 2 billion authentications a day being done by Azure Active Directory. They take this functionality and trickle it down to hosting partners (WAP, Hyper-V, and System Center). Windows Server Hyper-V is the common foundation across private, hosted, and public cloud. No lock in. Flexible expansion, shrink, and mobility.

IaaS new features:

  • Cloud app discovery Preview. This looks VERY cool.
  • Compute intensive VMs – more RAM and more VMs, with RDMA Infiniband at 40 Gbps.
  • Virtual networking enhancements
  • ExpressRoute is GA for MPLS networking. 2 circuits for every connecting for fault tolerance. Note that Telecity is now a partner.
  • Azure Files Preview: SMB 3.0 sharing of files for VMs.

Software-defined storage (Storage Spaces) is used by Azure.

On to SQL 2014. In memory gives 30x increase without re-writing application, just by adding RAM to existing h/w.

Azure Redis Cache is in preview. API AManagement Preview is in preview too.

Out comes Josh Twist to talk about API Management. Wellmark is an American insurance company and Azure customer. He talks about this feature without explaining what it is. I’m lost.

Back to Brad with more announcements:

  • Anti-malware is being added to Azure. Microsoft Endpoint protection. Partnering with Symantec and Trend Micro.
  • Encrypted storage for Office 365.
  • Azure Site Recovery: Hyper-V Replica to Azure. review in June. This is BIG. Use HRM for orchestration.

Here comes Matt McSpirit to talk about the latter. Azure Site Recovery can be your secondary site if you don’t have one. Can manage replication between sites and to Azure. Centralized management of the replica VMs. VMs can be encrypted while at rest.

Site recovery makes networking easy. Can map networks between primary and secondary site. Map on-premise networks with Azure virtual networks.

A recovery plan orchestrates failover, test, planned, or unplanned. It will cleanly shut down VMs and replicate final changes in the event of a planned failover ( a flood is coming).  You can inject manual tasks into the orchestration.

We move on to identity, another MSFT USP. SaaS is powered by identity. For example, Office 365. Discover how many they are using with Cloud App Discovery. Often some 250 unmanaged SaaS apps in a company. IT has no control. IT needs to take control and manage identity and security.

Office on the 3 mobile OSs will be brought under management. Protection of files: Azure Rights Management Services (ARMS). Part of the EMS bundle for EA customers. The protection travels with the files: only the right people can access the files, even with accidental leakage.

Azure RemoteApp is Mohoro. It’s a RDS session host system designed to run in Azure. You upload LOB apps into Azure and users access them from cross-platform devices. AWS desktop as a service is a square wheel compared to Azure RemoteApp.

Demo: User signs into SaaS app using AD ID via ID federation into Azure AD.  80% of employees admit using non-approved SaaS apps. Cloud App Discovery tool allows admins to discover what apps are being used and how. Now IT can bring these apps under company control. Azure AD has 1300 templates for SaaS single-sign on.

Azure Remote App preview is GA today – note it is not live yet in the Europe regions. Publish apps over the highly performing RemoteFX protocol to devices of different OSs – Windows, iOS, Mac OS X, and Android. A little nod to Citrix.

Now on to the dev audience. I sleep.

I wake up. Now Brad is talking about users. Sadly, people have lost interest in the dev content and are leaving.

“Work like a network”.

Humans can achieve if we focus. There is a flood of information that distracts. Need to move from information to action. Information is locked within boundaries inside organizations. BI stuff now. Yawn.

Demo on BI with old content from Barcelona promo video.

Back to Brad to talk about Office. Ugh, sounds like more BI.

Julia White to talk cloud productivity with Intune and Office 365. Basic demo of doc sharing in OneDrive for Business. Tell Me in Word Online is shown to help find how to do formatting. Can share from OneDrive for Business into Yammer. Yammer: IT managed social experience.

Back to Brad. More people leaving the hall. Not nearly as bad as Elop in 2009 (that was BAD) but a section of the audience has lost interest. This will be a talking point IMO.

Back to summarise. MSFT believes in cloud and getting us to embrace it.

Build 2014 Keynote 2 – Azure

The first presenter is Scott Guthrie, executive VP of cloud and enterprise, in a red t-shirt as usual. He wants to talk about a strategy that uses IaaS and PaaS together to give customers the best of breed service. 44 new features and services will be announced in this keynote. 2 new regions in Shanghai and Beijing:


Huge growth:


Titanfall was a huge multiplayer game, powered by Azure. The game cannot be played without the cloud. >100,000 Azure VMs powered this thing on launch day. That’s incredible; I’d love to see the virtual network design for that. We get some stuff about NBC using Azure. Tuning out for a while – most people do that with NBC.

New enhancements in Iaas:

Virtual machines:

  • This week Visual Studio will allow devs to create/destroy/debug VMs in Azure
  • New support to capture images with any number of drives. You then can deploy easily from that image.
  • Can configure VM images using DSC, Puppet (?), and PowerShell.

Mark Russinovich comes out. He demos Visual Studio to create VMs. Very easy wizard. He then runs PowerShell to create an image from a VM.


He then shows Puppet puppet master from the gallery. Luke Kanies of Puppet Labs. He gives a demo. Looks like it’s doing a lot of the service template concept that you get from SCVMM in the private cloud. Getty Images (huge pro stock library) dude comes out. They’re moving to Azure. They use Puppet for automation & configuration management. Now they can burst from their own data centre into Azure. Azure gives them Puppet labs and support for Windows & Linux VMs.

Guthrie is back out. Also announcing:

  • GA of auto-scaling: Great for creating automated elasticity for services based on demand.
  • Dynamic routing: I wonder if this is the “iBGP dynamic routing with best path selection” that was talked about at TechEd in 2013?
  • Point-site VPN GA
  • Subnet migration
  • Static internal IP address: This is a big simplification requirement for deploying hybrid cloud.

Moving on to PaaS. Azure Web Site service is one of the most popular services in Azure. And other PaaS stuff. I tune out.

Looks like the IT pro stuff is done, as am I.

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Some Windows Server 2012 R2 & Exchange 2013 Reading For You

Some of my friends have been very busy lately.

Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 was recently released.  My photography buddy, former MVP, and Microsoft UK Exchange TSP, Nathan Winters had a hand in this book.

Available on:

If you want to learn about Windows Server 2012 R2 then Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2 is available on pre-order (print for now, Kindle will follow when it’s released).  I have a number of friends involved in this one: headliner Mark Minasi, Irish MVP Kevin Greene, and ex-MVP and Microsoft Ireland PFE John McCabe.

Available on:

And before you ask, I will not be writing a WS2012 R2 Hyper-V book.  It’s too much work and not enough reward for 9 month’s effort.  I think you’ll find lots of regular authors are dropping out of traditional tech print.  The WS2012 Hyper-V book covers most of what you need.

Book: Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012

A number of MVPs have contributed to a new book on DPM 2012 called Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012.

    • Practical guidance that will help you get the most out of Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012
    • Gain insight into deploying, monitoring, and administering System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 from a team of Microsoft MVPs
    • Learn the various methods and best practices for administrating and using Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012

You can find this book on:

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Book: Mastering Lync Server 2013

I didn’t realise it was out yet, but Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 by Keith Hanna and Nathan Winters (a friend and Exchange/Lync expert) is out.

You can get this nearly 900 pages book at:

.. as well as all good book stores and a few rubbish ones too.

In fact, I got two copies of the book directly from Sybex today.  I hear that Nathan still hasn’t gotten his – poor timing with the house move, dude Smile with tongue out


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Building A Hyper-V Cluster For Under $2,000–Free eBook By Altaro

The folks have Altaro have published a free eBook to show you how you build a Hyper-V cluster for less than $2,000.

– How to assemble a simple hardware setup which will allow you to run a two-node Hyper-V failover cluster at a total cost of less than $2,000

– Selecting the recommended hardware, assembling all parts and making the necessary modifications

– Installing your OS and setting up the drivers (download links included) and firing up your new Hyper-V test lab!

Check it out!

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MVP Book: Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Cookbook

It’s been a big month for fellow VM MVP, Edvaldo Alessandro Cardoso.  First he started a cool new job, and now he’s got a new book called Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Cookbook on the shelves. 

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Cookbook

– Create, deploy, and manage Datacentres, Private and Hybrid Clouds with hybrid hypervisors by using VMM 2012 SP1, App Controller, and Operations Manager.

– Integrate and manage fabric (compute, storages, gateways, networking) services and resources. Deploy Clusters from bare metal servers.

– Learn how to use VMM 2012 SP1 features such as Windows 2012 and SQL 2012 support, Network Virtualization, Live Migration, Linux VMs, Resource Throttling, and Availability.

You can buy this book now from:

Congratulations on the new job and the book Alessandro!

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Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation And Configuration Guide Is Out On Amazon

I wanted to post a Tweet saying it was T-3 until the new book was out.  I decided to double-check the availability date on (USA) when …


It’s out NOW!

I can’t wait to get a paper copy.  The norm is that folks in the USA who order now will have it before we authors do.  I just got it on Kindle and it looks good if I do say so myself Smile

So that’s that!  The Kindle version appears to be out on all Amazon stores.  The paperback is out in the USA, and appears to be coming to Amazon Europe on April 5th:

The book is also (coming) out through the usual tech book channels, so check them out if Amazon doesn’t cover your area.

Congrats to the author team, Hans, and the editors for all the hard work, and a special thanks to Mariann for believing in this project.


  • Patrick Lownds, UK, Virtual Machine (Hyper-V) MVP
  • Michel Luescher, Switzerland, Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Damian Flynn, Ireland, Cloud and Datacenter Management (System Center) MVP
  • Me, Aidan Finn, Ireland, Virtual Machine (Hyper-V) MVP

Technical Editor: Hans Vredevoort, Netherlands, Virtual Machine (Hyper-V) MVP


Questions? The Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Book Release FAQ

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Awesome Post By Hans Vredevoort On The New Hyper-V Book

Last night Hans Vredevoort, MVP, posted an article on the new Hyper-V book, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation And Configuration Guide (,,  All I can say is “Wow!” and “Thank you, Hans”.

When the author team got together we had a very short conversation on who we wanted as our tech reviewer.  If you read my blog, then there’s a damned good chance you read too, and a very big reason for that will be the posts by Hans.  He’s a respected member of the community, with thought out opinions, and damn, does he do his research! 

I’ve worked on 3 books with Hans, twice with him as the tech reviewer and once when he an author.  We knew what we’d get – Hans would make us look smarter.  Hans was digging out RFC docs to double check facts, testing scripts line by line, and not taking things for granted.  That’s why you’ll find Hans in the credits over and over.

Now don’t blame Hans if there are mistakes!  The nature of book writing is never ending deadlines, pressure to get things finished, and they are static.  Sometimes we authors added things after Hans had done his reviews, sometimes we find out something different, and worse … sometimes Microsoft releases information after you’re all done.  That one’s a total pain!

But thanks again, Hans, for the post and the hard work!

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The Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Book Release FAQ