74% Of Workers Plug Personal Devices Into Work Network

I’ve just read a story on techcentral.ie that discusses a Virgin Media (UK-based ISP) report.  It says that 74% of company employees are bringing personal devices into work and plugging them into the company network.  This is the sort of thing I was talking about in my previous millenials post.  It’s also the sort of thing that has impacted decision making by corporates: personal preferences for a better appliance or utility can improve the working experience, and the corporate decision making process.  We have to decide how we respond?

Do we try to block everything?  We can try.  Group Policy and utilities like DeviceLock can lock down what is plugged into PCs.  Network Access Protection (Windows)/Network Access Control (Cisco) can control what is allowed to connect to the network.  I’ve taken the device lock approach before.  But a valid business case always overrules global policy, and you might be surprised how many people come up with “valid” business cases.  Soon the policy resembles swiss cheese, only affecting the minority of users.  The result is that IT is disliked – it’s a blocking force once again.

The user-centric approach that we’re seeing with private cloud, App-V, and System Configuration Manager 2012 is an example of how we need to think.  My millenials post also suggests a way forward.  Maybe we need to allow personal appliances, but use those policy tools like Network Access Control to place the appliances into networks that are not central, kind of like the guest network that is often used.  Or maybe we need to change how we think about the PC altogether and treat the entire PC network as a guest network. 

The latter approach might work very well with the user-centric approach.  If end users are using their own PCs, tablets, and phones, then we cannot apply corporate policy to them.  Maybe we just provide user-centric self-service mechanisms and let them help themselves.  Or maybe things like VDI and/or RemoteApp are the way forward for LOB client delivery.  If everythign was cloud (public/provate) and web-client based then application delivery would be irrelevant.  Maybe it’s a little bit from column A and a little from column B?

It’s a big topic and would require a complete shift in thinking … and a complete re-deployment of the client network, including LOB application interfaces.

Virtualisation Academy: Private Cloud – Slide Deck

I presented the 3+ hour virtualisation academy a few weeks ago in the Microsoft Ireland offices to about 70 attendees.  It was a very demo-intensive session where I showed how to set up System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 R2 (templates, delegation) and System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal (SCVMM SSP) 2.0 to get from zero to functional private cloud.  MS had a camera crew on hand and the session was recorded.  I guess that’ll appear on TechNet Edge at some point in the future.

Until then, here’s the slide deck that I used:

What are Millennials and Why Should an IT Pro Care?

Before yesterday I had never heard the term Millennial.  I was at an event for UK/Ireland MVPs and this was the topic of the keynote.  It’s a term to describe the current generation of people.  So we had the baby boomers in the 50’s, Generation X in the 60’s and 70’s, Generation Y in the 80’s and 90’s, and since then, the Millennial generation has been entering the work force.  They are very different to the baby boomers.

Baby boomers expect everything to be locked down, controlled by policy, restricted, and so on.  Colleagues who worked with me when I was last a domain admin know that’s how I liked to run a Windows network.  Users had no administrative rights unless they had a valid (and approved) business case.  IT did everything when it came to changes.  We minimised the effort by using things like GPO and System Center.  This is how Baby Boomers like it … and the folks in charge right now are Baby Boomers.

People who are entering the workplace are not baby boomers.  They are the Millennials.  They’ve grown up with PCs in their bedroom, phones with always-on Internet access, netbooks with wifi hotspots and 3G cards, and the ability to download and run apps on an as-needed basis.  They are entering the workplace and finding it stifling.  It’s choking their ability to work.  Why?  Because we have implemented a baby boomer infrastructure and expect younger people who think very differently to work in an environment that is 100% alien to them.

Why should the business care?  I’ll keep it quick with 2 arguments.

Employee Competition

Even though there is massive unemployment and graduates have next to know opportunities, there is still some recruiting going on.  Those companies want to hire the very best graduates.  Given the choice, will an employee join the company with the tied down, IBM-esque suit-and-tie environment, where they wait 6 weeks for a laptop, have no administrative rights, can’s use social media, and have forbidding IT usage policies that threaten them with unemployment if they dare look at a news website?  Or will they choose to work for a company that has a more liberal working environment that favours results over appearances, where IT is seen as a tool instead of a 10 foot wall, and where they are free to use their imagination to accomplish their goals?

Business Flexibility

Imagine this: a user is given a task that requires using an application tool set that is not available to them right now.  They need to do some research to find out what is best.  They can reach out on Twitter or Facebook to get some advice.  Now they find the best tools to use.  They check the IT-maintained library, and request an application.  A workflow starts and their boss approves the request.  The application starts installing immediately.  They may need another tool.  This could be available online as an app that can be downloaded or run in the cloud.  They subscribe to it and now they can start working.  They get the results the business needs and they accomplish it in a timely manner, making profit for the company.

Compare it with this.  A user identifies a need for some applications.  They have no means to research what is the best tool, other than vendor sites full of marketing material that glorify their wares.  The user identifies four possible alternatives and requests IT to look into them.  IT gets some demos and sets up a trial for the user after a week or two.  The user picks two tools and a purchasing process starts.  Security get involved to validate the tools, Internal Audit have their say, and after a few more weeks the tools are purchased.  By now, the user has had to give up on getting the tools and attempts to accomplish their goals in an inadequate fashion.  The results are late and the company fails to win the business.

Sound familiar?  It’s the basis of cloud computing.  In other words, IT cannot predict the needs of the business, and the result is that IT becomes a blocking force for the businesses need to change and compete in a fluid and competitive world.

We baby boomer-ish IT admins and decision makers need to adopt new technologies that cater for the desired working environment of the Millennials and provide the business with a flexible working environment. 

I’ve heard it discussed before that we need to consider letting them bring their own computers to work.  I know that some major corporations are looking into this.  That causes complications about ownership of applications and data.  Maybe Remote Desktop Services or VDI are the answers here.  Maybe App-V is.  Maybe a client hypervisor with a company virtual machine is.  Or maybe we don’t have the correct solution yet because this is a new challenge.

Old school thinking on network design needs to be reconsidered.  If users are bringing in their own PC’s then they need to be isolated from company resources.  We have to validate the machines for security and health (MS NAP/Cisco NAC?).  Internet usage policies need to be opened up to allow for social media.  Businesses need to be more concerned about results than clock punching.

Mobility is a huge factor.  The traditional team has gone by the wayside.  Teams are dynamic now.   A person floats between teams on projects.  They can be a member of many teams at once if they work on many projects.  This impacts collaboration (Lync and SharePoint), mobility (wifi) and work presence (home, mobile working, and hot-desking).

Microsoft often refer to their Netherlands office as a new working place.  Back in 2001, I worked in the new DVG campus in Hannover, Germany.  It’s a huge version of that same concept.  It was effectively a giant glass canopy, with buildings, gardens and pathways beneath it.  Employees were assigned to a floor in a building.  They came in the morning and either took and office or an open area desk depending on the type of work they were doing.  They system I worked on enabled their application toolset to follow them from one PC to another (laptops were still very expensive), and they used “mobile” phones that charged overnight in a locker.  IT was using technology from 10 years ago but it was way ahead of what many companies do today.  And I have to say it was one of the most relaxing work places I’ve ever been in.

We IT pros, architects, consultants, and decision makers have a lot to think about in the coming years.  Business requires more flexibility than ever to face up to the current economic challenges.  We need the very best employees and they need the very best tools.  We have to change how we deliver IT to the information worker.

Things to check out:

  • App-V
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012
  • Remote Desktop Services Session Hosts
  • VDI
  • Private Cloud Computing
  • DirectAccess
  • Network Access Protection

What to Expect From the Private Cloud Academy Event This Friday

Virtualisation Academy is a series of events that System Dynamics (my employers) and Microsoft Ireland will be running in the coming months.  The first session is called “Private Cloud Academy”, focusing on cloud computing on your premises using Microsoft’s Hyper-V and System Center.

As it’s the first event, I’ll warm things up by talking about Hyper-V and what makes it different.  In other words: management of an IT infrastructure using System Centre.  Most people see Hyper-V as virtualisation.  I see it as an enabler for a more dynamic computing environment, so I will explain that vision.

We’ll move closer to the cloud by discussing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.  My focus will be on the library, delegation of roles, and the Self-Service Portal.  That was the first real move towards the compute cluster/cloud approach using System Center.

Then we’ll move to System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 (SCVMM SSP 2.0) or Microsoft’s private cloud.  I’ll be getting deep on this puppy.  I’ll talk requirements, architecture, and so on.  The demo will be an A-Z configuration and demonstration of a new business unit self provisioning VM’s in the private cloud.  Hopefully I’ll also have the dashboard running tonight (everything else is ready).

I’ll be wrapping up with some futures.  What’s coming in SCVMM 2012?  What’s coming in Azure VM Role?  And what can we expect (not confirmed but discussed previously by MS) with the cross-premises cloud.

It’s going to be a very full 3 hours.  If I get time I’ll try to bring in more stuff like the new Dynamic Datacenter offering from MS.

This event is filling up fast (we had HUGE interest in the first 24 hours; more than any other user group event launch that I’ve done) and there will be no webcast so make sure you register AND come along; We (System Dynamics) do want to meet you after all Smile

If Your Going to “Quote” Me, Then Quote Me Correctly

I was recently interviewed by an online IT news site that focuses on virtualisation.  They were interested in learned more about the private cloud announcements at the recent TechEd Europe 2010 conference.

I talked about the cross-premises cloud, and how is was discussed by Bob Muglia at PDC in 2009.  In the article, that became … “TechEd also saw the announcement of elastic migration features to come for Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, which closely match the model VMware calls a hybrid cloud.”  I did not say what was quoted because it was not announced.

I talked about Azure VM Role which was announced at PDC 2010.  I mentioned that the web console for it looked very like VMM 2012.  That translated into “Finn, who attended VMworld, said he remembered thinking that vCloud Director looked a lot like VMM 2012.”  By the way, I have never been to VMworld and I sure didn’t say I had been there.

My advice to you if you are a journalist … get the facts right!  I’ll be sure to spread the word about that site to my fellow MVPs if the article isn’t corrected immediately Smile

EDIT #1

The offending article was modified tonight and noted that there was an error.  A correction has been made.  It might take a while to filter through their publishing system and cached content.

MS Partner Event: Server Licensing in a Virtual Environment

I’m at a MS partner briefing day in Dublin.  The focus is on licensing in a virtualised environment.  I’ve spent most of the last 3 years in a hosting environment with SPLA licensing.  This will give me an opportunity to start getting back in touch with volume licensing.

  • Good News: we got key shaped 8GB USB sticks with the Hyper-V logo Smile
  • Bad News: Sales and marketing are coming in to talk to us Sad smile  I guess we have to take the bad with the good Winking smile

Ideal Process

  1. Technical expert assesses the infrastructure.
  2. Technical expert designs the virtualisation solution.
  3. Licensing specialist prices the requirements and chooses the best licensing.

Definitions

  • Virtual Machine: encapsulated operating environment
  • Instance of software: Installed software, ready to execute.  On a physical hard disk or VHD.  On a server or copied to a SAN.
  • Processor: Socket, physical processor
  • Core: logical processor contained within a physical processor.  For example, 4 cores in a quad core processor.
  • OSE: Operating System Environment.
  • POSE: Physical operating system environment, installed on a physical server.
  • VOSE: Virtual operating system environment.

Licensing

  • You only have to license running instances.  Powered down VMs do not need to be licensed.
  • This guy is saying that OEM licensing with Software Assurance is not tied to the hardware.  I guess I’ll have to take his word for that …. but I’d be sure to verify with a LAR beforehand!
  • Live migration: you can move a VM between hosts as long as the host is adequately licensed.  Exception: application mobility on server farms.  >90 days movement of licenses. (no details given).
  • CALs need to be bought for VOSEs.  Usually don’t need CALs for the POSE unless the POSE is providing direct services to users, e.g. you are silly and make your Hyper-V host into a file server.

Licensing Applications Per CPU

In the standard editions, you license the CPU’s of the OSE.  For example, in a VOSE you count the vCPUs.  In a POSE, you count the pCPUs.

In the Enterprise/Datacenter installations, you should license the host pCPUs.  There are benefits that cover more than one VOSE.  Enterprise usually covers 4 VOSEs (SQL), and DataCenter (if all pCPU’s are licensed with a minimum of 2) covers all VOSEs.

Simple VS Flexibility

We want simple licensing.  MS is claiming the the dynamic nature of virtualisation requires flexibility and this is an opposing force to simplicity.

Predictable:

  • Standard: lest flexible
  • Enterprise: flexible but limited
  • Datacenter: flexible and unlimited

SQL Licensing

God only knows!  The MS folks in the room cannot agree.  Ask your LAR and your local MS office licensing specialists.  The topic of 2008 rights (Enterprise covered all VOSEs) vs 2008 R3 rights (Enterprise covers 4 VOSEs) is debated.  One side says that 2008 rights have ended as of the release of 2008 R2.  The other side says they remain as long as you licensed SQL 2008 prior to the 2008 R2 release with per processor licensing or you bought instances with maintained Software Assurance.  There’s no firm answer so we break for lunch.

OK, there is a discount process.  You can license per processor based on virtual CPU, or physical CPU.  For example, if you have 1 vCPU in a VM on a host with quad core processors then you can buy 1 vCPU license.  If you have 4 vCPUs in a VM on a host with quad core processors then –> that VM runs on 1 pCPU so you can buy 1 per processor license for the pCPU.  If you have 2 * VM’s with 4 * vCPUs on a host with a single quad core processor then you buy 2 per processor licenses –> each VM runs on a single pCPU and you must license each installtion (1 pCPU * 2 VMs = 2 per processor licenses).

If licensing per POSE (host) then you must license each possible host that may license your SQL VM’s.  So, you could use Failover Clustering’s preferred hosts option for your SQL VM’s and set up a few preferred hosts in a cluster, and license those hosts.  And remember to take advantage of the CPU discount process.

Server

You can freely reassign a license within a server farm.  Microsoft has a time zone definition of a server farm, e.g. 3 hours for North America, and 5.5 hours for Europe and the Middle East.

I’m not doing the std, ent, datacenter stuff because it’s done to death.

Most Common Mistakes

  • Virtualising more than 4 VM’s when using Enterprise Server edition
  • Under licensing when using Live Migration or VMotion
  • Under licensing of server application versions, e.g. SQL Standard instead of SQL Enterprise, for hosts when using Live Migration or VMotion
  • Selling OEM/FPP to customers who want live migration …. they either need volume licensing (with/without Software Assurance) or they should have OEM licensing with Software Assurance.

This is where the speaker warns us to never trust someone who claims to fully understand MS licensing rules.  Always qualify the answer by saying that you need to verify it.

VDI

If you have non-SA, legacy or thin clients, then you can use the VDA license for VDI.  If you have SA then your Enterprise licensing entitles you to 4 VM’s per licensed desktop machine and place those VM’s on a virtualisation host.

The VDI standard suite includes a bunch of management systems (SCVMM, SCOM, SCCM, and MDOP) and an RDS license for delivering user access to the VMs.  The VDI enterprise suite extends this by offering unrestricted RDS licensing to allow the user to access both VDI and terminal servers.  You also get App-V for RDS.

Scenarios

If you are running things like SQL, then you may need to consider live migration or VMotion.  There was a real-world example based on VMware.  24 possible hosts (4 CPUs each), 295 VMs and 36 of those running SQL.  How do you license?  For Server, the best scenario is to buy 96 * Datecenter edition.  For SQL, the actual solution (MS, customer, lawyers, etc involved) was to create a cluster of 4 hosts.  The SQL cluster of 4 hosts was licensed with SQL Datacenter edition.  That limited costs and maximised compliance.

Summary

That was an informative session.  The presenter did a good job.  He was accepting of being challenged and seemed to enjoy the 2-way conversation that we had going on.  If you are a partner and get an invite for this type of session, register and go in.  I think you’ll learn something.  For me, the day flew by, and that’s always a good sign.  I can’t say I understood everything and will retain it all.  I think that’s just the nature of this EU treaty-like complexity.

It seems to me that MS licensing for virtualised environments conflicts directly with the concepts of a dynamic data centre or private cloud computing.  For example, SCVMM 2012 gives us elasticity.  SCVMM SSP 2.0 gives us complete self-service.  System Center makes it possible to automatically deploy VMs based on user demand.  IT lose control of licensing that’s deployed in the private cloud because we’re handing over a lot of that control to the business.  What’s to stop the owner of a dozen VMs from deploying SQL, BizTalk, and so on, especially if we are doing cross charging which assumes they have an IT budget to spend?

Microsoft licensing rules assume complete control and oversight.  We don’t have that!  That was tough in the physical world; it’s impossible in the virtual world.  We might deploy VMs onto the “non-SQL” Hyper-V or vSphere cluster but the owners of those VMs can easily go and install SQL or something else on there that requires per-host licensing (for cost savings).  This pushes you back to per-VM licensing and you lose those cost savings.

I think MS licensing needs to think long and hard about this.  The private cloud is about to take off.  We need things to be simplified, which they are not.  On the contrary, I think virtualised licensing (on any of the hypervisors) is more complicated than ever, considering the dynamic nature of the data centre which is made possible by the great tools made by the likes of Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix.

On the positive side, if you understand this stuff, and put it to work, you can really save a lot of money in a virtualised environment.  The challenge is that you have to maintain some very tight controls.  It’s made me reconsider how I would look at designing Hyper-V/vSphere clusters.

Microsoft Private Cloud is Now Available

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 (SCVMM SSP 2.0), formerly known as the Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit, and better known as the front end of the Microsoft Private Cloud, is now available and supported in production usage.

“VMMSSP (also referred to as the self-service portal) is a fully supported, partner-extensible solution built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center VMM. You can use it to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and to deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter. VMMSSP includes a pre-built web-based user interface that has sections for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers, with role-based access control. VMMSSP also includes a dynamic provisioning engine. VMMSSP reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding,” infrastructure request and change management. The VMMSSP package also includes detailed guidance on how to implement VMMSSP inside your environment.”

This is an alternative self-service portal for SCVMM 2008 R2.  It has two different architectures.  A one-server solution contains the 3 components.  A 3 server solution has the database, service and portal each on different servers.

The idea is that a business (such as a corporation or a university) can build a shared services data centre.  Business units can be allocated with resources from that pool.  They will be billed a basic rate, e.g. for allocated disk space.  The business units can then deploy virtual machines on their own without requiring assistance from IT.  They are then billed based on usage, e.g. you might base that on CPU/RAM.

This means you run Infrastructure-as-a-Service and the business (probably developers, faculty IT, departmental IT, etc) all subscribe to a service that is subject to an SLA (monitored, of course, by System Center Operations Manager!).

The whole thing is extensible.  Examples of this include allocating physical disk to the backend Hyper-V hosts, configuring physical networking, etc.  Hardware partners are expected to provide some expertise here.  With some knowledge, you can do this yourself.

Partners that are listed include:

This is the first step in the MS Private Cloud.  SCVMM 2012 (or v.Next) has some very cool service template functionality that adds automated elasticity (auto-deploy servers into roles) and support for Server App-V to abstract IIS/SQL.

TechEd Europe 2010 Keynote – Big Shock: It’s All About The Cloud

I’m not at the poor cousin of the TechEd family this week.  Last year’s experience put me off.  However, I’m tuned into the keynote to see what’s happening.  The very good news is that Stephen Elop (the speaker at last year’s keynote where half of the room walked out) has left for Nokia and that Brad Anderson (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Management & Security Division) is taking over the duty.

While I’m waiting … I would expect lots of System Center v.Next/2011 content to be on show this year.  Those products tend to make big headlines at MMS and almost all of the family has some big release next year .. OpsMgr, VMM, ConfigMgr.  Oh … here we go …

Brad starts off my pitching “the cloud”.  It’s not a surprise.  And the message is …. .everyone else in cloud is wrong; Platform-as-a-Service is the way to go.  The huge investment in Azure did not affect that ;-)  Dagnammit – I don’t have enough drink in the house for the “MS keynote – cloud drinking game”.

Windows Phone is next up.  It’s only launching today in the USA.  The first pitch is “choice”.  Obviously aiming at where MS feels Apple is weak, i.e. lack of handset variety.  Some would say that makes Apple is strong because the control the hardware/OS integration completely.  The see-it-all-at-once and social media integration in WP7 is very good on the face of it (I actually have an iPhone rather than WP7).  WP7 should also be controllable using System Center.  Not much reaction at all to a “do you want a demo of it?” question by Anderson.  Problem: geeks are at the show and they’ve already seen the demo.  It’s a demo of the apps really – aimed squarely at the developers in the audience.  Nice looking apps from Tesco and Ebay.  Eek, the developer demo is canned.  Looks pretty similar to what I saw in the PDC keynote. Dev stuff – I’m taking a quick power nap.  Brad is back with the news that since the European launch 3 weeks ago, 600 European apps are published.

We need to deliver apps to users in a predictable and secure way.  There is tension between users and IT – gimme gimme gimme versus control.  I smell ConfigMgr v.Next.  It’s all about IT delivery being focused on the user, e.g. user pulling down apps and the apps following the user around to different PCs if they are the “owner” PC.  User centric client computing is the brand that MS is using.  Ahh … SP1 first.  Ah … Windows 7 marketing first.

88% of worldwide businesses (what size is not mentioned) say they will move to Windows 7 in the next 2 years.

SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 new virtualisation features:

  • RemoteFX (previously blogged): big for VDI graphics in the LAN
  • Dynamic Memory (previously blogged).  Claiming a 40% density improvement in VDI.  Anderson claiming that will give Hyper-V the best density in VDI in the market.

Michael Kleef comes on stage.  He big-ups the Citrix relationship.  Citrix are embracing RemoteFX and it’ll feature in XenDesktop.  Now we see IE8 running in a XenDesktop VM via ICA.  A flash video in full fidelity and audio is playing.  HP BL460 blades are in the background and a perfmon view shows the CPU utilisation is minimal – because the work is being done by the GPU.  A Silverlight application in IE9 is run with lots of graphics, moving bits, and BI reporting.  Hmm, the Citrix WAN scaling tools can allegedly stretch RemoteFX over the WAN … interesting!

Back to the cloud with SaaS.  Office365 is a next generation replacement for BPOS.  Intune (very basic desktop management) is on deck.  Demo of Office365.  We’re in yawn-ville at the moment.  This keynote needs a shot of adrenaline.  InTune is being sold as “management”.  It’s very, very light compared to ConfigMgr.  Nice idea – but I’d rather see a cloud based child-site for ConfigMgr.  Anderson promises that InTune will become as rich as ConfigMgr.

A RC of ForeFront EndPoint Protection is available today.  It is based on the same architecture as ConfigMgr.  That means you can have one integrated infrastructure to manage desktops and servers configuration and security.  And that’s all there is about that.  I guess the ForeFront teams got more pop today than they did last year 🙂

Now it’s cloud (IaaS), cloud (PaaS) and private cloud for the rest of the day.

Infrastructure as a Service.  Private Cloud computing from MS is Hyper-V and System Center.  What momentum does Hyper-V have?  Hyper-V has grown 12.6 points and VMware has grown over 4 points in the market over the last 2 years. 

Announcements:

  • Hyper-V Cloud: This is the partnership program that I’ve just blogged about.  It’s a bundle of software and hardware.  MS has a set of funds called Accelerate.
  • Lots of guides, etc: previously blogged.

HP Hyper-V partnership: HP Cloud Foundation for Hyper-V is an integration between HP Blade System Matrix and MS System Center.  HP is announcing HP CloudStart based on rapidly deploying private clouds based on Hyper-V.

What’s coming in the next version of System Center?  Greg Jenson has the answers.  3 key features:

  • Elastic
  • Shared infrastructure in the data centre
  • Deployed by an application owner by self-service

This is made possible by the next version of VMM.  We get the demo shown at TechEd NA 2010 in the Spring.  This features Server App-V.  VMM vNext is almost identical to what you get in Azure VM Role and that also has Server App-V.  Modelling of an n-tier app architecture is shown, highlighting elasticity.  That’s great for techies …. we want self service so that’s what’s up next!  We see some delegation of the service template to a potential app owner.  It’s similar to 2008 R2 but with a service template which describes an architecture rather than deploy a VM.  That’s understanding the business app owners and their needs.  Deploying a new service = deploy the template.  Things like IIS and SQL will be deployed as virtualised applications that are abstracted from their VM’s.  That allows zero downtime patching of VM’s from the template.

Azure Virtual Network allows a cross-premises domain between your site and Azure.  Azure VM Role allows you to run Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs.  I blogged about that announcement from PDC.

Power nap while Azure dev stuff is talked about.  Next we see OpsMgr using the RC (but supported) management pack for Azure to monitor an Azure based application.  It can respond to spikes in demand by spawning Azure instances.  Careful now; don’t want a nasty credit card bill at the end of the month because of elastic growth that incorrectly interprets slow response times.

Anderson wrapping up by saying that we will likely use a mix of cloud technologies.  We have different solutions to choose from and integrate to suit the needs of our businesses.

Over 70% of MS research/development resources are focused on the cloud.

Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track

Microsoft has announced a partnership program to deliver Hyper-V based private cloud solutions called Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track Partners.  It sounds like a marketing thing for buying a bundle of hardware and software to me.  Nothing exclusive is included.

There is some documentation on how to build a private cloud (using Hyper-V, VMM and SCVMM SSP 2.0) available.  You’ll find that to be a bit more of interest.