Microsoft Azure Cloud Series – What is Cloud? – Part 1

Hi All, its Rob again and I decided to write a series on Azure Cloud.  Since Azure Stack is months away from GA, its good to understand Azure Cloud for a few reasons.  The API is the consistent across Azure Cloud and Azure Stack. And building a hybrid environment is the future for IT to use features like DR, Application Portability and Backup.

Continue reading

Microsoft Azure Stack Technical Preview finally sees the light….:)

AzureStackIntro Azure Stack
Change is in the air! I know that phrase is associated with spring, but I love the change of seasons, especially, winter, when days get shorter and I get to spend time in the snow with my kids. Every winter, I think I can rely on the patterns from the seasons before, but I quickly find I have to adapt to a new reality. For example, I live near Boston and just when I thought we would have a mild winter, mother nature strikes. One week its 50’s and the next we are in the middle of a blizzard. Changes and transformations are just another fact of life.

Continue reading

Symon Perriman….his thoughts on Hyper-V, Security and future of Virtualization on the Nutanix .NEXT community podcast

Hey everyone…I wanted to share a very cool update (and maybe a little of hero-worship 😀 ).  Well, anyways, my job at Nutanix had another highlight recently.  As many of your know, I love reading, breathing, consuming Microsoft technology. During my consumption of education, there  number of people I follow, but there are few that stand out…and one that I spent a lot of time listening to via podcasts; Symon Perriman

Symon Perriman

Symon Perriman
He takes complex technology subjects and explains it extremely well on many levels so everyone understands..He believes in the community….all things as technologists, we can all strive to achieve.

I recently had the lucky chance to interview him for the Nutanix .Next Community Podcast.  It was great honor to interview him with my colleague\buddy @NutanixTommy as we both had different points of views.

Symon joined 5nine Software earlier this year as Vice President, Business Development & Marketing and is how I came to meet Simon as part of my job in Technical Alliances at Nutanix.

For those of you who are not familiar with 5nine Software, 5nine has a great alternative management product for Hyper-V with benefits of simplified vCenter type management without the footprint of System Center. They also are the only vendor with agentless security product via the Hyper-V extensible virtual switch. Think vShield for Hyper-V…Very cool…   😎

For those that are not familiar with Symon…a brief history…
With more than 12 years of experience in the high-tech industry, Symon is an internationally recognized expert in virtualization, high-availability, disaster recovery, data center management, and cloud technologies.

As Microsoft’s Senior Technical Evangelist and worldwide technical lead covering virtualization, infrastructure, management and cloud. He has trained millions of IT Professionals, hosted the “Edge Show” weekly webcast, holds several patents and dozens of industry certifications, and in 2013 he co-authored “Introduction to System Center 2012 R2 for IT Professionals” (Microsoft Press). He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Computer Science, Economics and Film & Digital Studies.

Enjoy the show……

Until next time, Rob…

Nano Server…Revealed

Nano Server

Nano Server

At Microsoft Ignite, I had a chance to meet and talk with Jeff Snover…a great honor…and his latest project “Windows Nano Server” is very cool.  Windows Nano Server is designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible. ‘Nano Server is a deeply refactoring version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimised for the cloud and a DevOps workflow,‘ as quoted by Jeffrey Snover, Andrew Mason and Alan Back in a joint blog post. ‘It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security.

The result: as compared to the equivalent Windows Server build, Nano Server offers a 93 percent reduction in storage requirements, 92 percent fewer critical security bulletins, and 80 percent fewer reboots during operation. This is great for Security and Network Admins….I spent a lot of nights during my times as a network admin around patching and worry about what might blow up and this is a welcome change, especially for a Hyper-V environment 😉  Go Microsoft…
Nano Server
Naturally, those benefits come at a cost. ‘To achieve these benefits, we removed the GUI stack, 32 bit support (WOW64), MSI and a number of default Server Core components,‘ the team explained. ‘There is no local logon or Remote Desktop support. All management is performed remotely via WMI and PowerShell. We are also adding Windows Server Roles and Features using Features on Demand and DISM.‘ Despite this, Nano Server remains API-compatible with other Windows Server variants – meaning it should, in theory, be relatively straightforward to port applications across to the platform.

Also, It ships with the baseline version of .NET called CoreCLR, which Microsoft in recent months made open source. The OS does not contain the binaries or metadata that typically increase the footprint and developers are expected to package applications along with dependencies in a single unit of deployment.
Core PowerShell, a minimalistic version of PowerShell refactored to run on CoreCLR, provides Remote management capabilities and Nano Server can be installed on physical hardware or virtualized infrastructure.

When Windows Server starts supporting Docker, Nano Server stands to become the become the preferred OS to run containers.
Nano Server
Windows Nano Server won’t be for everyone. Microsoft has indicated that it is targeting two prime markets for the new OS: cloud applications, which includes the ability to run multiple languages and runtimes in containers, virtual machines or physical servers; and of course its own Cloud Platform infrastructure, with support for Hyper-V compute clusters and Scale-out File Server storage clusters. It’s in virtualization where the biggest benefits will be found: with each virtual machine requiring only seven percent the storage space of previous Windows Server instances and consuming considerably fewer resources while running, the overhead of running a virtualized infrastructure is considerably lessened.

Flexibility is key to delivering a modern data center, and by using the combination of Nano Server and its new container technology Microsoft is making a big shift away from its previous monolithic server model to one that’s more aligned with the way we deliver cloud-scale services. That does mean that Nano Server won’t be for everyone. Customers are going to have to have made the shift to a DevOps model, and to using cloud-scale data center infrastructure practices of which I am a big believer in and frankly why I work for Nutanix.

Microsoft has not yet offered a release date or licensing information for Windows Nano Server. Beta bits are available via MSDN on the Windows Server Technical Preview 2 media. Instructions can be found here to get started, if you want to check it out.
In conclusion, with Nano Server, Microsoft stands a chance to blow them all out the water with keeping Windows relevant in the era of linux, containers and microservices.

Until next time, Rob…