Tag Archives: #TechDays_ca
Once again this year I will have the opportunity to present a session at Tech Days 2010 in Montreal. Microsoft allowing IT people from different regions to present at one of their event is a nice thing. It is a great experience with some challenge but that’s what makes it exciting. Last year was the first time I was presenting to an audience and believe me the stress level was high. It was a good challenge and I even if it wasn’t my best presentation(your first one can’t be) I couldn’t pass on the chance of doing it again.
This time however I will be better prepared to deliver my session. There are several steps in preparing to give a presentation in front of a large, tech savvy audience. The most important thing to remember(and it helps to lower your stress) is that people in the room are there to learn and gain knowledge on your subject, and you are in front because the organizer(Microsoft in this case) believe you know your stuff. Another important step in getting ready: Rehearsal! If you commit yourself to do a presentation or conference, you must put as much time as possible rehearsing and do it in front of people, even if they don’t have a clue what you are talking about.
Also if you don’t feel nervous even 5 minutes before it starts, when the lights turns on you, your stress level is going to go up for sure. If you master your subject and are well prepared it will go down after the first few minutes when you see that people are listening to you. However if you want keep their attention you must be dynamic and have some short stories related to your subject to catch back their concentration. If you don’t have enough stories or examples, they will start thinking about other things and that’s what you must avoid. Oh, after doing a presentation ask for critics from people you know who attended it and keep an open mind. You will make mistakes and to improve your skills you must build on those and any suggestion you get.
This year I will be presenting the following session on a subject you really like (and that is another keep point, you MUST be passionate about what you talk), Hyper-V:
Hyper-V and System Center are the ideal combination for your environment. Come learn best practices and lessons learned from hundreds of real-world implementations where Hyper-V R2 and the System Center suite of products (Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Configuration Manager 2007 R2, Operations Manager 2007 R2, Data Protection Manager 2007) successfully complement one another. You will learn how and when Live Migrations are used in various scenarios compared to built-in failover technologies like Exchange Server 2010 DAGs or SQL mirroring, how Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 supplements Hyper-V implementations, how automation on Operations Manager assist in 24x7x365 datacenter scenarios, and how Configuration Manager helps with compliance-level consistency in security and management.
A special tanks to Rick Claus from Microsoft who gave me the chance for my first presentation and has help me to become a better presenter.
I just gave a presentation on Live Migration at Tech Days 2009 in Montreal, in which I covered required storage options and I thought some people might want to get more details. A lot of people want to test or evaluate Live Migration and Failover Cluster but they often lack the network storage needed, say an iSCSI SAN. There is a solution available that few people have heard about but that can solve this, Windows Storage Server 2008. This version of Microsoft OS is normaly only for OEM’s selling storage appliances and solutions.
However, if you have a Tech Net or MSDN subscription, you can download WSS08 and install it on a machine that meets the requirements. This is actualy great because it allows you to use a computer you might have that does not support Hyper-V but that has enough memory and some disk to be used. After installing Windows Storage Server 2008, you will want to install Microsoft iSCSI tools which will allow you to configure iSCSI targets on that box.
You than have a system that you can use to test Failover Cluster, Hyper-V or other features requiring iSCSI storage. Note that in a corporate environment you will mostly use iSCSI or Fiber SAN to deploy those solutions. Also, Microsoft allow the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 for testing, training and development. You cannot use this in a production environment, the software license being only distributed to OEM partners.
A lot of people want to build themself a server at home for testing or learning. There is a lot of choice out there to fit any need or budget but most of us are looking for a PC with enough power to run apps and virtualization. You could always buy youself a real server for 5000$+ or build a system but if you are like me, you want a box ready for use for a good price. So, I was looking for a new system to build a Windows 2008 R2 machine with Hyper-V and I came across a system by Dell that really gives you a lot for your money. So, I got this new Dell XPS 8000 with Intel i7-860(a Quad Cord with HT giving 8 logical processors) which support virtualization, Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O and 8GB of RAM for under 1000$. Forget about the i7-920, benchmarks show that you won’t get better performance and it’s not as fast. One key feature that I was looking for and that works well on the XPS 8000 is the RAID support. The first thing I did was to had 2 disks in RAID-0, having an other drive for the OS and some data.
As soon as I got the system, I installed Windows 2008 Server R2 and like Windows 7 the installation is very fast. All my devices were recognized and drivers had been installed. Than, I added the Hyper-V role and some features. From that point on I was ready to create and deploy new VM’s but there is an application that I wouldn’t work without, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. If you want to learn more about it, you can go on the official site or come and see some very good people present it to you at Microsoft Tech Days 2009 in Montreal or one of the other city near you.
After setting up everything, I now have 7 VM running on 8GB of RAM. Make sure you put your VM’s on a different physical disk and not on the same you use for the OS. You will get better I/O performance and since HDD are cheap, buy 2 drive to do some RAID. If you have another system with Hyper-V that’s where SCVMM will make your life easier. You can manage all your hosts and you can even manage VMware and convert them to Hyper-V VM’s.