Showing posts with label PrivateCloud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PrivateCloud. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Step-by-Step into your own private cloud, with the Windows Azure Pack and System Center - Step-by-Step: Getting Started with On-demand Private Clouds using Windows Azure Pack

As I’ve been traveling and speaking to IT Pros about the great scalability, resiliency and offerings in our Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there’s also been lots of interest around deploying our free Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to bring the power and consistency of the same self-service Azure portal user interface to on-demand Private Clouds provisioned in an on-premises datacenter.


In this article, we’ll step through the process of setting up Windows Azure Pack in a lab environment for provisioning and delegating VM private clouds. Along the way, I’ll call out the specific details that I found helpful to successfully build my own lab environment.

What is Windows Azure Pack?

For a technical overview of the Windows Azure Pack, check out this great Microsoft TechEd session:

In addition, Thomas Maurer, MVP for Cloud and Virtualization, has written a great article that describes the overall architecture of Windows Azure Pack:

What are we building?

Windows Azure Pack certainly has the ability to scale to support very large Private Cloud environments consisting of multiple datacenters.  However, in this article, we’ll get started by building a basic lab environment that consists of the following four (4) VMs:

  • System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) management server VM
  • SQL Server 2012 database server VM
  • Service Provider Foundation (SPF) server VM
  • Windows Azure Pack (WAP) server VM

To configure all four (4) VMs in your lab environment, you’ll need a virtualization host with at least 16GB RAM and 300GB available disk space.


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You guys know how much I dig this idea, of having all that's good about Azure, inside my firewall, avoiding all the "security" and "OMG, the cloud? AAAHHHHhhhhhhh..." angst.


Related Past Post XRef:
Deploying your own little cloud... "Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series
Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Providing your users some DBaaS (that's Database as a Service)

Microsoft Downloads - Database as a Service Reference Architecture Guide: SQL Server 2014

Explains how to build an infrastructure for hosting Microsoft SQL Server Database as a Service by using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012.

Version: April 2014

Date Published: 4/7/2014

Database Hosting Reference Architecture Guide_SQL_2014.docx, 302 KB

This guide explains how to build an infrastructure for hosting Microsoft SQL Server Database as a Service (DBaaS). By using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012, a hosting service provider can start with very small tenant databases and scale to meet the needs of the largest and busiest SQL Server applications. This reference architecture includes information about hardware, software, system design, and component configuration.





1 Overview

This guide to building the infrastructure for hosting Microsoft® SQL Server® Database as a Service (DBaaS) is not limited to a particular type of hardware. By using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V® virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012, a hosting service provider can start with very small tenant databases and scale out or scale up to meet the needs of the largest and busiest SQL Server applications. This reference architecture includes hardware, software, system design, and component configuration.

2 Hosted Services

Database as a Service, for the purposes of this reference architecture, is a multitenant offering with isolation at the SQL Server database level. Many tenants can share an instance of SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, each tenant with its own database. SQL Servers are hosted on Hyper-V virtual machines running Windows Server® 2012 R2 or using Windows® Core services. Hyper-V virtual machines are managed and monitored by System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager.

A hosted service provider (HSP), the intended audience for this guide, may offer a single server or many hundreds or thousands of servers. Servers may be in the same data center or distributed across data centers for load balancing and disaster recovery.

As an HSP, you make individual SQL Server databases available to the tenant with an agreed-upon maximum size and an agreed-upon amount of resources available. You are responsible for maintaining the SQL Server instance, the virtual host, and the physical host compute, network, and storage infrastructure.

You can secure a single instance of SQL Server easily. When you use the Partially Contained Database and Contained Users features of SQL Server 2014, a database can be made into a secure environment. Users cannot access other databases or the metadata about tenant databases.

You can also use the SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Resource Governor to prevent a single user or a single tenant from using too much of the available resources, and resource usage can be balanced among tenants.

In a SQL Server 2014 DBaaS environment, each tenant is responsible for the data in his SQL Server database. Tenants create the database architecture consisting of objects that store data and application code to maintain and search data and return results to clients. Within the database, a tenant database administrator (DBA) can set permissions enabling subsets of tenant users and groups to carry out these tasks.

The architecture of the database and how well the tenant optimizes code that performs searches will have a direct impact on performance and resource usage. You may wish to offer services to help tenants to optimize design and code to improve response times and minimize resource usage.

As the HSP, you are responsible for Windows and SQL Server maintenance and your standard agreement to provide hosted SQL Server services should define your maintenance windows. You may patch SQL Server and Windows on the virtual and physical hosts, migrate the database to a new virtual machine host when resource requirements require it, and migrate the virtual machine to a new physical host during routine maintenance.

You may also perform certain database-level services on behalf of the tenant, such as running scheduled jobs and backups. Scheduled jobs can run common maintenance tasks like Update Statistics or large scale data modification and aggregation, such as month-end processing. You may also make tools, such as an API or a self-service control panel, available to the tenant to manage such jobs while restricting the tenant’s access to only the data she needs.

You can automate provisioning services by using management APIs and offer features like self-service provisioning to your customers. Such services reduce operational expenses for both you and your tenants.

You can monitor usage at a very detailed level with tools like Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and the SQL Server Management Pack. Tenants can be billed according to very broad guidelines or for only what they use.

Customers will see lower capital expenditures and total cost of ownership when they consolidate database servers, reduce the proliferation of on-premises applications, and share the cost of administrative expertise with other tenants. Tenants can take advantage of advanced solutions without having to buy and administer an entire enterprise solution.

By leasing SQL Server DBaaS, the tenant can pay for only those resources required for an application with the option to scale up in the future. There is no need to over-provision for what might or might not happen in the future, because when more capacity is needed, the hardware will be available.


While targeted at hosted service provider, I still think this has value for large organizations or those dealing with SQL Server Sprawl... SQL Server Enterprise isn't cheap, so ensuring that you're using it to its maximum is important for everyone. IT groups like to say they are "service providers." Doing something like this makes that a real statement, without them giving away the keys to the store...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Is a Private Cloud that cloud that seems to hang over your head? Nope, it's [read this..]

simple talk - cloud - Private Cloud, What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Private cloud’ is often presented as being the solution for all your computing issues. It promises benefits such as cost savings, energy savings, rapid deployment and customer empowerment. But what exactly is ‘private cloud’? Why are people reluctant to consider using private cloud? In this article I’d like to explain a bit more about private cloud, its definition and implementation, and the choices you have to make before adopting private cloud.

What exactly is cloud?

Before we can go into the technology, we have to take a closer look at the definition of cloud technology. A good place to start is the “National Institute of Standards and Technology” or NIST definition which states, "cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."


Also listed in the NIST definition are four "deployment models", this defines how and where the cloud infrastructure is built:

  • Private Cloud – this is a cloud infrastructure dedicated for only one customer. A private cloud can be located in the customer’s own datacenter or computer room but it can also be hosted in a service provider’s datacenter. A private cloud can be managed by the customer, by the hosting provider or by a 3rd party. The customer however is responsible for all costs of the solution at all times.
  • Public cloud – this is a cloud infrastructure that’s available for everyone, regardless whether the customer is a consumer or a (large) company. Public cloud is available just like electricity from a wall outlet or water from a tap. Again Office 365 is a great example of a public cloud solution and so is the Microsoft Azure solution.
  • Community Cloud – this cloud infrastructure is shared amongst multiple organizations or consumers with a shared goal or interest. Managing a community cloud can be done by one of the organizations or outsourced to a 3rd party.
  • Hybrid Cloud – this cloud infrastructure is a combination of the three above mentioned cloud infrastructures. In Microsoft Office 365 for example it is possible to have multiple mailboxes stored in Microsoft’s datacenters, but have this combined with Exchange servers and thus mailboxes on-premises. Together this is one large, hybrid messaging system.


Private Cloud

Now that we’ve seen the official definition of cloud and in particular private cloud, it’s time to have a look at the implementation of a private cloud.

Private cloud is all about flexibility and this can be achieved by using virtualization, whether it be Microsoft’s Hyper-V (with all System Center solutions around it) or VMWare. But the realization of private cloud goes beyond virtualization. According to Gartner, a successful implementation of private cloud depends on:


What’s in it for the organization? ...

How is it implemented?

When looking at private cloud implementations there are two options:

  • The private cloud is implemented in the customer’s own datacenter;
  • The private cloud is implemented in the service provider’s datacenter.



Private cloud is characterized by flexibility, flexibility that is achieved by on-demand self-service, resource pooling and a measured service. This means that end users, which can be departments or business units, are responsible for their own computing resource needs rather than the IT departments. The IT department is responsible for the overall infrastructure but no longer for the individual resources. End users can create their own resources, have to pay for its usage and can destroy resources when no longer needed.

In a typical private cloud implementation, virtualization is used and, in a Microsoft environment, this is the Windows Azure Pack or WAP. WAP is a hosting solution that's targeted towards enterprises and service providers that want to offer private cloud solutions.

Using private cloud solutions gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility, both technically and financially since you monitor and charge the actual usage. This might well be the future of computing!



You've heard me go on and on about "Private Clouds," but maybe you, or those in your IT group, aren't really sure what that means or how it helps them help you. This article is a nice starting point for that discussion. (This reminds me of the "What's Intra/Extra/Inter..." conversations, remember those? Oh, you kids... lol ;)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Deploying your own little cloud... "Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series

Windows Networking - Deploying Windows Azure Pack - Part 1

The first article in this series provides an overview of the capabilities and benefits of deploying Windows Azure Pack in enterprise datacenters.

If you would like to be notified when Mitch Tulloch releases the next part of this article series please sign up to the Real time article update newsletter.


Cloud computing is making big inroads into companies today. Smaller businesses are taking advantage of Microsoft cloud services like Windows Azure, Windows Intune and Office 365 to migrate their line-of-business applications and services to the cloud instead of hosting them on-premises. The reasons for doing this include greater scalability, improved agility, and cost savings.

Large enterprises tend to be more conservative with regards to new technologies mainly because of the high costs involved in widespread rollout of new service models and integrating them with existing the organization's datacenter infrastructure. Windows Azure Pack is designed to help large enterprises overcome these obstacles by providing a straightforward path for implementing hybrid solutions that embraces both the modern datacenter and cloud hosting providers.

What is Windows Azure Pack?

To understand what Windows Azure Pack is, you first need to be familiar with Windows Azure, Microsoft's public cloud platform. To understand what Windows Azure is all about, here are some brief excerpts from my recent book Introducing Windows Azure for IT Professionals: Technical Overview from Microsoft Press:

As a cloud platform from Microsoft that provides a wide range of different services, Windows Azure lets you build, deploy, and manage solutions for almost any purpose you can imagine. In other words, Windows Azure is a world of unlimited possibilities. Whether you're a large enterprise spanning several continents that needs to run server workloads, or a small business that wants a website that has a global presence, Windows Azure can provide a platform for building applications that can leverage the cloud to meet the needs of your business...

Let's look at the definition that Microsoft uses for describing Windows Azure:

Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool, or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.

This definition tells us that Windows Azure is a cloud platform, which means you can use it for running your business applications, services, and workloads in the cloud. But it also includes some key words that tell us even more:

  • Open - Windows Azure provides a set of cloud services that allow you to build and deploy cloud-based applications using almost any programming language, framework, or tool.
  • Flexible - Windows Azure provides a wide range of cloud services that can let you do everything from hosting your company's website to running big SQL databases in the cloud. It also includes different features that can help deliver high performance and low latency for cloud-based applications.
  • Microsoft-managed - Windows Azure services are currently hosted in several datacenters spread across the United States, Europe, and Asia. These datacenters are managed by Microsoft and provide expert global support on a 24x7x365 basis.
  • Compatible - Cloud applications running on Windows Azure can easily be integrated with on-premises IT environments that utilize the Microsoft Windows Server platform.




Windows Azure Pack vs. Windows Azure

Let's review the definition that Microsoft uses for describing Windows Azure:


You all know I'm a fan of this... There are just to many businesses, and business people, who freak at the thought of their, or their client's, data being "in the cloud." The Windows Azure Pack seems to be a great middle ground, letting us have the good that is "the cloud" inside our own data centers...


Related Past Post XRef:
Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up

Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack) and Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles

Table of Contents

Hi Windows Azure Pack fans!

Marc van Eijk en I have had some hands-on at Windows Azure Pack (formerly known as Windows Azure Services for Windows Server). There is a lot of info out there, but very scattered. Hopefully we can keep this WAP Wiki updated every now and then. Feel free to add to this Wiki!




(via NY Metro Core Infrastructure Team - Windows Azure Pack (WAP) Resources)

Now THAT'S a round-up of WAP resources!

What is WAP (Windows Azure Pack)?

Windows Azure Pack

The Windows Azure Pack delivers Windows Azure technologies for you to run inside your datacenter. Offer rich, self-service, multi-tenant services and experiences that are consistent with Microsoft’s public cloud offering.

Windows Azure-consistent experiences and services in your datacenter

The Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Windows Azure technologies available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost. Once installed in your datacenter, the Windows Azure Pack integrates with System Center and Windows Server to help provide a self-service portal for managing services such as websites, Virtual Machines, and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage resource clouds; scalable web hosting; and more.

Download the Windows Azure Pack White Paper

Download the Windows Azure Pack Datasheet

Related Past Post XRef:
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.

In the Cloud - What’s New in 2012 R2: Enabling Modern Apps with the Windows Azure Pack

Don’t let the title fool you – this post is critically important for Developers and IT pros.

The reason I call out this warning up front is that often, when I’m speaking at conferences around the world, as soon as I start to discuss the developer perspective and developer tools, many IT Pros in the room starts playing Angry Birds while they wait for the developer section to be over.

Why is it so important for IT Pros to understand how modern applications are built? The answer is simple: IT Pros are the ones who build and operate the infrastructure that hosts these applications, and, the more you know about how these applications are built, the better you will understand their platform requirements.

That’s the tactical reason. There is also a strategic reason.

If your organization is not already in the process of defining it’s cloud strategy – it soon will be. You need to be a contributor and leader in these conversations. By mastering today’s topics, you can become a part of the conversation and define the long-term solution, rather than someone who is simply reacting to decisions they were not a part of making.

The future of the IT Pro role will require you to know how applications are built for the cloud, as well as the cloud infrastructures where these apps operate, is something every IT Pro needs in order to be a voice in the meetings that will define an organization’s cloud strategy. IT pros are also going to need to know how their team fits in this cloud-centric model, as well as how to proactively drive these discussions.

These R2 posts will get you what you need, and this “Enable Modern Business Apps” pillar will be particularly helpful.

Throughout the posts in this series we have spoken about the importance of consistency across private, hosted and public clouds, and we’ve examined how Microsoft is unique in its vision and execution of delivering consistent clouds. The Windows Azure Pack is a wonderful example of Microsoft innovating in the public cloud and then bringing the benefits of that innovation to your datacenter.

The Windows Azure Pack is – literally speaking – a set of capabilities that we have battle-hardened and proven in our public cloud. These capabilities are now made available for you to enhance your cloud and ensure that “consistency across clouds” that we believe is so important.

A major benefit of the Windows Azure Pack is the ability to build an application once and then deploy and operate it in any Microsoft Cloud – private, hosted or public.

This kind of flexibility means that you can build an application, initially deploy it in your private cloud, and then, if you want to move that app to a Service Provider or Azure in the future, you can do it without having to modify the application. Making tasks like this simple is a major part of our promise around cloud consistency, and it is something only Microsoft (not VMware, not AWS) can deliver.

This ability to migrate an app between these environments means that your apps and your data are never locked in to a single cloud. This allows you to easily adjust as your organization’s needs, regulatory requirements, or any operational conditions change.

A big part of this consistency and connection is the Windows Azure Service Bus which will be a major focus of today’s post.

The Windows Azure Service Bus has been a big part of Windows Azure since 2010. I don’t want to overstate this, but Service Bus has been battle-hardened in Azure for more than 3 years, and now we are delivering it to you to run in your datacenters. To give you a quick idea of how critical Service Bus is for Microsoft, consider this: Service Bus is used in all the billing for Windows Azure, and it is responsible for gathering and posting all the scoring and achievement data to the Halo 4 leaderboards (now that is really, really important – just ask my sons!). It goes without saying that the people in charge of Azure billing and the hardcore gamers are not going to tolerate any latency or downtime getting to their data.

With today’s topic, take the time to really appreciate the app development and app platform functionality in this R2 wave. I think you’ll be really excited about how you can plug into this process and lead your organization.

This post, written by Bradley Bartz, a Principal Program Manager from Windows Azure, will get deep into these new features and the amazing scenarios that the Windows Azure Pack and Windows Azure Service Bus enable. As always in this 2012 R2 series, check out the “Next Steps” at the bottom of this for links to additional information about the topics covered in this post.\


We’ve listened closely to our customers and focused on improving the following 3 core scenarios with the Service Bus 1.1 for Windows Server and the Windows Azure Pack:

  1. Application Messaging Patterns with Service Bus
    With Service Bus we support basic as well as advanced messaging patterns for use in modern applications. With this release we’ve also added new messaging capabilities, additional protocols, and simplified APIs to enable developers to write better applications faster.
  2. Manage Messaging entities across clouds
    Whether you’re developing for the public cloud, private cloud, or a hosted cloud (with your service provider), developers will be able to write applications once and then use it anywhere within these clouds – without needing to recompile. This can be done by simply changing an entry in the configuration file.
  3. Offering Alternatives with Service Bus
    Whether you are an Independent Software Vendor developing software and services for others, an enterprise which deploys home-grown applications, or a developer looking for an easy to deploy messaging component, you can use Service Bus in your topology. With this release we’ve improved the hosting capabilities for enterprises and service providers enabling new hosting topologies.


Don't usually see this kind of dev depth on TechNet. And also since it's on one o f my favorite topic's, Private Clouds, couldn't resist... If you're build LOB app's, take a peek at this article. It's take the bus to the next stop... (title!)

Related Past Post XRef:
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Privatize your cloud with help from these two new Channel 9 Series "Build a Private Cloud with WinServer & System Center" and "Move to Hybrid Cloud with System Center and Azure"

Channel 9 - Build a Private Cloud with Windows Server and System Center

View the first of two Jump Starts in a series covering the end-to-end process of implementing a MS cloud solution, providing a deep dive into key topics associated with implementing a Microsoft hybrid cloud solution. This Jump Start is a scenario-based, bottom up approach to designing and building your private cloud on Windows Server 2012 and incorporating the full spectrum of System Center 2012 SP1 components. MVP Pete Zerger and Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman focus on bringing a greater understanding to key topics related to the fabric, such as virtual networking and leveraging the storage and networking capabilities of WS2012 along with creating service templates in VMM and on the Service Manager CMDB as we move up the management stack. Additionally you learn how the service-catalog comes together to deliver an intuitive self-service experience in a step-by-step approach.


Channel 9 - Move to Hybrid Cloud with System Center and Windows Azure

View the second of two Jump Starts in a series covering the end-to-end process of implementing a MS cloud solution, providing a deep dive into key topics associated with implementing a Microsoft hybrid cloud solution. This Jump Start is a continuation of "Build a Private Cloud with Windows Server & System Center Jump Start" and focuses on successfully monitoring and managing ongoing operation of a private cloud environment. MVP Pete Zerger and Technical Product Manager Matt McSpirit provide example after example on how to integrate Azure IaaS into our private cloud to deliver hybrid cloud capabilities in System Center 2012 SP1, how to develop hybrid cloud self-service scenarios in System Center 2012 App Controller and in the System Center Service Manager Self-Service Portal, and demonstrate full integration of private and public cloud with ITIL.


I want the cloud and all it promises, but I want it in my data center (well I don't but out clients do). So the Azure Pack and Private Cloud are currently high priority key words in my feed scanning...


Related Past Post XRef:
13 Modules, six weeks, 2 exam preps and a whole lot of private cloud building going on...
What's this Private Cloud thing? Here's a free online conference on just that... "Building the Private Cloud"
Building a private IaaS Cloud with Windows Server 8 whitepaper
Microsoft Free Virtual Private Cloud Event, Jan 17th
Microsoft Private Cloud Solution Hub

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Microsoft Free Virtual Private Cloud Event, Jan 17th

Redmond Developer News - Microsoft To Host Private Cloud Event

"Microsoft is hosting a "private cloud" event later this month. The virtual event, Transforming IT With Microsoft Private Cloud, is slated for Tuesday, Jan.17, and is open to the public.

By "private cloud," Microsoft means datacenter infrastructure built around its Server and Tools software products, which include Windows Server, SQL Server and Windows Azure. Of course, Windows Azure is Microsoft's platform-as-a-service offering, typically thought of as a "public cloud" because of its multitenant approach of using shared infrastructure for multiple customers. However, Windows Azure is also available under a dedicated subscription plan for some Microsoft customers.

The virtual event, which requires registration, will feature speakers such as Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, Brad Anderson, corporate vice president at Microsoft's Management and Security Division, Jacky Wright, vice president for Microsoft's IT Strategic Services, and Rand Morimoto, CEO at Convergent Computing.


Transforming IT with Microsoft Private Cloud

"Register Now for the virtual event
Tuesday, January 17th
8:30 AM PST | 16:30 UTC
Hear from other senior IT professionals about how cloud computing can help you gain maximum competitive advantage with minimal risk.
Learn about Microsoft cloud offerings, including private, public, and hybrid cloud models.
Experience Microsoft private cloud solutions through the Microsoft Technology Center.


The definition, business value, and technology benefits of the “the cloud” have been hotly debated in recent months. Most agree that cloud computing can accelerate innovation, reduce costs, and increase business agility in the market. In 2012, cloud computing will transition from hype and discussion, to part of every enterprise’s reality, and IT is uniquely positioned to lead this transformation and help business reap the benefits of cloud computing.

Join us for a virtual event designed to help you explore your cloud options. It’s your chance to interact with Microsoft experts and with IT leaders like yourself, who have been putting cloud technology to work in their own organizations. You’ll be among the first to hear the latest private cloud news from Microsoft.



Free and virtual, so hard to beat if your interested in Private Cloud's. I'm betting we're going to be hearing allot about "Private Cloud" this year, with the coming Windows Server 8 and constant Windows Azure improvements (and how the two are meeting in the middle)...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stop the SQL sprawl with the new SQL Server Appliance...

SQL Server Team Blog - Announcing the first Database Consolidation & Private Cloud Appliance

"First in the industry solution ready for database consolidation out of the box

We are very excited to be launching a new appliance to help customers consolidate thousands of databases, and at the same time enable IT to respond to business needs much faster through an elastic database private cloud infrastructure.

The new HP Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance, Optimized for SQL Server, was designed, tested and engineered jointly by Microsoft and HP and is available today.


How is this appliance an industry first?
No other solution in the market today offers all of these capabilities:

  • Consolidate thousands of databases with no application or database changes
  • Manage the entire stack, from OS to Database, from single, integrated tools
  • Runs on hardware designed for very high IOPs, a requirement for running thousands of databases
  • Consolidation via virtualization, offering highly elastic and agile responsiveness
  • Includes tools to consolidate databases, migrate databases, and manage databases, out of the box

What is the ‘elastic, agile, private cloud infrastructure’?
By consolidating databases into this new appliance, IT can be much more agile in responding to business needs, through a highly available infrastructure that is ready to scale:

  • Hardware growth - You can start with a half rack and grow to a single rack. As the needs of your business grow you can expand to up to 10 racks.
  • Enhanced tools - The new appliance includes technologies to have ‘zero downtime’ live migration, and real time database VM load balancing.
  • High Availability out of the box - Most in-market databases are not highly available. All databases running in this new appliance will now be highly available through fully fault tolerant and duplicate hardware, as well as software tuned to be resilient to hardware failure. For example, more than 20 hard drives can fail, and the appliance will continue to work with no impact.
  • Private Cloud capabilities optimized for SQL Server - Resource Pooling – Able to consolidate your database into a single appliance: from half rack to 10 racks and managed as a single resource.
  • Elasticity - Scaling your computing, network and storage resources efficiently; the VMs and SQL Server are ready to respond to resource changes, in minutes. Grow or shrink memory, storage and CPU for any instance.
  • Self-Service - Able to deploy resources on demand quickly, through technologies like the self- service portal, and prebuilt VM templates tuned for SQL Server.

What is inside the appliance?
Inside each rack, we provide 58TB of storage, 400 hard drives, 192 logical processors, 2TB of RAM, 60,000 sustained IOPs, and an integrated stack of more than 25 software components, all highly tuned and configured to work together seamlessly. This massive capability, and extremely high IOPs, are needed to support the hundreds or thousands of databases that will be consolidated into this appliance.

The main software components are:

  • Windows Server Datacenter 2008 R2
  • The new Microsoft Database Consolidation 2012 software, to manage the appliance. This software is built from System Center technologies, System Center Packs, and SQL Server technologies.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Edition, with Software Assurance, required for unlimited virtualization and mobility of the SQL Server VMs.
  • New Appliance Tools, including new software to configure and test appliance, as well as tools to simplify the consolidation process (e.g. MAP, a tool to inventory and analyze the databases for consolidation, or a new System Center Appliance pack to provide a unified health view of the entire appliance).As well as new tools to manage the appliance day-to-day, in addition to pre-defined highly tuned VM templates to rapidly deploy small, medium and large SQL Server instances.

Based on this configuration, the appliance can run any version and edition of SQL Server supported by Hyper-V, including older versions of SQL Server, as well as the upcoming SQL Server 2012.

What advantages does an appliance have over building a custom solution?
There are four benefits of acquiring an appliance vs. building a custom solution:

  • Very rapid deployment: Configured right out of the factory.
  • New software: Available only in the appliance, to accelerate deployment and consolidation, as well as simplify the management of thousands of databases.
  • Single phone number for support: Does not matter if it’s a Hardware or Software issue, a single support team will diagnose it remotely for you.
  • Proven capabilities: Hundreds of hardware components, tens of software components, thousands of software settings. All ready to go, integrated, pre-tested with real life SQL Server workloads.


HP Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance




Interesting. I like that it's available today, that it's expandable, not locked into a single SQL Server version, isn't just a huge mini but instead a heavy virtualized solution, and I think best of all, the "One Support Phone Number to Rule them All."

But as you would expect, it's not cheap (I don't think my wife is going to let me have one... lol), but it's worth looking at if you run allot of SQL Server. If you have racks and racks of SQL Servers, with people building servers, storage, installing OS's/SQL Server, etc, etc, etc, this might be of interest to you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's this Private Cloud thing? Here's a free online conference on just that... "Building the Private Cloud"

It's all about Microsoft Infrastructure... - Free Training: Building the Private Cloud

"Free one-day online conference for developers and administrators of cross-platform Cloud products and technologies.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm Eastern

Join Cloud IT Pro for Building the Private Cloud, this conference brings industry experts straight to your computer, offering free, technical Cloud training.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask live questions via our platform’s interface, network with other attendees, and chat directly with vendors in the Exhibit Hall. Various benefits also include prize giveaways, announcements, and more!

You'll be able to join experts Mel Beckman, Michael Otey, Sean Deuby and others for a series of free technical sessions for developers and administrators that will help you get the most value from the Cloud.



Building the Private Cloud

"Join Cloud IT Pro for Building the Private Cloud, a free online one-day conference for developers and administrators of cross-platform Cloud products and technologies. This conference brings industry experts straight to your computer, offering free, technical Cloud training.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask live questions via our platform’s interface, network with other attendees, and chat directly with vendors in the Exhibit Hall. Various benefits also include prize giveaways, announcements, and more!


Building the Private Cloud provides everything that an in-person, peer-to-peer-to-expert event offers -- without the travel, without the cost, and without the time away from your desk!

Can’t make it on November 10th? This conference will be available to registrants on-demand for three months following the event.

This Event is Part 2 of a 3-Part Series:
Part 1: Putting the Cloud to Work Now – October 11
Part 3: Extending Your Infrastructure into the Cloud – December 8

Building the Private Cloud - Sessions


If you'd like a little more information on Private Clouds and online conferences are your thing, here's one just for you...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Microsoft Private Cloud Solution Hub

Private Cloud Architecture Blog - Welcome to the Private Cloud Solutions Hub

"Hey Private Cloud Architecture fans, I’ve got some great news – the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is now live and ready for you to check it out. Our goal for the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is to give you one place where you can find all the private cloud architectural information you need to optimize your private cloud deployments.

Since the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is new, I’d like to walk you through the sections of the site and describe what they are and what we have in mind. I also would like to ask you to think about our plans and what we’ve done and then let us know if there is anything you think we should add, remove, improve, or change.


The Private Cloud Architecture library is the place where you’ll find the majority of our content. The library “stacks” are represented by seven tabs:

  • Getting Started – The Getting Started tab contains content aimed at getting your started with private cloud and private cloud architecture. There are several overview articles that help you understand the private cloud landscape and introduce you to the terminology, concepts and goals of private cloud. If you’re new to private cloud, then start with these articles.
  • Architecture – The Architecture tab contains a number of articles that will inform you about key architecture concepts and requirements for a well designed private cloud solution. Examples of content you’ll find here are “Private Cloud Architectural Principles, Patterns and Concepts” and “Private Cloud Planning Guide for Infrastructure as a Service”. This architectural content will give you a firm understanding of the architectural underpinnings of a successful private cloud deployment and will benefit just about anyone interested in private cloud.
  • IaaS – The IaaS tab focuses on the Infrastructure as a Service cloud service delivery model. After you learn about private cloud architecture, you’re then ready to understand what it takes to build out a well designed Infrastructure as a Service solution. Examples of content you’ll find here include “IaaS: Service Delivery Modes” and “IaaS: Physical Platform”. IaaS is the foundation of all private cloud deployments and so it’s critical that you have a firm grounding in IaaS – the information on this tab will help you get there.
  • Security – The Security tab includes information about security considerations for the private cloud. Security is a cross-cutting issue that injects itself into all architectural components of a private cloud solution. Examples of information you’ll find in this section include “Security in the Private Cloud” and “Identity and Access Management in the Cloud”. While private cloud shares many of the security requirements found in a traditional datacenter, there are some things that are specific to private cloud so you’ll want to make sure you have a good foundation in private cloud security so that your private cloud can be even more secure than your current LAN based datacenter.
  • Management – The Management tab contains information that you’ll need to know about to manage an efficient private cloud deployment. Examples of information you’ll find here include “Managing the Private Cloud” and “Monitoring Datacenter Environments Overview”. The ability to manage a potentially complex private cloud infrastructure is crucial and the information in this section is targeted at helping your manage that complexity.
  • Infrastructure – The Infrastructure tab contains material that will help you understanding the physical infrastructure that supports your private cloud. Examples of content you’ll find here include “Core Server Infrastructure” and “Network Architecture for Private Cloud”. You’ve got to have a good handle on the physical infrastructure required for private cloud before you begin your plans to build one out.
  • Service Management – The Service Management tab includes articles and other types of content that focuses on managing the services you provide through your private cloud. Service delivery is a core tenet of private cloud and so this content is especially topical, since you’ll be changing your mindset from a focus on infrastructure and operations (and keeping the lights on) to one of a service provider. Examples of content you’ll find in this section include “Service Catalog Management for the Cloud” and “Capacity Management for the Cloud”

So those are the “stacks” we have in the private cloud architecture library right now. I should clear that at this time our primary focus is on private cloud architecture. There are a number of reasons for that, but the most important reason is that you need to have a firm grounding in the architectural underpinnings of private cloud before you even think about building out a production private cloud deployment. It would be like building houses and office buildings in your city without a building code.


Cloud News & Features - Private Cloud Solution Hub

A Home for Private Cloud Architectural Resources


If you're thinking about Private Clouding your enterprise, this is a resource hub that might help...


Related Past Post XRef:
Building a private IaaS Cloud with Windows Server 8 whitepaper

Monday, October 10, 2011

Building a private IaaS Cloud with Windows Server 8 whitepaper

MSDN - Building an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Cloud Using Windows Server 8

"This paper provides guidelines for building private and public clouds by using the next version of Windows Server (code-named Windows Server 8). It provides an overview of the common problems that partners and IT professionals currently face, and describes solutions for cloud-based data centers. This paper also describes the various technologies that are built into Windows Server 8 to enable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) functionality of cloud-based data centers.

This information applies for the following operating systems:
Windows Server 8

Included in this white paper:

Overview of Cloud Services
Windows Server 8: Designed for the Cloud
The Multi-Tenant Cloud
The Highly Scalable, Low-Cost Data Center
Managing and Extending the Data Center
Migration Path


I've been hearing more and more about private clouds, to the point of even hearing it banded about at my day job (were, like many large business, they don't jump too quickly to new tech). Being a dev, I feel it's important to know as much of my stack as possible, including those areas that fall within traditional IT.

So now that they are chatting up the private/internal cloud solution they are working on, I want to know a little more on this, but being me, I'm going to be keeping an eye on the "new," with the newest shiny cloud toy  being Windows Server 8.

Side bar: Why the focus on private when public clouds have been available for a few years? Data security paranoia. To many people are still to freaked out about their data not being in their data center, under their control. Doesn't matter that the primary cloud vendors probably have security that's many times better, it's a perception and reality has little to do with it. So everyone wants all the benefits of the "cloud" while keeping all the 0's and 1's in the building...

So I'm keeping an eye on this space and when I saw this 27 page whitepaper, I wanted to capture it for future reference.

Here's a snap of it;


And a snip from the introduction;


Enterprise customers want to build private clouds and transition to an IT-as-a-service operational mode. Hosting providers want to build public clouds and offer Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to their customers. However, it is difficult to build cloud solutions that allow for multi-tenancy, performance, isolation, reliability, scale, and cost.

The next version of Windows Server (code-named Windows Server 8) introduces a significant number of new features that provide all of the required capabilities for building an effective cloud solution in an open platform. By using automation, having an open platform, and being standards based, a Windows Server 8-based data center decreases the total cost of ownership and reduces susceptibility to failures due to interoperability issues. The Windows Server 8 open platform allows partners to extend the functionality beyond what is in the platform.

This paper explains these new Windows Server 8 capabilities and clarifies how they relate to other Microsoft cloud initiatives. This paper also focuses on IaaS solutions for cloud-based data centers.