Microsoft Qatar announces Windows Server 2012

by Shijaz Abdulla on 28.09.2012 at 20:11

Just wanted to cover some of the buzz in the local press last week about Windows Server 2012, centered around our Private Cloud Enterprise Connect event in Doha.

For those of you that missed the event, I covered Windows Server 2012’s new virtualization features, while others covered VDI, the Microsoft Private Cloud story, Windows Azure and Identity Management.

Here are links to some of the local press coverage:

Speaking about the launch, Microsoft Qatar Country Manager Naim Yazbeck said, “At Microsoft, we have been hard at work delivering cloud innovation to help businesses succeed in this transformational time. What we are seeing in the industry calls for a different approach. Now, organisations can achieve a data centre without boundaries.” “The OS and apps are wherever you need them to be. We are committed to this vision and we call it the Cloud OS.

This platform should unlock further potentials for Qatari businesses and we wish to work closely with our partners in Qatar to leverage its maximum potential. I would like to congratulate Qatar Airways as the first to incorporate this platform in their ever growing business.” Yazbeck added.

“We have been using Windows Server 2012 through the rapid development programme (RDP) to experience how it can empower a dynamic data centre,” said Shibu Mathai, manager of infrastructure design at Qatar Airways.
“We have benefited from the new virtualisation enhancements in Windows Server 2012, I can envisage that cloud computing will be extremely beneficial for our business development’.

Red Hat includes built-in Integration Services for Hyper-V in RHEL 5.9

by Shijaz Abdulla on 22.09.2012 at 05:02


Microsoft have made strategic investments in interoperability that continues to reap rewards and here’s another big one TODAY with Red Hat. Today, Red Hat has announced the beta of RHEL 5.9 which includes the Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V built-in. (press release below.) The Microsoft press release is here.

This means that RHEL will include the following Linux Integration Components for Hyper-V “inbox”:

1. Driver support: Linux Integration Services supports the network controller and the IDE and SCSI storage controllers that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.

2. Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices now take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.

3. Timesync: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain accurate by synchronizing to the clock on the virtualization server via Timesync service, and with the help of the pluggable time source device.

4. Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager by using the “Shut down” command.

5. Heartbeat: This feature allows the Hyper-V to detect whether the virtual machine is running and responsive.

6. Key Value Pair (KVP) Exchange: Information about the running Linux virtual machine can be obtained by using the Key Value Pair exchange functionality on the Hyper-V host.

7. Integrated Mouse Support: Linux Integration Services provides full mouse support for Linux guest virtual machines.

From the Red Hat Press Release today:

Virtualization: Customers can easily run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 as a guest on top of Microsoft Hyper-V, providing enhanced interoperability in a Windows environment. This enhances the usability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 for guests in a heterogeneous multi-vendor virtualized environment and provides improved flexibility and interoperability for our customers.

This is just another example of our commitment to interoperability and providing the best Cloud OS.

Linux Integration Services (LIS) 3.4 release for Hyper-V: As you can imagine with our focus on the release of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, the LIS 3.4 release mirrors that focus. Specifically, the Linux Integration Services 3.4 Release for Hyper-V adds support for the following hosts:

  • Windows 8 Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012

In addition, the Linux Integration Services 3.4 Release for Hyper-V adds support for the following guest operating systems:

  • RHEL 5.7 (x86 and x64)
  • RHEL 5.8 (x86 and x64)
  • RHEL 6.3 (x86 and x64)
  • CentOS 5.7 (x86 and x64)
  • CentOS 5.8 (x86 and x64)
  • CentOS 6.3 (x86 and x64)

Find out about Qatar Airways’ evaluation of Windows Server 2012 in the Rapid Deployment Program

by Shijaz Abdulla on 10.09.2012 at 11:21

Qatar Airways, awarded the World’s Best Airline in 2011 and 2012 is one of our customers in Qatar that have enrolled into the Windows Server 2012 Rapid Deployment Program (RDP) powered by our partner ICT WLL.

Join us on September 18 for the Microsoft Enterprise Connect event and hear Mr. Shibu Mathai, Manager – Infrastructure Design at Qatar Airways share Qatar Airways’ experiences on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

Also speaking at the event are Mark Chaban (MEA Director Product Marketing), Jesus Martin (Infrastructure Specialist Lead – Gulf), Mohammed Alaa Eldin (Gulf Solutions Specialist – Identity & Azure),

Attendance to this event is free, but seats are filling up fast. Please make sure you register ASAP to confirm your place.

Microsoft Enterprise Connect: Your Own Private Cloud Roadmap
Where: Qamar Room, Hilton Hotel, Doha, Qatar
When: September 18, 2012, Registration begins at 8.30am

08:30 – 09:00   Registrations & Welcome Refreshments       
09:00 – 09:15   Keynote: Qatar Airways
09:15 – 10:00   Private Cloud Infrastructure       
10:00 – 11:00   Private Cloud and Datacenter Management
11:00 – 11:15   Coffee Break       
11:15 – 12:00   Desktop Virtualization & VDI
12:00 – 12:30   IaaS and Storage in Windows Azure       
12:30 – 13:00   Identity and Cloud Better Together       
13:00 -             Lunch & Networking

Click here to register | Save to Calendar

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Server 2012

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.09.2012 at 13:24

The Remote Server Administration Toolkit (RSAT) for Windows 8 lets administrators remotely manage computers running Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 from Windows 8 clients.

The new RSAT tools can be downloaded here.


  • Please note that the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 can ONLY be installed on computers that are running Windows 8.
  • Remove all older versions of Administration Tools Pack or Remote Server Administration Tools—including earlier prerelease versions, and releases of the tools for different languages or locales—from the computer before you install Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.
  • Only one copy at a time of Remote Server Administration Tools can be installed on a computer

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Posters!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.09.2012 at 00:04

Posters are back! Yes, I know you love them!

  • Poster Companion Reference – Hyper-V and Failover Clustering [Download]
  • Poster Companion Reference – Hyper-V Replica [Download]
  • Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster For Printing [Download]

Now get geeked up – and go decorate the wall behind your desk! 🙂


Windows Server 2012 hits General Availability!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.09.2012 at 22:50

Today, Windows Server 2012 hits the General Availability (GA) milestone!

This means the product is now officially available to partners and customers to purchase and install in production.


Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of a server operating system from the single server up to the datacenter and out to the cloud, while also incorporating breakthroughs across advanced storage, software-defined networking, virtualization and automation.  Windows Server 2012 delivers hundreds of new features that will help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their datacenters and applications.  In combination with Windows Azure and System Center 2012, Windows Server 2012 empowers customers to manage and deliver applications and services across private, hosted and public clouds.

Customers can use their existing skills and investments in systems management, application development, database, identity and virtualization to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 and realize the promise of cloud computing.

What’s New in Windows Server 2012? A LOT! Click here to read more.

What about VMware?

On the virtualization front, there is no reason why customers should be looking at VMware anymore for virtualization! Windows Server 2012 is the ultimate, no compromise hypervisor release that encompasses all that you need for virtualization to build a private or hybrid cloud!

Read about it! Competitive Advantages of Hyper-V over VMware vSphere 5.1


  1. Microsoft Premier Support Services will begin support for Windows Server 2012 starting October 30, 2012.
  2. Some of our top partners in Qatar are already trained on Windows Server 2012 and have done early deployments for select customers. Watch out for some exciting news.
  3. Our partners in Qatar are being trained on the Windows Server 2012 licensing in the coming days and will be able to help you with licensing.
  4. Qatar customers can also reach out to me directly by email or phone 33549982 for any questions/clarifications.
  5. Join me and other datacenter experts from Microsoft at the Hilton Hotel Doha on September 18 for the Private Cloud Roadmap event to have a 1:1 discussion over coffee!

Windows 8 device comparison

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.09.2012 at 08:35

With the explosion of new Windows 8 hardware in the industry, I stumbled upon this great comparison of devices on

Click to enlarge.



Private Cloud Roadmap event, Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 29.08.2012 at 11:01

Your Own Private Cloud Roadmap with Microsoft


The shift of enterprise IT to the Cloud is a tremendous opportunity for you to reduce costs, increase business agility, efficiency and productivity, as well as engage people in innovative ways. According to the Gartner 2011 CIO Survey, ‘almost half of all CIOs expect to operate their applications and infrastructures via cloud technologies within the next five years’.
As Cloud becomes an increasingly significant priority in the Enterprise space, and more Cloud offerings become available with time, we invite you for an exclusive session where we will share the vision of Cloud Computing and have a value dialogue with you to see how cloud services can be incorporated in organization’s infrastructure for competitive advantage and minimal risk.

Hilton Hotel Qatar
Qamar Room
September 18, 2012
Registration begins at 8.30am








Registrations & Welcome Refreshments        08:30 – 09:00
Keynote ‘Enterprise & Cloud Vision’        09:00 – 09:15
Private Cloud Infrastructure        09:15 – 10:00
Private Cloud and Datacenter Management        10:00 – 11:00
Coffee Break        11:00 – 11:15
Desktop Virtualization & VDI        11:15 – 12:00
IaaS and Storage in Windows Azure        12:00 – 12:30
Identity and Cloud Better Together        12:30 – 13:00
Lunch & Networking        13:00

Try Office 15 today: The next version of Microsoft Office

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.07.2012 at 16:02

Sign up for the preview to learn more.

MAP 7.0 now available: Better analysis of Linux servers for Hyper-V virtualization

by Shijaz Abdulla on 11.07.2012 at 04:05

MAP 7.0 extends its server virtualization scenario to include Linux operating systems. Now, MAP enables you to gather performance data for Linux-based physical and virtual machines and use that information to perform virtualization and private cloud planning analysis for both Windows and Linux-based machines within both the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track scenario, as well as the traditional Server Virtualization and Consolidation scenario.

Key features allow you to:

  • Incorporate non-Windows machines into your virtualization planning.
  • View consolidation guidance and validated configurations with preconfigured Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures, including computing power, network, and storage architectures.
  • Get a quick analysis of server consolidation on Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track infrastructures to help accelerate your planning of physical to virtual (P2V) migration to Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.
  • Review recommended guidance and next steps using Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.

MAP is a free tool available for download from the Microsoft Solution Accelerators Website.

Download MAP 7.0

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