Microsoft Virtual Academy: Free Training

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.11.2011 at 09:19


Cloud Computing! It’s one of the biggest opportunities for IT Professionals in recent years.  But wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple, effective way to get the skills and training you need to take advantage of this opportunity, and also get the recognition and rewards that you deserve?

This is where Microsoft can help give your career a boost.

Visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy training portal now and register to receive free and easy access to training for IT Professionals who want to get ahead in cloud computing. This content was developed by leading experts in the field, and the modules ensure that you acquire the essential skills and gain credibility as a cloud computing specialist in your organization.

MVA courses include:

  • Introduction to SCVMM, Architecture & Setup
  • Creating VMs,Template & Resources in VMM
  • Managing Windows Azure
  • SQL Azure Security
  • Identity & Access
  • Data Security and Cryptography


System Center 2012 Community Evaluation Program

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.06.2011 at 13:03

The System Center team is pleased to announce the Community Evaluation Program. The program is designed to provide IT professionals a structured approach to evaluating System Center and Forefront products before their final release. Members of this program are able to evaluate early versions of products with guidance from the product team and by sharing of experiences and best practices among a community of peers.  Multiple programs are now open and accepting applications including:

Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 – Program starts April 2011

Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Beta – Program starts May 2011

Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 – Program starts June 2011

Orchestrator 2012 Beta – Program starts June 2011

Operations Manager 2012 Beta – Program starts July 2011

Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 SP1 Beta is available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 10.03.2011 at 11:01

The Self Service Portal 2.0 (SSP 2.0) Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta is now available for System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

(wow, that’s a lot of abbreviations, isn’t it?)

The VMM SSP 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.

What’s new with VMMSSP 2.0 SP1?

Import virtual machines: Allows DCIT (Datacenter) administrators to re-import virtual machines that were removed from the self-service portal and also import virtual machines created outside the portal but managed by VMM.

Expire virtual machines: This feature provides the user the ability to set an expiration date for the virtual machines that are being created or imported so that the virtual machines auto-delete after the set date. This feature also provides users the flexibility (through role-based access) to set or change the expiration date for the virtual machine.

Notify administrators: This feature provides functionality to notify BUIT(Business Unit) or DCIT(Datacenter) administrators about various events in the system (for example, Submit request, Approve request,Expire virtual machine, and so on) via email through SQL server mail integration.

Move infrastructure between business units: This feature allows DCIT(Datacenter) administrators to move an infrastructure from one business unit to another when the system is in Maintenance Mode.

For all the details check out the public beta on Connect.

Microsoft Virtualization Partners in Qatar

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.02.2010 at 18:17

As of today, we have three Gold Certified partners based in Qatar, qualified and certified in the Server Virtualization competency within the Microsoft Partner Network.

1. Information & Communication Technology WLL

2. EBLA Consulting

3. Mannai Trading Co.

Information & Communication Technology WLL (ICT) is the first Microsoft partner in Qatar to complete the requirements to be certified on Server Virtualization solutions.

All partners above have completed the required training at the Partner Academy. Mannai Trading and EBLA Consulting have sent their consultants to the Dynamic Datacenter Workshop held earlier this year in Dubai. All of the above partners have the required experience in deploying advanced server virtualization scenarios with Microsoft technologies and have a number of notable customer references in Qatar.

At Microsoft, virtualization means helping IT departments maximize cost savings and improve business continuity. Our solutions address both physical and virtual infrastructure, and can be easily managed through a single console. Microsoft virtualization provides a completely virtualized infrastructure for your enterprise, from data center to desktop.

The Microsoft Partner Network recognizes qualified solution providers and helps them create new opportunities, increase demand, and achieve their business objectives. The network allows partners to leverage unique resources to help drive business innovation and form a trusted foundation for strategic decision making, increased agility, and long-term competitive advantage.

Release Candidate for SCVMM 2008 R2 available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 10.06.2009 at 09:30

The Release Candidate (RC) for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 is now available for download on Microsoft Connect.

The major new features included with SCVMM 2008 R2 are:

  • Storage Migration: Enables migration of a VM’s storage while VM is running both within same host (with no downtime) and across other hosts (with minimum downtime).
  • Live Migration Queuing: By default Windows Server 2008 R2 can do only one Live Migration at a time. SCVMM 2008 R2 allows queuing of simultaneous live migration requests and retrying later on.
  • Rapid Provisioning: Allows administrators to use new SAN technologies to clone a LUN containing a VHD and present it to the host. Saves a lot of time, as the network copy (BITS) is not required.
  • Host compatibility Checks: Deep compatibility tests for testing hardware compatibility are included, which allows testing to be done before attempting migration (and subsequently failing). Also includes features that will make the VM compatible with the new host before migration.
  • Support for 3rd party Clustered File Systems (CFS): Support for third party clustered files systems similar to Microsoft’s Cluster Shared Volume (CSV). Example: Melo from Sanbolic
  • Support for Veritas Volume Manager: SCVMM 2008 R2 now recognizes Veritas Volume Manager disks as cluster disk resources.

Happy virtualization!

Virtualization, High Availability and VMWare

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.04.2008 at 10:04

I came across some excellent posts by Jeff on the Windows Server Virtualization blog that explains how high availability for virtual machines is achieved in Hyper-V and VMWare.

Virtualization is a wonderful technology – running more workloads on fewer boxes is a great idea – especially when it comes to cutting costs on rackspace, floorspace, power, cooling, hardware maintenance and improving resource utilization. However, IT Managers usually balk at the decision to virtualize because of one major reason – putting all eggs in one basket!

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common arguments that I get when I talk about virtualization. At the recent Microsoft Technology Day at Kuwait, I was asked the same question by the attendees during my session on System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

If you have 10 workloads running on 10 different boxes – even if one box dies, it just affects the workload running on that box. But if you run 10 workloads on one box, and if that box dies, will it bring down all 10 workloads?

The solution to this dilemma is Failover Clustering for virtual machines. Hyper-V integrates with Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering and in an unplanned downtime scenario, when one server crashes, the virtual machines automatically failover to the passive node and each of the guest machines restart on its own – without any user intervention.

Fussy about the restart? Well, as of today that’s the best it gets – even if you have High Availability configured on VMWare, the guest machines WILL restart if a failover occurs.

So what’s the difference? Well – if you buy Windows Server 2008 Enterprise or Datacenter edition, Hyper-V and failover clustering is available to you at no additional cost!

Microsoft Technology Day: Kuwait

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.03.2008 at 19:23

Microsoft Technology Day is being conducted by the Microsoft Experts Community ( at Kuwait on March 30, 2008.

The event will consist of a total of 42 sessions by 20 speakers. Keynote speakers from Microsoft Gulf will be Vimal Sethi, Group Manager – Developer & Platform and Amr El Garhy, Developer Evangelist & MVP TechLead.

The speakers for this event will consist of MVPs from across Middle East and Africa, Microsoft consultants, and MCTs. The event will be held at Infocenter – Duwalia, Kuwait.

I will be presenting at the event on the following topics:

10:15 to 11:15 – System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007
I will be giving an overview of the core virtualization technologies available today, the DSI initiative, virtualization management, and a live demo of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007.

11:30 to 12:30 – Windows Server 2008 Server Core
I will be explaining what server core is all about and intend to do a live demo on how to set up a DHCP server using Windows Server 2008 Server Core.

13:15 to 14:15 – Top 10 mistakes while configuring ISA Server
I will be taking you to a tour on some of the most common mistakes committed by administrators while configuring ISA Server 2004/2006.

14:30 to 15:30 – Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007
I will be explaining the key concepts of Identity Lifecycle Management and what it can do for your organization.

For a list of sessions by the other notable speakers, please check the MSexperts website.

Click here to register for the event. See you in Kuwait insha allah!

Presentation on Microsoft Virtualization

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.11.2007 at 10:33

Microsoft Virtualization: From the data center to the desktop

Fellow MVP Adnan Rafik of the TechiesOnly usergroup has informed that his group is organizing a presentation on Microsoft Virtualization by Wolem Moses.

Wole Moses is a Senior Windows Marketing Manager for Microsoft Middle East and Africa. Wole is responsible Windows Vista and MDOP Marketing in the Middle East and Africa region. He is a 9 year Microsoft veteran and has worked in Microsoft Offices in the US, Turkey and Dubai.

Where: Conference Room, Microsoft, Dubai Internet City, UAE
When: 1630 hrs on November 22, 2007
Registration is free, just contact Adnan.

Overview of Presentation:

Microsoft Virtualization: From the Data Center to the Desktop

With the upcoming release of Windows Server Virtualization, with last year’s release of SoftGrid Application Virtualization and with the Partnership with XenSource (recently acquired by Citrix) Microsoft is making lots of moves in the virtualization space. Join us to get an overview and understanding of Microsoft’s upcoming Virtualization products and strategy from the datacenter to the desktops.

According to the mit webmaster guide, there is no replacement for dedicated servers. However if you want to work on the seo services as well, you will be needing inmotion hosting and therefore should start looking for a web host immediately.

SCVMM: Test lab built

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.11.2007 at 10:23

I have finally completed building the servers required for my Exchange 2007 test lab. I have used Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) for virtualizing the lab environment. For the purposes of testing I will have a total of 10 guest machines running on my SCVMM host. The machines include 2 domain controllers, 2 Exchange 2003 back ends, 2 Exchange 2003 front ends, Exchange 2007 servers (1 hub transport, 1 edge transport, 1 mailbox and 1 CAS).

For easy management of the VMs, I installed the SCVMM Administrator Console on my Windows Vista notebook.

I’m all set to test, validate, and abuse my test lab servers as I wish! [*devilish laugh*]

SCVMM: What happened to VM additions?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.11.2007 at 10:08

If you’ve installed Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) , you will find that there is no option on the SCVMM console to install VM Additions on the virtual machines.

If you have installed your Virtual Server host directly from the SCVMM console, you will find that the host does not have the web-based Virtual Server 2005 site where you can install the additions.

In this scenario, you can locate and install the VM additions as follows:

  1. On the SCVMM machine, navigate to C:Program FilesMicrosoft Virtual ServerVirtual Machine Additions. You will find all the ISO images for VM additions here!
  2. Create a folder named ISO under \localhostMSSCVMMLibrary and copy the ISOs there.
  3. Now you can just pop in these ISO images into your virtual CD/DVD drive on any of your hosts! Simply open the Properties for the VM, open the Hardware Config tab, select Virtual DVD drive, and choose Known Image File. You can then select the ISOs.

Note: Sometimes you need to refresh the library folder in the SCVMM console before new items start appearing. Choose Library, right click the folder and choose Refresh share.

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