Find out how luxury car maker Aston Martin uses System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012 to accelerate efficiency in this interesting video case study.
This is a continuation of my earlier post on Windows Azure Backup Preview.
In the previous post, we discussed how you can generate a self-signed certificate using makecert.exe on the server from which you intend to backup. If you want to backup from multiple servers, you need to export the certificate you generated on the first server along with the private key and import it into the Personal store of the other computers that you intend to backup from. Windows Azure identifies which online backup vault to upload to using this certificate. You can use the same certificate on computers in different networks, domains or workgroups.
- Upload the certificate by clicking Manage Certificateon the Windows Azure Management portal.
- Download and install the backup agent on your server. Currently, the agent supports Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 Essentials and System Center 2012 SP1 Data Protection Manager. You will find the download link on the right pane.
- The Windows Azure Management portal gives you download links to agents for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 Essentials and System Center Data Protection Manager. However, Scott Guthrie’s blog post mentions support for Windows Server 2008 R2, while a Microsoft employee suggests that WS2008R2 support might be added in coming months.
I have personally installed the Windows Azure backup agent on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and it worked flawlessly (although it will need installation of more prerequisites, like Windows Management Framework updates, PowerShell, etc)
- Installation is fairly straightforward. Having PowerShell installed is a prerequisite. The Windows Azure backup agent is updated via Windows Update.
- Open Windows Azure Backup using the icon placed on the desktop. On the right pane of the Windows Azure Backup console, click Register Server.
- Configure the proxy if needed.
- On the next screen browse for and select the self-signed certificate you created in Part 1of this post.
- Select the Backup Vault you created.
- On the next screen, enter a passphrase to encrypt your backup with. This ensures confidentiality of the data you backup to Azure. Make sure you save the passphrase in a safe location.
- Click Register and you are now ready to configure backups for this server.
Scheduling a backup
- Click on Schedule Backup in the right pane of the MMC console.
- Select the items you need to backup.
- You can use Exclusion Settings to exclude certain file types from being backed up. Click Next.
- Set your backup frequency/schedule on the next screen. You can choose the days the backup should run and at what time. You can execute up to 3 scheduled backups per day.
- Click Change Propertiesif you wish to set network throttling settings, to optimize bandwidth usage during working hours.
Click OK and Next.
- On the next screen, choose your retention settings.
- Click Next, review your configuration and click Finish to create the job.
The backup will start running according to the schedule.
On the Windows Azure Management Portal, you can see the servers you are backing up, the storage consumed and more information about your protected items.
Here’s a screenshot of Windows Azure backup agent running on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
If you want to backup beyond just files, and you want to use Windows Azure Backup with applications like SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, etc you need System Center 2012 SP1 Data Protection Manager. I will write a post on how to make this work as time permits.
Forrester has released a report on Windows Server 2012: The first of many reports to come on Windows Server 2012 and specifically on its economic impact showing an ROI of 195% in a period of 6 months.
Windows Server 2012 brings you cutting-edge virtualization capabilities – if you do not already have Hyper-V now is a good time to consider moving some of your workloads to Hyper-V to take advantage of significant cost savings and improvements. Together with System Center, you have all that you need to build your own private cloud.
- IT Decision makers: Attend the Celebrate Windows event, March 4 at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha
- IT Pros – Attend our boot camp on Windows Server 2012, Feb 27-28 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Doha
- Please reach out to me our your Microsoft account manager anytime.
And yes, we will be talking about Windows Server 2012, too!
Microsoft, in partnership with Qatar Datamation Systems and HP are organizing an IT Pro bootcamp in Qatar during Feb 27-28, focusing on Windows Server 2012 Virtualization and Management.
This much-awaited bootcamp has only limited space and seats are filling up quickly, please register soon and be on time at the venue to avoid disappointment!
This week, NEC unveiled a virtual switch for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V hypervisor which is designed to bring OpenFlow-based software-defined networking and network virtualization to those Microsoft environments.
The NEC ProgrammableFlow PF1000 provides a single control plane for integrating server and network virtualization in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments. This integration is designed to enable network automation, more rapid delivery of network services, VM mobility and consistent application of business policy across the network.
The PF1000 supports 1,280 ports per switch and up to 260,000 flows. It supports OpenFlow 1.0 and can work with any OpenFlow-enabled switches from any vendor, according to NEC.
The PF1000 runs on Hyper-V, the hypervisor Microsoft has created to compete with VMware’s. NEC also claims it’s the first virtual switch running OpenFlow. The PF1000 can support 1,280 ports (combining virtual and physical switch ports) and 260,000 data flows, NEC claims.
At the same time, NEC announced a ProgrammableFlow upgrade that includes IPv6 and OpenStack support.
So, this is actually a nice announcement for Microsoft, giving Hyper-V something to brag about versus VMware’s ESXi.
Our partner Qatar Datamation Systems (QDS) are organizing an event on the 15th of January at the Crowne Plaza Doha (Airport Road).
The event will feature QDS solutions based on Veeam and Microsoft Windows Server 2012, and System Center 2012.
Be sure to attend this event, more details and registration information below.
It’s a tremendous pleasure to announce Microsoft has two industry awards from CRN. The awards are:
- CRN 2012 Tech Innovator Award for Virtualization: Windows Server 2012
- CRN 2012 Editor’s Choice Award Overall: Windows Server 2012
Microsoft Windows Server 2012
The final Tech Innovator award was in the virtualization category and also happened to be the CRN Test Center’s Editor’s Choice. Trailing in the virtualization market almost since there was a virtualization market, this company has worked hard for years to build a system with capabilities that are almost beyond belief. For example, imagine migrating an established LAN and its users from behind a company’s firewall to the cloud using drag-and-drop with virtually no user downtime. With its data-center abstraction layer, companies can deploy and manage virtualized applications, full desktops, servers and even orchestrated Web services using a GUI, a command prompt or natural-language scripting. And as the company’s competitors are learning, simple, core-based pricing is the method most preferred by resellers and the industry. So we congratulate this year’s Tech Innovator award winner for virtualization and the 2012 Editor’s Choice award. Both go to Microsoft and its Windows Server 2012. Accepting for Microsoft was Jeff Woolsey, principle program manager lead, Windows Server.
Windows Server 2012 is the first version of Windows Server that does not have a an edition for Itanium-based systems.
Customers who currently have licenses under Software Assurance (SA) for an earlier version of Windows Server on Itanium-based systems often have questions about how the SA works for future versions.
I found some guidance in the October 2012 Products List document, from which I will paste below:
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium Based Systems
License grants associated with end of life of Windows Server for Itanium Based Systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server for Itanium Based Systems. Volume licensing customers with active Software Assurance for Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium Based Systems licenses on September 1, 2012 or as of the date of first availability of Windows Server 2012 for download on the Volume Licensing Service Center, whichever is earlier, (“Qualifying Licenses”) will be permitted to upgrade to and use Windows Server 2012 Datacenter software in place of Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium Based Systems. To facilitate this upgrade, for every two Qualifying Licenses the customer has, the customer will be deemed to be granted one Windows Server 2012 Datacenter processor license upon availability of Windows Server 2012.
- If a customer has an odd number of Qualifying Licenses then the customer will need to round down to the nearest even number to determine its grant. For example, a customer that has three Qualifying licenses will be deemed to be granted a total of one Windows Server 2012 Datacenter license.
- Licenses acquired under this grant include Software Assurance coverage. Such coverage expires when the corresponding coverage on the Qualifying Licenses expires.
- If customers acquired perpetual rights to use software under Qualifying Licenses, the licenses acquired under this grant are likewise perpetual; otherwise, licenses acquired under this grant expire when the underlying Qualifying Licenses would have expired.
- Upon upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter under this grant, the customer’s existing Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium Based Systems Qualifying Licenses are no longer will be valid.
- Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium Based Systems licenses subsequently acquired under the same enrollment term as part of an Enterprise, Enterprise Subscription, Open Value Subscription or EES customer’s scheduled true-up process are also Qualifying Licenses for purposes of the foregoing grant.
- Notwithstanding the grant of Windows Server 2012 Datacenter licenses, and any upgrade to that version, obligations to pay amounts due and owing for the Qualifying Licenses and coverage remain in full force and effect.
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’.