System Center Roadshow – May 2012

Consumerization of IT and how it affects User Centric Management.

This May, Bennett Adelson went out on a multi city roadshow across the Microsoft Heartland District (of which we are the 2011 Partner of the Year) speaking about how the trends in consumerization forces the need for IT to shift from managing assets (hardware and software) to managing users and empowering them to make decisions. This shift is from asset-centric management to user-centric management (UCM).

Jason Condo opened the roadshow with a presentation on IT trends with some eye-opening results from recent surveys conducted by industry leaders. This showed how the trending of user savvy in devices, technology and solutions is inevitable and will only grow in the years to come. Using the User Experience Equation, he showed the five areas that IT always must think about when managing assets, users, or data.

Keith Mayer, IT Evangelist from Microsoft, spoke on the benefits of the whole System Center 2012 suite of products and how they can be leveraged to provide UCM and manage the whole enterprise.

David Norling-Christensen provided the  first technical session demonstrating how the new application model in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 aids in driving the move towards UCM. Using the application model, the IT Administrator can make different installation types of a software available for the user and allow specific attributes of the users’ experience to dictate how the software is installed or used. He also demonstrated the new self-service model that empowers the user to get what they want or need while freeing up administrators to provide services instead of installing software.

Jason  provided the second technical session around Microsoft’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) implementation and how it can be leveraged for UCM. By leveraging VDI as a tool, IT can empower the user while freeing themselves of trying to manage unmanaged devices. Using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, Jason showed how it can be leveraged to manage VDI implementations and how it can also manage and organizations hypervisors throughout the enterprise, whether they are VMware, Xen, or Hyper-V.

Lastly, David wrapped up our discussion on UCM by showing the previous technologies in action with MDOP’s User Environment Virtualization (UE-V) that allows users’ personalized application settings to be saved and migrated from machine to machine as they need it. David presented on how this works and how to implement it. He then demonstrated it leveraging the System Center Configuration Manager 2012 applications used in his first session along with Personal and Pooled virtual machines from Jason’s session. This was an excellent demo showing a seamless user experience across physical workstations, virtual machines and even Remote Desktop Services (RDS, formerly Terminal Services).

This was a great roadshow and the System Center team is looking forward to the next ones. Please find the PowerPoint decks used in the roadshow available for download from this post.

System Center Roadshow, May 2012 – Introduction – Keith Mayer, Microsoft

System Center Roadshow, May 2012 – 1 – Consumerization of IT and UCM – Jason Condo, BA

System Center Roadshow, May 2012 – 2 – ConfigMgr 2012 UCM – David Norling-Christensen, BA

System Center Roadshow, May 2012 – 3 – VDI and UCM – Jason Condo, BA

System Center Roadshow, May 2012 – 4 – UE-V UCM – David Norling-Christensen, BA

Windows 8 Road Show slides

I would like to thank all those who attended the Bennett Adelson Windows 8 Preview Roadshow.  In all, we had almost 100 attendees, many good conversations and received  a lot of great feedback.  We enjoyed putting on the event and hope that you will join us for the upcoming System Center 2012 Roadshow……..Details to be released soon!

We have attached the presentations in PDF format and hope that you all walked away having learned something and are considering the business value of implementing Windows 8.

Thanks Again,

Jarrod Roark | Bennett Adelson | Columbus
Director – Advanced Infrastructure

Winner of Microsoft 2011-2012 Partner of the Year, Heartland District

0 – Windows 8 Keynote

1 – Windows 8 Tools and Storage

2 – Windows 8 Hyper-V Deeper Dive

3 – Windows 8 Backup and Recovery Strategies for Hyper V

4 – Windows 8 Contact Us

Windows 8 Road Show!

 banner

Windows 8 Server Road Show

Do Way More with Way Less (Money, Effort & Time)

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You’re hearing about Windows 8 Server, but why should you care?
IT continues to feel budget pressure as businesses try to increase efficiency and resource utilization. In today’s Technology Roadmap, you saw some of how current technology can help with that goal. But what about tomorrow? Bennett Adelson and our partner Veeam can help. Come see us present new and important features in Windows 8 Server including demos on the Consumer Preview release. Let us show you how this new server release will help you do way more with way less!

TARGET AUDIENCE

Technical Decision Makers
Team Leads
Server Administrators

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REGISTRATION DETAILS

(location/date are registration links)

Cleveland (April 2nd)

6050 Oak Tree Blvd, Lower Level
Independence Ohio, 44131

Columbus (April 3)

8800 Lyra Dr. Suite 400

Columbus Ohio, 42340

Detroit (April 4)

1000 Town Center, Suite 1930

Southfield Michigan, 48075

Cincinnati (April 6)

4605 Duke Dr. Suite 800

Mason Ohio, 45040

TENTATIVE AGENDA

Keynote: “Do Way More with Way Less (Money, Effort, and Time)”

Breakout 1: Windows Server  8 Overview

Improvements to the Shell, GUI, and Tools

Server Manager
PowerShell

Improvements to Storage

Files System
Repair
Storage Spaces
Data De-duplication
Windows Storage API
Offloaded Data Transfer

Breakout 2: Hyper-V Deeper Dive

Management Improvements

PowerShell support
Resource Metering and Chargeback
Hyper-V Replication

Scalability and Reliability Improvements

SMB 2.2 for VM hosting
Concurrent Live Migration
SMB Live Migration
Live Storage Migration
Shared-Nothing Live Migration
Virtual Fibre Channel
Network Virtualization

Breakout 3: Veeam – Top Hyper-V Data Protection Challenges Dissolved

Closing/Raffle

Microsoft Certification, The Private Cloud, Windows 8, and You

In an earlier blog post, I discussed why we value certification at BA, and I mentioned the new Private Cloud Certification from Microsoft.

One thing that has come up for us recently that directly relates to this new certification is how Microsoft is moving very quickly to being “all in” on the cloud.  I was recently giving a presentation at the Microsoft office in Independence about the future technology roadmap for Microsoft, and the impending release of System Center 2012 fits in to that.  The vision is to use one set of tools to manage your applications across internal, private clouds, and external, public clouds.  The same tools can be used to quickly and easily adjust capacity as necessary, and even (with Windows Server 8) move virtual machines from your datacenter to a service provider datacenter with no server reconfiguration – no network changes, no account changes – just move the VM up to the public host or move it back as you see fit.

That kind of new functionality fits in with the idea that as always, the IT industry continues to evolve and change.  In the recent presentation I talked about how we have moved physical to virtual servers, and now how we are again moving from disjointed, disconnected virtual servers to a unified collection of virtual servers that supply application services in an elastic, on-demand way.  This allows you to supply services on demand to your customers (internal or external) in a fast, efficient manner.

Another change in the industry is that technology cycles continue to compress.  Users expect more functionality in less time, and technology companies like Microsoft (and Google, and Oracle, and so on) have been forced to improve their offerings with shorter turnaround times as a result.  One result of this is that certification gains value coming and going.  That is due to the fact that certifications on “the new thing” gain value because they show the ability to keep up with the pace of change, while certifications on “last year’s thing” gain value because a lot of organizations are unable to update their infrastructures to match the pace of change in the industry.  This means that a certification offering needs to be able to change rapidly to meet the new technologies head on while still supporting you on current technology.

One of the reasons BA likes the Microsoft Certification offering is because it continually updates, to help you keep your skills up to date in this changing environment; meanwhile, they don’t drop certification on a short timeframe, but instead keep it available to reflect what’s happening in “real life,” not just what’s next.  The Private Cloud Certification I mentioned previously will be joined soon by a Windows 8 Certification, in time for or soon after that product’s release.  That certification is being developed as I type this (I can say that for a fact).  You can get prepared now for Windows 8 Certification by gaining or upgrading your certification to MCITP: Enterprise Desktop on Windows 7, which will be able to be upgraded to Windows 8 through the standard upgrade exam process.  I can tell you from experience that upgrade exams are generally more productive for a taker than the “from nothing” version, because they can focus on what’s new and not have to cover an entire product functionality set.  Thus, if you are able to obtain one of the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop certifications on Windows 7 now, and begin working with the Consumer Preview as blogged about by Jason, you will be in a good position when the upgrade exam becomes available (likely later this year).

Oh, one last closing note on this.  Bennett Adelson isn’t the only company that cares about certification.  I am aware of a local company that is offering a four-figure bonus at the moment for .NET Framework 4.0 certification to keep their developer skills up-to-date.  And beyond my personal experience, a 2011 CompTIA study found that IT professionals gain an average 9% salary increase immediately after receiving certification, and 29% over the long term, versus peers who are not certified (channelinsider.com, 2011-10-19). And in a in a 2010 survey of hiring managers, 91% said they consider employee certification as a criterion for hiring (Microsoft Learning, 2010).

We will be doing a roadshow on Windows 8 in early April (post coming in the next day or two), and that would be a great way to get your knowledge on the platform kick-started.  In the meantime, grab the Consumer Platform and give it a try!

Michael C. Bazarewsky, MCITP, MCT
Principal Consultant, Windows Server and Security

The Private Cloud and Microsoft Certifications

This is the first in a short, occasional series of posts related to Microsoft Certification and why we care about it at BA.

One way that BA works to ensure that the Advanced Infrastructure group – and indeed all of our consultants – stay relevant is through training and certification.  Technology changes quickly, and our customers expect us to not only know what they are using now, but what they will be using next.  One easy way to demonstrate that is through industry certifications around the products we work with.  In the case of Advanced Infrastructure at a Microsoft Gold Partner, this often means Microsoft Certifications.

As I’m writing this, much of the industry is moving to a “private cloud” model.  We will be talking about this more in future posts and at future events, and if you haven’t seen this as a topic yet, you soon will.  The ability to provision new resources for end-users on demand – indeed, even self-service those requests – and do it in a cost-effective, manageable way is at the front of many organizations’ short lists for IT projects in the next 0-24 months.  Quoting the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform website:

A private cloud delivers fundamentally new capabilities that represent a generational paradigm shift in computing.

Of course, with this change in model, there is a need for new skills and the ability to demonstrate that we have these skills.  Luckily for us, Microsoft has recently announced a new Private Cloud Certification which covers this rapidly growing field.  It builds on the existing MCITP: Server Administrator and adds two new System Center exams to demonstrate knowledge of how to use System Center with Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 (and later, Windows Server 8) to deploy and manage a private cloud.

Of course, while we’re waiting for the April beta of the certification exams, we’d be more than happy to help you improve productivity and lower cost – do more with less – today with these technologies.

— Michael C. Bazarewsky (MCITP, MCPD, MCT)
Principal Consultant, Windows Server and Security