E2EVC Rome 2013–Attending & Speaking


I’m attending and speaking at the E2EVC (Experts2Experts Virtualization Conference) in Rome, November 1-3.

I’ll be doing a talk on networking features in Windows Server 2012 R2 & Hyper-V. The good, the bad & the ugly. And no, no SDN talk. It’s about the other stuff.

“Session Topic: Networking Options For Virtualization in Windows Server 2012 R2
Short description: In Windows 2012 R2 there are many networking options available to optimize for both speed & redundancy. Let’s talk about some of them and see where and when they can help. The biggest problem is thinking you need  all of them or wanting all of them. Others are knowledge& complexity. Join us for a chalk & talk discussing all this. Some fellow MVPs will be there and we all have different experiences in different environments.
Presenter: Didier Van Hoye, Microsoft MVP”

It will be an interactive chalk & talk based on testing & experiences with these features & demos if the internet holds up.

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It’s a suburb non-commercial, virtualization community Event. It brings the best real life  virtualization experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. Lots of presentations, Master Classes and discussions going on both the attendees, vendors product teams & independent experts.

Now this is a conference where marketing & marchitecture is shot down fast & hard. But always in a friendly way. These people are all working in the sector and they have to keep it real. They have a business & a livelihood that depends on them delivering results, not fairy tales & management pleasing BS. These people tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear.

Look at the turnout for this event, this twitter list reads as the “Who’s Who In Virtualization”: @pcrampton, @joe_elway, @shawnbass, @ThomasMaurer, @Andrea_Mauro, @hansdeleenheer, @drtritsch, @WorkingHardInIT, @HelgeKlein, @JimMoyle, @neilspellings, @andyjmorgan, @KBaggerman, @CarlWebster, @bsonposh, @gilwood_cs, @E2EVC, @KristianNese, @_POPPELGAARD, @barryschiffer, @RemkoWeijnen, @IngmarVerheij, @WilcovanBragt, @david_obrien, @Microspecialist, @virtualfat, @LFoverskov, @virtuEs_IT, @stibakke, @granttiller, @Easi123, @ChrisJMarks, @arbeijer, @znackattack, @ShaunRitchie_UK, @Rob_Aarts, @StefanKoell, @EHouben, @crachfahl, @JeroenTielen, @plompr, @Gkunst, @drmiru, @espenbe, @marcdrinkwater, @DocsMortar, @AlBayliss, @wedelit, @pzykomAtle, @LoDani, @fborozan, @JeffWouters, @mrpickford, @smspasscode, @schose, @rvanderkruk, @TimmBrochhaus, @HansMinnee, @JZanten, @Sargola, @JaspervanWesten, @airdeca_nl, @danielBuonocore, @PeppelT, @TondeVreede, @pcortis, @ConorScolard, @CarstenDreyer, @arnaud_pain, @RoyTextor, @saschazimmer, @abstrask, @loopern, @PulseITch, @joarleithe, clarecoops9, @rfolmer, @wimoortgiesen  …

Here’s the conference agenda: http://www.e2evc.com/home/Agenda.aspx

See you there Smile and I’m looking forward to seeing my community buddies!

Join me for aTechNet Live Meeting: Hyper-V Storage Efficiencies & Optimizations in Windows Server 2012 R2


So you have been  playing with or down right seriously testing Windows Server 2012 and perhaps even Windows Server 2012 R2. That’s great. Many of you might have it running in production or are working on that. That’s even better.

Windows Server 2012 has brought us unseen capabilities & performance enhancements that make it a future proof fundament for many versions to come and it is ready for the ever accelerating pace of hardware improvements. R2 has fine tuned some points and added improvements that are stepping stones to better today and even greater in vNext. I’d like to invite you to a free TechNet Live Meeting on Hyper-V Storage Efficiencies & Optimizations in Windows Server 2012 R2 and look at some of these capabilities with me.

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As a virtualization guy two subjects are very dear to me and that is networking & storage, and this event is about a subset of the storage improvements. You might have heard about ODX and UNMAP but you have not had the change to play with it. You have read about the tremendous scalability of the IOPS in a VM and about large sector support for the next generation of hard disks drives. Well some of these we’ll demonstrate (ODX, UNMAP, Dynamically expanding VHDX performance) if the demo gods are with us. Others we’ll discuss so you’ll know where this comes into play and how you’ll benefit from them even without realizing you do. So without further delay register for the free TechNet Live Event here.

If You Can, You Should Attend TechEd 2013 Europe


It’s that time of the year again, when TechEd is coming closer. I’m attending the European Edition in Madrid, Spain. But I can guarantee you I will be on line a lot during the USA edition as well. At be attending the USA edition this year if I could but work, time and budget wise I can’t make that happen. This isn’t because the European edition is less, absolutely not. The reason is that at MMS2013 in Las Vegas last month we got the heads up that Microsoft will start talking publicly about the new version of Windows and I’m game for that. Windows Server 2012 is the best Windows version ever but I know what I’d like to see in there to make it even better. I’m kind of curious if anyone at MSFT follows my thinking on this subject. I hope so!

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So yes I’m a TechEd advocate, you bet! If you want to know why, read my blog post here on http://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/why-i-find-value-in-a-conference/.

Come and learn amongst your peers, network with them and industry experts. To become competent and gain expertise you are going to have to get out there and expose your ideas, insights and thinking to your peers around the globe. That’s how it works. To those who dismiss quality conferences like this I can only say that you are wrong. To those who claim it’s a paid holiday I can only say that to a liar all other men are liars and to a thief all other men are thieves.  Enough said. Invest in knowledge and competence development, it will pay of better than some extra thousands of € in the bank!

So if you can please join me and attend TechEd. It’s a blast and a tremendous learning experience. I never ever miss attending TechEd, not even at times it wasn’t easy for me to do so. You can register here. I hope to see you there!

Best of MMS 2013 – SCUG Belgium


Earlier this month I attended MMS2013 in Las Vegas. Today the Belgian System Center Community let’s us know about a live event “Best of MMS” they organize in order to share in-depth System center knowledge/presentations along with their impressions.

No one les than Wally Mead, the Senior Program Manager for System Center Configuration Manager who’s perhaps better know as The Godfather of Configuration Manger, will be joining the event. Wally is presenting twice along side the Belgian SCUG members, many of which belong to Microsoft Extended Experts Team (MEET) and/or are MVPs in Enterprise Client Management, Cloud & Datacenter & Virtual machine.

Grab a seat for "Best of MMS 2013” right here on Eventbrite

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You can find the (non final) agenda on the SCUGBE web site http://scug.be/events/2013/04/27/best-of-mms-19062013/. As you can see I have an early morning session at 09.15  – 10.15 on “Availability Strategies for a Resilient Private Cloud”. This provides the foundation for a high to continuous available private cloud my fellow speakers will be presenting on.

There will be opportunities to network, talk shop, learn and last but not least to win a TechEd Europe 2013 ticket in a lottery!

Key Take Aways From MMS2013


Introduction

I’ve parked myself at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas awaiting the start of my long haul home to Europe. The new terminal is inspiring me to share as I reflect on the past week and on what’s happening at work.

ICT in the 21st Century

A lot is going on and moving in ICT and even more is coming our way. In the Microsoft sphere we got the official heads up at MMS2013 that new features would be publicly discussed at TechEd 2013 (USA or Europe). So you might want to attend that one. I for one think that’s great. We need that information to verify we’re still are on the right track and fine tune our course. Especially in those areas where we can get quick wins with sometimes significant cost savings & benefits.  I could start telling you about all the great sessions and products at MMS2013 whilst quacking like a duck “cloud, cloud, …, cloud, cloud, cloud, … cloud”. But I will not. You can watch it all here.  I will reflect on the key take away.

Cheaper & Faster

Cheaper AND faster are the new mantra or’ “fast is the new cheap”. Cheaper makes everyone happy especially when quality remains high. Faster is sometimes a bit more of a challenge to sell. “New features, already?”  you say. Yes. The nature of our economies and industry is being transformed by the cloud and commoditization. It brings a lot of benefits, especially in a high speed, low drag world.

Fast is actually faster. For many years now any strategy & execution plan that took more than a couple of years was doomed. You get bypassed and your big investments will never live up to their potential. So, apart from the necessary larger and more long term investments, we evolve more and more towards a perpetual improvements & rapid adoption model. Innovation and the subsequent commoditization of it is pushing this. That’s not bad. By making constant smaller (easier to fund) investments that deliver fast results we get to a more adaptable, agile environment for lesser costs. It’s not that all long term, large scale projects are going away but the ratio is shifting. In smart countries this is already being done for building hospitals and other infrastructure that evolves fast. It’s not unique to ICT. Massive projects taking too long and too much funding lead to out of date solutions at the time of delivery at huge costs. Use this approach where needed but forget about it for the other projects. Cloud will be an important tool in all this, not the goal.

A Word of Warning

Fast and cheap shouldn’t translate into mediocre crap at dump pricing that will bite us. It should also keep in mind the ecosystem and don’t act like a shock & awe offensive leaving everything in it’s track in disarray. It needs to fit into a plan with clear goals an knowing where it fits in and helps.  It’s about balance. That’s the art. Knowing what, where, when and with/for who to do it. Not easy. Now let’s hope some of my managers read this blog. It might help them. As the question beckons an answer: who is it that will lead us in this new era? Well not one single person, far from it. It’s a team effort and to lead a team takes competence and some character.

It takes competence and personality

Competence and personality, combined with  applying both these (skills and  drive) diligently in a sustained fashion. That requires a lot of effort, even when no one is watching you, or perhaps better stated, especially then. Do what needs to be done where and when needed. Not because it could get you promoted or more money. That’s the character part. That’s what drives us to learn by participating in our ICT communities, presenting, attending conferences and networking. But also in those hours spend reading, studying and working in the lab alone or with a buddy. That’s what will make us able to handle the though and bad situations you’ll encounter and overcome them. It’s your resourcefulness that will make you seek and find opportunity in adverse conditions. People like the team members amongst whom I have the distinct pleasure of working. You can’t find such synergy if it’s only about personal gain and getting ahead. There is both a broad and deep skill set needed by all involved and doesn’t come easy nor can it be bought. It has to be acquired through work and experience. The transformation of the ICT landscape is uncharted domain for all but a few of us so it’s going to ask a lot of effort, often outside of our comfort zone.

Sure there are cynics who laugh at this and can’t imagine why someone would do all that without personal and immediate reward. Those are the ones we don’t need and who won’t be there at crunch time. Only after the facts they seek the spotlight to poach the glory if things went well or to condemn those that failed whilst trying. Well, the last so called leader who did that doesn’t work with us anymore. Enough said.

Heading Home after the 2013 MVP Global Summit


The 2013 MVP Global Summit has come and gone already. I’m very happy to have attended and I was once again emerged in a culture of sharing knowledge and helping out our fellow MVPs and friends. Thank you Carsten!

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We shared a lot of experiences we had running Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V in production. We met up with new MVPs and veteran attendees. To all my fellow MVPs and the people at Microsoft I’d like to say that it has been an honor and a privilege to have been able to talk shop with so many highly skilled, intelligent and engaged people. What ever their background they all share a level of commitment to be all they can be in their expertise. Thank you all for taking the time and putting in the effort. I hope to see you all next time!

My TechDays 2013 Agenda Recommendations


As you all know by know the TechDays 2013  are approaching fast.  I have mentioned this before. There is still time to secure yourself a seat and attend this event. People for far and away are coming over for this so why not you?

You’ll gain insights into a lot of new technologies. You can decide to go deep or broad or any combination of these two options. The idea is that you can return to your desk and have a better understanding of Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V, Windows 8, System Center and what a private cloud can do for you and your business.

I know several speakers and they are aiming to offer you some practical knowledge so you can get a head start with these technologies. Understanding the concepts about and the principles behind sometimes abstract subjects is important. This is also true for a healthy mix of real life experiences, tips on how to get thing working and what to look out for. I hope the local community speakers can help you out there. But to do so you need to show up Smile. Sure you can watch on line sessions and download presentations. But consider being able to talk to the speakers and experts at the Microsoft boot, to have the opportunity to sit down for a talk about real live experiences and openly discuss your needs and concerns. No, it’s not free consultancy, it’s talking amongst peers who are often dealing with the same issues as you are which can help you decide what routes to explore further.

The complete agenda is available on line here.

Tuesday 5 March

Register for the track of your choice here. Hard choice between the security track and Exchange 2013 but I’m leaning towards the latter. Scott Schnoll & Michael Van Horenbeeck (Belgian MEET member and MVP for Exchange) are presenting.

Wednesday 6 March

08:45 – 10:15

This slot is easy, grab the keynote to set the tone for the TechDays.

IT Pro Keynote

10:45 – 12:00

Systems Center user and ready for Windows Server 2012? Attend  Vijay Tewari’s session.

What’s new System Center 2012 SP1, VMM

13:00 – 14:15 & 14:30 – 15:45

Easy choice. Windows 8 is not weird or hard to learn at all.For the small effort of educating yourself on this subject by attending these two sessions by a very knowledgeable MVP and great presenter Tom Decaluwé, you’re ahead of the pack, reaping the benefits while ignoring the drama.

Windows 8 Client Part 1 "The OS internals for IT-Pro’s"

Windows 8 Client Part 2 "The Application internals for IT-Pro’s"

16:15 – 17:30

I’m torn here. Chris Jackson is the guru on this subject and if you’re still running on XP and need to move to Windows 8 or even Windows 7 attend his session and learn how to thrive and not just survive such an project!
App Compat for Nerds

Hyper-V is very dear to me and it’s an interesting subject so if you are using or considering to use Hyper-V go listen to Bryon Surace and learn why dynamic memory is a lot more & better than over commitment!

Hyper-V Dynamic Memory in Depth

17:45 – 19:00

This is a Inovativ (Kenny Buntinx, Dieter Wijckmans, Kurt Van Hoecke) tidal wave of knowledge it seems with a twist of Mike Resseler (always a good thing)

What’s new and improved in Service Pack 1 for the System Center 2012 suite

19:00 – 21:00

Grab the people you think could help your with that question burning inside your head. Don’t be shy! Mingle amongst your peers and engage in some tech talks.

Ask the Experts and Networking

Thursday 7 March

09:00 – 10:15

Start of the day with a true scholar and gain knowledge & understanding on Active Directory in Windows Server 2012. If you were not awake yet, you will be 5 minutes into this session as John Craddock knows how to captivate an audience.

What’s new in Windows Server 2012 Active Directory?

10:45 – 12:00

If you’re going to deploy SCVMM 2012 SP1 you absolutely have to attend this session. Really, I mean it! Vijay Tewari presenting.

Network Management in System Center 2012 SP1 – VMM

13:00 – 14:15

You need it, you want it, you love it in Windows 2012. What? PowerShell of cause and Kurt Roggen will show you why.

The Power of PowerShell: Advanced

14:30 – 15:45

Some of the great additions to the capabilities of virtualization in Windows Server 2012 evolves around the support Active Directory. Better & saver than ever with a lot less fine print. Join Wim Henderyckx & Benjamin Logist.

Forbidden fruits of Active Directory – Cloning, snapshotting, virtualization

16:15 – 17:30

You’ll just have to understand that for practical reasons I have to kind of attend my own session. It’s the nature of presenting.

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Networking Evolved

Attending The Converged Infrastructure Think Tank At Dell Technology Camp 2013


I’m travelling to Amsterdam tomorrow to contribute in a “Think Thank on Converged Infrastructure” during the Dell Technology Camp 2013. The topic of this technology camp is the Evolution of the Data Center, hence the think tank on the converged infrastructure.

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If you have any views on this subject, questions, or perhaps even “angsts” share them via twitter and we’ll see if we can discuss these. Don’t be shy! I’m pretty much a practical guys and for me any technology, no matter how much fun I have with them, is a means to an end. That means I think that a converged infrastructure can work for both the SMB/SME & large Enterprises if you do it right and at a good & affordable price level. Right sizing without getting stuck in that size, whilst not overpaying for future proofing is important. Long term in IT is a crap shoot Smile.

The biggest risks here is that the vendors don’t get what doing it right means & what is affordable. From the Microsoft community we’ve been discussing concepts like a Cluster in Box as a building block and other features that Windows Server 2012 enables for us. So far we’ve seen very low interest from the big vendors. From SMB to SME, we sometimes feel that OEMs look more at each other than at their customers needs and pursue agendas that fit only the bigger environments & pockets. Some partners look way to hard at their bottom line to be considered trusted advisors; They’ve lost the “VA” in Value Added Reseller. Serve your customers needs and you’ll have a business. Ignore us and you’ won’t ever have to deal with or worry about us again Winking smile.

On the other side I see the bigger players struggle with processes, methodologies and separation of roles that only hinder progress and prevent agile and dynamic IT.

We’ll see what the other attendees have to say, as I’m very interested in that. Looking at what other industries & roles think and do – and why – can be very educational. Vendors & Partners have a very different view on the matters than end customers have and the good ones know how to match both worlds to everyone’s benefit & satisfaction.

Follow the action on twitter via  #DellTechCamp, via live streams on http://www.fittotweet.com/events/techcamplive/ or https://www.etouches.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=53104&.

I’m Attending The 2013 MVP Global Summit


Well, that time of the year is getting closer again. It’s something different, unique and somewhat exclusive. It’s the 2013 MVP Global Summit!

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For this summit MVPs from all over the world converge on Bellevue/Redmond near Seattle. The summit takes place on and around the Microsoft campus. To discuss their favorite & most important MSFT technologies in depth amongst each other and with Microsoft staff.

I have the good fortune of being able to attend again this year. I have to express my thanks to our top management for this Smile. This is very valuable to both me and my employers. It’s also fun to discuss the technology you work with amongst so many like minded people in the same business. The amount of knowledge sharing, insights and ideas around Redmond creates a stimulating buzz and I loved every moment of it last year. I met many great professionals and interesting people with whom, from breakfast till after dinner drinks, we had a truckload of interesting discussions. It’s a bit of a geek fest.

So I’m looking forward to all this and also to meeting up again with some MSFT employees and professionals from the Seattle area I got to know last time.

The MVP summit is also a good time to pass feedback from others on to Microsoft as well. You’re not in the drivers seat when it comes to the direction Windows and Hyper-V will take. However, you cannot have your opinions taken into consideration unless you let them be be heard. So, please feel free to share any remarks, feedback, feature requests you’d like to the virtualization, cluster, storage, file share, network, etc. product teams to know. You can post them in the comments for all to see. To shy to post it publicly? You can send me a e-mail via the contact form on my blog or direct message me via @workinghardinit on twitter.

Now the entire summit is under NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) but that doesn’t mean it’s a pure diplomatic mission. We all love the technology, that is for sure, but we also  pass along the bad and the ugly next to the good. It’s not marketing or indoctrination,if it was MVPs would not spend the time an money to attend.

That’s where the words “independent” and real world” comes into play. We’re not a bunch of fan boys. The communication is both ways and I think that make this event extra valuable to both parties. I’m looking forward to the 2013 MVP Summit and I have a lot of feedback and questions based on using Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V in real live.

E2EVC Hamburg 2012 Video Interview


In November 2012 during Experts2Experts Virtualization Conference in Hamburg a couple of fellow MVPs (Aidan Finn  aka @joe_elway, Carsten Rachfahl aka @hypervserver, Thomas Maurer aka  @ThomasMaurer) I delivered a keynote and a master class on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. During some down time at the conference we took the time to do some podcast interviews with Florian Klaffenbach form Dell aka @FloKlaffenbach.  We also sat down for a video interview on our beloved subject. Carsten Rachfahl was the interviewer/director and did a great job, for which I’d like to thank him in this post as he’s been doing a bunch of them over the years and it’s nice to see the results of the time he puts into them.

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Subjects include converged networking, migration paths, Cluster Aware Updating and the very capable Windows 8 hypervisor we can now enjoy for free.