My blog 2.0

May 29, 2014

HomeLab I powerful lab doesn’t have to be expensive.

The reason I started blogging was that I wanted to help a friend of mine getting started with a lab setup and it turns out that that post has been one of the more popular ones. I have decided to be more active on my blog and share the things I find.

What would be better then start off the 2.0 version of the blog where I once started.

Building your own Azure in the living room

In a series of articles I will build a home lab complete with operations system, management software and virtual machines. I will use Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2. I will use evaluation software downloaded from TechNet Evaluation Center More on that in the next part of the series

Part 1: The hardware

I wanted two machines so that I could build a cluster. I got the hardware for the lab little over a year ago and have complemented the purchases since then. Each of the machines are equipped with a Intel i5 processor, 32 GB RAM and three hard drives, one mechanic large drive for more static content, ISO, templates and such and two blistering fast SSDs.

Some of the hardware is a little bit old at the moment so you might need to get some newer parts if you want to build the machines. On the other hand used parts are now a bit cheaper and the speed of this rig is pretty awesome so that might be a cheaper way to go.

I wanted to get some relative small form factor and decided to go with the Shuttle XPC Barebone PC.
The integrated motherboard and the ability toadd up to 32 GB RAM and the necessary expansion slots/functions needed for the lab. Based on my experience you can never get enough RAM so to lower the cost of the rig I decided to go for the i5 processor and get all the RAM at once.

The components I complemented the PCs with are listed below.

Processor:
Intel Core i5-2320 Quad-Core Processor 3.0 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80623I52320 (EOL)

Memory:
Corsair XMS3 — 32GB DDR3 Dual/Quad Channel Memory Kit

Storage:
OCZ Agility 3 – SATA III 2.5″120 GB (EOL)
INTEL 530 240GB SATA SSD MLC
WD Green WD20EARX 64MB 2TB

I use the smaller SSD drive for the OS and the Intel SSD for the VM:s as mentioned before the 2 TB spinning disk are used to store images and tools and less intensive VMs

Stay tuned for the next part in the Building your own Azure in the living room series.

Part 2: The Windows 2012 R2 installation

By the way my wife approves of keeping the machines in the living room.

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74-409, 70-246 and 70-247 and how they work together

January 4, 2014

I got a question on twitter regarding the new Microsoft exam 74-409 and the Microsoft Private Cloud exams 70-246 and 70-247.

The new 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center exam is as I see it a replacement for the old MCTS/MCITP Exam 70-659 Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization.

Server virtualization is a foundation for a cloud implementation. If you stay on premise in a private cloud, reach out to add online resources in a hybrid cloud or simply move your workload online into a public cloud.

Microsoft Private cloud exam 70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 teaches you how to use System Center to build your private cloud.

70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 teaches you how to integrate and maintain your workload in that cloud.

If you haven’t started studying for the Microsoft exams I would suggest that you start with 74-409 followed by 70-247 and 70-246, top that off with a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 and you are Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Private Cloud + Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center.

By the way you know that you can get the 74-409 for FREE 🙂 Check out this article to get started.

Earn Your Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization Title with a Free Exam


The summer break is over, no sleep ‘til Christmas!

August 19, 2013

Autumn is approaching even if i try my hardest to resist the colder weather. I probably will use shorts until the first frost

I kick off with delivery of two Microsoft Private Cloud classes at Cornerstone in Stockholm.

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I start with the Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 and then continue the following week with Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

The corresponding exams 70-246 and 70-247 adds to the MCSA on Windows Server to the MCSE Private Cloud.

It’s going to be great fun, so if you are interested hurry up and get your seat.


My Road to Certification

May 16, 2013

I have worked with Microsoft products for a long time and am kind of a late starter when it comes to Microsoft certifications. I’ve had Citrix and VMware certifications in my back pocket for some time but in 2010 I had the opportunity to attend a Microsoft Hyper-V class and I was on my way to retrieve my first Microsoft certification.

Read the article about my road to certification on the Microsoft Learning website Born To Learn.

Why not start studying for that exam you been thinking about.


Exiting times…

March 5, 2013

# 1 New job at Lumagate.

Lumagate is a consultant company that focuses on Systems Management and the tools provided by Microsoft in the System Center Suite.

# 2 The challenge is back #90days2MCSA

Michael Bender is at it again, this time the challenge is retrieving the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in 90 days. Microsoft Learning has already shared some created some awesome resources like the Microsoft Certification Study Groups.

MSFT_Study_GRP

There will be more, so make sure you check the Born 2 Learn web site and follow Michael Bender @MichaelBender, Microsoft Learning @MSLearning and the hash tag #90Days2MCSA on Twitter.

I will have a go at this, I just need to pass one exam the the upgrade exam 70-417, that exam has no forum or Wiki ATM but the test is built on the 410, 411 and 412 exams so there will be plenty of information.

Another great resource for the upgrade exam is the Windows Server 2012 Upgrade Jump Start with Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Rick Claus and Ed Liberman from TrainSignal

# 3 New Lab equipment

I ordered some hardware to build me a new lab. I will cover the build process in a blog post in a couple of days.

The lab contains of two identical boxes containing:
SHUTTLE XPC SH67H3 S-1155 300W
CORSAIR 32GB DDR3 XMS3 1333MHZ CL9 (4X8GB)
INTEL CORE I5 2320 3.0GHZ 6MB S-1155
OCZ AGILITY 3 2.5″ 120GB SSD SATA/600 MLC
WD GREEN 3.5″ 2TB SATA/600 64MB

# 4 Microsoft TechEd North America

The 90 days challenge ends just in time for the TechEd conference in New Orleans. To start studying on a topic before a major conference like TechEd is a really good idea that will help you get even more knowledge out of the conference.
It is hard to beat the opportunity to get answers from the Microsoft guys and girls behind the products directly from the hoses mouth. 

If you haven’t registered check it out.
TechEd North America 2013 
Register now and save $300

TechEd Europe 2013
Register now and save €300

All of this along with my new lab equipment will make sure to keep me busy for many nights to come.


Interesting times ahead.

January 25, 2013

There are a few conferences that are on my “which to attend list”. MMS in Las Vegas, TechEd North America in New Orleans, and TechEd Europe in Amsterdam if this information is correct.

Mr Bender has a new challenge in the makings and the Surface reaches the Scandinavian peninsula.

All this and it’s –19 C (-2 F) outside, Gotta love winter in Sweden.

Microsoft Management Summit

mms-header 

 

Microsoft TechEd North America

 

TechEd2013 

According to the stats provided by Scott Ladewig @Ladewig in his article TechEd Registration: Not Open, but Not Late the registration should open any day now 🙂
Subscribe to the TechEd Insiders newsletter for receiving information

Microsoft TechEd Europe

still no update on where and when but I guess there will be information available soon. Make sure to check the website for information and Join the Tech·Ed Europe mailing list to get information.

New adventure ahead

Last night I read a tweet by Michael Bender and there’s a new challenge coming up. 90 days to MCSA – Windows Server 2012

Make sure to follow @MichaelBender and the hash tag #90Days2MCSA so you dont miss out on the fun stuff to come.

In the meantime make sure to tune in on last years challange #60days2MCSE
MCSE-WebBanners

Windows Surface RT available in Sweden starting February 14

surface


Create a MCSA Windows Server 2012 study guide.

October 18, 2012

MCSA_AchievedStepWindServ2012

You can create your own study guide to help you prepare for an exam quite easy.

I will use the Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012, 70-417 exam as an example but it can easily be changed to any other exam or topic.

A nice feature of TechNet is the ability to Print Multiple Topics.

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You can create a collection of articles in the TechNet Library and print them or save them as HTML or PDF files which comes in handy when studying.

Collect your information

Lets start with the first part of the Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012, Skills Measured.

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Broken down and some search of the topics on TechNet the section could look like this:
Exam 70-410
Install and Configure Servers (25%)

Install Servers.

Creating the guide

Now lets use that information and create the first part of the MCSA Windows Server 2012 study guide.

The first topic is Plan for a server installation. Click the link above and a new window starts. In the upper right corner you’ll find teh icons for Preferences and Print/Export

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Click the printer icon to get the option to select Print This Topic and Print Multiple Topics, select Print Multiple Topics.

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The link redirects you to the Print/Export Multiple Topics – Help page where you get information on the feature.

Click Start to continue.

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Click Add This Topic

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Continue with the other 5 topics and the first collection is complete.

click Collection

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In this view you can re-arrange and rename the content of the collection.

The result could look something like this.

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In the the Export Your Collection field you can choose to export your collection as HTML or PDF

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Now you can continue to add the topics into a larger one…

I’m currently in the middle of reading mine.

Hey wait a minute, got another great resouce to in cas you missed is. The Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs in case you need some time away from the theory.

See you around in binary space. 😉