Falling off the blogosphere (The Piano ate my blog!)

Sounds like the dog ate my homework? Well that’s really what it is! Many people asked me  in person why I stopped blogging? Why I make very little noise on social media?

Simply put a few years ago I bought a friends second-hand piano and around the same time I lost a couple of relatives which soon became a complex and unpleasant situation. It happened that all my contracts and projects did not permit me to discuss my work and I found life very frustrating, many half finished blog posts with good intention to share but really the annoying life issues kept creeping up and interfered with my positive view of how technology and people make great rock and roll!

Now… I’ve another child, have my own company, travel, research and am slowly getting back to writing. I better not say I will be blogging regularly but I can say I still work with Virtualization, Systems Management, play games, arrange and give talks and I still believe deeply in technology and people! Next month I will be in Chicago at the MS Ignite conference and later in Hong Kong at the first experts virtualization conference in Asia. My kids have out smarted me on the piano and with all the travel I think I have some time to write.

Posted on April 23, 2015 at 7:17 am by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Social

Just 3 days to go until Europes E2E Virtualization conference. Will you be there?


Tonight I have the pleasure of packing my bag for my 4th attendance at Europe’s leading virtualization conference. As I flick through agenda I see I will have a few moments where I want to be in two sessions at the same time. E2E sessions are generally recorded and available afterwards along with slides, however one of the most valuable E2E conference benefits is that I can ask someone to introduce me to the presenter in the other track and chat about their topic or software.

CheeringI don’t blog all that much right now but I know it’s only fair I play a part in continuing to raise E2E awareness, that new IT heroes venturing onto the world of software defined everything, may chance upon the opportunity to hook up with some excellent real-world speakers, bloggers authors and founders of cool virtualization technology firms and products. Let’s make sure the learning budgets and travel plans for 2014 are updated accordingly!

What you may ask, makes this E2E conference so good? My opinion (which is best evaluated by your attendance in the future) is that the organisers, speakers and attendees all play their part in generating an intellectual industry buzz and unparalleled relaxed atmosphere in which to soak up as much information as possible.

I’ll quickly summarise the E2E magic as I see it:

If that’s not enough, I’m going to be talking about some often overlooked yet critically important elements of any good virtualization project, specifically highlighting some benefits to be leveraged from some the System Center 2012 R2 components such as Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager.

If your reading this and think  that on this Friday you want now want to join us in Rome then head over to http://www.e2evc.com/home/ and register for what may be the last ticket for one of the most rewarding weekends. Of course if you can’t make it, here’s a few of the attendee twitter handles you may wish to follow to find out more and keep up to date on the many other not quite so amazing but none the less interesting events.

@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

I look forward to meeting you in Rome or at another E2E conference next year :-)

– @virtualfat

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Data Protection Manager, Social, Virtualization

Upcoming Windows Server 2012 Events in Jersey

Now we are just 5 days away from the Windows Server 2012 official launch day I thought I’d share a little excitement around some informal IT Pro events being held in Jersey. And that’s totally free events I might add!

[Edit] Michael (co-founder of this Windows infrastructure user group) and I were just discussing his newly received double CCIE (which means he owns two spread sheets full of IP addresses?) and he pointed out I’d not been clear about the upcoming IT camp. So I figured, I’d publicly congratulate him on his achievement then Invite him to do a talk on IPAM as soon as he’s updated that new spread sheet!

So what is an IT camp and who’s coming over?

Friday 14 September 09:30 – 17:00

Tech.Days – Windows Server 2012 – Camp , in summary an IT camp is an audience driven all day Technical event where we get together with Microsoft’s UK IT Pro team and local engineers, consultants and architects to get your hands dirty with Windows Server 2012. Not a PowerPoint day, there will be kit in the middle of the room and you should be bring a Hyper-V capable laptop that you have backed up and be prepared to dual boot!

Tea, coffee and refreshments are served throughout the day with a buffet lunch and I’m informed there are going to be some prizes.

The people, we have Simon May who blogs over here on http://simon-may.com/, Simon is the author of The Rough Guide to Windows 7, is something of a geek who’s been working with Microsoft products since DOS 3.2 and like Michael and I, lists the Xbox high on his  favourites.

Andrew Fryer who blogs here http://blogs.technet.com/b/andrew/, Andrew specialises in Data Management and the Private Cloud and could well be a serious fan of SQL. From recollection Andrew is impressed by the IOPS we can deliver through virtualization these days and like me is right into the new Windows Server 2012 release. Andrew has been seen wearing an Xbox t-shirt so I guess could be a gamer too.

Dan Pilling is the IT Pro Audience Lead & Visual Studio Marketing Lead,, a technology guy with a passion for music, travel, technology and cars, Dan has the Xbox thing going on too.

Ok that’s the Microsoft crew introduced, but it doesn’t end here.

Alex Juschin , I wanted to get a non Microsoft, Microsoft Windows expert in for the occasion and on the theme of gamers have invited a Call of Duty fan who doubles up as a founder of the E2E conference, Alex Juschin is a well known persona in the  world of virtualization, a Microsoft MVP and Citrix CTP, he’s due to deliver some XenApp training the following week and I’ve asked him to come a little earlier and help out especially on Saturday where we are having another event! I hope he will tell us what he thinks of the new RDS and VDI features.

Lastly but most importantly is you and some of Jersey’s senior techs to make this a fun but working technical day.

I’m still in the planning phase for what happens at 5pm, it’s possible (just a thought) that some light refreshments and Kinect orientated happening could come to pass.

Saturday 15 September

I know many people whom want to attend will not make it so on Saturday we are having another gig, the second gig is a community gig where a few technical sessions and further tech talk will take place. The specifics of that content is still in planning and a good chance I’m going to look out for someone in the world of Windows Server to give an online talk, only if I see enough people or more booked I’ll make the effort to reach out to one of a very long list of people whom can and will present in their own time.

Here are the twitter handles for the visitors and I really hope to you there for one or both days. Of course if your not in Jersey and you would like to attend please fee free to visit.

Twitter handles for our guests are below along with times and links to register/






Tech.Days – Windows Server 2012 – Camp -  Register

Starts: 14 September 2012 09:30
Ends: 14 September 2012 17:00
Welcome Time: 09:00

St Pauls Centre, Dumaresq Street, St Helier, Jersey

Jersey Windows User Group: Windows Server 2012 Launch – Register

Starts: 15 September 2012 10:00
Ends: 15 September 2012 13:00
Welcome Time: 10:00

St Pauls Centre, Dumaresq Street, St Helier, Jersey

Can’t wait that long to find out about Windows 2012? Head over and sign up for the launch event on September 4th – Launch

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 5:11 am by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Events, Virtual Machine Manager, Virtualization, Windows Server 2012 · Tagged with: 

Upcoming Windows 2012 Events

Now we are just 5 days away from the Windows Server 2012 official launch day I thought I’d share a little excitement around some informal IT Pro events being held in Jersey. And that’s totally free events I might add!

Tech.Days – Windows Server 2012 – Camp -  Register

Starts: 14 September 2012 09:30
Ends: 14 September 2012 17:00
Welcome Time: 09:00

St Pauls Centre, Dumaresq Street, St Helier, Jersey

Jersey Windows User Group: Windows Server 2012 Launch – Register

Starts: 15 September 2012 10:00
Ends: 15 September 2012 13:00
Welcome Time: 10:00

Can’t wait that long to find out about Windows 2012? Head over and sign up for the launch event on September 4th – Launch

Posted on August 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Events, Virtualization, Windows Server 2012 · Tagged with: 

IPD – System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager

There is now an open beta for the Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager. This is a very useful job aid for planning your deployment.

You can download the guide and provide feedback by visiting the Microsoft Connect website at: IPD -Virtual Machine Manager 2012

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Virtual Machine Manager

Windows 8 RP Hyper-V Export

Now that I am using Windows 8 Release Preview on my tablet and desktops it occurred to me I could build Virtual Machines destined for servers right here using the local Hypervisor. That means new portability for things I’m working. I thought I’d capture the export and import process  between Windows 8 Release Preview and Windows 2012 Release Candidate.

To start the process I have created the Virtual Machines in Hyper-V Manager on a Windows 8 PC, then shut them down ready for export. Note, you can’t export a running or paused virtual machine.

If you have a few Virtual machines you can selected multiple them at the the same time then to perform an export, select the machines then right click and and press export.




Next we need to select a local directory to export the machines to.




You may like to know, if you happened to select the incorrect virtual machine for export? you can cancel it individually while the others will continue to export.




Once the export completes we need to copy the files over to the target server, on the target server login and open Hyper-V manager.


In the Hyper-V Manager Right click on the target Hyper-V server then select Import Virtual Machine, the wizard launches, on the first screen click Next




Select the folder to import from then select Next, select the Virtual Machines to import then Select Next



Select to Register or Restore the Virtual Machine keeping the existing unique ID or Select to Copy the virtual machine creating a new unique ID. For these I am Registering them in-place and Selecting Next. Review the options then Select Finish

So that’s, a few VM’s built on the fly up and running on a server in a few clicks. It’s worth noting my original machines are still there, I can now remove them by selecting delete in Hyper-V.

I’m not sure what every else thinks but the more I use the Windows Sever 2012, the Metro interface and a few apps, the less I like Windows 2008 and Window 7 Smile.

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 1:01 am by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Uncategorized

Windows Server 2012 Events

The release candidate for Windows server 2012 is now available for download and some great community technology events are taking place across the globe.

Here’s a couple nearest to me that we may or may not meet at Smile

Windows Server 2012 Events being hosted by MVPs in London and Edinburgh

London, Thursday 14th June 2012 – 17:30 – 21:15
Edinburgh, Friday 15th June 2012 – 13:00 – 17:10

For these and other countries register here – https://ws2012rocks.msregistration.com/Default.aspx

If your looking for an early deep dive with some local experts then look no further, a quick overview but by no means the full story…

Learn What’s Hot and New in Windows Server 2012!

· build your private cloud, offer private cloud services, or securely connect to public cloud services

· increase your efficiency, availability, and manageability

· leverage an open application and web platform for the datacenter and the cloud

· provide secure access to your personalized work environment from anywhere.

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Events

System Center Cloud Services Process Pack

I have noticed that some documentation for the Cloud Service Process Pack has been made available – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh562067.aspx

If your considering IaaS then you may well be interested in the Cloud Service Process Pack, a solution “coming soon” to a download center near you – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28726

I noted a few people made comments about the beta of the CSPP and that hopefully means with good feedback before an RTM this may prove to be a great solution! I’m itching to get a look as it’s one of my favourite topics.

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Uncategorized

The IT Pro: Is certification relevant?


The great question that resurfaces repeatedly in our industry concerns the value and relevance of IT certification. I have recently received a few notes from from Microsoft Learning about introducing their new certifications and I’d like to share these with you. Naturally, I have weighed in my personal opinion and lastly hope to furnish you with some useful resources including some not to be missed free training.


Is certification relevant?

I believe it is a priority requirement that information technologist keep to a routine of awareness, training and certification. I see this as a sign of good practice for both internal IT and consulting partners.

My view draws on reasonable experience stemming from countless certifications and being in the industry for 20 years; coincidently that’s how long Microsoft certification has been going. It’s worth a quick read here on the evolution of the exam development process.

New Technology brings new certifications:Private Cloud

I still meet many people that are not convinced by the number of cloud definitions. To avoid any doubt today, I’m writing about Microsoft Private Cloud technologies, as fully explained on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform website. Taken from same source.

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

And with these new technologies, Microsoft learning offers us new training and certifications that addresses and validate the new skills.


Available as a Beta release in April, the certification starts with the foundation of current Windows Server 2008 exams, and adds two new System Center 2012 exams, currently in beta. To learn more about the certification details head over to the Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Overview page and note there are plenty of links to help prepare, download the software and take a practice exam.

Mini Survival Guide to learning Microsoft Private Cloud

While I can’t be certain to cover every angle, let me provide several ways to get started beyond the overview page.

Stop Press -  two free courses!

It’s definitely worth considering these instructor lead courses at the Microsoft Campus, Redmond, WA. There are some requirements and to find out more read here.

The Microsoft Management Summit 2012- MMS 2012

This is learning central for Microsoft System Center and Private Cloud. Last year I was there meeting Microsoft and non-Microsoft experts. While it’s sold out now, there is no harm in adding yourself to the waiting list if you do want to go. If you are going, why not try the new beta certifications.

TechDays, IT Pro Camps, Cloud camps (UK). – UK Techdays

Virtualization and Private cloud learning brought to a location near you, this looks to be a day well spent. For other countries have look at your regional websites for similar activities.

The Microsoft Virtual Academy MVA

This great free learn at you own pace site is stacked with a wealth of information. Lunch and learn Private Cloud and so much more.

Private Cloud Solutions Hub – Reference Architecture

Loads here.

My blog roll

Great links to people and teams working in the virtualization, private, hybrid and public cloud space follow them on twitter and subscribe to their blogs.

In short

Training and certification is of great value and the benefits should reflect in our businesses activities, thus enabling us to offer better service, write better code or design improved infrastructure. It’s time to make better use of the evolving datacentre and infrastructure technologies and adopt a private cloud learning and implementation strategy.

Talking about SCVMM with Carsten Rachfahl

Recently I have been spending more time outside of Jersey and been fortunate to have met and discussed virtualization with some of Europe’s virtualization and Private Cloud IT Pro’s. Most of them can be found in the online and offline Microsoft and Citrix based communities,  tweeting, blogging, writing  and presenting their practical insights and product experiences.

While at the E2EVC conference I met Carsten Rachfahl who has been carrying out some interviews with fellow technologists. In this interview Carsten  asked about my presentation where I mentioned just a few areas of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012.


You can follow Carsten @hypervserver on twitter for useful updates on Hyper-V and much more.

BTW, here’s two more of the recent interviews, I am sure there are many to come, I’ll tweet them when I see them…

Hyper-V, CSV and Backup: Aidan Finn

CSV and Storage Design: Didier van Hoye

Jeff Wouters: Talks about Powershell

Carsten Rachfahl, Aidan Finn, Didier van Hoye, Jeff Wouters and I talking about Windows 8 Features

Posted on December 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm by Ronnie · Permalink · One Comment
In: Virtual Machine Manager, Virtualization