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#396 - November 26, 2014

The Future of SDN with Tom Hollingsworth (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Tom Hollingsworth about the Software Defined Network (SDN) landscape and how it's evolving into a more open set of standards that interoperate well together. Of course, it's never that easy, but one aspect that has really grabbed ahold is whitebox networking - standard hardware with custom software. Normally the two are supplied by the same vendor, but that is starting to change. Remarkably, Hewlett Packard has some leading edge aspects of this, including their own SDN App Store, so that you can choose what networking software you want to run on their hardware. And other hardware vendors while still supplying their own software are supporting OpenFlow, using the OpenFlow protocol to make highly interoperable switches. The future of SDN is very cool!

#395 - November 19, 2014

End-to-End Troubleshooting SQL Server with Kevin Kline (Guest Info)

How do you troubleshoot SQL problems? Kevin Kline talks to Richard about his process for diagnosing SQL Server, starting with Windows and SQL Server event logs, then moving through wait statistics, dynamic managed views and more. The focus is on making sure you're working on the right problem. Kevin also mentions Glenn Berry's awesome blog on DMV Queries, a resource you need to use! He also talks about SQLSentry's free PlanExplorer tool for helping you understand where your query performance problems come from. And don't miss Kevin's great blog post and video on End-to-End Troubleshooting.

#394 - November 12, 2014

Search in SharePoint with Eric Shupps (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Eric Shupps about search in SharePoint. The conversation starts with a state of the union conversation about SharePoint on-premise and cloud. Eric talks about how even folks not using public cloud technology are using the architecture to implement their on-premise systems. He sees the opportunity space for SharePoint professionals expanding. The discussion turns to the on-premise search systems in SharePoint, and how with a bit of effort, you can dramatically improve the ability to find documents and information in your business data. Eric talks about how it's not the same as consumer search - enterprise search has some complexities but can be hugely valuable when you get it right.

#393 - November 05, 2014

Security Global Policy with Alan Burchill (Guest Info)

Richard talks to Alan Burchill about the security aspects of Group Policy Preferences - good and bad! Alan reminds us all about where Group Policy Preferences came from, as an acquisition by Microsoft, and opened the door to reduce or eliminate login scripts, but only when it has sufficient privileges. And how do you do that? By embedding passwords! We all know that's a bad thing, so Alan walks through what is safe and what isn't safe in Group Policy Preferences, and gets you thinking about how to reduce your attack surface by using tools like Metasploit to hack yourself. Check out Alan's Group Policy Central web site for more information.

#392 - October 29, 2014

High-Availability Exchange 2013 with Paul Cunningham (Guest Info)

Richard talks to Paul Cunningham about configuring high-availability features in Exchange 2013. The conversation starts out talking a bit about how Exchange 2013 has evolved, including a mention of the amazing Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant. If you're planning a role out of Exchange, you want to use this tool! From there, Paul digs into the range of features you need to look at to make Exchange function in a high availability configuration, including creating redundant client access roles, using load balancing (or at least DNS round robin) to support failover, data access groups (DAGs) and transport redundancy. And don't forget about Managed Availability - Exchange 2013's built in capabilities to detect and failover to alternatives, sometimes to your own chagrin! There's a lot to learn to make a highly available Exchange infrastructure, so keep an eye out for Paul's ebook on the subject!

#391 - October 22, 2014

Running a Private Cloud with Alan Sugano (Guest Info)

Richard talks to Alan Sugano about his experience building out a private cloud for his customers. The conversation starts out focused on why you would want to build a private cloud, especially for someone else to use - Alan talks about his customers not wanting to go to the public cloud, but also not wanting to upgrade their own hardware. Once committed, Alan got to do the fun part (for a hardware geek) of building a private cloud - finding a great data center provider. From there he implemented VMWare's vCloud Director with some expensive hardware and difficult 10Gb networking to get up and running. From there things getting really challenging - what does it take to run a cloud properly? It's more complex than you think!

#390 - October 15, 2014

Small Business Server in a Cloudy World with Susan Bradley (Guest Info)

So where did Small Business Server go? Susan Bradley knows! After entirely too long, Richard chats with Susan Bradley about the state of affairs for Small Business Server folks. The last version of SBS came out in 2011, and now piece of the bundle have gone to the Cloud, and other bits have morphed into Window Server 2012 R2 Essentials. But just to make things even more interesting, Essentials is both a product and a role - that you can buy as a Cloud product as well as configure on any Server 2012 R2 version. There are lots of choices here, and Susan helps to lay out the options!

#389 - October 08, 2014

Windows 10 with Mark Minasi (Guest Info)

Here comes Windows 10! Richard chats with Mark Minasi about the technical preview of Windows 10, but first Mark reels off some humorous reasons why the name "Windows 9" has been skipped. After mocking Apple's iOS 8 for a bit, Mark dives into some of the cool features seen in Windows 10 beyond the return of the Start Menu (with fancy new features). And don't forget about server! There is a technical preview of Windows Server which includes these Windows 10 bits, which brings to the discussion about technologies that are going away, like Network Access Protection (now deprecated). What's the future of Active Directory? Is the cloud permeating everything? Mark always provides a great viewpoint.

#388 - October 01, 2014

Building New SQL Server Hardware with Brent Ozar (Guest Info)

Richard chats with Brent Ozar about the amazing new hardware coming out for SQL Server. Yeah, it's time to geek out on hardware. Brent discusses some of the amazing small form factor machines coming from Dell and Hewlett-Packard, including the

#387 - September 24, 2014

Config Mgr 2012 R2 and MDT 2013 with Johan Arwidmark (Guest Info)

Richard chats with deployment master and control freak Johan Arwidmark about the latest on Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013. Johan discusses MDT first, talking about how much power actually exists in this free tool from Microsoft - you can start with light-touch deployment, but it's equally capable of doing zero-touch when you really want to scale. And MDT works nicely alongside the pay-product System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2. You want both! Johan also talks about where PowerShell fits into the picture for deployment as well as Microsoft InTune. And check out the great notes from Johan and Kent Agerlund for optimal configuration of Configuration Manager!