UK Tech.Days 2011: Delivering IT as a service with the Microsoft private cloud


The Full Circle ( is a Microsoft Partner for both Online Services such as Office 365 (Public Cloud), and Virtualisation using Hyper-V with System Center (Private Cloud).

As part of this commitment we regularly attend Microsoft training and events, and over the course of this week there are a number of ‘Tech Days’ covering various industry hot topics – Cloud, Mobile, Web, Client and Server aimed at two distinct audiences – IT Pro’s and Developers.

Just over a year ago we attended the Virtualisation Summit TechDays event as covered in
Today’s topic from the Vue Cinema in Fulham, West London (around the corner from the office Smile) is a continuation of last year’s theme – Private Cloud – running your own utility based compute platform using Microsoft technologies,  namely Hyper-V for virtualisation and System Center for management.

This 1-day event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates for your datacentre & infrastructure investments. This event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever – with deep dive sessions on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, Hyper-V virtualization capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities.

For more information, please visit:

Transforming your Datacentre

Kevin Sangwell

Virtualisation + Fabric Management + Mature Operations and Service Management + Cloud Principals = Private Cloud

a lot of benefit is based on stove pipes of provisioning teams – racking team handing off to system build, waiting on networks for VLANS, then storage team for LUNs, etc. to give the average time from order to service ready of a new server being c.12 weeks start to end.

In reality do many large IT shops still behave this way?  unfortunately for a lot of enterprise shops the answer is yes, this, is of course, fortunate for us! Smile

Building the foundation: Server Virtualisation and Management

Julius Davies & Clive Watson (Data Centre Technology Specialists)


Evangelising Hyper-V, also introduced Hyper-V Server as ‘Enterprise’ but cut-down without GUI, same capabilities… in terms of CPU (64 Cores), Memory (1TB), etc. and the difference being that Enterprise and Data Center have licensing rights to run more VMs… this took me by surprise and at the break discussed with Stuart Leddy, old friend of ‘The Circle’ and Microsoft Core Infrastructure Marketing Lead – Server & Tools Business Group.

Hyper-V R2 Server is akin to Enterprise but cut-back, rather than the original Hyper-V Server which was more like Server Core with Standard constraints (32GB, etc.)…
since R2 – 1TB memory, 64 CPU cores – see:

Q. Are there any limitations to the number of processors and/or cores that Microsoft Hyper-V Server can utilize?

A. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 supports systems with up to 64 logical processors on the physical machine.

Q. Are there any physical memory limitations to Microsoft Hyper-V Server?

A. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 supports up to 1 TB of physical memory.


Teaming Support provided by NIC vendor

Intel = PROSet, Broadcom = BACS, HP = NCU
Best practise: :install/enable Hyper-V, then install networking utilities…. ???? WTF?  perhaps before configuring networking?  surely you present a Teamed NIC to Hyper-V rather than abstract post event

Hyper-V Networking for Clusters – guide at

Best practise suggesting 5 separate networks!!  host mgmt, heartbeat, CSV’s, live migration, VM traffic, if iSCSI x2 with MPIO!  (interestingly their demo platform used 3 – Corpnet (External), Live Migration, and Storage


How can we better manage?

Clive talked about SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1… but not much SCVMM 2012… a shame!

interesting use of the term ‘evacuate virtual machines to another host’ (implementing a PRO Tip), and ‘rehydrating’ back onto a host once fixed.  Usual demo of Self Service and breaking VM’s – audit trail, etc.

ahha..a little bit about v.Next / 2012 – its all about Fabric Management!

VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 – bringing business requests and IT service delivery/provisioning together.


HP Hyper-V Reference Architecture

Adam Richardson, HP & Neil MacCuish, CSC

Adam dot Richardson – a sales guy, but a good sales guy.  Talking about the shape of HP customers and their agility, or rather, in a lot of cases lack of… 1 customer who took 18months to deploy a mail platform – yikes!

Some ‘Hyper-Customers’ – in excess of 100,000 servers installed – Microsoft is one of them.

Hyper-V Cloud Reference


Virtualisation at the Royal Mail

Customer Profile
The government owned Royal Mail Group (RMG) is responsible for universal mail collection and delivery in the United Kingdom and delivers more than 70 million items every working day.
Business Situation
RMG needed to improve the resilience and flexibility of its IT infrastructure to prepare the company to meet the challenge of a changing market for postal services.
The company looked to CSC as its IT outsourcing and systems integration partner to virtualise its servers using the Hyper-V feature of Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter.


Summary / Headlines

  • 9 months to platform ready
  • up to 720 Guest VM’s over 2 x HP 16 slot blade enclosures
  • Delivered against plan** (of course, it evolved)

Key Points & Learnings

  • Issues not really technology based – people change are harder
  • ** Build it and they will come! – once the business realises you’re faster they will come to you
  • Keeping it green, Service Integration
  • One team – HP/CSC/Microsoft – go to meetings together, share the issues, share the plan

Managing your infrastructure with System Center

Ellis Paul & Paul Collins


Presenting your business case for Private Cloud

Adam Collins, Risual

Cloud, over time will allow a closer alignment between IT and the business by giving back time to focus on more strategic objectives and decision making. Understanding how to position with the business, build a technology roadmap and deliver long term value from your current and future investments is a critical task that can’t be put off any longer. Within this session you will be presented with the necessary tools to support you in taking advantage of Cloud solutions from both an experienced IT consultancy in Risual and a global customer in Paul Smith.


Very interesting session starting with the driver being ‘ensure predictable IT costs’ with five pillars to support:

Service Delivery
Sustainability (Green IT) –
Contract Management –

Assumed Benefits – Financial, Operational Efficiency, Governance, CSAT, Innovation, Agility, Sustainable IT

Hyper-V and System Center- Competitive Comparisons

Matt McSpirit

You’ll learn more about the different components within the Hyper-V and System Center, but more specifically, how they can provide a greater level of comprehensive management, choice, and advanced automation.


Matt McSpirit for one of his last UK presentations before jumping to Redmond for a career in Corp. with Andrew Fryer doing his ‘Pap’ impression but with a gagging order this week.. Winking smile

As usual a great presentation from Matt who gave a deep (and broad!) session on why Hyper-V isn’t just a viable alternative to VMware, but a serious contender.  In a lot of cases not just a better value proposition (not difficult) but also more performant (not so easy!), and with independent 3rd party evidence to back up the claims e.g. TS workloads on VMware, Hyper-V R2 SP1, and XenServer (Virtual Reality Check – Phase II version 2.0) and more at (same as

There was a lot of myth busting around the issue often cited that Hyper-V is fundamentally flawed because it sits on top of Windows – of course there is Hyper-V Server (think Server Core), but what isn’t common knowledge is how many patches there have been for VMware and some pretty high profile issues, and as per Microsoft many require guest or host restarts – its not just Microsoft platforms that require reboots!

And, of course Matt plugged for great content including video walk-through’s and more e.g. bare-metal to live migration in under an hour!! – I’ve used Matt’s site as a handy reference and basic training tool many times and highly recommend as well worth your time.


What next?

For more information on what The Full Circle can do to help you find your way in the clouds, see