Best of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) UK 2013

Today we are at Microsoft’s Cardinal Place offices in London Victoria for ‘Best of MMS’ – a regular fixture in The Full Circle calendar for a rapid-fire immersion in the latest Microsoft System Center technologies.  It’s also a great opportunity to catch-up with key System Center partners, the leader in this space being our good friends at Inframon.


‘Best of MMS’ is a one-day synopsis of the week long main event held in Las Vegas in April – see for the official MSFT site inc. videos, keynotes, etc…

This year’s event is just 1-day at 1-venue (last year was 3), however last year was product launch cycle with the 2012 wave whereas this year is mid-release improvements.

Microsoft officially described the event with:

Microsoft recently announced the availability of new solutions to help enterprise and SMB customers manage hybrid cloud services and connected devices with greater agility and cost-efficiency.

System Center 2012 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure and Windows Intune are key solutions that deliver against Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision to provide customers & partners with a modern platform to address their top IT challenges.

This 1-day event will provide you with the opportunity to attend the best sessions from MMS 2013. Best of MMS UK 2013 will enable you to interact with our sponsoring & exhibiting partners, and understand the next step forward in Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision, strategy and roadmap, with two tracks for you to choose from:

  • Infrastructure, application & cloud management for transforming the datacentre
  • Desktop & device management for empowering people-centric IT


Opened by Stuart Leddy, System Center Product Marketing Manager

This years Microsoft Management Summit was held in early April in Las Vegas (a couple of committed folks in the audience attended both!) and, as usual, was a week long gathering of IT Pro’s for in-depth training, sharing, and networking.
It’s highly technical with session content at the 300 and 400 level and today is a compressed summation of the best bits, hence “Best of MMS” – this was clearly a quickly booked up full house of c.200 delegates plus exhibiting partners.


Stuart covered the agenda for the day and some cool competition prizes we won’t win (in-joke..), etc.


Keynote: Cloud Optimize your Business with Microsoft Management Solutions
Cliff Evans, Cloud OS Lead

A summation of what was a 2-hr keynote at MMS (available on Channel 9 and YouTube at

(this should/will be Brad Anderson, and not on decks! 😉

“Cloud OS” – Years of building and operating some of the largest cloud apps in the world, plus enterprise operating systems, platforms, and applications to develop a platform.

Cloud OS – a platform of products & services that helps enterprises move to elastic, scalable, and reliable infrastructure moving between private & public cloud as needed.
At the heart Cloud OS is Windows Server 2012

Video snippets from customers and partners inc.

“When are we going to get a 48-hr day” – guess what can help manage that dilemma..

“Used to specialise in 1 or 2 products, now have to specialise in several!” – Gordon

“Are you running Private Cloud or just have some virtualisation in your Data Center?” – of course, Virtualisation alone is not Private Cloud – agility, metering, utility behaviour is Cloud

Interesting infomercial / profile on Dominos Pizza – runs their entire back-end estate with just 2 sysadmin staff, all Hyper-V managed with System Center suite – later in the day Dominos were delivering Pizza to an event in Cardinal Place… wonder if they get a discount or even free Pizza for free licenses… 😉

Plugging ”Datacenter without boundaries’ – crossing on-premise, private & public cloud (with Azure of course! ;-)) – doubling storage of Azure every 6-9 months

Windows Server 2012 storage spanning on-premise to Cloud
Storage Spaces – SAN capabilities at a fraction of the cost

Toyota re: Windows Intune and a stat that said %20 of respondents believe BYOD “is a right!” – crikey! some serious device management needed for all those non-domain joined bits of vulnerability and its only getting worse…


Infrastructure, Application & Cloud Management – “State of the Union”
Julius Davies & Clive Watson

Changes – lower cost, increased capacity e.g. 8-core & 56GB RAM to support higher load workloads such as SQL & SharePoint

Windows Server 2012 released 7 months ago, but only about 1/3 the room evaluating or using the product – and that’s an audience of MS infrastructure folks

Scaling up and out (big servers and big clusters) – up to 64-node clusters, our largest customer Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Cluster deployment is 6-nodes however that’s just 1 of 4 clusters over 2-sites covering production & DR

Shared Nothing Live Migration – not the best marketing words for VM migration without Shared Storage!

Versioning of VM’s via Replication – can keep previous versions e.g. useful for product life-cycle versioning

Private Cloud with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012
Clive Watson & Julius Davies


As Anthony (TFC Technical Architect & VMware guru) pointed out there are lots of catch-up technologies e.g. QoS, bandwidth management etc. although quite a few interesting new capabilities too – e.g. Dynamic Access Control (Expression based security with operators – as in Boolean not, Pizza eating 😉 – full session on Channel 9 at:


Application and Monitoring for your Private Cloud with System Center 2012
Paul Collins & Gavin Kemp


Portals: Self Service for using Clouds with System Center 2012
Gordon McKenna, Inframon

New features in System Center 2012 provides Dev-Ops integration with Visual Studio to provide application monitoring – a key concerns in production and development, tracking and analyzing issues to make a significant difference in DevOps as well as production.

Consistent Dev-Ops Experiences through new high-density web sites with elastic scaling, rich IaaS experience for on-premise Private Cloud self-service provisioning that looks like the Azure WebUI (i.e. very very slick) and these VM’s are portable to MS Public Cloud – Enabling the Cloud O/S for Service Providers

Am thinking of the phrase ‘Cross-Platform’ but this doesn’t do it justice, its Seamless-Platform!


Windows Azure – At the Heart of the Hybrid Cloud with PaaS and IaaS
Samuel Solomon

Another compressed session trying to squeeze a day’s session into just 40 minutes, but covered the key features of why Azure is such a compelling platform – some very big numbers with global reach

10 Azure/Office 365 DC’s with 2 new coming on-line (Japan & Australia)
4 trillion objects in Azure Storage
5.5 billion worldwide queries each month
280+ million connected users per month (that’s why they bought Skype 😉
88 markets, 32 languages – Office 365
..and lots in Azure too!



BBC Olympic online coverage was delivered on Azure Media Services

Global Physical Infrastructure

Huge application support beyond vanilla Microsoft workloads

Using Windows Azure Virtual Network to link on-premised with the Azure public cloud – Azure IaaS VMs and Web Roles, and using System Center Monitoring Pack for Azure Applications on Azure VMs.  Also on-premises SC deployments to manage Azure resources.


Ask The Datacentre & Cloud Experts
Microsoft & Partner Panel

Prize draws from the day, and OMG!! I won the star prize a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 🙂


This was the PERFECT prize for me as I’ve resisted (refused!) an iPad and never owned a tablet.  I’ve also been a committed ThinkPad supporter since the 90’s – indeed, since working for Microsoft in 1998-99 and using an early ThinkPad 770 (plus almost every model since then, indeed have 5 just at home).

And NO the draw wasn’t fixed – it’s a numbers game!  We’ve regularly been attending Microsoft events for over 10 years as a partner, plus many more before then – the in-joke being that we often come close to winning, or rather winners… as in have stood next to several over the years!

Anyway, I’ve now no excuse not to write a post on Windows 8 touch devices as now have both the Lenovo Yoga 11 hybrid Ultrabook-Tablet running Windows RT and, courtesy of Microsoft, a full Windows 8 Pro device – let’s see how she runs for a couple of weeks before that post…