The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
In the spirit of Christmas, while you were all creating your wish lists for Santa, I created a list of free Microsoft Virtual Academy Courses. Consider it my gift to you. I’m not suggesting that you skip out on the festivities and complete some training but perhaps this is something to integrate into a New Year’s resolution.
|Licensing Windows Server 2012 R2||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Understanding Active Directory||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Windows 8.1 Deployment Jump Start||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8.1||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Moving to Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Windows 8.1 Update for Enterprise Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|What’s New in Windows® 8.1 for IT Professionals||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Virtualizing Your Data Center with Hyper-V and System Center||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Microsoft Azure IaaS Deep Dive Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Advanced Tools & Scripting with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Security Fundamentals||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Microsoft Desktop Virtualization||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|What’s New in System Center 2012 R2 Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|VMware to Hyper-V Migration||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Office 365 ProPlus Deployment for IT Pros||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|DevOps: An IT Pro Guide||IT Generalist||Windows Server||DevOps|
|The Microsoft Hybrid Cloud: Best Practices Guidance||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Hybrid Cloud Automation|
|Transform the Datacenter Immersion V3||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Migrating VMs from Amazon AWS to Microsoft Azure||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Migrating Legacy Windows Server to 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows 8.1 To Go||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Mobility|
|Defense in Depth: Windows 8.1 Security||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows 8.1 User Readiness Toolkit||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server 2012 R2 Virtualization||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Windows Performance Jump Start||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|What’s New in Windows 8.1 Update||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server 2003 End of Support Migration Overview||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager & Windows Intune||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|MDOP User Experience Virtualization Deep Dive||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server MCSA Certification Objective Domain Review||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Software-Defined Networking with Windows Server and System Center Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|What’s New in Windows 8.1 Security||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Virtualizing & Managing SQL Server Microsoft Cloud OS||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows Server 2012 R2: Server Networking||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|“Corporate Apps Anywhere”> Anytime with Microsoft Azure RemoteApp”||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Microsoft Azure: Site-to-Site VPN||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Hybrid Cloud Automation|
|Automating the Cloud with Azure Automation||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Hybrid Cloud Automation|
|System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager Management Pack||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Preparing for the Windows 8.1 MCSA||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Windows Intune for IT Professionals Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Mobility|
|Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Jump Start: New Choices||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|MDOP Application Virtualization Deep Dive||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Phone 8.1 Enterprise Mobility Management||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Mobility|
|Cloud Network Automation: DDI/IPAM||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|What’s New in VDI for Windows Server 2012 R2 and 8.1||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server 2012 R2: Server Management and Automation||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|The Server and Cloud Enrollment||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Disaster Recovery and High Availability||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Utilizing SysInternals Tools for IT Pros||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Storage and Backup||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Expanding Office 365 with Enterprise Mobility Suite||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Mobility|
|System Center 2012 R2: ITIL for IT Pros||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|System Center 2012 R2 Advisor for IT Pros||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Small Business: Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8.1||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|IT Service Management with System Center 2012 R2||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Small Business: What’s New in Windows® 8.1 for IT Professionals||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Deploying a Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Hierarchy||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows 8.1 Modern LOB Application Deployment||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Hybrid Cloud Workloads-Websites||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Licensing the Microsoft Private Cloud||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Enhanced Windows Data Encryption Training||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Move to Hybrid Cloud with System Center & Windows Azure Jump Start||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Automation & Self-Service with System Center 2012 R2||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows Application Compatibility and Migration||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Enterprise Mobility Immersion V3.1||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|App Performance Monitoring with System Center 2012 R2||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Infrastructure Provisioning and Management with System Center 2012 R2||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Infrastructure Monitoring with System Center 2012 R2||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Windows Server 2012 R2 Access and Information Protection||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|Virtualizing & Managing SharePoint with Microsoft Cloud OS||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Small Business: Windows 8.1 Modern LOB Application Deployment||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Enterprise Device Infrastructure|
|Windows Server 2012 R2: Web and Application Platform||IT Generalist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|System Center 2012 SP1 Automation||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Service Management Automation with Windows Azure Pack||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Hybrid Cloud Automation|
|Hybrid Cloud Workloads SQL||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Datacenter Cloud Extension|
|Windows Server 2012 R2: Using IP Address Management (IPAM)||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Azure Resource Manager DevOps Jump Start||IT Generalist||Windows Server||DevOps|
|Securing Your DM Infrastructure with Role-Based Admin||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Enterprise Mobility|
|Virtualizing & Managing Exchange with Microsoft Cloud OS||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Infrastructure Modernization|
|Powershell Essentials||Infrastructure Specialist||Windows Server||Fundamentals|
|C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners||Developer|
|Programming in C# Jump Start||Developer|
|Windows Store App Development Essentials with C# Refresh Jump Start||Developer|
|Advanced Windows Store App Development using C# Refresh Jump Start||Developer|
|Designing Your XAML UI with Blend Jump Start||Developer|
|XAML Deep Dive for Windows & Windows Phone Apps Jump Start||Developer|
|Developing Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Jump Start||Developer|
|Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Refresh Jump Start||Developer|
|Advanced Windows Store App Development with HTML5 Jump Start||Developer|
|Building Windows Store Apps for iOS Developers Jump Start||Developer|
|Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start||Developer|
|Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners||Developer|
|Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start||Developer|
|Applying ALM with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start||Developer|
|Administering Visual Studio TFS 2012 Jump Start||Developer|
|Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start||Developer|
|Developing ASP.NET MVC4 Web Applications Jump Start||Developer|
|HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners||Developer|
|Building Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start||Developer|
|Developing Windows Azure and Web Services Jump Start||Developer|
|Building Business Apps with Visual Studio Lightswitch||Developer|
|Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions||Developer|
|Introduction to C++/DirectX Game Development||Developer|
|Porting Unity Games to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone||Developer|
|Windows 8.1 UX Design Jump Start||Developer|
|Windows Azure Web Sites – Deep Dive Jump Start||Developer|
|What’s New in Visual Studio 2013 Jump Start||Developer|
|Developing SharePoint Server Advanced Solutions Jump Start||Developer|
|C++: A General Purpose Language and Library||Developer|
|Windows 8.1 Developer Training: Geek Edition||Developer|
My Surface Pro 3 512 GB / Intel Core i7 Just arrived today. I’ll let you know how far off base Mitch is shortly.
As I have written previously I recently picked up a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and despite a couple of minor annoyances it truly is a wonderful device. Because I have not been traveling as much as I did over the past few years, I have taken the opportunity to downsize my carry-load.
My sister called me a couple of weeks ago with the news that her new company device would be a Surface Pro 3, and asked me what accessories she should make sure she picks up. We had a conversation about the keyboard, battery life, and so on. Jennifer and I don’t speak all that often, and it was a nice excuse to talk.
Last week a friend and fellow MVP told me that his device was being delivered shortly. He knew that I had downsized my carry load, and with that knowledge, and knowing that we have the…
View original post 1,412 more words
BitLocker To Go is Microsoft’s removable media encryption solution. It uses the same underlying disk encryption technology as BitLocker (for fixed disks) but is designed to address the use cases around removable media. For example, sensitive data is copied to a USB key and lost. If the key is protected with BitLocker To Go, if the key is found, the data is unreadable on a device that hasn’t viewed the data previously without a PIN. This renders the data essentially useless except by an authorized user.
There are dozens of configuration options managed through policy objects that can be used to control BitLocker. There is plenty of information already on TechNet here.
I’m not going to get into the fine details of each individual policy. I’m going to provide a framework to help you decide what combination of configuration options will meet a particular use case. Most organizations need to understand how they want to implement BitLocker To Go. A good starting point is to by considering the following questions:
- Do you want to enforce the encryption of removable media or leave encryption to the user’s discretion?
- Do you want to prevent the reading of data from removable media not authored within the organization (E.g. read a key from a vendor, or a personal a user’s personal unencrypted key)
- Do you want to prevent writing to unencrypted removable media devices?
Most organizations will not want to leave the decision whether or not to encrypt removable media to the discretion of the end user. This involves a training burden and sound judgment by the end user. Ultimately there is no way to ensure or measure compliance.
Typically, an organization will want to ensure compliance. This involves creating a process to centrally encrypt USB keys and have a request/authorization process for users that need to right to keys.
- The scenario for USB keys is something like the following:
- Users can read from unencrypted USB keys (personal or from partners, vendors, etc.)
- Users are prevented from writing to unencrypted keys
- Users who need to write to a USB key go through the request and approval process.
- The Service Desk encrypts a key and delivers it along with the PIN and use instructions.
- Users are prompted for a PIN on first use of an encrypted key on a particular machine and can then write to the key
- If USB key is lost or stolen, it cannot be read except on a machine that has previously read the Key or by entering the PIN (or smartcard)
To implement the above scenario the following GPOs can be used as a starting point:
|Allow users to apply BitLocker protection on removable data drives||
|Allow users to suspend and decrypt BitLocker protection on removable data drives||
|Do not allow write access to devices configured in another organization||
|Do not install BitLocker To Go Reader on FAT formatted removable drives||
|Require password for removable data drive||
|Allow Data Recovery Agent||
|Omit recovery options from BitLocker setup wizard||
|Save BitLocker recovery information to AD DS for removable data drives||
|Do not enable BitLocker until recovery information is stored in AD DS for removable data drives||
|Require use of smart cards on removable data drives||
I often get asked to do presentations at conferences or user group meetings and although I drive a mean PowerPoint, I feel that showing the actual product and putting it through a few laps adds value and credibility to the production. I’m doing a user group presentation in Montreal next week and I was setting up for it with a colleague of mine. HE asked some interesting questions about why I was setting up my laptop a certain way and I realized that I take for granted that I have been cursed by the demo and presentation gods so many times that I have a few tricks up my sleeve to thwart them. Here are a few of the things I do to minimize the impact of unknown venues with unknown networks:
- Always have a backup of your presentation and and demo VMs. An external drive and/or a cloud drive SkyDrive or Google Drive can be a real saviour when something unexpected happens.
- Always rehearse your demos in the environment you will be presenting in to see how it runs and looks in the venue. Make any changes or restructure the presentation to accommodate for any issues. You don’t want to be surprised on camera.
- Have a backup internet connection avaialbe. A portable hotspot or a mobile phone that has internet connection sharing (like my Nokia Lumia 920)
- Always have a local demo available, even if it’s just a screen recording like Camtasia (full disclosure: TechSmith gives Microsoft MVPs free Camtasia and SnagIt licenses – I also like Faststone Capture since it is inexpensive and also runs as a portable application from a USB key ). Relying on a remote demo is asking for trouble. If you can’t connect to your demo environment for some reason (VPN blocked, network stability, etc.). Also if something goes wrong in the remote location, it is very difficult to troubleshoot.
- If you have multiple systems as part of your demo (virtual or physical) consider using the Sysinternals tool BGINFO or a custom wallpaper with the machine name and/or description to make the different systems readily apparent to the audience (and sometimes to you).
- Make sure your passwords are current and you know what they are. Consider setting demo password properties to “never expire”.
- Set the task bars on your remote demo systems to be in a location other than your primary system so that you don’t get confused as to which task bar you are launching from.
- Explain to the audience the limitations of the demo environment (hardware, data sets, connections to complementary systems, etc.) so that they understand why your demo is designed in a particular way and that it may not be reflective of how a production implementation would work.
I’ve been using Windows 8 and 8.1 since both were in customer preview and I’ve really come to depend on Hyper-V for my demo environment. Before windows 8, I would either boot Server 2008 R2 (or server core) to have a hypervisor available (see my previous blog post about that environment. Before that I would use VMware Workstation or Virtual Box. But they weren’t ideal for every use case as they are type 2 hypervisors not type 1.
I’ve got a few tricks that I use in my demo environment to help build it out and make it present better:
Don’t rely on the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection. Enable remote desktop services in your VMs and connect them to an internal network. This allows you to do two things that you cannot do with the Virtual Machine Connection:
- Adjust the screen resolution to meet the needs of the display devices at the venue
- Map local resources like USB drives and printers.
- A cool feature in Windows 8.x and Server 12.x is the ability mount an ISO directly in the OS. Unfortunately, you can’t mount an ISO that is connected through RDP device mapping. You will get the following error:
However, you can mount it in the host OS, it will appear as a DVD drive, and then you access it from the guest VM:
If the demo VM(s) need(s) an internet connection, I like to use ICS to share my wireless connection with my demo VMs. I like this better than the Hyper-V virtual switch bridge because the IP addresses won’t keep changing with the venue. This makes it easier to RDP to them. For step-by-step instruction on how to share a wireless connections try these posts:
I’m not a licensing expert and I don’t play one on TV but it occurs to me that many organizations are paying twice for their endpoint protection solutions. I have been involved in over two dozen System Center 2012 Configuration Manager deployments and only one of the organizations was even mildly interested in System Center Endpoint Protection. My understanding is that the System Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) CAL is included in the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager CAL. So at least from a licensing perspective if you already have Configuration Manager, you have SCEP. So why are organizations paying Symantec, McAfee, Trend, or some other endpoint protection vendor in addition to Microsoft? I understand that SCEP may not fit the bill for some organizations and that they may have specific requirements that need to be addressed by their chosen solution but doesn’t it make sense to at least evaluate the SCEP option – especially if you have already paid for it? What are some of the possible reasons that SCEP is flying under the radar of most organizations?
- Microsoft isn’t in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, they are in the Challenger’s quadrant.
- There have been very few independent reviews of SCEP apart from one pseudo review since it really isn’t a stand-alone product but part of a suite.
- Microsoft isn’t really pushing the solution since there is no financial upside (the product is already sold, just not deployed).
- Organizations are complacent and don’t have the time or desire to make a change.
What are some of the reason’s that an organization might want to try out SCEP?
- Save money! The license is already owned as part of Configuration Manager. Why continue to pay another provider until you’ve at least evaluated it for your particular use cases?
- Minimize infrastructure and administrative overhead. Configuration Manager already has the infrastructure for managing client configurations and moving software and updates to them as part of software distribution and patch management solutions. This is essentially the same managing endpoint policies and distributing malware signature files. Why maintain a duplicate infrastructure for third party endpoint clients and signature files and train administrators on multiple products?
- Unified security posture visibility. When you need to understand your complete desktop security posture, do you want to get one report from your endpoint solution and another form your patch management solution to and try to correlate the data to understand your actual security posture? Wouldn’t you rather have a single repository for all of the relevant data and be able to create a unified report? What about integrating endpoint protection policies with compliance management built in to Configuration Manager?
What are you waiting for? Start being SCEPtical. Turn on System Center Endpoint Protection!
I often get asked why I like Hyper-V or why I don’t like VMware. The answer, strangely, isn’t about technology. Anybody that knows me well, knows that I’m not a technology bigot. Meaning I don’t get fanatical about particular companies or pieces of technology. In my house we have six tablets. A Surface RT, a Surface Pro (soon to be replaced by a Pro 2), 3 Android tablets, and an iPad. They all get used on a regular basis. There is no favourite. Just a preference for one device over the other based on the particular use case in question and the strengths of each device at addressing that use case. I’ve used VMware products for years and I like them. They have met many of the requirements I’ve had for a long time.
So how does this relate to Microsoft vs. VMware? Well, I see a lot of fanaticism over VMware. A large percentage IT Pros really love it and many are fanatical about it. They are quick to criticize alternatives (like Hyper-V) without having all of the facts. Another issue is that most people see the results of past consumption and mistake it for current market trends. Let me explain that with an example. Currently Android phones outsell iPhones however, most people see more iPhone sin use that Android phones because iPhones have been around longer have had past sales success. What is being seen is phones that were purchased over the last several years still in use.
Enough digressions. Back to Microsoft and VMware. Historically, VMware has had the edge over Microsoft in the hypervisor market. With Hyper-V 3, most experts would agree that the gap has narrowed enough that for most organizations, the differences are insignificant from a pure technical capabilities perspective. It’s like choosing between a Honda and a Toyota. Both vendors have offerings in every major segment. Most consumers would be equally well served by a Camry or an Accord but preferences still abound. In the virtualization world, there are many other factors to consider such as migration costs, retraining, new licensing, etc. VMware has had very strong technical offerings for a long time and the investments made by many organizations can’t easily be shifted. Of course, historically, there are many examples of a technically superior product being eclipsed (BetaMax vs. VHS, Amiga vs. PC, FLAC vs. MP3). It also isn’t about first or early movers in a market. Consider Blackberry losing 33% market share in 2012 while Android now has nearly 80% market share in the smartphone market. Of course, depending on when you read this the current market share may be very different.
So back to my previous statement “It isn’t about technology”. I’ve shown examples of a superior product losing out as well as examples of an early mover with a dominant market position being eclipsed by a relative newcomer. If not technology, what’s it about then?
Well, I’m an IT Pro. Any IT Pro worth his salt will tell you that the three key elements of a successful IT rollout of any system are People, Process, and Technology. Not necessarily in that order, but all three ingredients are required for success.
As I’ve mentioned previously, VMware has great technology and Microsoft is no slouch either. We can remove people from the equation since both Microsoft and VMware have access to the pretty much the same talent pool and really, the people that matter most aren’t the vendor’s staff but the enterprise customers’ datacenter staff. So a talented VMware administrator could easily be a talented Microsoft administrator. Using the same logic, you might conclude that the processes that are used in enterprise datacenters would also be a wash between VMware and Microsoft implementations and for the most part you’d be right. However I believe Microsoft has an edge. Here’s why:
Microsoft has a long history of supporting cloud/online services that process billions of transactions a year. Consider Hotmail/Outlook.com, XBOX Live, Office 365, Azure, as a few examples with revenue Microsoft has had to develop some fairly robust processes for managing their datacenters. This isn’t new for Microsoft. Consider the ITIL based Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) currently at version 4.0 has been around since 2000. VMware doesn’t have an online services history to learn the hard lessons of datacenter management or the history of helping customers manage their datacenters from a process perspective. Microsoft has taken the battlefield tested processes they’ve used for over a decade and incorporated many of them into one of the newer and lesser known products in the System Center suite, Service Manager.
Service Manager helps organizations align business processes with technology delivery to create efficiencies in service delivery. The product is tightly integrated with the rest of the system Center suite (especially products like Operations Manager, and Configuration Manager) as well as Active Directory. The rich CMDB provided by Service Manager helps to manage the inevitable VM sprawl that accompanies virtualization. It is also a great platform to bolt on a SAM/ITAM solution like the one from Provance (Full disclosure: Provance is headquartered a few kilometres from my homeand I know many of their staff professionally – We’ve worked on joint projects and I’ve had more than a few drinks with them over the years.).
Until VMware has a similar offering, organizations that want to enable IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices, will find it much easier with a Microsoft private cloud solution than with a VMware solution.
BTW – Market share numbers for last year shows an interesting trend in the hypervisor adoption rates:
Source – Wall street Journal / IDC
Are we in the midst of a Blackberry like decline for VMware?