22 June 2011
22 June 2011

Yet Another SQL Strategy for Versioned Data

There is a popular design for a database that requires a built-in audit-trail of amendments and additions, where data is never deleted, but merely superseded by a later version. Whilst this is conceptually simple, it has always made for complicated SQL for reporting the latest version of data. Alex joins the debate on the best way of doing this with an example using an indexed view and the filtered index.… Read more
12 April 2011
12 April 2011

VMware Lab setup – A virtualized lab for testing HA and DRS

VMWare VSphere is a virtualisation technology that is best learned by setting up, on a single PC, a VSphere cluster as a virtualisation lab. Once you have it, it will then be a useful tool in many ways. This doesn't need to be an expensive exercise, but can be daunting if you don't have a simple guide to talk you through the process. Here, Sean provides that simple guide … Read more
14 May 2010
14 May 2010

Virtual Machine Storage Provisioning and Best Practises

If you're using virtualization technology, then at some point you'll have run out of (or will run out of) virtual disk space, leading to the provisioning of extra storage; are you confident that you know how to do that? Sean Duffy makes sure you're doing it right, sharing his recommendations and tips in this step-by-step guide. Follow this advice, and you'll be a virtualization veteran in no time.… Read more
09 February 2010
09 February 2010

Using VMware vCenter Update Manager to keep your vSphere Hosts Up-To-Date with Patching

The chore of patching operating systems and applications is taking an increasing proportion of the time of a system administrator, so it is a a relief that at least VMware is keen to make the task easier. VMware provide a tool in vCenter Update Manager to assist in keeping VMware up to date. Jonathan Medd explains all.… Read more
22 October 2009
22 October 2009

Increasing the Availability of Virtualised Applications and Services

By using a virtualized clustering computing environment with failover, you can improve server availability without using as many physical computers. A group of independent computers can work together to increase the availability of virtualised applications and services. If one of the cluster nodes fails, another node takes over to provide the service without disrupting the service. Nirmal Sharma explains the failover process under Hyper-V and how to improve the performance of a failover.… Read more
10 June 2009
10 June 2009

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtualizing Exchange Server, Part 2

It isn't easy to measure the consumption of physical resources by servers in virtual machines, since each partition has its' own virtualised view of system resources. Not only that, but there is a subtle difference between virtual processors and physical processors. Brien Posey explains the special performance counters that can be used to get an accurate assessment, and goes on to describe how to test your physical servers to see if they are good candidates for virtualization. … Read more
01 June 2009
01 June 2009

Windows Server Virtualisation: Hyper-V, an Introduction

For SQL Server and Exchange Server, Windows Server Virtualization is going to be increasingly important as a way for the administrator to allocate hardware resources in the most efficient way, to offer more robust services, and for deploying services. Jaap Wesellius starts his new series on Hyper-V by explaining what Hyper-V is, how it relates to Windows Server 2008 and how it compares to ESX, Virtual Server and Virtual PC. .… Read more
05 May 2009
05 May 2009

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtualizing Exchange Server, Part 1

The advantage of virtualizing your servers is that it helps you make better use of your hardware resources, and reduces some of your licensing costs, However, there are disadvantages: With Exchange server, it isn't always obvious as to which server roles are suitable for virtualization, and it is rather hard to work out what system resources a virtual server is actually using. Brien Posey explains… Read more
20 November 2008
20 November 2008

Virtualizing Exchange: points for discussion

With the increasing acceptance of the use of Virtualization as a means of providing server infrastructure, this technology is being applied to production Exchange servers. This is a  solution that is not just limited to the small shop, Nathan Winters discusses the pros, cons and challenges that lay ahead in providing a flexible and highly available email system… Read more
20 November 2008
20 November 2008

Virtual Exchange Servers

Microsoft now supports running Exchange Server 2007 in server virtualization environments, not just on Hyper-V, but on any virtualizing solution that is validated in the Server Virtualization Validation Program. Before virtualizing Exchange Server, you will need to be clear about the business advantages, and consider the size of the installation, otherwise the results can be a disappointment… Read more