Archive for May, 2014

WServerNews Article

Since starting at Microsoft, via an agency, I’ve focused on larger SMB, so when Mitch Tulloch asked me to submit a piece to his site, WServerNews, I knew it was a great opportunity to spread my love of Server Essentials. I’m not going to repeat the article here, but check it out at WServerNews on May 26th. While you are there, Mitch has compiled a fantastic list of resources for the IT Pro. So grab a coffee and spend some time browsing the site. Also, check out his other site for a list of ebooks. I highly recommend the Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post!

Consumer Camp: Your chance to ask the REAL experts!

Categories: Uncategorized

Storage Spaces – Big Storage Options for the SMB

Samurai SeriesIf it wasn’t obvious enough, I love learning about new tech, and when I  get really excited when I find a new feature in an operating system that benefits the SMB. Storage Spaces delights me! (Yes, I know I need to get out more). At the most basic level, Storage Spaces in Server 2012 allows us to connect drives to a server and provision storage on the fly. And why would this be exciting, you may ask? Think about your file server and what happens when you run low on disk space. Typically you would add another drive, but this would require shutting down the system, installing the drive, provisioning the drive, and in some cases it may also require reconfiguring your applications to take advantage of the additional storage. Now what if you were able to simply add a drive to your server, and with a few clicks of the mouse, add the storage and help protect your data? For the small SMB, this may be all that is needed to quickly provision more storage, but what if you were larger and were thinking a SAN was needed to provide resiliency as well as the storage? For most SMBs a SAN is out of budget, and this is where Storage Spaces comes in. Using Windows Server 2012, your operating system can provide SAN-like capability using commodity hard drives. Using trays of JBODs (just a bunch of disks) at a fraction of the cost of a SAN, we can easily add and provision storage as needed. Plus, we can take advantage of the built-in resiliency options, ensuring your data is protected.

To create a storage space, add block-based storage, then group the disks (SSDs or spindles) into storage pools. From there, virtualize the space into volumes and assign it as necessary. For example, let’s say we have 4 500 GB drives, we could create a storage pool using disks 1 and 2, creating a pool that was 1 TB in size. Then carve this TB up into various size virtual disks, apply a storage layout (Simple, Mirror, or Parity), choose our provision type (fixed or thin) and finally, create a volume. (It sounds like a lot of work, but really, it’s only 8 clicks or so.) If more storage is needed, simply add another disk and assign the space to either an existing storage pool, or create a new one.

This is just the tip of the Storage Spaces iceberg, using block based storage you can build cluster shared volumes, further providing SAN-like features at an SMB price point. If you would like to see a demo of Storage Spaces or would like to learn more, I’ll be doing a webinar on May 6 at 2 pm EST. Click here for details.

The Rules According to Sharon

Warning: This is not a technical post. After dealing with tech day in and day out (for example yesterday was all Azure) it can be hard to write about tech in my “free” time and sometimes I just need to do something different. Come back tomorrow for a riveting technical post on Storages Spaces in Server 2012 R2!!!

So far the year of 2014 has been the year of transitions.  I’ve had to make some changes and look at the way I live my life (how cliché is that?) I was thrown a curve ball last year and I could either bury myself in a hole or I could pick myself up to grow. As I’m not one too easily give up I chose to take advantage of a difficult situation and face it head on. During that process I have come up with my rules to live by.

  1. It is what it is, but if you don’t like it then you can change it.
  2. Get out of the box and push your boundaries, but remember you can go back into the box if it gets too overwhelming and you need to catch your breath.
  3. Always look for the upside! Yes, it’s raining but I don’t have to shovel it.
  4. Listen to music that makes you feel good. That may even include Nickleback (guilty pleasure).
  5. I’m not responsible for anyone else’s happiness (except my kids) but I am responsible to not hurt others.
  6. It’s ok to dance with the shopping cart in the grocery store.
  7. Take a break!
  8. Put your head in the right space.
  9. Don’t be scared of your feelings but keep them in check.
  10. Never grow up but be responsible.
  11. Never stop learning.
  12. Read something other than a manual once in a while.
  13. There’s more to life than work.
  14. Take a nap.
  15. Take a calculated risk.
  16. Ask others for help and allow them to help when they offer.
  17. Appreciate all the good in everything and everyone.
  18. Follow your heart but listen to your gut.
  19. Don’t let people get under your skin.
  20. Face your fears (worms and heights) and stand up for yourself.
  21. Have fun and be yourself.
  22. Write more.
  23. Get more sleep.
  24. Enjoy the little things.
  25. Drive fast (within reason and safely), play it loud and sing.

Life is too damn short to be miserable so enjoy every day and come up with your own list that makes you and the others around you happy.






Categories: Sharon
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