Windows 8 & Windows 8 Devices

This post was taken from a TechNet Flash Editorial that i wrote.

I picked up my Microsoft Surface last week and it is awesome! My only problem is that now I can’t use it anymore. My daughters have adopted it. Which means I need to order another one. As a Microsoft employee I could have worse problems than the kids liking our products…

But looking around my family room the diversity of devices is amazing. I’m checking my mail on my Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8, my wife is planning her lessons in the kitchen on a Dell Inspiron One 2320 All-In-One (I upgraded it to windows 8 so we now have a 23 inch touch screen in the kitchen). My youngest is playing Jet Pack Joyride on the Microsoft Surface and my oldest is doing her homework in her room on her Acer Aspire ultra-book. We use a multitude of devices and Windows 8 makes it so simple to switch between them by synchronizing our settings, by leveraging SkyDrive to Store photos and docs online and access them from any PC, Mac or phone.

It’s liberating.

In a very small geography we have a great range of devices. That translates very well to any enterprise. I’m sure users are bringing and using all kinds of devices into their place of work. We can try to fight it, but they always find ways. We need to embrace it. Support it. Manage it in order to tap the potential for improving collaboration and productivity. Of course, this introduces challenges too. It means companies must now balance user demands with their own security needs as never before.
At Microsoft we can help you:

  • Manage  all machines including non-traditional “consumer” devices using System Center 2012
  • Enable employees to work productively from anywhere on any screen with  technologies like VDI and DirectAccess
  • Welcome new devices while maintaining security with Windows Intune, and Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for security and policy management for mobile devices

It’s up to you build the environment that will embrace the new way of doing business. You can start by taking the advantage of the free evaluation downloads for these products:

If you build it, they will come… Actually, they’re probably already there.


Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | IT Pro Advisor
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Windows Server 2012 IT Camp – Lab #1

In November I posted the first of several post that covered building a lab at home.  Here is the second of that series.  We will also cover the first Lab exercise in the Windows Server 2012 IT Camp we have been running across the country.

We have our 2 physical machines:

If you want to configure a boot from VHD on the 2 physical hosts, you can download the a pre-installed VHD from our evaluation center here and configure it as described in one of my previous posts here.

VMhost10a and VMhost10b.  We have them configured as follows:


  • VMhost10a – physical
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Gateway: none
    • DNS1:
    • DNS2:
  • VMHost10B – physical,
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Gateway: none
    • DNS1:
    • DNS2:
  • ITCAMP-DC1 – Virtual
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Gateway: none
    • DNS1:
    • DNS2:

Lab 1


We build ITCAMP-DC2 as a new machine on VMHost10A and configure it as follows.


  1. ITCAMP-DC1 – Virtual
    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Gateway: none
    • DNS1:
    • DNS2:

Install the “Active Directory Domain Services” role and promote it to a domain controller.  Once this is done where ready to go through Lab 1.


This first lab is about “Shared Nothing Live Migration” (SNLM). 


The term Live Migration is used as a bit of a catchall phrase in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. At it’s core, Live Migration is the ability to move a virtual machine from one host to another while powered on without losing any data or incurring downtime. With Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012, Live Migration can be performed on VMs using shared storage (SMB share) or on VMs that have been clustered. However, Hyper-V 3.0 arms IT pros with an alternative to investing in networked storage while still allowing them to take advantage of live migration capabilities and remain focused on the number one benefit of virtualization – cost reduction and resource consolidation. This implementation of Live Migration is referred to as “Shared Nothing”.

n Windows Server 2008 R2, Live Migration required a shared infrastructure and the use of Failover Clustering. In Windows Server 2012, Live Migration has been separated from Failover Clustering. This adds flexibility and agility (2 of the big reasons beyond economics why businesses have virtualized) to those who don’t want to or cannot afford clusters. For example:

  • small businesses or corporate branch offices where the cost of shared storage can be prohibitive.
  • hosting companies where every penny spent on infrastructure must be passed onto customers in one way or another, and every time the hosting company spends more than the competition they become less competitive

Shared pools of VDI VMs don’t always need clustering. Some organizations might find it acceptable to simply redirect the user to another host if a bunch of pooled VMs go offline when a host crashes or is shutdown for maintenance. Previously, to migrate data from one host to another both had to have a simultaneous connection to a shared storage device that could help by buffering data as it passed between hosts. “Shared-nothing” means the hosts need to share nothing but a simple Ethernet connection to each other. Data is migrated without the need of a costly infrastructure.

In Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, live migration moves running virtual machines from one physical server to another with no impact on virtual machine availability to users. By pre-copying the memory of the migrating virtual machine to the destination server, live migration minimizes the transfer time of the virtual machine. A live migration is deterministic, which means that the administrator, or script, that initiates the live migration determines which computer is used as the destination for the live migration. The guest operating system of the migrating virtual machine is not aware that the migration is happening, so no special configuration for the guest operating system is needed.

  1. Live Migration setup occurs where a TCPIP connection is established and a skeleton VM created on the target host.
  2. Memory pages are transferred from the source server to the destination server
  3. Modified pages are transferred to destination server
  4. State is transferred to destination server
  5. VM brought online on destination server
  6. Network clean-up occurs

To enable SNLM you fist have to configure each hosts to receive SNLM. This I done in the host settings in the Hyper-V manager console.

SNLM setup


Once the configuration is complete, you are ready to migrate virtual machines from two hyper-v hosts with no shared storage.  Watch the 6 minutes video to see how I do it in my lab.  (be aware that my drive configuration may differ from yours a little.  and that I am importing the second domain controller, you may have to create one as stated earlier)



So, to end Lab 1, we performed the following actions.

  • On VMHOST10B, enabled the Hyper-V role
  • On VMHOST10A, imported or created the ITCAMP-DC2 machine and started it.
  • On VMHOST10A, enable Live Migration on any network
  • On VMHOST10A, migrate ITCAMP-DC2 to VMHOST10B (Shared-Nothing Live Migration)

we’ll be posting all the labs in this camp on a regular basis and we’re also working on a live delivery over webcast that you will be able to participate in and ask questions.  so stay tuned.




Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | IT Pro Advisor
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Windows Server 2012 home lab preparation

We’ve been criss-crossing this great country of our for a couple of months now delivering IT camps and Windows Server 2012 launch events. You can see the details here and here.

So far we’ve delivered:canada-flag-map

One question we often get is:

can I run these Hands on Labs/ challenges at home?


How did you setup the environment? I’d like to duplicate this environment so I can play with it.”

So I decided to document our setup. This is in no way shape or form a setup that I would recommend in production. This is a setup we configured in order to facilitate the labs using a minimum of hardware to allow up to pack it up and go almost anywhere and deliver the camps without having to depend on internet access or an existing infrastructure.

Hardware & OS

The hardware we have sourced for these type of events are 2 laptops with I7 4 cores Intel processor, 16Gb ram and a 1TB HDD. (Multiple SSD drives are recommended for better performance but it not required)


My home ITCamp Lab environment


We setup the machines to boot using a VHD files that allows us to wipe the machine and run the camps over and over again without needing to rebuild our images all the time. A great way to setup your Boot from VHD is available here. You can find the Evaluation bits of Windows Server 2012 (ISO and VHD) here.

For the SCVMM machine you have to download the “System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 Beta – Virtual Machine Manager – Evaluation (VHD)” and you can find it here.


This is the easy one.

One cross-over cable between both machines. We use a private IP address space (

We end up at the end of the camp with 6 machines (virtual and physical). You can build them as you go or pre-configure them it’s up to you. ( i prefer to have a syspreped image i can just copy and import in Hyper-v and configure it for whatever is needed.)

  1. VMhost10a – physical,
  2. VMHost10B – physical,
  3. ITCAMP-DC1 – Virtual,
  4. ITCAMP-DC2- Virtual,
  5. ITCAMP-SMB – Virtual,
  6. ITCAMP-SCVMM – Virtual,

At the start of the camp here is what the logical representation looks like.

Lab 1

We finish the day with something like this.

finished labThere are many more scenarios we can explore.  Once we have the lab, it’s easy to start experimenting.


Camp Agenda

From there we’re ready to go through the labs and challenges and move towards a private cloud.

On the way there we look at the following items.


What is learned

Hands-On Experience

Overview of Windows Server 2012

How Windows Server 2012 helps
optimize your infrastructure


Overview of Windows Server 2012
Hyper-V and VM Migration

How to configure and manage Hyper-V,
How Hyper-V can be scaled and Shared-
Nothing Live Migration

Enable the Hyper-V role, import virtual
machine and complete a Shared-Nothing Live Migration


How to add capacity to your infrastructure

Configure virtual machine start-up
properties and configure a file share.

Storage Spaces

How to configure and manage storage

Create a storage pool & thin disk, create
SMB share for apps & iSCSI target, configure iSCSI access from hosts and migrate VM storage to SMB share.

High Availability

How to configure and manage a cluster

Verify cluster configuration, create a cluster,
configure Cluster Shared Volume and migrate VM to a Cluster Shared Volume.

Overview of System Center 2012

How System Center 2012 and Windows
Server 2012 work together and Virtual
Machine Manager.

Install SCVMM agent on cluster, Add VMM
library location, create a cloud in SCVMM
2012, and create a highly-available VM on

Windows Server 2012 Final Thoughts

Hyper-V replica, QoS bandwidth, NIC
teaming, Hyper-V extensible switch,
ODX support, PowerShell, multi-
tenancy, network virtualization,

Make existing VM highly available, break
cluster & see results

We are currently planning how we’re going to take the camp experience from an in-person event to an online virtual learning experience. So stay tuned.

I encourage you all to start building your lab.  We will be coming back with online content you can take advantage of very soon.



Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | IT Pro Advisor
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Listing of learning opportunities

I find the Microsoft properties vast and fertile locations to find good contextual and relevant training material.

It’s true… With properties like the ones bellow, there is so much content, that it become hard to keep track of all the sessions you want to review.


I’m always going through and finding gems, and the week after that someone asks me “where did you find that?” , “where can I learn this?”

To address those question, I started keeping a list. I’ started keeping this list mostly for me at first. But for the benefit of my fellow IT pros, I decided I’d post it and keep it updated every time I find a gem.

Here are the rules regarding this list:

1- The first rule of fight…. Oops wrong list.

1- The first rule is “this is not an all-encompassing list of available resource” (that means I will miss a few). if you find something that you find useful and that is not on this list, let me know.

2- Second rule. We don’t maintain the sites where the links come from. So the links may change and/or disappear without notice. (so if you find a dead link, let me know).

3- Have fun.

4- Keep learning.

5- BE AWESOME!!! That is the most important rule.


Like I said, bookmark this page or subscribe to it. The whole team will be updating it as we find new content.

So here are your calls to action…get downloading and testing the new versions of Windows client, Windows server and System Center for yourself:

  1. Subscribe to this blog.
  2. Download the Office 365 Preview and see how it can make your life easier.
  3. Download Windows 8 Enterprise and take a look at the changes and improvements the new client will bring to your organization.
  4. Download Windows Server 2012 evaluation and start exploring the how Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are better together.
  5. Download System Center 2012 SP1 Beta to start testing your deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.



Signature (2012_09_06 13_24_05 UTC)

Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | IT Pro Advisor
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Here are some I found covering the new Office 2013 and Office 365

New Office for IT pros

Get the IT pro resources you need to try the new Office (Office 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus) including details about activation, compatibility, and deployment.

Office 2013 Resource Kit

Documentation intended for IT professionals who plan, implement, and maintain Office installations in their organizations. New and updated content s published regularly.
Office IT Pro Blog
Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Preview Evaluation Resources

This link provides information on the following:

  • Office 365 ProPlus Overview
  • Integrating Office 365 ProPlus into Your Organization
  • Office 365 ProPlus Service Components – a look at identity, click-to-run delivery, roaming settings, and other features
  • Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Overview
  • Addressing Compatibility Concerns with Office 365 ProPlus
  • Configuring Office 365 ProPlus Applications and Experiences
  • Client Deployment Options
  • Office 365 ProPlus Security Considerations
  • Activation Experiences in Office 365 ProPlus
  • Getting Started with the Office 365 ProPlus User Experience
Make the switch to the new Office

Make the switch to Outlook 2013

Make the switch to Publisher 2013

Make the switch to Visio 2013

Make the switch to Access 2013

Make the switch to Lync 2013

Make the switch to Word 2013

Make the switch to Project 2013

Make the switch to PowerPoint 2013

Make the switch to Excel 2013

Microsoft Virtual Academy
Enable the Consumerization of IT

People are increasingly buying their own devices and want the freedom to work and communicate anywhere, anytime, on the device they choose. Opportunities exist to enable greater productivity, hire great employees and keep them happy, but also a responsibility to properly secure and manage devices and data. See how your company cannot afford to block these opportunities and if you do nothing are you sure your data is safe?

Learn how Microsoft can help you responsibly enable this vision to “Consumerize the IT” inside your company. The first overview module is designed to paint the entire picture at a 200 level and then the remaining modules are designed to give you 300 level knowledge for specific scenarios across the various products which relate to Consumerization of IT (i.e. how to configure MDM in SCCM 2012).

This course is NOT designed to make you an expert in each product all-up after the base is installed (i.e. you won’t know how to architect, design, or deploy “Product X”).
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses

Microsoft’s Small Business Competency team and Microsoft Learning tailored a new exam specifically for partners looking to obtain the SMB Competency. This Jump Start prepares field engineers, network administrators, and related IT professionals for Exam 74-324: Administering Office 365 for Small Business and is offered to individuals interested in acquiring the skills necessary to administer Office 365 for Small Business clients. The popular “Jump Start” virtual classroom approach leverages two experts and an engaging team-teaching approach. We’re excited to introduce you to Chris Oakman from Eastridge Technology and Stephen Hall from District Computers—two Microsoft partners with real world experience and proven success implementing Office 365 for SMB customers. Chris and Steve will deliver this 200-level course via an accelerated, demo-rich learning experience. Hands-on Labs are not be provided. If you do not have access to Office 365, please create an Office 365 trial account on which to practice.






Here are some info regarding Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 offers businesses and service providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant platform that allows IT to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently.

After completing the following courses on Windows Server 2012, you will have an understanding of how Windows Server 2012 takes you beyond virtualization, delivers the power of many servers, opens the door to every app on any cloud, and enables the modern workstyle.


Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs

Experience Windows Server 2012 firsthand in these virtual labs. You can test drive new and improved features and functionality, including server management and Windows PowerShell, ne
Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Core Hyper-V

Start with an accelerated overview then dig right into the Core Hyper-V content. After discussing and illustrating how new Hyper-V features enable better scale, they lead a discussion on NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access) and finish the module with Network Virtualization and IP portability.

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (01): Core Hyper-V
Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Virtualization Infrastructure

In this two-part module, Rick Claus and Corey Hynes dive into virtualization infrastructure. Throughout the conversation, they demonstrate a variety of new features and functionality covering Shared Nothing Migration, Storage Migration, and Hyper-V Replica. The session finishes with a cool discussion of Hyper-V Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02a): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 1

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02b): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 2

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Storage Architecture

This is a two-part module on Storage Architecture. Rick Claus and Corey Hynes focus on an overview of the Windows Server 2012 Storage Platform, including Platform Storage, De-duplication, Disk Provisioning, Clustering, File and Block Access, Networking, Virtualization and Management

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03a): Storage Architecture, Part 1

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03b): Storage Architecture, Part 2

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Continuous Availability

Rick Claus and Corey Hynes dive into Continuous Availability in this demo-rich session. Key topics include Workloads (SQL / Hyper-V), a great discussion of the “modern CHKDSK,” File Services SMB Failover, NIC Teaming / Multi-Path IO, Clustering / Cluster-Aware Updating.

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (04): Continuous Availability
Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Multi-Server Management

In this two-part module on Multi-Server Management. Rick Claus and Corey Hynes focus on demo-rich conversations on essential features like Server Manager, PowerShell w/ ISE, Remote Management Tools and Remote Deployment. Important for students to watch both sessions.

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05a): Multi-Server Management, Part 1

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05b): Multi-Server Management, Part 2

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Security and Access

This is a two-part module on Security and Access. Rick Claus and Corey Hynes provide clear illustrations of how, why and where Windows Server 2012 tools like Server Core, MinShell and full GUI are appropriate. Next, they cover some important improvements to Dynamic Access Control and spend time outlining new changes in Active Directory, the Recycle Bin and password policy.


Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06a): Security and Access, Part 1

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06b): Security and Access, Part 2

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series
Remote Connectivity and Networking

Rick Claus and Corey Hynes dive into Remote Connectivity and Networking in this session. Key topics include Direct Access Setup, BranchCache, and VDI Deployment (Remote Access, Remote Desktop, Pooled vs. Personal, Patching, Storage, RemoteFX).

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (07): Remote Connectivity and Networking
Windows Server 2012 Jump Start Series

In this appropriately-named session, Rick Claus and Corey Hynes leverage a demo-rich conversational approach to cover IIS, DHCP and IP Address Management (IPAM). Essential concepts such as securing and scaling your web servers, certificate support, DHCP failover, and important IPAM topics are covered.

Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (08): IIS, DHCP and IPAM
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012: Technical Overview

This course is designed to provide you with the key details of Windows Server 2012. The seven modules in this course, through video and whitepaper, provide details of the new capabilities, features, and solutions built into the product. With so many new features to cover, this course is designed to be the introduction to Windows Server 2012. After completing this course, you will be ready to dive deeper into Windows Server 2012 through additional Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) courses dedicated to each topic introduced in this “Technical Overview.”

Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012: Server Virtualization

This course introduces server virtualization features and capabilities within Windows Server 2012 that enable customers to take advantage of the cost savings of virtualization and make the optimum use of server hardware investment. These features include:

  • Hyper-V Replica, providing replication of Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) between two locations for business continuity and failure recovery.
  • Live Migration and the changes in Windows Server 2012 to enable different migration scenarios.
  • The ability to run larger VMs on physical hosts.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012: Storage

Windows Server 2012 introduces many new storage features and capabilities. These new capabilities are designed to provide enhanced reliability, availability, and performance at every layer of the Microsoft storage stack. They allow IT pros to combine features to build powerful new storage solutions, such as the ability to deliver feature-rich high performance storage functionality and performance without sacrificing budget. This course covers a number of these new features, including:

  • Storage Spaces, which is designed to deliver a cost-effective storage solution.
  • SMB 3.0 and the new features in the protocol, including how the new features enhance the reliability, availability, manageability, and performance of file servers.
  • Enhancements to Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) to extend its benefits beyond Hyper-V to support other application workloads.
  • Resilient file systems, NTFS file system enhancements, and data de-duplication
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012: Identity and Access

Today’s organizations need to give workers access to data and information — across varied networks and devices — while still keeping costs down. Innovations that meet these needs — such as virtualization and cloud-based applications — help organizations maximize existing infrastructure investments, while exploring new services, improving management, and increasing availability.
New and enhanced capabilities in Windows Server 2012 help you meet these challenges by making it easier and less costly to ensure secure access to valuable digital assets and comply with regulations. These capabilities include:

  • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). Improvements to AD DS installation and deployment and AD Federation Services (AD FS) as a server role.
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Enhancements with Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and easier deployment of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions.
  • DirectAccess for Remote Access. Helps IT offer users seamless, more secure access to corporate data from virtually any Internet connection.
  • Dynamic Access Control. Used for compliance and data leakage prevention to enable Data Governance.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Using Solution Accelerators to Prepare for Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Solution Accelerators provide tested guidance and automated tools to help you plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies — easier, faster, and at less cost. This course introduces three Solution Accelerators that will help prepare your business for Windows Server 2012.

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) 7.0. An agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations.
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2012 Update 1. Tools and guidance to accelerate and automate deployments of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.
  • Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (SCM) 3.0. A single point of management for all of your security baselines.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Windows Server 2012: Networking

Windows Server 2012 introduces new networking features and capabilities that help to reduce networking complexity while lowering costs and simplifying management tasks. These features include:

  • IP Address Management (IPAM). This provides a framework that enables discovery, management, and monitoring of an IP address space within the network of an organization.
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization. This is the software-defined networking (SDN) solution that enables you to tackle flexibility challenges in your datacenters by abstracting virtual machine (VM) IP addresses from the underlying physical network addressing and routing, similar to the way in which VMs are abstracted from the hardware of the physical host.
  • Hyper-V extensible switch. This provides an architecture to implement policy enforcement for security, isolation, service levels, and tenant isolation.
  • NIC Teaming. Out of the box network interface card (NIC) teaming is the ability to combine two or more network adapters in a single computer to behave as a single NIC within Windows.

Faced with choices. I must evaluate!

As an IT professional this is a concept you know very well.

This is why most of us got in the business anyway.  Find cool technologies, play with them, learn how to integrate it and take advantage of it.  It’s like playing with toys! Really cool toys.  This is why a lot of us have complex networks at home…  It’s our labs, our sandboxes, and our playgrounds.

But what if you don’t?

What if all you have is the laptop/desktop that your employer gives you?

What if you only have one machine?

Worst, what if you’re not allowed to test with your wife/girlfriend/significant other’s machine because you “Claused” it in an ulterior attempt at testing? Like I did before….

(Clausing a machine is defined by the act of rendering it unusable. A termed coined in honour of our good friend Rick Claus @RicksterCDN)

Well we do have options.

You can dual boot your machine or do like I did. I use a dual boot configuration that I can remove from my machine at any time. A configuration that did not require a re-sizing of my partitions. What I use is the VHD download found here


Once downloaded it’s just a matter of expanding it to your hard drive and add it to your boot menu. Done!

If you need the space, delete the VHD file, remove the boot entry, you’re done.

Here is a quick (5:44 minutes) video on how I got it accomplished.


the bottom line is, you need to evaluate things before you can deploy them.  That a given.  Whether you decide to install a full version on a spare machine or use the VHD option as described above is up to you.  Once you’re setup and ready to go come back to this blog site.  In the next weeks we will continue to cover Windows Server 2012 scenarios that are important to IT Pros.


Here are some of the scenarios we’ve already covered.

I know… That last one is not about Windows Server 2012… but it’s still cool.

So the first step is to go and get the goods.  Download the evaluation version here. Learn at and keep coming back to the CANITPRO blog for more scenarios.

And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let us know what scenarios are important to you. We’ll add them to our list and see about presenting content you can benefit from.

Leave us a comment, connect with us. That’s why were here.  We’re looking forward to it.




Signature (2012_09_06 13_24_05 UTC)

Get up and go! Windows To Go, that is….

With the arrival of Windows 8 a whole world of possibilities are becoming realities. Especially with enterprises that are juggling with roaming usage, consumerization of IT, Consultant access to corporate network….

Those are 3 of the scenarios where Windows 8 will bring a tremendous value. That’s right, VALUE!!! I was just discussing this with a buddy of mine who manages the desktops for a federal department and it gave me the idea for this post.

He’s struggling with several issues. Such as:

  • Do I what to allow a consultant to brings it’s own “unmanaged” laptop in our secured environment?
  • Do I really need to provide a second computer to staff that only have an occasional need to access our line of Business (LOB) application remotely?
  • What happens to my licensing if I need to give a copy of Office to some employees so they can work from home on their own machines?
  • Do I want to allow unmanaged remote machines (read unsecured machines that may or may not be “clean”) to access our network, our applications. Our data?
I used to manage environments like that… I used to answer all those questions with one word… NO!  But now we have options….. 2110.image_5A9AC3CB

Options that can help mitigate the risks. Like Domain IsolationVDI,  but the low hanging fruit we can reach easily is Windows To Go or WTG for short.

“Windows To Go is an enterprise feature of Windows® 8 that enables the creation of a Windows To Go workspace that can be booted from a USB-connected external drive on PCs that meet the Windows 7 or Windows 8 certification requirements, regardless of the operating system running on the PC. Windows To Go workspaces can use the same image enterprises use for their desktops and laptops and can be managed the same way. Windows To Go is not intended to replace desktops, laptops or supplant other mobility offerings. Rather, it provides support for efficient use of resources for alternative workplace scenarios.” (

I could not have said it better. It provides efficient (and really cool) use of resources for alternative workplace scenarios. WTG is available with Windows 8 Enterprise edition. But what are the differences WTG and a typical installation of Windows 8? Actually, it works just like any other installation of Windows with some exceptions.

- Internal disks are offline. To avoid “cross-contamination” and to ensure that sensitive data is not accidently copied to the local hard drives, internal hard disks on the host computer are offline by default when booted into WTG. By the same token if a WTG drive is inserted into a running system the WTG drive will not be listed in Windows Explorer.

WTG-Disk Management


- Trusted Platform Module (TPM). When using BitLocker a system boot password will be used instead of the TPM since the TPM is tied to a specific computer and WTG is designed to move between computers.

- Hibernate. To ensure that the WTG is able to move between computers, hibernation is disabled by default. It can however be re-enabled by GPO setting should you need to.

- Windows Recovery Environment. In the rare case that you need to recover your WTG drive, you should re-image it with a fresh image of Windows.

To create a WTG disk, a wizard is included in Windows 8 Enterprise edition. The wizard will first search for Windows 8 images; It will prompt the user to set a BitLocker password, and then format the USB drive and Install the image and necessary files to boot and run the USB drive.

Here is a short video (5 minutes, 29 seconds) showing a basic creation and usage of WTG.




Additional Resources

Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation

Windows To Go: Feature Overview

Description of licensing the Windows 8 Enterprise edition Windows To Go feature

Windows To Go scenarios

Creating a Windows To Go USB drive

Hardware considerations, including certified USB drives for WTG



All I have left to say is , Get up and go.  Windows To Go that is….



Signature (2012_09_06 13_24_05 UTC)

Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | IT Pro Advisor
Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


As Always… if there are scenarios you’d like us to investigate, leave a comment.  we’ll see what we can do to accommodate.

This post is also published on the Canadian IT Pro Connection blog.

I’ve been cloudified…

After a long absence from this blog , I’m finally back at it.

It took me a while but, you know….  Priorities…  Day job….

But I’m back with big things coming up…. Things i can’t really get into right now but soon. I promise.

I decided tonight was a good night to get back on the horse and start learning and writing again. Sounded pretty good. Until I logged on to my server which I was hosting in my home office.  You may remember that i started this blog on this particular server as a learning experience.  It was time for me to learn something new,  and put that old workhorse down.  It was way past its prime.WinAzure_c_ai

So I took a look at Microsoft Azure and figured out how to setup and configure WordPress on it. Migrated all my previous entries, re-installed my themes and plugins and VOILA! 45 minutes later, I’m now hosted in the cloud.  My dad always told me my head was in the clouds… Winking smile Now it’s for real.

Feels pretty good!!

I’ll describe the process another day….  but for now I really have to get back to those priorities I was talking about… You know…  Day job and all.


Signature (2012_07_04 14_35_25 UTC)

Monthly Online learning opportunity listing

Hello folks, image

This is my compilation of some of the online resource available to you in April 2012.

This list featuring both live and on-demand content including webcasts, videos, virtual labs, and podcasts by product and topic.

this is not the WHOLE list of the available content. but these are the ones i thought were relevant to customers and IT pros.

Microsoft webcasts are 30-90 minutes in length and feature interactive presentations, product demonstrations, and question-and-answer sessions. Virtual labs give you an opportunity to test drive Microsoft’s newest products in an online environment. It’s simple—no complex setup or installation is required. Stream or download audio podcasts and quickly access content with RSS feeds.

Microsoft podcasts are free — just click and Learn!

You can View all the podcasts for IT professionals here.

Or visit the Interactive IT Professional Webcast Calendar.

Live Webcasts:

TechNet Webcast: The Baker’s Dozen: What’s New in SQL Server 2012 (Part 3 of 13): New FileTable Enhancement (Level 300)
Friday, April 06, 2012 – 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pacific Time

TechNet Webcast: Information about Microsoft Security Bulletins for April (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time

TechNet Webcast: How Microsoft IT Improved Wireless Standards and Practices (Level 300)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

TechNet Webcast: Live! IT Time: Private Cloud Chat (Episode 6) (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Office System Webcast: Outlook 2010: Customize Your Outlook Environment, and Work with Options for Email, Calendar, Tasks, and More (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 – 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Office System Webcast: Excel 2010: Control Data Entry, Secure Your Workbooks, and Do More with Excel 2010 (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 – 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Pacific Time

Highly Rated On-Demand Webcasts:

TechNet Webcast: Hyper-V: The Base of a Private Cloud

TechNet Webcast: You’ve Got a Cloud: Familiar Tools to Manage It

TechNet Webcast: Complete a Seamless Transition from GroupWise to Office 365

Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks: Do More with Data in Excel 2010

New Videos:

TechNet Radio: Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou –“What is Cloud?”

TechNet Radio: Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou: Understanding Cloud Computing

TechNet Radio: Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou: “What is Private Cloud?

TechNet Radio: Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou: “How Does Cloud Computing Apply to Me?”

TechNet Radio: Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou: Become the Next Private Cloud Expert

Office 365 Jump Start (01): Microsoft Office 365 Overview for IT Pros (Level 200)

Office 365 Jump Start (02): Deploying Clients For Office 365 (Level 200)

Office 365 Jump Start (03): Microsoft Office 365 Administration & Automation Using Windows PowerShell (Level 200)

New Podcasts:

TechNet Radio: STB News Bytes – System Center 2012 Reviewer’s Workshop (Part 1)

TechNet Radio: STB News Bytes – System Center 2012 Reviewer’s Workshop (Part 2)

TechNet Radio: IT Time – Microsoft Virtual Academy Preview – Windows 8, SQL Server 2012 and System Center 2012

TechNet Radio: IT Time – Inside Microsoft IT – The Consumerization of IT

Business insights, Microsoft Dynamics, IT talk shows, and small business content:

Business Insights Webcast: Office 365: Business Utilization of SharePoint Online (Level 200)
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Learn how your Active Microsoft Dynamics Business Ready Enhancement Plan help you Collaborate with your Peers (Level 100)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Business Insights Webcast: You Can’t Hack Yourself Secure (Level 100)
Thursday, April 12, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Management Reporter 101 for Microsoft Dynamics SL (Level 100)
Thursday, April 12, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Financial Reporting with Management Reporter for Microsoft Dynamics GP (Level 100)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Management Reporter and Performance Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (Level 100)
Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Transitioning from Module Based Licensing to Business Ready Licensing (Level 100)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Outgrowing Your Entry-Level Accounting Solution? Microsoft Dynamics GP Can Help (Level 100)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Functionality Review (Level 100)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time

Microsoft Dynamics Webcast: Statement of Direction, Product Strategy, and Roadmap for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Level 100)
Thursday, April 26, 2012 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific Time


Please let me know if this is something you find valuable. or if there is something specific you’re looking for.

There is so much to learn. we should take advantage of every opportunities.

As always, please contact me should you have any comments or questions.



Pierre Roman, MCITP, ITIL | Senior Technical Account Manager | Directeur de Compte Technique Senior
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This article also appears on the CanITPro blog

It’s not a Sunshine Girl. But this poster won’t get me in trouble.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you already know that we released the Windows 8 Consumer preview and the Windows Server “8” Beta on February 29th.

Now we’ve just published the new “Windows Server “8” Beta Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster” on the download center.


Please feel free to get your own copy.

Here is the link:

As always, the following blog can be used to access all the posters and to make you can access all the previous posters in one place. Feel free to share the blog with your staff :