Friday, 22 August 2014

Blogging Lull and Business News

Hay all, it's been either really busy or quite quiet around here. During the lulls I've been taking the time to spend at home with the family. Thus the lack of blog posts for the last while.

We are now in the process of flipping our entire setup into a new 2012 R2 DC/HV Cluster setup. Our existing 2008 R2 RDS server dropped a drive, so rather than risk losing data (did not want to waste time on an RMA and we do not have anymore of them in stock) on the old RDS everything is being transferred over to the new system.

This includes Windows Live Writer (all posts have been RemoteApp WLW posted for a number of years now). We've not quite finished setting the RDS server up yet which includes installing WLW into 2012 R2 RDS and delivering via RemoteApp again.

Our SBS 2011 Standard server will also be deprecated in favour of 2012 R2 DCs with failover DHCP configured and Exchange 2013 CU5 providing our mailbox experience. One of those DCs will reside on the cluster while the other is a physical server (we _always_ set up a physical DC in cluster environments).

In the midst of all of that our primary APC 6KV 208/220V UPS and step-down transformer went full stop on us. Unfortunately the 2 year warranty was over by a good 10 months so no go for replacement. We negotiated a decent deal to replace both via the TRADE-UPS program APC offers plus toss in an extended warranty for a total of 5 years coverage.

We looked to Eaton as a possible replacement but unfortunately economics took precedence in our decision to accept APC's deal (we're in a costly PoC for a new business endeavour).

What's on the agenda for this coming fall?
  • Our Proof of Concept (PoC) testing will start up again
    • Scale-Out File Server and Storage Spaces SSD, HDD, SSD Tiers, and resilience testing
    • Hyper-V VM storage thrashing (VHDX via SMB3 share on SOFS)
    • Hyper-V Network Virtualization for Multi-Tenancy
    • Dell SonicWALL NSA2600 HA Testing (we have a pair on the way)
We are excited about the new business we are in the process of  building. We plan on jumping into the Cloud Services mix with a product offering no one out there can come close to offering at this time!

We are also keeping our clients very happy with their very stable I.T. environments. :)

My Third Tier involvement, both with the Help Desk and the ASP Project, has been awesome. I will continue to work with Third Tier clients and ASP subscribers to the best of my abilities. The clients are great and it's a great gig.

Well, that's about all for now. Thank you for reading and supporting us over the years!

NOTE: The Third Tier Brain Explosion slated to happen in September as a GFI conference Pre-Day has been cancelled due to the lack of sign-ups. Perhaps all y'all could comment on some of the conferences you attend, why, and where they are located. That would help us to pick a venue that would work better for you.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book
Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen ASP Project
Find out more at
Third Tier: Enterprise Solutions for Small Business

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