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It's Automation, Not Art
It’s Automation, Not Art Learn how to simplify application monitoring with this free eBook.
We recently reached out to IT professionals to find out what they thought about monitoring and managing their environment.  From the survey, we learned that automation was at the top of everyone's wish list.
 
This guide was written to provide an overview on automation as it relates to monitoring.  It was designed specifically for those familiar with computers and IT, who know what monitoring is capable of, and who may or may not have hands-on experience with monitoring software.
Mastering vSphere – Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More
Do you regularly work with vSphere? If so, this free eBook is for you. Learn how to leverage best practices for the most popular features contained within the vSphere platform and boost your productivity using tips and tricks learnt direct from an experienced VMware trainer and highly qualified professional. In this eBook, vExpert Ryan Birk shows you how to master: Advanced Deployment Scenarios using Auto-Deploy Shared Storage Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting Host Network configurati

If you’re here to gather some of the best practices surrounding vSphere, you’ve come to the right place! Mastering vSphere: Best Practices, Optimizing Configurations & More, the free eBook authored by me, Ryan Birk, is the product of many years working with vSphere as well as teaching others in a professional capacity. In my extensive career as a VMware consultant and teacher (I’m a VMware Certified Instructor) I have worked with people of all competence levels and been asked hundreds - if not thousands - of questions on vSphere. I was approached to write this eBook to put that experience to use to help people currently working with vSphere step up their game and reach that next level. As such, this eBook assumes readers already have a basic understanding of vSphere and will cover the best practices for four key aspects of any vSphere environment.

The best practices covered here will focus largely on management and configuration solutions so should remain relevant for quite some time. However, with that said, things are constantly changing in IT, so I would always recommend obtaining the most up-to-date information from VMware KBs and official documentation especially regarding specific versions of tools and software updates. This eBook is divided into several sections, and although I would advise reading the whole eBook as most elements relate to others, you might want to just focus on a certain area you’re having trouble with. If so, jump to the section you want read about.

Before we begin, I want to note that in a VMware environment, it’s always best to try to keep things simple. Far too often I have seen environments be thrown off the tracks by trying to do too much at once. I try to live by the mentality of “keeping your environment boring” – in other words, keeping your host configurations the same, storage configurations the same and network configurations the same. I don’t mean duplicate IP addresses, but the hosts need identical port groups, access to the same storage networks, etc. Consistency is the name of the game and is key to solving unexpected problems down the line. Furthermore, it enables smooth scalability - when you move from a single host configuration to a cluster configuration, having the same configurations will make live migrations and high availability far easier to configure without having to significantly re-work the entire infrastructure. Now the scene has been set, let’s get started!

How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

PowerCLI - The Aspiring Automator's Guide
Automation is awesome but don't just settle for using other people's scripts. Learn how to create your own scripts and take your vSphere automation game to the next level! Written by VMware vExpert Xavier Avrillier, this free eBook presents a use-case approach to learning how to automate tasks in vSphere environments using PowerCLI. We start by covering the basics of installation, set up, and an overview of PowerCLI terms. From there we move into scripting logic and script building with step-by

Scripting and PowerCLI are words that most people working with VMware products know pretty well and have used once or twice. Everyone knows that scripting and automation are great assests to have in your toolbox. The problem usually is that getting into scripting appears daunting to many people who feel like the learning curve is just too steep, and they usually don't know where to start. The good thing is you don't need to learn everything straight away to start working with PowerShell and PowerCLI. Once you have the basics down and have your curiosity tickled, you’ll learn what you need as you go, a lot faster than you thought you would!

ABOUT POWERCLI

Let's get to know PowerCLI a little better before we start getting our hands dirty in the command prompt. If you are reading this you probably already know what PowerCLI is about or have a vague idea of it, but it’s fine you don’t. After a while working with it, it becomes second nature, and you won't be able to imagine life without it anymore! Thanks to VMware's drive to push automation, the product's integration with all of their components has significantly improved over the years, and it has now become a critical part of their ecosystem.

WHAT IS PowerCLI?

Contrary to what many believe, PowerCLI is not in fact a stand-alone software but rather a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell for managing and automating vSphere environments. It used to be distributed as an executable file to install on a workstation. Previously, an icon was generated that would essentially launch PowerShell and load the PowerCLI snap-ins in the session. This behavior changed back in version 6.5.1 when the executable file was removed and replaced by a suite of PowerShell modules to install from within the prompt itself. This new deployment method is preferred because these modules are now part of Microsoft’s Official PowerShell Gallery. 7 These modules provide the means to interact with the components of a VMware environment and offer more than 600 cmdlets! The below command returns a full list of VMware-Associated Cmdlets!

Office 365 / Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 contain truly powerful applications that can significantly boost productivity in the workplace. However, there’s a lot on offer so we’ve put together a comprehensive companion guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment! This free 85-page eBook, written by Microsoft Certified Trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers everything from basic descriptions, to installation, migration, use-cases, and best practices for all features within the Office/Microsoft 365 sui

Welcome to this free eBook on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 brought to you by Altaro Software. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of these powerful cloud packages and improve your business. This book follows an informal reference format providing an overview of the most powerful applications of each platform’s feature set in addition to links directing to supporting information and further reading if you want to dig further into a specific topic. The intended audience for this book is administrators and IT staff who are either preparing to migrate to Office/Microsoft 365 or who have already migrated and who need to get the lay of the land. If you’re a developer looking to create applications and services on top of the Microsoft 365 platform, this book is not for you. If you’re a business decision-maker, rather than a technical implementer, this book will give you a good introduction to what you can expect when your organization has been migrated to the cloud and ways you can adopt various services in Microsoft 365 to improve the efficiency of your business.

THE BASICS

We’ll cover the differences (and why one might be more appropriate for you than the other) in more detail later but to start off let’s just clarify what each software package encompasses in a nutshell. Office 365 (from now on referred to as O365) 7 is an email collaboration and a host of other services provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas Microsoft 365 (M365) is Office 365 plus Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune – cloud-based management of devices and security and Windows 10 Enterprise. Both are per user-based subscription services that require no (or very little) infrastructure deployments on-premises.

Add Zero-Cost, Proactive Monitoring to Your Citrix Services with FREE Citrix Logon Simulator
Performance is central to any Citrix project, whether it’s a new deployment, upgrading from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.x, or scaling and optimization. Watch this on-demand webinar and learn how you can leverage eG Enterprise Express, the free Citrix logon monitoring solution from eG Innovations, to deliver added value to your customers and help them proactively fix logon slowdowns and improve the user experience.

Performance is central to any Citrix project, whether it’s a new deployment, upgrading from XenApp 6.5 to XenApp 7.x, or scaling and optimization. Rather than simply focusing on system resource usage metrics (CPU, memory, disk usage, etc.), Citrix administrators need to monitor all aspects of user experience. And, Citrix logon performance is the most important of them all.

Watch this on-demand webinar and learn how you can leverage eG Enterprise Express, the free Citrix logon monitoring solution from eG Innovations, to deliver added value to your customers and help them proactively fix logon slowdowns and improve the user experience. In this webinar, you will learn:

•    What the free Citrix logon simulator does, how it works, and its benefits
•    How you can set it up for your clients in just minutes
•    Different ways to use logon monitoring to improve your client projects
•    Upsell opportunities for your service offerings

How to Make Citrix Logons 75% Faster
Slow logon is one of the most common user complaints faced by Citrix admins. When logon is slow, it affects the end-user experience and business productivity. Because Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop logon comprises many steps and depends on various parts of the infrastructure, it is often difficult to know what is causing logon slowness. Watch this on-demand webinar where Citrix expert George Spiers will share best practices to optimize your Citrix infrastructure to make logons up to 75% faster.

Slow logon is one of the most common user complaints faced by Citrix admins. When logon is slow, it affects the end-user experience and business productivity. Because Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop logon comprises many steps and depends on various parts of the infrastructure, it is often difficult to know what is causing logon slowness. The biggest question every Citrix admin has is, “How do I make Citrix logons faster?”

Optimize Citrix Logon Every Step of the Way and Reduce Logon Times Up To 75%.

Watch this on-demand webinar where Citrix expert George Spiers will share best practices based on his real-world experience to optimize your Citrix infrastructure to make logons up to 75% faster.

•    Understand what factors are involved in Citrix login processing
•    Learn optimization techniques to make logon faster including profile management and image optimization
•    Learn how to improve logon times using new Citrix technologies such as App Layering and WEM
•    Pick up tips, tricks and tools to proactively detect logon slowdowns
•    View this webinar and become an expert at managing Citrix logon performance end to end.

View this webinar and become an expert at managing Citrix logon performance end to end.

The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
If you're used to on-premises infrastructures, cloud platforms can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. This eBook written by the veteran IT consultant and trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers all aspects of setting up and maintaining a high-performing Azure IaaS environment, including: • VM sizing and deployment • Migration • Storage and networking • Security and identity • Infrastructure as code and more!

The cloud computing era is well and truly upon us, and knowing how to take advantage of the benefits of this computing paradigm while maintaining security, manageability, and cost control are vital skills for any IT professional in 2020 and beyond. And its importance is only getting greater.

In this eBook, we’re going to focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on Microsoft’s Azure platform - learning how to create VMs, size them correctly, manage storage, networking, and security, along with backup best practices. You’ll also learn how to operate groups of VMs, deploy resources based on templates, managing security and automate your infrastructure. If you currently have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, we’ll also teach you that.

If you’re new to the cloud (or have experience with AWS/GCP but not Azure), this book will cover the basics as well as more advanced skills. Given how fast things change in the cloud, we’ll cover the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll have the theoretical knowledge to effectively adapt and know how to proceed.

You’ll benefit most from this book if you actively follow along with the tutorials. We will be going through terms and definitions as we go – learning by doing has always been my preferred way of education. If you don’t have access to an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial with Microsoft. This will give you 30 days 6 to use $200 USD worth of Azure resources, along with 12 months of free resources. Note that most of these “12 months” services aren’t related to IaaS VMs (apart from a few SSD based virtual disks and a small VM that you can run for 750 hours a month) so be sure to get everything covered on the IaaS side before your trial expires. There are also another 25 services that have free tiers “forever”.

Now you know what’s in store, let’s get started!

The State of Multicloud: Virtual Desktop Deployments
Download this free 15-page report to understand the key differences and benefits to the many cloud deployment models and the factors that are driving tomorrow’s decisions.

The future of compute is in the cloud

Flexible, efficient, and economical, the cloud is no longer a question - it's the answer.

IT professionals that once considered if or when to migrate to the cloud are now talking about how. Earlier this year, we reached out to thousands of IT professionals to learn more about how.

Private Cloud, On-Prem, Public Cloud, Hybrid, Multicloud - each of these deployment models offers unique advantages and challenges. We asked IT decision-makers how they are currently leveraging the cloud and how they plan to grow.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly believed in the importance of a hybrid or multicloud strategy, regardless of whether they had actually implemented one themselves.

The top reasons for moving workloads between clouds

  • Cost Savings
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Data Center Location
  • Availability of Virtual Machines/GPUs
10 Best Practices for VM Backup
Topics: VM, backup, Veeam
Proper protection for critical applications and implementing off‑site solutions are essential to keeping VM data available while minimizing data loss. Every business should have a backup strategy to guarantee virtual machines are properly protected and recoverable.

When backing up virtual machines, one should consider applications running on the machine, how critical the machine is for business operations and how fast you can get back up running when a disaster occurs. Proper protection for critical applications and implementing off‑site solutions are essential to keeping VM data available while minimizing data loss. Every business should have a backup strategy to guarantee virtual machines are properly protected and recoverable.

Join this webinar to learn more about:

•    Factors affecting VM backups
•    Off‑site data protection strategies
•    Ensuring data is recoverable and secure

Hyper‑V: best practices for protection and security
Topics: Hyper-V, Backup, Veeam
Join us for a webinar discussing business continuity and disaster recovery in Hyper‑V environments from a general perspective.
Join us for a webinar discussing business continuity and disaster recovery in Hyper‑V environments from a general perspective.
More specifically, we’ll cover:
•    Trends and common backup pitfalls to avoid
•    Different types and methods of Hyper‑V replication
•    How to keep your backups secure
•    And more!
Unleash the Power of NAS Backup
Topics: NAS, Backup, VAS v10, Veeam
With the NEW Veeam Backup & Replication v10, we bring the most powerful, reliable and easy-to-use file-level backup capabilities aimed at protecting your file shares.

With the NEW Veeam Backup & Replication v10, we bring the most powerful, reliable and easy-to-use file-level backup capabilities aimed at protecting your file shares.

Want to learn all the pros and cons of existing solutions on the market? Get a clear picture of why Veeam’s NAS backup is the best option for you? Learn how backup should be configured and stop worrying about restore options? Then, this session is for you!

Join this webinar to:
•    Take a deep look into the components required for Veeam NAS backup
•    Learn how and where you can store this data
•    Learn how to take advantage of cloud-based storage with NAS backup
•    Learn additional uses cases for NAS backup that are not just about recovery
•    And more!

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