Microsoft Masterminds Episode 9: Thomas Maurer, MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Virtual Machine from Switzerland 2nd Interview

Welcome to the new episode of tech talks with outstanding Microsoft community members from all over the world. Most interviews are with Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), and if you are not familiar with that program yet, I recommend you reading my recent introductory interview. In this episode I talk again to Thomas Maurer, a Switzerland based MVP, Virtual Machine. In our first interview he mentioned “dynamic automated data centers”. During this interview we will go a bit deeper in this topic. Enjoy reading!

This post has no relation to my job or my employer. Everything I post is my personal opinion and I write complete independent.

Flo: Hello Thomas, thank you for taking time. In our first interview you mentioned that not many companies use a “dynamic automated data center”.

Thomas: Well let’s say there are a lot of companies with a huge potential in datacenter automation.

Flo: In your opinion, what is the reason why they don’t use those infrastructures?

Thomas: One of the main reasons could be that a lot of companies are not aware of solutions like System Center and if they are they do not really have the time and the knowledge to build a dynamic datacenter or private cloud by themselves. That’s where we as consultants can step in and help customers to build their own private cloud or connect there on-premise datacenter to a public cloud like Windows Azure.

Flo: What are the biggest obstacles?

Thomas: Well if a company tries to build their own private cloud there are a lot of obstacles. For example one of the problems is the lack of knowledge about products. But maybe the biggest is the lack of knowledge how you design a solution like this. There are so many things to think of beyond the products it self like security and basic Active Director role concepts. You don’t get the most benefits by just implementing the products, you have to think how they work together and how you can get the most out of it.

Flo: When and why should a small and medium enterprise migrate to public cloud offers or build their own private cloud?

Thomas: I think the many reasons for most enterprises to build a private cloud and maybe extend it to the public cloud is to stay flexible. If the business has any needs IT has to deliver as fast as possible and in the most cases customers with private clouds can deliver requested solutions very quickly.

Flo: In this migration process, what differences do you see between real life and best practice?

Thomas: A lot of people do still not understand the concepts of dynamic datacenters and cloud solutions, and with this it’s hard to migrate from a legacy datacenter to a dynamic datacenter. So companies should train their employees so they understand how things should work in the future. There are a lot of examples for this, for example when you deploy new Virtual Machines you will not really care about IP addresses because there are technologies like System Center Virtual Machine Manager IP Pools, DNS and IPAM, but a lot of customers (IT Staff) still think about it that way, and it’s hard to change their minds.

Flo: Let us talk a bit about System Center 2012. SP1 is out and many people are testing or migrating to SP1. I know you are still working with Virtual Machine Manager SP1. Could you share some best practices with us?

Thomas: Well if you are going to work with Virtual Machine Manager make sure you understand the new network features which are built in. The new concept of the logical switch and port profiles will make your life much easier.

Flo: Do you have any migration guides to share?

Thomas: Well there are some really good guides on TechNet and I will write some post about the new networking features in SCVMM.

Flo: Did you find any bug or things that not working with System Center 2012? If yes, please give us a short overview.

Thomas: Well there are some small bugs I already reported on connect but most of them you will only hit if you are working really deep with the product and some of them are already fixed in Update Rollup 1 for SP1.


Flo: Thank you for the interview Thomas. I can’t wait to talk to you again.

Thomas: Your welcome Flo.

Twitter: @ThomasMaurer