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  • What's new in Hyper-V 2016
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Category: IT

All About IT and Computers


Surface Book

My Surface Book User Review

A couple of months ago I got a myself a Surface Book while I was in the US. You may know that I am a Surface user for a long time now. I started with the original Surface Pro, upgraded to the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface Pro 3, which was my main device for the last year. Microsoft announced the Surface Book together with the Surface Pro 4, the new Microsoft Band 2 and the Lumia 950 as well as the Lumia 950 XL.

The Surface Book is the first laptop Microsoft has ever created and Microsoft doesn’t call it the ultimate laptop for no reason. I have used the Surface Book now for the past months while I was traveling, giving presentations, working at customer sites or at home writing blog posts. With that I got a great impression of the Surface Book in the real world, not just reviewing it for a couplnowe of hours, as other tech sites do, this is more kind of a real user review.

Technical Specifications

Surface Book Box

  • Software: Windows 10 Pro
  • Exterior: Casing: Magnesium, Color: Silver, Physical buttons: Volume, Power
  • Dimensions: 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.51 – 0.90” (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 13.0 – 22.8mm)
  • Weight: Starting at 3.34 pounds (1,516 grams) including keyboard
  • Storage: Solid state drive (SSD) options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB.
  • Display: Screen: 13.5” PixelSense™ display
  • Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Touch: 10 point multi-touch
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours of video playback4
  • Processor: 6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7
  • Graphics i5: Intel® HD graphics 520, i5/i7: NVIDIA GeForce GPU with 1GB GDDR5 memory
  • Security: TPM chip for enterprise security
  • Memory: 8GB or 16GB RAM
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • Ports: Two full-size USB 3.0, Full-size SD™ card reader, SurfaceConnectTM, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort
  • Cameras: Windows Hello face-authentication camera (front-facing), 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video, 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video
  • Audio: Stereo microphones, Stereo speakers with Dolby® audio
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer

I got the Intel Core i7 version with 8GB memory and 256GB of storage. To be honest, if I had the choice I would get the smallest Core i5 version with a dedicated graphics card or the Core i7 version with 16GB of memory.

Design and Durability

Surface Pro and Surface Book

As always Microsoft did build a great piece of hardware in terms of design and build quality. As the Surface Pro 3 and the whole Surface line the Surface Book is really high quality. I really like to work with it.

Display and Audio

Surface Book Traveling

What I really like about the Surface product line are the displays. First of all, the quality is pretty good, but what is even more important for me is the 3:2 ratio. With that you get a lot more space on the screen to get work done. This especially helps when you are doing some writing or get some mails done. The Surface Book comes with a 13.5 inch screen which is just a little bit bigger than the Surface Pro 4, and this is one if the main reasons I got myself the Surface Book instead of the Surface Pro. Especially on if you are on the road and the device is not docked, a bigger screen can make a huge difference.

Audio and especially the microphones work every well and have a very good quality if you are doing Skype or other conference calls.

Heat and Fan Noise

If you were owner of a Surface Pro 3 you might had some issues with fan noise and the Surface Pro 3 could get very hot. I am running the Intel Core i7 version of the Surface Book and I don’t have any issues in terms of heat of fan noise. The Surface Book runs very quiet and cool, I never really heard the fan, even when I run some heavy workloads like virtual machines.

Wireless and Networking

Surface Book Travel

Wireless and network connectivity are as usual pretty great, no issues here. If you want to use a wired connection you have to buy a USB to Ethernet adapter, since the Surface Book does not have a build in Ethernet port, but this isn’t a real problem.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard and the trackpad are amazing, I think this is the best keyboard and trackpad combination I have ever used. Typing feels really good even if you have to write lager documents or blog posts. Of course the keyboard has also backlight which makes it great if you have to write something in a dark hotel room.

Tablet Mode

Surface Book Tablet Mode

With the tablet mode you can easily detach the screen from the keyboard so you can use it as a very light tablet. The tablet is really light, even lighter than the Surface Pro and has up to 4 hours of battery life. As cool as the tablet mode for some people may is, I basically never use it. I use the pen and the touch screen a lot, but I never really detach the keyboard from it. This is kind of different than the Surface Pro, where I detached the Type Cover a lot and just place it somewhere using the kickstand, since the Surface Book does not have a kickstand you really have to hold it all the time, and I just don’t have a use case for this.

Battery life and Performance

Performance and battery life is where the Surface Book really starts to shine. Especially in terms of disk performance using an internal NVMe disk, the Surface Book is amazingly fast. I got the version with an Intel Core i7, 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage and a dedicated Nvidia graphics card. Next time I would choose the larger version with more memory and storage but at this time in November last year it was the only configuration which was available.

Battery life is also not an issue, I get around 8-12h of battery life when I am on the road. This is enough for a full day of work.

Software and Accessories

Surface Book Home Office Surface Dock

The Surface Book comes with Windows 10 Pro, and as I mentioned I really like Windows 10. I am running the latest Windows Insider builds and the work most of the time great. Performance is really good and one thing I always loved about the Surface was the Surface Pen. I am not an artist, but I use the pen a lot in workshops with customers, instead of using it a whiteboard or to take notes in OneNote.

At home I dock the Surface Book to the Surface Dock where I have two 27-inch screens, which makes it a fully functional desktop.

Conclusion

As you can see I am really happy with the device I am using for around 7 months. The only thing which makes me want a Surface Pro again is the size. The Surface Pro with the Type Cover is much more mobile, especially when you are traveling a lot by plane or train. Otherwise the Surface Book is the perfect device.



Azure PowerShell Installing

How to Install the Azure PowerShell Module

Well if you are working with Microsoft Azure you may need the PowerShell Modules for automation and some settings which are only available in PowerShell. With the latest releases you can install the Azure PowerShell Module in several different ways.

Install Azure PowerShell

For me using the PowerShell Package Management and the PowerShell Gallery is may the easiest and fastest way to install it. In Windows 10 or a computer with the Windows Management Framework 5 installed, you can use the following PowerShell cmdlets to install it:

Microsoft Azure Resource Manager (new Portal):

And you can use the following command to login:

If you are using it against the classic Azure Portal you can use the following:

And you can use the following command to login:

 

You can also see the Azure PowerShell Modules and versions using the PowerShell Package Management:

Azure PowerShell Module

 

 



Microsoft Band 2

Impressions of the Microsoft Band 2

A couple of months back I had the chance to visit and speak at several tech conferences, and during this time Microsoft released several devices such as the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4 and the Microsoft Band 2. I was a Microsoft Band user since November 2014 and as you can see at my review on the Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health I really liked the concept of the device.

With the Microsoft Band 2 Microsoft address some of the wishes of the users. So here are some of my impressions:

  • The Microsoft Band 2 is a welcome upgrade in terms of quality and design over the first version of the Microsoft Band
  • The new curved AMOLED display is bigger and looks much better than the old one. It also improves the touch quality after workouts with wet fingers.
  • The feel is much better. Even I got used to the first version of the Microsoft band very quickly the Microsoft Band 2 improves that and sometimes I even have to check if I am still wearing it.
  • Microsoft also added some new functionality to the Band 2 such as a Barometer and a better or always one UV sensor. But what I really like is the new Smart Alarm. When you are using the Band and start sleep mode you can also set an alarm, as a option you can also enable the Smart Alarm, and this will wake you up at the optimal wake up phase 30 minutes before the alarm was set. If you are still in deep sleep the Band will take the time you set as the alarm time to wake you up.

Microsoft also added some fun things to the Microsoft Health app. You can now compare your workouts, runs, bike rides, steps and more with your friends. And you can also create challenges and invite your friends, which is really fun.

Conclusion

The Microsoft Band 2 is a very welcome upgrade and looks much better and more mature then the first version. And Microsoft also improved some of the functionality and added some cool new features. Since I started using the Microsoft Band (v1) a while back, I also started to loss some weight. Well of course this also could have been done without any tracker, but a fitness tracker really helps you to stay motivated and have some control over your health. Now after more than a year of using Microsoft health, it is great to find and compare some data about your health, for example how much did I sleep per month, which effect did my sleep have on my running performance and so on.



ITCamp 2016

Speaking at ITCamp in Cluj-Napoca

Today, I am proud to announce that I am speaking at the ITCamp in Cluj Napoca, Romania. I am super exiceded since this will be my first visit to Romania and I heard a lot of great feedback about the conference.

Featured Speakers ITCamp

I will present two sessions:

Nano Server – The Future of Windows Server

Nano Server is the future of Windows Server. With Nano Server Microsoft created the foundation for Windows Server for the next 20 year. In this session you will get an overview about Nano Server and see some great live demos how you can deploy, manage and operate Nano Server as well as creating applications for it.

Get a better understanding of Nano Server and see how you deploy, manage and operate it.

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Come to this session to get the details of all the new stuff that is in Hyper-V and learn about how you can play with it “hands-on.” This session includes also the latest updates from the Technical Previews.

ITCamp 2016

Check out the website for more information

 



Hyper-V NAT Switch

Set up a Hyper-V Virtual Switch using a NAT Network

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post about how you can create a new Hyper-V NAT Switch. Now this worked fine in some early Windows 10 builds, but Microsoft removed the parameter for the NAT Switch in some Windows 10 Insider builds. Today Sarah Cooley PM at the Microsoft Hyper-V team, documented how you can do this using newer Windows 10 builds.

Requirements:

  • Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 build 14295 or later
  • Enabled Hyper-V role
  • PowerShell, since this setting is not available in the UI right now

Hyper-V NAT Switch

Create a new Hyper-V Virtual Switch

Configure the NAT Gateway IP Address

This configures the Virtual Network Adapter which was created while creating the Internal Virtual Hyper-V Switch.

Now you can configure the NAT rule

After that you have finally created your NAT network and you can now use that network to connect your virtual machines and use IP Address from 172.21.21.2-172.21.21.254.

Hyper-V Virtual Switch NAT Configuration

Create a new NAT forwarding

To forward specific ports from the Host to the guest VMs you can use the following commands.

This example creates a mapping between port 80 of the host to port 80 of a Virtual Machine with an IP address of 172.21.21.2.

[PowerShell]

Add-NetNatStaticMapping -NatName “VMSwitchNat” -Protocol TCP -ExternalIPAddress 0.0.0.0 -InternalIPAddress 172.21.21.2 -InternalPort 80 -ExternalPort 80

[PowerShell]

This example creates a mapping between port 82 of the Virtual Machine host to port 80 of a Virtual Machine with an IP address of 172.21.21.3.

[PowerShell]

Add-NetNatStaticMapping -NatName “VMSwitchNat” -Protocol TCP -ExternalIPAddress 0.0.0.0 -InternalIPAddress 172.16.0.3 -InternalPort 80 -ExternalPort 82

[PowerShell]

This also works with Windows and Hyper-V Containers.

 

 

 



MMS Midwest Management Summit

Speaking at the Midwest Management Summit 2016 – Interview

Last year at the  Midwest Management Summit 2015 (MMS 2015) I had the chance to speak the second time at this event. In 2016 I am proud to announce that I will speak at the Midwest Management Summit 2016. This is the thired time I will speak at MMS, and together with Miike Ressler from Veeam Software I will speak about what’s new in Hyper-V 2016 and Nano Server.

The Midwest Management Summit is a 3-day conference purposely capped to just 600 attendees so that nobody gets lost in the crowd. Speakers have time to meet and talk to you. No rushing people out of a session to get the next speaker going. Time to absorb what you see and talk it over with speakers and other attendees. A true learning experience. Real networking. Real-life issues discussed.

This week I had the honor to speak with Lee Berg about my upcoming sessions at MMS 2016, where I will talk about Hyper-V, Nano Server, Containers and a lot of other great stuff.

The Midwest Management Summit 2016 will be held from 17-19. May in the Mall of America.

MMS 2015

Nano Server - The Future of Windows Server

Nano Server is the future of Windows Server. With Nano Server Microsoft created the foundation for Windows Server for the next 20 year. In this session you will get an overview about Nano Server and see some great live demos how you can deploy, manage and operate Nano Server.

What's new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Come to this session to get the details of all the new stuff that is in Hyper-V and learn about how you can play with it “hands-on.” This session includes also the latest updates from the Technical Previews.

Nano Server and Containers better together!

With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft build the future for Windows Server. With Nano Server and Containers Microsoft created the concept of a cloud ready operating system. In this session you will get an overview about Nano Server and Containers.

Here the intervie

 



Microsoft Network 5 Conference

Speaking at Microsoft NetWork 6 in Neum, Bosnia Herzegovina

Today I am proud to announce that I will speak at the Microsoft NetWork 6 conference in Bosnia. The Microsoft NetWork 6 conference will take place from April 18-20 in Neum, Bosnia. I will present two sessions:

Nano Server and Containers better together!

Have a look at the latest Cloud Technologies from Microsoft. Learn about the next Microsoft Cloud Platform Server called Nano Server and Windows Containers. Both solutions are built for the future and will fundamentally change how we do IT. Learn why we need Nano Server and Windows Containers and how we deploy, manage and operate them.

What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Come to this session to get the details of all the new stuff that is in Hyper-V and learn about how you can play with it “hands-on.” This session includes also the latest updates from the Technical Previews.

Check out the event page for more information:

Microsoft NetWork 6

Microsoft NetWork 6 Neum, Bosnia 18-20 April