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Q&A with Bruce Mackenzie-Low: Avoiding Private Cloud Disruption

A growing number of shops are building private clouds on top of Windows Server. Yet like all datacenter platforms, IT pros must ensure uptime of private clouds. As a Master Consultant at Hewlett-Packard Co., Bruce Mackenzie-Low provides third-level support for applications running on Windows and specializes in clustering and crash-dump analysis. Ahead of his Live! 360 worshop, Bruce answers some questions on how to keep your private cloud up and running.

Q: How do we keep our cloud running with as many nines of reliability as possible?
A: Use Windows failover clustering technology! Nothing provides better uptime than leveraging Windows failover clusters to keep your applications up and running.

Q: Do OS or app problems most often take down cloud apps?
A: Most OS problems that you may run into have already been encountered by someone else. So most likely there's a corresponding hotfix that will address your OS issue. Application outages, however, can be more challenging to troubleshoot due to the custom nature of most installations and the interoperability with third-party components.

Q: What are your three top tips for analyzing and preventing cloud crashes?
A: Use the new Windows Performance Toolkit to monitor and troubleshoot hangs and slowdowns. Proactively install recommended hotfixes from Microsoft. The No. 1 cause of system outages is outdated drivers exploiting known issues with existing hotfixes. There are recommended hotfixes for many components of the OS such as Windows Server 2008 R2-based failover clusters and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, to name a few. Most crashes are caused by outdated antivirus software, so be sure to update yours anytime you update Windows.

Don't forget to catch Bruce's workshop, "Minimizing Cloud Service Disruption by Analyzing Application and OS," during Microsoft's Live! 360 in December. Mackenzie-Low will explain how to configure Windows servers to capture system and process memory dumps; how to force memory dumps when the OS or app is hanging; and how to set up the Windows debugger to analyze systems and process crash dumps to discover failing components or drivers.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/03/2012 at 1:19 PM


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