Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

CloudShare who? Blog Series Part 2 – Configure your environments

I have had this post in my drafts for some time and I have been trying to get round publishing this for some time.  I cannot go on about how good Cloudshare is and what a fantastic service and model they offer.  In a nutshell they provide a cloud based service that individuals (Pro plus account) or enterprises can subscribe to provide a pooled hardware resource count, from here you can then add prebuilt and configured services or environments ranging from Linux, to Windows, to SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010 – this includes full licenses.

For a complete listing of all the machines they offer see here – All these machines can be intergrated into your own network through the use of VPN’s etc and are spun up within a matter of minutes (sometimes sec’s).

Once you have signed up for a 14 day trial account then create an environment, edit that environment and select the machines that you want to be provisioned within that environment:

This will take some time for the machines to be built, from here you will be able to view the username and passwords for the machines within that domain, connect through an RDP client to the “public address” – BTW this will change every time you suspend and spin up your environment.  Also note to get these details you need to view your environment and then select more details on the server / machine in question for example please look at the below screenshot:

Cloudshare external address

Now to be frank that is it, hence the beauty of this service, my only concern for me (being a hardware monkey) is the RAM, CPU and Storage I require.


Thanks and go ans sign up for 14 days – what do you have to loose…!


Cloudshare – Showcase Environments – Did you know?

So after a few weeks away from my Cloudshare I decided to clean up my environment and look at building the whole environment into a single domain.  Going through the lovely simple and slick interface I notice this:

More cloudshare servers

Check this - was I going blind

So having a quick browse through this I noticed this fantastic environment that I needed to share with you.  Now remember in Cloudshares terminology an environment is a segregated set of virtual machines.  If like me you are on a single Pro account then you would need to purchase additional environments but it would appear that Cloudshare built this environment for you to test – it expires after 1 day so I assume this is more of demo lab.  But considering we are keen to start looking at CRM I thought I would take a look:

So if you don’t have a Cloudshare account – then why not?  Instant development environment for a small yearly subscription.  If you have an account then get over and check out the Showcase environments.

Axceler Case Study – Control your SharePoint Governance

So cast your mind back to the post I did a few weeks ago looking into the case study interview published by Axceler.  In this interview I went over the advantages of purchasing Axceler to help control your SharePoint environments, help with implementing you SharePoint Governance Framework and aid in SharePoint Farm administration.

As mentioned before I will be looking into a blog series in which I document and install Control Point within my Cloud Share environment.  So without taking the detail out of my carefully prepared blog series please take a look at the case study just released by Axceler here –

A small extract from the case study is below:

UK-Based Insurance Provider Needed Better Control of Growing SharePoint Environment

Equity Insurance Group Limited is well established in the United Kingdom personal lines and commercial insurance markets. It comprises two specialist divisions: Equity Red Star, the underwriting business and Equity direct Broking Limited, the affinities broking division. Equity Insurance Group is owned by Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG), which has operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Asia.
Equity Insurance originally implemented SharePoint as a business intelligence platform for a single centralized portal. As it began to roll out intranet sites and built out its collaboration capabilities, workflow and document sharing, it was apparent that its three SharePoint 2010 farms were increasingly difficult to manage. The decision to use SharePoint for an internet project – adding two more SharePoint farms – was the tipping point for Keith Bucknall, Equity’s lead technical architect.
“Five farms were just too many for us to manage with only the native SharePoint capabilities,” noted Bucknall. “We needed one centralized solution that would provide us with a single view of security across all farms, make it easier to copy and move content between farms, and improve the overall user experience.”
Bucknall had selected and used Axceler’s ControlPoint for more than two years at a previous insurance company, after evaluating three solutions. So he knew right away that ControlPoint was the best choice to help him manage Equity’s growing SharePoint environment.
“I had already seen the benefits that ControlPoint could provide, and with improved security and centralization as my primary goals, it was the perfect solution for both our current and future SharePoint needs.”

Axceler solutions enable enterprises to simplify, optimize and secure their collaborative platforms. Today, Axceler is a leader in managing SharePoint governance, security, reporting and analysis. Among its numerous Microsoft SharePoint solutions, Axceler offers award-winning ControlPoint for administration and Davinci Migrator and FileLoader for migration.

CloudShare who? Blog Series Part 1

Welcome back everyone, as promised I am starting to populate this blog more and more and therefore onto the next installments.  CloudShare is one of those fantastic companies that comes along every once in a while, you take a look sign up for a trial and then cannot put it down.

If you are looking for a virtual environment that is cloud based and do not want the hassle of building virtual machines, mounting software etc then these guys are perfect for you.  Hopefully when I get their permission I will blog on how to setup your environments, give access to additional team members of guests and so the easy of the interface – even working on the iPad..!

The purpose of us using these environments are two fold; first to start building our SharePoint Development platform instead of using Office365 then next to build an Exchange 2010, Lync, Win 7, Linux and AD environment – this way we can remove the hardware in our lab and consolidate onto using the CloudShare.

Now you may think there is a catch for such a great product – there is but only small, your servers are not powered on all the time (there is an upgrade option for this), after so many mins / hours (I can not remember off the top of my head)  your VM’s will spin down, but is this such a problem – no way just look at the benefits:-

  • Pre-built servers, built and powered on within minutes.
  • Share environments with team members, clients and demo’s.
  • Web based and RDP based access.
  • Integration with your internal platform.
  • Ability to create snap shots.

No here is the perfect offer – all this for only $499 a year for 24GB RAM allocation (at present), see the below for details:

CloudShare ProPlus is now available with up to 24 GB of RAM.  And You Can Save $390!

Click here for details