Top 10 systems solution providers tips

See what topics kept readers buzzing in 2009, including how to install vSphere, optimizing Hyper-V and the Citrix XenServer 5.5 hardware requirements.

This list compiles the most-read systems solution providers tips from 2009, as chosen by our readers. From Citrix XenServer 5.5 hardware requirements to using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 tools, there is a wide range of topics covered in this top ten list. Find out how to manage and optimize the Microsoft Hyper-V server, read about the XenServer 5.5 installation and deployment guidelines, how to upgrade to Exchange Server 2010 and more!

  1. Installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11

    Installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 can be an easy process for systems solution providers, and the deployment process is also relatively painless. This tip guides you through the DVD installation for SLES and also explains the different installation modes and options available, including how to set the hardware clock of your customer's physical server and how to use the Expert Partitioner tool.

  2. Citrix XenServer 5.5 hardware requirements

    Knowing Citrix XenServer 5.5's hardware requirements is important when you are configuring your customers' virtual machines. From the minimal amount of gigahertz needed to how much RAM a CPU calls for, this tip provides all of the information you will need when customers ask about XenServer 5.5 hardware requirements.

  3. Upgrading from Exchange Server 2007 to 2010

    Learn the ins and outs of upgrading from Exchange Server 2007 to 2010 by reading through Exchange 2010's various new features, installation guidelines and migration strategies. Mailbox storage as well as email archiving are both improved features that will provide benefits to your customers. You will also find out how to prepare Active Directory for the installation process and some best practices when transitioning to Exchange 2010.

  4. Managing and optimizing the Microsoft Hyper-V server

    This tip delves into how to manage and optimize the Microsoft Hyper-V server after installation. Find out which server changes will help optimize your customers' Hyper-V environments and the configuration settings that will help you manage their virtual environments more efficiently. You will also learn the steps to install and set up Authorization Manager, which can assist systems solution providers with securing and managing a virtual environment.

  5. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11: New Xen virtualization

    What kind of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 improvements has Novell made in response to VMware's newest virtualization platform, vSphere 4? SLES 11 is now designed for better integration of Xen, a fully virtualized guest machine and a paravirtualized guest. Novell has also promoted an improved networking configuration for SLES 11.

  6. Troubleshooting a failed SQL Server 2008 installation

    There are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind if your customer's SQL Server 2008 installation fails. This tip offers some techniques you should use when troubleshooting potential problems, including using the System Configuration Checker and inspecting and leveraging the SQL Server Setup Log Files.

  7. Evaluating VMware alternatives for server virtualization software

    Your customers may be looking for less expensive alternatives to VMware products, and it is up to you to be knowledgeable of the different types of lower-cost virtualization software offerings available. Knowing VMware's competitors, such as Citrix Systems' XenServer 5.5 or Microsoft's Hyper-V R2, and how they fit into a customer's budget will help you recommend the right virtualization product. You will also find out how to evaluate VMware alternatives, such as everRun VM, for smaller businesses.

  8. Using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 tools

    Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager's (SCCM) tools are useful for troubleshooting and day-to-day tasks that an SCCM solution provider faces. The SCCM 2007 Toolkit offers a wide range of tools, including Client Spy, Trace32 and DCM Digest Conversion. Use this tip to learn about this helpful toolkit and to also find information on the available community tools, including SCCM right-click tools and the SCCM Client Center.

  9. XenServer installation and deployment guidelines

    You should consider the practices outlined in this tip when designing a XenServer installation and deployment plan. When using service-level agreements for XenServer architecture, be sure the agreements are clearly defined when advising whether your customer needs only the free or the high-availability version of XenServer. Systems solution providers can also use this tip to learn the best practices for testing hardware and storage prior to installation as well as how to ensure proper network configuration.

  10. Upgrading to VMware vSphere 4

    This tip can serve as a guide to helping your customers decide whether they need to upgrade to VMware's vSphere 4. Find out the four most common deployment scenarios you will come across when assisting a customer. This tip also includes the steps for a vCenter Server upgrade and the three methods for performing an ESX migration.

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