While SharePoint is my main love, recently I’ve been dabbling in virtualization and making clouds. You can’t work at a big hosting company like Rackspace without getting a little cloud-curious and I was no exception. For the last year or so in my spare time I’ve been playing with setting up clouds, managing clouds, automating clouds, etc. My cloud weapon of choice has been the combination of Hyper-V, System Center, and the Windows Azure Pack (WAP). Having worked with Microsoft products for the last 20 years, it was an easy fit. Being the incredibly efficient (some call it “lazy,” I just don’t see that) guy that I am, the PowerShell integration has been one of my favorite parts. Especially once you see what it takes to get all of System Center and WAP installed and configured. It makes installing a SharePoint farm look like a carriage ride through a park.
Since I’m a little late to the game, smarter people than me have already seen this gap and filled it. Specifically Rob Willis at Microsoft wrote a tool called the PowerShell Deployment Toolkit (PDT) to automate all of this. It’s flat out amazing. For the last year or so I’ve been playing with the PDT and I’m constantly impressed by it.
Recently, one of my coworkers, Andre Stephens, and I wrote a short write-up about how we’re using the PDT to install large System Center deployments at Rackspace. You can read Provisioning a Microsoft Private Cloud with PDT at the Rackspace Developer blog.
You’ll probably be seeing a lot more posts from me about this kind of stuff. It’s been a lot of fun and I just can’t help myself sharing when I play with cool technology.