As you may know, I have obtained my Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) specifically in the solution area of Private Cloud. When you obtain a Microsoft Certification, there are some certifications that have an expiry date, meaning that to maintain a certification you need to re-certify. This is the case that I am in with my MCSE Private Cloud. I received an email from Microsoft indicating that the Recertification exam is now available.

Since I plan to take this recertification exam, I thought it would be helpful to go through each of the Skills Measured, and include some examples. Not only will this help me review the material I already know, and brush up on the areas that I need more experience with.

I figured that I would break this into a series, covering each of the higher-level categories/areas and their sub topics.

So, to start let’s cover the fourth category: Configure the Fabric.


4.0 – Configure the Fabric

4.1 – Configure the Storage Fabric

  • Classification and pools, providers, arrays, file server cluster, storage pools, file shares


4.1.1 – Classification and Pools, Providers, Arrays, File Server Cluster, Storage Pools, File Shares

I’m not a SAN/storage expert, nor do I have the sufficient hardware in my lab to walk through each of the pieces of storage configuration. So, here are some useful links on the topic.

Configuring Storage in VMM:

Configuring Storage Fabric in Virtual Machine Manager – Build Your Private Cloud:

4.2 – Configure the Network Fabric

  • Logical networks
  • VM networks
  • IP/MAC resource pools
  • VIP templates
  • Load balancing
  • Logical switches
  • Network isolation, including network virtualization with Windows Server Gateway
  • Private VLANs and VLANs


4.2.1 – Logical Networks, VM Networks; IP/MAC Resource Pools; VIP Templates; Load Balancing; Logical Switches; Network Isolation, Including Network Virtualization with Windows Server Gateway; Private VLANs and VLANs

Networking fabric in VMM is one of the hardest (for me) things to wrap my head around, maybe because I have limited networking expertise.

Configuring Networking in VMM:

Configure Datacenter Network Fabric and Network Virtualization using System Center 2012 SP1 VMM – Build Your Private Cloud:

Guided Hands-on Lab: Virtual Networking 101 with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM):

4.3 – Configure and Manage the Deployment and Update Servers

  • Integrate a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server into the Virtual Machine Manager fabric
  • Configure and manage a library server
  • Integrate Windows Deployment Services (WDS)/PXE into the Virtual Machine Manager fabric, including virtualization host deployment using Windows Deployment Services (WDS)


4.3.1 – Integrate a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Server into the Virtual Machine Manager Fabric

Adding a WSUS server in VMM is easy.


Here’s a link.

How to Add an Update Server to VMM:

What is a little more challenging is using SCCM and VMM together, leveraging the same WSUS server! Here’s a link that provides additional information.

How to Integrate Fabric Updates with Configuration Manager:

4.3.2 – Configure and Manage a Library Server

The VMM library server is the share/storage for all items like templates, VHDs, etc. It is straight forward to setup, but there are a few other things to know about (i.e. High Availability, etc.).

Planning for the VMM Library:

How to Add a VMM Library Server or VMM Library Share:

Configuring the VMM Library:


4.3.3 – Integrate Windows Deployment Services (WDS)/PXE into the Virtual Machine Manager Fabric, Including Virtualization Host Deployment Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

Using WDS with VMM is not difficult, especially if you already have experience/exposure to SCCM. Things you should keep in mind though, include PXE firewall ports, DHCP IP Helpers, and BMCs (especially for bare-metal).

How to Add a PXE Server to VMM:

End-to-End Bare-Metal Provisioning with SCVMM 2012 SP1 / R2:

4.4 – Configure Clouds and Virtualization Hosts

  • Clouds and host groups, configure and deploy virtualization hosts


4.4.1 – Clouds and Host Groups, Configure and Deploy Virtualization Hosts

There is a lot of information out there on Clouds, since this is the whole premise of “private” and “public” cloud technology.

Creating a Private Cloud in VMM:

System Center 2012 R2 Explained: Creating Private Clouds and Deploying Services with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager:

Walkthrough: Creating Private Clouds with System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager – Build Your Private Cloud in a Month:

Well, that’s it for this section. Next we will review the items covered in the next Skills Measured – Part 5: Configure System Center Integration.