Darren Mar-elia


Darren Mar-Elia is the CTO and Founder of SDM Software, a Microsoft systems management solutions company. Darren has 30 years of IT and Software experience in the Microsoft technology area, including serving as a Director of Infrastructure at Charles Schwab, IT Architect at Autodesk, CTO of Windows Management Solutions at Quest Software, and Senior Director of Product Engineering at DesktopStandard. He has provided architecture and engineering for solutions ranging from private cloud to virtual desktop to network engineering.  He has been a Microsoft MVP in Group Policy technology for the last 11 years, and has written and spoken on Windows Server, Active Directory, Group Policy and PowerShell topics around the world. He has been a Contributing Editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine since 1997. He has written or contributed to 13 books on Windows and enterprise networking topics. Darren also speaks frequently at industry conferences on Windows infrastructure topics.

Securing Virtual Networks

Traditionally, enterprises have thought about network security using a “moat and castle” approach. That is, the perimeter of the corporate network was the point of protection—the place where firewalls and proxies were deployed to protect the enterprise. In the increasingly virtual world of networking, where hosts may move between trusted internal private clouds and public ones, the perimeter becomes the virtual switch rather than enterprise network boundaries.

Why Interoperability Matters in Software-Defined Networking, and How Microsoft Fits In

Software-defined networking (SDN) provides some important capabilities to help you get the best performance from applications running within your network environment. Essentially, both physical and virtual network devices, as well as the applications that leverage them (e.g., SQL Server, SharePoint), can work in concert and communicate with one another to deliver a truly dynamic, scalable network. This seamless communication requires interoperability between the various networking vendor products that are implemented on your network.

Networking Virtualization and Software-Defined Networking
Virtual NICs, virtual switches, and the like are common-place in today’s Hyper-V environment. In these scenarios, the use of SDN technology provides a software abstraction for managing both physical and network devices and the communication between those devices and the applications.
Using an Application-Centric Approach to Make the Most of Software-Defined Networking

You might have read about software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, such as those found in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V, which can provide a way for tighter integration between applications and the network. The goal of SDN is to have a network that is aware of and that adjusts to the needs of different applications, through software. SDN has the ability to deliver a network that is optimized for application workloads with varying communication needs.

Optimizing your Network with Windows Server 2012 QoS
Part of the challenge of running a virtualized infrastructure is dealing with the network requirements of varying application workloads. QoS can help.
Technician with electronic tablet in front of computing hardware
Managing Active Directory with PowerShell 2
Windows Server 2008 R2 and later provides the Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell, which includes a set of cmdlets for managing AD and an AD Provider that lets you navigate AD as if it were a drive letter.
remote computing
PowerShell Basics: Remote Management
If you have many servers and workstations that are geographically remote, automating their management can save you a lot of time and hassle. PowerShell remoting makes this automation easy.
Troubleshooting Group Policy 

Organizations large and small rely on Group Policy to help manage security configuration and desktop lockdown. But despite its critical role, little information is available that truly explains how Group Policy works and how you can fix it when it’s broken.

Group Policy Design Best Practices
Learn to design a Group Policy deployment to improve security and optimize performance, without your users being aware of it.
What's Wrong with Group Policy?
There are five Group Policy problems that Microsoft isn’t likely to address any time soon. Here’s how you can work around them.
Managing Internet Explorer with Group Policy 2
Learn how to best leverage three Group Policy areas so that you can obtain the control you need over IE on your desktops.
Managing AD in Bulk Using PowerShell 2
Whether you're searching for Active Directory objects that meet particular criteria or modifying objects in bulk, the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell can help you get the job done quickly and easily.
Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Group Policy
The Group Policy improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. With the possible exception of adding some PowerShell automation support for Group Policy management, this Group Policy release is rather ho-hum.
PowerShell and Active Directory
The wait for full-fledged PowerShell Active Directory support is over. Microsoft has shipped an AD module and PowerShell Drive provider to make managing AD from PowerShell a snap.
Control Application Execution with SRP
Group Policy's software restriction policy (SRP) feature gives admins a powerful tool to control what code their users can run. Learn to use hash and path rules to set up application whitelists and blacklists and maintain a more secure environment.
Microsoft Stack Master Class

Master-Level Microsoft Stack Class with John Savill
Online Class: Thursdays Oct. 12th-Dec. 21st
30 Hours of Training for $995!

Understand the complete Microsoft solution stack, how the products work together, and how to implement and maintain for a total datacenter and desktop solution. This course covers the latest technology updates including Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 and will enable the new capabilities to be leveraged in your organization.


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