David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • VDI and great video performance using RemoteFX (and licensing it)

    Having written a little about VDI and RHSD the other day, I see that Register has an item about RemoteFX and playing games.  This uses the technology of RDS as well as either VDI or RSHD. While you can play games, Windows 7 renders in all it’s glory too.  One word of warning from a licensing front.  If you are using RemoteFX then you will need an RDS CAL when you are buying the licenses as RemoteFX is licensed by the RDS CAL and remote admin tasks that you can do on a server without needing a RDS CAL does not include playing games (IMHO).  You also need to check that you have a client device that can handle RemoteFX.  While platforms like Citrix, Quest and VMware will enable various remote access technologies that do not use RemoteFX (Citrix and Quest will even allow the use of their own technology or RemoteFX) the device chosen still requires the capabilities to display the high quality applications and games, even if not enough to process it all in the first place! For example, for Citrix to use the GPU on the client to redirect Aero, it requires a Windows Client, even if it is not Windows 7.  Look at http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-als/hd-aero-redirection.html for an example: Hardware Windows Aero capable DirectX 9-class GPU that supports: Pixel Shader 2.0 32 bits per pixel 128MB memory 2 GHz non-mobile central processing unit (CPU). Citrix recommends 3 GHz for optimal performance. Note: Dual monitor sessions are supported for user devices with a single GPU. A single GPU is defined as a single entry under Display adapters in Device Manager and not as the number of PCI cards plugged in the device. A single PCI card can have multiple GPUs on it. Software DirectX 9.0c runtime (Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP) What this all means is that you still need a good graphics card somewhere – the desktop or the server and some reasonable network bandwidth if you want good graphics!   ttfn David
  • UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center - 24th May 2011

    As many of you know, I'm getting more excited about how cloud and virtualisation will impact customers and partners.  I wanted to share details about this event on the 24th May 2011. The UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates for your datacentre & infrastructure investments. This event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever - with deep dive sessions on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, Hyper-V virtualization capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities. Join Microsoft and interact live with us, some of our key strategic partners and early adopter customers. For more information, please visit: http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/techdays-live/delivering-it-as-a-service-with-the-microsoft-private-cloud.aspx 08:30-09:30 Registration 09:30-10:00 Transforming Your Datacentre  10:00-11:00 Building The Foundation: Server Virtualization and Management 11:30- 12:00 HP: Hyper-V Cloud Reference Architecture 12:00-13:15 Managing Your Infrastructure with System Center 14:00-14:30 Risual: Building The Business Case for Private Cloud 14:30-15:45 Hyper-V and System Center – Competitive Comparisons 16:16-16:45 NetApp: Private Cloud Integration Components 16:45-17:45 Bringing Automation and Self-Service To Your Datacentre   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Virtualization , Hyper-V , System Center , Cloud , Private Cloud , Microsoft
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1 update on the Windows 7 Client Open the properties page in your Hyper-V Manager on Windows 7 SP1 and you can now edit the new properties Remember that Remote FX requires a Windows 7 SP1 (beta 1) guest and that Dynamic Memory requires (for the beta only) a Windows Enterprise or Datacenter guest with Standard and Web being supported when it is out of beta. See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/07/12/dynamic-memory-beta-supported-guest-operating-systems.aspx for some more details on dynamic memory support in the beta.   thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Hyper-V R2 , SP1 , Service Pack 1 , Dynamic Memory
  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows Phone   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtualisation , Office 2010 , Windows 7 , SQL Server 2008 R2 , Visual Studio , the Essential Mix , Rich Client , Windows Phone
  • Microsoft and Citrix VDI and Terminal Server solutions at iForum – early bird discount until end of April

    I will be at iForum again this year representing Microsoft (with others). We will be presenting the joint VDI and Terminal Server solutions from Microsoft and Citrix, which includes Access Essentials for customers of less than 75 users. if you would like to attend, snap up the early bird discount. Here is the “blurb” Reducing costs, improving efficiencies and increasing performance is a challenge for any business…but Microsoft and Citrix can help. Citrix and Microsoft have decades of experience working together to provide customers a range of solutions which deliver choice, flexibility and cost savings. Our joint solutions to dynamically deliver desktop service and applications to uses wherever they are is based on tight integration of Citrix solutions with Window Server 2008, Hyper-V server virtualisation and terminal services / presentation virtualisation, and with the System Center management tools especially Virtual Machine Manager. Microsoft is proud to be a platinum sponsor at this year’s Citrix iForum 2009 event taking place in Edinburgh 15 th – 17 th June at the International Conference Centre – so register your place today and take advantage of the early bird discount that has been extended until the 30 th April http://www.citrixiforumedinburgh.com/?VOUCHER_CODE=MSFT1 Thanks David Technorati Tags: Citrix , Microsoft , VDI , Terminal Services , Access Essentials
  • SBS 2008 backup under Hyper-V R2 gets dynamically swappable drives and what else is coming in Hyper-V 2008 R2

    I saw this and thought I would share it. Hyper-V R2, which is in beta already supports hot add/remove of drives, so native SBS 2008 Backup will work as youcan now dynamically add and remove those USB drives and they can be configured as pass-through disks so you will not have to create VHDs on them. Other interesting features for me were the live migration and huge memory support , all in the free version along with the management console! Hyper-V R2 BETA is available to test here . There is also an overview document that can be found here . In the overview document is the summary of Hyper-V as shipping today and the products as of tomorrow: Capabilities Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 R2 EE, DC Processor Architecture x64 only Yes Yes Yes Hypervisor-based Yes Yes Yes Product Type Standalone product Standalone product Operating System Number of Sockets (Licensing) Up to 4 Up to 8 Up to 8 = EE | Up to 64 = DC Number of cores supported by the hypervisor 24 (with QFE) 32 32 Memory Up to 32 GB Up to 1 TB Up to 1TB VM Migration None Quick and live migration Quick and live migration (EE & DC) Administrative UI Command line, text based configuration utility and remote GUI management Command line, text based configuration utility and remote GUI management Command line, remote management, and local GUI (Hyper-V Manager MMC) Management Existing management tools Manageable by SCVMM Yes (SCVMM 2008) Yes (SCVMM 2008 SP1) Yes (SCVMM 2008 SP1) Virtualization Rights for Windows Server guests 0 0 EE = 4 VM DC Edition = unlimited VM per proc Number of running VM Guests Up to 192, or as many as physical resources allow Up to 256, or as many as physical resources allow Up to 256, or as many as physical resources allow Storage Direct Attach Storage (DAS): SATA, eSATA, PATA, SAS, SCSI, Firewire, Storage Area Networks (SANs): iSCSI, Fiber Channel, SAS Planned Guest OS support Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows 2000 Server, Novell SUSE Linux...
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy. The process in outline is below. If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book) Take a full system backup before starting Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC ( see here for details ) Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks. To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here . Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration. Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM. Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available. Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that...
  • How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V, how to install RAID Management tools and how to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD

    Once I had built my Hyper-V Server I still had a few to resolve.  I thought I had better document the solutions I found to my 3 disk related problems from this entry . So the 3 issues covered are: How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V How to install RAID Management tools How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V (called a pass-through disk) Just to give you some background, I was moving a non-VM OS inside a Hyper-V system.  I had created the VM, but I could not get it to just “boot” from the old boot disk – the disk was not showing.  I’d read that this type of disk was a pass-through (or pass-thru) disk, but I could not find out how to configure it easily.  The solution turned out to be very simple.  Run DISKPART on the Hyper-V server, identify the disk and mark it offline.  It would then appear in the list of disks that could be installed.  What is more, if I ran out of disks I could install a SCSI controller and continue to add disks there too. So, the commands for DiskPart: List Disk Select disk n – pick the disk you want, replace n with the disk number from the List Disk output Offline Disk You then need to add the disk inside Hyper-V - How to install RAID Management tools I don’t have pictures for this, but you should get the idea.  I put in the CD for the RAID software and I found some EXE and MSI files ( DIR /s /a *.exe *.msi from a command prompt will do that).  I ran these (using common sense to work out which ones to try first) until the drivers were installed and also the raid configuration software.  I then looked in the C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) folders for exe’s, cpl and jar files ( DIR /s /a *.exe *.cpl *.jar ).  The exe’s can be services or tools to run, the cpl are control panel files and the jar files are Java modules.  It turns out that the configuration tools are Java based on my e-sata card. How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD Finally I had my disks and...
  • How to resolve errors like "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running" with Hyper-V Server and Hyper-V Manager

    In my last post on installing Hyper-V for my home setup I said I had a number of issues.  One was that the Hyper-V Manager kept on showing the error "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running".  This turned out to be several issues. To start with my Hyper-V box is in a workgroup, so security is manually configured.  Then there is the connection ID security - by hand and finally there is the client setup too.  I spent a long time with John Howard's blog which got me the following commands for the Hyper-V server: netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)" new enable=yes netsh advfirewall firewall set rule  name="Remote Administration (RPC-EPMAP)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (NP-In)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (RPC)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="remote desktop (tcp-in)" new enable=Yes profile=domain net localgroup “Distributed COM Users” /add David There was then a few things to do on the client PC where it would not connect.  Again the postings at http://blogs.technet.com/jhoward/archive/2008/03/28/part-2-hyper-v-remote-management-you-do-not-have-the-requested-permission-to-complete-this-task-contact-the-administrator-of-the-authorization-policy-for-the-computer-computername.aspx helped me solve the problems. I've put all this here as a reference really, because John has been a busy boy and now has a tool that does this for you called HVRemote . So, learn from my pain and use John's tool.  You should be able to add a user and set the permissions very quickly.   One thing I will say is that I use OneCare on my OC client and I had to add some rules in the OneCare firewall:   - Port 135 for...
  • Getting up and running with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, including getting my external SATA drives working, adding network drivers, enabling the remote management tools

    [updated 7th Dec 2008 with links to more answers] It has been a while since I posted on the blog - I've been writing a book and installing and upgrading SBS 2008 a few times. I decided that rather than have a bundle of servers under my desk I would buy one large server (well, quad core anyway) and run my operating systems using Hyper-V server. Let's start with the ingredients that you will need: Download Hyper-V Server - http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/how-to-get.mspx Hyper-V Configuration Guide - Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Configuration Guide Hyper-V Getting Started Guide - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=26426203-DE3C-4D74-851E-4E1388A81D5F&displaylang=en Download Management Tool (you probably only need one of the below) Vista 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Vista 64-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Server 2008 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB950050), 32-bit edition package now Server 2008 64-bit - Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB950050), 64-bit edition package now Server with good dose of RAM - mine has 8GB at the moment Server with multi-core CPU - I bought a new motherboard with an Intel Quad Core 9550 chip - heat is not bad and performance is much better than the P4 I had been using!! External disk array - I chose this one - http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=898755&Product=EdgeStore+DAS401+4xBay+USB+RAID+1+DAS+Enclosure+via+eSATA - 4 SATA drives that you slot in, 1 eSata cable and a PCI-X eStata card. So, you download the ISO, burn it to a disk, boot, install in about 5 mins and reboot. You then follow the configuration guide which is menu driven, but I did have a few problems. No network card was detected - below The external disks were not detected Once the network card was detected, I could not create any Virtual Machines - network issues with remote management No NAT networking I wanted to move from my existing...
  • Virtualisation Adoption Survey - if you are using virtualisation (from anyone), tell Virtualisation.info

    A Quick note - there has been lots of comments recently on who's virtualisation has what share of the market. I've just installed Microsoft Hyper-V server up and running with 3 VMs inside it (HomeServer, SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2003) and I expect a couple of small desktops too before long. Anyway, rather than just guessing, why not fill in Virtualization.info's survey? It took me about 45 seconds to complete at virtualization.info's Virtualization Adoption Surveys . I'll post on how I got everything working after I've got the next chapter of the book done. Should be 4 chapters done by the end of this weekend, although I'm behind a few pictures :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Virtualisation , Virtualization , SBS 2008 , Survey , virtualization.info
  • SBS 2008 & EBS 2008 – Virtualisation Webcast

    You can access the webcast at https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=249912# As a quick recap, Microsoft see’s virtualisation as more than than just machine virtualisation.  In the Microsoft, virtualisation is split into: Presentation Virtualisation – What would have previously been known as Terminal Services Application Virtualisation (App-V) – Where applications are “streamed” to your desktop or terminal services presentation without being installed Machine Virtualisation (Desktop aka VDI or Server) – what most people think of as “Virtualisation” Virtualisation will be supported in for a set of scenarios with SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  The first thing to understand is that the primary node has a large load on it and is not an ideal candidate to act as a host for virtual machines.  You also need to understand that the host can’t really be part of the domain if the primary node of SBS is virtualised on it as there are all sorts of nasty issues around dependency issues. You might want to run some virtualisations scenarios to enable: Enable more “servers” to be run on a single server Enable greater flexibility in migration and DR between machines Enable greater remote access capabilities to desktops or applications via Desktop or Presentation virtualisation So what was announced: SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Presentation Virtualisation host – i.e. run TS on the 2nd box and use the gateway functionality on the 1st system SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Machine Virtualisation host.  This box can run as both a host and guest, providing the host is used to simply run the Hyper-V role.  Both the 1st and 2nd SBS systems can be run as guests on the host. There are some other gotchas that need to be considered: The backup on SBS is based on USB removable disks, however the USB disks are not passed through to the virtual machine in the same way so you need to look at other strategies, such as creating a large VHD in the USB disks and...
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509.html . Ok, so that is the picture out the way, now lets talk about the question. Which question you ask… well, this one: Will any of your customers be running in the “S+S or hosted” marketplace in 5+ years time? Now while that is a good question, I expect most of you will say … some, definitely not all, but some. How many customers can you afford to lose to a S+S provider? Now this leads to an even bigger question …. What will you have done to ensure they are still your customers, as opposed to someone who is skilled in S+S? Personally I find this question much more concerning as many people can’t articulate any plans they have to capture these customers!! So what do I suggest … If you are a services partner I recommend you start to look at SaaS services like Office Live that are slowly moving towards S+S or S+S services like CRM online and start to plan how you could add value to them and make money in the future. If you are an ISV, then now is the time to start to look at services like the Sync Framework...
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to corporate environments from Microsoft Update. This release fixes issue found since the release of the product. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=1&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3df87b4c5e-4161-48af-9ff8-a96993c688df%26displaylang%3den Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Overview This paper introduces Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and provides information about features, and server and client computer requirements. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=2&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3d1b5eac37-bd48-41fd-869b-f9b06fa64a61%26displaylang%3den Release Notes for Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 These release notes describe known issues affecting Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and include recommendations and requirements for...
  • Register Now for the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 UK Launch Event

    I saw this in the Technet newsletter and thought I would pass it on: The launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is drawing near and we are pleased to announce the three main launch activities to help you learn more: 1) The main launch event on 19 March at the ICC Birmingham - register now 2) The TechNet and MSDN Roadshows in April and May - pre-register now 3) The Virtual Launch Experience also on 19 March - pre register now ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch
  • 2008 Pre-Launch event with Bill Gates - Scott Dodds and why Partners are important

    Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds I will try to publish information from each presenter as I noted it from the audience and then my scribbled notes. I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but the virtual even should show more of this information and the Partner Portal will have the presentations on them in a weeks time. So... here goes: Microsoft rarely does a launch even for it's partners 2 months before the "big event". It is normally the night before. Scott re-iterated that partners are "extremely important" to Microsoft as they are the feet on the ground talking to customers. If partners have not seen / heard all the messages, technology, plans then how can they participate and recommend to customers? It is also worth noting that we do not have a "Bill Gates" for the customer events - his insight was reserved for our partners! Scott kicked off the day by suggesting that there were 4 areas we were concentrating on (more on these in coming posts): Secure Trusted Platform Virtualisation Next Generation Web Business Intelligence As far as participation goes - there are many ways a partner can participate as highlighted in another blog post, however it will include the new social network community work the UK Partner Team have put together where you can form your own communities as a partner. Scott showed the new roadmap information and forums / blogs / status information available. Scott also pointed out (scarily) that the BBC had access to the event as they were following Bill's last year. Sure enough three small business partners were caught and asked to comment!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds
  • Heroes Happen Here - Where are you?

    If you don't know about the Heroes Happen Here :: Home campaign then you are very much behind the times. The Launch events for SQL Server 2008 (errrm), Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008 are fast approaching and so is your customers ability to buy and use them - do you understand what, why and when? If not, go to the website and see how your customers can benefit and why you should learn more about the product and what you can do to improve your business with these products. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Heroes happen here , Heroes happen {here} , Heroes , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008
  • App support could be the party pooper that spoils the virtualisation bash

    People ask me what I think of Virtualisation and whether I would virtualise SBS or Cougar or 10 desktops or more. If we are talking about OS virtualisation, rather than application virtualisation then many people miss what virtualisation is - the running of more operating systems on one single piece of hardware. This means that before you had, for example, 3 OSs to manage and now you have 4 (the OS running the virtualisation technology / layer and the 3 OSs that you now virtualise). Now you do have to manage less hardware, but a single hardware failure now will stop 4 OSs rather than 1, so you need to plan around this. Obviously virtualisation gives you benefits in portability and resources management as well as potentially increased hardware specs without the same increase in costs, but you also need to be aware of the issues. I see two major issues outside of those people often think about (as above): Not enough resources. The process of virtualising an OS costs some tax in terms of performance of CPUs, disk and memory. If you take an OS (such as SBS) that can take 4GB of RAM and 2 x dual core Xeons and eat them for breakfast, then trying to put this cat inside a box bound by virtual limits will have bad consequences. Support. Some Microsoft technology breaks / is not supported inside virtual machines (eg ISA), but don't just think about Microsoft. This little snippet from Computerworld shows that many ISVs see trouble trying to support virtual - App support could be the party pooper that spoils the virtualization bash December 18, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Server virtualization feels unstoppable these days. The worldwide market for virtualization platform software grew 69% last year to $1.1 billion, according to market research firm IDC, which predicts average annual growth of 27% through 2011, when global sales are expected to total $3.5 billion. But several factors could still stall the technology's growth, according to analysts. For instance, software licensing terms often remain too restrictive or expensive...
  • Windows Server 2003 is beginning to feel left behind with the arrival of Windows Server 2008 inside the Microsoft datacenter - fun videos to watch and learn a few reasons why to use Windows Server 2008

    I saw these and they just made me laugh while sharing a few things about WS2008 vs 2003. Unlike some "new and improved" washing powders, Windows Server 2003 is a good product, but some key areas have been improved to meet people's new and different needs, such as more security, sharing of information, web based applications, minimal systems and virtualisation. The blog entry (which was obviously written before RC1 appeared, but posted afterwards) can be found at Windows Server Division WebLog : About Lone Server . If you want some fun, skip the soapbox video and look at the long video from the blog / link below. About The Lone Server Once I was almost famous. For years, my friends and I were on the front lines: we were the Windows Server 2003 servers that powered Microsoft.com, one of the hottest Web sites in the world. Then, early last summer, everything changed. Quietly, without warning, the new kids took over. Windows Server 2008. Yes, I know, the product’s not even done yet. These were Beta 3 servers, for Pete’s sake. Long way from prime time. But there they were, humming away. No problems. All of ‘em on Windows Server 2008. Except me. The last Windows Server 2003 left at Microsoft.com. Here’s a video (1:58) of my life today: And here’s a longer version (3:14), in case you have as much time to kill as I do: How can this be? If you’re like me (and I know I am), you probably wonder how a product that’s eight months away from shipping can be handed the responsibility of running something as big and important as the Microsoft corporate portal. Fact is, Windows Server 2008 was lurking around MS.com since back when they still called it Longhorn. Those early bits first took live traffic back in ’05. And since then, WS08 has been everybody’s favourite kid. They called it part of the development team. Said it was a prodigy. Given all the cool little jobs. But then, suddenly, to be given the whole enchilada? All of MS.com? While still in Beta friggin’ 3? Unimaginable, but there it was. My only hope is that...
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to SBS UA team and the SBS Support Staff. Now, he also commented in the SBS forum with some great advice: There are a huge number of caveats that make this a very complex and usually disappointing option. Make sure your understand these KBs: 909840 Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 do not support Virtual PC and Virtual Server for production environments http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;909840 840319 A list of supported host operating systems that you can use to run Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;840319 897613 Microsoft Virtual Server support policy http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;897613 320220 Support policy for Exchange Server 2003 running on hardware virtualization software http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;320220 897614 Windows Server System software not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent...
  • If you are a developer, what can Windows 2008 do for your developments... lots maybe

    Sorry to sound so vague, but I have to start by saying that Windows Server 2008 is a server platform, not a cure for cancer, so lets put it in perspective and set our expectations high, but not stupidly high expecting it to be revolution. Server 2008 is a quality evolution of Windows Server 2003 and extends and enhanced the Server 2003 offerings. However, if you plan on building applications for the future then Server 2008 will be the place to be. Microsoft have released a document called the "Windows Server 2008 Developer Story" that has a wealth of information on Server 2008 developer directions and how they combine to offer something greater than the sum of the parts. The download site describes itself as: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story An executable containing the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story The Windows Server 2008 Developer Story introduces users to new features of the Windows Server 2008 operating system by providing a cohesive story about how the features fit together to make a compelling platform for developers. The Developer Story topics explain how to take advantage of a new feature or solve a problem using the new Windows technologies. The topics include conceptual information for context and technical specifications for practical application of each scenario. This download contains the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story (ServerDevStory.chm). Download details: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story If you look inside the help file it loads then you get this list of the top 7 ways to take advantage of Windows Server 2008. Top 7 Ways to Light Up Your Apps on Windows Server 2008 Whether you are building Web applications or writing core server-based system services, Windows Server® 2008 provides many new features that you can leverage to build more secure, flexible, and innovative applications. Build More Flexible Web Applications on Internet Information Server 7.0 (IIS7) Extend IIS7 through modules New unified configuration model Administration capabilities using Microsoft.Web.Administration...
  • Windows platform documentation (Windows Server System Reference Architecture, Planning VM Manager deployment, Installing and configuring VM Manager, Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2008 Developer and App Compat testing)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Infrastructure Planning and Design The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dad3921fb-8224-4681-9064-075fdf042b0c%26DisplayLang%3den Planning a Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Deployment This content provides an introduction to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2007 and practical guidance for planning a VMM deployment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=15&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d3e674bc0-bb85-47ae-b73d-f5bc515f1006%26DisplayLang%3den Installing and Configuring Virtual Machine Manager 2007 This content provides information about installing and configuring Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), with all VMM components installed on a single computer or with each VMM component installed on separate computers. This content also provides step-by-step instructions for uninstalling VMM and reinstalling VMM with a database retained from a previous installation. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=23&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d8b09bc46-1a34-450b-86f3-a574602b6450%26DisplayLang%3den Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview Read about benefits and features of Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=25&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d7a4544f0-81f2-4778-8a59...
  • Windows platform news (Hyper-V pricing, Technet Edge, HPC 2008)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Microsoft outlines pricing, packaging and licensing for Windows Server 2008, Including the new Microsoft Hyper-V Server product. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12HyperVPR.mspx Microsoft announces new virtualization offerings, Windows Server 2008 details, System Center product availability at TechEd IT Forum 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12ITForumPR.mspx Solution Accelerators Take the guesswork out of your deployments. Use these tested and proven automation tools and guides to assess your network and confidently roll out new services employing architectures with baked-in security and manageability. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/default.aspx The TechNet Team have launched Technet Edge, a new community site where IT professionals can go to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest technologies. http://edge.technet.com/Default.aspx Introducing Microsoft Search Server 2008 http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/serverproducts/searchserver/default.aspx A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 Download the Express Edition Free: http...
  • Microsoft Windows security tools, Server 2008 readiness, step-by-step guides, virtualisation updates, synctoy beta, VHDs and LOTS on the new Terminal Services

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too. News Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is a risk-assessment application designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623431 Start your Microsoft Windows 2008 Readiness Right Here Focus on readiness for Windows Server 2008 now, and you can be the one who stands out when initiatives happen - and when promotion decisions are made. Let Microsoft Learning resources give you the head start you need to transition your skills and credentials to the latest Windows Server technologies - from free elearning clinics and free ebook downloads. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623432 Get an Extra Shot at Microsoft Certification For a limited time, you can get an extra chance to pass any Microsoft IT Professional, Developer or Microsoft Dynamics Certification exam - free. Register for this offer before your first exam and you'll get two shots at success. Register now! http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623434 The Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Exam Is Coming Update your skills and get ready for the Windows Server 2008 certification exam with special offers on e-learning collections and classroom training. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623435 Documents Windows Server 2008 Technical Overviews These technical overviews provide IT Professionals with information about how a Windows Server 2008 technology works. They may also cover design and planning considerations and basic setup and operating instructions. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46dc26d6-af47-43f0-b3de-521831fe09d6&DisplayLang=en Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides These step-by-step guides help IT...
  • Windows Server Virtualization Calculators - what is the best way to license Windows Server when using Virtualised environments

    I saw this and thought I would pass it on since I was talking to one of my customers about this yesterday. To get to the two calculators go to Windows Server Virtualization Calculators Windows Server Virtualization Calculators The Windows Server Virtualization Calculators provide two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server. Calculator 1 is designed to estimate the licenses and cost of Windows Server by editions and numerous Microsoft server products on a single, physical server. Calculator 2 is designed to estimate the licenses and cost of only Windows Server by edition for one or multiple physical servers. The calculators are pre-populated with the US dollar Open agreement Estimated Retail Prices that you can update with your organization's prices for more accurate estimates. Calculator 1 lets you interactively build virtual machines running multiple Microsoft server products to estimate the licenses and costs for Windows Server by edition (Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter) and many Microsoft server products. It starts with configuring your server based on virtualization technology, sockets and clustering requirements, and then builds the virtual machines. Calculator 2 provides two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtualisation , Calculators , Licensing
  • SBSC and small business partners get a chance to find out more about the market they sell into and Microsoft technology that is here and coming

    Want to talk to Microsoft and hear where we see the market, opportunities and key technologies? Then get to one of these (there are even more dates on the web site) :-) We are taking to the road to see you, our partners! Jump in the driver's seat and join us to find out how we plan to get your business motoring. A top Microsoft technology and business team will map out the latest developments in the server and desktop markets and take you on the journey from market opportunity to technical 'how to' demonstrations. We'll get under the hood of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, along with the Office Ready PC, giving you detailed insights to get your business moving. And of course, we'll be outlining the route ahead for the new Windows Server 2008, with its built-in web and virtualisation technologies for increasing the reliability and flexibility of your customers' server infrastructure. Additionally we will be running exclusive SBSC pre-sessions at four of the locations so be sure to make one of these events by signing up using the links below: 1. Wednesday 10 th October – Cardinal Place, London 2. Thursday 11 th October – TVP, Reading 3. Wednesday 17 th October – Park Plaza, Nottingham 4. Tuesday 23 rd October – The Lighthouse, Glasgow And, importantly, we'll have the chance to meet. We want to know what you think, how you see the industry and the challenges you face. It's only with the direct feedback from you, our partners, that we can be sure we are on the right road. So, please join the whole team: technical, sales, marketing and business development, over beer and pizza to chat through the journey! Yours sincerely, Jennifer Brinton SBSC Programme Manager Microsoft ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , System Builder , Vista , Office 2007 , Windows Server
  • More on Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1)

    Having been on holiday, I did not look too far before posting my blog post on Vista SP1. Then while reading other peoples blog I discovered that there was some more excellent information out there. As always Susanne has published her communication which I am sure will be updated as more relevant information for small business partners becomes apparent. Kevin has a link to the TechNet site for SP1 on his blog . Finally a HUGE amount of information is shared on the Vista Blog and this Vista Blog entry . Some are a little upset that the GPMC is disappearing, but I've never used it on Vista, so let me know if you care one way or the other. Finally, I got my invite on Connect to sign-up for SP1, so I will let you know more as I load it and am able to share. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , SP1 , Service Pack 1
  • Will Virtualisation really crush the server market and Virtualised Windows on Linux... not likely

    From the register I saw the article " Virtualization Software to Crush Server Market " and it sort of made me laugh. Last year saw a dramatic drop in growth of Server shipments, both Microsoft and non-Microsoft. One explanation given is that virtualisation has increased so much that less servers are being bought, but the growth was still strong, just not in actual servers. I have seen the growth of virtual servers, but don't think it really accounts for the hundreds of thousands of servers that fill the gap that appeared in the research last year. VMWare's growth does not account for this, nor does the impact on Windows licensing that would be seen. Analysts and executives came out this week and declared that x86 server shipments will likely decline as VMware, Microsoft, and a host of startups push their virtualization wares at speed. In a rare feat, Schwartz and Sacconaghi also happen to agree about another trend that virtualization will drive. They're claiming that customers will buy larger, more memory- and component-packed servers moving forward to handle the demanding virtualization code. Why consolidate a couple of workloads on a two-socket box when you can consolidate more software on a four- or eight-socket system and deal with less hardware management overhead? According to Sacconaghi, the trend toward larger systems will hurt Dell, since it has specialized in two-socket gear. It will, however, also hurt Sun, since x86 virtualization will only speed the move away from Unix systems. <snip> The mainframe arena - the place where VMware pinched its genius - has survived virtualization for a long while, as has the Unix market. Each segment, including the x86 market, has its unique attributes, making apples v. apples comparisons tough. Still, customer demand for more horsepower serves as constant across all three markets, and we suspect it will keep overall demand for servers high, despite virtualization code. Moving this theory along, Microsoft has announced that the license for Vista...
  • Exchange 2007 updates - Blogs for Exchange and Outlook, Virtual Machines, Webcasts, Service Pack 1 (SP1) and more

    This information is from the last 2 Technet Newsletters ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet ). Webcasts that have occurred in the past are available for download by clicking on the URLs. Blogs Exchange Team Blog http://msexchangeteam.com/default.aspx Outlook Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/default.aspx Awards Exchange Server wins CRN award The 2007 CRN Channel Champions Awards have been recently announced! http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/05/11/438675.aspx Evaluation Quickly Evaluate Microsoft and Partner Solutions Through a Series of Pre-Configured Virtual Hard Disks Microsoft Exchange on virtual hard disk (VHD) lets you try out the key features of Exchange Server 2007. With the VHD Test Drive program, you can download VHDs and evaluate them for free in your own environment, without the need for dedicated servers or complex installations. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=692a6e3c-81c9-4d8a-93fa-266d651735dc&DisplayLang=en Educating Information Workers About Exchange Server 2007 The information and procedures in this document focus on the information worker features that can be accessed on a computer that is running Exchange Server 2007 that has the Client Access or Unified Messaging server role installed. This document provides overviews of these features and the tasks you must perform to manage and configure them. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=19&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d31f73783-0517-4b02-84bc-1fd957eb2f3c%26DisplayLang%3den 1 June 2007 : TechNet Webcast: Exchange Server 2007 Client Access and Web Services (Level 200) In this webcast, we focus on Client Access Services in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. The overall goal of Client Access Services is to add value to the data in your inbox by enabling you to access that data from any location. We explain how to access inbox data using Microsoft Office Outlook, Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access (OWA), and mobile devices...
  • Moving Virtual Machines Between Servers with Microsoft Virtualisation Technology (Virtual Server)

    I saw this and thought I would share it. Given the rumours around what can and cannot be done with Virtual Server and the technologies coming with Longhorn Windows Server 2008. I did not realise that we offered "Quick" migrations - a few seconds downtime - when moving from machine to machine. With recent announcements there has been some confusion about what Windows Server Virtualisation, can do: Virtual Server 2005 allows VMs to be moved between hosts and has a scripting API to enable this. VMs can move to Windows Server virtualisation, and you will move virtual machines between WSv servers. Our research shows scheduled maintenance - outside the working day - accounts for the overwhelming majority of moves (moving workloads for load balancing is very infrequent); workloads are moved to keep them running while their normal server is taken down to service the hardware or patch the parent/host operating system - something which will be required less with the new server core option. Live Migration should be invisible to users. It copies memory contents from the source host to the target in the background before taking it down. Only the last few bytes are copied with the source server down so the switch happens in less than a second. Some competing products can do this today, but it has been postponed to a later release of Windows Server virtualisation. We will still offer Quick Migration functionality. 'Quick' varies between a couple of seconds and a couple of minutes depending the speed of memory and disk - because with quick migration we save the state of the virtual machine, reattach the VHD and saved state to a new host and resume. Depending on the situation users may not be aware anything has happened, or they may see a brief loss of service. Both types use Windows Clustering to move the storage connectivity between hosts - we don't copy the VHD (that would be "'slow migration'). And this gives us a high availability failover solution for unplanned downtime - the virtual machines...
  • What is going on in the world of Virtualisation with Virtual Server and Virtual PC on licensing, Vista, x64 and more

    There are a couple of recent announcements with regard to the current range of products that I thought I would cover off. One is about licensing and has been written up by Matt McSpirit at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit/archive/2007/06/22/microsoft-virtualisation-licensing-client-and-server.aspx and covers how many licenses you get when. The other is Virtual Server SP1: Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Is Now Available Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is the server virtualization technology engineered for the Windows Server operating system to increase hardware utilization and enable IT staff to rapidly configure and deploy new servers. Register to download the free software and you will receive relevant resources that are strategically assembled to address the challenges you will face as you discover, assess, and deploy the software. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7042993 The What is New page shows (plus more on the page) - note the x64 support for more memory. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/virtualserver/evaluation/vsoverview.mspx What's New in This Release Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 includes the following new capabilities: Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Enterprise Edition can be installed on servers with up to 32 physical processors. • Virtual Server host clustering. Support for host-to-host connectivity lets you cluster all virtual machines running on a host. • iSCSI support. iSCSI clustering enables guest-to-guest connectivity across physical machines. • x64 support. Virtual Server runs natively within a 64-bit Windows host operating system, providing increased performance and memory headroom. • Enhanced PXE booting. PXE boot support has been added to the virtual machine network adapter. This means that when the appropriate network infrastructure is in place, you can perform a network installation of a guest operating system in the same way as physical servers. • Other improvements. Virtual Server now includes improved hyperthreading, support for F6 Disk (SCSI driver), Active Directory integration using service...
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager web casts - 18th to 20th June

    I have just seen these, register if you want to know more. Event ID: 1032343756 Title: Microsoft Virtual Server Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate Microsoft Virtual Server SP1. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart. Date: 06-18-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924611 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343756&amp;role=attend&pw=NFTRD66 Event ID: 1032343760 Title: Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn earn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager with Microsoft Virtual Server SP1. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart Date: 06-19-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924729 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343760&amp;role=attend&pw=DGWSGF4 Event ID: 1032343763 Title: Microsoft Virtual Server and Data Protection Manager Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate disaster recovery with Microsoft Virtual Server SP1 and Systems Center Data Protection Manager. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart. Date: 06-20-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924731 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343763&amp;role=attend&pw=423DFE ttfn David
  • Deploying Vista to many desktops from Small Business Server 2003 with SP2 (R2 or R1) using Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools

    A nice man named Zack dropped me a mail asking about the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools and "real" documentation, which led to Matt in the PTS team writing about all the great tools (see below). I then installed SP2 for Windows Server 2003 and realised that my SBS 2003 system now has the capabilities of BDD to deploy Vista desktops (in my case, pre-configured with Office 2007 too). Wow. I went and checked and the Windows Deployment Services admin controls are there on my SBS SP2 system, so you can use this information to enable PXE deployments of Windows if you want. These can include other programs such as Office and anti-virus products and also be pre-configures to join the domain etc. Business Desktop Deployment 2007 - Resources Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:43 AM by mattmcspirit For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or BDD for short. So, what is it? Well, the BDD is essentially, your one-stop-shop for deployment when it comes to our new wave of technology. Want to customise your Vista install? Want to inject drivers for hardware into images? Want to customise WinPE 2.0? Want to easily create Unattend.xml files? Want next week's winning lottery numbers? OK, BDD can't help you with that last one, but it can allow you to do all the others! Source: Peering through Windows... ttfn David Technorati tags: BDD , Business Desktop Deployment , SBS 2003 , Service Pack 2 , SP2 , SBS 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Virtualisation technologies and roadmap days

    44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap 1 Day, 23 Mar 2007, Reading 44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap 1 Day, 26 Mar 2007, Edinburgh 44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap Summary This event focuses on giving you a thorough overview of Microsoft’s current technologies and future strategy in virtualisation, to prepare you for what you can do now and what you should plan for in the run-up to Windows Server Virtualisation. Overview Microsoft’s vision and strategy for virtualisation Why Microsoft? Drilldown: Virtual Server Drilldown: SC VMM Drilldown ttfn David
  • Virtual PC 2007 released

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to Virtual PC 2007 and another will relate to SQL 2005 SP2. You can find out about Virtual PC 2007 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx , however the key features over and above the 2004 product are: · Support for Windows Vista as a host · Support for Windows Vista as a guest · Support for Windows Vista 64-bit as a host · Improved performance compared to Virtual PC 2004 Ttfn David Technorati tags: Virtualisation , Virtual PC , Vista , Windows Vista , x64
  • London SMB IT Pros group meeting - Monday January 15th

    Hello peeps, I just saw this mail from Ian remind people that the next London group meeting is tomorrow (today if you are reading this on Monday morning). The special thing to note about this meeting is that it is no longer at the Microsoft location in London, but a nice drinking and meeting establishment that most regulars to the meeting will know of :-) Anyway, details etc below: Just to remind you that the next meeting of the London SMB IT Pros group is MONDAY night 15th January at the Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney St, London, W1F 9NG, just up the road from the Microsoft Offices. A map and a few more details can be found on the following map: http://maps.live.com/?v=2&cid=174788104E27AD26!188 Three things on the agenda this month. The first is "Virtualisation: benefits, pitfalls and business benefits". Vin Jauhal & Steve Foster have both recently done Virtual Server-based projects for their clients and will be sharing their experiences from these to help us all understand the pros and cons of virtualisation techniques for our clients. The second is our usual War Stories spot. I've got a couple of interesting ones this month, both positive(!) so come along to share with others and to get assistance with any thorny issues you might have. After that we will continue our discussions of how to take the group forward. The minutes of the last meeting are below. Again my thanks goes to Tom Valentin who drafted, redrafted and checked these minutes with the attendees. Because we have to pay for the use of the room there will be a charge of £5-00 each for this month's meeting to cover the cost of the room and then a contribution of around £3-4 for food. Please come along with your ideas and see if we can use each other to add value to our businesses and consequently to our clients and the services we provide to them. Should be another interesting evening! Also if you have a small projector that might be useful as there is a screen in the venue, but no projector. Cheers Ian Watkins ttfn David
  • Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!

    FYI - I use this for all my testing, including my WSS v3 on SBS 2003!! Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available! Good news - the Virtual PC 2007 Beta is now available. You can sign up for it here: https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=874 . Major changes include: Support for hardware virtualization (Intel and AMD) Support for Windows Vista as a host operating system Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system Note: No support for Aero Glass though - just Aero Basic Support for 64-bit host operating systems Note: Virtual machines are 32-bit only Improved performance There are also a plethora of bug fixes. Some notable ones include: Lots of work to allow Virtual PC to play better with laptop power management Fix for IntelPPM issue ( http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/10/24/484461.aspx ) Virtual PC now supports greater than 2.2GB ISO images Source: Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!
  • David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

    Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology. This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology. I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to sell solutions, what the licensing options truly mean, what extras you can add to a sale to add value for you and the customer. I'll even be discussing how online services are an opportunity for you, but more on this later. On this note, is there more I should do to help you sell more, have more customers and make more money? If so, let me know what is needed, whether it is something from Microsoft or David. Comments are open on this one, so fire a comment onto the blog. Expect to see a post on the work we are doing with the Technet team to get you even more technical resources and the process for access to all those nice betas, hosted services and where they fit as part of a solution and the options on licensing to make it easier for your customer to understand the value of technology and even buy earlier. Ttfn David
  • Microsoft and Xensource work together to ensure cross-platform simplicity in new virtual world

    Howdy folks, Just saw this over at the Xensource web site . It basically says that Microsoft and Xensource – organization leading the Xen Linux based virtualization tools – have extended their working agreements. A few months ago Xensource licensed Microsoft's VHD (virtual hard disk) format and now this has been further enhanced so that Xen will work with the Hypervisor that will ship for Longhorn Server. This means that if you need to run Windows and Linux, the virtualization technology underneath will actually work for you as opposed to against you. Another step towards MS and Linux interop. We already now support Linux guests on Virtual Server!! A bit more about Virtualization and Xen can be found at http://h0bbel.p0ggel.org/2006/07/18/microsoft-and-xen-sitting-in-a-tree/ Ttfn David
  • Virtualising SBS 2003 - the low down

    This question was asked internally and I thought the information was worth sharing, so thanks to Mark Stanfill for providing the answer: SBS 2003 is supported in virtual environments. The only unsupported component is ISA 2004, which (for rather obvious reasons) is not supported on Virtual Server (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897614/ ). Exchange also has a number of hardware and software requirements that need to be very carefully weighed against a hardware solution. For the complete rundown, see these articles: Support policy for Exchange Server 2003 running on hardware virtualization software http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;[LN];320220 Microsoft Virtual Server support policy http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;[LN];897613 Running Domain Controllers in Virtual Server 2005 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=64DB845D-F7A3-4209-8ED2-E261A117FC6B&displaylang=en Virtual Server Technical Overview White Paper http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/overview/vs2005tech.mspx ttfn David
  • Virtual PC is now free - so you can use it to build better demos and carry them with you, or run legacy OSs on a PC for compatibility reasons

    Hi guys, here at Partner Conference and one of the snippets I picked up is that Virtual PC is now a free download, following the lead Virtual Server. There are restrictions I believe, in the number of hosts, but how great is this. The product can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/downloads/sp1.mspx ttfn David
  • Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David
  • UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/content/presscentre/releases/2006/07/PR03662.mspx ttfn David
  • Bad links now fixed

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David
  • Draft release of my web log analyser tool (using IIS Log files)

    People have asked for my tools I use to produce my site statistics, so I have released a draft cut. It should all work. To get the best out of it you need a $20 subscription to http://www.maxmind.com/app/web_services_guide#city and MapPoint , but otherwise it works - without both these it is fully functional, but no maps. The source can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry735.aspx and the exes at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry736.aspx . ttfn David
  • Do you remember the Matrix - the "Blue Pill" - well someone has developed a scary security rootkit using the VM technology in AMD & Intel's chips for Windows x64, Linux etc

    Some may know that my history includes a bit of serious security IT work. Having said that, it also includes mission critical systems work and even part of my degree was on system security, but that is what you get for sharing a flat with someone doing a security degree. Anyway, the e-week article discusses a process to make the "undetectable" rootkit using virtualisation technology. A very interesting read and a sign of scary times in the future for security subsystems. OK, I thought about it a bit more and discussed it on im with Susan Bradley and perhaps some of the old questions come into play. Can a user with standard admin rights get infected? Could you have an anti-rootkit hypervisor to test and ensure that the "right" hypervisor is running? Once this beasty was in, detection would be very hard, however, for it to get ontop your machine - this could be just like every other rootkit today - needs admin clearance, so don't say yes to it!! ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Feel the force - See Star Wars Lego II - The Original Trilogy Game - AWESOME

    As some of you may know, I am a true Star Wars Geek. I love all 6 films - yes, even Jar Jar. I had heard about the 2nd game - me & Molly are loving the 1st game and then I saw this on MSN Video - amazing! Cool features - all the characters, the ability to go off piste with any vehicle and the ability to take characters apart and create new ones - just like you would with Lego Pieces :-) ttfn David
  • Giving money to good causes - Warren Buffet follows Bill and Melinda

    One of the reasons I picked Microsoft to work for was that I felt the company had a goal stronger than "to make money for the shareholders", but also to actually do some good in the world. Bill Gates has announced that he is planning to slowly transisition to a part time role in Microsoft over the next two years to dedicate his time to the Bill and Melinda Foundation who have already given away billions to help those in need. (See http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060615.htm for Bill's transition. For some astounding stats, look at http://www.gatesfoundation.com/MediaCenter/FactSheet/ - snipped from it: Number of employees: 241 Endowment: $29.2 billion Total grant commitments since inception: $10.5 billion Total 2005 grant payments: $1.36 billion Illustrative Grant Commitments United Negro College Fund , Gates Millennium Scholars Program - $1 billion The GAVI Alliance - $1.5 billion Malaria Vaccine Initiative - $258 million Save the Children , Saving Newborn Lives - $110 million United Way of King County , Seattle, WA, - $55 million Knowledgeworks Foundation - $20 million National Council of Culture & Arts , Mexico Library Project - $11.7 million Public Access Computing Hardware Upgrade Program , Multiple library systems - $5.3 million Now I read that Warren Buffet is to give away 85% of his 40B$ wealth to charity, with 5/6 going to the above fund. For more info, see http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060625.htm This is what I want to help others do, while Microsoft makes lots of donations, by making MS successful, I enable these people to continue to do this. I think Microsoft donates something like 7% of its cash each year to good causes - not many other companies can say they do that. When working recently with the SBS product team in the UK I discovered that we give away 4+ copies of SBS plus associated software to UK needy causes a month. That is just SBS, we also give away many other products too. I know that the nay sayers could say "why not give away...
  • Site look and feel updated

    I found some amazing site themes at http://japan.communityserver.info/ and have updated the default site with this. If you wish to change it back, click http://uksbsguy.com/user/EditProfile.aspx and select the site theme of "default for CS2.0". You might also notice the Posts on this site Zoom Cloud showing you a cloud of the keywords mentioned on the site. See the site in it's full glory at http://uksbsguy.com ttfn David
  • Off Topic - How not to retain customers - Someone wants to cancel their AOL subscription

    I just had tto post this. Microsoft sometimes gets a bit of a kicking about support, but things like the Official SBS podcast , changes to search on our http://support.microsoft.com site, people like me and even the huge SBS community have changed most peoples experience with our support. When I say this, you just have to laugh in amazement as to what was going through this guys mind? http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=5ff445af-bf5c-4c3c-9424-ff467ea97a87&f=rssimbot_us_default ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • How Virtual Server enables SBS 2003 and Terminal Services on the same box

    Terminal Services (TS) was a feature people liked in SBS 2000, but the performance and security issues meant that many people broke their solutions by overuse of TS. The answer with SBS 2003 was no TS – which solved both the support issue, but also the fact that you could not run Outlook on the same machine as one with Exchange, thus meaning users of TS on an SBS system could not do e-mail except by browser. There is a very simple whitepaper on how to do TS on SBS located at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/deploy/adstrmsr.mspx . Now, using Virtual Server, which is a no charge add-on to Windows, you can have a single server with SBS and providing Terminal Services as you run a mini-machine inside your SBS box. The thing to be aware of is the need to buy the right OS licenses for the virtual machines, so while you can save money on the hardware, currently, you need to buy OS licenses. Once this is all done, using the power of Virtual Server you can be away – either for Terminal Services or any other application that needs a 2 nd box, but nowhere for the hardware to go. All this is nicely documented at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8e1b8271-17a0-4f3a-a379-19ecf37d4229&DisplayLang=en Enjoy Ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13