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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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  • Blog Post: What is ADFS, and why you should care?

    Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) doesn’t sound like the most exciting topic for a post, but I am going to post on it anyway precisely because it is boring. First let me log in to windows with a Live ID.. You’ll notice I have used my Microsoft alias to sign in, and I haven’t entered my password...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7’s big brother

    I have got Windows 7 RC  running my games rig at home and all is well with Flight Simulator X, GRiD etc but what interests me at work is Windows Server 2008 r2.  This is also at RC  and is available to download with your TechNet subscription here . Like Windows 7 it’s evolution not revolution...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 r2 Beta

    What is with operating systems? Nothing for ages then two on the same day, Windows 7 Beta and now Windows 2008 r2 Beta? Well sort of as Windows Server 2008 shares a lot with Vista so Windows Server 2008 r2 has a lot in common with Windows 7.  Obviously DBA’s will be a bit more interested in the...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Intelligence Report vol 6

    Every 6 months Microsoft publishes a freely available Security Intelligence Report (SIR) , looking at what’s happening to threaten the security of our personal and corporate computing. Mostly it‘s written in English and if you can’t find the time to read it all I would at least recommend the summary...
  • Blog Post: Guest Clustering–What is it and do you need it?

    I am pretty sure the term guest clustering is not a standard industry term nor is it official Microsoft speak, so what do I mean by it? I mean the business of creating a cluster out of a group of virtual machines – you might call this a virtual cluster but that might confuse it with clustering physical...
  • Blog Post: Beer Locker

    If you want to protect your data then the Bit Locker technology in Vista is a good way to go, and I would also recommend Vista backup as it's so simple to use . Of course if you're in New Zealand and someone has broken into your office and swiped your laptop with your kiwi :-) data like Paul Croucher...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 on Windows Server 2008

      I am a huge fan of Windows Server 2008.  I am lucky enough to have a laptop that supports Hyper-V and has 4Gb of RAM so I have a dual boot setup for Vista and Windows Server 2008.  I could just have Windows Server 2008 installed and then virtualise Vista on top, but there there aren...
  • Blog Post: Virtualisation for the DBA part 1 - Are you Bovvered?

      I have been at a couple of trade shows over the last couple of weeks and a consistent theme has emerged, the reluctance of DBA’s to virtualise SQL Server, whether or not that is Hyper-V.  If you fall into this camp please read-on… Hopefully we can agree that many organisations are worried...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Consolidation

    Whether you are into virtualisation or not, most organisations want to reduce the number of SQL Server Servers they have (and some don’t even know how many they have).  So here’s a new white paper on consolidation for SQL Server 2008 . One of the questions I do get asked a lot about...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Launch Videos

    Blogging is easy to do, there’s no one watching you and you can martial your thoughts.  The problem is you don’t get any feedback until you’ve published your post. Presenting is much harder, apart form the demo demons, there’s a real audience and you can’t really run...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server versions side by side

    There are occasions where you need multiple versions of SQL Server running at the same time and you may not have sufficient hardware to run them on separate machines. The traditional approach to this is to run an instance of each version, in fact I have one demo rig which has an instance of SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: Encryption Everywhere

    I often show the Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) feature in SQL Server 2008, and then I get asked “ Is that in Standard edition? ” and it’s only in Enterprise.  Also TDE is very prescriptive; if you apply it to your database, it automatically applies to your backups, which then...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 – Branch Office Deployment

    In the final part of my interview with Alun Rodgers of Risual , we discuss the rollout out of Windows Server 2008 to branches of a well known fashion house.  You won’t get any tips on dress sense watching this, but you will understand why such  features as the Read Only Domain Controller and...
  • Blog Post: TechNet Launch Road Shows

    The next round of road shows are going to focus on Windows Server 2008 and Vista sp1 so no SQL Server 2008 this time.  But no peace for the wicked like, many dba's, when not doing my day job I have to get my head around all of the other stuff that sits around the database, such as SharePoint, the...
  • Blog Post: Running SQL Server on Windows Server 2008

    I pulled down SQL Server 2008 RC0 over the weekend and I thought it would be good to get this running on Windows Server 2008.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of resources around on this but it’s not that hard, in fact you pretty much install Windows Server 2008 and as soon as it’s done put SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V – is it any good?

    I was presenting SQL server 2008 at a NextGen community event and there was a Windows Server 2008 given by Alun Rodgers of Risual (a gold partner specialising in server infrastructure and unified comms).  His session was so well received I thought it would be good to get him to share his experiences...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005

    One way to speed up SQL Server 2005 is to upgrade the underlying operating system to Windows 2008. Why? My top three reasons would be: The network stack is substantially faster so you can get the data to the users faster. Windows server 2008 like SQL Server 2008 has a resource management capability so...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Lifecycle and Support

    My post announcing the next version of SQL Server picked up a couple of comments and rather than squeeze my reply in another comment I thought i would make it into a post. Most customers started adopting SQL Server 2000 in 2001/2. Back in those days my laptop had 256Mb RAM coupled with a Pentium P3 running...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Launch Wave

    The official launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 will happen on the 19th March at the Birmingham ICC.  The format will be a sort of mini TechEd IT Forum with separate technology tracks, Hands-on Labs, Ask the Experts etc. In addition, you'll be able to hear from...
  • Blog Post: Putting SQL Server on the MAP

    Usually when I mention SQL Server and map in the same blog it’s a post on geospatial data but not today; today I want to talk about assessment and planning your SQL Server infrastructure.  I know of several DBA’s who don’t know how many SQL Servers they have much less what stare they are in i.e...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server upgrade perception and reality

    I had two contrasting conversation about upgrade to SQL Server 2008 yesterday. A good friend of mine Darren is keen to use SQL Server 2008 for his new projects because he understands how it makes much better use of the many cores available on his new servers and works well with Windows Server 2008. ...
  • Blog Post: Licensing in a Virtual World

    Even if you work for Microsoft licensing can be complicated. I am pretty confident on what’s what with SQL Server, but I was in TV land yesterday at a large broadcaster, and they are looking to adopt Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 as a standard for all of their projects.  We spent an hour...
  • Blog Post: Steve Ballmer Plays the Queen Elizabeth Hall

    I have seen quite a few concerts, plays etc. at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank Centre, but I never thought I would be on that stage, or presenting alongside Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft on 1st October. The event “Technologies to Change your Business” marks the release of SQL Server 2008...
  • Blog Post: Virtualized SQL Server

    [Note the information in this post is now way out of date, so please refer to my post here instead.. http://blogs.technet.com/b/andrew/archive/2008/11/08/sql-server-2008-at-teched.aspx Thanks Andrew] I get more and more questions about SQL Server running in a Virtual machine so here’s...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Cluster on Windows Server 2008 in Hyper-V

    I remember the old batman shows had a “don’t try this at home” disclaimer after every show, and this came to mind as I started playing with Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V and SQL Server 2008  on my new shuttle PC (4 cores, 8gb RAM, 1TB on three disks) Here’s what I’ve done Installed Windows Server...