August, 2008

  • Windows Mobile Solutions: Delivering Security, Control, and Productivity.

    See how Windows Mobile provides comprehensive solutions for mobile device security and management. Tune in and discover how you can deliver advanced messaging and collaboration solutions, enable access to business applications and processes from mobile devices, and help secure and manage mobile devices. Also, download the latest podcasts and hear how Windows Mobile phones provide the flexibility to work when and where you want.

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9359073

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  • SCUG – Sept 16: Security Auditing & ACS Optimization

    The Belgian System Center UG organizes their first get together around Security Auditing & ACS Optimization.

    Learn how your organization can maximize their investment in System Center to support security and regulatory compliance auditing requirements using Operations Manager and the Audit Collection Service (ACS). This is a great opportunity to learn about the latest in partner solutions that extend ACS to provide centralized security event management featuring ACS administration, security alerting, data archiving, multi-collector reporting, syslog event collection and better support for regulatory compliance needs including EUDPD, ISO27000, SOX, PCI and many others.

    Event Agenda:

    • 17h30: Registrations
    • 18h00: Pizzas !
    • 18h30: SCUG.be (Alexandre Verkinderen)
      • Welcome & Introductions
    • 18h45: SecureVantage (Jeremiah Beckett)
      • Audit Collection Service Overview
      • Security Management & Auditing with Secure Vantage Compliance Security Suite for System Center
      • Case Study Review – Information Services Firm Enhances Compliance & Optimizes Data Center
      • Open Q&A
      • Attendee Raffle
    • 20h30: Drink/networking @ The Pole

    WHEN – September 16 2008

    TIME3hr

    WHERE – Dolmen, Huizingen: map

    Registration - Registration Link PLACES ARE LIMITED

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this event because I’m attending another training event abroad.

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  • IT-Talks – Sept 13: Group policies in 2008

    Where: Spes Nostra - Koning Albertstraat 50 - 8520 Kuurne
    When:
    Zaterdag 13 September 2008

    Program:

    • 10u00: welcome + boot virtual labo
    • 10u30 – 11u30: The technology, behind the scene and what's new in windows 2008 / Vista(Tom Decaluwé )
    • 11u30 – 11u45: Koffie en talks
    • 11u45 – 13u00: The technology, behind the scene and what's new in windows 2008 / Vista (Tom Decaluwé)
    • 13u00 – 14u00: Lunch
    • 14u00 – 15u15: Using group policies in your companies, scenario driven lab (Tom Decaluwé)
    • 15u15 – 15u30: Koffie en talks
    • 15u30 – 17u30: Using group policies in your companies, scenario driven lab (Tom Decaluwé)

    Topic of the day:

    Group policies have for years now been a core part of the windows active directory. This feature gives administrators a central way to manage and secure clients and servers in a structured way. With the release of windows 2008 and Vista Microsoft has taken group policies and group policy management to a new level. But with this new level of control comes new challenges in how to manage your existing XP, win2k3 environment, how to prep your environment for win2k8 and vista gpo's, what can we implement before the win2k8 migration and what can we do after win2k8.

    This session will mainly focus on how to use the old and new features in corporate environments.


    you can register for this event by sending an email to tom@decaluwe.eu, seats are limited so register ASAP!

     

  • Managing Hyper-V through PowerShell

    A while ago James a colleague of mine posted his PowerShell scripts onto the codeplex site. With those scripts you can easily manage your Hyper-V environment by using PowerShell. For me this a must have library. Here is a list of what you can do with this library:

    Finding a VM
    Get-VM, Choose-VM

    Connecting to a VM

    New-VMConnectSession

    Discovering and manipulating Machine states

    List-VMState , Set-VMState , Convert-VmState,
    Ping-VM , Shutdown-VM , Start-VM, Stop-VM, Suspend-VM
    Get-VMKVP

    Backing up, exporting and snapshotting VMs

    Backup-vm , Export-VM , Get-VMSnapshot, Choose-VMSnapshot , Apply-VMSnapshot , New-VMSnapshot ,Remove-VMSnapshot, Get-VMSnapshotTree

    Adding and removing VMs, configuring motherboard settings.

    New-VM , Remove-VM , Set-VM , Get-VMCPUCount, Set-VMCPUCount, Get-VMMemory, Set-VMMemory

    Manipulating Disk controllers, drives and disk images

    Get-VMDiskController
    Add-VMSCSIController , Remove-VMSCSIcontroller
    Get-VMDrive , Add-VMDRIVE , Remove-VMdrive
    Get-VMDisk, Add-VMDISK , Set-VMDisk, List-VMDisk
    Get-VMFloppyDisk , Add-VMFloppyDisk
    Add-VMNewHardDisk

    Manipluating Network Interface Cards

    Get-VMNic , List-VMNic , Choose-VMNIC, Add-VMNIC, Remove-VMNIC , Set-VMNICAddress , Set-VMNICConnection , Get-VMNicport ,
    Get-VMnicSwitch, Choose-VMSwitch, New-VMSwitchPort, Get-VMByMACaddress

    Working with VHD files

    Get-VHDDefaultPath, Get-VHDInfo, New-VHD, Compact-VHD, Mount-VHD, Unmount-VHD

    Download the PSHyperv library.

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  • Hotfix for Windows Failover Clustering and Hyper-V

    If you are running Windows Failover Clustering and Hyper-V then this patch might apply to your environment.

    With this hotfix we increase functionality and add more control to Hyper-V virtual machines running in a clustered environment. Here are some of the improvements:

    • Changes to the virtual machine view: additional actions like start, shutdown and turnoff added.
    • Allow for more than one virtual machine in a "Services or Applications" group: This is one of the important updates, we will now let you add/select multiple virtual machines in High Availability (HA)wizard. The wizard will detect if there are multiple VM’s that have files on the same clustered disk. If it is the case they will be enabled and configured for HA
    • Add support for mount points or volumes without a drive letter: The High Availability Wizard can detect when files for a virtual machine are on a volume that is using a mount point or a GUID instead of a drive letter. Additionally, the High Availability Wizard moves the appropriate disks into the same Service or Application group as the virtual machine resource.
    • Behavior change when you add a pass-through disk to a virtual machine: The Failover Cluster Management console correctly shows that the configuration change is not successful.
    • Volume path copy
      This update lets the path of a storage volume to be copied from the properties of the disk resource in the Failover Cluster Manager console. When you configure a virtual machine, the paths of the volumes must be specified for the disks that will be used. After you apply this update, the path can be copied from the properties of the disk in the Failover Cluster Manager console. This is useful when the path is very long, such as when a volume uses a GUID instead of a drive letter.

    This hotfix will help a lot of our customers who are deploying Hyper-V in a Windows Failover cluster environment. Read the full list of improvements: http://support.microsoft.com/?id=951308

    At least I could help one customer today :)

  • Power Management Tool for IT Administrators

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 has launched a new Desired Configuration Management (DCM) pack that fully complies with ENERGY STAR configuration guidelines!

    This ConfigMgr 2007-based solution makes it easier for IT Professionals to ensure that PCs are configured with the appropriate energy savings - driving improved power management implementations that can lower operational costs for ConfigMgr 2007-supported organizations. The solution also provides a basis for compliance reporting against various pledge programs, such as Climate Savers Computing Initiative and ENERGY STAR Low Carbon IT Campaign.

    For more information and/or to download the pack, please visit the System Center ConfigMgr 2007 ENERGY STAR Config Pack page on the Microsoft Environment site.

    Check out the Software Enabled Earth blog for more information


  • SQL Server 2008 = RTM

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    Yesterday we announced that SQL Server 2008 is being released to manufacturing. With SQL 2008 we bring new quite a lot of new functionality to the data platform product:

    • Transparent Data Encryption
    • Extensible Key Management
    • Auditing
    • Enhanced Database Mirroring
    • Automatic Recovery of Data Pages
    • Log Stream Compression
    • Resource Governor
    • Predictable Query Performance
    • Data Compression
    • Hot Add CPU
    • Policy-Based Management
    • Streamlined Installation
    • Performance Data Collection
    • Backup Compression
    • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) Pipeline Improvements
    • Report Server Application Embedding
    • and much more

    Check out this link for an extended version of what’s new in SQL Server 2008

    SQL Server 2008 is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and will be available for evaluation download on Aug. 7, 2008. SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server Compact editions are available for free download today at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver.

    Read the official press announcement: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2008/aug08/08-06SQLServer2008PR.mspx

     

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  • TechNet Spotlight: TechEd IT Professionals 2008 Videos

    TechEd IT Professionals 2008- Available Videos

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    TechEd IT  Professionals 2008 Event Page: http://www.microsoft.com/emea/spotlight/event.aspx?id=104

    Links to Session Videos:

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  • Virtualization Solution Accelerators

    Here is a list of the different Virtualization Solution Accelerators we have at Microsoft:

    1. Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.1 for Hyper-V and App-V - http://www.microsoft.com/MAP
    2. Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides for Hyper-V, App-V and SCVMM 2008 http://www.microsoft.com/IPD
    3. Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx
    4. Security Compliance Management Tool http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc677002.aspx
    5. Windows Server 2008 Security Guide http://www.microsoft.com/WSSG
    6. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit http://www.microsoft.com/deploymentlidays

    There will be some breakout sessions covering the Solution Accelerators at TechEd IT Professional

  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2008 Update 1

    What’s New in MDT 2008 Update 1?
    MDT 2008 Update 1 includes new capability for OEM preload scenarios, a revised System Center Operations Manager Management Pack, bug fixes, and revised documentation. This updated version provides guidance in the .chm help file format only. If you need the guidance in .doc file format, you can download it
    here.
    MDT 2008 Update 1 enables deployment of the following Microsoft products:

    • Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate (32 and 64 bit) RTM and SP1
    • Office Professional, Professional Plus, Enterprise, and Ultimate 2007
    • Windows Server 2008
    • Windows Server 2003 R2 (32 and 64 bit)
    • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 (32 and 64 bit) or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

    Download the update

     Note: If you experience problems while trying to update please go and read the following post

     

     

  • Notes from the field: Hyper-V @ Hosting company Hostbasket

    I found this onto the Virtualization team blog and thought let’s share this because it’s a Belgian Customer

    Hi, my name is Bert Van Pottelberghe, business unit manager at Hostbasket, which is the leading hosting company and SaaS-provider in Belgium with over 30,000 SMB customers.

    In a recent survey of our datacenter with over 1,000 servers, we saw that the average CPU-usage was only 12%. On the other hand, investments in new server hardware, datacenter space and the cost of power and cooling – now at an all time high - keep prices for dedicated servers high. The hosting industry is a very competitive industry, so we needed to come up with an answer.

    We have been investigating virtualization technologies such as Xen, VMWare and Virtuozzo, but always found problems (such as security-issues, complex and expensive licensing, stability or scalability) that kept us from creating a virtual machine-offer.

    Our Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V offering has two components:

      • Flex Servers: Virtual servers on shared hardware platform. More info here.
      • Hyper-V servers: dedicated hardware server with 2 virtual machines (application server and database server for example).

    Both are positioned as dedicated servers, not as virtual servers.  With these two offers we address the needs of 2 customer groups: The Flex servers are for websites and applications that have outgrown shared hosting, while the Hyper-V servers are for larger applications that used to be deployed on two (or more) separate physical servers.

    We opted not to use the term “Virtual servers” for our offer, because a “virtual server” implies less value for money than a dedicated server. Also, “Virtual servers” are often associated with cheap solutions based on Parallels Virtuozzo.

    Our solutions based on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V provide more functionality (like snapshotting, easy installation, flexible upgrading), are more secure and stable and have a features that guarantee a higher uptime than dedicated servers.

    All customers involved during the beta-stage decided to renew their subscription and gave positive comments on the stability and performance.

    Bert Van Pottelberghe
    Business Unit Manager
    HostBasket

    Source: http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2008/07/28/Guest-Post_3A00_-Why-Microsoft-and-Hyper_2D00_V-for-HostBasket.aspx

  • September Edition of TechNet Magazine online

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    ISA Server: A Guide to Securing ISA Server 2006

    Many organizations rely on ISA Server 2006 to secure their environment, but few take the important step of securing ISA Server itself. Here’s a guide to using the Security Configuration Wizard and Administrative roles to limit its attack surface and secure your ISA Server 2006 implementation.

    ISA Server: Enhance TS Gateway Security with ISA Server 2006

    Using the new TS Gateway feature, Windows Server 2008 enables users to access their desktops from anywhere, without using a VPN. Find out how you can publish the TS Gateway through ISA Server 2006 and extend the ISA Server 2006 publishing scenario to include client health enforcement.

    IIS 7.0: Top 10 Performance Improvements in IIS 7.0

    The latest release of IIS introduces a modular and extensible platform with improved support for common deployment and management scenarios, enabling significant performance improvements. Here’s a look at 10 key areas in IIS 7.0 that provide these improvements.

    Mobility: Take Your Line of Business Applications Mobile

    Many mobile professionals today need the line of business applications they use in the office (CRM, ERP, and the like) to be accessible from a mobile device when they are in the field. See how Windows Mobile and Mobile Device Manager allow you to deploy rich mobile functionality for critical line of business applications.

    Security: Understanding Shared Account Password Management

    Shared and privileged account passwords are commonplace, but far too many organizations fail to adequately manage these shared passwords. This creates a serious security issue. Explore the risks involved with shared and privileged accounts, and discover better approaches to managing more secure passwords.

  • Back from TechReady 7 in Seattle

    I just spent the last 11 days in Seattle where I attended some internal meetings and most of all TechReady 7. TechReady is an internal technical training event for Microsoft employees, you can compare it with TechEd but then for Microsoft employees only.

    During Techready we can choose between more than 840 sessions delivered by more than 1200 speakers. The reason why this is organized in Seattle is because it’s easy for the different product teams to send people from Redmond to Seattle.

    During this week I focused onto two things, one is around the speakers and content I’ve selected to run at TechEd IT Professional and secondly is everything around Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Win7 client features. Unfortunately I cannot share anything for now but as soon as I can I will start blogging about this to keep you up to date. One thing is sure there will be some sessions at TechEd around Windows Server 2008 R2. Have a look here and rate the sessions you like

    If you go to Seattle there are some things you definitely need to do at least once, one of those things is having steak at “The Metropolitan Grill“, so I got invited by one my colleagues from Western Europe.

    To make a long story short we got picked up at the hotel by another colleague and he was driving a nice Hummer (see picture), I told the driver nice car :)

    image

    So we went to the steakhouse and used the Valet Parking, had a nice dinner and excellent wine. Came back to the Valet and he told us that our car was involved in an accident, we couldn’t believe it but it was true. We walked to the car and we couldn’t drive it anymore multiple things where broken, apparently an old couple just hit two cars who where parked in the street and one them was ours.

    So after all the paperwork, Avis call’s we finally received a replacement car. We had to wait for two hours before this car arrived but guess what they delivered another Red Hummer.

    The good thing though was we didn’t have to pay for the valet parking and the restaurant offered us a free bottle of wine.

    The rest of week was ok and nothing special happened anymore.