February, 2009

  • Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Beta

    The RSAT tools for managing Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta from a Windows 7 Beta machine are now available on the Microsoft Download Center.

    Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on remote computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 (and, for some roles and features, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003) from a remote computer that is running Windows 7. It includes support for remote management of computers that are running either the Server Core or full installation options of Windows Server 2008 R2, and for some roles and features, Windows Server 2008. Some roles and features on Windows Server 2003 can be managed remotely by using Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7, although the Server Core installation option is not available with the Windows Server 2003 operating system.


    Role Administration Tools:

    • Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) Tools

    • Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Tools

    • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Tools

    • DHCP Server Tools

    • DNS Server Tools

    • File Services Tools

    • Hyper-V Tools

    • Remote Desktop Services Tools

    Feature Administration Tools:

    • BitLocker AD Password Recovery Viewer

    • Failover Clustering Tools

    • Group Policy Management Tools

    • Network Load Balancing Tools

    • SMTP Server Tools

    • Storage Explorer Tools

    • Storage Manager for SANs Tools

    • Windows System Resource Manager Tools

  • Free E-Learning Collection on Virtualization

    This newly-released collection offers a comprehensive introduction to the Microsoft suite of Virtualization products. Collection 6333 includes four two-hour clinics, covering Hyper-V and Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, and Microsoft Application Virtualization.



  • Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides: Microsoft SQL Server 2008

    The Infrastructure Planning and Design team has released a new guide, Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
    This guide, when used in conjunction with product documentation, will help companies confidently plan the implementation of a SQL Server 2008 infrastructure. Fundamental tasks are addressed to help the reader identify which SQL Server roles will be needed as well as to determine the infrastructure's components, server placement, and the fault-tolerance configuration to meet necessary requirements. This IPD guide will help you get the most out of new features in SQL Server 2008, such as policy-based management and best practice design alerts, when planning your infrastructure. Other benefits of using this guide include best practice design guidance from the product group and an optimized infrastructure to best meet the business requirements.
    Download the guide by visiting
    http://www.microsoft.com/ipd and selecting "Microsoft SQL Server 2008" under the Guidance section, toward the top of the page.

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  • SQLUG event, March 19: MDX, from zero to hero

    MDX, from zero to hero. This session

    MDX is the language that allows you to query a SQL Server Analyses Services multi-dimensional data structure or OLAP cube. In this session, after a brief review on the concepts of an OLAP cube, the MDX syntax for querying a cube will be explained and demoed step-by-step.

    Speaker: Franky Leeuwerck is a MS BI Consultant for Kohera, the Microsoft SQL Server/Business Intelligence Competence Center within the Cronos Group.
    Previously he was involved in database related projects obtaining experience in a heterogenous field of technologies.

    Location: Microsoft Belux in Zaventem

    We want to remind that registration is obligatory. You can register on http://sqlug.be/RegistrationPage.aspx.

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  • Free E-Book: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions

    Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions from Microsoft Press is available as a FREE download. 


    This 15MB E-Book is over 400 pages long, so it is quite comprehensive. It covers all current Microsoft Virtualization technologies  even the newest, such as the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), and VDI. Definitely a worthwhile addition to your library.


    This guide will teach you about the benefits of the latest virtualization technologies and how to plan, implement, and manage virtual infrastructure solutions. The technologies covered include: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2009, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

    The book also provides insight into the Core Infrastructure Optimization model, and how implementing virtualization technologies can help move a company further along toward the goal of building an efficient, reliable Dynamic IT infrastructure.

    Here’s how to get it: Simply register at http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urmvs17u33

  • Microsoft Recite Technical Preview

    What Is Microsoft Recite?

    Microsoft Recite is a search technology for your voice that runs on Windows Mobile* devices. With Microsoft Recite, you can use your voice to easily store, search and retrieve the things you want to remember, where and when you need them. Microsoft Recite is available as a free technology preview beginning February 16, 2009.

    *Microsoft Recite can be used on devices running Windows Mobile version 6.0 or higher with up/down/left/right controls.

    How Does It Work? 

    Microsoft Recite’s voice search makes it easy to retrieve your stored thoughts and notes by using voice pattern matching. It analyzes the patterns in your speech and finds matches between two recordings -- the notes you stored on your phone, and the search you do using your voice. With Recite you can store your spoken notes, and then later retrieve the notes you want based on a match with your search term(s). This is different from speech recognition, which has to accurately convert spoken words to application-readable input.

    Press “Remember” to record a thought. Press “Search” to retrieve your thoughts. It’s that simple!


    To Install Microsoft Recite

    Microsoft Recite is a free download for Windows Mobile devices (version 6.0 and higher). Simply direct the browser of your Windows Mobile device to http://recite.microsoft.com/download.  Standard carrier rates apply to the data sessions and download time on your mobile device. Those fees are dependent on your data plan with your carrier.

  • Improve your public speaking

    Today I received a mail from one of our Belgian SQL Server MVP’s titled speaking in public tips & tricks. I don’t why he sent this to me, maybe he thinks I need more tips & tricks to make my presentations better, well he is right. Once you get into this speaking engagement thing you cannot learn enough and learning from two well known and experienced speakers is a privilege.

    The mail he forwarded was about two blogposts made by Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal on how to improve your speaking skills, presentations and how to get started.

    This made me think about my first presentation, which was in my eyes one of my worst ones, I remember it like it was yesterday. A couple of years ago (three to be correct) I was working on my first Dev & IT Pro Days (now known as TechDays) and the day after the event I had to present my first presentation. Well I didn’t really need to present any slides I did a demo of 45 min for almost 100 attendees. The night before the event my colleagues and good friends Tony and Daniel made me do a dry run which was the worst experience in my life so far. It was almost 2 O’clock in the morning when I did my dry-run in my hotel room. I have never been that nervous before, nothing went right, I couldn’t say one sentence right. After 20 min’s they stopped me and said to me it’s fine you will do a good job tomorrow. I never believed them, I felt awful, went to bed and I watched the clock ticking. Every 15 min I looked at the clock, didn’t sleep at all. At 6:30 AM I decided to go back to the office to practice more. I still had a couple of hours before the stage was mine.

    The time had come I needed to go on stage and the organizers who invited me were introducing myself as being the Belgian counterpart of Tony and Daniel, who did a great job presenting Vista a couple of weeks before. This was not really the introduction that made me calm down :). I started the presentation with just one slide talking about the improvements we made to Vista and then I jumped into the demo’s. I do believe that there demo gods exists and from time to time they don’t like us. They didn’t like me that day, I had to recover from at least two blue screens. After 45 mins my presentation was done and a big relief felt off my shoulders, I felt good even though this was not the best thing I ever did. It felt good because I started doing something new, something outside of comfort zone.

    I talked to a couple of colleagues to see if they had the same experience when they presented for the first time. Yes they all are nervous and it’s like Paul states in his blogpost it’s all about how well you deal with it and how quickly it goes away. I was worried that I would stay that nervous for all my upcoming presentations. I still wanted to continue because after a each presentation you get such a good feeling (adrenaline) that it’s very addictive. The first couple of presentations you still will be nervous (I was) but it goes away trust me. Now when I need to go on stage I’m nervous just a couple of minutes before but once I opened my sessions it goes away.

    I’m still not the best speaker in the world and might never become that but I think my speaking skills improved and are still improving each time I present. So my piece of advice for all of you who wants to start presenting, is practice and do it as often as you can. Start with smaller audiences like speaking at user group events or record screencasts. Talk to the audience before you present so you get to know the audience and learn what they expect from you. Put you at the same level as them, talk with passion, prepare your demo’s and even then they can fail (remember to make an offer to the demo gods before each session).  Prepare, prepare, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse,rehearse and you will find yourself much more comfortable delivering the content you prepared.

    Read and learn as much as you can about improving speaking skill, currently I’m reading Presentation Zen 

    Here are some links that can help you improve your presentations (or not):

    Chicken Presentation

    Killer Presentation Skills

    How NOT to use PowerPoint

  • Red Hat will be supported on Hyper-V

    Today we already support running SUSE Linux on our Hyper-V platform but some customers asked us for more. They wanted to have support for Red Hat as well, now for all these customers we have some good news. Microsoft and Red Hat recently signed agreements to test and validate our server operating systems running on each other’s hypervisors. Customers with valid support agreements will be able to run these validated configurations and receive joint technical support for running Windows Server on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization, and for running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Hyper-V Server 2008. You can see Red Hat’s news release here, and watch a public webcast discussing this news.


    Red Hat Enterprise Linux SVVP completion is planned for calendar H2 2009.

    Microsoft currently plans to validate Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 as a guest on Windows Server Hyper-V. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V (all editions) and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 will now support uni-processor virtual machines running:

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 (x86)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 (x64)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 (x86)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 (x64)

    Read the Port25 blogpost for more information about this announcement.



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  • March edition of TechNet magazine online



    Office Communications Server: What’s New in Office Communications Server 2007 R2

    Office Communications Server 2007 R2 introduces not only a number of brand-new features, it also delivers some significant enhancements to existing functionality. Here’s an overview of some of the most important new features and functions you’ll find in this latest release.

    Office Communications Server: How Remote Call Control Powers OCS 2007 R2

    The Remote Call Control capabilities in OCS can be used to extend your R2 deployment to legacy devices. Find out how to configure Remote Call Control to provide rich OCS capabilities in an environment with a PBX system.

    Office Communications Server: Securing OCS with ISA Server

    To securely extend your OCS 2007 infrastructure to remote users and organizations, you need to deploy one or more Edge Servers and provide reverse proxy access to these servers. Here’s what you need to know to use and configure ISA Server 2006 as a reverse proxy for your OCS deployment.

    Office Communications Server: Managing OCS 2007 R2 from the Command Line

    Though you can configure Office Communications Server using wizards, there are times it makes sense to work from the command line. Explore the LCSCmd command-line tool and see how you can use it to set up OCS 2007 R2.

    Office Communications Server: A Powerful Tool for OCS Planning and Deployment

    The Planning Tool for OCS 2007 R2 is a wizard that provides prescriptive guidance to help you prepare to deploy R2 in your organization. Discover how you can quickly generate a topology and create a list of recommended hardware to help guide your planning and deployment efforts