March, 2011

  • Get skilled up on Microsoft’s Cloud technologies at you own pace and at no cost with Microsoft Virtual Academy

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    Looking for a simple, effective way to get the skills and training you needed to take advantage of the opportunity Cloud computing offers IT professionals?

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy offers no-cost, easy-access training for IT professionals who want to get ahead in cloud computing. MVA guides you through the latest cloud computing technologies and tools. By selecting the courses that match your needs, you can get up to speed quickly without wasting time on areas you are not interested in.

    MVA modules include:

    • Introduction to SCVMM, Architecture & setup
    • Creating VMs, Template & Resources in VMM
    • Managing Windows Azure
    • SQL Azure Security
    • Identity & Access
    • Data security and cryptography

    Each module also consists of a self-assessment to help reinforce the materials allow

    As you take modules and assessments you gain points enabling you for future offers and benefits. You can also opt into the league tables and compare your points tally to others in the Academy and your locale.

    Register now for free

  • MSDN and TechNet Desktop Gadget

    Stay up to date with the latest news from MSDN and TechNet in Belgium and Luxembourg via our new desktop gadget. It’s free, easy to install and very practical: you won’t miss anything of the latest tech news, blogs, videos and events as they are all fed right into your desktop!

    Small & Large

    Once you’ve installed the gadget, you’ll see that there are 2 formats available: the small format rotates the latest news, the large format consists of 4 tabs (News, Events, Blogs and Videos). Every post has a small abstract allowing you to quickly scan it and click to the full story if you want to know more. Search via Bing and links to the MSDN & TechNet Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages are integrated as well.

    Small version MSDN TechNet Desktop Gadget Large version MSDN TechNet Desktop Gadget

    Functionalities

    Functionalities MSDN TechNet Desktop Gadget

    - Language 
    You can easily change the language of the content that will be fed into the gadget: Dutch or French (both options will include English posts as well).

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    MSDN or TechNet or both?
    You can choose which feeds you would like to have on or off. Are you only interested in news from MSDN or would you also like to receive info from TechNet? Just tick the right boxes to create your very own combination of feeds.

    -
    Background
    The default Windows 7 background can be changed to an MSDN or a TechNet background, as you wish.

    Local info

    It’s important to note that most of the info that’s fed into this gadget is coming from the local MSDN & TechNet team in Belgium and Luxembourg. This is the perfect tool to stay informed about local events that Microsoft is organizing for developers and IT professionals, insights from the Belgian MSDN & TechNet team and locally produced video recordings with technical community leaders.

    >> Download it now!

  • Microsoft opens European Cloud and Interoperability Center & second Microsoft Innovation Center in Brussels

     

    clip_image002 On March 22th the first Microsoft Cloud and Interoperability Center (CIC) was inaugurated in Brussels. The goal of the Center is to promotes cloud computing innovation in Europe by showcasing the latest technologies and solutions in areas such as education, health and e-government as well as advanced research projects.
    The Cloud and Interoperability Center is part of the existing Microsoft Executive Briefing Center and also includes the Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) for Cloud Solutions, being developed in partnership with the Brussels Regional Government. The MIC in Brussels is the second facility of its kind that Microsoft has established in Belgium, following the successful MIC in Mons, which was opened in 2009.

    Read full article and find link to speeches at http://lucvdv.wordpress.com/

  • MMS-2011: Configuration manager: “State of the union” by Kenny Buntinx

    What the ConfigMgr team did the previous 12 months for people who really didn’t know yet :

    • They released ConfigMgr 2007 R3 ,
    • They released the FEP 2010 integration
    • They released the Security compliance manager version 1.0
    • They released SC ConfigMgr integration pack for Opalis
    • They released the Xenapp 6.0 connector
    • The finally end sms 2.0 extended support on april 12 2011

    What the ConfigMgr team will do in the next 12 months :

    For ConfigMgr 2007 :

    • Security compliance manager version 2.0 that will RTM may 2011
    • Nothing much after all Smile

    For ConfigMgr 2012 :

    • Update ! : Beta2 is NOW available !
    • The #1 task they are focusing for releasing beta2 is “Bug fix , Bug fix , Bug fix”
    • They need to do a Massive search/replace project in UI and Docs ( that’s an inside joke )
    • SC Opalis will become orchestrator at Fall 2011 .It will has support for configMgr 2012
    • There will be a “Package conversion manager” to translate your “old” packages into the “new” appmodel . Expected release date for beta is the second quarter of CY 2011
    • They will release a P2V tool for migration your current CM07 infra from physical to virtual.

    The SUPER SECRET Announcement

    Read More  about the announcement on Kenny’s blog.

  • DPM 2012: The preview by Mike Resseler

    As MMS 2011 is going to the end, today was the most wanted session of the entire summit Winking smile

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    The session started with the overview of how DPM has changed over the years, starting with V1, V2 and so on… Now, with DPM 2010 (which is V3) gaining more momentum, the team released what the new stuff will be in V4, or DPM 2012

    The nice thing is that they listened to all of us out there, and implemented the most requested features

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    So what can we expect for the next release:

    Centralized Management

    • Centralized Monitoring
    • Remote administration
    • Remote recovery
    • Role Based management
    • Remote corrective actions
    • Scoped Troubleshooting
    • Push to Resume Backups
    • SLA based Alerting : Alert only when SLA violated
    • Consolidated Alerts ensure one ticket per root cause issue
    • Alert categorization (Ex: infra alerts versus backup failure alerts)
    • Allow admins to automate/extend the base functionality using PowerShell

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    I can’t show you screenshots of how it looks, because they did a live demo but I can guarantee you that the crowd in the room went wild.  The integration with OpsMgr is very neat and gives you real good tools to work on your DPM server(s) easy, straight to the point and last but not least… FAST.

    Role-based management

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    You asked for it, you get it.  While you still need to be admin on the DPM box to be able to manage it, in the next version there will be different roles available for you to scope your DPM environment to the right people.  While the picture above will probably still be subject of change, I think it is clear that role-based administration is on the way, and that the combination of DPM role-based administration and OpsMgr integration…. Well, I think it speaks for itself Smile

    Certificate Base Protection

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    DPM 2010 already has workgroup support… With DPM 2012, this will be done by certificates, which is much easier to manage in larger environments and from a security point of view will be much more appreciated by the security people.  Oh yeah, and there will be support for workgroup clustering protection.

    Tape Media Co-location

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    In DPM 2012 you will have the possibility to co-locate multiple protection groups on one tape set… Yes, you have read that correctly Smile

    SharePoint item-level recovery

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    In DPM 2010 and with SharePoint 2010 you already had easy Item-Level Recovery.  (It is also possible with SharePoint 2007 but then you need the recovery farm)  It can take a while to recover a single item, but it’s there.  In 2012, they will enhance that experience and recover much faster then before.

    Virtual DPM Enhancements

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    You run DPM virtually?  (Which works well BTW) You can’t do item-level recovery of hyper-v because of this?  It’s coming now!

    Generic Data Source Protection

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    For me, this is one of the most exciting features.  This will open up DPM to every Microsoft workload as long as the product team will adapt this.  And they will need to do that.  As example, we were shown how Virtual Machine Manager has already leveraged this to protect the VMM database.  In the future, they will extend that with the protection of the VMM library so that you can protect VMM the same way as SharePoint.  One-box, one-click, and of you go.

    Want more?

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    Watch out for the future because more exciting things are coming.  Integration with Service Manager.  Powershell integration.

    Should I wait to install DPM?

    NO!  Start now by implementing DPM 2010 already.  The centralized management will be able to connect to your DPM 2010 boxes.  There is no need to wait because the product is ALREADY great, and with the upgrade track / side-by-side migrations and everything they will provide us with it will be easy to go to DPM 2012 when it is released.

    If you have questions or want to know more about DPM, don’t hesitate to contact me through this blog or contact the Microsoft people.

     

    Mike Resseler

  • Keynote day 2 Brad Anderson. You. Empowered to Embrace Consumerization by Alexandre Verkinderen


    Tuesday morning, second day of MMS brings us the first keynote of the Microsoft Management Summit 2011: YOU. Empowered by the Cloud. The day 2 keynote at MMS was focused on empowering IT, and the consumerization of IT - how can IT enable users to use at work the devices they use at home. The keynote covered new ways to manage mobile devices, easily deploy and manage software, patch and manage machines, regardless of where they are.

    Users want to take their personal devices to the business. So how do you enable those scenarios?

    The central point is system center and specific SCCM 2012. With SCCM 2012 you can enable and embrace consumerization.

    Brad focused on 3 topics that are key in SCCM 2012:

    • Ensure anywhere productivity
    • Protect data en maintain compliance
    • Enable the work/life blur

    Users are nowadays working everywhere over the globe and companies needs to ensure user productivity anywhere, anytime with any device. Users should be able to access corporate applications and data from anywhere on any device but at the same time this corporate data should be protected compliance should be maintained.

    Device Freedom

    One of the key announcements during the keynote is that SCCM 2012 has device freedom. From now on you will be able to manage non-windows devices like Ipad, Iphone, Android and Symbian! All those devices can be managed through the SCCM console, so you will have one console to configure all this devices, no need to talk to the exchange team anymore!

    Productivity Anywhere

    SCCM 2012 enables you want to empower users and deliver applications to the user anywhere, anytime, everywhere and at the same time have device freedom thanks to the new unified infrastructure and simplified administration. SCCM 2012 has delivers you a ton of new features while at the same time reduce the amount of infrastructure and servers. You don’t want to deploy software to untrusted pc’s as they are not a trusted entity. With the new Self-service portal users can request software at any time and the system will decide how to deliver application based on policy you defined. At the end it’s all about the application that has to be delivered to the user on any device everywhere. SCCM 2012 has some deep integration with Citrix/Xen desktop

    Security and client management convergence

    With SCCM 2012 you will get and integrated experience with Forefront endpoint protection for no extra costs as Forefront is now a part of the core call!

    Beta 2 of SCCM 2012 is available since today. Brad says this is the most phenomenal release of SCCM ever!

    Windows Intune

    Next topic was Windows Intune. Windows Intune will allow you as a business to manage your entire desktop infrastructure, including, but not limited to malware protection, update management, remote management and inventory from the cloud, accessible from everywhere without the need for an entire antimalware infrastructure, and update infrastructure and so on. With Windows Intune you even get Software assurance for your clients to upgrade to Windows 7! During the the demo Brad announced that Windows Intune is available as of today!

    All new planned System Center products of the 2012 wave are finished in the year 2011.

    • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
    • System Center Configuration Manager 2012
    • System Center Orchestrator
    • Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012
    • System Center Service Manager 2012
    • System Center Data Protection Manager 2012
    • System Center Advisor
    • System Center Project Codename “Concero”
  • Windows Intune Released to the public by Mike Reseller

    It is official now, Windows Intune has been released to the public. While I already had the opportunity to work with it during the beta stage it now goes RTM and everybody can start working with it.

    You will have the option to buy a subscription or try it out for 30 days.

    Windows Intune will allow you as a business to manage your entire desktop infrastructure, including, but not limited to malware protection, update management, remote management and inventory from the cloud, accessible from everywhere without the need for an entire antimalware infrastructure, and update infrastructure and so on.

    Many IT Professionals where I discuss the topic with are scared that the product doesn’t have enough features compared to the stand-alone suites of System Center. While I can’t deny that this isn’t true, I always remind them that this product is just new while the other solutions in the suite exist already for a long time. I had the luck of spending some time with the Intune product team last night in a bar (by –5 degree which was also something new for me Smile) and I learned that they will catch up quite quickly. Because of the entire cloud solution, they will be able to bring updates and features every 6 months.

    Your IT professionals will be able to focus on the real business problems without the need of focusing and maintaining an entire infrastructure. Imagine upgrading your entire management and security solution for your desktops every 6 months to the latest version. Then imagine that you won’t need to spent effort in that and you will have no risk on your side… That is the true power of the cloud and windows Intune.

    Read more on Mike’s blog

  • MMS 2011: You. Empowered By The Cloud


    MMS 2011: You. Empowered By The Cloud by guest blogger Mike Resseler – MVP DPM

    Tuesday morning, second day of MMS brings us the first keynote of the Microsoft Management Summit 2011: YOU. Empowered by the Cloud.
    Key takeaway for Microsoft here is the following Brad Anderson quote: “Make the cloud more approachable”

    Brad took of his session with some quotes that every IT pro has heard before or is still hearing:

    “IT Slows me down”

    “I can get IT better, faster, cheaper from outside”

    “When will we benefit from cloud computing”

    To resolve those, he gave an hour and a half overview of the cloud, and the system center 2012 offerings for the cloud.

    The four key components that make up the cloud are:

    • Self Service
    • Shared
    • Scalable and Elastic
    • Usage based

    Whether you are using IAAS, PAAS or SAAS, with the cloud, IT will results in IT As a Service

    At this moment, Microsoft has already built a huge amount of datacenters across the world. They have datacenters in Amsterdam, Dublin, Boynton, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Chicago, Des Moines, San Antonio, and Quincy. These data centers are all built environment friendly.

    These are the data centers that run the public cloud offerings of Microsoft such as Bing, Azure and many more.

    The lessons they have learned are the following:

    • Extreme Standardization
    • All the same storage
    • All the same servers
    • Business Alignment
    • Service-specific environments
    • SLA-Driven Architecture
    • Cloud-style application
    • Not hardware dependent
    • Written in the architecture of the app
    • Process Maturity
    • Re-Imagined Processes
    • Automation
    • Change Control
    • Delegation and Control
    • Customer Self-Service

    But what about the private cloud?

    Today, the private cloud offering is about Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center. At this moment, all the Microsoft workloads such as Exchange and SQL and others are optimized for the private cloud.

    And when customers or partners ask Brad if Microsoft is ready to host your business critical apps into the private cloud, his answer is simply Yes

    As we move further to the future, that future is System Center 2012

    Before we dive deeper into that journey, Brad first explained two key players in that journey:

    • The Service Provider (Datacenter Admin)
    • The Service Consumer (Application owner)

    The Service Provider is the one that is responsible for maintaining the service levels
    Think about Fabric Assembly, Delegation and Control, Flexible and Elastic and Cost Efficiency.
    The Service Consumer is responsible for delivering Business Value.

    He or she wants Agility and Empowerment, a good Self-Service Experience, Application visibility and control and Simplicity.

    Brad also answered the question that is on every IT pro’s mind: “Is my job in danger?”. The answer is Yes, but we are on the edge of IT evolution so your job content as it is may be in danger, but your job isn’t.

    And then the demo fun began…

    System Center Codename Concero is all about Application Visibility and Control. This new product will give you visibility in services, clouds and virtual machines. It will give your end-users the possibility to view their services, their clouds and so on. The web-based tool will empower self-service consumers and deliver them the capability of requesting new services through the portal.

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 will address the biggest challenge every service provider has. The wild wild west in the datacenter with many hypervisor flavors, different hardware solutions and so on. To cover all these different items, Virtual Machine Manager 2012 will provide you with a fabric, which you can see as the layer above all this, making all those systems manageable through the same tool.

    Building a private cloud, with system center and hyper-v will be easy.

    The new SCVMM 2012 is the key for building that private cloud infrastructure. SCVMM 2012 will support different hypervisors like XenServer, ESX and Hyper-V. It will give you bare metal provisioning of the hypervisor for VMM, XenServer and Hyper-V.

    If you have any doubt that the MS Private Cloud isn’t ready for your business, look at Target (Brad Anderson)

    Another announcement today: System Center Advisor Available today!

    System Center Advisor is available as of today. It will bring best practice configuration and customer configurations to your datacenter.
    With this new solution, you will bring additional knowledge for your private clouds. It’s all about bringing rules, knowledgebase articles and hotfixes to your private cloud, coming directly from Microsoft support.

    It will also provide you with a complete history for all of the changes of a server. If a server has issues, you will know what has changed!

    IT's all about the APP

    Virtual Machine Manager 2012 will offer you a service template designer

    With this template designer, you can capture all the information that you need to deploy a service. Call it a recipe for the deployment of your service. The building blocks of a template could be the hardware configuration, OS configuration or APP configuration. (App-V)

    Because of the relationships that Virtual Machine Manager knows about the service, all the applications owners will be notified when there is an update available for one of the building blocks, and allow them to decide whenever they want to update, based on their maintenance windows.

    IT's all about the APP

    Operations Manager 2012 and AviCode will give you a total overview of the APP, and the performance of all components of the APP. This could be the smallest building block such as a stored procedure.

    It will drill-deep and looks at what is causing performance issues. Developers and IT Pro’s will finally be able to be talking about performance issues with true knowledge and performance data.

    More takeaways from the session:

    The cloud is a computing model… on your terms.

    More information:

    Microsoft Pushes Private Cloud Computing Forward With System Center 2012

    Microsoft Management Summit 2011 fact sheet

    Private Cloud Computing: It’s All About the Apps

    Target virtualizes with Microsoft

  • TechDays 2011 - Check out the sessions and build your own agenda‏

    Check out the live agenda and find out why you should attend TechDays 2011. Review the sessions and speakers and build your own personalized agenda. Today we already have more than 1200 registrations. Don’t lose time and register now before the event sells out!

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    If you haven't decided yet, we give you more than just a few reasons
    why you should not miss this event.



    The Main Conference

    During the main conference on April 26th and 27th, six Developer and IT-Pro tracks bring you a mix of new technology and in-depth content on current technology with over 60 technical sessions planned.
    With the full agenda now published, you can filter sessions and build your
    personalized agenda for the event.

    Deep Dives (post-conference)
    On the third day of TechDays, on April 28th, we host a
    Deep Dive day with four different tracks for developers and IT-Professionals.

    As a developer you can choose between two tracks that go in-depth and focus on Best Practices : Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management and Cloud (Windows Azure).

    As an IT Professional you have the following two options : Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (by Corey Hynes) or Direct Access (by John Craddock).

    Next to learning there is also the networking aspect of this conference. We give you the opportunity to connect with Product Managers from Redmond, meet your peers, talk to our user groups and much more.

    Don't wait to register before it's too late!

    PS. You can also follow the TechDays on
    Twitter and/or Facebook.