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    A TechNet Plus Subscription is the essential resource for IT Professionals. Get comprehensive access to premium Microsoft resources to help teams to overcome the toughest IT challenges. Professional support assistance and access to resources and tools ensure IT Professionals can evaluate Microsoft technologies easily and plan deployments confidently.
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  • Security Compliance Manager Beta program now open!

    Hardening operating systems and applications, implementing security settings, and enforcing compliance standards can be resource intensive—but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of a free new tool from the Microsoft security experts on the Solution Accelerators team.

    Get Started with Solution Accelerators http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/cc835245.aspx

    The Security Compliance Manager will enable you to plan, deploy, operate, and manage your organization’s security baselines for Windows® client and server operating systems, and Microsoft applications.

    What does that really mean? image

    · Centralized management and baseline portfolio.

    · Security baseline customization.

    · Security baseline comparison and export.

    · Security baseline compliance monitoring and verification.

    The bottom line: Security Compliance Manager will help you achieve a secure, reliable, and centralized IT environment that will help you better balance your organization’s needs for security and functionality.

    The beta review program for Security Compliance Manager is now open! Join now, and utilize this opportunity to provide feedback and help the development team build this tool to best meet your needs.

    Security Compliance Manager Beta—Features and Elevator Pitch

    Key Features & Benefits

    Centralized Management and Baseline Portfolio: The centralized management console of the Security Compliance Manager provides you with a unified, end-to-end user experience to plan, customize, and export security baselines. The tool gives you full access to a complete portfolio of recommended baselines for Windows® client and server operating systems, and Microsoft applications.

    Security Baseline Customization: Customizing, merging, and reviewing your baselines just got easier. Now you can use the new customization capabilities of the Security Compliance Manager to duplicate any of the recommended baselines from Microsoft—for Windows client and server operating systems, and Microsoft applications—and quickly modify security settings to meet the standards of your organization’s environment.

    Security Baseline Comparison and Export: Security Compliance Manager enables you to quickly adopt the latest Microsoft product releases. Side-by-side baseline comparison features allow you to identify any changes to setting configurations and merge baselines within a product family with ease. Export and deploy baselines in your format of choice, including Desired Configuration Management (DCM) packs, Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), XLS, or Group Policy objects (GPOs).

    Security Baseline Compliance Monitoring and Verification: Keep current with the latest releases from Microsoft; automate your security baseline compliance process, and take advantage of baseline version control and automatic update features. The planning, customization, and export features of Security Compliance Manager quickly enable you to leverage monitoring and verification technologies, automate policy deployment, and produce compliance reports.

    Elevator Pitch

    Summary Statement: The Security Compliance Manager provides centralized security baseline management features, a baseline portfolio, customization capabilities, and security baseline export flexibility to accelerate your organization’s ability to efficiently manage the security and compliance process for the most widely used Microsoft technologies.

    Full Elevator Pitch: The Security Compliance Manager provides centralized security baseline management features, a baseline portfolio, customization capabilities, and security baseline export flexibility to accelerate your organization’s ability to efficiently manage the security and compliance process for the most widely used Microsoft technologies.

    Take advantage of the experience of Microsoft security professionals, and reduce the time and money required to harden for your environment. This end-to-end Solution Accelerator will help you plan, deploy, operate, and manage your security baselines for Windows® client and server operating systems, and Microsoft applications. Access the complete database of Microsoft recommended security settings, customize your baselines, and then choose from multiple formats—including Desired Configuration Management (DCM) packs, Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), XLS, or Group Policy objects (GPOs)—to export the baselines to your environment to automate the security baseline compliance verification process. Use Security Compliance Manager to achieve a secure, reliable, and centralized IT environment that will help you better balance your organization’s needs for security and functionality. image


    Next steps:

    · Join the Security Compliance Manager Beta. Then tell the development team what you think!

    · Already a member? Bookmark this link for access to the program page.

    · Help us spread the word—share the beta invitation link with your friends.

    · Want to see where it all started? Download the current version: Security Compliance Management Toolkit.

    The beta will run through March 2010. That means now is the time to join the beta program, take an early look at this tool, and provide the Security Solution Accelerators team with your feedback.

    Want the facts straight from the development team? Check out this series of short videos! Better yet, post your own video response sharing your favorite feature.

  • Reducing Bandwidth Utilization with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 BranchCache

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    Does the increasing cost of wide area network (WAN) access restrict you from providing your branch offices with the data center services they need? Learn how Microsoft IT uses the BranchCache™ feature available in the Windows® 7 operating system and the Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system to improve performance and availability to branch offices. Services at the branch office level include file and print management, offline folder redirection, operating system and application distribution, and patch management. By implementing BranchCache, Microsoft IT significantly improved service availability while maintaining network traffic encryption including HTTPS and IPsec and reducing WAN usage and server demand. Using BranchCache, Microsoft IT expects to save money while increasing branch user productivity.

    Download

     Technical Case Study, 487 KB, Microsoft Word

    BranchCache Deployments at Microsoft

    As the earliest adopter and tester of Microsoft technology, Microsoft IT was working with BranchCache as early as Windows 7 Beta. Microsoft IT was especially interested in using BranchCache in branch offices that were known to have slow links to the main corporate data center in hopes of improving local access time while simultaneously reducing WAN bandwidth demand.

    The pilot deployments discussed in this document occurred during the Windows Server 2008 R2/Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) timeframe. Microsoft IT implemented BranchCache pilots to test the technology using three different systems and protocols:

    • Testing access to internal file shares via SMB
    • Testing access to an internal Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 site via HTTP
    • Testing integration with System Center Configuration Manager and accessing advertised downloads via BITS

    In total, BranchCache was deployed to 24 branch offices where it was tested against internal file shares using SMB, and against a SharePoint Server 2007 SP2 site accessed via HTTP. From these 24 sites, five North American branch offices were also used for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 (BITS) validation.

    Figure 3. Locations and numbers of branch offices used for BranchCache pilots

    Figure 3. Locations and numbers of branch offices used for BranchCache pilots

    The remainder of this section provides details about these pilot deployments.

    Note: The percentage bandwidth savings discussed in these results measure the amount of WAN bandwidth saved for cached files; they are not the percentage reduction of total branch office WAN use. Overall, WAN bandwidth savings will be measured as Microsoft IT upgrades the majority of its back-end servers to Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Forrester Webcast: Windows 7 Enterprise ROI: New Forrester Study and Model

    Windows 7 Enterprise ROI: New Forrester Study and Modelwindows7
    • Date: February 22nd, 2010

    • Time: 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST

    • Duration: 60 minutes

    On the fence with Windows 7 operating system adoption? In this challenging economic climate, every IT investment needs to show a strong, tangible financial return. To help organizations assess the business value of migrating PC infrastructures to Windows 7, analysts Ben Gray and Jeffrey North of Forrester conducted an in-depth study of 12 enterprise early adopters. This informative webcast details the results from these industry thought leaders and illustrates how the new Forrester Total Economic Impact model can be used to estimate Windows 7 savings in a variety of organizations. We discuss the impact Windows 7 has on operating costs, client manageability, help desk calls, remote PC management, power consumption, management automation, and compliance; and we show you how to use the Total Economic Impact model.

    Presenters: Benjamin Gray, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research and Jeffrey North, Principal Consultant, Forrester Research

    Benjamin Gray is a leading expert on business-class PCs and desktop operating systems, and he researches business-class mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and mobile device management solutions at Forrester. Benjamin helps Forrester clients develop and improve their strategy around client hardware and client operating systems. Benjamin's research and analysis have been widely cited in the press, including business media outlets such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal and industry media outlets such as Computerworld, eWeek, InformationWeek, InfoWorld, and NetworkWorld.

    Jeffrey North is a principal consultant with the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) consulting practice. The TEI methodology focuses on measuring and communicating the value of IT and business decisions and solutions, as well as providing a return-on-investment business case based on the costs, benefits, risk, and flexibility of investments.

    Register today for this webcast to learn more about the results of this fascinating study.

    Register today

  • Microsoft India Webcast: Windows Server 2008 R2 AD RMS and FCI Better Together

    It was a pleasure delivering the webcast today on Windows Server 2008 R2 AD RMS and FCI. The following demos that users liked include configuring AD RMS Server, using AD RMS Bulk Protection Tool. Along with these, the new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 i.e. File Classification Infrastructure and AD RMS + FCI Better Together.WS08-R2_v_rgb

    The webcast is available as a separate download from Microsoft India webcast page if anyone is interested to download and view it later. Here are the resources that I used for the webcast.

    AD RMS Bulk Protection Tool DOWNLOAD HERE

    More Resources

    AD RMS TechNet TechCenter
    [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/dd448611.aspx]


    AD RMS Documentation Road Map
    [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd772711(WS.10).aspx]


    AD RMS Bulk Protection Tool Download
    [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=f9fbe58f-c175-41d0-afdc-6f160ab809cd#tm]


    Windows Server 2008 R2 FCI Web site
    [http://www.microsoft.com/fci]


    Microsoft IT Deployment
    AD RMS Deployment
    [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee156482.aspx]


    FCI and AD RMS Bulk Protection Tool Deployment
    [http://vepcdn.microsoft.com/prod/images/64/Area/214/2676/9fd29bc1-bd16-42fe-a39e-f1d91d62aa60.pdf]


    Blogs
    AD RMS Product Team Blog
    [http://blogs.msdn.com/rms/]
    File Server Team Blog
    [http://blogs.msdn.com/filecab]
    Jason Tyler’s Blog
    [http://blogs.technet.com/rmssupp/]
    Jason is a Senior Support Escalation Engineer for AD RMS

  • Microsoft DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant - Now Available!

    Are you using DirectAccess or planning a deployment soon? Reduce your support costs and significantly improve your mobile users’ connectivity experience with the newly released Microsoft DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant (DCA).DirectAccess Icon

    DCA informs mobile users of their connectivity status at all times; provides tools to help them reconnect on their own if problems arise; and creates diagnostics to help mobile users provide IT staff with key information if necessary—all to help organizations operate with more efficiency, and at a lower cost.

    DCA is the newest addition to the Windows® Optimized Desktop Toolkit 2010, which helps IT pros plan, deliver, and operate the right desktop technologies for users across their organizations.

    DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant –Benefits

    The DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant provides organizations with the following benefits:

    · Lets mobile users know their connection status: DCA provides an indicator in the notification area that keeps mobile users informed of their connectivity status with an organization’s intranet.

    · Reduces the number of support calls: DCA has built-in remediation tools that help mobile users solve connection problems on their own, without calling the help desk.

    · Reduces the duration of support calls: If support is needed, DCA helps mobile users provide IT staff with key diagnostics to zero in on the source of a problem, so IT can resolve the issue faster and get users back to work.

    · Helps users stay productive: Because DCA helps IT solve connection problems faster, mobile users have more reliable access to network-based resources, and can stay more productive.

    Next Steps

    · Download the DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant.

    · Learn more about the DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant.

    · Learn more about the Windows Optimized Desktop Toolkit 2010.

  • Announcing Microsoft Tech.Ed 2010, India, Bangalore, April 12-14

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    For more information visit http://www.microsoftteched.in

  • IT Pro Champions - Quiz Contest

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