• Double Double for your Trouble

    This is the season of new classes and teachers, of harvest and giving thanks, of ghosts and goblins and witches. The days are getting shorter and your To Do list is getting longer in the lead-up to Christmas. In the midst of all the craziness, I invite you to take a few minutes, have a seat in front of your computer and do something just for you. And because we know it’s a busy time of year,...
  • RSAT Management Goes RTM

    Last week I wrote in this space about the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8.  Today I am pleased to announce that the RSAT package for the final release (RTM) of Windows 8 is now available.  Make sure you download them here . Although it may not be strictly necessary, I always recommend removing any pre-release software and reboot before installing the new version. Now...
  • The Shoemaker is No Longer Barefoot!

    For years I have been espousing the need to and value of locking down client workstations in a corporate environment.  Part of the SWMI Story – the secure, well-managed IT infrastructure for which I named my company – is that every user in the organization should have the rights and permissions to do their job… and nothing more . Most corporate users are issued a computer that they use in the...
  • Windows 8 Enterprise: What’s What?

    Since the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 8 I have had a lot of people ask me the differences between the Pro SKU and the Enterprise SKU. It is a fair question, because ever since the introduction of Pro/Business and Enterprise SKUs in Windows XP these differences have changed in every version. Here’s a simple list of the differences. Features available only in Windows 8 Enterprise...
  • What’s this new Cert? MCSA: Windows 7!

    In April of this year Microsoft Learning announced its new generation of certifications.  Many of us who had previously earned certain MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) credentials were automatically ported into a new certification category, the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate).  Depending on the MCITP you had earned, you would get a different MCSA. There are two senior...
  • Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V 3.4

    Microsoft has been taking tremendous steps to prove that Hyper-V is not simply the best hypervisor for Windows users and administrators, it is also a viable option if you have Linux servers as well.  Last week Microsoft released the Linux Integration Services v3.4 for Hyper-V .  Integration Services are the tools that you need to get the full functionality of your hardware within a guest...
  • Default File Locations in Hyper-V

    Note: This article applies equally to the server-side and client-side hypervisor.  Although some scenarios may not apply to older versions, the technical steps apply to all versions of Hyper-V released to date. A virtual machine in Hyper-V consists of a few files that account for its virtual hardware configuration and the virtual storage (VHD and VHDX files).  By default the virtual machine...
  • Manage Your Servers From Your Client

    So Windows Server 2012 has launched, and you are all running out this month to upgrade all of your production servers immediately to that platform.  Hoorray! Ok, so maybe some of you are going to migrate over time, as compatibility tests are completed, as compliance mandates are written, as time permits, and even as your older servers warranties/leases/lifecycles expire.  That’s fine. ...
  • On-line Learning Resources for Server 2012

    In response to Ruth’s recent article on the Windows Server 2012 Canadian Launch Tour and IT Camp Events, Brian asked ‘So for us small town folks is there going to be a self paced Camp?’  This is a very common question, and we decided it deserved more than a quick response. Let me start by saying that Ruth and I would love to come out to see every one of you.  However we have to balance that...
  • Trying it Out: How to prepare to test your new operating system

    This is a really exciting season for IT Pros across Canada.  Last week Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 to the public, and on October 26th they will release Windows 8.  As an IT Pro you are going to want to test these out, whether that be in your own environment at home or at the office, or at an IT Camp or install fest like the ones we are holding in cities across the country. Although...
  • To TechDays 2012 and Beyond

    Many of you have been with us since TechDays kicked off in Canada in the fall of 2008. We’ve been fortunate to have you as a guest or a presenter in the past - many of you several times over. For those of you that haven’t been a part of TechDays, it was Microsoft Canada’s fall technical readiness conference providing technical professionals (developers and IT professionals) in various...
  • Accessing USB devices in a Hyper-V virtual machine

    Jeff Woolsey, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft for Windows Server answers the question: Can USB devices (like smart cards and storage devices) be accessed within a Hyper-V virtual machine? The answer is “Yes” and here are two possible scenarios: Scenario #1 (Primary): Centralized Desktop (VDI) Deployment In this scenario, an end user logs into virtual machine which is running in a locked datacenter...
  • Windows Server 2012 launched today!

    While there are many Microsoft product launches happening this year, this one is near and dear to my heart. I first started working with Windows servers back in the days of the Windows New Technology server, or NT, as I’m sure some of you reading did as well. We’ve come a long way, baby! This latest version of Windows Server is impressive in it’s scalability. Throughout the development cycle, boundaries...