Once a month for the last six months or so, I've been getting seven emails in my inbox entitled:
Technical Rollup Mail - SQL
Technical Rollup Mail - Security
Technical Rollup Mail - Manageability
Technical Rollup Mail - Unified Communications
Technical Rollup Mail - Internet
Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms
Technical Rollup Mail
The last one is just the previous six in one email.
Each email is nothing more than a list of URLs with a short sentence or paragraph about the content, sorted into groups (News, Documents, Downloads, Events/Webcasts and A.O.B). I've been finding these mails invaluable - not that I'd read any of them in detail and click on all the links, more that I'd scan through them and click on the odd link of interest (the paragraph explaining the content helps here). I also save them away and use them as a searchable reference.
It's very hard to keep on top of what's going on with regard to technology and Microsoft, this is a fantastic monthly update, that I use to attempt to keep my head above water.
Anyway, turns out that ALL of the content is posted here: The Technical Rollup Mail - There was me thinking I was on the inside!
Enjoy your monthly Technical Rollup Mail,
Eduardo Shanahan from Customer Minds Ltd has deployed his new application on Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V.
"Our application was developed from the start with Visual Studio 2008, and the sole existence of LINQ saved me months of work. Now that the first version is ready, we went in production with all the datacenter running Windows Server 2008, and Hyper-V on the application servers. Being a company where the system administration is done by developers, we need the simplest tools to get the job done, and W2K8 is cleaner and easier to have up and running. Virtual machines management is not a pain anymore :)"
Great to hear.
I know Carmel Gunn from Prodata pretty well by now, I was asking her how she's been getting on with Windows Server 2008 - she had this to say:
“We saw the demonstrations of Windows Server 2008 and clustering at the community previews and at the launch. It was hard to believe, so we put it into a virtual environment to assess, and it has really impressed me with both the ease of creating a cluster, and the simplicity and speed of failover. We have been assessing it for the past 3 months now, and think it’s great. It is hard to believe that such a complex process executes so simply. We’re very excited by the new features, and look forward to using them.
We are really looking to Hyper-V to reduce the complexity of the many copies of client sites we have to maintain, and reduce the cost of provisioning complex test or pre-production environments for our projects”
Well, you won't have to wait too long (if the rumours are anything to go by).
I've been working with Willie O’ Connor (Computer Science Dept, Trinity College Dublin) for ages now. I was asking him about his plans to deploy Windows Server 2008 - he had this to say:
"Windows Server 2008 is a great product. We’ve been testing Server 2008 since Beta 1 and we are currently in the process of upgrading our current Server 2000/2003 systems to Server 2008. The new version of IIS7 will allow our students a better and more reliable experience in developing for the platform and allows us to delegate control of their projects to the individual students themselves. We are also actively testing Hyper-V on Server Core 2008 with plans to put it into production as soon as possible, with the intentions of complete deployment of Server 2008 by August on all our systems."
I'll be getting an update from Willie in August then!
I just had to share this quote with you.
I've been working with Edouard MELLY from Hewlett Packard for a good long while now, and in my quest to find great local references I came across this from Edouard:
"I've been in charge of 2008 training for HP, and I've tested a lot the new virtualization system: Hyper-V"
"With Hyper-V, Microsoft is going to change the world of virtualization"
"Faster, stronger, reliable, much easier to administrate. A real challenge for all other virtualization systems!"
You know what Edouard? I think your right!
I've been working with Gavin Fitzpatrick from Meath County Council for over a year now (he is one of the few people who attended every single one of my Longhorn Academy sessions). As you might be able to tell, I'm on a mission to get local people to talk about their personal experiences with Windows Server 2008 (on the basis that their comments and opinions are more valuable than mine). This is what Gavin has to say about Windows Server 2008:
"Windows Server 2008 has made great advancements, and I believe it's as far ahead of 2003 as 2003 is from Window NT.
With the great new Features such as NAP, Server Core & not to mention the reinvented Terminal Services Gateway, it makes upgrading to Server 2008 very appetizing. We are planning on Testing these new features in the coming months with a view of Implementing our 1st Production Server shortly afterwards."
And "Yes", I will be going back to everyone who says that they will deploy, to find out how they got on. So watch out Gavin - I'll be checking up on you!
I've been working with Michael Maher (a Principal Infrastructure Specialist working for O2 Ireland) for over a year now. I figured he must be getting close to deploying Windows Server 2008 by now, so I asked him how he was getting on. He had this to say:
"There are many powerful new features in Windows 2008 which caught my attention. I am particularly happy to see hypervisor level virtualisation and a command line only edition of Windows Server. Our business can potentially benefit from the improvements in Remote Access such as RemoteApp. We are likely to initially deploy Windows Server 2008 as a file server. As our organisation moves to Vista clients this will give us the opportunity to avail of the increased file transfer speeds in SMB 2.0."
I look forward to hearing about O2's deployment.
I've been working with Barry O'Sullivan on and off since last May (wow it's been that long). I was asking him the other day how he was getting on with Windows Server 2008 (had he been putting everything I taught him to good use)? He had this to say:
"Over the past 9 months I've delivered Windows Server 2008 training courses to Dell server analysts in EMEA and the US. The feedback has been very positive. The highlights have been the simplified installation, with the load driver option for raid controllers (no more F6 and floppy disks), greater open file support for backups, ability to resize basic disks (mount points were always seen as a workaround). In relation to clustering, the validate tool and disk signature repair option within Failover clustering were major highlights as well. Last but definitely not least; the ability to remote MMC into Server Core nodes. The cluster.exe command works a charm in Core & 2008 full and is a great option for scripting but for single tasks if there's a GUI option why not take the easier option!"
I'll have to see if I can convince Barry to let me attend one of his courses!
I've been doing quite a few talks on Hyper-V recently - which if you know me, means a couple of PowerPoint slides and a load of demos.
I've finally gotten around to encoding my demos - so here they are:
First (just so you know there's no smoke and mirrors), I build the cluster:
Click to start, double click anywhere to play it in Full Screen and move your mouse over it to get the Player Controls to pop up.
My cluster is built using three laptops:
Daven-2008 is running Windows Server 2008 and hosts a domain controller and an iSCSI SAN. The iSCSI Target is offering 31 LUNs (which are VHDs sitting on a 5400rpm external USB drive) to the iSCSI Initiators. I manage the cluster and Hyper-V from here. Daven-Node1 & Daven-Node2 are both running Windows Server 2008 - Server Core and are connected to the iSCSI target.
Next, I create a Virtual Machine and make it Highly Available. I then fail it between nodes, just to show what happens:
And finally, just to dispel the myth that a Microsoft Cluster is limited to 26 drives (one per letter of the alphabet), I do it again:
Hyper-V is just a role that you install onto Windows Server 2008. It works very closely with Failover Clustering to provide both High Availability and Quick Migration. Quick Migration, as you can see, is the ability to fail a running Virtual Machine from one physical cluster node to another with very little downtime.
Hyper-V is currently at a Release Candidate stage and will be finished soon (fingers crossed).
I've been working with Ian Brennan, a Web Solutions Architect working for ammado.com since last May. I was asking him how he's getting on with Windows Server 2008 the other day. He had this to say:
"At ammado.com, we’ve been learning about Windows Server 2008 for the last year or so. We plan to deploy Windows Server 2008 into our hosting infrastructure as soon we can – we know that between IIS7 and Windows Process Activation Services, we’ll be able to reduce our maintenance costs significantly".
I look forward to hearing about Ian's deployment successes..