Over on the MOF and Service Management blog, two new guides have been released detailing how the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) complements the ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 standards and how MOF can be used in concert with them. While oversimplified, I’ve always described MOF as specific Microsoft process guidance for implementing the vendor-agnostic frameworks like ITIL. Where ITIL describes a standard configuration management process, MOF describes how to implement such a process using Microsoft technologies. This simplification makes it approachable to new folks who mistakenly think that MOF directly competes with ITIL.
Late last year I earned the ITIL Service Manager certification and previously had earned the MOF Essentials certification as well. I’m looking forward to digging into the MOF v4 and ITIL v3 the second half of this year. Maybe throw in TOGAF 9 as well. I really like the direction these are going in taking a lifecycle approach not a “one true framework to rule them all” approach. The hard part is getting an organization to really adopt frameworks like these, or even just the parts that work for them. It takes sustained senior leadership buy-in as well as a core team who really understand them for something like this to become ingrained in an organization’s culture. Usually that is due to a lack of focus on metrics and reporting to document the value delivered in terms of lower costs, increase customer satisfaction, etc.
The Windows Server Division blog announced that Windows Server 2008 R2 is tracking with Windows 7 and both are planned to RTM in the second half of July with General Availability on Oct 22! That RTM date is earlier than I thought it would be, I was thinking late August. The more I dig into R2 the more impressed I am with how many new features (Hyper-V R2, lots of RDS improvements, DirectAccess, etc, etc) were added in what the product group calls a minor release!
The main introductory whitepaper to the Azure platform written by David Chappell has been updated. The main updates are around SQL Data Services and the move toward a more relational model and the introduction of something code-named the “Huron” data hub which uses the Microsoft Sync Framework to synchronize multiple databases (SQL, SQL Compact, etc) in a multi-master fashion. There will also be an SDK so that other databases can be synchronized as well. The document is well written and if you really absorb it you can start to see the scope and scale of the Microsoft vision for cloud computing.
The Exchange team has published a whitepaper on TechNet comparing the power utilization of a typical 8 server physical Exchange environment compared to a a virtualized environment using the same number of logical processors but on only two Hyper-V host servers. The result: a 50% reduction in power usage (excluding storage). If storage is included it was a 37% reduction.
The purpose of the test was to isolate on power consumption scenarios so other things like cooling and space savings weren’t considered but would also be measurable benefits. There is also a link to general guidance on virtualizing Exchange as it makes sense in a lot of scenarios but not all.
The New York Times magazine has a very interesting article by Tom Vanderbilt on datacenters and the infrastructures that power today’s online services. Several Microsoft (and former Microsoft) execs were interviewed including Mike Manos, Debra Chrapaty, Daniel Costello, etc.
The article ends with a very insightful comment by Mike Manos:
“We’re at the beginning of the information utility,” he said. “The past is big monolithic buildings. The future looks more like a substation — the data center represents the information substation of tomorrow.”