Two new books on Hyper-V have been released or coming soon. These are written by some of the most active members of the virtualization team and extended community inside Microsoft. Some of the authors I know personally and some I know by reputation from the hundreds of questions they answer every month on our internal distribution lists and public forums so these should be great resources. I was a reviewer for a couple of chapters in the Hyper-V Resource Kit so I can’t wait to see the final product.
The first book is available now (my copy arrives today, I’ll post a review once I’ve finished it). Robert posted a status on the Hyper-V Resource Kit which is complete and should be available in the next 60 days.
Hyper-V is one of the top virtualization products, and this practical guide focuses on the essentials of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Written by the Microsoft team behind the Hyper-V product, this book shows you how to perform key virtualization scenarios, such as server consolidation, software test and development, and a dynamic data center and demonstrates how Hyper-V can be used to reduce cost and eliminate the complexity of a server infrastructure by consolidating workloads to a small number of machines. In addition, the material addresses using DPM, and SCOM with VMM in order to maintain and manage Hyper-V environments.
Get the definitive reference for managing and supporting Hyper-V (virtualization) in Windows Server 2008—with insights from the Microsoft experts who know the technology best. This official Microsoft RESOURCE KIT provides in-depth technical guidance and best practices on how to deploy, install, configure, administer, and support Hyper-V, along with drilldown into advanced configuration options; development and testing tools; migration, management, and scripting tools; security features; Linux support; disaster recovery; and how to extend and customize the technology. You also get a CD packed with sample scripts, technical white papers; videos from the authors; and a fully searchable eBook version of the entire guide.
So I’ve been using Seesmic Desktop as a Twitter and Facebook client for the last week or two. Very cool app built on Adobe Air. Today via @EverythingMS I heard about sobees, a .NET app that aggregates Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed (yeah!), and many other sources. I’ve only just started using it in the last hour but it looks very slick. In addition to bringing in a bunch of networks, it really shows off .NET/WPF and what you can do with UI design. It supports full Aero transparency, the ability to zoom text sizes in and out, multi-monitor support and a bunch of other UI niceties. There are several color themes available and a wide range of layout options for arranging the services. As an FYI it seems to run fine so far on my Windows 7 RC installation.
I don’t know anything about the makers of the software yet so other than pointing out that it looks like a cool beta implementation your mileage may vary.
Below you can see a screenshot of three services (you can add in more) updating in real-time (Note: I blanked out some of the Facebook status on purpose). Definitely worth checking out. They also have a video up if you wan to see it in action.
Brian Madden has an excellent post up today called The hidden costs of VDI. I’ve been working nearly full time the last two months helping to put together a Microsoft Services offering around desktop virtualization in general and VDI in particular so have spent a lot of time looking into both the technical and business considerations that must be taken into account. I’d summarize his post in three points:
As a well known fan and expert on Server Based Computing (SBC), i.e. Terminal Services or Citrix Presentation Server/XenApp, Brian prefaced the article by saying that he likes VDI “where it make sense”. He correctly points out that nearly all vendors and TCO models show that Server Based Computing still provides the lowest TCO due to its high user density but that there are limitations which make other approaches such as VDI relevant.
That is where I’ll jump in with my thoughts because I completely agree with those statements and it has been the foundation of the offering I have been working on. It starts with the notion of flexible desktop computing and desktop optimization that Microsoft has been talking about for some time now. An overview of this approach is presented in this whitepaper. To summarize, there are a variety of ways that a desktop computing environment can be delivered to users ranging from traditional desktops, to server based computing, to VDI, with a multitude of variations in between with the addition of virtualization at the layers illustrated below:
Rather than selecting a one-size-fits-all solution, virtualization provides architects a new, more flexible set of choices that can be combined to optimize the cost and user experience of the desktop infrastructure. The following four steps lead to an optimized solution:
Define User Types: Analyze your user base and define categories such as Mobile Workers, Information Workers, Task Workers, etc. and the percent distribution of users among them. The requirements of these user types will be utilized to select the appropriate mix of enabling technologies.
Define Desktop Architecture Patterns: Each architecture pattern should consist of a device type (thin client, PC, etc) and choice of:
For each pattern, determine which user types it can be applied to. For example, with mobile or potentially disconnected users, presentation virtualization alone would not be applicable as it requires a network connection. Power users may require a full workstation environment for resource intensive applications but may be able to leverage application virtualization for others. These are just a few examples where different user groups have different requirements.
Determine TCO for each Architecture Pattern: Use a recognized TCO model to determine the TCO for each pattern. Minor adjustments to these models can be made to account for specific technology differences but most include TCO values for PCs, PCs with virtualized apps, VDI, and TS/Citrix thin client scenarios. Be wary of vendor provided TCO models. To Brian’s points, be sure to gain a full and complete understanding of the chosen TCO model and what does and does not include. Consistent application of the model across the different architecture patterns is critical for relevant comparisons.
Model Desktop Optimization Scenarios: With the above data, appropriate architecture patterns can be selected for each user type by choosing the lowest TCO architecture pattern that still meets user requirements. By varying the user distribution and selected architecture patterns, an optimized mix can be determined. It is tempting to simply choose the lowest TCO architecture pattern for all users but this can be very dangerous in that it will typically impact your high value, power users the most if their requirements are not accounted for.
A one-size-fits-all approach would result in either a large number of PCs if not using virtualization, a large number of servers if virtualizing everything, or failure to meet power user needs if using only server based computing. An optimized solution is one which utilizes the right mix of technologies to provide the required functionality for each user type at the lowest average TCO. Combined with a unified management system that handles physical and virtual resources across devices, operating systems, and applications, substantial cost savings can be realized.
As I mentioned at the top, a lot of the concepts in addition to very detailed architecture and implementation guidance are part of the Microsoft Services Core IO offerings. For the last two years, in addition to my customer work I have been deeply involved in the creation of the Server Virtualization with Advanced Management (SVAM) offering. The work I mentioned above around VDI architecture will complement that and be available later this summer. Finally, specific to desktop imaging, deployment, and optimization, there is also the Desktop Optimization using Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office System (DOVO) offering. Taken together in concert with the underlying product suites, these illustrate Microsoft’s “desktop to datacenter” solutions and how to plan, design, and implement them.
By now you’ve probably heard that the Windows 7 RC is available for download for TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Unfortunately for me, my MSDN subscription expired in the last couple days #%$! and won’t be renewed for another day or two. Fortunately, with some help from a fellow subscriber, I will have a fresh ISO this afternoon. If you poke around the MSDN site some there is another RC in there you may be interested in as well… For those who aren’t MSDN or TechNet subscribers, the RC will be available on May 5 (see the link above).
I’ve been using the Beta on my primary laptop and my home desktop since it was released and have been really impressed. Can’t wait to upgrade both to the RC. I’m also interested in testing the Virtual PC and XP Mode betas. I’ll post thoughts on those once I’ve spent some time with them.
Microsoft has released Facebook for Windows Mobile. The application provides the following features:
Send messages to any of the people in your Friends list.
Take pictures and videos on your phone, then upload them right to Facebook.
Send messages or call people in your Friends list.
Manage your profile and post anytime, anywhere.
MobilityMinded has a very detailed step-by-step guide to the applications with lots of screenshots:
Image Credit: MobilityMinded.com