HiED West ATU 

ATS Newsletter – July 2007

 

Microsoft News and Product Information

 
Security

·         Protect Your Data - Everything Else Is Just Plumbing Take a few moments and indulge in a thought exercise with me. Consider your company’s complete collection of information processing assets-all the computers, the networks they’re connected to, the applications you use, and the data and information you manipulate. Which of those is the most valuable? Which - if it suddenly and tragically disappeared tomorrow - would jeopardize your company’s ability to remain in business?

Windows Desktop and Server - Vista / 2003 / XP / 2000

·         Step-by-Step Guide to Installing, Configuring, and Tuning a High-Performance Compute Cluster Deployment steps described in this white paper are based on the highly successful cluster deployment at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. The cluster was built as a joint effort between NCSA and Microsoft, using commonly available hardware and Microsoft software. The cluster was composed of 450 x64 servers, achieving 4.1 teraflops (TFLOPs) on 896 processors using the widely accepted LINPACK benchmark.

·         The ActiveX Installer Service in Windows Vista In this article, we take a look at the administrative challenges surrounding ActiveX controls, how these issues were addressed in previous versions of Windows, and how AxIS in Windows Vista provides a unique and efficient way to manage the installation of ActiveX controls.

·         Windows Easy Transfer Companion (Beta) Windows Easy Transfer Companion enables you to automatically transfer your most important programs from your Windows XP-based PC to your new Windows Vista-based PC. The software will move more than 100 of the most popular programs, as well as many others that you may have installed. You have complete control over selecting which programs to transfer, so only the programs you care about will move.

·         Some questions to ask yourself when assessing reported security breaches in Windows Vista

·         Changes in Functionality from Windows Server 2003 with SP1 to Windows Server 2008 This document describes new features and technologies, which were not available in Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), that will help to increase the security of computers running Windows Server 2008, increase productivity, and reduce administrative overhead.

·         Windows SteadyState provides a more effective way to help defend shared computers from changes by untrusted users and unwanted software installations. It can also help safeguard system resources. See Also the Windows SteadyState Technical FAQ, and the Windows SteadyState Handbook.

·         Business Desktop Deployment 2007 (updated) Download planning, building, and technical guidance, templates, and scripts to facilitate deployment of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

·         Deploying iSCSI Storage Solutions on the Microsoft Windows Platform This report provides background on iSCSI technology and information on the current state of iSCSI storage solutions for the Microsoft Windows environment, focusing on the deployment of the iSCSI target solutions from some Microsoft storage partners. Some of these storage solutions are based on the Microsoft iSCSI software target and run on a Microsoft Windows based platform.

Virtualization Technologies

·         How Microsoft Does IT: The Future of Server Virtualization Building on the success of leveraging Virtual Server 2005 R2 for Microsoft IT's Virtual Server Utility, Microsoft looks forward to leveraging Windows Server 2008's virtualization feature to drive additional value and move virtual machines as the commodity data center platform offering. (June 26 – download the podcast)

·         Service pack for Virtual Server 2005 R2 available Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 also supports host clustering, which offers customers minimal downtime depending on the speed of storage and amount of memory assigned to a virtual machine. Host clustering is storage agnostic, comes with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise or Datacenter editions, and is a high-availability solution for both planned and unplanned downtime. And with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, downloadable today as a beta 2 version, customers will have tools for high availability migration. See also - Key changes in this service pack

·         VMRCPlus is a new tool that provides an alternative to the Virtual Server 2005 web based administration console. It is not designed to replace every function, but does a pretty good job at it in addition to providing features that the web console does not have. Download it here.

·         Microsoft Virtualization blogs

o    Virtual PC Guy's WebLog Talking about virtualization at Microsoft (Virtual PC, Virtual Server and Windows virtualization).

o    Robert Larson’s blog In this blog the author will talk about various technology subjects that are my passion and also drive me crazy sometimes.

o    The SoftGrid Team Blog

Exchange Server

·         Exchange Server Documentation Updates - June 2007 The Exchange Server documentation team is pleased to announce new Exchange Server 2007 content.

·         Data Protection and Disaster Recovery for Exchange Server 2007 Microsoft Exchange Server was designed with backup in mind. Organizations need to back up their messaging data, and they have to be able to restore that information as well. To meet these needs, Microsoft built a full spectrum of data protection options, from traditional backup and restore at the low end, to operational continuity, to true business continuity solutions that provide the highest levels of availability and disaster recovery. In this article, I look at those options and help you decide how to implement the best Exchange recovery solution for your organization.

·         Log onto Outlook Web Access with Smart Cards Smart card support for authentication to OWA is a welcome addition to both Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2007. With the ability to log onto OWA using a certificate, users no longer have to worry about remembering long and complex passwords, and administrators now have an effective tool against key loggers and other forms of malware that can sniff out user credentials from an infected system.

·         Standby Continuous Replication in Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Standby continuous replication (SCR) is a new feature being introduced in Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. As its name implies, SCR is designed for scenarios that use standby recovery servers.

·         Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress Tool (32 bit) Simulate disk I/O load on a test server running Exchange to verify the performance and stability of your disk subsystem before putting your server into a production environment.

·         See these Exchange articles and more at the Exchange Team Blog

Microsoft Management Products

·         SMS and MOM Supportability Blog This blog has been created by Microsoft Product Support specifically to document top support issues and resolutions for our Manageability Products. We will cover Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) as well as the relevant add-ons and management packs.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

·         A Powerful Alternative to Public Folders Microsoft has supplied a compelling option with the launch of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007. MOSS 2007 provides the platform IT administrators and businesses need to replace and move beyond the capabilities offered by public folders. In this article, I demonstrate how MOSS presents a robust and powerful framework that can offer significantly more capabilities than Exchange public folders.

·         Windows SharePoint Services Document: Application Templates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 – Under the Hood This white paper describes how Microsoft developed the Application Templates, identifying best practices for how to work with core capabilities within both Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

·         Windows SharePoint Services Manageability Controls Governance may be a tough grasp for you as to why it's so important if you are an IT Professional.  Deployments gone sour are 99% a result of lack of appropriate planning.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  This content is truly about deployment and providing you the knowledge so you can plan appropriately.

·         Plan alternate access mappings (Office SharePoint Server) Alternate access mappings enable a Web application that receives a request for an internal URL, in one of the five authentication zones, to return pages that contain links to the public URL for the zone. You can associate a Web application with a collection of mappings between internal and public URLs.

·         Answers to FAQs about SharePoint Blogs and Wikis Social computing is a hot topic these days, and we continue to get a lot of questions about SharePoint's blog and wiki capabilities in particular. We will have much more to say and announce about SharePoint in the context of social computing soon.

·         Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog The official blog of the SharePoint Product Group – This is an active blog with the latest information and links to more SharePoint technical info.

·         More recently published MOSS content

Microsoft Office System

·         Introducing the To-Do Bar... The To-Do Bar is brand-new to Outlook 2007, and enables you to track your time and tasks wherever you are in the application.

·         Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. The Compatibility Pack can also be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files saved in these new formats. For more information about the Compatibility Pack, see Knowledge Base article 924074.

Other Information

·         Improve Security with Windows Mobile 6 In this article, the author demonstrates how you can use Windows Mobile, Exchange Server, and some network security best practices as a foundation for protecting your company’s mobile devices.

 
Microsoft Developer Information

·         Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite VHD This download comes as a pre-configured VHD. This download enables you evaluate Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite in a Windows Vista environment.

·         Web Client Software Factory — June 2007 The Web Client Software Factory provides an integrated set of guidance that assists architects and developers in creating composite Web client applications. The application blocks, software factory includes reference implementation, how tos, patterns, and Visual Studio .NET extensions.

·         An Inside Look At The Next Generation Of Visual C++ The upcoming release of Visual Studio "Orcas" provides significantly enhanced tools for C++ developers looking to take advantage of the new features and capabilities offered by Windows Vista. In this release, thousands of new Windows Vista APIs are being made available to Win32 developers.

Monthly Reminders of Good Information Sources:

 

 

 

 

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Recent Security Bulletins (Security Bulletin Archives)

 

 

Last 5 Published or Updated Security Advisories:

Microsoft Security Advisory (927891)
Update for Windows Installer (MSI)
Published or Last Updated: 5/24/2007

Microsoft Security Advisory (937696)
Release of Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) and File Block Functionality for Microsoft Office
Published or Last Updated: 5/21/2007

Microsoft Security Advisory (933052)
Vulnerability in Microsoft Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Published or Last Updated: 5/9/2007

Microsoft Security Advisory (935964)
Vulnerability in RPC on Windows DNS Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Published or Last Updated: 5/8/2007

Microsoft Security Advisory (935423)
Vulnerability in Windows Animated Cursor Handling
Published or Last Updated: 4/3/2007

For the entire list of published Security Advisories, visit the Security Advisory Archive Web site.

Security Guidance Center for Developer and IT Pros Get prescriptive guidance tools, training, and updates you need to assist you in planning and managing a security strategy that’s right for your organization.