Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Standard are technically identical – there is absolutely no difference between them with regard technical capabilities.
The only difference is the virtualisation rights included with the license (two VMs for Standard and as many as you like for Datacenter). So if you’re virtualising you should be using Datacentre – that’s the only decision you have to make. As a rule of thumb, once you get to around five VMs you should have gone with Datacentre.
You can download Windows Server 2012 form here. And read all about it here.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials has not released to manufacture (RTM) yet, it is still in a Release Candidate stage. It is targeted at Small and Medium businesses with less than 25 PCs. It is an ideal first server that works seamlessly with Office 365. You can download the RC here and learn all about it here.
Windows Server 2012 Foundation is only available pre-installed onto a new server from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). It is designed for organisations with up to 15 users who need a great general purpose (and economical) server.
Licensing and pricing info for all editions is here.
To manage expectations as per the technical level of the events that I host for IT Professionals around Ireland I use the Microsoft's standard level definitions. To ensure that there is no confusion out there I wanted to clarify what each level means ... So here goes:
Level 100 Description:
Introductory and overview material. Assumes little or no expertise with topic and covers topic concepts, functions, features, and benefits.
Level 200 Description:
Intermediate material. Assumes 100-level knowledge and provides specific details about the topic.
Level 300 Description:
Advanced material. Assumes 200-level knowledge, in-depth understanding of features in a real-world environment, and strong coding skills. Provides a detailed technical overview of a subset of product/technology features, covering architecture, performance, migration, deployment, and development.
Level 400 Description:
Expert material. Assumes a deep level of technical knowledge and experience and a detailed, thorough understanding of topic. Provides expert-to-expert interaction and coverage of specialized topics.
One of the questions we have been getting in the first few dates of the Windows 7 Tour in Ireland is about making a bootable USB Drive to install Windows 7 from. For those that don’t know how to make a bootable USB key, here is the recipe:
Creating a bootable USB device:
DISKPART> list disk
Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below
DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> create partition primary
DISKPART> select partition 1
DISKPART> format fs=fat32
xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f Y:\
where X:\ is your mounted image or physical DVD and Y:\ is your USB device
Now all you need to do is plug the device into your target box's USB slot and boot it. This may require hitting F10/F12 to load the one-time boot menu and selecting the USB Key.
The Windows Upgrade Offer went live on Saturday 2nd June. Here’s how it works:
More details and FAQ available from www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.
If you have a big printer available and spend a lot of your time working in Windows Server 2008 technologies then you may want to print these posters off for the office wall
Remote Desktop Services Component Architecture Poster This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key Remote Desktop Services technologies in Windows Server 2008 R2. It explains the functions and roles of Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Desktop Virtualization Host, Remote Desktop Connection Broker, Remote Desktop Web Access, Remote Desktop Gateway, RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Licensing.
Windows Server 2008 R2: Hyper-V Component Architecture This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server 2008 R2. It focuses on architecture, snapshots, live migration, virtual networking, storage, and import/export.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Feature Components Poster This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key technologies in Windows Server 2008 R2. It focuses on Active Directory Domain Services, Hyper-V, Internet Information Services, Remote Desktop Services (including Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)), BranchCache, and DirectAccess technologies. In addition, updates to core file services and server management are illustrated. You can use this poster in conjunction with the previously published Windows Server 2008 Component Posters.
Windows Server 2008 Component Posters These two posters, originally published in the July 2007 issue of TechNet Magazine, provide a strong visual tool to aide in the understanding of various features and components of Windows Server 2008. One poster focuses exclusively on powerful new Active Directory technologies, while the other provides a technical look at a variety of new features available in Windows Server 2008 (such as Server Core, Network Access Protection, and more).
If you’ve experienced this error message: “The following feature couldn’t be installed: .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)
Then this is your solution (at the moment):
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:g:\sources\sxs
from an administrative CMD. “g” is the drive where you have your win8 installation files.
Many of you may be aware that Microsoft has been a player in the Identity Management space for many years. Starting off with Microsoft Metadirectory Services, then moving on to the release of Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 and our current offering Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007.
What you may not be aware of is that Microsoft is about to revolutionize Identity Management with the release of Forefront Identity Manager (previously known as ILM “2”) in the first half of 2010. The marketing strap line for ILM “2” is that “Identity Management is about to get a whole lot easier” and having worked with ILM “2” (currently available as a Release Candidate) I’m very excited about this product and what it can do for both IT Pros and businesses.
So, for those of you who may not be familiar with Microsoft’s Identity management story I’m going to start with Microsoft's philosophy on Identity Lifecycle Management (ILM). Future articles will look at where we are today in terms of ILM 2007 and where we will be going to, with the much anticipated release of ILM "2". So let’s look at Microsoft's philosophy for ILM.
Microsoft’s Identity Management Strategy
Basically Microsoft's position on ILM comes down to the concept of a People Ready business. Identity and access is at the centre of the People Ready business:
To enable the people in your organisation to be successful, they need an efficient and intuitive way to collaborate. At the same time, the business needs to ensure that collaboration is taking place within the bounds of internal and external regulations, business policy and process, and security. At the centre of it all, is the identity and access infrastructure and tools that provides information on users, devices, they access, what credentials they need and how they are configured, and the rules or policies governing the behaviour of these objects. In order to realize the vision of a People Ready business, the identity and access infrastructure and tools need to provide people with the right collaboration experience, in a way that complies with business process.
How do we ensure that our identity and access infrastructure and tools are enabling this People Ready vision? By overcoming a number of challenges, such as....
1. Improving Operational Efficiency
2. Reducing Security Risks
3. Meeting Regulation Requirements
4. Enabling Business Objectives
Today, the management burden is on IT
Today, we know that the burden of addressing these challenges is on IT. When you think about what identity management tasks IT today, they include a number of things that IT should be doing – such as deploying software, administering systems, ensuring systems under their control are secure and compliant. But often IT is also burdened with additional repetitive tasks such as managing end user requests such as password resets, creating and deleting user accounts in all the systems the end users need to do their jobs, and manually implementing, reporting on, and enforcing policies across these systems.
Meanwhile, end users are in a position where they are relying on IT for their requests. Wouldn’t it make more sense for users to have the tools to do some of this work themselves and remove the burden from IT as well as themselves?
Today identity and access management tasks are often being done by the wrong people, who are struggling with the complexity of existing systems and tools. In the end this means higher cost for the business:
Microsoft has a vision for putting the identity lifecycle back into balance by aligning experiences with the right people.
IT professionals should be focused on what they do best – architecture, deployment, administration, governance, and security
Information workers should have familiar tools to manage their own information, credentials, access, and resources they own. Information workers should have tools within the applications and systems they use every day.
Microsoft’s vision for this space is to provide an identity lifecycle management solution that spans across a breadth of Windows and non-Windows infrastructure, and delivers management of users, access, credentials, and policy from a single, integrated solution that is easy to configure and customize if needed:
Changing the Equation
Research from IDC, Gartner, and Microsoft shows that identity and access management software is only about 10% of the total amount that organisations spend. The rest of the identity and access management budget is spent on IT staff performing manual, repetitive tasks such as password reset and manual user provisioning and deprovisioning. What Microsoft wants to do is decrease the total amount your organisation spends on identity and access and enables IT staff to do work that is more strategic for the business. The result of this decreased spend is:
- Less spending on specialized infrastructure and tools to manage the complexity
- Higher end-user productivity from users who have the right tools at their fingertips
- IT staff focused more on business enablement than end user account, access, and credential related requests
- Lower spending on services since systems integration costs dramatically decrease
IDC recently completed a study comparing enterprise customers cost structures with these solutions in place. IDC found that customers can save
-€30 per PC per year with an automated user provisioning solution
-€70 per PC per year with a directory synchronization, password synchronization, and self-password reset solution
Roadmap for getting there
Today we have a product in market called Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2007, a solution that provides metadirectory and user provisioning capabilities and capabilities for managing strong credentials, providing an integrated approach that pulls together metadirectory, digital certificate and password management, and user provisioning across Windows and other enterprise systems.
In the 1st half of 2010, Microsoft plans to deliver Identity Lifecycle Manager ”2”, a comprehensive solution for managing user accounts, access via groups and roles, password and certificate-based credentials, and policies across Windows and heterogeneous environments. ILM “2” will extend the functionality of ILM 2007 with new capabilities that will (1) empower end users with integrated self-service tools in Office and Windows; (2) put IT in control through a robust delegation model and business process framework, and (3) increase operational efficiency by automating common identity lifecycle management tasks and empowering end users with self-help solutions. In addition, Microsoft is implementing ILM “2” on a common set of services – including workflow, delegation, web services APIs – that customers and independent software vendors can use to customize and extend the functionality in ILM “2”.
So, there you have it. In the next article I'll have a look at ILM 2007, our current product which has been successfully deployed to many customers in Ireland. In the meantime you can find out more about ILM at the following links:
Stay tuned for the next instalment!
James McAlonan, Senior Infrastructure Consultant, Microsoft Consulting Services
TechEd IT Forum is Microsoft’s premier European conference designed to provide IT professionals with technical training, information and community resources to build, plan, deploy and manage the secure connected enterprise.
Last year I had to disappoint a lot of Irish IT Professional as I simply wasn't in a position to get them into this event... as it sold out 2 months before the start date! I really don't want to be in that position again this year so I am getting the word out loud and clearly now.
Evolving from last year's four day (plus Pre-Conference) event structure, the new FIVE-day event now offers a greater choice of content than ever before.
Not only can you ensure your place now but you can save yourself/ your company some money by registering for the SUPER early bird offer.
Super Early Bird - until 31 July 2007: €1,945 - save €300 off the Full Price. PLUS exclusive value-add benefits.
Customize your own technical curriculum with a choice of hundreds of learning opportunities; evaluate the latest products in the labs and meet face-to-face with the Microsoft and industry experts behind the products.
To keep up to date with what's going on, sign up for our local TechNet Newsletter.
So you’ve got your Windows 7 DVD and aren’t too sure what to do with it. You’re happily running Windows Vista and when you run the Windows 7 setup you get as far as here and stop.
The problem is that you don’t want to do an upgrade or a clean install – you’d be quite happy having a dual boot scenario (Vista with all it’s applications for your day job and your Windows 7 installation for your “play” time).
Here’s the answer – Boot from VHD. A VHD is a Virtual Hard Disk – a single file on your file system that kind of emulates an entire disk drive (if you’ve been using any of Microsoft’s virtualisation solutions you already know what they are).
The quickest and easiest approach to get your dual boot Vista and Windows 7 is to follow these simple steps:
First boot your PC to the Windows 7 installation DVD (you might have to press the F12 key as your PC is booting to give you the choice – or even reconfigure your PC’s BIOS to boot from the DVD first).
Setup starts and you’ll be asked to choose your locale, accept the EULA and enter your product key (you can leave this blank and put a product key into the system within the next month), continue until you’re prompted with this dialog (where to install Windows 7):
DON’T press Next. Instead press the Shift and the F10 keys – this will bring up a command prompt. Type diskpart to enter our disk partitioning and manipulation tool. Create a new Virtual Hard Disk, select it and attach it to the system:
create vdisk file=c:\7.vhd type=fixed maximum=10240
select vdisk file=c:\7.vhd
Obviously you can change the file=c:\7.vhd to any filename in any location (it just has to be a .VHD file extension and can’t have the word windows in it). I’ve created a 10GB file (10240 MB) – it’s the smallest recommended for Windows 7 (you can make it bigger, but the bigger it is the longer it takes – 10GB takes a couple of minutes).
Exit diskpart and exit the command prompt. Now press the Refresh button and setup will offer you your new virtual disk as a location to install Windows 7.
Select your new drive and press Next. Setup will continue unattended for the next 20 minutes or so. Once finished, you’ll be asked for your username (Windows will create a computername based on your username, which you can change). If you’re connected to a network, setup will ask you if it’s Work, Home or Public and that’s pretty much it.
Once up and running, I do suggest that you connect to the Internet and run Windows Update (there’s a few updates already out there – most are newer device drivers).
Next time you boot your PC you’ll have 30 seconds to choose if you want to run Windows 7 of Windows Vista (dual boot).
Big anouncement today at the World Wide Partner Conference in Boston - Andy Lees will announce changes to Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition (DCE) making it the easiest and most cost-effective choice for large-scale virtualization of Windows Server. Microsoft can now offer our customers unlimited virtualization rights and easier purchase options through Volume Licensing.
Changes that come into effect October 1, 2006 include:
DCE will be available through Volume Licensing: For the first time, Microsoft customers will be able to purchase Windows Server Datacenter Edition through Volume Licensing.
Unlimited Virtualization Rights: Servers with Datacenter Edition will have license rights to run an unlimited number of virtualized Windows Server instances. By simply licensing the server’s processors with Windows Server Datacenter Edition, customers will be able to run Windows Server Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter Edition or a mix of the three editions without having to track the number of virtual machines or pay for additional Windows Server licenses.
More Options to License from OEMs: Customers will be able to purchase Windows Server Datacenter Edition preinstalled on servers with 2 to 64 processors with or without The Datacenter High Availability Program.