July, 2010

  • Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Beta F&Qs


    image  Service Pack 1 Beta

    If you haven't seen it already, Microsoft has released an FAQ document related to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 BETA

    Notable thing here is this one:-

    Q. Can I upgrade from the beta builds to the final build of SP1?
    No. You will have to uninstall the Service Pack or do a clean install of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    So there wont be any support for upgrading from Beta to SP1 Final version, so its recommended to run SP1 beta in Test and evaluation environment only and not in production.

    Here is the complete FAQ:

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Beta Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What is Windows 7 SP1?
    Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is an update for consumers and IT Pros that helps keep your PCs supported, provides ongoing improvement to the operating system, by including previous updates delivered over Windows Update as well as continuing incremental updates to the Windows 7 platform based on customer and partner feedback, and is easy for organization to deploy a single set of updates.

    Q: What is Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1?
    Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is an update for enterprises and IT Professionals that includes virtualization enhancements, previous improvements delivered via Windows Update, and addresses feedback from customers.

    Q. What are the system requirements for the Service Pack 1 beta?
      Your current operating system must be the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (build 7600).

    Q. Can I install the beta on an evaluation version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2?
    Yes.   The beta of SP1 can install on RTM evaluation versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Q: When will SP1 be released?
      Service Pack 1 will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.

    Q: Who should download and install the Service Pack public beta, when it’s available?
    The public beta is best suited for IT Pros and developers who need to test the service pack in their organization or with the software they are developing.  The ISO download for Windows 7 SP1 will contain both 32 and 64 bit versions. The final release of Service Pack 1 will be available through Windows Update for consumers when it is ready.

    Q: Should customers who are considering deploying Windows 7 wait for SP1?
    No.  Windows 7 is a high quality release and provides many benefits to consumers and businesses alike.  SP1 will include all updates previously available to Windows 7 users through Windows Update, so there is no reason to wait or delay their use of Windows 7.

    Q. Can I upgrade from the beta builds to the final build of SP1?
    No. You will have to uninstall the Service Pack or do a clean install of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Q. Will there be a slipstream build of SP1 beta?
    No.  The beta will only be available as the Service Pack update itself.  You will need to have a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 to install the beta of the Service Pack.

    Q. What languages will be released at beta?
      For beta, we will release English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

    Q. Will I be able to uninstall the service pack beta?
      Yes, you will be able to uninstall the service pack beta if you need to.

    Please Note, it is always a best practice to back up your data prior to installing any beta software.

    Q. Will the beta stop functioning after a certain amount of time?
      Yes.  You will be reminded beginning March 30, 2011. The beta will expire on June 30, 2011. You will have to upgrade to a newer build or uninstall and return to the RTM build by that time.

    Q: What other improvements are included in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 besides the virtualization enhancements?
    Please see the Notable Changes document for detail on the additional improvements in SP1.

    Q: Is RemoteFX different than Remote Desktop Services? How do they integrate?
    RemoteFX describes a set of rich media capabilities that are available to customers using the Remote Desktop Services platform to deploy a virtual machine- or session-based remote desktop infrastructure. Specifically, RemoteFX enhances the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in Remote Desktop Services, so that remote workers can access any type of application or screen content, including rich media and 3D applications, improving end user productivity.

    Q: Will Dynamic Memory be available on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2?

    You can access the online version here

    Cheers Smile


  • Microsoft VDI : Whitepapers and FAQs

    With the words like VDI catching up real fast in IT world, Curosity among customers and partners about this new way of deploying Windows has increased. About 40 percent of the time whenever I am in a conversation with customer and partners that relates to Virtualization, we talk about VDI and what are the best use case for VDI,

    Here is Microsoft Definition:

    Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an alternative desktop delivery model that allows users to access desktops running in the datacenter.                                                          In short, VDI is another way to deploy Windows desktops for your users.

    partner network

    Here are few whitepaper and other resources that we have released recently to help customers understand the VDI solution, Identify if VDI is the best solution for your organization and if it is, then how to do the capacity planning and deployment.

    1. Achieving Business Value through Microsoft VDI Together with Session Virtualization:                                                                                                                                               This whitepaper discusses the benefits and considerations when planning a Microsoft® Windows Server® Remote Desktop Services solution and the choices associated with a lowest cost deployment for both Session Virtualization and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). DOWNLOAD NOW                                                                             

    2. RD Virtualization Host Capacity Planning in Windows Server 2008 R2                                                                                                                                                                          This white paper is intended as a guide for capacity planning of RD Virtualization Host in Windows Server 2008 R2.  DOWNLOAD NOW                             

    3. Remote Desktop Services Deployment Guide                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This guide provides instructions for deploying Remote Desktop Services in a production environment running the Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system.  This guide provides instructions for deploying Remote Desktop Services in a production environment running the Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system. It is intended for information technology (IT) professionals who want to implement an end-to-end, Remote Desktop Services solution. This guide covers deployment best practices for configuring Remote Desktop Services.     DOWNLOAD NOW

    4. VDI Licensing: There has been some changes made in VDI licensing from Jul 1, 2010 with respect to VECD, its now known as VDA (Virtual Desktop Access), Lets understand when do you need VDA.

    Scenario 1: If you are running Windows OS on the endpoint devices and its covered with Software Assurance, You dont need VDA anymore as accessing a Virtual Desktop is now a added benefit of Software Assurance.

    Scenario 2: If the endpoint devices are running non Windows OS or its a thin Client terminal, then you need to purchase VDA for those endpoint devices

    Below are couple of resources which can help you with understanding of VDA and VDI Suites.

    VDA and VDI suites FAQs

    VDA Licensing brochure

    Hope it helps, please feel free to send in your feedback and questions.

    Bye for now!

  • Microsoft Virtualization: System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0 RC Released

    SVMM R2  Solution Accelerators logo

    Looking for a solution that helps you reduce IT costs, while increasing agility for your organization?

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Servicing Portal 2.0 lets you build the foundation for an on-premise cloud infrastructure, enabling you to deliver IT as a service for your organization.

    Using SSP, you can respond more effectively—and at a lower cost—to the rapidly changing needs of your organization.  SSP is freely available, and fully- supported by Microsoft.

    The self-service portal is a fully supported, partner extensible solution built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V and System Center VMM. It enables you to pool, allocate, and manage resources to offer infrastructure as a service and deliver the foundation for a private cloud platform inside your datacenter. It includes a pre-built, role-based self-service portal for both the datacenter managers and the business unit IT consumers and a dynamic provisioning engine. The portal reduces the time needed to provision infrastructures and their components by offering business unit “on-boarding” , infrastructure request and change management. It also includes detailed guidance on how to implement the portal inside your environment.

    Key Features:

    • Automation and Guidance: To assess, plan and design your private cloud foundation infrastructure
    • Customer/business unit on-boarding: Automated workflows to onboard business unit IT departments onto to your virtualized shared resource pool
    • Dynamic provisioning engine: To rapidly provision virtualized infrastructure in conjunction with System Center and Hyper-V
    • Self-Service portal: To empower consumers of IT to request and provision infrastructure for their apps/services
    • Partner Extensibility: Enable partners to expose their unique hardware capabilities through familiar Microsoft scripting technologies while providing variety and flexibility to IT 

    Download System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Servicing Portal 2.0

  • Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX NOW AVAILABLE for Evaluation with SP1




    If you are waiting for the Service Pack 1 of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows7 to evaluate Hyper V Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX, your wait is over

    Today at Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington DC, we announced the availability of Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

    While there are some minor updates to Windows 7, for Windows Server 2008 R2 has some great new capabilities added like Dynamic Memory and Remote FX.

    Download Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from the link below



  • Guidance on updating Service Pack 1 for Hyper V Dynamic Memory and remote FX

    I have been getting lots of questions from customers and partners about what are the guidance on updating Service Pack 1 for Server 2008 R2 to enable Dynamic Memory and Remote FX for Virtual Machines on Hyper V.

    I have been discussing them verbally and now we have a official guidance released by Virtualization product team. so here i am conveying the message.

    There are three steps and you should perform them in this order:

    1. Ensure Virtual Machines are ready for the update
    2. Update the Host
    3. Update the Guest Integration Services

    Step 1: Ensure Virtual Machines are ready for the update. Completely shut down (not save state) your virtual machine and merge snapshots. Saved States are not compatible between different Hyper-V versions.

    Step 2: Update the host. Install Service Pack 1 on the parent partition. Restart when prompted.

    Step 3: Update the Guest Integration Services

    1. VMs running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: Update the guest operating system with SP1. Updating the guest OS with Service Pack 1 will, in turn upgrade the Integration Services

    2. VMs not running Windows 7 SP1/Server 2008 R2 SP1: (e.g. Windows XP/Vista/7 RTM/2000/2003/2008/2008 R2 RTM) For other operating systems you will need to upgrade their Integration Services. To do so:

    • a. Start the virtual machine connect to the virtual machine and go to the Action Menu
    • b. Select the bottom menu option Insert Integration Services Setup Disk. You will then be prompted to run the Integration Services Setup. Do so and Restart when prompted.



    For more information on Dynamic Memory available in Service Pack 1 Beta, I would strongly recommend you to read the following blog posts on Microsoft Virtualization Team Blog.

    • Part 1: Dynamic Memory announcement. This blog announces the new Hyper-V Dynamic Memory in Hyper-V R2 SP1. It also discussed the explicit requirements that we received from our customers. Click Here
    • Part 2: Capacity Planning from a Memory Standpoint. This blog discusses the difficulties behind the deceptively simple question, “how much memory does this workload require?” Examines what issues our customers face with regard to memory capacity planning and why. Click Here 
    • Part 3: Page Sharing. A deep dive into the importance of the TLB, large memory pages, how page sharing works, SuperFetch and more. If you’re looking for the reasons why we haven’t invested in Page Sharing this is the blog. Click Here
    • Part 4: Page Sharing Follow-Up. Questions answered about Page Sharing and ASLR and other factors to its efficacy. Click Here
    • Part 5: Second Level Paging. What it is, why you really want to avoid this in a virtualized environment and the performance impact it can have. Click Here
    • Part 6: Hyper-V Dynamic Memory. What it is, what each of the per virtual machine settings do in depth and how this all ties together with our customer requirements. Click Here

    I hope it helps and as always do send your feedbacks and comments.

    Cheers Smile