Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

May, 2010

  • Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster – now available

    image

    This is a small part of the larger poster now available for download and printing.  The big one is amazing.  There will be a test.  Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=5567b22a-8c47-4840-a88d-23146fd93151.

  • VHD Getting Started Guide – now available

    windows7rc_bloglogo The Microsoft® virtual hard disk (VHD) file format specifies a virtual hard disk, which is encapsulated in a single file and capable of hosting native file systems and supporting standard disk operations.

    In Windows® 7, a VHD can be used as the running operating system on designated hardware without any other parent operating system, virtual machine, or hypervisor. You can use the Windows 7 disk management tools (the DiskPart command-line tool and the Disk Management MMC snap-in) to create a VHD file. You can deploy a Windows 7 image (in .wim format) to the VHD, and you can copy the VHD file to multiple systems. You can configure the Windows 7 boot manager for a native or physical boot of the Windows image that is contained in the VHD.

    Furthermore, you can connect the VHD file to a virtual machine for use with the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 R2. Native-boot VHD files are not designed or intended to replace full-image deployment on all client or server systems. Previous versions of Windows do not support a native boot from a VHD, and they require a hypervisor and virtual machine to boot from a VHD file.

    The VHD Getting Started Guide goes into a ton of detail on how to create, deploy and use VHD’s.  This guide is definitely a keeper.  Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=d2afacbb-5af6-45c2-b275-932116e27b0b.

  • System Center Configuration Manager v.Next Beta 1 - now available

    SysCnt-CM-vNext_h_rgb System Center Configuration Manager enables a powerful user-centric approach to client management. This approach addresses the growing reality – that people want to move fluidly between multiple devices and networks – by making it easier for IT to support users with configurations tied to their identity instead of to individual systems or devices.

    As a result, IT can help people work the way they want, practically wherever they want—with a familiar experience across different devices and contexts. Configuration Manager provides IT a lean, unified infrastructure to deliver these new capabilities and workloads for client management, virtualization, and security. The solution puts IT in control of costs and compliance, providing an evolutionary path to new capabilities that leverage existing people, processes, and technologies.

    Configuration Manager reduces the cost and complexity of IT compliance by delivering increased visibility and discovery, and enhanced, IT-definable remediation capabilities. It’s all designed to help IT simplify delivery of a user-centric approach to client management. And because it is built by Microsoft engineers who have exceptional knowledge of Windows, Configuration Manager delivers tight interoperability with Windows, for more effective and efficient management.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=ffca869c-4a83-434e-acc9-8b2388c0c7f7.

  • A $525,000 watch? Really?

    richard-mille-nadal-watch

    I was cooling off after working on the pool by doing some net surfing when I stumbled across this.  It is a watch that goes for, wait for it, $525,000 USD.  Seriously?  Note to billionaires, it’s cool you can afford it but really?  Flaunting a half million dollars on your wrist is pretty sick.  That goes for pro tennis players, too. 

  • Windows 7 slate style devices finally coming?

    amtek

    It’s looking more and more like Computex is going to be the place to be next week.  From the rumblings on the internet, it appears someone is finally going to take on Apple with a Windows 7 based device.  I hope so.  At least then I can buy one and do an objective comparison without getting everyone all upset.  We’ll see.

    I’m still hoping HP, Dell, Lenovo, or one of our other hardware OEM’s and partners will jump in the game.  Lots of bad rumors floating around.  The picture and device above (according to the JKKMobile Blog), is from maker Amtek.  Amtek still has an Origami device on their homepage.  In other words, don’t count your chickens until they hatch.

  • Take me to your leader

    helmetpa0911_468x496.resized2[1]

    Pretty kewl jet pilot helmet, eh?  Full story at http://www.switched.com/2007/11/09/new-pilot-helmet-allows-terminator-like-x-ray-vision/.  And yes, I think this is the future of System Center enterprise management visualization.  :-)

  • TechNet Wiki Pick of the Week: DirectAccess and Teredo Adaptor Behavior

    Here’s this weeks pick from the content on the TechNet Wiki.  It’s an article written by Tom on DirectAccess, IPv6, Teredo and other technologies that resulted from an investigation on performance with Outlook.  I thought the article had the right technical depth and you would find it interesting.  Networking is cool.  Here’s the first couple of paragraph’s from the article:

    “In a recent blog post about an interesting problem we had with understanding Outlook performance issues and the IP-HTTPS adapter, we had the opportunity to review how the various IPv6 transition technology adapters worked in terms of when they were enabled and when they were disabled. If you haven’t seen that post, head on over to The Mystery of the IP-HTTPS Listener, an Outlook Client and an IPv4 Only Network at http://blogs.technet.com/edgeaccessblog/archive/2010/05/09/the-mystery-of-the-ip-https-listener-an-outlook-client-and-an-ipv4-only-network.aspx

    One of the things that we got a better understanding of was Teredo adapter behavior. First, Teredo is an IPv6 transition technology that is used by DirectAccess clients when they are located behind a NAT device, and thus are typically assigned a private IP address (RFC 1918). Teredo encapsulates the IPv6 packets in an IPv4 packet with a UDP header. The UAG DirectAccess server listens for connections from Teredo clients on UDP port 3544. Therefore, if the DirectAccess Teredo client has outbound access to the UAG DA server’s UDP port 3544, the Teredo connection can be established.”

    The full article on the Wiki is located at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/directaccess-and-teredo-adapter-behavior.aspx.  Enjoy!

  • Does your car tweet? This one does!

    image

    AJ is a Ford Fiesta that has some interesting technology onboard.  His fuel tweets are funny.  Click the pic above for the website and more information.

  • Windows 7 Product Guide – now available for download

    image The Windows 7 Product Guide provides a detailed look at the many new and improved features in Windows 7. The guide is designed as an accurate source of information that can help you to understand how Windows 7 Simplifies Everyday Tasks, Works the Way You Want, and Makes New Things Possible.

    The guide is also designed to provide IT Professionals with information about how to Make People Productive Anywhere, Manage Risk Through Enhanced Security and Control, and Reduce Costs by Streamlining PC Management.

    This is not a help and how to guide. Rather, it provides an overview of the many exciting features in Windows 7 and pointers to more information.

    The Windows 7 Product Guide is available in both XPS and PDF formats.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=b3c68ec2-e726-4830-ac89-31c71d6be5f3.

    This is the definitive guide on the features.  Please think twice before you print it.  This will make for an excellent reference to keep online.

  • TechNet Wiki Pick for the Week: How to Run Hyper-V on a Laptop

    TechNet_bLHyper-V is an enterprise IT technology included in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. As such the documentation on TechNet and MSDN is on enterprise IT use, on a server.  However, some may wish to use Hyper-V on a laptop or a desktop computer. Perhaps to learn about Hyper-V, or create training material such as demos, for development purposes, or just for fun. Sometimes, becuase of company IT policy and management practice for servers, running Hyper-V on a laptop is the only way you can develop or document something.

    See the full article @ http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/hyper-v-how-to-run-hyper-v-on-a-laptop.aspx.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Netsh Technical Ref – now available for download

    ws2008 r2 blog logoNetwork shell (netsh) is a command-line utility that allows you to configure settings and display the status of various network communications server roles and components after they are installed on computers running Windows Server® 2008 R2, and Windows Server® 2008.

    You can run Netsh commands manually by typing commands at the netsh command prompt, as well as running the commands in batch files and scripts. Additionally, you can use netsh commands to configure settings and display the status of network components on the local computer and on remote computers. In most cases, netsh commands provide the same functionality that is available when using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in for each server role or component.

    There are, however, netsh commands for some network functionality, such as for IPv6, network bridge, and remote procedure call (RPC), that are not available in the user interface as an MMC snap-in. Some client technologies, such as Network Access Protection (NAP) client, Wirelesss Hosted Network also provide netsh commands that allow you to configure client computers running Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

    Got get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=e2e7d0fc-5774-47fb-a31a-f10ba9e37660.

  • Sprint Overdrive 4G Mobile WIFI Hotspot

    SprintOverdrive About seven weeks ago I picked up the Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot.  This device allows you to create a WIFI network that is connected to the Sprint CDMA network. 

    Depending on your location depends on what speed you get.  If you are in a 4G city and tower location, all of your WIFI devices will get great 4G speeds.  If you aren’t in a 4G coverage area, the device will downshift and connect to the 3g network.

    Either way, this device is a rather cool way to connect to the internet and share that connection with your spouse, family, friends or work colleagues. You can connect up to five devices or friends at the same time.

    My home is not in a 4G coverage area.  In fact most of Southlake, TX doesn’t have 4g coverage.  It’s real spotty up here.  You would think Sprint would care a little more about that but I guess they figure since it’s a Verizon FIOS area, there’s no burning need to provide fast high speed wireless.  That probably makes sense.

    Battery Life

    The battery life for the Overdrive is just over three hours.  I would certainly like to see longer battery life but it is what it is.  3-3.5 hours is decent for things like waiting for a flight or something, but you are going to need another battery if you expect to use your computer or device longer.

    I haven’t seen any difference on battery life between 3G or 4G coverage.  If the device isn’t being actively being used by another computer, it will suspend itself and go to sleep.

    Case Size and Features

    In the picture above, I placed the Overdrive on top of one of my ThinkPad laptop 2.5” hard drives so you would have a perspective of the size.  Click the picture for a larger view. The Overdrive is small and has a very attractive gloss black case.  If you look closely at the case you’ll see the MicroSD memory card slot.  If you have pictures or docs on a memory card in that slot, it is shared across all devices connected to the hotspot.

    The case includes a handy LCD panel that indicates what connection type you have, battery life left, and other indicators like how much data has been sent and received.  You can also display the WIFI SSID and password.  This comes in real handy in a setting like an airport where you want to tell a colleague what the password is.  Instead of saying it verbally and having someone overhear, you can just show them right on the display. 

    Keeper?

    I really love the mobile hotspot idea.  I will keep the Overdrive until something else comes along that is better.  It’s possible the Sprint HTC EVO phone that comes out in a couple of weeks will an Overdrive killer, but we’ll have to wait and see about the battery life on the EVO before we’ll know.

    Then of course there’s the whole slew of phones coming out this summer and next fall. It would be great if Windows Phone 7 would allow for this type of feature, but we haven’t announced anything and the program managers I’ve talked to aren’t saying.

    We’ll revisit this subject in a few weeks when I receive my Sprint HTC EVO.

  • Microsoft Online Standard Service Descriptions

    OnlineSvcs-2_bL Microsoft® Online Services offers hosting services for Microsoft productivity applications that are widely used by customers of all sizes today. This set of documents provides service descriptions for the Microsoft® Exchange Online Standard messaging service, the Microsoft® SharePoint® Online Standard collaboration service, the Microsoft® Office Communications Online Standard instant messaging and communications service, and the Microsoft Office Live Meeting Web conferencing service. Other documents in the set describe Microsoft Online components related to these services.

    Microsoft Exchange Online Standard Service Description—Microsoft® Exchange Online is a hosted enterprise messaging solution based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Exchange Online services include advanced e-mail features as well as calendaring, contact, and task management capabilities. This service description describes the services and features that are included with the Standard offering of Exchange Online.

    Microsoft SharePoint Online Standard Service Description—Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Online is a collection of Web-based tools and technologies built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 that help you store, share, and manage digital information within your company. This document describes the services and features that are included with the Standard offering of SharePoint Online.

    Microsoft Office Communications Online Standard Service Description—Microsoft® Office Communications Online is a hosted, enterprise-class communications solution based on Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Office Communications Online provides your organization with real-time communications capabilities including secure instant messaging and delivery of "presence" information. Presence enables users to see at a glance if someone is available online to receive an instant message. This service description is intended to help IT professionals and describes the features that are included with the Standard offering of Office Communications Online.

    Microsoft Office Live Meeting Service Description—Microsoft® Office Live Meeting is an enterprise-class Web conferencing service. With Live Meeting, companies and organizations can engage customers through real-time meetings, training sessions, and events that are presented over the Internet. This document provides IT professionals with a description of the Live Meeting service offer available to organizations that are using standard products and services from Online Services.

    Microsoft Online Services Support and Service Management Service Description—The Microsoft® Online Services support teams are committed to helping customers quickly and efficiently resolve service-related issues that end users may encounter when using Microsoft Online Services. This document describes the support services that are provided for the Microsoft Online Services products available in the Business Productivity Online Suite.

    Microsoft Online Services Enterprise Network Services Overview—This document describes the Microsoft Online Services networking infrastructure components and security features that support delivery of all Online Services for the enterprise that use the Internet for transport. These include all of the offerings that are part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and many others. The document is intended for network engineers and system integrators who work with Microsoft Online Services customers.

    Microsoft Online Services Macintosh Support Service Description— This document focuses on the Apple Macintosh experience for Microsoft Office users that is available for three Microsoft Online offerings—Microsoft Exchange Online Standard, Microsoft SharePoint® Online Standard, and Microsoft® Office Live Meeting 2007.

    Go get them @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=c60c0af0-10cc-4b11-bcef-b989c1f168b0.

  • Office 2010 Tools and Guides for IT Professionals

    ofc-brand_h_rgb Since Office 2010 went gold a few weeks ago, I’ve been watching for key resources I thought you should be aware of.  Now that we’ve officially launched, time to get down to business.

    The very first thing you should do if you haven’t already, is download the bits from the TechNet subscriber download area.  You’ll see x86 and x64 versions of Office Standard and Office Professional Plus 2010.  If you don’t already have a subscription, jump on the discount code at Matt Hester's blog.

    Now that you have the ISO image files, what is next?  Time to build a virtualized test environment?  Maybe start building a pilot lab?  Hold on now, you probably need a few tools and guides first.  Here’s a great run down of the core goodies you’ll want for your toolbox.

    Office 2010 Product Guides

    Are you an expert on all of the products?  If you are like me, you probably get by well enough but there are some new product guides to get you up to speed fast on many of the new features. The very first guide I downloaded was the Outlook 2010 Product Guide.  This guide is very well done and I highly recommend it and the other guides for the users you support.

    Go get them @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=e690baf0-9b9a-4c47-88da-3a84f3e9b247.

    Office 2010 Deployment Guide

    You are going to see a lot of documentation on how to deploy Office 2010.  The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) will have information, you’ll see Springboard content, you’ll see information all over the place soon.  One such guide is already there for the taking, so I recommend you grab it right away.  I plan to spend quite a bit of time over the next weeks and months looking at the procedures in it and the other guides that are coming.

    This guide is over 200 pages so it’s really more of a book than a guide.  It certainly has a lot to digest.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=5d0e7e0e-9e9b-43ba-a9ab-4775a26ffc2e.

    Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 Update 1 Beta

    If you’re making the move to Windows 7 and Office 2010, you need tools and guidance to help deploy Windows and Office quickly—and do it right the first time. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 Update 1 Beta includes new features like Office 2010 support, the ability for users to initiate and customize their own deployments using Configuration Manager, key enhancements in driver support, and much more. These features, combined with many bug fixes and other improvements, make MDT 2010 Update 1 more reliable and flexible than ever.

    Sign up for the beta @ https://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=1646&InvitationID=MDTH-PJBM-CBVJ&SiteID=14.

    Office 2010 Group Policy Administrative Templates

    This download includes x86 and x64 Group Policy Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool files for use with Office 2010 applications. It also includes an \Admin folder with an Office Customization Tool, and ADMX, ADML, and ADM versions of Office 2010 system Administrative Template files.

    For administrative template files, you may use the ADM files for any Windows operating system, or the combination of ADMX and language-specific ADML files on computers running at least Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. This download also includes a workbook (Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings.xls) that provides information about Office 2010 Group Policy settings and OCT settings.

    Go get them @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=64b837b6-0aa0-4c07-bc34-bec3990a7956.

    Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0

    VAMT 2.0 is a managed MMC plug-in. VAMT uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) to configure managed systems. A convenient command line interface (CLI) allows automated, scheduled VAMT tasks without UI interaction. Using the VAMT console, administrators can perform many activation-related tasks on remote computers:

    • Manage product keys obtained from the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) or other sources including retail and Microsoft subscription programs such as MSDN, TechNet and partner programs -- and product activations using those keys.
    • Activate remote systems using Key Management Service (KMS), Multiple Activation Key (MAK) or retail activation methods.
    • Perform disconnected proxy activation and reactivation of systems without each system having to connect with Microsoft activation services individually.
    • Assist with license compliance by enabling IT administrators to monitor system license state, including whether systems are licensed and running genuine Windows or Office.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582.

    Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V

    The Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Kit for App-V is required for sequencing and deploying Office 2010 client products with Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V). This kit includes the components required for Office license activation. This product must be installed on the App-V sequencing station prior to monitoring the Office 2010 client installation. This product must also be installed on the client machines to which virtualized Office 2010 client packages will be deployed. It can be configured to enable certain system components to interact with virtualized Office 2010, including:

    • Fast search in virtualized Outlook 2010 using Windows Desktop Search
    • Ability for virtualized Office 2010 applications to open, edit, and save Office files hosted with Windows SharePoint
    • Search indexing support for Office file types
    • URL protocol redirection to virtualized Outlook 2010
    • Print to virtualized OneNote 2010
    • Mail control panel applet for virtualized Outlook 2010

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=479f12f2-5678-493e-bce1-682b3ece5431.

  • TechNet Wiki Pick for the Week: What VMM Does with AZMan Role Definitions from Hyper-V

    TechNet_bL Hyper-V security is based on Authorization Manager API (known as AZMan). Similarly to VMM’s delegated administration model, an administrator can configure a set of role objects and assign Active Directory user and group accounts to those roles. Each role can be granted a set of permissions for virtual machine access and management, and securable objects can be assigned to scopes, which determine the objects against which access checks are performed.

    When a Hyper-V host is added to VMM, VMM applies its own authorization layer, defined by the VMM user roles, to determine the actions that VMM administrators and self-service users can perform on the Hyper-V virtual machines while working in VMM. To do this, VMM creates its own AZMan authorization store on the host computer. In VMM 2008 R2, the method for implementing user roles in AZMan was changed to preserve role definitions and role memberships in the root scope of the Hyper-V authorization store while VMM is managing a Hyper-V host. In VMM 2008, the Hyper-V roles are not used while a host is managed by VMM.

    See the full acrticle @ http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/what-vmm-does-with-azman-role-definitions-from-hyper-v.aspx.

  • Microsoft Desktop Player

    The Microsoft Desktop Player delivers contextual content aggregated across Microsoft properties that is mapped to an IT Pro or Developer IT Pro Adoption lifecycle. Users can view it online or download the WPF application to view offline.

    • Offline and Online Player showcasing the power of Microsoft Platform choice via both in browser and out of browser experiences.
    • Contextual relevant content surfaced  depending on IT Adoption Lifecycle by selecting the right filters.
    • Local ITE and DE connection – The player surfaces your local DE or ITE based on the user profile.
    • MSDN and TechNet Events integration
    • Local Community events integration.
    • Local CPLS integration to find the best place to get your Microsoft Training.

    Online : www.microsoft.com/click/desktopplayer

    Downloadable version :   http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/4/5/645D41E4-C48A-431D-9EAC-73D1A1901D29/MicrosoftDesktopPlayer.msi.

  • Microsoft Broadcaster

    Microsoft Broadcaster enables IT Pro and Developer bloggers to download key Technical content ( Webcasts, podcasts, white papers) aggregated across Microsoft assets that are relevant to the IT Pro and Developer adoption lifecycle and embedding them in their own sites/blogs for richer blog postings

    • Permission and ability to download and embed content on your sites without sending traffic away from your site.
    • Customize by product e.g. Windows®, SharePoint®, Microsoft Office
    • Customize content by keyword.
    • Customize content by form factor e.g. webcasts, videos, podcasts
    • Set alerts for content updates

    Online : www.microsoftbroadcaster.com

    This is obviously for those of you that read my blog and have blogs of your own.  Think of this tool as a way for you to re-tweet articles coming out of the pipeline our content and marketing organization looks after.  Might be pretty interesting.  Let me know what you think about it in a couple of months.

  • Evel Knievel anyone?

    image

    I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was very young. Blame my Father and Uncle Stanley for my need for speed.  I still remember to this day the first time I pulled the front wheel off the ground at 60+ MPH and road a wheelie over a mile.

    Needless to say the custom bikes at DEUS EX MACHINA get my heart thumping.  I thought this one suited my younger self in many ways.  I still remember seeing Evel jump in the Astrodome in Houston.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

    I need to move to Australia so I can ride kewl bikes like this.

  • phpBB now available from the Microsoft Web Platform Installer

    image

    Over the past couple of years I kept looking at the /web App Gallery and noticed something was missing. phpBB is a widely used open source bulleting board system.  You can certainly go download the product and walk through the setup documentation and information.  That process can be tedious. Wouldn’t you like a simple installer?  Sure you would.

    The Microsoft Web Platform is an integrated toolset that helps simplify the process of installing PHP,  databases, and products like Drupal.  phpBB has now been added to that list and will help you install this widely popular product on the Windows platform.

    Ready?  Go get the Web Platform Installer @ http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx.  After that it’s simple a matter of finding and selecting phpBB.  Enjoy!

  • Windows 7 App Compatibility List for IT Professionals

    windows7rc_bloglogo The Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals is a Microsoft Office Excel-based spreadsheet listing software applications which have met Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements for compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, and have thereby earned the right to display the Windows 7 Logo Program logo with the application. These products are identified with the compatibility status “Compatible – Windows 7 Logo.”

    Additionally, this list includes applications with the following compatibility statuses: “Compatible,” “Free Update Required,” “Paid Update Required,” “Future Compatibility,” and “Not Compatible.” These statuses are based upon the software publishers’ statements of compatibility. These products have not met the Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements. For an explanation of the various compatibility statuses, please see the Release Notes for the Windows 7 Application Compatibility List.

    For the latest collection of compatible applications and hardware devices, please visit the Windows 7 Compatibility Center. You can also leave feedback on compatibility and suggest new products to get added in future reports.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=890e522e-e39e-4278-aebc-186f81e29173.

  • Failover Cluster Step-by-Step Guide

    clip_image001A failover cluster is a group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability of applications and services. The clustered servers (called nodes) are connected by physical cables and by software. If one of the cluster nodes fails, another node begins to provide service (a process known as failover). Users experience a minimum of disruptions in service.

    This guide describes the steps for installing and configuring a print server failover cluster that has two nodes. By creating the configuration in this guide, you can learn about failover clusters and familiarize yourself with the Failover Cluster Management snap-in interface in Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise or Windows Server® 2008 Datacenter.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=209c50c9-04a5-4fda-88ae-430c1e2abafe.

  • Active Directory Federation Services v2.0 - now available for download

    ws2008 r2 blog logo Active Directory Federation Services is a highly secure, highly extensible, and Internet-scalable identity access solution that allows organizations to authenticate users from partner organizations. Using AD FS in Windows Server 2008, you can simply and very securely grant external users access to your organization’s domain resources. AD FS can also simplify integration between untrusted resources and domain resources within your own organization.

    Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 helps IT enable users to collaborate across organizational boundaries and easily access applications on-premises and in the cloud, while maintaining application security.

    Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=118c3588-9070-426a-b655-6cec0a92c10b.

  • TechNet Wiki Pick for the Week: Why Split Tunneling is Not a Security Issue with DirectAccess

    ninja - lego Tom Shinder is a highly respected subject matter expert on networking, security and a variety of products that fall into those categories.  Tom joined Microsoft not long ago and I spotted one of his articles on the new TechNet Wiki.  Here’s an excerpt:

    DirectAccess by default enables split tunneling. All traffic destined to the corpnet is sent over the DirectAccess IPsec tunnels, and all traffic destined for the Internet is sent directly to the Internet over the local interface. This prevents DirectAccess clients from bringing the corporate Internet connection to its knees.

    However, it has left the issue of potential risks of split tunneling in the minds of administrators who are considering DirectAccess. One option is to use “force tunneling”.

    See the full article at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/why-split-tunneling-is-not-a-security-issue-with-directaccess.aspx.  This is a great read.  Feel free to add your experiences to the Wiki article. It’s the TechNet Wiki way!

  • KIN phone details and pricing released

    14_print For people who want to keep up and share everything going on in their lives with the people who matter most, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft Corp. made KIN available online on May 6th.

    Designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives, KIN blends the phone, online services and the PC. Both KIN phones feature a touch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, making it easy to:

    • Always stay in the loop: With the KIN Loop, all of your favorite people and things you love are right on your home screen in real time. You tell KIN who and what is important, and it delivers the latest updates from your favorite websites and social networks such as Facebook®, MySpace and Twitter. You can discover and share, all from one place.
    • Share your story with the world: The KIN Spot is the new way to share. Share almost anything – photos, texts, Web pages – with almost anyone. Since the Spot is always on your screen, it’s unbelievably easy to drop stuff into the Spot and send by text, e-mail, or social network update.
    • Your phone, on the Web: With the KIN Studio, almost everything on your phone – messages, contacts, photos and videos – is backed up to a private, password-protected website where you can visit all of your memories anywhere there is a computer. And with virtually unlimited storage, there’s almost no limit to what you can keep.
    • Capture and share all your memories: The KIN Camera captures all the moments that matter most, and makes it easy to share them. The KIN ONE has a 5 MP lens while the KIN TWO has an 8 MP lens and shoots video in HD. With anti-shake, autofocus and an LED flash, KIN lets you take amazing pictures, even in low light, and post or share them with just one touch. And all your memories are backed up with tons of storage in the KIN Studio.

    Tunes and info – at your fingertips: Find what you need on the go:

    • Zune – KIN is the first Windows® Phone to feature a Zune experience – including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. With a Zune Pass subscription and Zune software on your PC, you can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on your KIN while on the go, or load from your personal collection.
    • Bing – Web and Near Me (location-based) search.
    • E-mail – Support for all popular Web-based mail, POP/IMAP services, as well as Exchange for business e-mail and contact sync. Each e-mail account has its own screen so it’s easy to navigate.
    • Browser – With KIN, you get full, rich PC-like browsing. You can pan, scan and zoom in and out using touch gestures. And browsing is social; it’s easy to share a snapshot of the website you’re viewing by dragging it to the Spot.

    Pricing and availability

    • Starting May 6th, KIN is available online at www.verizonwireless.com and will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on Thursday, May 13. KIN ONE is available for $49.99, and KIN TWO is available for $99.99, both after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.
    • To get the most from KIN, Verizon Wireless customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.

    The full press release is at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/may10/05-04KINVerizonPR.mspx.  The KIN press site is at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/kin/ which includes more information, videos, pictures, etc.

    [UPDATE for 5/5] I just ordered the KIN One a few minutes ago (11:30pm CST).  Now I get to try one and see if my wife likes it.

    [Update for 5/6]  I woke up and noticed my phone had received a phone call, at 6:45am.  I then noticed in my inbox there were a couple of email messages from Verizon.  They cancelled my order.  The reason given?  Because they couldn’t add the phone to my existing account.  I haven’t had an account with them for over 5 years.  No wonder.  Great job Verizon.  Calling customers at the crack of dawn to tell them you are cancelling orders.  Brilliant.

    And no, I am not going to re-order one.

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 now available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers

    logo-header-sql08-dg

    For those of you that have subscriptions to TechNet or MSDN, check the downloads area this morning.  SQL Server 2008 R2 is now there in a variety of flavors. 

    SQL Server 2008 R2 provides new tools for managing large multi-database environments along with improved capabilities to help maximize the value of consolidation efforts, and ensure the streamlined development and deployment of data-driven applications.

    Here’s what I see from my TechNet subscription download area.

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    For more info, see the product site at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/default.aspx. See the TechNet Tech Center for SQL at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/default.aspx.  And by all means checkout the SQL blog at http://blogs.technet.com/dataplatforminsider/default.aspx.