Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
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The first test I did (I've removed that post - it's annoying when all these videos start playing all at once in each blog post) rendered it down a little - more like DVD quality than true HD.
This later one is a much bigger file, and is true HD 720p **. Check it out.
UPDATE: For those of you that miss the original post that I removed...
This video was taken in HD using a Sony HD HandyCam. It was then rendered from the native ACVHD format to a 1280x720 HD WMV file ** using Pinnacle Studio Plus 11.1. Then that file was encoded for Silverlight using Microsoft Expression Encoder. And with the Silverlight Publishing plug-in for Expression Encoder, I could then automatically publish it to my Silverlight Streaming account.
Once published, and using yet another plugin (this time a Silverlight plugin for Windows Live Writer), I linked the video right into my blog post here.
"Cool technology, Kevin.. but what is this a video OF?"
Oh.. it's just a quick pan of breakfast at the first day of our October Microsoft Across America team meeting, held in Phoenix Arizona at a very nice resort.
** Some have noticed (myself included) that there appears to be interlacing, even though I said 720p. I'm fairly new at this video game; at least beyond what I've been doing with my MiniDV camcorder to make DVDs of my family videos. So while the 2nd rendering was progressive, it was a rendering of something that was interlaced after the first rendering from the Sony AVCHD to a WMV file.
If Expression Encoder were able to work with AVCHD natively, I wouldn't have to do two renderings. (Do you hear that, product team?) Another option would be for Pinnacle Systems (Avid) or Sony and their video editing products that DO work with AVDHD to also support creating Silverlight projects and pushing them to Silverlight Streaming accounts directly.
Today Microsoft released a new Search offering - Search Server 2008 Express. This is on top of the recently announced Search Server 2008, and of course Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
"Express? Does this mean, like in so many other products with that moniker, that this is free?"
"So.. it's scaled down, I bet. Probably some limit on the number of items you can index, right?"
Wrong. From what I've read, it's pretty much the same product as the Enterprise version Search Server 2008 - only without the enterprise-class high availability and load balancing options that you get in MOSS 2007 and Search Server 2008. Check out this comparison page for more details on the three main search offerings from Microsoft.
And here's the press release that came out today, also.
Big news: They're splitting it up.
"Huh? What do you mean? Are they having one conference for boys, and another for girls?"
<sigh> Don't be silly. And anyway, that (unfortunately) would be extremely lopsided. No, I'm talking about now having two separate weeks - one for Developers and the other for IT Professionals.
And that's what was announced just the other day. As you see from the graphic above, TechEd U.S. 2008 Developers is happening June 3-6. And TechEd U.S. 2008 IT Professionals is happening June 10-13. Both are back in Orlando, Florida this year.
"Interesting. And how do you feel about that, Kevin?"
What are you? My analyst? **
Quite honestly, I wasn't too happy about it, initially. As regular readers (big assumption, I realize) of this blog know, I'm one of the very biggest and longest fans of TechEd there is. I have only missed three of the U.S. TechEds in its entire 15 year history; attending many more as a customer than as an employee. So when I heard the news, my first reaction was, "Shoot... they're going to make it smaller and less fun."
However, one of the benefits of being an employee is that, along with the early announcement e-mail I received last week, I also received documents all about the reasons behind the decision. And they make a lot of sense. The full FAQ is available here, but I'll summarize for you...
Reason 1 - TechEd U.S. is just so darn huge!
We sell out practically every year, which means there are a lot of people who miss out and don't get to attend. And that's sad. But the realities of handling the logistics of making one of the biggest technology event anywhere even bigger were just too much. There aren't enough cities and venues available that can really handle anything bigger than what we've been throwing at them. So splitting this up makes it easier logistically, while at the same time providing a great opportunity for even more people to come to a TechEd.
Reason 2 - Developers! IT Pro! IT Pros!
Yeah.. I know.. the chant is "Developers! Developers! Developers!..." But the ratio at TechEd really has been more like 1/3 Developers, and 2/3 IT Pros. Many people look at TechEd as primarily an IT Pro event, and developers love going to the PDC or other events (I'm a new big fan of the HDC - the Heartland Developer Conference).
Reason 3 - People leave early
A large number of attendees just don't stick around for the last of the 5 days. So these events will be 4 day events instead.
"Hey Kevin.. you were once a Developer.. then a Developer AND an IT Pro as you transitioned to being a full-time IT Pro. How can someone who is doing both roles choose which TechEd to go to?"
That, unfortunately, is quite honestly going to make it hard on some people. It will be a tough decision. Fortunately, though, the TechEd planners understand this also. They are going to do a couple of things to address this:
Pricing for this hasn't yet been announced, so I highly recommend you get on the "TechEd 2008 guestbook" at http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2007 so you'll get updates in e-mail on the event as the details become available.
"Are you going to TechEd IT Professionals this year, Kevin?"
I sure do hope so. And then I'll see you there!
** Disclaimer - I don't actually have an analyst; although I probably should. I spend an awful lot of time arguing with myself in the form of this here stupid blog.
Here are some resources relating to the webcast I presented on November 16, 2007, entitled “Internet Information Services 7.0 (Part 3 of 4): Performance Optimization”.
I hope you find them useful.
PS - The landing page for this entire series is here. Check out the other parts of the series!
Next Generation TCP/IP Stack http://www.microsoft.com/technet/network/tcpip/default.mspx
IIS 6 Technical Reference http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/WindowsServer2003/Library/IIS/69a58513-141a-4adb-b6bc-2aaad4ea77b8.mspx
High Performance Network Adapters and Drivers http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/network/NetAdapters-Drvs.mspx
Enterprise Networking with Windows Vista http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905086.aspx
Document Download: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2003 http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/8/0/2800a518-7ac6-4aac-bd85-74d2c52e1ec6/tuning.doc
Performance Tuning IIS 6.0 http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/WindowsServer2003/Library/IIS/71490aae-f444-443c-8b2a-520c2961408e.mspx
ASP.NET Integration with IIS 7 http://www.iis.net/articles/view.aspx/IIS7/Hosting-Web-Applications/ASP-NET/ASP-NET-Integration-with-IIS7
Enabling HTTP Compression http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/WindowsServer2003/Library/IIS/502ef631-3695-4616-b268-cbe7cf1351ce.mspx?mfr=true
Improving ASP.NET Performance http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms998549.aspx#scalenetchapt06_topic19
Shared Hosting on IIS 7 http://www.iis.net/articles/view.aspx/IIS7/Deploy-an-IIS7-Server/Deployment-for-Web-Hosters/Shared-Hosting-on-IIS7?Page=1
Live TechNet Events
Microsoft Events pagehttp://www.microsoft.com/events
First of all - This news is a week old. I apologize for not putting it here sooner. Too busy to blog lately (as usual). I still think this is too cool not to share, though.
"Windows Essentials Business Server? What is it?"
As a former IT Manager, and in talking to so many IT Pros and IT Managers in my current job, I have heard and experienced first-hand the frustration of the 1-3 person IT group. Your company is too big for Small Business Server, but the next choice is to buy multiple servers at higher costs, and having to basically become an MCSE overnight to create and support it. **
So... there has been a real need to have a lower-cost, easier to administer solution for companies that can't do it just on one server, but aren't quite to the point where they're ready to put in a raised floor and HVAC system. An offering something like Small Business Server, but with a couple of servers, more users supported, and easy-to-use management tools like the ones that have made SBS so popular.
Windows Essentials Business Server is the product (or are products) that address this directly.
Windows Essential Business Server Editions
Click for larger version.
This article in Microsoft PressPass describes the bundle, and includes screenshots of what some of the administrative functions look like.
"Kevin.. is this based on Windows Server 2003? Or is this going to be on Windows Server 2008 like 'Cougar'?"
It's based on Windows Server 2008. So this means, that - like "Cougar" (the yet-to-be-officially-named next version of Small Business Server), it will be arriving sometime after the release of Windows Server 2008.
Watch the Windows Server web site for more information. And Kevin Beares has a great blog all about the SBS, WEBS, and WHS, and the rapidly growing community of users. (Check it out - he's got an invite code there on his blog that will let you get in on the Beta at http://connect.microsoft.com
** Well, not really.. but I bet if you asked all the MCSEs out there what one of their main motivators was to get that certification, the majority will say that it was the real pressing on-the-job need to support a growing business IT infrastructure. Ah.. we love our jobs. <smile>
"Here you go again, Kevin... talking about stuff for Developers and not just for IT Pros."
Yep. And I do so unashamed. I will never forget, and look back fondly at my own Software Engineering days. So once in awhile I'm going to put things here for all of my developer / software engineering brethren.
And today is a BIG day! Visual Studio 2008, and the .NET Framework version 3.5, have released to manufacturing.
Here is the Microsoft PressPass news article all about it. And of course, you'll want to check out the main page to find out how you can get a copy, or an evaluation.
"So.. what's new in this version of Visual Studio?"
Um... don't ask me. Ask a guy like Michael Benkovich, Bill Steele, Glen Gordon, Russ Fustino, or any of the other great Microsoft Developer Evangelists out there.
A couple of weeks ago (Wednesday October 24, specifically) I was driving like a madman from Dallas to Houston.
"Why so fast?"
I had a deadline. At 2:00pm I was scheduled to interview Sukhvinder Singh Gulati, a Sr. Lead Program Manager in the Unified Communications space - specifically Office Communications Server 2007. ...and I was running late.
"Did you make it?"
Just barely. Traffic held me up a bit getting into town, but I got to the parking lot of the hotel right before 2:00pm, and let Eric (our producer) know that I was on my way. The hotel room was over-deodorized (I could barely breathe), and I quickly logged in and got on the call to do the interview.
And here is the result: Kevin interviews Sukhvinder on TechNet Radio
Of course, if you haven't already, you should check out ALL of the great TechNet Radio podcasts available there, and even subscribe to the RSS feeds for the audio format you're interested in listening to.
Me?... I subscribe, download, and put them on my audio player so I have something to listen to while I'm on some nasty workout machine at the gym.
Also - if you're interested in details on Unified Communications, click on the words Unified Communications somewhere in this blog post. Like here: Unified Communications. Easy.
Below are the questions I pulled out of the Q&A log from the TechNet Webcast: "Internet Information Services 7.0 (Part 3 of 4): Performance Optimization", along with extended answers (especially to those I didn't get to answer verbally).
Hope you find them useful!
PS: Here is my resource page for this webcast.
“Can you show how to configure host name?”
This question was in reference to the new feature in IIS7 to be able to host multiple FTP servers on the same address using different virtual hostnames.
I found a good article on that here at IIS.NET: http://www.iis.net/articles/view.aspx/IIS7/Managing-IIS7/Using-FTP-Server-in-IIS7/Using-virtual-host-names
“Can you show, if not in this web cast, step by in IIS7 or Vista on using Membership so that like you said bypass IIS?”
I’m going to direct you to the IIS.NET site and their set of webcasts and resources. I see several webcasts linked to there that are all around security and authentication, and go into detail about that very subject.
“Can changes made directly to the applicationhost.config file trash the iis manager gui?”
I tried this just now, and it doesn’t appear to impact it at all. A refresh simply adjusts to what is or isn’t loaded. Pretty amazingly slick, in my opinion.
“Automatic Failed Request Tracing - Allows us to configure error condition. Please show how.”
Automatic Failed Request Tracing will be covered and demonstrated in Part 4 on 11/30/2007.
"Where can I find parts 1 and 2 of this series?"
Here. I'll just give you a list to all 4 parts in one place:
“Thanks for the info :)”
From the "I knew this was coming a long time ago, but wasn't allowed to tell you" department:
Windows Server virtualization - or WSv as we've been calling it - is now called something different. The new, official name - announced at TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona, Spain - is "Hyper-V"
"Hyper-V? Is that a letter V, or a roman five?"
It's a V-for-Virtualization, I'm betting. If it were Hyper-Five, they might be referring to my kids (2 boys, 2 girls, and one dog.)
Check out the official Hyper-V page. The Hyper-V team (an energetic bunch, to be sure) also has a blog: Windows Virtualization Team Blog
Seems like just the other day I was talking here about the release candidate for this, and now here it is, RELEASED!
Here is the Microsoft Deployment download. And you may want to check out the Microsoft Deployment Team Blog, too.
Interesting. If you go to http://www.microsoft.com/deployment, you go straight to the MD download page also.
This time I took my original AVCHD file and rendered it as a high-quality MPEG-2 file before rendering it again for Silverlight using Expression Encoder.
It looks a little better in my opinion. Not so many interlacing effects visible. What do you think?