Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • NEW Bigger Discount on TechNet Plus Subscriptions!

    IMPORTANT UPDATE: This promotion and promotion code have expired.
    Please CLICK HERE for the most current promotion.

    TechNet Plus!

    Whenever I present a live TechNet Event, I ask my audience to raise their hands if they are a TechNet subscriber.  Usually about 1/3 of the audience raises their hand.  Considering that this is typically a Microsoft-friendly audience, I'm a little shocked that there aren't more hands going up.  The TechNet Subscription is such a great resource for IT Pros, for these reasons:

    • Downloadable (or delivered, if you subscribe to the disks-delivered-to-you-monthly subscription), full-version software licensed for evaluation purposes; which includes Microsoft operating systems, servers, and Office System software; all the software that IT Pros care about.  Yes, these are for evaluation, testing, and training only; but they don't time-out.  You can install these into a training lab, test lab, or use Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Hyper-V, or even your own downloaded evaluation copy of the latest beta or CTP or Release Candidate software!  Use it to build a virtually networked playground, and play with (er.. “evaluate”, if your boss is watching) all the latest and greatest tools and technologies.
    • You get early access to beta versions and release candidates of new Microsoft products.
    • A Technical Information Library containing the articles, security updates, service packs, utilities and more - all in one convenient location.
    • Access to Online Concierge Chat service for live help from a Microsoft Online Assistant - to help you get the most out of your subscription.
    • Yearly subscription to TechNet Magazine (I love this magazine!)
    • Two (2) technical support incidents and a 20% discount on additional phone support incidents you purchase. (HINT: the savings here alone justifies the subscription cost)
    • Twelve free eLearning courses per year to keep your skills up to date.  Just for TechNet Subscribers.  (Good idea to watch the TechNet Plus Blog for details)
    • Unlimited Managed Newsgroup Support. Post your technical questions in over 100 public newsgroups and receive a response from an expert by next business day.  It's like another free avenue into direct technical support from Microsoft!

    For all of those reasons (Heck, for any ONE of those reasons), a TechNet Plus subscription is worth the yearly investment.

    "Cool, Kevin.  But how do I save $$$s?"

    For new subscriptions, from now until December 30, 2009, you can save 25% 28% on any version of a TechNet Plus subscription.

    "Is this worldwide, or U.S. only, or what?"

    This is for residents of North America.  So, if you're in the U.S. or Canada, this is for you. 

    “Why new subscriptions only?  Why not a discount renewals?”

    Renewals are already automatically discounted, even more than you get with this code.  Besides.. we’re honestly trying to promote TechNet Subscriptions to those who haven’t yet benefited from it.  We’re pretty confident that if you try it, you’ll see enough value in it to renew your subscription.

    Write down or copy this promotion code to your clipboard: TMSAM08 (That's zero-eight.  Not the letter O.)

    Then GOTO the TechNet Subscription Center (CLICK HERE), and use the code to get your savings.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate Available TODAY

    Exchange 2010Evaluate Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate today

    “The new Exchange Server 2010 Release Candidate is here.  Download this 120-day free release candidate version and try the new features in your own environment. When you register for the Exchange Server 2010 RC software you will automatically receive valuable product evaluation resources assembled in one convenient location.”

    ..and make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to subscribe to the TechNet Flash while you’re there.

  • Tools for Windows 7 Deployment: Release Candidate of the MDT 2010 now available!

    MDT 2010 RC on Connect. Yesterday the Microsoft Deployment Team announced on their blog the availability of the Release Candidate for the newest version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit – MDT 2010.

    “Where do I get it?”

    You get it on the Connect site (  Specifically:

    “What’s new?”

    This is the version of the MDT that will support Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 deployment.  Also mentioned on the connect site, “flexible driver management, optimized transaction process, and access to distribution shares from any location to simplify deployment and make your job easier.”

    “Sounds good?  But what will this product cost when it’s released?”

    Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Zero.  Absolutely FREE.

    UPDATE: "When will it be officially released?"

    I just heard that the only thing we can say publically is that we're shooting for late September.

    "This year?"

    Of course.  And shut up. 


    Have you used the MDT yet?  Have you got a light-touch deployment created?  How about zero-touch?

  • Windows XP to Windows 7: Here’s where you BEGIN

    Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration The folks “at corporate” have done a great job with this. 

    If you are one of the many IT Pros out there who are just beginning to consider how you’re going to move your PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7, you definitely need to check out this guide:

    Windows XP to Windows 7 Migration

    The guide walks you through topics such as doing an inventory on and checking the compatibility of your applications, all the way through to the actual deployment process.  You can navigate into just the area or the scenario solution that makes the most sense for you. 

  • TechNet Events Present: Real World Windows Azure


    Come spend a day with us to explore Windows Azure™ – Microsoft’s platform for building and deploying cloud based applications – from a real world point of view!

    During this event, we’ll review critical lessons Microsoft IT has learned migrating internal line-of-business applications to Windows Azure™.

    What is Windows Azure™? When should I use it? How does it apply to my job? Whether you’re an IT Professional, Developer or Architect, we’ll address your top of mind questions about cloud computing.

    TechNet Presents – for the IT Professional from 8:30am to noon

    In this session, we will discuss:

    • Azure architecture from the IT professional’s point of view
    • Why an IT operations team would want to pursue Azure as an extension to the data center
    • Configuration, deployment and scaling Azure-based applications
    • The Azure roles (web, web service and worker)
    • Azure storage options
    • Azure security and identity options
    • How Azure-based applications can be integrated with on-premises applications
    • How operations teams can manage and monitor Azure-based applications

    TechNet – Date/Location/Registration




    Columbus, OH




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    Mason, OH




    Austin, TX




    Downers Grove, IL




    St. Louis, MO




    Indianapolis, IN




    Nashville, TN




    Dallas, TX




    Knoxville, TN




    Grand Rapids, MI




    Chicago, IL




    Southfield, MI




    Bloomington, MN




    Overland Park, KS






    Houston, TX





    Cleveland, OH





  • Were you wondering about volume-activating Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2?

    KMS Activation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008

    Many of the questions I get asked have to do with licensing and activation.  I just found out about a video that does a good job of summarizing what KMS Activation is and how it works in Windows 7.   It also mentions some of the changes and new functionality that goes beyond how KMS Activation worked with Windows Vista.

  • Breaking RTM News: Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

    SCVMM Site “Breaking news?  Didn’t this happen yesterday, Kevin?”

    Yeah.. well.. I was busy yesterday traveling and attending meetings in Chicago.  I’m still there (here), but really needed to blog this.

    SCVMM 2008 R2 is released to manufacturing (RTM). 

    “What’s new?”

    Well.. in a nutshell this is the version that natively support new functionality in the recently released Windows Server 2008 R2 – primarily supporting the new Live Migration functionality supported by Clustering, Clustered Shared Volumes, and Hyper-V.  So now, just like you can manage fully manage Microsoft AND VMware virtualization (including launching Vmotion-based migrations of virtual machines),  you’ll now be able to configure the new capabilities using SCVMM

    “Awesome!  When can I get it?”

    I love your enthusiasm.  It will be generally available on October 1st, 2009.

    “Where can I learn more?”

    Certainly the SCVMM site, and the TechNet SCVMM Site are good resources.

    Also, there’s a webcast happening on Sept 9 being delivered by the Technical Product Manager for SCVMM.

    And last but definitely not least, you can download your 180-day evaluation copy HERE.


    “Wait, Kevin.. I’m a TechNet Plus Subscriber.  Is it available for me to download yet?”

    As of the time of this blog post, no.  Not yet.  I’m sure it will be there soon, and I’ll try to remember to update this post when I hear or see that it’s there.