Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Windows Azure: A Fresh Look

    David PallmannI ran across a really excellent blog post this morning.  David Pallmann (a Microsoft MVP) provides an excellent overview of the Windows Azure platform; all of its parts, and the current state of all of the components:

    “In this post I'll take you through an updated tour of the Windows Azure platform.  It's 2011, and the Windows Azure platform is coming up on the first anniversary of its commercial release. Much has been added in the last year, especially with the end-of-year 1.3 update.  This will give you a good overview of what's in the platform now.  Note, a few of these services are still awaiting release.  This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, The Azure Handbook.”

    David goes on to outline and summarize the different components (and sub-components) that make up the Windows Azure platform:

    • The Core Services
    • The SQL Azure Database Services, and
    • The AppFabric / Enterprise Services

    If you were ever in need of a clear, concise, well-organized introduction of what Windows Azure is all about, this is it.

    Nice work, David.  I’m really looking forward to that full handbook!

  • Breaking News: MAP 5.5 is RTW!

    RTW = Released to the Web-i-tubes

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    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) version 5.5 has been released to the web.  This is the latest version of the toolset that many of you have seen me demonstrate in our TechNet Events.  It lets you take an inventory (agentless, I might add) of your environment – PCs, Servers, other devices – and then allows you to perform an analysis of readiness in several areas of interest.

    “Areas of interest?  What do you mean?”

    Well… let’s say you’re curious about whether or not your desktops are ready to run Windows 7?   This tool will collect and inventory and generate a report on what machines are ready, which ones might need some hardware or software update first (and some basic details about what that update might be), and which ones simply won’t run Windows 7.  Now take that same idea of inventory –> reporting and apply it to things like readiness for Office 2010, Windows Server 2008, Virtualization with Hyper-V, etc. 

    The overview from the download page reads:

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop and server migrations and upgrades. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and application information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside in their current environment. MAP also provides server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments, including ROI analysis for server consolidation with Hyper-V.

    “Sounds cool.  And expensive.  What does it cost?”

    It’s free.  So it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

    Here is the MAP home page.  You’ll find all of the guides, how-to videos, and the download link there.