Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Four NEW System Center 2012 Virtual Labs are LIVE

    Evaluation Software

    Yes indeed!  Today Microsoft has made 4 new free virtual labs available.  This gives you a great opportunity to try out some of the basic operations of some of the new suite of System Center tools.

    TechNet Virtual Lab: System Center Operations Manager 2012: Infrastructure and Application Performance Monitoring

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9792430

    TechNet Virtual Lab: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: Building Your Cloud Infrastructure

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9792431

    TechNet Virtual Lab: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012: Building a Service Template

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9792432

    TechNet Virtual Lab: Introduction to System Center Configuration Manager 2012

    http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9789981

    Try them out.  And then if you’re interested in running these tools for yourself by building your own test environment, don’t forget to download the evaluations of these products HERE.

  • Breaking News: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 6.5 is RTW

    RTW = Released to the Webitubes

    Download MAP 6.5Today Microsoft releases the next version of the MAP Toolkit.  MAP, in case you weren't aware, stands for Microsoft Assessment and Planning.  And a brand new version (v6.5) is now available to download.

    “What does it do?”

    Swiss Army KnifeI’m glad you asked.  The MAP Toolkit is the Swiss Army Knife of all of the Solution Accelerators, in that it allows you to perform assessment of your environment/infrastructure/architecture/network/servers/workstations/software, and then gives you recommendations (a plan) for making a change.  That change could be upgrading to the newest version of Windows or Office, or determining which servers are most likely candidates to be virtualized. 

    Here is the summary paragraph from the MAP Solution Accelerator page:

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 7, Office 2010 and 365, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, Windows Azure, and Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.

    “Cool.  So what’s new?”

    How about being able to survey and report on all of the VMware resources (products, hosts and virtualized workloads) to aide you in determining when it might make sense to move virtualized resources to Hyper-V; which is a better platform for running SQL or Exchange Server on anyway.

    Another new addition is something called the “Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track Onboarding Assessment Report”.  The tool will analyze what your infrastructure looks like and what the next logical steps would be if you are interested in implementing a Private Cloud as defined by the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track.

    “Sounds great, Kevin.  But what does it cost?”

    It’s a Solution Accelerator, so it’s FREE.  It costs nothing.  $0.00.  Download it today.

  • A Great Opportunity to Learn Windows Azure Development

    Scott, Dave, and Markimage

    “Oh here you go again, Kevin… Talking about development topics in an IT Pro blog…”

    Hey.. I thought we had established the fact that many IT pros are also software engineers and developers.  Or perhaps their friends are.  So whether you’re a developer, and aspiring developer, or an IT Pro with friends (?), I wanted to make you aware of this great opportunity to learn something from the people who know the topic best.

    On Dec 13, 2011 at 9:00am PST (and going ‘til 5:00pm PST) Microsoft is hosting the Learn Windows Azure event.  You’ll learn how to get started building applications for the cloud from Microsoft technical leaders Scott Guthrie, Dave Campbell, and Mark Russinovich!

    “Mark Russinovich?  Isn’t he the guy that does those Sysinternals tools?”

    That’s him.  And currently he is working on the internals for Windows Azure.  (He is also the author of the novel “Zero Day”, which is a really good read.)

    Click here to get the details and to register.

    Oh.. and if you happen to reside in the Seattle area, you’re even welcome to attend the event LIVE.

  • URGENT: Out-of-Band Security Update Released Today for Windows

    MP900174871[1]“For ‘Windows’?  Which versions?”

    Pretty much every supported version of Windows is impacted**, so read on.  This is important.

    Yesterday Microsoft released an advisory, and today Microsoft released a security patch outside of its normal release cycle, or “out of band”; meaning: not on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  So you know that this is important.  In fact, more than important, it’s listed as “critical”, which is defined as “A vulnerability whose exploitation could allow the propagation of an Internet worm without user action.”  So yeah.. you need to do something with this ASAP.  Today’s update involves and removes a couple of recently discovered vulnerabilities in ASP.NET.  Among other things, this is related to the advisory that we released yesterday: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2659883

    The pre-release post can be found HERE.  I’m writing this blog post before the official release time and scheduling the post to go live at the very same time as the release, so follow that link to updated information as it becomes available.  And take advantage of the recommendations for deploying this update as soon as possible. I will update this post with the most current information when it is made available.

    UPDATE: The pre-release link above is also the link to the current information. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms11-dec

    If you’re interested in getting all the details LIVE, you can Register now for the December 29, 1-00 PM Security Bulletin Webcast. (PST)

    For all the latest information, you can also follow the MSRC team on Twitter at @MSFTSecResponse.

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    **The only current Windows installation not impacted by this release is any Windows Server 2008 Core installation.  However, Server 2008 R2 Core is impacted.