If you are an IT Pro, and you are interested in the kind of skills needed for Virtualisation, then there is a great article over at SearchServerVirtualisation.com, which covers just that.
Now, anyone from a Virtualisation background will understand the fact that handling virtual systems means more than just operating systems and applications, yet many companies end up hiring virtualisation professionals using the same criteria they use to hire a systems engineer or architect, neglecting the fact that more specialised skills are required.
This article goes into quite abit of depth of the kind of skills that a virtualisation IT Pro should have - so, if you would consider yourself in that category, why not go along and see how you measure up.
Read the article
Another good reason to read the article? It has a link to another article which discusses migrating VMware Virtual Machines over to Virtual Server. Priceless. :-)
The guys over at the Windows Vista Team Blog have made an announcement today, which relates to some of the acquisitions we have made over the last few months, such as Softricity, Winternals, DesktopStandard, and AssetMetrix. But, you may be thinking, how will these technologies be used in a Microsoft solution? I'll tell you how! In the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, which will include:
You can also download the full feature chart for Microsoft Desktop Optimisation, in PDF format.
It is important to note that the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack is only available to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. This is another example of delivering on our commitment that Software Assurance will continue to provide the most cost-effective and flexible means of managing the Windows desktop.
There are even some resources available for your perusal, and these include this article, entitled "Software Assurance Add-on Delivers Dynamic Desktop" and also, this website: http://www.windowsvista.com/optimizeddesktop.
Are you ready for Microsoft's biggest launch ever? The combined launch of Windows Vista, 2007 Microsoft Office system and Exchange Server 2007 is the biggest single investment Microsoft has ever made. It's also the biggest business opportunity we've ever provided our partners.
So what is the opportunity? Well, according to an IDC white paper, entitled 'The Economic Impact of Microsoft Windows Vista', the launch of EVO will create a massive spike in partner revenues. You want more clarity? The IDC predict the partner services opportunity to be around €47billion Euros. Interested now?
Why will it produce this massive spike? Well, essentially because more people are upgrading sooner and not waiting for the service packs. But is this all? No way! You can also expect additional revenues as customers upgrade or replace their PCs and laptops to take advantage of Windows Vista. The 2007 Microsoft Office System will sell on the back of its improved productivity and easy deployment – and partner revenues for Exchange Server 2007 are expected to approach £100 million in the UK.
So, you are interested right? But you are unsure about how we, as a company are going to deliver this to you? Well, it is something we have entitled "Microsoft EVO Roadshow - The Partner Opportunity", and the clue is in the title...it's a roadshow. (deep voice) We are coming, to a cinema near you....
That's right, we, as a team, are touring the country, reaching out to as many partners as possible, in the following venues...
So move over James Bond, the PTS Team are coming, with a licence to thrill - but, why should you attend? To learn about the following of course:
But, you should attend if you want to:
But how will the content be delivered? Well, as James states over on his blog, we are trying to move away from run-of-the-mill demonstrations and presentations - these products are cool, they do incredible things, and we are going to blow you away with what they can do, but it isn't just going to be a mish-mash of the best features, oh no, we are going to be telling you a story where the benefits of Exchange, Vista and Office are woven into a real business scenario. This is the most effective way to understand how, when combined together, these products interact in a way so powerful that the compelling business message is plain to see.
Right, listen up...Actions:
I'm off to practice saying 'The name's McSpirit....Matt McSpirit'....
Hope to see you at the events....
I was reading Mr Overton's blog a week or so ago, and found a great post about the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 7. Did you know that the final release of IE7 is going to be available this month to download? Did you also know that, after a few weeks of being available to download, it will be delivered to users through Automatic Updates? The reasoning behind this? To ensure that our customers and users are more secure and more up-to-date.
So that's 2 little nuggets that you may or may not already know, but what else can I tell you about IE7? Well, as David says, we have made great improvements, release on release, of IE7, yet it is still imperative that you, the website owners, ensure that your sites are compatible with IE7. We aren't going to leave you on your own to figure this out, don't worry. We have produced a great deal of documentation, tools and other resources to assist site, extension and application owners in their testing and development efforts to ensure they are compatible with IE7 - we've also worked with a number of companies to resolve issues over the past few months.
So, how can you ensure your sites are compatible? Well, first things first, you are going to need IE7, right? Well, you can download the RC1 version here, unless of course, you are running Vista, in which case, you don't need to download! Secondly, you should head on over to these links and check out the following:
In the red corner is....The Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit:
The Internet Explorer 7 Readiness Toolkit provides an easy way for any audience that is involved in the development, test, deployment or support of web sites, extensions, and/or applications to prepare for Internet Explorer 7. This Readiness Toolkit was previewed at the MIX06 conference in March 2006 and received rave reviews. The Toolkit provides the following:
In the blue corner is....The Application Compatibility Toolkit:
Helps test browser-based applications to ensure they work with IE7.
In the orange corner is....The Microsoft Internet Explorer Developer Center
Find an array of important information for developers.
In the green corner is...The Information Index for Internet Explorer 7
Think of this as a table of contents linking you to documentation, blog posts, whitepapers and other information on IE7.
and finally, in the pink corner (don't ask) (also don't ask about this pentagon-shaped boxing ring) is....The IE Team Blog
Use the search feature on the right to find previous posts on almost any topic you can think of with regard to IE7.
This is all well and good, but what if you don't want to install IE7, and what if you are an Enterprise that don't want to install IE7 when it is being delivered through Automatic Updates? Well, Automatic Updates will notify users when IE7 is ready to install and show a welcome screen that presents key features and choices to “Install”, “Don’t Install”, or “Ask Me Later”. In an Enterprise environment, we are also providing a Blocker Toolkit for our customers who may want to block automatic delivery of IE7 in their organisations; this blocker has no expiration date. Enterprise customers can download the free Blocker Toolkit from the Microsoft Download Center today. We’ve also made additional information for IT administrators available at the Windows Update/Microsoft Update site on TechNet.
I hope you find it useful :-)
Now this is a site that I have just stumbled on, and I'm not sure how many people out there know about it, so I thought I'd take the chance to share it with you!
So, where is it and what is there? Well, the site is over at http://www.windowsvistatnt.com/ and it includes things like the Windows Vista Tip Sheet and the Windows Vista Top 10 Tips & Tricks, yet there are also resources such as Demo Scripts, Slide Decks, WhitePapers and Webcasts! These webcasts include:
There is even a link to the Office 2007 Tips and Tricks - what a site hey?
Give it a click!
There has been quite abit of buzz around Vista today, so rather than bombard you with many many posts, I thought it would be a better idea to consolidate the whole lot into one, easy to digest, click-if-you're-interested post.
Microsoft on Monday released API code that will allow security vendors to disable the Security Center management console that will ship with Windows Vista.
Microsoft hopes to convince companies that they need to spend money on Windows Vista to save money on other business costs.
Microsoft could be ready to release Windows Vista to manufacturing as early as next week, a milestone that would signify the end of a protracted development process.
Several members of the European Parliament are relieved that the European Commission won't take action that could have delayed Microsoft's launch of Windows Vista in Europe.
Microsoft's decision to modify its new electronic document format and the way that Internet Explorer 7 is assigned a search engine may boomerang on companies whose complaints sparked the changes, an analyst says.
I know - crazy hey! But we do!
Listen to Microsoft webcasts and media content whenever and wherever you want. You can stream or download these audio podcasts on your favorite podcast software or mobile device, and quickly and easily access content with RSS feeds. Microsoft podcasts are free and do not require registration - just click and listen! Cool!!
Podcasts are listed below by product or topic, and each category has its own RSS feed. You can also register to view the webcast online, download a WMV, and download the webcast PowerPoint...
The categories of podcasts are...
Hope you find them useful :)
Now we all know one of the key benefits of virtualisation is the consolidation of hardware, or, put another way, increasing the utilisation of your hardware. Lets be honest, hardware isn't cheap right? Sure, you get more bang for your buck than you did 10 years go (where for £850 I bought a P120, 840k hard disk, 16mb RAM - you know the story!) but it is still pretty expensive, especially if you are trying to future proof your business for at least a few years to come.
Anyway, it's not just me who has picked up on this benefit of virtualisation - those chaps at Gartner have also popped out an article, the details of which can be found over on eWeek.
"While notebooks continue to grow in popularity compared with desktop computers (and will represent half the computers bought by businesses in developed countries by 2009), the big game-changer coming is virtualization"
But why is virtualisation the 'big-game changer'??
Well, they believe that due to virtualisation prices dropping fast, in terms of both software and licenses, companies will embrace this technology and "cut hardware acquisition costs, ease management and build out a full-scale virtualized enterprise. The current leader in virtualization, VMware, could see its market share significantly eroded if it isn't able to keep up the virtualization management software pace that will be set by competitors Microsoft and XenSource.
Have you just purchased new hardware? Have you got older hardware that is just performing one, or maybe two jobs? Have you thought about virtualisation, and in particular, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1? Do you know what is coming in the future...both in the actual virtualisation space, but also in the management of a virtual infrastructure?
If you want to learn more about Virtualisation, from a Microsoft perspective, we are running a number of events over the coming months, details of which you can find here. Make sure you come along!
Am I good to you? I think so too!
James has found a load of events that are taking place in the UK, including events on Vista, Exchange, SQL and Virtualisation, so I thought I'd take it one step further to not only provide you with the information now, but information for the future too, with RSS feeds that you can subscribe to!
09 November 2006, Bristol: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies and Internet Explorer 7 Security Features
Windows Vista will ship with several new system integrity technologies, including code integrity, secure start-up, service hardening, mandatory integrity control and Internet Explorer protected mode. In this session, Steve Lamb explores how these technologies work to thwart malware's attempts to take over your computer.
21 November 2006, West Yorkshire: Virtualisation Unplugged
This interactive session will focus on how you can use Microsoft's virtualisation products to solve real-life problems. We will explore the capabilities and scenarios surrounding these products and demonstrate how they can work for you. Virtual machine technology enables multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a single host, and the new features in the latest release give you more opportunities than ever.
28 November, Edinburgh: Office 2007 Developer Features - Client
The Office 2007 Client applications provide a rich foundation for building critical business applications quickly and easily. See how the new technologies in Office 2007 give you, the developer, a huge head start in solving the business problems of your organisation. This session will show how the client applications of the Office System can be connected together and extended with a minimum of effort for maximum results. This session includes an overview of how to extend the Ribbon, Custom Task Panes, XML file formats, Outlook integration, and Client Tools (VSTO).
Apologies for the shameless plug of a Jamiroquai hit of yesteryear, but I thought it was an ideal way to talk about the fact that Virtual PC 2007 Beta is here, and it's available for you to download! What are you waiting for??
Without further adoo, here is the link to the download site! The download is part of the Microsoft Connect program, so you will have to apply for participation, but it's pretty straightforward - you'll have it in no time!
So, what are the benefits? Well, here is one straight off!
Vista in a VPC - awesome! I nabbed that image from this post over on the Windows Vista Team Blog where they also talk about the install process, and also some queries around licensing. Virtual PC 2007 Beta is a great way for you to have a play around with Vista, (which you can still download here) and really see for yourself how much has improved over XP.
The final pearl of wisdom that I can bring you in this post...? How about a whitepaper that covers Virtual PC and Application Compatibility - a must read for many organisations out there, large or small. To whet your appetite, the abstract reads:
"Virtual PC 2007 lets you run additional operating systems on Windows Vista, without using multiple computers. This allows you to proceed with your Windows Vista deployment, rather than delay because of application incompatibility. Your organization can take full advantage of the new features and capabilities in Windows Vista and still provide end users access to run their legacy mission-critical applications, allowing you to realize your return on investment faster than other short-term solutions."
Download the whitepaper here!Get on the Connect Program and Download Virtual PC 207 Beta here!Download Vista RC1 and install!, either on your physical, or virtual machine here!