For the techies among you, there's loads of great content on the whole suite of Virtualisation technologies here:
It's a great one-stop-shop for all things technical, around Hyper-V, Application Virtualisation, Presentation Virtualisation, Solution Accelerators and more.
For the non-techies among you, this is your one-stop-shop:
Loads of great information, including a host of case studies...
I was presenting at a Partner event on Friday, and in the Q&A session at the end, someone stumped me with a question about the difference between the Prefetch in XP, and SuperFetch in Vista...
Well, there's a good answer here: http://news.softpedia.com/news/SuperFetch-Enhanced-Prefetch-64346.shtml
In essence, it's around intelligence. On the surface, they are both ensuring that applications load more quickly, but SuperFetch ensures that in the long term, it ensures the performance of your PC will stay tip-top thanks to it's intelligent management of your use of the PC, files, folders and applications.
"To start with, SuperFetch overcomes one of the big drawbacks in Windows XP's Prefetch technology. Prefetch improves efficiency by loading the majority of the files and data needed by an application or process into memory so that they can be accessed very quickly when needed. However, because these files and data exist in memory, they are subject to the laws governing virtual memory. In other words, when other applications need access to memory, any prefetched data is moved out to the page file on the hard disk. When it is needed again, it then must be moved back from the page file to memory, which of course offsets the performance enhancement" (http://members.rushmore.com/~jsky/id37.html)
<posh_Voice> It's all about the Dynamic Kernel Address Space, don't you know? </posh_Voice>
Read all about it here: http://www.thincomputing.net/articles/one-reason-why-windows-server-2008-terminal-server-will-allow-you-to-get-more-users-on-2.html
Great Article by Michael Roth - Definitely worth a read.
He's also got some interesting articles on the Terminal Services 2008 Architecture, Parallel Session Creation and Session Broker.
Looks like TS in 2008 is pretty good! :-)
Still in Alpha, but gaining momentum fast, is the Microsoft UK Partner Community - Online.
"The Partner Community is a group of networks set up and managed by individuals, partner organisations and Microsoft employees. Our vision is to enable partners to communicate, share and connect with other partners and with Microsoft so we can all do business more effectively and efficiently. The Partner Community will offer many opportunities to leverage information and exchange news, thoughts and feedback - you can even set up your own community or blog"
The partner community is made up of three parts:
Partner Community Home The Community Home acts as a 'hub' to all the partner networks and users within the community. From this page, users can navigate to and explore the different communities.
Networks A network is an individual 'community site', containing the typical features and functionality that is used to provide a network service, eg discussion groups and blogs. A user can be a member of as many networks as they choose. Networks can be set up and managed either by Microsoft partners or by Microsoft employees.
My Home This is a personal site that allows individuals to have an online presence in the networks and the community. My Home provides network service functionality for that user alone - this might include a blog and personal discussion groups for example, along with the ability to set up lists of friends and colleagues.
Start exploring today! - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40052737
Note: Please note that this Partner Community Platform SharePoint site is an alpha site and is available to a limited number of users only. By accessing and using this site you acknowledge that (i) this is an alpha SharePoint site with limited and changeable functionality; (ii) that any data or content entered by you may be removed without notice at any time; and (iii) that this alpha SharePoint site may be closed at any time without notice. You further acknowledge that this alpha SharePoint site is provided “as is” without any warranty of any kind.
Credit where it's due:
"Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002"
There's also an energy saving tips page! http://www.blackle.com/tips/
I'm off to watch old episodes of Captain Planet (with the brightness turned down :-)) - "Every little helps" is the phrase, I believe... :-)
Image courtesy of Wikipedia - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/84/Captain.gif
Short, but interesting article on Server 2008 and it's early adoption within a few customers, mostly focused around Terminal Services in Server 2008. One customer states:
"By using HP blade servers to run Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services, Davey said Tubelines would be able to reduce the number of servers it runs by 90% and support the company's green efficiency drive. The software will replace Citrix Metaframe. Davey said, "We will not require a Citrix licence and the support costs associated with it anymore."
I read Scott's blog as often as I can - he's got a lot of experience in the technology industry, and a hell of a lot more than me around Virtualisation! Scott's got a lot of experience with VMware, but as explained in the post (link above), he'd starting to play with Citrix's XenServer too.
The thing I find interesting about the post (and also the comments) are around the world of x64, and XenServer's native x64 hypervisor, compared with VMware's 32-bit offering.
"First, the XenServer folks had a lot to say about how their 64-bit hypervisor was better than VMware’s hypervisor because VMware’s product was “only” a 32-bit hypervisor"
One of the reason's I'm so interested in this post is that the Hyper-V hypervisor shares many traits and similarities with the XenServer hypervisor (a number of XenServer developers reside in Redmond...), however, I would never state that Hyper-V was 'better' than VMware because it was x64 and ESX wasn't. For a 32-bit platform, ESX scales massively. If I look at Windows Server 2008 32-bit version, there is no way, to my knowledge, it can support anywhere near the 256GB that VMware ESX 3.5 can support. However, when you look at x64 Windows Server 2008, the amount of addressable memory scales to 2TB. 2 Terabytes. That's a lot of RAM. Are there many systems out there that are going to have 2TB, at least in the next year? I doubt it. The key thing is future proofing for me. Going with x64 just gives us that platform for the future. We can tick that box and say 'It scales'. Now let's focus on the other features; something that VMware has done very well indeed.
It's not a case of x64 being better or not. Just looking purely at the amount of addressable memory, comparing 256GB (ESX) with 2TB (Hyper-V) seems a huge jump, but to most people, even a box with 256GB is way beyond their needs for some time to come! It's just when you start thinking about the future - 1, 2 years down the line, then perhaps 256GB might not be enough, who knows? By then, I'm sure VMware will have brought out an x64 version that scales really well too :-). Oh, and just to add, Hyper-V supports 64GB Guests too :-)
Anyway, I'll let you have a read of the post - there's a lot of interesting food for thought, especially in the comments.
Found this blog a few weeks back, and catch up with it every few days - it pulls together quite a few blogs from the Virtualisation world, including a few Microsoft blogs.
TechNet Webcast: Using Virtual Machine Manager and Windows PowerShell to Deploy HP Windows Server 2008 Academy Labs (Level 300)
We have deployed 660 virtual machines for the student labs that are a key part of the week-long Academy. Provisioning and lab setup was administered using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 and Window PowerShell. This fast-paced webcast summarizes the IT professional experience of using a Windows PowerShell script and Virtual Machine Manager to automate the deployment of virtual machines (VMs). We review the HP academy, introduce Virtual Machine Manager and its features, walk though how the VMs were deployed via the scripted process, and discuss the benefits of using Virtual Machine Manager and Windows PowerShell to manage the VMs once they have been deployed. We also give you tips for using the Virtual Machine Manager Windows PowerShell cmdlets! Attend this presentation to gain the confidence to start automating the administrating virtual environments using Virtual Machine Manager and Windows PowerShell.
Presenter: Jeremy Pack, Principal Consultant, HP
Jeremy Pack works for HP Consulting and Integration in the United Kingdom as a technical architect and a design team leader delivering Windows infrastructure projects for HP customers. These projects include Active Directory, Windows networking, and server and desktop deployment and configuration. Jeremy has been focusing on Windows Server 2008 for HP, since February of 2007, and is one of the tutors for HP Service's Windows Server 2008 Academy. He works on customer projects, which may include hundreds of Windows-based servers, performing automation using Windows PowerShell.
Register for the event here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032369389&Culture=en-US
If you are interested in upgrading your current Windows Server 2003 Certifications, up to Windows Server 2008, this course may be of interest to you:
Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Skills & Certification (Accelerated Learning) (6 Days)
This course will allow you to upgrade your MCSE from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, as well as completing three Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist Certifications. It's being run by Firebrand, is a 6-day intensive course, and covers the following:
There are currently 2 available dates, March 10th and March 17th 2008, both located in Oxfordshire. You can get all the details from here:
Windows Server 2008 Accelerated Learning Course - 2 Day Technical Training
Upgrading, Migrating and Deploying Microsoft Windows Server 2008 - This course includes installation, configuration and using the Windows Server Deployment Solutions Accelerator. This course includes theory and hands-on labs.
There are currently 2 available dates for this course; March 3rd and March 25th 2008, both held in Oxfordshire. More details here:
Core Infrastructure Optimisation University - 2 Day Workshop
This course will provide attendees with the business context, technical strategy and sales technique required to drive growth and increase sales through the Core IO Framework. The Core IO University is a 2 day workshop that provides partners with the business context, technical strategy, and sales techniques / tools required to drive growth and increase sales pipelines through the Core Infrastructure Optimisation Framework and OSCI Campaign. Core IO & OSCI provides the basis of selling high value solutions to customers. Core IO University workshop is designed to enable partners to identify new opportunities through Core IO and to understand successful sales strategies close opportunities. Delegates will be taken through a highly interactive workshop that ends with the real world sales opportunity scenario, defining a Strategic Technology Roadmap, and delivery of an Core IO briefing to the customer.
There are 3 dates available for this one, 13th, 17th and 29th March 2008, here at Microsoft Campus in Reading. More details here:
All the following training is available via the Partner Learning Centre, 24 hours a day :-)
Go here: https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/ and search for the terms below!
You can always access the Microsoft Learning Portal too, for even more training, webcasts and certification information. A lot of the stuff is free for a limited time, so worth checking out!