I'm so pleased that this is finally released, as, for me, it was the final piece of the puzzle that was needed to really drive adoption of Microsoft's Hyper-V platform.
"Microsoft has announced the formal name and beta availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, a member of the System Center suite of server management products. The announcements came April 29 at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, which showcased the beta of the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM), managing both Hyper-V and VMware virtual infrastructure. Additional functionality new to this version of VMM includes Performance and Resource Optimization (Pro), which dynamically tunes virtual infrastructure, simplified virtual host cluster support, and other improvements and enhancements"
I've been playing with this for a little while now, and it's awesome. The Self-Service Portal is a big improvement, and the management of VirtualCenter is also very impressive for those organisations who want that single pane of glass for managing their entire infrastructure.
So, what's new in VMM 2008? Well, this document details the changes in VMM 2008.
Key points I'll pull out include:
The key for me, and this is absolutely brilliant, is PRO:
One word. Awesome.
Other resources to read:
Get hold of VMM 2008 here:
You should see it listed in the directory.
I blogged about the Hyper-V training a while back, and it went like hot cakes! The Partner team are therefore pleased to announce the availability of a new date:
This course will cover opportunities surrounding Hyper-V as well as Installing and Deploying Hyper-v, High Availability, Clustering, Scripts, Migrating.
Should have a knowledge of Windows Server 2003 and some experience of Virtualisation technologies.
To have a better understanding about Microsoft Virtualisation technology
Agenda: Day 1
You can register for the training here: https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=246572
I showed a video of Forefront and NAP integration a few weeks back, which is a good example of related technologies integrating nicely, but you'd at least hope that Microsoft technologies would integrate pretty well... (insert Can of Worms here) :-)
Anyway, ProCurve, by HP, has paired up with Microsoft to enable its Identity Driven Manager (IDM) tool to integrate with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP). Now, I'm not up on the features that ProCurve offers, but for me, it's a great example of Partners understanding a building integration with NAP, as for me, it's one of the top features of Windows Server 2008. If you're not up on NAP, you can read a bit about it here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/security-policy.aspx.
"According to ProCurve chief security architect Mauricio Sanchez, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor will complement NAP and add a layer of security policy enforcement at the edge. ProCurve's integration with Microsoft, Sanchez said, is a move to get in front of the ever-growing base of users that have or will soon deploy Server 2008, which comes with NAP functionality embedded.
Sanchez said ProCurve's IDM, a policy management solution, switches and wireless access points are now compatible with NAP, opening the door for customized network access policies for admission of users and clients in both wired and wireless environments.
"It's extending Microsoft NAP with stronger identity management capabilities," he said. "The NAC market emerged from the device health mantra but one of the missing pieces that customers are starting to question and ask for is the identity piece."
Read the full article here: http://www.crn.com/networking/207400662
Some people think so! http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2008/tc20080421_235517.htm?chan=technology_technology+index+page_top+stories
It's an interesting read, but whether it takes off or not, who knows. I'd love a Hyper-V enabled Windows Mobile, running Virtual Machines - it's be a lot more portable than my server!
If you haven't heard of Microsoft Forefront, it's a comprehensive set of security technologies, that can help to protect your infrastructure, whether it be with Forefront Client Security for unified malware protection on PC desktops and notebooks, Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint for protecting key information worker server products and don't forget the Forefront Server Security Management Console for tying it all together. Whilst these products are comprehensive, what they don't really offer is deep integration. That's about to change, with Stirling.
"Forefront codename “Stirling” is an integrated security system that delivers comprehensive, coordinated protection across endpoints, messaging, and collaboration applications, and the network edge that is easier to manage and control"
"Dynamic response, an innovative feature of the Stirling integrated security system, saves IT staff considerable time by automatically responding to incoming threats.
By sharing and using security information across the IT environment, “Stirling” and dynamic response help to save time while proactively securing the environment"
To put more of a real life scenario around the technology, I've found a useful example on the Stirling website:
In this scenario, a Trojan lodges itself on an employee’s PC, creating hundreds of open connections to the Internet. The network administrator notices the Trojan after receiving an alert or looking at logs on the firewall. At that point, he calls the desktop administrator or Help Desk, which in turn looks for the infected computer and resolves the issue by disconnecting the computer from the network. More often than not, this search-and-fix process takes several hours and exposes the organization to unnecessary risk.
In the same scenario with "Stirling" deployed, Forefront Threat Management Gateway detects the open connections to the Internet and relays that information to the other Forefront security products. The information automatically triggers a response by Forefront Client Security to start a thorough malware scan on the infected computer. Depending on the results, a subsequent response is triggered by the Network Access Protection technology to quarantine the machine and block e-mail exchanges. The entire process takes a few minutes and requires no manual intervention.
There's loads of information on Stirling here: http://www.microsoft.com/forefront/stirling/en/us/default.aspx and you can also pull down the beta of the software, and you can also read a great review of the technologies here: http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/98813/microsofts-next-security-suite-nothing-short-of-stirling.html
Final piece of info - check out the online flash demo: Microsoft Forefront Codename Stirling Demo
The Partner Readiness team is pleased to announce the release of SharePoint for Developers training. We also have some seats available on our Groove technical training delivery next week.
1. Developing with SharePoint Server 2007
This course explores the development opportunities with Microsoft’s most recent release of SharePoint Products and Technologies. The first half of the course focuses on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) where you will learn how develop fundamental WSS building blocks such as features, application pages, site pages, Web Parts, custom list types, site columns, content types and custom workflow programs. The second half of the course focuses on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). You will learn how to assemble and configure business solutions by using and extending the portal and web content management features of MOSS as well as other server-side services such as the Business Data Catalog, Forms Services, Excel Services and Report Center.
Partners are offered subsidised seats on Xpertise’s public schedule of this course. If demand is high, we will run dedicated partner deliveries.
The link to enrol is here: Partner Learning Centre. The cost is £640 per seat for Gold and Cert, and £800 per seat for Registered partners.
2. Microsoft Office Groove 2007 Fundamentals & Technical Training for Partners and IT Professionals
Microsoft Partners are invited to attend Groove Fundamentals & Technical Training. Participating in this training will help prepare you for taking and passing the Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist Exam 70-555: Configuring Microsoft Office Groove 2007, part of the Portals & Collaboration Certification. All partners attending this class will receive the eLearning module and exam voucher, enabling you to become certified easily! This one-day course will outline Groove solutions in market, how SharePoint & Groove work together, and how to deploy and support Groove. The training includes presentations, labs, and Q&A discussions. The Hands on Labs will focus on the Groove client as well as installing and configuring the Groove Servers. You will leave the class with a solid understanding of the Groove platform and its underlying services, including the unique aspects of a decentralized architecture, communications, security, data bridge, relay and management services.
For more information or to enrol, click here. The cost is £100 for Gold and Cert partners, and £150 for Registered.
If you've never watched 'Who's Line is it Anyway?', you're missing out...
This is a classic :-)
Enjoy the weekend :-)
Another interesting read from the Microsoft IT team, on how they have implemented the new Failover Clustering in WS2008 to ensure high availability, in this case, of File Services.
"Microsoft Information Technology (Microsoft IT) uses failover clustering in the Windows Server 2008 operating system to support users worldwide. Microsoft IT found the solution easy to plan and deploy, especially because of built-in migration tools. The result is a set of Windows Server 2008 clusters that support more users through increased reliability and features"
The article goes on to discuss the situation, the solution, and best of all, the reasoning behind choosing WS2008 Failover Clustering to provide the solution. The article also goes into detail about how they achieved the solution, discussing such elements as migration, storage signatures and active/passive pairing.
You can read it all here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc500982.aspx
I was recently asked by one of our Partners, Softcat, if I'd write an article about Windows Server 2008 and what I thought were the key compelling features in the new OS - obviously I obliged (and to be honest, was pretty flattered at being asked!) so off I went to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys to be precise :-)). Yesterday, I received a couple of shiny copies of Softcat's magazine, 'Portfolio', where on page 12, was my article!
It's a couple of pages long, but, should you want to, you can read the online version here: http://www.softcat.com/articles.php?cmd=showarticle&id=186 - I hope you find it interesting. There's a few bits out of date, such as Hyper-V in beta, (it was at the time!) and a couple of my typo's have made it through, but apart from that, I hope it gives you an idea, not of what Microsoft think is great in the new OS, but what I think is great, and how it may help you drive your business forward.
If you do, you should definitely email the guys who are looking after the betas'.
If you are interested, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the name of the beta you want to go onto in the subject line:
And simply ask for the information, and they'll send it to you as soon as its available!
In the mean time, you can read all about Small Business Server 2008 and Essentials Business Server 2008!