Microsoft Licensing is complex. I think most people accept that!
Since September, the licensing and response management teams have been working together to publish the answers to your top licensing queries. Every month, these FAQs are put together based on calls and emails to our customer service team, so we know they will address topical questions and help you to understand Microsoft licensing. Think about it, if you have a question, chances are someone else has that very same question too, and they may have even asked it on this site already!.
We have recently re-designed the FAQ pages to deliver a significantly improved user experience. And we’ve also introduced an RSS feed that you can sign up to so you know when the content is updated. You can now see the “hot FAQs” at a glance and browse the rest by product or agreement type.
There are 2 separate websites; one for licensing queries where there are less than 250 PCs, and one for where there are more than 250 PCs! I guess if you have bang on 250, you'd go to the first one :-)
If you can’t find an answer to your licensing query here, please call our helpline on 0870 60 10 100 and select the business option, then option 3 for licensing. Alternatively, email email@example.com - someone will respond to your email within 48 hours!
Microsoft UK Partners - If you have an interest in Virtualisation, regardless of whether it's Microsoft Virtualisation or not, I'd strongly advise you to take the opportunity to come along to our Virtualisation Partner day that we're running at TVP in Reading:
"We all know Virtualisation is the hot IT topic, yet 93% of organisations are still not taking advantage of its many benefits. With 64% of businesses citing ‘improving IT by consolidating their infrastructure’ as a high priority, there is a real opportunity to both improve your customers’ businesses and grow your sales."
This Partner-Focused day will discuss the impact Hyper-V will have in the market, and will give you the opportunity to see some of the Microsoft Virtualisation technologies in action, working together, to provide a Dynamic IT environment. Join this half day meeting to understand how you can capitalise on this great opportunity. You'll also be able to hear from partners who are already benefiting from this approach. This event will also provide a valuable opportunity to network with other partners as well as members of the Microsoft team.
Event ID: 1032379580
Register by Phone: 0870 166 6680 ref 9580
Register Online: http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/EventDetail.aspx?culture=en-GB&EventID=1032379580
Register soon to avoid disappointment!
The acquisition of Israel-based Kidaro was announced a couple of weeks back, and has just gone through. The technology will be introduced in the near future, and will form part of the ever-expanding Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) to provide even more value to customers with, or considering MDOP. As per usual, we lose the cool naming, and it will be known as the Microsoft Enterprise Virtual Desktop, so that means MEVD will be in MDOP, for which you'll need SA (Software Assurance) on top of WC (Windows Client). Acronym lovers rejoice :-)
So, what do we know about Kidaro?
You can read all about the MEDV technology here: http://www.kidaro.com/technology/ and here: http://www.kidaro.com/technology/advantage.php
Trust me, when you see it in action, it is very cool indeed.
Sounds impressive, right?
If High Performance Computing (Built on Windows Server 2008) is your bag, you'd be wise to have a read of this: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Infrastructure/Microsoft-Tests-Speedy-New-HPC-Server/
I'm running a series of events in conjunction with Andreas from IBM (of YouTube fame) where we discuss and demonstrate the Microsoft (and Partners) Virtualisation technologies.
The idea for the day is all around Dynamic IT, and how Virtualisation, in particular, Microsoft Virtualisation, really can span from the Desktop, to the Datacenter to drive this Dynamic IT.
"Where you can update servers, desktops and applications on a moments notice and where infrastructure costs decrease as system capabilities increase. This is the world of virtualisation and Microsoft are happy to report that in conjunction with IBM, we’re bringing it all to a venue near you."
So, what will be covered?
The key part will be, for me, the Desktop to the Datacenter demo. What I'll be trying to achieve, is showing all the technologies, working happily together, around Servers, Desktops and Applications, all virtualised, and centrally managed.
You can get all the details here: http://asp.april-six.com/microsoft/074748/index.html
In terms of registration:
Warwick - 18th June 2008, 9.30am – 3.00pm (IBM Offices) - Register here
London Victoria - 27th June 2008, 9.30am – 3.00pm (Microsoft Offices) - Register here
Manchester - 2nd July 2008, 9.30am – 3.00pm (Malmaison Hotel) - Register here
Well, SCVMM 2008 Beta & Hyper-V RC0 had a great time together, however, some of the major interface changes that have gone into Hyper-V RC1 mean that RC1 and SCVMM 2008 Beta are on a bit of a break.
Fear not, as Rakesh details on his blog, the relationship will be back on fairly soon :-) In the mean time, I'd choose one or the other, and wait until the patch is available.
If you are doing anything with Server Core in Windows Server 2008, you'll know that there are always certain tasks you need to do upon installation to enable things like remote connection, pinging etc etc. Now, doing this from the Command Line is all well and good, if a) you understand it and b) you want to dedicate a little more time to doing the job.
Now, for those 'Wizard-lovers' among you (cue Harry Potter jokes), there's a great tool that's been developed to give you a small GUI within Server Core, to enable you to do those "little jobs" such as:
The Core Configurator enables you to do all those 'little jobs', quickly and easily! You can read all about it, see screenshots and download it, from here: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/guyt/archive/2008/03/22/windows-server-core-coreconfigurator-to-the-rescue.aspx
Core just got a whole lot easier! :-)
I blogged about the Partner TV - System Center Videos a week or so back, where James and Andrew chatted about System Center Configuration Manager and Operations Manager respectively. This time round, they're chatting about another 2 of the System Center technologies; namely, Data Protection Manager and Virtual Machine Manager.
So, their first video discusses System Center Data Protection Manager:
Their second video, discusses System Center Virtual Machine Manager:
You can find even more great videos over on the Partner-TV website.
It's getting closer....!
Get all the information from the Virtualisation Team Blog!
Important caveats to remember:
I'm sure that the VMM 2008 technology will be updated as soon as possible to allow interaction with RC1, as it was released when RC0 was around, and RC1 brings some quite significant changes, hence VMM 2008 will need an update. If you still need to test Hyper-V and VMM 2008, I'd stick with RC0 for now.
Jose pinged a great email across a discussion list a few days back, with this diagram in, which really helps to sum up Hyper-V's storage options with the most common scenarios:
As you can see, there are a couple of more common scenarios. The first two disks, (Disk 1 & Disk 2 in the Parent Partition, Direct Attached Storage, DAS)) can be exposed to the VMs in 1 of 2 ways. The first, is by, on the Parent Partition, assigning the physical disk 1 a drive letter (using DiskPart or diskmgmt) and then storing the VHD file for that particular VM on that physical disk 1. This is probably the most common scenario when demo-ing, or testing. The VM is effectively a single file existing on the physical disk of the Parent Partition, in this case, V1.vhd. The VM itself, has it's corresponding .vhd file presented as C:\ in this example, to the guest OS.
The second physical disk (Disk 2) in the Parent Partition, in the example, is being used as a Pass-through Disk. In this case, on the Parent Partition, the Disk 2 isn't assigned a drive letter, and instead, the configuration of the VM is such that the VM get's pass through access, and manages the formatting, partitioning etc. If you were to explore the folder structure of Disk 2 from within the Parent Partition, you'd be viewing the actual folder structure and files etc, of the VM, not the Parent.
OK, so that's the DAS dealt with. What about the drives on the SAN? Well, if we take LUN1 (Logical Unit Number) and LUN2, and these could be attached by Fiber, or by using iSCSI, in the first case (LUN1), we have assigned a drive letter, in this case Y:\, on the Parent Partition, and in the same way as we described earlier, we're simply placing a .vhd file on there, in this case, V2.vhd, and this is, in effect, he hard disk of the VM. The VM itself, sees this .vhd file as E:\ within the guest OS. At this stage, both V1.vhd and V2.vhd are very portable, as, to the Parent Partition, they are just 2 separate files that we could copy and paste somewhere else, like onto a DVD or USB drive. Admittedly, they may be quite big files', but still portable in effect, as there is no direct reliance on the physical disk that it's being currently stored on.
LUN2 is being used, again, as a Pass-through Disk from Parent to Child, with the unformatted LUN on the Parent being presented straight through to the VM itself, in the same way as I talked about earlier. The VM sees this unformatted LUN as unformatted disk space, so you manage the partitioning and formatting, again, from within the guest operating system. As I mentioned earlier, the mechanisms I have described for LUN1 and LUN2 are applicable for both iSCSI and Fiber Channel attached storage. In the case of FC, the HBA attached to the Parent Partition will need to support access, thus the VM's on top can access the storage.
The final example is LUN3, where in this case, the LUN3, which is unformatted, is being presented straight from the SAN to the VM, bypassing the Parent. This is not possible with Fiber Channel, but is possible with iSCSI, and with iSCSI technologies improving dramatically, the differences in performance in some cases, are non-existent, so iSCSI, not only is cheaper, but is, in some cases, as performant as FC. In the example, the VM would see, again, unformatted disk space, which the guest OS would need to fomat, partition and manage as appropriate.
You can read even more about the storage options around Hyper-V on Jose's blog posts: