Bit off topic, but useful to know nonetheless. IE8 Beta 2 has shipped, and I have to be honest, it’s a big improvement on IE8 Beta 1. That’s not to say that Beta 1 was naff, it’s just, well, you could tell it was Beta. This release is much closer to the real deal now, both in terms of features, and in terms of performance. It’s the little things I’ve noticed since installing last night, such as the coloured tabbed browsing, visual search, and more intelligent address bar.
A couple of highlights include:
There is a load more information on the IEBlog and some cool videos talking about the new improvements in Beta 2. I’ve included a summary video below:
You can download IE8 Beta 2 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/beta/worldwide-sites.aspx
You’re probably thinking, why, on a Microsoft blog, is he banging on about running ESX? Well, if you didn’t know, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 doesn’t just manage Virtual Server 2005 and Hyper-V – it also manages your VI3 (&3.5) infrastructure too, and will perform 90%+ of the day to day stuff that you’d normally do through Virtual Center, but through VMM.
Why would you do this, I hear you ask? Well, what you have to remember is that VMM is very nicely linked into some of the other System Center components, such as SC Operations Manager 2007, for monitoring and alerting, and SC Configuration Manager 2007 for centralised patching and deployment, and the key thing about these technologies? They are applicable for your physical, and your virtual environment, which is something different to what Virtual Center on it’s own. If you’re looking for a quick idea of the integration between some of the System Center technologies, check out this Dell Video, integrating SCVMM and SCOM 2007.
So, back to the title of the post – Running ESX 3.5 in a VM on VMware Workstation. It can be done. I’ve done it, and the guys at Xtravirt have updated their guide to cover the new and updated ESX / ESXi. This effectively allows you to build ‘VI in a box’, which I can then manage from SCVMM 2008! It’s a great testing environment for me, and, as hardware is scarce, doesn’t stop me learning!
As an FYI - Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is due for release in September. SC ConfigMgr and SC OpsMgr are already released, and have reached the SP1 milestone.
Yep, that’s right, the World’s first Microsoft Virtualisation User Group has been established right here on these fair shores.
The aim of the MVUG, is to provide a common ground for anyone to discuss current and upcoming Microsoft Virtualisation technologies, and the first meeting is approaching fast. It’s scheduled for the 24th September, and there are a whole host of Microsoft, and non-Microsoft people going to be there. Incidentally, this hasn’t been set up by Microsoft peeps – this has been set up by Patrick Lownds, who’s a Technical Architect at a Large IT Company down here in the South, and Matthew Millers, who’s a Messaging and Directory Service Consultant working in London. Between them, they’ve managed to set up the group, the website, the forum, they’ve secured the venue for the first event, and a pretty cool first agenda:
As this is our first meeting the intention is to present a roadmap of Microsoft Virtualisation technologies, finally we will have a open discussion on what you would like out of this user group.
1800 – 1900 - Desktop virtualisation & Application virtualisation
1900 – 1915 - Food
1915 – 2100 - Server & Presentation virtualisation, Microsoft SCVMM 2008
Final 10-15mins - Open discussion
Make sure you register, and I’ll see you there, on the 24th, at London Victoria!
I blogged about the 2 suites within the Windows Essential Server Solutions brand, a few months ago – for those of you’ve who’ve forgotten, you can read all about Small Business Server 2008 here, and Essentials Business Server 2008 here. You should also know that they are both launching in November.
So, what’s the training all about?
Core Technical Training
Today’s small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have many of the same needs as enterprise customers - security, up-to-date technology, and remote capabilities—but typically, enterprise products are too complex and costly for smaller entities, requiring dedicated staff and expertise to manage. Windows Essential Server Solutions is a new family of integrated server software designed to help you and your SMB customers overcome these challenges. The family includes Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008, both of which will become available in the second half of 2008. By expanding the selection of Microsoft integrated server solutions for SMBs, Windows Essential Server Solutions provide partners like you with new ways to serve your customers; stay relevant in a competitive, ever-changing marketplace; increase revenues; and deepen customer relations.
You can learn about these exciting new products with two comprehensive 8-part technical readiness series, one for Windows SBS 2008 and one for Windows EBS 2008. For each product, you will learn about:
So, for SBS Trainings’, you have (over 4 days):
Remember, UK guys, you’ll have to add on 7 hours to these training times, so the latest ones will finish at 8pm, but you can still get your tea (and a Simpsons/Hollyoaks combo) in between the 2 sessions 5-6pm and then 7-8pm.
For EBS Trainings’, you have:
You’ll need to be signed in to access the content, using your Live ID.
This is another opportunity for Microsoft Partners to get involved in one of the biggest ever opportunities around Microsoft technologies. Virtualisation isn’t about products, it’s about solutions. Solutions that you, as Microsoft Partners, can provide to your customers, to better suit their needs, at the price point that’s right.
In my opinion, Microsoft’s virtualisation platform is about choice. It’s not about the ‘you need everything’ approach. Combining pieces of the Microsoft virtualisation strategy in different ways can bring compelling results for businesses – not interested in virtualising servers? Fine – but what about desktops? What about your apps? How do you deploy your applications today? How would things improve if they were virtual? How do you patch your servers? How do you patch your desktops? How would this change if they are no longer physical? These are just some of the questions that you may have, and this event is aimed at answering them, and showcasing the possibilities around the technologies.
The day is split up into a morning, for the Business Decision Makers in your infrastructure, and the afternoon, for the techies (I’ll be there!)
09.00 — Registration
09.30 — Discover Microsoft Virtualisation
11.00 — Break
11.30 — Discover Microsoft Virtualisation cont'd
13.00 — Lunch and networking
14.00 — From Desktop to the Datacenter Part 1
15.15 — Break
15.30 — From Desktop to the Datacenter Part 2
17.00 — Close
I’ll be taking the second half of the day, and showcasing a number of technologies around Server, Desktop, Application and Presentation Virtualisation, and combining this with Partner technologies from the likes of Citrix, Quest and Sanbolic.
It’s being held here:
Microsoft UK, Microsoft Campus, Building 3 Thames Valley Park, Reading Berkshire RG6 1WG, United Kingdom.
It’s on the 23rd September, and you can register here:
See you there!
A few weeks back, I was invited along to a session with the Vista Squad, which is a UK based user group, focusing on Vista, .NET, Silverlight, and more. The session I was asked to deliver was on Windows Server 2008, and naturally, I obliged!
You can view the whole session below (it’s about an hour, and includes demos)
In the video, I cover aspects such as:
I hope you find it useful!