Today, Microsoft and partners NetApp and Citrix are excited to announce the availability of FreeBSD support for Windows Server Hyper-V. This collaboration, announced at BSDCAN 2012, will help more customers adopt virtualization and move toward cloud computing. Microsoft is committed to supporting multiple platforms with its server virtualization solution so that more organizations can take advantage of server consolidation cost-savings and build foundations for private, public and hybrid cloud computing. MORE
Microsoft’s 2013 Spring CIO Summit takes place April 9-10 and will host more than 200 CIOs from companies across the US. Registration for the in-person CIO Summit is at capacity, but that doesn’t mean any of Microsoft’s customers have to miss out. This year the virtual CIO Summit is a complete hybrid experience, with live streaming of day one of the in-person Summit on Tuesday, April 9, covering every keynote session plus originally produced content available only to the virtual audience.
Register for this webcast at http://bit.ly/16k6PyF. See the agenda at http://bit.ly/VCIOAgenda.
To help insurance companies manage their high-performance computing needs, Milliman, a global provider of actuarial software and consulting services, launched a client project that uses Windows Azure to distribute highly complex, mission-critical computing tasks across cloud-based resources. The result is supercomputer-level processing capability that is enormously scalable and powerful, yet can be delivered at a lower cost and with fewer IT resources than through traditional on-premises IT deployments.
The firm’s flagship software solution for the life and financial services industry is MG-ALFA, a sophisticated financial modeling tool used around the world. MG-ALFA, which was first released in the mid-1990s, helps insurance firms with tasks such as product pricing, risk management analysis, and responding to regulatory reporting requirements. MORE
Scareware is a form of malware that poses as a legitimate security tool. It attempts to fool a user into thinking their computer is heavily infected with malware and then lets the user know that the most convenient way to clean the system is to pay for the full version of the scareware software that graciously brought the infection to their attention. This form of scareware has been around for a decade and shows no signs of going away. But in recent years, we have seen it morph and take on a more aggressive approach. Today's ransomeware prevents you from running security and diagnostic software and often even prevents you from executing any software at all. Without advanced malware cleaning skills, a system infected with ransomware is usable only to give in to the blackmailer’s monetary demands to regain control of the system. But with some knowledge you can clean a system that has fallen to ransomware on your own. MORE...
The Azure development team continues to make improvements to various aspects of the management portal. You find new capabilities that include localization support for 6 languages, operation log support, support for SQL database metrics, Virtual Machine enhancements (quick create Windows + Linux VMs), Web Site Enhancements (support for creating sites in all regions, private github repo deployment), Cloud Service Improvements (deploy from storage account, configuration support of dedicated cache), Media Service Enhancements (upload, encode, publish, stream all from within the portal), Virtual Networking Usability Enhancements and custom CNAME support with Storage Accounts. MORE
The city IT staff are starting to use virtualisation desktop infrastructure (VDI) based on Windows Server 2012 to take advantage of the desktop virtualization enhancements included in the server platform. By using Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to consolidate its VDI environment, the City of Barcelona can expand desktop virtualisation to more employees and provide a better user experience. All of the city's new productivity services (including Microsoft Lync, Sharepoint and Exchange) have been implemented using Hyper-V. In addition, Windows Server 2012 offers enhanced security for contractors accessing servers behind the firewall. MORE
The Server & Tools Blogs network, what you're reading right now, is designed to give you a morning- or afternoon-briefing that you can use to catch up on the news and technical information from Microsoft and its blogging community. Give us five to ten minutes, and we'll keep you up on Microsoft and connect you to its best minds. We have thousands of blogs across Microsoft, and we started with the only 105 in order to sift out some of the best postings on server and tools-related products and services. We'll be adding hundreds more over time. Last week, we launched with coverage of TechEd, which you can find in a news wrap-up at TechNet this week. You can also follow topics in the feeds below, which are curated from many of our blogs. This week, we'll be covering some breaking news -- we can't say what, just yet. But we hope the new approach is working for you. Let us know in comments!
Do you manage, monitor, and automate VMware in your datacenter using System Center 2012 SP1? If so, you might want to check out this half-day Jump Start course being presented by the IT Pro Evangelism team, Microsoft Learning, and Microsoft Virtual Academy. The event, which takes place on March 14th, will cover: · Managing VMware with Virtual Machine Manager · Monitoring VMware with Operations Manager and Veeam · Automating VMware with Orchestrator · Migrating VMware VMs using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). MORE
Identity management used to be a much simpler matter. But today's architectures have made it a far more complex game. You've got systems tied together using separate identity providers, identities managed both internally and by public identity providers, external partners who need access to data, and customers who also need varying levels of access. Before diving into this brave new world of identity management, you should get a good grounding in the basic principles that drive a coherent identity infrastructure. Fortunately, there is a new whitepaper that covers the Four Pillars of Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT. MORE
In Windows 8, we reimagined the browser with IE10. We designed and built IE10 to be the best way to experience the Web on Windows. With the IE10 Release Preview for Windows 7 consumers can now enjoy a fast and fluid Web with the updated IE10 engine on their Windows 7 devices. The release preview of IE10 on Windows 7 is available for download today.
IE10 on Windows 8 brings an entirely new browsing experience and set of capabilities to the Web, such as a new touch first browsing experience and full screen UI for your sites, security improvements that offer the best protection against the most common threats on the Web, improved performance, and support for the HTML5 and CSS3 standards developers need. MORE
A few days ago, one of our customers had a time issue with Active Directory. This post contains guidance by a small army of Microsoft PFEs, support professionals and developers. If you have any questions about the recommendations in this post, feel free to give CTS a call and they can guide you through the recovery. Recovering from a time rollback is a complex situation so read each step carefully and don’t skip ahead or you’ll make the problem worse. Also this post is going to be a long one and will probably break the record for additional links so you’ll want to get comfortable. MORE
Today at the Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, Microsoft announced the five winners of the second annual Imagine Cup Grant. We’re particularly excited as four of the winners developed their apps on Windows Azure.
Grant winners all participated in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, a global competition that invites students to develop a technology and create a business plan while gaining a keen understanding of what they need to do to bring their concept to market. Winners will receive funding to jumpstart their projects into mainstream nonprofit and social enterprise opportunities. MORE
Windows Azure allows you to deploy and host up to 10 web-sites in a free, shared/multi-tenant hosting environment. You can start out developing and testing web sites at no cost using this free shared mode, and it supports the ability to run web sites that serve up to 165MB/day of content (5GB/month). All of the capabilities we introduced in June with this free tier remain the same with today’s update.
Starting with today’s release, you can now elastically scale up your web-site beyond this capability using a new low-cost “shared” option (which we are introducing today) as well as using a “reserved instance” option (which we’ve supported since June). MORE
Hilton Lange, a Software Development Engineer on the Virtual Machine Manager team, has been working on a three-part series covering Intelligent Placement in Virtual Machine Manager 2012. He has just published the final installment, in which he delves into custom rules that help you control where your VMs are deployed. Earlier posts look at managing power consumption and using Dynamic Optimization to improve the health of clusters. MORE
Microsoft has launched a new online tool—called Microsoft BI Solution Builder—that can help you build a better platform and strategy for Business Intelligence. It helps you uncover the BI capabilities available in the products you already own as well as indicates what additional products you would need to get the BI capabilities you desire. Microsoft BI Solution Builder even offers potential upgrade paths and additional resources, such as case studies and white papers. MORE...
Today we released some great enhancements to Windows Azure. These new capabilities include:
All of these improvements are now available to start using immediately (note: some services are still in preview). MORE
The Texas Department of Information Resources is adopting Office 365 for more than 100,000 employees in the largest state-wide deployment of e-mail and collaboration services in the U.S. The state will consolidate systems in an effort to improve its communication and collaboration capabilities across agencies. The move to the cloud offers significant savings in IT spending due to greater efficiencies and increased capacity, while providing employees with Web conferencing, real-time collaboration, and document and calendar sharing. MORE...
Twenty years ago at Microsoft’s first annual TechEd conference, we gathered to talk about the industry transformation from mainframe to minis to client/server computing. The vehicle for that transformation was the Windows operating system. Today at TechEd, we’re again talking about the industry transformation: the transformation to the cloud. Once again, the Windows operating system is the vehicle for this transformation.
Let me step back. At the most basic level, any operating system has two “jobs” ... . Read more
Watch the archived keynote. Watch Scott Guthrie's Windows Azure Session.
A few years ago when we started building Windows Azure SQL Database, our Cloud RDBMS service, we assumed that fault-tolerance was a basic requirement of any cloud database offering. Our cloud customers have a diverse set of needs for storage solutions but our focus was to address the needs of the customers who needed an RDBMS for their application. For example, one of our early adopters was building a massive ticket reservation system in Windows Azure. MORE
Many of you are faced with an explosion in data and the resulting cost to store, manage and archive this data is ballooning. This is why cloud storage solutions are so compelling - they provide increased flexibility, almost unlimited scalability, and the improved economics you need. But to realize those benefits, cloud storage needs to be integrated into the enterprise IT infrastructure and application environment. This is where Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) and StorSimple come in.
Today we have reached a definitive agreement to acquire StorSimple, a leader in an emerging category known as Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS). MORE
Making things easier and more efficient while helping you improve productivity, is the name of the game at the Windows Azure Marketplace. In this month’s release, the addition of Windows Azure Active Directory simplifies the user experience, while access to new content expands your capabilities.
Now you can use your Windows Azure Active Directory ID (your Office 365 login) to access the Windows Azure Marketplace. We heard your feedback about improving efficiency. With just a single identity to manage, publishing and promoting—even purchasing--offerings becomes easier. And the process of updating, organizing and managing contact and ecommerce details becomes more secure and streamlined too. MORE
In previous posts, I’ve alluded to one of our key focus areas for Visual Studio 2012 being the theme of connected devices and continuous services. This includes creating a top-notch set of tools in Visual Studio 2012 to both design and build amazing Windows apps and the services that back them.
With Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 released, I’ve decided to explore and document the end-to-end development of a basic Windows Store app that uses services on the backend. For this task I’ve chosen to use Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. MORE
There are also two fantastic tutorials available in the mobile dev center. The first provides a walkthrough of the basics of configuring your iOS app for push and sending push notifications. The second details how to use a table to store APNS tokens that can then be used to send push notifications to an app’s users.
Just as important as understanding how to use these push notifications, is understanding when to use a push notification versus an SMS versus an email. The easy answer is that it depends on the app. MORE
"Tuning in" to the State of the Union means more than just sitting down in front of the television. The way we consume and interact with the news is undergoing an unprecedented transformation and Search can do even more at pivotal moments where customers need a deeper level of information. So Bing is embarking on one of its most ambitious projects yet: hosting what we expect to be the largest interactive State of the Union experience in history at Bing.com/Politics. Bing Pulse will allow Americans to give real-time feedback on the President’s speech, Bing Beat will provide social sentiment tracking, and more. Scheduled to go live at 12 p.m. Pacific on February 9th, the site will be a non-partisan online destination for up-to-the-minute political information and second-screen experiences. MORE...
Nigel Cain and Damian Flynn recently discussed Virtual Networking in VMM 2012 SP1 on the Virtual Machine Manager Engineering Blog. They continue on this topic with their latest post Networking in VMM 2012 SP1 – Logical Networks. Here they take a closer look at Logical Networks and review some of the key considerations, best practices, and guidance for designing, implementing, and managing this component of your virtualized network solution. MORE...