TechEd North America 2012 wrap-up
Today wraps up TechEd North America 2012. At the event, Microsoft announced the next release of Windows Intune, updates to several Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack products, the second CTP for System Center 2012 SP1, a public preview of Microsoft Team Foundation Services, and that Microsoft LightSwitch will now render in HTML 5.

Check out Satya Nadella’s blog post and the TechEd North America online newsroom for information on news and to view the keynotes.

Stay tuned for more news from TechEd Europe in Amsterdam on June 26-29.

Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2 Available Now!
Today Microsoft announced the general availability of Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2.  This new release helps organizations overcome the growing complexity of managing identity and permissions across heterogeneous systems.

Top areas of improvement include enhanced performance, simplified deployment and troubleshooting, better documentation, and added language support.  Specifically, customers will see the following new capabilities:

  • Improved Self-service Password Reset: Making it easier to reset passwords and resolve issues from anywhere on nearly any device.
  • Role-Based Access Control: Extending the Microsoft BHOLD suite, which supports customers in defining and managing access based on user roles, to all FIM 2010 R2 customers. 
  • Reporting Engine: Leveraging the System Center Service Manager Data Warehouse to store and display reports. 
  • And more!

For more information, customers should check out the Server and Cloud Platform blog or download  an evaluation version of FIM 2010 R2 today!

Microsoft and Dell Help Customers in their Journey to Private Cloud Computing
This week  Dell announced Dell vStart 1000m, another solution from the companies’ three-year initiative to help customers deploy and manage virtualization and private cloud technologies.  The Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track-validated solution, with Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center 2012, delivers the infrastructure to address a customer’s needs regardless of where they are on their virtualization or private cloud journey. To learn more about how Dell and Microsoft enable customers to achieve a private cloud deployment that meets their unique needs, visit the Server and Cloud Platform Blog.

Hy-Vee boosts performance, increases competitiveness with Parallel Data Warehouse deployment
Hy-Vee, operator of more than 220 full-service retail grocery stores and one of the top 50 private companies in the US, recently turned to SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse in order to boost competitiveness by delivering data more quickly to its business analysts and managers. The Microsoft solution has increased query performance by up to 100 times, meaning employees consistently get the information they need to design more effective promotions. Additionally, the new solution means Hy-Vee will have room to further build its database – providing even more accurate insight on customers, and giving the company an edge over competitors.

For more information about how Hy-Vee is using SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse, visit the blog post or read the full case study on the Microsoft Case Studies page.

M.G. Bryan Uses Windows Azure to Pilot System for Remote Management of High-Tech Oil and Gas Equipment
M.G. Bryan Equipment Co., a leading heavy equipment and machinery OEM for the oil and gas industry, is piloting a system that uses Windows Azure for remote management of high-tech oil and gas equipment. Integrated with Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, M.G. Bryan’s new equipment’s control and information system leverages Windows Azure to provide secure remote access to real-time information, automated maintenance alerts, and service and parts delivery requests.

With the new system, data can be pulled from the cloud via mobile devices and Web browsers to produce reports and dashboards on the condition of individual vehicles’ drivetrains and on hydraulic fracturing performance, as well as process performance and maintenance trends related to entire fleets. The flexibility and scalability of cloud computing will help M.G. Bryan offer holistic operations management to its rapidly expanding fleet of vehicles.

More information on how M.G. Bryan and Rockwell Automation are using Windows Azure can be found in the press release.

Microsoft Wins Best Paper Award at USENIX Conference for “Erasure Coding in Windows Azure Storage”
At this year’s USENIX Annual Technical Conference, Microsoft received the “Best Paper Award” for a paper titled, “Erasure Coding in Windows Azure Storage.” The paper, created by the Windows Azure and Microsoft Research teams, describes how Microsoft erasure codes data in Windows Azure to reduce storage overhead while keeping data durable and highly available.

Check out the Windows Azure blog or read the full paper to learn more about Microsoft’s erasure coding implementation and the important design decisions that went into it.