If you have not read Jen's article on LUA, you should be asking yourself why not?
This article briefly discussed the security principle of least privilege and the benefits of using LUA for daily tasks, followed by a short list of reasons why most Windows users continue to use administrator accounts anyway. It wrapped up with a call to readers to take the plunge and add an extra layer of security to their existing systems by using LUA for daily tasks.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any LUA questions you may have or if you encounter a serious problem while running as LUA that cannot be resolved even when best practices have been followed and all available workarounds have been tried. Your feedback helps Microsoft gain a deeper understanding of your pain points, which, in turn, will help us determine whether the current plans for the LUA experience meet our users' actual needs.
After you've read that, you may be interested in these:
new Non-Admin Wiki that was just launched by Jonathan Hardwick
TechNet Webcast: Phishers, Spammers and Scammers: Criminals of the Internet (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: Defense in Depth Against Malicious Software (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: Tools and Techniques for Securing the Desktop (Level 200)
This Aaron Margosis post has great advice and how tos on steps you can take to help your friends and family avoid Virus, Spam, and MALware.
Managing Power Options as a Non-Administrator
Remembering Calculator and Character Map Settings
Ctrl-C Doesn't Work in RUNAS or MakeMeAdmin Command Shells
Changing the System Date, Time and/or Time Zone
Virtual Server SP1 Beta is out. Barnaby has the sign-up instructions here.Yesterday Steveb told the MMS crowd that going forward VS will support other OS, and demo’d RedHat running in a VS. You will be able to manage your VS environment with MOM, including support for tasks across all of them. Consider how useful it would be for example to make all your VS instances “save current state and shutdown” with the push of one button? RSS Feed for VS KBs
More stuff here in yesterday's post.
I was asked yesterday if a Microsoft IT Pro has to be a good writer to blog. I said no, what do you think?
Keep in mind that whatever level your writing skill is right now, it will improve as you write more. So, my advice is dive in and learn as you go. You can read some tips here.
A well known Microsoft blogger offered me this advice, which I think trumps writing "style" issues:
In my former job at Microsoft when I interviewed technical writers I would ask them "How do you define good technical writing"?
I got many interesting answers. The one I wanted to see included somewhere in the list is "appropriate to the audience." For example, when writing technical documentation to a mass end-user audience, you make certain assumptions, and style guidelines tell you things like "don't overuse three-letter acronyms (TLA)." However, when writing to a technical audience like IT Pros we assume TLAs are OK, in fact, preferred.
Then there is the "make it personal" advice. My advice is this - don't worry about it. How can your writing be anything other than personal? When you write about things you are passionate about, you are making it personal. I think the issue again comes back to - know your audience. If the readers of your blog let you know they really don't care for non-technical posts about your (so called) "personal life" - then consider posting those on another blog like spaces.msn.com. If your readers give you feedback that they like what you do - do more of that. DO consider the difference between blogging and journaling, and be clear on which one you are doing.
Steve Farber, in his book on extreme leadership, gives this advice:“Communicate yourself, your humanity. Don’t just recite your company’s vision statement, talk in your own words. Talk to people about your ideas for the future, and ask for theirs. Be the person you are. Forget your title, forget your position, and speak from your heart. Talk not only of your hopes for the future, but also about your foibles today. Vulnerability aids human connection, and connection is the conduit for energy. Pretense of invincibility builds walls and creates distance between human hearts.”
Try thinking of it this way - the commodity we are trading in is the reader's attention. If you give them what they want, they will give you their attention. Once you have that, you can work on your other goals, be it relationship building, information exchange, education, whatever. You can measure (perhaps indirectly) the attention you are getting to help you adjust your blogging habits.
Viral Marketing is another relevant buzz-phrase here. Consider the following clip from http://www.myneweconomy.com/articles/210703/buzz.htm
Shelby Coffey, a shy, blond 10-year-old in suburban Atlanta, loves BellyWashers. Really. There are 45 of the cartoon-character juice bottles in a place of honor on a shelf above her desk. There's a scarce Sylvester, a rare Blossom, and the much sought-after green Power Ranger.
But Shelby is more than just a collector. With 15 young friends, she has organized a BellyWashers club to do community-service projects. They visit children's hospitals to pass out BellyWashers at Christmas, clean city parks under a BellyWashers banner, and donate proceeds of their yard sales to disadvantaged children. Over the past year, Shelby has amassed a five-inch-thick binder of pictures and newspaper clippings documenting her work on behalf of the brand. Local TV stations have filmed her good deeds. The kicker: She does it all for free. "It's been lots of fun," says the fifth grader.
Shelby is a buzz machine, the sort of hyperdevoted customer that marketers dreams of. As traditional media channels fragment and consumers zap commercials quicker than you can say TiVo, more companies are looking to harness the power of buzz. "Word of mouth has superseded any form of paid advertising, in terms of influence," says Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide and author of Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand (John Wiley, 2003). Personal recommendations, she says, have become far more reliable and authentic than conventional hype.
The best way to learn something is to teach it. When you write about a topic, you learn that you don’t know some stuff, or have to go check/verify some stuff. Not only have you helped all of your readers by this effort, but you also benefit and your understanding of the topic will improve.
And there is this advice on Eric Gunnerson's Blog Can you write?Or, to put it more succinctly, can you write well in a reasonable amount of time without driving yourself and the people around you crazy. Before you can get a signed contract, you need to be able to demonstrate this to your publisher (unless you're a big name draw, and the publisher is willing to pay for editing and/or a ghostwriter).To find out whether this is feasible for you, you need to do some writing, and then you need to have an audience read the writing and give you constructive feedback. Writing is a skill, and over time you should be able to develop techniques that work will with your target audience. Good ways to practice:
Finally, consider making it easier for readers to find your blog while writing. See 10 Tips here for making your blog a little easier for search engines to find. What do you think? Can you point me to well-written blogs? Poorly written ones? Does the writing style matter to IT Pros as long as the technical information is good and useful? Post a comment and let us know.
Left rainy Seattle 5 am yesterday morning, and haven't seen the sunny LV desert skies since. This venue is so huge that there are birds (the chirpy, tweet-tweet kind) flying around inside it.
Great preso at MMS: Improving Operational Efficiency with MOF
"Running your IT systems the most effectively you can is often overlooked when concentrating on designing and deploying solutions, yet most of us appreciate that only 20% of IT failures are typically related to technology. Addressing people and process as well as technology is vital to ensure success in light of today's IT pressures with respect to reducing cost, increasing service levels, and delivering business value. Adopting best practices based on the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) will help you increase operational efficiency. In this session, case studies were presented to demonstrate how Microsoft and some of our customers have used MOF to achieve their required levels of operational efficiency. "
One case study was the USAF. The service improvement numbers they achieved are huge. For example, 46% reduction in the number of major incidents.
Another case study is Microsoft. Yes, the Microsoft internal IT department improved operations using MOF. You can read a white paper on one implementation here. Microsoft IT has a group that documents and shares best practices and other technical information - my old group IT Showcase. You can find all that info here.
These sites, in addition to the resources on MSM, contain guidance and tools to help you improve your enterprise IT management:
Service Monitoring and ControlThis Solution Accelerator provides the knowledge, tools, and services to monitor services running on the Microsoft platform using MOM.
Platform Manageability Operations Assessment
Part of the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) approach, the Operations Assessment enables an operations staff to accelerate the deployment of their management solution
Security Patch ManagementThis Solution Accelerator provides prescriptive guidance for efficiently deploying security patches within organizations using Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) or Software Update Services (SUS).
Management Architecture GuideThis document provides guidance on designing architecture for Microsoft management technologies and products and offers both conceptual information and best practices required for successfully designing and implementing management architecture.
Account Management for Windows Server 2003This integrated Solution Accelerator provides guidance for streamlining user account administration and office location changes.
Windows Server DeploymentThis Solution Accelerator provides guidance for efficient deployment of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 using Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Microsoft SMS.
Business Desktop DeploymentThis Solution Accelerator provides guidance for efficient deployment of Microsoft Windows XP Professional, as well as Microsoft Office XP Professional or Office Professional Edition 2003.
IT Pros want quick, accurate answers to technical questions, I think they'll use online communities as free tech support. MSDN Forums Beta is now available at http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn for the dev side of the house. Should Microsoft offer a version of this service aimed at IT Pros on TechNet?Go check out the forums, and try posting (passport auth required) on this thread so the PTB can track your feedback <http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=801>
I'll make sure comments on this post get rolled in with comments on that thread and get to the PTB.
You Talked We Listened
As of the May 2005 shipment TechNet started adding ISO images to the Evaluation DVDs. Nifty, now you can easily create bootable CDs for Windows evaluation products. The English DVD has been updated and we will continue to add ISO images for the remaining languages as the DVDs get revised.
Got feedback? Like this feature? Got another? Leave comments.
According to ComputerWorld today:
Microsoft plans to share network troubleshooting tool with users and vendors alike. But it wants a quid pro quo of a sort. According to Neil Leslie, general manager of Microsoft Corp.'s customer service and support group, the company within six months will release a beta version of Network Monitor 3.0, an upgrade of a tool that has shipped as part of its Systems Management Server (SMS) software. What will be different in the next SMS release, Leslie says, is that Netmon won't have a "90-day time bomb" that turns off the tool unless you buy it. In other words, if you get SMS, you'll get Netmon 3.0. Free. Netmon captures and stores network packets for analysis. It can filter packets by protocol type and let you find devices on your network and track their packet-broadcasting rates. The 3.0 release adds a Visual Basic-like scripting language so you can easily customize it, says Leslie. Today, he notes, you need C and assembler language skills to do so.
Now for the quid pro quo. Leslie says Microsoft will also make available later this year D-Code, its database of the various service and support tools that the company uses internally. The database not only lists what's what, but it also rates the effectiveness of what's what. Leslie says he wants other companies to rate their troubleshooting and analysis tools inside D-Code so the info can be shared broadly. Microsoft giveth, and it asketh.
MidMarket IT (I hereby dub this group with the MIT TLA) will be happy to hear that Dell is offering Microsoft Operation Manager 2005 Workgroup Edition for as little as $50 per server. Available directly from Dell, MOM for Dell PowerEdge brings simplified, consolidated monitoring capabilities to customers that have been deterred by the price or complexity of other systems-management solutions, said Linda York, VP of global alliances in Dell's Product Group, in a statement.
Microsoft CIO Ron Markezich was the keynote speaker this morning at MMS. He talked to the crowd of IT Management gurus about the challenges and solutions in use at Microsoft. IT Ops Manger Calvin Keaton did one of the demos, showing end user recovery using Data Protection Manager beta. Microsoft IT has been running beta versions of DPM for almost a year, getting 24 hour turnaround on about 150 restore requests per month. Backing up ~130 WW branch offices was taking about 11% of all his backup data costs, and about 20% of his total budget, including all the DLT gear. Moving to DPM means that he can save an estimated US $2.8M over the next two years. And he plans to do it with just 14 DPM servers. All the tapes and DLT gear? History.
To enable end user recovery (EUR) of their deleted files you must enable the end-user recovery feature on the DPM server and install the DPM shadow copy client on the client computers. To enable the end-user recovery feature, a member of the Schema Admins group on the domain must configure Active Directory.
DPM Beta supports end-user recovery on computers running Windows XP with SP2. For more information about the shadow copy client software for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 895536.
The shadow copy client software is available for download from the Microsoft Beta Web site.
For more information on end-user recovery, see DPM Help. For detailed instructions, see the "Configuring Data Protection Manager" chapter in the DPM Planning and Deployment Guide.
Now, you might be thinking this EUR capability would be a big selling point to the mid-market IT Pro - but DPM (1.0 anyway) is definately enterprise-level. The requirements docs state "Data Protection Manager (DPM) is designed to run on a dedicated,single-purpose server. The server must not be a domain controller or application server, and must not double as the host for the DPM MOM Management Pack. The DPM server must have at least two disks installed: one that is dedicated to the system and DPM installation files, and one that is dedicated to the storage pool. The DPM server must be running Windows Server 2003 (Standard r Enterprise Edition) with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later installed." Not likely that many SMB IT Pros are going to get a stand-alone server for this. Particularly if they can't double-dip and co-host it on a second DC, for example.
Watch an animated demo.
Read the FAQ
Search the newsgroups to see what your colleagues are saying
Join the DPM Community
This article says "only 6.7 percent of owners recovered their stolen handheld computers, laptops or smart phones, according to a 2004 study by Brigadoon Software, which makes programs that help track and recover stolen devices. FBI statistics indicate that only 3 percent of stolen laptops are recovered.
If a gadget is lost, or stolen and then discarded, services exist to help find the owner should a good Samaritan come upon it and seek to return it. Companies like StuffBak, Trackitback and SmartProtec register the electronic items and tag them with labels and serial numbers to help people return them and to deter thieves, who might think that indelibly labeled items will be hard to resell. These services vary in the reward offered and the costs to the owner. "
This article says " In a survey of 300 American adults published Thursday, security company Symantec found that 73 percent of smart phones users knew about viruses and other attacks that target the devices, which marry PC-like features such as e-mail and Internet access to a mobile handset. In addition, more than 70 percent of respondents expressed some concern over the possibility of hackers stealing or corrupting confidential information stored on their smart phones.
Despite the risk, the research shows that early adopters haven't been shy about accessing confidential information using the devices. Just over 55 percent of those surveyed stored sensitive personal information on their smart phones. About 37 percent maintained confidential business data on their handsets, and about 28 percent kept clients' details in their devices...41 percent of respondents told Symantec that they already engage in online banking via their smart phones..."
Is your IT organization taking this into account in the overall IT risk assessment?
Do you manage these devices with a full understanding of the value of the device, the attractiveness of these items to thieves (easily fenced)? Do you know and control what goes on them? If one of your execs pulls a Paris Hilton - do you know the potential damage to your company?
The SMS 2003 Device Management Feature Pack allows SMS 2003 to manage mobile devices running Windows CE (3.0 or later) and Windows Mobile software for Pocket PCs (2002 or later).
Announced Day 2 of MMS, System Center Reporting Manager 2005 consolidates your change and configuration information from SMS 2003 and your event and performance information from MOM 2005 to give you easy access to the reports you need to manage your enterprise.
If you are already using both SMS 2003 and MOM 2005, you can further benefit from the System Center Reporting Manager 2005 "better together" reports to understand how changes in your environment affect your system and service availability. System Center Reporting Manager 2005 can help you run reports that:
Even if you use only one of our management tools, SMS 2003 or MOM 2005, System Center Reporting Manager 2005 can deliver an enhanced and simplified query and report authoring experience. TechNet Webcast: Introduction to System Center Reporting Manager 2005 (Level 200)
Read the full article here <http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/219360_msftexploit08.html>. Here's a redact:
Canadian law enforcement authorities and Microsoft Corp. yesterday unveiled a new computer system originally sparked by an e-mail to Bill Gates from a Toronto Police Service detective frustrated by the ability of child pornographers to cloak themselves in technology.
The Child Exploitation Tracking System, already used by some police services in Canada, is designed to gather and analyze data collected in child-pornography investigations around the world. Authorities say the software helps police investigators uncover important connections that might otherwise escape attention.
Microsoft, which has committed about $4 million to the effort thus far, is offering the system free to law enforcement agencies around the world. Executives say they hope to see it adopted on a large scale.
They say it already has proved useful in certain situations.
For example, the system was credited with helping Toronto police investigators identify a man who was arrested last fall on charges of taking and distributing lewd photos of a 4-year-old girl. The system also helped them find the victim.
All told, based on links identified by the system, authorities in Toronto have arrested five people alleged to have traded in or shared child pornography, including two alleged to have been directly involved in abusing children, Gillespie said.
The system was built on Microsoft technologies including SQL Server database software and SharePoint Portal Server. However, Microsoft said the system uses open standards, such as the XML format for data exchange, letting it work with non-Microsoft technologies and systems.
Officials said that strategy will help the Child Exploitation Tracking System work with existing databases of related information.
During yesterday's news conference, Microsoft Canada's Hemler was asked about the financial motivation for taking part in the project. He pointed out that the company is donating money and services to the project and offering its software for free.
"There is no additional revenue in this for Microsoft," he said. "Frankly, it amounts to doing the right thing -- good corporate citizenship."
The DNS issue in the article below affects Windows Server 2003 (standard, enterprise and datacenter editions), Windows 2000 Server (also the advanced and datacenter versions) and Windows NT Server 4.0 standard edition, Microsoft said in its advisory. Servers with Service Pack 3 installed, or that run software sold after the update was released, are already protected from DNS cache pollution by default. Otherwise, the needed settings must be turned on using the products' DNS Management Console.
DNS cache poisoning occurs when an attacker hacks into a domain name server, then "poisons" the cache by planting counterfeit data in the cache of the name server. When a user requests, say, ebay.com, and the IP address is resolved by the hacked domain server, the bogus data is fed back to the browser. Another tactic, dubbed "DNS hijacking," is similar, but simply changes the domain server so that traffic is actually re-routed. Full article <http://www.techweb.com/wire/security/60405913>
The DNS cache poisoning that first struck more than a month ago and led to users being redirected from popular Web sites to malicious sites that infected their machines with spyware, is continuing, said the Internet Storm Center (ISC) Wednesday. The attacks are taking advantage of vulnerabilities and design flaws in Microsoft server software.
To highlight the danger, the ISC raised its Homeland Security-esque alert color code from Green to Yellow.
To set the DNS cache poisoning threat in perspective, Yellow is the same alert color code that ISC used during the SQL Slammer, MSBlast, and Sasser worm outbreaks, three of the nastiest in the last two years.
The newest attack, said Kyle Haugsness, one of the ISC analysts, is actually the third since March 4. Like the initial attack, the motivation is certainly money, since the result is again the installation of mass quantities of spyware on victims' PCs.
Initially, Haugsness and the other ISC analysts thought that a DNS cache poisoning attack was beyond the skills of most spammers -- and so might be proof that the original attackers were contracting their services, but now he said "they might be completely unrelated. In fact, one of the things we discovered after looking into these attacks is just how easy they are to carry off."
Among the domains included in one of the poisoned DNS servers during the first attack were major sites such as americanexpress.com, cnn.com, redhat.com, and msn.com. "
Although there's essentially nothing an end-user can do to protect him- or herself -- other than to regularly sweep the system for spyware and/or have real-time anti-spyware defenses up and running -- DNS server administrators, particularly those in enterprises, should scramble.
Windows-based DNS servers are particularly vulnerable, since Windows NT Server 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server prior to SP3 are insecure against DNS cache poisoning attacks. Windows 2000 Server SP3 and later, as well as Windows Server 2003, are configured securely by default. (For more information, see this Microsoft Knowledgebase article.)
Other users that are vulnerable are those running various Symantec gateway security products who haven't patched bugs the Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor released in mid-March. Full article <http://www.techweb.com/article/printableArticleSrc.jhtml?articleID=160501468>
See also Developing a DNS Security Policy; Windows Server 2003 Deployment KitIf your DNS data is compromised, attackers can gain information about your network that can be used to compromise other services. For example, attackers can harm your organization in the following ways:http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/WindowsServ/2003/all/deployguide/en-us/dnsbd_dns_oxet.asp.
DNS Server Top Support Articles - Microsoft Service ProvidersA well-developed DNS server and Active Directory infrastructure is vital to your network. These articles help you plan, deploy, and troubleshoot DNS and Active Directory implementations.http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/support/dns.asp
Jeff's blog post here for important context and advice - do you know the health of the entire chain?
More KBs here and here, and search results page here. Webcasts:
TechNet Webcast: Windows Server 2003 Administration Series (Part 8 of 12): Domain Name System (DNS) (Level 200)
TechNet Webcast: Security Risk Management (Level 200)
Notification Workflow is a SQL Server Notification Services application that can be used as an add-on to extend MOM 2005. Notification Workflow allows the user to subscribe to application or service alerts. Whenever a match occurs for the alert for which the user has subscribed, the notification is sent in the form of an e-mail. The notifications are sent to the user based on schedule, schedule override, and extended MOM alert properties that the user provides when subscribing. These alert properties include computer name, alert source, alert severity, device, Management Pack name, computer group name, and alert description. This solution accelerator was recetnly updated.
The problem for IT staff is that business executives often overlook the benefits of these investments, which could lead them to assign lower priorities and budgets to their IT departments, Gartner warned.
The researcher suggested that IT managers channel more funds toward meeting business needs, while at the same time improving their communication with executives about the importance and value of planning for infrastructure improvements.
The recent economic cycle and its focus on return on investment has somewhat tarnished the image of IT
The article recommends that midmarket IT staff get more engaged with the company's overall strategy decisions, to better align technology investments with business priorities.
He recommended that IT managers look at what other leading companies in their industries are planning in terms of IT and develop a list of best practices.
Gartner predicts that IT spending in the small and midsize business market will increase dramatically in the next few years.
How can TechNet help the midmarket IT Pro do this? Give us feedback here.
Full article <http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/04/06/HNspendingmidsize_1.html>
SBS user? do you know about Susan's blog?
According to this story, qualifications include:
Our own Microsoft IT organization adds a few more attributes:
What else should be on the list?
Full article <http://www.aaai.org/AITopics/newstopics/nlp1.html>
2 nifty tools you will love to help you manage information better:
Use the Send to OneNote from Internet Explorer PowerToy to send the contents of a Web page from Microsoft Internet Explorer to a new page in Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) with the click of a button. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a9872a17-2d0c-47f0-9b4d-026e94a8ef1c&displaylang=en
Use the Send to OneNote from Outlook PowerToy to send e-mail messages to a Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) page from Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with the click of a button. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=87C661E3-178D-46F0-979E-0FDD96327928&displaylang=en
“When you are IT systems managers in a dangerous time…”
Kiril's kickoff speech this morning started out restating the drivers. Without good IT systems, process and people management, you cannot effectively:
Not to mention that being in constant fire-fighting mode and spending >70% of your time as an IT Pro on maintenance is a recipe for staff burnout.
MOM can help IT Pros reduce this time spent I maintenance/reactive mode. They’ve just release a bunch of new MPs. Interestingly, one of them is for mission critical desktops. There is also a new MP that lets you build synthetic transactions you’re your websites to tell you what kind of user experience your visitors are getting.
On the plane down to MMS I read some interesting stuff from Tim Wallace:
"Science is finding that mimicking living systems to produce robots is about understanding biology, not physics. There are lessons here for the way we run our corporations.
FAST, CHEAP and out of control is not the way most of us would conceive the model organisation. Fast and cheap maybe, but out of control – definitely not.
That, surely, would be to reject the very idea of management as a discipline, what Peter Drucker called the “great liberating, pioneering insight” that human work can be studied systematically, analysed and improved through control of its parts. Captains of industry are not, after all, paid salaries hundreds of times that of the average worker to steer rudderless ships.
The phrase “fast, cheap and out of control” was coined by Australian-born scientist Rodney Brooks and a colleague for an article published in 1989 advocating the use of robots in space exploration. AI challenges us to rethink OI (organisational intelligence) and to smash the machine, rebuilding it from the bottom up – fast, cheap and out of control.
What is intelligence? The standard dictionary defines it as the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skill. We have developed rough measures to evaluate it in creatures, such as humans and dogs, but pinning it down in creations, such as machines or organisations, is harder. An intelligent organisation is clearly something other than the sum of its members.
Enron prided itself on recruiting the brightest and best from America’s top universities but you’d be hard pressed to find a dumber corporate culture, despite it having been generated by a gang of MBAs.
Defining intelligence in machines is even harder.
How the living system computes has been a driving metaphor in scientific research, Brooks writes. “I am reminded that, early on, the nervous system was thought to be a hydraulic system, and later a steam engine. When I was a child I had a book that told me the brain was a telephone-switching network. By the 1960s children’s books were saying that the brain was like a digital computer, and then it became a massively parallel-distributed computer.
I have not seen one, but I would not be surprised to see a children’s book today that said the brain was like the World Wide Web with all its cross-references and correlations. It seems unlikely that we have gotten the metaphor right yet.”
Machine metaphors that are not quite right are all around. Mainstream economics, for example, is based on classic Newtonian physics; the universe works in predictable clockwork fashion: turn one cog in the machine and consequences occur, all others things being equal – which, of course, they never are.
In management, the combined legacy of Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford gave rise to an entire philosophy of business based on the metaphor of the machine: labour rationalised through mechanisation; work divided and specialised; brainwork centralised at the top; tiers of management controlling production by process, method and textbook.
But advances in human understanding in many areas are showing the deficiencies of thinking about living systems in terms of machines. New schools of thought rooted in evolutionary biology are emerging to rattle the shaky assumptions of the industrial age, seeking to discern the real lessons of living systems rather than being led astray by the metaphors we are inclined to impose upon them.
Consider the beehive. To most of us it is a model of efficient hierarchical enterprise – of drones, workers and, above them all, the queen. The hive teaches us an important but subtle lesson in corporate governance: it is autocratic and democratic. Relocation of the hive, for example, is a bottom-up decision.
When bees prepare to swarm to a new location, they send out scouts, then take an “electronic” vote (there’s another machine metaphor) about which scout to follow. The queen is ostensibly in charge but is by no means a micro-manager, with many big decisions made by consensus."
The capacity planning tool formerly known as Indy now has a product name and release schedule. Announced at MMS during the opening keynote, System Center Capacity Manager 2006 Express Edition was developed by Microsoft Research. IT Pros can use it to model a server deployment based on service-based forecasts, such as the number of offices, users and network linkspeeds. A simulation of user workload can be run to determine system capacity, letting users experiment with different hardware, software configurations and user behavior before deploying anything on a live network.
But here is the kicker - the data sheet says that the tool will recommend a topology using pre-defined knowledge and dynamic performance modeling. This knowledge is packaged with the tool and can be updated via the hardware vendor with server-specific metrics.
This is best practice bootstrapping in the box. In addition to saving tons of money and time, this will go a long ways to easing SOX-type governance issues for IT Pros. Anytime you can show that you are modeling and testing things beforehand, and following industry best practices, you are showing good IT governance.
Customers who have already deployed can do "what-ifs" on their current topology, or planned changes, to optimize their environment. Think of it this way - this will have about the same impact on IT that spreadsheets did on finance.
Matbe I will see you at MMS in Vegas? Hope you are prepping your laptop - I am. Read this article for advice that is easy and quick to implement before you head out to Vegas.
Several important announcements this morning during Steveb's keynote.
You can read the details at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/Apr05/04-20VirtualizationInvestmentsPR.asp. To view an on-demand Web cast (including Jeff Woolsey's demonstration of Virtual Server 2005 SP1), go to http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/mgmtsummit/keynotes.asp.
Check out John Howard’s Virtual Server webcast on 29th April at 2PM GMT. Here's the registration link.
Donwload SP1 on the Virtual Server 2005 home page.
RSS Feed for VS KBs
Those questioned in the survey, he said, listed retaining customers and streamlining operations as their top objectives, and technology as the means to achieve them.
According to the survey, small-business owners spend an average of 27 percent of their time outside the office. That leads them to buy equipment like laptops and BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices that give them the freedom to roam. In the survey, 32 percent considered notebook computers a critical part of their business, and 36 percent ranked them as their highest priority in technology spending. "
To me, it seems clear that both the small business IT Pro and MidMarket IT Pro need technical information on mobile devices as much as, if not more than, desktop OS.
They can find some info in the DDC about deplying desktops without the aid of enterprise tools like SMS. But where is the content on deploying/securing/managing the mobile device?
We have to work on that.
In the meantime here is the RSS feed for the small business site on microsoft.com
There is info around, like in the new TechNet Magazine, that applies to smaller IT shops, like this article on using NTBackup.