First, the Exchange boffins have done a cool thing. They have decided to call themselves (and selves similar to them) ninjas and share knowledge through a new Wiki. Check it out, all the cool knowledge wranglers are doing this wiki thing.
What's the first FAQ on the wiki? It's about words:
Why is "Out Of Office" called an "OOF" and not an "OOO" ?
The next time someone involved in content on your project says "we don't need an edit pass on this..." beware.
My team uses the "discuss" a web page feature constantly for technical reviews of content we are developing. We save the design spec, or the draft topic or other content from Word to .MHT format. Then we post the .MHT file to our sharepoint site and send the link to the webpage to everyone we wish to review the content. Folks enter their comments threaded inline to the doc, and at the end, we go through and resolve them back into the content.
We could also just post the Word .DOC file to the sharepoint, turn on tracked changes, and educate all our reviewers how to check-out, insert comments, and check-in - but we have found that we get both a greater quantity and higher quality of review comments by using the "web discussion" method. That's what our PMs and Devs in particular prefer, so that's what we use.
TIP: Turning on the alert feature in sharepoint where you have posted the MHT allows you to keep a running tab on how much discussion is going on.
However, when I recently upgraded to IE 7, the button for commenting on the web page was no longer there.
What the heck?
In case you need it as well, turn it on by clicking View> Explorer Bar> Discuss.
Click the tumbnail to see a screenshot
Passion for Success notes an interesting beneficial side-effect from blogging:
"Ever since I started blogging... (well i am into my 2nd week).. I realised I am no longer just a participant in life, but a keen observer of life, I watch and listen to normal day to day happenings and wonder if it would be an interesting topic for my blog.... "
This "zen of blogging" effect I think much better explains the explosion of blogs than the "slashdot" or "scobleized" effects. Some people only THINK they want to be famous. What keeps them blogging is the self-knowledge they arrive at through the reflection required for the blog, or the satisfaction derived from helping others.
Comments and feedback really DO matter for this use case. The little canaries miners used to carry with them "down t'mine" to warn them of air quality issues kept at their jobs because of the daily care and feeding the miners gave, not because of the early-warning mission.
If you care about the blogs you read, leave comments. Keep them fed and alert and motivated.
This report from the LinuxWorld conference down the I-5 corridor in San Francisco explains why you need System Center Virtual Machine Manager:
Instructions to sign up for the Beta are here. Let us know what you think.
In this article about a recent change to Small Business Server ship date, an un-named Microsoft spokesperson is caught revealing some usually internal-only Microspeak:
"This routine check of the initial software on the manufacturing line found that it contained portions of code deemed "non-final," according to Microsoft."
Microspeak is one of the things a new employee at Microsoft must master. There is even an intranet glossary to help folks. I am surprised if this is genuine, and suspicious 'cause only two words from this "source" are quoted for this part of the article.
In any case, calling the code non-final is certainly sub-optimal :-)
System Center Virtual Machine Manager is the product I am working on. It is a management application for IT Pros to manage the explosion of virtual machines we see coming. It's currently in Beta, and you can sign up for it using these directions.
One of the "roadmap" questions IT Pros want to know is - where is virtualization going? The answer is Windows Server Virtualization, a feature of Longhorn Server x64editions.
What's the difference between Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server Virtualization?
Virtual Server 2005 R2
Windows Server virtualization
Yes, up to 8 processor VMs
VM memory support?
3.6 GB per VM
More than 32 GB per VM
Hot add memory/processors?
Hot add storage/networking?
Can be managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager?
Number of running VMs?
More than 64. As many as hardware will allow.
MMC 3.0 Interface
I found it useful recently in talking with some business colleagues, and most especially with my teenage children, to articulate the principles I value. Writing things down helps me live by them, and helps me express them in a way that is easy for others to remember. Discussion welcomed.
Here are my principles:
1. Show up. On time.
2. Pay attention.
3. Tell the truth.
4. Do your best.
Do these things well, most other issues and problems go away, or get a lot easier to solve. Don't do these things, you and I will not communicate and work well together.
My motto since joining Microsoft (tag line of this blog) is the method whereby I try to do number 4.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 has a cool feature called Self-Service. This allows administrators to build virtual machine templates and associate policies to them so that users (think testers or devs, for example) can spawn VMs on-demand through a web portal.
Because this opens up VM use to a an audience that may not have used VMRC to control VMs before, and because the VMRC control is hosted in a web page, it is handy to keep this list of key combos nearby to help if you see other-than-expected mouse or keyboard behavior.
VMRC keyboard controls.
By default, the Host key is the right Alt key on your keyboard. Pressing the Host key will release the mouse/keyboard from guest access to host access. Press the Host key while simultaneously pressing another key as follows:
The Host key is assigned to the right ALT key by default, which might interfere with inputting certain characters on a virtual machine running a non-English operating system. You can resolve this issue by assigning the Host key to a different key.
More updates queued up for the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 FAQ, your feedback is welcome.
Q: Does Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 support 64-bit?
A: Yes. VMM can manage 32-bit and 64-bit Virtual Server hosts. However, in Beta 1 the computer on which you install the VMM server must be 32-bit Windows Server 2003 R2.
Q: Can I use Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 to manage Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta hosts?
A: Yes, System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 has been tested and confirmed to work with Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 beta hosts.
Q: Can I manage hosts running Windows Server 2003 SP1?
A: Yes. However the VMM agent needs the WS-Man component installed on the host to communicate with the VMM Server. Therefore if your hosts are running Win2K3 SP1, download and install the appropriate installer for WS-man (x86 or AMD64) from the https://connect.microsoft.com website.
Q: Do I need to install WS-man on hosts running Windows Server 2003 R2?
A: No. WS-man is already included in Windows Server 2003 R2. However, it is not enabled by default. You must enable it according to the instructions in the Getting Started Guide.
It's usually a sub-optimal choice to install Beta software of any kind on a DC, even in a lab environment. We'll be adding the following to our Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 FAQ during Friday's update:
Q: Can I install System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 on a Domain Controller?
A: Installing Beta 1 on a Domain Controller (DC) is not supported. The Virtual Machine Manager server and the Virtual Machine Manager agent must be installed on a domain member server.
Installing the Virtual Machine Manager server or agent on a DC fails with error 205.
We posted the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Beta 1 bits to the https://connect.microsoft.com site today. Here are the Beta 1 system requirements:
Virtual Machine Manager is designed to be installed on a single-purpose dedicated server. The server runs the Virtual Machine Manager Server, the Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console, and the Virtual Machine Manager Agent components. The optional Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service component should be installed on a separate computer.
Due to the size of virtual machines, it is a best practice to have all servers connected with at least a 100 MB Ethernet connection; however a gigabit connection could improve performance. If you use a gigabit connection, the Virtual Machine Manager server may require a more powerful CPU than the recommended 2.8 GHz Pentium 4.
Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 should not be used to manage production environments.
Virtual Machine Manager is designed to run on a server that is dedicated to the role of virtualization. The following prerequisite software must be installed on the Virtual Machine Manager server:
· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2
Install this trial software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?Link
· Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
The Server Setup Wizard installs this software if it is not already installed.
· Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly called WinFX).
Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69910
If Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is already installed, installing Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly WinFX) keeps the existing Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installation in place and adds the components needed to run Virtual Machine Manager.
· Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Service Pack 1
The Setup Wizard installs this software with SQL instance MICROSOFT$VMM$ if it is not already installed.
· Windows Server 2003 R2 Hardware Management Tool
To enable the Hardware Management Tool, in Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs, click Add/Remove Windows Components, highlight Management and Monitoring Tools, and click Details. Then check Hardware Management, and click OK.
The Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console provides the graphical user interface (GUI) to create and manage virtual machines. The following prerequisite software must be installed on the server that hosts the administrator console:
· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2
Install this trial software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?L
· Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
The Setup Wizard installs this software if it is not already installed.
· Windows PowerShell RC1
Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkId=69911
· Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly WinFX).
Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkI
If Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is previously installed, installing the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly WinFX) keeps the existing Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installation in place and adds the components needed to run Virtual Machine Manager.
The Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal enables users to create and manage their own virtual machines over the Web. The server on which the Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal is installed must have the following prerequisite software installed:
Install this trial software from the following site:
· Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
The Self-Service Portal Setup Wizard installs this software if it is not already installed.
Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink
· Windows Server 2003 R2 ASP.NET and Internet Information Services (IIS)
To enable these components, in Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs. Then click Add/Remove Windows Components, highlight Application Server, and click Details. Check ASP.NET and Internet Application Services (IIS), and then click OK.
To manage virtual machines in Virtual Machine Manager, you must add at least one virtual machine host using the Agent. The Agent manages virtual machines and allows you to add virtual machine hosts. The Agent should be installed on all virtual server hosts to be managed by Virtual Machine Manager. Installing the agent on a DC is not supported in Beta 1.
Each virtual machine host must have the following prerequisite software installed:
· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 or Microsoft Windows 2003 Server SP1
· Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, either 32- or 64-bit version
· If the host is running Windows Server 2003 R2, you can enable the Hardware Management Tool by using Add/Remove Windows Components: In Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs. Then click Add/Remove Windows Components, highlight Management and Monitoring Tools, and click Details. Check Hardware Management, and then click OK.
· If the host is running Windows Server 2003 SP1, you need to download and install the Hardware Management Tool. Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com
The Virtual Machine Manager Server and hosts must all be joined to Active Directory domains, although the hosts may be in a separate domain from the Virtual Machine Manager server if desired. If separate domains are used, there must be a trust relationship established between the Virtual Machine Manager server domain and the host domain. The server must be a member server. Installation on a DC is not supported in Beta 1.
When hosts are managed across machine-specific firewalls, agents must be locally installed on the hosts which will automatically open port 80. Once the ports are manually opened the hosts may be added to Virtual Machine Manager. The firewalls must then be configured to allow communication between the Virtual Machine Manager Server and the hosts.
If hosts are to be managed across a network firewall, you will need to manually open the ports for communication in that firewall.
The following minimum hardware requirements are required to install Virtual Machine Manager.
· Pentium 4 2.8 GHz Processor
· 2 GB of RAM
· 8 GB disk space for the Virtual Machine Manager application
· Additional disk space for Library objects - recommend 80 GB
All the content for Beta 1 is hosted on the https://connect.microsoft.com site, which requires Windows Live ID or Passport sign-in, and Beta participation approval.
Here's what went live today:
Learn about Virtual Machine Manager concepts and functionality. For information, see:
Find solutions when you encounter problems with Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1. For information, see:
Verify that your network infrastructure and server meet the system requirements. Virtual Machine Manager provides setup wizards that install and uninstall the Virtual Machine Manager server software, the Administrator console, and the self-service portal. For more information, see:
Configure Virtual Machine Manager to start managing virtual machines. For more information, see:
Configure Virtual Machine Manager to allow users to create and manage their own virtual machines. For information, see:
Configure your system so that you can manage virtual machines in a SAN environment. For more information, see:
I am happy to announce that System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) Beta 1 is ready for download to registered SCVMM Public Beta 1 users!
To download the Beta:
1. Go to
2. Sign in with your Passport or Windows Live ID 3. Select "VMM Beta 1"
4. Please note that SCVMMM Beta 1 is for "test/lab environment" deployments only 5. Make sure you read Getting Started with Virtual Machine Manager and Requirements for Deploying Virtual Machine Manager (available in the Downloads) before installing Beta 1.
6. Use the newsgroup to report any problems. You can access the newsgroup by following the "Newsgroups" link on the left menu pane and following the instructions there. The product group and virtualization MVPs monitor this site during business hours (GMT-8 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).
7. Please send us feedback regarding the product by following the "Newsgroups" link on the left menu pane. Or, you can leave comments here on the blog.
Coming soon to a betaplace near you...Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
Here's how to sign up:
1. Go to http://connect.microsoft.com
2. Sign In with your Passport or Windows Live ID
3. Select “Available Connections" from the left pane
4. Scroll down the list to see the available beta programs
5. Find “System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 Public Program” from the list
6. Select Apply
7. Microsoft Connect will require a one-time registration if you haven’t already done so
8. Complete the Virtual Machine Manager Beta 1 nomination survey
9. Once registered and approved you will receive an acceptance e-mail will further instructions. After that, you can use http://connect.microsoft.com/vmm to directly access the SCVMM beta web site.
Some architectural choices you can make in setting up your virtualization can improve your VM performance. Read the details in this KB, including:
Another great resource is the Virtual Server section of the ScriptCenter repository. There you can find gems like scripts to: