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)
Have you seen the Windows Server System Reference Architecture content?Windows Server System Reference Architecture empowers systems integrators and IT professionals with validated architectural guidance that establishes the Microsoft platform as the most trustworthy platform for business computing. The reference architecture enables best practice-based design of an IT infrastructure, which drives standardization across the platform to ensure a consistent approach to the definition of IT services.
Take a look at how they have laid out their documentation with a map that shows you how all the content pieces relate: ops guides, build guides, planning guides, blue prints.
Want to see more content presented this way on TechNet? Let us know by leaving comments on this post.
Grab all the updated WSSRA content in the download center.
And speaking of the future of TechNet - Encarta is piloting a wiki-style approach to content update management - let the readers help out. Why would this NOT work for IT Pro information on Technet??
Let us know.
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 Technology Advancement Program is available to customers who purchased the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003 with x64 hardware and would now like to exchange their software for the x64 version of Windows instead.To participate in this program, you must have both of the following:
In order to be eligible for the Technology Advancement Program, your products must have been acquired between March 31, 2003 and June 30, 2005.Orders for the Technology Advancement Program must be placed by July 31, 2005.
TechNet Magazine on the web - 'nuff said. Issue #1 is chock full of security content goodness.
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.
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
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.
Safe bet - as time goes on the chinese walls between IT Pros and devs will continue to break down. MONAD is the next-gen WSH, and IT Admins will be using it, a lot. Example, in the keynote today there was a demo of using script to remotely turn on the drive indicator light on a remote server. Consider, I am remotely tshooting the machine, I determine it needs a new drive, I call the local tech, he goes to the server and knows instantly to replace the "one with the blinking orange light". Multiply the time savings times the number of incidents like this and the savings potential is, well, really big.
There is a Channel 9 MONAD video here
And everything MONAD blog post here
To get MONADYou’ll need a passport account. Go to http://beta.microsoft.com Logon using guest ID: mshPDC Select Microsoft Command Shell Select Survey in the left column and completeAccess granted within 48 hours
Bill Anderson did his “Wall of Fire” demo this morning during Steveb’s keynote, live, without backup or backstage elves - His words “10 feet from termination”.
Picture 100 Monitors in an array about 20x5 hooked to 100 W2K/XP PCs. The “user state” on these machines is a custom bitmap that together displays a Winlogo across the array. In 9 mins, using SMS, he backs up the user state (the bitmap) and deploys a new OS , (SP2). He kicked off all the re-images at once because Osdeploy.exe was executing, waiting for a custom action. Press a button, put your career at risk. Guess no one blinked because this is Vegas, but it was a pretty gutsy demo IMHO.
Worked like a charm, about 9 mins into Steve’s speech we see the loverly Security Center window pop up on every screen, and everyone in the room could see the Winlogo (representing user state) behind them. Bravo.
The link to watch it should be live later today. JMike's blog has pics.
Folks have had trouble finding the downloadable job aids for Windows Server 2003 deployment. These are really useful for any SIP you want to kick off, or structuring service management reports. Check them out.
The pieces are:
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
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.
Have you met SAM? This site has a nifty set of tools to walk you through some critical steps you need to take to get to a “better managed state”. Whether that is driven by IT Governance issues, budget planning, security or whatever, you can probably use these tools today. SAM Step 1: Perform a Software Inventory Find out what software titles your company is currently using.SAM Step 2: Match Software with Licenses Locate the license documentation for each software title installed.SAM Step 3: Review Policies and Procedures Review or write policies and procedures to assure good software asset management practices. SAM Step 4: Develop a SAM Plan Create an ongoing SAM plan to use moving forward.Oh, and it has a cool partner finder and tool finder. Wish we had the same on TechNet for server-side enterprise products. Do you? Leave feedback for me so I can help make the case 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.
“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."
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
TechNet recently launched two new online destinations for IT Pros:
The Desktop Deployment Center <http://www.microsoft.com/technet/desktopdeployment/default.mspx>
The Windows Server TechCenter <http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/default.mspx>
Now, a lot of scary-smart people worked on these two sites. All of them focused on getting IT Pros the information they need. Thing is, we need to hear from IT Pros about which of the two different approaches works better. I saw feedback yesterday that was unhappy about the changes on the Windows page. Are we going in the right direction? Do we need a course correction?
Let us know which one we should emulate for the next site we launch. Collect the feedback here. If you could include the "why" I'd be most appreciative, and more effective in getting the message acted on at TechNet. Spread the word.