On the Sixth day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Six Geeks-a-Playing!
Welcome to the Sixth day of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition.
We’ve got Lego galore today, with a SQL Server twist courtesy of today’s sponsor Fusion-io!
The Fusion-io team have set up shop in the Microsost Research Center (MTC) all day today, to coincide wit the challenge. Follow them on twitter here for live updates throughout the day.
Yesterday our true love gave away, ‘Seven Sans-a-Spinning’. Were you one of our Seven lucky winners? Find all winning entries here.
We've let Fusion-io decide the challenge today, they’ve chosen a SQL question for you, but with four possible answers!
All you have to do is comment directly below this post, with the answer - a), b), c) or d).
Please only choose one answer (winner chosen at random).
Question: Which of these options is most relevant in ensuring consistently high transaction rates in a performant SQL OLTP workload?
a) Adequate IOPS
b) Adequate Bandwidth
c) Low Latency
d) All of the above
We’ve Six TechNet bundles up for grabs today, we hope your a lego fan!… Six lucky winners will win the following:
- A limited edition Fusion-io Lego ioDrive2 set (for the kid in you)
- 2x Lego Hero Factory kits (for the kid in your house)
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Friday 13th will be considered, however the 6x winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Monday 16th.
Lego Hero Factory: Brain attack
You guessed it, lots of Lego! If your a fan of shoot-em-up’s this is a truly great official app.
The Hero Factory needs your help. Can you be its greatest defender? Download for free here, if your a fan, give it a rating!
Geekmas instructions here.
T&C’s found here.
The TechNet Team
My laptop running Windows Server 2012R2 looks like this when it starts:
This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing if:
However if you are managing production servers at any kind of scale this is a bad thing as you don’t need all the tools and interfaces on every server you deploy. All those tools expose interfaces like File and Internet explore so if your servers are in the wild (so not in managed data centres) then curious local admins might wish to use those tools to surf the net or reconfigure your servers. Also these interface require patching and can consume resources.
This is why Server Core was introduced in Windows Server 2008 and in Windows Server 2012R2 Server Core is the default installation option. All you get if you install Windows Server with this option is:
Server Core wasn’t a popular choice in Windows Server 2008 for a number of reasons:
That has all been fixed in Windows Server 2012 and later and so Server Core should be your default option for all your servers except those used for Remote desktop Session Virtualization Hosts. You could achieve nearly the same result by doing an install and rip out all the interfaces once your server is configured they way you want in which case you would go to the menu remove features in Server Manager and in the features screen uncheck each of the options..
If you remove all of these from here or use PowerShell to do this:
Remove-WindowsFeature –Name Desktop-Experience, Server_Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-Gui-Shell
you essentially get Server Core. If you leave behind the Graphical Management Tools ..
Remove-WindowsFeature –Name Desktop-Experience, Server-Gui-Shell
You’ll get what’s known as “MinShell” all the management tools, but no extra fluff like IE and the Start menu, so this is also a popular choice.
If you do elect do a Server Core install and want then later decide to put the management user interface back in, you need to remember that the binaries for these aren’t on the server so when you add the features in you’ll need to specify a source switch, and before that you’ll need to have access to the source for these features by mounting the appropriate .wim file using the Disk Image Servicing Management command (DISM):
DISM /Mount-WIM /WIMFile:D:\sources\install.wim /Index:4 /MountDir:C:\WS2012Install /ReadOnly
Add-WindowsFeature –Name Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra –Source c:\ws2012install\Windows\SxS
shutdown /r /t 0
DISM /Unmount-WIM /MountDir:C:\WS2012Install /Discard
This is actually quite a useful template as doesn’t have the binaries needed to put IE etc. back in but is still easy to manage. You could then use this as the the basis for creating VMs for your labs and evaluations by sysprepping it:
sysprep /generalize /shutdown /oobe
and if you wanted to save space you could then use it as a parent for the differencing disks behind the various VMs in your lab environment.
There is a free version of Windows Server 2012R2 specifically designed for Hyper-V, called Hyper-V Server 2012R2. This is very like Server Core, but you can’t add the UI back in and it only has a few roles in it specifically for Hyper-V, clustering and file servers as that’s all that is included in the license.
To finish up Server core is really useful, and much easier to manage remotely than it was, as Windows Server is setup by default for remote management within a domain. Just as importantly you might have dismissed a feature in Windows when it first shows up in a new version, but it’s worth checking back to how it’s changed in each new versions, be that Server Core, Hyper-V, storage or those big squares!
Please note: This competition is now closed.
On the Seventh day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Seven Sans-a-Spinning!
Welcome to the seventh day of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition.
After a Dev day yesterday, we’re back to the world of IT Pro and today we’ve got some special prizes up for grabs. Courtesy of our MVP’s Aidan Finn, Hans Vredevoort, Patrick Lownds and Damian Flynn!
Yesterday our true love gave away, ‘Eight Devs-a-Coding’. Were you one of our Eight lucky winners? Find all winning entries here.
For today’s challenge a little more effort is involved, but not much ;).
Today, We’ve three rules.
1. Follow @TechNetUK
2. Download from the eval center – Windows Server 2012 R2
3. Tweet a screenshot of your download and Tweet us at @TechNetUK:
Tweet '@TechNetUK 'Windows Server Eval Download Screenshot' #Geekmas'
We’ve Seven TechNet bundles up for grabs today for both those on and off premise!… Seven lucky winners who will EACH win the following:
- a Microsoft Private Cloud Computing book (A book by certified Microsoft MVP’s)
- an exclusive Microsoft #TechNetTidy T-Shirt (from the #TechNetTidy competition)
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Thursday 12th will be considered, however the 7x winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Friday 13th.
Our Seven lucky winners today are:
Our app today is new to the Windows store! ‘Love Clean Streets’ will help clean up your local area of any environmental issues in time for a tidy 2014.
Love Clean Streets
Report environmental crime and issues easily to your local authority and have them resolved worldwide! Report an issue on phone or tablet in just 40 seconds! Why not use Love Clean Streets to report the things you've done to help clean up your area? Thousands are already involved in looking after our rivers and public spaces. Download for free here.
Today, Microsoft announced its Cloud OS Network - a worldwide group of more than 25 cloud service providers serving over 90 markets, delivering services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform. For enterprise and Government organisations in the UK, this means more choice and flexibility in the way they are able to deliver their applications and services. Specifically, with the Cloud OS Network we are enabling organisations to deploy their applications and services from a high quality trusted local service provider in conjunction with existing on premises and Azure assets.
Maurice Martin Director, Server and Cloud platforms, Microsoft Ltd explains: “Choice is key. UK customers now benefit from a true hybrid cloud model – being able to deploy services and applications in a consistent way across UK based leading service providers - Outsourcery, Capita, NTTX and CGI in conjunction with Azure. We recognise that for organisations with concerns regarding data sovereignty, specific industry regulations and additional specialised services - obtaining Microsoft Cloud services from a local UK provider offers them the best of both worlds. Working with our UK service provider partners via our new Cloud OS Network additionally means that together we can offer services that are fully compliant with UK Government security standards, allowing confidential data to be securely processed within our cloud ecosystem.”
Martin continues: “Ultimately what you are seeing here is the foundation for a national cloud infrastructure. We believe that the Cloud OS Network is unique since it enables one consistent platform across customer private clouds, public cloud (Windows Azure), and service provider clouds, with all three leveraging shared technologies for the virtualisation layer, systems management, development frameworks and identity solutions. This makes it easy for Government to work with multiple providers and enable workloads to move across clouds, dynamically if required, without technical friction.”
The Cloud OS Network will see partners provide infrastructure and application solutions based on a Microsoft-validated platform. The solutions can be highly customised and fully managed for customers and include varying levels of security, privacy and service levels to meet specific needs.
Piers Linney, CEO of Outsourcery explains what it means for the UK market: “The rate of cloud adoption continues to gather pace amongst our public and private sectors customers who are now seeking greater choice, flexibility and consistency between hybrid datacentre environments. Data sovereignty is also an increasing requirement, which is why customers such as London Business School have seen the value of Outsourcery’s O-Cloud Platform powered by the Microsoft Cloud Platform. In fact, as part of the Microsoft Cloud OS Network, we see a significant opportunity to increase our market strength by offering customers the most comprehensive set of cloud service capabilities available today. These capabilities are enhanced by global best practice from a select number of leading cloud providers.”
Andy Parker, Deputy Chief Executive at Capita adds: “We are pleased to be working with Microsoft as one of the few UK companies to offer its popular applications via private cloud. Capita Productivity Hub allows organisations to increase productivity by offering trusted Microsoft applications on the go and on their choice of device. In addition, the latest versions of these applications will always be available.
“Customers benefit from the knowledge that the applications are being used in a secure environment, plus the reassurance of all data being stored in Capita’s UK data centres. This is crucial for many organisations in the public sector and highly regulated industries. Capita Productivity Hub will be available via the existing Capita Private Cloud infrastructure, which offers customers access to more than 2,000 pre-tested cloud applications via a self-service portal, allowing them to easily tailor, monitor and manage services.”
Tim Gregory, UK President, CGI. Explains: “At CGI we always strive to be the best at what we do and help our clients to succeed. This partnership with Microsoft is a further demonstration of our commitment to provide clients with best of class solutions for their business, operational and bottom line challenges. We have already demonstrated the benefits of this partnership with our Secure Government Cloud which was launched last week and is already generating a huge amount of interest in the market.”
Philip Moss, Director at NTTX concludes: “NTTX is proud of its long-standing association with Microsoft and today’s announcement that NTTX is one of the small group of global partners involved in Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network is testament to the strength of this relationship. Our new generation of public and private cloud solutions, utilising the power and capability of Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Azure Pack and System Centre 2012 R2, provides highly available, feature rich solutions, which drive down operational costs and reduce the complexity and deployment lead times inherent in traditional solutions. NTTX combines its highly-advanced Cloud services delivery platform with a trusted, personal and highly responsive approach to customer engagement to deliver turnkey solutions that exceed customers’ needs, today and tomorrow, in the most cost effective manner.”
Please note: This competition is now closed!
Welcome to day Eight of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition. With a developer focus, we've partnered up with the Visual Studio UK team to deliver todays 'Eight Dev's-a-Coding'!
Yesterday our true love gave away, ‘Nine Apps Compiling'. Were you one of our Nine lucky winners? Find all winning entries here.
For today's challenge, follow @VisualStudioUK on twitter AND tweet @TechNetUK, with the answer to our Visual Studio question below. Remember to use the #Geekmas!
Today, We’ve just two simple rules.
1. Firstly, follow our sponsors - @VisualStudioUK
2. Then tweet @TechNetUK with your answer to: 'How many users can access a single Visual Studio Online account for free?' Whilst using the #Geekmas.
We’ve Nine cool tee's up for grabs today… for Nine lucky winners who will win the following -
- a reindeer coded Visual Studio T-shirt (As sported by our willing volunteer Henry).
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Wednesday 11th will be considered, however the Eight winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Thursday 12th.
Our Eight lucky winners today are :@pcolmer
Daddy Pig's Puddle Jump – A brand new official Peppa Pig app. Daddy Pig is the reigning world record champion muddy puddle jumper but Peppa and George are keen to lift the trophy themselves. A one touch, multi-levelled, jumping game for 1 or 2 players. Whoever the winner, the aim of the game is to get as muddy as possible and remember - if you jump in muddy puddles you must wear your boots.
Buy here for only £1.39.
Personally, I prefer my pig's in blankets and syrup, not mud, but this game has proved to be very popular with the kids! Download and let your little ones have a go! Tell us what they think, If they give a thumbs up, show the developer some love and give em a rating!
Please Note: This competition is now closed!
On the Ninth day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Nine Apps Compiling!
Welcome to day nine of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition.
Yesterday our true love gave away, ‘Ten Boards-a-Bleeping'. Were you one of our Ten lucky winners? Find all winning entries here.
Today’s challenge is simple, just head over to the TechNet Facebook page and share your Windows 8 top tip with us!
1. Like our TechNet Facebook page
2. Leave a comment on our 'Tips and Tricks for Windows 8.1' promotional Facebook post here, telling us your top Windows 8 tip!
We’ve Nine TechNet bundles up for grabs today… for Nine lucky winners who will EACH win the following -
- A Technet Flask
- a TechNet Mug
- a Microsoft Pen
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Tuesday 9th will be considered, however the Nine winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Wednesday 11th.
OUR NINE LUCKY WINNING GEEKMAS ENTRIES TODAY ARE:
- Mahesh Khetani
- Peter Cashen
- Richard Foster
- Alexander Jethwa
- Thomas Bithell
- Ryan Billau
- Ed Baker
- Waleed El-Badry
- James Smith
We’ve got an app to help you complete today’s challenge, give it a go and share your own tips!
Tips & Tricks for Windows 8.1 - 24 tips and tricks for Windows 8.1. This app features 24 tutorials and more than 2 hours of training on Windows 8.1, on the key Windows 8.1 new features, tools and functionalities. Download it here.
Download and tell us what you think, If you’ve learned something new, show the developer some love and give em a rating!
‘Anchors at bay’ Microsoft Technical Evangelists Andrew Fryer and Giles Davies.
Last month the team here delivered one of the biggest technical productions of Microsoft TechNet history and one of the UK’s largest 1st party digital online event's.
All on demand content available for two months (please note: registration is necessary)
From its humble beginnings back in 2010 when it was presented to an audience of approx. 200 people via a scheduled live meeting call. Tech.Days Online has evolved into a fully-fledged live production spanning over 3 days, reaching over 4000 IT Professionals and Developers, viewed in 23 countries with a total of 16 hours of exciting and engaging technical content delivered.
Guest appearances from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, British Lions legend Will Greenwood and the IT team from Lotus F1 where among a star studded cast of industry experts, who delivered sessions across each day.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's (Left), final UK interview as CEO, talking all things IT Pro and Developer.
There was a great variety of IT Pro and Developer content delivered across each day, we tried to tailor each day for each audience - Day 1: Windows Client for IT Pros and Developers, Day 2: Server and Cloud for IT Pros & Day 3: Visual Studio, Azure, Dev tools for Developers
All 31 sessions from each day of Tech.Days Online is now available for you to view online.
In addition we’ve added 7 more sessions from the Microsoft technical presenters at the IP Expo exhibition and conference.
If you wish to take another look at Steve Ballmer’s final interview for the UK IT Pro and Developer community, or catch up on the latest developments in Windows 8.1, Windows Server, cloud and dev. tools such as Visual Studio 2013 you can find it all on-demand.
In addition to the on-demand content you can download other useful resources such as copies of speaker presentations.
So, if you want to catch up on some of the sessions from Tech.Days Online or IP Expo when it is convenient to you all you need to do is visit our Tech.Days On Demand site here, and register to view!
Day One – Session 1.6: Office 365 – the evolving service
Brett Johnson (Technology Solutions Professional, Microsoft) and Michael Taylor (Deputy CIO, Lotus F1) discussing the business partnership as well as covering what’s new within Office 365
What did you think?
We’ve received almost 700 of your event evaluations, which have proved to be incredibly valuable in preparation for the next TechDays!
We were able to find out what went well, what went brilliantly and what we can look to improve for next time!
We asked, what was your Tech.Days highlight? Here’s a few stand out responses:
“The various demo's provided and expert opinions along with additional chat support to ensure questions are answered.”
“This was the first time I’ve participated and I found it very useful, I’ll definitely participate again. I’ve also been on Microsoft course's, passed MCP's and found this event so useful that I am intending on passing and attending more. I’m also building a test bed at home :).”
“Andrew Fryer (Deepfat)'s Anchoring....”
We cranked the SWAG notch up this year. To coincide with the release of Xbox One, we were able give an Xbox One away EACH day.
One lucky winner was chosen on day one (from all pre-event registrants), then on day two and three we had a unique Tech.Days Conundrum challenge to keep the crowd occupied and guessing – Fastest correct entry on both days one an Xbox One!
Chirag Harendra (left) was one of those lucky winners.
The giveaways didn't stop there though, a few lucky runners up received the highly sought after xbox one…sie! (as modelled by Andrew Fryer). Other giveaways across the three day’s were a Dell XPS laptop, Nokia Lumia's, TechNet Flasks and Exclusive Tech.Days T-shirts.
We were tweeting live at the event from @TechNetUK, and received lots of positive reviews and feedback from across the event. Thanks to all those who tweeted in, you helped us trend nationwide TWICE across two of the three days.
We hope you enjoyed Tech.Days Online 2013, we certainly had a blast!
Re-live the day On-Demad now. Stay tuned on the blog and @TechNetUK for all the latest information on Microsoft event's coming your way!
Please note: Competition now closed
On the Tenth day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Ten Boards-a-Bleeping!
Welcome to day three of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition.
Today’s challenge is easy, all you need to do is tell the masses your taking part in Geekmas!
On Friday our true love gave away, ‘Eleven Photo Filters’. Were you one of our eleven lucky winners? Find all winning entries here.
2. Tweet = ‘I'm taking part in Microsoft @TechNetUK #Geekmas'
We’ve Ten TechNet bundles up for grabs today… for Ten lucky winners who will EACH win the following -
- a Microsoft Mag Lite
- a TechNet Mug (Hold your favourite tipple, on us)
- a Microsoft Pen (Because your always losing your own?)
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Monday 9th will be considered, however the 12x winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Monday 9th.
APP OF THE DAY?
We’ve two apps to highlight today! Both will help you become a one man this Christmas!
Play Guitar! turns your Windows 8 machine into a virtual guitar. You can press and strum strings, just like a real guitar. Download here.
Piano!! Play a full 88 key piano on your device with this awesome app. Simple and easy to use. Trial it for free here.
Download both and tell us what you think, or why not send us in a picture of you rocking out on your device of choice. If your having fun, show the developer some love and give em a rating!.
Please Note: This competition is now closed, winners below.
On the eleventh day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Eleven Photo Filters!
Welcome to the second day of our ‘Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition.
Today were looking for eleven photo filters, and we’ve the PhotoFunia app on hand to help you with the challenge. Use the app to help share your Geekmas preparations.
Yesterday our true love gave away, ‘12 Doodlers Didling’. Were you lucky enough to win a personalised Geekmas Didlr mouse mat? find our ‘Day One’ winning entries here.
Today however, we want to see your Geekmas in full filter form, a few photo entry suggestions below:
- Dodgiest office Christmas Jumper?
- Office Tinsel tree?
- Server Room santa?
- Data Centre decorations?
Don’t worry if your office decorations leave something to be desired, just use on of the festive filters on PhotoFunia to help you out!
HOW TO ENTER??
Today, We’ve just three simple rules
- Download the PhotoFunia app on your most popular device and follow @TechNetUK on twitter.
- Take a festive photo using one of the many filters on the app, creativity is the key.
- Tweet us your photo at @TechNetUK using the #Geekmas.
WHAT CAN YOU WIN?
We’ve eleven TechNet bundles up for grabs today… for eleven lucky winners who will EACH win the following -
- a ‘TechNet First Aid Kit’ (Handy for any Data Centre mishaps)
- a TechNet Mug (Hold your favourite tipple, on us)
Our Eleven lucky #Geekmas winners today are:
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Friday 6th will be considered, however the Twelve winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on this page at 09:30 Monday 9th.
APP OF THE DAY?
PhotoFunia is free and very easy to use. Just select an effect you like from over 300 different effects, select your photo, and the app will handle the rest for you.
With a brand new version in the Windows 8 Store, download it ‘here’ and tell us what you think! If your having fun, why not show the developer some love and give em a rating!.
On the twelfth day of Geekmas, my true love gave to me….. Twelve Doodler’s Didling.
Welcome to day one of ‘The Twelve Days of Geekmas’ competition!
Sponsored by Didlr, We’ve a great kick off challenge to get you in a festive mood!
HOW TO ENTER? Competition Closed (Winners below)
We have just four small rules -
1. Download Didlr on your most popular device and also follow @TechNetUK on twitter.
2. Create a Didl on “What does Geekmas mean to you?”
3. Caption your drawing ‘#Geekmas'.
4. Share your Didlr on twitter at @TechNetUK #Geekmas.
WHAT CAN YOU WIN? Competition Closed (Winners below)
12x lucky winners will win a personalised printed mouse mat of their own Geekmas Didl! How cool is that?
All entries from 09:30 - 23:59 on Thursday 5th will be considered, however the 12x winning entries will be decided by the team and announced on the Featured competition page here at 09:30 Friday (6th) morning.
THE 12 LUCKY PERSONALISED MOUSE MAT WINNERS
@Thommck - https://didlr.com/TONorH
@ComputerCurtis - https://didlr.com/cITdEn
@iAlirezaHayati - https://didlr.com/sbdWOR
Didlr user: Cinaman&nutmeg - https://didlr.com/JmiWJC
Didlr user: EnderEye - https://didlr.com/Feaawb
Didlr user: MinaMina - https://didlr.com/tAdrNJ
Didlr user: Piper17 - https://didlr.com/ORfOdB
Didlr user: Audiegirl99 - https://didlr.com/fSEZHh
Didlr user: Shaboom - https://didlr.com/mthAjJ
Didlr user: Tylaa_101 - https://didlr.com/uJjlny
Didlr user: ThEG33K - https://didlr.com/GIcZGh
Didlr user: Eniloc13 - https://didlr.com/XzoNhJ
You’ve guessed it…. download Didlr here.
If this is all a little confusing and you haven't an elves' ear what’s going on, revert back to our instructions post here.
Good luck and ‘Appy Geekmas’,