Your Guide to the Latest Windows Server Product Information.
Windows Server Links
Windows Server Community
A couple quick points of MS virtualization interest. First up is a new book on Virtual Server 2005 R2. Here's a shot of the cover and brief description of the book: The definitive, in-depth resource for administering Virtual Server 2005—direct from the experts Get the definitive reference for administering and supporting Virtual Server 2005, including the R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) release—with insights from the Microsoft experts who know the technology best. This official Microsoft RESOURCE KIT provides the in-depth technical guidance on installing, configuring, administering, and supporting Virtual Server 2005. In addition, you get in-depth chapters on advanced configurations; development and test tools; migration and management tools; security, scripting; Linux support; disaster recovery; and extending and customizing Virtual Server 2005. You also get a CD with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 with SP1 and Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 evaluation software; sample scripts, source code, and sample applications; technical whitepapers; videos from the authors; and a fully searchable version of the entire RESOURCE KIT. Also, a new web site for SoftGrid launched today. This is mainly a transition off of the Softricity site (which we acquired last year) to MS.com property. But they'll also be adding a TechCenter section for community and libraries. In the mean time, customers like Russell Investments are making big plans SoftGrid, and it'll soon be available for Vista. And WiPro published a (marketing) white paper on the features, cost benefits and effects on IT best practices for using Microsoft's Desktop Optimization Pack ... one of the 2 ways you can acquire SoftGrid.
It's been a while since I posted about Windows CCS (the high-performance computing edition of Windows Server 2003). Just because I've been radio silent, doesn't mean others have been. In fact, we launched a new Web site geared toward the industries like financial services, manufacturing, oil & gas, geo sciences and life sciences. And if you truly want to stay updated on Microsoft's HPC news, Ken does a good of tracking the news at his site. That said, today we published results of a Microsoft-sponsored survey on capital markets firms (154 qualified high-performance computing users) growing use/need of high-performance computing. Here's excerpts from the survey: The online survey was conducted in June 2007 and includes responses from high-performance computing users in the capital markets industry. Significant findings include these: • 45% of respondents reported that customer demand is currently driving the growth of their firm’s high-performance computing needs. • 24% of respondents reported that they plan on increasing the capacity of their high-performance computing environments by 1,000 nodes or more in the next 12 to 18 months. • 47% reported that performance is the most important factor when purchasing an operating system to run high-performance computing applications. • 83% are considering a Microsoft high-performance computing solution for their next appropriate project. • 62% report that Microsoft Office Excel is the most widely used application in their high-performance computing environment. • 60% are currently using a 64-bit operating system to run their high-performance computing projects. • 63% report that they deploy their high-performance computing environments as a centralized or shared utility. I recently had the opportunity to speak with a few customers from banks and Cap Market firms as they kicked the tires of Windows CCS. We had very interesting discussions about using hypervisors to further utilize HPC nodes, and creating mesh networks with multi-core procs and MPI. Much of the conversation reminded me of Burton Smith's Q&A in HPCwire. They're re-investing computing from the programming processor/FPGA upward. Aside from the tech talk, what caught my attention is that these folks aren't scientists, engineers or researchers. They're evangelists and IT pros who have immersed themselves into the world of parallel computing and large-scale computing without looking back. Very cool stuff!
Here's another Webcast of interest. June 21 at 1pm Pacific time. Webcast description and logistics follow: Now that many of the new x86 servers are 64-bit capable, and Windows Server 2003 x64 editions have been on the market for two years, it might be time to take full advantage of x64 technology. Join this webcast to learn about the advantages of x64 technologies, the Microsoft road map, and how you can deploy or adopt x64 as a standard. Webcast Length: 60 Date/Time: 6/21/2007 1:00 PM PACIFIC Attendee Registration URL: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032343068&Culture=en-US
[update: I'm told there were some issues with the webcast this morning so the schedule is being moved back by one day. The first webcast will be tomorrow, June 20, and it has a new event ID and replay URL. The changes are noted below] Geared for OEM and SI audiences, a couple colleagues are hosting live (and archived) webcasts on installation and configuration of Virtual Server 2005 SP1, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Virtual Server with Data Protection Manager (for back/recovery). These Webinars are this week; in fact, the first one has already begun.
Today Microsoft released to the Web the final version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1. Available at no charge, this service pack adds support for hardware-assisted virtualization and improved backup services and compatibility. A new feature to the service pack is Volume Shadow Services, which provides improved support for backup and disaster recovery. Instead of scheduling downtime for backing up each virtual machine individually, you can now take snapshot backups of physical machines, with no downtime. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 also supports host clustering, which offers customers minimal downtime depending on the speed of storage and amount of memory assigned to a virtual machine. Host clustering is storage agnostic, comes with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise or Datacenter editions, and is a high-availability solution for both planned and unplanned downtime. And with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, downloadable today as a beta 2 version, customers will have tools for high availability migration. I'm told there's been more than 5,500 downloads of the product in the past 30 days. Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 adds support for Novell SLES 10 and Solaris 10 as a guest operating system; bringing the total to 11 non-Windows operating systems supported on Virtual Server 2005 R2. In less than one year, there have been more than 15,000 downloads of the Linux add-ins for Virtual Server 2005 R2. We're also seeing uptake amongst hosting service providers. I'm told there are over 5,000 companies delivering hosted services to their customers using Microsoft products today. These services range from web hosting to high-end IT applications. Even Microsoft IT is using Virtual Server to offer utility computing. Another example is RackForce, which spends at least 22% less time on support in March 2007 than it did in late 2005. Using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, RackForce mirrors a customer’s hosting environment on a backup server, and then, if a physical server fails, restore the customer’s site on another server in minutes. RackForce also uses virtual servers as “hot standby” backups that can boot instantly and take over for a physical server that experiences an outage. RackForce also is evaluating System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage many physical and virtual servers, consolidate underused physical servers, and provision new virtual machines. If you're a hosting service prover, you should know that over five years ago Microsoft launched a subscription-based licensing program called the Service Provider License Agreement, which gives you a way to license MS products on a monthly basis. Patrick
Hi, Jim Carley here, I work in the directory and service business. My colleague Cuneyt Havlioglu and I presented this morning at TechEd – SVR403 – Building Reliable Solutions Using Transaction Features in Windows Server 2008. Thanks a lot to the folks who were able to make it. If you were not able to be there, here is a very quick summary of what we covered at the session. We talked about the different participants in a transaction (Application, Resource Manager, and Transaction Manager) and how they relate to each other. We then moved into the main topic for this session – configuring MS Distributed Transaction Coordinator in an Active-Active cluster configuration. In Windows Server 2003, you are limited to a single MSDTC cluster resource and in fact, in order to conduct ANY transactions on a Windows Server 2003 cluster, you are required to have an MSDTC cluster resource. This limitation of having only one MSDTC resource introduces the following side effects: 1) Being limited to a single MSDTC resource means that other resources in other groups that need to use transactions experience performance degradation when that application resource runs on a different node in the cluster than the MSDTC resource. 2) Two transactional application resources that do not have any relationship to each other except for transactions are both affected if the single MSDTC resource fails. 3) Some products that require transactions to install (such as the action of creating a COM+ package) need to be installed AFTER the MSDTC resource is created, producing install order dependencies.
Well, blogging can be full of excitement. I have found out that my blog posted on May 20th contains a non factual sentence as far as beta 3 is concerned. The following sentence: "SMB2.0 will also support transactions, symbolic links and client side encryption" is not correct. Transaction support and client side encryption will not be available in Windows Server 2008 and therefore are not in the beta 3 release either. I apologize for the confusion. Claude Lorenson
The usual news items are coing from Orlando's TechEd 2007 location. One of the biggies yesterday was IIS7 - the new web server in Windows Server 2008 - will be added to the list of roles in the Server Core installation of the OS. Volker blogged about it, and see the Q&A here. This is a recent addition to the Server Core installation - supposedly lots of requests from web hosters and other customers to add it. Perhaps the same folks will request that .NET Framework be supported in the Server Core installation. We shall see. But for the next update of Beta 3, IIS7 and Server Core installation will allow you to host non-ASP.NET web sites and applications, with minimal services and components installed. And don't forget, there's open enrollment in the IIS7 go-live license program being offered with beta 3. Separately today, I was published in an article talking about partner adoption of some of the technologies in Windows Server 2008, namely Powershell, Terminal Services and IIS7. Thanks to Quest Software, Citrix and Monish at HostMySite.com for taking time to add their thoughts. In the same article, my colleague Steve Bell announced the new logo program for Windows Server 2008. Here's the skinny on it:
Jeffrey has a good, lengthy post about PowerShell here. Of note is the fact that there's been 1 million downloads in 6 months. His post includes references and links to MS products and partner using PowerShell, books, and community sites. PowerShell is the new command-line shell with tools and a scripting language. See more here.
A minor ripple in the server world today as we announced: Xandros will license a broad set of Microsoft server communications protocols I say minor ripple because Xandros isn't the big man on campus ... it's #40 in the past month, #31 over the past quarter. Nonetheless, Xandros becomes a MS-preferred liunx server (and desktop) provider, but without the coupons like with the Novell deal. And Xandros will join the WS-Management effort on systems management interop. So far, there's been plenty of comparisons to the Novell deal.