The Windows Server Notebook


November 3, 2009  9:15 PM

SQL Server 2008 R2 stars at PASS Summit 2009

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The PASS Community Summit 2009 is being held in Seattle this week, and naturally a lot of attention is being given to Microsoft’s upcoming database releases, particularly SQL Server 2008 R2.

We’ve been doing a lot of PASS coverage recently, but for those interested, here are some quick hits on a few of the more noteworthy topics:
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October 28, 2009  6:28 PM

Windows Management Framework brings PowerShell 2.0 to the masses

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Just days after the official release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has now made its new Windows Management Framework (WMF) available as well. The major component here is PowerShell 2.0, which is supported out-of-the-box for the two new operating systems. The download also includes WinRM 2.0 and BITS 4.0.

As Microsoft’s Lee Holmes said in a recent blog post, the Windows Management Framework provides “a consistent management interface across the various flavors of Windows.” What he means is that in addition to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, PowerShell 2.0 remoting can now also be used to manage machines running Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008.
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October 26, 2009  3:15 PM

Are security concerns over cloud computing unfounded?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Security is a major concern for those interested in cloud computing.It seems the biggest reservation people have when it comes to the cloud involves the added security risks – the whole idea that “you can’t control what you can’t see.” But is that really the case, or is it more of a knee-jerk reaction from those unfamiliar with the cloud?

Last week I spoke with John Welch about how data warehousing fits into a cloud-based model. Welch is a chief architect with North Carolina-based business intelligence consulting firm Mariner, and he’s scheduled to speak at PASS 2009 on BI and cloud computing.

During our conversation, I asked him a general question about whether he thought the security risks associated with the cloud are myth or reality. Here’s what he had to say:
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October 19, 2009  5:32 PM

The Windows Report — Gearing up for R2 and Windows 7

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

General availability for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is just around the corner, and while most organizations won’t upgrade to both at the same time, there are some compelling reasons to run them together.

This month, IT author, speaker and consultant Greg Shields calls in to discuss some of the best reasons to use the two new operarting systems as a tandem, and shares some of his favorite Windows 2008 R2 features.


October 14, 2009  7:45 PM

Troubleshooting tops Windows admins’ most tedious tasks

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

For Windows admins, there’s always something to fix. In a recent SearchWindowsServer.com survey, over 800 IT administrators and managers named troubleshooting as far and away their most time-consuming task.

Nearly half of respondents ranked it number one (47%), followed by provisioning and configuration (37%), performance tuning (37%), backup and recovery (32%) and migrations (29%).

While these results are far from shocking, it doesn’t make them any less true. Here is a small collection of really great troubleshooting tips for a variety of common issues that will hopefully help speed up the process.
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October 9, 2009  8:08 PM

News Roundup: AD turns heads, Exchange hits RTM

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Lots going on in the world of Windows this month, as you might expect. Here’s a roundup of some of the top news from this past week:

  1. Forget Live Migration; AD is king in R2
    While most of the attention around Windows Server 2008 R2 has been given to Hyper-V enhancements and brand new features like Direct Access, when it comes right down to it, Active Directory is still No. 1 on the priority list for admins.
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October 5, 2009  7:31 PM

Group Policy management gets a boost with MDOP 2009 R2

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 aren’t the only new releases Microsoft has on tap this month. The new Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2009 R2 (usually pronounced emm-DOP) will be out by late October, with enhancements for Group Policy and application virtualization.

The new pack will include Windows 7 support for nearly all of its components, including Advanced Group Policy Management 4.0 (AGPM), which will also support Windows Server 2008 R2.
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September 30, 2009  9:36 PM

Partner products to get the Windows 7 stamp of approval

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

One of the major problems surrounding Windows Vista involved software and hardware compatibility — or rather, incompatibility. Microsoft is looking to avoid those issues this time around with Windows 7.

How? By branding all compatible products with a big Windows 7 thumbs up.
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September 24, 2009  1:41 PM

The Windows Report — Analyzing the IT job market

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

We take a look at the current state of the IT job market in this month’s edition of The Windows Report. Independent consultant and author Kevin Beaver calls in to offer tips for finding a new job (or keeping your current one), and sheds light on what he sees as today’s most in demand specialties.

You’ll also find an overview of Microsoft’s certification roadmap, with details on how things have changed since the release of Windows Server 2008.


September 22, 2009  3:19 PM

Here comes Windows 7 — time to party?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The first rule in hosting a Windows 7 launch party? BE PREPARED.I’m sure many of you have seen this by now, but as part of promoting Windows 7, Microsoft is urging folks to host “launch parties” at their homes in honor of the new OS. As reported by Neowin, the company will provide free party packs to the hosts including balloons, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and free copies of Windows 7 (and I only made one of those three things up).

While it’s too late to be one of the official honorary hosts (bummer!), there’s still time to learn how to throw your own Windows 7 party. Microsoft even produced a video providing “tips” on throwing a successful launch party (below). If you can spare six minutes that you don’t mind never getting back again, it’s defintely worth checking out (heh).
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