The Windows Server Notebook

March 5, 2010  8:55 PM

x86 systems, Windows Server on the rise

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

While overall server revenue has been down for the past year, one area that continues to grow is the x86 system market. This is according to the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker report.

The fact that x86 systems are on the rise is interesting when you take into account the climate of the server market overall. IDC states that while Q4 2009 was down in terms of year-over-year quarterly revenue, it also marked the second straight quarter-to-quarter rise. What’s interesting is that, as the report pointed out, Q4 is traditionally not a golden period for x86 systems. So why is change in the air?
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March 2, 2010  7:26 PM

Microsoft AppFabric takes next step toward official release

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The second beta for Microsoft’s new Windows Server AppFabric technology is now available for download, and the company is encouraging those who give it a test drive to send along their feedback. Microsoft is eying Q3 of this year for the official launch for AppFabric, and has noted that any suggestions from those using .NET 4 and Windows Server before that delivery date are welcome.

Right about now you might be thinking, “Hey that’s great – so what exactly is AppFabric?”
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February 22, 2010  6:42 PM

SQL Azure and what it means to performance

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Brent Ozar and Kevin Kline

With Microsoft’s Azure platform now in full-effect, one of the questions affecting DBAs and developers is “How does it change what I do?”

I spoke with SQL Server MVPs Brent Ozar and Kevin Kline of Quest Software earlier about some of the performance implications for putting databases in the cloud with SQL Azure. The two are set to co-host a free, all-day virtual training session covering general SQL Server performance tuning and troubleshooting on Mar. 3.

“There’s a certain set of skills out there in the marketplace that are ‘evergreen’, and every year there are people that come into the business that haven’t learned those skills. And performance tuning and troubleshooting are at the top of the list,” said Kline about the session. He added that the all-day event gives them time to not only go over the general process points for getting started, but also the specific commands and techniques needed for proper troubleshooting and tuning.

But what about the cloud? Surely, throwing SQL Azure and other cloud-databases into the mix is going to have some implications in regards to how people think about performance. Here are some of the key points that database pros should keep in mind.
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February 2, 2010  6:43 PM

News Roundup: Lots going on with Microsoft System Center

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

While 2010 is still very young, Microsoft is wasting no time adding updates and new releases to its System Center suite of products. Naturally, there are a lot of different tools and variations involved, so here is a little rundown of what’s been going on:
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January 20, 2010  3:03 PM

REMINDER – The end of Windows 2000 Server approaches

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft issued a reminder last week of the upcoming end-of-support deadline for Windows 2000 Server. The operating system is currently in its extended support lifecycle, but that all ends on July 13.

It’s actually a popular date for support changes. Windows Server 2003 and 2003 R2 will both end their mainstream support tour and enter the extended phase that same day, and support for Windows XP SP2 will be done.
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January 14, 2010  9:20 PM

What’s what with Data Protection Manager 2010

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

I attended a live webcast today on System Center Data Protection Manager 2010. The beta has been out since September with the release candidate (RC) scheduled for the first full week of February.

Jason Buffington, senior technical product manager for Microsoft System Center, described DPM 2010 as “the best solution for file and application protection from Microsoft.” He noted that the company focused heavily on protection for Windows-based clients and virtual environments, as well as enhanced scalability and reliability features.

So what’s new with Data Protection Manager 2010? Here are some of the key points I gathered:
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December 24, 2009  5:01 PM

‘Tis the season to be techy

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Happy holidays everyone! It’s the season of giving, and in that spirit we’ve collected a few cool holiday-themed articles for Windows admins.

Take a look below, and we’ll get back to talking about new server management features and other serious business in the New Year.
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December 16, 2009  3:06 PM

PowerShell 2.0 modules feature flies under the radar

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

I spoke with PowerShell MVP Keith Hill recently about the growing popularity of Powershell among Windows admins.

During our conversation, I asked him for his take on some of version 2’s improvements, expecting to hear mostly about the new remoting functionality. While he certainly thought remoting would have a huge impact, it was another feature called Powershell modules that he really wanted to talk about.
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December 12, 2009  3:00 PM

The Windows Report — Looking ahead to 2010

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Happy holidays everyone! The last last edition of The Windows Report for 2009 takes a quick look back at the year that was, then looks into the future at what are sure to be the big Windows topics of 2010.

IT author and consultant Jonathan Hassell calls in to talk migrations, cloud computing and other key issues that will be on the minds of Windows admins and IT managers next year.

December 11, 2009  9:57 PM

Opalis acquisition could mean big things for System Center

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The news today is that Microsoft has finalized a new acquisition – Opalis Software, which experts are calling yet another example of the company’s commitment to the cloud and virtualization projects going forward.

My colleague Bridget Botelho wrote a piece on the move, but here are the bullet points as to what this acquisition means for the enterprise:
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