The Windows Server Notebook

June 11, 2009  6:10 PM

Will SharePoint Server 2010 be worth the upgrade?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

The release of SharePoint Server 2010 (formerly SharePoint 14) may seem like a long way off, but with a CTP expected later this year and an official release in the early part of 2010, it’s actually creeping up pretty quickly.

If you had previously been involved with a migration from MOSS 2003 to 2007, than that first paragraph might have just caused your eyes to glaze over. The good news, however, is that it sounds like a migration to 2010 will be a lot less harrowing.
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June 9, 2009  8:16 PM

Change management solution simplifies AD operations

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

I spoke recently with a rep over at Netwrix to get some details on their Change Reporter solution for Active Directory (currently in version 5.0).

For those who don’t know, Netwrix as a company is partly focused on simplifying change management of, well, pretty much everything. This includes separate Change Reporter solutions for Exchange and SQL Server, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and VMware Infrastructure 3, each of which are designed to answer four questions:
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June 3, 2009  7:26 PM

Windows 2008 R2 gets a release date

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft today anounced the offical release date for Windows Server 2008 R2 – October 22. This coincides with the news out of TechEd last month that the OS would be widely available before the end of the year (it had generally been expected to not be out until early 2010). The company’s much anticipated follow-up to Vista – Windows 7 – will also drop that day.
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June 1, 2009  7:20 PM

“Fix” available for new Windows DirectShow flaw

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Late last week, Microsoft released an advisory warning of a new vulnerability that could strike users simply by opening a Web page. Windows Vista users (if there are any out there) along with those running Windows Server 2008 are safe, but XP, Server 2003 and Windows 2000 are all affected.

According to, the flaw is in the QuickTime parser in DirectShow, and can be used by an attacker to execute code remotely.

While there is no official fix for the issue as of yet, there is a workaround that Microsoft is currently recommending. Also, Michael Horowitz over at Computerworld has posted a neat little cheat sheet for solving the problem that is defintely worth checking out.

May 13, 2009  8:48 PM

Windows 7 and R2 make headlines at TechEd 2009

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft TechEd 2009This is the first time in three years that I didn’t attend TechEd (though apparently I’m not alone in that regard). Some of my colleagues, however, are still out in L.A. this week pounding the pavement and covering all of the big announcements.

Here are a few links to some of the big stories out of TechEd this year, including the announcement that R2 will now be out before the end of year, as opposed to 2010:
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May 11, 2009  3:37 PM

What’s new with Active Directory for Windows Server 2008 R2?

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

As with every major OS release from Microsoft, there’s a lot of interest right now in Windows 2008 R2. I recently spoke with Justin Graham, senior product manager for Microsoft’s Windows Server team, about some of the key changes/enhancements made to Active Directory for the upcoming release. We’ll be doing an in-depth article on this very topic later in the year, but for now here is a rundown of some of the top new features.

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May 7, 2009  7:02 PM

Microsoft introduces Windows Storage Server 2008

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Microsoft’s latest version of Windows Storage Server has now hit RTM, with a bunch of new features for Windows 2008. In a recent blog post, Microsoft senior technical product manager Jason Buffington described it as “the Saleen Ford Mustang of file services” (I’m paraphrasing, but check out his post for the full analogy and it will make more sense).

I listened in on a TechNet webcast this morning with Buffington and storage solutions program manager Scott Johnson to learn a little more about what to expect from WSS 2008, which appears to offer quite a few improvements over the file management capabilities already present in Windows Server 2008.

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May 4, 2009  12:17 PM

The long-lost Hyper-V interview with Greg Shields

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer
Tech support

Toward the end of the year, I recorded a short podcast with Microsoft MVP Greg Shields on Hyper-V, that mysteriously never saw the light of day. Unacceptable, right? As anyone who’s spoken with Greg knows, he’s one of the most articulate and enthusiastic people in the IT community. Below is the transcript of our conversation.

There is some basics stuff included here, but a lot of it is really insightful — especially the sections on ensuring a successful migration and specific “gotchas” to be aware of.

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April 30, 2009  4:47 PM

Windows Server 2008 R2 release candidate now available

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Perhaps lost in the shuffle amidst all the MMS news this week, the RC for Windows 2008 R2 can now be downloaded by MSDN and TechNet subscribers.
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April 29, 2009  10:06 PM

News from Microsoft Management Summit 2009

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer
Tech support

Microsoft Management Summit 2009I’m not at MMS this year unfortunately — and not just because it’s once again being held in Las Vegas! Still, there’s plenty of news to report surrounding Microsoft’s System Center suite this week. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been making headlines:

  • Operations Manager now supports Linux and Unix

    As one analyst put it, lack of interoperability has been one of the most common criticisms of System Center. It looks like Microsoft has finally resolved this by including native Linux and Unix support to the RC for Operations Manager 2007 R2, which was released this week.

  • Service Manager will arrive soon (for real this time)

    It appears the beta for the long-awaited System Center Service Manager product will be out by the fall. The big news here involves the Service Manager portal, with was removed from beta 1 but seems to be back and better than ever this time around. According to a post from Microsoft Program Manager Dan Boldo, the company has spent the last few months rebuilding the portal “from the ground up”, and the second beta will include the ability to view global anouncements, create and view service requests and reset passwords via Identity Lifecycle Manager, among other things.

  • More System Center products are on the way

    This one comes from Information Week. During his keynote, Brad Anderson, general manager of Microsoft’s Management and Services Division, announced the development of System Center Online Desktop Manager. The tool is being desinged to integrate security and management in a way that will provide desktop management in the form of a service. A CTP will be available within 60 days, with a public beta due out before the end of the year. Once people start playing around with this I’ll post again with the initial reactions.

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