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.
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.
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.
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.
I’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.
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.
Another product that will be given a fair amount of attention at Tech-Ed this year is Microsoft’s Identity Lifecycle Manager “2”, which the company has just recently renamed Forefront Identity Manager 2010. As you might expect from the name, it isn’t expected to be officially released until Q1 of next year (though it was briefly dubbed Identity Manager 2009 at one point).
I spoke recently with Laura E. Hunter, an author and identity management guru based in Pennsylvania, who has spent a lot of time recently at Microsoft headquarters. She said that the current RC is feature complete, and the company is currently working on tweaks and bug fixes to get it ready for RTM.
What do Microsoft Management Summit and Tech-Ed 2009 have in common? Well, about a million things, obviously. But among them is that Pete Zerger will be at both events to present sessions on the new Active Directory Integration feature for SCOM 2007.
Pete is an MVP and founder of both System Center Forum and the System Center User Group, so needless to say, he knows a thing or two about Operations Manager. Despite being in Scotland for business, Pete was kind enough to speak with me a few weeks ago about AD Integration and what it means to admins.
It’s a short interview, but definitely worth checking out for those who work in SCOM-based environments. Here is a little sample of what Pete had to say about the feature:
“What this feature does is allow us to fully automate agent deployment for Operations Manager-based environments. So part of what is baked into the Operations Manager agent is that as the agent is started up, it will actually query it’s local Active Directory domain to see if configuration information has been published for an Operations Manager management group.”
According to Pete, AD Integration is designed to not only minimize administrative effort (hooray!), but reduce TCO as well, with large enterprises standing to benefit the most.
I’ll be adding more posts on what to expect at MMS and Tech-Ed this year as we get closer to both events, but if there is anything in particular that you’d like to know about, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can dig up.
The beta for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is currently available as a free download, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. Recent news has the standalone hypervisor technology set to remain free even after its official release, just like its predecessor.
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will have all the functionality of the version included with the Windows 2008 R2 operating system, most notably the live migration capability that was previously absent.
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