Thursday, February 28th, 2008
So I’ve spent the last 12 hours today at the Heroes Happen Launch here in Sydney. One of the funny things they had was giant green screen where you could have your photo taken with the Heroes from the launch. Here’s a few that we had done.
These are a few of the guys from our Sydney SMB IT Pro group (formerly the Sydney SBS Group)
Thursday, February 28th, 2008
At the Heroes Happen Launch here in Sydney today, Microsoft have clarified their licensing of Virtualisation. My particular interest is with the licensing surrounding the Standard edition of Windows Server 2008. The information on this so far has been that Microsoft will allow you to run one physical instance of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition and within that you can run one virtual instance of the Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition as well. Well today in Sydney they are saying that yes you can do this, BUT that the physical installation can only be used as a host for the virtual installation. I might be wrong here, but that seems to be pretty pointless for the most point.
Strangely however, the Microsoft website FAQ on licensing for virtualisation does not seem to be as clear. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/licensing-faq.aspx#virt
I’d really like clarification on this and if you know where to they say on their website what they have said here in Sydney, please let me know!
Thursday, February 28th, 2008
So the pitch here is to the IT Pro’s where they are saying that the real Heroes in the industry are us the IT Pro. They want to change the current 80/20 Maintenance/Innovation ratio to enable us as Pros to be able to spend 80% of our time on innovation and only 20% of our time for maintenance. Finally – I think Microsoft get it. We as IT Pros should NOT be spending our time looking after the systems – we should be spending our time trying hard to make the infrastructure a strategic asset for our customers. Heck – it’s only something I’ve been trying to do for over 10 years now!
Interesting – Bob Kelly – Senior VP of Microsoft is saying that Vista SP1 is intended for the IT professional and not the consumer. He’s saying that now it’s here, we can start to deploy Vista… I could look at this two ways, one being that Microsoft themselves did not REALLY feel that Vista was ready for deployment now, or the other way is that they recognise that WE IT Pros’ are not deploying their products en masse until they have a Service Pack 1. If it’s the later then I can only hope that they don’t decide for marketing purposes to pus Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 1 out next month – just to convince us that it’s ready for mass deployment
Secure out of the box – Server Core is being touted as having higher security because it does not have lots of the same attack surface as the full Server 2008 product. Lower patching requirements too as most things are turned off by default. They claim that Server core gives a 60% reduction of the need to patch the server due to this. I guess that will also translate into reduced reboots too which contributes to higher uptimes.
Virtualisation – aka HyperV technology. apparently only 10% of the server hardware out there is being used for Virtualisation – that means that 90% of the servers are running a single copy of Windows Server. With the licensing changes to Windows Server of late, such that a Windows Server Standard edition can run a single virtual instance for no additional cost, this gives us the capabilities to segregate applications into a virtual environment far more easily and cost effectively than before.
Terminal Server Remote Apps – another great feature that exists only with Windows Server 2008. This cool feature will allow you to deploy applications on a Terminal server and have them run on an end users machine virtually. The application will run on a Terminal Server, but the users experience will be that of a local application.
Thursday, February 28th, 2008
You know – I’ve been watching the marketing for this launch just like everyone else. Microsoft are using cartoon characters as the prime “face” of this launch, and I’m not really sure just how well that is being taken in a business world for a serious business product. Sure it’s different, but in realist how much of the marketing hype affects our decision to purchase a product vs the product features itself?
Ok – so let’s look at the line up, we have TJ which represents Windows Server 2008, Cor – SQL Server 2008 and RAIN – Visual Studio 2008 – Cartoon characters used to present serious products. Is this the way of the future with marketing? Will we suddenly see a cartoon character called Vlad being used to promote the next version of Exchange? Maybe one called Duggie to promote the Hyper V extensions for Server 2008? Hmm – maybe I can get my daughter into this and she can make some money from it
So the show’s about to start here in Sydney, people have been walking in to the tune of the Star Wars theme – I guess that represents the Heroes aspect of it. More on this later today.
Thursday, February 28th, 2008
Yup – that’s me and this has absolutely NOTHING to do with IT or the SMB market. My daughter is a very talented young lady and her artwork is one of them. She’s had some of her artwork online for a while now and has been pretty private about it, but last night decided to share the URL for her site with me. I’m pretty impressed with the things she has done at such a young age and wanted to share it with you. So here’s her gallery. http://little-miss-artist.deviantart.com/ This is just some of the great stuff that she has done. If you care to leave a comment, I’m sure she will be impressed
One of my favourites is one she did on Christmas Day here on the right.
Anyway – heading off to the Windows Server 2008 Launch today and what I think is kind strange is that Microsoft are using cartoons to advertise a pretty serious topic. Heroes Happen. There – got it back on track to an IT topic
Wednesday, February 27th, 2008
I know that your all asking yourselves, just what can you get for me – the geek who has almost everything. Well one of the guys in the office came across this cool toy. I want one!!!
Now this one is REALLY cool – a remote control surveillance robot. It’s got a wireless remote control and links back to your PC!
So who’s going to buy one for me
Seriously though – do I think anyone’s going to buy anything for me – no. I thought they were cool and worth sharing with you all.
Do I think these are cool toys – for sure!
Just incase anyone does decide to give me a birthday present, send it to
PO BOX 6329,
Baulkham Hills DC,
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Shortly I’ll be testing out Trends new version of Client Server Messaging Security for SMB (CSM). The current version is 3.6. The new version will have a new name, taking on the name from the Worry-Free product line. The new product will be called Worry-Free Business Security (WFBS) v5.0
Now this won’t be available for a few months just yet, but here’s a sneak peak at the feature set from it…
Location Awareness: ability to identify the location of a client based on the server gateway information. Administrators can create profiles for users and have different security settings based on the location of the client (roaming or in the office).
Behavior Monitoring: non-signature based anti-malware detects and protects clients from malicious behavior such as unauthorized changes to the operating system and other programs. It also provides the lock down protection for Intuit Quickbook products. Administrators may apply this lock down function to any specified folders.
Wireless Protection protects against Evil Twin attacks and wireless access points being hacked maliciously. It provides security level settings to support different encryption modes for on-corporate or off-corporate Wi-Fi users.
Web Threat Protection using latest web reputation technology to assess the security risk of all web URL requests. It stops malware at the source before it is downloaded from the Internet.
Instant Messaging (IM) Protection: provides outbound content filtering protection and restriction of sensitive corporate data in the form of words or phrases being sent out through chat sessions.
POP3 Anti-Spam Protection: filters anti-spam emails for POP3 clients. This feature comes in the form of a client toolbar plug-in and is compatible with the Outlook client.
Transaction Protector: browser plug-in tool that protects users against malicious hi-jacking activities when conducting online transactions.
Worry-Free Dashboard: provides high level summary view on all threat statistics. The intuitively designed status icons (Green/Yellow/Red) further provides end-users with a good understanding of the health conditions for client PCs and allows for timely action to be taken by the administrator if necessary.
Plug-in Architecture: new architecture design that allows for plug-ins of new technologies as Trend Micro designs them. It will improve the ability for administrators to select which new plug-in components they want to use and deploy with Worry-Free Business Security.
Windows Vista 64 bit Firewall Support
64-bit Support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 server
Multi-layered Anti-spam protection: with the new Email Reputation Technology integrated, customers can now enjoy an additional layer of anti-spam protection on top of their existing signature based Trend Micro Anti-Spam Engine and patterns. Email Reputation Technology effectively filters over 70% of the spam emails before they enter your network and results in no longer requiring a local disk for scanning.
Image Spam Protection: with the inclusion of Trend Micro s TMASE 3.8 or newer versions (Trend Micro Anti Spam Engine) Worry-Free Business Security Advanced can now effectively filter spam that comes in a picture format.
If you do not have a beta account, please register here (if the link does not work, right click and click Open hyperlink ). Your username and password will then be sent to log into the portal. Once you log in for the second time, please click on beta programs | Worry-Free Business Security and answer the survey questions. Once the questionnaire is complete, you will receive a notification as to when and where the beta program s availability.
If you have a beta account, please login and sign up for Trend Worry-Free Business Security beta testing (if the link does not work, right click and click Open hyperlink ) Once the questionnaire is complete, you will receive a notification as to when and where the beta program s availability.
If you do have an account, but forgot your ID and PW (if the link does not work, right click and click Open hyperlink )
If you have any questions please contact: Veronica Zamarron or Laura Martinez @ Trend Micro
Monday, February 25th, 2008
Not sure if many of you know about this cool offering from Trend. It’s a guide written by managed services guru Amy Luby on how to maximise your Managed Services offering using Trends Worry Free Management console for CSM for SMB. It’s a light read, but contains good information for those of you getting into Managed Services. You can get the guide direct from Trend here http://us.trendmicro.com/us/products/sb/worry-free-remote-manager/prereg/index.php
Keen to know what others think of this guide.
Sunday, February 24th, 2008
Currently, I am under NDA not to post screen shots of the SBS 2008 Beta that I’m involved in, but I’ve had many requests from people wanting to know what it looks like. So here’s the one place places that Microsoft themselves have posted screen shots of the product so you can get a feel for what it looks like. Bear in mind that it is still in Beta and therefore you may find things change between now and the release of the product in the 2nd half of 2008.
Here they show the new RWW interface and the SBS 2008 Management Console. Look closely for new features http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/essential/sbs/overview.mspx
Sunday, February 24th, 2008
Details of SBS 2008 were announced earlier this week and as part of that the Premium Edition was announced. SBS 2008 Premium will include a second Windows Server 2008 32 or 64bit Standard Server license. In addition, you get SQL 2008 Server STANDARD edition as well. What does this really mean though. Let’s look at it from a few angles.
SQL 2008 Server STANDARD – yes – I put it in capitals to emphasis the point that it is the STANDARD edition and not the workgroup edition that we had in SBS 2003 Premium. How many of you had vendors that would not support their application on SBS 2003 Premium simply because it was SQL Workgroup edition? Well now you’ve got a way to move forwards. I surely hope that Microsoft will be smart enough to offer downgrade rights to SQL 2005 STANDARD edition as well given that at launch many vendors in the SMB space will not even have considered testing their applications on SQL 2008. In fact, it’s only recently that we are seeing some vendors here in Australia acknowledge that they support SQL 2005!
Ok – so does the SQL 2008 Server STANDARD HAVE to be on the 2nd box – well – no. You could install it on the SBS server if your server has enough capacity (RAM/CPU etc) and therefore leave the 2nd Server for other things. What could you do with a 2nd server? How about a branch office server for a remote office? Tie it in with a hardware site to site VPN and you could make it a local DC, File and Print server and the like. Alternately you could use the 2nd physical server at head office and install ISA on it… oh – that’s right, they don’t have ISA 2006 support for Windows Server 2008 – ok – that nix’s that idea. hopefully they might think to provide downgrade rights for the W2008 server to W2003 R2 as well – that way we could also use the server for applications that are not supported on W2008 Server (and yes there will be those app’s that just don’t run on W2008)
Virtualisation – how does this apply with SBS 2008 and the 2nd server. Well – Given that the SBS 2008 has Windows Server 2008 Standard edition in it, it would be licensed to run ONE virtual instance of Windows Server 2008 ON the SBS 2008 server itself (assuming that Microsoft do not change this specifically for SBS that is). That could easily be a Windows Terminal Server (you need to purchase TS CAL’s of course) for a lightly loaded environment – think about it – no need to purchase extra server hardware just to run a terminal server for 2 or 3 users. That’s a great cost saving for the client.
What about Virtualisation on the SBS 2008 Premium Edition then? Well technically unless Microsoft change the licensing specifically for SBS, you would be entitled to run 2 physical W2008 Servers and 2 Virtual W2008 Servers (one on each physical instance). Just think about what you could do with that.
So when you’re planning out your SBS 2008 installs, have a think about some of the things I’ve mentioned above. The enhancements in licensing with Virtualisation really do make for some interesting ideas that we can use to help our customers business get the most out of technology.
FOOTNOTE: I was asked by another MVP about the Windows Server 2008 Virtualisation licensing on Standard Server. Here’s links to the source of that information
FOOTNOTE #2: Microsoft have not finalised the supported virtualisation and downgrade scenarios at this point. They will formerly release this information closer to launch date.