My Thoughts On IT…

Brian Lewis's Thoughts on all things Information Technology related

Come join us for an IT Pro Camp at Rasmussen College! Here is the link to sign up. http://tinyurl.com/rasitpro

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untitledToday is a big day for the Windows team. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain a few moments ago, we unveiled the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to our partners and press. Based on a broad range of feedback, we have made over 100,000 code changes and the Consumer Preview represents a refined product ready for broad and daily usage by those of you willing to test a pre-release OS. You can download the Consumer Preview starting now at http://preview.windows.com.

On this page there is a tool witch will evaluate your pc and let you know what will work and if there are things that may not work. Then it will get you a product ID. Lastly it will download the ISO and help you burn a CD or put it on a USB key.

There are other ways to get the software. Here is the public Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO images page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

Another way to get the code for customers who have a TechNet or MSDN subscription is to download it from the Subscribers Download section.

Today is an exciting day! (for geeks like me) –Enjoy!

For a great overview of the new OS checkout this page: http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2012/02/29/introducing-windows-8-consumer-preview.aspx

backgroundWindows Vista and Windows 7 had a new integration that let you integrate programs into the desktop. These were called desktop gadgets.

In Windows 7 if you right click on the desktop select “Gadgets” then a Window with a few built in gadgets comes up. At the bottom right corner is a link that says “Get more gadgets online”. In the past this took you to the Windows Live Gallery with hundreds of gadgets that Windows enthusiasts built. Now it takes you to a page that lists the top 30 gadgets.

I wrote a gadget up there called the RDP Gadget for Windows. The reason I wrote it is because I wanted something that gave me a quick way to remote into my servers that I managed and I didn’t like the other things that were out there. While it wasn’t the most amazing software ever written, I do get request from time to time from people who are looking for it.

So with that in mind I put up the install in my SkyDrive here: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=c701040168c26972#cid=C701040168C26972&id=C701040168C26972%21134

The file is called RemoteDesktop.gadget. Download it. Double click it and it will install.

If you want to see the source code just change the extension from .gadget to .zip and open it. It is written in html and javascript.

Want a sweet new wallpaper for your desktop? Here is one to support the Microsoft “Smoked by Windows Phone” add campaign. Just click on the photo below to get the full size graphic. Then right click and download photo. Smile

SmokedByWP_1920x1200

Watch the challenges on the Windows Phone YouTube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE0328D93355727B7&feature=view_all

3056_hyper-v2-large-msg_thumb_0D8890ECIn my webcast on Hyper-V, this past Wednesday, I had a question about Hyper-V and how Hyper-threading effects that.

The current version of Hyper-V in Server 2008R2 we recommend an 8 to 1 consolidation ratio for virtual processors to logical processors and a maximum of 384 virtual machines on a single host (whichever is lower).  Intel, SMT (aka Intel Hyper Threading) is available on many current CPUs, so how does this effect performance in a VM and how is VM consolidation ratios affected? 

The Hyper-V team has reviewed performance data showing that enabling SMT may have a positive impact on overall performance when running under Hyper-V.

For the purposes of capacity planning with Hyper-V, you should use the number of physical processor cores on the machine, rather than the number of execution threads. The Windows Task Manager (and many other tools) show the number of execution threads, so care should be taken when determining the number of processor cores in a system.  For example, if I have a quad core CPU with hyper threading the taskmgr will show 8 CPUs. So for planning use the actual number of cores and then you can increase consolidation ratios after testing.

While the addition of SMT threads may enhance overall performance under Hyper-V, the additional performance is not a constant factor. The additional performance is heavily dependent on the target workload, overall machine utilization, and other factors.

Generally speaking, you can utilize the additional performance of SMT threads in two ways:

For computationally intensive workloads, you may benefit from increasing the number of Virtual Processors (VPs) assigned to a VM. For example, a 1 VP VM may be able to do more work if you assign it two VPs. Alternatively, or in combination with the above, if keeping the VPs per VM constant, you may be able to increase your consolidation ratio.

For more information on Hyper-V limits see this TechNet article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee405267(v=WS.10).aspx

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Microsoft just launced this program – “Explore Microsoft’s Private Cloud”. In this program we are offering $20 to our customers to learn about our “Private Cloud”. The first 5,000 people to follow these steps get a $20 voucher to spend at the Microsoft Online Store and everyone who completes this learning gets entered in a drawing to win one of three Lenovo W520 laptops with 32 Gig of memory.

I have a Lenovo W520 with 16 Gig of ram and the thing rocks. I use our “boot to VHD” technology to dual boot it so it is both my desktop with Windows 7 and my Hyper-V server with Server 2008R2.

All it takes is to download Microsoft’s Private Cloud evaluation software, Explore its features in a Virtual Lab, and get Rewarded with a $20 Microsoft Online Store Promo Code and registered to win a Laptop! You can enter for the laptop drawing until June 30, 2012. Winners will be notified in July. (Notice: the downloads are large. Several Gig)

It’s free and easy to get started today!

http://aka.ms/msprivatecloudoffer

Here is a list of the Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist from around the world with their blog URLs and their Twitter handles. We would love it if you find one you like and follow both their blogs and tweets. Get involved and let us know what you think.

US

John Weston Texas http://blogs.technet.com/b/jweston @technetguy
Harold Wong AZ http://blogs.technet.com/b/haroldwong @haroldwong
Chris Avis WA http://chrisavis.com @chrisavis
Kevin Remde Minn http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinremde @kevinremde
Brian Lewis WI http://mythoughtsonit.com @brianlewis_
Bob Hunt NY http://www.bobhunt.net @bobhms
Blain Barton FL http://blogs.technet.com/b/blainbar @blainbar
John Baker GA http://blogs.technet.com/b/johnbaker @johnbake
Yung Chou NC http://blogs.technet.com/b/yungchou @yungchow
Dan Stolts Mass http://itproguru.com @itproguru
Felipe Lemaitre Corporate http://blogs.technet.com/b/felipel
Christian Linacre Corporate http://blogs.technet.com/linacre @linacre
Joey Snow Corporate http://blogs.technet.com/jsnow @joeysnow
Rick Claus Corporate http://regularitguy.com @RicksterCDN
Symon Perriman Corporate http://edge.technet.com @SymonPerriman
David Tesar Corporate http://edge.technet.com/people/extreme @dtzar

International

Arlindo Alves Belgium http://flavors.me/aralves @aralves
Renao Giorgini Itlay http://blogs.technet.com/b/italy
Anders Wedahl Sweden http://www.microsoft.com/sverige/msdn @wedahl
Michael Epprecht http://blogs.technet.com/chitpro-de @fastflame
Jeff Alexander Australia http://blogs.technet.com/b/jeffa36 @jeffa36
Seung Joo Baek Korea http://www.koalra.com @happyKoalra
Nathan Mercer New Zealand www.nathanmercer.com @nathanm
Ruth Morton Canada http://about.me/ruthmorton @ruthm
Damir Bersinic Canada http://about.me/damirb @DamirB
Ryan Storgaard Canada http://about.me/ryanstorgaard @RyanStorgaard
Damien Caro Europe http://blogs.technet.com/dcaro @dcaro
Tomas Kanturek Czech Republic http://technetblog.cz
Fabrice Meillon France http://blogs.technet.com/b/fabricem_blogs/ @fabrice_m
Jiang Xiao China http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jiang_xiao/
Stephanus Schulte Germany http://social.technet.microsoft.com/profile/stephanus
Patrick Heyde Germany http://blogs.technet.com/b/patrick_heyde
Heike Ritter Germany http://blogs.technet.com/b/hritter @HeikeRitter
Bernhard Frank Germany http://blogs.technet.com/bernard_frank
Aviraj Ajgekar India http://blogs.technet.com/aviraj @aviraj111
Junichi Anno Japan http://blogs.technet.com/junichia @junichia
Daniel Levi Argentina http://daniellevi.com
Maria Sol Mangino Argentina http://www.puertadeenlace.net
Fabio Hara Brazil http://www.fabiohara.com.br @fabiohara
Vinicious Apolinario Brazil http://www.admderedes.com.br/blog
Ruben Colomo Mexico http://blogs.technet.com/rubencolomo
Benjamin Figueroa Mexico http://blogs.technet.com/benjaminfigueroa @benfig
Renat Minazhdinov Russia www.facebook.com/renatmin @renatmin
Simon May UK http://simon-may.com @simonster
Zack Owens China http://ZachSkylesOwens.net

Harolds-Back_jpg_thumbI have noticed that the growth of large public datacenters is continuing and not just by the search providers. Apple has revealed new details about it’s huge data center in Maiden North Carolina which has 500,000 square feet in phase one of the center. Apple is not the only one Oracle is just opening it’s huge Utah datacenter that is to be dedicated to their new “public cloud” offerings. This will take some of the load from their large Austin TX datacenter.  These Mega Datacenter investments are part of what is driving the move to the “cloud”. There are some huge investments in these datacenters by Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and others. All of these companies have a huge interest in success of the Public cloud to get payback on their huge investments in datacenters. The trend is on it’s way. Follow the money!

Another interesting note is how all of the Mega Datacenter players are all going green. I find it hard to believe that they all care environment more than their profit line. Oh, going green for a datacenter is not only good PR but it saves “a lot” of money on your power and cooling costs. When I say “a lot” I am talking about millions of dollars a year in savings.

I am fascinated by the shift that is happening in computing right before our eyes. These datacenters are being built to backend your client devices. From smartphones, to tablets, to laptops. These devices too are transforming. I expect all OS’s going forward will ship with backend services. For example having a service that backs up and syncs all of your photos, contacts, browser favorites and more. Wither these services be included or an extra charge remains to be seen.

I guess this means the internet isn’t going away either… In fact you can see how that connectivity and expanded bandwidth it critical. By looking at these trends you get an idea of what is to come in the next 5 years.

On a side note Microsoft is doing a lot of work on Mega Datacenters and new designs. Our Generation 4 datacenters don’t do the traditional raised floor at all. All servers are mounted in a shipping container that houses 2,000 to 3,000 servers. You don’t ever enter the container. Power and network are hooked up the the container and you are ready to go in mild and cold climates. In warm areas you also hookup cooling. For More information about Microsoft’s datacenters – check here: http://www.globalfoundationservices.com/

Update: Apple confirms plans to build another Mega data center in Oregon. 2/23/2012

follow Ryan Naraine on twitterMicrosoft is warning all users of its Internet Explorer web browser to immediately apply the latest security patch as a precaution against malicious hacker attacks. Don’t think just because you use another browser your ok. There is also a vulnerability that targets multimedia, so if you open a specially crafted medial file that could allow compromise of your machine too. 

This past Tuesday there were two very important patches released. IE update MS12-010 and media library update MS12-013 are the two that are most worrisome. Security experts expects to see reliable exploit code published with the next 30 days for these vulnerabilities.

What I am saying is get these patches tested and applied ASAP!

Have a great weekend (patching machines)! Smile

P.S. Sorry…

follow Ryan Naraine on twitterMicrosoft is warning all users of its Internet Explorer web browser to immediately apply the latest security patch as a precaution against malicious hacker attacks. Don’t think just because you use another browser your ok. There is also a vulnerability that targets multimedia, so if you open a specially crafted medial file that could allow compromise of your machine too. 

This past Tuesday there were two very important patches released. IE update MS12-010 and media library update MS12-013 are the two that are most worrisome. Security experts expects to see reliable exploit code published with the next 30 days for these vulnerabilities.

What I am saying is get these patches tested and applied ASAP!

Have a great weekend (patching machines)! Smile

P.S. Sorry…