Monday, April 4, 2011

Microsoft Offers iSCSI Target as a Free Download

Microsoft is making it's iSCSI Target Software for Windows Server 2008 R2 a free download! Now you can create shared storage for production or test deployments of Hyper-V servers to have Live Migration and High Availability without the need to deploy a NAS or SAN in your envirornment. Read more about it here:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Random thoughts on a Sunday night

Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) was in Vegas this past week and while I did not attend, Statera was represented by three of our employees learning what is new in the management space. I will work to get one or more of them to make a more detailed post here. But for me one of the announcements was big, SCVMM 2008 R2 Sp1 was released. This provides support for Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX via VMM, One thing to mention with this is the download listed is a full SP1 integrated download, not just SP1 but the entire VMM 2008 R2 with SP1. I have already updated in my lab and while the download is large, the upgrade from 2008 R2 goes rather quickly.
Much more news from MMS was around the entire vNext products. This is where I run into a grey area and hope my teammates will elaborate more! SCCM 2010 Beta 2 was released,
Windows Phone 7 News - I am a little disappointed how Microsoft has been handling the update process for the phone! I still love my Samsung Focus and the platform but the fact that updates that have been promised and even committed to by Balmer are yet to flow out! An apologize from the head of the team helps and I hope that by acknowledging the frustration from the users it helps get the update released to those of us that have adopted the platform; read more about it here:
Office 365 - Microsoft is pushing Office 365, and I am with them. This new Online platform is basically night and day compared to the current BPOS platform. Statera is a strong partner with Microsoft in the Cloud arena and as such we are being offered numerous opportunities to work with and assist clients who are wanting to move to Office 365. We are in two programs, one is the next wave of Beta for Office 365 and we were assigned numerous clients to help facilitate their beta program in Office 365. The second is a program where we can nominate larger customers for a full "production" beta of Exchange online within Office 365. Both are going well and I am looking forward to working with these clients to show them the value and functionality of Office 365.
Side Note - My Men's NCAA bracket is completely dead! Do not have a single team left alive in the final 4! Guessing there are many of you out there in the same position.
Good Night!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BPOS and Office 365 going to get free Blackberry service

Microsoft came out today announcing that the Blackberry Enterprise Service provided with thier Exchange Online services will now be at no charge. This is a big deal as up until now it cost companies $10 per month per user to enable them to sync their Blackberry device with Exchange online.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Windows Phone 7

So I have had the Samsung Focus from AT&T since the US launch on November 8, 2010. I went to a launch party at the Microsoft Store in Lone Tree, Co that day and bought by phone. Overall I love it! I like the ability to control my start screen with applications and contacts I use frequently. So after 5 full months tomorrow what do I think are the hits and misses? read on and find out.
Customizable start screen:
This is one great feature I think over the iPhone. Able to pin applications and contacts I use regularly to my start screen. I have my calendar, various email accounts, my family contacts and a few applications on my start screen. I also have the Gaming hub, Picture Hub, Music Hub (Zune pass member) as well as a few other on the start screen. Live Tiles makes this great, especially for new emails and weather info!.

As of this post the Marketplace has over 9000 apps! I have the app pinned to my start screen for updates as well as Seesmic for Twitter and feeds. I also have a couple apps for my four year old daughter to quickly access (and she can easily find everything on my phone as well). ScoreMobile is also pinned as I am a big sports fan (would love to see Live Tile updates for my favorite teams!)
I also love the gaming features with WP7, XBox live integration is great and have grown my gaming points with XBox live integrated games.

People Hub:
Love that I can combined many different contacts from various email and Facebook into a single entry. This is nice to consolidate my friends and not see multiple entries for the same person. Also the Facebook integration is great, get a quick glance to see the latest info from my friends. Looking forward to Twitter integration with the People Hub.

Love that I can have multiple Exchange Activesync accounts configured on the phone. As I am a consultant and do numerous Exchange projects I found myself wiping my work email and then configuring the clients test account with my phone during each engagement. Now I just add an account to my phone to test without affecting my work account. I actually have 3 ActiveSync accounts configured right now, my primary work email, my VTSP account and my Beta Office 365 account.

Great phone and love that I can customize the start screen and all the applications that are available for the phone.

Cut and Paste - didn't think I would miss this but have and can't wait for the update that will include this.
Email Conversation View - got use to this with Outlook 2010 and really want it to be on my phone as well
SMS Text integration with Outlook 2010 - again didn't think I needed this but while on Outlook 2010 and Mobile 6.5 got use to it and liked the ability to create and reply to SMS messages from Outlook 2010
Marketplace Search Improvements - hate that a search in the marketplace returns songs and apps, would like to search just for apps or music; think this is coming in the next update
Camera Settings - hate that the camera settings revert to the default each time I launch it. Read that this is a feature because of the quick camera feature, which is cool, but should be a setting to allow my custom camera settings to become the default.

Overall a great platform and with the Microsoft/Nokia partnership and the CDMA phones coming online it will only grow. I think Microsoft is in it for the long haul and I fully support the platform and evangelize it any opportunity I can. Talked to a few co-workers who have switched to WP& and they love it as well! Just need to convince people to try it and it will grow!

Still Here!

I have neglected posting to this blog for several months! Reasons for it are many but mostly due to being extremely busy at work, a good thing for a consultant, and some laziness.
So I am making a point to add an entry to this blog at least once a week!

So what has happened in this void that has had no posts? a lot:
1. Got my Windows Phone 7 Samsung Focus, Loving it!
2. Went to the Lync 2010 Ignite training
3. Went to the Office 365 Ignite training
4. Was named the Director of the year for Statera!
5. Began the Beta for Office 365
6. Assisted with the upgrade of OCS 2007 R2 to Lync 2010 for Statera
7. Hours and hours of consulting for our clients

I want to make this a very informative location for all things Infrastructure related, will do my best!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Windows Phone 7 In-Depth Review

Great in-depth review of Just launch (well in Europe, us in the US must wait until November 8th) of Windows Phone 7!

I can't wait until I can get my hands on a Samsung Focus! Went to the Microsoft Store in the Park Meadows Mall here in south Denver and found out they will be opening early on the 8th for an event and I plan on being there at opening time to get a phone!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Microsoft Office Communications Server platform rename

Microsoft has re-branded OCS to become Microsoft Lync with the next release, the Release Candidate version is available for download,

From the Brief Description on the download page:
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 communications software delivers streamlined communications including software-powered VoIP, presence, enterprise IM, web conferencing, and A/V conferencing. You can implement these capabilities alongside your existing telephony infrastructure, while retaining rich operational control.