Thursday, October 23, 2008

More CALs for SBSCs

Hi All,

News just in: Just received word that the exclusive SBSC Toolkit shipping with the October Action Pack will include 15 additional CALs for SBS & EBS. Nice. The kits will be at the Microsoft post office from October 24th & so should be with you a few weeks after that.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Apple Propaganda Advertising

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm no fan of Steve Jobs and his "my way or the highway" computing platform, and especially not of the Apple False Advertising marketing plan that they insist on using.

But sometimes, they just make great adverts.

And these two, in response to Microsoft's seriously overpriced, underclued, ineffective and early-terminated "Bill and Jerry" series (at least Jerry Seinfeld walked away with US$10m for almost nothing - US$10m that could have much more effectively have been spent on the partner channel (training, listening, feedback, trying to understand the issues MS' partners have with MS' Partner programs)), well, they tickled my fancy.

First, as Steve Ballmer is an account and not a CEO (especially of a tech company such as Microsoft), there's

Then there's the Visbbbbzzzzz response at

Not that I'm saying that Apple stands a snowflake's chance in hell of being useful in most business scenarios (ever tried running [insert pretty much any busines line of business application] on a Mac? How far did you get?), but these adverts are quite good.

And for all of those people saying that if Microsoft doesn't come out with something totally mindblowing in Windows 7 (yeah, right, like that's going to happen) then Apple/Linux will start to rule the world, well, when a) my business apps run on Apple/Linux, or b) when these camps start to realise what the Microsoft camp does so well - integration, delivering fairly good software and and innovating in a developed market, then maybe they will stand a chance. But remember, Windows XP was released, then a 5 year break, then Vista, and what progress has Apple and/or Linux really made into the desktop market? Yup - bugger all. They just don't get it.

It is somewhat like the last Qld State Election - Teflon Pete managed to screw up everything he touched - he DEFINITELY had the Shitas Touch for a while, there, but his teflon coating (thanks to NASA, btw) kept the brown stains off him. The he called an election. His opposition [sic] was too busy infighting about who'd become Lord of Qld that they forgot to actually run for the election and Teflon Pete came out not losing a single seat. Microsoft's using the same Teflon Suit tailor that Peter Beattie uses, I'm sure! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, October 10, 2008


OK, so I sat the VMWare VTSP training earlier this week that Ingram Micro subsidised (100% subsidy - this was very nice of them) and passed all of the exams in all 3 streams. So now I'm a certified VMWare Technical Sales Professional. Yay.

OK, so what does this all mean in the SMB world? Not much. Most of the VMWare kit is priced and squarely aimed at the Enterprise and won't be affordable down here where we live, however the functionality some of the higher end toys provide is rather nice.

VMWare does have their VMWare Infrastructure Foundation product that is aimed at SMB. It supports NAS and local storage (SCSI), but has no SAN support and also comes with Consolidated Backup which is nice, however the only other feature it has - Update Manager - requires VirtualCenter Server - a separately licensed product starting at a little over AU$2000. You don't get the ability to run VMotion (also licensed separately) nor HA on VMWare Infratructure Foundation, unfortunately.
So, is this any real benefit? Not sure. Without VirtualCenter Server, you may as well just run 2 instances of ESXi (or Hyper-V) and manually move and manage machines - you'll get no other meaningful management from VMWare without Virtual Center, so why bother with VMWare Infrastructure Foundation? Maybe I'll investigate VMWare Infrastructure Foundation a little more - this wasn't covered in the training as the training was aiming just a little higher. :)

OK, so when I get a chance I'll play and report back...


The Outspoken Wookie

SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 Hands On Labs

In case anyone's missed Robbie Upcroft's announcement about these labs, have a read of his blog.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra all have places still available for this training, but those places won't remain vacant for long, so I suggest you get signed up ASAP. Microsoft is subsidising this training so that you only pay $399ex for this.


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, October 06, 2008

DNS Records

OK. This is something I nearly always do but got caught out this weekend because I forgot to do it this once. Microsoft products are notorious for creating html code that's many times the size of what it needs to be to get the job done. A prime example of this is the Quark IT Newsletter for November 2004 - the original Microsoft Publisher generated HTML (first page only) was 122 KiB (125,166 bytes) and the cleaned up version that is now 4 pages long is 45 KiB (46,165 bytes). Well, OK - it isn't quite identical, the code I hand-modified actually looks quite a lot better than Publisher's "Save as HTML" option. And did I mention that the hand modified code is 4 pages long versus Microsoft's single page? A masive difference in size, I'm sure you'll agree.

Anyway, an added bonus with all of this additional, superfluous code that Microsoft generates is the stuff that's hidden when you copy something from a website and paste it elsewhere. Microsoft has been generous to provide is with a Crud Filter for when you need to do this - it is a nice little application called "Notepad.exe" - and what you do is copy the text from the website, paste it into Notepad, then re-select and copy it from Notepad and paste it where you want it. And just like magic, it is the text you want without all of the MS-generated crud! Amazing, no?

Well, I was fiddling around with _autodiscover._tcp settings on the weekend and accidentally killed one of our domains because I stupidly copied and pasted without the required disencrudification step. I was alerted to the issue this morning and found the offending record, deleted it, and typed it in by hand, restarted DNS and all was well with the world once again.

It just goes to show that almost doing something properly can be as bad as almost doing it really badly! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hyper-V Server RTMs

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 1, 2008 — Following the broad product, partner and customer announcements from its “Get Virtual Now” launch last month, Microsoft Corp.’s CEO Steve Ballmer today announced the final release and availability of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 in front of a crowd of 700 IT professionals during a TechNet Server and Tools event keynote address in London. To further assist customers with the adoption and deployment of Microsoft virtualization solutions, Microsoft announced a new offering of specialized assessment and implementation services available from the Microsoft Services organization that help customers use server virtualization, and separate new training and certifications from Microsoft Learning for IT Professionals.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a bare metal hypervisor-based server virtualization product, is now available as a no-cost Web download at Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable and optimized virtualization solution for customers to consolidate Windows or Linux workloads onto a single physical server or to run client operating systems and applications in server-based virtual machines in the data center. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 allows customers to leverage their existing provisioning, updating, management and support tools, processes and skills.

Read the full Press Release here.


The Outspoken Wookie