Microsoft

Windows Azure :: More to Say….

December 4, 2009 All, AppFabric, Azure, Azure Tools, General, Microsoft, SQL Azure, Windowz Azure No comments

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Operating System for “The Cloud”

What is the Cloud ?

In simple words the cloud is nothing but an abstraction used for the Internet and the underlying infrastructure hosting it.The Windows Azure cloud primarily consists of lots & lots & lots of servers, routers, switches & storage hosted in a Microsoft Data Centers. The present day Azure cloud is hosted in Redmond, US but the plan is to spread them out in data centers across the globe.

Why does it need an OS ?

Lets take a step back and think what a traditional OS would do for your applications ? A Desktop/Server OS takes care of the nitty grities of managing of your computers hardware as well as basic housekeeping tasks like memory management, disk I/O, task scheduling etc… while your application codebase is largely focused on the the business problem you are trying to solve. Now think of a typical Internet application today ? We not only have to create a well behaved application but also need to take care of provisioning a hosting environment, scaling the application based on load, monitoring health, planning for fault tolerance, disaster recovery & managing upgrades… Now how many times do we find ourselves doing the same things again and again… One cannot help but wish if only there was an environment that would automatically manage all these basic housekeeping aspects and let the IT team focus on just building the application. Well this is precisely what a cloud OS does for you.

Windows Azure.

Windows Azure provides the glue that gels together the cloud. It makes the zillions of connected servers work together as a cohesive unit and provides an environment that has automated service management, immense computing potential, practically unlimited storage and rich developer experience. It also provides you with 24/7 availability and the ability to scale up and down with very little overheads. This allows developers to focus on building the app than the infrastructure.

By leveraging the automated service management capabilities of windows Azure a developer can model the rules for deployment, monitoring and execution. He/She then provides the rules along with the executables for the service to the platform which then deploys, monitors, and manages the service in an hands free mode…

Windows Azure creates a powerful service hosting environment. All of the hardware including servers & load balancers is virtualized and a service is typically deployed across multiple fault domains and update domains resulting in high availability and fault tolerance. All this is done by cloud OS transparent to the service owner.

Reliable storage is an essential element of any application platform today. Windows Azure provides highly scalable cloud storage with the ability to store data in blobs, tables & queues.

Now a rich, familiar developer experience is absolutely critical to the adoption of any platform within the developer community. Windows Azure provides you with the same familiar Visual Studio experience complete with a managed framework that developers could use out of the box. To make things even better Windows Azure team makes available a complete cloud experience on your desktop that allows developers to build and test their cloud applications on a local desktop and yes you don’t need a windows server for doing this…

When do I get to play with it ?

The production roll out of Windows Azure is expected to be available around late 2009 but a early CTP is available today for you to play with. You could register for access at www.azure.com the only challenge here being MS is only activating a few 100s every day so it could be a week or a couple of weeks before your request is processed. If you were among the ones at the PDC you should be ahead of the rest of the world for getting provisioned on the cloud.

Windows 7 had 8 million testers

October 23, 2009 All, General, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 7 No comments

Windows 7 had 8 million testers, biggest beta ever

Microsoft has revealed a bunch of numbers surrounding the development of Windows 7, and boy do they carry a lot of weight.

In addition to helping us understand how the Windows 7 product development and planning team used feedback to shape the final release of Vista’s successor, Microsoft also followed up to give us some more detailed numbers. The company threw a lot of data points at us, but the one that stuck out like a sore thumb was this number: more than eight million people took part in the Windows 7 beta program. Redmond made a point to say that this number was more than any Microsoft beta ever.

A lot of factors contributed to this number, but much of the credit goes to Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division as of July 2009, for the changes he implemented to make the beta program the start of hype around the product.

First, he made sure that there would only be one beta (build 7000) and one RC (7100), even though many thought it wouldn’t be enough. Second, he made sure that both were only exclusively available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers, as well as Microsoft Connect testers, for just a few days. After that, the builds went public and anyone could try them out. Third, the beta and RC builds were very stable. They were polished to the point that they felt more like RTM candidates, for the lack of a better term, than unfinished prerelease versions.

All three of these made sure that the beta could be tried by many more tech enthusiasts in the general public. Dedicated testers still played an important role, but what they couldn’t help Microsoft with, due to their lack of strength in numbers, didn’t matter this time around. Public beta testers and Microsoft’s determination to find out more from different types of users made sure of that. The software giant said it used over a billion user sessions to help figure out how to build Windows 7.

Even though the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 beta program closed in July 2009, Microsoft Connect testers were eventually promised a free copy while the rest of testers were allowed to continue using the product for a few more months. In fact, the Windows 7 RC won’t start bi-hourly shutdowns till March 1, 2010 and won’t expire until June 1, 2010.

 

SQL Server 2008 R2 development is going on.

August 14, 2009 All, General, Microsoft, SQL Server, SQL Server 2008 R2 No comments

Recently i got download of  SQL Server 2008 R2  CTP- (R2 Stands for Release-2 , CTP- Community Technology Preview) from TECHNET Subscriber downloads.

I’m not sure what’s new in this release. probably bug fix on SQL Server 2008  plus support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2..

SQL Server 2008 R2

SQL Server 2008 R2 is the next generation of the Microsoft SQL Server database platform, planned for release in the first half of calendar year 2010. The R2 release brings significant new capabilities and enhancements that can help your business keep pace with today’s growing and changing data management needs. Increase productivity and reduce data management costs by taking advantage of an even more scalable platform with comprehensive database and application management tools. SQL Server 2008 R2 helps users to build rich analysis and reports and helps organizations improve the quality of their data.

I will keep posted once i get more information about it..

What's New in Windows Server 2008 R2?

August 14, 2009 All, General, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2008 R2 No comments

Windows Server 2008 R2 Reaches the RTM Milestone and What’s new about it??

This is a small information lended from Windows Server blogs  

The acronym stands for Release to Manufacturing, and it means this latest release of Windows Server 2008 R2 is now blessed by engineering as ready for the manufacturing process. We’re talking final code. Sun shining, birds singing, children dancing in the streets.

With evaluation software available for download in the first half of August and the full product available to customers with Software Assurance in the second half of August, RTM is more than just an engineering milestone. Occurring in lock-step with the release of the Windows 7 RTM, these two platforms are now ready for our partners to start testing and installing on their hardware. And that lock-step isn’t a coincidence, it’s a design goal.

Customers using Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 in their enterprises has been Microsoft’s intent from the first day programmers touched fingers to keyboards. Let’s look at the highlights:

HAPPY ADMINISTRATORS

It’s Christmas for server and desktop administrators with Windows Server 2008 R2’s updated management tools, including:

  • Hyper-V and Live Migration – still the big stars. R2’s Hyper-V enables a complete server virtualization solution available out-of-the-box. Live Migration allows server administrators to migrate VMs between physical machines with no perceived downtime for current server connections and work streams. That means a more dynamic datacenter and more agility in meeting new business needs For more information on Hyper-V in R2, check out today’s in-depth post on the Virtualization Team blog.
  • File Classification Infrastructure – FCI lets you manage your data based on its characteristics, including things like file type, user credentials and even content. Based on this kind of criteria, FCI can assign data different access restrictions, store it in different locations or simply push it into an entirely customized lifecycle scheme – all done automatically via policy. For me, this is one of the most exciting new features in R2.
  • Active Directory and Pervasive PowerShell – 240 new PowerShell cmdlets and several management consoles (including a new Active Directory interface) have been built on top of PowerShell. Active Directory has also been enhanced with the Active Directory Recycle Bin as well as AD Group Policy objects that give desktop administrators deeper capabilities when it comes to managing Windows 7 clients.
  • IIS 7.5 – The latest edition of Internet Information Server also sports updated management tools as well as application serving capabilities that now including support for PHP and .NET on Server Core installations.
  • Server Scalability – Not only is R2 Microsoft’s first 64-bit-only operating system, it also supports up to 256 logical processors in a single server as well as all the latest CPU technologies. And, R2 has support for advanced storage technologies, including SAN management and solid state hardware.  

HAPPY USERS

I’ll leave it to the Windows 7 team to evangelize the many advantages that Windows 7 has as a standalone operating system (click here for the Windows 7 RTM announcement). But we server guys love it because combined with Windows Server 2008 R2 we can provide features I’ve never seen before in another client-server platform.

  • DirectAccess, for example, provides secure, always-on access to corporate networks no matter from what network a client might be connecting. Better yet, it provides a two-way relationship allowing desktop admins to manage clients the same way whether they’re local or remote.
  • BranchCache allows users in remote offices to cache corpnet data locally, providing a better work experience for remote workers while simultaneously lowering expensive WAN bandwidth costs.
  • Remote Desktop and Applications – Windows Server 2008’s Terminal Services has now evolved into R2’s Remote Desktop Services, and it integrates so tightly with Windows 7 that administrators will be able to roll out virtualized applications and even entire desktop environments without users being able to tell that these tools aren’t running locally. It’s fast and can even be managed via policy. Very cool stuff.

LOWER BUDGETS

Power efficiency and power management were priorities for R2.  The power efficiency improvements help you save power automatically – without additional steps or configuration.  An improved processor power management engine, storage power management improvements, tick skipping, core parking, and timer coalescing all contribute to improved power efficiency.

While licensing topics are a bit arcane, those of you already running Windows Server 2008 should know that you don’t need new Client Access Licenses (CALs) when updating to Windows Server 2008 R2, which helps make for a cost-effective upgrade.

I’m out of space and have only scratched the surface of what you’ll find in R2. You can follow the buzz about R2 and Windows 7 on Twitter via the #Windows hashtag.

 For those evaluating the software for near-term deployment, make sure to visit the Windows Server 2008 R2 Resource Center, our TechNet Resource Center as well and also our Application Compatibility page. And as always, send us your feedback when you’re testing the software. Happy testing,

 

–Oliver Rist

Technical Product Manager

Windows Server Marketing

 

Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM – Release to MSDN today!!!!

August 14, 2009 All, General, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2008 R2 No comments

I got this information regarding the availablility for Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM to public.

So today i can get it from TECHNET Downloads. I’m waiting for it, to download…

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For Partners & OEMs:

ISV (Independent software vendor) and IHV (Independent hardware vendor) partners will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM from MSDN starting on August 14th.  MSDN will post in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish on August 14th and will roll out the remaining languages starting August 21st.

Microsoft Partner Program Gold/Certified Members will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM through the Microsoft Partner Program (MPP) Portal on August 19th.

Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM starting August 23rd.

OEMs will receive Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM in English and all Language Packs on July 29th.  The remaining languages will be available around August 11th.

For Volume Licensing Customers:

If you are a Volume License (VL) customer with an existing Software Assurance (SA) license, you will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM on August 19th via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC).

Volume License customers without a SA license will be able to purchase Windows Server 2008 R2 through Volume Licensing on September 1st.

IT Professionals:

IT Professionals with TechNet Subscriptions will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish on August 14th and all remaining languages beginning August 21st.

Developers:

Developers with MSDN Subscriptions will be able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM in English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish on August 14th and all remaining languages starting August 21st.

For Technical Enthusiasts:

Starting on August 20, you can download the 180 day evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/try-it.aspx

Additionally, Windows Server 2008 R2 will be available in the retail channel on September 14th.

Thanks,

Crissy House

Product Manager – Windows Server Marketing

Windows 7 King of All Windows

August 14, 2009 All, General, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 7 No comments

At first i doubted Windows 7 will have same problems as the Windows Vista had. But I have been using it since Pre-Beta to RC to RTM. I found that things getting better with windows 7. I never seen such a stable OS in my life. There was a Time people loved Windows 98, ME then came the Windows XP, he took over the world of windows and Windows Vista was the most awaited release, but it did not go well in stealing the hearts of millions of windows lovers.

Windows Vista ran in to problems it was a HUGE RESOURCE EATING MONSTER, lots of stability issues. I did personally tried from Pre-Beta to RC to RTM , SP1 and Sp2 of VISTA.. I some times felt what’s this all about. SP2 of Windows Vista changes lots of things in VISTA. It brought up a STABLE OS.

Windows Vista with SP2 is stable than it’s predecessors. I felt that millions guarantee that.

But still Windows 7 from Pre-Beta onwards has a lots of FAN Following. the main reason is that, it doesn’t behave like Windows Vista first release, more over NOT MUCH of stability issues with Windows 7, i could say i have ran the windows 7 from last FEB 2009 onwards from RC, just 1 week back only i reinstalled it. Because i thought since RTM(Release to Manufacture) version is out, it would be better to Format and make a fresh install.
I’m part of MSDN TechNet Subscriber and i got the download of Windows 7 from Technet on 6th August 2009 and it was a long awaiting.
By the way TechNet is microsoft subscription group for IT Professionals, who can try any microsoft product for Evaluation purposes, unlimited times. This is not free, there will be an annual subscription.
I’m glad that i’m part of it. Trying out any microsoft release first before, that comes in to market is a great opportunity.
There is lot of things to say. i’m stopping things for now.. Will continue in next blog….