Virtualization: Applications

So far, virtualization seems like the biggest part of the Keynote —
about 30 minutes so far and we’ve only gone over Server virtualization.

Application Virtualization

Allows us to run older apps remotely. Pretty straightforward concept.
If you have a bus app that’s not compatible with Vista, you can
virtualize it.

The Management Console lets us virtualize an app to the users’
desktops by group. But we can also specify other features: copy/paste
ability, etc.

In the demo, we see as an example that we can whitelist/blacklist web
sites. They have an app that was written for XP only and virtualized
to the Vista presentation box. There’s also the ability to give a
visual queue to the users that the app is virtualized.

On the demo, there was a policy in place to demonstrate the admin-
defined copy/paste restriction. Gives a popup to the user that it’s
not allowed.

They defined through a whitelist/blacklist that a particular site is
IE6 only. They’ve virtualized IE6 so it would take control of that
site. Handy.

Will be included in the Desktop Optimization pack which will come out
next year.


Posted from MS TechEd, 2008

Virtualization

This is primarily why I’m here!

Types of virtualization: Server; Application; Desktop; Presentation

Using MS System Center

Suggests the possibility of running Vista on a series of blades and
providing it to end users. Given the cost of blades and power, it
could be an extremely expensive infrastructure and hardware investment.

Kroll Factual Data uses virtualization (hmm… the font used for
“Kroll Factual Data” is identical to the Microsoft logo.

Using VM Manager to handle 1400 VMs across 4 environments. They can
run 30-40 virts on a single piece of hardware; maintaining nearly 100%
processor use. Uptime is 99.x%.

They’re also using Hyper-V within production systems: Windows Server
2008, Hyper-V.

They compared Hyper-V to ESX and assumed they’d be shy of the ESX
performance. But found that it’s performing at or above ESX. We
currently use ESX on a few hosts and MS Virtual Server on others —
but we see the opposite: ESX is a higher performer.

However, MS is offering VM Management with System Center.
Unfortunately, it’s not available yet — but due out in August.

But they are promoting virtualization because it’s more efficient for
manageability and infrastructure — this is true. Maximize the
hardware performance.

We also see Application Virtualization: keeping the App separate from
your OS so you don’t need to patch thousands of images of the App AND
OS. You patch the App on a virtual then make the virt available to
the end users — preventing the users from bypassing mandated patches
(would also save the burst bandwidth to every user as the log in at
8AM after a long weekend.

Demo of Hyper-V and System Center:

See a beta of VMManager console. Looks like a modified version of
Outlook but we have a single interface. It ALSO allows us to see
VMWare virts on ESX. Okay, that’s cool. It looks like the MS
interface, but still allows access to your ESX hosts. Nice that
they’re carrying the Interoperability concept over.

Can move virts to physical through migration. Checks the requirements
of the virt, looks at capacity then gives options for migration.
That’s a great concept, too.

User PowerShell — a VB Scripting shell. (hey, at least they’re
calling it a “shell”).

We’ll need a good, stable, reliable SAN for virtualization.

In VMotion, we can move virts between running hosts. MS VMManager
supports it, too — they demo it going to an ESX 3 host.

In the System Center Operations Manager, you can configure it
(graphically — nice) to do automatic migrations as needed using the
Performance and Resource Optimization app. A nice alert showing us
that an app, Order Tracker, needs more resources.

They also have an integrated app that they demoed that’s watching a
C7000 chassis’s power consumption to make managing the virtuals or
performance easier.

Need to see if we can find a download of the Virtual Machine Manger
2008 demo.

They state that overall, it’s a fraction of the current cost of
virtualization.


Posted from MS TechEd, 2008

Identity Lifecycle Manager 2 Beta

Identity and Access; Business Process; Collaboration

Allowing users to add themselves to groups or get password resets will
improve efficiency (I disagree, but that’s what he said).

Identity Lifecycle Manager 2 Beta is released today.

It’s web-based, of course, and demonstrated.

They start by going to Management Policies; Processes: Create Full
Time Employee and decide the workflow process for this process.
Creates AD user account, and choose one for a third-party app — here,
SAP.

On user-facing application, they create a new employee called Melissa
Myers (mmyers). An email is sent out notifying an admin that the user
has been created.

There’s some integration into Outlook to make the approval process
quicker. That’s a good improvement.

Provisions the user to needed and appropriate distribution lists.

They keep stressing that there’s no coding needed. Although
semantically, that may be accurate, there’s still going to be a huge
amount of incorporation and understanding required.


Posted from MS TechEd, 2008

Interoperability

“[Microsoft is] the most interoperable in the industry.”

Ensuring Open Connections

Data Portability

Enhanced Support for Standards

Open Engagement

More Linux & Unix interoperability (Okay, that one got my attention,
too).

Greg Leake, Directory Connected Systems at MS and Jonathan Marsh,
Director of Architecture for WS02.

They’re showing an end to end .net 3.5 app for a stock trading
scenario. Can get it from MSDN. All the data comes live from a back
end server — not stored on the client. Uses an encrypted tunnel.

Demonstrates a stock buy to see the flow.

User Interface –> Business Services –> Order Processing –> Database.

With the architecture, they can PHP web app (unix!) they swap in data
to a Java-based order processing app running Apache on a Unix box.


Their demo portfolio had a stock loss of $190K… awesome.


On the fly, they change the connections to various systems.

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”


Posted from MS TechEd, 2008

Tech Ed, Day 1

Keynote:

Introductory song and dance — well, drumming and dancing.

Audience participation with tambourines & maracas.

Hmm… will I be zeroed out as the only Mac in the audience… and not
participating in the festivities? Sorry, but I’m here to learn,
learn, learn.


Observation: It’s curious that TechEd begins the day after the Apple
WWDC begins. I’m sure everybody else heard about it already, but
Apple announced a much cheaper iPhone yesterday (hey, I was on a plane
and didn’t hear about it). Apparently, it’s only $199, 8GB and 2 yr
contract with AT&T. I might have to look into it and see if I can get
my existing number ported and maybe reimbursement for service.


Back to the Keynote: IT Pro Hero is Hunter Ely, Senior Security
Analyst. He assisted with hurricane relief and tracking patients using
a Groove (?) system with Sharepoint. If I misinterpret something, let
me know — my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

Basic, Standardized, Rationalized, Dynamic
IT is a cost center
IT is an efficient cost center
IT is a business enabler
IT is a strategic asset


Posted from MS TechEd, 2008