Tag Archives: Microsoft

First look: Hyper-V 2012 targets VMware’s air supply

This looks pretty interesting:

With the release of Windows Server 2012 yesterday, Microsoft significantly updated its Hyper-V virtualization platform. Available both as part of Server 2012 and as a free as in beer standalone installation, the third generation of Hyper-V brings with it a collection of features that largely commoditize the sorts of things you’ve gotten used to having to pay extra for. There are even a few features you couldn’t do at all with other hypervisors like live migration of a server from one server to another with no shared storage between the two.

Hyper-V supports a host of high-availability and “resiliency” features, such as off-site replication of servers. And it does many of those things as well or better than offerings from VMware and Citrix—regardless of whether you’re virtualizing Windows servers, Windows desktops, or Linux. And then there’s the free part: while the licenses for Windows Server itself are tied to a specific set of hardware, other operating systems can be hosted on the standalone Hyper-V server and managed as part of the same environment. All with the same sort of manageability.

Big boost in capacity, too:

Hyper-V 2012 can now handle significantly more substantial virtual hosts than its predecessor, making it possible to virtualize even some of the biggest workloads you may have running on physical servers. Hyper-V 2012, both on Windows Server 2012 and in standalone, can manage up to 320 logical processors and 4 terabytes of RAM; the virtual hosts running within the hypervisor can be configured with up to 64 virtual processors and a terabyte of RAM, and virtual disks can be configured to sizes ranging up to 64 terabytes (thanks to the new VHXD format for virtual drives, introduced in Server 2012). A single instance of Hyper-V can run up to 1,024 active virtual machines.

Pics and story at: First look: Hyper-V 2012 targets VMware’s air supply | Ars Technica.

Internet Explorer Leads on Malware Security

Is it possible, that we will, one day, choose IE for its security features?

A malware security report by NSS Labs found Windows Internet Explorer 9 beta caught an “exceptional” 99 percent of the live threats, leading the non-IE pack by 80 percent. Mozilla Firefox 3.6 caught 19 percent of the live threats, down 10 percent from the NSS Labs test conducted in the first quarter of 2010. IE9’s protection includes SmartScreen URL filtering, which is included in IE8 as well as SmartScreen application reputation, which is new to IE9.

via Internet Explorer Leads on Malware Security: Report – Midmarket – News & Reviews – eWeek.com.

Critical Testing Criteria: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Cameron Sturdevant lists 9 points to keep in mind when comparing virtual desktop hypervisors.

I start by identifying what will be required of the desktops, what sort of hardware (client and server) will be required to support the requirements, and then I dive into the murky, swirling world of licensing:

1. License costs

In addition to the “three C’s” one of the most important testing criteria is licensing costs. None of the competing vendors make it easy to do an apples-to-apples comparison, so you’ll need to do some noodling to get a price per-desktop, per-year figure. It makes a difference how many years you include in your calculations. I suggest looking at a minimum of three and a maximum of five years, depending on your current physical desktop or laptop formula. Speaking of physical systems, you should factor in the costs of the user devices on which the remote virtual desktops will be hosted.

via Critical Testing Criteria: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – Virtualization from eWeek.

Gartner: Windows 7 security features have strings attached

Some gotchas in Win 7’s “built-in” security:

For instance, top-end security features like AppLocker, BitLocker, BitLocker to Go and DirectAccess require the more expensive Windows 7 Enterprise version, and also call for Enterprise Assurance or Software Assurance maintenance plans; the features don’t come with the pre-configured PCs sold by HP or Dell.

Some organizations, MacDonald said, have tried to work around this limitation by purchasing Windows 7 Ultimate, a similar edition that also contains all the same security features as Enterprise. Despite being initially more expensive that Enterprise, Ultimate is $100 cheaper per user when factoring in the savings of not purchasing a maintenance plan. However, there are drawbacks to this approach as well.

“Ultimate is officially a consumer version, and comes with a consumer SKU, which means it has consumer-level support. So instead of getting 10 years of support and security patches, you only get five years,” MacDonald said, “and you don’t get volume license activation, so you’d have to manually activate each version.”

via Gartner: Windows 7 security features have strings attached.

Can’t activate Windows XP after a repair install or in-place upgrade

I ran into an interesting problem yesterday, and by “interesting” I mean really annoying and made me curse Microsoft repeatedly, again and again.

An old home PC has been having video problems off and on for several years:  It’d show an argyle-style print superimposed over whatever was on the screen.  Rebooting would sometimes fix it, but in recent months it was fairly permanent.

So I replaced the motherboard, CPU, and memory, booted up XP, and ran a repair to re-install XP with all required drivers while keeping all local data, profiles, and programs.

But upon reboot, XP demanded that I activate before I could use the computer (expected), but after I agreed to activate, it would log me in and show me my desktop, but no Activation wizard would open, nor any other program (unexpected).  It was not possible to use any Window-key shortcuts to open any windows or programs, I could only push the reset button to reboot.

Booting into Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Network would result in a prompt saying something to the effect, “This Windows activation must be activated, but it cannot be activated in Safe Mode. Please reboot and try again.”

However, rebooting to Safe Mode with Command Prompt would allow me to log in, and I could run Explorer and msc.exe from the command prompt, and get around in the system.

After some Googling, I found this article, downloaded IE8 to a USB drive, installed it via Safe Mode Command Prompt, rebooted, and happily activated away.

After running a repair install using a Windows XP SP3 disc, after booting up and logging in, you’re given the message along the lines of: “You must activate Windows before you can log on. Would you like to activate Windows now?” If you select “Yes,” which is supposed to bring up the activation prompt, nothing happens. You get to stare at your desktop wallpaper until you decide to restart your computer manually. If you select “No,” you are immediately logged out. What to do?

Anyway, I discovered an easy solution to this problem today: Just boot the machine in safe mode and install Internet Explorer 8. (You’ll need to download it from Microsoft’s web site and put it on a flash drive or something to move to the troubled machine.)

via Can’t activate Windows XP after a repair install or in-place upgrade – aaron-kelley.net.