Microsoft Tech-Ed 2008 (Day 2)

Posted: November 4, 2008 in Computer and Internet

Yesterday the Hands On Labs was a disappointment, but today there were more technical sessions and there were plenty pc’s free for self paced labs. I used the opportunity to develop my SCOM 2007 knowledge, not that I’m a MOM-guru but hey, Rome wasn’t build in a day 🙂

First session of the day for was Windows Server 2008 Scalability and Performance. In this session the improvements of Windows Server 2008 were explained and also what improvements are to be expected in R2. This session confirmed what I read last week being that Windows Server 2008 R2 will only be available is 64-bit. This means that Windows Server 2008 is the last server OS on 32-bit by Microsoft.
Some other points that are worth mentioning;
– In SP2 of Server 2008 Hyper-V will support up to 32 cores, for the moment this is 24 cores.
– Non-Uniform Memory Access or NUMA for short is a feature that will improve performance in accessing memory on machines with multiple cores. More information about NUMA can be found on the Technet Site.
– Out of the box Windows Server 2008 uses 10% less power then in Windows Server 2003 without tweaking the power settings on neither of these systems. Imaging saving cost in large datacenters!
– Terminal Services, or Remote Desktop Services as it’s now called has improved. 40% increase in users supported per system when going from 16 to 32 cores on X64 systems

2nd session of the day: System Center Operations Manager Present and future. First announcement made was that there will be connectors available in SCOM 2007 R2 to connect to HP Open View and IBM monitoring tools. Some others nice features coming up in R2 are:
– Another nice feature in SCOM 2007 is the Service Level Objectives that can be set and monitored. When you already have data you can use performance reports to view SLO’s.
– New monitoring templates can be used to monitor custom applications.
– Possibility to more unwanted processes and even have to power to kill this process on the servers via the operator console. Very powerful!
– The user interface is lots faster in R2 then in SP1 due to tweaking on how the properties of all the alerts are checked during the build up of the screen.
– Cross platform monitoring is a part of SCOM 2007 R2. There is even a agreement with several Microsoft UNIX/LUNIX partners to built in the monitoring agent a version of there OS. The source code of this monitoring agent is open source or will become open source when the program becomes RTM.

3th session of the day:  Operations Manager 2007: Best practices. Some topics in this session were already about the R2 release but I’ll just mention a few points that were covered during the session:
– Use Active Directory integration, you’ll save time deploying your agents
– Agent Proxying; for the moment there is no column in the console to see which agent allows proxying but you can use power shell cmd-let to see this. In R2 this column will be added
– Aging is a option to prevent alarms from "flip-flop-ing" of alert Aging is a new option in R2 that can be set in the notification properties so that a event must occurs x-times before the notification is send out.
– Don’t run the console on the RMS or other management server(s) to increase performance
– Check most common alerts with your most common problems on your network, if they do not align you’ll need to tweak your management packs.
– Override rules should be placed in a separate management pack

4th and last session of the day:  Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Windows Mobile. Microsoft knows they needed to close the gap between the workstation and the mobile device and have done a good job of it. For example Rights Management has been extended to the mobile devices and this for email and office documents. Note that it’s only supported on Windows Mobile 6.1.
Not just only Windows Mobile devices can be used for push mail on Exchange 2007 but devices of other vendors as well, for example the Apple iPhone. If a company wants to limit what kind of devices can be used for push mail they will need to add a ISA-server because it cannot be limited on the Exchange Server 2007. Another fact that I wasn’t aware off is that Exchange Enterprise 2007 has more advanced policy settings then a Exchange Standard 2007.
Being a Blackberry user I’m slightly jealous of this function: you can search mails that are not located on your device but still are located on the Exchange server itself. Okay, one advantage over Blackberry, I’ll give them that :p.
Out of Office can now be set in Windows Mobile device and that Calendar is also improved with a nice bar in top of the screen which makes it easy to see were you have free time. They can’t however do a Free/Busy lookup. Gogogo RIM :p

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