File Server Capacity Tool v1.2- (64 bit)

Posted by bink on September 10 2011, 7:39 PM.

File server capacity planning and performance troubleshooting are critical aspects of high-level network administration. File server capacity planning tools can be valuable in choosing new hardware for purchase, identifying the capacity of existing hardware, locating existing bottlenecks, and planning for resource expansion in advance of resource exhaustion.

The throughput capacity of a file server can be expressed either as the maximum number of operations per second or a maximum number of users supported by the configuration. These values are influenced by several factors, some of which include processor speed, available memory, disk speed, network throughput and latency, and the speed with which SMB requests are processed.

This release is an updated release to v1.0. It includes support of File Server in the Windows Clustering configuration. Windows Clustering allows system to be built with redundancy, which provides high availability to tolerate hardware failures. With a two node clustering, you could setup more than one virtual file server instance, and have FSCT clients run load against all the instances. In this release, a new section “Running FSCT against a singleton Windows Cluster” will describe the setup and steps for running against a Windows Cluster.

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Still no fix for Exchange EMC and IE9 issue

Posted by bink on September 10 2011, 2:55 AM.

6 months after Internet Explorer 9 was released there is still no fix for the incompatibility issue between Exchange 2007/2010 Management Console and IE9. Annoyed

Exchange Team Blog:

After you install Internet Explorer 9 on a computer that has Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2007 management tools installed, you might run into a situation where closing the Exchange Management Console (EMC) results in the following error:

You must close all dialog boxes before you can close Exchange Management Console

This might happen even if there are no property pages left opened that you can see. Please note here that not all of our customers who installed IE9 on a computer with Exchange management tools (server or workstation) have run into this problem.

Are there any workarounds?

As it stands right now, we are not aware of a reliable workaround for this problem. Terminating the EMC using the Task Manager (or possibly a command or script) does not have adverse effects on management tools functionality, but is clearly a non-optimal solution.

What are we doing to address this?

The EMC is implemented as a Microsoft Management Console snap-in. We are working closely with both MMC and Internet Explorer teams to find a solution to this problem. Due to the complex nature of several product interoperability that causes this problem, things are still in process and we do not have a firm solution or a date to share with you yet. We do, however, want to say that we are very aware of this issue and several teams are collaborating and working to get this addressed. Once more details are available, we will be sure to share them here.

Exchange 2007 or 2010 EMC might fail to close with You must close all dialog boxes before yo

Wow, Windows 8 boots under 10 seconds!

Posted by bink on September 9 2011, 9:40 PM.

Windows 8 boots under 10 seconds on most PC’s trick is to resume from a hibernated kernel session:

 

….in a traditional shutdown, we close all of the user sessions, and in the kernel session we close services and devices to prepare for a complete shutdown.

Now here’s the key difference for Windows 8: as in Windows 7, we close the user sessions, but instead of closing the kernel session, we hibernate it. Compared to a full hibernate, which includes a lot of memory pages in use by apps, session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, which takes substantially less time to write to disk. If you’re not familiar with hibernation, we’re effectively saving the system state and memory contents to a file on disk (hiberfil.sys) and then reading that back in on resume and restoring contents back to memory. Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems we’ve tested).

See video: High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

Bar chart comparing Windows 8 fast startup times to Windows 7 cold boot times on 30 different PC configurations. The Windows 8 startup times are all between 15 and 33 seconds, while the Windows 7 cold boot times are between 25 and 72 seconds.

See full atrticle:

Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8 - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8”

Posted by sumeethevans on September 8 2011, 4:30 AM. Posted in Windows.Next.

In this post we talk about how we will support virtualization on the Windows "client" OS. Originally released for Windows Server where the technology has proven very popular and successful, we wanted to bring virtualization to a core set of scenarios for professionals using Windows. The two most common scenarios we focused on are for software developers working across multiple platforms and clients and servers, and IT professionals looking to manage virtualized clients and servers in a seamless manner. Mathew John is a program manager on our Hyper-V team and authored this post. One note is that, as with all features, we're discussing the engineering of the work and not the ultimate packaging, as those choices are made much later in the project. --Steven PS: We didn't plan on doing so many posts in a row so we'll return to more sustainable pace -- sorry if we inadvertantly set expectations a bit too high. We're getting ready for BUILD full time right now!!

image imageimage

Full Story at Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/07/bringing-hyper-v-to-windows-8.aspx

Next Release of Windows Intune Coming Soon

Posted by sumeethevans on September 7 2011, 1:47 AM. Posted in Windows Intune.

Windows Intune brings together Windows cloud services and a Windows 7 Enterprise subscription to help businesses simplify PC management and security, all while getting the benefits of a modern operating system. At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in July, we announced the beta for the next release of Windows Intune. Today we are excited to share with you that our next release of Windows Intune, which includes the new features and updates of the July 2011 beta, will be available on October 17 of this year!

Here is a quick reminder of some of the features included in the next version – and these are just a few of them. For a full list of features visit Windows Intune on Springboard.

  • Software Distribution: With this release, administrators can deploy most Microsoft and third-party updates or applications to PCs nearly anywhere over the Internet.
  • Remote Tasks: IT can remotely perform the following tasks on Windows Intune managed PCs from the administration console: Full scan, Quick scan, Update Malware Definition, and Restart.
  • Read-Only Access: IT pros and partners can give select administrators read-only access to the administration console so they can view PC information as needed, but not perform any configuration tasks.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Create hardware reports based on new hardware filters for common hardware characteristics. Additionally, you can now create and save report parameters to make it easy and efficient to run a report again in the future.

How do you get this next release?

  • Current Subscribing Windows Intune Customers: Your service will be automatically upgraded in the few weeks following October 17; no action is required of you. Two weeks prior to your upgrade date, you’ll see an alert displayed in the Windows Intune administration console indicating the exact date and time when your subscription will be upgraded.
  • New Windows Intune Customers: Sign up on October 17 to receive the latest version immediately.
  • Beta Customers: The beta service will conclude on November 17. After this date, you will not be able to access your beta account and all account data will be deleted. We highly recommend that you remove the client software and restore computers to their pre-beta state.

Full Story At Source

Patch: Microsoft Security Advisory: Fraudulent digital certificates could allow spoofing

Posted by bink on September 7 2011, 1:25 AM.

Microsoft is aware of active attacks using at least one fraudulent digital certificate issued by DigiNotar, a certification authority present in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities Store. A fraudulent certificate could be used to spoof content, perform phishing attacks, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks against all Web browser users including users of Internet Explorer. While this is not a vulnerability in a Microsoft product, this issue affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft is continuing to investigate this issue. Based on preliminary investigation, Microsoft is providing an update for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows that revokes the trust of the following DigiNotar root certificates by placing them into the Microsoft Untrusted Certificate Store:

DigiNotar Root CA

DigiNotar Root CA G2

DigiNotar PKIoverheid CA Overheid

DigiNotar PKIoverheid CA Organisatie - G2

DigiNotar PKIoverheid CA Overheid en Bedrijven

For supported releases of Microsoft Windows, typically no action is required of customers to install this update, because the majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and this update will be downloaded and installed automatically. For more information, including how to manually install this update.

Read the audit report how bad the security was at the Dutch Certificate Authority Diginotar was :

DigiNotar public report version 1

Download the patches now:

Download the Update for Windows 7 (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Edition (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (KB2607712) package now. )

Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows XP (KB2607712) package now. 

Download the Update for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB2607712) package now. 

Download the Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB2607712) package now. 

Download the Update for Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems (KB2607712) package now.

Download the Update for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition (KB2607712) package now.

 

Microsoft Security Advisory (2607712) Fraudulent Digital Certificates Could Allow Spoofing

System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 - BETA

Posted by bink on September 2 2011, 2:33 PM.

Welcome to the public Beta for new Data Protection Manager 2012. Please download the beta and try it for yourself.

The key DPM 2012 features that will be available for BETA validations are -

  • Centralized Management (Built on the Ops Manager platform)
    • Centralized Monitoring and Troubleshooting
    • Remote Administration
    • Remote Recovery
    • Push To Resume Backups
    • Role Based Access
  • Continued Best of Breed Application Support
    • SharePoint Item Level recovery without restoring Content DB
    • SQL FILESTREAM support
    • SharePoint RBS support
    • Hyper-V Item Level Restore from a DPM running in a VM
    • Faster protection of VMs on stand-alone Hyper-V servers.
  • Fresh DPM 2012 Console User Interface
  • Data Source Extensibility Framework
  • Certificate Based Protection of non-AD machines
    • File Server
    • SQL Servers
    • Hyper-V servers
    • Clustered Data sources
    • Secondary DPM servers.
  • Tape Enhancements:
    • Enhanced Granular Media Co-Location
    • Tape Reliability Enhancements
  • Multiple DPM DB databases share a single remote SQL Instance
  • Upgrade support from DPM 2010

We do not recommend to deploy this Beta into Production. This Beta is not supported by Customer Services and Support (CSS). If you have questions, please visit the DPM 2012 Beta Forum on http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dataprotectionmanager Help improve SCDPM 2012 Beta by submitting bugs to the Connect Feedback Center.

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Windows 8: Designing for Metro style and the desktop

Posted by bink on September 1 2011, 2:08 PM.

Steven Sinofsky:

We thought it would be good to take a moment to talk about where we are heading in terms of the user interface of Windows 8.

By now you've seen two different elements of the Windows 8 design—first, a Metro style user interface we showed previously and in a video seen by millions of folks. And recently, we have described in this blog some of the enhancements we’re making to familiar Windows desktop tools such as Explorer and the copy file dialog. We’ve seen a lot of dialog about these changes.

Some of you are probably wondering how these parts work together to create a harmonious experience. Are there two user interfaces? Why not move on to a Metro style experience everywhere? On the other hand, others have been suggesting that Metro is only for tablets and touch, and we should avoid “dumbing down” Windows 8 with that design.

Image showing the Metro UI with the word "Start", and several tiles representing different apps in Windows 8.

MSDN Blogs

Windows 8: Improvements in Windows Explorer

Posted by sumeethevans on August 30 2011, 3:31 AM. Posted in Windows.Next.

Windows 8 is about reimagining Windows, so we took on the challenge to improve the most widely used desktop tool (except maybe for Solitaire) in Windows. Alex Simons on the program management team authored this post with a detailed look at the evolution of Explorer and the major improvements to its interface and functionality for Windows 8. Judging by the passion on file operations and user interface design, we know this is an important subject so we expect a pretty engaged dialog on the topic. We put this in one lengthy post, will watch the comments and dialog, and down the road we'll continue the discussion.-- Steven

It’s exciting to have this opportunity to share the improvements we’re making to the file management capabilities of Windows Explorer. Explorer is one of the most venerable parts of Windows with a heritage you can trace back to the “MS-DOS Executive” in Windows 1.0!

The new ribbon

The Home tab is focused on the core file management tasks, and we’ve put all the major file management commands there in prominent locations: Copy, Paste, Delete, Rename, Cut, and Properties. We’ve also given new prominence to two popular heritage features, Move to and Copy to, along with exposing a hidden gem, Copy path, which is really useful when you need to paste a file path into a file dialog, or when you want to email someone a link to a file on a server.

Figure 9 - Home tab The new Home tab

The Home tab is the heart of our new, much more streamlined Explorer experience. The commands that make up 84% of what customers do in Explorer are now all available on this one tab:

Figure 10 - Home tab showing % usage of each button Overlay showing Command usage % by button on the new Home tab

The Share tab is for sharing files by typical methods like zipping them up and emailing them to a friend, or burning them to optical media. Or you can quickly share files with other people in your home group or your network domain. It also provides one-click access to the ACLs for the currently highlighted file.

Figure 11 - Share tab The new Share tab

The View tab provides access to options for view customization. We’ve enabled one-click access for turning on/off the Navigation pane, Preview pane, and Details pane, a live preview gallery for the different icon display sizes, quick access to sorting and grouping by column, the ability to quickly add columns, plus easy access to three hidden features: show file name extensions, show hidden items, and hide selected items.

Figure 12 - View tab The View tab

The customization options for the Navigation pane are also much easier to access – in the drop-down menu, you get one-click access to them, including a new option to show or hide favorites.

Figure 13 - Navigation pane options Navigation pane options

The file menu and other tools

The file menu lets you quickly open new Explorer windows, access your shortcuts, and change folder and search options. It also includes a hidden feature that we love, Open command prompt, and a really useful new command, Open command prompt as administrator, both of which launch a command prompt with the path set to the currently selected folder.

Figure 14 - File menu File menu

We’ve provided a variety of contextual tabs that activate in the context of specific files and folders, and for tasks like searching, managing libraries, viewing pictures, and playing music. One of the best examples is the new Search Tools contextual tab which launches when you click in the search box.

Figure 15 - Search tab Search tab

The Search tab surfaces a bunch of hidden gems that most people are not aware of, but that could solve some common problems for them. You can quickly adjust the scope of any search, filter by common date ranges, file type, file size, and other properties like the author or name. Then you can save these searches for future use.

Here are examples of some of the other Explorer context tabs:

Figure 16 - Library Tools context tab Library Tools

Figure 17 - Picture Tools context tab Picture Tools

Figure 18 - Disk Tools context tab Disk Tools

Designing for a wider screen

When considering the ribbon UI, we knew we had to be conscious of one of the primary customer concerns we hear about: screen real estate. As we looked at ways to mitigate this issue, we dug up some more telemetry data for Windows 7:This approach gives you a new Details pane that is much easier to read, makes better use of widescreen formats, and preserves screen real estate for the main file/folder pane. The exact number of lines might vary a bit from PC to PC depending on what add-ins you have, but for the out-of-the-box configuration running full screen at 1366 X 768, you can actually fit two more lines on the screen than you could in Windows 7.

Figure 21 - Comparison of real estate used for data in Windows 7 Explorer versus "Windows 8" Explorer

And this comparison assumes you have the ribbon open. If you collapse the ribbon (double-click the tab, or click the Minimize arrow on the right side of the ribbon), you get even more vertical real estate with our new approach.

Full Story At Source

Speech Recognition Leaps Forward

Posted by sumeethevans on August 30 2011, 3:30 AM. Posted in Speech Server.

During Interspeech 2011, the 12th annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association being held in Florence, Italy, from Aug. 28 to 31, researchers from Microsoft Research will present work that dramatically improves the potential of real-time, speaker-independent, automatic speech recognition.

Dong Yu, researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond, and Frank Seide, senior researcher and research manager with Microsoft Research Asia, have been spearheading this work, and their teams have collaborated on what has developed into a research breakthrough in the use of artificial neural networks for large-vocabulary speech recognition.

The Holy Grail of Speech Recognition

Commercially available speech-recognition technology is behind applications such as voice-to-text software and automated phone services. Accuracy is paramount, and voice-to-text typically achieves this by having the user “train” the software during setup and by adapting more closely to the user’s speech patterns over time. Automated voice services that interact with multiple speakers do not allow for speaker training because they must be usable instantly by any user. To cope with the lower accuracy, they either handle only a small vocabulary or strongly restrict the words or patterns that users can say.

The ultimate goal of automatic speech recognition is to deliver out-of-the-box, speaker-independent speech-recognition services—a system that does not require user training to perform well for all users under all conditions.

Full Story At Source