Category: Software

Windows 10 Product Familiy

Windows 10, Windows Server and System Center Technical Preview

Yesterday Microsoft announced the new name and some of the features of the next version of Windows, called Windows 10. Windows 10 will bring a lot of new features for enterprises and also consumers. It will make switching between touch and non-touch inputs a lot easier and will make you a lot more productive. Microsoft brings Windows to a whole range of devices and is talking about releasing one product family, one platform and one store for the next version of Windows. This doesn’t mean to have one single UI but you will find the same core everywhere.

Windows 10 will bring a lot of new features such as:

Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

  • Start menu: The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.
  • Everything runs in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.
  • Snap enhancements: You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
  • New task view button: There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.
  • Multiple desktops: Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.
  • Find files faster: File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.

Check out the Introducing Windows 10 – the best Windows yet

Today Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10 Technical Preview and also the Technical Preview for System Center and Windows Server.

Some of the cloud innovation features Microsoft will release with the Technical Preview of System Center and Windows Server::

  • Infrastructure upgrades: Rolling upgrades for Hyper-V clusters to the next version of Windows Server without downtime for your applications and workloads. This includes support for mixed versions as you transition your infrastructure.
  • Networking:  New components for our software-defined networking stack that enable greater flexibility and control, including a network controller role to manage virtual and physical networks.
  • Storage: New synchronous storage replication that enhances availability for key applications and workloads plus storage Quality of Service to deliver minimum and maximum IOPS in environments with workloads with diverse storage requirements.
  • Remote Desktop: Enhanced application compatibility with OpenGL and OpenCL support.
  • Identity and Access Management: New scenarios to reduce the risk profile of administrators with elevated rights, including time-based access with fine-grained privileges, and new application publishing capabilities.

You can download the latest version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview on the Windows Preview Site

And you can get the Technical Preview for System Center and Windows Server from MSDN or test it directly in Microsoft Azure.



VeeamON

VeeamON 2014 – Data Center Availability Event

If you are working in the Virtualization space you should definitely know the company called Veeam. Veeam offers a great set of products for Datacenter availability such as Backup and Replication software as well as Monitoring solutions for Hyper-V or System Center. Now Veeam has created an event called VeeamON 2014, 3 days of 30+ interactive breakout sessions, live demos and deep dives. Hear from Veeam executives, industry leaders and Veeam customers. If you’re looking for education, networking and fun, VeeamON 2014 is an event you will not want to miss!

VeeamON 2014 will take place at the ultra-modern Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 6 – 8, 2014.

Top Reasons to Attend

  • Discover a new level of Availability for your Modern Data Center
  • Save money on VMCE training and make your boss happy!
  • Connect with industry leaders
  •  Show off your skills and win $10K
  • LIGHT Nightclub: Join the party! (I really recommend Veeam Parties 😉

Get more information on the VeeamON 2014 homepage.

I already did some work with Veeam on different projects, online webinars or events such as System Center Universe and so for me the VeeamON 2014 event is a must. It will be great to meet a lot of people and leaders from the Virtualization Industry.



Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Veeam just released the Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V. The Task Manager for Hyper-V is a lightweight tool which doesn’t need to be installed you can just run it from a USB stick for example. The Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V visualizes real-time performance data from your Hyper-V host and each child VM running on that host. You will be able to view what resources the parent partition is using and at the same time see what compute performance your virtual machines are using. This will make your life much easier if you need to see what resources are consumed on the Hyper-V host.

You can get more information about the Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V on Mike Resslers (Microsoft MVP and Product Strategy Specialist for Veeam) blog post: Announcing: Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

And you can download it directly from the Veeam Website for free: Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V



Microsoft Azure Update at Build 2014

At the Build Conference 2014 Microsoft already announced a lot of new stuff for the whole Microsoft or IT ecosystem. There is absolutely no time to cover all the changes and announcements Microsoft has made in the past 2 days. So I will just focus on the things I care about.

  • Prior to the Build Conference Microsoft announced that Windows Azure will be renamed to Microsoft Azure. This will show how Microsoft is not only building on top of the Windows platform, they also have opened up for other platforms an solutions a long time ago. One example for that maybe was the announcement of supporting Oracle Software in Microsoft Azure around a year ago.
  • Mark Russinovich announced some great new changes to Microsoft Azure IaaS. You can now capture and deploy images, you can Puppet and Chef as well as PowerShell DSC support, to configure you server environment. An this is great for developers, some of the features will show up directly in Visual Studio. Microsoft also did some work on the Networking site which was really important, for example you can now change the subnet for Virtual Machines.
    Microsoft Azure Announcements
  • Microsoft also launched a lot of new preview features like Azure Cache and a lot more. What I love the most is the new Microsoft Azure feature called Azure Automation. Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment, and maintenance of resources in your Azure environment using a highly-available workflow execution engine. Orchestrate time-consuming, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks against Azure and third party systems to decrease time to value for your cloud operations. This is basically Service Management Automation (SMA), which was released with System Center 2012 R2 as a on premise version, now running up in Microsoft Azure. For those how haven’t heard about SMA, SMA is a new automation engine and Runbooks in Service Management Automation and Microsoft Azure Automation are Windows PowerShell workflows.
    Microsoft Azure Automation
  • Microsoft also release a new preview of the Microsoft Azure portal. Since Microsoft released a huge number of new features in Azure, the “old” management portal didn’t really fit the requirements anymore. The new Azure management portal helps you to be much more organized and is using a lot of new concept like “blades” to help you navigate through your Azure environment. The new dashboard also gives you a quick overview about the Microsoft Azure datacenters and there service status, and the new touch friendly dashboard also allows you to customize it for your need. You can check it out on portal.azure.com
    New Microsoft Azure Portal
  • I am not a developer but I was really impressed what Microsoft did for developers. They are just generating a huge numbers of new opportunities with their new platforms not only in Microsoft Azure using IaaS, mobile Services or PaaS, Microsoft also announced a new concept of Universal Apps which allows developers to write apps which run on Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One. Some days ago Microsoft also showed the new Kinect v2 hardware which I hope developers will use to write some really cool stuff. If we have a lot back at Microsoft Azure, what I really liked about the new Portal is the  integration of Team Foundation Server or “team projects”.
    Microsoft Azure Team Projects

This are just a few of the cool new things Microsoft announced at Build 2014, there is a lot more which is definitely worth to talk about.



Install Sysinternals from PowerShell

More about PowerShell OneGet

As already posted and as you can see on my blog, I really like the new feature called OneGet. With the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview, Microsoft released a new PowerShell module which is called OneGet.

OneGet is a new way to discover and install software packages from around the web. The way how this works is that you can connect to repositories around the web or you can just add new repositories by your self for example for internal use. In the preview you have the Chocolatey repository connected. I am pretty sure Microsoft will also add some own repositories to the list, so you can install Microsoft software and packages from a trusted source.

You can get all the different repositories with the Get-PackageSource cmdlet.

Get-PackageSource

You can than list all the packages available for you by using Find-Package, or you could use it to find a specific package.

Find_package

If you have found the right package you can also see all the versions available by using the Find-Package <Package> -AllVersions cmdlet.

Find Package Versions

You can now install the version you need or you can just use the Install-Package cmdlet to install the latest available version.

OneGet PowerShell

After you have installed packages you can of course list them by using the Get-Package cmdlet or uninstall a package by using Uninstall-Package.

But this is not everything, another great thing about OneGet is that it can be integrated in PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC). So think about it for a moment, you can now create simple server configurations with DSC and you don’t have to think about software repositories at all, OneGet does handle this for you.

By the way, Garrett Serack (Senior Open Source Software Developer at Microsoft) also pointed out to me that OneGet also has a place on the Microsoft Open Source Software site CodePlex.

 

 



Install Sysinternals from PowerShell

Install Sysinternals from PowerShell via OneGet

Microsoft just announced the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview. The Windows Management Framework V5 preview adds some cool new feature called OneGet.

OneGet is a new way to discover and install software packages from around the web. With OneGet, you can:
  • Manage a list of software repositories in which packages can be searched, acquired, and installed
  • Search and filter your repositories to find the packages you need
  • Seamlessly install and uninstall packages from one or more repositories with a single PowerShell command

As I did some tests this is perfect to install new software packages very easily. So I started with one of my favorite tools called Sysinternals Suite.

Install Sysinternals from PowerShell

First I have check if there was a Sys internals Package available by using:

 
Find-Package Sysinternals

This checks online from different sources if there is a package available. After that I installed the package by using:

 
Find-Package Sysinternals | Install-Package

So this is really easy and guess what, it does not just work for Microsoft Software, there is a lot more of third party Software which can be installed with OneGet. So make sure you checkout the Windows Management Framework 5.0 Preview to get the new OneGet cmdlets.

 



Surface Pro and Nokia Lumia 1020

4 months working and traveling with the Surface Pro 2 and the Nokia Lumia 1020

In October 2013 I got my Surface Pro 2 which replaced my Surface Pro as my daily work device. Some weeks before I also got a Nokia Lumia 1020. In November I had the chance to travel a lot and I want to share some of my impression about this combo. First of all I love the devices from a design and quality view. Both, the Lumia 1020 and the Surface Pro 2 are great devices with a high build quality.

First, the Surface Pro 2 is a perfect machine if you are doing a lot of traveling. I use the Surface Pro 2 as my daily machine for work, university or personal stuff. In November I had the chance to travel a lot and I really enjoy having a really small and light device with me instead of caring a heavy notebook, ultrabook or even an additional tablet. The form factor and the extended battery life makes the Surface Pro 2 is like one device to rule them all. For example I have used the Surface Pro as tablet during long flights to watch movies and videos or at home in front of the TV.

Surface Pro 2

I also used it as notebook replacement for work or at university to take notes. I really love the stylus to draw and highlight things in the slides I printed to OneNote.

Microsoft Surface Pro

I also used my Surface Pro 2 to deliver my presentations and trainings. The stylus and the touchscreen is perfect especially during delivering trainings or in meetings to replace the whiteboard.

Surface Presentation

The second thing I love it the Nokia Lumia 1020. I don’t really own or carry a separate camera, so I use my phone to take pictures. During the presentations I did in Rome, Paris and Berlin I took a lot of pictures and honestly I haven’t owned a better compact camera yet. The quality of the pictures are just amazing.

This are some dedicated features to the devices itself, but what I really love is how they work together using Windows, Windows Phone and Microsoft Online services like SkyDrive (OneDrive). For example I planned and organized all my trips and presentations on my Surface or PC at home and saved everything into an OneNote notebook. The great thing about this is that all this information gets sync across my devices. So for example the e-ticket for my flight shows up on my phone. And even I lose my phone I can still access everything on my Surface or on another PC over the web, which makes it impossible to lose something.

I already mentioned that I took a lot of pictures with my phone. Now the worst thing which could happen, would be losing my phone with all my picture on it. With the Windows Phone SkyDrive integration, pictures get synced over the internet to my SkyDrive and across all of my devices. The same thing is true for my documents and presentation, I never have to think about coping a file from my PC at home to my Surface or something like that. All my files get synced automatically via SkyDrive. This gives me more time to work on my presentations and enjoy the places I can stay.

I really love the devices and I would really hate it if I had to give up on one of them. I think it would make me less productive and of course I would have to carry more stuff like an extra camera, phone, tablet and a notebook. And don’t for get to carry all the power adapters for all those devices. This is another small but great feature of the Surface Pro, the power adapter does not only charge the Surface it also has a USB port, with which you can charge your phone at the same time. I always thinking what could be better and besides lighter and slimmer devices and more battery life (which is always better, even the Surface Pro 2 runs for me mostly more than hours), the only thing I can think of is that I would love to have a Surface Pro with a bigger screen. The screen right now is great, but if you are working with a device for some hours you really start to like bigger screen.