Tag: Support

Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

Extended Security Updates for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack

SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be out of extended support within the next 12 months (detailed dates below). This means if you have these versions, you’ll need to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server or Windows Server or buy Extended Support soon to maintain support and receive security updates and fixes. Buying Extended Support is not cheap. Customers with active Software Assurance or subscription licenses can purchase Extended Security Updates annually for 75 percent of the full license cost of the latest version of SQL Server or Windows Server. A lot of customers should start migrating to newer versions of these products to avoid these extra costs.

Extended Support dates

  • Extended Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019.
  • Extended Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

However, in mid-2018 Microsoft announced a new option for SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support. Customers running 2008 or 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server in Azure virtual machines will get Extended Security Updates for free. This will give customers some extra time to migrate to newer versions of SQL Server and Windows Server. Or even better, to Azure PaaS and serverless computing like Azure Functions.

The great thing about this is that you can also combine this with your Azure Hybrid benefits, to use your SQL Server and Windows Server on Azure with your on-premise licenses.

Extended Security Updates on Azure Stack

If you are thinking to migrate to the cloud, this new option will bring down costs for you. However, not everyone is fully ready to move all their servers to the public cloud. You might still need or want to run some servers on-premise in your datacenter. This will leave you with buying Extended Support or what a lot of people don’t know; you can also run your SQL Server and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 on Azure Stack and get Extended Security Updates for free since it is Azure!

This is great, especially since Azure Stack also comes with great IaaS capabilities. And if you are thinking about using Azure in the mid-term, Azure Stack provides you with Azure capabilities, but still allows you to stay in your datacenter.



Microsoft Edge WebP Image Extensions

Windows 10 adds WebP support for Microsoft Edge

Today Microsoft released a new Windows 10 insider Preview build 17692. After updating to this build you will be able to automatically download the WebP Extension for Microsoft Edge. This means Microsoft Edge now supports the Google Image format called WebP. WebP is Google’s alternative smaller image format to that of JPEGs or PNGs.

This is still only present in the Windows 10 preview builds and it looks like it will be available in the next Windows 10 update later this year.

WebP – A new image format for the Web

WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.

WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.

Lossless WebP supports transparency (also known as alpha channel) at a cost of just 22% additional bytes. For cases when lossy RGB compression is acceptable, lossy WebP also supports transparency, typically providing 3× smaller file sizes compared to PNG.

WebP Support

WebP is natively supported in Google Chrome and the Opera browser, and by many other tools and software libraries. Developers have also added support to a variety of image editing tools.

WebP includes the lightweight encoding and decoding library libwebp and the command line tools cwebp and dwebp for converting images to and from the WebP format, as well as tools for viewing, muxing and animating WebP images. The full source code is available on the download page.

Source Google.



RemoteFX

GPU Requirements for RemoteFX on Windows Server 2012 R2

If your are planning a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) deployment with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V  and you want to use physical graphics power with RemoteFX for your VDI machines fore example for CAD applications, you might wonder which cards are recommended and supported. Back in November 2013 Derrick Isoka (Microsoft Program Manager) wrote a blog post about recommendations and here is a quick summary.

RemoteFX GPU Requirements

To make use of RemoteFX with GPU acceleration on Windows Server 2012 R2 you require a compatible graphic card.

Most likely, the servers hosting the RemoteFX workloads will be located in a datacenter and as such, we recommend using passively cooled, server class graphics cards. However, it’s also acceptable to use a workstation card for testing on small deployments depending on your needs.

However the minimum requirements for the graphics cards to be used with Hyper-V RemoteFX are:

  • Direct 11.0 or later
  • WDDM 1.2 driver or later

DirectX and WDDM

There is some other point to this, in Windows Server 2012 R2 provides support for DirectX 11.0, DirectCompute and C++ AMP. Most of the graphics cards do support OpenGL 4.0 and OpenCL 1.1 or later, however these APIs are currently unsupported by RemoteFX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Hardware and Driver Support

To find a graphics card also make sure you check the Windows Server Catalog.

RemoteFX Compatible GPUs

Microsoft did some tests and showed some of the results on the Remote Desktop Services blog.

RemoteFX Cards

  1. Best: These are server class cards, designed and certified for VDI workloads by hardware vendors like NVIDIA and AMD. They target the best application performance, experience, and virtual machine densities. Some of the cards are particularly recommended for designer and engineering workloads (such as Autodesk Inventor or AutoCad).
  2. Better: These are workstation class cards that provide acceptable performance and densities. They are especially capable cards for knowledge worker workloads (such as Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer).
  3. Good: These are lower-end cards that provide acceptable densities knowledge worker workloads.

Source: Microsoft

Performance and Scale

This is important, Microsoft also points out that GPU speed and memory, the performance and scale of your VDI deployment also depends on additional factors such as CPU, Storage and Network performance.

 



System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager support for VMware vSphere ESX Hosts

System Center Logo

As System Center 2012 SP1 was released, it officially supported VMware vSphere 4.1 and 5.1, there was no support for vSphere 5.0 in SCVMM 2012 SP1. Now since a lot of customer have requested this feature, Microsoft added VMware vSphere 5.0 to the supported list of vSphere versions. For those who didn’t know that, to manage VMware ESX Hosts you need a version of vCenter. Some months ago I made a blog post about how you can add your VMware infrastructure to Virtual Machine Manager.

Virtual Machine Manager now supports the following versions of VMware vSphere:

vCenter Server:

For System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager:

  • VMware vCenter Server 4.1

For VMM in System Center 2012 SP1:

  • VMware vCenter Server 4.1
  • VMware vCenter Server 5.0
  • VMware vCenter Server 5.1

Virtual machine hosts and host clusters that run any of the following versions of VMware:

For System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager:

  • ESXi 4.1
  • ESX 4.1
  • ESXi 3.5
  • ESX 3.5

For VMM in System Center 2012 SP1:

  • ESXi 5.0
  • ESXi 5.1
  • ESXi 4.1
  • ESX 4.1

Get more information here: System Requirements: VMware ESX Hosts and here: System Requirements for System Center 2012 SP1.

 



Cheatsheet: How to install HP Support Pack on a Server Core installation #3

This is a HowTo step-by-step guide to install the HP Support Pack on a Windows Server 2008 R2 Core installation or Hyper-v Core installation.

  1. Download the latest HP ProLiant Support Pack for Windows Server 2008 R2
  2. Eable SNMP on Windows Server 2008 R2 Core by typing start /w ocsetup SNMP-SC
  3. Extract the HP ProLiant Support Pack on a Management Machine to C:\Supportpack
    Extract HP ProLiant Support Pack
  4. Connect to the Remote Windows Server Core for example \\hyperv01\c$
    Connect to Core Server
  5. Create the folder C:\hp on the Remote Core Server
  6. Copy the files from C:\supportpack to \\hyperv01\c$\hp
    Copy HP ProLiant Support Pack
  7. On the Core Server execute C:\hp\hpsum.exe
    execute hpsum.exe
  8. Install the HP Supportpack as usual
    HP Smart Update ManagerHP Smart Update ManagerHP Smart Update ManagerHP Smart Update Manager
  9. Reboot the Server