Lipiec, 2013

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Windows 8.1 enhancements for business

poniedziałek, Lipiec 29th, 2013

Will new Windows release introduce substantial changes that may convince corporate IT to adpot it earlier? I remember my colleague desperately trying to get an executive’s brand new iPad working with office wifi. The authentication to the network was domain based. This is not so new a problem but I guess it will steadily grow as BYOD becomes more and more popular. Another example: how many of use have a (personal) mobile phone next to you computer? Everyone? And how many of you can use it to access corporate resources (like check this Excel sheet while you’re away from keyboard). Nobody? With Windows 8.1 new feature called Workplace Join IT administrators will be able to precisly which resources can be accessed from a personal device without giving too much permissions. It is quite neatly called „a middle ground between all or nothing access”.

Workspace Join works hand in hand, and is kinda extended by a feature called Work Folders. It is similar to old offline files synchronization but you don’t need a device in a domain or domain access. Files will be synchronized automatically and can be accessed from different devices. Corporate Dropbox by Microsoft?

One trick to overcome worries over BYOD security is an introduction of Remote Data Removal possible if a device is lost or stolen. 3rd party tools already exist but an embedded feature will probably convince IT departments to use it more. I will galdly welcome another improvement – support for Miracast. And, last but not least, option to boot directly to Desktop as well as „Improvements have been made to better support users who prefer a mouse and keyboard experience to access applications.” – namely the start menu is back.

More Windows 8.1 enhancemets can be found here. Windows 8.1 preview can be downloaded here.

MCSE: Server Infrastructure

piątek, Lipiec 26th, 2013

I have finally taken time to pass 70-413 and 70-414 and I obtained MCSE: Server Infrastructure for Windows Server 2012. The exam 70-414 was really tricky so be sure to prepare well before taking it.

Too bad Exam Ref 70-414 book by Microsoft Press has been again posponed, this time for October 2013. Some time ago it was September, even earlier April, etc. Moreover, say good bye to old-style classic Training Kits from Microsoft Press. Now to learn new skills you  can use two types of paper resources: Exam Refs and Training Guide. The difference is, as explained on MS blog: „Exam Refs are designed to give experienced professionals an exam objective-by-exam objective tour of the certification exam.” while „The new Training Guide series is a wonderful orientation to the job role for a less prepared candidate.” Which is good – if you’re more familiar with the subject you can buy a shorter (and cheaper) Exam Ref and do your research with Technet. Which I did for MCSE as Exam Ref is rather a condensed compendium of topic you need to learn to take (and pass) the exam.

 

ESXi customized images

czwartek, Lipiec 25th, 2013

Here’s a collection of location where you can find ESXi 4.x and ESXi 5.x customized by vendors, loaded with drivers for certain hardware types.

The first place is a „Custom ISOs” tab on Download VMware vSphere site and available vendors are Cisco, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and HP. Not every vendor for every version but for ESXi 5.x you will probably find what you need.

Contrary to what is said here, I do not see ISOs for DELL servers on VMware site. Following the instructions from the site mentioned above, we can pretty easily find custom ISOs by DELL under Enterprise Solutions on Drivers & Downloads site for each system.

As for IBM ISOs on VMware site, I can find only ESXi 4.0 U1 so if you want more you need to go to this IBM site and select a proper ESXi version (all are included).

Upgrade your Citrix certification to XenDesktop7

poniedziałek, Lipiec 22nd, 2013

With its new certification program Citrix introduces three levels of apprenticeship: Citrix Certified Associate / Professional / Expert – Apps and Desktops. Three new exams, now in beta, are given numbers 1Y1-200, 1Y1-300 and 1Y1-400. The new system simplifies the old CCA/CCAA/CCEE/CCIA certification layout.

There is also a simple upgrade path for those who already have got their Citrix certifications:

 

 

 

 

 

More information on the new certs here.

vSpere components’ build numbers and the common numbers

czwartek, Lipiec 11th, 2013

Here’s a the list I use quite often to „translate” vSphere components’ build numbers such as vCenter 755629 to meaningful names and numbers (vCenter 5.1.0 U1a in this case).

Some other products such as VMware View are covered in that table too.