Archive for the ‘Azure’ Category

Wiki Wiki get your Tech on with the Technet Wiki Beta!

June 9th, 2010

I feel like Alex Russo in that episode of “Wizards of Waverly place” talking about the lame DJ who made that song “wiki-wiki-pedia!” but no, this is not only NOT LAME, it’s complete rock star, and champion some might say! (I might say!)

Wiki-Wiki-Technet Wiki Beta! 

So, what’s the big deal about the TechNet Wiki? I mean, we have other Wiki’s out there right? so obviously it must be the same! (it is not!)

Cool Features in the TechNet Wiki Beta!

  • The ability to create content that you feel really need to exist when it doesn’t
  • The ability to SEARCH for CONTENT (indexed in your favorite search engine without login… so no need to login/etc) and thus determine whether you need to create new content
  • Integration with your LiveID so there’s no need to manage and maintain yet ANOTHER acct in order to do things – That’s something you can write home about!
  • Forums! Forums! Forums! (Yea, that feature has existed… but it’s EASY to get to using this vehicle!)

And I’m sure there are other reasons to use it, but if there is one thing I can encourage you to do now, instead of waiting for it… Just go Check it out!

Do it! (Do It! :))   It may be something helpful which will change your life, and if not.. at least you can feel well knowing that Microsoft has adopted a Wiki architecture to enable you (the community) to express and move forward with doing things! :)

So, get out there and wiki-wiki your wiki on!

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Posted in .NET, ASP, Azure, Education, Microsoft, TechEd | Comments (1)

Real World Azure coming to a city near you (US)

August 9th, 2009

TechNet Events Presents: Real World Azure with Microsoft IT (Thanks to Keith Combs for posting this, and my full on hijack of it! I’ll try to visit DG or Chicago if I can!;)

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TechNet & MSDN Events Present: Real World Azure with Microsoft IT

Come spend a day with us to explore Windows Azure, Microsoft’s platform for building and deploying cloud based applications from a real world point of view!  During this event, we’ll review critical lessons Microsoft IT has learned migrating internal line-of-business applications to Windows Azure.

What is Windows Azure™? When should I use it? How does it apply to my job?  Whether you’re an IT Professional, Developer or Architect, we’ll address your top of mind questions about cloud computing.

TechNet Presents – for the IT Professional from 8:30am to Noon

  • Azure architecture from the IT professional’s point of view
  • Why an IT operations team would want to pursue Azure as an extension to the data center
  • Configuration, deployment and scaling Azure-based application
  • The Azure roles (web, web service and worker)
  • Azure storage options
  • Azure security and identity options
  • How Azure-based applications can be integrated with on-premise applications
  • How operations teams can manage and monitor Azure-based applications

Dates and Locations Registration Link

August 18, 2009 Columbus, OH
August 19, 2009 Mason, OH
August 19, 2009 Downers Grove, IL
August 20, 2009 Indianapolis, IN
August 20, 2009 Dallas, TX
September 16, 2009 Grand Rapids, MI
September 17, 2009 Southfield, MI
September 17, 2009 Overland Park, KS
September 17, 2009 Houston, TX
September 22, 2009 Bloomington, MN
September 22, 2009 Cleveland, OH
September 24, 2009 Waukesha, WI
September 24, 2009 Austin, TX
September 29, 2009 St. Louis, MO
September 29, 2009 Nashville, TN
September 30, 2009 Knoxville, TN
October 1, 2009 Chicago, IL

And don’t forget, the second half of the day at each location is developer focused.  Here’s the general description of the MSDN sessions in the afternoon.

MSDN Presents – for the Developer & Architect from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

In this session, we will discuss:

  • Cloud computing architectures in general and the Azure architecture in particular
  • Several aspects of Azure from the developer’s and architect’s perspective
  • Azure roles (web, web service and worker)
  • Azure storage options
  • Azure security and identity options
  • How Azure-based applications can be integrated with on-premise applications
  • Configuration, deployment and scaling Azure-based applications
  • How development teams can optimize their applications for better management and monitoring

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Posted in .NET, Azure, Cloud, Microsoft | Comments (0)

RTM-Weekend! Win7, 2008 R2, Boot from VHD and more!

August 2nd, 2009

Yay! It’s RTM Weekend! Alright, not for everyone, because as we all are patiently waiting for August 6th as RTM hits TechNet and MSDN, but I needed to get the jump on things because I think I’m busy next weekend!

So, what does RTM weekend entail for me?  Testing was the first ground.   Testing installations on my hardware, and getting a feel for how I’ll architect my deployment model for Win7 and 2008R2!

First things first – Create bootable VHD Images to run my OS out of.    Yes, I planned to deploy my systems via Boot from VHD, so I needed to create bootable images! And for this little decision, I opted to take advantage of WIM2VHD! So, what exactly is WIM2VHD?  Well, that’s pretty simple to explain!

The Windows(R) Image to Virtual Hard Disk (WIM2VHD) command-line tool allows you to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source. VHDs created by WIM2VHD will boot directly to the Out Of Box Experience, ready for your first-use customizations. You can also automate the OOBE by supplying your own unattend.xml file, making the possibilities limitless.
Fresh squeezed, organically grown, free-range VHDs – just like Mom used to make – that work with Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Windows 7’s new Native VHD-Boot functionality!

All you need in order to be successful with WIM2VHD is:

  • A computer running one of the following Windows operating systems:
    • Windows 7 Beta or RC (or RTM)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta or RC (or RTM)
    • Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V RTM enabled (x64 only)
  • The Windows 7 RC Automated Installation Kit (AIK) or Windows OEM Pre-Installation Kit (OPK) installed.
  • A Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installation source, or another Windows image captured to a .WIM file.

Then, simply execute a command like I did below and you’re moving along!

Create a bootable VHD of Windows 7 Ultimate
cscript WIM2VHD.WSF /wim:D:\sources\install.wim /sku:ultimate /VHD:C:\vhd\win7ult.vhd

Create a bootable VHD of Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
cscript WIM2VHD.WSF /wim:D:\sources\install.wim /sku:serverenterprise /VHD:C:\vhd\R2Ent.vhd

This frankly takes care of most of the work on your  behalf! (Sure did for me!)

FYI: The image defaults to 40gb, so if you want to change that, use this flag /size:<vhdSizeInMb>

After this point all you need to do is bcdedit and make the system bootable and you’re set!

bcdedit /copy {current} /d “New VHD Description”
    bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Windows 7 Ultimate”
bcdedit /set <guid> device vhd=[driveletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    bcdedit /set {GUID} device vhd=[c:]\vhd\win7ult.vhd
bcdedit /set <guid> osdevice vhd=[driverletter:]\<directory>\<vhd filename>
    bcdedit /set {GUID} osdevice vhd=[c:]\vhd\win7ult.vhd
bcdedit /set <guid> detecthal on
    bcdedit /set {GUID} detecthal on

And you can perform those same exact steps again for your 2008 R2 VHD as well.   It’s not only pretty straight forward, but it’s so simple anyone can do it! After performing those steps I was up and running on a system which had no data, nothing, notta!

Now, to apply some context and depth to how I chose to use my deployment model.  I’m running on my personal Lenovo T61p, which I have a Kingston 128GB SSD disk inside of.   Because I wanted to have ‘some’ kind of Native OS in order to help work on anything should something go wrong, I opted for a 2008 Server R2 Enterprise (Core) installation.  That gives me a minimal foot print, yet an OS I can feel comfortable and confident in being able to work on and with!  

What this enables is my NOS which runs on the “C:” drive, and has a VHD directory where my images live.  However, when I’m booted into either of my BootFromVHD OS’s on here, the native SSD becomes the “D:” drive whereby I can share files between the two systems!   However, if you forget to copy something to the shared volume and need to access it, feel free to use the mount VHD feature in the Disk Management tool (or Storage in 2008)

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I personally prefer to mount it read-only because… I don’t want to take any risks, especially when it comes to “Anti-Virus” or other things. (Unless that is my specific intention)

Now that you have a working and operational system you’re good to go! And if you stick with a NativeOS for Maintenance reasons, you can use it to take hard backups of your VHD’s for migration to other hardware or general recovery to other points in time! (note: You can backup the un-used OS from your active OS if you’d like as well :))

So, hope you have a good RTM weekend coming up, I look forward to being able to generate and use my license keys come August 6th!

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Posted in Azure, Baltimization, Blog, Hyper-V, Microsoft, SSD, Virtualization, Windows 7, Windows Server | Comments (3)

Project Natal is hiring! Gaming in your hands!

July 15th, 2009

Yea that’s right! Project Natal is hiring! (Sadly, when I first planned on publishing this to when I am doing it now, the number of positions has dwindled, meaning they were filled ;))

But I know what a lot of you are saying.. Who is Project Natal?!

Why, it’s only the coolest thing to hit interactive gaming… since, interactive gaming?!

But seriously! It takes all the effort things like the Wii and dance pads have done, and stepped it up a serious level.  Check out this Video for further insight into why you want to go rock it out with Project Natal!

Project Natal takes gaming to a new level, leaving the remote on the table and your experience in your hands!

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Posted in Azure, Baltimization, Blog, Geek, Microsoft, Technology | Comments (0)

Write an App, Win $7500, Get your head in the clouds?

May 21st, 2009

That’s right! If I ran into you (Hey Developers!) at TechEd I likely harassed you about this contest running from new CloudApp() !

While I am in no way affiliated with newCloudApp() I for one like to see people use their talents to win cold hard cash! Oh, and have some fun in the process!    So what is the plan?

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What Is It?

new CloudApp() is a US-based developer challenge for .NET & PHP developers creating cloud applications or services (hereafter “application”) on the Azure™ Services Platform. Have your application judged by industry leadersOm Malik and Michael Cote and share your cloud coding skills with other developers. Grand Prize Winners will be announced at Structure 09 and featured on azure.com.

Register and submit your application now!

When?

  • April 30:  Contest Open
  • June 18:Submission deadline
  • June 19:Community voting starts
  • June 25:.NET & PHP category winners announced @ Structure 09
  • June 29:Community voting ends
  • June 30:Community winner announced

What Could I Win?*

Winning submissions will:

  • Be featured on www.azure.com as well as at major Microsoft events
  • Be featured in a video interview on Channel 9
  • Be announced at Structure 09
  • Receive cash ($):
    • NET App Category winner: $5,000 VISA gift card
    • PHP App Category winner: $5,000 VISA gift card
    • Community winner: $2,500 VISA gift card

So, seriously, step up! If you’ve never written an app for the Cloud before, now is the time when there is money on the table! MONEY ON THE TABLE? WHERE, SIGNZ ME UPS! err… Damn lolcatz!    But seriously.. if this is your bag, as it were, no better time than the present for peer acceptance and pocketbook love!   Check it out, and doooo it! :)

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Posted in .NET, ASP, Azure, Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Microsoft | Comments (0)

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