Microsoft SQL 2008 Beta Exams (Free Promotion Codes) – for SQL2008 Implementation/Maint, and SQL2008 BI Dev/Maint

July 8th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Fairly straight to the point – SQL 2008 Beta exams until July 31st!
These beta exams are for 71-432 (70-432) and 71-448 (70-448)

TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance

TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

71-432 – Promotion code: 943F6
71-448 – Promotion Code: B6543

Beta available until July 31st

Thanks GerryO!

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Posted in Baltimization, Certification, Informational, Microsoft, SQL | Comments (95)

NetApp supports Server 2008 and Hyper-V instances!

June 13th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)


So, as seen here NetApp Expands Storage and Data Management Solutions Supporting Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Physical and Virtual Environments this can mean a lot for environments which want high resiliency, modern systems (Server 2008, Hyper-V) and helping to further consolidate Server sprawl as well as Storage sprawl.

But what does this mean for you or I?

Oh, this is where the fun gets started!

It’s one thing to have supported SnapManager products on the latest Apps:

  • Windows Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Exchange Server 2007

But to also be able to support them instanced within Hyper-V, I have to add ‘coolerific’ to the equation.    What this means is that even I in my lab/sandbox/testbed/Laptop ;) will be able to actually simulate any of these environments as well!

My testbed happens to be a Lenovo T61P, 4gb of ram, running Server 2008 (Enterprise), Hyper-V enabled, Also running the NetApp Data ONTAP Simulator for local-side simulated (yet real) storage!

I’ll be able to run rig with all scenarios of apps, dependencies and then replicated it back to my actual real filers, along with the older apps (while not mentioned, but not less important) such as MOSS, Exchange 2003, SQL 2005, and beyond!

Yea, I think it’s pretty damn cool that the support is there, and gives me something even *I* can take advantage of, let alone large scale enterprises!

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Posted in Baltimization, Exchange, Hyper-V, Microsoft, SQL, Storage, Windows Server | Comments (5)

MCTS: Hyper-V (70-652) [71-652] Study Guide

June 11th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

*Update – Be sure to check out the free Training Courses for 70-652! *

5 Free Virtualization Training Courses for the Holidays! (HyperV)


How much does Free Microsoft Learning Cost? (Hint: Free!)

Now continue to this old post :)

You’re signed up, you’re in the beta! with 12 days left to take the test!
You get out there, study study study… wait, what am I supposed to study?

Well, first of all you decide to check out that Microsoft E-Learning I mentioned before here:

And let me tell you, this E-learning is very useful, if you’ve never touched ESX, XenServer, or Hyper-V.
If you’ve played with Hyper-V at all, and read the help file you will find it isn’t ALL that useful.
I’m not saying don’t give it a whirl, give it a try… But do NOT expect that to be your keys to the kingdom. You’ll be lucky if it can be used as a dowsing rod to find the moat!
(Wait, do castles even have keys?!)

Okay, so what do I do now?

Here is the first and most important thing you should do.
Read this: Test Information and Support

If ever there was a time in your life to read something like this, read it, look at it, read it again.
Go line by line, if there is something you do not understand (WTF? winrm?!) Learn about it, read about it, study it. Because that little bit of guidance there is one of the first things you ought to do, as you’ll be on a tough road without it.

Now it is pertinent that you get face time, hardcore time spent playing with the following:

  • Hyper-V: Load it up, the console up and running, virtualize some machines.
  • Hyper-v on Core: Atleast know how to do it!
  • SCVMM: If you’ve never touched this, looked at it, give up now. Seriously, give up now!
  • SCOM: This isn’t as important, but atleast be familiar with how SCOM plays with Virtualization
  • MAPS: No, not that song from Rockband, The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solutions
  • 2008 Clusters: Seriously, Seriously Francine, these Clusters, Seriously. Yes, know the clusters!
  • Networking: Know the difference between the different networking types and when they apply.
  • Disks: Know inside and out all of the details of the different type of disk options.
  • Snapshots: Snapshots are your friend, and your enemy if you think you know them and don’t!
  • CPU Requirements: This cannot be stressed enough. This ISN’T VMware – It’s more like Xen.

    Check out Blogs and other things ofcourse.
    Definitely DO check out the SCVMM Videos (Thanks to Jeff Webb for mentioning the link)

    If by trial, jury and virtue – You wholly understand each of these concepts, ideas and have a grasp of Virtualization, you should be fine. Just by installing Hyper-V, you’ll be set for 25% of the questions. The same can be said of the installation of SCVMM as well.

    I’m not at liberty to share explicit details of the exam, which is why I reference back to the ‘study notes’, as these were more or less on the ball – Read each line if you don’t understand it, plan to do poorly on that question(s)!

    Good Luck!

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    Do you have what it takes to be a Master?

    June 10th, 2008
    by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

    That’s right! New Mastery in the form of a “Master” Cert.
    It is rumoured to be above the current MCITP, and equally above the old-school MCSE, yet below (and a pre-requisite) of the MCA (Architect).

    It will be offered in 3 varieties.

  • Exchange Server 2007
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008
  • It is covered at an EXTREMELY high-level here at Microsoft Certified Master Program
    And also is briefly mentioned here on Trika’s Blog

    There is a little bit of depth to be found here:

    However, outside of these high-level ideas of it, and its very narrow focus on a set of core technologies (Hey, where is my MOSS Mastery?!)

    It appears to be just another Certification to join the pile – definitely a precursor to the MCA with these requirements:

    To achieve Master certification, candidates must fulfill the following training requirements:

  • Attendance of required sessions
  • Successful completion of all in-class (written and lab) exams
  • Successful completion of qualification lab exam
  • And if history has shown us anything, when you have ‘class attendance requirements’ that usually translates into “This is going to cost you some serious $$$” Not only from ‘attendance’ but also from your inability to be producing revenue or working as you’re going to classes.

    Perhaps this is trying to go the way of the “Masters” programs available within the ‘Educational’ community, but today you can phone that in, and the technology and extreme depth this is looking to promote is not something earned in the classroom – It’s earned in the trenches.

    Who knows how this will be implemented, we’ll certainly find out as time moves on – Adoption is key though – Look at the CCIE Program for Cisco…

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    Posted in Exchange, Informational, Microsoft, SQL, Windows Server | Comments (2)

    Walking up hill, going barefoot (kinda) and new shoes

    June 10th, 2008
    by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

    Shoes are in! Technology is out?! Wait, lets ‘smoosh’ that a bit. Technology is in shoes?!!

    This weekend, with a visit to Hanig’s, I picked up some shoes with inherent technology.

    The first of these shoes, is the Earth Shoe “Lazer-K”

    While on the surface it looks like a regular shoe, it has some interesting technology components.
    The primary of which is the ‘negative heel technology’ forcing you into a 3.7degree angle at all times.

    Why is the angle 3.7 degrees?

    Designed by a Danish yoga master, the 3.7 degrees of Kalso® Negative Heel Technology™ simulates the angle of one’s feet during the Tadasana pose performed in yoga. At this angle, one’s toes are positioned higher than one’s heels, directing primary cushioning to the most weight-bearing part of the foot – the heel pad. This angle further shifts one’s body weight back over the heels, moving you into a more natural, empowered position. This becomes the proper body position to trigger an array of whole-body benefits. It’s a rather small change that makes a sizable difference.

    So, what exactly does this mean for the average person? If you don’t get a regular work out, but you do walk from place to place, this will force you into a better posture, give you’re lower back a bit of a workout and your calves. … And whatever else the picture says, but from my perspective… my calves hurt like I’ve been working them out! So I win all around.

    Oh, did I mention these are vegan shoes? whoa! :)

    They’re extremely comfortable, very easy to work with, slip on and off – and they do get you into a better posture which I’m sure most of us (especially in technology) suffer from.

    Once you’re feeling good walking up hills, now it’s time to get out into the wild and run free with our barefoot self!

    I am now the proud owner of the Sprint and the KSO!

    These “shoes” created and sold by Vibram are the “Vibram FiveFingers” line, which are ideal for getting extremely close to being barefoot without your fears of glass, gravel, feces and other things getting in the way.

    The first of these two shoes, the Sprint:

    This is a very comfortable shoe, with amazing grip and great ground sensitivity. After putting this on, I had the freedom to run around as I would while barefoot but not having the same restrictions my currently sensitive feet have (stepping on gravel not a problem, woodchips didn’t phase me, etc) and at the same time I could chase after my son in a jungle gym/park with such speed and grace that he didn’t like my shoes giving me that ability! Once I hit the bars, I could climb up with such traction and ability I wasn’t even phased by the activity!

    These shoes are particularly cool as they’re open-top and have an adjustable heel section so I can fit it as needed whether I’m out running or chasing my son or dogs!

    However, taking this a step further is my other cool shoe the KSO:

    This shoe is called the “KSO” or “Keep Stuff Out” for a very obvious reason. It shares all of the benefits of the previous shoe but happens to give you a more ‘shoe like’ look and feel in that it does keep things out. Yet at the same time it is not taking away from your grip, traction and feet upon the surfaces you step upon. First night we got these, I went out for a run. I didn’t run very far or very long, but I did run very fast and very free, and that was one of the first signs of good things to come.

    Personally I enjoy going around barefoot, it’s freeing, liberating, requires less shoes, fairly easy to be done; yet there are real risks out there which often times are difficult to overcome. Perhaps over time these risks of glass, gravel and other types of things can be easier to step upon but until that time comes, these shoes give you some of that value, benefit and structure without sacraficing much.

    These are as comfortable as a slipper, or well – As comfortable as being barefoot with a hint of knowing protection!

    In the case of both of these shoes, I didn’t just happen to stumble upon them and go “Whoa, wow?!” No, like most things, I did extensive research, peer review and a number of activities to ensure that this was something which would be beneficial, useful, and something I can use long-term.

    Between working to correct my posture with the Earth shoes, and providing me the ability to get reliable feedback and luxury of being able to move as-close-to-barefoot as possible. These shoes will definitely be used!

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