Energy Efficient Computing – Power costs more than the server

planet_hands[1] Benefits of Energy Efficient Computing

Reduced energy consumption helps organizations achieve significant cost savings, especially in data centers. Energy efficient computing also helps organizations minimize their direct and indirect carbon footprint.

Did You Know?

  • U.S. enterprise data centers can spend up to 15–20 percent of their operating costs on electricity alone.
  • Industry analysts estimate the annual cost of powering a server will soon exceed its acquisition cost.

The MAP Toolkit and Energy Efficient Computing

Organizations can use the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit to quickly obtain comprehensive planning knowledge for migration to energy efficient computing technologies. MAP’s automated inventory and readiness assessment reports generate specific upgrade recommendations for migration to power-saving Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems. MAP also identifies suitable candidates for virtualization and makes recommendations on how physical servers might be placed in a Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized environment.

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology

Redirecting Updates and the Software Distribution Folder using Junction to another hard drive

600px-Circular_Intersection_sign_1.svg[1] Scenario


You have a server with an 8 GB system partition and it keeps filling up. The software distribution folder used by windows updates is a major source of bloat and Microsoft support has said there is nothing you can do to move this folder from the C drive.


Solution


Using the Microsoft Junction Tool found on the Systernals site create a symbolic link to another hard drive or partition. I will use the terms symbolic link and junction interchangeably in this post.


Process


Stopping the Windows Update Service and renaming the folder

  • Start>Run
  • type cmd and press enter
  • type net stop wuauserv and press enter
  • type rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.oldand press enter
  •  

    Creating a symbolic link using Junction (Download)

    In this example the software distribution folder will be redirected from C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution to the D:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution

    Creating the Junction

    To create the target directory from the command prompt

    C:\>md D:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

    To create the Junction

    C:\>junction C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution “D:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution”

    Restart the Windows Update Service

    type net start wuauserv and press enter


    Once everything has been verfieid to be working normally delete the softwaredistribution.old folder.


    Jeff Loucks
    Available Technology
    Available Technology

    Keyboard shortcuts

    Productivity has many forms however keyboard shortcuts are perhaps the most useful. I am never able to remember them all but I find reviewing them from time to time allows me to gradually increase my repertoire.

    Here is a listing I have compiled.

    This section from: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/126449/

    Windows system key combinations
    • F1: Help
    • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
    • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
    • ALT+F4: Quit program
    • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently
    • Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)
    Windows program key combinationsresize[1]
    • CTRL+C: Copy
    • CTRL+X: Cut
    • CTRL+V: Paste
    • CTRL+Z: Undo
    • CTRL+B: Bold
    • CTRL+U: Underline
    • CTRL+I: Italic
    Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects
    • SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
    • SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
    • ALT+double click: Displays properties
    • SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin
    General keyboard-only commands
    • F1: Starts Windows Help
    • F10: Activates menu bar options
    • SHIFT+F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object
    • CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
    • CTRL+ESC or ESC: Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT+F10 for a context menu)
    • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager
    • ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box
    • ALT+TAB: Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
    • SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
    • ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window’s System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
    • ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window’s System menu (from the MDI child window’s System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
    • CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
    • ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu
    • ALT+F4: Closes the current window
    • CTRL+F4: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
    • ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)
    Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts
    For a selected object:
    • F2: Rename object
    • F3: Find all files
    • CTRL+X: Cut
    • CTRL+C: Copy
    • CTRL+V: Paste
    • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
    • ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object
    To copy a file
    Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder.
    To create a shortcut
    Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.
    General folder/shortcut control
    • F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
    • F5: Refreshes the current window.
    • F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
    • CTRL+G: Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only)
    • CTRL+Z: Undo the last command
    • CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
    • BACKSPACE: Switch to the parent folder
    • SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders
    • CTRL+SHIFT+N: Create a new folder in Windows Explorer*
    Windows Explorer tree control
    • Numeric Keypad *: Expands everything under the current selection
    • Numeric Keypad +: Expands the current selection
    • Numeric Keypad -: Collapses the current selection.
    • RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
    • LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent
    Properties control
    • CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs
    Accessibility shortcuts
    • Press SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off
    • Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off
    • Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off
    • Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off
    • Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off
    Microsoft Natural Keyboard keys
    • Windows Logo: Start menu
    • Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
    • Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
    • SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
    • Windows Logo+F1: Help
    • Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
    • Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
    • Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
    • CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer
    • CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray)
    • Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
    • Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box
    • Application key: Displays a shortcut menu for the selected item
    Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType software installed
    • Windows Logo+L: Log off Windows
    • Windows Logo+P: Starts Print Manager
    • Windows Logo+C: Opens Control Panel
    • Windows Logo+V: Starts Clipboard
    • Windows Logo+K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box
    • Windows Logo+I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box
    • Windows Logo+A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed)
    • Windows Logo+SPACEBAR: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys
    • Windows Logo+S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off
    Dialog box keyboard commandsTardis
    • TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box
    • SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box
    • SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.
    • ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)
    • ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
    • ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item

    From various sources.

    Command Prompt Keys

    • F7: Shows you a list of the commands you have typed before.
    • F1 or right arrow: For each key press the last command is created one character at a time.
    • F2: Same as above but it prompts you for the character you want it to copy until.
    • For copy and paste you must right click on the titlebar of the command prompt window and select properties. On the options tab select QuickEdit Mode
    • Up Arrow: Scrolls through the list of commands you have executed
    • Down Arrow: Scrolls back through the commands
    • CTRL+Left Arrow: Moves the cursor back one word
    • CTRL+Right Arrow: Moves the cursor forward one word
    • Home: Moves the cursor to the beginning of the line
    • End: Moves the cursor to the end of the line
    • ESC: Erases the current line
    • TAB: When typing windows paths will fill in the directory’s full name with only a few characters.
    • char + F8: finds the command in the buffer which start with the char you typed
    • F9 + command #: Display designated command on command line; use F7 to obtain numbers.

    Jeff Loucks
    Available Technology
    Available Technology

    XP Mode and differencing disks, Creating Multiple Virtual Machines

    Scenario

    Scratching Head You have multiple needs for Virtual Machines based on XP mode in Windows 7. You want to use the base XP Mode operating system as a reference and create other systems using differencing disks and new virtual machine setup files (.vmcx).

    Process

    Differencing disks which reference the Windows XP Mode virtual hard disk and new virtual machine files will be used to create new environments which leverage the base configuration stored in the Windows XP Mode VHD file.

    Reason

    I want to be able to do a number of things with my XP mode virtual machines and most of all I want to be able to have multiple machines without taking up lots of Hard Drive space. Secondly, I want to be able to create virgin environments for testing.

    Differencing disks allow you to reference a source disk and in this case I am using the XP mode disk found here

    C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd

    (Where <USER> is your logged on user name. Use whoami if you are not sure).

    Note:

    1. The Windows XP Mode.vhd file is a differencing disk which references the parent disk: C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd
    2. Be sure to mark your XP Mode.vhd as read only. This step is required or else writes to the XP Mode VHD will corrupt the other differencing disks rendering them unusable. Read-only will cause your XP mode virtual machine to fail to start. Later after you have created a new differencing VHD file to reference the XP Mode.vhd you can set the XP Mode virtual machine hard drive 1 to the new differencing disk. You will be able to use XP Mode VPC again after that.

    What is in my XP Mode base

    The only thing I add to my XP mode base is Security Essentials. However another good option might be the Internet Explorer upgrades. It is a matter of personal preference bear in mind there is no problem creating another level of differencing disks.

    Overview of three levels of differencing disks.

    image

    The image above describes how the differencing disk references the XP Mode VHD. The XP Mode VHD is a differencing disk itself and it references its parent disk the XP Mode Base VHD.

    Step by Step Process to creating a new Virtual Machine which uses a differencing disk that references the XP Mode VHD.

    Shutdown the XP Mode Virtual Machine.

    1. By default the XP Mode Virtual Machine hibernates. It needs to be in a shutdown state to be referenced as a differencing disk parent disk. From within the XP Mode environment:
      1. Go to Start > Windows Security
      2. Select Shutdown to shutdown the Virtual Machine
    2. From the host operating system navigate to the VHD file for XP Mode and set it as read only. (C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd )
      1. Using windows explorer navigate to C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\
      2. Right click on the Windows XP Mode.vhd file and select properties
      3. Click to enable Read-Only

    Create a new virtual machine with a differencing disk.

    1. Go through the steps of creating a new virtual machine. When you get to the virtual hard disk section follow these screen shots.
      • Select Create a virtual hard disk using advanced options

    image

      • Select Differencing Disk

    image

      • Browse to the location of your XP Mode VHD file C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd

    image

    After you click create the virtual machine will complete.

    To create other instances of the same base configuration you only need to choose the differencing disk portion while creating new virtual machines.

    Conclusion

    This article covers how to use differencing disks based on Windows XP mode to create multiple systems which have their own unique settings. As a consultant I find this useful for simulating other user experiences, simulating different client environments and isolating changes which may only be used temporarily.

    This is an resource efficient method for saving disk space while giving you the flexibility to work according to your needs.

    Now I am off to install my 32 bit Office 2010 so I can run the CRM 4.0 Outlook Client.

    Suggestions for Windows 7 team

    A great feature would be to give you Windows 7 Mode which would allow you to install a minimal Windows 7 environment as easily as XP mode installs an XP environment.

    Jeff Loucks
    Available Technology
    Available Technology

    CRM Online – Outlook client installation cannot proceed pending restart

    A common error when installing the CRM outlook client for CRM online is the error which informs you that their is a pending restart regardless of whether this is true or not.

    To fix this issue you need to add a registry key to ignore the check.

    Here is my recommended method for fixing this problem. I chose this method because it is common to need to do this on several computers and this method can be easily run on several computers.

    1. Use a .reg file to add the key:
      1. Open notepad
      2. Copy the following text in to notepad
        1. Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

          [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSCRMClient]
          "IgnoreChecks"=dword:00000001

      3. From the file menu choose ‘save as’
      4. Set the
      5. ‘Save as type’ to all files

    image

      1. Enter a file name you like such as ‘MSCRMClientIgnoreChecks.reg’
      2. make sure the file ends in the registry file suffix .reg
      3. Choose a location you can remember.
      4. Click save
      5. Go to the location where you saved the file
      6. Double click the file.
      7. You will be prompted by a message similar to the following:

    image

      1. Click yes
      2. You will receive a popup box such as this:

    image

      1. Click ‘Ok’
      2. Retry the installation.

    CRM 2011 What’s new

    The following information is reprinted from one of my favorite blogs.

    http://www.crmwatcher.nl/

    This article is a summary of the available information about the new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which is expected to be the end of 2010 is available and released to beta yesterday.

    Introduction of the ‘ribbon ‘

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will be just like the related Microsoft Office application are going to make full use of the so-called ribbon menu such as the following illustration shows. The Ribbon bar will make Microsoft Dynamics CRM even easier.

    CRM5_Cases_small

    Structure of the form

    The main screen of an entity (form) does not contain any tabs anymore, but all parts are in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 will be shown below each other.

    In addition, it is possible as a CRM application administrator to view records of related entities from this version (for example, service notifications on the form of a new entity called ‘ Tower ‘ as shown below).

    CRM5_RelatedGridOnForm_small

    Dashboards!

    A frequent desire of users is the use of dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Version 2011 offers the possibility to do so, which of course uses the Microsoft Silverlight technology.

    CRM5_Dashboard_small

    Settings & Adjustments

    Starting with version 2011 is the customization section will be expanded to include a link to Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners, where changes can be downloaded. It also shows the possible use of ‘ solutions ‘, a new 2011 concept that is discussed later in this topic.

    In the list of available entities has been chosen for the much easier tree-like structure. As a result, the management easier.

    In the entities is per field be whether this should be included in the audit (logging) procedure. Previously only on entity level. Be determined so that changes to account name should be logged, but other changes to the account is not.

    Finally, it will be possible to ‘ drag and drop ‘ fields on forms to place, indicating the current labor-intensive method is hereby repealed.

    Solutions

    2011 With Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the solution concept introduced, which means, which is a combination of adjustments, plug ins, workflows and, where appropriate, other components is packaged in a zip file, then import it into a customer relationship management (CRM) 2011 system.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is able to provide Solutions to both import and export.

    SharePoint

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 has default integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for document management. SharePoint as a document management tool for CRM is finally here.

    Jeff Loucks
    Available Technology
    Available Technology