Microsoft MVP for another year

I just got done playing Xbox 360 and before I go to bed I thought I would check my email and the hockey scores. Here is what the email said: Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2007 Microsoft® MVP Award! The Microsoft MVP Award is our way of saying thank you and to honor and support the significant contributions you make to communities worldwide. As a recipient of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional award, you join an elite group of technical community leaders from around the world who foster the free and objective exchange of knowledge by actively sharing … Continue reading Microsoft MVP for another year

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

By now you are aware that SP2 is out for Windows Server 2003 and R2. I have already seen quite a few posts in the public newsgroups where people are not aware of a few things. The Good It is a really good idea to backup your system before you attempt any major update or service pack. Remember your backup is only as good as your restore. Or as Geoff N. Hiten SQL MVP and SQL God says “Until you test a backup by restoring, you don’t have recovery plan, you have a recovery hope.” Another good idea, read the … Continue reading Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 – the good, the bad, and the ugly

IT Pro Townhall with Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has handpicked 50 IT Professionals from across the United States. These lucky individuals will get to sit down with Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft and his crew to talk about Microsoft. I was lucky enough to be chosen for this opportunity.   Here is what the invitation said:   Microsoft would like to cordially invite you to attend an exclusive, one-day event on Wednesday, April 18th 2007, with Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, and other Microsoft executives at the Microsoft Corporate Headquarters in Redmond, Washington. You have been identified as one of the influential leaders in the IT Professional … Continue reading IT Pro Townhall with Steve Ballmer

My Tech Ed 2007 Session – Top 10 Microsoft Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Failover Clustering Enhancements over Windows Server 2003 Clustering, Based on Best Practices

I was chosen again this year to speak at Tech Ed 2007 – http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2007/default.mspx Here is the abstract: Be the very first to learn about Windows Server codename “Longhorn” Failover Clustering. Are you using Windows Server 2003 Clustering? Are you following best practices? In this session we explore Windows Server codename “Longhorn” Failover Clustering by comparing it to Windows Server 2003 Clustering based on current best practices. The session begins with hardware configuration issues, concerns, and best practices—then and now. Next, we explore operating system configuration issues, concerns, and best practices. Then, we move on to the cluster service, and finally … Continue reading My Tech Ed 2007 Session – Top 10 Microsoft Windows Server Codename "Longhorn" Failover Clustering Enhancements over Windows Server 2003 Clustering, Based on Best Practices

How to install Exchange Server 2007 Schema Extensions within a 32-bit Active Directory environment

As you might know Exchange 2007 only works on 64-bit for Production systems. This might require you to purchase new hardware, but what about before you deploy, like when you want to prepare Active Directory for Exchange 2007? In this post I will explain what we had to go through to get it working.   We have 64-bit machines in our environment, but none loaded for Exchange. All DC’s were 32-bit.   First download or order the eval 32-bit Exchange Server 2007 DVD – http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/eval/exchange/default.mspx, don’t worry it’s free. Or download it directly at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=444C259E-605F-4A82-96D5-A2F448C9D4FF&displaylang=en   Exchange Server 2007 Schema … Continue reading How to install Exchange Server 2007 Schema Extensions within a 32-bit Active Directory environment

New ClusterHelp dates just announced – including 2007

See http://www.clusterhelp.com/ or the left side of this blog for details. Yes, we are going to do a class in the UK! Very exciting news!  The December 2006 NYC class is almost filled, so book now if you are on the fence. As a bonus you will get to meet and greet Russ and Myself. We will have two rooms filled with students. Russ will be teaching a private class, while I will with the public. Come join us for lots of fun.

Shrink your VMWare, Virtual Server or Virtual PC Virtual Machines (VMs) images

Once in awhile I use a product and like it enough to tell the world. http://www.invirtus.com/ has created one – Invirtus VM Optimizer 2.5. This product is simply amazing. I bring a Virtual Server 2005 R2 Virtual Machine Domain Controller to my ClusterHelp.com classes. Before using this product it was almost 16 GB, after it was "Optimized" it was almost 50% of the size and it was indeed faster, just like the marketing says it should be. Funny that, marketing that works. I sent them an email and told them how much I love the product. They have a referral program and … Continue reading Shrink your VMWare, Virtual Server or Virtual PC Virtual Machines (VMs) images

Read your cluster log live with SMS Trace

This past week in my ClusterHelp.com class Jim Thyne from Thomas H. Lee Partner, L.P. gave me a great tip. He is an MCT that teaches SMS, but please don’t hold that against him. Microsoft now has a free utility that can read live logs, it’s called SMS Trace.  Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=61e4e21f-2652-42dd-a04d-b67f0573751d&DisplayLang=en and download the .exe. Run SMS2003Toolkit2.exe and it will expand a few folders and create SMS2003Toolkit2.msi. 1.       Run SMS2003Toolkit2.msi. 2.       On the SMS 2003 Toolkit 2 page click Next. 3.       On the License agreement page select I accept the license agreement and click Next. 4.       On the Selected Components … Continue reading Read your cluster log live with SMS Trace

Surviving the Windows Server 2003 Cluster Bomb, Part II

I can’t believe it. Just when you think it’s safe to go back to reading the web… Part II  of the worst clustering article of all time is out. Back in July (http://msmvps.com/blogs/clustering/archive/2005/07/21/58509.aspx) I wrote how bad Part I was. Several months later Part II came out and I missed it. A former ClusterHelp.com student asked what Russ and I thought of Part II. Russ, summed it up nicely (http://msmvps.com/blogs/clusterhelp/archive/2006/06/23/102671.aspx) and I won’t restate what I wrote about Part I – even though it still fits. Let’s just say I hope there is not going to be a Part III.