Windows 2008 – Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA)

Over the years I have created a number of presentations and performed a number of architectural engagements where we have used various tools to track and establish performance baselines, determine constant expectations and build out formulas for scaling. Microsoft has new tools which help in the process. The Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) is a set of performance monitoring tools which can establish in-depth performance profiles of Microsoft Windows operating systems and applications. Although these tools cannot discover, quantify or otherwise adapt to your essential hardware flaws, they do allow you to understand the limits within a classification of hardware. This … Continue reading Windows 2008 – Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA)

48-Core Intel Processor – Leveraged by Barrelfish

Intel has released a research chip with 48 cores. Called a single-chip data center, its core selling point is that it uses dramatically less energy. What I noticed is that its new architecture leverages software memory control and messaging. As you will remember from my previous post on Barrelfish and next generation Windows, this architecture is designed without hardware level memory control allowing the operating system to control the use of cores and memory alleviating the current bottlenecks on performance. Those folks in the barrelfish project are slapping their lederhosen and clearing their throats with Ricola about this technology. “We’re very excited about … Continue reading 48-Core Intel Processor – Leveraged by Barrelfish

Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

While choosing a branch office solution, you have to address various issues, such as security, data replication, minimal IT capabilities, hardware costs, unauthorized physical access, and unwanted changes to Active Directory. The following bulleted list discusses the points above and highlights the solutions to address the concerns. (Source:MSL 89-389) Security In case the security at the branch office is your major concern, you should use the  Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 operating system and install , RODCs, Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0, and BitLocker Drive Encryption. Server core offers a reduced attack surface because of the … Continue reading Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

Branch Office: Creating Visio Diagrams

Spider webs. That is what I call most network diagrams I see. A diagram is worth a thousand words when it comes to understanding the layout of your network. There are a few skills which help you get full value out of diagramming and it is the intent of this post to highlight a few. Most involve clearing the cobwebs and bringing clarity through visual cues. I am using a diagram that comes from an administrator for whom I have a lot of respect. He has taken on challenges and kept to a tight budget while advancing the use of … Continue reading Branch Office: Creating Visio Diagrams

Branch Office: Three most common topologies

In planning a branch office configuration, you have to consider the impact of service level and user demands on the topology selection. From full Centralized Infrastructure where all of the resources are managed at the head office through to Full Local Infrastructure where the branch has local copies of everything they need to work. Here are the three main types: Fully Centralized – The head or Hub office provides all of the needed applications and authentication. Hybrid – Key workloads are transfered to the office Fully Local – All applications and authentication performed by local resources Jeff LoucksAvailable Technology  Subscribe in … Continue reading Branch Office: Three most common topologies

Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Branch offices come with a whole set of considerations and not the least of which is they generally are less secure than the main office. This is a critical concern for putting a domain controller in each office. The primary issue in almost every branch office is managing bandwidth across the wide area network. If you lose authentication request because of network outages the office can be rendered unproductive and so having a domain controller in the branch can effectively relieve the need to authenticate back to the main office. RODCs are designed to be deployed in locations that have … Continue reading Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

In my last post I talked about Visio 2010 and how we are seeing tools which can drive a lot of business value by representing data in intuitive ways through SharePoint. I raised the concern about once you see the data the next question is how does technology empower action. The answer involves several aspects and perhaps the most important one of which is role based security. The question comes down to this, if I want to share information with my boss and co-worker and give them the ability to perform different actions, how is this done using SharePoint? It appears … Continue reading Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses

A few years ago Microsoft started talking about ‘Model Based Programming’ which would bring software development skills to the masses by making it easier to conceptualize program flows, decision paths and layout key functional areas while intuitively reflecting business processes. Visio 2010 is shining light on this important avant-garde vision. And it is doing it in a manner that seems so intuitive to regular folks that it is hard not to see the value. Software developers and network admins were not the only users of Visio and as the Visio team looked at the other Personas, one can’t help but deduce that … Continue reading Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses

EBS: How to increase the timeout period for OWA and RWW

So you have discovered that the EBS’ Remote Web Workplace is the best thing since Captain Kirk. Users are using it everywhere. A frequent user request is to lengthen the timeout period before the application automatically logs out if the user is not active. As an administrator you have to realize that the reason this is in place is to protect the company and the indivudal employee. When you make this change you make it for everyone and therefore as an organization this decision has to come from the people who would fire you if information is lost or compromised. … Continue reading EBS: How to increase the timeout period for OWA and RWW

Windows Server 2008 R2 Branch Office: Features to Empower the Cloud

If you are involved at all with Microsoft on a professional level, you could not miss the fact that Microsoft is lugging the Juggernaut that it is toward Cloud computing. Branch Office is a logical intermediary step in the strategy since technology that Microsoft develops here will be leveraged to connect to a platform in the cloud like Windows Azure. Over the remainder of the month I am going to deep dive on new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Win7 as they relate to Branch Offices. I will talk about strategies for mitigating common problems and provide an in … Continue reading Windows Server 2008 R2 Branch Office: Features to Empower the Cloud