Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Desktop and Server) now available for Download

And if you want some videos:

Windows 8 Desktop Consumer Preview ISO files (.iso) are provided as an alternative to using Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup. If you are on a PC running Windows and want to install the consumer preview on another partition, another PC, or a virtual machine, i recommend you download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup and use the built-in tools for converting an ISO image into installation media, such as a DVD or USB bootable flash drive. You can find additional information, including a list of supported upgrades, in the FAQ.

English 64-bit (x64) Download (3.3 GB) Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749

English 32-bit (x86) Download (2.5 GB) Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39

Product Key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

The next release of Windows Server, Windows Server “8”, offers businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware, cloud-optimized infrastructure. It securely connects across premises and allows IT Professionals to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently. Register to access technical product resources such as forums, solution accelerators, white papers and webcasts at the Windows Server “8” Beta Resource Page.

Download here: Link

Windows Server “8” beta documentation site is updated, here are some links:

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server “8” Beta. In limited cases, the tools can be used to manage roles and features that are running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. Some of the tools work for managing roles and features on Windows Server 2003.

Download here: Link

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business provides a detailed look at the many new and improved features in Windows 8. The guide is designed as an accurate source of information that can help businesses understand how Windows 8 enables users to be ready and productive practically anywhere, allows for a personalized user experience, and provides IT with more secure, easy-to-manage intelligent infrastructure.

Download here: Link

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 released

Are your datacenter costs rising? Does your current infrastructure make it difficult to scale up or down quickly to respond to the changing needs of your organization? To meet these challenges, you need a more cost-effective, agile way to provide IT services—quickly, efficiently, and on demand.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 is a free, partner-extensible solution that allows you to dynamically pool, allocate, and manage datacenter resources. Using the Self-Service Portal, you can reduce IT costs, while increasing agility for your organization. The Self-Service Portal works with products and technologies you know and trust, like Windows Server and the System Center product suite. This solution delivers:

  • Automated web portals and a workload provisioning engine that integrates with System Center.
  • Tested guidance and best practices to help configure and deploy private cloud infrastructures.
  • Guidance to help partners easily extend functionality.
  • Localization in three languages: Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.

Self-Service Portal Technology Partners

The Self-Service Portal includes powerful extensibility features for Microsoft technology partners. Independent software and hardware vendors can customize different virtual machine actions (create, delete, stop, start, shut down, connect, pause, and so on) to take advantage of the unique characteristics of their infrastructure.

Citrix

Citrix Integration Pack for Self-Service Portal

The integration pack integrates Essentials for Hyper-V with System Center by automatically provisioning the storage whenever a virtual machine is commissioned though the Self-Service Portal.
Learn more >

Compellent

Compellent Solution Pack for Self-Service Portal

Utilizing Windows PowerShell® with the Compellent Storage Center SAN, Compellent’s Solution Pack enables the integration and support for self-service provisioning of data storage resources with Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Server Hyper-V™ through the Self-Service Portal.
Learn more >

f5

F5 Solution for Self-Service Portal

The F5 solution for Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal adds the option for traffic management by the BIG-IP application delivery controller (ADC) within the service role section of a user request. Executing this option automatically configures the BIG-IP for the request of VMs as they come online.
Learn more >

HP

HP Services Using the Self-Service Portal

Accelerate your journey to the private cloud with HP’s Converged Infrastructure and HP Technology Consulting services. Begin with a short assessment, then continue to implementation based on HP’s deep experience in the datacenter. HP uses pre-developed scripts, portals, and cmdlets to integrate into your environment and build a self-service infrastructure.
Learn more >

Intel

Intel Cloud Builder Guide: Cloud Design and Deployment on Intel Platforms

The Intel reference architecture will assist organizations that require their cloud data and assets to reside on premises and those that need to support a new business domain with a separate IT infrastructure that is scalable and flexible.
Learn more >

NetApp

NetApp ApplianceWatch PRO 2.1.1

Accelerate virtual machine provisioning, and increase storage efficiencies in private cloud implementations managed by the Self-Service Portal with the integration scripts and PowerShell cmdlets included in ApplianceWatch PRO 2.1.1 that enable rapid provisioning of space-efficient VMs using NetApp FlexClone technology.
Learn more >

VKernel

VKernel Chargeback with Hyper-V

VKernel Chargeback with Hyper-V enables private clouds to automatically map virtualization costs to applications and customers by reporting on allocated costs and by measuring and expensing the actual consumption of server and storage resources by cloud customers.
Learn more >

Internet Explorer 9 is here!

Microsoft has launched the much anticipated IE9.

To start experiencing a more beautiful web with IE9 and to visit a small set of the top 250 web-sites globally that have created a more beautiful experiences for all of us with IE9, go to http://beautyoftheweb.com/experience.

Internet Explorer 9 has now been downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours since its Monday night release. That is over 27 downloads every second, or over 240 downloads every 9 seconds. Wow!.

They want to thank everyone around the world for downloading IE9 and the enthusiastic reception. 2.3 million downloads in 24 hours is over double the 1 million downloads we saw of the IE9 Beta and four times that of the IE9 RC over the same time period.

In case you missed it, check out the collection of videos from the SxSW launch event. Ze Frank’s demo of Star.ME is one not to be missed!

You can see all of the demos and the complete launch event by clicking play below. And to download Internet Explorer 9 for yourself, visit http://www.beautyoftheweb.com.

Ze Frank’s demo of Star.ME is one not to be missed!

You can see all of the demos and the complete launch event by clicking play below. And to download Internet Explorer 9 for yourself, visit http://www.beautyoftheweb.com.

 

W2K8R2 & Windows 7 SP1 Release Candidate Now Available

Today, Microsoft has made available a Release Candidate (RC) for Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. SP1 includes both a roll-up of operating system updates and several new capabilities for Windows Server.

Microsoft RemoteFX introduces a new set of remote user experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops. RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops.

SP1 also includes Dynamic Memory, which enables servers running Hyper-V for server virtualization, to be more efficient in the use of memory.  Dynamic Memory pools and distributes memory among the virtual machines running on a physical host, enabling higher consolidation ratios, increasing server utilization rates, and providing more flexible workload management. Furthermore, memory is dynamically added based on the demands of the current workloads and without service interruption.

Expect to see Service Pack 1 released in its final form during first quarter 2011 and whether you’re virtualizing servers or desktops, take a few minutes to learn more about Service Pack 1 here. You needn’t wait for SP1, however – you can join those already enjoying the benefits of Windows Server 2008 R2 by deploying today.

Improve the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications with the new virtualization innovations provided in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC. Dynamic Memory and Microsoft RemoteFXTM, to help businesses further optimize their datacenter and desktops.

  • Dynamic Memory lets Hyper-V administrators pool available memory on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to any virtual machine(s) running on that host.
  • RemoteFX lets Windows Server 2008 R2 administrators provide a rich end user desktop virtualization experience by delivering vivid content, independent of any graphics stack, to server-hosted virtual and session-based desktops.

Businesses can take advantage of these innovations to help deliver new capabilities such as private cloud and VDI. To learn more about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC and the benefits it provides, read the documents, feature overview and FAQs below.

Dynamic Memory Overview

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V introduces a new feature, called Dynamic Memory, in the Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC releases.  It allows customers to achieve increased density when they’re consolidating physical servers into a virtual realm, providing them with predictable performance and linear scalability.

With Dynamic Memory, IT administrators are able to pool available memory on a physical host and then dynamically dole that memory out to virtual machines running on the host, based on current workload needs.

RemoteFX Overview

RemoteFX, a key feature of Remote Desktop Services (RDS) lets IT administrators deliver a rich graphics experience to end-users through virtualized desktops.  Using new protocol enhancements between Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, end users can now access virtual machines on a wide variety of target devices and still get a rich graphics experience with server-side graphics processing.

Download SP1 here; http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyId=C3202CE6-4056-4059-8A1B-3A9B77CDFDDA&hash=wrw75DeobQ1hLeOrOvthYUYCv7PJpk89RMXhKQ3RVng1XsUOVWqxDvThIkaoGa34DtzYCHZTKY4Evdlqyp7X4Q%3d%3d

Sources;
http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/ 
http://bink.nu/news/windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2-service-pack-1-release-candidate.aspx

Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2.1 (VHD)

Source; http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2009/12/10/Offline-Virtual-Machine-Servicing-Tool-v2.1-.aspx

Virtualization affects how we plan, build, deploy, operate, and service workloads. Customers are creating large libraries of virtual machines containing various configurations. The patch-state of these virtual machines are not always known. Ensuring that offline virtual machines are properly patched and won’t become vulnerable the instant they come online is critical.

I am therefore very pleased to state that the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool v2.1 has now been released!

Congratulations to the Solution Accelerator team for this release!

The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 has free, tested guidance and automated tools to help customers keep their virtualized machines updated, without introducing vulnerabilities into their IT infrastructure.

The tool combines the Windows Workflow programming model with the Windows PowerShell interface to automatically bring groups of virtual machines online, service them with the latest security updates, and return them to an offline state.

What’s New?

Release 2.1 is a direct response to customer and Microsoft field requests to support the R2 wave. Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 now supports the following products:
· Hyper-V-R2
· VMM 2008 R2
· SCCM 2007 SP2
· WSUS 3.0 SP2
· OVMST 2.1 also supports updates to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines.

Download here; Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool  2.1
More info; http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc501231.aspx

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1

The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer provides a streamlined method to identify missing security updates and common security misconfigurations. MBSA 2.1.1 is a minor upgrade to add support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

To easily assess the security state of machines in an environment, Microsoft offers the free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool. MBSA includes a graphical and command line interface that can perform local or remote scans of Microsoft Windows systems.

MBSA 2.1.1 builds on previous versions by adding support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As with the previous MBSA 2.1 release, MBSA includes 64-bit installation, security update and vulnerability assessment (VA) checks, improved SQL Server 2005 checks, and support for the latest Windows Update Agent (WUA) and Microsoft Update technologies. More information on the capabilities of MBSA 2.1 and 2.1.1 is available on the MBSA Web site.

MBSA 2.1.1 runs on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems and will scan for missing security updates, rollups and service packs using Microsoft Update technologies. MBSA will also scan for common security misconfigurations (also called Vulnerability Assessment checks) using a known list of less secure settings and configurations for all versions of Windows, Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1, SQL Server 2000 and 2005, Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 and later, and Office 2000, 2002 and 2003 only.

To assess missing security updates, MBSA will only scan for missing security updates, update rollups and service packs available from Microsoft Update. MBSA will not scan or report missing non-security updates, tools or drivers.
Choose the appropriate download below for English (EN), German (DE), French (FR) and Japanese (JA) for x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) platforms.

Download details Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1 (for IT Professionals)
Source: http://bink.nu/news/microsoft-baseline-security-analyzer-2-1-1.aspx

Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 released!

Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 2 (WSUS 3.0 SP2) delivers updates to corporate environments from Microsoft Update. This release adds new features and fixes issues found since the release of the product.

WSUS 3.0 SP2 delivers important customer-requested management, stability, and performance improvements. Some of the features and improvements include the following:

  • Integration with Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Support for the BranchCache feature in Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 clients.
  • Compliance Report
  • Windows Update Agent (WUA) offers a collection of performance enhancements, user experience improvements, and bug fixes software updates.

WSUS 3.0 SP2 can be installed alone, or as an upgrade of WSUS 3.0 SP1.
This package installs both the WSUS 3.0 SP2 Server, WSUS 3.0 SP2 Administration Console components and WUA client for down-level operating system. You must install the server components on a computer that is running on Windows Server 2003 SP2 or later versions. You may install the Administration Console on a remote computer that is running one of the supported operating systems, see below the Supported Operating Systems section.
WSUS 3.0 SP2 Server Installation on Windows Small Business Server 2003
If you are installing the WSUS 3.0 SP2 product on Windows Small Business Server 2003, follow the instructions in Installing Windows Server Update Services 3.0 on Windows Small Business Server 2003.

Download Here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=a206ae20-2695-436c-9578-3403a7d46e40#tm

Wsus tasks with Powershell

If you manage a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server, you probably run the Server Cleanup Wizard every once and a while. It removes old and superseded updates and computers that haven’t reported their status for more than 30 days. Wouldn’t it be nice to schedule such a cleanup to run every month? Too bad there’s no command line tool I know of that can help you out with this. Powershell to the rescue!
Powershell can not only run the built-in commandlets or even those added by snapins. It can leverage the full power of the .NET Framework. Browse the MSDN Library if you want to find more cool things you can do with it.

Here’s a script that uses this information to run the cleanup wizard:  Cleanup-Wsus (rename to .ps1)

Here’s how to use powershell to “manually” synchronize your WSUS server, i.e. download the latest updates. Synchronize-Wsus (rename to .ps1)