TechNet Live Tour: Cloud for IT Pros

Microsoft’s TechNet Live Tour is giving a half day seminar on the cloud and what it means for the IT professional. I’ve been invited along so, for a change, I’m going to try a bit of a “live blog” approach, just typing as I go. It’s going to cover Windows Intune, Small Business Server 2011, Office 365, Dynamics CRM 2011, Azure, Windows Phone 7 and IE9.  Could be a long afternoon.

The event opens with a keynote on the Cloud for IT Pros given by Dave Northey. The cloud and the consumerisation of IT are the big impacts of now and Dave will cover them both. Dave suggests that business led technology a decade ago. But today consumers lead. The average home PC is more powerful than work PCs. Most consumers use Windows 7, yet XP is still used extensively in business.

The three big cloud providers are Microsoft, Amazon and Google, with room for a fourth. Cloud computing is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand like the electricity grid – Wikipedia.

Cloud Data Centre
Shared resources – stability, security, reliability, QoS, SLAs

On-Demand – pay as you go, no upfront investment, instant access, scale, no money wasted when projects fail

Public Cloud v Private Cloud
Private cloud uses own data centre. Control over data but less scale.

Regardless aim is for capacity to follow demand. What workload patterns are suitable for cloud?
– On and off, e.g. Batch jobs, video transcoding
– Growing fast, e.g. Unexpectedly successful services
– Unpredictable bursting, e.g. Spikes caused by natural disasters
– Predictable bursting, e.g. End of month for finance.

Type of cloud services
– Software as a Service (SaaS) for users
– Platform as a Service (PaaS) for developers
– Infrastruce as a Service (IaaS) for IT

Datacentre evolution
– Traditional datacentre
– Virtualised datacentre
– On premises private cloud
– Off premises cloud
Virtualisation was a pre-requisite for the cloud.

The private cloud is virtualisation plus self-service, scalability and automation.

Azure is Ms’ platform as a service. It’s a developer offering linked into Visual Studio, .net, PHP and so on. Three components – Azure AppFabric for access control and comms, SQL Azure for database, Windows Azure for compute and storage.

Dave then gives a demo of some of the features of Azure including simply connecting to a folder stored in the cloud but the most impressive part was the management of all the virtual machines. In the (short) demo, a cloud-based server was provisioned with web services.

Cloud services are coming, with private clouds first followed by the move to the public cloud.

Ooh, they’ve announced a Surface device is here.

Surface1

Surface2

Surface3

Surface4

Dave also gave an inpromptu demo of Windows Phone 7 which was as much a selection of soundbites as it was a demo.
– Microsoft expects to be #2 behind Android and ahead of iPhone.
– Multiple forms factors from HTC and Nokia who make over 100 million phones per year.
– It’s a consumer device first
– Marketplace will have quality, tested apps.
– Try before you buy option available to all developers but only one version required – that’s clever.
– Average app lifetime, i.e. Find, download, try, delete is 5 mins.
– Expected that a developer wil earn 10 times as much from Windows Phone app as from iPhone.

Next up was Office 365 by Patrick Herlihy.

Office 365 is the new Software as a Service offering which includes Office, Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online and Lync Online.

Office licensed on a pay as you go per user. Full and latest version of Office. Lync will offer IM, presence and web conference from the start. Voice will arrive later.

Different licensing options for different types of users, e.g. Kiosk worker for basic options, Information worker for more. There are lots of different licensing options depending on your organisations need.

The process to moving to the cloud and using Office 365 goes through standardisation, deployment, service change and includes privacy & security considerations. In particular, most ActiveDirectories will need a good tidy.

Regarding sign on, there are two options – Ms Online IDs or new Federated IDs which allow single sign-on from existing credentials. The latter will need an internal deployment of ADFS.

DirSync synchronises the organisation’s internal ActiveDirectory with the version hosted in the cloud for Office 365. This is needed to keep online permissions etc in step with the organisation.

Exchange Online can co-exist with in-house Exchange and there are tools to move mailboxes between the two systems.

Patrick gave a quick on-line demo of the product. The on-line versions were all very similar to their Windows-based equivalent. Firefix, Safari and IE are all supported. The management tools were comprehensive as well.

The public beta of Office 365 is available now.

Patrick continued to Microsoft’s Intune, a cloud-based PC management service. It offers malware protection, alert monitoring, patch management, software and hardware inventories and remote assistance / desktop sharing. He then gave a demo of the system and it was competent enough. I could certainly see it replacing a number of separate tools. However you got the feeling that it was version 1 and version 2 would be much better. Probably best suited to SMEs with hundreds of PCs rather than thousands.

As proceeds were running late, I had to leave, missing some of the subsequent sessions. But I’ll be back…

Overall, a useful introduction to Microsoft’s vision of a cloud-based future.

 

GNC-2011-03-07 #653 Not the Charlie Sheen Show!

I spend a few moments talking about the technical portions of the Charlie Sheen show on Ustream. Considering the train wreck that happened on their inaugural show on Saturday makes me proud of all the new media creators that produce their own shows, and do so with 50x the professionalism of what I observed Saturday night. I have a new giveaway starting tonight listen to win. This show is action packed from the beginning to the end! Become an Insider or Make a donation to the show to qualify for the contest.

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Listener Links
Shatner wake up call.
Millionaire steals credit card?
Get the BBC iPlayer for 74 Pounds.
Alien Contact made.

Show Notes:
Facebook Comments?
Facebook Comments #2?
Charlie Sheen Social Insanity.
Sheens Korner needs some Production Help.
Motorola Xoom Music App hacked.
Buttons or Touch Screens.
Geek Watch (Must Buy).
Phone 135 years old.
Firefox 4 Looks Amazing.
Hawaii TSA a Joke!
Unban PS3 Hack.
First Amendment vs Copyright Laws.
Scientist Study on Sons Voice.
SMS coming to Facebook?
Jamming Time?
Ten iPad Tips.
Facebook Evil on Advertising?
Tax Apps.
Facebook Saves Boy.
Star Trek Wakes Discovery Crew.
Discovery Leaves ISS.
Can we Get our Groove Back?
Woz on Tech and Education.
6 Things in Space.
What went up did not stay up!
Our First Alien.
New Angle on Saturn.
Supernova back as Video Portal.
Fake MPAA/RIAA notice scams $280K
Fox Double DMCA Takedown (Idiots).
UV Cellphone Cleaner?
Where is your Threshold of Business forgiveness.
Sorenson Squeeze 7.
HP Omni Pro.
Google Responds to Droid Malware.
Robot looks real!
WD buys Hitachi HD Manufacturing.
Samsung 950 Series Pricing.
JVC 3D Consumer Camera Debut.
Microsoft pays a Billion to Nokia!
iTunes Home Sharing Update.
$539 Motorola Xoom.
Awesome Asus Ad.
Are you Really Anonymous.
Firefox 4 Crash Reasons.
Skype Ads.
Speed Test Website update.

GNC-2011-03-03 #652 We have a Winner

A winner is announced in the show today congrats to Anthony Y for winning and Apple TV. Big thank you to the 32 people that participated in this round of contributions and the 14 new insiders that are now supporting the show. We will giveaway another cool product in the next couple of weeks. As an insider you are automatically entered in all of our contest here at GNC. I am very excited about our PowerPress update coming tomorrow and you get an inside look at what is coming plus a whole bunch of Tech news!

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Secret Scanning of your Body by Home Land Security?
3TB Drive is Shipping.
Robotics Shutdown in Space.

Show Notes:
Post PC World Non Sense.
Trade In Prices drop like a Rock!
Bloggers in Australia get more Protections.
Antitrust Investigation on H.264 Consortium!
Print with your Droid.
10 PC gaming Emulators from 80’s
Is a Site Safe or Not?
Airplay Expanding!
HBO Expanding Media.
Android Set Top Boxes?
Blu-Ray versus DVD
Easier to Use Bit Torrent Client.
DDOS on BREIN.
iPad 2 Accessory.
Roku iPhone App Updated.
P2P lawsuits and Real People’s Lives.
Illegal TV Streamers feel arm of Federal Gov’t.
New Tablet Plans from AT&T.
New Hotspot Plans AT&T.
Malware + Android = Easy Victims.
Stop Snooping on Email.
Beam me up Scotty.
Twitter Battle with Police and Party Animals.
Carbon Credit Legislation under Fire.
Do FCC Fee’s help Poor?
ICE in Antarctica.
Timezone Database Keeper?
Groupon Class Action Suit.
Recording Police in Conn, about to get easier.
X-37 Sister Ship?
Facebook Comments on Blogs?
Techmeme and Hacker News head to head.
Angry Bird 30 Million Downloads?
WordPress.com DDOS Today.
Twitter App update hammers you with Ads.
Chrome + Hardware Acceleration = Faster Images on Web.
Latest UFO Scam Video.
VW Parody
Google Self Driving Car not American Made?
Netflix iPad Update.
Ford Sync in 19 Languages!
Gmail Fixed.
iPad Apple Smart Covers?
A Windows Journey.

GNC-2011-02-14 #647 Simply a Monster Show!

I have no choice but to cut back a little for the next shows. I simply had more news than I could handle tonight and apologize because they came fast and furious at the end, doing no justice to all of the content. But one thing is for sure I deliver your moneys worth on all of the shows lately. Thanks for being part of the Ohana! All of the CES content is posted enjoy it all because their is about 52 hours of content their for your enjoyment.

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Listener Links:
The OTT Show.
Todays Tech News.

Show Notes:
The New 747!
Feds Seize More domains.
Patriot Act Provisions Extended.
Amazon Threatens to leave Texas over Taxes.
Admin says it can spy on you?
Power to the Creator!
Film Studios Pirating own Material!
Username x Sites = Security Risk.
It gets worse for HBGary Federal (idiots)!
Apple and Google are Killing our Companies.
Mobile Penetration.
iPhone Secret Symbols.
Where did Kilogram Originate.
Metered Billing on Hold.
IP Address does not Equal a Person!
Plasma Bullet?
HTML5 pushed to 2014.
Twitter trends Origination Points.
3 New iPhone Styles?
Twitter to cut developers off at knees?
Can Nokia Survive?
Tablets Everywhere but no Apps!
Are Adobe Air and Flash Winning?
Facebook Sim Card!
5 Great VPN’s?
iPhone Telephoto Lense.
The 9th Planet is it out their.
86 Time Lapse Videos.
Mentos and Coke powered Car!
FIOS + Iphone = Savings
Fireworks Hawaiian Style (joking).
Apple kills the Podcast Ping.
Get Styling with Toddygear.
Vivitek 3d Projector.
Sphero Robot Ball.
Link Spam Salesmen.
Zeo Sleep Analysis.
Mini Nuke Power Reactors.
iPhone Voicemail Save Hack.
Qualcomm, Netflix and Android.
USB Crypto Device.
Concept Clock.
Lookee Tv.
Dark Side Detector.
P2P for Good Uses.
isoHunt attacked by Music Industry.
Windows Phone Apps.
Nokia + Microsoft=??
Developer Conference List.
Human versus Computer on Jeopardy.
Brilliant Extension Cable.
Auto feed Shredder.
More Cord Cutting.
Rent versus Own on DVD Front.
Mac App Store plus iTunes.
Dumb and Dumber.
Windows Tip of the day.
Chrome Plugin to block Crappy Search Results.
Facebook Page Designer.
Make a Hotspot with your iPhone.
Geek Dating Tips.
T-Mobile G-Slate hands on.
IE9 Release Candidate will Auto Update.
Windows Phone 7 to get Multitasking.
Multi-Language Foursquare App Update.
NASA spare shuttle flight still a go.
Russian Mars Mission in Moscow.
Whoops where did that tool go.
NASA Budget to get Axe.

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ArtRage Painting Programs For Touchscreen Computers & iPad

ArtRage is a series of painting program for touchscreen computers, albeit with a twist. You can paint with actual paintbrushes! ArtRage 2 sells for $20 for Windows and Mac OS/X. ArtRage 3 Studio sells for $40 for Windows and Mac OS/X. ArtRage 3 Studio Pro, which contains additional features, sells for $80 for Windows and Mac OS/X. ArtRage is also available for the iPad.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.Com.

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Globaltel Media’s Cherple for SMS and Texting Chat

Tom and Todd get texting with Globaltel Media‘s free SMS chat platform, Cherple. Robert Sanchez, President & CEO, takes them through it.

Cherple is a free web-based SMS texting client, which in itself is not unusual – there a plenty of sites which can send SMS messages. But what makes this a little bit different is that the recipient can text the sender back again, even though the sender is at a computer. A whole text chat can then follow, back and forth.

It’s web-based, so can be used from any web browser, but Windows and Mac downloads are on offer, too.

Cherple currently only works for texts to US-based cellphones, but Globaltel are expecting to setup local Cherple sites in ten countries in the coming months.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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GadgetTrak Remote Tracking Software For Mobile Gadgets

GadgetTrak is a piece of software that you install on your mobile phone or laptop. The software will periodically check in and let you know the physical location of the device. If a camera is present, for example on a laptop, it can even take a photo of the thief and email it back to the owner. The software cannot be disabled by the thief.

For a Mac or Windows laptop, the price is $34.95 per year.

For Android and Blackberry phones, which includes remote data wipe ability, secure encrypted backup and a loud piercing audible alarm even if the device is in silent mode, the price is $19.95 per year.

For iPhone, iPod, and iPad, the GadgetTrak app is .99 cents, The iOS version does not include remote data wipe, but does include remote camera and push notification support to inform the thief of the GadgetTrak software’s presence.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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The Xi3 Modular Microcomputer

David Politis of Xi3 Microcomputers (http://xi3.org/) presents the Xi3 Modular Computer. It is an extremely small form factor and operates on only 20 watts of power, yet contains a dual-core AMD Athlon x86 processor operating at 2 gigahertz. The standard model ships with 2 gigabytes of DDR 2 RAM and 8 gigabytes of solid SSD solid state drive memory.

The Xi3 is revolutionary in several different respects. Not only is the unit as small as possible, the motherboard is broken down into three modular, replaceable components. Thus it becomes possible to upgrade to the latest technologies such as USB 3.0 once it becomes widely available in the near future or to higher-performance future CPU processors.

Imagine the Xi3 as the heart of a high-performance, low-engergy-drain, absolutely silent-running Media Center PC. Since it’s x86 architecture running on a dual-core processor on a high-performance SSD drive it can easily boot Windows 7 Ultimate in 30 seconds flat.

Why didn’t someone think of this before?

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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Igugu Internet TV

Mario Cisneros talks about Igugu TV (www.igugu.com), a hardware and software combination that turns your existing Windows-based computer into a TV set top box enabling you to easily get over-the-top television content from your computer to your flat panel television.

Igugu has three kit offerings, including $99 dollars for the remote control unit and software, $129 for the remote control unit, software, and miscellaneous wiring kit, and $249 for a wireless version.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Adobe Audition Mac Free Beta Download

Making the switch to Mac OS/X a few years ago as my primary computing platform was not without its sacrifices. Among these was Adobe Audition. Sure, I could use Audition in a Windows virtual machine, but it just wasn’t the same thing and entailed its own sacrifices.

Sacrifice no more. Adobe finally heeded the call for Audition for Mac OS/X, and has released a public beta that can currently be downloaded for free available at

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/audition/

After a cursory look at this new beta, I’m impressed. They seem to have succeeded in bringing the Adobe Audition user interface I love in Windows to OS/X. I’ll be buying the final product once it is released for sale to the public.