Showing posts with label VirtualMachine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VirtualMachine. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM now with Update 3 (VS 2013.3)

Brian Keller - Now Available: Update 3 refresh of Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine

I’m pleased to announce that today we’ve published the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine. This includes several updates to the hands-on-labs / demo scripts to show off some of the new capabilities which have been added in Updates 1 – 3.

With the continuous stream of great updates coming to Visual Studio every few months I haven’t been able to update the virtual machine with each new update, so I didn’t publish a new VM for Updates 1 or 2. But with Update 3 we hit critical mass of some great ALM capabilities which demanded an update.

For people who are interested in this level of detail, I’ve included a high-level changelog below which details the updates we’ve made in this version of the VM and labs. You can download the latest version of the VM and corresponding hands-on-labs / demo scripts at http://aka.ms/vs13almvm. You can find a list of our other ALM VM’s at http://aka.ms/ALMVMs. As always, we love hearing your feedback.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Virtual Machine

  • Upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Applied all recent Windows Updates
  • Increased the size of the VHD file to account for the updates
  • Added TFS 2013 Power Tools
  • Other smaller fit-and-finish fixes and updates based on user feedback

...

image..."

Want to play with the latest production release (for now) of VS 2013 and TFS, with a ton of great HOL's, with everything all setup for you to learn and explore, data and all? You know the drill, head over to http://aka.ms/ALMVMs and get your download on...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
24! [Hands-on-Labs and Demo Scripts now available in the big BK Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM] + [Bonus: Azure'ing it too...]
Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

QEMU lives on, v2.0.0 now available.

I Programmer - QEMU 2.0.0 Released

Version 2.0.0 of the open source machine emulator and virtualizer QEMU has been released introducing support for the KVM emulator on ARM systems..

QEMU (short for "Quick EMUlator") is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor that performs hardware virtualization.

...

In announcing the new version Michael Roth of the IBM-Linux Technology centre commented:
This is one of our most extensive releases ever, with 2,500+ commmits from 179 authors.

The new features he lists includes:

  • Initial support for KVM on AArch64 systems (some features such as migration are not yet implemented)
  • Support for all 64-bit mode ARMV8 user-accessible instructions except for the optional CRC and crypto extensions
  • ...
  • Support for the Hyper-V reference time counter via the "hv-time" suboption of "-cpu". This can improve performance of Windows guests substantially for applications that do many floating-point or SIMD operations. (Requires KVM and Linux 3.14).

...

QEMU

image

Main Page

From QEMU

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.

When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, and S390 guests.

...

I find it interesting that the first time I blogged about  QEMU was in 2004. Funny how far virtual machines have come since then!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Booting Minecraft (or maybe Assembling Minecraft) - MineAssemble is a bootable Minecraft clone, written in mostly x86 assembly
QEMU & FreeOSZoo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Step-by-Step into your own private cloud, with the Windows Azure Pack and System Center

KeithMayer.com - Step-by-Step: Getting Started with On-demand Private Clouds using Windows Azure Pack

As I’ve been traveling and speaking to IT Pros about the great scalability, resiliency and offerings in our Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there’s also been lots of interest around deploying our free Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to bring the power and consistency of the same self-service Azure portal user interface to on-demand Private Clouds provisioned in an on-premises datacenter.

image

In this article, we’ll step through the process of setting up Windows Azure Pack in a lab environment for provisioning and delegating VM private clouds. Along the way, I’ll call out the specific details that I found helpful to successfully build my own lab environment.

What is Windows Azure Pack?

For a technical overview of the Windows Azure Pack, check out this great Microsoft TechEd session:

In addition, Thomas Maurer, MVP for Cloud and Virtualization, has written a great article that describes the overall architecture of Windows Azure Pack:

What are we building?

Windows Azure Pack certainly has the ability to scale to support very large Private Cloud environments consisting of multiple datacenters.  However, in this article, we’ll get started by building a basic lab environment that consists of the following four (4) VMs:

  • System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) management server VM
  • SQL Server 2012 database server VM
  • Service Provider Foundation (SPF) server VM
  • Windows Azure Pack (WAP) server VM

To configure all four (4) VMs in your lab environment, you’ll need a virtualization host with at least 16GB RAM and 300GB available disk space.

...

image ..."

You guys know how much I dig this idea, of having all that's good about Azure, inside my firewall, avoiding all the "security" and "OMG, the cloud? AAAHHHHhhhhhhh..." angst.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Deploying your own little cloud... "Deploying Windows Azure Pack" series
Windows Azure Pack (#WAPack), Related Blogs, Videos and TechNet Articles wiki round-up
Taking the Bus to the next stop... Why you, Dev and IT, should be looking at the Windows Azure Pack.
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Providing your users some DBaaS (that's Database as a Service)

Microsoft Downloads - Database as a Service Reference Architecture Guide: SQL Server 2014

Explains how to build an infrastructure for hosting Microsoft SQL Server Database as a Service by using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012.

Version: April 2014

Date Published: 4/7/2014

Database Hosting Reference Architecture Guide_SQL_2014.docx, 302 KB

This guide explains how to build an infrastructure for hosting Microsoft SQL Server Database as a Service (DBaaS). By using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012, a hosting service provider can start with very small tenant databases and scale to meet the needs of the largest and busiest SQL Server applications. This reference architecture includes information about hardware, software, system design, and component configuration.

image

image

...

image

1 Overview

This guide to building the infrastructure for hosting Microsoft® SQL Server® Database as a Service (DBaaS) is not limited to a particular type of hardware. By using the features of SQL Server 2014 and Hyper-V® virtual machines with Microsoft System Center 2012, a hosting service provider can start with very small tenant databases and scale out or scale up to meet the needs of the largest and busiest SQL Server applications. This reference architecture includes hardware, software, system design, and component configuration.

2 Hosted Services

Database as a Service, for the purposes of this reference architecture, is a multitenant offering with isolation at the SQL Server database level. Many tenants can share an instance of SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, each tenant with its own database. SQL Servers are hosted on Hyper-V virtual machines running Windows Server® 2012 R2 or using Windows® Core services. Hyper-V virtual machines are managed and monitored by System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager.

A hosted service provider (HSP), the intended audience for this guide, may offer a single server or many hundreds or thousands of servers. Servers may be in the same data center or distributed across data centers for load balancing and disaster recovery.

As an HSP, you make individual SQL Server databases available to the tenant with an agreed-upon maximum size and an agreed-upon amount of resources available. You are responsible for maintaining the SQL Server instance, the virtual host, and the physical host compute, network, and storage infrastructure.

You can secure a single instance of SQL Server easily. When you use the Partially Contained Database and Contained Users features of SQL Server 2014, a database can be made into a secure environment. Users cannot access other databases or the metadata about tenant databases.

You can also use the SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Resource Governor to prevent a single user or a single tenant from using too much of the available resources, and resource usage can be balanced among tenants.

In a SQL Server 2014 DBaaS environment, each tenant is responsible for the data in his SQL Server database. Tenants create the database architecture consisting of objects that store data and application code to maintain and search data and return results to clients. Within the database, a tenant database administrator (DBA) can set permissions enabling subsets of tenant users and groups to carry out these tasks.

The architecture of the database and how well the tenant optimizes code that performs searches will have a direct impact on performance and resource usage. You may wish to offer services to help tenants to optimize design and code to improve response times and minimize resource usage.

As the HSP, you are responsible for Windows and SQL Server maintenance and your standard agreement to provide hosted SQL Server services should define your maintenance windows. You may patch SQL Server and Windows on the virtual and physical hosts, migrate the database to a new virtual machine host when resource requirements require it, and migrate the virtual machine to a new physical host during routine maintenance.

You may also perform certain database-level services on behalf of the tenant, such as running scheduled jobs and backups. Scheduled jobs can run common maintenance tasks like Update Statistics or large scale data modification and aggregation, such as month-end processing. You may also make tools, such as an API or a self-service control panel, available to the tenant to manage such jobs while restricting the tenant’s access to only the data she needs.

You can automate provisioning services by using management APIs and offer features like self-service provisioning to your customers. Such services reduce operational expenses for both you and your tenants.

You can monitor usage at a very detailed level with tools like Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and the SQL Server Management Pack. Tenants can be billed according to very broad guidelines or for only what they use.

Customers will see lower capital expenditures and total cost of ownership when they consolidate database servers, reduce the proliferation of on-premises applications, and share the cost of administrative expertise with other tenants. Tenants can take advantage of advanced solutions without having to buy and administer an entire enterprise solution.

By leasing SQL Server DBaaS, the tenant can pay for only those resources required for an application with the option to scale up in the future. There is no need to over-provision for what might or might not happen in the future, because when more capacity is needed, the hardware will be available.

...

While targeted at hosted service provider, I still think this has value for large organizations or those dealing with SQL Server Sprawl... SQL Server Enterprise isn't cheap, so ensuring that you're using it to its maximum is important for everyone. IT groups like to say they are "service providers." Doing something like this makes that a real statement, without them giving away the keys to the store...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Setting up your Windows VM debugger support, a cheat sheet

Got Kernel? - Cheat Sheet: Break into a Windows machine with a debugger

Short version - there steps:

1.  Enable debugging on the Windows guest machine.

2. Change the VM settings to support debugging via named pipe.

3. Configure your debugger and break in.

Longer Version:

image

Some nice steps that might not be obvious for those who don't usually setup external debuggers.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

24! [Hands-on-Labs and Demo Scripts now available in the big BK Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM] + [Bonus: Azure'ing it too...]

Brian Keller - Visual Studio 2010/2012 Hands-On-Labs / Demo Scripts Upgraded to 2013

The Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine was upgraded today to include the sample content and hands-on-labs / demo scripts which were previously introduced for Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 capabilities. This brings the total number of hands-on-labs and demo scripts which work with this VM to 24.

We also used this opportunity to address some fit-and-finish feedback we received on the initial release of the 2013 ALM VM, so it should be a nice improvement all around. As a reminder you can find the full list of ALM virtual machines here.

Brian Keller - Visual Studio 2013 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

Updated January 9, 2014: The VM was upgraded to include all applicable Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 hands-on-labs / demo scripts. This brings the total number of hands-on-labs / demo scripts you can run with this virtual machine to 24.

...

The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is available for download along with 24 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which introduce you to many of the ALM capabilities which have been included in this release.

You can download and install Visual Studio 2013 (including Team Foundation Server 2013, .NET Framework 4.5.1, etc.). But if you would like a faster way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.

...

Labs upgraded from Visual Studio 2010/2012: NEW

...

image

Hosting the VS 2013 ALM VM in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine

I am recommending the use of a Windows Azure Virtual Network for this exercise so the virtual machine does not have any ports open to the internet (public facing).  If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the steps in the article feel free to leave a comment.

Steps we’ll be performing in this article:

  • Download the VS 2013 ALM Virtual Machine (.rar)
  • Extract the files for the VS 2013 ALM Virtual Machine
  • Download and install the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets
  • Create a Windows Azure Storage Container
  • Create a Windows Azure Virtual Network with Point-to-Site Connectivity
  • Upload the .VHD to Azure Storage
  • Configure a disk  so the .VHD can be used by a Virtual Machine
  • Create and configure the Virtual Machine
  • Complete the configuration of the Virtual Network and connect to the VPN

First you should head over to Brian Keller’s great blog post and follow the instructions to get the files.  If you don’t have a fast and reliable internet connection you may want to wait and build a 2nd virtual machine on the virtual network that I am configuring as part of this post to download the files and upload the .vhd to your Azure storage.  I tried it this past weekend on my internet service (provided by cable) and the upload took just over 17 hours, if you do this from within a Virtual Machine in Azure the entire process (calculate MD5 Hash and Upload) takes about 2.5 hours.

...

The only way this might be better is if this VM were in the Azure Gallery, but until then, this is one of the coolest ways to check out all that is VS 2013, with sample data, demos, labs, etc. If you're a trainer, presenter or just want to see just about everything that is TFS ALM, this VM is a must download...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

IE11 Virtual Machines now just a download away...

IEBlog - IE11 Virtual Machines Now Available on modern.IE

With the recent release of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, we have added IE11 for Windows 7 and IE11 on Windows 8.1 to the suite of virtual machines available on modern.IE for testing Internet Explorer across platforms and versions. We have also updated all of the virtual machines based on your feedback, to make browser testing easier. The VMs are available for free for the purpose of testing your site on all versions of Internet Explorer; regardless of your development platform. The images are available for Linux, Mac and Windows across the most common desktop virtualization technologies.

Among the changes we made to the refreshed VMs are:

  • Windows update is set to off by default to prevent VMs with older versions of IE from automatically updating themselves to newer IE versions
  • Extended the expiration time of the images
  • Answers to frequently asked questions are now readily accessible from the Windows desktop
  • Added a VM build version number and set the IE home page to visit modern.IE to check for VM updates

VMs for testing on IE are just one of many free tools we offer on modern.IE. Check out these additional tools designed to help reduce your testing time:

  • A static code site-scanner to check for common compatibility problems
  • Add our compatibility inspector JavaScript library on your site without touching a line of code thanks to Sauce Labs automation
  • See how your site renders across popular devices and browsers with BrowserStack screenshots
  • See techniques and code we developed behind the scenes for some amazing HTML5 Web sites through tech teardowns

...

image

If you're a company looking to test your product on IE11, or a dev needing to do the same thing, or maybe an IT, or just want to check it out, these VM's are one of the easiest and safest ways of doing it...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
modern.IE is OSS... The HTML/CSS/JS code scanner from Microsoft is free and OSS (oh, and the IE VM's have been updated too!)
IE VM's the easy way... Three host OS's (Yes, even OSX and Linux), four VM types (yes even VMWare), five IE versions (yes even IE10) and one download (no more split rar's)!
IE 6/7/8 XP/Vista/Win7 VHD's Refreshed
IE VPC's Refreshed. Get your WinXP/IE6, Vista/IE7/8/9, Win7/IE8/9 VHD's here...
Play with IE8 RC1 the safe and easy way – via the Internet Explorer Compatibility Images (VPC VHD)
The Internet Explorer Compatibility Images (VPC VHD) updated – Now with a IE8 Beta 2 VHD (and expire dates of 01/09)
The IE8 VPC - IE8 the easy way
WinXP IE6 & WinXP IE7 VPC Images
WinXP SP2 IE6 VPC Image Refreshed
WinXP SP2 IE6 VPC Image

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Portable Native Client Amiga 500 Emulator - An Amiga 500 in your Chrome

OS News - Amiga 500 emulator with Portable Native Client

This website runs an emulator of the Amiga 500 inside of Chrome by using Portable Native Client, a way to run existing C/C++ in the browser in a safe way across operating systems and across machine architectures. On the main page you can boot the Amiga, insert floppy disks, play the games, and generally pretend it's still the late 80s.

Amiga 500 Emulator 

imageimageSNAGHTMLbce479d

While I'm not a big fan of the PNC (Portable Native Client) idea, this is still pretty awesome...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available

Brian Keller just shot me this email and I thought it important to blog about is ASAP (so you have a chance to download the VM's while on a faster work network... ;)

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m pleased to announce that the Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available!

This virtual machine replaces the previous Visual Studio 2013 ALM virtual machine which was based on Preview bits. This is a publicly downloadable set of content, so you may feel free to share this with your customers, partners, etc. It’s designed to be both a tool for demonstrating our ALM story and as a self-paced training environment for learning how to use our ALM tools.

image

This virtual machine is configured with:

· Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard Evaluation

· Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013

· Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013

· Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)

· Microsoft Visio Professional 2013

· Microsoft Release Management for Visual Studio 2013

· Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard

· Sample users and data required to support hands-on-lab scripts which accompany this download and exercise 4 new ALM scenarios.

Public URL: http://aka.ms/vs13almvm

More ALM virtual machines and hands-on-labs / demo scripts (including VS 2012, Project Server/TFS, and SCOM/TFS) can be found at http://aka.ms/ALMVMs.

What’s next? In the next sprint we will be working on the following:

  • Porting the hands-on-labs, demo scripts, and sample data from the VS 2012 ALM virtual machine to work with the Visual Studio 2013 ALM virtual machine.
  • Building a set of assets and scripts to enable the Microsoft field to effectively learn and demonstrate Application Insights.

Enjoy!

Brian Keller
Principal Technical Evangelist
Visual Studio ALM
Blog: blogs.msdn.com/briankel
ALM 2012 Book: Professional ALM with Visual Studio 2012
TFS 2012 Book: Professional Team Foundation Server 2012
Visual Studio ALM Demos / hands-on-labs

Related Past Post XRef:
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A test lab to play with eDiscovery across Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, and Windows Server 2012 file shares

Microsoft Downloads - Test Lab Guide: Configure eDiscovery for an Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, and Windows File Shares Test Lab

Use these step-by-step instructions to configure eDiscovery across Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, and Windows Server 2012 file shares. 

Version: 1.0

Date Published: 11/18/2013

eDiscoveryTLG.doc, 250 KB

eDiscoveryTLG.pdf, 531 KB

Some snaps and snips from the Doc;

image

In this guide

This guide takes you through configuring an eDiscovery solution. This solution uses SharePoint Server 2013 Search Service to crawl SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Windows file shares for items that may be relevant to ongoing litigation. You’ll be doing this by using the five server computers and two client computers configured with server-to-server authentication from the Configure an Integrated Exchange, Lync and SharePoint test lab. You can view the Configure an Integrated Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint Test Lab overview video to help you get started.

Important

This TLG uses multiple virtual machines (VMs) to illustrate the separation of services and distribution of roles in the eDiscovery solution. In consideration of resource limitations though, the number of VMs used is kept to a minimum. The architecture that’s presented here is for test lab purposes only and should not be used in production. To see production scale architectures and sample topologies refer to:

· Technical diagrams for SharePoint 2013

· Exchange 2013 Planning and Deployment

· Lync 2013 Planning

For information about how to configure this test lab in Hyper-V, see Hosting the integrated Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint test lab with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

...

Test lab overview

In this test lab, integrated functionality is deployed by using the following:

· One computer running Windows Server® 2012 named DC1 that is configured as an intranet domain controller, Domain Name System (DNS) server, and DHCP server.

· One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named SQL1 that is configured as a SQL database server and enterprise root certification server.

· One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named SP1 that is configured as a SharePoint Server 2013 web server, an enterprise root certification authority and with Windows file shares.

· One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named EX1 that is configured as the Exchange Server 2013 email server.

· One intranet member server running Windows Server 2012 named LYNC1 that is configured as the Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition server.

· One member client computer running Windows 8 named CLIENT1.

· One member client computer running Windows 8 named CLIENT2.

The integrated test lab consists of a single subnet named Corpnet (10.0.0.0/24) that simulates a private intranet. Computers on the Corpnet subnet connect by using a hub or switch. See the following figure.

image

Had to highlight this as it's in my day job business sphere... I don't know if/when corps will start using something like this, as apposed to the current commonly used "vaults" but it's good to see Microsoft starting to get into this space.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Amazon goes virtual...desktop.. with their new Amazon WorkSpaces offering

Paul Thurrott's Windows Super Site - Amazon takes Virtual Desktop to the Cloud

Amazon today announced a new service called Amazon Workspaces, which brings fully-managed desktop computing services to its AWS cloud. Using a technology called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, the Amazon solutions lets users use the device of their choice—iPad, Kindle Fire, or an Android tablet—but still have access to the PC solutions they need for work. And of course, this being Amazon, the big benefit here is the low cost: Amazon says Workspaces costs less than half the price of traditional VDI solutions.

"Over the past couple years, the new service customers have requested most frequently is a virtual cloud desktop service," says Amazon WorkSpaces general manager Gene Farrell. "They've been frustrated by the available options – traditional desktops that are hard to manage and keep secure, or virtual desktops that are expensive and deliver inconsistent performance. Amazon WorkSpaces aims to address these issues by offering secure, easy-to-manage, high-performance desktops in the cloud at a fraction of the price of traditional VDI."

The Amazon solution appears to be a modern solution to an age-old issue. ...

Amazon WorkSpaces

image

image

Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud. Amazon WorkSpaces allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need with the device of their choice, including laptops, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android tablets. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can provision a high-quality desktop experience for any number of users at a cost that is highly competitive with traditional desktops and half the cost of most virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.

Benefits

  • Fully Managed
  • Support Multiple Devices
  • Keep Your Data Secure and Available
  • Choose the Hardware and Software you need
  • Pay as You Go
  • Integrate your Corporate Directory

Use Cases

  • Mobile Device Access
  • Secure WorkSpaces
  • Remote Employees
  • Seasonal Workers
  • Student WorkSpaces
  • Developer WorkSpaces
    • You can provision WorkSpaces for developers and install the tools they need to build applications for your business. Your source code is not stored on developers’ devices helping you keep your intellectual property safe.

..."

Amazon WorkSpaces Pricing

With Amazon WorkSpaces, you pay only for the WorkSpaces you launch. There is no up-front commitment and you can delete WorkSpaces at any time. WorkSpaces are billed on a monthly basis. The monthly fee for Workspaces includes both the infrastructure (compute, storage, bandwidth for streaming) and the software applications. Please see the table below for pricing details.

If you would like to launch WorkSpaces with more software already pre-installed (e.g., Microsoft Office, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, etc.), you should choose the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options. If you don’t need the applications offered in those bundles or you would like to use software licenses for some of the applications in the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options that you’ve already paid for, we recommend the Standard or Performance bundles. Whichever option you choose, you can always add your own software whenever you like.

WorkSpaces Bundle

Hardware Resources

Applications

Monthly Price

Standard

1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage

Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE)

$35

Standard Plus

1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage

Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE)

$50

Performance

2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage

Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE)

$60

Performance Plus

2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage

Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE)

$75

 

Interesting and inevitable. THIS, and cloud services like it, is more likely the death of the PC than anything...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Internet Archive's Historical Software Archive = Retro to the Max Software in your Browser Collection (Adventure, WordStar, Visicalc, The Hobbit and more)

PC World - Historical Software Archive lets you use vintage software in your browser

The Internet Archive’s new Historical Software Archive brings old software to your browser through the magic of JSMESS emulation.

The Internet Archive has protected and preserved old software for a while now; archivist Jason Scott claimed back in April that the organization possessed the largest historical software collection in the world.

Software is so transient, though. It’s sometimes hard to get a program from 2003 to run on a modern machine, let alone a program from 1983. For most people it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to, as the Internet Archive puts it, “track down the hardware and media to run [old software], or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser.”

...

Internet Archive Blogs - Microcomputer Software Lives Again, This Time in Your Browser

The miracle is now so commonplace that it’s invisible: we have the ability to watch video, listen to music, and read documents right in our browsers. You might get a hankering to hear some old time radio, or classic television programs, or maybe read up some classic children’s books, you’re just a couple clicks away from having them right there, in front of you. Not so with classic software. To learn and experience older programs, you have to track down the hardware and media to run it, or download and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser. Unlike films or video or audio, it was a slower, more involved process to experience software.

Until now.

JSMESS is a Javascript port of the MESS emulator, a mature and breathtakingly flexible computer and console emulator that has been in development for over a decade and a half by hundreds of volunteers. The MESS emulator runs in a large variety of platforms, but is now able to run embedded in most modern browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.

...

Today, the Internet Archive announces the Historical Software Archive, a collection of prominent and historically notable pieces of software, able to be run immediately in your browser.  They range from pioneering applications to obscure forgotten utilities, and from peak-of-perfection designs to industry-crashing classics.

...

Historical Software Archive

Welcome to Historical Software Collection

This collection contains selected historically important software packages from the Internet Archive's software archives. Through the use of in-browser emulators, it is possible to try out these items and experiment with using them, without the additional burdens of installing emulator software or tracking down the programs. Many of these software products were the first of their kind, or utilized features and approaches that have been copied or recreated on many programs since. (historic software, vintage software, antique software)

A Guided Tour Through the Collection

For this initial collection, we've hand-selected a few dozen ground-breaking and historically important software products, many of whom started entire industries or pioneered new genres of programs. While they lack the later features and graphics of modern counterparts, these programs were either big sellers at the time or recognized as first of a kind. They are now a single click away in a browser.

Getting to Work

Productivity software has been around a long time, and two of the most prominent examples are Visicalc and Wordstar. Visicalc brought the wonder of the electronic spreadsheet to the world, changing the business world forever. WordStar was one of the leading Word Processing software programs before fading away in the late 1980s. As a bonus WordStar is presented on the now-long-gone Osborne-1, one of the first "Luggable" computers to come out (it promised to fit under an airplane seat!). Check them out in monochrome glory (but don't put any major work in it).

The Road to Adventure

Adventure games are a staple of early home computer software and these examples let you play some of the most famous of these virtual worlds. Akalabeth was the first major computer game by a young Richard Garriott, alias Lord British. Created when he was a teenager and inspired by many games of D&D, it was his first work in a lifetime of RPG gamemaking, including the Ultima series. The Hobbit, a legendary adventure game for the ZX Spectrum, had a level of complication and subtlety beneath the surface that was years ahead of its time - characters lived their own lives, with you sometimes stumbling on the results of their battles or suffering the consequences of their meddling. Mystery House by Sierra On-line was the first graphical adventure for the Apple II, and this version is the public domain anniversary re-issue by the company to celebrate their anniversary.

...

image

OMG, this is officially THE Cool Thing of the Day! (And it's kiss my weekend goodbye! ;)

image

Thursday, October 03, 2013

VMware or Microsoft? 35 posts, six weeks, two products, one great series...

Chris Koenig - VMware or Microsoft? – The Complete Series

Some of the guys on my team have created an AMAZING series of blog posts comparing Windows Server and Hyper-V to VMWare’s offerings. Here’s a complete list of the entire series – you should DEFINITELY take a look…

image

Full of I.T. - VMware or Microsoft? – The Series Introduction

Hello out there all of you virtualization fans!… all of you datacenter supermen and superwomen!… all of you who get excited when skillfully and elegantly applied information technology makes your work lives and the work lives of the people you support – and the businesses you provide value to - just so much better!

We have a new 6-week blog series for you entitled “VMware or Microsoft?”

“Who’s ‘we’?  And what is the series about?”

We are the 11 IT Pro Technology Evangelists serving the United States on behalf of Microsoft.  And the series is.. well… let’s call it “Shark Week” for IT Pros.

“You mean.. like what just ended on the Discovery Channel?”

Exactly.  Except that instead of one week, it’s six weeks long.  And instead of sharks, it’s virtualization platform and management comparisons.  But in terms of ferocity, well.. they’re exactly the same.  (Minus the sharp teeth and all of that violence, of course.)  What we want to do during these six weeks is to dispel some of the myths and misinformation that is out there.  In this series we promise to provide you with articles that are rich in technical detail, proving that Hyper-V and System Center 2012 are the best choice for virtualization and serving up applications; whether your “clouds" are local, in the public cloud, at a hosting provider, or a combination of any of those.

We also promise that, if we’re discussing an area where VMware simply has a better solution, or has a technology that Microsoft can’t match, we’ll acknowledge it honestly.  We know that, as Microsoft employees (and especially as a bunch of folks who hold the title of “Evangelists”), we automatically are seen as impartial.  And let’s face it: We are. (smile)  But we’re also confident enough in the products and the company that we represent to be able to just tell it like it is.  ...

“Do you have a list of topics created?”

Yes, we do have a list.  But it’s definitely subject to change.  It’s no secret, and certainly no accident, that this series will be happening over the week when VMware will be holding their VMWorld conference.  So we know that our list might change drastically during that week as a result of the announcements and improvements that VMware will most certainly make....

It's likely if you're already heavily invest in one side or the other, this series might not change your mind, but I do like that the guys tried to be as honest as possible in their comparisons. And it never hurts to see what the other side of the fence looks like...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Avoid virtual stagnation - "INFOGRAPHIC: Top virtualization skills to boost your career"

pluralsight - INFOGRAPHIC: Top virtualization skills to boost your career

Are you a dev pro who dabbles in IT? If so and you’re not building up your virtualization skills, what’s holding you back? It’s possible you’re not sure where to begin your training, and if that’s the case, we’re here to help.

If you haven’t heard, we recently acquired TrainSignal, the leading provider of IT training online. Over the next few months, we’re working to get TrainSignal’s entire library in our platform, so you’ll have access to more training at the same low price, including the virtualization courses below.

Save this infographic for when you’re ready to start training!

SNAGHTML20671cec

imageSNAGHTML20695682

The best part, IMHO, is the roadmap at the bottom...

Friday, August 09, 2013

24 Hours of PASS (PASS Summit 2013 Sneak Peeks)

PASS Summit 2013 - Session Sneak Peeks

Get a sneak peek at some of the SQL Server and Business Intelligence best practices, expert tips, and demos you'll find at PASS Summit 2013. We recently hosted an online event featuring 24 back-to-back webcasts from various PASS Summit speakers. Watch the recordings, sorted by track, now:

Application & Database Development | BI Information Delivery | BI Platform Architecture, Development & Administration | Cloud Application Development & Deployment | Enterprise Database Administration & Deployment

...

SNAGHTML525d480

image

I do wish these were available as HTML5 video, but that's a minor whine. There's some cool looking sessions here, and all it costs is your email address...

(Found via Sergio Govoni - 24 Hours of PASS (July 2013): Recordings Now Available! )

Friday, August 02, 2013

Azure, PowerShell, Virtual Networks, VM's, Domains and Lab building, a three part series

chris e. avis - writing about microsoft and technology.... - Build a lab in Windows Azure for learning PowerShell – Part 3 of 3 – Configure the Virtual Machines

I have decided to use Windows Azure as my lab environment because it is the fastest and most accessible way for me to work on this from anywhere in the world. I travel a lot so I want to be able to access the lab while on the road. This is a self-contained lab environment that for right now is just for my PowerShell learning. But it has the potential to be used for other lab scenarios and is completely expandable.

I am using the following book to teach myself more about PowerShell -

“Learn Windows PowerShell 3 In A Month Of Lunches” by Don Jones and Jeffery D. Hicks

I have decided to use Windows Azure as my lab environment because it is the fastest and most accessible way for me to work on this from anywhere in the world. I travel a lot so I want to be able to access the lab while on the road. This is a self-contained lab environment that for right now is just for my PowerShell learning. But it has the potential to be used for other lab scenarios and is completely expandable.

You can create your own Windows Azure Lab by following along. The first step is to get signed up for a Free Windows Azure Trial account here -

To create the lab environment, we have to build out a few different pieces -

Ongoing summary posts of what I learn as I read the book and learn more about PowerShell.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully, if you are at the stage of wanting to learn PowerShell, you already know how to create a Windows Domain Controller. Even if you don’t have much experience with Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, you should be able to stumble through this part easily. But there are a few configurations we need to look at to ensure all of the virtual machines can speak to each other.

Note - If you have not already created three (3) virtual machines, go back to Part 2 to review the steps for creating the additional virtual machines. We will need a total of three (3) for our lab. Once you have the required virtual machines, come back to this post to complete the configuration

*** Important *** – When creating the additional virtual machines, ensure they are all in the same Cloud Service, Virtual Network, and Storage Account. You can look at the configuration of the Virtual Machine we created in Part 2 to find this information

..."

Want to build a complete lab to play with, and learn, PowerShell? Or a series to help you learn about building such a lab on Azure? Want to see about creating your own little cloud hosted domain? Want to use your MSDN Azure allowance?

You'll want to read this series...

Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...

Brian Keller - Visual Studio 2013 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

The Visual Studio 2013 Preview ALM Virtual Machine is available for download along with 3 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which introduce some of the new ALM capabilities which have been added in this release. In future iterations of this VM we will be adding additional hands-on-labs and demo scripts.

You can download and install the previews of Visual Studio 2013 (and Team Foundation Server 2013, .NET Framework 4.5.1, etc.). But if you would like a fast way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.

Some important notes about this virtual machine:

  • This is a Hyper-V virtual machine and works with Windows Server 2008 x64, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8 (with SLAT-capable processors), Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2....
  • ...

This virtual machine is configured with:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard Evaluation
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 Preview
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Preview
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2013
  • Microsoft InRelease Server and Deployers
  • Sample users and data required to support hands-on-lab scripts which accompany this download and exercise 3 new ALM scenarios.

There are 3 hands-on-labs for you to take a scripted approach towards learning this content. These labs double as demo scripts in case you want to show off these features to others:

New features in Visual Studio 2013:

    If you are looking for even more hands-on-labs and demo scripts, be sure to check out our other ALM virtual machines at http://aka.ms/ALMVMs. We will build more hands-on-labs and demo scripts for Visual Studio 2013 over time. ...

    If you want to get your hands on a full and complete local VM/VHD of VS2013, Brian Keller has got your back (and VM)...

     

    Related Past Post XRef:
    Playing with SQL Server 2014 (and VS2013) the Azure VM way
    VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
    The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
    The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
    VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
    Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
    Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
    Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

    Thursday, July 25, 2013

    modern.IE is OSS... The HTML/CSS/JS code scanner from Microsoft is free and OSS (oh, and the IE VM's have been updated too!)

    InternetExplorer/modern.IE-static-code-scan

    modern.IE

    The modern.IE scan analyzes the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of a site or application for common coding issues. It warns about practices such as incomplete specification of CSS properties, invalid or incorrect doctypes, and obsolete versions of popular JavaScript libraries.

    It's easiest to use modern.IE by going to the modern.IE site and entering the URL to scan there. To customize the scan, or to use the scan to process files behind a firewall, you can clone and build the files from this repo and run the scan locally.

    How it works

    The modern.IE local scan runs on a system behind your firewall; that system must have access to the internal web site or application that is to be scanned. Once the files have been analyzed, the analysis results are sent back to the modern.IE site to generate a complete formatted report that includes advice on remediating any issues. The report generation code and formatted pages from the modern.IE site are not included in this repo.

    Since the local scan generates JSON output, you can alternatively use it as a standalone scanner or incorporate it into a project's build process by processing the JSON with a local script.

    The main service for the scan is in the lib/service.js file; it acts as an HTTP server. It loads the contents of the web page and calls the individual tests, located in /lib/checks/. Once all the checks have completed, it responds with a JSON object representing the results.

    Installation and configuration

    • ...

    Testing

    ...

    JSON output

    ...

    Exploring IE - modern.IE updated for IE11 – Parallels offer and free VMs for download

    With the release today of the Internet Explorer 11 Developer Preview for Windows 7, we’ve also updated modern.IE – a set of tools and resources that make developing for the web (and IE) just a little bit easier. We want the web to move forward. And, we want to help web developers spend more time innovating and less time testing.

    Today, we announce three new enhancements:

    1. Limited offer: 25% off Parallels Desktop 8 virtualization for Mac.

    2. New virtual machines for testing IE11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

    3. A new, free screenshot tool that lets you see how a site looks across browsers and devices.

    Additionally, the modern.IE scanner is now available open source (under Apache 2.0 license) to download from GitHub for your own projects.

    ...

    Limited offer: 25% off Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac

    ...

    IE11 Preview available on Virtual Machines

    Virtual machines have proven to be a great way for developers to test in their preferred environment. We’ve made these available across various versions – from IE6 on Windows XP to IE10 on Windows 8 and in-between. Today we’ve added new VMs for IE11:

    • Windows 8.1 Preview with IE11
    • Windows 7 with IE11 Developer Preview

    And they are available across many common virtualization platforms:

    • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 & Windows 8 Pro w/Hyper-V
    • Virtual PC for Windows 7 (note that VPC cannot run Windows 8 VMs)
    • VirtualBox on Windows , Mac OSX and Linux
    • VMWare Player for Windows and Mac OSX

    Start downloading the new VMs here.

    How your users see your site. On Android. In Safari. With an Xbox.

    ...

    That should be enough things and IE stuff to play with for a couple days at least. I wonder if there's an Azure VM in the gallery for this yet? That way we could starting playing with IE11 in just minutes...

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    "Windows Server [2012 R2]: The Best Infrastructure to Run Linux Workloads"

    In the Cloud - What’s New in 2012 R2: Enabling Open Source Software

    Part 4 of a 9-part series.

    ...

    There are a lot of great surprises in these new R2 releases – things that are going to make a big impact in a majority of IT departments around the world. Over the next four weeks, the 2012 R2 series will cover the 2nd pillar of this release: Transform the Datacenter. In these four posts (starting today) we’ll cover many of the investments we have made that better enable IT pros to transform their datacenter via a move to a cloud-computing model.

    This discussion will outline the ambitious scale of the functionality and capability within the 2012 R2 products. As with any conversation about the cloud, however, there are key elements to consider as you read. Particularly, I believe it’s important in all these discussions – whether online or in person – to remember that cloud computing is a computing model, not a location. All too often when someone hears the term “cloud computing” they automatically think of a public cloud environment. Another important point to consider is that cloud computing is much more than just virtualization – it is something that involves change: Change in the tools you use (automation and management), change in processes, and a change in how your entire organization uses and consumes its IT infrastructure.

    ...

    As I noted above, it simply makes logical sense that running the Microsoft workloads in the Microsoft Clouds will deliver the best overall solution. But what about Linux? And how well does Microsoft virtualize and manage non-Windows platforms, in particular Linux?  Today we’ll address these exact questions.

    Our vision regarding other operating platforms is simple: Microsoft is committed to being your cloud partner. This means end-to-end support that is versatile, flexible, and interoperable for any industry, in any environment, with any guest OS. This vision ensures we remain realistic – we know that users are going to build applications on open source operating systems, so we have built a powerful set of tools for hosting and managing them.

    ...

    Windows Server: The Best Infrastructure to Run Linux Workloads [GD:They said it, not me...]

    ...

    At the core of enabling this single infrastructure is the ability to run Linux on Hyper-V. With the release of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, and enhanced by the updates in the 2012 R2 version, Hyper-V is at the top of its game in running Windows guests. We’re delivering this with engineering investments in Hyper-V, of course, but also in the Linux operating system.

    You read that correctly – some of the work we are doing at Microsoft involves working directly with the Linux community and contributing the technology that really enables Hyper-V and Windows to be the best cloud for Linux.

    Here’s how we’ve done it: Microsoft developers have built the drivers for Linux that we call the Linux Integration Services, or “LIS.” Synthetic drivers for network and disk provide performance that nearly equals the performance of bare hardware. Other drivers provide housekeeping for time synchronization, shutdown, and heartbeat. Directly in Hyper-V, we have built features to enable live backups for Linux guests, and we have exhaustively tested to ensure that Hyper-V features, like live migration (including the super performance improvements in 2012 R2), work for Linux guests just like they do for Windows guests. In total, we worked across the board to ensure Linux is at its best on Hyper-V.

    To ensure compliance, Microsoft had done this LIS development as a member of the Linux community. ...

    ...

    Manage Heterogeneous Environments Using Standards and System Center

    ...

    For our customers, we wanted to make managing Linux and any CIM-based system simple to automate via PowerShell. We introduced the PowerShell CIM cmdlets in Windows Server 2012 which enable IT pros to manage CIM based systems natively from Windows.

    ...

    Open Source on Windows

    In any IT environment, open source is more than just the operating system. You may be using open source components in your applications, whether you are a vendor offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) from the cloud, or an enterprise running open source components in your datacenter.

    To provide customers with increased flexibility for running open source-based applications on Windows, Microsoft simplified the process for building, deploying and updating services that are built on Windows. This was achieved through the development of a set of tools called “CoApp” (Common Open source Application Publishing Platform), which is a package management system for Windows that is akin to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) on Linux.

    Using CoApp, developers on Windows can easily manage the dependencies between components that make up an open source application. Developers will notice that many of the core dependencies, such as zlib and OpenSSL, are already built to run on Windows and are available immediately in the NuGet repository. Through NuGet, CoApp-built native packages can be included in Visual Studio projects in exactly the same manner as managed-code packages, making it very easy for a developer to download core libraries and create open source applications on Windows. Those of you with a developer orientation can get more details on CoApp in these videos: GoingNative - Inside NuGet for C++ and Building Native Libraries for NuGet with CoApp’s PowerShell Tools....

    ...

    Summary

    Enabling open source software is a key part of our promise to support the efforts of our customers as they continue to transform their datacenters with the cloud. This enablement is a key tenet of the scenarios we design and build our products to handle. The features and functions that enable open source software are an integral part of our products, and each element of these products are built and tested by our core engineering teams. These efforts are fully supported by Microsoft.

    As you might expect for the “Enable OSS” tenet of this 2012 R2 release, key parts of our open source enablement are themselves open source. For example, the Linux Integration Services are open source in the Linux kernel, and Microsoft releases the source code for most of the agents that System Center uses on Linux and UNIX to provide management capabilities. OMI and CoApp are also an open source projects, and, of course, PHP on Windows is part of the PHP open source project.

    With this release Microsoft is clearly the choice for datacenter infrastructure if you require the ability to run and manage open source software alongside Windows.

    ..."

    Sorry for the link-bait title, but couldn't resist. That's a strong claim. Given the Microsoft of today, I actually don't think it's too insane or crazy either (imaging say that 10 years ago!)