Microsoft iSCSI Target Software available to the public!



Windows Storage Server 2008 (WSS 2008) with the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.2 is now available to all MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers. A version for evaluation (TechNet Plus or MSDN), demonstration (MSDN), development (MSDN) or test (MSDN) is now being provided to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers for the first time. Rather than using expensive shared storage you simply run Storage Server on another machine. All communication is done over regular Ethernet cables, so HBAs or an expensive SAN are not needed. With just any three computers (2 cluster nodes and 1 iSCSI Target / DC) and a hub you can have your own Failover Cluster! Now there are no excuses for not trying out clustering.

Details of Exchange 2007 SP2 in-box backup when running on Windows Server 2008

Sweet, about time too, but?!check out this too its a better way, but will not work on CCR clusters

. . .As we mentioned in our Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 available in Q3 2009 – we are going to ship the backup plug-in with Exchange 2007 SP2. We wanted to share some additional details around what we are shipping:

The backup integration will enable Windows Server Backup to backup Exchange data. Note that there is no specific “Exchange only” granularity when you are backing things up. In other words, the backup is volume-based. If Exchange data is on C: drive, backing up the C: drive will also give you an Exchange-aware backup of Storage Groups located on that drive (and purge the transaction logs from all backed up Storage Groups if backup completed successfully)

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Virtualization

Another one:

We are pleased to announce official support for server virtualization for Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

We are introducing support for both a fully distributed virtualized topology across several hypervisors and for a single server virtualized topology. These topologies are supported on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and any Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partner solution (

Running Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Virtualized Topology

Interesting read:

This whitepaper defines the supported topologies and provides best practice recommendations for running Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and SQL Server 2008 in a Windows Hyper-V environment or other hypervisor technologies.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 can be deployed onto Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, or onto any virtualization solution that is a certified partner through the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partners for the following workloads:

  • Presence
  • IM (including conferencing, remote access, federation, and Public IM Connectivity)
  • Group Chat

This whitepaper:

  • Identifies which server roles are supported in a virtualized environment
  • Provides guidance for scaling users and workloads in a virtualized environment

This document describes the results of a series of configurations that were run in a Hyper-V environment to validate that Office Communications Server on Hyper-V provides stable performance and scalability for production use.

Surgery Live, 25-28 May 2009

Check it out: and you had better be quick!

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to witness world-leading surgeons perform complex, dramatic and life changing operations live.

On four consecutive nights a leading surgeon will operate in a UK hospital. From the comfort of Wellcome Collection you will be able to watch the surgery in close detail, ask questions of the team and find out more about the science and medicine behind the operation. The surgery will be streamed live to Wellcome Collection and broadcast on Channel 4, so you will be part of the TV studio audience too.

Monday 25 May, 21.30-23.30 – ‘Open Heart Surgery’ : Join leading heart surgeon Mr Francis Wells and his team as they perform the complex repair of a heart valve at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge.

Tuesday 26 May, 21.30-23.30 – ‘Awake Brain Surgery’: Join Mr Paul Grundy of the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton University Hospitals as he removes a brain tumour from a patient who is awake.

Wednesday 27 May, 22.00-00.00 – ‘Keyhole Stomach Repair’: Join Mr Richard Hardwick from Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge as he performs keyhole surgery to repair a hiatus hernia (where a small section of the stomach has pushed up through the opening of the diaphragm).

Thursday 28 May, 22.00-00.00 – ‘Pituitary Tumour Removal’: Join Mr Nick Thomas from King’s College Hospital in London for the removal of a tumour from the pituitary gland, which is right in the centre of the skull.

Powershell Cmdlets for SCOM 2007 R2 (beta)

PsSnapin is called: Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.OperationsManager.Client

get-help * | where {$_.pssnapin -like “*Enter*”} | sort name | select name,synopsis | ft –auto




Configures an Operations Manager Connector Framework connector for a specified tier.


Adds a remotely-managed computer to an agent.


Adds a remotely managed device to an agent.


Adds the specified user to an Operations Manager role.


Approves the specified agent pending action.


Disables a notification subscription.


Disables a rule.


Enables a notification subscription.


Enables a rule.


Exports a management pack to a file.


Gets the agents associated with the specified management server.


Gets agent-pending actions.


Gets the specified alerts.


Gets the connector to which the alert is forwarded.


Get the history for the specified alerts.


Get the connectors for a management group.


Gets the default settings for a management group.


Returns the available diagnostics.


Returns available discoveries.


Gets events.


Returns the failover management servers.


Returns the gateway management servers.


Gets maintenance window information.


Gets all open Management Group connections.


Gets imported management packs


Gets management servers.


Gets management pack monitors.


Retrieves the hierarchy of monitors for a particular monitoring object.


Gets monitoring classes.


Gets the properties of a specified monitoring class.


Gets monitoring objects.


Returns the list of monitoring object groups.


Gets path to a monitoring object.


Gets properties and associated values of monitoring objects.


Gets notification actions.


Gets notification end points.


Gets notification recipients.


Gets notification subscriptions.


Returns all cmdlets that are provided by Operations Manager.


Gets management pack overrides.


Gets performance counters.


Gets data associated with a specified performance counter.


Returns the primary management server.


Returns available recovery objects.


Gets monito
ring relationship classes.


Gets monitoring relationship objects.


Gets remotely managed computers.


Gets remotely managed devices.


Gets resultant category overrides.


Gets resultant rule overrides.


Gets resultant monitor overrides.


Returns the root management server.


Gets monitoring rules.


Gets run as accounts.


Gets monitoring state for specified monitoring objects.


Gets monitoring tasks.


Gets monitoring task results.


Gets tiered management groups.


Gets user roles.


Installs agents.


Installs an Operations Manager agent on the specified computer.


Installs a management pack.


Creates a custom monitoring object.


Creates an object that represents settings to use to discover devices.


Creates a new LdapQueryDiscoveryCriteria object used to discover computers.


Puts the specified monitoring object into maintenance mode.


Creates a new connection to a management group or tiered management group.


Creates a new monitoring property-value pair object.


Creates a new tier connection.


Creates an object that describes computers to discover.


Rejects the specified agent pending action.


Removes an Operations Manager Connector Framework connector from a specified tier.


Removes all monitoring objects for which discovery is disabled.


Removes a connection to a management group.


Removes a remotely managed computer from an agent.


Removes a remotely managed device from an agent.


Removes a tier.


Resolves an alert.


Sets the Operations Manager Connector Framework connector  to which the specified alert will be forwarded.


Sets default settings.


Sets properties of a maintenance window.


Sets the management server of an agent.


Sets the proxy agent for a remotely managed computer or device.


Starts a discovery task for discovering devices or computers.


Starts a task.


Uninstalls the Operations Manager agent from managed computers.


Uninstalls a management pack.

Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 available in Q3 2009

This is strange .. my RSS feed picked this but now it’s not on the web!

Any way .. was expecting this a bit earlier .. Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) enables customers to increase their operational efficiency and it sets the foundation for the transition to Exchange Server 2010, which is expected to be available in the second half of 2009

Here is the rest of my feed, let see how it changes on the web later!

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is the industry’s leading server for e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging. Exchange Server 2007 is the foundation for a dynamic and holistic unified communications experience, and has been designed to meet the challenges and address the messaging needs of today’s businesses. Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) enables customers to increase their operational efficiency and it sets the foundation for the transition to Exchange Server 2010, which is expected to be available in the second half of 2009. A public beta of Exchange Server 2010 is available for download at

Customer Benefits
Key new features of Exchange Server 2007 SP2 unveiled today include:

  • Enhanced Auditing – New Exchange auditing events and audit log repository enable Exchange administrators to more easily audit the activities occurring on their Exchange servers. It allows the right balance of granularity, performance, and easy access to audited events via a dedicated audit log repository. This simplifies the auditing process and makes review of audited events easier by segregating audited events in a dedicated location.
  • Exchange Volume Snapshot Backup Functionality – A new backup plug-in has been added to the product that will enable customers to create Exchange backups when a backup is invoked through the Windows Server 2008 Backup tool. Exchange Server 2007 didn’t have this capability on Windows Server 2008 and additional solutions were required to perform this task.
  • Dynamic Active Directory Schema Update and Validation – The dynamic AD schema update and validation feature allows for future schema updates to be dynamic deployed as well as proactively preventing conflicts whenever a new property is added to the AD schema. Once this capability is deployed it will enable easier management of future schema updates and will prevent support issues when adding properties that don’t exist in the AD schema.
  • Public Folder Quota Management – SP2 enables a consistent way to manage quotas by improving the current PowerShell cmdlets to perform quota management tasks.
  • Centralized Organizational Settings – SP2 introduces new PowerShell option that enable centralized management of many of the Exchange organization settings.
  • Named Properties cmdlets – SP2 enables Exchange administrators to monitor their named property usage per database.
  • New User Interface for Managing Diagnostic Logging– SP2 enables Exchange administrators to easily configure and manage diagnostic logging from within the Exchange Management Console.

Pricing and Availability

SP2 is available at no additional cost to customers that have purchased Exchange Server 2007. SP2 is slated for release in the third quarter of 2009. More information on Exchange Server 2007 SP2 will be available on the Exchange Server Web site at on the release date.


Q: Is Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 a pre-requisite for Service Pack 2?

No. SP2 can be installed in any of the following modalities:

a. A fresh install with Exchange Server 2007 SP2
b. In-place upgrade from Exchange Server 2007 to SP2
c. In-place upgrade from Exchange Server 2007 SP1 to SP2

Q: Will the Service Pack 2 be required for Exchange 2007 to interoperate with Exchange Server 2010?

Yes, Exchange Server 2007 SP2 is required to interoperate with Exchange Server 2010 and to enable the transition of services to the latest version of the product.

Q: Is Microsoft planning any change to its service pack support policy for customers who are not planning to deploy this Service Pack 2?

Microsoft mainstream support policy for Exchange Server 2007 remains unchanged. Microsoft will continue providing support and Update Rollups to customers running SP1 for 12 months after SP2 ships. See our Service Pack Support Policy for more details.

Q: Can customers decide to skip Service Pack 2 if they are not planning to deploy Exchange 2010 and wait for the next version of the product?

Given the benefits SP2 provides, Microsoft recommends customers deploy SP2, so they can immediately benefit from the operational efficiency improvements and Update Rollups that generally address hotfixes, security and critical updates for the product. Ultimately it is customer’s decision on the timing to apply the service pack and Microsoft will support those customers in alignment with the Service Pack Support Policy.

Q: Is this the first time that you’ve required customers to adopt the most recent service pack before they can upgrade to the new version of Exchange?

Customers will be able to apply the pre-requisites for Exchange Server 2010 independently of SP2. However, SP2 will be the minimal requirement for interoperability scenarios of the two products.

MMMUG May Event 2009 – Introducing Exchange 2010

As you will no doubt have heard, Exchange 2010 was launched to the public on the 15th of April. This of course means that there is now a huge amount of new features and functionality to learn. So, to help you get started MMMUG will be running a series of events over the next few months covering many of the key areas.

We start on Wednesday May 27th with an overview of Exchange 2010. I will introduce things by taking a look at the future of email, Microsoft Style! Then Brett Johnson will dive deeper into a few of the key new areas.

To sign up for the event see the link below:

This event will be held in London at the MSFT offices in Cardinal Place near Victoria.

This month we are going to spend the evening introducing Exchange 2010. We will start with an overview session and then dive a little deaper into some key features.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 27th May. Directions to the venue can be found below.

The meeting will be a mixture of PowerPoint and Discussions so there will be plenty of time to run through your questions.

The agenda for the meeting will be as follows: (although I may tweak the timings slightly)

18:15 – 18:40            Arrival
18:40 – 18:45            Introduction to speakers and the aims of the group
18:45 – 19:30            1st session; Nathan Winters, The Future of Email, Microsoft Style!
19:30 – 19:50            Food!
19:50 – 20:45            2nd session; Brett Johnson, Deep Dive into key Exchange 2010 features
20:45 – 21:00            Summing up and suggestions for future meetings.
21:00                        The End!