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Archive for the ‘Microsoft Corp’ Category

Microsoft Web Platform Installer

March 27, 2011 Comments off

Recently featured by both eWeek and PC Pro, Microsoft’s WebMatrix is a free web development tool to speed and ease deployment of projects based around proprietary or open source platforms including (but not limited to) blogs, CMS’s and Wiki’s. The accompanying Web Platform Installer (PI) simplifies the process of downloading these platforms and as you might expect is primarily based around the Microsoft Web Platform comprised of Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer.

In my case I needed to get a new dedicated WordPress environment up and running quickly and having previously completed this manually and finding it somewhat time consuming and fiddly, any way to achieve this in a more structured, reliable manner would be welcome.

After downloading the Web PI and installing it on my Windows Server 2008 virtual machine I was presented with the Web Gallery which lists the applications available – it was then a simple matter of selecting WordPress, following the on screen prompts and in minutes my new WordPress instance was up and running.

Unlike the authors of the above reviews however I did not encounter any problems with the download and installation of MySQL and as the required components are downloaded dynamically the WordPress version was current. The Web PI does not remove the need for an understanding at least at a high level of the technologies involved and if it is to be used for serious development/staging purposes knowledge of how to backup the MySQL databases created etc. is still required.

More information is available at the Web Platform website or via the associated twitter feed – @mswebplatform.

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Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper-V

January 19, 2011 Comments off

This book deals with Microsoft’s server virtualization solution and is for those who want to implement Hyper-V “the right way”.

As the author’s quote in the book’s Introduction, the Gartner research group believes that “IT infrastructure and operations <will> be deeply impacted by virtualization by 2012”. If you are new to virtualization as a whole or Microsoft’s offering this book provides a solid foundation to both.

Using a comprehensive and logical approach in response to established business requirements the book covers the topics of planning, installation, configuration, management, backing up, restoring, disaster recovery, monitoring and securing of a Hyper-V environment.

Read the rest of my Amazon.com review.

Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper-V
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 1 edition (July 30, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0071614036

Microsoft’s “End of Days”?

June 9, 2010 Comments off

What a difference a day makes – or so the song goes. OK, how about about five years? Most people – even many who work in IT had not even heard of cloud computing in 2005. By 2015 Gartner predicts in a recent report that cloud computing will have entered the mainstream and be enterprise ready.

So where does Microsoft currently fit into the picture? Once considered to be the 800 pound gorilla in the industry but beset by the likes of Google, Apple and VMWare amongst others, as well as subject to continuing scrutiny by the European Commission to some it may now more resemble a geek in a gorilla suit.

However, Microsoft is fighting back. Just today Microsoft launched its answer to Google Apps in the form of it’s Office Web Apps and has spoken about its plans for it’s hosted companion – Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) which includes SharePoint at the companies TechEd conference; Since February 1st, it has stated that it has 10,000 paying customers running their applications in the company’s Azure cloud and a beta version of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 featuring what many consider to be two significant enhancements to it’s Hyper-V virtualization platform – Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX will be made available by the end of July and released before the end of this year.

So is this the beginning of the end for Microsoft? Opinions vary – but it’s going to be interesting to watch!

Make The Most of Your Surroundings

May 2, 2010 Comments off

MS NERD iconBoston is well known as a major conference and exhibition hub as well as being home to a number of high tech corporations and one of the things I was looking forward to upon moving here were the opportunities for networking this might present. Two examples that came to light are events regularly hosted at the Microsoft New England Research & Development (affectionately known as the NERD) Center and the Boston Mac User Group which holds it’s meeting on the MIT campus.

Obviously not everybody is in a situation as fortunate as mine but the point is every now and then to get from behind a keyboard, engage with other people of similar interests, make contacts and enjoy yourself – you never know what it might lead to.