Thursday, May 27, 2010

The EXPTA {blog} Exceeds 500,000 Page Hits!


Wow, when I started my blog three years ago I didn't expect that it would become so popular. 

I originally started this blog as a form of "long-term memory" to capture some of the more obscure tips, tricks and gotchas I came across.  I still keep doing this, but I've also turned it into a resource for how to do things and how things work.  A good example of this is my 7-part series, "How to Securely Deploy iPhones with Exchange ActiveSync in the Enterprise".

The EXPTA {blog} is visited from every continent in the world and recently averaged over 1,500 page hits per day.  That's over one hit per minute, 24 hours a day.

I hope you continue to find this blog a useful resource.  If you have any requests for future articles, please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tips for Navigating Through TechEd 2010


TechEd 2010 North America is right around the corner!  Here are some tips for navigating your way through TechEd.
  • Get the most out your TechEd experience by attending one of the preconference seminars.
  • Take advantage of more than 250 Communications Network (CommNet) kiosks located throughout the conference center to check out your personal schedule, locate sessions, and share information with attendees.
  • If you haven't already, log in to begin building your on-site personalized agenda with the TechEd Schedule Builder.
  • From your hotel to the event center, let Microsoft help you get there. Check out the shuttle schedule.
  • Check out the conference center layout ahead of time to get familiar with how to get around.
  • Need help figuring out your way around TechEd? Check out the navigating TechEd page to learn about different activities available to you.
  • Check out the New Orleans nightlife while you're at TechEd with The Krewe's TechEd 2010 Calendar and the TechEd nightlife page!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Exchange 2010 Makes You an Expert

One of the great things about working with Microsoft Exchange is the breadth and depth of knowledge you gain by designing and managing it.  In Exchange 2003, we made you a storage expert.  In Exchange 2007 you became a digital certificates expert.  Now in Exchange 2010 you will become a load balancing expert.

The Client Access Server role in Exchange 2010 has evolved into a true universal connection point for all client access - be it Outlook, MAPI, POP, ActiveSync, or web services clients like Entourage WS Edition.  This abstraction makes load balancing and fault tolerance for CAS servers paramount in any Exchange design where high availabilty is required.

There is no one size fits all solution for load balancing CAS arrays.  You may find that simple Windows Load Balancing will work for you, or you may have a need for bigger (and more expensive) hardware load balancers.  Do your research.  Learn.  Become an expert.

I encourage you to read Exploring Exchange 2010 RPC Client Access Service on the MSExchangeTeam blog.  This article gives an excellent overview of the new RPC Client Access and Address Book services in Exchange 2010.  It also explains many of the details about Client Access arrays.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TechEd 2010: Exchange Roundtable

I'm organizing another Exchange Roundtable at this year's TechEd in New Orleans.  I held one at last year's TechEd and it was pretty well attended - about 20 hard working Exchange folks along with the Exchange product group team members who were there at TechEd LA.

The purpose of the Exchange Roundtable is to gather Exchange admins, architects, and experts for a free-flowing discussion about issues, questions, and experiences related to Exchange.

The date has been set for Monday, June 7 from 9:00-11:00pm CST (after the TechEd Exhibition Hall Reception).  The location will be The Rusty Nail, about a 7 minute's walk from the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in the trendy Warehouse District.  This is a no host bar.

If you're interested in attending, please RSVP to jeff@expta.com with your contact information so I can update you with further details as needed.

I hope to see you there!

Download this event to your calendar here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Your TechEd Funk On


DoubleTake Software is hosting the 5th annual ClusterFunk party at TechEd 2010!
"Mardi Gras and the Jazz Fest are over, but the party isn't.  The 5th annual Double-Take Software customer appreciation party is your shot to show the Big Easy what you've got.  Cluster-Funk, the Double-Take Software band, will serve it up Cajun style."
No word yet if Double-Take Software CEO Dean Goodermote will be rockin' the zydeco this year.

The party will be held Tuesday, June 8, from 8pm to midnight at Republic, 828 South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.  That's within staggering distance of the convention center.

Get your geek on and register for the party at here!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

TechEd 2010 Closing Party Announced



Microsoft has announced that the closing party for TechEd 2010 in New Orleans, LA will be held at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World.
"Join us for the Closing Party and enjoy great food, beverages, and the excitement of New Orleans at Mardi Gras World."

"The colors, the lights, the music, the joie de vivre. It’s all here in one magical place where you can peek behind the curtain and see Mardi Gras in the making. You haven’t truly experienced Carnival until you’ve explored Mardi Gras World."

Mardi Gras World is where the the world-famous floats, props, and masks are made for Mardi Gras, as well as many other festivals around the world.  Take that lively colorful venue, throw in some great music, food, and adult beverages and you've got a real party!

This promises to be much better than last year's on-site "party" which was judged an epic failure.  The TechEd 2010 closing party looks like it will be a return to the parties of past.  Being that two of the first three TechEds were held in New Orleans, it's good to see Microsoft is returning to its party roots.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Krewe's TechEd 2010 Calendar



Here it is - The Krewe 2010 Events Calendar for TechEd 2010 in New Orleans!

Check back here often to see new events added as we hear about them.  You can also subscribe to the Krewe Calendar RSS Feed or download the ICS file to import into Outlook.

Do you know of an event occuring in NOLA during TechEd?  Leave a comment below and I'll be sure to add it!  Be sure to join The Krewe on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/thekrewe.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dynamic Memory is Coming to Hyper-V R2


As reported by the Microsoft Virtualization Team, dynamic memory will be coming to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 in Service Pack 1.

Dynamic memory allows greater density on Hyper-V host servers by specifying a lower and upper limit to RAM allocated to the VM.  Hyper-V will automatically hot-add or remove RAM as the workload changes and it can do this with minimal performance impact.  This is not the same as VMware's memory overcommitment, which allows you to over-subscribe RAM to your VMs (giving more RAM to your VMs than actually exists in the host server).

When using dynamic memory you need to be mindful of your applications. Exchange and SQL will use as much RAM as is available to the system, so these systems may always run closer to the maximum RAM setting you define.  This can be specified in Hyper-V or sometimes inside the virtualized application itself.

Newer servers are available with MUCH larger memory configurations (48GB, 64GB, 128GB or more).  One of the limiting factors affecting VM density has been the memory configuration of those guests.  Dynamic memory allows you to utilize all the assets of the host server while providing a consistent level of performance.

Speaking of performance, you really should read the Windows Server 2008 / Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7 Virtual Hard Disk Performance whitepaper.  This paper gives some great performance data for Hyper-V with different application workloads, like Exchange, SQL and web servers.