Untrusted Certificate Store to be updated with Malaysian Sub CA

Posted by bink on November 4 2011, 2:26 PM.

From the MS security response blog:

This post is to notify customers that Microsoft will revoke trust in an Intermediate Certificate Authority, DigiCert Sdn. Bhd. (Digicert Malaysia) in an update to be released through Windows Update.

DigiCert Sdn. Bhd is a Malaysian subordinate CA under Entrust and Verizon (GTE CyberTrust). There is no relationship between DigiCert Malaysia and DigiCert Inc., which is a member of the Windows Root Certificate Program.

Microsoft was notified by Entrust, Inc, a certificate authority in the Microsoft Root program, that a Malaysian subordinate CA, DigiCert Sdn. Bhd issued 22 certificates with weak 512 bit keys. Additionally, this subordinate CA has issued certificates without the appropriate usage extensions or revocation information. This is a violation of the Microsoft Root Program requirements (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc751157.aspx).

There is no indication that any certificates were issued fraudulently, however, these weak keys have allowed some of the certificates to be compromised. These compromised certificates could allow an attacker to impersonate the legitimate owner and make a user believe they are trusting a website or signed software that was created for malicious use.

The subordinate CA has clearly demonstrated poor CA security practices and Microsoft intends to revoke trust in the intermediate certificates.

 

Untrusted Certificate Store to be updated - MSRC - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Top 5 SQL Server 2012 Features

Posted by bink on November 2 2011, 6:55 PM.

AlwaysOn

Quite simply, SQL Server 2012 is going to revolutionize the way we think about availability and recovery. Today, when we think about these concepts, we consider an individual database (log shipping, replication, mirroring) or an entire SQL Server instance (failover clustering). In SQL Server 2012, in addition to Failover Clustering enhancements, we’ll be able to treat a group of databases as an entity – a much more common requirement with today’s complex, multi-database applications. This entity is called an Availability Group.

Availability Groups will allow us to fail over that group of databases as a single unit. Since a single instance of SQL Server will be able to host multiple availability groups, in the event of a failure, we’ll have the flexibility to fail over one availability group to instance B, another availability group to instance C, and so on. This means that we don’t have to have a standby server that is capable of handling the full load of our primary server – we can distribute those workloads across multiple, lower-powered servers, with the same application transparency we enjoy with traditional mirroring today.

We will also be able to have more than a single replica for each Availability Group, so we can have one or more local copies (protecting us from localized failures) as well as one or more remote copies (protecting us from entire site failures). Finally, read-only secondaries will allow us to run certain backup operations and all reporting activity against the mirrored copy, taking significant load off the primary server (without the maintenance and overhead of snapshots). These are called Active Secondaries in the official literature; however, I have a gripe with this term – I think it is slightly misleading, since it can imply both read and write activity.

And for the first time, we will be able to perform a cluster or mirror failover across subnets in a supported manner, meaning there will be an easy way to set up resiliency between, say, our data centers in Virginia and North Carolina. In addition, a new flexible failover policy allows us to dictate exactly what causes a failover, giving us more control over the tolerance of an instance or availability group to unfavorable conditions within certain server components.

These new AlwaysOn features allow us much more power and flexibility in our efforts toward both high availability and disaster recovery, whether we are using Availability Groups or standard Failover Clustering. Please note that AlwaysOn is not a technology in and of itself – it is merely the branding for the high availability and disaster recovery features in SQL Server.

Continue at source for the next:

Top 5 SQL Server 2012 Features

System Center Orchestrator 2012 Release Candidate

Posted by bink on October 29 2011, 12:00 AM.

System Center Orchestrator 2012 Release Candidate provides orchestration, integration, and automation of IT processes through the creation of runbooks that can help you to define and standardize best practices and improve operational efficiency. Additional functionality is available in the Orchestrator Integration Toolkit and Integration Packs.

Download

System Center Service Manager 2012 and App Contoller Beta

Posted by bink on October 28 2011, 11:58 PM.

System Center Service Manager 2012 Beta

System Center Service Manager 2012 beta provides flexible self-service experiences and standardized datacenter processes that can help you integrate people, workflows, and knowledge across enterprise infrastructure and applications.

System Center App Controller 2012 Beta

System Center App Controller 2012 beta provides a common self-service experience across private and public clouds that can help you empower application owners to easily build, configure, deploy, and manage new services.

System Center 2012 Orchestrator Integration Pack for VMware vSphere and Tivoli Beta

Posted by bink on October 28 2011, 11:57 PM.

System Center 2012 Orchestrator Integration Pack for VMware vSphere Beta

The Integration Pack for VMware vSphere is an add-on for System Center 2012 Orchestrator that enables you to connect System Center Orchestrator to your VMware vSphere server to automate actions in VMware vSphere to enable full management of the virtualized computing infrastructure.

System Center 2012 Orchestrator Integration Pack for IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus RC

The Integration Pack for IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus is an add-on for System Center 2012 Orchestrator that enables you to automate actions in response to alerts that are raised within IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus.

Update Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1

Posted by bink on October 28 2011, 11:56 PM.

Update Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2010 resolves issues that were found in Exchange Server 2010 since the software was released. This update rollup is highly recommended for all Exchange Server 2010 customers.

For a list of changes that are included in this update rollup, see KB2608646.

Using Task Manager with 64+ logical processors

Posted by bink on October 28 2011, 9:06 PM.

The pictures below relate to a feature that server admins and people with access to mega-PC setups with lots and lots of logical processors often ask us about. One key thing to note up front is that here we are talking about logical processors, so if you have a system capable of hyper-threading, you will see multiple logical processors for each physical processor.

For those of you who have access to one of these many-processor systems, you know that the task manager CPU charts in Windows 7 have a few limitations:

  • Lack of real-time comparisons: When you are looking at a CPU graph for lots and lots of logical processors, it is the anomalies that are interesting. At scale, it is pretty hard to compare moving line graphs of a 60-second window of CPU utilization to understand what is going on.

  • Tiny graphs: When you get to the 64+ logical processor range, the graphs get pretty small. If you are trying to figure out which processors are being heavily used, you really have to squint to figure it out. When you get over 256 logical processors, you can barely read the charts at all.

  • Finding the processor ID: If you do identify an anomalous graph, there is no easy way to get the corresponding processor ID.

Below is the Windows 7 Task Manager CPU performance tab on a system with 160 logical processors.

CPU Usage History table contains 160 tiny cells, each showing a moving line graph of usage. Figure 1: Old Task Manager showing 160 logical processors

As you can see, it is really hard to compare the cells in the CPU Usage History table to each other. The graphs are hard to read, and if you want to compare instantaneous CPU utilization, it is nearly impossible because each cell is showing a moving 60-second graph. Moreover, all the graphs in the CPU Usage History table look identical, so you can’t easily find the processor ID for a specific graph. In our previous post on Task Manager, we discussed the benefits of using a heat map as a visualization to convey and compare large amounts of numerical data. When we looked at designing the graphs for the “many-core view” of the new performance dashboard, a heat map was a natural fit.

In the screen shots below, taken from a current build of Windows 8, it is now easy to see all the logical processors at a glance and know which are being utilized to high and low capacity.

(Note: The screen shots below show Task Manager on a system with 160 logical processors with a simulated workload.)

Performance tab has 7 views: CPU, Memory, Disk 0, Disk 4, Disk 8, Ethernet, and Ethernet. In CPU view, table of logical processors is in form of a heat map, with percent usage indicated in each cell with a number and corresponding color. Figure 2: New Task Manager showing 160 logical processors

In the new CPU graph, you can also get the logical processor ID that maps to each entry via a tooltip, by hovering over the entry with the mouse.

Tooltip for an entry at 100% usage reads "CPU 0 (Node 5)" Figure 3: Tooltip showing the logical processor ID

A major benefit of a heat map is that it scales really well to large data sets. The new Task Manager will show as many logical processors as the OS supports (up to 640!). To make sure you always see the information at a meaningful size, when the data set gets too big for the window, the heat map scales to best fit, and a scroll bar appears as needed.

Heat map is still easy to read, as it shows 13 rows and 9 columns of data, with a scrollbar that allows you to see additional cells below the first 13 rows Figure 4: With 160 logical processors, the CPU graph scales using a scrollbar

For those of you who really like to (micro-) manage every last detail of your system, you can even set which logical processor(s) each of your processes can use. To do this, you first find the ID of the logical core by hovering over one of the cells in the heat map, then go to the Details tab, right-click the process you want, and click “Set affinity.”

User has right-clicked "iexplore.exe" on the Details tab of Task Manager, which reveals context menu with commands for: Open file location, End process, End process tree, Debug, UAC virtualization, Create dump file, Set priority, Set affinity (shown selected), Analyze wait chain, Search online, Properties, and Go to service(s). Figure 5: Set process affinity from the Details tab

Dialog reads "Which processors are allowed to run "iexplore.exe"? There is a dropdown list for Processor group, set to "Group 0". Below this is a set of check boxes for CPU 0 (Node 0), CPU 1 (Node 0), CPU 2 (Node 0), etc., and OK/Cancel buttons. Figure 6: Select the logical processors for the process

Using Task Manager with 64+ logical processors - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Announcing the Open Beta of RIM BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Office 365

Posted by bink on October 26 2011, 9:30 PM.

Office 365 Blog:

As part of our vision to deliver the best productivity experience across the PC, browser and phone with Office 365, we’ve been working in partnership with Research in Motion (RIM) to deliver support for BlackBerry smartphones through a new RIM-hosted cloud service for our customers. Details around this new RIM service were first shared back in March 2011, and today we are pleased to let you know that RIM has launched an open beta of BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new RIM-hosted cloud-based service for businesses to extend Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry® smartphones and self-manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. You can see RIM’s press release here.

BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 is available at no additional cost to current enterprise subscribers of the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online. The service works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans. The service offers BlackBerry access to Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar, and contacts. And IT administrators can provision, manage, and secure their organization’s BlackBerry phones from a convenient web-based console.

Microsoft Office 365 customers can sign up for the BlackBerry Business Cloud Services beta at www.blackberry.com/beta/businesscloud.

More information is available at www.blackberry.com/cloudservices.

Windows XP is 10 years old, remember WindowsXP.nu?

Posted by bink on October 26 2011, 2:45 AM.

10 years ago Windows XP was released to the market, it RTM’d end of August 2001.

10 years ago when you googled Windows XP, my site WindowsXP.nu was the number spot, above Microsoft’s own site. How could that happen? Well I started writing about Windows XP well before it came out. I registered the domain name the day that Microsoft announced it for their new OS codenamed Whistler. Back then I was one of the few regularly writing about it, besides Paul Thurrot and the guys at Neowin.net.

As you may know WindowsXP.nu became so popular that Microsoft noticed it and claimed the domain name because of trademark infringement. When I posted this on WindowsXP.nu it became worldnews, in the tech world at least. A fan even setup a petition which was signed by 9214 people.

Anyway 2 weeks later I transferred the domain to Microsoft, no I did not get 1 million dollars, in fact I paid 10 dollars domain transfer fee. Legally it was the right thing to do, I would not survive in court. 10 years later Microsoft let the domain name expire and now some Swedish company owns it.

You can still access the content of WindowsXP.nu here: http://old.bink.nu/ beware it’s a messy layout and lot of pics are missing, but sure it’s fun to see all that old “news” Smile

Anyway Windows XP was pretty popular: from September 2003 to July 2011, Windows XP was the most widely used operating system for accessing the internet. As of September 2011, Windows XP market share is at 36.2% after having peaked at 76.1% in January 2007.

Happy Birthday XP

Office 2007 Family Service Pack 3 Released

Posted by bink on October 26 2011, 1:50 AM.

The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 3 (SP3), 32-bit Edition

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to the 32-bit editions of all of the 2007 Microsoft Office System servers.

The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 3 (SP3), 64-Bit Edition

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to the 64-bit editions of

Service Pack 3 for Windows SharePoint Services 2007 (KB2526305), 86-Bit Edition

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Windows SharePoint Services 2007, 86-Bit Edition.

Service Pack 3 for Windows SharePoint Services Language Pack 2007 (KB2526305), 86-Bit Edition

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Windows SharePoint Services Language Pack 2007, 86-Bit Edition.

Service Pack for SharePoint Designer Language Pack 2007 (KB2526089)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to SharePoint Designer Language Pack 2007.

Service Pack for Windows SharePoint Services Language Pack 2007 (KB2526305), 64-Bit Edition

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Windows SharePoint Services Language Pack 2007, 64-Bit Edition.

Service Pack 3 for SharePoint Designer 2007 (KB2526089)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007.

Service Pack for Visio Viewer 2007 (KB2526301)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to the Microsoft Office Visio Viewer 2007.

Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Office Project 2007 (KB2526091)

Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Office Project 2007.

Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Office Project Language Pack 2007 (KB2526091)

Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Office Project Language Pack 2007.

PowerPoint Viewer 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to PowerPoint Viewer 2007.

Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Expression Web 3 Language Pack (KB2575737)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Expression Web 3 Language Pack.

Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Expression Web 3 (KB2575737)

‎Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Expression Web 3.

The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Language Pack (SP3), 86-Bit Edition

Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Office Servers Language Pack.

The 2007 Microsoft Office Servers Language Pack (SP3), 64-Bit Edition

Service Pack 3 provides the latest updates to Microsoft Office Servers Language Pack.