System Center Service Manager Connector 3.0 for Exchange

Posted by bink on May 16 2013, 8:12 PM.

The System Center Service Manager – Exchange Connector 3.0 connects Service Manager to Exchange for processing incoming emails related to incidents and change requests.

Exchange Connector connects Service Manager to Exchange for processing incoming emails related to work items. Once Exchange Connector has been configured to monitor exchange mailboxes, it can be used to create and update work items based on templates specified by the admin. By specifying special keywords to look for in the incoming emails, admins can configure Exchange Connector to perform actions like approving or rejecting review activities, or enable activity implementers to mark activities assigned to them as completed.

Download the following files:

  • System_Center_Service_Manager_Connector_3.0_for_Exchange.exe
  • SC2012_EC_DepGuide.docx
Microsoft Downloads

Windows 8.1 (Blue) will be a free update

Posted by bink on May 15 2013, 8:46 PM.

According to the official Windows blog Windows “Blue” will indeed be named Window 8.1 and that it will be free for current Windows 8 consumers through the Windows Store.

So through the Windows Store, that is interesting not Windows Update.

It seems logical that enterprises can use their WSUS or any other deployment method, so I assume it will be available as a stand alone download.


Source: The Windows Blog

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Architecture Guide

Posted by bink on May 15 2013, 8:28 PM.

Provides specific guidance for developing fabric architectures (compute, network, storage, and virtualization layers) of an overall private cloud solution.

    This document provides customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the IaaS PLA patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 operating system. This document provides specific guidance for developing fabric architectures (compute, network, storage, and virtualization layers) of an overall private cloud solution.


    Lync 2010 and 2013 Bandwidth Calculator

    Posted by bink on May 15 2013, 8:26 PM.

    A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that calculates WAN bandwidth requirements for a Lync Server deployment based on administrator-specified user profiles and network information, and a Word document user guide that accompanies the spreadsheet.

      With the Lync Server 2010 and 2013 Bandwidth Calculator, you can enter information about your users and the Lync Server features that you want to deploy, and the calculator will determine bandwidth requirements for the WAN that connects sites in your deployment. The accompanying User Guide describes the recommended process for estimating your WAN bandwidth needs for Lync client real-time traffic. The User Guide will be updated periodically with new information and modifications.


        Microsoft Application Virtualization Server 5.0 Best Practice Analyzer

        Posted by bink on May 15 2013, 8:24 PM.

        Microsoft Application Virtualization Server 5.0 Best Practice Analyzer is a diagnostic tool that verifies the configuration settings of a App-V Server 5.0 instance.

        Feature Summary:

        • Gathers information about a Server and a Microsoft Application Virtualization 5.0 Management, Publishing, and/or Reporting service instance installed on that Server
        • Determines if the configurations are set according to the recommended best practices
        • Reports on all configurations, indicating settings that differ from recommendations
        • Indicates potential problems in the installed instance of App-V Server 5.0
        • Recommends solutions to potential problems
        • Produces an HTML report with all errors and warnings



        Windows Azure General Availability of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

        Posted by bink on April 17 2013, 9:06 PM.

        Now that Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is general available, make sure you start to play with it. Like I said before, Windows Azure is now more fun for the IT Pro’s!

        Besides that this site is running on Windows Azure for over 9 months now, I have been testing Windows Azure IaaS since the preview  launched last June:

        • Install a VM in minutes
        • Choose OSes from a Gallery, even Linux
        • Upload your own prepped VHD
        • Create a load balanced solution
        • Connect to your on premise network
        • Connect to on premise DNS
        • VM mobility

        Now with the general availability even more features and options are live:

        • New VM Image Templates (including SQL Server, BizTalk Server, and SharePoint images)
        • New VM Sizes (including Larger Memory Machines)
        • New VM Prices ( reduced prices 21%-33% for IaaS and PaaS VMs)

        First the new prices staring June 1st 2013

        Below are the new hourly on-demand rates for Windows Azure Virtual Machines:

        Size Name

        # of CPU Cores


        Windows VM Pricing

        Linux VM Pricing



        768 MB

        $0.02 per hour

        $0.02 per hour



        1.75 GB

        $0.09 per hour

        $0.06 per hour



        3.5 GB

        $0.18 per hour

        $0.12 per hour



        7 GB

        $0.36 per hour

        $0.24 per hour



        14 GB

        $0.72 per hour

        $0.48 per hour



        28 GB

        $1.02 per hour

        $0.82 per hour



        56 GB

        $2.04 per hour

        $1.64 per hour


        Check out ScottGu’s Blog post for a comprehensive overview, also read the comments (with answers)

        Windows Azure General Availability of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - ScottGu's Blog


        The announcement on Windows Azure Blog: The Power of ‘And’ - Windows Azure - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

        Start testing it for yourself now: Windows Azure IaaS

        Windows Azure Pricing Windows Azure Pricing at-a-glance

        Less than a year remaining until XP End of Support

        Posted by RayC on April 10 2013, 7:30 PM.

        Yesterday marked the day of the 1-year count down of when Microsoft softs supporting Windows XP.

        In this blog post Stephen Rose provides some answers to help explain what the end of support is and what you need to do to move to a modern OS like Windows 7 or Windows 8.

        Microsoft will end Extended Support on April 8, 2014. Why?

        In 2002, Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. Per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products – including Windows and Office products – receive a minimum of 10 years of support (five years Mainstream Support and five years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level. Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late.

        Continue at the Springboard Series Blog

        Microsoft Releases MDOP 2013

        Posted by RayC on April 10 2013, 7:24 PM.

        Today Microsoft announces that the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download! When people think about MDOP, they often think about its virtualization tools that help personalize user experience, simplify app deployment, and improve app compatibility for Windows. MDOP is much more than that though, it also helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, as well as saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.

        MDOP 2013 contains:

        • MBAM 2.0 (new release)
        • AGMP 4.0 SP1
        • DaRT 8.0 SP1
        • App-V 5.0 SP1
        • UE-V 1.0 SP1

        Continue at

        Step-by-Step: Extend Your Private Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Networks

        Posted by bink on April 9 2013, 8:30 PM.

        Windows Azure Virtual Networks allow us to securely extend our Private Cloud with a hybrid network infrastructure that leverages the best of two worlds: the low-latency and high-bandwidth available with our on-premise datacenter networks with the elastic, pay-as-you-go cloud model of Windows Azure Virtual Networks and Virtual Machines. 


        Continue at IT Pros ROCK! Blog