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Posts by vijay
I saw this on JP’s Blog and what an amazing project NanoCity is in India and what makes it even better for me is that it’s planned to be only 25 km from the State Capital of Punjab, Chandigarh. The project plans to build a version of Silicon Valley the size of Manhattan! It is led by Sabeer Bhatia, him of Hotmail fame in conjuction with the State Government of Haryana. There are not many places in the World that would have this sort of ambition and more importantly the money to back it up. I’m guessing Sabeer chose a location near Chandigarh because he was born there.
I hope this project comes off and I look forward to having an office located there!
You’ve probably seen that SQL Server 2008 has RTM’ed and as it is a key component of SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, then you might want to find out more about what it can do. With the loss of ISA Server in the Premium Edition of SBS 2008, then quite a few people are wondering what the value proposition is going to be to justify the extra cost of the Premium version. Microsoft has included SQL Server 2008 Standard Ed (SQL Server 2005 in SBS 2003 R2 was the Workgroup Ed) and can be installed on the Server 2008 licensed server that also comes with SBS 2008. Even if you use virtualisation, then this is a great LOB platform.
However, knowing SQL Server in any sort of depth is not an easy thing and there is only so much you can know, but now is a great time to learn more about SQL Server 2008. One blog you should definitely follow is Andrew Fryer’s on SQL Server and check out the SQL Server 2008 Unleashed Event on 10th September down at TVP, Reading.
I saw this article on the online Daily Telegraph, that plans for a Sikh Regiment had been scrapped by the British Army over fears of being considered "racist". It’s actually supported by UK Sikh Community leaders and I can safely say that it would be supported by most Sikhs in the UK. I think this would’ve sent a great signal as to the reality of integration into UK Society. Too often people question the loyalty of those who are from Immigrant families, especially in the post 9/11 and 7/7 era. In the US Sikhs wearing their turbans were mistaken for Taliban and attacked.
This move for a UK Sikh Regiment was reportedly backed by Prince Charles but obviously Political Correctness has won the day but that still doesn’t stop the British Army recruiting from Nepal for the Gurkha Regiment!
At a time when the British Army is struggling to recruit and is over-stretched with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, then this would help to ease the burden.
The Daily Telegraph (not known for its Left Leaning view) also has an article on Sikh Gallantry and the fact that the British had a Sikh Regiment previously which also fought in the Two World Wars with 10 Victoria Crosses won and the Indian Sikh Regiment is the most decorated Regiment in the Indian Army. But you won’t hear their stories on Armistice Day on the televised broadcasts on Remembrance Sunday. Yet, we’ve had to fight to wear our Karas in State Schools and other religious symbols and that is why I say we’ve earnt our rights.
Whilst discussing potential test servers on the UKSBSG Yahoo Group, someone mentioned the HP ML115 G5 Server. Having looked at this I was amazed to find that it could be purchased for between £90 – 99 + vat. Now you might think, what kind of Server am I going to get for that kind of money? Well, you actually get a very capable machine with a single Dual Core AMD Opteron 214 Pocessor (AMD-V Virtualisation) at 2.2 GHz, 512 MB Memory, a single 160 GB SATA HDD, DVD +/- RW, Gigabit Ethernet, Micro Tower and a 3 Year Warranty. The Server is capable of taking up to 8 GB RAM through 4 DIMM Sockets and has an internal controller capable of RAID 0, 1, 5.
Having bought one, I added 4 GB of RAM from Crucial for about £75 + vat and went about installing Windows Server 2008 (x64) Enterprise Ed on it (full installation rather than Server Core). I then downloaded Hyper-V and configured this (which was very straight forward) and set up a Virtual Machine for Windows Server 2003 R2 (x86) Std Ed on it and allocated 1 GB RAM to it. In order for Hyper-V to run on the Server I had to go into the BIOS and go to the CPU Configuration (under Advanced Menu) and enabled the Secure Virtual Machine Mode. Without this option Hyper-V complains that the Hypervisor isn’t running. Performance is great and the CPU utilisation is barely registering 1-2% with about 1.64 GB RAM used but then the servers aren’t really doing anything at the moment.
I’m pretty impressed with the Hyper-V set up and the Management Interface, all very easy. I will probably put another 4 GB RAM in the server and fully populate the memory to its maximum of 8 GB. This now allows me to build a number of different VMs for testing and to play around with Hyper-V more.
So, for the price this is a great Server to do testing on for things like SBS 2008 and maybe even buy a few and try out EBS 2008? I’m thinking of getting another one to try out VMWare’s Free ESXi bare metal Hypervisor as people have found a way to get ESXi working on the basic ML115, but I’ll post more about that when I’ve done it but in the meantime checkout the TechHead Blog on this particular topic. Also, check out Dave Sobel’s blog for some great real world articles on Virtualisation.
The question I have is where is Microsoft’s bare metal Hyper-V? Anyone know anything?
As they say, the only constant thing in life is change! As of today, iQubed no longer exists as a separate entity in the Microsoft Partner Programme and has been merged with Ardent iSys. This means that Ardent iSys takes on all the assets and qualifications of iQubed and the Small Business Specialist designation. I’ve also asked some of my customers for the required references for the Networking Infrastructure Competency, actually we only need one more (as it had expired). Once the references are in place we’ll pay the fee and take Ardent iSys to Certified Partner status.
We’re busy putting in plans to support our developers in India to become Microsoft Certified Professional Developers (MCPD) and then complete the Custom Development Solutions Competency. I will then be visiting the team later on this year which I’m really looking forward to.
So, iQubed is still a limited company in its own right but the growth is happening around our outsourced software development business Ardent iSys Ltd. The feedback from clients has been very positive because of the emphasis we place on building relationships and being customer focused. The fact Ashish and I are here in the UK where are clients are based puts us in a great position over other Outsourcing Companies from India. But our plans are not to remain just that because if that was all that we did the business would not survive long term.
There will be further changes as I register a new domain name for the blog and start to talk more about Ardent iSys.
Here are details of the upcoming meetings for AMITPRO that Steve Wright has been busy organising as the new Group Leader, so put these in your diary and come along to the Arden Hotel next to Birmingham Airport and we meet at 17.00 for a 17.30 start in the Bar Area before going to the meeting room.
Next meeting is 12th August
· Emily Lambert, Microsoft SBSC Programme Lead
· Microsoft Windows Mobile Team and Distributor Brightpoint (formerly Hugh Symmons) to discuss a potential mobile offering with Orange.
Emily will be the new point of contact for everything SBSC and is very keen to understand what we want/need/like/dislike about the SBSC programme, so you wont want to miss this meeting. Have your questions/suggestions/wish list to hand and let’s make sure MS understand we are the go to group for providing feedback on SBSC!
Sept 9th Meeting
· N-Able Technologies. www.n-able.com. IT Automation & Managed Services Solutions. Only 1 speaker this month as this is likely to be a longish presentation.
Oct 14th Meeting
· VSLnet: http://www.vsl-net.com/ : Managed Internet Solutions – start offering hosted solutions to your customers now or add to your existing portfolio.
Premier Finance and Leasing: Specialists in IT finance & lease. Gain a competitive edge over the competition by offering finance & lease to your customers and easily overcome their objections to cost.
I did something remarkable last week and started going to the gym! Like many people I’m sure, I’d been paying for a local gym but never using it. I managed 3 sessions last week and plan to keep this up. I started all this by going running with my son who is 8.5 years old on a mile long run and it was hell (for me at least) and I had to keep stopping. That’s pretty pathetic as I have in the past run a couple of half marathons at about just under the 2 hour mark and a 10K in about 47 mins. I know I’m not going to break any world records as I’m not really a distance runner. I only ever did it because I was playing rugby (before I broke my arm and had to have a metal plate in it) and five-a-side league football. The training was a means to an end i.e. to play competitive sports. Training and keeping fit for it’s own sake was never my thing.
After the initial pain and just wanting to give up I’m starting to enjoy it and even within a week and a half I’m feeling much better and enjoying it. There’s no competitive end to it now, so it’s just about getting fit and staying healthy. It’s easy in the jobs we do to be just stuck sitting down and eating rubbish food, that is when we actually grab any lunch.
The gym sessions are for fitness are split in two. The first bit is all aerobic with a 10 min run on treadmill (approx 1.5km), 6 min (1000m) rowing, 6 min cyling. The second bit is weights (not heavy weights) with 12 x 3 reps of each and ending with situps. I could see from the heart rate monitor on the bikes my heart rate was high at about 170, meaning my body was having to work quite hard but in this week that has started to come down with doing the same intensity a sign that my body is adjusting. Already, I’m thinking of mixing this up with some circuit training and running in between the gym sessions. I’m trying to make time to do this and not make excuses as to why I shouldn’t go.
One of my motivations is my wife who been getting up at 6.00am and going running for quite a few months which is very impressive and made me get off my backside. The kids keep trying to check for my six pack but that’s never going to come!
As they say, a healthy body a healthy mind.
I can’t believe I don’t have a photo with Andrea from WPC, that is a major oversight but she is probably one of the most important people in our lives as SBSC Partners. She is the Worldwide Programme Manager for SBSC and lives and breaths the "blue badge". I’ve now worked with Andrea for just over a year and realised that underneath that outwardly cool, calm and collected exterior lies a very determined person. I know that often the feedback is that Microsoft does not listen and act but you can be sure that Andrea is pushing hard for SBSC Partners. She’s been known to corner people in the corridors of the Redmond Campus to demand stuff for us. She might not always get it but I know she won’t give up easily. She was the one who got Michael Risse over to a lunch with the SBSC PALs in Houston so we could ask him some questions including why the recent Small Business Vista Adverts were highlighting free support direct from Microsoft and didn’t mention SBSC Partners or any Partners!
She’s overseen an amazing period with SBSC Partners globally reaching about 15,000 over many different countries in a relatively short time. As she told us in Houston, it is the largest coherent Partner Group in Microsoft, bigger than any of the competencies so a "force to be reckoned with"!
It’s all about the people, it’s people who drive Change.
I’m booked to go to Remix UK 08 on 18/19th September at the Brighton Centre. Apparently, this isn’t an event in its traditional form its a "48 hour conversation". Not sure what that actually means but it sounds good. Attendance at this event highlights the changes happening in what I’m doing. Remix is about Microsoft’s Web technologies and is aimed at Designers and Developers. The keynote speakers are :-
- Scott Guthrie, Corporate VP, .NET Developer Division
- Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft
The site for Remix says that Brighton is a "…really chilled out place that has a unique creative buzz about it, and if you’re from out of town you’ll be able down tools completely and just lay back and enjoy…"
The only problem is that it won’t be the usual crowd that I know, so means I’ll have to talk to people I don’t know …arrgghhh!! But, I’m really looking forward to it and if you are going let me know.
Stuart Crawford has just released a new eBook for SBSC Partners and the SMB Community at large. Below is a description of it and a link to go get it :-
The Small Business IT market is evolving, the need for IT Professionals and SBSC to deliver more business focus solutions to our clients is now making SBSC’s and IT Professionals look hard at the services that they are delivering in the second half of 2008 and going into 2009. With more emphasis being put on business process, workflow management, data retention, business continuity, managing relationships and doing all this as the small business tightens it’s belt just a bit.
What is out there to help the average SMB IT Professionals or SBSC member?
Connecting the Dots is a look at this changing IT landscape. What we need to do now is prepare for what is around the corner. This free eBook is available to all IT Professionals. Why is it free? Isn’t this what community is all about? Stuart Crawford shares his insight on this changing landscape in this short eBook, get it today at http://blog.itsuccessmentor.com/connect-the-dots