TechNet Flash - Volume 11, Issue 24: November 4, 2009

Note from the Editor

From an IT standpoint, one of the great new capabilities of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is the ability to securely connect clients to the corporate network without going through a VPN. This capability, called DirectAccess, establishes bi-directional connectivity with a user’s enterprise network every time a user’s DirectAccess-enabled portable computer connects to the Internet, even before the user logs on. You can now download the Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guide for DirectAccess to help you design a DirectAccess infrastructure.

In the past, we’ve pointed you to the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 4.0, and TechNet Magazine just published an in-depth article on how to use the MAP Toolkit 4.0 to plan your migration to Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. From inventorying your hardware devices to providing customized hardware assessments, you’ll learn how to assess your current IT infrastructure, and you'll also discover how MAP can help you plan server virtualization and consolidation as well as Windows 7 PC migration.

TechNet Magazine also provides detailed guidance on the next stage: migration. Using the Operating System Deployment feature in System Center Configuration Manager 2007, the author describes how the tool can simplify and accelerate your Windows 7 deployment project. Check out Your Windows 7 Deployment Guide in this month’s magazine.

At a higher level, see how to validate your organizational readiness for Windows 7 with the latest MOF Action Plan, Release Readiness for Windows 7 . It can help your organization evaluate its people-readiness to deploy the new operating system, including communications, processes, policies, compliance updates, and operations and support systems. Then learn how the combination of Windows 7, BitLocker Drive Encryption, and Windows Internet Explorer 8 can help meet security needs with the updated Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series.

Strapped for time? Of course you are. That’s why we created a series of new free Learning Snacks on Windows 7 . New Windows 7 and Exchange 2010 “snacks” have just been posted to the Learning Snack landing page. These are free, short, interactive presentations about popular topics that have been created by Microsoft Learning experts. You can learn something new in less than five minutes.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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New Windows 7 Hardware Compatibility and Performance Resource Page

The new Hardware Compatibility and Performance zone on the Windows Client TechCenter now offers technical guidance, demonstrations, and tools to assist IT pros in their efforts to assess hardware compatibility, and monitor and improve performance. Learn about power management, device management and installation, and much more.

Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2 RTM Available for Download

Service Pack 2 for Configuration Manager 2007 delivers new platform support for Windows 7 client, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 SP2. If you already have Configuration Manager SP1 or SP2 Beta, you can upgrade. If not, you can download the full evaluation.

Download System Center Service Manager 2010 Beta 2

With built-in processes and workflow for incident, problem resolution, change control and its configuration management database, Service Manager orchestrates activities and connects knowledge from System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, and Active Directory.

Sign Up for Microsoft Visio 2010 Beta

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Visio 2010 beta will become available for testing later this fall, but you can now pre-register for the beta. Microsoft Visio 2010 will be generally available in the first half of 2010.

Webcast: Accelerating Windows 7 Migration with Citrix and Desktop Virtualization (Level 200)

November 12, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time
In this webcast, we discuss core design considerations to accelerate a Windows 7 operating system migration with Citrix and Microsoft virtualization solutions.

Video: DirectAccess Is Key to Microsoft IT Remote Access Strategy

Microsoft IT has leveraged DirectAccess as its preferred remote access technology. With DirectAccess, users are always connected to the corporate network whenever they are connected to the Internet, without having to use a VPN. This seamless and ubiquitous access method has resulted in both significant end-user and business benefits for Microsoft.

Monitoring Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Exchange 2007

After completing this lab you will be better able to navigate the management packs imported into a management group, browse the management pack components such as discoveries, rules, and monitors, customize management packs with overrides, and more.

Virtual Lab: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Data Recovery and Preventative Techniques

After completing this lab, you will be better able to understand the availability problems associated with human error, understand how foreign keys protect referenced tables but not referencing tables, use point-in-time recovery to retrieve deleted data from a database backup, and more.

Webcast: Build Highly Available Disaster Recovery Solutions Using Microsoft Virtualization

November 5, 2009, 10:30 A.M. Pacific Time
Join us to learn how you can implement end-to-end, robust, highly available, and cost-effective cross-site failover solutions with Microsoft Site Recovery Solutions.

Download the Free LANsurveyor Express Plug-in for Visio

LANsurveyor Express can automatically create network diagrams for you within Visio. It’s valued at US$499, but for a limited time, it’s free.

Using Microsoft Office Project to Manage Your Project Communications (Level 200)

November 24, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time
We’ll walk you through important communication tools in Microsoft Office Project that help you generate the reports you need in a format your various stakeholders want to see.

Webcast: Creating SharePoint Web Sites and Reaching SmartPhone Users with Mobile Entrée (Level 200)

November 11, 2009, 1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Dan Lindsay demonstrates how Rosetta has leveraged Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Internet Sites to build highly engaging, interactive, and effective marketing Web sites for their clients.

Webcast: X Design Pattern for Web Sites Where Contributors and Consumers Cross Boundaries (Level 200)

November 18, 2009, 1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
In this webcast, we present customer case studies of Internet sites, extranets, and communities, and we demonstrate how the X design pattern provides the ability for internal users and external Web users to act as both contributors and consumers.

Webcast: Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for Hosters – Foundation for a Partner-Hosted Cloud (Level 300)

November 16, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center empower hosters to deliver managed hosting, cloud services, and on-demand virtualized IT infrastructures. This free, extensible toolkit provides guidance, sample code, and best practices that make it easy to build and launch on-demand infrastructures and cloud services to your customers.

Get Ready for Windows Azure with Training, Videos

Sign up for an Azure account under the Community Technology Preview program. To create a simple application running on Azure, take the training. You can also watch videos on Windows Azure. For detailed, deep drilldowns on Windows Azure, take a look at the resourcesand visit the Azure Quickstart community portal.

Update on Antigen 8.0 EOL and Engine Revision

Be sure to read the latest blog on Antigen 8.0 end-of-life plans and associated engine revisions. Included is information on upcoming engine changes occurring later this year, and what you need to know in order to maintain continued security protection.

New Videos for IT Pros

Windows 7 Deployment Tools Part 1: Preparing an Image Using Sysprep and ImageX

Windows 7 Deployment Tools Part 1: Preparing an Image Using Sysprep and ImageX

This demonstration shows how to capture a custom Windows system image using the System Preparation Tool (sysprep) to generalize the installed image, and using ImageX to capture the contents of the generalized system image for re-deployment to other computers - including different hardware types.

Windows 7 Walkthroughs: Windows XP Mode

Windows 7 Walkthroughs: Windows XP Mode

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 makes it easy to install and run older Windows XP productivity applications directly from your Windows 7-based PC. It uses virtualization technology such as Windows Virtual PC to provide a Windows XP Mode environment for Windows 7.

More “How Do I?” Videos

Download the Windows 7 Enterprise 90-Day Trial

The Windows 7 Enterprise 90-day Trial is designed specifically for IT professionals, so that you can test your software and hardware on a final version of the product.

Free eBook: Essential Guidance for Deploying Windows 7

Download the new eBook: Deploying Windows 7 – Essential Guidance from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and Microsoft TechNet Magazine. Check out what the industry’s leading experts have to say in this free Microsoft Press eBook with selected chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit on Deployment.

Upcoming Webcasts

Plan for and Deploy Volume Activation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (Level 300)

November 18, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time
Attend this webcast to discover the best practices for integrating Microsoft Volume Activation into your enterprise software deployment and management efforts.

Visio Core and Advanced Tips and Tricks Sessions

Join us for a series of free Web-based Microsoft Office Visio training sessions tailored for anyone who uses or would like to learn how to use Visio.
Visio Core Tips and Tricks, November 12, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time

Visio Advanced Tips and Tricks, November 19, 2009, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time

On Demand

Optimizing Operations Manager for Monitoring, Auditing, and Dashboards (Level 300)

Learn how to optimize Microsoft System Center Operations Manager for cross-platform devices, applications, and regulatory auditing requirements, and see how to create advanced line-of-business (LOB), geographic, and executive-level dashboards in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Asset Intelligence with Configuration Manager 2007 (Level 300)

In this webcast, we explain the asset management reporting that comes out of the box in Configuration Manager 2007 R2. We describe what Configuration Manager reports can be built with customizations, and we tell you about partner add-ons for reporting that are available.