Tuesday, 25 November 2008

To "s" or to "z" (?)

To quote James O'Neill: "So our customers have Data centres (places, British spelling) in which they run Windows Server 2008 Datacenter edition (product name, American spelling), in which they say they Virtualise workloads (quoted text of an English author) using Microsoft Virtualization. (Product name)."

[Full post here]


This was only a few weeks before this from Eileen


I am SO pleased that I am not the only one... I feel better about my "picky" QA comments/feedback... What's wrong in getting it right? Nothing.

On a personal note, I have a 2 year old boy who loves Thomas the Tank Engine (both books and TV), I really like it myself too, especially characters like Fergus who insists that others "Do it right". I totally agree ;)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Remember this…

“Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or even your Messenger status, think first: "Do I really want the whole world to know I just said that?"


-Woody (www.thesanitypoint.com)

SharePoint Quote

"Without effective and specialized governance, SharePoint will only replicate your business’ existing problems at a faster rate and on a larger scale than you thought possible! "


– Julian Warne


"He's right..."


- Matt Groves

SharePoint MCM/MCA

Just seen this from Joel (via twitter).


A micro debate has ensued on twitter and although it pains me to admit defeat (about anything) I must agree with Andrew - to be true SharePoint "master" you need to be able to cover both IT Pro/infrastructure and Dev. This pretty much rules me out as I simply do not have the time to dust off my old dev skills and brush up on .Net/SharePoint OM/etc...

It makes for a good debate though, compare the SharePoint MCM with Exchange (etc) MCM and the SharePoint program requires broader skilled people, but then the product is broader (and much more interesting IMO), this is running (light hearted) debate I have with one of my colleagues (he's an Exchange guy): that Exchange is just email, SharePoint a rich business tool.

Myself and James Butler conceived a way of negating Exchange and replacing with SharePoint, it was late in a bar in Seattle (but that's a post for another day)...


I can only think of a few UK guys who would meet the criteria, e.g. Andrew Woodward/Liam Cleary, maybe a couple of others, either way it should be tough, it's the premier MSFT SharePoint certification afterall ;)


But then, arguing with myself, do you actually need to know detailed dev to be a good architect? I don't think so... I certainly don't get into detail on the dev side, knowing what is possible, sensible and viable is what architecting is about - designing a solution that affords the best compromise between business requirement, technical strategy, UX, security, and (of course) cost/time...


External links:







20 things you should know about Virtualisation

I am a big fan of virtualisation, the main reasons for me are:


  • Agility (ease of scale out, provisioning, server management, deployment, etc)

  • DR/Failover

  • Lowers TCO


IMO virtualisation is the default stance, give me a reason to not virtualise!


Here are 20 things that everyone, OK maybe not everyone, but certainly every IT Pro, should know about virtualisation:





Both are lightweight articles that will only take a few minutes to read through ;)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

UK User Groups Community Day(s)

Earlier this week I attended the UK User Groups Community day at TVP, here is a brief review and some of my thoughts from the sessions...


The keynotes from Gareth Hall and Kamal Patel were interesting and well delivered, I certainly agree with Gareths comment that there is a degree of honesty from MSFT that we haven't seen before...


The breakout sessions I attended were mainly the SharePoint track, but I also went to Mark Wilsons session on Hyper-V which for Mark's first UG presentation was very well delivered. IMO MSFT have done well with Hyper-V and I think Mark's summation that Hyper-V gets you 80/90% of what you get with the industry leading product but at 10% of the cost is very apt.


Steve Smith sessions were up to there usual high standard.

The "Capacity Planning" session wasn't what I was expecting as it was more about load/stress testing, but very valuable nonetheless - esp as he highlighted some of nice new things in Visual Studio 2008 that are improved on 2005.

I would echo everything Steve said here and really stress the importance of base-lining your deployments (both before and after customisations), I would also add that load/stress testing must be communicated to your Ops teams as they may get alarms (etc) when you place additional load on the LAN/WAN and servers, I've seen clients who haven't communicated this and had test results ruined by Ops guys reacting to a perceived attack!


The Forefront session was excellent, really got the importance of SharePoint AV across to the audience, obviously with me Steve was preaching to the converted but the number of people who will now be thinking about Forefront/AV was much increased by the end of the session. I have used both Forefront and Trend in deployments for clients and have both products to be excellent, Forefront tends to offer better protection (multiple engines) at a performance hit, as I said in the session McAffee's PortalSheild is not compatible with the v3 products (to the best of my knowledge).


Penny's session on SPD was great, the DVWP is very powerful and Penny showed how to start harnessing some it's power very well indeed.

I also picked up some good info from Penny after her session and think what we discussed would make a great SUGUK session (hint hint!).


Nick Swan's session on building solutions was also excellent, I'd never seen Nick present before and found his style very easy going and easy to follow, the content he covered off is essential (IMO) to deploying SharePoint with customisations in a supportable and sustainable manner.


The real gem for me was Colin's session on PowerShell and MOSS, absolutely fantastic, really blurs the lines traditionally drawn between ITPro/Admin functions and Dev's. The power of PowerShell (excuse the pun) is there for all to see, it's scripting (so falls largly in the remit of the ITPro) but can use .Net and talk to the SharePoint OM (typically Dev remit). The content migration example Colin used is really just the tip of the iceberg, I can see 1,000's of uses for this in automating deployments and maintenance...

The chalk and talk session were good, hopefully my contributions were useful.

I have blogged about service accounts in response to a question that cropped up from a few attendees, the other common questions were around Licencing and the use of content DB's, so watch this space for blogs posting and maybe a SUGUK session to cover these confusing topics off...


Another highlight, for me at least, was winning a copy of Vista Ultimate for my IT Hero presentation. Thanks!!


Big thanks to the SUGUK and other User groups guys for organising the event and to MSFT for hosting it (esp Phil Cross).

Monday, 3 November 2008

SUGUK comes to Birmingham!

The first Birmingham event (http://suguk.org/blogs/combined_knowledge/archive/2008/10/17/14536.aspx) went very well, Eversheds did a great job of hosting, Sergey and Steve delivered some good content.


Hopefully this will be the first of a series of events, there was demand for demonstrating the "quick wins" discussed which would make an excellent format, one session on the Quick Win, and one other covering either something more advanced or more fluffy - I wonder who could talk fluffy??? (he he)


On a side note: it looks like Nigel has grabbed the bull by the horns and started blogging again: http://suguk.org/blogs/the_moss-pit/default.aspx