May 2010 Entries
SQL Server Connectivity Portal

We all love one stop portals :-)

Browsing around MSDN I came across this for connectivity, yes, a one stop portal, find info on connecting using a variety of technologies and good guides.

Posted On Saturday, May 29, 2010 3:36 AM | Comments (0)
One of my VMs went boom using Virtual Box and how it got fixed

I am running an HP Envy 15, 16GB and 500GB (7200 RPM) Hard drive.

Had a VM configured from another environment, created the virtual machine config file on Virtual Box, everything seemed ok.

Fired it up, and it was  s   l   o   w, it took close to 10 minutes for it to load, and about 5 more to see Windows was in the process of loading before the BSOD.  Thought, maybe, just maybe it will not happen again … oh was I wrong.

Frustration had already hit an all time high with this configuration and the number of issues I’ve had.

How I did the troubleshooting …

The best thing to do (IMO) is to step back, and gather your tools to debug this situation.

Tools:  Virtual Box command line tools, Windows Debug.

Virtual Box comes with a pretty good set of tools to examine, migrate and overall tasks to deal with VMs.

The firs step:  use VBoxManage to prevent the VM from rebooting after the error to get enough time to really dig into the BSOD issue.

Command used:  

VBoxManage setextradata VMNAME "VBoxInternal/PDM/HaltOnReset" 1

Once this was done, the error reported was an “Inaccessible boot device” coming from a “Stop – 7B” type of error on the BSOD.

The issue I had with this, my VM was configured to use a virtual SATA controller, and thought Windows 2008 R2 would handle this fine … again wrong!  Because the integration tools from the other product where wanting to take effect that was throwing everything off.

The fix

The fix was almost handed to me, edited the configuration for the VM, removed the SATA controller from it, added the virtual hard drive under an IDE controller, boot up and voilà … it works!

I was then able to install the Virtual Box guest tools and such, but have decided to favor “keep on working” over “let’s try SATA again”

Posted On Saturday, May 29, 2010 3:30 AM | Comments (0)
Excellent source of info if you are taking exam 70-573

Becky Bertram has posted a great study resource.  She mapped the exam objectives to sources of information to focus on building the skill.

Great guide!  Thanks, Becky.

Posted On Thursday, May 27, 2010 9:20 PM | Comments (1)
Learning Resources for SharePoint

SharePoint 2010 Reference: Software Development Kit

SharePoint 2010: Getting Started with Development on SharePoint 2010 Hands-on Labs in C# and Visual Basic

SharePoint Developer Training Kit

Professional Development Evaluation Guide and Walkthrough

SharePoint Server 2010: Advanced Developer Training Presentations

Posted On Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:14 AM | Comments (0)
How do I Series: Connecting an Expression Blend Project to Team Foundation Server

I have heard of people wanting and needing to add projects created in Expression Blend to Team Foundation Server.

Here is the recipe:

1) Create your project in Expression Blend … click OK


2) Select the option to open your recently created project in Visual Studio.


Once that option is selected, your solution will open up in Visual Studio, close Expression Blend at this point.


Now, I want to add this project to Source Control …


Next, I connect to my TFS environment, and pick the location to save my project


Once the project is added, I will get a status window of pending changes for my project, all that we are left to do is to check in those changes.



Since we have checked in our project, we can now close Visual Studio, and we will proceed to open Expression Blend again. And select our project we will!


We notice some differences from before, just by opening it


What differences you say?!?

Notice the lock to the right of the item name …


And we also get this when we right click …


And there we have it, it is a combination of tools to achieve this, but it is well worth it.

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:32 PM | Comments (0)
SharePoint 2010: Architecture and Planning information

Recently I have been delivering Design and Planning Sessions at client sites, and as of recent SharePoint 2010 has been part of that mix.

After the activity that goes on during those sessions getting towards the end of them is always a cross roads for clients.  Why?  Because it is time to kick the wheels.  Remind them, and remember, this is not a 1 or 4 weeks ordeal.  This has to be very well planned.

If I am looking for information that is worth while and a great conversation starter, my landing point is the TechNet Library.  Here is focus on the Planning and Architecture documentation.  There are some great pieces of info, and a great set of planning worksheets.

Here is the link to this section …

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:57 PM | Comments (0)
Key Resources for TFS 2010

Team Foundation Server Developer Center

ALM Rangers Guidance Documents

Getting Started with ALM

I have found this information to not only be useful but essential

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 9:28 PM | Comments (0)
TFS 2010 and SSL Configuration:The sequence list

Now, we have discussed about bringing in a certificate into our web server.  One thing I noticed that was a requirement, is the assignment of a certificate throughout the App Tier and the Build Server.  I understand they are not necessarily cheap, but wildcard certs are a good option here.

On to the list we go:


Modify the mappings SharePoint has so it points to https, the path to do this is from the Operations section, in Global Configuration, look into Alternate Access Mappings.  The changes you make here in the default zone will need to be consistent with the changes you will make for those web sites (SharePoint Site and also the Central Admin Site) in IIS Manager by modifying the bindings.

Reporting Services:

You will need to make sure both the Reports Web Service site and the Report Manager site are configured for https and using the certificate you added to the server.

Team Foundation Server:

In TFS Admin Console, you will be able to configure the server to point to the new URLs you have created and associated through IIS Manager in the modification of the bindings.


Note:  I am working on a detailed walkthrough of the activities to make this changes happen.

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:53 PM | Comments (0)
Site Directory in SharePoint 2010

Sometimes there are so many changes to the environment in which we work and live in that something will escape our attention.

In discussing functionality with a client today, the topic of Site Directory came up and the comment of “well, we use it but it is too bad it is not available in 2010” was made … and huge sense of huh?!? came to me.

Well, the item that escaped me came to light (and I know there are others).  So researching about it was not only an option it was/is my duty.

Found an excellent post by Bill Baer on the subject.  And not only that but there is a reference to a potential and possible solution.  This is something that is being worked on through codeplex, here is the link ..

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:53 PM | Comments (2)
SharePoint 2010 Information Worker VM available for download

If you interested in a test drive of the technologies around the Wave 14 launch, take look at the VM made available from Microsoft.

It is a very well rounded option to explore the new products.

2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine

Note:  It is important to understand you will need a system with Hyper-V to import this VM and get it off and working.  Also, make sure you keep a copy of the original unpacked VM as this is based on a trial version of the OS (time bombed) and there is a chance to rearm the VM, but you are better off either keeping the original files or taking a snapshot as soon as the VM is living in your Hyper-V environment.

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:45 PM | Comments (0)
SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2

Recently participated in a conversation that asked about what thoughts were around the advantages of SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2.

I guess we can really dive in by exploring a document on TechNet by the name of SQL Server 2008 R2 and SharePoint 2010 Products: Better Together (white paper)

Posted On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:40 PM | Comments (0)
Free Learning Resources for Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010

Visual Studio Resources

From the Microsoft Press blog:

Keybinding Cards:

SharePoint Resources

From the Microsoft Office site on Training courses for End Users

Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 12:41 AM | Comments (0)
Performing an upgrade from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010

I recently had to go through the process of migrating a TFS 2008 SP1 to a TFS 2010 environment.

I will go into the details of the tasks that I went through, but first I want to explain why I define it as a migration and not an upgrade.

When this environment was setup, based on support and limitations for TFS 2008, we used a 32 bit platform for the TFS Application Tier and Build Servers.  The Data Tier, since we were installing SP1 for TFS 2008, was done as a 64 bit installation.  We knew at that point that TFS 2010 was in the picture so that served as further motivation to make that a 64bit install of SQL Server.  The SQL Server at that point was a single instance (Default) installation too.  We had a pretty good strategy in place for backups of the databases supporting the environment (and this made the migration so much smoother), so we were pretty familiar with the databases and the purpose they serve.

I am sure many of you that have gone through a TFS 2008 installation have encountered challenges and trials.  And likely even more so if you, like me, needed to configure your deployment for SSL.  So, frankly I was a little concerned about the process of migrating.  They say practice makes perfect, and this environment I worked on is in some way my brain child, so I was not ready nor willing for this to be a failure or something that would impact my client’s work.

Prior to going through the migration process, we did the install of the environment.  The Data Tier was the same, with a new Named instance in place to host the 2010 install.  The Application Tier was in place too, and we did the DefaultCollection configuration to test and validate all components were in place as they should.

Anyway, on to the tasks for the migration (thanks to Martin Hinshelwood for his very thorough documentation):

  1. Close access to TFS 2008, you want to make sure all code is checked in and ready to go.  We stated a difference of 8 hours between code lock and the start of migration to give time for any unexpected delay.  How do we close access?  Stop IIS.
  2. Backup your databases.  Which ones?
  3. Restore the databases to the new Named Instance (make sure you keep the same names)
  4. Now comes the fun part! The actual import/migration of the databases.  A couple of things happen here. The TfsIntegration database will be scanned, the other databases will be checked to validate they exist.  Those databases will go through a process of data being extracted and transferred to the TfsVersionControl database to then be renamed to Tfs_<Collection>. You will be using a tool called tfsconfig and the option import. This tool is located in the TFS 2010 installation path (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools),  the command to use is as follows: 
      tfsconfig import /sqlinstance:<instance> /collectionName:<name> /confirmed

    Where <instance> is going to be the SQL Server instance where you restored the databases to.  <name> is the name you will give the collection. And to explain /confirmed, well this means you have done a backup of the databases, why?  well remember you are going to merge the databases you restored when you execute the tfsconfig import command.
  5. The process will go through about 200 tasks, once it completes go to Team Foundation Server Administration Console and validate your imported databases and contents.

We’ll keep this manageable, so the next post is about how to complete that implementation with the SSL configuration.

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:30 PM | Comments (0)
BizTalk Server 2010 Beta Now Available!

It is now available, download is ready to go!

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:50 AM | Comments (0)
So, BizTalk 2010 Beta is out … wait, no it’s not … wait

Over the last couple of days we have seen posts and “rumors” of the Beta availability.  There was a link to the bits from the Download Center, but then they were not.

Documentation for it is available now at:

BizTalk Server 2010 Documentation – Beta

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 ESB Toolkit Documentation – Beta

BizTalk RFID Server 2010 and BizTalk RFID Mobile 2010 Documentation – Beta

But what about the bits?!?

From the Biztalk Server Team blog:

“We will be announcing the public Beta of BizTalk Server 2010 at the Application Infrastructure Virtual Launch tomorrow (Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 8:30 AM PST) with planned RTM in Q3 of 2010.

BizTalk Server 2010 aligns with the latest Microsoft platform releases, including SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010, and will integrate with Windows Server AppFabric and with .NET 4.

At this virtual launch event we will disclose details on new features and capabilities in BizTalk Server 2010 though presentations, whitepapers, videos and recorded demos.

Please join us tomorrow for an exciting launch!

The BizTalk Team”

Keep your eyes and ears at the ready.

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Comments (0)
Something about Property Management or … the understanding of SharePoint Admins/roles ?!?

When I talk about SharePoint, for some reason it comes to my mind as if it were property management and all the tasks associated with it.

So, imagine you have a lot ( a piece of land of sorts), you then decide there is something you want to do with it.  So, you make the choice of having a building built.  Now, in order to go forward with your plan, you need to check what the rules/regulations are.  Has is it been zoned residential, commercial, industrial … you get the idea.  This to me sounds like Governance.  The what am I to do given a defined set of rules.

We keep on moving forward based on those rules.  And with this we start the process of building, the building process takes us to survey the land, identify what our boundaries are.  And as we go along we start getting the idea in our head as to what we will do as far as the building goes.  We identify the essentials of the building, basic services and such.  All in all, we plan.  And as with many things we do, we like solid foundations.  What a solid foundation looks like will depend on where and what we build.  The way buildings are built depends in many ways in being able to foresee the potential for natural disasters or to try to leverage the lay of the land.  Sound familiar?  We have done our Requirements Gathering.

We have the building in place, we have followed the zoning rules, we have implemented services.  But we need someone to manage the building, now we move on to the human side of the story.  We want to establish a means to normalcy in the building, someone that can be the monitoring agent as to the “what’s going on?” of it.  This person will be tasked with making sure all basic services are functional, that measures are taken if there is an issue and so on.  Enter the Farm Administrator. In a way, we establish an extension of the rules to make sure the building and the apartments/offices build follow a standard set of rules too.

Now, in turn you will have people leasing or buying the apartments/offices, they will be the keepers of that space.  So, now we are building sites, we have moved from having the building (farm) ready, to leasing/selling offices/apartments (site collections).  There will be someone assuming responsibility for those offices, that person will authorize or be informed about activities and also who not only gets a code into the building, but perhaps a key to the office.  Enter Site Collection Administrator.  And then perhaps we move on to the person that would be responsible for specifics within the office, for example a Human Resources Manager or Coordinator.  They will have specific control and knowledge about people.  A facilities coordinator, and so on.  I would translate that into Site Administrators.

With that said then, we identify the following:

Role Name Responsibility (but not limited to)
Farm Administrator Infrastructure
Site Collection Admin Policies for Content, Hierarchy, Recycle Bin, Security and Access
Site Owner
(Site Admin)
Security and Access, Training, Guidance, Manage Templates

All in all there are different levels of responsibility to be handled, but it is very important to understand what they are and what they mean.

Here is a link to very well laid out explanation on this …

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 8:09 AM | Comments (0)
The Road to New Orleans: IT Grand Prix

Four teams race for charity. They need your help.

Four teams of MCPs are racing to TechEd in New Orleans on a quest to win $10,000 for the charity of their choice. But they can't win without your help--pick a team, join their pit crew, and earn them points toward victory!

While they're on the ground, they need your help in the cloud--pick a team, join their virtual pit crew, and earn them points by meeting online challenges.

Join us, be part of this amazing drive to raise awareness and help out by becoming part of the virtual pit crew. I am a pit crew member for the Gold Team.


Posted On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:48 PM | Comments (0)
Microsoft Learning releases information on SharePoint Beta Exams

Get your codes, take the exams!  All the information on the Born to Learn site.

Posted On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 7:36 PM | Comments (0)
Cumulative Update Package 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2

From the KB Article ID: 981355

“Cumulative Update 1 for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM contains only hotfixes that were released in Cumulative Update 5, 6, and 7 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Cumulative Update 1 for SQL 2008 R2 RTM is only intended as a post-RTM rollup for Cumulative Update 5-7 for the release version of SQL Server 2008 SP1 customers who plan to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2 and still keep the hotfixes from Cumulative Update 5-7 for the release version of SQL Server 2008 SP1. No new hotfixes have been included in this cumulative update.”

Get the info and listing of fixes here

Posted On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:02 AM | Comments (0)
Scrum for Team System v3 RTM available

If you are using the Scrum for Team System (aka Conchango Scrum Template), it has hit RTM and it is available for download.  First you will need to register and then you will ne able to access the goods.

There is also a very well laid out Getting Started with v3 guide, put together by Crispin Parker.

Note:  Very important to know and consider, is the fact there is no upgrade or migration strategy laid out from v2.2.  So you are left to your own devices on that one.  There are plenty of discussions going on as far as making it happen.  Don’t get me wrong v2.2 work items will be present and you will be able to use them, just don’t expect the v3 template to trigger when  adding new work items.

For now, get TFS in place, install the template and start fresh.  The Workbench should be released soon too, and that makes it a great component to this solution.

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:29 PM | Comments (0)
Connecting Visual Studio 2008 SP1 to TFS 2010


You have installed Team Foundation Server 2010, you are ready to go.  Your client is Visual Studio 2008 SP1, and need to connect to TFS 2010.

Here is the story, the steps to configure Team Explorer are almost the same … meaning, you will open Visual Studio, then go to Team Explorer.  At that point you will Add an Existing Project, this where we connect to TFS.  Except, we get this:


Now what?!?  We need to install the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010.  Where to get it from?

Update Installation

We arrive at the Welcome Screen for the Update, click Next


Next comes the license screen, accept the license, by selecting the checkbox, then click next.


The installation process will start at that point.


Once it completes, click on Finish.


Second Try

Time to attempt to connect again.

We are back to working with Team Explorer, and Adding an existing project.  There is a formula to be successful with this.

protocol://servername:port/tfs/<name of collection>

protocol = http or https

servername = your tfs 2010 server

port = 8080 by default, or the custom port you are using

/tfs = I am assuming the default too

/<name of collection = the name of the collection that was provisioned.

Once the values are provided, click OK, then close.


At this point you should see a listing of Projects available within the TFS 2010 collection. Select the project and click OK.  You will now see this listed in Team Explorer.

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:04 PM | Comments (0)
Microsoft BI Indexing Connector Announced

Wait?  More awesome stuff released.

With Microsoft’s acquisition of FAST, the options for content being indexed increased.  That’s not all that happens, but for the purpose of this post, since we focus on Business Intelligence content … that is where we see that benefit at this time.

Here is the link to the SharePoint Insights: BI In Action blog.

You will find guidance and components to download.

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 9:09 PM | Comments (0)
What is PowerPivot?

Let’s start with it is a great way to be able to visualize data and transform to information.  It is intended to be a self-service business intelligence tool provided as an add-in for a tool we already know … Microsoft Excel ... 2010.

If you have been wondering where to go? what to do? and how do I?

I am including links that will help you be on your way to better understanding of the topic and tool. (Links to TechNet documentation)

Introduction to PowerPivot

Walkthrough: Create your first PowerPivot Workbook

Get to know the UI

PowerPivot for Excel Central

Get some samples

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:38 PM | Comments (0)
New stuff on Windows Live … Hotmail and Messenger to start


Where to start?  First, I would recommend you visit the Preview at 

Then Start Exploring, here you will find the information on Hotmail and Messenger.

Why would this be exciting? The Hotmail offering is having the following pieces integrated:

  • ActiveSync
  • Office Web Apps integration
  • SkyDrive integration

Head on over, check it out.

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:16 PM | Comments (0)
Configuring SQL Server Management Studio to use Windows Integrated Authentication … from non-domain systems

Did you know you can pass your Windows credentials to SQL Server even when working from a workstation that is not joined to a domain?

Here is how …

From Start, then click All Programs, find Microsoft SQL Server (version 2005 or 2008).

Once there, do a right-click on SQL Server Management Studio, then click on Properties

Now, follow below to modify the entry for Target:

Now the real task (we will be using the runas command) …

Modify the shortcut’s target as follows, and remember to replace <domain\user> with the values that correspond to your environment :


SQL Server 2008

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:<domain\user> /netonly "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe -nosplash"

SQL Server 2005

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:<domain\user> /netonly "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\SqlWb.exe -nosplash"


SQL Server 2008

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:<domain\user> /netonly "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe -nosplash"

SQL Server 2005

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:<domain\user> /netonly "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\SqlWb.exe -nosplash"

Since we modified the shortcut, we will need to fix the icon for SSMS. 

We will fix it by pressing the Change Icon… button and pointing to the original “icon” providers.

It is the executables for SSMS that hold the icon information, so we need to point to …


SQL Server 2008

%ProgramFiles% (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe

SQL Server 2005

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\SqlWb.exe


SQL Server 2008

%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe

SQL Server 2005

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\SqlWb.exe

When you start SSMS from a modified shortcut, you’ll be prompted for your domain password:

SSMS will show up stating a different account in the username box, but the parameters from the configuration you are doing above do work and will pass on correctly.

Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Comments (0)
TechEd North America 2010

I will be working in the Certification area this year.   I will be there, will you?

Posted On Monday, May 17, 2010 10:11 PM | Comments (0)
Creating a new project for Team Foundation Server Basic.

We have installed and configured TFS, we have connected to it using Visual Studio.  Now it is time to get a project created.

From Team Explorer, we will right click on the servername\Collection item in the tree to select New Team Project.


Once selected, this will open the New Team Project dialog.  Provide a name, then click Next.

image  The next step is to select a Project Template.  By default you will have 2 available (but there are many downloadable options).  It is important to understand what the templates bring and what options we will live with in the Lifecycle Management option we select. Once selected, click Next.



Now we are at the point to specify where our code will be collected, Source Code settings part of the wizard.  Since we are starting new, we will select an empty folder. Click Next.


Next we get a Summary view of the options selected. Click Finish.


Once the template is downloaded, applied and our choices processed, we have completed the project creation.

image  This should be our final product …


Posted On Monday, May 17, 2010 8:46 PM | Comments (0)
Connecting to a new installation of TFS 2010

When the installation and configuration for TFS 2010 is completed, the next step is to connect and use TFS.  There is a Web Access component, but in order for it to serve useful you need to create a project into the Team Project Collection.  This is where Visual Studio 2010 comes in.

Open Visual Studio 2010, then click on the Team Explorer Tab (red arrow pointing to it) or go to View > Team Explorer.


Once there, click the Connect to Team Project toolbar button


This will open up the Connect to Team Project dialog, click on Servers …


On the Add/Remove Team Foundation Server dialog, click Add …


On the Add Team Foundation Server, enter the name of your server and click ok.


If you are prompted for credentials, provide the credentials needed. Once accepted, the server will be listed on the Add/Remove Team Foundations Server dialog, click close.

You will be back at the Connect to Team Project dialog, assuming you have one Collection, click Connect. (In the event you have more than one project collection, select the appropriate collection and then click Connect)

Your Team Explorer tab will look something like the image below.


Posted On Monday, May 17, 2010 8:29 PM | Comments (0)
Configuring Team Foundation Server Basic on Home Server.

For the installation I selected only the Team Foundation Server role.

Then, I opened the Team Foundation Server Administration Console (which I think is a great addition and improvement over the way TFS was configured in the past) to proceed with the configuration of the pieces.


Once I selected the Configure Installed Features, the Configuration Center opened up.


Now, the choices … In my implementation here I just want to take advantage of Source Control primarily.  I want to be able to store my code and projects.  So, Basic it is!


So, the Basic Configuration Wizard opens up.  Now the options to configure are very limited, but we have to provide details for the SQL Server Instance. And now, to select Install SQL Server express.  If you want to take advantage of another system in your environment to host your database, well you could Use an existing SQL Server Instance.


Once it has the details it needs, you get a Summary view to confirm your choices.


Once, you click next or verify, it runs readiness checks on your system to make sure the installation will have a successful pass.  And we love GREEN!


Now, since got the green flag, our next stop is to let the wizard do its magic, click on Configure.  And once again, we love GREEN!


We click Next, and … We like a big Green Success sign …


We close the Configuration Center …


First results … Web Access …  Nothing to show … but we are there!


And all this running from a Microsoft Home Server installation.

Posted On Monday, May 17, 2010 7:05 PM | Comments (0)
Understanding the SQL Server 2008 R2 Installation Center

What is available to us through those links?  Have you taken the time to explore and identify what could be useful to you?

One of many gems that has come to my attention is the possibility of provisioning SQL Server to work in an image based environment (hint: Virtualization Template perhaps?!?).



Planning: Includes requirements information, documentation, how to guides, online documentation installation and other tools. Among the other tools you will find the System Configuration checker and The Upgrade Advisor. Both tools very important to ensure your deployment and installation would be successful.



Installation:  This sections focuses on getting installations going, from standalone to cluster when it comes to new instances.  Add new nodes to an existing cluster, and also perform upgrades (in this case to SQL Server 2008 R2).  Also part of this is the option to find updates available.



Maintenance: We find in this section, options that will assist us in tasks like repairing corrupt installations to removing nodes from a cluster. An option that is interesting (and we should discuss benefits later in another post) is to be able to do an Edition Upgrade, this is a feature expansion and addition based on your product installation (Developer to Enterprise, for example)



Tools:  From the System Configuration Checker to identify readiness for deployment in a successful manner, to being able to report on features installed.  And being able to run upgrades of existing packages developed in the 2005 offering to the 2008 R2 release for SSIS.



Resources: Useful and essential links to gather information and guidance.



Advanced: Here is where it gets interesting.  I break this down into 3 main groups:

Installation Automation: When you install SQL Server there is a configuration file that gets dropped (ConfigurationFile.ini) that would allow for you to perform automated installations.  There are switches and options that go with this to have that process working.

Cluster configuration for Sysprep: Create images that are cluster ready, 2 options, start the prep work, and then the complete once at the final destination.

Stand-alone configuration for Sysprep:  Like the clustering counterpart, 2 options, prep and complete.  Giving you the option to create standard templates for your SQL Server deployments.

I find it fitting that the 3 topics listed here should (and will) be additional topics I will discuss.



Options: Very clear and specific about what this means. Select the Processor Type or the Installation Media Root Path.

Posted On Monday, May 17, 2010 9:00 AM | Comments (0)
A great option for those of us who live by virtual environments, SQL Server 2008 R2 sysprep

For a long time when creating images for my development environment, I had to install the OS and then sysprep.  Only after that would I then create a differencing drive/image that would have SQL Server. So, the thought of having a base/core image for SQL Server as a template was not easily done.  Well, how do things change?  SQL Server 2008 R2 gives us the option now.

Check this HOW TO provided on the library docs at TechNet.

Posted On Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:48 AM | Comments (0)
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