The blogs of Black Marble staff

SCVMM 2008 Beta and non-admin access to remote machines - further information

Following my last blog post regarding SCVMM 2008 Beta and the issues I was seeing with non-admin access to remote machines via Hyper-V manager, I thought it would be beneficial to forward my query to the team concerned via Connect. Here's the answer I got:

"What you are seeing is expected behaviour. When you add a Hyper-V host in SCVMM the Initialstore.xml file is no longer used for Hyper-V security. Instead SCVMM creates a new XML file and modifies it based on the user and admin roles that apply to that host in the SCVMM. That means that the step where you ran Azman and updated the Initialstore.xml file is lost. There is not a good workaround for this issue. The only thing that could be done is to add the user that needs access as a delegated administrator in SCVMM (with the right to administrator this specific host). Then SCVMM will update the XML file it uses with the correct info. Note that if you edit that file manually those changes will be lost when SCVMM refreshes it. It is called Hypervauthstore.xml."

This is useful insofar as it does indeed allow me a nice way around the problem I was describing. It does however raise another issue, which is that I don't believe that there is enough granularity in the delegated administrator role mentioned. I can only assign a host to a delegated administrator, not an individual guest. While I can limit which virtual machines a delegated administrator can log onto via user accounts, it may well generate a lower administrative overhead if I could limit the machines that a delegated administrator can connect to (say in the same way that TS Gateway works with RAPS and CAPS).

I'll feed this suggestion back to the team via Connect.

PDC Day 1 , Azure

Microsoft Azure is the name of Microsoft’s Cloud Operating system, a new service based operating platform

Windows Azure ( cool logo to come ) is Microsoft’s core web tier capability for virtual computation with automated service management
using a fabric controller for the provisioning with its design based on a balance based on existing windows dev skills + code , allowing develop

It turns out the the legendary Dave Cutler has been working on Azure for a while, all of the azure team were
touting Red shoes , presumably as a nod to the original working title of Red Box(I think that is right)

Windows Azure , is a solution hosted by Microsoft , released as a CTP with a first fraction of the initial features. Azure will deliver rapid change of Azure itself. Microsoft will move its own systems over to azure.

Azure provides scalable hosting with a hypervisor designed for cloud ,multiple level security implemented using hypervisor enforced isolation.

Azure also provides automated service management which allows it to cope with application
upgrades and OS in place upgrades. At Azures heart is the fabric controller which views all of the data centre as a fabric of hardware.

The fabric controller manages services not just servers. There is a light weight dev environment to allow testing.
which then can deploy to staging and then production.

Pricing to be released.

My thoughts are watch Azure.


It made me laugh…

At the PDC expo drinks last night I was asked to show age ID to get a drink! Just me it seems, nobody else from the company.

I thought I was doing well to be carded on my 30th birthday whilst in the US, but 10 years on it getting silly – You must ask how do I keep my youthfully countenance? Wish I knew, but they say it is youth culture here in LA.

So my new aim is to get asked to prove my age to get a drink with an OAP bus pass.

VSTS 2010 at the PDC

Though not really mentioned in the keynote there are a lot of sessions on VSTS 2010 at the PDC; it is going to be a major really major release.

Chatting in between the sessions with other delegates there seems to loads of interest in the new testing features, but we know this is pain point from meetings. It will be interesting to see how these new tools deliver, I am sure the manual testing tools will be useful, but I am a bit more doubtful over the UI testing tools. We have all seen the demo promise of these products before and hit problems when we try to use them for real.

I think the improved integration for Office is also going to be important. At the moment we use the eScrum template for VSTS and the main reasons for this are the easy project visibility it gives to non-developer users via it’s web site and the way it manages the relationship between the product backlog and sprint tasks (given the lack of hieratical work items in the current VSTS). With 2010 I am not sure we are going to need the eScrum web site. The ease of reporting (and live work item updating) in Excel and hieratical work items will make this it superfluous, so the basic Agile template in 2010 may will be able to do the job.  

PDC 2008 thoughts day 1

So it seems we are going to have themed days at the 2008 PDC and day one is all about  the Azure services platform. Though judging by the expo stands the key announcements for tomorrow - Oslo and Dublin are out there too. As conferences go it seems a bit confused to me, I guess Microsoft are aiming for three big bangs at three keynotes; but we seem to have had a big bang today and splutter of future items.

However, I might be wrong, there could be stuff we have not even suspected, lets wait and see what we get tomorrow. Don Box and Chris Anderson are usually good value whenever they present so I await their keynote session with anticipation!

So as to Azure, a new move for Microsoft? Well not really it seems the logical next step especially given the offerings of Amazon and Google. It will be interesting how this develops, but on a first quick look Azure seems a very strong offering, I guess it will all be down to price in the end. Oh and if you trust Microsoft to host your business data.

(Black Marble) Founders Day

Every now and again the founders of Black Marble meet up to discuss the future directions of the computing industry to help plan the road ahead for Black Marble. This year we chose Newport Beach south of Los Angeles.

foundersAlthough I can’t imagine why people would like to live near here. Andy has suggested that our next catch up should be in Hawaii, while I think that might happen, it is more likely to be at the Hawaii lounge in Cleckheaton, south of the M62


it was nice to catch up with Andy and Em. But how they cope with the people near here when this think this is normal.

odd and this one.

no comment

due to lack of camera in hand I did miss a photo of a dog with a bread roll costume which had a mustard and ketchup seam up the back !!!!!


The PDC is nearly here

A bunch the pride at the black marble are here ready and waiting for the PDC, we are all registered ( with the less than amazing shopping bag issued, better things to come ;) ), Robert , James and Richard


look in awe at the future

awe of thinking outside of the box

here’s looking to tomorrow.


Mix Remixed

I don’t visit the Mix community site often – historically, the content has been of little interest and infrequently updated. Imagine my surprise, then, to find a relaunched Mix Online with a new Microformats project – Oomph.

In short, it’s cool – a microformats extension for IE plus other goodies to help implement them, including a live writer plugin for creating hcards. Go check it out, and I’ll try to post more later…