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October, 2007 - FE blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The FE Blog
News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team
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October, 2007

  • FE blog

    Build a Green Datacentre

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    At the UCISA conference, earlier this year, there were some astounding figures quoted with regard to the cost of the running a datacentre - environmentally and financially. A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories report states:

    "The energy used by a typical rack of state-of-the art servers, drawing 20 kilowatts of power at 10 cents per kWh, uses more that $17,000 per year in electricity. Given that data centers can hold hundreds of such racks, they constitute a very energy-intensive building type. Clearly, efforts to improve energy efficiency in data centers can pay big dividends. But, where to start?"

    Well the debate is having an impact on the way people think about datacentres. Companies around the world are announcing ways to save energy and reduce costs by buying new hardware and services. Yet, there is little guidance on how you can take action to control energy costs. In the past, electricity has been treated as an overhead expense, like the cost of space. But with rising power costs and issues regarding reliability, supply, and capacity, electricity requires its own specific strategy.

    My colleague Dave Ohara has written an article for TechNet magazine about the issue, looking at the importance of Energy Monitoring Systems, helping define 'the green datacentre' and going on to conclude that "Knowing is half the battle".

    It's a good read, and provides a useful insight on how to get started.

  • FE blog

    10 Ways to Work More Securely

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    What's the biggest risk to your IT system security? Probably your users! For all of the efforts that you make, it only takes one user to do something really dumb inappropriate, and suddenly you're back to firefighting.

    And how many times have you had to remind your users about some of the things in this list?

    1. Work with your IT department
    2. Use strong passwords
    3. Don't enable the Save Password Option
    4. Use network file shares instead of local file shares
    5. Lock your computer when you leave your desk
    6. Use password protection on your screensaver
    7. Encrypt files containing confidential or business critical files
    8. Don't open questionable e-mails
    9. Encrypt e-mail messages when appropriate
    10. Use the Junk E-mail Filter in Outlook

    At the start of the new term, you might want to remind all of your users about these rules again. We recently covered this list, with further advice and actions, in our At Work newsletter, so if it adds power to your message, then send them this link, or find another way to put the page in front of them (how about redirecting their home page for a week until they get the message!). And this list is also (mostly) applicable for home users too, and with increased connectivity between home and your college systems, the more you can encourage good practice on any computer, the better protected you are.

  • FE blog

    Microsoft Volume Activation Technology 2.0 - Training from partners

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    I received information from Viglen on a new training course that they are running, which is designed to demystify your options for activating Windows Vista volume licence keys. It will help you make the right decisions now, so that as more products (for example Windows Server 2008) come along using the same methods, you'll have a structured and effective mechanism in place. This course is relevant to all colleges and universities using any of our volume licence schemes, such as Campus Agreement or Select. Here's the detail on the courses:

    MICROSOFT VOLUME ACTIVATION 2.0 TECHNOLOGY TRAINING COURSE FROM VIGLEN LTD

    Do you know about Volume Activation Technology 2.0?

    Volume Activation 2.0 (VA 2.0) features enhanced Volume Licence Key (VLK) protection:

      • Centralised VLK management and protection
      • Lower probability of keys leaking
      • Reduced risk of needing to re-key entire organisation

    Do you understand the implications of Volume Activation Technology 2.0?

    Beginning with Windows Vista, there will be two types of Volume Licence Keys: Multiple Activation Keys and Key Management Service.  Windows Vista must be deployed using this technology.  Windows Server  will also be deployed using the same mechanism.

    Do you know your MAK from your KMS?

    The Multiple Activation Key (MAK) activates either individual computers or a group of computers by connecting directly to Microsoft servers over the Internet or by telephone. Your organisation can host the Key Management Service (KMS) internally to automatically activate computers running Windows Vista.

    How does this affect you?

    When you choose to deploy Windows Vista or subsequent operating systems (for both server & desktop), you will be required to use Volume Activation Technology 2.0.

    What can Viglen do to help you?

    As one of the top tier licensing resellers in the UK as well as an OEM, we are well placed to understand the product deployment needs of our customers.  We also understand the implications of this type of technology when it comes to large scale roll-outs of important applications such as desktop and server operating systems.

    Therefore we have designed a “bespoke” TECHNICAL training course to help customers understand how this technology works. 

    Contact servicesdivision@viglen.co.uk for further information and course dates or call us on 01727 201890

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