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The FE Blog
News and views from the Microsoft UK Education Team
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October, 2008

  • FE blog

    Virtualisation Unplugged at the Royal Academy of Music, London



    Virtualisation is all the rage, and as a result it is gaining attention across the whole public sector, including education. Originally focused on consolidating resources in the data centre, virtualisation now has applications across the spectrum: driving down costs, improving responsiveness and reducing carbon emissions — with the potential to dramatically improve productivity and reduce cost.

    Of course, with the launch of Windows Server 2008, the capabilities of the Microsoft virtualisation system have made a leap (described by a colleague, in a silver-tongued moment as “a comprehensive end-to-end toolset for creating, managing and securing a virtual infrastructure”) . There’s a chance for you to catch up with the story, and see what it possible at Virtualisation Unplugged on 24 October 2008, at the Royal Academy of Music in London





    Introduction to Microsoft all-up story on virtualisation


    Customer Presentation




    Server Virtualisation with Hyper-V

      Technical session introducing Hyper-V — The Microsoft server virtualisation offering


    Management of Virtual Servers
      including other vendors such as VMware




    Role-based Computing
      Delivering the right set of services using the right virtualisation method


    Application Virtualisation using App V
      formerly known as Softgrid




    Virtualisation Futures 
      Where are we going with virtualisation?


    Questions and Answers



    Find out more, and register here

  • FE blog

    BitLocker’d up


    To the famous Diana Ross tune I’m Coming Out*

    I’m BitLocker’d up,
    I want the world to know,
    Got to let it show,

    I’m BitLocker’d up,
    I want the world to know,
    Got to let it show…

    I don’t know why it took me so long to get started. My new laptop has a TPM chip in it, and even though it doesn’t contain any sensitive customer data on it, it deserves to be encrypted. And so, this morning I went into Control Panel and set BitLocker encryption. It was an incredibly easy process. To demonstrate, here’s the four things I had to do:

    • imageIn Control Panel, go into Security
    • Then I chose BitLocker Drive Encryption
    • I then had to reboot and tell my PC that I really did want BitLocker to control my TPM chip (ie press “Y”)
    • And then finally to store my BitLocker “password” on a USB stick (which is now carefully locked away, and not stored in my laptop bag!)

    imageAnd for four hours, this message moved across my screen while I continued working

    And that’s it. I’ve now got a fully encrypted laptop, with an encryption system certified by the CESG (The Govt’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance).

    Having read that last week’s data loss could be up to 1.7 million people’s records (is anybody keeping a count?), then I will sleep easier..

    Want to use BitLocker yourself?

    1. Make sure you’ve got Windows Vista Business or Enterprise version
    2. Preferably choose a computer with a TPM chip
    3. Prepare the machine (there’s a techie stage involved, which all of our laptops have done to them before they leave the Lenovo factory)
    4. Get BitLocker’d up… (catchy tune still in your head?)

    (And if you just want to BitLocker an USB memory stick, to protect some data being transported, read Jerry’s BitLocker instructions here)

    * Note to self: If Diana Ross song leads in wrong direction, I might have to disable comments on this post!

  • FE blog

    Virtualisation on Tour – November to January


    VirtualisationUnplugged Between November and January, we’re running a free “Virtualisation Unplugged” roadshow – 9 events, 7 cities, 420 PowerPoint slides (only joking…I think)

    Virtualisation is a buzzword today, because of both the technical flexibility it can give and especially because of the potential energy & cost savings it can deliver. Suddenly virtualisation starts to look even more attractive when you look at the rising costs of energy within a college, and the potential to reduce the number of physical servers in your server rooms.

    Although originally focused on consolidating resources in the data centre, virtualisation now has applications across the IT spectrum, driving down costs and improving agility. 

    Virtualisation Unplugged will replicate the format of the successful Exchange Unplugged tour of last year, so the event will provide a top to bottom view of the Microsoft Virtualisation strategy and give you the information you need to go back to the campus to make this actionable.

    The day runs from 9:30 – 4:30, and is hopefully coming to a city near you. The day includes how to virtualise with System Center, Hyper-V, MDOP (to virtualise applications), VDI (to virtualise desktops) and finally Terminal Services 2008. Who could resist booking?

    To find out the dates, and register, for events in Edinburgh, Cambridge, London, Leeds, Reading and Barlborough (yes, I had to ask too – turns out to be near the city with the twisty spire – Chesterfield) check out the Virtualisation Unplugged website.

  • FE blog

    Event – Relationship Management Systems in FE


    I’ve had a note from Charlotte Holder at Morse about an event that they are running on 2nd December in London, for FE college senior management teams. Depending on your role, this may not be of immediate interest to you, but you may want to pass the details onto a colleague.

    Charlotte writes:

    MORSE_Tag_2Col_CWe would like to invite you to join us at an exclusive morning event on Tuesday 2nd December to explore how, in the Further Education sector, business can be greatly increased and employer engagement made more effective, through the use of intelligence-led systems.

    Colleges are becoming increasingly effective in responding to employer needs and diversifying their income base. However, growing levels of business by tracking contacts with employers and capitalising on intelligence gathered by customer-facing staff continues to present a major challenge for the sector.

    This session, which has been jointly arranged by Microsoft UK and Morse, will focus on how Relationship Management Systems can be utilised to more accurately target your business development resources. Importantly, the event will also demonstrate how the system may help your organisation build an evidence base toward Training Quality Standard certification, as well as providing an opportunity to network with an invited group of fellow principals and senior managers.

    Date:                    Tuesday 2nd December, 2008 

    Time:                    10.00am – 1.00pm

    Venue:                  Soho House, LondonW1D 4EB

    Facilitator:            Keith Finney, Director, FE Partnerships

    The agenda will cover

    • Turning leads into project wins to maximise Return on Investment
    • Automating employer interaction processes to strengthen relationships, meet deadlines and improve college reputation
    • Ensuring better cross collaboration between departments, employers, strategic partners and sub-contractors
    • Introducing new systems to capture and manage information such as matching training solutions to employer needs

    The content of the day is specifically aimed for principals or their senior staff nominee.

    Interested in attending? Drop an email to Charlotte at Morse to book your place.

    Having re-read the invite note, I’m presuming when Charlotte said “We would like to invite you to join us”, she meant YOU not me! Okay – checked it – it really was an invite for YOU not me!

  • FE blog

    Live Services to Your Collaborative Campus


    Web-based services and ‘cloud computing’ are very topical at the moment, especially following a number of Microsoft announcements at the Professional Developer’s Conference earlier this week. So why not join Salford Software and Microsoft to discuss the challenges facing colleges in the provision of collaborative environments for working and an enhanced learning experience.

    Come and talk to specialists from Salford Software and Microsoft to find out how technologies such as Live@edu, Identity Lifecycle Manager and SharePoint can meet the requirements of the Further Education sector.

    To register your free place at this event, please complete the form below including details of any special requirements you may have.

    Date: 9 December 2008
    Location: Microsoft Offices, Cardinal Place, Victoria

    Register at: http://www.salfordsoftware.co.uk/education/event_details.html?event=96

    Event Reference: MSLON0


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