Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tech Ed SEA... T-11 days... Defcon 3... but.. i'm a super SCUG!.. :)

On August 12th, 2008 we will be launching the System Center User Group, Malaysian Edition... the SCUG The objective of the community is to enhance the knowledge and skills of its members by community sharing, deep-dive sessions by MVPs and industry experts, open space discussions, 1-day clinics, video blogging and more!

The launch will be held at the Microsoft Auditorium, 29th Floor, Petronas Tower at 6pm on Aug 12th 2008.

Andrew McMurray from Microsoft Australia and Noel Teng from Microsoft Malaysia will be sharing a session on "The Future of System Center" and "Virtualization Rocks". We will have food, drinks and more importantly.. FUN!..

I would like to thank Microsoft, Redynamics Asia and EasySafe for sponsoring the event.

There will be a special launch promo to join SCUG at only RM15 for 2-years. The normal membership is at RM20/year. On top of that, you will receive a LIMITED EDITION SCUG T-shirt, Microsoft premiums and your 1st SCUG event stamp to be redeemable for more gifts after 6 stamps!

If you can't come for the launch and still want to join as a member, send a mail to

See you guys there!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Intel vPro and System Center

In typical desktop management, using any standard management product like System Center Configuration Manager, we would typically depend on the Operating System to be healthy and regularly doing its gym workouts. So what happens when an Operating System fails? No more desktop management. Thats kind of ironic isn’t it?

So.. i was going through the Intel vPro chipset and its remote management capabilities lately and found some pretty interesting facts.

So vPro is essentially the ‘Business chipset’ by Intel that contains capabilities to do magic stuff while your machine is offline. There’s a catch to this though... the main plug still has to be switched on.. AHA!! Glitch in the matrix!!!.. come on... we’re in the electronic age.. we still need power.

I wanted to just quickly talk about what integration capabilities that Intel vPro can provide for Microsoft System Center. Lets take the 3 products...

  1. System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  2. System Center Operations Manager 2007
  3. Softgrid Application Virtualization

System Center Configuration Manager 2007

With ConfigMgr, once provisioned, it allows for :

· remote asset inventory without needed the operating system to be on.

· Serial over LAN to perform CMOS configuration changes remotely

· IDE redirection – such that if an operating system were to crash, you could boot onto a remote ISO image sitting on a a server somewhere

· Wake-On-Lan

· Remote software updating

At present moment however, there is no support for Hardware based filtering which i was told will come in the next patch or version

System Center Operations Manager 2007

With OpsMgr, you have the Intel AMT Management Pack which provides for all that u see under the ConfigMgr features PLUS System Defense. System Defense allows for Hardware based filtering such as applying policies to filter traffic via the network interface

Softgrid Application Virtualization

If you already know what Softgrid can do, i also wrote about how ConfigMgr 2007 R2 will offer an integration to deploy Virtual Apps ( ) With the Intel vPro chipset, you could possible perform Wake-On-Lan on to a machine and push the Virtual Application package so that when the user gets in the morning.. Poof! App is on the desktop. Prepare for sudden gasp of awe from the user.

To know more details on it, i recommend u to check out the Intel vPro expert center

I will be configuring all the above in the next couple of weeks when i return from Houston and will be posting all the findings.

Keep this channel on.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tech Ed SEA session: Increasing Security and Compliance with System Center Part 1

So here I am basking in the Houston sun and mingling with about 7000 other people during the Worldwide Partner Conference. I got a couple of thoughts while i was walking through the sessions and thus here I am at the Wireless lounge to pen my thoughts. What happen to good ole pen and paper? Well.. i saved a tree today J

I was going through my initial ideas of what I will be presenting in Part 1 of the Increasing Security and Compliance session at Tech Ed and here are a couple of areas that I am going to be covering:

- Overall introduction on how System Center can leverage on a secure IT organization infrastructure

- Security Best Practices and how or which System Center technology can help

- A look at Operations Manager 2007 Built-with-security aspects (e.g. Run As Profiles, Reports security, encryption, mutual authentication)

- A look at Operations Manager Audit Collection Services

- A look at Configuration Manager 2007 Built-with-security aspects (native mode, firewall security)

- A look at Configuration Manager 2007 Patch Management architecture and best practices

- A look at Configuration Manager 2007 Desired Configuration Monitoring compliance reporting

- A look at Configuration Manager 2007 Network Access Protection and Remediation Services

- A look at Data Protection Manager 2007 and achieving backup compliance

This would lead in nicely to Part 2. Any other thoughts or ideas anyone?