Firefox 2.0 alpha – Bon Echo

I’ve just got my latest nightly build of Firefox – it’s tagged as version 2.0 and codename is “Bon Echo”.

So far so good – I’m using it right now to write this post. Most extension are not supported because of specific versioning – but everything else is looking pretty clean.

Vista slips to Jan 07

Microsoft announced today that Vista slipped; corporate customers will get the code by year end, consumers after new year.

UPDATE: Microsoft Delays Vista For Consumers Until January

By Michael Paige

LOS ANGELES (Dow Jones) – Microsoft Corp. said late Tuesday the next version of its Windows operating system won’t be available to consumers until January, a delay that means the product won’t be available in time for the key holiday sales season.

Microsoft shares fell more than 2% in evening trading following news of the delay. The stock closed the regular session off 0.5% at $27.74 and has ranged in price from $23.82 to $28.38 over the last 52 weeks.

Microsoft (MSFT) previously had said the software would be available for both consumer and corporate customers in the second half of this year. The software giant said in a statement it remains on track to ship the product to business users in November.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company aims to release a test version of Vista for consumers in the second quarter of this year.

Jim Allchin, co-president of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, said the industry requires a greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new personal computers during the holiday period.

“We must optimize for the industry, so we’ve decided to separate business and consumer availability,” the executive said.

Late last month, Microsoft had said it was on track to deliver the latest release of its operating system, a cash cow, in the second half of this year and in time for the holiday season.

Novell BrainShare 2006 – Day 2

Day 2 (for me) of BrainShare 2006.

Today has been pretty intense – listening to the keynote while testing our session; then session presentation; then an afternoon of Press events.

Tonight it’s a private event in the Technology Lab for Novell’s financial and industry analysts; a handful of us are presenting ZENworks and Identity solutions.

I’m tired. Still to go – rehearsal and prep for tomorrows analyst summit.

Written at: BrainShare 2006, Salt Lake City, UT

Novell BrainShare 2006 – Day 1

Today was an analyst day.

I went to the spa with a group – the ones who didn’t want to ski or snowmobile – and talked about Novell and the IT landscape. Yes – I had a pedicure – my feet are now lovely 😉

In the evening was an analyst dinner; my usual challenge at BrainShare is eating somewhat healthily and not gaining a dozen pounds!

Cool Blogs – Under the Hood

http

This is the first of a series of posts describing the inner workings of Novell Cool Blogs. Over the coming month I will bring in others from Novell’s web and IS&T teams to describe some more of the process.

Written at: Salt Lake City, UT while preparing for BrainShare 2006.

Let’s begin by describing how Cool Blogs is put together.

Cool Blogs has two main sites – one is internal, available only within Novell, the other is public facing.

The internal system is the staging and development blog. This is where new members of the Cool Blogs community can get familiar with the system; it’s also part of the release and change management regime for updating the site. Any updates to the blogging software, the underlying OS and application or even to the look, feel and behaviour of the site are tested internally first.

[It’s probably worth noting that this is a highly recommended best practice; everyone reading this should be going through some form of change control for any updates. I’ll not ask for a show of hands – it may shame a few of you!]

The external facing blog is available to you – our readers and community. This is where all of the live content is created and posted – and where we integrate a lot of Novells security and traffic management technologies.

The staging and production environments are designed to closely mirror each other; each blog consists of a pair of servers – both running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 – one for the blog software, one for the database.

After a long search we eventually selected WordPress as the main infrastructure for Cool Blogs. There was no real political decision here – after a lot of testing we found that WordPress met our requirements in terms of platform support, features, extensibility, security – and it happens to be licensed under the GPL.

So CoolBlogs is running on top of WordPress – which consumes PHP, Apache and MySQL as the database. We added another layer of security and lockdown to these servers by deploying Novell AppArmor with some pretty restrictive profiles.

The public facing CoolBlogs service sits in Novells web hosting datacenter and is protected and accelerated by Novell iChain and multiple firewall and intrusion detection services.

The server hardware is good – dual processor, plenty of RAM, fast 1GB interconnects. My goal is to get traffic to these servers to make them work!

One of the most important parts of Cool Blogs was getting the look and feel just right – so it integrates with the wider novell.com theme. This was created and tested by the Novell Web team – and I think it looks pretty seamless.

So that’s the overview – WordPress on SLES 9, secured by AppArmor. I’m very happy so far with the solution. In my next post I will describe how we plan to link the Novell Cool Solutions Wiki with this Cool Blogs site to maximise the value of the information shared here.

I am interested to know your experiences – and what else you want to know!

Written at: Salt Lake City, UT while preparing for BrainShare 2006.

BrainShare 2006

I’m now in downtown Salt Lake City for the week of BrainShare. It’s raining – but the BrainShare banners are everywhere, attendees are starting to arrive, hotels are full (or even overbooked!) and already there is a definate buzz building.

I’ve been down to the Technology Lab already; dropped off my demo servers for the keynotes; checked everything looks ok.

Tonight is a catchup with the team; tomorrow is an all day analyst event. I’m off to the spa 🙂

Novell Cool Bloggers – Product Managers rock!

Keyboard

According to Shel Israel – Product Managers are one of the best sets of bloggers.

I like this sentiment – I also agree!

Product managers and other people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the details of a product are often better.

A product manager … is mostly loyal to his or her product and accountable to customers. The product manager is often tied to happy customers.

Product managers also speak in a language closer to everyday people.

Read the full post here. I’ll happily use this as a fire underneath the engineering and support Cool Bloggers!
Written at: Provo, UT while preparing BrainShare Keynotes

Who are the best bloggers?

According to Shel Israel – Product Managers are one of the best sets of bloggers. I like this sentiment – I also agree!

Product managers and other people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the details of a product are often better.

A product manager … is mostly loyal to his or her product and accountable to customers. The product manager is often tied to happy customers.

Product managers also speak in a language closer to everyday people.

Read the full post here.

ZENworks Server Management – part 2

Training shoe

I wrote last week about ZENworks Server Management in the real world.

In that post I described how a deployment of ZENworks can deliver some rapid benefits – namely patching and updates for NetWare and its associated services.

Next I want to cover the second major benefit of ZENworks Server Management – Tiered Electronic Distribution. Using TED will save you time, money – and shoe leather!

Written at: Salt Lake City, UT

Tiered Electronic Distribution has been part of ZENworks since ZENworks for Servers was first released; it allows ‘content’ to be moved across your infrastructure (WAN and LAN) efficiently, between servers and sites, supporting multiple platforms.

The ‘content’ can be of multiple types – I quickly covered NetWare updates, but any type of file content can be moved using TED. We have customers moving all imaginable data using this technology.

One of the most cool uses of TED is integration with ZENworks Desktop Management – moving desktop applications from a development/test/staging area – to production – and then out across a campus, departmental or branch infrastructure.

TED

We have many customers using this type of infrastructure today – and seeing huge benefits.

How do you know this will work in your environment – just ask a few simple questions:

  • am I manually (or semi-manually) moving ZENworks applications across my network?
  • are my administrators creating and re-creating application objects for each site and department?
  • does a change to a global application require days, weeks or months of rollout; touching each site and server?

If these questions trigger uncomfortable answers then maybe you should look at using Tiered Electronic Distribution in conjunction with your NAL applications.

Typically once the ZENworks Server Management infrastructure is deployed you will see payback in weeks; some customers have paid for their deployment projects with their first deployment.

I’ll leave this post for now – I will point people to Erin Quill’s session at BrainShare. TUT 350 covers using ZENworks in this manner – as well as other high availability ideas. There is also an Advanced Technical Training Session at BrainShare – ATT 345 – as well as a Technical Tutorial – TUT 347 – covering advanced application management.

Written at: Salt Lake City, UT

ZENworks Server Management – update

Server

I wrote last week about ZENworks Server Management in the real world.

In that post I described how a deployment of ZENworks can deliver some rapid benefits – namely patching and updates for NetWare and its associated services.

I wanted to add some new information about a BrainShare session – TUT 351 – being run by Martin Irwin.
The session is titled “Upgrading NetWare to NetWare OES” – but part of the session will be how to upgrade and deploy eDirectory 8.8 using the ZENworks Server Management infrastructure.

From Martin:

We worked closing with the development team for eDirectory 8.8 to actually design into the IPS scripts a placeholder and APIs that allow for a ZSM software package (CPK) to edit and run NWCONFIG.NLM to upgrade your eDirectory 8.73 servers to eDirectory 8.8

So what can you do now?

In 30 minutes you can run a CPK that upgrades your NetWare 6.0 servers to Open Enterprise Server running on NetWare then in another 5 minutes you can run another CPK that upgrades the same server to eDirectory 8.8

The demo will also be available in the BrainShare Technology Lab – and also showcased at Meet the Experts.

Written at: Provo, UT