IAG – now available for Hyper-V

Of all the things I could be doing right now, blogging is the one that won. Feel special? Procrastination, but with a helpful bent.

IAG SP2 is now a VHD for Hyper-V

Your mission, Jim, is to make that into a song.

The most interesting “wow” moment I had today was reading that IAG (Intelligent Application Gateway – that’s that Whale SSL thingo) is now available without accompanying hardware.

Previously (as I understand it) IAG 2007 was only available on a hardware appliance of sorts.

Now, at least as far as the Technet Deity is concerned, IAG 2007 SP2 is licensable as a Hyper-V Virtual Machine, if you don’t want to go for the hardware.

The VHD includes IAG 2007 SP2 (I’m downloading the trial now, to get up to Mischief) and ISA Server 2006 (for the firewalling capabilities), running on Windows Server 2003.

I’m something of a noob to IAG, so, um, if you want to ask something, go hit them up instead.

But yay, can’t wait to try it out.

Vista-Stylez File Management in Windows 7 Beta

If you’re finding file management frustrating because the folder pane seems strangely inactive in the Windows 7 beta, it’s probably because it is. It’s perfect for light filing use, but not so good for folder-stuffing and navigational acrobatics. Which I seem to do.

I filed a bug using Send Feedback on that just now, complaining it was harder to organize files en masse with the new system, especially with an extensive folder hierarchy, cos I had to use two windows, and while I love the Snap Left and Snap Right feature to a point, blah, blah blah, whine. (Hey, does anyone know how to tile vertically?)

Of course, seconds after filing the bug, I experimentally right-clicked in the folder area of the Win7 Explorer interface, and there are precisely the options to restore Vista-like behaviour:


It’s also in Folder Options. (oops). The trick to finding it in the Explorer pane is to right-click a blank area, not one of the items.

My bad. Sorry, Win7 team. I take it all back, and I’ll pay for any damage*.

Shutting phones up with Bluetooth, revisited: musings

I posted a while back that I was looking for some kind of  suppression device that could silence my ringer while I was in the office, and mentioned Bluetooth as a likely candidate.

Since then, I got myself a car with a Bluetooth module in it, and something just hit me – the phone never rings when it’s paired. Sure, it vibrates a bit, but that’s preferable to the slightly loud Bliss edit (by Muse: airy electro (gives me a chance to pick up with minimal noise pollution) then big thumping guitary BOW BOW BOW BOW da-da-da-da da-da-da-do-do BOW BOW BOW BOW etc) that I’m using as my regular ringtone.

I got a Samsung i617T with the new job, but I’m pretty sure the same thing happened with my HTC Touch Dual.

So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you get a Bluetooth module for your desktop (or heck, even a cheap Bluetooth headset that you leave on the charger), and add the pairing to your phone, your Headset profile settings might well stop the loud ringing, kicking in magically when you’re within range of it.

(Or: There may be other fun things you can do depending on the capabilities of the Bluetooth device and PC software. My imagination tells me diverting calls to your desk phone would be optimal, but nobody else seems to design software from my imagination. Perhaps a project for a cold winter’s night…)

Oh, and of course, if you rely on actually being able to take calls on your mobile while at work, this might require you to wear the headset. Which could make you look like a cybermen co-conspirator. But that’s just my opinion, nobody else thinks you look a bit silly with a blue flashing light in your ear. (Further note: Please, don’t try wearing a Bluetooth USB dongle.)

Home Hyper-V Networking Gotchas

Before the holidays, I bought myself an early present: a new quad-core box with 4GB RAM, which I was going to use for a home Hyper-V lab, so that I could run a bunch of 64-bit VMs as well as the 32-bit staples I’ve been using for years (SBS 2003, and a separate ISA Server box).

I’d had Windows Server 2008 installed on my Virtual Server host for a while, and use it with Routing and Remote Access (RRAS)’ NAT to provide a simple internet gateway for a segment of my internal network.

Lesson #1: Core Quad Q8200s don’t support VT (that’s Hyper-V, kids)

There was a 1300Mhz FSB Q8200 available for the same price as a Q6600, and I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with that. Surely, I thought, all Intel CPUs since the Core2 Duos support Hyper-V?

Well, no, said Intel, and thanks for your money (stupidty tax, I seem to pay a lot of it). The one Quad core chip that doesn’t support Hyper-V is the one I bought. Q8200 is being phased out (I read somewhere), so this mistake should be easily avoidable in the future. Or now, by how-you-say smarter people.

Lesson #2: When you Hyper-V-ify a Parent Partition, It’s Sort Of A Client Too (aka “You may need to set stuff like RRAS up again with the new virtualized network adapters”)

What I mean by this is that when I got the Right CPU and installed Hyper-V, I was without Internets.

To cut a long and boring troubleshooting story short: the physical network adapters I’d configured in RRAS were no longer the Right Network Adapters.

I set up new virtual networks for each physical adapter (one Internet, one Local), and then had to set up RRAS again, because it didn’t think there were any new interfaces to set up – it was quite happy only seeing the old ones, thank you very much.

After checking both virtual adapters were visible in the Network Connections interface, and that they had the right IPs assigned, I rechecked my Windows Firewall settings and ran a port probe to confirm only ports I knew I wanted open were open (RRAS Basic Firewall doesn’t exist any more in 2008, so be careful with dual-homing where the Internet is attached to one of your adapters).

The disconnect here was that I was assuming the parent partition would see the physical hardware – it does, it just doesn’t use it directly any more, it looks like it uses the virtualized setup instead, at least to some extent.

Lesson #3: Hyper-V and DHCP didn’t like each other when the physical host became the parent partition

My RRAS server had (to this point) been my DHCP server for the internal network. This was all fine, and seemed to be working okay (or had my lease durations just not expired yet?), except for the new virtual hosts I created today.

There’s some lore floating around on the forums that worked for me – the bit that worked was manually adding a REG_MULTI_SZ called IPAddress to the likeliest-looking adapter interface in the registry, because Hyper-V setup for whatever reason doesn’t do that.

The DHCP server wouldn’t bind to the physical adapters (or even show them in the Bindings interface), presumably because IPv4 and IPv6 was unbound from them (interesting, hey?) and also wouldn’t show me either of the virtual adapters, which I guess is due to the lack of a static IP address on either of them.

Now, though, my setup’s working nicely, everything more or less as it was before, only virtualized. And thus, you know, more sexy.

Back With A Semblance

It’s a new year, I have a new job, and I have new stories to tell*!

I had a lovely Christmas break, thanks for asking, and now I’m back, I’ve moved into my new role as a Premier Field Engineer. PFEngineering is the part of the organization tasked with helping customers optimize and healthify their deployments of our software.

In my new role, I spend more time on fewer things, and more time actually in customer environments. I’m a professional poker, prodder and proofreader.

My focus has expanded, from IIS alone out to IIS, ISA Server, PKI and Security, and I’m likely to be expanding those a little further too.

It’s good to be back in the field. I enjoy working in real (and, um, virtualized) environments, with real (and virtualized) people, fixing things quickly, demonstrating my suddenly-wonderful touch-enabled Dell XT Tablet PC (Mary Jo might hate touch, but I’ve been sold since I used it with Teh Vistar, and Win7 is even better… more on that some other time).

* I lied about having new stories to tell right now. But soon. Sooooon.