Stories by Jonathan Hassell

Microsoft System Center 2012 review: Streamlined cloud service management

Microsoft released the final version of its System Center 2012 suite of components in April at a conference in Las Vegas. I've taken a hard look and used it in a variety of tests, and I find it a compelling product that has lost a lot of its licensing and complexity baggage. Let's drill down.

Hands on: HP's Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance

If you're like most enterprises, you have data everywhere. It's in line-of-business applications. It's in directories. It's in various departmental servers. It's in your e-commerce platform. To manage all this, most shops use databases of all sizes running on a variety of operating systems and database applications, often from different vendors and editions. Chances are, they're not consistent.

Developing for the iPhone and Android: The pros and cons

Smartphones and their apps are the new way of the world, and developers are lured by their increasing popularity. But with two major platforms - Apple's recently upgraded and renamed iOS 4 and Google's Android - competing with one another, how does a developer choose between them?

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

With virtualization taking over the computing world, enterprises everywhere are finding that virtual machines spread across an organization need to be managed as much as their physical computers are. Companies are also figuring out that these virtual machines have special needs and requirements that can multiply very quickly as servers are added, moved, changed or removed.

Preview: Windows Server 2008 R2

Receiving slightly less attention than its client brother, Windows Server 2008 R2 -- also known as Windows 7 Server -- made its pre-release debut a couple of weeks ago. But with this new incremental release, there are quite a few changes under the hood that may make this something you should watch. In this piece, I'll look at some general facts about the release and then drill into a few key improvements and new features.

10 best features in Windows 7 for IT professionals

Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled its work on Windows 7, the successor to Vista, to a crowd at the Professional Developers Conference that was salivating for information on what's new in the updated operating system. A lot of sites will take you through the whiz-bang consumer-friendly features, but you might be wondering as an IT professional what Windows 7 has to offer you.

Review: Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager

On Tuesday, Microsoft released to manufacturing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. The final code will be shipped on November 1. The company bills the software as one-stop organization, allowing administrators to set up and deploy new virtual machines and manage hosts and other virtual infrastructure elements from one console.

HP c3000 BladeSystem enclosure

There has been a dearth of conveniently packaged servers for the midsize market. HP decided to try to change that with the introduction of the HP BladeSystem c3000. I recently tested a well-equipped unit, and overall, my impressions are positive.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 RC 1

Recently, Microsoft released its second release candidate build, RC1, of Windows Essential Business Server, or EBS, a midmarket server solution for businesses with 50 to 300 users and computers.

RTM edition of Microsoft Hyper-V adds speed

Last week, Microsoft released its virtualization product, Hyper-V, to manufacturing. Previously, the company had promised to make a production-supported version of Hyper-V available to Windows Server 2008 customers within 180 days of the official release of the operating system itself. By releasing Hyper-V in late June, Microsoft beat its self-imposed deadline by about a month, although delivering less than was originally promised.

Microsoft Intelligent Application Gateway and Celestix VPN appliance

Secure Sockets Layer virtual private networks are commonly used when easy access to corporate applications is required to be offered to partners, remote employees, and other people and businesses that aren't necessarily trusted enough to be granted access to your corporate networks.

PowerShell Tips and Tricks

Windows has never enjoyed the powerful shell scripting environments that its Unix rivals have long included. That's changed now with the inclusion of PowerShell, Microsoft's command-line shell and scripting language, in Windows Server 2008 and a passel of other Microsoft server products as well.