# Friday, February 27, 2004

Yukon Lays Down the Security Gauntlet

 

Microsoft is taking its “Secure by Default” motto very seriously in the next version of SQL Server code named Yukon. SQL Server PM Tom Rizzo said recently while it is too early to tell, Yukon will ship with a lot of features off by default and secure by default.

 

Here is my advice to the team, after setup, FORCE the installation to not work until you change the SA password.

posted on Friday, February 27, 2004 4:53:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, February 26, 2004

Yet More Buzz Around Whitehorse

A few RDs are quoted here in yet another article on Whitehorse. There is a clear momentum around Whitehorse.

Uber RD Tim Huckaby said that he expects software developers and architects will be "overjoyed" when they get their hands on Whitehorse.

Semi cool RD Scott Hanselman said: Whitehorse should also help developers create software more quickly,  The combination of the tool's Web services assembly approach and the prewritten chunks of code that Microsoft provides "gives me bigger and bigger Lego blocks than I've ever had to play with before," Hanselman said.

As he noted in my comments the other day, Keith Short (the Whitehorse Architect) just started a Blog as well: http://blogs.msdn.com/keith_short.

posted on Thursday, February 26, 2004 11:28:54 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 25, 2004

DevDays Keynote and Whitehorse

 

Monday’s keynote went excellent and was covered in Mary Jo Foley’s “Microsoft Watch.”

posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 2:08:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [16] Trackback
# Monday, February 23, 2004

DevDays is Today

 

The first DevDays in the US was today! (Actually it is going on as we speak). We had about 400 in  attendees the opening keynote and so far all went very well. Andrew Brust and I did the opening keynote, folks seemed very excited (as they could be at 8am on a Monday) about SQL Server Reporting Services and Whitehorse.

posted on Monday, February 23, 2004 5:58:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Friday, February 20, 2004

Whitehorse Keynote Demo

 

Visual Studio “Whidbey” which is in alpha at the moment has a new feature called “Whitehorse.” I will be demoing it Monday in New York and next week in New Jersey. It is pretty cool, impressed even some local Microsoft employees at the NY office today during the Keynote run-through. The party line is that Whitehorse provides integrated model-driven design tools to increase productivity and predictability in design, development, deployment and maintenance of service-oriented distributed systems.  Whitehorse helps close the loop between design and operations and between design and code by modeling the software development and deployment process in a rich, integrated metadata-driven environment with tools that let development teams describe design and implement applications keeping design and code synchronized, describe operational requirements and validate designs against those requirements.  In this environment, application design becomes an abstraction of the code so the development process can be driven from design first or code first, or any mix of the two.

 

The core of this architecture is the System Definition Model, which is part of Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative to simplify and automate developing, deploying and operating connected systems.  The System Definition Model is a layered model that can be used to represent the structure of applications systems, the application hosting environment, the network and operating systems environment, and the hardware.  Whitehorse focuses on the top two layers of the model, namely the applications layer and the applications host layer.  The application layer allows the user to describe the structure and behavior of application systems where design can be synchronized with code, while the application host later allows the user to describe a model of the application hosts. 

 

In Whitehorse these layers translate to the following –

At the application layer:

  • A Distributed Services Designer to whiteboard services that make up a service-oriented application, write code and keep code in synchronization with design
  • A Susbsystem Designer to configure these services into deployable systems
  • At the application host layer:
  • A Logical System Architecture Designer to capture metadata about the deployment environment, and drive designs in system design based on infrastructure
  • A Subsystem Mapper to bind and validate the application design against the data center description

 

Together these Whitehorse design tools allow users to build Web Services-based connected systems.  Whitehorse helps bridge the gap between architects and developers by enabling application architects to create metadata rich designs that can be given to developers and used directly as the starting point for their work with no translation requirements.  The toolset increases the likelihood of rapid and successful deployment by allowing users to validate their application design against the description of their data center and to correct the design early before coding begins.  Whitehorse also increases the value and lifetime of design documents by ensuring that design information can be kept synchronized with changes to code.  This set of integrated model-driven design tools enable productive “Design for Operations.”

 

 

posted on Friday, February 20, 2004 6:59:22 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Thursday, February 19, 2004

DevDays is Monday

Monday New York will host the first DevDays of the year! I will be doing the opening keynote (along with fellow RD Andrew Brust) and a session on Web Security-threat modeling.

The keynote demos are all on virtual PC drive images, I got the Blue Screen of Death on a Win 2003 Virtual PC Image. Go figure. I have noticed that it is faster to run VPC on an external disk. Here are some tips that came my way if you are a VPC user:

Biggest perf tip is to put the VPC Virtual Hard Disks (VHD) to separate disk spindles from the operating system.  The biggest perf issue with VPC is related to disk I/O … and by making the VPC fight with your OS and swap disk make this issue much, much worse.  Additionally, today’s USB 2.0 and Firewire external hard drives run on a fast interface bus (Firewire does have some advantages over USB 2.0, but both are excellent), have a large (8MB) buffer and spin at 7200 RPM, as opposed to 4200 RPM for most laptop HDD. 

Also, note the tip below regarding “Run Virtual PC at Maximum Speed” … this will give a boost to the VPC’s thread priorities at the expense of the host OS applications.  Depending on what you are using the VPC for, this may be exactly what you want. 

From a PPT Deck:

Guidelines:

•       Ideally Virtual PC performance is at:
•       CPU: 96-97% of host
•       Network: 70-90% of host
•       Disk: 40-70% of host
•       However this is only for optimized guest operating systems running typical loads for a single process
•       The Virtual PC team’s aim is always to provide the fastest possible solution while not compromising compatibility

•       While virtual machines are not slow – there is always the potential for an unusual application to cause performance issues

Performance Tuning

•       Guest Performance – Preferences
•       Check “File … Options”
•       Running guest in background: Enable “Run Virtual PC at Maximum Speed”
•       Running a test on multiple guests: Enable “All running virtual machines get equal CPU time”
•       Memory
•       Host should have a minimum of 256MB, 512MB – 1024MB recommended
•       More memory is recommended for running multiple virtual machines simultaneously
•       Each guest should be allocated memory like it would on a physical machine
•       Virtual machines cannot use paged memory on the host system

Additional Disk Optimizations

•       Virtual Hard Disk size
•       Compress them
•       Defrag guest
•       Clear unused sectors ( Cipher, Eraser, etc.)
•       DO NOT attempt this step on a differencing drive – it will expand the disk to maximum size and you cannot compact it.

•       Compact using Virtual Disk Wizard
•       Enable NTFS compression on host operating system
•       Trades off performance for file size
•       Virtual Hard Disk performance
•       Place the .VHD files on separate spindle from host OS
•       If using Undo or Differencing Disks, place them on an additional spindle

posted on Thursday, February 19, 2004 3:41:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [7] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Climbing Mt. Rainer, Missing Advisor DevCon

 

I speak at lots of developer conferences around the world each year. Last year I spoke in front of over 20,000 people at over 15 events on 4 different continents. Besides making many new friends and visiting awesome places, the most rewarding thing about speaking is meeting developers and trying to help solve their problems. I remember still helping a young developer in Kuala Lumpur last year (along with Fernando) with the DTS Package from Hell. She came to me with it printed out and we spent a long time fine tuning it. (If you are reading this, please drop me a line and let me know if it all worked out!)

 

A lot of people ask me how I became a “famous” international conference speaker.  I tell them to have no fear of:

  • Speaking in front of large crowds (the #1 fear in the USA is public speaking, #2 is death, so the person giving the Eulogy at the next funeral you go to is worse off than the dead guy)
  • Flying
  • Admitting that you are not smarter than your audience and that the only reason why you are on stage is that you made every mistake in the book and are willing to admit it

 

Also you need someone somewhere to take a chance on you. That is what the folks at Advisor did about 7 or 8 years ago when they selected me to speak at one of their events. For that reason I have always “returned home” and spoken at an Advisor DevCon every year. Actually the last time I missed an Advisor DevCon, was the spring of 1999 (my girlfriend was in college, now I feel old).

 

This year, I am climbing up Mt. Rainer again with Kevin and Gary from my Everest trip.  We are going to sleep in the actual crater, kept warm by the volcano’s heat. We are doing this ourselves (Not to help the evil RMI.) Unfortunately it conflicts with the dates of the next Advisor DevCon taking place in Las Vegas from June 6th to 10th. Good speaking buddies like Ken Getz and Tom Howe are always headlines as well as folks from Microsoft like Robert Green (who has been speaking at DevCon for as long as I have been going-which is 1996).

 

So go check it out. You can read about my hike up Rainer in the blog, but will miss the content at DevCon forever. J

 

posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 10:30:43 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Vacation Time!

Off ot Maui, see you in a week.....

posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 3:42:17 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, February 09, 2004

Sure it is Fast, but How Much does it Cost?

 

I was quoted today in eWeek saying that the SPEC benchmarks for Web Service performance are useless unless they include price per performance statistics. Come on IBM, show us the money.

posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 3:46:31 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [22] Trackback
# Friday, February 06, 2004

You Have Photos

 

Last year I took about 4 gigs of photos around the world. I choose to post a select few and have put them on line yesterday (Finally!)

 

A few trips have already been up, you can get all the photos here.

 

The trip to Tunisia for the NDC 2003 in June was a lot of fun.  Beach, conference, Carthage, Tunis and lots of smoking J.

 

The next week I was speaking at TechED in Barcelona.

 

In August I scaled Mt. Rainer with Kevin and Joel.

 

In last August I spoke at TechEdD in Kuala Lumpur, before heading to Mt. Everest and India.

 

This year I promise to get my photos online faster.  Last week I spoke at the MDC in Egypt. Some photos are here.

posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 2:11:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
# Monday, February 02, 2004

Mandatory Death Penalty Required

 

The author of the MyDoom.b virus has left an apology inside of his code saying that he is just doing his “job”, which implies that some other evil person is paying him to write the virus.

 

How about this: I am sorry that you are and your employer are still alive and breathing. I propose a mandatory death penalty for internet virus authors. That will sure deter people from funding and writing them. On top of that a $100 fine for every individual who opens an email virus and spreads it around. You can pay that $100 to some global organization to pay for a reward to lead to the virus creator’s capture.

posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 5:52:19 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Sunday, February 01, 2004

DevDays Sessions

I will be doing two sessions at DevDays in New York and Newark:

Threats and Threat Modeling and the closing keynote: The Future of Microsoft Development Tools.

See you there!

posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 4:36:21 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback