February 24, 2011 News Thursday: Fast Track Data Warehouse 3.0 Release, Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 GA, and more Server and Tools News…

Microsoft Releases Fast Track Data Warehouse 3.0

At TDWI last week, Microsoft released Fast Track Data Warehouse 3.0. Building on Fast Track Data Warehouse 2.0, the solution helps customers accelerate their data warehousing projects to achieve much higher scalability at a low total cost.  Fast Track combines the power of SQL Server 2008 R2 with hardware reference configurations from our partners Bull, Dell, HP, EMC and IBM to create a data warehouse solution that is highly flexible, scalable, and agile.  In addition, systems integration partners Avanade, HP, and Hitachi Consulting provide solution templates to further accelerate data warehousing solutions. 


For more information, please visit www.microsoft.com/fasttrack.


Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track private cloud architecture explained in whitepaper

Following up on the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track announcement at TechEd Europe this past year, Microsoft Solution Architects Adam Fazio and David Ziembicki provide a technical deep-dive into how Microsoft and OEM partners aligned on a common architecture for the “pre-architected, pre-validated” private cloud solutions.


Visit the Virtualization Team Blog to read more from Adam and David about the Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track program, and download the whitepaper.


Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Now Available for Download

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that customers can download the Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) via Windows Update or the Windows Server 2008 R2 Download.  General availability closely follows the RTM announcement on 2/9, where Microsoft announced the delivery of enhanced virtualization features, RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory. You can find out more about the announcement on the Windows Server Blog.


To obtain code, please visit the Microsoft Download Center.


U-Prove CTP Release 2

Microsoft has released a new community technical preview of the U-Prove technology, which provides cryptographic techniques for safer, more secure and controlled use of online identities. This release is aimed at customers and partners who want to develop proof of concept applications, and consists of a set of Windows Azure cloud services, software components, and developer toolkits.   


For more information please visit the U-Prove website.


The Windows Azure Content Delivery Network Expands to 24 Nodes Globally

Today, Microsoft announced that it now has 24 nodes available globally for the Windows Azure content delivery network (CDN), including a new point of presence in Doha, Qatar to improve performance for clients on the QTel and affiliated networks. The Windows Azure CDN is a system of servers containing copies of data, placed at various points in the Microsoft global cloud services network to maximize bandwidth for access to data for clients throughout the network. The CDN delivers content from, and offers pay-as-you-go, one-click integration with, Windows Azure Storage. Availability of physical nodes on the Windows Azure CDN helps improve delivery of performance-sensitive content around the globe.


For more information about today’s update, as well as a full list of current node locations, visit the Windows Azure blog.


Open Source Implementation of Microsoft Silverlight Introduced

A preview version of Moonlight 4, an open source implementation of Silverlight, has been announced by Novell. The technology gives Firefox and Google Chrome users on Linux access to the latest Silverlight content and enables developers to take advantage of the newest features of Silverlight on all platforms. With Moonlight, developers can leverage Silverlight 3 and Silverlight 4 APIs, including support for the H.264 video codec, hardware acceleration of graphics rendering using the GPU, 3-D transformation and pixel shaders.


Moonlight is part of a technical collaboration announced by Novell and Microsoft in September 2007. Microsoft has provided Novell with access to its test suites and specifications for Silverlight, and provides Novell end users of Moonlight with free access to the Microsoft Media Pack, a set of licensed media codecs for video and audio.


To download the Moonlight 4 beta or learn more about the project, visit http://go-mono.com/moonlight.