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Microsoft Application Virtualization for RDS

Microsoft Application Virtualization transforms applications into virtualized, network-available services resulting in dynamic delivery of software that is never installed, minimizes conflicts and reduces costly application compatibility testing. Users and their application environments are no longer machine-specific, and the machines are no longer user-specific, enabling IT to be flexible and responsive to business needs, and reducing the cost of PC management. Microsoft Application Virtualization for RDS enables companies to package, deliver and use virtual applications in Windows Remote Desktop Services environments.

Resizing Online Virtual Machine Hard Disks in Hyper-V 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 - Hyper V

Starting with Windows Server 2012 R2, it is possible to re-size a Virtual Hard Disk for a running Virtual Machine on Hyper-V! It was not possible to do so before for an online Virtual Machine running on Windows Server 2012 and earlier Hyper-V versions.

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits this feature offers and requirements before you dive in and use it.

Benefits

The re-sizing feature allows expanding or shrinking a Virtual Machine hard disk while the Virtual Machine is running. Storage administrators can avoid downtime to perform virtual hard disk maintenance tasks and there is no impact to end users. Users can still access Virtual Machine and its volumes. This feature reduces the maintenance costs associated with downtime of critical Virtual Machines.

There is also a Resize-VirtualDisk PowerShell cmdlet available which can be used to script the re size operation on multiple virtual hard disks quickly. There is no need to use or enable any component to use this feature. This functionality is available out of the box using “Edit Virtual Hard Disk” wizard.

Requirements

Since it is a feature of Hyper-V running on Windows Server 2012 R2, make sure to perform this task on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Server. You must also be using a VHDX format and this must be connected to a SCSI controller before you can expand or shrink a Virtual Hard Disk. However, Disk type can be fixed, differencing or dynamic.

802.1X with Endpoint Certificates

wifi security miami computers

In environments with full certificate infrastructures, an organization may decide to leverage certificates on endpoints instead of passing through user credentials. While certificates are considered one of the more secure options, its important to remember that at that point we are authenticating the device, not the user.

 

When using wireless 802.1X with certificates, you’ll usually select EAP-TLS or a similar vendor-specific EAP type.

Best used for: High security environments with all managed endpoints, a PKI certificate structure and key management.

Pros: Extremely secure authentication method, provided the certificate structure is trusted. Fairly easy to implement if a PKI solution is already in place.

Cons: This method authenticates devices with installed certificates, not users. Organizations with high security requirements and extensive audit and accounting needs will want to layer authentication methods (two factor or more) to validate the machine and user. This is a major undertaking if a certificate system is not already in place.