Stories by Oliver Rist

In Pictures: Windows Server 2012 highlights

A quick visual tour of the revamped Server Manager and other great new features in Windows Server 2012

Review: Weighing Windows Server 2012

From network services and storage to virtualization and private cloud, the beefy new Windows Server leaves no server role unturned

Is OpenStack the new Linux?

Or is this open source 'cloud operating system' just a launching pad for a million new cloud businesses? Either way, the excitement is contagious

New Dell PowerEdge: More power, deeper management

The Dell PowerEdge R720xd is one of the first offerings in Dell's new, 12th-generation PowerEdge server lineup. It's basically an expanded version of the PowerEdge 720 and oriented toward fast, well-managed file, virtualization, and storage workloads. That means the box has a distinguished pedigree to live up to, and after putting the R720xd through its paces, I'm sure its lineage won't be disappointed.

Microsoft's marriage of easy communications

We've been watching the romance develop between OCS (Office Communications Server 2007) and Exchange Server 2007 since OCS became available in beta earlier this year. When OCS finally came of age last month, we brought the mature couple together for a Hawaiian wedding.

Does Mac OS X suck?

Paul Venezia bamboozled me into buying a MacBook Pro back in January, and I've been on it semi-daily ever since. And yeah, overall, I've been pretty happy. Of course, the only reason I was willing to buy one at all was because Parallels made it so easy to run Windows. But while my initial usage ratio was 85 percent Parallels, 15 percent OS X, over the last six months, that's changed dramatically to 45 percent Parallels, 55 percent OS X. Yup, the Orchard does slowly assimilate you.

Does Vista suck?

Does Vista suck? The word on the Web is that it sucks badly enough that we should all don iSheep caps and adopt Macs or Penguins. I usually don't get into those kinds of arguments because they amount to OS holy wars. My inbox fills with angry anti-Microsoft zealotry from folks who've made up their minds to hate one and love another no matter what. I just don't look at it that way -- and I don't think most systems admins, consultants, and integrators do either. To us, it's a toolbox.

Does Vista suck?

Does Vista suck? The word on the Web is that it sucks badly enough that we should all don iSheep caps and adopt Macs or Penguins. I usually don't get into those kinds of arguments because they amount to OS holy wars. My inbox fills with angry anti-Microsoft zealotry from folks who've made up their minds to hate one and love another no matter what. I just don't look at it that way -- and I don't think most systems admins, consultants, and integrators do either. To us, it's a toolbox.

Exchange 2007 SP1 packed with goodies

This is what happens when your friends have kids. The kids get sick; your friend gets sick. He comes over to help with rebuilding your deck. You get sick. Or, rather, I get sick. As a dog - which is an expression I've never fully understood. But does that dissuade editors from asking for a column? Heck no. I could have been tagged in a drive-by and they'd still be looking for copy. So despite a head that feels like a beach ball stuffed with sand, I've managed to put together some details on Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1, which officially popped out from behind the secret beta earlier this week.

Five technologies more pressing than the iPhone

I'll never get it. Of any industry, save perhaps the stock market, you'd think the tech market would have become inured to hype. Yet every souped-up calculator that comes along seems to create ripples far in excess of its true weight in the universe. This week, it's the iPhone. Hey, I bought a MacBook Pro, so I'm certainly not immune to Apple's marketing (though I do blame the lucidity lapse on Parallels and Paul "Sasquatch" Venezia's overbearing Orchard fetish), but from an IT manager's perspective, you can sum up the iPhone in two words: Who cares?

Trimming the Longhorn, threatening the Penguin

Some weeks, the dog is man's best and fuzziest friend; others he's chasing you around the yard and snapping at your heinie -- I'm having a real "Tom and Jerry" moment here.

More stupider user tricks: IT horror stories

When it comes to royally derailing IT, nothing trumps the stupidity of those whom IT is meant to serve. And though the verdict's still out as to whether humanity is devolving toward Idiocracy, it's certain that folks are continually finding innovative ways to screw up IT's operations.

Kill IM -- or at least control it

Give them an expense account, and you know part of that money goes toward buying dinner for their significant others. Get them a company car, and there's no way that's not being driven for personal use at least some of the time.

Hosted services trump in-house deployments

It's 8 a.m. last Friday. Yours geekily is tilting forward to pluck the milk from the fridge, the better to coat my breakfast withal, and TING! My lower back pops a spring, my mouth leaks a whimper, and I wind up lying flat, staring at my bedroom ceiling with the cloying scent of Bengay wafting through the room. This is how I spent the entirety of what U.S. folks tell me was the first beautiful weekend of spring in this otherwise aesthetically challenged state we call New Jersey. And, yeah, I wasn't just grumpy; I was also unpleasantly surprised. Undoubtedly a similar reaction to what BlackBerry users suffered earlier last week when their service went the way of my lumbar elasticity.

Microsoft VOIP app confuses

Impenetrable questions I've been pondering: The difference between acute dyslexia and the way Linux programmers name their software. How Apple Store sales personnel differ from those at the Clearasil human testing lab. Whether the proliferation of Law & Order: X and Ebola virus outbreaks are somehow connected. The difference between Office Communications Server and Microsoft Response Point.

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