Stories by Tom Henderson

How We Tested Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

We tested the Windows Server 2012 Editions and Windows 8 Professional/Enterprise Editions on a Gigabit Ethernet switched network, principally using an HP DL580G8 with four 2.17Ghz quad-core Intel Xeon CPUs, 64GB of memory, and four high-speed local drives. We also used an NFS store for developing ISO images, then used VHD and VMDX images to build Windows 2012 and experimented with Windows 8 images. We also tested Windows Server 2012 on VMware vSphere 5.1, and Citrix XenServer 5.6, where we found no difficulties in mounting and managing Windows Server VMs. We tested features, spawned new virtual machines, configured routing and (tiny) VLANs to emulate environmental multi-tenancy successfully.

How we tested Microsoft's System Center 2012

We initially attempted to implement System Center 2012 modularly, which is almost impossible, so we used the Unified Installer after reading the salient documents for each module, then installed each module into its own VM, combining SQL Server resources where necessary. We recommend that up to four SQL Server instances may be necessary for protecting all of the modules.

Linux Mint 13 leaves sour aftertaste

With Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as its underpinnings, Linux Mint 13 (Maya) was recently released in three versions, KDE (new), Xfce, and Gnome-Cinnamon. We tested each version separately and while we still like Mint, we're accumulating a nagging list of bugs -- some of which are the fault of Ubuntu, and some are the twists that Linux Mint takes on its own.

How we tested Microsoft's System Center 2012

We initially attempted to implement System Center 2012 modularly, which is almost impossible, so we used the Unified Installer after reading the salient documents for each module, then installed each module into its own VM, combining SQLServer resources where necessary. We recommend that up to four SQL Server instances may be necessary for protecting all of the modules.

Ubuntu targets the mainstream

With Ubuntu 12.04, Canonical has delivered a much improved product that spans desktops, servers and the cloud in a bid to become the cross-platform mainstream product that Apple's Mac OS might have been had Apple not abandoned the server market.

How we tested desktops-as-a-service

We noted the customer intake procedures for each of the five DaaS vendors, focusing on what options and what type of process were used. We set a platform consisting of several Windows 7 virtual machines, as well as a Lenovo T520 running native Windows 7, another T520 running Linux Mint 2, and three MacBooks running Mac OS 5, 6, and 7 respectively, as well as an Apple iPad running iOS 5.

Consider desktops in the cloud for BYOD

Desktop-as-a-Service is an interesting way for IT execs to provide cloud-based Windows desktop sessions, as well as shared resources such as storage. DaaS can help companies roll out new desktops and support Bring Your Own Device policies.

First Look: Cisco Cius

We had a chance to see the Cius tablet at a <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/subnets/cisco/">Cisco</a> office in Boston, and while we weren't able to bring it back to our own lab and pound on it, we did get a pretty good feel for what the Cius is and what it isn't.

How We Tested Solid State Drives

We used two identical Lenovo T520 notebooks, that use an Intel i5 chipset, as our test bed. We used a network boot to load a copy of Windows 7 onto the notebook after we entered HDD Master and User passwords onto each drive and formatted them for NTFS.

First look: Windows 8 breaks new ground

The first public beta for <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/topics/windows.html">Windows</a> 8 is expected to be released in February, but we've been testing pre-beta code in our lab. Our overall impression is that Windows 8 represents an aggressive effort by Microsoft to deliver a single OS that runs just about everywhere and takes on all of Microsoft's key rivals.

Cloud activity to explode in 2012

In testing <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/supp/2009/ndc3/051809-cloud-faq.html">cloud computing</a> services and observing the growth of cloud activities, we've noticed that there are distinct phases that organizations go through in adopting cloud.