Hyper-V in Windows 8.1 – I might be a convert

I’ve been using VMWare Workstation for all of my professional life, and have never really entertained the notion of moving to another platform.

However, last month I received my new Dell Precision laptop and decided that I would give Hyper-V a try, a chance to shine.

I run Windows 8.1 as my primary OS, but regularly use a number of VM’s running Server 2008 > 2012 R2, and the odd TurnKey LAMP Stack.

Setting it up
As you’d expect from a built in Feature, getting it up and running wasn’t too difficult. I’ve used some Servers running Hyper-V before, so have some experience with the Hyper-V manager, which made getting my first VM’s up and running

Converting an Existing VMWare Disk
Although most of the VM’s I’m building for my laptop are new, there is one that I wanted to copy from my desktop (as its a real pain to reconfigure)

After some quick research I found that the easiest way to do this would likely be to use a conversion tool to convert the VHD and then attach that to a new VM.

I found the Starwind V2V Image Converter (free) was more than up to this task and converted my VHD perfectly first time round, making the whole process quite easy.

Performance
I have only been using Hyper-V for a few weeks now on my laptop, but what shows instantly is that the Disk Performance is very good compared to VMWare. This will be partly due to the fact the VM’s are on an SSD on my laptop as opposed to a SATA 3 drive in RAID 10 on my desktop, but I do think that some of this is down to Hyper-V too.

Conclusion
I don’t think I’m going to be ditching VMWare any time soon, but will definately considering Hyper-V as a platform for the future. I want to do some testing with VM’s running multiple Montiors and the graphics performance as I use 2/3 monitors in my VMWare Machines regularly, and love the flexibility of switching between them.

I also want to do some testing around the Virtual Networking as I use multiple set up’s currently and want to make sure I can get them all to work as I need them.

I’m not completely sold, but the disk performance is a huge plus. I’m definitely a lot less sceptical than I was a month ago.

Time will tell.

Salamander Active Directory – MIS Compatibility

Most of our customers know that we can work with Sims, Facility CMIS and some other MIS systems, but did you know that Salamander Active Directory can currently work with over 10 different MIS systems?

Supported MIS systems

We currently (July 2014) support these MIS systems:

Sims.net by Capita
Facility CMIS by Advanced Learning
Progresso by Advanced Learning
iSAMS
Bromcom
Engage by Double First
Integris G2 by RM
ScholarPack
Pass by WCBS
Phoenix Gold
Arbor

Currently, not all of Salamander Active Directories features are not supported in every MIS System, but we will always endeavour to develop the features required for your environment.

Development
We are always looking into how we can improve our products, and provide additional support for MIS systems. If you are interested in a feature or MIS system that we don’t current support, please do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to support your requirements.

For some information on our products please contact info@salamandersoft.co.uk

Salamander Active Directory – Feature focus – Working with Office 365

As we are seeing more and more schools moving towards Office 365, I thought I’d share what Salamander Active Directory can do for you.

Getting users into Office 365
Salamander AD has always been able to provision your users and groups into your local Active Directory and this doesn’t change with a school using Office 365.

We recommend that you use DirSync to push your users in to Office 365, but we can manage them once they are there.

Licensing
By Leveraging the Office 365 PowerShell command-lets Salamander Active Directory can license your users based around their status in your MIS.

Obviously, it can assign different licenses to students and staff, but it could also assign different licenses or service plans to 6th Form, or to Teaching Staff etc.

Location and other settings
The capabilities of Salamander isnt restricted to Licensing. We regularly set the location for users, and set mailbox settings on mass. If you need something doing to a lot of users in Office 365, Salamander Active Directory can probably do it for you.

Calendars
For customers using Sims, Faciltiy CMIS or iSAMS we can also push your Pupils and Staff timetables into Office 365 mailboxes as we can in a local Exchange environment.

Have a look at my post on Exchange Calendar with Salamander

Already a customer?
As with all the Features for Salamander Active Directory, these are available to any Salamander Active Directory, new or existing.

SalamanderSoft and Office 365
As Authorised Education Resellers for Office 365, we can offer you advice and support whether your looking to move to Office 365 or are already there.

Drop me an email for more information, or just to have a chat: jon@salamandersoft.co.uk

Salamander Active Directory – Feature Focus – Calendars

One of the most used features of Salamander Active Directory is the ability to import Pupil and Staff Timetables into Exchange, both on-premise and in Office 365.

A Staff Calendar from SIMS.net displaying in Exchange 2013

A Staff Calendar from SIMS.net displaying in Exchange 2013

Categorisation
Events can be categorised to suit your needs. Here we have events which are categorised by Subject, but this could equally be the Year of the group or the Room.

cal2

 

Salamander Active Directory – Exchange Calendars

How much does it cost?
This feature is built into Salamander Active Directory at no extra cost.

This is available to all Salamander Active Directory customers using Sims.net/Facility CMIS or iSAMS, with Exchange 2007/10/13 on-premise or Exchange Online.

Salamander Soft
For more information about salamander soft or our products, please contact us: info@salamandersoft.co.uk or visit our website: www.salamandersoft.co.uk