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· 3 min read

Branchcache is one of those things – that can either be a blessing or a curse depending on how your network is setup.

Supported by Windows 7/Windows 8 & Server 2008 R2/Server 2012 – Branchcache is one of those technologies that I believe should be setup as default from the start – especially in larger organisations or enterprises.

First off – Branchcache is a method of “transparent caching” popular files from a network share to a more locally centralized – to the requesting computer – without increasing network bandwidth for a file that continuously gets pulled from a fileserver.

Hosted

Branchcache hosted is a method of actually having a Branchcache server – on an actual physical remote site away from the main fileserver.

Say you request a file “Untitled.docx” from the fileserver (at the main location – which may be on the opposite side of the country from your location) – however some of your colleagues also have requested the same file. The hosted Branchcache server that is usually located closer to your physical location then the main fileserver – holds a “cached” copy which your computer will grab first. If no one had requested the “Untitled.docx” previously your Windows workstation will then retrieve the file from the main fileserver and the Branchcache server will then host the file for an amount of time – specified by your systems administrator – this allows faster read times on the files you are commonly working on and reduces overall network latency.

Distributed

Branchcache Distribution is a method in which there is no local branchcache server available. This method is commonly used for smaller external remote sites – compared to the hosted method which requires a server setup. Through the use of the Local Group Policy distributed branchcache allows you to retrieve commonly used documents from other branchcache supported Windows workstations without the use of a dedicated server.

The files get “cached” onto the local workstations – allowing any supported Branchcache workstation to pick up the cached files without having to download the files from the network fileserver – reducing the continuous pull from the network fileserver and allowing for faster start – this method however is not recommended in a highly secure environment as files are stored on the local workstations.

Note: Both methods do a file check to make sure the file version you are opening – is the most up to date. If the file you are opening is out of date – to the one stored on the fileserver then Branchcache will automatically run the latest version and update it’s cache.

· One min read

Help & Manual allows documents to be published to multiple formats – such as ePub & CHM easily.

  1. First open the Project you want to publish _(in this guide I am using the Get_Me_Started example project).
  2. Click on Publish (top menu)
  3. Under Publish Format – select Apple iBooks (ePUB Format)
  4. Then select Publish Now.

· One min read

In VMWare Service Manager you can add a Watched Call; state to an Incident or Service Request. This function allows you to automatically get emailed (via the email address on your People record) any changes and updates that have happened to the call – this makes keeping up with what is happening in a call extremely useful especially for Service Desk / Help Desk staff.

Note: Putting this watched call state on will not add any history or adjust any of the lifecycle management of the call.

  • First open an Incident – in the top banner click Watched Call
  • A dialog box will open saying: A watch has been placed on the following call(s): (call number)
  • Once you receive that dialog box – you have successfully setup a Watched Call and will be notified via email of any call changes.

Note: In Outlook I have setup a rule that will forward any emails containing the following subject line:

Forum Notification – VMware Service Manager Call into a folder called – Call_Watchlist – I recommend doing this.

· 2 min read

Razer – a company well known for its PC gaming peripherals.

With its sleep black and green designs Razer has captivated many a gamer – including myself as I type this using my Razer Blackwidow keyboard.

Now – out of nowhere the company has released concepts for two products – the Razer Nabu a digital wristband that connects to your mobile phone offering various options – and Project Christine the modular PC design.

Computer components themselves are of a modular design – as soon as they are compatible with each other you can swap and upgrade most parts – Project Christine takes this modular design further in a fashion that reminds me of lego.

Simplicity

  • The design like all of Razers products is simple yet aesthetically pleasing.
  • Modular – pick & part parts – want another CPU or SSD? Simply plug it in.

Future proof(ish)

  • Razer are claiming that when technology changes so do the modular modules.
  • Up to date technology with the latest brand GFX & CPU chipsets.

Silent & Cool

  • Each modular component will feature inbuilt water cooling.
  • The water cooling will allow the components to be cool and quiet.
  • As an added note – the water cooled components will most likely make purchasing the modules already overclocked easier.

The Downside

  • It is only a concept and prototype at the moment – usual Razer product lines seem to take 1 year to hit the shelves. This will probably be a 2015 product.
  • Even though the modules will connect via the PCI-E BUS this will depend on manufacturers reselling Project Christine part “modules”.
  • No pricing has been released yet.

All in all – I quite enjoy the look of Project Christine and may well see it in my office space next year.

· One min read
  1. Bring up the Metro Windows 8 interface
  2. Type in: Programs & Features
  3. Select Turn Windows Features on or off on the left hand side menu
  4. Check Hyper-V (make sure – Hyper-V Management Tools & Hyper-V platforms are also selected inside the Hyper-V section).
  5. Click Ok
  6. The Hyper-V services will get installed. Once completed restart your Surface.
  7. Launch the Hyper-V Manager and you are good to go to start playing with your Virtual machines.

Note: The same method allows Hyper-V to be installed on Windows 8.1 if you are running a 64bit OS & your Motherboard & CPU supports virtualization.

Note: Surface RT does not support Hyper-V – this is only suitable for the Surface Pros.