Monday 28 February 2011

Windows 7 SP1 - Application Compatibility Update

I should have done this a little while ago - I had meant to blog about the coming Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update a few months ago, but got caught up a little with this whole IE8  application compatibility thing...  Caught up, being an understatement... Ala Tony Hayward of BP, "I'd like my life back".

OK - the focus here today is the update to Windows 7 - known as Service Pack 1. I have been working with the Microsoft product teams for a little while now. My primary focus was potential compatibility issues. I have been assured by all of the engineering teams and the product teams that really, really, there should not be any application level compatibility issues with the release of windows 7 Service Pack 1.

Our initial research suggests that this is the case - with one exception; Dynamic Memory. From some of our testing, we encountered a small number of issues - all related to SQL Server. But, more on that later.

If you are interested the new featured in Windows 7 Service Pack 1, you will want to look here for;

Which according to the description from Microsoft's TechNet web page has the following features;

"RemoteFX delivers a rich user experience for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by providing a 3D virtual adapter, intelligent codecs, and the ability to redirect USB devices in virtual machines. RemoteFX is integrated with the RDP protocol, which enables shared encryption, authentication, management, and device support."

And here is some information on Microsoft's Dynamic Memory;

"Dynamic Memory is a new Hyper-V feature that helps you use physical memory more efficiently. With Dynamic Memory, Hyper-V treats memory as a shared resource that can be reallocated automatically among running virtual machines. Dynamic Memory adjusts the amount of memory available to a virtual machine, based on changes in memory demand and values that you specify"

One of the features that I will really appreciated is the GPU virtualization feature offered by Remote FX. This feature should greater graphics performance per server GPU - which when we worked with clients was one of the greater stumbling blocks for rolling out VDI solutions. Also, I wonder how this going to look on my IPAD via my RDP/RDC connection?

Back to the SQL Server issues.... We are meeting up (virtually) with some of the Windows SP1 team this evening and will review some of our experiences with SQL Server and dynamic memory - so, I will keep you posted. Once we have worked out exactly what is going on, I will post a blog update.

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