Start from 2014 April, Microsoft Azure introduces a new instance tier of Virtual Machine – Basic tier. These instances are well-suited for production applications that do not require the Azure load-balancer (bring-your-own LB or single instance) , development workloads, test servers and memory-focused batch processing applications.
There are few documents on what is the difference between basic tier VM and standard tier VM so here is a summary note based on my research
Azure price page makes it clear: General purpose compute: Basic tier – An economical option for development workloads, test servers, and other applications that don’t require load balancing, auto-scaling, or memory-intensive virtual machines.
Below are some detail context:
- Availability: Basic tier VM is only available on A0-A4 instances, standard tier VM is available on all size instances
- Disk IOPS: Data disk IOPS for basic tier VM is 300, lower than standard tier VM which has 500 IOPS data disk.
- Price: Single tier VM can have up to 27% less in price than standard tier VM.
- Feature cut: Basic tier VM does not include load balancing or auto-scaling. For basic tier VMs, you can add those to availability set for high availability, and implement your own load-balance mechanisms.
- CPU: Standard tier have better CPU performance than basic tier
Microsoft announces Visual Studio Online general available this week. Visual Studio Online (aka VS Online) was named TFS Online for preview for quite a long time. Previously if you create test projects for practice, you might find it’s hard to discover how to delete projects. You can do that in either TFS Online Portal or Visual Studio client, the only support tool is tfsdeleteproject.exe, which can only be found on a machine with Virtual Studio installed.
Now in Visual Studio online, you can delete project in the portal control panel directly, though still a little hard to discover. Here are steps
- Login to your Visual Studio online home page and click the control panel icon on the right top.
- In Administration Task secion, click View the collection administration page link
- You will see all your project listed in this page. Select the project you want to delete and click the arror icon, you will see a link for project deletion.
- You will see warning All data will be permanently deleted.
In Windows 8.1 you can login with Microsoft Account ( previously Windows Live ID). It give you the benefits to sync your contacts, calendar, hotmail settings, and roam your personalization settings like your Lock screen picture or desktop background across multiple devices.
When you setup a new Windows 8.1, by default you are asked for entering an existing Microsoft Account for logon. For users who do not like to use personal account in the office PC, they might find the logon with local user choice not discoverable. Here are two ways to skip using Microsoft Account as logon user when setup windows 8.1
- Disconnect your internet connection.
Two years ago I posted a blog Fix The Windows Search service is not installed error in Windows Server 2008 R2 explains how to fix Outlook search slowly when installed on Windows Server 2008 R2. Now I upgrade the system to Windows Server 2012 but notice the steps to enable Windows Desktop Search service in Windows Server 2012 are changed. In short, Windows Desktop Search service was under role File Server in Windows 2008 R2 and now moved to under Feature Windows Search.
Here are new steps to enable the Windows Search service in Windows Server 2012
- Start Server Manager.
- Click Manage , and then click Add Roles and Features .
- On the Before You Begin page, click Next .
- On the Installation Type page, select Role-based or Feature-based Installation , and then click Next .
- On the Server Selection page, select the server or virtual hard disk on which to install Windows Search Service.
- On the Features page, select Windows Search Servic e, and then click Next
- On the Confirmation page, verify that Windows Search Service is listed, and then click Install
In Windows Server 2008 R2, to define an application to be startup automatically for current user, one common way is to create an application shortcut and add it to startup folder. In Windows Server 2012, you might find you can’t find this startup folder any more.
Here is the steps to find startup folder in Windows Server 2012.
- WinKey + C to open the charms bar
- Click “Search”
- Enter shell:startup and click on the first result returned.
Now the Startup folder should appear, you can create and move shortcuts for application you want automatically startup into this folder.
Start from Windows 8.1, the metro internet explorer is the default one for website browsing. You can following these steps to make Desktop Internet Explorer for default browsing experience.
- In Internet Options, click Programs tab
- In Open Internet Explorer settings, change Choose how you open links option to Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop.
- Check Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop
- Click OK to save the Internet Explorer setting changes.
In windows 8.1, SkyDrive is built in. By default it’s set to Not sync files for offline usage, just put a placeholder. But you can set SkyDrive to sync all files or just selectly sync folders/files you want for offline usage.
To make SkyDrive sync all files for offline usage, open the metro SkyDrive application from start screenshot, change Access all files offline from default Off to On.
To make SkyDrive selectly sync the folders/files you want for offline usage, in metro SkyDrive app, by marking the folders/files and choose “make offline” or in desktop mode, by right clicking and selecting then appropriate option.
SkyDrive has been fully integrated into the RTM version of Windows 8.1 so its system level settings are now in PC settings.
To display the SkyDrive settings:
- Tap or click the Settings charm (or press Windows key + I).
- In the Settings pane, tap or click Change PC settings in the lower-right corner.
- Tap or click SkyDrive. You may have to press the Back button in the Settings pane to see the SkyDrive settings.
Here are the steps to use the built in wizard in the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Manager to convert from VHD to VHDX.
- Go to the Hyper-V Manager. Under the Actions pane, click on Edit Disk… Continue reading
To Move SkyDrive folder to a different location without having all files resynced
- Right click SkyDrive icon on the task bar, click settings
- In the settings tab, click Unlink SkyDrive button
- Move your SkyDrive folder to new sync folder location.
- Launch SkyDrive again, on the first run, click Change button to choose the folder set in step 3.
SkyDrive will now use the new folder you choose, all existing files will be merged without getting resynced from cloud.