|By Dave Watts||
|August 12, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
With the release of ColdFusion MX 6.1 (Red Sky), ColdFusion will now run on the latest version of the Windows operating system. This article takes a brief look at the new features in Windows Server 2003 that may be of interest to CF developers and administrators. We'll also see how CFMX 6.1 integrates with Internet Information Services 6.0, the Windows Server 2003 version of the Microsoft Web server.
What's New in Windows Server 2003?
The most apt description of Windows Server 2003 I've heard is, slightly paraphrased, "It's the best version of Windows 2000 yet!" That is, it's not a sea change, but rather a welcome revision to an existing operating system. In that respect, I suspect it will be very exciting to those who currently manage numerous Windows servers.
There are four new versions of Windows Server 2003. As with Windows 2000, there are Standard and Enterprise Editions, but there's also a Datacenter Edition that supports high-end Intel servers. Of more interest to most of us is the Web Edition, which is designed for one thing: running Web servers. This edition should be suitable for most ColdFusion application servers, although it does have some significant limitations - it supports only 2GB of RAM and dual processors, and allows only 10 concurrent SMB connections for file and print services. This won't affect most production Web servers, but if you're planning on publishing an intranet, it may affect you. Best of all, though, Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is a lot cheaper than previous Windows licenses. It's approximately $400 and available only through OEMs, so you'll be able to get it when you buy a new Web server from your hardware vendor.
Some nice touches have been added to the OS to make it easier to manage. For example, functionality that's not especially useful to servers, like DirectX, is disabled by default. Internet Explorer is configured, by default, to disallow all functionality beyond basic HTML rendering, so you can't easily download malware onto your server console if you forget that you shouldn't be using the browser on your server console. The "Remote Assistance" functionality introduced in Windows XP is also included here, which should make it a bit easier for server administrators to help each other out. Fortunately, it didn't borrow the default look and feel of Windows XP, but provides a relatively spartan Windows 2000 style.
Internet Information Services 6.0
In the new version of Windows is a completely new version of IIS as well, with several substantial changes. Prior versions of IIS had a lot of security problems and required quite a bit of management knowledge to configure securely. IIS 6 is a lot closer to "secure by default," with ISAPI extensions and filters disabled unless you specifically enable them yourself. In addition, most IIS functionality runs within a very low privileged security context; in IIS 5 and earlier versions, security holes in ISAPI extensions or filters could allow malicious code to run as SYSTEM.
There are lots of other interesting changes to IIS 6. Some functionality has been moved into a kernel-mode driver to improve performance. IIS management has been significantly improved; IIS configuration information, or the "Metabase," has been converted into an XML text file so you can work with it directly without needing a special editor. From within the IIS management console, you can easily work with portions of the Metabase, exporting and importing text files. You have more control over ISAPI application isolation as well - you can create your own application pools directly, and place each virtual server or directory within the application pool of your choice. This allows you to keep one ISAPI application from bringing down the whole server.
ColdFusion MX 6.1: 'Red Sky'
The next release of ColdFusion MX will be available at almost the same time as Windows Server 2000 - probably by the time you're reading this. ColdFusion MX 6.1, code named "Red Sky," will be the first version of ColdFusion to support the new Windows OS, and it provides lots of new features.
To investigate these features, I installed the release candidate of CFMX 6.1 onto Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. Before installing, I configured several virtual servers, but otherwise left IIS settings at their default values.
Anyone who's heard anything about Red Sky probably knows that Macromedia has taken great pains to simplify and ease the installation process. Many people have had quite a bit of difficulty installing the initial releases of CFMX, especially when it comes to integrating CFMX with a Web server. I'm happy to report that there were no such problems during this installation - CFMX 6.1 detected all of my virtual servers and configured each one appropriately (see Figure 1).
After the installation, a "configuration wizard" will open within a browser window. However, if you're installing to multiple virtual servers, you may have to edit the URL within the browser window, as it'll use 127.0.0.1 by default; if you're using host header names or don't have the right virtual server bound to that IP address, it won't resolve correctly. Fortunately, that's easy to address.
In addition, the CFMX installer provides many other niceties (see Figure 2); for example, it allows for a "standalone" install like CFMX Enterprise or Professional, a full J2EE install including JRun, or a J2EE application package for deployment to an existing J2EE application server if you have one. It also makes installing to a production server easier by allowing you to disable RDS during the install rather than by editing a text file afterwards.
As mentioned earlier, ISAPI extensions and filters don't work by default, but the CFMX 6.1 installer takes care of that for you by creating an entry called "Macromedia Server Extensions" and enabling it.
In prior versions of CFMX, you could integrate it with IIS via an ISAPI filter or extension, and it wasn't too clear how this should be done or what the ramifications would be either way. CFMX 6.1 takes another approach - it creates something new in IIS 6 called a "Wildcard Application Map" (see Figure 3). This is similar to a filter in that it's not invoked based on the filename requested (for example, "*.cfm"). However, it's not a filter either, which means that it's not subject to the security problems that ISAPI filters may face; since ISAPI filters execute so early in the request process, in some cases they may sidestep things like filesystem permissions and the like. Also, if an ISAPI filter has a security problem, like a buffer overflow, it will typically execute within a more privileged security context, although that's been addressed somewhat within the IIS 6 security architecture anyway.
Another nice touch about the CFMX 6.1 install was that it automatically configured the appropriate IIS virtual servers to enable "index.cfm" as a default document and ensured that the Flash Remoting gateway was set up. It appears that Flash Remoting requests are handled by the "Wildcard Application Map."
If you're currently managing Windows servers and you're getting ready to deploy CFMX, make sure you look at CFMX 6.1 on Windows Server 2003 - it's a lot easier to install and manage than it used to be. Current Windows Web server administrators can take advantage of new IIS management functionality to make their lives a lot easier by working directly with the Metabase using their tools of choice, rather than limiting themselves to writing WMI and ADSI scripts to manage IIS. Current CFMX administrators can ease their server deployments by taking advantage of the much cleaner and easier installation process of CFMX 6.1.
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 2, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 847
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jul. 2, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 764
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 807
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 1, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 785
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 1, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 551
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 798
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 659
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 1, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 270
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Jul. 1, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 340
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jul. 1, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,437
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 357
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,053
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 709
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 694
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 664
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 1, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 588
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,118
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 542
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,217
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 713