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New Delivery Plans for Visual Studio Team Services, TFS 2017 Update 1 RC Available

A brand new Visual Studio Team Services feature called “Delivery Plans”, like the Kanban board, is an interactive work board, although designed for multiple teams and multiple projects laid out on a calendar with each team’s interations is launched today.

“Each row in the view represents the work from a team’s backlog, with each card corresponding to a work item — user story, feature, or epic,” explains the VS team. As you horizontally scroll through the calendar, work in future (or past) iterations comes into view.

You can add teams from across all projects in your account, and by simply dragging cards you can update the iteration path. And, like the Kanban board, the card fields can be customized so that you can see relevant information for your work.

Delivery Plans are available today for public preview on all Team Services accounts, and Plans extension can be installed from the Visual Studio marketplace.

In addition, the following features will get added to Delivery Plans in next few months:

  • Markers to highlight key dates (such as release dates and customer demonstrations) on the plan.
  • Field Criteria which will allow you to tailor your plans to only show a subset of cards (such as work items with a certain tag or other field value)
  • Dependency tracking. Highlighting dependency links between work items and whether they are scheduled to be resolved successfully.

See the Review team plans to learn more about installing and using the delivery plans.

Visual Studio Team Services Delivery Plans

Visual Studio Team Services Delivery Plans.

The Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1 Release Candidate, a “go-live” release can be used in production environments, will support upgrades to RTM and you can get support as well.

This release can be use for a fresh install or to upgrade any supported previous version and should be smooth but upgrades from 2017 should be particularly easy. In the chart below you can see the recommended upgrade paths from various TFS versions (substitute TFS 2017.1 in the rightmost column).

The release currently in English will get more localized versions at RTM. Below you can highlights of the features in this release:

  • New personalized account home page
  • Tons of pull request improvements
  • NPM support in package management
  • Test impact analysis
  • Versioning for build and release tasks

Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1 Release Candidate can be installled by a Web Installer, or ISO Installer.

TFS 2017 Update 1 RC Upgrade Paths

TFS 2017 Update 1 RC Upgrade Paths.

Finally, Microsoft also published System Center VMM 2016 features demo videos on Channel 9, which provide good insights of new features of Virtual Machine Manager 2016:

  • Deploy Network Controller shows how you can use the service template-based mechanism, provided by VMM 2016, for deployment and horizontal scaling of Software Defined Networking components – Network Controller, Gateway, and Software Load Balancer. “Network Controller is a new server role in Windows Server 2016 that provides a centralized and programmable point to automate network configuration.”
  • Setup hyper-converged cluster shows how you can use VMM 2016 to seamlessly deploy hyper-converged Storage Spaces Direct cluster that provide highly available and scalable storage solutions using local disks. You will see how the existing cluster creation wizard is extended to deploy hyper-converged clusters by simply checking a check box.
  • Create & set Port ACLs video helps to see how Port ACLs help you control the network traffic going in/out of your datacenter and will learn how you can create and set Port ACLs in VMM 2016. Port ACL serves as a collection of access control entries or ACL rules. An ACL can be attached to any number (zero or more) of VMM networking primitives, such as a VM network, VM subnet, virtual network adapter, or the VMM management server itself. An ACL can contain any number (zero or more) of ACL rules. Each compatible VMM networking primitive (VM network, VM subnet, virtual network adapter, or VMM management server) can have either one port ACL attached or none.
  • Cluster Rolling Upgrade functionality in SCVMM 2016, you can now upgrade your Windows Server 2012 R2 clusters to Windows Server 2016 clusters with no downtime to running workloads. Watch this video to learn about the pre-requisites and the see how VMM automates the entire process of upgrading the nodes in the cluster.
  • Increase memory of a running VM: With VMM 2016, you can now modify the memory configuration of a running VM that uses static memory. This functionality helps in eliminating downtime to running workloads due to memory reconfiguration. You can increase or decrease the memory allocation, or switch the virtual machine to dynamic memory. Watch this video to see how it can be done in VMM 2016.
  • Create & set Storage QoS: With VMM 2016 you can set the quality of service (min or max IOPS, max bandwidth) for virtual machine storage so that applications running on the VMs receive the performance they require. This video tutorial provides a walkthrough of how you can create & set Storage Quality of Service policies in VMM 2016 which help you avoid noisy neighbor problems in your workloads.
  • Bare Metal Deployment of Nano Server: With System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager you can now provision bare metal machines to Nano Server-based hosts/clusters. The Nano Server-based operating system deployment is very similar to a Full Server deployment. Watch this video tutorial to learn how you can do it in VMM 2016.
  • Creating a Shielded VM using System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM): In this video, you will see the new Shielded VM feature. You can see how to create a shielded using System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and how data at rest or in transit, cannot be snooped or tampered by malicious fabric admins.
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