David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Skype vs Windows Messenger

    As a rule I use my mobile to make calls - I know this makes me very 20th Century, but since I still listen to some 80's music, I guess we'll all just have to live with this. When I have used various VoIP solutions I often find the mike on my PC has let me down (I often forget the headset) or the comms is just not up to it in the hotel I am staying in. Having said that, many people use skpye. When looking at this option again, I came across these blog entries which I thought game interesting food for thought. Do you read the EULAs?? Why Skype is Bad Why Skype is Bad (part 2) Unified Communications and more about Microsoft ttfn David
  • Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David
  • Want training for Windows SharePoint Services V3 - well it has started

    I saw this and thought people might be interested to see that we have various items of training available. The item on the webpage that caught my eye was: Introduction to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Virtual Lab Implementing and Administering Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Virtual Lab If you are considering running extra WSS sites for your customers, then this is something to consider for the future. While SBS wizards may not support Office 2007, you might choose to upgrade the Companyweb site anyway, so this is important information. ttfn David
  • So you intend on loading WSS V3 somewhere - read this first

    Just pop along to http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2006/05/30/607260.aspx and read the WSS information. Simple David
  • UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/content/presscentre/releases/2006/07/PR03662.mspx ttfn David
  • top sixteen lies of a ceo

    I was reading Guy Kawasakiblog entry on the top lies of CEOs and I realised how many of them applied to those "high flying" small business owner managers in a scaled down way, What I partcularly liked what the "what we wished they actually said" section: “I don’t know.” “Thank you.” “Do what’s right.” “It’s my fault.” How many times would a small business specialists life been saved if this was what they actually said to us instead of (perhaps the 17th lie) "I did nothing to it, it just started going wrong... I was not even here when it happened." And of course, that is probably what was said when this all started! ttfn David
  • Livemeeting today @4:30pm for SBSC members on Vista and Office - by Jo Carpenter and David Overton - ask us the hard questions

    Howdy folks, I thought I would remind all those SBSC members about the Office and Vista webcast happening today - as it is a livemeeting it will be mainly demos, plus some nuggets on positioning the technology. This is one of my monthly technology webcasts that you are welcom to join. To register (you need to do this a little in advance to get the final link via e-mail), go to http://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=118771191&Culture=en-GB and sign up. This is one of the perks of being an SBSC member. ttfn David
  • how to make accessing SBS web areas easier, so making the remote web workplace (RWW) access easier, or sharepoint etc

    I was having a look at the site on OMPL shaing (mine is up there) and I noticed that my blog had been shared by a few people, so I looked around and came across this from Javier an MVP. This post from Javier is entitled "Create easier-to-remember URLs for OWA, RWW and even Sharepoint" and it made me realise how great an this idea is. Just to add to this, I have a 3rd tool to add, which is ISAPI Rewrite, which I use for this site. From Javier's site: If you are running SBS you must know by now that you need to type http://something.yourdomain.com/exchange or /remote to access OWA or RWW from the internet. One issue that I often encounter is that users forget those URLs are (specially if the are technologically-impaired J ). So, what about giving your users simpler URLs? Like http://webmail.yourdomain.com for OWA and/or http://remote.yourdomain.com for RWW It is all so simple, go read his blog entry for more. As I said, he gives two ways to do this, my 3rd is to use ISAPI_rewrite to have lots more control. For this site, to see how I manage domain re-directs and other changes, this is my simple control document in httpd.ini - and did I mention this is a free tool? [ISAPI_Rewrite] # Defend your computer from some worm attacks RewriteRule .*(?:global.asa|default\.ida|root\.exe|\.\.).* . [F,I,O] #move people from old blog to new one RewriteRule (.*)david_overtons_blog_more_technical(.*) $1doverton$2 #provide shortcuts RewriteRule /wss /blogs/doverton/archive/category/1016\.aspx RewriteRule /vista /blogs/doverton/archive/category/1003\.aspx RewriteRule /sbs /blogs/doverton/archive/category/1002\.aspx RewriteRule /office /blogs/doverton/archive/category/1004\.aspx RewriteRule /lizzy /photos/doverton/category1018\.aspx #redirect people from http://ukvistaguy.com to the vista category at uksbsguy.com RewriteCond Host: ukvistaguy\.com RewriteRule / http\://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/category/1003\.aspx [I,RP] ttfn David
  • 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback

    Howdy. There has been a lot of discussion recently about the huge changes to the 70-282 exam, especially following people helping us with the 71-282 beta exam work. Having worked many hours as an investagtive reporter (at least 2) and searched many a rubbish bin, I now have a pretty good answer to what happened. I managed to get this statement from the "right people" inside Microsoft. In short - 71-282 was a beta which had some things in it that did not make it into the final revised 70-282 exam. "70-282 Clarification around the introduction of a new version of the exam In Early 2006 Microsoft felt that exam "70-282 Designing, Deploying and Managing Network Solutions for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" had not been performing at the Microsoft standard. Microsoft constantly reviews customer feedback and exam statistics, and determines if exam item changes or additions are required. To keep this exam current and valued by our customers and partners, Microsoft revised the questions and carried out testing of the new exam with a cross-section of Microsoft Partners and internal staff. This group was made up of people who had sat the previous 70-282 exam and of people who had not yet sat the exam all coming from the Small Business Specialist Community or SBS MVPs. The beta exam was coded 71-282. Candidates who sat and passed 71-282 will be given credit for the 70-282 exam. In March 2006, once testing was complete, the revised 70-282 exam was launched. The exam format has changed slightly, but the content continues to reflect the required knowledge for designing, deploying and managing network solutions for the small and mid-sized business. To be successful, you will need adequate knowledge of Microsoft Small Business Server, Microsoft Windows Server and Active Directory. All existing training and prep materials contain information to prepare candidates for the current exam questions. There are several preparation options available depending on your experience and current knowledge levels. Details of training courses...
  • Bad links now fixed

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David
  • Draft release of my web log analyser tool (using IIS Log files)

    People have asked for my tools I use to produce my site statistics, so I have released a draft cut. It should all work. To get the best out of it you need a $20 subscription to http://www.maxmind.com/app/web_services_guide#city and MapPoint , but otherwise it works - without both these it is fully functional, but no maps. The source can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry735.aspx and the exes at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry736.aspx . ttfn David
  • ISA 2006 Release Candidate available

    This has been discussed in a few places - ISA 2006 is perhaps not going to offer enough to SBS customers , but if you want to have a look, then this is what you need: Download ISA Server 2006 Release Candidate Trial Software Test drive the new features and functionality by downloading the free trial of ISA Server 2006 Release Candidate Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006 Enterprise Edition Release Candidate http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a7fd89a0-2f8f-4b71-8a37-efc05724c136&DisplayLang=en Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006 Standard Edition Release Candidate http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7b040fed-64b0-4de9-9d99-bbcfa5779fa2&DisplayLang=en ttfn David
  • Reading and storing everyone's e-mail and why I am glad I work for a small business

    I just saw this article at Wired and realised one of the benefits of working for a smaller organisation - this is not me I'm talking about, but you. One of the worrying quotes was: The survey gathered responses concerning e-mail security from 406 companies in the United States and the United Kingdom with more than 1,000 employees. In both regions, 38 percent of respondents said they employed staff to read or otherwise analyze outbound e-mail . In the United States, 44 percent of companies with more than 20,000 employees said they hire workers to snoop on workers' e-mail. Wow, not just the US, but the UK too. Now, should your customer be in the business where they do need to analyze mail, then of course SBS can help - for details on how to set it up, go have a look at the forum entry - http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/334.aspx for the answer - simple and effective. ttfn David
  • SQL 2005 updates - SP1 - worth having for the new management console

    SQL 2005 only seems like it poped out the door a week ago and already we have SP1. Having said that, it arrived in November 2005 and there were a couple of things that people wanted, but we could not ship in time. One was a management console for the repalcement to the free MSDE - this is now part of SP1. Details on how to impletment SP1 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/sp1.mspx . The press release with all the details is located at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/apr06/04-19SQLExpands06PR.mspx , but the key points are: SP1 delivers on this vision in the following ways: SP1 delivers production-ready Database Mirroring functionality for continuous availability. This complements the existing Always On Technologies in SQL Server 2005 such as failover clustering, database snapshots, snapshot isolation and log shipping. Since launch, Database Mirroring has been extensively tested by Microsoft and its thriving customer community to help ensure that it provides the high availability necessary for the largest customer deployments. Today more than 20 SQL Server customers have deployed Database Mirroring into production. “Due to the nature of our shipping business, we needed a system that could support us around the clock, and that means high availability,” said Fabio Catassi, chief technology officer of Mediterranean Shipping Co. “Since SQL Server 2005’s launch, we’ve been involved with the Database Mirroring testing, and we are so confident in the feature that we’ve already deployed it into our production. We have a large global company and need a reliable, scalable solution, and SQL Server 2005 delivers that for us.” SP1 extends business insight to smaller-scale customers and ISVs using the free SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which includes SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) functionality, Full Text Search and the newly released SQL Server Management Studio Express. This optional set of capabilities is already receiving positive feedback from Microsoft’s ISV partners. “By leveraging SQL Server...
  • Upgrading SQL 2000 and MSDE 2000 to SQL 2005 - in SBS R2 - this could be the sharepoint or WSUS database

    Upgrading MSDE 2000 to SQL Server 2005 Express This white paper discusses the new SQL Server 2005 Express Edition features that are important to MSDE users. It covers how to upgrade your existing MSDE installation to SQL Server 2005 Express and presents criteria to help you decide when to upgrade your MSDE installation to other editions of SQL Server 2005. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/msde2sqlexpress.mspx SQL Server 2005 Upgrade Handbook Preparing for a SQL Server 2005 upgrade involves understanding some basic principles that will help you make appropriate decisions and ensure your success. Each SQL Server 2005 component has a unique architecture and life cycle—the two primary areas that will affect your upgrade path. Some SQL Server 2005 components build on a solid foundation to augment, optimize, and stabilize existing functionality. Microsoft has performed extensive, under-the-hood rework of other features to give SQL Server the horsepower and programmability features that your applications need. The new release also provides complete component overhauls and additions to meet a new generation of data-management needs. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/sqlupgrd.mspx ttfn David
  • Did you know that you can get all the security releases each month on a downloadable ISO?

    I didn't, but a quick search on http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?pocId=&freetext=security%20iso&DisplayLang=en shows that since January you can download each months security patches as an ISO, carry it around with you and patch to your hearts content. ttfn David
  • TechNet Security Postings for June

    New security features in Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 2) http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=4979991 Learn about the new security features in the browser's latest version that help better protect your PC and personal information Microsoft Threat Analysis and Modelling Tool, Version 2.0, RC1 http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049706 The free Microsoft Threat Analysis and Modelling tool allows nonsecurity subject matter experts to enter already-known information, including business requirements and application architecture, to produce a feature-rich threat model. Along with automatically identifying threats, the tool can produce valuable security artefacts such as data control, component access control, and subject-object matrices as well as data flows and focused reports. Reduce Your Risk: 10 Security Rules to Live By http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049703 When you manage security you must strive to reduce unacceptable risk while keeping the impact on workflow of the organization and total cost of ownership of the infrastructure to a minimum. Here are 10 key points an administrator should keep in mind while working on a security management plan. Ten Principles of Microsoft Patch Management http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=4985813 In the latest TechNet Security Management column, Christopher Budd explores best practices for enterprise update management, designed to help you better protect your systems. Group Policy: Ins and Outs of Delegation and Control http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049704 Delegating power within any organization is not a trivial matter. When it concerns group policy, you need to decide just who creates group policy objects (GPOs) and who can link them to areas in Active Directory. This article discusses how, even though the Domain Administrators are the only people who can create GPOs by default, these permissions can be delegated to deputy administrators so they can create GPOs, alleviating some of the burden. Windows Mobile 5.0 Application Security http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049705 Every Windows...
  • Microsoft AntiGen Products - could these be for SBS customers - only if they have one of the Volume License types, but that is becoming easier too

    AntiGen is a great set of products for providing security technologies. Some of these come in very price competative and feature rich. For example, for spam, smtp and a/v filtering the US price is $1.25 per user per month. For more info see below Microsoft Releases Antigen E-Mail Security Products http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049691 On June 6, Microsoft announced the release of Microsoft Antigen e-mail security products -- including Antigen for Exchange, Antigen for SMTP Gateways, Antigen Spam Manager, and Antigen Enterprise Manager -- available to customers July 1, 2006. Microsoft Antigen products help business protect their Exchange, Windows-based SMTP gateway, Live Communications Server, and SharePoint servers from viruses, worms, spam, and inappropriate content. Read about new product features http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049723 or download the new 90-day trials http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5049724 to see how Antigen can help protect your messaging and collaboration servers. ttfn David
  • The best event at Microsofts World Wide Partner Conference - about you and the community, presented by the community - Mark Taylor, Susanne Dansey and Tom Crosby

    This years World Wide Partner Conference should be a storming success - yes, I will be attending for the 1st time and presenting, but that is not why. Why, you ask, well probably one of the most important sessions for those who work in the Small Business market is going to be the sessons on the community. And one of the best will be presented by 3 fine community members in the UK. These people do not work for Microsoft and the community they represent is not owned by Microsoft, but we walk the same path helping eachother out because it has benefit to our business to do so, The short answer is to be there, at the Small Business Symposium on Monday 10th July. Look for the Community presentation by these three. You will learn what has powered the UK & Irish communities both in terms of their success and the individual partner success. They have broadened their relationships beyond just Microsoft and are having real impact with other vendors such as HP, CA etc. Finally, they will deliver a one-two on resources for you, but not necessarily the MS Partner program, but things like SMB Nation, blogs, community forums, events etc. If at the end of it you do not understand how the community can benefit you, your business and how to find the answers easier, then you have been sat in the wrong room!! I will post the room details closer to the time. ttfn David
  • IE 7 beta 3 download- an update

    Having told everyone that Beta 3 is available for download , I was a little short on details. The IE team have blogged several things on beta 3 - 1st - It is available in multiple languages and also now for XP and Windows Server - so you could run this on your server - I would not do that just yet on a production machine. Of course, the thing you notice very quickly on IE7 is when accessing RWW if the certificate is not set up correctly for the machine (most often the interface name) then you get a huge shiny error! Also, as a direct quote ' I’m looking forward to reading the feedback - positive and negative - as it comes in. I also want to encourage developers, web developers, designers, and IT Pros to use Readiness Toolkit to help you deliver the best possible experience to your sites’ IE7 visitors. ' 2nd, the UI has change a little - the details are in the blog, but things to look out for include: new icons following feedback You can drag the tabs around to re-order them others such as ftp and image zoon features enjoy the product - I am already running it :-) ttfn David
  • Do you remember the Matrix - the "Blue Pill" - well someone has developed a scary security rootkit using the VM technology in AMD & Intel's chips for Windows x64, Linux etc

    Some may know that my history includes a bit of serious security IT work. Having said that, it also includes mission critical systems work and even part of my degree was on system security, but that is what you get for sharing a flat with someone doing a security degree. Anyway, the e-week article discusses a process to make the "undetectable" rootkit using virtualisation technology. A very interesting read and a sign of scary times in the future for security subsystems. OK, I thought about it a bit more and discussed it on im with Susan Bradley and perhaps some of the old questions come into play. Can a user with standard admin rights get infected? Could you have an anti-rootkit hypervisor to test and ensure that the "right" hypervisor is running? Once this beasty was in, detection would be very hard, however, for it to get ontop your machine - this could be just like every other rootkit today - needs admin clearance, so don't say yes to it!! ttfn David
  • Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3 is now available for download

    Short, simple, sweet, IE 7 beta 3 is available to download at http://www.microsoft.com/ie ttfn David
  • If you want Vista - go get it today or mis out

    I have just read at Ian Moulster's blog that Vista beta code is on a time limit to sign up - and that time is soon to expire. If you want Vista, go to http://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/engb and start the process now, like today. You have been warned! ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Feel the force - See Star Wars Lego II - The Original Trilogy Game - AWESOME

    As some of you may know, I am a true Star Wars Geek. I love all 6 films - yes, even Jar Jar. I had heard about the 2nd game - me & Molly are loving the 1st game and then I saw this on MSN Video - amazing! Cool features - all the characters, the ability to go off piste with any vehicle and the ability to take characters apart and create new ones - just like you would with Lego Pieces :-) ttfn David
  • Is Linux making a move into Small Business

    I read this CRN article that Jo sent me earlier today and it makes me wonder about why people choose SBS. I love it because it is an action packed package in the size of a matchbox and a price to match. Others love it because it has a bunch of cool features and plays to their Windows experience. One thing the article said, which I think applies not just to those Linux folks, but also to us SBS folks is: Another partner said Linux rivals should worry less about the 800-lb. gorilla they are competing with and focus on making customers aware of their products and their benefits . "The smallest companies with one to 20 employees often don't understand the benefits of server technology or don't trust the ROI projections," Fogg said. "Those companies often elect to stay with peer-to-peer networks I think we can all learn more on how to do this. ttfn David
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  • Longhorn Forums

    For those of you who are interested in Windows Server Longhorn , we have 13 forums available for discussion with eachother and Microsoft at http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=161&SiteID=17 General General discussion on Windows Server “Longhorn” Directory Services Discussion on Windows Server “Longhorn” Active Directory services File Services and Storage Discussion on file systems and storage functionality within Windows Server "Longhorn" Migration Discussion on migrating to Windows Server “Longhorn” Management Discussion on managing Windows Server “Longhorn”, including management tools Network Access Protection Discuss on Network Access Protection Platform Networking Discussion on networking with Windows Server “Longhorn”, including networking technologies and solutions Print/Fax Discussion on printing and faxing with Windows Server “Longhorn" Setup & Deployment Discussion on setting up and deploying Windows Server “Longhorn” Terminal Services Discussion on all things Windows Server “Longhorn” Terminal Services Security Discussion on Windows Server “Longhorn” security topics and technologies Server Core Discussion on Windows Server “Longhorn” Server Core Server Virtualization Discussion on virtualization on the Windows Server “Longhorn” platform
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  • Longhorn review - calls it a Slam Dunk

    Working for Microsoft makes you a little used to seeing people slate your products whether they know what they are talking about or are just trying to make press. Someone associated with the press once told me that news rooms get a buzz when a negative Microsoft story comes in - oh joys! So, for all this, while all the noise has been about Office 2007 and Windows Vista recently, Windows codename Longhorn Beta 2 has quietly popped out. This is the server product, which will shop in 32-bit and 64-bit form, but only the x64 version will be used as the foundation for SBS Longhorn codename Cougar. While I can't tell you anything about Cougar - after all, we have not got SBS 2003 R2 out the door yet - you can start to see what the foundations will be. Longhorn Server, with more functionality, IPv6 based networking, huge security leaps and much more. To see the product, go to http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver/longhorn . Today, Longhorn is only available via TechNet or MSDN , but as I have mentioned before, buy Technet and get 2 included Product Support Services help desk calls, worth more than the price of Technet, so seems simple to me. Anyway, have a look at the review at http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/26/79167_26FEmstechlonghorn_1.html?s=feature - interesting view on the 1st brush. The Microsoft site has more on the features etc. ttfn David
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  • New Microsoft Code sharing site (CodePlex) and Forums for WSS

    I see over at CNET that Microsoft has launched a new code sharing, shared sources initiative where people can work on joint code. This is called CodePlex . While browsing there, I saw a great looking Forum for WSS. To get to the forum, go to http://www.codeplex.com/Wiki/View.aspx?ProjectName=SPFORUMS . Picture below ttfn David
  • Loading Vista with SBS

    SBS is a great, stable product, so why go and throw in a bunch of broken software into the mix? Untested - yes, Vista and Office 2007 are beta, so known to have bugs that have not be resolved in them. OK, so the 1st rule is never run beta software in production, unless you are doing so for known explicit reasons. Vlad has posted on this a few times already. I also saw that the SBS team have made a couple of statements about Office and Vista and the bottom line is that there are some known issues and Microsoft is addressing them. Also, looking on one of the forums, there are a few questions people are asking , so be warned. If you don't use the connect computer wizard, then joining a Vista PC to a domain is doable. You might have a few Group Policy problems, so I would check things like "My Documents" redirection and firewall settings. You will also get a few UAC prompts, but as Susan suggests , lead UAC on for your testing - the prompts should get less once the PC is set up and the latest builds of Vista should stop the need for prompts as you logon. any problems, let me know or report them as bugs ttfn David
  • Getting SBS, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), indexing and PDFs all working together

    While browsing Sean's Blog I came across this article on how to get PDFs to have a PDF icon in [WSS] and how to re-index the companyweb site to ensure they are properly indexed (as in the content too). I know some of the links go to older versions of tools, but I am sure you are all very clever, so can work out what to do. Bear in mind that for this to work, you need to be running SBS Premium so the SharePoint database is stored in SQL. I have not blogged on this yet, but will do so next week. ttfn David
  • Giving money to good causes - Warren Buffet follows Bill and Melinda

    One of the reasons I picked Microsoft to work for was that I felt the company had a goal stronger than "to make money for the shareholders", but also to actually do some good in the world. Bill Gates has announced that he is planning to slowly transisition to a part time role in Microsoft over the next two years to dedicate his time to the Bill and Melinda Foundation who have already given away billions to help those in need. (See http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060615.htm for Bill's transition. For some astounding stats, look at http://www.gatesfoundation.com/MediaCenter/FactSheet/ - snipped from it: Number of employees: 241 Endowment: $29.2 billion Total grant commitments since inception: $10.5 billion Total 2005 grant payments: $1.36 billion Illustrative Grant Commitments United Negro College Fund , Gates Millennium Scholars Program - $1 billion The GAVI Alliance - $1.5 billion Malaria Vaccine Initiative - $258 million Save the Children , Saving Newborn Lives - $110 million United Way of King County , Seattle, WA, - $55 million Knowledgeworks Foundation - $20 million National Council of Culture & Arts , Mexico Library Project - $11.7 million Public Access Computing Hardware Upgrade Program , Multiple library systems - $5.3 million Now I read that Warren Buffet is to give away 85% of his 40B$ wealth to charity, with 5/6 going to the above fund. For more info, see http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060625.htm This is what I want to help others do, while Microsoft makes lots of donations, by making MS successful, I enable these people to continue to do this. I think Microsoft donates something like 7% of its cash each year to good causes - not many other companies can say they do that. When working recently with the SBS product team in the UK I discovered that we give away 4+ copies of SBS plus associated software to UK needy causes a month. That is just SBS, we also give away many other products too. I know that the nay sayers could say "why not give away...
  • I Need you to comment on a blog - should the Technet guys run a seperate Small Business track?

    Hi folks, it is not often I put out an ask like this, but on Eileen Browns excellent blog she has the following around Exchange 2007 ( http://blogs.technet.com/eileen_brown/archive/2006/06/16/technet_events.aspx ): Exchange - going small or large? A lot of the questions I get when I'm out at the roadshow are about Exchange and what Exchange 2007 can do for organisations. <lots snipped> When I decided on the content this year, I went for topics that I thought would appeal to people wanting to know about up and coming technologies. An overview of the new features in 2007 Office System, Exchange 2007 and Vista, with the new features of Windows Server R2, and ISA Server too. But I reckon that 75% of the questions that I've had this week concern Small Business Server and various aspects of SBS architecture. So my question is...Should we include an SBS track in future events? and if so, what do you want us to cover on this potential SBS track? Should we deliver this event in conjunction with Partners at their offices (which may mean smaller events and audiences) or carry on with larger events that hold an SBS track. I'd love to know your thoughts. Add your comments, and let me know as our planning for next year has just started... Not only is the question an excellent one, but if you want to get another part of Microsoft delivering content for you and your technical customers, should now - go to her blog and post an answer on the comments section!! Go to http://blogs.technet.com/eileen_brown/archive/2006/06/16/technet_events.aspx to do so. ttfn David
  • Want to see Windows Mobile 5 working ala the SB Ignite Tour in your own demo environment

    The Funboy ala Chris has published this step by step guide to using the Windows Mobile 5 emulator with SBS to learn the WM5 funky functionality. Perhaps the most annoying thing is that the reason I fly to Boston for the World Wide Partner Conference is to demostrate part of the new People Ready Business Demo DVD mobility demos, including the stuff Chris has painstakingly documented . There is a huge amount of learning in Chris's page, so don't be thinking you can skip it. One further piece of software I would load onto this demo is to load Mobile Admin toolkit. When loading this on SBS, it will create a 2nd default web site which you will basically not be able to access. I then went to IIS admin, gave it a host header of MobileAdmin and made it available on the internal network. To access the admin tools I then access http://mobileadmin/mobileadmin . There might have been a security issue with the folder - can't remember, but I am sure you are all capable of ensuring the folders have the right permissions for the web. This is discussed in some detail here ttfn David
  • Susan B has a system that keeps crashing - my take on why - crash dump analysis on SBS

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2006/06/22/102538.aspx I started writting this as a simple comment on the site, but it got so long, I have blogged the entry here. Susan, Since your crash dumps show 2-3 different error codes - a different one each time, my 1st suspicion would be hardware - have you run the MS memory diagnostic tool on the system otherwise, check for recent driver updates. If you need a 1hr course in debugging, have a look at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/06/21/627.aspx . However we have not had a single instance of your large crash appear through our crash database - I checked, and the crash appears to be in a very well used and known piece of code, the classpnp.sys driver, which hales to NT4 for classic PNP support. Failing that, time to call PSS. If you were to do nothing but run kd -v -y SRV*d:\websymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols -z memfile.dmp on each dump you will see the different crash locations. Lots of different locations normally points to h/w or a rogue driver corrupting memory. Mark in his teched pres talks about how to turn on verifier to find these types of issues - from the presentation: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management LargePageMinimum REG_DWORD 0xFFFFFFFF EnforceWriteProtection REG_DWORD 1 Reboot to take effect ttfn David
  • Still want more leads from Microsoft - another pointer

    I am often asked this question. The answer of course is made up of many things, but the things I find help are: Be seen in the right places - get your SBSC qualification - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sbsc Ensure that when you click on your link on the " Find an IT Consultant " link and enter YOUR postcode, that your site tells small business what YOU can do for THEIR business, not just what IT you sell Profile yourself so others can find you through other Microsoft Tools - http://blogs.technet.com/msppuk/archive/2006/06/09/434457.aspx Use whatever Microsoft advertising is available to you - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/campaigncenter/default.aspx Go on a solution sales skills course - http://www.microsoft.co.uk/events/eventdetail.aspx?eventid=8400 Look at the other MS resources available to you - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/benefits_diagram/default.aspx Work with other local partners to make life easier for all IT vendors around you - http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk Order Free Collateral to help you - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/market/default.aspx There are many other things too, but this is a good start. ttfn David
  • Link to my commonly viewed blogs

    Hi folks, I am sure I have missed a few people out, but I finally added the list of common blogs and sites I visit. To get to the information, click the "links" button in my blog, or go there directly by clicking here . ttfn David
  • Site look and feel updated

    I found some amazing site themes at http://japan.communityserver.info/ and have updated the default site with this. If you wish to change it back, click http://uksbsguy.com/user/EditProfile.aspx and select the site theme of "default for CS2.0". You might also notice the Posts on this site Zoom Cloud showing you a cloud of the keywords mentioned on the site. See the site in it's full glory at http://uksbsguy.com ttfn David
  • Security and some Myths debunked

    I used to spend my time dealing with security at a military scale for computer systems. I was not guarding anything in terms of weapons etc, just following process for protecting documents I was managing. If there was one thing that irked me was when people thought they were safe, but then did stupid things to completely undermine the security. For example, going in through the main enterence involved stringent security checks, but going through the side enterance the only check was on your car speed. My data was far less protected once physical security was compromised! Bring this into the world of computers and my role now, many people do things to enable them to feel safe - load A/V software, run multiple malware detectors, check the patch level on their firewalls, even if they are hardware filewalls, keep their systems patched, ensure the clients and servers are locked down with their own firewalls configured and managed by policy. I could go on, and of course you all do these things already, right? It was a delight when I 1st heard Susan Bradley speak on security as it reminded me of the mindset from my mission critical computing days (before Microsoft, but after the Ministry of Defense). Security is a mindset that must tackle both physical, electronic and social. If you have the best security, but someone phoning up is given the password, your system is flawed. There is also the great debate about can you trust your System Administrators. The simple answer to this is that if you can not, don't let them be an administrator. This is a very, very simple policy. These people can access sensitive information, either trust them or replace them with people you do trust. Finally, I came across this Technet article on Security Myths - answers some of the great questions in my mind. My top 3 myths (paraphrasing) are: Lets Block all the bad stuff - and how can you tell what is bad - easier to say what is good I've run all my updates, got a/v etc therefore I am safe - a/v works by someone being hit 1st and others benefiting...
  • Off Topic - How not to retain customers - Someone wants to cancel their AOL subscription

    I just had tto post this. Microsoft sometimes gets a bit of a kicking about support, but things like the Official SBS podcast , changes to search on our http://support.microsoft.com site, people like me and even the huge SBS community have changed most peoples experience with our support. When I say this, you just have to laugh in amazement as to what was going through this guys mind? http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=5ff445af-bf5c-4c3c-9424-ff467ea97a87&f=rssimbot_us_default ttfn David
  • Find out just how much Malware Microsoft has seen and removed using our tools

    Malware and the like are nasty horrid beasties. You probably see the malware remover tools come down each month as part of your security updates, but never think about what it is actually doing? Well, some scary information is provided at http://virtualteched.com/archive/2006/06/12/74.aspx from Tech-Ed. What is quite frightening is the number of PCs infected, the number of rootkits and the fact that most still get there with the users consent. ttfn David
  • Tools I could not be without for using and managing Windows XP, Vista and SBS

    Following on from my previous post on crash dumps and the Tech-Ed presentation I thought it was worth quickly pointing out the tools I use on a daily basis: Process Explorer Taskmanager on steriods - see what services and threads are running - look at the real list of processes that take up cpu time rather than how Windows Task Manager does the trick FileMon Ever wonder what folder that temp file was put in, or what file is being looked for when something fails - this is hwo to find it RegMon Like Filemon, but for the registry - find out what si being read, written too, searched for etc. PendMoves Can't install something because the system has a number of pending "moves" - files it will rename on reboot - find out what they are and then you can do something about it if you want DiskMon See what activity is happening on your disk ttfn David
  • More on how to debug a crash (BSOD) from the dump file, or want some amazing Windows diagnostic and support tools

    I was not at Tech-Ed this year, but people like Susan Bradley and Vlad Mazek were. While they blogged on lots of interesting subjects, one that I thought I would bring up would be the how to examine a crash dump file. This was presented by Mark Russinovich who runs the amazing www.sysinternals.com site. To see the Tech-Ed presentation, go to http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032298075&EventCategory=4&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Raise money for NSPCC (UK Childrens charity) while searching the internet using clickscount.co.uk

    I know this is s a small one, but if you go to http://www.clickscount.co.uk to try your internet web searches, you will rasie money for the NSPCC each time you click. Underneath is the MSN Search engine, which has improved hand over fist over the last few months, but it has got to be worth a try, even if it is just for MS related information. ttfn David
  • Using companyweb or Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) with Surveys to get feedback or approval

    We now have documentation stored in the system, but often we want more than just documents, we need feedback and discussions. SharePoint has many facilities around this. The options are: Discussions Lists Surveys Discussion areas are a very simple way for people to either add comment to a document or in a forum . I don’t consider this anything special, difficult to understand or especially great as far the built in functionality goes. Also, from a business point of view, the only solution that solve is when an owner manager says “I need a solution that permanently records the views people express around a specific area and I do NOT want it to be based on e-mail” – why not e-mail, well a good old public folder will do this for e-mail. Discussions DO work if this is based around a document, but I do not find many businesses asking for this. Lists are special and will be covered in the next WSS posting. Surveys are a special form of list, so lets look at what the surveys will do for us. Whenever a customer asks “How can I get feedback?”, or “How can I ensure everyone has read this”, or “How can I evaluate peoples comments / feedback” or even “ How can I check everyone has read the health and safety documents? ”. One nice little feature of Surveys is that they can be easily modified or linked to Excel spreadsheets, so data can be entered and examined in the spreadsheet. OK, so what types of questions can a survey ask? Single line of text Multiple lines of text Choice (menu to choose from) Rating Scale (a matrix of choices) Number (1, 1.0, 100) Currency ($, ¥, £) Date and Time Lookup (information already on this site) Yes/No (check box) I don’t intend to go through all the types of questions. The two “line(s) of text” speak for themselves, as does number, currency, date and time and Yes/No. That leaves the choice, rating scale and lookup that need some explanation. Choice (click to see picture) This does what it says on the tin. You basically type in items you wish for someone to pick from and then choose if they are shown...
  • subject area shortcuts

    Hi, for those who are after a quick way to find my posts on a particular subject area, I have created 4 shortcuts - they are: http://uksbsguy.com/sbs http://uksbsguy.com/wss http://uksbsguy.com/vista http://uksbsguy.com/office Do I really need to explain what each sibject area is? These will auto expand to the appropriate doverton blog categories. ttfn David
  • Why Small Business Server 2003 is right for small businesses

    I have my 1 st Technet Article published in the news flash today. The article is below and it talks about why SBS is right for small businesses – for the “IT Pros” in the world – i.e. those who are technical by nature. To add a bit more to the article, I have included several links in this to pictures of the reports. Hello, My name is David Overton and I am the Head of Technology for Small Business in Microsoft UK. I spend a good deal of my time explaining the benefit of Microsoft Technology focused on the small business market. Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) is a product that is perfect for those organisations who are looking for a single server that does everything in one box and meet the requirements of 75 users or less. In the one box you get Windows Server 2003 standard, Exchange 2003 standard and a host of SBS specific wizards and tools that ensure it is simple to install. What is more the price is less than that of Windows Server 2003. (Further wizard pictures for To Do List , Adding a User 1 , 2 , 3 or the network management tools ) For those who are scared by Active Directory implementations or find group policy management a little out of their league, SBS provides simple wizards to make this process easy, although all the traditional tools still exist if you wish to delve deeper. One area that I have found always causes issues in smaller businesses is connecting to the internet and managing all the network settings such as DHCP, DNS, RRAS, firewall settings, e-mail configuration - this is all done by a simple wizard that many people say they wish they could have on Windows Server by itself - it takes a good 2 minutes to configure all these in a safe and secure way. The next best thing about SBS is the capability to access the system remotely. This is done by the Remote Web Workplace which is a web page that is built automatically that provides access to OWA, configuration script for RPC over HTTP, a pre-configured Connection manager download to enable configuration free VPNs and one of the best...
  • Using Windows SharePoint Services (WSS and Companyweb) to keep everyone up to date

    Again I am taking content from the Small Business Ignite Tour which covers WSS is some detail – http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/ignite . This continues in the series and now we are looking at how to keep everyone up to date. Many business owners talk about issues such as: “My sales people have access to an electronic price book, but they do not keep it up to date, so they sell at the wrong price” or “When I make an important policy document change, everyone must know about it and acknowledge the fact that they agree” While some of this is about teaching people some new skills, most of it is about using the functionality provided between Office 2003 and SBS 2003 using Windows SharePoint Services. If you have been reading the other WSS blog entries, then you should now be familiar with Document Workspaces. Open a document workspace and note the “Alert Me” option down the bottom. You can give certain users the capability to use e-mail addresses such as all employees or sales team. Create Windows users that can use e-mail aliases, log in as them and then add an alert in the document folder of the workspace to tell everyone from a team when the document is updated. We now have 2 update loops – one whenever the user opens the document and one whenever the document is updated. Either way the user now has no excuse for not being up to date. Once the user does have an alert (which are manageable in Outlook or WSS), you can choose to put in place something like a survey to ensure they are happy. In the next entry I will cover off how to make and use the surveys. Ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • How Virtual Server enables SBS 2003 and Terminal Services on the same box

    Terminal Services (TS) was a feature people liked in SBS 2000, but the performance and security issues meant that many people broke their solutions by overuse of TS. The answer with SBS 2003 was no TS – which solved both the support issue, but also the fact that you could not run Outlook on the same machine as one with Exchange, thus meaning users of TS on an SBS system could not do e-mail except by browser. There is a very simple whitepaper on how to do TS on SBS located at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/deploy/adstrmsr.mspx . Now, using Virtual Server, which is a no charge add-on to Windows, you can have a single server with SBS and providing Terminal Services as you run a mini-machine inside your SBS box. The thing to be aware of is the need to buy the right OS licenses for the virtual machines, so while you can save money on the hardware, currently, you need to buy OS licenses. Once this is all done, using the power of Virtual Server you can be away – either for Terminal Services or any other application that needs a 2 nd box, but nowhere for the hardware to go. All this is nicely documented at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8e1b8271-17a0-4f3a-a379-19ecf37d4229&DisplayLang=en Enjoy Ttfn David
  • Using Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) to share documents and ensure everyone is up to date by using Outlook shared attachments

    So we have great documents, but as soon as often they are shares, they get out of date. Examples of this are price lists product information shared resources list To get over this we are going to look at Document Workspaces in CompanyWeb and Office 2003. Let’s start at the beginning, no matter what I tell people, they do not like going to a web site to load, upload a file etc. Also, setting user permissions is a nightmare and they might even just start passing round usernames and passwords. The most obvious answer for most people is to use e-mail. The very process of creating an e-mail with an attachment and marking it as a live attachment creates a document workspace. It is secured to only those people that the e-mail goes to and the document knows where it came from, so will try ot update the site or get updates from the site when saved and loaded. This ensures that any document sent this way, or using a document work group will auto-update. Documents stored on SharePoint sites like to auto update. Each time the document is saved to the site, a new version is created, so there is an audit trail. They can be checked in and out to provide greater controll over editing and approval can be applied if desired to the publication process. To test this yourself, go to your SBS connected machine, open a new mail in Outlook and type a few names in the too line. Then type something like "updated documents for everyone to see" in the subject line. Then choose file from the insert menu and insert a file from the documents folder. The task pane should appear on the right and click live attachment. If it does not appear, then press the attachment options button next to the file inserted. Click Shared Attachment. Notice the extra text inthe e-mail - the link is where your document store will be created. Note the web site is created once the file is sent and it is secured by the people in the to & cc lines. Once this has been sent, go to the sent items in outlook at click the link to open up the intranet site. You may have to...
  • Windows Server 2003 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 - learn more with PTS-TV and Dave Sayers talking Virtualisation

    If you laughed at my exploits on PTS-TV - and even if you did not, go to PTS-TV and see DAve Sayers talk about Virtualisation. http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/pts-tv ttfn David
  • Using Windows SharePoint Services(WSS) to Answer - How do my staff improve information sharing?

    File Shares are a starter We are used to people using file shares – eg \\csa-srv-01\team documents , however finding files can get difficult using this form, so Microsoft suggest people use the intranet web site. Try going to your http://companyweb site and notice that you have a number if document stores. If you go to a store, you can upload a document to the store. This can now be searched if you are running SBS Premium edition, version control can be implemented as well as a limited flow control and check-in and check-out. Some say file shares are very easy, but you can use the companyweb a bit like a file share in 2 ways. One, when you get a file save box, try typing in http://companyweb in the filename box. You wll see your companyweb site, but through the file dialog. You can even make it that to save a file in these locations the users have to fill in special meta data (information about the file) before they can save, to make it easier to categorise or find files later. For some people, this is still too difficult, but fear not. Try connecting to \\companyweb and you will see the same things. While not perfect, you can get people to use file shares as they always did, but now they are also using WSS. The benefits include the fact that anyone can find a document they are supposed to get access to and they always get the latest version too. I will also be posting information on the following over the coming days: How do we keep everyone up to date – Document Workspaces and auto updates How do I tell people when an important document is updated – eg policy document? – more alerts How do I get feedback from my staff? – Surveys and analyzing the results using Excel Now I have lots of data, how do I keep track of it? – Search and Desktop Search Question - How do I share information with my customers? – Hosted Services Ttfn David
  • SBS vs Linux - don't take my work for it, listen to Vlad

    Linux... what an emotive word around Microsoft that is! I used to be a Unix/Linux boy, but there again, I used to be a Mainframe boy, and then a security boy... I have worn too many hats. I can see the things people like about all of these, but too often the discussion is religious rather than customer centre'd or factual. Howvever one more factual and yet spoken from the heart can be found at http://www.vladville.com/2006/06/sbs-vs-linux-the-response-from-email-battles.html Vlad tells it how he sees it. Rock on. ttfn David
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  • How to find out what is causing a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) by using the kernel debugger tools

    Having had James take up an offer to find out what is causing his BSODs, her has now asked me how I found out which driver appears to be having the problem. While there is no substite for lots of debug work, a very simple process is to run the crash dumps through our debugging tool (full dumps are best, followed by kernel dumps and then finally mini-dumps). The first thing is to find the dump files - it will either be c:\windows\memory.dmp or mini-dumps under c:\windows\minidump. Find the file you want and copy it somewhere so you can examine it. Then get the debugging tools - http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx and download the x86 (32-bit) version. Once the tools are extracted, open a cmd window and go to c:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows and type kd -z c:\mydumpfile.dmp -v -y SRV*c:\websymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols . Wait for it to load and do an analyze. The debugger will open and if it has not done it already, type !analyze -v and see what drivers get listed as possible errors. Press Q to exit :-) An example output might be like this: kd> !analyze -v ******************************************************************************* * * * Bugcheck Analysis * * * ******************************************************************************* TRAP_CAUSE_UNKNOWN (12) Arguments: Arg1: 00000001, Unexpected interrupt. Arg2: 00000000, Unknown floating point exception. Arg3: 00000000, The enabled and asserted status bits (see processor definition). Arg4: 00000000 Debugging Details: ------------------ ***** Kernel symbols are WRONG. Please fix symbols to do analysis. Debugger CompCtrlDb Connection::Open failed 80004005 Connecting as Provider=SQLOLEDB.1;server=CCDSQL03;OLE DB Services=-4;database=Un ifiedCompCentral;UID=compcentralro;PWD=compcentralro ************************************************************************* *** *** *** *** *** Your debugger is not using the correct symbols *** *** *** *** In order for this command to work properly, your symbol path...
  • How do you get and fix the error - Microsoft Exchange System Attendant failed to add the local computer as a member of the DS group object 'cn=Exchange Domain Servers,cn=Users

    Another recent blunder when working on the "I Wonder what happens if...." type scenarios. What did I do, I moved the SBS machine in "Active Directory Users and Computers" from the "Domain Controllers" OU to the "SBS Servers" OU. The result was the following error in Exchange - move it back and all is happy :-) ttfn David Eventlog error for reference: Event Type: Error Event Source: MSExchangeSA Event Category: General Event ID: 9187 Date: 09/06/2006 Time: 07:47:52 User: N/A Computer: SERVER Description: Microsoft Exchange System Attendant failed to add the local computer as a member of the DS group object 'cn=Exchange Domain Servers,cn=Users,dc=OvertonHome,dc=local'. Please stop all the Microsoft Exchange services, add the local computer into the group manually and restart all the services.
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  • SBS Security - workstation and caller both point to your server and the error is about logon/logoff failure

    I recently created a FTP site to enable uploading of pictures for my blog entries by Word 2007 and suddenly I started getting lots of errors on my system. They took the form of: Event Type: Failure Audit Event Source: Security Event Category: Logon/Logoff Event ID: 529 Date: 09/06/2006 Time: 08:01:31 User: NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM Computer: SERVER Description: Logon Failure: Reason: Unknown user name or bad password User Name: calvin Domain: XXXXXXXXXX Logon Type: 8 Logon Process: IIS Authentication Package: MICROSOFT_AUTHENTICATION_PACKAGE_V1_0 Workstation Name: SERVER Caller User Name: SERVER$ Caller Domain: OVERTONHOME Caller Logon ID: (0x0,0x3E7) Caller Process ID: 564 Transited Services: - Source Network Address: - The reason why this error log scared me so much was because the security login was coming from my server. This made me think that someone had put something nasty on my box. It turned out with very little digging that this was actually the FTP service trying to authenticate, failing and therefore failing. Calvin is a bad boy and I will be tracking him down through logs!! As a hint the FTP service was also throwing up errors, so this was not hard to find, just scary as I worry about security alerts before application ones. The error from FTP was in the application log and was as follows: Event Type: Warning Event Source: MSFTPSVC Event Category: None Event ID: 100 Date: 09/06/2006 Time: 08:05:20 User: N/A Computer: SERVER Description: The server was unable to logon the Windows NT account 'calvin' due to the following error: Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password. The data is the error code. Data: 0000: 2e 05 00 00 .... ttfn David
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  • Small Business Ignite tour in Scotland postponed - Hardware problems

    Guys, this is hard to do, but we have had problems with the machine running the VPCs for the Ignite Tour this week (which means Scotland). The result is that we would not be able to show any demos. While this is very undesirable, we have taken the decision to postpone them until we can get the hardware sorted and the people back in Scotland. Any thoughts, please feel free to leave comments, otherwise we will see you soon. We should have the issues resolved for the other dates published so far ttfn David
  • Real servers versus a DUD aka "Dressed up Desktop" for SBS use

    While I was at AMD yesterday I heard a term that is very useful to describe a really bad piece of hardware used to build a server - DUD - dressed up desktops. You know what they are - PCs that are desktops without any of that key server tech - do you know of one - let me know. As a minimum I would want to see the following in a decent SBS server: x64 CPU to enable migration to SBS Longhorn edition RAID disks to survive a disk failure - I'm not going to ret religious if they are SCSI or not, but remember that Domain Controllers turn off disk caching unless you have a SCSI like controller, so can have a big impact on performance 2GB of memory min - this is just me, but why skimp at the outset - if you are not going to start at 2GB, then please make sure there are free slots for an upgrade Descent power and cooling Backup capability of some form 2 NICs (even if you only use one - the option is there) Quality brands - don't save £5 and spend the next 3 years regretting it AMD do a great line in quality parts and have some great partners who can help. Together we can avoid customer heart-ache and stamp out the DUDs. For info on DUDs and SBS with AMD, have a look at http://www.amd.com/us-en/0,,3715_13530_13531,00.html ttfn David
  • Customizing companyweb WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) site

    While I was writting up my demos from the SB Ignite show I found ths site that has two great hands on labs: Learn How to Customize Windows SharePoint Services These training courses are Hands-On Labs Online (HOLO) and use live software. Each course provides a student manual that you can download and print: Windows Small Business Server 2003 - Customizing Windows SharePoint Services—Part 1 This course covers the following: Using the Small Business Server Company Web site Working with Lists and Document Libraries Windows Small Business Server 2003 - Customizing Windows SharePoint Services—Part 2 This course covers the following: Adding Functionality by Using Web Parts Using Dynamic Web Templates to Create a New SharePoint Site ttfn David
  • Small Business Ignite Tour presentation posted

    I have posted the event presentation to the files section - http://uksbsguy.com/files/12/small_business_ignite_tour/default.aspx . This is a Office 2007 file, but converters are in the notes so you can open in Office XP or 2003. The demos last for 40+ minutes at the events, so if you want to book onto your local one at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx ttfn David
  • Do you want access to beta software and cheaper support calls to Microsoft - use Technet then

    A Technet Plus subscription includes two free support calls to Microsoft - that makes the kit cheaper than the calls themselves - and then you get a bucket full of disks to try our software - including BETA software, which to date you have not seen in the action pack. OK, so Vista and Office betas will ship in the action pack, but if you want to see any others, or download them more frequently - get the Technet Plus pack. Info on the UK Technet Page can be found on http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/default.aspx . P.S. There are many ways to get a discount on the initial purchase too, so ask me to send you a piece of advertising and you can get 20% off (it sells for <£400) or talk to the people at www.sbsbpi.co.uk and they can help you get even more off. ttfn David
  • Tell us how the Technology Assessment Toolkit helps you and earn cash

    You can get the Technology Toolkit from http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/partner_initiatives/rightserver/default.aspx?page=sell which provides information on this tool and how it can help you spot, sell and close deals. If the toolkit is very useful then SBSC Members can also report their success to Microsoft and earn money to spend in the MS Merchandise store. To get details on the offer (which is available all over the world) can be found at https://www.mssboffers.com/Default.aspx ttfn David
  • Are you a Small Business Specialist, a SBS 2003 Specialist, a small business technology specialist or an IT Techy?

    I have met a whole bunch of partners over the last couple of weeks, all requesting different things, and it has got me thinking - are you / do you want to be a specialist or generalist and then do you want to be all things to a business, or a super capable techy? First off, if you are a generalist, then this honestly means that you are a "Jack of all trades and a master of none" - well either that or you seriously need to get some more sleep. I prefer working with people who specialise in a few areas rather than those who try to do anything. If you do want to appear bigger and have a broader skill set, why not try relying on your local community of SBSC partners and farm out things you don't know well to those you can trust and become amazing at the things you do. If you fear competition with these guys, it is worth remembering a couple of things. 1st off, there are 4m small businesses in the UK and around 500 SBSC partners - that works out at 8,000 customers each - do you really think you are all going to compete or have the ability to service more than your fair share? Also, your customers should work with you because they trust you - do things to ensure that trust is maintained, be more than a super techy, and your position is assured. On the business or technical front, this is a key question in the small business space. As a pure techy, you work to make the technology do amazing things, but perhaps you don't actually drive the business decision in your customers, you respond to them. You see, you cannot be a super techy (IMHO - please comment if you disagree) AND a super business person at the same time. To cover both, you need to de-focus a little on one or the other so that you are good at best, but not great at both, but then remember this and think about calling in the cavalry should it be required - whether this is MS Support or one of the partners around you. The key here is that if you want to drive the business in your customers, you need someone else to be the super techy at times. Now, if you want to...
  • Small Biz Ignite - Could you improve your customers remote tools with SBS, need to get much more out of SharePoint Services (WSS), benefit from understanding what Live Communication server cam do and see what hosted solutions can offer....?

    If any of this sounds really useful, then why not book on a local ignite tour - for the 1st time we are coming as the small business team to your location. The events have plenty of technical show how (i.e. we will show it, might even show a config screen or two, but not build and install it in front of you). Click http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx to book on the event and click on a location close to you on the map and select the Small Business Ignite or, if you are into CRM, the CRM one. Overall the event lasts 2 - 2:30hrs and is very interactive. While you may say you know everything about these technologies (and thankfully, to date, everyone has learnt something about the technology at the events) The existing ignite tours have been very well received - I got a mail today saying - if you liked the event and have already been to one, drop a comment and say how much you did so: "I always come away from your presentations fuelled with new ideas which I can implement for customers. You have again inspired me, and I will be looking at the hosted SharePoint sites to see if they can accommodate." So what did we do that got everyone's attention: 1) We talked about the busines environement small businesses work in and how solutions from Microsoft fit into these and our marketing campaigns to drive customer demand. 2) We then talk about Collaborative Business and the types of solutions that can impact a business positively. We then demonstrated solutions to a number of questions. The solutions are based on Windows XP, SBS 2003, Windows Sharepoint Services, Live Communications Server and SQL. The demo takes a good 30 minutes 3) We move on to Flexible Wokring and again discuss solutions built using the same tools, but this time look at how people can share information and allow people to work wherever they need to. Again we have a demo that lasts about 15 minutes on this, including a Windows Mobile V5 demo (which did not want to connect last night - working on that one later today) 4) Finally...
  • getting 8 people to service 30,000 parnters is nothing compared to getting <1000 partners to service 4.1M busineses - that is the reality for UK SBSC members

    My boss, Steve Clayton recently noted how hard the job that the team I am part of has. We are responsible for working with, understanding and helping all UK partners, irrespective of size. To this end, he as written an excellent article " 30k divided by 8 just doesn't work ". This got me thinking, the ratio we have here is 1:3750 (PTS to Partners), but in the small business space where we have less than 1000 in the UK, to the 4.1M UK small businesses, we start to see a ratio of twice that at the moment, so while we feel pain, it really highlights just how difficult it is in the partner market. At the same time, it shows that for each partner, working together in community is very sensible as the number of times you are likely to compete with a fellow partner is a rounding error on a percentage. To this end, Susanne Dansey wrote an excellent posting http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/7 discussing the community and this was followed up by http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/8 and then http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/9 . All of them crackers and worth the read. So, when struggling with a customer, find your local parnter group - http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk and get some help. Or leave a message here on the forums ttfn David P.S. I really need some sleep, so off now.
  • PTS-TV is now downloadable

    Hi guys, slowly our team are making snippets available about us and our roles. Tomorrow I record a session - probably about Vista and our partners. Anyway, if you go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/pts-tv/ you can see all the sessions and download or stream the content. Now who says we do not listen and react to your feedback. ttfn David
  • Small Business Ignite Tour - 15 cities in UK, come and get it

    We got the message - we need to come to more places and have a more blended technical and business session. This will last 2hours plus some MS funded food and it is at no charge to you!! The slides are written as are 40+ mins of David Overton Stylie demos and interaction. This is a use it or lose it situation - go to the site - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx - and book on the closest place and come along. give us your feedback, tell us what changes you want and next time it will be event better. While the event is billed as a non-technical event, there will be plenty of technology in view, on show and available for questions. As a snippet, the demos should show all this - and in such a short period of time - woo-hoo!!! If this is not to taste, reply in the comments!!: Collaborative Business How can I share information with my colleagues and partners - WSS Sites - Hosted Sharepoint - Office shared working documents How can I ensure only the right people see the documents - WSS Shares - RMS with SBS How can I manage my relationships with my customers - MS CRM - Office BCM - Using XML enabled Office to share information How can I find the information I need to find - Desktop Search - WSS Search with SQL search Flexible Working How can I keep in touch when out of the office How can I allow my staff to work from home How can I schedule people out of the office - windows mobile &/or Windows XP - Remote Web Workplace - SBS Email / hosted How can I collect and collate information from my staff to make the process easier - InfoPath - XML enabled Word & Excel docs How can I produce effective documents - Use of Excel, Word, Publisher How can I work on the move - Offline folders - Search to find information - Windows Mobile / 3G ttfn David
  • UK SBSC members can see more information about SBS 2003 R2 and ask questions

    One of the benefits of SBSC membership is the regular livemeetings with Microsoft and the ability to ask us questions. On Monday we have one for SBS 2003 R2. For more info on these go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sbsc - you need to have passed the exams to see the exclusive content. ttfn David
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  • Find out about Longhorn Server – not SBS Longhorn, but Longhorn Server via online chat

    We will not have a version of SBS Longhorn for many months yet, but we do already know that it will be a x64 product only – as all Microsoft products are heading in that direction. Anyway, to the chase, on the 9 th June there is a chat on Longhorn. Details as below: An Introduction to Windows Server "Longhorn" Please join Bill Laing, General Manager of the Windows Server Division, and Iain McDonald, Director of Central Program Management within the Windows Server Division, for a discussion about Windows Server “Longhorn” Beta 2. Windows Server “Longhorn” is the next generation server operating system from Microsoft that will help IT professionals maximize control over their infrastructure and deliver a more secure, reliable and robust server environment. Join us to provide feedback, input into the product and to get answers to your tough questions. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/default.mspx ttfn David
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  • More feedback that Microsoft Support for SBS and Windows XP, no matter where in the world, is great

    Every so often I get a mail telling me how MS Support was poor in one way or another. Recently I have been getting the other type of e-mail - how GOOD Microsoft support is. Yesterday, Paul sent me this e-mail: David i found your email address on the sbsbpi.co.uk website, i thought it appropriate to drop you a mail asking you to pass on praise to the relevant people for the technical support i received from Microsoft today. the problem was quite complicated and both support representatives who dealt with it seemed knowledgeable, thorough and also easy to get on with on, all the essential requirements for a telephone support engineer, lots of bad things are said about the support available from Microsoft but today i experienced something very different, please pass on my thanks to the SBS support team. How nice it is to get these, but also in the forums, someone posted this: http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/401.aspx I have used Microsoft support a bunch of times over my entire career and a few times since I have been a small business owner such as yourself. First of all, generally the level of support is very good. You are paying a premium price but you do receive premium support. I used support last week for a cost of £200 and it was worth every penny. I knew before calling that it was not a Microsoft issue, but I needed some expert guidance (was not for an SBS system btw). I put in another call last year for a problem which I believed was caused by a fault in the software and there was certainly no dispute and the money was refunded and a successful resolution was found. So, it is worth it? Depends how much of your own time you are prepared to spend and if the customer is willing to let you pass the cost on to them. The key is to stop and think is your time better spent resolving an issue or spending the £200 to get a fix. Only you can decide, but if you decide you need support, 1st go check out http://support.microsoft.com and search for any errors you might see and then you can see about getting paid for support...
  • Learn about Windows SharePoint Services easily using online courses and books (for a small few $s)

    People are always asking me about how to learn more about Windows SharePoint Services and now finally we have two selfpaced items of training that can help. Have a look at these - they do cost a bit of cash – less than $23, but worth a look from the agenda. Course 4115: Getting Started with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Plus Access to Online Book The self-paced e-learning course will help you become familiar with the basics of working with Microsoft Windows SharePoint sites via interactive simulations that provide hands-on practice to master specific tasks. It also includes skills assessment to help pinpoint the areas where training can have the most impact. In addition, this course can be downloaded for offline use for the length of your subscription so you can learn even when you’re not connected to the Internet. https://www.microsoftelearning.com/eLearning/offerDetail.aspx?offerPriceId=73964 Course 4114: Doing More with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Plus Access to Online Book The self-paced e-learning course builds upon the concepts covered in “Getting Started with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services” via interactive simulations that provide hands-on practice to master specific tasks. It also includes skills assessment to help pinpoint the areas where training can have the most impact. In addition, this course can be downloaded for offline use for the length of your subscription so you can learn even when you’re not connected to the Internet. https://www.microsoftelearning.com/eLearning/offerDetail.aspx?offerPriceId=73963 Ttfn David
  • Patch Management on SBS and Windows XP machines - advice and best practises

    I was asked this in the forums, but I felt it was important enough to write about it both here and in the forum. Patch Management should be a key part of what you do. Patching is like car servicing - it can sometimes be put off a little bit, but failure to keep the oil and water up todate and without a regular service, things go horribly wrong. You MUST tell your customers this so they can choose how to pay you for this service. (they can always just call you in when things go wrong, but it will take longer and cost them more). Obviously patching is just one tool in yout kitbag for keeping systems secure - local and perimeter firewalls and anti-spyware and anti-virus software is also needed, as is good password and administrator policy. The best person to talk about patching is the now famous Susan Bradly, who is a SBS MVP and known as a Diva. Before I point you off to some of her blogs on it, I thought I would answer some questions often asked in this area: 1) How do you decide whether to patch or hold off? You always have to make a decision regarding patching vs risk. How much time would you spend testing the fix for blaster vs deploying it asap. Likewise, how many times do patches break machines - if they do, find out why that system needs extra care and only evaluate vs that piece of software / hardware, but deploy to the rest. 2) What happens if things go wrong? Remember, support to fix problems as a result of a patch (or service pack) is free from Microsoft, so you can always pickup the bat phone and call. Microsoft do test all patches, but the amount of testing depends on the urgency of the patch and how it was obtained. If you go for a hotfix as suggested by a KB article where you have to call Microsoft, this will have been tested less, but still we will work with you to fix issues with it. No-Charge Support number ( 0870 60 10 100 ) is for virus and other security-related support. It is available... Mon - Fri 8am - 6pm 3) How do you patch David? Personally, I deploy all application patches from microsoft...
  • How to configure Mac’s with SBS 2003

    I was recently asked by a colleague about the ease of setting up Mac’s in the SBS 2003 world. We are all aware of the pitfalls of using a .local domain name (I hope) and that some of the wizards do not work (or perhaps none of them do), but I have never actually been through the detail. One question that stumped me was around certificates on the Mac. So, I posted the question internally and someone Mark Stanfill piped up asking if the customer / partner had looked at the Whitepaper on how to setup a Mac. For my sins, I was not even remotely aware of the whitepaper, so I downloaded it and had a look. Talk about an awesome document, so if you need to set up a Mac on a SBS network, get this document. The link is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=46578 and this should take you to the download. Microsoft is not the only source for information like this, it is also worth looking at the below for some ISA and Mac info: http://simultaneouspancakes.com/Lessons/archives/2005/11/internet_access_1.shtml Ttfn David Just as a FYI, here is the table of contents: Connecting Macintosh OS X 10.3 and Higher Clients to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network 7 Step 1: Install the Latest Macintosh Updates 9 Step 2: Collect Information 9 Step 3: Configure DNS 10 Step 4: Share Folders Using the SMB Protocol 16 Configure SMB Settings by Using Directory Access 16 Disable SMB Signing on the Server 18 Step 5: Access E-mail 20 Step 5a: Access E-mail Using Entourage 2004 21 Add the self-signed certificate that the server created to the Macintosh certificate store 21 Verify DNS query resolution 22 Set Up an Exchange Server Account on the Client Computer 23 Step 5b: Access E-mail Using Outlook Web Access 26 Access E-mail Using Internet Explorer 5 for Mac 27 Access E-mail Using Safari 27 Access E-mail Using Netscape 27 Step 6: Access the http://companyweb Web Site 28 Using Internet Explorer as Your Web Browser 28 Using Safari or Netscape as Your Web Browser 28 Step 7: Access Remote Web Workplace 29 To connect to server or client-computer...
  • David Overton at the East Anglia Partner Group (Sometimes known as the Cambridge SBS User Group)

    Hi folks, just a quick note to say that on the 9th May I will be in Cambridge talking on a number of subjects at the group. More info on how to sign up can be found on the group site at http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk/phpbb2/viewforum.php?f=41 . The agenda will include a 1st sight of the Small Business Ignite content, then a Q&A session around anything Microsoft and the groups should discuss. I look forward to seeing you there. ttfn David
  • Cool backup e-mail when it has succeeded & tape changing scripts

    Hi guys, I just saw this and decided it is so awesome (as someone told me this one featured paid for an alternative backup product). Put simply, Marina Roos has documented a 2 minute process to add e-mail alerts when backups succeed. The details can be found at http://www.smallbizserver.net/Default.aspx?tabid=266&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=143 At the same time, I was asked in the forums about compression of tapes and I found Sean Daniels blog, which had a auto tape changing scripts in it. The article can be found at http://seanda.blogspot.com/2004/10/sbs-2003-backup-hack_05.html enjoy the new week ttfn David
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  • Ever wanted a "Microsoft" show that your customers could look at on how to use a server

    This is just a very quick one. I found this interesting little tool on the web which is almost customer safe, but explains the value of a server. Download, customise the powerpoints and use when ever you are at an exhibition etc. This is the " Information Worker’s Guide to the Windows SBS Computer Network " and according to the site performs the following: Through a series of interlinked PowerPoint shows or "modules," the "Information Worker's Guide to the Windows SBS Computer Network" provides users with a high-level overview of the Windows SBS network. As they progress through the modules, users learn how Windows SBS can help them keep company data secure, improve personal and team productivity, and communicate more effectively with customers and co-workers. Along the way, they are introduced to Windows SBS features and functionality and to the basic scenarios of working remotely and staying connected. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d566b19a-63c9-48d4-8add-ed7f99c9024c&displaylang=en ttfn David
  • Do you want to understand more about Small Biz and Microsoft, meet cool people, influence and discuss our strategy

    OK, so the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is coming. As with many things in the MS International world, we have some firsts coming up. The WPC is always a huge event for understanding and changing MS strategy and networking with both key MS people and also key people in the community. This is also the time to hear from industry experts about the external influences on the market and how to take advantage and prepare for them. You may think this all sounds a big "la-de-da", but a little while ago at WPC someone asked Steve B in an open session why MS people had great demos, but our partners did not. Within 6 months we had added the Technical Demonstration Toolkit for partners to our offerings. You can have this impact if you ask the right questions too. We have a day in the pre-conference dedicated to Small Business, with a fee for non-SBSC members, but SBSC people get entry for free. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference/ and it is already being discussed on http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk at http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=1708#1708 While I don't have all the final information (in fact it is very draft), below is what I can share. Now I do have a baby due in June, but all being well I may well be there with you. If you want more information, let me know. We understand that being a partner who sells to small businesses means working hard day in and day out to help your customers, leaving you little time to learn about new market opportunities, or network with other partners that sell to the small-business market segment. To help you continue to capitalise on this market opportunity, we are hosting an all-day event to help you get the download on industry trends and market insights. The Microsoft Small Business Symposium 2006 will be held July 10, 2006—the day before the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off—in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts. · Hear the latest from industry experts. · Network...
  • Fixing SMTP Issues

    Do you find yourself struggling to fix SMTP issues with your Exchange set up? If so, give this tool a try and things might look much better for you. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=BC1881C7-925D-4A29-BD42-71E8563C80A9&displaylang=en ttfn David
  • Are your SBS customers wanting to move off SBS to bigger things?

    I often tell people about organisations that have outgrown their SBS system. Many people are not aware that the answer to this problem is the Transition Pack. For those who are, they often worry about "what is involved" and "how long will it take". Believe it or not, I have not used the transition pack yet, so while my copy is on order, I thought that I would share this resource to help you understand more. It covers everything from licensing, to documentation through to process. http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/01/12/417350.aspx Let me know what you think David
  • Do you want to pre-register for info on the upcoming betas

    I just came across this place to register for info on betas via Technet. It may well be worth signing up. Since I already run Office 2007 & Windows Vista, I can wholeheartedly say these are great productivity tools. Exchange 12 has so many fabulous features that I can't wait. The down side is that Exchange will not ship for SBS until after Windows Server Longhorn, which means we will have several months of Exchange 12 shipping and the only way to add it to an SBS environment is via an additional server, x64 enabled. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/beta/preregister.mspx is the link you need to go see. ttfn David
  • SMBNation photos from Susanne

    Expect more photos to surface, but Susanne has put some some up on her personal blog (did you know she has 3). Anyway, photos of the gang - http://spaces.msn.com/susannedansey/photos/ . Just don't ask why it looks like I am hopping in one of them - it was one of those timing shots. I forgot my camera, so no photos from me. Expect to see other photos linked on the site soon. ttfn David
  • Thinking about SLAs to improve your business, or better documentation or swinging?

    We are priviledged to have some of the SBS GREATs speaking over the next 3 nights on these subjects and more and if you wanted to join in, now is a great time to "come on over" to the Partner Groups. Details of the events can be found at http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk and you will find people speaking in Dublin (Jeff Middleton on Swing Migration), London tonight (Karl and Matt on documentation and SLAs), Birmingham on Tuesday (Karl, Jeff (I think) and Matt on documentation, swing migration and SLAs) and then in Thames Valley on Wednesday with Karl and Matt again. On the subject of SLAs, I have posted a short piece in the forum at http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/258.aspx for people to expand the discussion around. ttfn David
  • So what did Microsoft ever do for me - or latest offers and help with licensing?

    One of the things that I am often hearing is how Microsoft could do more for opur partners - and I don't disagree, but in many cases the things I am asked for are already available. One of the goals of SBSC is to enable me to spend my time with better quality partners, and for Microsoft to direct customers to those quality partners. There are lots of other benefits and purposes too, such as providing focused support and offers, listening to your needs and delivering on them etc. Two things that people have asked me for recently are: Help understanding what "offers" Microsoft has running at the moment - check out http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/promotions/default.aspx?page=latest for a full list Help me configure against my license needs -See the license configurator - http://members.microsoft.com/partner/uk/sales_and_marketing/gearup/ One nice feature of the configurator is that you can compare various license types. We are also running a couple of campaigns at the moment, but the one I like is the "Right Server" campaign, designed to pitch SBS into those businesses larger than 25 users, but still where SBS sits - have a look at the material at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/windowsserversystem/rightserver/default.mspx and let me know what you think. One if the items I really like in there are the webcasts on what SBS can do for you - have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/windowsserversystem/rightserver/webcasts.mspx for more info. ttfn David
  • 2nd Partner Group lead now blogging on the site

    This is just a quick note to say welcome to Ian Watkins who is the London Partner Group lead and also a recent SBSC member. Ian is now also blogging on the web site. His blog can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/ianwatkins/default.aspx or the RSS feed at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/ianwatkins/rss.aspx . Ian joins Susanne with her blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/susanne_dansey/default.aspx or the RSS feed at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/susanne_dansey/rss.aspx . Look out for more soon. ttfn David
  • Security Discussion

    While many people poo-poo the site, have a look at the get safe online site – it does do the job that people are asking for. John and Peter raised some interesting points. Some customers just do not believe that security is a threat they have to pay attention to, or that it requires real management to fix. This is something we can start to work towards. We do have materials on bCentral.co.uk around security which is key for business and obviously the www.microsoft.com/security newsletters to our partners. I was also asked “how long should I wait before I apply a patch”. This is always a difficult question in the real world, but you basically have to weigh between – what is the impact if I don’t apply the patch and what is the worst case if I do. On the “If I do not” front, then the system could be compromised, data lost or the server turned into a bot. If it is really nasty, it could also gather information from the employees potentially impacting both the business and it’s staff personally. On the flip site, applying a patch could potentially BSOD the system – not something we hear about often. With major changes such as SP1 for Windows Server or SP2 for XP, we built in a removal script that could be used with the Command Console (\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons to install from a windows cd) to remove the product. More likely is that nothing bad will happen. Should something “bad” happen it is more likely to be that an application has hit a problem with the patch. In this case, look at how to protect the system and then remove the patch. At each conference I speak at I ask about auto patching – for Audiences of 150-200 people I normally get between 1 and 4 who say they have had a problem with a patch. More raise their hand to say they have been hit with viri etc. John also pointed out some absolutely top adverts / video from Microsoft, which I have linked to in the downloads section, on Security and Livemeeting. John’s Blog can be found at http://blog.roundtripsolutions.com If you want to share thoughts on security, either...
  • ISA & SBS is Secure

    Talking about SBS is never the easist thing to do, people ask about security, what can it do for them and people are also sometimes put off by the Enterprise focus on much of the SBS information out there. This is no longer true, if you go to http://isainsbs.blogspot.com/ , which is a fabulious blog by Amy you will see ISA information that is relivant for SBS 2003 & ISA 2004. I have also put some basic ideas on what ISA can do for you in the forum - http://uksbsguy.com/forums/thread/145.aspx as always, feedback is welcome ttfn David
  • Don't forget you can ask me questions and get answers today online - Live - 4:30pm

    I have a web conference today that you are welcome to join. I will be answering questions about ISA 2004, Windows mobile and branch office deployments. You can register by going to http://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=118770024&EventCategory=4&culture=en-GB&CountryCode=GB and you will get the web links. See you there ttfn David
  • Getting Windows Mobile V5.0 working with SBS 2003

    OK, so I did not realise we had actually written this up, but at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62797 is the document you need to help you do this. One quick point to make, with Windows Mobile 5.0 you can no longer turn off Certificate Checking, so you will need to buy a certificate that matches one of the roots on the phone - and this list can be changed by each carrier, so do your homework!! Windows Mobile V5 also has the always-up-to-date functionality that people often ask for, so this is just another reason to sell these solutions. Just to add a bit more spice, I also run ALK's Co-Pilot GPS routing tool on my phone - something the "other" devices are not really good at :-) ttfn David
  • Do you sell SBS to UK charities - we can help

    I LOVE working with charities in the UK, so much so that I am the treasurer for one in the UK – if anyone wants to give funds or assistance to the Farnborough and District Samaritans (you know, the people you call when you are feeling very low or suicidal) let me know. Anyway, we would love to help other charities, so here is how we can work together. Here is the deal – if you: Send me details on the charity, including their charity number Tell me why they want the SBS server (a paragraph, not war and peace) Promise that we can talk to them within 6 months of it being put in to see how it has helped Then I will try to do you a deal – this has been very successful in the past. Mail me at doverton@microsoft.com
  • How the IDC whitepapers can help you choose a new business area - or Turning presentations into information for those who were "not there"

    Hi, So the previous blog entry talked about the IDC information for all those at the Harry B event - Lets explain how they can help you change your business if you were not there. Have you ever wanted to know what people are doing to be successful in a particular area of business that you might want to expand into? I know that I always like to be early into a new segment, but not the 1 st . The IDC whitepapers give you this information on the following technologies and areas – have a look and tell me what you think: Delivering Server Solutions with SBS 2003 From 2005 through 2009, more than one million servers are expected to be installed in small businesses worldwide.* This market opportunity is unmatched by any other segment and is a key opportunity for Microsoft partners. Read this article to get specific guidelines, best practices, and tools for building a business around first-server deployments, entry-level installations, enhanced deployments, and migration projects. *Source: IDC Delivering Maintenance and Managed Services with SBS 2003 As more small businesses move toward client/server infrastructures, the need for trusted IT advisors grows. Learn how successful Microsoft partners have built maintenance and managed services into recurring and predictable sources of revenue. See maintenance and managed-services models, including fees, costs, efforts, and profits, as well as specific guidelines on designing contractual agreements and positioning your own business for long-term growth. Delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 SBE with SBS 2003 Learn how you may be able to add revenue by delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Small Business Edition (SBE) with SBS 2003. Get best practices, guidelines, and business models from Microsoft partners worldwide. Delivering Mobility and Remote Access Solutions with SBS 2003 The market for mobility and remote access in small businesses represents a growing opportunity for partners. According to IDC, the worldwide market for converged mobile devices is forecast to reach 107.6...

(c)David Overton 2006-13