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.  

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  • SBS 2008, Installing, migrating and configuring BOOK now available to pre-order

    [updated 2nd May 2009] Hi everyone. My SBS 2008 book is in now available to order. Details below. If you want to ask questions once you have the book, go to http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?13 . To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration David Overton Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact · Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures · Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003 · Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces · An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background In More Detail Available April 2009. Order now! Cover price £24.99 Packt Special Offer £22.49 save 10% Multi-buy Discount £20.49...
  • SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success from the Official SBS Blog

    I started to write about this at SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues and Active Directory Health Checks , but after some discussion with the SBS team at Microsoft we now have much more: The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success The purpose of this post is to help you complete your SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008 successfully on the first attempt. ……………… much, much more Use this information if you have a non-standard implementation or are concerned about the success of a migration. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2003 , SBS 2008 , Migration , SBSC , Small Business Server 2008
  • Active Directory Health Check - Make sure your AD is healthy before you migrate SBS 2003 to SBS 2008

    [updated 29/9/12 with new link] Given the recent comments about AD validation I thought I would share this excellent document on verifying your AD before you begin a migration (or at any other time) Active Directory Health Check - Active Directory This document outlines a basic procedure for validating the health of your domain and is a good practice for iterative maintenance and an excellent pre-check before doing any potentially dangerous domain operations I would add a couple of extra tests to the list in this document, which would be placed after the 1st DCDIAG test, also perform: DCDIAG /test:DNS /DNSALL /e /v DCDIAG /test:DcPromo /e /v DCDIAG /test:RegisterInDNS If you system passes these tests then it is a good indication of health. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , Windows Server 2008 , Active Directory , migration , Microsoft , SBSC , Partners
  • SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues

    I've been part of a lively debate on the Yahoo UK SBS Group about how to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and what the issues are.  The information I have so far is good, but I need much more to take it to the product teams. For sure, the issues so far are: Concerns around the "state" of AD before a migration is started - how do you check it - look at this blog post Concerns around the Exchange migration in terms of time taken and failure scenarios - how to remove the chances of this? Concerns around "on-site" versus "off-site" strategies Concerns around recovery options in the event of failures (restore from backup not being ideal if you want it diagnosed) My problem is that I have no data to take to the Microsoft product teams, which means I can't ask them to fix things so this is a two fold open invitation. If you have had an issue, share it via comments below, but also PLEASE e-mail ( doverton@microsoft.com ) as well so I can get in touch with you and potentially...
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false...
  • How to migrate from SBS 2003 to Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008)

    I’ve spoken about migration several times now for SBS 2008 . The short answer is that migration from one box to another is vital. If a customer wants to do migration on the same box, then this is either expensive (and a very long process) or something that requires moving the server temporarily to another system, or as I prefer, virtualising it. Of course, SBS 2003 is not necessarily supported in a virtual environment, but since all we want to do is migrate from it, not “run it”, this should help you get over this. The details of the process can be found in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 technical library . One of the MOST IMPORTANT things to understand is to create the answer file. This is covered in the migration help below: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Migration Help ( Download ) Provides step-by-step instructions for migrating from Windows SBS 2003 or 2008 to Windows SBS 2008. Last Updated on June 30, 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008 Product Help ( Download ) Provides step-by-step instructions...
  • Moving SBS 2003 to new hardware or performing a migration – Update (QFE) to give you longer to do it (21 days up from the 7 days)

    From The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released , a slightly old post, but something work highlighting – how to have 2 SBS boxes on the same network for 21 days. Small Business Server 2003 Migration Update 943494 Released [Today's post comes to us courtesy of Justin Crosby] The software license terms for Windows SBS enforce a limitation that permits the presence of only one Windows SBS server in the domain. However, there is a grace period where you can have a second SBS server in “join domain” type migration scenarios. This grace period is 7 days. In some situations, this grace period may not be long enough to properly complete the migration. This software update extends the allowable grace period for the supported scenarios from 7 days to 21 days. Please plan accordingly, aim to complete your migration within 7 days and only use this update for situations where it is needed. Remember, i f you hit the 21 day limit there is nothing that can be done to extend the limit...
  • If you are a Microsoft partner who sells SBS, then please fill in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Community Survey

    Kevin asked a couple of weeks ago if I could share this – so I’m sharing :-) The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is live This is the third year we have published an SBS WW Community Survey to the SBS Community. Because of the previous surveys, we have made some adjustments in our community engagement. To name a few; we really worked on putting more focus on the Official SBS Blog. Our Sustaining Engineering team runs mini betas with our MVPs before KB's and Bug Fixes are released via Windows Update. We try to get more involvement in our techbetas from our User Groups. The list does go on. To the survey, the SBS Product Team would like to hear from the Windows SBS Community again. This survey is completely anonymous. In fact, some of you may have to sign out from Live in order to take the survey. So, if you get a PAGE NOT FOUND error message, please log out of Live and click on the link to the survey again. We want to know how valuable your experience is with the community resources and...
  • UK SBS group meeting in Manchester on Wednesday 23rd April 2008

    I just saw this from Chris Parks and thought I would share with a wider audience: Folks, Just a quick reminder of the meeting this Wednesday at One Central Park, Manchester M40 5WW, 18:30 ... Attending from Microsoft are David Overton, Danny Ovens and myself. Hope to see you there :) Also, a huge thanks to those who’ve either joined the online network or sent me back their profiles so far...some of them have been enlightening and some of them downright intentionally hilarious!!! (Please feel free to send through today if you get chance and haven’t done so yet :) Regards, Chris Parkes Technology Adoption & Solutions Specialist thanks David Technorati Tags: Small Business , SBSC , SBS 2003 , SBS , Manchester , Community
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509...
  • Extended Promotional offers for SBS 2003 – now available until June 30, 2008

    I saw these on the SBS Offers site and noticed that they have been extended, so here are the things you need to know below. It is worth remembering that it is up to you how you pass these benefits through to your customers!! What? – Promotion Offering: When? – The promotion extension means system builders and resellers can now submit claims for services they deliver between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008. Participants will have until July 31, 2008 to complete their claims. *If a partner submitted claims between January 1, 2008 and February 29, 2008 they will be applied to this extension period and cannot exceed 50 claims in total per partner. Who is eligible – All system builders and resellers in the participating countries in Western Europe, Germany, France, UK, APAC, India, MEA, CEE (EU only), and Latam (CCA only). How? – The system builder/reseller goes to www.sbsoffer.com to learn about the offer and the steps needed to redeem: ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft...
  • Dear Susan … It is 75 CALs, but recommended for 50 users … reply to "Tom"? We'll need you to dispel another myth. - The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva"

    Susan has raised a really good point and something that is often misunderstood about SBS – and this ties in to SBS 2003 AND SBS 2008. What is the problem … Here is what Susan put… is SBS designed for 50 or 75 CALs? "Tom"? We'll need you to dispell another myth. March 11, 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008 – HOT! Prepare for New Server-Solutions Business < http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8493173 > Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is coming in the second half of 2008. The enhanced platform, part of the new Windows Essential Server Solutions family, is built on the Windows Server 2008 operating system and includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. With SBS 2008, you can deliver cost-effective, manageable, enterprise-class technologies to your small-business customers with up to 50 75 workstations or devices,and grow your server-solutions business. " Tom "? We're going to need you to dispell another myth that...
  • Want to know more about Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0? Make time from 6pm in London on the 29th April 2008. Remember that you can load WSS v3 onto SBS 2003 and it is a part of SBS 2008 (Cougar) and Essential Business Server 2008 (Centro)

    I have said many a time that SharePoint will be a key asset for small business partners now and in the future and all the press suggests the exact same thing. Vijay has arranged, and will be presenting, at an Event in London with Steve Smith, Craig Carpenter and Bill English . Given the quality of the speakers, I would suggest that you sign up early to say that you will be there: Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 Event for SBSC Partners on 29th April 2008 Venue & Time Microsoft London , Cardinal Place, 100 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5JL meeting at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start and 9.00pm finish. Presentations from some of the worldwide experts on Sharepoint on Windows Sharepoint Sservices 3.0 which will be a key component of SBS 2008 and which can be installed as a side-by-side installation on SBS 2003. Presenters Steve Smith MVP and Craig Carpenter (co-owners of Combined Knowledge one of the leading Sharepoint Training Consultancies). Steve is also one of the organisers of the Sharepoint User Group in the UK...
  • Manchester SBS Group (Kick Off Meeting) - 27th March 2008 - be there to see how it all starts again - with Chris Parkes, Ceri Thomas and me

    Ceri Thomas is planning a new group in Manchester and Chris Parkes will be there to host things with him for the 1st meeting. I will also be there slightly later in the evening. Below is the mail sent out by Danny Ovens to SBSC members in the area, but all are welcome. Dear Partner New: Manchester SBS Groups (Kick Off Meeting) What is the purpose of the SBS User Group....? SBS User Groups are partner meetings, run by partner, for partners. They are an independent forum that enable partners to meet one another, share best practice, learn how to better engage with IT Vendors and also hear directly from Microsoft about our products and strategies. · Partner to partner networking – how can collaborating, learning what successes others have had, sharing problems and concerns or working as a group help your business · Connect with Vendors – The group can invite Microsoft and others to attend and present to your agenda...be heard! · Plugged in to Manchester Northwest activities – We’re increasing our engagement with...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server...
  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282 - help from the community by the community

    This comment was added to my blog the other day, but I think it deserves posting as a blog entry in it's own right: Hi Dave, We've worked up a 70-282 set of resources on a live.space. The effort is thorough and a good starting point for anyone looking at the 70-282 exam. Two particularly useful URL's are: http://wigital.spaces.live.com AND 70-282examteam.events.live.com You are welcome to contribute and/or comment if you have time. Warm Regards, Mark ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , 70-282 , Exam , SBS Server , Community
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to...
  • Download the "How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2" now

    I have been asked about this loads of times, but for those of you who want to know more about using WSS v3 and SBS 2003, the guide is finally here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=59acc518-023e-43c3-b8f3-378c5e387461 . How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 Partner tool to create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. File Name: Selling_WSS_and_SBS_Kit.zip Date Published: 11/15/2007 Overview A new partner enablement tool helps you create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. Access the toolkit’s resources—including a process cookbook, technical documentation and marketing materials—to learn how to build your business by selling and deploying customized solutions. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , WSS v3 , WSS , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services
  • A SBS Blog to watch - Girish's Graffiti : How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS

    This is just one example of the many blog entries on this blog that is again worth watching. Is it also worth mentioning that Girish supports SBS? Go to Girish's Graffiti to see lots of good stuff. How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS You can download PerfWiz from here; http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=31fccd98-c3a1-4644-9622-faa046d69214&displaylang=en Many times when you have performance issues on your server you can use this tool to simplify creating performance counters. This will benefit you in the following way; you don't need to do this one by one manually and this would be a head start before you call for support. Because for most performance issues you may find that we would want to collect this from your system. So here is a step by step on how can do this More information at Girish's Graffiti : How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS , Blog , If you only read one post today
  • Be there or be square - Westcoast Small Business Forum - 29th November, Reading

    What can I say - an amazing line up of presenters, plus a chance to throw pies at me as I do a song and dance for 1 hour. Seriously though, look at the agenda and wonder how you survived without it!! Westcoast Small Business Forum Get yourself booked onto our Small Business Forum which takes place on November 29th at Microsoft’s Thames Valley Campus. Spaces are limited (unless you’re happy to sit on laps?!) so get yourself booked on now. First come, first served. Full details are available by clicking here . We’ll be updating it with a few more events that are coming up this year in the UK that we think you’ll be interested in. Look forward to seeing you there! Oh, and guess who’s also found another site to blog on… UK SMB Girl » Westcoast Small Business Forum ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , Small Business , SBSC , Community , Westcoast , Event
  • A SBS Blog to watch - Moloy Tandon's Blog - Ask Me

    This is just one example of the many blog entries on this blog that is worth watching. Is it also worth mentioning that Moloy supports SBS? Go to Moloy Tandon's Blog - Ask Me to see lots of good stuff. Upcoming Events: Small Business Server 2003 Webinar We've arranged three Small Business Server webinars to cover topics that we think you may be interested in. You can watch these webinars from the comfort of your own PC and there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions at the end. But hurry! Spaces are limited so ensure you register as soon as possible. The Small Business Server OEM pre-installation kit Join us for the first of our three-part webinar series, focusing on Microsoft Small Business Server. We'll be looking at how to: Automate the build process - using features such as auto-unattend Centrally manage your installations - by using network-based deployment Incorporate third party drivers - and pre-install additional applications Add unique customisations - to promote your company and...
  • From the Official SBS Blog - SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer!

    You have seen the Exchange, SQL, Security and Windows best practice scanners, well now we have all that SBS expertise wrapped up into an SBS scanner - enjoy!! SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review. The Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer examines the server and collects configuration information from many sources including: Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Registry Metabase After collecting information about server configuration, the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer verifies that the information is correct and then presents administrators with a list of issues sorted by severity. The list describes each issue and provides a recommendation or possible solution. System Requirements Supported Operating Systems: Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Any version...
  • How to save money when offering licensing to small businesses in the UK at the moment

    [updated to remove some inaccuracies about Susanne's microspeak - sorry Susanne] There are always special offers of some form or another from most companies and Microsoft is no exception (well, except in August when we are still in post financial year clean up :-)). Anyway, the UK SMB Girl aka Susanne Dansey at Westcoast has listed a couple of these.: N-3 Open Value Subscription Offer Promotion ends: 31 December 2007 Programme: OV Subscription Up-to-Date Discount (UTD) is a 50 per cent discount in OV Subscription for the first year invoice for any licence for the current (N) or previous (N-1) version of the selected Small Business or Professional Desktop platform products. For the OVS N-3 promo eligibility for receiving the 50 per cent discount is granted to N-3 versions of Office licences (back to Office 2000). Promtional SKUs are identified on the price list by the word ‘Promo’. Future proofing Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Here’s a heads up to all Microsoft Partners thinking about licensing...
  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282

    I have been asked a couple of times if there has been any updated info on the 70-282 exam and information on it. While looking through old blog entries I found this: A free webcast series hosted throughout the month of May by David Fabritius is being offered at MSReadiness.com. More information is available here - http://msreadiness.com/study70-282r2 . The Official SBS Blog : Studying for 70-282? This takes you to the MS Web site, where I found out that all the webcasts happened in the past, but the recording and blog are still there for you: To access the Study Group blog, visit us at http://blogs.technet.com/BackRoom . Using Self Test Software's great data bank of approved practice exam questions, we will review the material for the week on Fridays and help you check your preparedness for the actual exam. We will not only be looking at why an answer is correct, but also exploring why answers are wrong. Syllabus for 70-282 Study Group All of the sessions outlined below will be presented at 10 AM PDT on their...
  • The UK SBS Back to Basics Tour

    This will be the 1st one of these tours that I have not attended for four years. Sad times, however that doesn't mean that Mark, Sven and everyone else will not do an amazing job (in fact, to suggest otherwise would be incredibly arrogant of me). So come and see how they can help you sell more and solve more problems over the next 9 months before the end of "FY08" inside Microsoft. "FY09" is of course when SBS Cougar is due to ship, but more on that later on in "FY08"!!! SBS 'Back to Basics' New to selling Microsoft Small Business Server? Or looking for interesting ways to approach selling a Small Business Server solution to your customers? Our 'Back to Basics' seminars cover common configurations, building servers with SBS, and looking at Windows SharePoint Server as a great solution-based approach to SBS for your customers. Small Business Server OEM Pre-Installation Kit: 9am, 30 October Common Configurations with Small Business Server: 4pm, 30 October Windows...

(c)David Overton 2006-18