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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  • Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008–June 17th 2010

    Hi, I know this has gone out to UK SBSC partners, but I thought I should let people know through the blog too. Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008 Technical Schools are a series of monthly Live Meetings specifically for the Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) and Registered partners who specialise in targeting the small to medium sized business market. Taking place on 17 June, 15:00-16:00 (GMT), the next Technical School will be led by Microsoft's David Overton who will provide guidance relating to Small Business Server 2008. Review a recording of last months' Technical School , which discussed Office 2010.   We will cover off the preparation required prior to a migration, the process of installing or migrating and then some FAQ’s of the most commonly asked questions that people have sent me.  These will include: Converting a trial license to a purchased solution Getting rid of the Outlook prompt for username and password Installing the latest service...
  • 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
  • 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 ( [email protected] ) as well so I can get in touch with you and potentially...
  • Can't find the WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) sales and marketing toolkit for SBS 2003 - here it was

    I've had someone ask me about the WSS toolkit that was referenced at How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 . The download location has moved to http://www.partnersalesresources.com/Pages/sbskit.aspx# . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows SharePoint Services , WSS v3 , SBS , SBS 2003 R2 , Microsoft , Partners
  • 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...
  • Proof that SBSC partners can grow from 1-man businesses into Microsoft Certified Partners – and still be good for small business – congrats Richard Tubb

    I remember the name Richard Tubb being mentioned a few times over the last 2 year and remember him on some of the Live Meetings I delivered and then he launched his blog. One thing that was apparent from his questions, contacts and especially his blog is that this is a man that “got it”. Now there are a few others that I believe live and breathe this attitude and to name some and miss others would be bad, so I wont name any (if you want to know if your on my “I love you man” list, drop me an e-mail, but I’ve probably told you or made time for you, which is a good hint), but one thing about living your life by certain principles is that you still have to live your life. By got it, I mean: is solution, not product oriented Is value sensitive, not price sensitive Believes in the value of the community Is prepared to stand up and be counted for his opinion – which is his, not others Will tell you when he things you are talking… erm… rubbish!! Believes in good processes (eg service plans, documentation etc) If you...
  • Pricing for SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 released (US FPP) and public beta for EBS, with public beta for SBS 2008 to follow

    My blog has been quiet recently – think of it as a the quiet before the storm (or I’ve been maxed around quarter and year end business, family and partner visits to the US). Anyway, this has crept up on me before I re-installed my server, so I thought I would just share the love. Microsoft Announces Public Preview and Pricing for Windows Essential Server Solutions Today Microsoft announced the following prices for the Windows Essential Server Solutions family: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.) Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.) We also announced availability of...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - from the Official SBS Blog

    Yesterday we announce SBS 2008 and now there is the updated best practice analyzer for SBS 2003 - The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - the updates are below Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated The SBS 2003 Best Practices Analyzer configuration file has been updated with new rules. There are approximately 100 new rules and many pre-existing rules have been improved based on your feedback. To check to see if you have the latest configuration file go to Start>All Programs>SBS Best Practices Analyzer , then click on the About the Best Practices Analyzer link. The updated configuration file version is 2.1.18.0. If you still have the old version (2.1.4.0), click on the Updates and Customer Feedback link. Then click on the Check for Updates Now link. Some of the new rules include: Expanded checks for Blue Shield issues relating to WSUS Checks for the .Net Framework version for Companyweb Resolved some issues with the WSS and DST update checks...
  • Whitepaper on Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware

    It is funny how things happen. I was debating with my dad which was better - building a new server and re-joining the clients, migrating via AD in a VPC to give the server the same name or adding the server and dealing with the fact that the "server" has a name change. I then told my dad that I had blogged about this and he should have read the document, only to discover that I had not. I've seen it covered in a few places. I'm always open to feedback on this sort of information. I am pro-VM based migrations but people seem to think they are too hard, so more on that would be really good. The Official SBS Blog : Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 ... Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware - E-Bitz ... Whitepaper - Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware Microsoft has released a new whitepaper and set of worksheets entitled: ” Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware “ Sections include: Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware...
  • 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...
  • Slides from todays Webcast on Windows SharePoint Services on SBS (WSS v2 & WSS v3)

    Today I did my last Webcast on SBS. It was the 3rd of a 3 parter on SBS. Part 1 was about how to use the OPK, part 2 was on Configuring SBS. I will post links to part 1 & 2 later today, but thought I would get the last one out 1st. If you watched the Webcast you will know that explorer crashed on my machine stopping the demos with word and excel working, which was not desired, but I did load 2 beta patches onto my system yesterday, so now the diagnosis as to wether that was the problem begins. Anyway, if you want the slides set they can be found here . Some of the useful links from the deck are: WSS v2 Office 2003 web parts (the last ones) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=38be67a5-2056-46a1-84b1-337ffb549c5c&displaylang=en Samples and information http://www.sharepointcustomization.com/wss/articles.htm Enable Office 2007 support http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/13/how-to-get-companyweb-windows-sharepoint-services-v2-to-work-with-office-2007.aspx Backup and restore...
  • Finally the internal mail arrives announcing two new SBS MVPs in the UK

    You saw it here last folks. Congratulations to both Susanne and Tim and to the existing peeps of Scott, Steve and Nick (since he works the UK patch sometimes). If you know of these two then you know they are hard working people in the SBS community and have probably already read that they have been honoured with the MVP award. They join the ranks previously blazed by Steve, Scott and Nick. I also think that Susanne might have decided that since at least 50% of the photos from the MVP site look scary, she would forgo one just now :-). Their comments about this on there blogs can be found here for Susanne and here for Tim - both humble, but the links to other pages shows what others think. New MVPs in UK Susanne Dansey: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Susanne Dansey has spent her entire career in business development in the IT industry & recognizes that the key to successful customer relationships is empathy, trust and under... Tim Long: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Tim has been...
  • Want to know what is happening on your network, packet for packet - get Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1

    I saw this had been published and thought I would share - it is an amazing tool that I use for diagnosis all the time. Reading http://www.ditii.com/2007/07/03/network-monitor-31-released/ it also reminded me that this includes traces on wireless networks!! Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 Network Monitor 3.1 is a protocol analyzer. It allows you to capture network traffic, view and analyze it. Version 3.1 is an update and replaces Network Monitor 3.0. Network Monitor 3.x is a complete overhaul of the previous Network Monitor 2.x version. Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 x64 editions; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows XP 64-bit It is suggested that you have a CPU of 1GHz or greater, 1G or greater of Memory and 25 Megs of available Hard Disk space, plus room for capture files. Supports Vista 64 bit as well as 32 bit. Instructions Network Monitor 3.1 can co-exist with Netmon2.x. NM3.1 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3, so there is no conflict. But it will require...
  • David Overton moving on to pastures new

    With a tear in my eye the time has come for me to move my stick hut somewhere new. I have loved working in and with the small business community and with a set of awesome partners who can complain and nag, but normally with good cause and that are more willing to say thank-you and "good job" when the time is right. To you all I take my hat off for making me feel so welcome. As a legacy we now have SBSC up and running, partner groups that support themselves, a voice into Microsoft from the smaller end of the partner community and a better understanding of the motivations of both Microsoft and our partners. We also have a new level of engagement with customers. I wish I could take credit for all of this, but I am just a figurehead for a great team of people inside Microsoft. A nice chap called Mark in the OEM team will be helping to drive Cougar knowledge through the community when the time comes (no, this is not the time yet, trust me), SBSC has been supported by Jen as many of you would have seen from...
  • Adding SBS to an existing domain

    There was a short burst on e-mail the other day about this, but I thought I would share. The situation was that someone was adding SBS to an existing domain, not a problem, but the existing domain had some trusts set up. Since SBS does not support trusts things did not go well. So, to follow up we need to remind everyone that when doing this you get a short period of time to make everything within the SBS constraints or things stop working. Details on how to do all of this are documented in the Knowledge Base (KB)article mentioned below. Here are the bones of the internal notes: You can add one SBS to an existing domain, but the SBS requirements have to be met within a certain grace period. (14 days, according to KB 884453 .) By the end of that grace period: The new SBS 2003 computer must be a domain controller that is installed on the root of the domain. The new SBS 2003 computer must hold all the Flexible Single Master Operation (FSMO) roles. The new SBS 2003 computer must be a global catalog server and must...
  • Vlad Mazek - "What is service management" and "how to avoid being hit by a truck when it is most inconvenient"

    I love Vlad's straight talking. If you get a chance read the whole of the blog entry Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Windows Server 2003 SP2 EEULA & CYA because as far as I am concerned he is preaching to the converted. I will stand by my view that Service Packs are tested as much as possible, but you need to do your own validation (see Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others thi ) to ensure that your application vendor is also happy to support their products on that service pack. If you only have MS products, check the release notes AND SUPPORT.MICROSOFT.COM as both may well have important information. I've extracted part of Vlads process to avoid a bloody head - read his post for more as people like Susan Bradley wishes she had :-) However, a part of me wonders just how heavy the rock was. You know, the one that he was under since Microsoft started releasing service packs. As painful as the above is to read, and as painful as this...
  • Would you mind joining a chat with the SBS EMEA support team they ask - I say yes, thinking it is internal, but no - on the Web "Join Microsoft SBS Experts for an Online Chat!" - Best come along then to see what advice we can offer

    OK, so this is more my fault than anyone else's, but I was asked to join a chat with the SBS EMEA team and I thought they wanted to chat about how to make things better internally, so I said yes. Then I discover that it is an external chat, with SBS people and partners. OMG!! So anyway, on July 13th around lunchtime there will be a 45 minute "ask the expert" session on all things SBS. Should be fun. Better than my 8 stints on talk sport - not knowing where the next question will come from, or what it will be about!! Join Microsoft SBS Experts for an Online Chat! [Today's tip comes to us courtesy of Karan Rustagi] Small Business Server 2003 Chat (EMEA Community) Join the Small Business Server team for questions and general discussion on SBS 2003. Bring your comments and concerns on the product and discuss them with the team. Friday, July 13, 2007 12:00 - 12:45 P.M. British Summer Time (UTC + 1 hour) 7:00 - 7:45 A.M. Eastern Time 11:00 - 11:45 GMT Join the chat room on the day of the chat: www...
  • BMS in the UK understands how to use the Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit - do you?

    I get asked about this quite a lot - so Microsoft has this thing, the "TAT". I've looked at it and it is just a bunch of questions. Yep, but you can change the questions and all the results are stored and if you know what you are doing, you can use it to build an IT strategy for your customers which means that you go back to them regularly and take their IT onto the next stage for their business. I don't think this is rocket science, but perhaps it is something that we don't do enough of - look for the opportunities in a programmatic way. Now of course, this could be a very slavish process, but at Steve says: The questions are now much more relevant to the SME market and you don’t feel so uncomfortable asking your customers. We don’t just run through all the questions one after the other but slot them in to the rest of the presentation. It feels less like the Spanish Inquisition that way! We’ve conducted several surveys so far and they don’t just have to be prospective customers. You can...
  • Do you wish there was a good list of questions to understand a customers business and technical needs? Well you had better look at the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit FAQ (and win copies of SBS 2003 R2 to sell)

    I should have blogged on this ages and ages ago, but somehow I thought everyone knew about this already. It is a set of tools (pointers to documents, Q&A recording tool, customisation tool and general web based advice) to help you sell your services by understanding the needs of your customers and share this information easily around the business. The best place to start is the FAQ page ( Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit FAQ: Toolkit Updates ), which has loads of good links - below is just the start of the good information. Also, if you do a few assessements and submit the data to Microsoft, you could earn a free copy of SBS 2003 R2 for you to do with as you will - give to your partner at home, sell to a customer, mount on the wall as the only free thing Microsoft has ever given you :-) Find comprehensive answers to your questions about how to download, install and use the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit (English only). For further information about the Windows Small...
  • Deploying Vista to many desktops from Small Business Server 2003 with SP2 (R2 or R1) using Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools

    A nice man named Zack dropped me a mail asking about the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools and "real" documentation, which led to Matt in the PTS team writing about all the great tools (see below). I then installed SP2 for Windows Server 2003 and realised that my SBS 2003 system now has the capabilities of BDD to deploy Vista desktops (in my case, pre-configured with Office 2007 too). Wow. I went and checked and the Windows Deployment Services admin controls are there on my SBS SP2 system, so you can use this information to enable PXE deployments of Windows if you want. These can include other programs such as Office and anti-virus products and also be pre-configures to join the domain etc. Business Desktop Deployment 2007 - Resources Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:43 AM by mattmcspirit For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or...

(c)David Overton 2006-20