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...
  • Where to buy Small Business Server 2008, Installing, Migrating and Configuring book

    I've had a few people ask where they can buy my book so I thought I would lay out the options. You can always purchase both the book and / or the e-book from Packt Publishing at this address however for those who wish to buy elsewhere, you can. Book or eBook Free shipping! US, UK, Europe & selected Asian countries This is the RAW book (Read as Written). More Information here To buy or pre-order, click here Book and eBook. Pre-order now! Print only price £27.89 save 10% eBook only price £13.19 save 40% Amazon in UK Amazon in USA Anywhere in the world Anywhere in the world I hope you enjoy the book. For a brief summary of the chapters go here and you can preview a chapter from the book here -(Sample Chapter 4 Installing SBS 2008 and Connecting to the Internet [2.0 MB]) . If you wish to request a copy to review, look at the Request a Review Copy page. I have now embarked on my 2nd book project and you can find out more about it here - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2011/08/27/windows...
  • 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
  • Citrix Access Essentials, SBS 2008, EBS 2008 and you - Birmingham, 10th Feb

    As many of you know I work with Citrix in the UK. While their product is not appropriate for 100% of the SBS & EBS market, if you would like to know more about the opportunity when you are a Citrix Partner and specifically about Access Essentials for SBS and EBS, you should attend this event. There is also a great prize too :-) If you want to see a blog all about Citrix then look at their official blog here and if you want to see someone in the community talking about his area then look at Brian Madden's info here. www.citrixpartneraccelerator.co.uk Find out how your business could join the fast lane in 2009 by becoming a Citrix partner. It's an exciting time to be part of the Citrix Partner Network™: in the last year we launched new virtualisation solutions, expanded our partnerships with the world's top hardware and software vendors and added new incentives to channel programmes. At our Citrix Partner Accelerator event, you'll learn how these investments could help you develop your...
  • 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...
  • Internet Explorer security vulnerability fix now available – think of it as an early Christmas present… now about Firefox’s 3 issues this week…

    I think everyone knows that an urgent security issue has arisen in IE this week and Microsoft has taken the (wise) decision to publish a fix outside the normal 2nd Tuesday release cycle. Some have said switch browser because of this issue, but not only can that be complex, but most browsers suffer security issues so once again the only real protection is to wrap in cotton wool and hide. Or, use the built in features of Vista and IE7/8 which means protected mode and NOT running as admin. You might ask why a Christmas present? Well, if this continued un-patched then your information is seriously at risk and that would make for a very bad Christmas if your credit card information was stolen!! Either way, if you have IE on your systems then you will need to update your systems urgently. Of course, my Hyper-V server (or Windows Core for that matter) don’t have IE, so no updates for them!!! Just for completeness, here is the information from the Technet newsletter Internet Explorer Security Update I wanted to...
  • Important Microsoft security update – update your machines now!

    DavidOverton.com rebooted today due to an emergency security update – an “out of band” release from the normal “patch Tuesday” process.  It is worth considering updating and reboot your computers and servers asap.   More information on this can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS08-067.mspx .  Impacted systems below:   Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Service Pack 3 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Remote Code Execution Critical MS06-040 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Remote Code Execution Critical None Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Remote...
  • 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...
  • Small Business Server 2008 downgrade rights questions and answers

    Last night I was at the Merseyside Partner group in Liverpool and once question that got asked again (and was in TPV and London too) was around downgrade rights from SBS 2008 to SBS 2003, so I dug for about 30 seconds and found these items on the Licensing FAQ site Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 : Q: What are downgrade rights? How do I exercise them? A: Downgrade rights, in general, means that you can use an earlier version of the software acquired. For Windows Small Business Server, this means you are allowed to install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Premium Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition, which is what you purchased. You can also install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition. At any time, you can install the software you purchased and cease to use the earlier version. If you obtained your server with Windows Small Business Server preinstalled from a partner...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Upgrade Windows Search to Version 4.0 and improve your PC (for Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2008)

    If you have have Office 2007 or a Windows Vista or Windows Desktop Search (WDS) then you probably have V2.6 or V3 of this fantastic search product. Version 4 has a wealth of updates, but most importantly, is more stable and faster. One of the things I love about this is that if you put this on a client and server, and then search a network share, if the contents are indexed on the server then WDS uses the remote index to search, making it super fast. It can even be used with SBS 2003 / 2008 to speed up access to the shares there too. Description of Windows Search 4.0 and the Multilingual User Interface Pack for Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 Windows Search 4.0 lets you perform an instant search of your computer. Windows Search 4.0 helps you find and preview documents, e-mail messages, music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote...
  • EBS 2208 and SBS 2008 Upgrades & Migrations from SBS 2003 and SBS / EBS 2008

    I saw over on Nicholas's blog post - Nicholas King : EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations that he has started to answer some of the questions around system upgrades and migrations. Below are some snippets of key information he has shared. Read his blog post for more. However, key thoughts for me are: 1) no in box SBS 2003 -> SBS 2008 upgrades. This is a box to box migration process. If you have SA or FPP copies of SBS 2003 then you can potentially do a P2V and then migrate from the virtual image. If not, I would consider running a VM of Windows Server to enable you to move the domain at least 2) Moving from one box to another (eg hardware upgrades in the future) are now supported. This can potentially be used to go from a RC0 build to RTM, but it is not tested or supported, however that does not mean it will not work!! 3) There is a GREAT document linked below that describes a migration in glorious detail EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations Recently I had several people ask me whether it is possible or supported...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • How to get DNS and DHCP working on a Windows Server from behind the Windows Firewall

    I have a Windows Home Server at home and I decided I wanted it to be responsible for handing out DHCP and DNS addresses in the house. All very good, but when I set up the services none of it worked because of the built in Windows Firewall. While I could have just turned off the Firewall I decided to learn how to put the holes into the firewall to make it work with the firewall, thus maintaining better security. A quick search of the web showed me many settings, but it did not seem to cover the whole picture – then I came across the MS site Windows Firewall Settings which has things broken down into these four handy sections that shall for ever more be my guides to ports and firewalls in the Microsoft world. What is more, as you will see later, the tips in here as to how to get things working, getting over common hurdles is quite stunning too: Windows Firewall Settings: Optional Components Windows Firewall Settings: Remote Administration Tools Windows Firewall Settings: Server Roles Windows Firewall Settings: Services...
  • 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...
  • Are you a “Wizard bigot”? So you think that SBS is a poor quality, cut down version of Windows Server? Do you think that SBS admins are small in capability?

    Unfortunately there are people who answer yes to the questions above, so lets get some things straight – if you think that: SBS is bad. There were dark days in the SBS 4.5 and 2000 time (to a small extent) when people thought SBS did not work, did not perform and was clobbered down with stuff that made people hate it. Now Days SBS 2003 is amazing and is built on top of Windows Server 2003 with lots of good stuff extra too. SBS is insecure . SBS is not only as secure as Windows Server 2003, but since most of the work of securing the system is done for you, it stops you missing silly and obvious things. SBS 2003 R2 even ships with WSUS enabled and a system for telling you if your systems are patched (yes, desktop and server). For a fun look, see Hack That! Wizards are for wimps . I don’t understand those people who insist on not using the wizards. Yes, SBS 2003 has all the tools of Windows Server 2003 underneath, but why why configure everything by hand when a wizard will do 1/2 hours work in 1 minutes. If you then...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17