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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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  • How to create a VPN on Windows Vista to connect to a Windows Server, such as SBS 2008

    I was going to include this in the book, but decided it was not quite the right subject matter, so I've decided to post it on the blog. SBS 2003 had a pre-defined tool for VPNs. The tool exists in SBS 2008 to produce the same tool, but you have to configure it by hand. This is covered in this blog entry here . If you are on a client machine and you need create a VPN connection, or you are a user and want to create a VPN on Windows Vista, follow this guide. Start at the Start menu . Press the Connect To button to start the process. You will be told that you are already connected to a network, but you will need to create a new connection. Do this by selecting the Set up a connection or Network option and press Connect . In the Choose a connection option screen, select the Connect to a workplace option and press Next . Now select Use my Internet connection (VPN) . The Internet address is that for your remote server. If you are using Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) this will likely be "remote."...
  • 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...
  • SBS 2008 backup under Hyper-V R2 gets dynamically swappable drives and what else is coming in Hyper-V 2008 R2

    I saw this and thought I would share it. Hyper-V R2, which is in beta already supports hot add/remove of drives, so native SBS 2008 Backup will work as youcan now dynamically add and remove those USB drives and they can be configured as pass-through disks so you will not have to create VHDs on them. Other interesting features for me were the live migration and huge memory support , all in the free version along with the management console! Hyper-V R2 BETA is available to test here . There is also an overview document that can be found here . In the overview document is the summary of Hyper-V as shipping today and the products as of tomorrow: Capabilities Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 R2 EE, DC Processor Architecture x64 only Yes Yes Yes Hypervisor-based Yes Yes Yes Product Type Standalone product Standalone product Operating System Number of Sockets (Licensing) Up to 4 Up to 8 Up to 8 = EE | Up to 64 = DC Number of cores supported by the hypervisor 24 (with...
  • 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 ( [email protected] ) 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...
  • David Overton's first book - Installing and Configuring SBS 2008, including migration from SBS 2003

    [updated 5th May 2009] Hi, If you are interested in ordering a copy, click here and you will be taken through to the Packt Publishing ordering page, with a choice of electronic (e-book in for form of a PDF) or Softback traditional book or both available for immediate shipment . If you are interested in other locations, click here . For a small amount of information on each chapter, see the items below. Introductions Introduction to SBS 2008 Preparing to migrate from SBS 2003 Installing SBS 2008 and connecting to the Internet Migrating systems and settings from SBS 2003 Migrating email from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 Migrating the CompanyWeb SharePoint site Migrating users and data from SBS 2003 Configuring your services Securing your server Managing users and their computers Working with SBS Services as a user Introduction to SBS 2008 management The chapter flow is well described by this picture: To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration...
  • SBS 2008 Forefront Virus protection for e-mail Errors or Warnings - “At least one of the engines enabled for update has not been updated in the last week” – how to solve

    My SBS 2008 installation is pretty good, but one area I’ve noticed some problems was with ForeFront. I either had errors or at best warnings all the time about the scan engines. I would go and hit a manual update, but the bar would be 30-90% across and suddenly stop. When I looked in the event log I could see errors like these below. Searching the internet delivered me the KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939411/en-us which talks about timeout issues, however even with the recommended change things did not resolve themselves. Source: GetEngineFiles Event ID: 6014 Level: Error Description: Microsoft Forefront Server Security encountered an error while performing a scan engine update. Scan Engine: AhnLab Update Path: http://forefrontdl.microsoft.com/server/scanengineupdate/x86/AhnLab Proxy Settings: Disabled Error Code: 0xC0001F58 Description: The operation timed out. Source: Microsoft Forefront Security Event ID: 7003 Level: Warning Description: Not all of the selected engines enabled for updates...
  • 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...
  • How to size the hardware required for SBS 2008

    This question has been asked many times and was once again asked today on an internal forum.  It is hard to come up with an explicit answer, but I feel I can give you some (personal, non-binding, your mileage may vary, please take with a pinch of salt and don’t sue me) opinions.  For SBS 2003 the non-scientific sizing appeared to go like this: “between 2 & 4GB of RAM, depending on number of users”.  I often saw a machine for around 25 users with 4GB of RAM and there was headroom. Disk – don’t buy 1.5TB disks, but don’t by 30GB either.  Buy largish and try to size data before you make the decision 1 CPU or 2, or perhaps more importantly, a box that can take 1 CPU or 2? The the time SBS 2008 arrived the difference in cost of a 2GB or 4GB box was trivial.  Now SBS 2008, if you want to be scientific about it would look something like this: Minimum specs are found at http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx Think Windows Server 2008 for x users, plus Exchange sizing for...
  • SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 forklift upgrade resulted in 50% cpu utilisation (& resolution) – aka SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 SQL Application Move

    I’ve recently moved the database behind DavidOverton.com (also uksbsguy.com) from a Windows Server 2003 system with SQL 2005 to Windows Server 2008 with SQL 2008.  This would be the same process if you were potentially performing a migration from SBS 2003 with SQL 2005 to SBS 2008 Premium with SQL 2008 (or SQL 2005, but the performance issue only happens with SQL 2008). The process was amazingly simple: Stop the database on the Windows 2003 system Copy the datafiles, errorlogs, logs etc to the new system Install SQL 2008 on the new system, creating an instance by the same name Modify the registry to point to my new files (details here ) Start SQL 2008 Obviously I had to do some IIS stuff (create a new site) and install and redirect my logging software (WhosOn), but overall it went very well. Or so I thought until I noticed that my normally nominal CPU utilisation had gone bananas.  One of the SQL 2008 new and improved features is the Server Activity History which makes it very easy to pinpoint problems...
  • Invalid certificate issued to localhost.localdomain when remotely access SBS 2008 from a Windows PC

    This is another question I was recently asked. One particular user noticed that the certificate they saw when accessing their server from the internet did not match that when accessing from the LAN. The certificate looked something like this: This was a little strange as when the system was accessed from the intranet, all things appeared fine. The culprit for them was the SBS 2003 self signed certificate on the same machine. By removing the certificate and then installing the correct new one things got better. To remove the old certificate, start MMC.exe and accept the UAC prompt. Now press Ctrl+M to add a new snap-in and select Certificates and when asked, add for the user account . The do the same again, but select Certificates and Computer Account and hit OK to accept the current computer. Now expand out Personal Certificates and remove any SBS 2003 self signed certificates. To load the new certificates open a browser inside your SBS 2008 network and point to http://companyweb/Lists/Announcements/DispForm.aspx...
  • Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too

    [updated with “roll your own” information and how to make a 32-bit version of the exe file] I love it when people challenge me to solve a question and today’s prize goes to Simon (thank-you for the questions Simon) who asked me where Connection Manager was on SBS 2008? You remember Connection Manager right, to auto configure the VPNs… Well, the instructions in SBS 2008 are a little less simple. Rather than downloading a pre-configured tool you now need to roll your own. The reasoning, which is quite sound, is that you can access almost everything via the Remote Web Workplace, but for some things, you want a VPN and the way to get it can be found here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc513974.aspx If you want to create a Connection Manager Install for SBS 2008 you need to add the CMAK to the SBS 2008 install. Go to Server Manager and click to add a feature. Install the CMAK by pressing Next. To start the kit, go to the Start Menu, Administrator Tools and then select Connection...
  • London 2008 - SMB Nation – 5th December 2008

    It has been a while since I’ve spoken about Harry Brelsford, but he was one of the founding lights in SBS and partners.  I’ve attended and presented at several of his events and he is back in the UK on the 5th December.  If you have the time, given the cost is $200, so not a huge amount, come along. London 2008 SMB Nation Europe 2008 - Conference Information Featuring an ''independent'' Small Business Server 2008 event! Speakers: • Harry Brelsford (Bio at www.smbnation.com) • Jeff Middleton (Bio at www.sbsmigration.com) Location: Microsoft London (Cardinal Place) 100 Victoria Street London SW1E 5JL Delegate Registration HERE for SMB Nation Europe Agenda: December 5, 2008 – Microsoft Central London 8:30am-9:30am Delegate Registration 9:30am – 10:00am Microsoft Introduction 10am – Noon How SBS 2008 Saved The Economy (Brelsford) Noon – 1:30pm Lunch and HP (Essential Business Server, HP Partner Program) 1:30pm – 3:00pm Migration Techniques for 2008 (Middleton) 3:00-3:30 Come see how Autotask...
  • Virtualisation Adoption Survey - if you are using virtualisation (from anyone), tell Virtualisation.info

    A Quick note - there has been lots of comments recently on who's virtualisation has what share of the market. I've just installed Microsoft Hyper-V server up and running with 3 VMs inside it (HomeServer, SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2003) and I expect a couple of small desktops too before long. Anyway, rather than just guessing, why not fill in Virtualization.info's survey? It took me about 45 seconds to complete at virtualization.info's Virtualization Adoption Surveys . I'll post on how I got everything working after I've got the next chapter of the book done. Should be 4 chapters done by the end of this weekend, although I'm behind a few pictures :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Virtualisation , Virtualization , SBS 2008 , Survey , virtualization.info
  • 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...
  • Nick King – Microsoft corp SBS God in the UK on 7th November!!

    Hopefully you have seen this elsewhere, but if not….. 7 th November 2008, Reading: TechNet Exclusive! Hear from the guy that brought you Microsoft’s enterprise computing to small and medium businesses An exclusive opportunity to meet Nicholas King, Technical Product Manager from Microsoft Corporation before the launch of the  Windows Essential server solutions offerings, Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 on November 12 th . Hear Nicholas and Jamie Burgess  advise on why these solutions have been created and why it is still important to invest in solution infrastructure in  economic uncertainty. With the assistance of Jamie they will go into some technical detail around the two products that make up Windows essential server Solutions. 1. Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is an all-in-one server solution designed to help you keep your data more secure and your company more productive. It provides many of the features used by larger companies, such as e-mail, Internet...
  • SBS 2008 now available for download on MSDN

    Hi there folks, so following on from my recent post on the fact that SBS 2008 has released to manufacturing (which means it will be in the shops soon), I saw today that SBS 2008 is now available to download from MSDN : I did notice that there is currently a slight mis-print in that it appears there are two disks for the x86 Windows Server 2008 disk, where as the 2nd one is actually the x64 disk (as noted in the ISO number).   It is also worth stating that for SBS 2008, to remove any issues around “Compatibility”, for those applications that are fussy, simply run them on the premium server which is Server 2008, so runs anything that you could run on Server 2008.   Go grab if you can’t wait to get it any other way … note that you only need disk 1 to install, but the rest to understand recovery and Premium solutions.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBS , Small Business Server 2008 , Small Business , Developer , MSDN , Partners , Microsoft , Download , SBS 2008
  • Just in case you missed it SBS 2008: Released to Manufacturing and date for launch set

    I know I am very, very, very behind the times on  this, but just in case you missed it …  This means that SBS Cougar is now completely done and now a 100% SBS 2008!! The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008: Released to Manufacturing! On behalf of the SBS team, I am extremely pleased to announce that Windows Small Business Server 2008 software has been finalized! Today both SBS Standard and Premium are being released to manufacturing, which means we begin the process of finalizing international versions, creating media, building packaging, delivering the product to distribution channels and handing it off to our OEM partners, so it will be widely available by our November 12 launch. (More information about launch will come in the future.) <snipped> We invested in a number of different areas for this release; here’s the big picture of the themes and features in SBS 2008: For IT managers and technology consultants:  · Microsoft’s newest server technologies: Powerful and more secure infrastructure that...
  • How long is the grace period on SBS 2008 (how long can you evaluate SBS 2008 without entering a product key)

    I saw this one come up internally and externally, so I thought I would share the answer.  Remember that SBS 2008 is built on Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2008 (for the premium edition).  This means that you are bound by the limits of those products.  For SBS Standard this is Windows Server 2008, which is 60 days that can be extended to up to 240 days using the rearm process documented in the KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948472 . SQL2008 has a trial period of 180 days, so if your evaluating SBS 2008 Premium edition you are limited by that.   ttfn   David Technorati Tags: SQL 2008 , Windows Server 2008 , SBS 2008 , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft , Eval , Evaluation , Trial
  • SBS 2008 & EBS 2008 – Virtualisation Webcast

    You can access the webcast at https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=249912# As a quick recap, Microsoft see’s virtualisation as more than than just machine virtualisation.  In the Microsoft, virtualisation is split into: Presentation Virtualisation – What would have previously been known as Terminal Services Application Virtualisation (App-V) – Where applications are “streamed” to your desktop or terminal services presentation without being installed Machine Virtualisation (Desktop aka VDI or Server) – what most people think of as “Virtualisation” Virtualisation will be supported in for a set of scenarios with SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  The first thing to understand is that the primary node has a large load on it and is not an ideal candidate to act as a host for virtual machines.  You also need to understand that the host can’t really be part of the domain if the primary node of SBS is virtualised on it as there are all sorts of nasty issues around dependency...
  • I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book … and it is “in progress”

    I know this is a bit early, but I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book.  I aiming it at those who are not super dooper IT experts, along the lines of the level I blog at, with more explanation for some areas.  I’m awaiting final comments from a solicitor and then hopefully I can sign the contract and then it is count down.  I hope to have finished the book by January, but that might be a bit optimistic!!   I’ll update you as I progress with the book.  If anyone wants to share thoughts, your always welcome, although I can’t promise things will get incorporated.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Book , Personal , Microsoft , Small Business Server 2008
  • Back to blogging on SBS 2008, Microsoft, Developer “stuff” and anything that interests me, including Star Wars!

    Well, I seem to have taken quite a break over the last couple of months.  Towards the end of the financial year I found myself cutting contracts right to the wire, including working with the legal teams until the small hours of the morning to get the orders in.  After that came two trips to the US – Houston for WPC and Atlanta for a Microsoft internal event.  At both these events I spoke with several members of the WESS team (Windows Essential Server Solution) about SBS 2008, licensing, usage scenarios, messaging and many other things.  The good news is that fantastic progress was being made and has continued.  I’m not sure I’m going to have anything gripe about come the launch!! I’ve also had some holiday too, in the UK and I have to say, without much sunlight Now I’m stuck in the “start of year” work, but I think I need to start shooting off quick entries. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Star Wars , Microsoft , Personal
  • SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 and the Action Pack

    I’ve been asked many, many times “Will Small Business Server 2008 or Essential Business Server 2008” be in the Action Pack. The simple answer is “ YES” . As to when, well that depends on the RTM of the actual products, however, we’re trying to get them in as early as possible. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Action Pack , SBSC , Microsoft , SBS 2008 , EBS 2008 , Partners , Support and Tools
  • 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...

(c)David Overton 2006-21