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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  • UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center - 24th May 2011

    As many of you know, I'm getting more excited about how cloud and virtualisation will impact customers and partners.  I wanted to share details about this event on the 24th May 2011. The UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates for your datacentre & infrastructure investments. This event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever - with deep dive sessions on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, Hyper-V virtualization capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities. Join Microsoft and interact live with us, some of our key strategic partners and early adopter customers. For more information, please visit: http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/techdays-live/delivering-it-as-a-service-with-the-microsoft-private-cloud.aspx 08:30-09:30 Registration 09:30-10:00 Transforming Your Datacentre  10:00-11:00 Building The Foundation: Server Virtualization and Management...
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1...
  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows...
  • Server line-up for small businesses (and home) is increasing in options (or complexity for some) - SBS 2008, Home, Foundation, Windows Standard Server or BPOS - how do you choose?

    This is a long running question that people ask me - how to position the various server options from Microsoft for small businesses. The more choice Microsoft offers, the more complex it can become if you do not have a starting point to find the right product for a customer. So, Home Server, Foundation Server and SBS - what is it all about, especially when you look at something like Windows 7 or BPOS too? N.B. To get a detailed feature comparison between SBS 2003 and SBS 2008 have a look at the excellent work of Sean at http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/08/what-different-between-sbs-2003-and-sbs.html . Well, in the home or the smaller sized business market (think sweet spot of 1-7 users IMHO) there are a number of MS products that could fit the bill… Windows Client PC as a server (don't do this for businesses) Windows Home Server Foundation server Windows Server Small Business Server Online solution Server Options I suspect people know the options here, but here is a very short run-down on each and why...
  • It has been a while on the blog

    Well hello again, I've been away for quite some time - work has been very time consuming and two members of my family have required some dedicated attention while they have not been feeling well (and no, no swine flu). I'm hoping to start finding more time to "do" the blog and potentially a "tips and tricks" section for SBS 2008 based on my learning's to date. I do still have quite some work backlog, but I'll try to post some of the blog backlog too - I have hundreds of items to post!! See you soon - and keep the questions coming. David
  • How to encrypt backups and optionally the system disks on Windows Server 2008 and SBS 2008 and Windows Vista too

    Hi, someone asked in the forums how if the backups on SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2008 were encrypted and the answer is no, even if the drives being backed up are BitLocker protected ( more details here ). However you can get encrypted backups with a bit of effort. To do this you will need to at least BitLocker enable your removable drives and optionally your system disk. I used the information at http://blogs.msdn.com/askdavid/archive/2007/06/08/enabling-bitlocker-on-removable-drives-usb-flash-drives-usb-hard-drives.aspx as a guide to putting together what I needed to do, so many thanks David Chandra for this. This same process can also be used on Windows Vista There are a couple of snags however and you need to work out which scenario you wish to have (if you have a TPM chip then option 2 & 3 can be replaced with entering a key into the TPM prompt: encrypt just the backup disks you will need to run a script each time a volume is added back to the system encrypt the system disk and the backup disks and you...
  • 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...
  • Windows 7 and VHDs – it can mount them and can even be installed into one and booted from!

    Windows 7 is the theme while I am away and thought I would share this little nugget with you. Windows 7 has a lovely feature where it can mount and read / write VHD virtual hard disks. Now this is good, but you can create one and install Windows 7 inside it. You can then boot it up as normal, but it is portable at this point, so it is easy to backup, copy or examine on another system. How to do this… well, look here - http://www.iishacks.com/index.php/2009/01/11/install-and-boot-windows-7-beta-or-windows-server-2008-r2-beta-on-vhd ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , VHD , Windows Server 2008 R2 , Microsoft
  • Hyper-V Security and Management from Windows 7

    [modified 2/11/09 with new link] I’ve seen two Hyper-V announcements this week. One is about the new Security Guide and the other is how to manage Hyper-V from Windows 7. Security Guide Hyper-V Security Guide–Beta Now Available! Are your customers concerned about attacks on their virtualized servers? Help them secure their virtual environments with the Hyper-V Security Guide. The Hyper-V Security Guide , now under development, has tested guidance and best practices to boost the security of virtualized Windows Server environments. Want an advance look at this free guide? Join the beta program. Then bookmark this link to the program site to get the latest information about upcoming events. Hyper-V Management from Windows 7 This is something that caught me out. The Hyper-V Management tools for Vista do not load on Windows 7, but tools have been published. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d and install this. Then go to...
  • 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."...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Hyper-V Management console stops working after a month or so with error “Cannot connect to the RPC service on Computer ‘xxx’. Make sure your RPC service is running.

    [updated with net accounts command 20/2/2009] This can help diagnose and resolve the issue if like me, it was running fine and then it suddenly stops about 4-5 weeks after it all got started. My initial thought was that some update had changed things as the blog post here documented the initial setup where the same error was seen. The error once again looked like this: However checking all the same firewall and other settings revealed nothing. Finally I discovered that the user I had created had a password setting that meant the password had expired. Simple, yet checking from the command line is a right royal pain. To fix, these were the commands I used: net user <username> “<new or existing passsword>” /active:yes /expires:never /passwordchg:no net accounts /maxpwage:unlimited Simple, yet the cause of so much time trying to fix. Hopefully this will solve it for you too. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Hyper-V , Error , User , Password
  • 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...
  • How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V, how to install RAID Management tools and how to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD

    Once I had built my Hyper-V Server I still had a few to resolve.  I thought I had better document the solutions I found to my 3 disk related problems from this entry . So the 3 issues covered are: How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V How to install RAID Management tools How to shrink a non-Dynamic VHD How to get an existing disk to be available inside Hyper-V (called a pass-through disk) Just to give you some background, I was moving a non-VM OS inside a Hyper-V system.  I had created the VM, but I could not get it to just “boot” from the old boot disk – the disk was not showing.  I’d read that this type of disk was a pass-through (or pass-thru) disk, but I could not find out how to configure it easily.  The solution turned out to be very simple.  Run DISKPART on the Hyper-V server, identify the disk and mark it offline.  It would then appear in the list of disks that could be installed.  What is more, if I ran out of disks I could install a SCSI controller...
  • How to resolve errors like "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running" with Hyper-V Server and Hyper-V Manager

    In my last post on installing Hyper-V for my home setup I said I had a number of issues.  One was that the Hyper-V Manager kept on showing the error "Cannot connect to the RPC service, make sure your RPC service is running".  This turned out to be several issues. To start with my Hyper-V box is in a workgroup, so security is manually configured.  Then there is the connection ID security - by hand and finally there is the client setup too.  I spent a long time with John Howard's blog which got me the following commands for the Hyper-V server: netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)" new enable=yes netsh advfirewall firewall set rule  name="Remote Administration (RPC-EPMAP)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall set rule name="Remote Administration (NP-In)" new enable=yes profile=domain netsh advfirewall firewall...
  • Getting up and running with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, including getting my external SATA drives working, adding network drivers, enabling the remote management tools

    [updated 7th Dec 2008 with links to more answers] It has been a while since I posted on the blog - I've been writing a book and installing and upgrading SBS 2008 a few times. I decided that rather than have a bundle of servers under my desk I would buy one large server (well, quad core anyway) and run my operating systems using Hyper-V server. Let's start with the ingredients that you will need: Download Hyper-V Server - http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/how-to-get.mspx Hyper-V Configuration Guide - Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 Configuration Guide Hyper-V Getting Started Guide - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=26426203-DE3C-4D74-851E-4E1388A81D5F&displaylang=en Download Management Tool (you probably only need one of the below) Vista 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Vista 64-bit - Download the Update for Windows Vista (KB952627) package now Server 2008 32-bit - Download the Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB950050), 32-bit...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17