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Vol. 20, #21 - May 25, 2015 - Issue #1031
This week we look at a bunch of stuff including health issues associated with WiFi networks, hard drive recommendations and warnings, nested hypervisors in the next version of Hyper-V, and more. We also have some cool tips, recommended tools, and lots of other stuff--all in this week's issue of WServerNews.
While being constantly bathed in electromagnetic radiation emanating from WiFi access points may be a health concern for some individuals, one has to ask whether an even greater hazard might be lurking right under our noses--or rather next to our ears. I'm talking about cellphone radiation, which as this Dilbert comic strip illustrates can have terrifying consequences, especially if a maintenance worker is around:
A reader from France asked us the following question:
What are your suggestions/recommendations for storing emails so that you can retrieve and review them? The size of my Microsoft outlook folders range between 3m and 20m KB.
I asked for further details and the reader replied:
My objective is to substantially reduce the size of Outlook so it is quicker and still have the ability to retrieve any archived emails as needed. How and where can archived emails be stored so they are still accessible but without going on cloud storage? Currently my Windows operating system is 8.2 and Microsoft Outlook 2010.
I asked whether this was one computer or many, whether Exchange Server was involved or just a mail server at an Internet Service Provider, whether PST files are being used, and so on. The reader replied:
One computer. Using mail server at Internet Service Provider. PST files.
I said I'd toss this one out to our readers to try and answer as I couldn't think of anything better to say than use a PC with a fast processor and SSD drives.
Does anyone have any more suggestions for this reader? Email us at email@example.com
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week in Issue #1030 Supporting Java in the enterprise, we mentioned that many organizations are wary about running Java applications because of ongoing security concerns with the platform, and we included some comments we had received from several readers on this matter. A reader named Jeffrey reached out to us with some additional thoughts as follows:
One aspect of Java management not addressed is the presence of multiple private Java JREs on one systems. While there may be a system-wide Java installation for use with browsers and applets, each application that relies on Java (for example, Open Office or Oracle Database Server) might install its own private copy of Java. Depending on the version of the application installed (particularly legacy applications), there may be multiple series of Java installed (i.e., Java 1.4.x, 1.5.x, 1.6.x), all of which need to be updated. While Oracle provides free support for Java 1.7 (7.x) and 1.8 (8.x), if the vendor is no longer supporting the application, the older versions require a special Java subscription (for third party applications) or Oracle support (for Oracle applications) to obtain the current patched versions in these series. Even if an administrator knows every instance of Java on a system (a BIG if), updating of Java (even within a series) requires testing and might cause functional or performance issues. You may recall that several years ago, Oracle discovered a floating point error in the then current versions of Java. In response, Oracle released a tool to identify all versions installed on a particular system and patch vulnerable versions. Hopefully, administrators have tools to identify all versions of Java installed on a system in most organization, but may not have such tools in smaller organizations. In any case, patching may still be problematic, particularly for legacy applications and critical applications that require extensive testing of new Java versions prior to operational deployment. And this is not just a theoretical consideration. I supported a large organization where this was a continuous issue, because of multiple servers, each installed with multiple Java-based applications (particularly legacy applications, some of which were Oracle, and some of which were third party), and the regular updates of Java released by Oracle.
And now on to the various topics of this week's newsletter...
So the other day we reconfigured our offices and as a result the desk I use for most of my writing work is now about one meter from one of our WiFi access points. Should I be worried? If this recent article in The Telegraph has any validity then this might be something I should be concerned about:
We who work in IT (and a lot of us who don't directly work in IT but utilize IT resources and services in our daily job) often use wireless networks and are therefore constantly being exposed to various amounts of electromagnetic radiation. While studies in general have discounted the danger of such exposure, some of us continue to be worried about whether long-term exposure to low levels of EMR could possibly have some impact on our health.
For example, most of us who use WiFi at home have a few areas where the WiFi reception is spotty due to signal absorption, interference and/or poor positioning of your router. While one might be tempted to install a WiFi extender or signal booster to correct such a problem, if one has kids one will probably think twice about doing this since WiFi health issues are of greater concern when it comes to children.
How do our readers view this whole matter? Do you have any helpful research or personal experience you can share with our IT community to help us better assess the potential level of risk they we be incurring either at work or home? Email us your comments at email@example.com
Everything seems to be junk nowadays. This can be a big problem when you're buying technology for your business. The last thing you want to do is have a hard drive fail in your workstation or server, so this article on BackBlaze from a few months back summarizing their hard drive failure rates for 2014 is something you may want to pay attention to:
The main takeaways from this article seem to be that 4 TB drives are great while 3 TB drives are not so great, with the current crop of 4 TB drives from HGST and Seagate coming out on top. Backblaze followed this up with an article that tried to dissect the reasons for the high failure rates they experienced with 3 TB drives:
They also have a face-off article on 6 TB drives here:
If any of our readers have their own thoughts (or links to other studies) on hard drive reliability, you can share your comments with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wouldn't it be nice if you could enable the Hyper-V role in a Windows Server virtual machine running on a Hyper-V host? If you could do that they you could play around with Hyper-V clusters on a single physical machine. That would be great for learning purposes, both for students pursuing various Microsoft certifications but also for IT pros who want to learn more about Windows Server technologies like Failover Clustering. It would be also fantastic for tech trainers as it would enable them to demo clustered Hyper-V hosts on a single high-powered laptop!
Well it just might be coming with the next version of Windows Server as Hans Vredevoort reports in this article on hyper-v.nu:
The big question of course is whether nested Hyper-V will also be available on the client version i.e. on Windows 10 because that way you could use Client Hyper-V for your demos instead of needing to install Windows Server 2016 on your laptop.
So how can we encourage Microsoft to make nested Hyper-V a feature in Windows 10? By adding your own voice on this matter to the following thread on UserVoice:
Are you interested trying out Desired State Configuration (DSC), the new management platform in Windows PowerShell that lets you deploy and manage configuration data for software services and manage the environment in which these services run? The DSC Resource Kit is a collection of experimental DSC Resources plus some sample configurations that have been created by the PowerShell Team and designed to help you get started learning how to use DSC. You can use these resources and samples to configure Active Directory, SQL Server, IIS, Hyper-V, Remote Desktop, and more. Get the latest wave of this Resource Kit from the TechNet Script Gallery here:
Finally this week in the realm of the weird and wonderful I have to report that in my ramblings across the Net this week I actually stumbled across a working GOPHER site being hosted by a department of a university in the USA. Most of the files in the site date from around 1994 but one of them was actually dated 25 April 2015 so it seems the site is still in use...at least by one of the professors in the department. If you want to take a look you can click the Text Archives link on this page:
I wonder how many other GOPHER sites are still around? It would be fun to crawl down a few more of these holes and see if any critters down there are still alive...
Got feedback about anything in this newsletter? Let us know at email@example.com
Microsoft Press recently released a free ebook called Windows 10 for IT Professionals, Preview Edition by Ed Bott. You can read more about it here on the Microsoft Press blog:
Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
May 26: Introduction to Microsoft Power BI
Register here to learn how to data insights into focus! Experts from the Microsoft BI engineering and marketing teams explore the many helpful features and capabilities of this cloud-based analytics service, for business users, Business Intelligence (BI) Analysts, BI and IT Pros, and Devs.
June 2-3: Getting Started with Azure Security for the IT Professional
Do you want to extend your organization's infrastructure, but need reassurance about cloud security? Register now for this free course to get the information and confidence you need. Rick Claus and a team of experts demystify security in Microsoft Azure in this informative, demo-filled course. Explore datacenter operations, virtual machine (VM) configuration, network architecture, and more.http://www.wservernews.com/go/1432378112562
This white paper details three critical steps for maintaining compliance with external regulations and internal security policies: assess the environment and controls; audit and alert on unapproved user activity; and develop remediation procedures.
It then goes on to discuss four key external regulations that are driving companies to prepare for an IT compliance audit. Finally, we discuss the best practices for implementing a compliance solution that will minimize stress during an organization's next IT compliance audit.
"Technology is a word that describes something that doesn't work yet." --Douglas AdamsUntil next week,
Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE is a standalone solution for backup of your physical computers. At no cost, you can protect your home or work Windows-based desktops, laptops and tablets. Download now!
inSSIDer lets you visualize your wireless environment so you can configure your router settings for optimal Wi-Fi performance.
FreeFileSync is a free backup program you can use to synchronize files and folders.
WinMerge lets you compare folders and files by presenting differences in a visual text format.
This week we have tips on configuring Microsoft Outlook so you can know more about who the recipients were for an email you received, about how to properly run a DHCP server on a domain controller, and about how to request a new feature for the next version of Windows Server.
Yes it can! Scott Bueffel, a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) at Microsoft pointed me to a very old KB article on Outlook 2000 which I'm told still works on the most recent versions of Outlook. The KB is titled "OL2000: User-Defined Field Shows How E-mail Is Addressed" and can be found here:
If you follow the steps in this email you can create a new field you can use to add a new column to a folder view that will tell you how each message in that folder view was sent to you. The value displayed in that field and its meaning will be as follows:
The message was sent only to you
The message was sent to you and also to others
The message was cc'd only to you
The message was cc'd to you and also to others
You were either bcc'd on the message or it was sent to a distribution list (DL) to which you belong
Here's a screenshot from Scott to illustrate what this might look like:
Scott also personally modified the formula in that KB article to add two additional options:
The message was sent to you but was also cc'd to others
The message was sent to you and to others and was also cc'd to others
Here is the Scott's modified formula:
IIf([To]="E-mail User" And [Cc] Like "?*","To+",IIf([To]="E-mail User","To",IIf(InStr(1,[To],"E-mail User",1) And [Cc] Like "?*","(To)+",IIf(InStr(1,[To],"E-mail User",1),"(To)",IIf([Cc]="E-mail User","CC",IIf(InStr(1,[Cc],"E-mail User",1),"(CC)","Alias"))))))
Note that the above formula should be entered into Field Chooser as a single long line of text.
And while you're at it you might want to check out the Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms blog on TechNet for lots more terrific tips, tricks and insights into different Microsoft products and technologies:
It's standard practice in Active Directory environments to run a DNS server on a domain controller, but what about running a DHCP server on a domain controller? This is often done in lab environments but are there any concerns about doing it in a production environment? I asked some guys I know at Microsoft and they pointed me to this oldie but goodie blog post on the StdQry blog on TechNet:
You should read that post before you consider running a DHCP server on a domain controller in your production environment.
Do you have a suggestion or new feature you'd like to see in the next version of Windows Server? You can submit your suggestion to the Windows Server forum on UserVoice:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 12-16 in Orlando, Florida USA
AWS re:Invent on October 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Microsoft TechDays 2015 on May 28-29 in the Hague, Netherlands
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact email@example.com
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
AWS Identity and Access Management (Part 1) (InsideAWS.com)
Archiving Data to Amazon AWS (Part 1) (InsideAWS.com)
Configuring Internal Load Balancing in Microsoft Azure (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Managing Your Microsoft Azure Active Directory Instance (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Sharing the Load – Securely (WindowSecurity.com)
5 Critical Settings Not Available in the Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010 Management Console (ISAserver.org)
16 Tips to Optimize Exchange 2013 (Part 4) (MSExchange.org)
DKIM and DMARC in Office 365 (Part 2) (MSExchange.org)
Different scenarios for using Prestaged content (ConfigMgrDogs)
Azure OpInsights: Collecting Text Log Files with a custom PowerShell Script (Weo Out There with System Center)
Revisiting Compliance in the Cloud: Is it Risky Business? (Part 5)
Getting Started with AWS (Part 7)
Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.6 (Part 1)
Developing and Assessing your DLP Strategy (Part 2)
Sneak Preview: Meet the Network Controller
Many of today's organizations remain skeptical about using the public cloud, primarily due to the understandable security concerns. Fortunately, security testing tools and a sound strategy can effectively help minimize threats – find out more inside.
While the use of public clouds as an extension of an on-premises data center offers significant benefits, this process can lead to major challenges if VMs aren't sufficiently optimized for cloud portability. In this helpful resource, learn how to prepare your VMs for cloud portability today to ensure a much smoother transition.
Last month, Ericom released Ericom Connect, considered a "modern" desktop virtualization architecture that is known for both the features it includes and those it omits. Learn what you can do with Ericom Connect and find out what makes it a good alternative to virtual desktop products from Citrix and VMware, as well as a good replacement for VDI-in-a-Box.
When it comes to your hardware demo, you must prepare and rehearse to get everything from the speaking to the demonstration just right. Learn how to get your hardware demo Oscar-worthy today with help from this exclusive guide.
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at email@example.com
Some more 'digital sleight of hand' by Zach King - famous for his digitally edited videos that makes it appear that he is doing magic:
Theo Jansen creates huge wind-powered creatures that move entirely on their own:
Gasper Nali from Malawi, Africa produces an awesome beat on his home-made 'babatone.'
Ruti, the cat, brings the dog back home on a leash. Hilarious!
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.