Vol. 22, #3- January 16, 2017 - Issue #1114
We've received lots of terrific feedback from our readers concerning last week's Issue #1113 What? No computer?? and we'll highlight some of the best comments on this topic in next week's issue of WServerNews. Meanwhile this week we're going to explore another hot topic, namely, whether companies that provide cloud services can be trusted on matters of security and control of cloud services purchased by customers. We also have our usual tips, tools and other stuff which we hope you will enjoy.
Speaking of negotiating with vendors trying to sell you their products and services, take a gander at what Wally had to put up with in this classic Dilbert comic strip:
Back in Issue #1105 Should IT pros be licensed? we included the following question from a reader named Tom along with several reader responses concerning the problem:
I have an issue when I have an File Explorer window open on drives in Windows 10 when telling it to create a new folder (and sometimes when re-naming) -- Explorer will hang for 1 to 4 minutes while trying to create it -- It says Non-Responding in the title bar -- then eventually it creates it. Sometimes it creates a "New Folder" folder name and not the name I told it to use. Does not matter how many Explorer windows are open -- the one being used to create a new folder just hangs for some reason. I have each Explorer in its own process.
A reader named Barry from Alberta, Canada sent us some new thoughts on this issue as follows:
There was a question in a previous newsletter about the problem of File Explorer in Windows 10 hanging. This happens when a new folder is created and in naming the folder it takes several minutes for the event to happen, and even then the folder may just be named "New Folder". Meanwhile File Explorer is hung. This happened to me all the time until I stopped using "Libraries" in File Explorer. When I go directly to the location where I am creating the new folder, I do not have a problem.
Not an ideal solution, but at least it may define better when the problem occurs. For frequently used locations I now pin a shortcut to the location on the File Explorer shortcut in the Taskbar. Would be interesting to know if the readers affected were using a folder within "Libraries".
I asked Barry to clarify what he meant by "stop using Libraries" and he responded as follows:
I mean stop utilizing Libraries to create a Library folder for access to commonly used files where I am creating new folders frequently. I don't hide Libraries. I still use Libraries for quick access to folders such as my Thunderbird Attachments folder and the Public User folder (where some programs like Microsoft's Security Compliance Manager likes to place certain files). I delete the Default Libraries (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos). These are readily available (function duplicated) under "This PC" when File Explorer is opened. Then I don't have the hanging problem with those locations.
Hope this helps explain. If not let me know and I'll try again. I have not tried the registry hack for this problem that one reader suggested, as I would probably have to redo it every time there was a Windows 10 upgrade. And I'm happy with my workaround.
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
When browsing some tech news sites this morning I came across an article by Paul Thurrott that reveals something illuminating about the new ability to pause applying updates that will reportedly be introduced in the upcoming Windows 10 Creator's Update (Windows 10 version 1607) set to arrive in a couple of months. Paul says that "this feature will not be available to Windows 10 Home users" which means ordinary users of Windows 10 machines won't have any choice but to allow updates to be automatically downloaded and installed. You can read Paul's full article here:
If you are an ordinary user of Windows 10 and you would like to complain to Microsoft that the new pause updates feature also be included in Windows 10 Home edition (as opposed to just the Professional and Enterprise editions) then the best way of making your voice heard (beside organizing a protest march to their Redmond headquarters) is to use the Feedback Hub which can be downloaded from the Windows Store:
And now on to the main topic of this issue of our newsletter…
I recently read an interesting article on a blog called Operation: Sysadmin on the topic of whether we can trust cloud vendors or not. The blog is maintained by a guy named Jason who as worked in IT for over 10 years mainly in Higher Ed though h e's also worked in the Financial Industry. And yes I know we usually call them cloud service providers or cloud providers, not cloud vendors, but I used the latter because the article suggests that the main aim of such companies is not to provide customers with services but simply to sell to them--that is, to make them money.
Before you read further here you might want to take a look through Jason's article which he called "A Matter of Perspective" which you can find here:
While I found the author's statement that "A commercial for profit entity cannot be inherently trusted [because] their purpose is generate revenue and profit" overly simplistic, his comment that the vendors representing the Cloud Computing Panel displayed a "condescending attitude towards folks who had not yet drunk the Cloud Kool-Aid" and that their basic message concerning security and control boiled down to "Just trust us" quite perceptive. It seems to be a fundamental principle of advertising that you first try to appeal to your target audience on an emotional level. Then if that doesn't work you try to use facts and logic--though of course being careful which facts and logical arguments you use (and which you avoid using). In line with this principle the author points out that the vendors on the panel avoided talking about important technical issues associated with security in and control over cloud environments.
In the end the only way you can avoid being "taken" by the vendors of "Cloud Kool-Aid" is to ask them hard questions. Unfortunately you might not get the answers you need unless you're a big enough potential customer to justify them dealing with you on an equal win-win basis. Smaller businesses looking to purchase cloud services are likely to receive boilerplate responses to their questions, unless of course you try dealing with smaller upstart cloud vendors instead of the Big Three of Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.
What experiences have our readers had in dealing with cloud vendors they've considered purchasing services from? Have they treated with you respect or with condescension? Did they answer your technical questions in detail or provide you with boilerplate responses? Have smaller cloud vendors been more on the level in their dealings with you than the big guys? Email us your stories, thoughts and suggestions: email@example.com
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Microsoft Press Blog comes this new book:
Exam Ref 70-744 Securing Windows Server 2016
Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-744 - and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of securing Windows Server 2016 environments. Designed for experienced IT professionals ready to advance their status, Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.
PHP in Microsoft Azure
If you are a PHP developer, you may be wondering what Microsoft Azure can do for you or what you can do with Azure. Get those questions answered in this course, which is an introduction to integrating Azure Services into your current and future PHP development projects. Learn about deploying your existing application to Azure, and take a look at the database services available in Azure.
Last week's factoid and question was this:
In Spanish, the word esposas means both 'wives' and 'handcuffs'. Can you think of some similar, er…let's politely call these metaphors, in your own language?
A reader named George from Florida, USA took us to task on this one as follows:
Rather than metaphors, let's call these homonyms, shall we? A metaphor is a figure of speech where a word is used to suggest a likeness between two words/concepts (like a "sea" of ideas). A homonym, however, is a word that has multiple meanings, but usually the same spelling. With esposas, the root word is spondere, which means to bind and that applies to both a spouse and handcuffs.
But I get what you're saying... you're after funny homonyms. The only ones I could think of: "The crane craned his neck to see the (construction) crane." Or "the bat didn't bat an eye when I swung at him with my bat."
Another reader (anonymous) sent us the following interesting example:
A group of crows is called a murder.
The Audubon Society however would beg to differ:
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: The US National Institutes of Health recently issued a press release saying that they've changed their recommendations for parents on how they can help their children avoid getting peanut allergies. The NIH used to recommend that parents avoid exposing babies to peanuts, eggs and other potentially allergenic foods, but now they've reversed themselves and say that recent research indicates the best way to help children avoid getting peanut allergies is to feed them peanuts (mushed up of course) even when they're babies. At least that's how I understand their press report which you can read in full here:
Question: What's the most unusual allergy you have heard about or are aware of? And what (potentially strange) implications would the new NIH guidelines have with regard to helping infants avoid contracting such an allergy? Email us your answer: email@example.com
Until next week,
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor provides a simplified user experience for monitoring key aspects of Active Directory’s health and performance. Try Server & Application Monitor
SBGuard Anti-Ransomware is a free tool which can protect your Windows PC against Ransomware like CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, TeslaCrypt, CryptoXXX, CTB-Locker, Zepto and others:
Active Directory Utils is a collection of utilities and sample code for administering Active Directory:
StreamArmor is a portable application which scans NTFS drives to highlight alternate data streams where malware can often hide files and data from Explorer and other file management tools:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at email@example.com
Windows Management Experts (WME) has a blog post on how you can create a WMI query condition in your ConfigMgr task sequence that will allow you to install an application on every computer with a particular string in its name:
J.C Hornbeck has a blog post on how you can use certificates with System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager (DPM 2012 R2) to authenticate computers in workgroups or untrusted domains:
Hayden Hainsworth has a blog post on using Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics to identify and eliminate plaintext passwords used by applications, servers and sensitive accounts:
Microsoft Ignite Australia on February 14-17, 2017 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13. 2017 in Washington, D.C.
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Best practices for datacenter storage design
Designing a storage solution for a datacenter involves making lots of decisions. Here are some tips to keep you on the right path:
Crash course in Hyper-V VM generations & versioning
The terms Hyper-V VM generations and Hyper-V VM versions are often used interchangeably. Here's a look at what they really are and how they differ:
Smart refrigerators, and other dumb things
From smart refrigerators to remotely programmable thermostats and dolls, the IoT is making things easier for consumers -- and, possibly, hackers:
Creating a Windows Server 2016 template with VMM
Haven't yet transitioned to Windows Server 2016? Here is how to create a Server 2016 virtual machine template in Virtual Machine Manager:
Don't keep your house key at the office!
Think your security safeguards make your system hacker-proof? If you're sloppy, they may simply go around your defenses rather than go through them:
Azure Security Center extends support for Windows Server 2016 (Microsoft Azure Blog)
Mastering Identity with Azure Active Directory – Episode 6: Managing your applications (TechNet UK Blog)
PowerShell for File Management (Part 5) (WindowsNetworking.com)
How Do I Install PowerShell Modules? (myITforum)
Product Review: SolarWinds Virtualization Manager 7.0 (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Hyper-V Optimization Tips (Part 5) (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
How to manage Azure Government directories with PowerShell (Azure Government Cloud Blog)
Creating a PowerShell GUI (Part 12) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Edge computing lets IoT systems tap into cloud efficiency
Enterprises want their IoT systems to have ultra-fast response times, while also reaping the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud. In this tip, find out how edge computing helps bridge these two technologies together.
Citrix XenDesktop features make it a fit for BYOD, graphics workloads
Citrix XenDesktop has a few different features that make it a better fit for some organizations than others. Discover why its features make it a good fit for organizations who want to optimize both their BYOD and graphics-intensive workloads.
What level of redundancy is right for your data center?
When it comes to creating resiliency to ensure system availability, choosing the right level of redundancy for your virtual infrastructure is crucial, but figuring out exactly what degree of redundancy you need can be tricky. In this tip, industry experts share their thoughts on what you should take into consideration when making your decision.
Conduct an honest IT performance evaluation in problem areas
Outages are unavoidable, but they should be used as opportunities for an IT performance evaluation, spawning a plan to remediate future occurrences and prevent the same fault from happening again. In this tip, explore some problem areas in the IT estate and how you can fix them.
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at email@example.com
Some videos on the cloud (but not the computing kind):
Super Cell Storm - Close Encounter Of The Third Kind
A gigantic storm cloud spun into a flying saucer shape in eastern Wyoming:
Have You Ever Seen A Tube Cloud?
A 'tube cloud' or 'roll cloud' rolling in at sunrise in Timbercreek Canyon near Amarillo, Texas:
A magnificent spectacle created by thousands of birds, recorded by Spanish nature photographer Marco Campazas:
Cloud Surfing Photography
Extreme sports photographer Mark Watson tells of the photographic adventure of a lifetime - capturing the spectacular Morning Glory cloud.
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 7www.mtit.com.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
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.