Vol. 60, #8 - December 16, 2013 - Issue #960
Best Small Business Hardware
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Best Small Business Hardware
- Tip of the Week: Searching for Group Policy settings
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Cloud Computing
- Enterprise IT
- Windows Server News
- IT professional services can bend the cloud computing learning curve
- A CEO's personal voyage through virtual desktop migration
- You might be paying too much for Windows Server licensing
- Beat bad browser behavior by troubleshooting IE 10
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Don't Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
Our final newsletter of 2014 has some IT hardware recommendations for you, in particular for small and mid-sized businesses. IT budgets are under heavy constraint nowadays, so you want to be able to get the most bang for the buck. But as this Dilbert comic strip illustrates, there's a tradeoff between buying the fastest most bestest super-duper hardware or simply using whatever is cheap and available that can get the job done:
From the Mailbag
We're going to save most of our mailbag items for the first issue of the new year, but there is one item that--based on the amount of reader feedback we've received--is absolutely critical for us to address right now. Back in Issue #958 Is The File Server Dead? I said the following:
But today the cloud might just lead to the demise of the poor old file server. By the way, when I mention the cloud I feel a bit like Jim Belushi in The Blues Brothers. If Jim were alive today and worked in the IT field, he'd probably be saying "The cloud...the Cloud...THE CLOUD!"
Here's what some of our readers had to say about this glaring faux pas on my part:
- Actually, it was John Belushi, not Jim, who starred in The Blues Brothers, along with Dan Akroyd. --a reader named Mark
- John Belushi. I watch two Movies every year on Thanksgiving and Blues Brothers is one of them and of course Planes Trains and Automobiles. -- John who works in the US federal government sector
- John, RIP. --Dean, a Senior Infrastructure Architect based in New Jersey, USA
- John I think. --David, a consultant in New Zealand
- I'm probably not the first to tell you this, but Jim Belushi is NOT dead. JOHN Belushi was in the Blues Brothers. --a reader named Dave
- I take WServerNews and enjoy reading it, checking out the tips and suggestions, and some of the vids, too. Just started reading it this morning and found an error that hit me like a ton of bricks. No, it's not IT related, but movie related. You mention that Jim Belushi was in "The Blues Brothers" and alluded to Jim being dead. It was John Belushi who was in the TBB movie and was on Saturday Night live and in Animal House. Jim is still alive and kickin (at least as of this e-mail). --Johnnie, a Network Administrator in Kansas, USA
- Reports of Jim Belushi's death have been exaggerated. --Dan, an Electrical Engineer from Illinois, USA
And that's only a small sampling of the feedback we got concerning my error. Mea culpa! But I do have to mention that the night I submitted Issue #958 for publication, Don Ackroyd came to me in a dream and told me I had made a terrible mistake...
Best Small Business Hardware
And now on to our wish list of hardware recommendations for small and mid-sized businesses. Our list is based on recommendations we've recently received from colleagues who work in IT in different capacities, and while we respect their combined expertise a lot, we also want to add here that all these recommendations are presented to you "as is" with no guarantees or warranties. And if you want to add to the below list, feel free to email us your suggestions at [email protected]
Several of my colleagues said they've used Drobo data storage products for small and medium businesses and are happy with them:
If you need to set up a bunch of wireless access points with good range, check out UniFi. They use PoE and also support VLAN:
CNET says that the Synology DiskStation DS213Air is a great home NAS server with built-in Wi-Fi. My colleagues agree Synology are the best NAS and that DS213Air is good for small businesses to. Here's the review:
Here are all Synology NAS products:
For connecting your USB 3 peripherals, check out the Plugable USB3-HUB7-81X Seven-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Four-Amp Power Adapter:
Need a truly ergonomic mechanical keyboard? Check out Truly Ergonomic:
Need a good Gigabit Etherhet NIC for your PC that's also cheap? By colleagues all swear by Intel NICs. Check out the Intel EXPI9301CT on NewEgg:
Need to connect three monitors to your PC? Try the VisionTek 900530 Radeon HD 5450 512MB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card available from NewEgg:
Extend the range of your wireless networking with the D-Link DAP-1320:
Buffalo reportedly makes great USB 3.0 external drives for storage and backup:
Need to convert from USB 3.0 to SATA? Try the Anker USB 3.0 to SATA 3ft converter adapter cable:
Need a wireless router for when you're travelling? Check out the Zuni Connect:
Send us feedback
Got hardware products for small and mid-sized businesses you'd like to recommend to our readers? Let us know at [email protected]
Tip of the Week: Searching for Group Policy Settings
Need to look up a Group Policy setting? The Group Policy Settings Reference spreadsheets on the Microsoft Download Center are not that easy to search through and are sometimes missing settings. Try searching online here instead:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Here are a couple of on-demand Microsoft Virtual Academy courses you may want to check out:
Windows Server 2012 R2: Mgmt & Auto promotion
Learn to create a more efficient work environment through management and automation within Windows Server 2012 R2. The course also detailing new management capabilities, updates to Windows PowerShell, deployment options and methods, and MultiServer Management capabilities. Watch here:
Windows Server 2012 R2: Networking promotion
This new MVA course discusses what is new in the world of networking and how System Center 2012 R2 can help manage Windows Server 2012 R2. The course also provides insight into industry trends, performance levels, and network performance. View now:
Quote of the Week
"Now, before we learn how to build the latest in extreme graphic chipset processors, let's recite the code of the elves, shall we?" --Elf Teacher played by Richard Side in the movie "Elf" starring Will Ferrell
Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Server performance problems? Find out why with FactFinder Express. See whether the issue is a slow app, slow SQL requests, or a CPU/Memory/Disk bottleneck. 30 day free trial.
Set up or rebuild your PC estate quickly, easily and with total flexibility:
The ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router reportedly has the best range, stability, and feature set of any wireless routers our colleagues have tested:
Locate files and folders by name instantly:
Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
This section is organized topically by platform/product and provides you with links to tips, tools, information and other resources that can help you in your job role whether you're an IT professional or an IT decision-maker.
Cost should not be only cloud driver, claim suppliers and analysts (CloudPro)
Cloud Computing Boosts the Economy - bodHOST (PRWeb)
Awesome Cloud Services Publishes "How to Sell Cloud Computing" (Digital Journal)
NTFS Fragmentation and Virtualized Storage (Flo's Datacenter Report)
Windows Disk Alignment and Compellent Storage Center (Flo's Datacenter Report)
Retrieving the Dell PowerEdge VRTX hardware and firmware inventory using Windows PowerShell (Flo's Datacenter Report)
Automatic Virtual Machine Activation Step by Step (My Thoughts On IT)
Server 2012R2 Shared Virtual Hard Disks (My Thoughts On IT)
Top 8 Improvements Found in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Replica (Canadian IT Pro Connection)
IT professional services can bend the cloud computing learning curve
If you want to ensure you receive the promised benefits of the cloud – it's a worthwhile investment to consult an outside expert when migrating mission-critical apps or expanding cloud service use. In this IT tip, review the top 5 considerations for choosing and working with a cloud consultant.
A CEO's personal voyage through virtual desktop migration
In this case study, hear from one CEO as he shares his experiences with implementing a desktop virtualization project in his organization. Follow him through the major successes and setbacks to help guide you when planning and deploying your own desktop virtualization initiatives.
You might be paying too much for Windows Server licensing
Virtualization is changing the traditional one-to-one ratio of software licensing and organizations may inadvertently find themselves paying too much. So, don't be caught in the confusion – read on for a breakdown the traditional licensing model for Windows Server and advice on how to accurately calculate licensing costs in your virtual environment.
Beat bad browser behavior by troubleshooting IE 10
Out of the box, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 is a pretty stable Web browser – but it's far from immune to a host of potential problems. In this guide, hear from our experts as they reveal 8 essential tips and tricks for troubleshooting IE 10.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Here are some Christmas videos from Flixxy:
Digital Christmas Story
Jingle Cats - White Christmas
Christmas Shopping in a Hurry
Christmas at Lisbon Airport
Christmas Lights Display
One Of The Best Christmas Advertisements Of All Time
WServerNews - Editors
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 from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-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