Vol. 17, #24 - June 11, 2012 - Issue #883
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Personal Note
- Cloudy Thinking
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Windows 7 Troubleshooting for Beginners
- This Week's Webcasts
- Register for Webcasts
- Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate available now
- Private Cloud Demo Extravaganza Videos
- Webcast Series: Bare Metal to Private Cloud
- System Center 2012 & The Unified Installer: Some Good Resources
- Customers and Partners Weigh in on Why vSphere 5 is The Best Platform for Cloud Infrastructure
- Some great vSphere technical resources from VMware
- Wanna be an MCT? Read on!
- Define a cloud storage policy that balances risks and costs
- What’s in a name? Demystifying app delivery and VDI product naming
- Acquisition explosion: VDI vendors beef up virtual desktop management
- Deploying Windows 7: Four hardware-based lessons we’ve learned
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- FREE Desktop Tool: Real-Time Monitoring for Windows Based Network Devices
SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for tips, tools and other resources you might need to do your job or troubleshoot some problem you're dealing with. And please feel free to FORWARD IT TO A COLLEAGUE who you think might find it useful. Thanks!
My latest book Introducing Windows Server 2012 is now available in PDF form as a FREE download from the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform home page:
Just scroll down the page and look in the Find Training & Certifications section. The book is also available for download in EPUB and MOBI format:
I've also been told by Microsoft Press that a hardcopy version of the book will handed out to participants at TechEd this week and also at TechEd Europe later this month, so if you're attending either of those events you should receive a copy there.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised (tickled pink actually) to discover that my previous book Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 was recently reviewed on Business Insider:
That's pretty cool since BI is a really popular site, but as far as technical accuracy is concerned I prefer Ben Rothke's review on the RSA Conference site:
That's enough about myself, it's time to open the mailbag.
From the Mailbag
3G dongles like my Vodafone UK one – when I changed this a few months ago the new software that came with it included a connection manager that allows me to prioritize the connections – and this works without the 3G dongle and lets me set it so that the wired LAN takes preference over the wireless and the 3G. Note that for both the wireless and the 3G I do actually have to make the connection, but in the scenario mentioned in the article, if I am on 3G or wireless, when I plug in a wired connection, this now take priority.
As an aside, I have been experimenting with OneNote 2010, especially as the Nokia Belle update included OneNote for mobile for free. There is no documentation on the OneNote – Nokia says ask Microsoft. Because OneNote on SkyDrive can keep multiple copies, I was concerned about what would happen as I frequently roam across Europe and data is about $3 for the first 25M each day and is then $1.50 per megabyte. There are few options on OneNote 2012 as packaged on the Nokia (whether the iPhone/iPad/Android versions are the same or different, I know not), but one of them is "Sync on WiFi only"
On the wireless networks and security, the Zoom ADSL routers I use (myself and at customers) now have the facility to have up to 4 wireless networks and you can limit the number of clients on each and whether the networks are isolated from each other. This is very handy because you can then have networks with different levels of encryption for different purposes. I always put in a hardware firewall (a cheap Linksys or Netgear) so that the wireless on the router is completely isolated by a “one wire in, one wire out” firewall. Thus if someone has to replace the ADSL router in a hurry the network is still protected whilst the ADSL router is being configured – not a trivial job with these days if you are running incoming services like mail and SBS 2008 etc.
By the way, I have recently concluded that OneNote is at a tipping point, about like Outlook 2000 was many years ago, and could be poised to be the big thing in collaborative note taking – even if only collaboration with yourself across multiple devices. As a result, I have been doing quite a bit of investigation, especially to understand the limitations e.g. what happens if two users are editing the same thing at the same time. Let me know if you are interested in following this up.
Tony made some good points, especially concerning Microsoft OneNote. I use OneNote 2010 a lot but haven’t tried collaborating with others using it, but I found the following info that tells you how to set permissions for collaborating with OneNote:
Have any readers of this newsletter used OneNote 2010 in collaborative scenarios? Let me know at [email protected] and I'll share your tips and suggestions with our readers.
Next, here's a sampling of feedback from our May 28 newsletter Hardware Hints:
- My top Network wire tool: The Harris Punchdown tool. I used a patch panel and network jacks in my house – no crimper needed. I prefer to use manufactured drop cables and permanent jacks over improperly running riser wire in temporary locations! --Gordon
- Recommendation on External HDD enclosure with Fan: We have been using these for several years and have not had a failure yet with our Bacula backup servers: Rosewill RX-358 V2 SLV (Silver) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA External Enclosure w/Int.80mm Fan. --Glenn
- Hard Drive box: I purchased a HD Enc. some yrs ago, being weary of heat I used a 1 1/4 hole saw, bored a hole in the top and set an old Intel P4 Stock fan CPU fan I had on top, after removing that from the mounting bracket wired it to an old 5v wall wart and it served me great for years, and the drive never got very warm. --Mark
- Hardware tips - Mobile hotspot: Not entirely sure if you'd qualify this as a hardware tip but if you need an internet connection while away from home, you might already have one in the palm of your hand! I recently wanted an internet connection while staying in Vegas, but most Hotels charge $15 a day for wireless! I went to the 'My Verizon' webpage and enabled the "Hotspot" feature of my wife's smartphone. Verizon will charge $20 for each month that you have this enabled but that's a bargain compared to some alternatives. Of course there are data usage limitations and it only works where you have coverage, but still worth considering. --Mark from Ohio
- Re: Extending USB Connections: $300.00+ for a pair of cat5/USB extenders seems a bit much when the same task can be accomplished with an inexpensive USB print server. Netgear, HP, D-Link, Linksys and others make them. Many cost less than $100.00 and several are less than $50.00. If there is only one connection available between server and office, a small workgroup switch can add ports to the office and still cost less than the extenders. --Harry from Utah
- When putting in multi video cards on Windows 7 systems, one should be reminded that the extra video card works only if both video chips use the same driver, otherwise it won't work. --Antonio from Australia
- Hardware sites : I also recommend pcper.com and extremetech.com. --Steve
Finally, we're still getting feedback on our several newsletters that discussed various backup solutions. Here's one from Paul in California that I thought was worth sharing:
Though tape backup is still used, I find it slow and unreliable on the restore. I don’t like (nor trust) cloud-based backup; nor do I have the Internet bandwidth to use it effectively. I discovered RDX removable disks (tape replacement) systems, and have been using them successfully for several years. They are backup-compatible with the latest versions of ARCserver and Backup Exec, and disk cartridges come in 160GB, 320GB, 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB sizes. Nightly ‘backup windows’ dropped from a 4-6 hour process to about an hour to complete a backup/verify task. HP and other OEMs are now listing RDX removable disk systems in their server (i.e., ProLiant) options. Initial costs for the RDX drives (that mount in the server front panel (via USB or SATA) or external via USB cable) are similar to tape drives. The RDX disk cartridges (using 2.5” SATA drives) cost more than tape, but the capacity, speed, and shelf life of these disk cartridges are worth it – not to mention the fast restore time. RDX is worth looking into.
Got more tips, gotchas or stories about printing in Windows environments? Email us at [email protected] so we can share them with readers of WServerNews.
The cloud, the Cloud, the CLOUD. Does cloud computing deliver on its promised benefits? Or is it more hype than substance, and more frustration than satisfaction?
Before we consider these questions however, let's look first at what XKCD says about the PERILS OF RELYING ON THE CLOUD:
Pros and cons of cloud computing
It seems like everyone is getting on the cloud bandwagon these days. Microsoft, VMware, IBM, Oracle, Apple, and lots of non-vendor organizations are organizing conferences, holding webcasts, and publishing guidelines on how to migrate your organization's IT infrastructure into the cloud.
What are the benefits of cloud computing compared with traditional server-centric or datacenter computing? It depends a lot on who you talk to, and rather than express my own thoughts on this subject I'm going to give you some links from different vendors for you to check out and evaluate yourself:
Also check out this helpful for-and-against article by Brian Posey on WindowsNetworking:
But the real question is, what do readers of this newsletter think about cloud computing? Is it the future of IT or just a passing fad? And do you have any direct experience with cloud solutions you can use to back up your position? The floor is open, email me at [email protected] if you have something helpful to say on this matter.
Have you considered Windows Intune?
If you're running a small business or provide IT services for small businesses, have you considered Windows Intune for your business or your customers? Windows Intune is a cloud service that lets you centrally manage and secure your PCs using a web-based console, and Stephen Rose makes a good argument for why you should take a look at this service in his post "5 Reasons Why IT pros Should Consider Windows Intune" on the Windows Springboard Series blog:
For a more in-depth walkthrough of Windows Intune, see my own series of articles on WindowsNetworking:
Check out MSPAnswers.com
Finally, if you've ever tried running your own managed services business you probably know it can be both profitable and challenging to do this. To help you meet the challenges of running a managed services business, be sure to visist MSPAnswers.com, which was launched by our parent company TechGenix Ltd. several months ago:
Tip of the Week
Most of us IT pros are heavy users of Microsoft Outlook, so with that in mind here are five quick tips from the Outlook Blog:
- Schedule crammed? Try searching your Calendar:
- Filtering emails in Outlook:
- Grouping emails by conversations:
- Conditional Formatting: Highlight your most important mails:
- Quick Rule Creation in Outlook 2010:
Got any tips to recommend to our readers? Let us know at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Private Cloud Computing: Consolidation, Virtualization, and Service-Oriented Architecture (Morgan Kaufmann) helps you implement a private cloud solution based on Cisco and VMware technologies for fabric and virtualization respectively. The book focuses mainly on planning and design issues but also includes some helpful case studies.
Quote of the Week
"Courtesy will help you get ahead. Discourtesy is so rank and rife that the men and women who radiate courtesy are not going to have much trouble forging ahead." --Dale Carnegie, quoted in "The Money Culture" by Michael Lewis
Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" was first published in 1936 and is a classic in the field of self-improvement and how-to-succeed books. I avoided reading it for years however, because I subscribed to the prevailing cynical view that books like this merely teach you how to manipulate others by "appearing" friendly, thoughtful and considerate when your "real" motivation is to make the sale and move on.
But the truth is, if you're simply nice to people in your business dealings with them, you'll not only have greater chances of success in your business but also enjoy doing business more. So let's make a decision to lay aside our negativity and try to assume the best about people when we're dealing with them because they're probably having a bad day like we are. After all, IT isn't the easiest profession in the world, is it?
Win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)!
Participate in the 2012 WServerNews.com survey for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1). Weighing 21 ounces and sporting a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, the Galaxy Tab 2 runs the Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") operating system and is powered by a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor to help you achieve maximum usage across various demanding applications.
The 2012 WserverNews.com survey will run throughout June and help us learn more about you and what you'd like to see in the newsletter in the future. The survey is estimated to take around 5 minutes to complete.
Participate in the 2012 site survey today!
Until next week,
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Register for a SpamTitan on-line demo, 99.97 % plus catch rate, double AV, affordable price:
New Top10 free tools for IT pros. Audit changes in AD, GPO, file servers and mailboxes; manage passwords and event log; monitor processes; etc.:
Use this benchmarking software to evaluate the performance of your PC hardware:
Check out this universal cloning tool from Miray Software:
- Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 8-12, 2012 in Toronto, Canada:
- VMworld 2012 on August 27-30, 2012 in San Francisco, USA:
- Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 on Nov 12-15, 2012 in Las Vegas, USA.
- Microsoft TechEd Europe 2012 on June 26-29, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands:
- VMworld 2012 on October 9-11, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain:
- Microsoft Australia Partner Conference 2012 on Sept 4-6, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia:
Add your event
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.
Windows 7 Troubleshooting for Beginners
Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 - Mike Halsey MVP, the author of "Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out" and "Troubleshoot and Optimize Windows 8 Inside Out" talks about advanced troubleshooting tools and how to use them to save time, money and frustration.
This Week's Webcasts
- Monday June 11 - TechNet Webcast: Using the MOSDAL Support Toolkit 4.5 to Troubleshoot Office 365 and BPOS-S Issues (Level 300)
- Monday June 11 - VMware Webcast: VMware vCenter Operations Manager 5 QuickStart Series Part 1: Install and Configure
- Tuesday June 12 - VMware Webcast: Federal Cloud Integration: Getting from Here to Where You Want to Be
- Wednesday June 13: TechNet Webcast: Information about Microsoft Security Bulletins for June (Level 200)
- Wednesday June 13 - VMware Webcast: An Overview of VMware vSphere
- Thursday June 14: VMware Webcast: Extending Your Infrastructure: The Power of the Network-Centric Cloud with VMware and AT&T
- Friday June 15 - TechNet Webcast: The Baker's Dozen: What's New in SQL Server 2012 (Part 13 of 13)-Power View: The New SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint 2010 (Level 200)
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.
Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate available now
The Windows team has reached another important milestone on the road to the final release of the cloud optimized OS as Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC) is available now for download and evaluation:
Private Cloud Demo Extravaganza Videos
Checkout these TechNet videos demonstrating how System Center 2012 simplifies the job of deploying and managing private clouds:
Webcast Series: Bare Metal to Private Cloud
This series of TechNet webcasts lead you from bare metal to private cloud and will be available for on-demand replay:
System Center 2012 & The Unified Installer: Some Good Resources
The new Unified Installer helps you build a lab or test environment with System Center 2012 by enabling distributed installations of all System Center 2012 components:
Customers and Partners Weigh in on Why vSphere 5 is The Best Platform for Cloud Infrastructure
A post on the VMware blog Rethink IT by Michael Adams, Group Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Infrastructure:
Some great vSphere technical resources from VMware
The vSphere-land blog says that finding good technical information from VMware can be tough, so they've done the work for you by compiling this list of links:
Wanna be an MCT? Read on!
Mitch Garvis talks about how to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer on his blog The World According to Mitch:
Windows Server News
Define a cloud storage policy that balances risks and costs
The idea of limitless storage capacity in the cloud can be enticing. IT admins may be tempted to keep several snapshots, backups and redundant copies of data and files in the cloud to ease the worry of losing them. That’s reasonable if this data will make or break your company. But it’s important to store data according to a cloud-based storage policy that balances the risk of lost data with the cost of storing too much for too long. Check out these essential questions IT pros need to ask when creating a practical cloud storage policy.
What’s in a name? Demystifying app delivery and VDI product naming
Application and desktop virtualization, streaming, automated installation and packaging, virtual machine-hosted apps -- oh my! Dig around the hottest technologies and you'll quickly see that applications have become job number one. We've built mature infrastructures, secured their networks and learned how to best operate them, so what should we focus on next? Find out in this expert tip.
Acquisition explosion: VDI vendors beef up virtual desktop management
The last few weeks have been action-packed for desktop virtualization vendors, with a bunch of interesting acquisitions taking place. Each deal will have a different effect on the industry, but they all have one objective in common: better virtual desktop management.
Deploying Windows 7: Four hardware-based lessons we’ve learned
Microsoft Windows 7 was released nearly three years ago, and the Windows 8 release is set for later this year. Now is a perfect time to take a step back and evaluate our experiences with deploying Windows 7 in the enterprise. Check out this featured tip for four lessons deploying Windows 7 taught us.
WServerNews FAVE Links
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Gary Connery leapt 2,400ft from a helicopter with a "wing suit" and landed safely on a pile of cardboard boxes. Another wing suit flyer followed him and recorded this incredible footage with his helmet cam:
The best motorcycle "save":
The most amazing vehicle you've ever seen: It swims, climbs mountains and goes around racetracks. What more do you want from a car?
An iceberg in Southern Argentina flips over with a huge roar while a catamaran passes by:
On May 20, 2012 China and the Western United States saw an "annular" eclipse, the first of its kind since 1994. An "annular" eclipse is when the moon lines up between Earth and the Sun to create what looks like a ring of fire:
Check out this Commodore 64 compiler and emulator for Visual Studio 2010:
WServerNews - Product of the Week
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
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.