Vol. 22, #27 - July 03, 2017 - Issue #1138

Free VPNs for remote work

Prepare for your VMware VCP6-DCV exam. 


Earn your VMware VCP6-DCV certification before the clock expires. Josh Coen and Jason Langer have prepared the latest edition of VCP study guide. Jason has worked in the IT field for more than 12 years, with VMware virtualization for the past six years and Josh has been working in the IT field for the last decade. Both hold VMware certifications. This 163-page guide covers all 10 of the exam blueprint sections.

Download guide.

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about using VPNs for doing your work while you're away from the office. We also cover some other topics that will probably interest you as IT professionals. And we have the usual assortment of tips, tools and other stuff both serious and fun to keep you entertained and informed. Finally please note that we've updated our Event Calendar with some new events so be sure to check it out and let us know if there are any other big conferences or major events that you think we should include here for our newsletter readers. 

Speaking of doing your work while you're away from the office, I mean really, who wants to do that, right? Wouldn't we rather just unplug instead and go offline and drown our office anxieties in a surfeit of football and crisps? (Or football and chips for our North American readers.) Well unfortunately, management is able even to take something as entertaining as football and turn it into a tool for improving productivity as this Dilbert comic illustrates:


Of course they can't do that with soccer, can they? Oops I mean football--pass the crisps! 

Ask Our Readers - Firefox defaults (another response)

A couple of weeks ago we heard from a reader named Stan, a Technical Sales Specialist based in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA, who sent us the following question:

Every time I click on a link in an email and the link is either a .net or .org win7 always goes to IE, how can I change that to go to Firefox. I looked in the default program process and these extensions are not in there, any suggestions.

Mark who works in Endpoint Management Services for a university in Colorado commented as follows:

I am betting that Stan is using Outlook to read his e-mail. Outlook does not use the default browser system setting, it uses the shell open Registry information, when it decides what browser to use to open hyperlinks. I had a similar problem years ago when I installed Chrome, did not realize it had quietly taken over these Registry keys, and then uninstalled Chrome at which time I could no longer open any hyperlinks from within Outlook until I fixed the Registry keys. This webpage explains things in more detail with links to Microsoft for fixes:


The fixes are to put IE back as the default, but it should be easy enough to use those Registry paths to set Firefox instead.


Ask Our Readers - Creating a USB HHD rescue disk for Windows (still more suggestions)

Several weeks ago a reader named Wlad from Alabama, USA sent us the following question which we tossed out to our readers to try and answer:

Would it be possible to pose the following question to ask on our readers forum? I have spent last month researching the issue and I'm more confused than ever. I want to create a "rescue disk" for several systems I use, starting with Windows 7 and ending with Windows 10. What I have in mind is a single USB HDD for each system. The drive would be formatted as a "bootable USB" first (whatever that means, I found a dozen different descriptions) and then further partitioned to include a secondary, non-bootable partition. On that second partition I want to create the computer's HDD clone, but not in the form of the USB HDD being a clone of the computer HDD, but the USB HDD containing a file (or a filesystem) that is an exact clone of the source HDD. Let us call it a "total HDD image". The goal is to have a single USB HDD that, in case of emergency (wannacry ?) I could connect to the computer in distress, boot from, and then restore the entire HDD from the total HDD image backup. The aim is to restore everything, bit for bit (boot bootstrap, system, Windows files, installed programs, user data, EVERYTHING). 

Has anybody done this? Could it even be done or am I chasing an impossible dream? Microsoft is not helping with their constant "improvements" of backup and recovery mechanisms and associated mess of confusing terms that have changing meaning over time (like a system backup that may or may not include non-MS applications). Thanks. 

In our last two newsletter issues we've published some reader suggestions for Wlad, but the comments keep pouring in on this one from readers so let's look at some more. First off here's an observation from a reader named John from Ontario, Canada:

I just noticed in Wlad's question about 'hdd total image' that both clone and image were used as if they are the same. If he follows the Macrium Reflect suggestion posted by Olaf he probably should ensure he uses 'IMAGE this disk'. I know, because I've done it, that a USB HDD can hold many images of many different systems so long as your choice in Macrium Reflect is 'image this disk'. Depending on the size of the hdd image, we've found restoring to a new or wiped hdd is a quick process taking less than 20 minutes for most image sizes. So long as you pick the 'where to restore' location accurately, this works well. We've used both the CD/DVD rescue disk or USB rescue disk that Macrium Reflect will create. Boot to that and choose the image to restore from the USB HDD. (Note that the USB drive you boot will likely show up as C: when restoring to a new or wiped hdd in the computer . . . that's almost certainly not where you want to restore.)

In Macrium Reflect I believe using what they term 'clone this disk' would result in the replacement of the entire disk selected with the cloned image of the drive being copied. The program would warn of this, of course, and allow for you to cancel but I believe you need a separate drive or partition for each 'clone'. Clones of course do not need to be restored since they are by definition the same as the drive copied.

Next comes this lengthy comment from Steve who works for a company that does corporate network and IT infrastructure design:

I read the responses to Wlad's question regarding creating a clone of his systems while they are in a clean, malware free state and I use a method that is very straightforward requiring no software or software recovery activity. Make sure the following is true before starting this process:

  1. I recommend getting an SSD disk for each system.

  2. Purchase a USB to SATA cable. This will work fine with SSD disks. However, these cables don't necessarily power 3.5" and some 2.5" bare spinning HDD's. So if you want to purchase a cheaper spinning HDD for this purpose, get an off the shelf 2.5" external USB HDD from your local or online source of choice. Something like a WD Passport, etc. It will run off USB power, comes with its own cable(s) and it's cheap. It's just vulnerable to movement when running.

  3. Most SSD's contain cloning software (I've used the Samsung S/W bundled with their 500GB SSDs successfully). If you get an Apricorn USB3 to SATA cable, you can download EZ Gig cloning software here: 


    EZ Gig requires the Apricorn cable:


    I've used this combination successfully several times as well. If you can't get one of these cables, get a good generic one and you can download Aomei backupper free which includes a cloning option:


    This should work with any external USB/SATA enclose or cable.

  4. Connect your external SSD disk to the cable and plug that into an available USB port. If you purchased an external USB HDD in an enclosure, plug that in. Once the target disk is connected to the PC, be sure it's visible to Windows or at least to the cloning software of choice; then run the cloning software and select the disk clone option, not the image backup, disk backup or recovery, etc. This may seem counterintuitive but read on.

  5. Follow the directions to clone the disk. Some software gives you options to modify disk partitions on the destination disk but most will also (these referenced above for sure) walk through a cloning wizard and make the target partition size ratios automatic.

  6. When the process completes, shut down the system and unplug the USB cloned disk.

  7. Boot to the BIOS and be sure the USB boot option is enabled.

  8. To test your clone, unplug the internal SATA disk power and data connectors (sometimes combined into one connector) and plug in the USB cloned disk to an available external USB port. It is important that this configuration works.

  9. Power up your system; it should boot on the clone if the BIOS was set correctly as above. Hence, no need to "restore" things. The clone option gives you a fully bootable hard clone of what you have running on your existing disk. No muss, no fuss, no bare metal restore, etc.

  10. I suggest shutting down and storing the clone in a safe place at this point.

  11. If you ever get infected or compromised and need to boot from the clone, be SURE to remove the connections from the infected disk in the system BEFORE booting from the clone. Otherwise, you'll leave a path from the malicious payload to your clone and negate any benefit to this process. If you have used this method, on your first boot from the clone you will need to update Windows, your backup software and your anti-virus/anti-malware software before proceeding with any other process here.

Note that no software is necessary to "restore" the system during this process. However, your clone is only as current as when it was created. That down side is you may not have your system in the state it was just prior to it being compromised unless you clone again later on.

One advantage here is that once you are running on the clone successfully and it's current as above, you can replace the compromised disk with the clone and scan the backup files and clean them if necessary. This allows you to pick which version of your backed up files you want to restore by having the scanner(s) clean and or delete infected backup files. You want this choice because your system may have been compromised sometime farther in the past than you may realize. So you may have to go back a while to figure out when the system was actually compromised in order to select clean files to restore. If you scan your backups, it allows you to avoid restoring files from the backup that were infected. Not all malicious payloads hatch instantly! Some of the "in place" constant cloning products can't always avoid duplicating the compromise since they are always trying to keep the clone up to date.

Another benefit to this approach is that if, after the initial clone, the cloned disk is stored, you are sure it was nowhere in the system during the compromise that led to the need for this process in the first place and your system will be clean when it boots on the clone. Just keep that compromised disk unplugged as above prior to booting on the clone so you can do the malware, Windows and backup updates as above.

Thanks for letting me ramble this one Mitch! It's wordy but meant to be followed by one who is not so savvy but still wants to be able to have this process.

Finally here's a quick suggestion from a reader named Darren:

I very highly recommend Veeam Agent for Windows (formerly called Veeam Endpoint backup) free edition:


My backup of choice now.

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 [email protected]

From the Mailbag

Two weeks ago in Issue #1136 Windows 10 disantivirus we talked about how Microsoft seems to be blocking third-party antivirus programs from working properly in Creators Update their latest release of Windows 10. Several readers this week sent us emails with additional comments on this matter and we'll begin with the most painful reader experience which was submitted by Louis, Technicien Informatique for a company in Quebec, Canada:

Wow, what a troubled weekend it was. I have so many things on my computer that I would do my best not to reinstall everything.

A few days after I installed Creative update, my computer stopped responding on Thursday afternoon, right after lunch. I was so busy, there was no worst time. I first thought of a hardware failure. I ran a memory check, a hard drive check (SSD), ran anti-virus, anti-rootkit, anti-cryptolocker, and other anti-undesirable-crap from a rescue disk. Of course, it took more than 2 days to run each check, reboot, try another solution, reboot, try another one and still try to support my other users.

I even changed (clone) my drive still with no success.

Then, I tried to find if it was a corrupted driver. When I could boot in safe mode, if was working fine. But, try to boot in safe mode with a computer running Windows 10 on a SSD and that does not wants to listen to you. I tried so many times to reboot from login screen with my finger on shift key. The shutdown took at least 15 to 20 minutes and when the computer finally rebooted … it was not in safe mode @#$%$#@. So, again and again and again, I tried to boot in safe mode but was successful only 1 out of 5 times.

On Sunday afternoon, I installed Windows 8 using my second drive. My computer was working fine. Ok then, trouble is with my Windows 10 installation, not with my hardware. I was so tired, I stopped there because I had to get to work early on Monday morning. Since Thursday, I did not had time to finish installing the computer of a new hired person.

So, on Monday morning (early), after installing Windows, I installed the anti-virus software. BOOM! His computer stopped responding. Finally, I found my trouble: the anti-virus. I checked on the anti-virus site and fortunately they supplied a patch to fix that trouble.

I rapidly upgraded our anti-virus server and deployed the patch to all our computer.

I worked 4 days on a trouble caused by the Windows Creative update but only 3 computers really experienced the problem. I was fast enough to fix things before all my Windows 10 computers got caught in the non-responsive trouble.

I cannot wish you that trouble. It was not funny.

Ouch! In last week's Issue #1137 Windows Server Rapid Release Edition where we published our initial feedback from readers on this issue we included this comment from a reader named David:

I run a large church IT network, and rely on Symantec Cloud based protection to cover all my laptops and desktops. I was hesitant to go the cloud, but I had my hand forced when Symantec stopped offering charitable discounts to our national denomination. I love the idea that I can change the policies in the cloud and have all my computers update, no matter where they are, especially the laptops that wander around the country with pastors. I first found out about Windows 10 Creator when our sound man updated the Windows 10 software on our main Sanctuary media computer. This computer is essential and must not fail as it is used for worship and transmitting our services to the internet. I could not get Windows Defender to disengage, but it did not seem to be interfering with Symantec either. Still, I did not like it. So off to the internet, where an interesting article described a quick single value regedit and task manager removal of start up programing and Voila! No more Windows Defender. The trick was to do it when Creator was being installed. Watch the install, edit the registry, disable the start in Task Manager and then restart the computer. So far, I am six for six with no problems, even from the HP laptops where apparently certain models were hanging to the point of needing a complete reinstallation of Windows. I am glad I did not change all my desktops to Windows 10 when it was free. That would have completely messed up my schedule. It is certainly irritating when Microsoft decides to change how we do things, apparently knowing what is best for us. I guess Catholic school and being pushed around by the nuns has made me resist this type of treatment even at the ripe old age of 61!

I asked David what the registry hack he used was and he replied as follows:


Set start type to "3"

Go to Task Manager, Startup, right click on the Windows Defender Notification icon, click disable. Reboot This information is from the website partnersupport.microsoft.com and the contributor was Brian Bergin, on April 17, 2017. I can't take credit for the information, I just used it.

I changed the settings before I rebooted after the installation of Windows 10 Creator was complete. I suppose you could do it after the reboot, but I did not want to take a chance on Symantec getting corrupted or seeing an error message that has been reported that Windows Defender has disabled 3rd party antivirus.

This worked for me. But I understand everyone may not have the same success. A week after upgrading, I have experienced no problems.

Another reader named Darren sent us these comments about Creators Update:

Can't say I have experienced any issues on my home PCs, my company PCs, or any of our clients PCs. Of course nobody uses any of the AV products mentioned in your newsletter!

I updated to creators update the day it was released, and like it.. and also find the new Windows Defender Security Center a nice touch. Windows Defender itself is automatically disabled as it should be with a properly compatible security product and shows "You're using other antivirus providers". I used to use NOD32 but switched to Bitdefender and had no issues with systems with Avast, Sophos, Avira, F-secure, Webroot…. From what I hear the vendors have had their chance to update their products in time for Creators update release, but some were not ready and Windows 10 deemed them unsafe and disabled or in some cases removed the AV - I don't know how it checks, but it checks.. and I know also it checks if your AV product has the latest definitions and if not then turns on Windows Defender automatically for your own safety. Not nice if it happened to you that your AV had issues, but the vendors have a duty to keep up and keep their customers secure, and end users also should make sure that their AV product is up to date with latest product updates and definitions. Some vendors have complaint that they have not had enough time for their internal testing to be ready in time.. but, others were ready.

My only niggle with Creators update is not security or performance or feature related as everything works fine, it is removing Control Panel from the right-click of Start button and replacing it with Settings. A bit moot since Settings is already there on the start button with a single click… so now I have to pin Control Panel to start page. I don't mind the old Command prompt being relegated and having PowerShell in its place.

I missed one other small issue, I had to reinstall Remote Server Administration Tools. No big issue really and I already expected it, as it happened last big update before that. Though of course the complain brigade gets out on that one….

Have readers experienced any other issues with Creators Update that have been causing them problems? Let us know: wsn[email protected]

Finally another reader named David sent us this observation:

A quote from the Rob Lefferts blog you had - 'Once a customer has installed an active and up to date antivirus program, it will run without notifications or interference from Windows.' So, he is basically saying that we can run whatever AV we like and MS will support it. It therefore follows that if a third party AV stops working it is MS's fault not the third party supplier. Unfortunately experience shows that MS don't live up to this.

Unfortunately that does seem to be true :-(

And now on to the main topics of this week's newsletter…

Free VPNs for remote work

When I do remote work for some customer, for example to write a whitepaper or develop a training course for them, I usually end up using a VPN client and service that the customer provides me. Usually this is a paid VPN service that the customer subscribes to, but sometimes it's custom VPN software that the customer has developed for such purposes. The whole idea of course of a VPN is so you can work remotely as if you were connected directly to the customer's LAN with the same degree of security/privacy and with similar bandwidth (provided you have a good Internet connection).

VPNs are useful in other ways however, for example to connect privately to websites in a way that protects yourself against possible surveillance. You might use a VPN for example when you are staying at a hotel in some foreign country or sitting at a coffee shop where the Internet connection is not very secure. In such situations a free VPN service may be something you could decide to use to ensure privacy when you work away from your office. 

I've asked around with a few of my colleagues in the IT profession what free VPN services they have used recently, and I've included three recommendations from them below. Note that I can't offer any personal evaluation or recommendation of these services, so you should consider employing them to be an at-your-own-risk affair. But I've heard only good things about the services I've listed here. My question of course is which free VPN service(s) do you, our readers, like to use to ensure privacy and why? Send us your recommendations along with any pros or cons you might have to [email protected]



Proton VPN


Traceless.me VPN


Petya ramsomware strikes

We writing this newsletter on Tuesday as the latest version of the well-known Petya ransomware has just begun causing chaos in the Ukraine as this article from today's Independent describes in detail:


Someone pointed me to the following YouTube video that demonstrates what happens when Petya is allowed to take over your computer:


There's a good explanation of how it works on Quora:


The question is, what will the world be like on the day this issue of WServerNews reaches your inbox? And will you even be able to access your inbox? If there was a single word I might use to characterize what life has become for us in the 21st century it would be "disruption" which describes both what tech companies like Google, Amazon, Uber, and Tesla are trying to achieve and how hackers are trying to upset the order of society. Yes, we live in the Age of Disruption. 

Has Petya affected you or your organization? Email us at [email protected]

Intel's x86 stranglehold

Wouldn't it be cool if Microsoft could include x86 emulation functionality in Windows 10 for ARM so existing PC software could run on ARM systems? Not if Intel has its way:


Who knew that x86 features were patented? Well, they can always license their patents to Microsoft like IBM did to Bill Gates way back in the day. Maybe I should buy up as much Intel stock as I can?

Ban on after work email

The new French labor laws require that French companies having more than 50 employees have to guarantee them the right to disconnect after office hours. I'm told that Germany has a similar law that prohibits management from contacting workers while they're on vacation. Do these sorts of laws help us achieve a healthier work/life balance, or are they a drag on the economy and restrict the free growth of new businesses (and hence of new job positions)? What do you think? And what is your own experience with trying to cope with work in a 24x7 world? Email us at [email protected]

Linux laptops

I didn't know this until a friend pointed it out to me but there are actually some laptops out there that have been specifically designed with running Linux in mind. Examples of these include systems from:







Have any of our readers owned or used any of these machines? Do you know or use Linux laptops made by some other company? Email us your observations and recommendations: [email protected]

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

VIDEO: Hybrid Cloud for Small Businesses - Part 1 (Channel 9)

In this first video in a three part series on Hybrid Cloud, we will define what hybrid cloud is as well as thoroughly examine the value of hybrid cloud solutions over fully on premise or fully cloud based scenarios. This video will provide a highly detailed examination of how small business customers can take advantage of hybrid cloud today.



Microsoft Virtual Academy

Windows Server 2012 R2 Security and Identity

If you're an IT Professional interested in learning about Identity and Security in Windows Server 2012 R2, check out this new learning path from Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): Windows Server 2012 R2 Security and Identity. In these free, on-demand courses you'll learn about new technologies built into the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system. This is one of a number of specific learning paths from MVA, made up of curated courses to help you increase your proficiency in a given technology. Add this learning path to your dashboard to track progress and earn a badge for completing all courses.


IT Pro Fitness Corner

Hip pain from using an exercise bike (reader feedback)

Last week in the IT Pro Fitness Corner of Issue #1137 Windows Server Rapid Release Edition your Dear Editor told a personal story of how he experienced some bad hip pain causing some mobility problems after exercising hard at maximum tension on a reclining exercise bike for several days in a row. I also summarized the results of my research concerning this problem and listed some websites that showed various stretching exercises that were supposed to alleviate the problem. I asked readers whether any of them had experienced anything similar and what they might have done about it, and I received several emails from readers which I'm including here. 

This first comment is from a reader named Jane who speaks with wise common sense:

This is just informational and from my own experience but I only use my xbike (recumbent exercise bike) in the winter when it's too icy to run or even snowshoe. Never overdo the xbike like you did or it will hurt you. Go for an hour moderate ride with blasts of HIIT pedaling. You'll get the same results with less chance for pain and injury. 

Or if you really are a glutton for punishment, use a Nordic Track set for uphill and lots of tension on the legs and arms:


That's a full body workout on all major and most minor muscle groups. It will make you not want to eat because it's a brutal workout with very little residual pain and quite exhausting.

Anyway, that's been my experience. I'd rather be outside running trails than stuck inside doing anything else. Good luck on your quest for the beach body.

That's a great suggestion about the Nordic Track but unfortunately I'll have to pass on this for two reasons. The first is that the machine (even if I could afford it) is probably too big to fit in our already crowded basement fitness room. And the second is that the reason I prefer an exercise bike is because with my hands free I can play speed chess on my iPad so I don't get bored while I peddle away the fat. Here's the chess app I like to use:


What I do is set my bike to lowest tension and play one game of 3 minute speed chess. When the game is done, I up the tension on the bike and play another game, and repeat until I reach maximum tension on the bike. Then I progressively work my way down to lowest tension again playing more games of speed chess, and before I know it the machine says I've burned a thousand calories or so.

Another reader named Howard offered this observation on the value of exercise bikes: 

I had a triple bypass operation in 1999, after which I was unable to cross my legs! It was so strange even to sit on the floor or a street curb because I had to have my legs straight out. The answer to the problem was simply to start riding a bicycle. It seemed overnight my legs could make a pretzel again! 

Peace and good health to you, Howard.

This final reader comment is from a Dr. McEachron who offers these thoughts on the problems I've been experiencing:

Dear WServer News Editor, you have described a classic chiropractic subluxation of the symphysis pubis joint. You can easily test for this with a partner. In a supine position raise a leg (straight knee) ~45 degrees up and ~45 degrees out to the side. Have your partner (from the opposite side of the test leg) support you from rolling with one hand (place over anterior superior iliac spine) and push down and to out to the side with the other (a little bit proximal to the knee) to test your strength (Try to hold your leg up). Repeat the test on the opposite side. You will find one side strong and the other side much weaker. Sometimes both sides are weak (You can hardly hold up the up). If you try to position the leg and you feel pain. No need to test. You failed.

You also need to test your sacroiliac joints for malfunction. In a prone position, bend the knee to ~45 degrees. Then have your partner push the leg down, trying to straighten it (You resist). You will find one or both sides weak. 

If you fail, find both sides weak, or find any relative weakness between the left and right sides on either of the two tests described above you will have to find a chiropractor to fix this for you. And it has to be a chiropractor (DC), not a DO, ND, PT, MT, or LAc. This is much harder than you might think. While most DCs know how to adjust the SI joints, few know how or have the equipment to adjust the symphysis pubis joint. You can try all the exercise, yoga, stretching, etc. you want, but nothing will restore the proper function as quickly and last as long as a good old fashioned chiropractic adjustment!

PS: You should have your ankles and you upper neck checked for proper function also as these areas go hand in hand with the area you are experiencing pain in. You have to fix them all or the pain will return quickly.

BTW I've been working in the computer industry since 1985. I graduated with a BS in computer science, minor in mathematics, and all the pre-med requirements in 1988. I've mostly worked in the computer database, security, and hardware areas for various government agencies as an independent contractor. I was recruited by the NSA in the mid 1990's, but turned the "James Bond" job. I get a kick out of reading your newsletter and listening to the solutions your readers set forth. I've experienced many of the same problems and come up with very similar solutions. I'm also celebrating my 25th year in private practice as a chiropractic physician.

My initial reaction on reading this email was a Charlie Brown moment, namely: "You mean I'm pregnant? Augh!!" 

I'll try the tests this reader suggests when I have time to involve a partner in the procedure. In the meantime I'm exploring some other ways to balance the effects of high-tension use of my exercise bike with some other exercises that might compensate for what the bike is doing to my upper hip area. 


Factoid of the Week

Last week's factoid and questionwas this:

Are there any other popular foods besides red velvet cupcakes that have dead bugs in them "by design"?

The only reply we received on this one was by Ben who is Manager of Microcomputing Network Services for a community college in St. Louis, Missouri:

Chocolate covered grasshoppers spring to mind. (Sorry, couldn't resist)

+1 for the pun Ben, thanks :-)

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: In the UK when ATMs were first introduced you had to buy a voucher from the bank covered with radioactive carbon-14 which the machine detected and matched against a six-figure code known by the customer and bank manager. 

Source: http://www.wservernews.com/go/84r2a850/

Question: What are some other crazy things that radioactive materials have been used for in the past? Or today?  

Email your answer to us at: [email protected]

Until next week, 

Mitch Tulloch


Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Join the educative demo-filled live webinar to see top new features of vSphere 6.5 including VCSA & storage enhancements, VM encryption, and High Availability. 


The Virtual Machines Readiness Assessment tool will automatically inspect your on-premises environment, whether it is physical or virtualized, and provide you with a check list and detailed report on steps you need to take to move your environment to the cloud:


NTttcp is a utility that can be used to profile and measure Windows networking performance and is is one of the primary tools Microsoft engineering teams leverage to validate network function and utility:


Software-Defined Storage (SDS) Design Calculator is a spreadsheet that helps you design a Software-Defined Storage (SDS) solution based on Windows Server 2012 R2 with Storage Spaces and Scale-Out File Servers:



This Week's Tips

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

PowerShell - Get a private certificate from a key vault

Nick Eales has a post on his TechNet blog that has a script you can use to get a certificate from a key vault using PowerShell:


Windows Server Essentials - Remote Web Access update now available

The SBS Bloggers have posted a note indicate that an update for the Remote Web Access feature of WSE 2016 has now gone live which means users can undo the workaround that was previously posted for this feature. Read more here:


Office 365 - Updated poster

It's time to tear down those old Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix posters from your bedroom wall and replace them with the updated Microsoft Hybrid Cloud for Enterprise Architects poster which now includes the high availability federated authentication feature for Office 365 in Azure. Microsoft documentation guru Joe Davies has the poster download link here:


Updated!! - Events Calendar

Do you know of any other IT conferences or events that you think readers of this newsletter might be interested in knowing about? Email us at [email protected] with the name, date, and location of the event along with the event URL.

NEW! - Experts Live Europe on August 23-25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany


Microsoft Ignite on September 25-29, 2017 in Orlando, Florida


NEW! - IT/Dev Connections on October 23-26, 2017 in San Francisco, California


NEW! - SharePoint Unite on October 24-26, 2017 in Haarlem, Netherlands


NEW! - DEVintersection on October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada


NEW! - European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference on November 13-16, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland


NEW! - SharePoint Fest on December 609, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

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Building and automating Nano Server-based Hyper-V hosts

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Evolution of Exchange Online migrations: Hybrid deployment

Exchange Online migrations have improved significantly in just a few years. Let's look at how Exchange hybrid deployment migration option has evolved.


Citrix Analytics lets you improve security and performance

Citrix has launched Citrix Analytics, a product that monitors an organization's users, devices, applications, and networks to detect potential threats.


Kubernetes Draft streamlines app development

Microsoft has announced the release Kubernetes Draft, a new tool that streamlines application development and deployment on any Kubernetes cluster.


How the new state and future path of storage virtualization will transform the enterprise

Having storage infrastructure controllable by software is commonplace, but the future path of storage virtualization takes it down a whole new road.



Tech Briefing - Windows 10


Display PDF document from WPF/Desktop app on Windows 10

From the UX Blog


Deploy Windows 10 In Your Organization With MDT

From the Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog


Troubleshooting Windows activation failures on Azure VMs

From the Microsoft Azure Support Team Blog 


Porting and testing your classic desktop applications on Windows 10 S with the Desktop Bridge

From App Consult Team


Demystifying Windows as a Service - wake up! please.

From PowerInTheShell


Other Articles of Interest

Google, Facebook just fell victim to a phishing scam: The takeaway for CIOs

We finally know which two big tech companies were conned out of millions by an email phishing scam, as reported recently, and you might recognize them.


Avoid downtime during the cloud migration process

During a public cloud migration, IT teams need to take a cautious, one-step-at-a-time approach to avoid hearing the dread phrase, "the system is down."


Reduce data center complexity with policy-based management

Policies allow IT teams to manage VM availability, security and other components more efficiently. Use these tips to establish and implement them in your data center.


DevOps lab: Learn to use GitHub for infrastructure deployments

This article is part of a series to help IT ops professionals learn DevOps by building a home lab. In the second step, Git version control allows ops to manage infrastructure as code.



WServerNews FAVE Links

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]

The Domino Effect - How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference

A Domino can knock down another 1.5 times its size. 29 Dominoes could knock down the Empire State Building:


Swedish DIY Hobbyist Builds Personal Flying Machine For 10,000 Dollars

DIY hobbyist, visionary and inventor Axel Borg builds a personal helicopter for less than USD 10,000 and takes it on a test flight in the woods of Orebro, Sweden:


Time Changes - The Important Things Stay The Same

Through the universal story of love, this short film reminds us that the important things in life don't change:


Funny Wild Animals

During the filming of the BBC/PBS series 'Spy In The Wild' there were also some funny moments captured on camera:


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Prepare for your VMware VCP6-DCV exam. 


Earn your VMware VCP6-DCV certification before the clock expires. Josh Coen and Jason Langer have prepared the latest edition of VCP study guide. Jason has worked in the IT field for more than 12 years, with VMware virtualization for the past six years and Josh has been working in the IT field for the last decade. Both hold VMware certifications. This 163-page guide covers all 10 of the exam blueprint sections.

Download guide.

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 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.