Vol. 58, #8 - December 2, 2013 - Issue #958

Is the File Server dead?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Another free ebook!
    • Announcing CloudComputingAdmin.com - Win a Google Nexus 10!
    • From the Mailbag
    • Is the File Server dead?
    • Tip of the Week: Upgrading Windows Server Editions
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Hyper-V
    • Citrix
    • Windows Azure
    • Other Cloud Computing
    • Other stuff
  6. Windows Server News
    • Addressing compliance, cost when extending software licensing to cloud
    • Taking advantage of nonpersistent VDI for one-off applications
    • Have you done everything to secure VM live migrations?
    • Windows 8.1 features treat power users, but watch out for tricks
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Don't Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network


Don't Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network

SolarWinds free Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer identifies bandwidth hogs by determining the types of traffic on your network, where itís coming from and where itís going.



Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about file servers and whether they're still needed in business environments. Before we get to that however, we have some announcements concerning another FREE EBOOK from Microsoft Press!


System Center App Controller provides a common self-service experience that can help you easily configure, deploy, and manage virtual machines and services across private and public clouds. Microsoft System Center: Cloud Management with App Controller is by Yung Chou and Keith Mayer who are Technical Evangelists at Microsoft working in the areas of private cloud, hybrid cloud, Windows Azure IaaS, and emerging computing architectures. This title is available as a FREE download in PDF, Mobi and ePub formats from the following post on the Microsoft Press Blog:

Get it today!

And while we're at it, we should mention these other FREE titles in the new System Center series from Microsoft Press:

Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks

Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience

Microsoft System Center: Troubleshooting Configuration Manager

Your Editor (me) is the Series Editor for this series, and so far we've released four titles:


Guess what? We have more FREE EBOOKS coming soon! So stay tuned!

Announcing CloudComputingAdmin.com. Win a Google Nexus 10!

We've also got another couple of announcements for you from TechGenix, the company that publishes this newsletter:

TechGenix Launches CloudComputingAdmin.com

TechGenix is pleased to announce CloudComputingAdmin.com -- a new site that offers a unique perspective on the quickly evolving world of cloud computing.

Sign up for a Newsletter for your Chance to Win a Google Nexus!

To celebrate the launch of CloudComputingAdmin.com, we will be giving away a Google Nexus 10 to one lucky newsletter subscriber! All you need to do to be eligible to win is sign up for any of the new CloudComputingAdmin.com newsletters and provide your name, email address, and country of residence.

The prize giveaway will run until Saturday, December 14, 2013. Be sure to sign up today for your chance to win!

From the Mailbag

Last week in Issue #957, iOS in the Enterprise we included the following item in the Fav Links section of our newsletter:

Worlds First 360° Barrel Roll In A Car:

A reader named Simon responded as follows:

Not really the first - see "The Man with the Golden Gun"

This was done for real, in the days before CGI

Thanks for reminding us how awesome (and campy) those Roger Moore Bond moves were :-)

Our inclusion of a reader's error about Microsoft discontinuing its Action Pack subscription next year (which we corrected in Issue #956, IT and the Intelligent Business) continues to generate some feedback from our readers. Michael, a Lead Systems Analyst and Microsoft Partner since 1995 had something especially strong to say on the topic and on the Microsoft Partner Program in general:

Being a MPN, MAP, RAP etc. partner since 1993 I can see why we respond to news in a somewhat violent manner -- even if it's misunderstood. Microsoft has constantly changed, modified, added and then removed portions, products, key business option add-ons or value, so its highly likely we are so sensitive to the investment in our customers and what we have told them, business partnerships, MSCE changes et al. that we get freaked out.

Also as an OEM System Builder (originally part of the RAP pack), ca. 1995, we sometimes want info from our partner Microsoft - such as 'how to purchase and upgrade our OEM allowed 2012 server license to R2?' only to be made to feel like we are having Microsoft glass shards removed from our wounds. It's not very visible, it hurts continuously & does not seem to have any foreseeable resolution -- no matter how you ask.

If it is to be a realistic partnership then we need a positive ability to converse and get resolutions on anything related to what we are purchasing thru the MPN, OEM, Business, Licensing, SB, MPN use AND sales (btw sales always has an answer). We can then continue to sell, support and promote the products in the manner the partnerships were intended to be when they started out. Currently there is no leverage, just opt in or out with your wallet. If the MPN downloader (ca. 2005) keeps malfunctioning and you pay for MEDIA, why is it getting fewer and dumber every year to actually receive that MEDIA that you paid for -- why do I become a constant manual reminder to them of our paid partnership options? I get automatic renewal emails…

I wonder if anyone in the Microsoft Partner Program is listening to this complaint. If they want to send us a response to Michael's email, we'll be happy to publish it here.

Anyways, now on to the main topic of this issue...

Is the File Server dead?

I can still remember when file servers were the key back-end systems that IT had to manage for companies, and a lot of us probably started out our IT careers managing them. Remember Netware? Rock-solid as a file server. Then came the Directory Wars between Active Directory and Netware 4, and we all know who won that battle.

Then came the era of the corporate intranet and people began predicting the demise of the file server. IIS 4 and Active Server Pages (ASP) helped drive a web server revolution that still continues to this day. But many businesses found maintaining an intranet difficult because of a lack of integrated tools.

So along came SharePoint which transformed much of the corporate landscape as far as Content Management (CM) is concerned. But soon a problem was discovered: SharePoint was so easy to use that everyone started using it, and soon companies were learning to deal with SharePoint Sprawl as new SharePoint sites popped up like mushrooms in every department each week. Many of these sites ended up in the SharePoint Graveyard since they had been created for managing single projects or parts of projects. And while I actually love SharePoint, if users aren't trained how to use it properly it can become a menace to your business like any other powerful technology.

And yet through all these changing times the lowly file server continued to hold on and keep a foothold in businesses large and small.

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!"

The push to the cloud from vendors is going to be hard for most businesses to resist, especially smaller businesses that traditionally have relied on one or more file servers to store their information assets in-house. Will the cloud spell the end of the traditional file server? Is it time for your business to scrap the file server and move to the cloud?

What do you think? Send us your feedback at [email protected]

Tip of the Week: Upgrading Windows Server Editions

The following tip was submitted by reader Quentin Gurney:

Super-Speedy In-Place Upgrade of Windows Server Standard to Enterprise or Data Center

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you need to do an upgrade from one Windows Server edition to another? For example, you want to install a 2008 R2 PKI server and realize you need the additional features that Enterprise gives?  Or maybe you want to switch from 2008 R2 Standard to 2008 R2 Datacenter because of the additional VM licensing that is included? These are not uncommon scenarios, and fortunately, there is a way to do this that can get you up and running within 10 minutes on your new O/S, all without having to mount an ISO, find a DVD or visit the machine.

How is that all done? Well that's easy! There is a command included now in Windows that does it all for you using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool or DISM.exe. With the way that Windows Server is distributed, multiple images are stored together in the image file and all we need to do is get DISM to do a bit of file swapping and we are done. Before we do that though, you must be aware that this is a one way process. You will not be able to downgrade. That means you could upgrade standard to enterprise or datacenter, but you would not be able to go the other way or "undo".

Start with getting your current version:

C:\>dism /online /get-currentedition
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Current edition is:
Current Edition : ServerStandard
The operation completed successfully.

Then find out what editions are already stored on the machine:

C:\>dism /online /get-targeteditions
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Editions that can be upgraded to:
Target Edition : ServerDataCenter
Target Edition : ServerEnterprise
The operation completed successfully

Finally, get the version installed that you want, in this case, I want Enterprise instead of standard:

C:\>dism /online /set-edition:ServerEnterprise /productkey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Starting to update components...
Starting to install product key...
Finished installing product key.
Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ServerStandardEdition~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.7601.17514
Finished updating components.
Starting to apply edition-specific settings...
Restart Windows to complete this operation.
Do you want to restart the computer now (Y/N)?

What is this business about with that product key? Every edition of Windows requires a product key. In this case, we are using a Key Management Server (KMS), so instead of inserting the generic KMS key for standard, we need to change that generic KMS key for Enterprise. You can get a list of the generic KMS keys from this page:

If you happen to be using MAK activation, then you will need to obtain a MAK key before you can do this. As you can see, the key gets verified before anything else gets done. You will need a different key because you had a key for a different edition, now you need the key for the edition you will be upgrading to.

So that's all there is to it. No sticking disks into a drive, no ISO mounting, no onsite visits, just a couple of easy command lines and a cup of coffee and you are done. The process takes about 10 min on a reasonably decent machine, and will require at least 2 reboots.

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

Recommended for Learning

Below are some recent titles from Microsoft Press that are not free but which you might want to consider purchasing. First up are some SharePoint books:

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Plain & Simple

Microsoft SharePoint 2013: Planning for Adoption and Governance

Microsoft SharePoint 2013: Designing and Architecting Solutions

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Step by Step

Next we have a couple of new titles on Exchange Server:

Exchange Server 2013 Pocket Consultant: Configuration & Clients

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Pocket Consultant: Databases, Services, & Management

Finally, here are a few more titles you might be interested in:

Software Requirements, Third Edition

Creating Research and Scientific Documents Using Microsoft Word

Microsoft Office 365 Administration Inside Out

We also have the following announcement from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

December 9-10: Windows 8.1 UX Design Jump Start

Designers, here's your chance to showcase your current design skills and create exciting Windows Store apps for Windows 8.1. In this two-day event, see how to use windowing for efficient multitasking and find out how the search contract can make your app discoverable to millions of people. Register today!

Quote of the Week

 "Push on when you think you can't, and next time that moment will come later" --Sam Sheridan, from his book A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting

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 Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Hyper-V user? Back up your VMs for free with Altaro Hyper-V Backup. Easy to use, fast backup/restore and with a 33MB download and 17-min setup you’ll be up & running in no time. Download your copy now

Audit, Track and Report on all changes to files and their Permissions on Windows File Server. Generate Real-time alerts and Schedule any predefined or custom reports.

Want to know how your Exchange messaging system is being used or misused? Want to know most active users, who are overusing the system and what is being stored in their mailboxes?

Use GFI Cloud’s simple IT management platform to keep your company’s network safe, secure & running efficiently. Start a 30 day free trial now.

SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations:

Events Calendar


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]


Webcast Calendar

Register for Webcasts

Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]


Tech Briefing

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.  


Troubleshooting Slow VM Performance in Hyper-V (Part 1) (VirtualizationAdmin.com)

VDI Smackdown: Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop 7.1, Microsoft Windows Server 2012R2/Win81, VMware View 5.3 and more (Brian Madden)



Citrix Acquires Byte Squared for iPad Editing of Office Documents (CMS Wire)

Introduction to Citrix Cloud Solutions (Conde Malagueta)


Windows Azure

Cloud Service Fundamentals: Telemetry - Reporting (Windows Azure Blog)

Windows Azure Backup Is Generally Available & Other Azure News (Aidan Finn, IT Pro)


Other cloud computing

CISO Perspectives on Compliance in the Cloud and Managing Risk (Trustworthy Computing)

Fostering the Cloud in Law Enforcement (GovInfo Security)


Other stuff

Taming the Windows Update Beast (Deb Shinder)

Everything you always wanted to know about EMC VNXe but were afraid to ask (WindowsNetworking.com)

Windows Server News

Addressing compliance, cost when extending software licensing to cloud

Although moving to the cloud may simplify hardware management, it creates new issues when it comes to software licensing. Discover answers to the top 5 frequently asked questions surrounding software licensing in the cloud.

Taking advantage of nonpersistent VDI for one-off applications

What if instead of deploying apps to remote desktop environments, you deployed them to nonpersistent virtual desktops purposed only for running that single app? Hear what our experts are saying about the potential use cases for nonpersistent VDI implementation.

Have you done everything to secure VM live migrations?

Even though live migrations are a routine task for Hyper-V admins, how can you be sure you've properly secured your VM live migration process? In this IT tip, we offer advice for sequestering and securing VM live migration traffic.

Windows 8.1 features treat power users, but watch out for tricks

PCs and other enterprise devices with Windows 8.1 are finally shipping, so what are the tips and tricks for getting started? Read on as our experts run down the top 7 perks and pitfalls of this latest Microsoft OS.


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]

Did you know that Formula One cars create enough down force to be able to drive upside down?

An incredible, never been done before stunt by Jean-Claude Van Damme (53) with two trucks going backwards. Filmed in one take. Music: 'Only Time' by Enya.

Amazon.com robots automate the warehouse environment. This technology is what enables Amazon to be so efficient at logistics.

The Writer, a 240-year-old automaton in the form of a boy created by Swiss clockmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1774, has about 6,000 parts, is programmable and is a distant ancestor of the modern programmable computer:

At the age of 8, Alma Deutscher has already been compared to Mozart. Hear her story, and check out her amazing performance!

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Don't Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network

SolarWinds free Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer identifies bandwidth hogs by determining the types of traffic on your network, where itís coming from and where itís going.



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