Vol. 20, #18 - May 4, 2015 - Issue #1028

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IT salaries: good, bad or ugly?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Ask Our Readers - What Microsoft Outlook *really* needs
    • From the Mailbag
    • IT salaries: good, bad or ugly?
    • Recordings from the PowerShell Summit NA 2015
    • Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference on May 14 and 15
    • The end of ownership
    • Send us your feedback
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. This Week's Tips
    • Safely Use UNC Paths
    • Use Windows Forms to generate GUI messagebox
    • Favorite PowerShell Tips and Tricks
    • Powershell Tips and Tricks (and commandline)
  4. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
  5. Webcast Calendar
    • MSExchange.org Webinar: Learn Best Practices for Migrating to Office 365 and Gaining Control of Your Email
    • Register for Webcasts
  6. Tech Briefing
    • Security and Privacy
    • System Center
    • VMware
    • Windows client
    • Windows PowerShell
  7. Recommended TechGenix Articles
    • Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
  8. Windows Server News
    • Four cloud technologies on the brink of extinction
    • How to keep pace with a growing virtual cluster
    • Is VMware's Workspace Portal right for you?
    • Pros to a P2V move as Windows Server 2003 support ends
  9. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • Amazing Magic Mirror
    • Magician Jamie Raven Astounds On Britain's Got Talent
    • High-Tech Car Door
    • Russian Models Pose With Grizzly Bear
  10. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Lansweeper Pro-Active Network Asset Management

 

Lansweeper Pro-Active Network Asset Management

Lansweeper is an agentless Asset Management solution that can scan any network setup. Target IP ranges, set up AD integrated scanning, specify crucial servers to be scanned on an interval Get a complete inventory of all workstations, servers, routers, switches, monitors, printers, VoIP phones A wealth of information on hardware as well as software is scanned and available for reporting. Use the inventory to automatically deploy software and run command lines on the assets using the integrated deployment feature. Simplify and automate day-to-day, time-consuming tasks or get an update on that global project you are running, Lansweeper offers you the tools.

Get the info, find the issues and pro-actively fix them

 

Editor's Corner

This week we take a look at what's happening with salaries in various IT fields. We'll also tell you where you can watch video sessions from the recent PowerShell summit and discuss whether the software in your automobile (and even your car itself) belongs to you or not. Plus we'll dip into our mailbag and bring you news, tips, and lots of other stuff--all in this week's issue of WServerNews.

But first here's a tip from Wally who shares in this Dilbert comic how you can almost instantly increase your salary as an IT professional by several thousand dollars (as long as you can still remain standing):

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829526296

Ask Our Readers - What Microsoft Outlook *really* needs

This ask submitted by a reader is in reference to the tip "Disable Reply All in Outlook using Group Policy" from Issue #1027 Reader Feedback: Eyestrain solutions for IT pros:

Regarding your published tip for disabling reply all in Outlook (Office 365). What we really need is a more configurable option (say, reply all with recipients > 10); that would solve the problem of the HR e-mails to the everyone list being responded back to everyone by responses, and the inevitable reply to all from good meaning (but misguided) individuals reminding users to NOT to click "reply to all".  I could probably script something, but then there would be the issue of deploying it to everyone.

But now that I think about it, what we really need more than that is a restriction on sending e-mail messages to large numbers of recipients on the "To" or "CC" lines, and require that such mailings be made using the bcc: line!  That would fix the problem for good, and eliminate once and for all recipients responding back to everyone in their responses, and the inevitable reply to all from good meaning (but misguided) individuals reminding users to NOT to click "reply to all"!

Thanks for asking this. Do any of our readers have any suggestions on how one could implement something like this? Email us at [email protected] with your suggestions.

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

We received some helpful feedback from readers concerning Issue #1026 What's filling up your disk? that we wanted to share with you. First, several readers recommended another tool called TreeSize from JAM Software which comes in various versions like TreeSize Professional:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829564656

and TreeSize Personal:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829566656

and even TreeSize Free:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829568578

Here's what our readers say about this product:

I use a program called TreeSize. This is not a free program [Editor's Note: Yep there's also a free version as I described above.] so I keep it on a USB stick and install and uninstall as required. You don't need it very often so this works for me. I also have a free version of it (earlier version number). This gives you a pie chart and a tree structure, is real easy to use and makes finding oversize directories a piece of cake. You can drill down in the directory structure if the oversized directory is further down the chain. I have used this program for the last 10 years as I keep coming back to it after trying other programs and find them lacking. Now that I fronted up and bought the program it has just become the only one I use. --Chris, who works for a Computer Services company in Christchurch, New Zealand

Spacesniffer is a nice product; thx for that. I've also used treesize but there is a nominal charge for that product. --Dan, a Director of Information Technology and Knowledge Management for a foundation based in Canada.

I have been using TreeSize by JAM Software for this for years.  Runs fast and works on network drives also. --a reader named Mark

Next, a reader named Howard from Brazil recommends a free tool called Scanner created by Steffen Gerlach:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829572000

Howard says:

I've been using this one for lots of years, it's portable too.  Only 243 kb!

James, an Information Systems Manager for a university in Washington State, USA, recommends JDiskReport from JGoodies:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829574375

James says:

Requires Java but find JDiskReport quick and easy to use.

That requirement of needing Java may be a deal killer though for users who have concerns about the security of running Java on Windows systems in enterprise environments. But that's another topic and one we could explore in a future issue of this newsletter if readers are interested.

Also in Issue #1026 What's filling up your disk? was a tip called "How to bulk rename files using PowerShell" and we received the following feedback (with a tool recommendation!) from a reader named Bill concerning this:

I realize that this excerpt was from a blog on PowerShell, so a solution that teaches how PowerShell works and how to do a painful task is certainly a great piece. However, if you really need to rename a LOT of files, then you probably aren't doing it very often, and writing a new shell script to do the job every time might be outside the capabilities of most users, and even system admins.  I've been using a tool called Bulk Rename Utility to handle my bulk-renames for the last few years:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829580234

Again, I don't need it very often -- about once every 2 years or so -- but it is really powerful and has a GUI that allows you to see the results BEFORE you do something stupid.  ;-)

Finally here's one more comment from a reader named Mark from Belgium concerning eyestrain and computer monitors in reference to Issue #1027 Reader Feedback: Eyestrain solutions for IT pros:

In the days of the Commodore Amiga series, there was this video mode called 'Interlace mode', which doubled the vertical resolution at the expense of halving the refresh rate. This caused an annoying flicker on your CRT and there was little that the user could do; some color schemes were less taxing on the eyes but – in the end – I found that polarizing sunglasses removed most of the flicker. My parents declared me crazy that I was programming or designing in a darkened room wearing sunglasses. It felt cool though :-)

I mentioned to Mark that I owned an Amiga 500 myself way back in the early 90s but didn't notice the interlace problem and he replied as follows:

The American refresh rate was 60 Hz (NTSC standard), 30 in interlace mode - compared to 50 and 25 for Europe (PAL). That probably explains why it was not as obnoxious for you guys :-)

By the way, any diehard Amiga fans out there might want to check out Amiga Forever 2014:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829586312

And now on to the main topic of this issue of WServerNews...

IT salaries: good, bad or ugly?

Like other professionals, we who are in IT like to be fairly compensated for our labors. Of course, the word "fairly" can mean different things to workers, employers, and clients. But no matter which end of the stick we hold, we all share one common attribute of human nature: give us more! And if the 2015 IT Salary Survey conducted by ComputerWorld has any validity at all then it seems that IT professionals of all ranks are getting more of the stick these days.

Let's take a look at some of the figures from this survey. This first table suggests that senior IT management, especially the role of Chief Security Officer (CSO), are all doing quite well:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829589171

This is not surprising given the growing number of high-profile security breaches that have happened recently to large companies like Sony Pictures and Target Corporation. Of course, salaries of all senior management positions and not just IT have been skyrocketing in recent years, so maybe the increases in senior IT salaries simply reflects this wider change. And if you're lucky enough to be in senior management then you will probably label this increase as good; if you're way down near the bottom of the pyramid then you might consider it ugly.

The next table shows that salaries of middle IT management have also been rising:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829591562

Once again it's the security guys (and gals) that take the biggest slice of the cake with Information Security Managers (ISMs) getting a whopping 5.3 percent average salary increase over the previous year. The other figures mostly range between 2.5 to 3.5 percent which really isn't a heck of a lot above the official rate of inflation for most western countries--which we all know doesn't mean much anyways since the governments of these countries seem to keep changing how their "official" inflation rate calculations are performed.

What about IT "plebes" and those just entering the profession? This table suggests that salary gains vary widely depending on area of expertise:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829594609

For example, salaries of database analysts seem to have dropped by 1.2 percent compared to last year while salaries for those who specialize in mobile IT have leaped forward by 9.3 percent. To be honest, I'm not sure how much I trust these wildly varying figures. After all, wasn't it Mark Twain who said there were three kinds of lies, namely lies, damned lies, and statistics? The percent changes don't include standard deviations or error bars, and as someone who was originally trained in Physics I tend to mistrust any data that doesn't include meaningful variance information. Anyways, you can read the full survey here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829597500

The real question of course is whether this survey has any bearing on our jobs as IT professionals. Clearly, comparing the 2.5 percent salary increase of network administrators to your own pay increase of 2.2 percent and then feeling you're being underpaid isn't going to get you anywhere. On the other hand, seeing that project leaders have gotten increases of 4.1 percent might want to make you give some thought to sharpening your project management skills and taking on more responsibility in your organization's IT department with the hope of being suitably rewarded for your efforts.

How do our readers feel about all of this? What could you do (or have you done) to advance your IT career within your organization so you can reap the rewards of greater remuneration? Do you feel you are currently being adequately compensated in your current area of IT expertise? Are you thinking of gaining some expertise in a different area to achieve you financial goals? Is your salary the primary motivator (or barrier) to how you perform your job? Send us your thoughts at [email protected] and we'll share them so that we can benefit from our collective expertise and aspirations.

Recordings from the PowerShell Summit NA 2015

A reader has pointed out to us that you can watch recorded video sessions from the PowerShell Summit North America 2015 on YouTube here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829600578

There are a lot of terrific videos and I've watched portions of a number of them. For admins who are not yet familiar with the capabilities of PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) I highly recommend watching these sessions:

Revealing the Magic of DSC

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829603078

DSC Best Practices

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829605171

I also recommend this session on using encryption in PowerShell scripts:

Keeping Secrets

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829609078

Note that some of the videos have poor audio because of the way they were recorded using a room microphone.

Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference on May 14 and 15

The 2015 Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference is a new, virtual, 2-day event that showcases how the best and brightest independent technology experts are using Microsoft technologies today. This event is taking place on Thursday, May 14th and Friday, May 15th from 11am to 9pm EST and is free and open to the public so tune in and see what the community of power users are saying about the mobile-first, cloud-first world of possibility with Microsoft re-imagined. You can register here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829612734

The end of ownership

Finally, in the geek department the following article on TechDirt piqued our interest when we read it:

GM Says That While You May Own Your Car, It Owns The Software In It, Thanks To Copyright

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829616640

It looks more and more like someday Skynet will own everything and we'll simply be renting our existence from the cloud. Also see our Quote of the Week below for a Vulcan perspective on this topic. Any thoughts from our readers concerning this? Email us at [email protected]

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this newsletter? Let us know at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

Microsoft Press has published yet another free ebook in their Microsoft System Center series of which your Dear Editor is the series editor. This one is called Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Field Experience and it covers best practices, design concepts, how-tos, and in-depth technical troubleshooting. You can download it from this page on the Microsoft Press Blog:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430830307015

Microsoft Virtual Academy

One announcement from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:

On-demand:  Querying with Transact-SQL  

Learn to think in T-SQL!  And prepare for much of Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012, with this on-demand series of self-paced modules, which include lectures, demos, hands-on labs, and self-assessments. Experts Graeme Malcolm and Geoff Allix teach you to build a solid Transact-SQL foundation and show you how to use Transact-SQL to retrieve, insert, update, and delete data in a database.  Watch here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829621906

Quote of the Week

"Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them." --Mr. Spock from Season 2, Episode 24 of the original Star Trek series on TV

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

BTW feel free to follow me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn

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

Get the info, find the issues and pro-actively fix them. Simplify and automate day-to-day, time-consuming tasks or get an update on that global project you are running, Lansweeper offers you the tools.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430835280625

Free: Altaro Hyper-V Backup is a full-featured Hyper-V Backup solution. Protect your VMs today with zero downtime, offsite replication and automated verification. Grab your free copy for 2VMs forever!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829443968

This USB 3.0 to SATA adapter lets you connect any 3.5" or 2.5" SATA drive to your computer for fast USB 3.0 data transfer.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829446750

SharpKeys allows Windows to remap one key to any other key.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829448968

ATTO Disk Benchmark lets you measure your storage systems performance using various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430829451531

This Week's Tips

This week we've dug up some PowerShell tips you may find useful when you need to script some administrative task.

Safely Use UNC Paths

PowerShell.com explains how you can use UNC paths in your PowerShell scripts without breaking your scripts:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831720406

Use Windows Forms to generate GUI messagebox

PowerShell Magazine shows you how you can display a popup window from your PowerShell script by using the MessageBox class of the Windows.Forms namespace:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831722671

Favorite PowerShell Tips and Tricks

Ed Wilson, the Microsoft Scripting Guy, shares some tips from the Charlotte Windows PowerShell User Group in his Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831725328

Powershell Tips and Tricks (and commandline)

Sahil Malik, a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint Server, has a whole bunch of helpful, cool and some just fun tips on this page:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831727875

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

Events Calendar

Americas

Microsoft Ignite on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois USA
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831906343

Europe

Microsoft TechDays 2015 on May 28-29 in the Hague, Netherlands
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430831908359

Add Your Event

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

Webcast Calendar

MSExchange.org Webinar: Learn Best Practices for Migrating to Office 365 and Gaining Control of Your Email

Live Webinar: Wednesday May 13th, 1PM EDT | 12N CDT | 10 AM PDT US Time 

Migrating to Office 365 offers many substantial benefits, but it also represents a significant undertaking. It is filled with potential landmines, particularly when it comes to managing emails and electronic information that can put the entire project at risk.

Join Michael Osterman, Principal of Osterman Research, and Danny Milrad, Director, Product Marketing, of Barracuda Networks for an educational webinar that will outline the best practices for migrating to Office 365 that will put a spotlight on one of the top mistakes that organizations make when migrating to Office 365..

Register here

Attend this webinar to see how you can successfully complete the migration to Office 365 while delivering on the promise of cloud messaging, and gaining control of your emails and more in the process. You will discover:

 And you’ll have the opportunity to ask our expert presenters your top questions!

Sign up for this informative live event!

Register for Webcasts

Add your Webcast

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

Tech Briefing

Security and Privacy

Ways to Grant Elevated Privileges In Windows (WindowSecurity.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832157015

Configuring Fine-Grained Password Policies (WindowsNetworking.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832158875

System Center

UR5 for SCOM 2012 R2 – Step by Step (Kevin Holman's blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832161281

Support for SQL Server 2014 with System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 5 (System Center Team Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832165203

VMware

VSAN Prerequisites (VMFOCUS)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832167187

VSAN Configuration (VMFOCUS)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832170656

Windows client

Security Week – Locking down your deployment (Keith's Consulting Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832174156

More about MDT 2013 Update 1 Preview (Keith's Consulting Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832175921

Windows PowerShell

Use PowerShell to Create Archive and Send Email (Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832179171

PowerShell Essentials (Part 7) (WindowsNetworking.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832182000

Recommended TechGenix Articles

Configuring Internal Load Balancing in Microsoft Azure
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832520156

Improve IT Governance with AWS (Part 1)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832521812

Taking Control of VM Sprawl (Part 3)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832523531

Assessing the Security of Mobile applications (Part 2) - Testing the application
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832525843

Scripting for small business admins
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832530500

Windows Server News

Four cloud technologies on the brink of extinction

Many cloud computing ideas seemed to have long-term potential at one time, but then they never successfully reached implementation. Revisit four cloud concepts that never quite made it to the big time, and discover why some of these great ideas simply faded away.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832600140

How to keep pace with a growing virtual cluster

Before buying new hardware, it is crucial for you to do a thorough cluster capacity evaluation so you can anticipate your future needs. Uncover the key questions you need to start asking about your cluster capacity, and learn what to do when you outgrow your hypervisor cluster in order to avoid making the wrong hardware purchase. 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832601734

Is VMware's Workspace Portal right for you?

Though VMware Workspace Portal is a one-stop-shop for anytime, anywhere application access, and offers users one interface where they can access SaaS and published apps, as well as data-center and cloud-hosted desktops, it isn't something that is necessarily right for every organization out there. Find out if the Portal is right for you today.

 http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832604515

Pros to a P2V move as Windows Server 2003 support ends

This July, Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003, leaving many companies scrambling to decide their next steps. Discover why now is an ideal time to create a Windows 2003 VM for any servers that might be unable to migrate to a new platform, and realize how this move can significantly improve performance.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832606625

 

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]

Amazing Magic Mirror

In Brazil, women who want to go to the toilet encounter a mirror that does not show their reflection.  Very strange and very funny:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832748140

Magician Jamie Raven Astounds On Britain's Got Talent

31-year-old magician Jamie Raven impressed with his close-up magic and his awe-inspiring card trick on Britain's Got Talent 2015:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832751343

High-Tech Car Door

Driving a car with disappearing doors will definitely grab everyone's attention:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832753687

Russian Models Pose With Grizzly Bear

A typical photo session in Russia ;-)  Models pose with bear for an anti-hunting campaign:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1430832756578

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Lansweeper Pro-Active Network Asset Management

Lansweeper is an agentless Asset Management solution that can scan any network setup. Target IP ranges, set up AD integrated scanning, specify crucial servers to be scanned on an interval Get a complete inventory of all workstations, servers, routers, switches, monitors, printers, VoIP phones A wealth of information on hardware as well as software is scanned and available for reporting. Use the inventory to automatically deploy software and run command lines on the assets using the integrated deployment feature. Simplify and automate day-to-day, time-consuming tasks or get an update on that global project you are running, Lansweeper offers you the tools.

Get the info, find the issues and pro-actively fix them

 

 

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.