Vol. 18, #1 - January 7, 2013 - Issue #911
Spotlight on SharePoint
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Spotlight on Sharepoint
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- SharePoint Resources
- What can be used to keep Active Directory data secure?
- Managing the Recycle bin with Redirected Folders with Vista or Windows 7
- Introducing Microsoft BitLocker Administration 2.0 Beta
- Windows Server 2012 updates put Hyper-V snapshots on par with VMware
- Amazon, Microsoft focus on cloud development tools
- Why client hypervisor technology won't solve the offline VDI problem
- Windows 8 app development: What you need to know
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- Simplify Active Directory Administration with 3 Free Tools!
Welcome to the new year! We're glad you're still reading WServerNews, the world's largest newsletter focused on system admin and security issues for Microsoft Windows Servers. Every week we bring you tips, tools and news geared toward keeping system administrators up-to-date on new Server and Security related issues, third party tools, updates, upgrades, Windows compatibility matters and related issues. With over 100,000 subscribers, WServerNews is the largest Windows Server focused newsletter worldwide!
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This week's issue puts the spotlight on SharePoint with a guest editorial from Goran Husman, a well-known SharePoint MVP based in Stockholm, Sweden. But before we go further, maybe you're not reading this newsletter. In fact, maybe no one is reading this newsletter because there is NO ONE AROUND TO READ IT:
Whew, at least xkcd is still around!
Some Shameless Self-Promotion
My latest book Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (Microsoft Press, 2012) is designed for IT professionals who need to upgrade their skills to support Windows Server 2012 in their workplace. The primary focus of the book is on job-role training for system administrators and IT support staff in midsize to large environments. The book contains detailed technical information and hands-on practice exercises to help you prepare for deploying, managing, and maintaining servers running Windows Server 2012, and covers operating systems deployment, Active Directory administration, server virtualization using Hyper-V, network and storage management, file and print services, and Group Policy. You can buy my book here on Amazon:
From the Mailbag
In our issue on cloud backup we talked about the benefits and risks of backing up data to the cloud, and we looked at Windows Azure Online Backup and a number of other solutions for both small businesses and large enterprises. Here is one more company we've found that offers cloud back solutions for small businesses:
- E-Tech CloudBAK:
Alain from South Africa shared the following story about his own investigation into cloud-based backup as a possible solution for his company of Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers:
I really enjoy your newsletter, and read it each week, and glean lots of tips and tricks that I put to use sometimes years later!
On the Cloud backup topic:
- We run a small / not so small / consulting engineering firm. As such we have plenty of CAD drawings that are fundamental to our business, as well as all our archive data. We are now also busy scanning in 43 years' worth of historic information, so we don't need to store those 469 box files of info!
- We have a backup architecture as follows:
- File server that contains all our data.
- On-site second machine that has the data copied to each evening
- External HDD that has the data copied to three times a week, and taken home.
- We have one further step -- a dedicated hosted server that we have sourced from a local ISP. This machine is simply there to act as an off-site backup of our file server -- with nightly backups of our data. We have around 600Gb of data to backup -- but we chose a local ISP because we could give them an external HDD with the majority of our files on it, to be copied to the dedicated server, reducing the time to create our initial backup, and saving internet bandwidth (which is a very costly item in South Africa).
- Furthermore, we have simply left that external HDD attached to the dedicated server, and the dedicated server data is backed up to that drive on a regular basis, too, in the event that our offices are cleaned out by midnight shoppers. We can then collect the HDD from the ISP, and we will almost instantly have a local copy of all our files back at the office!
- I investigated the pricing of cloud backup solutions. They are all horrendously expensive compared to the solution I have set up taking the volume of our data into account. Moreover, the security we have over our own server is far greater than any cloud provider could offer. The machine can also be used for other tasks, since it is idle most of the day, and is active at night for the backup.
- If we wanted a real-time backup, we could simply increase the frequency of the backup to an hourly basis…..! Multiple redundant backups - it just takes a little thought.
Hope this suggestion works for others.
Thanks for the feedback! Are there any readers out there who have found cloud backup to be a suitable solution for their company? Email us at [email protected] with your story.
In our issue on log management we looked at some in-box and third-party log management solutions for Windows Server platforms. Mark, a Technical Architect based in the UK suggested several more solutions to the ones we included:
Lots of them in the SIEM space such as LogLogic, RSA EnVision, possibly ArcSight (now owned by HP)
And Karen, an Information Security Analyst in Virginia, USA recommended Splunk:
If any other readers have recommendations in this area, feel free to email us at [email protected].
Finally, the question of hard drive reliability that we raised some time ago in our issue on storage tiering continues to generate a lot of responses from our readers. John from South Dakota shared the following thoughts on the matter:
Funny you ask about hard drive issues. I was discussing this issue yesterday with somebody else across the country. I was mentioning my SCSI drives from 2002 are still running, but filled up by Windows Updates. I was also mentioning that drives from 2008-2009 are failing at an unprecedented rate! The other person asked me if platter density might be an issue and I said Yes! I also suggested the Made in China thing is a problem for quality drives.
We had a good discussion and then I read your WServerNews today. I thought I would write and say that huge, cheap drives are a problem and customers are angry with early drive failures. Always buy excellent quality hard drives and the grief is lessened. I have had very few failures over the years because I choose to buy a higher quality drive...
Michael from Indiana has also noticed more problems lately with newer drives:
I too, have noticed more failures in newer hardware. Typically, hard drives just don't fail that frequently. I just wonder if this is a trickle-down of the 2011 earthquakes / flooding in Asia that caused drive shortages. After the industry got back up and running, maybe their quality control was less than stellar due to attempts to catch up to the demand. Just a thought…
A reader named Sam was more specific with his frustrations concerning hardware from certain vendors:
We feel your pain. We are on our fourth drive on a Dell server that is only 3 years old. It is a Raid 5 with 3 250GB hds. We are starting to suspect that either the Seagate hds are of inferior quality by manufacturing or that the PERC card is the culprit. Our previous server ran 7 years without a problem but it was an HP Compaq Proliant. Thanks to the extended warranty it won't cost anything except the aggravation. From what I hear this is now a common problem with Dell servers.
If you have more feedback on this matter, send us an email at [email protected].
Spotlight on SharePoint
And now on to our guest editorial by Goran Husman...
First impressions of SharePoint 2013 RTM
After testing non-public beta versions, and then the public Preview version, of SharePoint 2013, it was with great expectations I installed the RTM version the day after it was available for download on http://msdn.microsoft.com. I must say that I really love this 5th generation of SharePoint, since its first release in 2001. As an MVP I have some insight in the process Microsoft follows when developing new versions of SharePoint. For example, this new 2013 was planned about 5 years back, then coding started 3 years ago (2010), and shipped October 2013. Can you imagine how hard it must be for the SharePoint team to do intelligent guessing in 2008 what features the 2013 versions must contain? True, it is possible for the team to do changes and adjustments along the way, but basically the main features and architecture was set 2008. Can you today guess what features that will be required in 2018, or even 2016?
From the administrative point of view, the new 2013 version is both very much like SharePoint 2010, and at the same time contains lots of new features. In this article I will focus on the SharePoint server and its relation to the new Office Web App (a.k.a "Wac") server. First, let's look at how it worked in the on-premise version of SharePoint 2010:
- Office Web App 2010 was installed directly to the SharePoint server (SPS or SPF 2010)
- It provided the functionality of viewing and editing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents directly in a web browser
- It allowed co-authoring (multiple authors editing the same document at the same time) in Excel and OneNote
- You could not buy Office Web App; you needed special CAL's (Client Access License) to legally use it, such as Enterprise CAL
An interesting functionality, but only a few organizations seem to have taken advantage of the Office Web App 2010. For those who used Office 365, this functionality was built-in from the start, including the CAL to use these web clients, which made it more popular for SharePoint Online users.
The new version of Office Web App is very different from its predecessor -- To start with, it must be installed on a separate server, it can no longer be installed on the SharePoint server. Its features are now available to more than just SharePoint; for example it can be used by Exchange 2013 and its Outlook Web Access, and Lync 2013. It is also possible to use Office Web App functionality in custom applications, using a new public API called WOPI ("Web application Open Platform Interface"). It is faster, and displays the document content as the original application (Word, Excel etc) would do. In summary, this is the new Office Web App 2013:
- Must be installed on a separate server (Windows 2008 R2 or later. Memory: 4 GB for test, 8 GB for production)
- Its functionality is available to SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013, plus any application using the new WOPI api.
- It is faster, and more true to the original content
- Enhanced an extended functionality
- Works with touch devices, such as MS Surface, iPad, and smartphones.
- A new license model: Each user need an Office Web App CAL for utilizing its features
The big question is of course if end-users will require this functionality? The answer is definitely yes. It is no longer used only to view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents stored in SharePoint. It is now also used for preview of Office documents in SharePoint document libraries, and in search results. Besides, co-authoring using a web browser now works for all four supported document types, i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. So your end-users will expect, and require, the new Office Web App 2013 functionality. Let's look at some examples:
Anna is viewing a SharePoint document library, looking for a particular document. Before she needed to open a document to be sure, now she can click on the "More" link (displayed as "…") next to each document, and get a live preview of its content, similar to this:
If Anna does a search that returns the supported Office documents, these search results will also take advantage of the Office Web App 2013 server, see example below:
This functionality is of course built in to the new Office 365, and it SharePoint, Lync and Exchange 2013 applications. To summarize: Organizations running Office 365 don't need to do anything -- All you need is built-in, and ready to be used immediately. Organizations running on-premise versions of SharePoint must prepare to install not only the new SharePoint 2013 server, but also the Office Web App 2013 server.
About Goran Husman
Goran Husman is a true SharePoint nerd, awarded with 2 Exchange MVP's, then 6 SharePoint MVP's, and since 2011 an Office 365 MVP. He works as a SharePoint Consultant and trainer for Human Data, together with 15 other nerds. Goran has written four books, the latest is "Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration", and right now he works on the book "Your Guide to Office 365."
- The SP 2010 book:
- Our Company:
Tip of the Week
Reliability should be your key consideration if you are planning on using solid state drives (SSDs) for running mission-critical applications for your business. My discussions with other IT pros has resulted in the following short list of SSDs you should consider:
- Intel (pretty much anything):
- Crucial M4:
- Samsung 830 or 840:
Note that the above information is provided "as is" with no warranties or guarantees!
Recommended for Learning
Here are some of the latest guides that can help you achieve different IT certifications:
All In One CISSP Exam Guide, Sixth Edition from McGraw-Hill:
CISSP Practice Exams, Second Edition from McGraw-Hill:
CASP CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner Certification Study Guide from McGraw-Hill:
CCNA Security 640-554 Official Cert Guide from Cisco Press:
The Official VCP5 Certification Guide from VMware Press:
Quote of the Week
"If things are simply out of your control, there is no point in worrying about them or letting them bother you."
--Dorian Yates, bodybuilder and six-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title
Until next week,
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Download SolarWinds free Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory to get a complete hierarchical view of the effective permissions and access rights for a specific file folder or share drive!
Top 5 free IT infrastructure auditing tools. Audit changes in Active Directory, Exchange, File Servers, VMware and SQL. Reviewed by industry gurus, these tools proved useful for thousands of IT pros.
Hypervisor Independent VDI & Application Publishing from a Single Platform with 2X ApplicationServer XG. 30-day fully featured trial version.
Get on top of the IP address settings of your servers using this PowerShell script:
Need to delete the entries of older machine records from the MBAM v1.0 database? Use this free tool from Microsoft:
- Microsoft Management Summit on April 8-12, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, USA
- Microsoft TechEd North America on June 3-6, 2013 in New Orleans, USA
- Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 7-11, 2013 in Houston, USA
Add your event
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
Contact Michael Vella at [email protected] to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.
We'll start with some links to useful SharePoint resources:
- Best practices for upgrading to SharePoint 2013 (TechNet):
- SharePoint 2010 Best Practices (TechNet Wiki):
- Microsoft SharePoint Team Blog:
- Windows PowerShell for SharePoint Command Builder (from Microsoft):
- 5 Tips for Turning a SharePoint 2010 Search Center into a Find Center (Axceler):
- SharePoint 2010 Tips and Tricks with CSS (My SharePoint Space):
- Troubleshooting SharePoint 2010 : Tools & Techniques from Extreme SharePoint:
Next, here are a couple of third-party products and solutions that add new capabilities to SharePoint:
- Business Data List Connector for SharePoint V4 from Layer2:
- TotalView from Layer2:
Do you have other SharePoint tools or add-ons you'd like to suggest? Email us at [email protected].
Finally, got questions about SharePoint technologies, features, or issues? Ask over on these TechNet forums:
Now for some other stuff...
What can be used to keep Active Directory data secure?
Brent Whitlow explains how in this post from the Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms blog:
Managing the Recycle bin with Redirected Folders with Vista or Windows 7
From the Ask The Directory Services Team blog comes this post on taking control of Recycle Bin redirection on client computers:
Introducing Microsoft BitLocker Administration 2.0 Beta
Find out about the new features and capabilities included in MBAM 2.0 for managing BitLocker-protected devices from this post by Stephen Rose on the Springboard Series blog:
Windows Server 2012 updates put Hyper-V snapshots on par with VMware
The new and improved features that Windows Server 2012 delivers are enabling Hyper-V snapshots to compete with VMware's popular snapshot offerings. Access this exclusive step-by-step guide to learn how to leverage Hyper-V snapshots in your business.
Amazon, Microsoft focus on cloud development tools
New cloud platforms and technologies tend to receive a lot of attention in the IT world, however, there's rarely much buzz created over cloud development tools. Fortunately, Amazon and Microsoft are changing the game by offering a number of tools that can make life much easier for cloud developers.
Why client hypervisor technology won't solve the offline VDI problem
While client hypervisor technology offers many benefits and capabilities, it does not solve offline access problems. Inside this tip, discover the challenges associated with offline VDI and learn why the first client hypervisors fell short.
Windows 8 app development: What you need to know
When evaluating Windows 8, it's critical for application developers to fully understand how the new operating system will impact line-of-business applications running on their desktops. Find out four essential factors every IT and app developer must address in order to effectively prepare for Windows 8.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
An inside view into the gold bullion vault of The Bank of England, which stores about $315 billion worth of gold.
5 hours of airplane landings at San Diego International Airport condensed into 30 seconds.
The most amazing iPad magic by Simon Pierro. (With English subtitles.)
Beautiful moments from nature, scenery, animals and action sports edited into one magnificent, epic video.
Engineer Andrew Grey loves his parrot 'Pepper' and also loves technology, so he merged his two affections to create the "Bird Buggy":
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.