Vol. 22, #14 - April 03, 2017 - Issue #1125

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Windows Server 2016 resources

A Guide to Improving Availability and Taking Control of Office 365 Email 

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The rapid growth of Microsoft Office 365 is creating opportunities for IT managers to leverage Exchange Online as an efficient cloud-based email platform. But Office 365 also brings challenges, particularly in meeting today’s stringent Availability, cost control and regulatory compliance requirements. By using modern Availability software, IT can leverage on-premises backup and recovery to assert greater control over Office 365 access and protection. Here's how.

Read Guide.


Editor's Corner


In this week's newsletter we get back to basics to provide you with a list of free resources for learning about how to deploy, configure, manage, and maintain servers running Windows Server 2016. We also have some tips, tools, links and fun stuff to keep you informed and amused.

It's important to stick with the basics when you're configuring servers. The principle here of course is K.I.S.S. or "Keep it simple, Stupid!" because if you don't keep things simple you're likely to experience some hard knocks. For deeper insight into this principle, listen to Dogbert in this Dilbert comic strip:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/95tja14f/

Ask Our Readers - Dealing with GLOBE ransomware

A reader named Eduardo emailed us with the following request:

2 weeks ago my Word files (and some other from Microsoft Office 2013) were encrypted and they are demanding ransom. The "program" was GLOBE. Any software available to "open" and read my files? Thanks.

Can any readers help Eduardo? Email us at wsn@mtit.com


Ask Our Readers - Any ConfigMgr email lists or online groups?

James, a Technology Coordinator in Minnesota, USA sent me the following request:

Hi Mitch, I'm wondering if you know of any email lists or online groups that deal with SCCM? I'm thinking of taking the plunge this summer and want to lurk in some groups to see what is being discussed. Thanks!

I replied directly to James as follows:

Hi James, not offhand unfortunately. You might try reaching out to some Microsoft MVPs who have expertise with SCCM and ask them what they might suggest. Some examples of SCCM MVPs include:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/89ccp4wq/

http://www.wservernews.com/go/v8ib3dz6/

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tn9pz4ql/

http://www.wservernews.com/go/3kr5yo76/

Also see the following:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/txv1f08a/

http://www.wservernews.com/go/dyt8prpu/

Hope that helps and let me know if you track down any helpful discussion groups!

If any other readers who work with System Center Configuration Manager have suggestions for James, please email them to us at wsn@mtit.com

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 wsn@mtit.com


Book Review - Securing Windows Server 2016 Exam Ref 70-744 (Microsoft Press)

Before we dig into our Mailbag we're kicking off a new occasional section in this newsletter where we'll review some of the latest and greatest technical books available from different publishers. And if you are an IT author and would like us to review your own book, just email us at wsn@mtit.com and we'll provide you with more info.

Securing Windows Server 2016 Exam Ref 70-744 by Timothy L. Warner and Craig Zacker is the latest in a series of Exam Ref guides published by Microsoft Press. The goal of this title is to help readers gain mastery of knowledge and skills needed for them to pass Microsoft Certification Exam 70-744, a standalone exam that will give those successful the credentials of Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Security Specialist in Windows Server 2016. For more information about this exam, see here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7caydtoa/

The book itself is typical of the kind of quality learning materials published by Microsoft Press. Craig has been writing certification books for Microsoft Press for years and they're always of very high quality. Craig's collaborator on this title, Timothy L. Warner, has previously written books for SAMS and several other publishers. I took some time to browse through a couple of chapters of this title and learned some helpful new stuff in addition to refreshing my understanding of some existing technologies that have been grandfathered into Windows Server 2016 from previous versions of Windows Server. The authors are quite honest that Windows Server 2016 is still a work in progress as far as its integration capabilities with Microsoft Azure are concerned. But when I tried out one of the demos in the section on implementing a software-defined distributed firewall I found everything worked as described in their book, especially the different PowerShell commands and scriptlets for the demo. PowerShell is clearly the future of Windows Server administration (and is already the present for most administrators) so the book's emphasis on PowerShell is welcome and appropriate not just for exam learning but also for the real world. The book does include screenshots however where appropriate and in contrast to some publishers Microsoft Press ensures the quality is such that everything is clearly readable in these screenshots. In summary then, I can recommend this title and not just for readers who plan on going for the MCP Security Specialist certification but also for anyone who already has a couple of years of experience managing Windows servers, a basic smattering of PowerShell expertise, and a desire to dig into new security stuff like Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Privileged Access Workstations, SMB 3.1.1, Guarded Fabric solutions, and more. You can buy their book from Amazon:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hz2euyzk/

My mistake!

I recently wrote an article for Techgenix.com titled Windows kiosk mode: 5 solutions you should know about:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xo8odznk/

Well it turns out that I made a few erroneous statements in my article concerning NetKiosk software:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/sid9c7am/

Aimé Snyders the CEO of Netkiosk sent me an email correcting my misstatements as follows:

Dear Mitch, Thank you for adding our software Netkiosk to the list. However, it is not the first time a website lists our products, (Without our knowledge) and then incorrectly specifies what our products do. There have been other sites that rewrote (in their own) words Netkiosk information that is clearly available on the website. As you might imagine this, not only, could lead to confusion with readers, as well as misrepresentation. A simply verification with us to check if all this information is correct would have been appropriate. We work very hard to make sure our website is up to date and that visitors have a good overview of what we do.

The key point of "Basic functionality for locking down Windows" is incorrect. You say that NetKiosk Standard provides basic functionality for locking down Windows and controlling which programs and websites users are allowed to run and visit. This is not true. All Netkiosk versions provided full lock down functionalities. Without it it would simply defeat the purpose of Kiosk Software. Futhermore, Netkiosk Desktop Lock provides Program access control. Netkiosk Standard is now an integrated part of Netkiosk Desktop Lock. And lastly, you are more than welcome to remove my comments providing the information relating to Netkiosk is correct.

  1. Netkiosk has a built-in option to replace the windows shell.
  2. Netkiosk has built-in session reset options (Manual or automatic)
  3. Display the web browser in full screen tabbed or info kiosk mode

And for something a bit more important. Although our website is netkiosk.co.uk (We also own NetkioskKioskSoftware.com, NetkioskSoft.com, jtmkiosksystems.com and few others. Our HQ is in Ireland. NOT the UK.

My apologies for my mistakes concerning your products and thank you very much for correcting them! 


From the Mailbag

Here's a bit more mail on the topic of Macs vs PCs in the workplace which we previously covered in Issue #1120 TCO: Mac vs PC and Issue #1122 Reader feedback: Mac vs PC TCO:

I have been reading with interest the comments on Mac vs PC TCO. I worked with a company that wanted to jump on the Mac bandwagon, so the entire company switched to the Mac. Long story short, within 6 months, more than two thirds of them had a flavor of Windows loaded on the Macs, so they could get their work done in a timely manner. This made for some very expensive Windows desktops, compared to what they would of cost if Mac hardware was not already purchased! One of your responders made a comment that "Citrix works great, get a Windows 7 desktop and can access all software as if in the office." Having run a Citrix farm in the past, there is no way that the Mac can be cheaper than a PC if this is needed. The cost and administration of a Citrix, farm will easily blow the TCO calculation for the Mac. The cost of the Citrix licenses alone will make the PC much cheaper, even if you can resell old Mac hardware at 40% of the original purchase price as one of your responders stated in last week's newsletter. Just my two cents, and thanks for a place where these things can be discussed! --Tim, Sr. Technical Systems Engineer II

Also found in our Mailbag were a couple more examples of value dilution shared with us by readers:

"Half gallon" ice cream cartons that are now 48 ounces. I believe it was Edy's that started the trend because the cost of ingredients went up, and everyone followed, but since then, the cost has come back down, and yet we are still stuck with 48 ounce "half gallon" cartons. --Jeffrey

This one is so old, that it is permanently embedded in my brain. In the '70s, our school district bought 'value' toilet paper rolls that were half the price. But, they had less sheets per roll. So, my mother constantly used this as a reminder: They got essentially the same amount of TP, but, the labor costs doubled because they had to replace rolls 2x as often.The other was in my first job- we built industrial embroidery machines. The purchasing agent was proud that he saved 58% on the price of screws: from $5 per hundred, to $2.10. Perhaps 10 used per machine: total machine savings of $0.29. But, the cheaper screws were hydrogen embrittled. One breaks off inside a power supply, shorting HV to LV. Causes over $1000 in damage. Brilliant! --Thaddeus

And now on to some Windows Server 2016 resources you should know about…


Windows Server 2016 resources

We've tried to compile a list of our favorite free resources on learning how to deploy and manage Windows Server 2016. To make things more useful we've broken it down into sections below. If you know of any other resources you feel we should have included please email them to us at wsn@mtit.com

Microsoft TechNet

An obvious starting point for those interesting in starting to get to know Windows Server 2016 is the following section of the Windows IT Center on TechNet:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rk9sm4a1/

On that page you'll find an introductory video and links to information about what's new in Windows Server 2016 and more detailed documentation on various new capabilities in the platform.

Channel 9

Video learning is the fastest way for many of us to absorb new concepts. If you want to learn more about Windows Server 2016 by watching videos on your smartphone or tablet you can start with this list of Channel 9 videos:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/vnxjcyf1/

Microsoft Virtual Academy

The Microsoft Virtual Academy is another useful source of free online learning materials with community interaction. Here's a list of MVA courses on Windows Server 2016 you can check out:

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

Blogs

I personally prefer blogs as a way of digging deep into new technologies like those introduced in Windows Server 2016. That's because I tend to get bored when video demos play too slowly, I much prefer the traditional "walkthrough with screenshots" still favored by many IT pro bloggers. So once we've skipped past Microsoft's own Windows Server Blog which is often little more than a marketing vehicle (google it if you want to see it) we can find a number of bloggers out there who have blogged some really cool stuff (and sometimes very deep as well!) about Windows Server 2016. Here's a list of my top ten blogs tagged for Windows Server 2016:

Keith Mayer

http://www.wservernews.com/go/2f2vt7p9/

Virtualization Blog

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ez7mx0g1/

Ask PFE Platforms

http://www.wservernews.com/go/6u8t6rov/

Aidan Finn

http://www.wservernews.com/go/j1ikakhn/ 

Didier Van Hoye

http://www.wservernews.com/go/21tr0jit/

Server Storage at Microsoft

http://www.wservernews.com/go/4dzj8ohz/

Networking Blog

http://www.wservernews.com/go/o9qlfx9d/

The WSiX Network Connection

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ewqmbkm5/

Ask the Core Team

http://www.wservernews.com/go/u66j9z3t/

TechNet UK Blog

http://www.wservernews.com/go/049k1kg5/

Virtual labs

Finally, if you'd like some free hands-on experience with Windows Server 2016 you should check out the Windows Server 2016 virtual labs:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7cu5chky/


Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at wsn@mtit.com

Recommended for Learning

VIDEO: Time Improvements in Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 time accuracy has been improved. These updates are targeted to meet accuracy regulations in the US and EU. Learn about the improvements and how to achieve this benefit in your environment.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/z7boqwiu/

 

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Windows Server 2016 Breach Resistance for Your Operating System and Applications

How can you best utilize Windows Server 2016, as an active participant in your datacenter security? And how can Windows Server 2016 help protect against and detect threats? Find out, in this brief but powerful enterprise security course. Look at common attack timelines and scenarios, along with attacker access. Explore the concept of extending the time between an attacker's initial breach and when they take control of organization, giving data security professionals time to detect, respond, and root out the intruder. See how to protect against pass-the-hash attacks using Credential Guard, how to lock down your server using Device Guard, and how you can better detect and investigate threats using new audit events that are triggered by malicious activity.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/eoaik02r/
  

Factoid of the Week

Last week's factoid and question was this:

Per head of population, Britain has 13 times as many accountants as Germany. Why do you think that is? Is it a good or a bad thing? And what profession in Germany are there many more professionals than in Britain?

We received a few several serious attempts at answering this question. This one from Bengt, a Regional IT Manager in Sweden, was the one we felt was the best:

I believe the main reason for the difference in accountants per capita is that the number of self-employed people is (much) higher in the UK. This means more companies per capita as well leading to more accountants. Look for instance in the branches of IT consulting, airline pilots, plumbers (yes!) etc. There could also be a difference in the laws between the countries regarding whether you must use an accountant or not. Finally there could be the difference whether the title accountant is protected (compare to medical doctor) in the different countries. Not being German nor British these are my not so well founded beliefs. The first one however I am quite sure of as there has been court cases regarding this in both countries.

That's a fascinating analysis, thank you! Of course we also received some facetious responses including this one which ranked top on our list:

"Why do you think that is?" Answer: All Germans can count already. "What profession in Germany are there many more professionals than in Britain?" Answer: Yodelers. --Douglas, a Systems Administrator in Iowa, USA

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

Fact: The fear of Friday the 13th is sometimes called friggatriskaidekaphobia which comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words triskaideka, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

Source: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1un41h6c/

Question: What's the weirdest name for a disorder that you've ever come across yourself? (Or try inventing one if you know a little Classical Greek!)

Email your answer to us at: wsn@mtit.com

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 wsn@mtit.com

Veeam is happy to provide you with a study guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409. The guide will take you through the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7v16q8f1/

SPSFarmReport is a free tool that provides SharePoint farm reporting:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7aoqpq3u/

Database Modeling Excel is a database modeling utility is a Microsoft Office Excel workbook which can help you on your work of design database and supports DB2, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL SQLite and SQL Server:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hs2b00cj/

This page by wiseTools lets you check a published SPF record or DKIM key:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/jx829v2a/

 

This Week's Tips

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at wsn@mtit.com

Windows Server - DNS Recursion Policies

TechNet's Tip of the Day site has a tip that explains how DNS admins can configure recursion policies to provide granular control over recursion for non-authoritative queries:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/63b8e7ff/

ConfigMgr - Retaining backups

Windows Management Experts (WME) has a PowerShell script you can use to ensure SCCM keeps three backups by default instead of the usual one backup set:

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

Active Directory - Troubleshooting replication issues

Daniel Mauser from the Windows Networking Support Team has a very instructive blog post describing in detail how he helped a customer troubleshoot an Active Directory replication issue that was caused by a device in the middle done some weird stuff:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/bgub4fs9/

Events Calendar

Microsoft Build in May 10-12, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/qb9opurg/

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rumh37uq/

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

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rw1hxlnp/

Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact info@techgenix.com

New on TechGenix.com

Is PowerShell the ultimate malware authoring tool?

PowerShell is a great tool for Windows admins. But can it be turned into a weapon for hackers? We wanted to find out, and here are the results.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/bkxfe7w0/

Introduction to Azure Server Management Tools

Azure Server Management Tools allows system administrators to manage both on-premises and cloud based servers through a powerful new interface.

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

Product Review: UserLock

UserLock is a product that works alongside Active Directory to protect and enhance access to Windows systems (laptops, desktops and servers).

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

Rebuilding MDT with PowerShell: An interview with Michael Niehaus

Michael Niehaus, the key developer behind the popular Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, talks about his plans to rebuild MDT using PowerShell.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/pzaaaq08/

Top 5 cloud-based data backup services for business

Backing up your company's data has become more cost effective, thanks to the cloud. Here are five cloud-based backup services you should consider.

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

 

Tech Briefing

AWS

Reduce DDoS Risks Using Amazon Route 53 and AWS Shield (AWS Blog)

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

Comparing Azure to AWS a quick guide to the key differences (Faulty Connection)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/9444r8vp/

Cloud computing

Reduce running costs for your RDS Deployment in Azure using Auto-Scaling (Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rma6i04v/

Activate Free Azure Cloud Credits – Visual Studio Dev Essentials (Tham's Tech Club)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/gh4evm2i/

Exchange Server

Mailboxes not being migrated to Exchange Online because their sizes exceed the mailbox target quota of 50GB (EXO Voice)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/mx0wv9uy/

Announcing the availability of modern public folder migration to Exchange Online (You Had Me At EHLO)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/luf22kfp/

Office 365

Deep Dive Into Office 365 PowerShell Cmdlets (Part 9) (VirtualizationAdmin.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/gip0nx0u/

Office365: What Is The Size Of Users Mailbox? (HighClouder)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/6phx1tnw/

System Center

Management Pack authoring the REALLY fast and easy way, using Silect MP Author and Fragments (Kevin Holman's System Center Blog)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ycksb1n2/

Unlocking the full potential of System Center Operations Manager: introducing the free Squared Up Community Edition license (System Center Operations Manager Team Blog)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ltes02i5/


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 wsn@mtit.com

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Power Of Unity

The power of unity and teamwork - demonstrated by creatures large and small:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/pd1aj7mg/

Self-Organizing Closet

You'll never need to organize your closet again because this cabinet will do it for you:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/cdxyi19m/

The Amazing Christopher

The amazing Christopher dances with 4 puppets to the tune of 'YMCA' by the Village People:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/jvt5z1c7/

Triple Filter Test of Socrates

Socrates was visited by an acquaintance. Eager to share some juicy gossip, the man asked if he would like to know the story he'd just heard about a friend of theirs:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/vpxm795u/

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

A Guide to Improving Availability and Taking Control of Office 365 Email 

Image

The rapid growth of Microsoft Office 365 is creating opportunities for IT managers to leverage Exchange Online as an efficient cloud-based email platform. But Office 365 also brings challenges, particularly in meeting today’s stringent Availability, cost control and regulatory compliance requirements. By using modern Availability software, IT can leverage on-premises backup and recovery to assert greater control over Office 365 access and protection. Here's how.

Read 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.