Vol. 23, #25 - June 25, 2018 - Issue #1187

WServerNews: Infrastructure inertia


Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

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Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is about what happens when a few IT pros get together and have lunch in a funky dive in a cultural part of town. We also have an Ask Our Readers question we need some help with, plus a Factoid of the Week that I need my glasses to read properly. And lots of other stuff. Enjoy!

Can going to lunch together be a team-building exercise? Let's look at Dilbert and find out:



Featured TechGenix article

This week we're featuring the following article published on our TechGenix website:

Keeping an eye on the clock with time servers 


I wrote this article as an update for an earlier WindowsNetworking.com article I penned way back in 2004 about configuring the Windows Time Service on Windows Server 2003. The reasons I'm featuring it in this week's issue of WServerNews are (a) personal vanity, (b) time servers still matter in enterprise environments and (c) someone asked some questions in a comment in this article and I've made his questions the Ask Our Readers item in this week's newsletter -- see below. 

Anyways, please take a look at the article and feel free to provide feedback using the comment section at the bottom of the article. And to stay on top of other great content we publish as well as special offers and announcements, be sure to subscribe to our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles newsletters which you can do here:



Ask Our Readers - Authenticated NTP and security

A reader named Johnny recently posted the following comment on my TechGenix article "Keeping an eye on the clock with time servers":

I enjoyed this article very much. Do you have any experience and thoughts about NTP and security risks? For example, what is outlined here:


Have you also had experience or know about someone using the NIST authenticated service:


I would appreciate your reply. I cannot find a set guidance/best practices and concrete ways to go about it. Thanks in advance.

Can any readers help Johnny? Email me at [email protected]

Ask Our Readers! - Need help from the IT pro community?

WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 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]

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


Infrastructure inertia

The other day I met a few IT pro colleagues for lunch in a funky little restaurant on one of our city's more culturally colorful streets. The place used to be a high-end coffee bar where the barista used a vacuum siphon coffee maker to deliver a brew that was as light as air but packed more ZING! than a gallon of Japanese Sencha green tea. Here's an article with photos of these coffee makers in case you're interested in getting one:

5 of the best siphon coffee makers (Home Grounds)


Unfortunately while they made amazin coffee they didn't know how to run a business well, so they folded and a neo-hippy brunch place opened in its stead. 

We sat down and talked for a couple of minutes and then looked up at the menu board on the wall behind the counter:


I stared at it for a few moments and then got up to take a closer look:



Yes that's right. The owners of the new restaurant made up a nice menu board, but when they put it over the counter they realized they had covered up an electrical outlet in the wall. And rather than move the sign board somewhere else or call an electrician to move the outlet, they simply left the existing electrical infrastructure in place and cut a hole in the sign board to keep the outlet working. Then they worked around the outlet as they wrote the menu out with chalk on the signboard. And they're not even using the outlet.

I pointed this out to my colleagues, who had not noticed it -- perhaps their eyesight was even worse than mine, eyestrain being a common blight of our profession, which is something we've talked about several times in the past in this newsletter, for example in Issue #1025: Eyestrain solutions for IT pros and Issue #1027: Reader Feedback: Eyestrain solutions for IT pros and which I summarized later in an article title Easy on the eyes: What IT professionals can do about eyestrain on our TechGenix website.

Anyways, the "infrastructure workaround" that the new restaurateur had creatively performed sparked a lively discussion with my IT pro colleagues during our lunch together as we talked about how IT departments in larger enterprises often experience a kind of inertia whereby they leave older, existing infrastructure in place and "build around" as the company grows and as acquisitions and mergers occur. The most egregious example we came up with was one small business some years ago when they upgraded to a gigabit Ethernet switch and employees were wondering why their Internet access was so slow and it turned out they still had a 10BaseT hub (!) as the backbone connection between their two servers and router.

The temptation to leave legacy applications, code, and even network devices in place instead of migrating, moving, reconfiguring, or replacing them. Such inertia can have various causes, and it's easy sometimes for IT to blame management or business owners for the messes they themselves must share some responsibility for allowing to exist. Have any of you readers seen examples of how inertia has led to incongruous juxtaposition of IT resources in your own organization or that of a partner or customer? Email me at [email protected]


Send us your feedback

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

Recommended for Learning

VIDEO: Cross Platform for Azure PowerShell (Channel 9)

Aaron and Scott check out the latest updates in Azure PowerShell, from simplified scenarios to -AsJob backgrounding support. This new functionality is now available on Mac, Linux, and Windows with PowerShell Core 6.


Factoid of the Week - Are smart people nearsighted?

Last week's factoid and question  was this:

Two new studies have found that editing cell genomes with CRISPR may increase the risk of cancer. Name one other revolutionary medical discovery you can remember that promised the sky but which eventually delivered little or nothing.

Bob from somewhere down in California sent us what is probably the definitive example of this kind of thing:

Interferon -- the miracle drug.

That was actually the example I was trying to think of myself but I couldn't remember the name of the substance.

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

Fact: The more time a person spends in education the more likely they are to develop short-sightedness, reveals a study led by Cardiff University and the University of Bristol


Question: Hmm, could that be true? Although I needed glasses starting in Grade 8 because teachers noticed my eyes were squinting when I tried to see the blackboard, I don't think it was because of being in school because I was bored out of my skull in class and spent most of my time daydreaming. I suspect my own nearsightedness developed because I was a ravenous reader and read late at night for hours in bed with inadequate lighting. What about you? 

Email your answer to us at [email protected]

Until next week, 

Mitch Tulloch


Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

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Test-Port is a simple port scanner that you can run against one or more hosts and check one or more ports to see if they are open:


iMacros web automation software works with every website to make it easy for you to record and replay repetitious work:


SubNet Scan is a script that lets you scan specific range of IP addresses to receive a list of machines with each address and some information about it like machine name from DNS, system and service pack info:


This Week's Tips

ConfiMgr - Adding DaRT to boot images

Johan Arwidmark has posted a tutorial on his Deployment Research blog that shows how to add Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) to a ConfigMgr boot image so it starts first in the boot process, making it possible to remote into WinPE as soon as the boot image has loaded, even before the PXE password and ConfigMgr prestart commands:


PowerShell - Goodbye WMI, hello CIM

Maik Koster explains in this blog post why he has moved most of his WMI related work from PowerShell WMI CmdLets like Get-WMIObject to CIM CmdLets like Get-CimInstance:


Office 365 - Security baseline available

If you want supportable guidance that describes security configuration baseline settings for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps, you can get it from this post on the Microsoft Security Guidance Blog:



Events Calendar

Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15-19


Microsoft Ignite 2018 on September 24-28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida USA


Add Your Event

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

New on TechGenix.com

Microsoft announces new Azure networking services

Microsoft has rolled out several new Azure networking services along with some enhancements for existing services. There's something here for businesses of all sizes.


Sci-fi or way too real? Google's creepy 'Selfish Ledger' video and your digital DNA

A leaked Google video brings up the specter of Hollywood's most frightening sci-fi movies. What would happen if Google — or anyone else — controlled our digital DNA?


Don't fear the journey: How these companies ditched their datacenters for Kubernetes in the cloud

Many companies are making the transition from datacenters to Kubernetes in the cloud. Here is a textbook example of how two companies made the transition successfully.


Key technologies you must know for effective mobile app strategies

Yes, there's an app for that. But is there an app for your business? Using these four advanced technologies with your mobile app strategies may mean the difference between success and failure. 


Help corner: Timeout problems when initiating an RDP session

If your attempts at initiating a new RDP session times out, this real-life troubleshooting story may provide you with some tips on what you can do to resolve your problem.



Tech Briefing - Networking

Detecting port availability and blockage: Part 2, The Trace

Lee Stevens


Using Azure DNS for Dynamic DNS with PowerShell

A Geek's World


A PowerShell DNS Suffix Tool

The Lonely Administrator


Use DHCP Scope info to build DNS Reverse Lookup Zones and configure DNS with Powershell

A Geeks World


Simple PowerShell Network Capture Tool – Update

Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms



Other Articles of Interest

What are Citrix's cloud services?

Citrix has been proactively marketing cloud services for about two years, but why is the adoption rate low? And what products are included in their cloud suite? Read on to find out. 


Industry news: Citrix sues Workspot; ThinPrint announces new product

Check out this weekly log of everything going on in EMM, EUC, and desktop virtualization.


Mixed messages on Windows Server 2019 RDSH

The messaging from Microsoft around RDSH in Windows Server 2019 caused confusion and frustration among some in the IT community. 


Citrix Synergy 2018 conference coverage

Reflect on all the happenings at Citrix Synergy 2018, including information on the company's app and desktop delivery products and news on emerging technologies. 



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]

Electric Hydrofoil Water Taxi

The 'Bubble Taxi' is a small, fast and very efficient electric hydrofoil craft producing no wave, no noise and no emission:


Amazing Trapeze Act - 'Duo Transcend'

Duo Transcend' amaze the judges and audience of America's Got Talent with their stunning trapeze performance.


The Evasons - World's Foremost Mentalist Duo

Even the skeptics will be left speechless after seeing this performance of The Evasons - the World's Foremost Mentalist Duo:


The Savitsky Cats Amazing Performance

The talented Savitsky Cats and their trainers Svetlana and Marina from Ukraine impress on the America's Got Talent stage:


Have any other readers found similar content they'd like to recommend for our Fave Links section? Email us at [email protected]


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 


SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

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.