Vol. 22, #46 - November 13, 2017 - Issue #1157

WServerNews: Messy IT

Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory 


SolarWinds® Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory™ gives you instant visibility into user and group permissions and a complete hierarchical view of the effective permissions and access rights for a specific NTFS file folder or share drive – all from a user friendly desktop dashboard.  Browse permissions by group or individual user, and analyze user permissions based on group membership combined with specific permissions.  Unravel a tangled mess of file permissions: network share, folder, Active Directory, inherent, explicit, calculated and more.

Download the Free Permissions Analyzer Tool Today. 

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about how organizations often let their IT infrastructure and resources become disorganized to the point they can become unmanageable. One way this happens is when someone on your team quits or gets fired and leaves a mess behind. As Wally demonstrates this can be an ideal time to excuse your own laziness by pinning your problems on the one who left:



Coming up this week in FitITproNews

In this week's issue of FitITproNews we're going to focus on the why and how of developing those important but rarely seen muscles in your back. And by the way, we now have previous issues of our FitITproNews newsletter archived online:



Ask Our Readers

WServerNews now has over 220,000 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…


Messy IT

The other day Ingrid and I were walking along a street where there were some old brick-style apartment buildings. On the outside wall facing the street I saw this on one of the buildings:


I guess some of the tenants must have been desperate for some cable TV service! But as I stared at this disorganized mess of coaxial cabling the thought also crossed my mind that some of the server rooms and many of the workspace areas of companies I've visited also look similar to this.

Then I wondered to myself: What causes chaos to descend like this upon IT infrastructures? Several things came to mind as possible reasons:

The thought then occurred to me that The Cloud is probably helping organizations avoid the kind of "organic" mess that traditional IT infrastructures tend to evolve into with their mix of new and legacy hardware/software. After all, with the cloud you can spin up a new server in minutes and you don't need to mess around with patch panels when you need to reconfigure the network.

So I asked a few old-time admins I know whose companies now rely mostly on the cloud to see if IT was less messy for them today than it was in the past when their infrastructures were mostly physical. How surprised I was when they told me things actually seemed messier for them today! Instead of dozens of servers they now had hundreds of virtual machines to manage, the majority of which were not even running! In the old days you would wipe a physical server if it was no longer needed or if it was to be repurposed for some other workload. But now however you would just create a new VM and leave the old one dead floating there in the cloud. In other words the cloud is so vast and so cheap and so easy to use that in most cases organizations end up with many times more dead VMs than live ones. And why reconfigure a network when it's easier just to create a new one with a few clicks of the mouse?

And the cloud has made it so easy to quickly provision new workloads, services, apps, networks, and storage that it conveys the impression that IT itself is now fast as lightning to support every whim a business imagines. "Business at the speed of light" is one phrase I heard somewhere. Unfortunately making IT operate at such speeds also puts pressure on IT processes like planning, testing, procurement, and documentation to be equally fast. Which they can't, of course. Our brains continue to operate at the same speed they always have, and typing speeds still haven't much exceeded 150 words per minute so cranking out documentation is still as difficult as before. BTW see the Factoid of the Week section of this week's newsletter for more on typing speeds.

My question directed to readers is this: What do you do to keep a lid on the IT pot of your organization so things don't boil over into a mess that might be difficult or even impossible to clean up? How do you keep your infrastructure under control both on-premises and in the cloud? What tools or services or procedures do you use for avoiding messy IT? Email me at [email protected]

Send us your feedback

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

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This course explores Active Directory in a hybrid environment, which combines Active Directory on-premises with Azure Active Directory. See how Azure Active Directory and Windows Server Active Directory can work together to create a unified identity system, which includes both on-premises users and cloud users. Watch this free, on-demand course here.


Factoid of the Week

Since I'm catching up let's start off with this factoid from several weeks ago:

Using an air freshener in you automobile can be dangerous! What do our readers think about using air fresheners in enclosed areas like offices?

Randy, a Senior Project Manager for a university in the USA sent us the following joke on this subject. And if you want you can substitute "fat IT pro" for "blonde" and replace "was applying fresh lipstick" to "was playing Angry Birds on his cellphone" if you find it less offensive):

A blonde had just totaled her car in a horrific accident. Miraculously, she managed to pry herself from the wreckage without a scratch and was applying fresh lipstick when the state trooper arrived.

"My God!" the trooper gasped. "Your car looks like an accordion that was stomped on by an elephant. Are you OK ma'am?"

"Yes, officer, I'm just fine" the blonde chirped.

"Well, how in the world did this happen?" the officer asked as he surveyed the wrecked car.

"Officer, it was the strangest thing!" the blonde began. I was driving along this road when from out of nowhere this TREE pops up in front of me. So I swerved to the right, and there was another tree! I swerved to the left and there was ANOTHER tree! I served to the right and there was another tree! I swerved to the left and there was ...." 

"Uh, ma'am", the officer said, cutting her off, "There isn't a tree on this road for 30 miles. That was your air freshener swinging back and forth."

OK we don't usually include jokes like this in our newsletter but this one is at least worth a groan.

Then two weeks ago I shared the following factoid:

Sales reps only make 1.3 call attempts before giving up and moving on. Do you think voicemail might have something to do with this? What's the best (or strangest or funniest) voicemail message you've ever used or experienced?

A reader named Don didn't comment on the first question but he did answer the second:

I was calling a company that had recently been bomb-barded with spam calls. I go this message: "This is you-know who. We are you-know-where. Leave your you-know-what you-know-when." Beep.

And finally last week's factoid and questionwas this:

J. R. R. Tolkien typed the 1,200-page manuscript of The Lord of the Rings trilogy with two fingers. What sort of influence did Tolkien's book have on you when you were young?

Doug, a Systems Administrator who works for a Department of Correctional Services in Iowa, USA, had a great response:

After reading the trilogy, I also read "Bored of the Rings" by Harvard Lampoon. Life makes me quote it often with lines like: "We will head east he said pointing to the setting sun."

I must read that book sometime so I can drive all my Ring-loving friends crazy. Here's a link where you can get it on Amazon:


Now let's move on to this week's factoid which like last week's also has something to do with typing:

Fact: The fastest English language typist is Barbara Blackburn, who reached a peak typing speed of 212 wpm during a test in 2005, using a Dvorak simplified keyboard. 


Question: How did you learn to type? I learned simply by writing over 50 books and a thousand articles and now I can type accurately with my eyes closed except for punctuation. I also wonder though how relevant touch-typing is today in an age of thumb-typing on smartphones and laptop keyboards with mushy keys. Is learning to type on a good keyboard still a skill that IT pros should try to develop?

Email your thoughts to me if you have any: [email protected]

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 [email protected]

Veeam ONE Free Edition 9.5 will save you time and document your network with automated, detailed reports. Take control of your virtual environment, know the status of the network at all times.

Monitor and view Hyper-V VM guest performance on your Hyper-V hosts with this PowerShell tool:


Nintex Document Tagger is an Office 365 add-in that enables you to create custom documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or PDF with data dynamically merged from tagged templates stored in SharePoint or a supported file storage system:


Download Outlook to Apple Mail Converter to precisely import PST files into Apple Mail:


This Week's Tips

SharePoint - Updating user info

SharePoint Steve has a post on his blog about the different ways info about AD users can be updated in SharePoint 2013 and how changers to user names etc can impact this:


Azure - Opening outbound ports

Which outbound ports do you need to open when using Azure? Which IP addresses should you whitelist in your corporate firewall? Check out this post on the Service Bus blog:


Azure - Save money on batch workloads

The Microsoft Faculty Connection blog has a post that explains how low-priority VMs can make new types of batch workloads possible by providing a large amount of Azure compute power that is also economical:


Events Calendar

European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference on November 13-16, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland


SharePoint Fest on December 609, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois


Microsoft Tech Summit on Dec 6-7, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil


Microsoft Tech Summit on Dec 13-14 in Toronto, Canada


Microsoft Tech Summit on January 24-25, 2018 in Birmingham, UK


Microsoft Tech Summit on March 5-6, 2018 in Washington, D.C. USA


Microsoft Tech Summit on March 14-15, 2018 in Paris, France


Microsoft Tech Summit on March 19-20, 2018 in San Francisco, California USA


Microsoft Tech Summit on March 28-29, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands


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]

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Tech Briefing - PowerShell

Group membership isn't consistent in AD Users and Computers

From Lee Stevens Technical Blogs


Get-AdUser: A Cmdlet a Day

From Adam the Automator


Use Docker to automate testing of PowerShell Core scripts

From the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog


PS without BS: Creating Random Test Users in Active Directory

From Lee Stevens Technical Blogs


Starting EXE Files with Start-Process (Improved)

From Adam the Automator


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Microsoft Windows Mobile failed to take off -- here's why

Microsoft has struggled to compete against the mobile device giants, but merging its mobile and desktop OSes could give the company an edge in the enterprise.


Nonpersistent vs. persistent VDI showdown

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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]

Blue Angels Over San Francisco

The Blue Angels U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron perform during the San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show:


Ben Leclair Wakeboards Through The Flooded Streets Of Paris

During the flood of the river Seine in May 2016, wakeboarder Ben Leclair made his way from narrow alleyways and streets into the city of Paris:


Amazing Soccer Artist Iya Traore

Amazing soccer artist Iya Traore performing on Georgia's Got Talent:


Translation Not Needed

No translation is needed for this funny clip from Turkey:


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory 


SolarWinds® Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory™ gives you instant visibility into user and group permissions and a complete hierarchical view of the effective permissions and access rights for a specific NTFS file folder or share drive – all from a user friendly desktop dashboard.  Browse permissions by group or individual user, and analyze user permissions based on group membership combined with specific permissions.  Unravel a tangled mess of file permissions: network share, folder, Active Directory, inherent, explicit, calculated and more.

Download the Free Permissions Analyzer Tool Today. 

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.