Vol. 23, #42 - October 22, 2018 - Issue #1204

WServerNews Spotlight: Group Policy


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

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter drills in on a subject that most Windows admins are familiar with in their day to day management and operations of their networks. Yes I'm talking about Group Policy, a set of features built into Active Directory that enables policy-based administration of users, computers, and other network resources. We also have a response to an Ask Our Readers item from a previous issue and we'd be happy if more of our readers could weigh in on the question discussed therein. Plus we have various other sundry stuff for your education and enjoyment. Cheers! --Mitch


Some articles on Group Policy

Let's start off with some of our more recent Group Policy articles and tips that we've published on our TechGenix website:

10 Windows Group Policy settings you need to tweak


Using PowerShell to evaluate group policy issues


Also check out the following series of articles on our site by Nirmal Sharma:

Active Directory Group Policy Health Check Items (Part 1)


Active Directory Group Policy Health Check Items (Part 2)


Active Directory Group Policy Health Check Items (Part 3)


Active Directory Group Policy Health Check Items (Part 4)


Active Directory Group Policy Health Check Items (Part 5)


Now let's move on to some other stuff on Group Policy…


Slow startup/logon performance?

Are you experiencing slow boot times or excessively long duration of logons? Could the Group Policy configuration of your environment have something to do with this? Check out the following article by Nathan Penn on the Ask PFE Platforms blog on TechNet for tips on how to troubleshoot:



Cleaning up before a migration

Before you perform an Active Directory migration it's a good idea to clean up your Group Policy infrastructure by identifying and weeding out unneeded policies. The following short article from VirtuallyAware may be of some help in getting started with this job:


Also check out this article which builds on the previous one using PowerShell:


Once you've cleaned up your Group Policy messes, it's a good idea to export all of your Group Policy settings in a report form. You can find out how to do this here:



Are there any good alternatives?

While Group Policy is a good solution that every Windows admin relies upon, it can seem sometimes like a multi-headed hydra that keeps on growing uncontrollably in seemingly every conceivable direction. Perhaps there's an alternative you could try using, like this one from JumpCloud:


Have any readers tried this in their environment? Let us know what you think of this or any other third-party Group Policy replacement solution by emailing us at [email protected]


Group Policy vs. MDM: who wins?

Finally there is the question of which is the better approach: Microsoft's tried-and-true traditional solution of using Group Policy with Active Directory, or Microsoft's new "modern" approach to Windows management that leverages the fact that Windows 10 is enabled for mobile device management (MDM). Is MDM going to be the replacement for Group Policy going forward? Or will Group Policy continue to thrive in this century like Windows 7 is likely to resist getting killed off? Stay tuned for next week's newsletter where we'll explore this interesting topic! Or send us your opinion today by emailing us at [email protected] 


Tip of the Week

Got any IT pro tips you'd like to share with other readers of our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

Don't let your company's domain name expire!

Make sure the domain name you registered for your company's website is set for autorenewal, because if you allow it to expire you might end up with all kinds of problems. Domain names are often abandoned when a company is acquired or by or merges with another company, and such abandoned domain names often get snapped up by malicious actors who can then wreak havoc by taking control of the former company's email services and use this for perpetrating fraud, extortion, and other criminal activities. There's some good information about this can be done in the following article on The Medium:



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]

If native Office 365 reports are not sufficient for you and if you need more details on your email traffic such as the sender, recipient and email subject, try PROMODAG Reports for free now!


VeeamON Virtual – the Premier Virtual Conference for Intelligent Data Management. December 5, 2018. Register to attend. 


This Script allow reset the Windows Update Agent resolving issues with Windows Update:


This VBA sample illustrates how to save attachments from multiple selected items in Outlook:


The SQL Server Maintenance Solution comprises scripts for running backups, integrity checks, and index and statistics maintenance on all editions of Microsoft SQL Server:



 Ask Our Readers - Tracking our network ops (a response)

A couple of weeks ago a reader named David who works for a Large Company asked us this question:

What do newsletter readers who manage operations for their corporate network use for tracking configuration change requests, helpdesk support tickets, and such? In another Large Company I worked for we used Request Tracker:


but what else is out there? I'm newly hired and mgmt wants something robust to replace their current collection of bandaids…thanks.

James from Boston, Massachusetts responded briefly with the following recommendation:

Try JIRA :-)

Jira Software is a product from Atlassian that is designed to enable teams to plan, track, and manage software development projects, but as James suggests it can also be repurposed for other kinds of tracking tasks. Here's the webpage for the product:


Do any readers out there have any other recommendations for David? Email us at [email protected]


Factoid - I'm smart and punny!

Last week's factoid and question  was this:

Fact: GeoCities dies in March 2019, and with it a piece of internet history.

Question: How many of you fondly remember browsing Geocities in its heyday? And did any of you newsletter readers actually own your own piece of Geocities by putting up a web page on some topic?

A reader named Radhakrishnan who is a retired consultant from India now living in the USA responded as follows:

Yahoo was kind enough to give me Website:


But it is no more now. I will remain most grateful, if I get it revived or get the contents at least.

You might be in luck! The Internet Archive maintains an archive of much of the Geocities content, and it looks like at least part of your original Geocities website can be found here:


Anyways, let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: Puns are the most elevated form of humor:


Question: What is the best (or worst!) pun you've ever heard?

Email your answer to [email protected]



Conference calendar

North America

>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

Global Office 365 Developer Bootcamp -- Oct 26 in Mexico City, Mexico


SQL in the City -- Oct 26 in Chicago, Illinois


PASS Summit 2018 -- Nov. 6-9 in Seattle, Washington


SharePoint Fest -- Dec. 3-7 in Chicago, Illinois




>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

VMworld Europe -- Nov 5-8 in Barcelona, Spain


Cybersecurity Leadership Summit -- Nov 12-14 in Berlin, Germany


European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference -- Nov 26-29 in Copenhagen, Denmark


Directions EMEA -- Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in The Hague, Netherlands


Global Office 365 Developer Bootcamp -- Nov. 16 in Rome, Italy


Global Office 365 Developer Bootcamp -- Nov. 22 in Bern, Switzerland


Update Conference -- Nov. 22-23 in Prague, Czech Republic


European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference -- Nov. 26-29 in Copenhagen, Denmark




>> Got an IT conference happening in Australia or Asia that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]

No conferences listed at present.


New on TechGenix.com

Want to become a network administrator or a network architect? Here's what to expect

Network administrators and network architects are hot jobs. What does it take to break into these fields? This guide gives you the answers.


Cisco Webex Edge improves audio, video, content for meetings

Meeting time? Cisco Webex Edge can let your business save money while also improving the experience with better audio, video, and content quality.


The Xtreme Minute: All we need is a plan — and the courage — to ask for a raise

In today's TechGenix Xtreme Podcast, we learn how to ask for a raise and ask why Microsoft can't get an important update right.


PowerShell aliases: My never-ending love/ hate relationship

Using PowerShell aliases can help you do several tasks easier and quicker. But there are a few problems that can trip you up.


6 reasons why more millennials are switching to tech careers

Millennials want it all — a good job and a good life away from their job. This is why these young workers are considering tech careers.



Fun videos from Flixxy

How To Minimize Stress Astronaut Style - Chris Hadfield

Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains the best antidote to stress


Audiovisual Illusion From Caltech

Caltech researchers have developed an illusion that shows how vision can be influenced by sound


Paul Vigil Performs Magic Without Moving

Master magician and author Paul Vigil is known as one of the most discriminating magicians and mentalist in the world


Why Humans Are Obsessed With Cats

How cats conquered the world and our hearts



 More articles of Interest

Should you virtualize an edge computing server?

The need to pack a lot of compute power into a small package leaves many wondering whether containers and serverless frameworks could replace virtualization at the edge. Read more here. 


Navigate VMware EVC disadvantages during live migration

Traditional VMware vMotion migration relies on hardware similarities. VMware EVC mode enables live migration despite differences, but it can have an effect on performance. Click here to learn more.


How virtual assistant technology will affect the enterprise

Mobile devices with AI and virtual assistants will affect the enterprise, as well as consumers. Learn how to prep your organization for the future. 


Deliver desktop and app virtualization for mobile devices

If IT pros want to provide their users with access to virtual desktops and apps on mobile devices, they should know which vendors offer which virtualization services.



Need help from the IT pro community?

WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 IT pro subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some technical problem or are looking for expert advice on something IT-related? Ask Our Readers by emailing your problems and/or questions to us at [email protected] 


Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? 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.