Vol. 23, #35 - September 03, 2018 - Issue #1197
WServerNews Spotlight: IIS
- Editor's Corner
- Monitoring IIS
- Developing for IIS
- Troubleshooting HTTP 503.2 Bad Gateway
- Troubleshooting TLS / SSL communication problems for ASP.NET apps
- Running IIS on Nano Server in a VM
- Getting IIS to serve any file type
- Tip of the Week
- RDP not working for my cloud service
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Ask Our Readers - Best patch management solution? (new question)
- Conference calendar
- North America
- New on Techgenix.com
- Journey to the Microsoft cloud: Simplifying your hybrid identity solution
- 5 top-paying IT jobs in 2018
- Data recovery for businesses: Top tools to protect your most precious asset
- IT job guide: Want to build a successful AI career? Build up these skills first
- Why social engineering works -- and what you can do to fight back
- Fun videos from Flixxy
- Expect The Unexpected
- Optical Illusion Goes Viral
- The Illusionists Perform Epic Magic At America's Got Talent 2018
- Cats Surprised While Eating
- More articles of interest
- AWS Shield provides DDoS attack protection as threats mount
- Azure PaaS strategy hones in on hybrid cloud, containers
- The 5 basic Git commands every beginner needs to master
- Checklist for mobile app testing: 12 gaps to look out for
- Need help from the IT pro community?
- Send us your feedback
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Configuring Dell EMC VNX and VNXe with Veeam
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter shines a light on Internet Information Services (IIS) the built-in web server component of Microsoft Windows. We also have an urgent Ask Our Readers request from a reader who is soliciting help from our WServerNews community. Why not help another IT pro out today by sending us your response to this reader's plea for help? Thank you!! And by the way if YOU are struggling with some IT conundrum or decision and need some help, send us a description of your problem and we'll make it an Ask Our Readers item in an upcoming issue of our newsletter.
To start off we want to thank Paul Gottschling the Technical Content Writer for Datadog for clueing us in to an article he wrote together with Bruce Wang that provides a basic guide for monitoring IIS. Paul's article surveys some the metrics you can use to get deep visibility into IIS:
Paul and Bruce have also written a follow-up article that shows how to collect these metrics from Windows Performance Counters, IIS logs, and the IIS HTTP API using these built-in IIS monitoring tools and the Debug Diagnostic Tool (DebugDiag). These highly informative articles should be required reading for those administering IIS web servers in corporate or service provider environments.
Another helpful article for troubleshooting IIS issues is this blog post from a couple of years back describing how to use the Advanced Logging out-of-band module for IIS:
Tweaking IIS Logs using Advanced Logging (Demystify)
Developing for IIS
Meanwhile you may recall that back in the days of Windows 7 Microsoft released a lightweight, self-contained version of IIS optimized for developers called IIS Express that made it easy to use the most current version of IIS on client versions of Microsoft Windows for testing websites you're developing. While development of the IIS Express tool itself seems to have stalled sometime around the release of Windows 8, what many of you may not be aware of is that Microsoft has in fact released a version of this tool for Windows 10. You can find IIS 10.0 Express on the Microsoft Download Center here:
The most recent documentation for this tool seems to be here:
For an example of how one might use this tool, check out this post from earlier this year:
Running IIS Express on a Random Port (Robert McMurray's Blog [MSFT])
Troubleshooting HTTP 503.2 Bad Gateway
If you see this error then it's probably not IIS that's having problems, it's likely a problem with the web application you wrote that's running on IIS. Benjamin Perkins unpacks various scenarios for this HTTP error code in a concisely written post on his blog:
Troubleshooting TLS / SSL communication problems for ASP.NET apps
Ahmet Bostanci has posted an excellent a series of articles on IIS Field Readiness, the blog of the European IIS team, abouttroubleshooting TLS / SSL communications problem when you make Http Web Request or WCF queries from your ASP.NET applications to SSL endpoints:
Running IIS on Nano Server in a VM
Naveen Baliga has posted a nice tutorial that shows how to set up IIS on Nano Server as a guest OS for the Hyper-V virtual machine:
Getting IIS to serve any file type
Finally this article by Leon Bouquiet is bound to be useful to some of you readers even though it's now a couple of years old:
Getting IIS to serve any file type (InfoSupport)
Got more IIS articles, blog posts, or tips to suggest for our readers? Email us at [email protected]
Got any IT pro tips you'd like to share with other readers of our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]
RDP not working for my cloud service
If you are using the classic PaaS cloud service resource of Microsoft Azure and you're experiencing RDP connectivity issues with your Azure cloud, you'll want to read the following post by Pratyaydeep Chanda on his Demystify blog which describes a PowerShell script he wrote that can help resolve most RDP connectivity problems:
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]
Free Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange recovers hard deleted items, which you thought might have been lost forever—and even better than Microsoft Outlook does it!
Put your mind at rest with Altaro VM Backup. Excellent performance & powerful features to meet your disaster recovery needs. Download a 30-day trial now for unlimited VMs & get 2 FOREVER FREE VMs!
Sysinternals Autoruns now includes Runonce*\Depend entries, adds GPO logon and logoff locations:
Microsoft Message Analyzer can be used for for capturing, displaying, and analyzing protocol messaging traffic, events, and other system or application messages in network troubleshooting and other diagnostic scenarios:
sp_whoisactive is a comprehensive activity monitoring stored procedure that works for all versions of SQL Server from 2005 through 2017:
Last week in Issue #1196 WServerNews Ask Our Readers: 2FA or not 2FA? I reminded readers of an Ask Our Readers question we had previously published from a reader named Albert and shared a response we received from another reader named Kelvin. First here is what Carl Webster a.k.a. The Accidental Citrix Admin had to say on this subject:
Mitch, I just ran into this situation 5 minutes ago. I needed to close a brokerage account I opened almost 14 years ago. I clearly don't have access to the email account from then or the 2FA app used on that old Blackberry device, and I had trouble remembering the answers to security questions now almost 14 years old. After about 15 minutes of stumbling around, I finally remembered I used nicknames for answers to the security questions. Fortunately, I remembered one of the answers to a security question that I created almost 14 years ago and got access to the account.
SHEEZ! What if it had been one of my kids with a POA or Executor rights and I had dementia or Alzheimer's and couldn't remember any answers to any security question?
Pieter from The Netherlands also sent along these comments:
Hi Mitch, I had the same question… and now about to start to test with DUO:
Seems simple and easy. If everything fails you can start the server in safe mode. You can choose on the user account when they rdp in, they need a token, for direct connections not (good option for working from home and from office). I know servers are most of the times RDP except Ilo en DRAC. And pricewise they are friendly (for now).
P.S. Cisco is planning to buy DUO.
Are any other readers using DUO or a similar 2FA solution? Send us your thoughts: [email protected]
Next, a few weeks back in Issue #1194 What has happened to tech support? I talked about how it seems like the quality of tech support provided by many vendors has been declining in recent years while the flood of tech support scams seems to be steadily rising. This editorial on my part sparked a few responses from our readers starting with a reader named Thad who concurred with some of my observations by saying:
Read your essay on tech support. I have rarely had any success with live chat, for the very reason you mention. I suspect that they have a bunch of keyboard macros for generic aphorisms, with some sort of pacing built in to make it look like they are typing.
My most recent experience was with ATT, where each call regarding slow internet was met with an upsell for "Dish Online" even though I said I don't watch TV! Nothing more aggravating when having a problem, than being pitched on buying more…
My worst was with an outsourced overseas Dell experience for a tablet computer several years ago. Every 6 months I get a call warning me that my computer is compromised, and they can help get it right (even though the tablet has been sitting in a desk drawer for the last 2 years). They even read back the service tag. It is an obvious scam that isn't from Dell. Either they had subcontracted support, or someone hacked/stole the transcripts.
On the other hand Wayne from Western Australia responded to one of my concerns -- that helpdesk personnel seem more trained these days in "soft skills" than technical expertise -- by sending us the following comments:
Hi Mitch, as you know, I have more than a little bit of knowledge about helpdesks and dealing with callers. The "touchy-feely" stuff is aimed, not at helping you get a solution, but to assist you in not escalating to a full on bully. i.e. they know that their knowledge is limited, and what they are allowed to do is limited, and escalation to level 2 is a failure in protecting these valuable resources (level 2 techs) from clients. Many of the techniques were evolved on the telemarketing business with the aim of making you empathize with the sales person and therefore be more receptive to the selling techniques and have been transferred across to the helpdesk. Obviously the aim is different, however the technique is used to defuse potentially abusive situations.
Obviously if you are getting too many of the "I feel your pain" then the response should be "then you would know I am getting frustrated, so I think it is time to pass this call to your supervisor". If that fails then you can use the usual Twitter response or FB post.
I have heard a few of the "I need to talk to the boss straight away, this is a critical case " examples tried, but reality is that this only works once or twice.
Social engineering hacks can sometimes also work.
And the previous week in Issue #1193 Making money supporting small businesses we included an interview with Craig Hollins I did a couple of months ago. Personally I found Craig's comments to be very helpful for me as a business owner, so I expected some comments and even a few success tips from other WServerNews readers who support small businesses. But only one reader stepped up to the plate:
This was good; very informative and nice to see what others in this field have to say. Keep doing interviews such as this on topics that tech guys or MSPs might be interested in. Thumbs up. --Andrew
Are there any more of our readers out there who would like to be interviewed on the subject of supporting small businesses without going broke? Email me at [email protected]
This week we received the following cry for help from a reader named Marko in Virginia, USA:
I could use some help from your newsletter readers, our company is fast growing and I've been tasked with finding a better solution for updating our Windows client systems, so many problems using WSUS with flakey updates from MSFT lately… What do your readers recommend or use? I found BixFix, BatchPatch, SolarWinds and Ivanti but have no experience with these products, maybe there are others too like PDQ? SysCtr ConfigMgr seems overkill for 130 seats, but maybe?? Please advise what works best, patching both Windows and applications eg Office Adobe and lots etc. PS. had 3.5 yrs experience as admin for former company, 6 mo. here now at my new job. OMG.
Do any of our readers have any experience with third-party solutions like these for patching Windows operating systems and applications? What solution would you recommend for Marko and his company, and why? Email your comments to us at [email protected]
Last week's factoid and question was this:
Fact: Bugs are weird.
Question: Name this bug which I took a photo of recently sitting on our sky window:
Several readers responded humorously to my question, for example Bruce from Minnesota who said "One with a tail caught in a door?" but the obvious winner is Don Hill who responded not only with the actual name of the bug (Pelecinus polyturator a.k.a. the Pelecinid Wasp) but also with a textbook photo:
I would not, repeat NOT want to be stung by that fellow!
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: SMS seems to be undergoing a revival
Source: A reader named Jurriaan from The Netherlands recently wrote to us saying, "In my environment there's a revival of the old- fasioned Short Message Service [because it is] fast, reliable and secure.
Question: Would you say this is true? Why or why not?
Email your answer to [email protected]
>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]
Microsoft Ignite -- September 24-28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida USA
IoT Security Summit -- Oct 15-18 in Dallas, Texas
IT/Dev Connections -- Oct 15-18 in Dallas, Texas USA
>> Got an IT conference happening in North America that you'd like to promote in our newsletter? Email us at [email protected]
Gartner Catalyst Conference -- Sept 26-27 in London, England
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
>> 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.
Journey to the Microsoft cloud: Simplifying your hybrid identity solution
Azure admins -- and Microsoft -- are moving toward a hybrid identity solution for authentication. Here's a tutorial how to simply the process.
5 top-paying IT jobs in 2018
The demand for advanced skills in the IT sector has never been greater, creating great opportunities along with top-paying IT jobs.
Every business will suffer some sort of data loss. Without a strong data recovery tool, you may never be able to get back what has vanished.
IT job guide: Want to build a successful AI career? Build up these skills first
Artificial intelligence is hot, with high-paying jobs and not enough candidates. If you're thinking about an AI career, here are the skills you need.
Why social engineering works -- and what you can do to fight back
Social engineering attacks are not new. They exist and persist because they work. But there are ways to defend yourself and your company.
Expect The Unexpected
Optical Illusion Goes Viral
A moving square appears to change in color, though the color is constant:
The Illusionists Perform Epic Magic At America's Got Talent 2018
The Illusionists' perform their amazing magic at the America's Got Talent 2018 Quarter Finals:
Cats Surprised While Eating
13 cats are eating out of 14 bowls, somewhere in Japan, when something unexpected happens:
AWS Shield provides DDoS attack protection as threats mount
DdoS attacks continue to grow in sophistication, and enterprises need to be on alert. AWS Shield provides two tiers of automatic protection, but are they enough?
Azure PaaS strategy hones in on hybrid cloud, containers
Microsoft's PaaS offerings might have a leg-up in terms of support for hybrid deployments, but the vendor still faces tough competition in a quickly evolving app-dev market.
The 5 basic Git commands every beginner needs to master
Just getting started with Git or GitHub? If so, there are five basic Git commands you need to master. This Git tutorial for beginners takes you through each.
Checklist for mobile app testing: 12 gaps to look out for
Emulators and automation tools are useful, but don't rely on them solely. Use this checklist for mobile app testing to ensure that software has no critical flaws.
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]
>> Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]
Configuring Dell EMC VNX and VNXe with Veeam
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 7www.mtit.com.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
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.