Tag Archives: SBS

Reader mail – I love hearing from readers! ISA and SBS 2008

Today is Monday and it is the administrative day at work – sales meetings, operations meetings, accounting meetings, etc. So to break up the day, I did two things. First – I started streaming some public radio music so I could rock on. Second – I answered a reader’s e-mail regarding ISA and Small Business Server 2008 (SBS).

The reader wrote:

Hi Harry,

Do you have any idea why Microsoft removed ISA from SBS Premium?  I guess I was the minority but I ONLY sold SBS 2003 Premium because of ISA and loved it.  I did not have 1 installation hacked or any serious incidents and I attribute it to ISA.  Do they have any plans to reincorporate it or it’s newer version into SBS 2008?

Do you happen to have the Product Manager’s name and e-mail address for SBS 2008?  I’d like to give them my 2 cents worth!

Thanks in advance for your time….Vince

And I answered:

Hi Vince and thank you so much for the e-mail. I greatly appreciate it.

The short story on the ISA matter is that Microsoft really turned that over to 3rd parties – and I support that. To be honest – a firewall on the edge such as Cisco, Untangle, SonicWall, etc. is much better than a dual-NIC scenario from the legacy SBS world. 🙂

If you’d like to communicate with Microsoft about this – and I encourage you to – your community manager is Kevin Beares at kbeares@microsoft.com and tell him Harryb sent ya!

cheers…harrybbbb

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Say What? IBM Plucking Off MS Small Business Server Partners?

I’m a bit concerned with the undertone developing in the SMB technology community where many Microsoft partners privately express to me that the Microsoft Program has gone 80/20. That is, the focus is on select elite upper-caste SMB partners and their peers (typically upper-middle class males – this is the top 20%) that bring in 80% of the licensing revenue. Engaging in an 80/20 strategy is fraught with issues including creating opportunities for your competitors.

Surely there is some SMB ISV out there that wants the 80% whom I like to call our SMB Nation tribal members aka Joe the Plmbers with greater ethnic economic diversity?

That SMB ISV is IBM with its Lotus Foundations product and today it is reporting it is plucking off MS small business partners at an alarming rate of over 200 per month.

Below you will find the press release from IBM in its unchanged entire format. Note that over the summer I will be testing Lotus Foundations side-by-side with SBS 2008 and writing an article on my findings for release at my 7th SMB Nation Fall conference in Las Vegas (October 2-4, 2009).

Submitted for your approval:

200+ Microsoft Partners Per Month Flocking to Sell IBM Lotus Foundations Appliance

ARMONK, N.Y. — June 4, 2009 — Facing waning demand for Microsoft products, more than 1,000 Microsoft Business Partners have already signed up to sell IBM Lotus Foundations (www.ibm.com/lotus/foundations) “office-in-a-box” appliance for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the first five months of 2009.

According to Microsoft Business Partners, sales of Microsoft’s Small Business Server (SBS) software bundle have stagnated due to lack of innovation and partner dissatisfaction with their inability to add solutions and services. Microsoft partners are looking for an alternative that provides SMBs with more collaboration computing power for less money and more reliability in these challenging economic times.

“Lotus Foundations is a complete, cost-effective solution that easily scales as a business grows. When you add users, you know exactly what it will cost and the functionality you’ll get,” said Bernie Leung of Mesa Technology. “With Microsoft SBS, you always have to worry about what additional licenses you will have to purchase – the SQL client is just one example.”

In addition, some Microsoft partners have expressed disenchantment with Microsoft’s new strategy of battling Linux encroachment in the SMB market by offering a skeletal version of Windows Server. Named “Microsoft Foundation Windows Server,” it can be positioned as a loss leader to up-sell customers a variety of other Microsoft products. Seeing rising customer demand for lower cost, more secure and open source alternatives, many Microsoft partners are looking to sell Linux-based solutions.

IBM Lotus Foundations provides all the hardware and software needed for a business to get up and running and grow exponentially without incurring any upgrade costs. The IBM product enables businesses to move to a single platform for all their IT needs, a stark contrast to Microsoft SBS, where additional software from Microsoft, as well as hardware and software from third parties must be purchased.

“And with Lotus Symphony, we don’t have to pay for Microsoft Office. Most importantly, Lotus Foundations is simple to use and easy maintain. It eliminates the expense of having a full-time IT expert on staff,” said Jose Lopez Gonzalez, CEO, Lopez y Cortina, an insurance provider in Monterrey, Mexico.

“If you sell servers to small business or non-profit organizations and you want one that has everything they need to run their network in one box that is extremely easy to manage, you owe it to yourself to look at the Lotus Foundations appliance,” said David Lawrence, President, Smart Technology Enablers.

IBM Lotus Foundations is designed to simplify the IT experience for small businesses. Before Lotus Foundations, small businesses were stuck with the many hassles and technology pains associated with traditional IT solutions.

IBM Lotus Foundations provides SMBs with positive change from the status-quo

New IBM clients such as Lopez y Cortina, Murak & Associates LLC and Calvary Baptist Academy are indicative of many small businesses in North America and around the world. For these organizations, who lack the luxury of dedicated IT personnel, keeping expenses in check is a top priority. As such, these companies are looking for ways to make dealing with technology easier.

Business partners too are looking for more effective methods to drive their business and support their customer base, and many have found that Lotus Foundations is the answer. The following are comments made by a sample of IBM clients and partners who have signed up for Lotus Foundations in the past five months.

“Lotus Foundations….dramatically improved our email platform. And instead of using disparate software, every user has the same comprehensive solutions, creating a common experience and standardized security and back-up protection across the company.” — Jose Lopez Gonzalez, CEO, Lopez y Cortina.

“For us, collaboration is paramount. With the VPN and file sharing features in Lotus Foundations, our consultants around the world can access information just as if they are in the office. And with this solution, we know our data is safe. The backup process is completely automated. It’s one less thing for us to worry about.” — Gerry Murak. Principal, Murak & Associates.

“Our IT setup consisted of a series of old desktop computers. Our file management system consisted of information stored on CDs, disks and hard copies of important documents. We needed a system to help centralize and simplify our file storage, but we didn’t have a huge budget. Lotus Foundations enabled us to implement a complete data storage system and stay within budget. And as an added savings, the included Lotus Symphony software enables us to cut all future costs tied to buying and upgrading Microsoft Office licenses.” — Kathy Rutledge, teacher, Calvary Baptist Academy.

“With Lotus Foundations, we were able to get a more complete solution and cut our costs significantly. The full year cost of our Lotus Foundations environment is equivalent to what we paid for only about one-and-a-half months with our SBS solution. That means we can spend more money on developing solutions that help our customers improve the way they do business.” — Dr. Tim Miller of EnVision.

“Lotus Foundations is like a giant aspirin for the IT headaches that plague business owners every day.” — Greg Gould of GDomino.

“The Lotus Foundations server is a wonderful device – the ease of install and configuration makes getting right to work a quick job. For the money, we could not have come close to finding this functionality anywhere else – enterprise quality in a small business box.” — Robert Thresher, owner, Thresher Enterprise Systems.

“With Lotus Foundation remote management, we have eliminated 50% of the support travel time allowing us to grow our Managed Service Provider division. As a result, we have grown sales and our customer base by 80% in the year 2008. With all the technology opportunities today, we are seeing a large number of customers looking for long term solutions outside of Microsoft, and Lotus Foundations and IBM Symphony are two great alternatives that offer small business organizations an IT solution that grows as their business grows – and adds value without taking away from their bottom line.” — James Sulfare, Solinkit, LLC.

“Lotus Foundations allows us to service our more than 100 different clients remotely. In fact, of all of the clients we’ve serviced that have IBM servers running the Lotus Foundations, we’ve only ever met two face-to-face. Lotus Foundation’s ease of setup and management allows us to ship out an unconfigured unit to our client. Upon receiving the unit, I have frequently instructed over the phone, the secretary — with zero computer experience – on the setup and configuration of the unit,” said Hari Boukis, owner, Advertising Magic.

“We chose Lotus Foundations from IBM for its high availability and ease of maintainability. Lotus Foundations also helps companies keep costs down do to its reliability, all-in-one office software suite, ease of use and maintainability. Additionally, since our solution is Windows-based, the ability to run Windows applications alongside Linux applications makes the Foundations environment a complete SMB solution.” — Jim Abraham, Managing Partner, Line Fifty Software.

For more information about IBM Lotus Foundations, visit www.ibm.com/lotus/foundations.

# # #

Respectly – your fellow “Joe The Plumber” in SMB.

cheers…harrybbbb

CEO | SMB Nation

Co-author: Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 Blueprint

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Small Business Server 2003 GPO Trick with IE

Howdy folks – I am Harry Brelsford, the publisher of the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 book. I like to post up virtual book readings whne time allows. BTW – my annual SBS/SMB conference is in October in Las Vegas.

Here is a diddy on an Internet Explorer Group Policy Object trick in Small Business Server 2003.

 

Internet Explorer GPO Trick 

Here is a tip that will help you win the hearts of your clients. People like to see their names in important places, so put the client’s company name on the title bar of Internet Explorer. How, you ask? With a GPO that will edit the Default Domain Policy:

  1. Assuming that the Group Policy Object Editor (Figure 4-3) is still open, expand the User Configuration section.
  2. 2.      Select the Windows Settings, Internet Explorer Maintenance, and Browser User Interface. 
  3. Double-click on Browser Title object, select Customize Title Bars, and enter the client’s company name.
    1. 4.        Click OK. 
    2. 5.                        
 
 

 

Notes: 

 

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  You should get a result like that shown in Figure 4-4. When a user opens a page in Internet Explorer, note the top of the window where “provided by SMBNation” has been added to the default title.
  Figure 4-4

Customizing the Internet Explorer title bar using a GPO.

 

 

 

 

Logoff Command

You should also consider adding the logoff command to the Start menu to benefit your users.

  1. 1.        While you are in the Default Domain Policy in the Group Policy Object Editor, select User Configuration, Administrative Tem­plate, and then click Start Menu and Taskbar.
  2. 2.        On the right side, double-click Add Logoff to the Start Menu and check Enabled.
  3. 3.        Click OK.

Now close the Group Policy Object Editor. Since these changes were made to the default domain policy, everybody will get these changes the next time they log into the network.

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Vegas Baby! SBS Build Day May 9th and SMB Nation Fall (October 2-4, 2009)

With SMB Nation Spring just hours away – it’s already time to plan ahead for the next great thing!

And there is just one word that says it all: VEGAS!

In early May, Tim Carney Lyle Epstein and Suzanna Lavine are holding a SBS 2008 Build Day that has been very popular. I am attending this and I hope that you will too. Details below.

And it’s not to early to SAVE THE DATE for the 7th Annual SMB Nation Fall Conference event in VEGAS on October 2-4, 2009. Don’t forget we always have folks doing day-long pre-day events too (October 1) so adjust your air travel accordingly!

Here are the SBS Build details:

Las Vegas User Group & Microsoft Present:

SBS 2008 Build Day – Partners showing Partners How to
Successfully Deploy SBS 2008

 

Closer to the here and now is the SBS Build Day on Saturday May 9th in Las Vegas. Tim Carney, with support of the local SBS user group and the amazing Suzanne Lavine at Microsoft, are putting on the one-day community confab that is truly delivered in the spirit of all goodness. I am flying to Vegas to participate in this and review our host hotel for the fall conference – so I hope to see you there!

Details on the May 9th event are:

The Las Vegas Small Business Users Group is pleased to announce a special event for Microsoft partners – a one-day Small Business Server 2008 build event and technical education opportunity.

On Saturday, May 9th from 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM PDT at New Horizons CLC of Las Vegas

Scheduled Speakers via Live Meeting:

Susan Bradley – Microsoft SBS MVP and SBS Diva

Amy Babinchak – Microsoft EBS MVP and co-founder of Third Tier

Dana Epp – Microsoft Security MVP and owner of Scorpion Software makers of AuthAnvil

 

In-Person Speaker and Master of Ceremonies:

Tim Carney – Microsoft SBS 2008 Fan and co-founder of BASBiTS  

 

This event will showcase a live step-by-step SBS 2008 build, including joining XP Pro and Vista clients to the domain and a review of the other post-installation Getting Started Tasks. Interspersed throughout the build will be discussions of various topics such as:

·         Minimum and recommended hardware requirements

·         Using the Answer File

·         The new Management Console

·         Other highly useful information

·         Migration tasks, experiences and caveats

·         Edge-Security (Amy Babinchak)

·         Securing SBS 2008 with AuthAnvil (Dana Epp)

·         SBS 2008 Gotchas (Susan Bradley)

·         Licensing (Tim Carney)

·         Get to know your neighbor during the networking luncheon

Event Cost: In-Person – $25.00 (includes breakfast & lunch) – Cash Only Please

Register for the In-Person Las Vegas Event – [http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=137823]

Live Meeting Attendees – Please do NOT register using the Register link, email suzl@microsoft.com to register for Live Meeting only.

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Outlook Web Access, Small Business Server and the 70-282 Exam

Hiya – I am harrybbb, the publisher of the Small Business Specialist Primer book that basically preapres you for the 70-282 exam. I am excited to report that I have an affinity for posting up passages from this book, dedicated to helping you become a Small Business Specialist, as part of my virtual book reading effort. So let’s get started!

Outlook Web Access

Outlook Web Access (OWA) is one of the coolest features that just work straight out of the box in SBS 2003. In case you’ve been living in a cave along the Tex\ Mex border and don’t know about OWA, it’s a rich web page that allows you to check your Exchange-based mailbox. It’s popular with everyone on Planet Earth who uses SBS 2003. There is no server-side configuration required except:

·                       Using the user templates to assign a mailbox in the Add User Wiz­ard. This will assign appropriate permissions to user accounts for OWA access.


Chapter 7Configuring Windows Small Business Server 2003

Running the CEICW and selecting Outlook Web Access under Allow access to only the following Web site services from the Internet on the Web Services Configuration page.

There is no configuration required on the remote client site (e.g., hotel business center). It is recommended that you use at least Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 or later. Macintosh and UNIX operating systems and browsers are supported by OWA. For UNIX users, OWA is the primary solution for e-mail, calendar, and collaboration.

OWA comes in two versions:

Outlook Web Access Basic

Hey, if you are used to the old version of Outlook, it’s okay to use basic OWA, especially if you have a slow Internet connection. Basic OWA was designed to work in browsers that support HTML 3.2 and the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) script standards. It provides a subset of the features available in Outlook Web Access Premium that allow you to read and send messages as well as access some parts of your calendar and your contacts. If you are accessing OWA using Windows 98 or NT, Outlook 2003 will not install and you will have no choice but to use the basic version of OWA.

Outlook Web Access Premium

OWA premium has an enhanced user interface and several new features, including the new enhanced features for Exchange 2003. This includes a server-side spellchecker, Quick Flags, and Personal Tasks, allowing attachments to be opened from the reading pane, auto signatures, public folders displaying in their own window, two-line view, meeting requests that can be forwarded, access to GAL property sheets within an e-mail message, and numerous more improvements.

However, some of the features will not work unless you are using IE 6.0. If you log on to OWA through RWW, you automatically get the premium version of OWA. Or, if you have forms-based authentication enabled in your browser when you access OWA directly over the Internet, you will be given the choice of using either the premium or basic version, where premium is selected by default.


Configure Outlook Web Access

OWA is easily configured by running the CEICW (Connect E-mail and Internet Connection Wizard) and checking the Outlook Web Access checkbox on the Web Services Configuration screen. SBS will automatically make the web services available to host the OWA site and users with access permissions will be able to access OWA over the Internet.

IMPORTANT: In the SBS 2003 time frame, OWA now operates under HTTPS over Port 443 to create a more secure session. Contrast this with prior SBS releases when OWA could run over Port 80 (HTTP) with less security.

 

cheers….harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.

 

 

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Configure Messaging and Collaboration (70-282 exam)

Howdy folks – Harryb here and I am the publisher of the Microsoft Small Business Specialist book. I post up pssages to help you pass the Microsoft 70-282 exam so that you can become a Small Buiness Specialist (SBSC). This exam and the topic below are specific to Windows Small Buisness Server 2003 (SBS). But I think it’s safe to safe that many of us still run Small Business Server 2003, even though Small Business Server 2008 is still out on the market! (FYI – here is a great blog on Small Business Server SBS 2008 messaging and collaboration as an adjunct to this topic)

Configure Messaging and Collaboration

There is an old saying in the SBS community: You already know more about Exchange Server 2003 than you think you do. How can this be? Exchange Server 2003 is essentially installed and configured for you when you deploy SBS 2003. Its configuration level out of the box will likely meet 90 percent of your needs with the product. End of story.

The remaining 10 percent of Exchange Server 2003 that you “don’t know” out­of-the-box is something you likely don’t really need to know for the 70-282 exam. There are parts of Exchange that really don’t relate to the SBS space, such as site connectors to link multiple Exchange locations together.

Experience counts for something in the worlds of SMB and SBS (thank goodness) and this really manifests itself in Exchange Server 2003. More than other SBS components, there is nothing like Exchange Server 2003 experience to prepare you for the 70-282 exam.

IMPORTANT: Be discerning in the amount of information you are prepared to digest in preparation for the 70-282 exam. Sure, you could do a deep dive into the Exchange Server 2003 internals for the sake of satisfying your own interests. However, that would be INEF­FICIENT from a 70-282 exam preparation time management point of view. Rather, using your very best judgment, ask critically, “Do I really need to know that?” We like data dumps as much as anybody, but find a balance that prevents brain freeze due to overload.

One bona fide Exchange Server 2003 tip that you might not know and need to know relates to the number of Exchange servers and stores allowed on an SBS network. Briefly:

  • Multiple Exchange server machines are allowed on an SBS 2003 net­work, assuming you purchased the extra Exchange product licenses.
  • Only one store is allowed on the Exchange version (standard edition) contained in SBS 2003. With the Exchange enterprise edition, multiple Exchange stores are allowed.

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Here is the final word – another outside refeence – to Small Business Server 2003 messaging and collaboration.

cheers….harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.

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Moving Exchange Log Transaction Files in Small Business Server

Hello dear readers – I am harrybbbb and I am the publisher of the Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book (OK – I wrote part of it as well). Anyways – I enjoy posted up passages from the book on Small Business Server (SBS) and today it’s all about EXCHANGE LOGS!

Read on!

Moving Exchange Server Transaction Log Files To move the Exchange Server transaction log files:

1.    Log on to SBS 2003 as the administrator.

2.    Launch the Server Management console.

Visit www.smbnation.com for additional SMB and SBS book, newsletter and conference resources.

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3.      Under Advanced Management, your domain name (Exchange), Servers, right-click First Storage Group and select Properties on the context menu.

4.      On the First Storage Group Properties dialog box, in the Transac­tion log location field, set the location for the Exchange Server trans­action logs.

You can use the Browse button to navigate to a new location.

5.      Click OK and the Exchange Server transaction log files will be moved to the new location.

When you click OK, a dialog box will appear warning you that the Exchange Server store will need to be dismounted for a few minutes. Relocating IIS Log Files

To change the location to which IIS log files are written:

1.    Log on to SBS 2003 as the administrator.

2.    Launch the Server Management console.

3.    Under Advanced Management, Internet Information Services, Your Computer Name, right-click Web Sites and select Properties on the context menu.

4. In the Web Sites Properties dialog box, select the Web Site tab and click Properties.

5.    When the Logging Properties dialog box appears, move the IIS log files to the Log file directory field.

Note that this procedure does not move existing IIS log files. Instead, it creates a new location for future log files. Move existing log files manually from the default location at %Systemroot%\system32\LogFiles.

BEST PRACTICE: To make your IIS log files easier to read, select the Use local time for naming and rollover check box.

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cheers….harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – my Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is now here! J

PPS – my spring show, SMB Nation Spring 2009, is in the NYC-area on May 1-3, 2009.

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