Archive for the ‘SBS’ category

SBS 2008 Partner Tour

September 12, 2008

So tonight we had the Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 Partner Tour. I’m still not sure why I’m still awake after going through about 6 hours of Power Point slides!

The start of the show, the vendor portion, was kinda slow as the vendors who were here really didn’t fit the crowd and it was obvious. I think I actually heard crickets when one was talking. I don’t want to mention them because they were all nice people but were just talking to the wrong crowd.

The actual Microsoft portion on SBS 2008 was really good. I will say that Kevin was one of the best people from the marketing side to present from Microsoft because he didn’t try to offer the Microsoft is perfect pitch but did admit to short comings in the products. I do wish the marketing/licensing part would have been shorter as there wasn’t really any new info but we spent a lot of time on it…a good portion was due to so called IT Pro’s who kept asking stupid questions that really made me wonder if they had ever looked at let alone used SBS before.

During the tech side we did get to hear about some neat little tricks and features that I hadn’t seen before. Just wish people didn’t keep asking the same questions over and over so we could have gotten through a lot more.

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PBIT and SFLTech.NET Meetings

September 8, 2008

This weeks IT meetings consist of the Palm Beach IT Association on Tuesday featuring Alex Raskin of ADTRAN who will be talking with us about the routers, switches, WAPS, and IP-PBX systems that ADTRAN makes. Alex was actually the first presenter for the SFLTech group when it started several years back.

And speaking of SFLTech, this week there are actually two meetings, first is a small vendor meeting for all SFLTech members which will be immediately followed by the Microsoft SBS 2008 Partner Group Tour. Both are being help at the Microsoft office.

For details or directions and to register for any or all three of the meetings, please see the respective group sites.

Online screencasts

July 21, 2008

Been a while since my last post mainly due to recent traveling and doing major system upgrades at various properties. Only two deployments left with the current upgrades and then all but one will be running Windows Server 2008 and a combination of Vista and XP workstations.

At one point I was looking for something online and came across this site and thought it was pretty cool. Haven’t had a chance to look at more than a couple of the videos but they seem to be very clear and easy to follow instructional’s for how to do things from installing a GoDaddy SSL certificate on IIS7 to installing SBS 2008, and even Bare-metal restore of SBS 2008.

The main site to see those listed above and the other videos they have is at http://www.netometer.com/video/index.php

Microsoft Response Point SP1

June 10, 2008

After going through a great presentation and Q&A session with Jerry Moore from CMPTel, I have to say that Response Point has improved tremendously since the initial release. It’s well on it’s way to being a real phone system I would want to deploy.

Notice I said on it’s way…there’s still those features that most business owners would consider essential that are missing from Response Point. While most of them are on the plans for version 2 due out early next year, why would you buy something that is planning on having some of the features you want when, for the same price or less, you could get them all now?

I’m really looking forward to seeing Response Point make it…I think it’s a great system with lots of potential but for most businesses I know, it’s still missing a few key features that would make me wait.

Some examples of what’s still missing:

  • Remote phone support (ability to have a phone at home as well as the office)
  • Time of day routing (day/night mode essentially.)
  • No support for QOS in the phones (no VLAN support or ability to prioritize traffic if utilizing the network pass through port.)
  • SIP Trunking – While I realize this is in SP1, it’s apparently limited to two vendors so unless this changes it will be a non-feature just yet.

Remote Web Workplace – ActiveX Error

June 9, 2008

Had a problem today with someone trying to connect to their workstation through a SBS 2003 box using Remote Web Workplace, RWW. They were using a XP Pro system and were able to connect to the web site but kept getting an error when trying to access the clients list. The error was that they needed an ActiveX control installed but their security settings were preventing it from being installed.

After some funbling through various settings trying to figure out why they were getting this error, we found that the RDP Client was disabled for some reason. Enabling this got them back up & running.

To check & enable this:

  1. In Internet Explorer (version 7) click on Tools -> Manage Add-ons -> Enable or Disable Add-ons
  2. Use the dropdown to Show: Downloaded AvtiveX Controls
  3. Look for RDP Client, if it’s disabled, enable it.

Heroes Happen Here Launch Event

May 7, 2008

Went to the Microsoft launch event in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday for Windows Server 2008, SQL 2008, and Visual Studio 2008. Overall the event was great…there was some good info about the products, even stuff I haven’t read about previously which was a big plus. Blain Barton gave his usual charismatic presentation and I have to give him credit because it was the first launch even I didn’t see anyone fall asleep at! There is a link to the slide deck from Blain’s web site as well as the quick link hand out provided.

The Partner session in the afternoon presented by JJ also had some great info on Windows SBS 2008 and Essential Server 2008. While most of the info has been out it was great to see some of the demos of the product to get a better idea of what it’s going to be. One thing that was clarified was the integration with Live services. Previously I was thinking this was going to be something tied in for users to have their docs stored on the Live services cloud and be able to access/share from there. Nothing like that it seems…it’s just the ability to choose to manage or register a new domain name while setting up the server. Granted this is a cool feature, especially for DIY’ers who don’t already have one…but don’t see this being anything big for partners already working with SBS.

Another topic that I found interesting at the partner event was why there is such a low adoption rate of Vista by partners. There were only a few real answers as to why people were not deploying Vista themselves or to their customers: Application compatibility, lack of drivers, slower performance. Here’s my opinion:

  • Application Compatibility: If you’re running an application that will just not run on Vista even using the compatibility options, then it’s time to look at two options. Is the vendor working on an update (or is there one available.) I understand there are business decisions where upgrading may not be an option due to financing/etc at the time but  you really need to consider the options if you’re still running an old 16-bit based DOS app. (And yes, I have one of those that we’re finally getting rid of this year!)
  • Lack of Drivers: Yell at your hardware vendors. They are the ones who aren’t releasing drivers…and it’s most likely a business decision on their part. If you want to upgrade to Vista but your relatively new HP Printer won’t work…guess you’ll buy another printer. More money for them. Yes it pisses off customers but it seems to be working because people aren’t blaming the vendors, they’re blaming Microsoft.
  • Slower Performance: Yes Vista runs slower than XP on equal hardware. But Vista is also doing a lot more than XP. Consider that there is the integrated search that is indexing your files in the background, the hard drive defrag, and of course the improved look and feel. Yes I’d love to see a speed boost to the performance but if you have current hardware, it runs just fine in my experience.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Now it’s off to play with Live Mesh as I finally got an invite to join.