David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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To find out more about my SBS 2008 BOOK - Small Business Server 2008, Installation, Migration and Configuration click here

October 2011 - David Overton's Blog

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  • How does a SBS partner win / lose with Windows Intune–discuss

    Hi, I don’t run my own business offering support to customers, but I thought I would put out a suggestion, since some partners have asked me “how do I make money from the cloud?” Before I start I really do have to stress that this is NOT MY DAY JOB and that my opinions here are MINE and not those of Microsoft.  They may align, they may not, but I have been thinking about this and wanted to share MY thoughts and then see what others had to say about it. There are so many answers and depending on the customer, the answer may well be “you can’t, not yet.”  However, I’ve tried to draw 3 comparison graphs on how I see things changing.  I mean, the number of times I’ve heard SBSC partners say “I want the management functionality of SBS, but I don’t want Exchange”, well, we have that with SBS Essentials now.  There are other times when customers don’t visit the office often enough and while Direct Access can solve some problems, only if the customer has the infrastructure for it. If not, unless a PC visits the office or VPN’s in, then the policies do not get applied. So, we know what Windows Intune “does” versus the SBS servers as I’ve described this here . The next question for a partner is what is the impact on my revenue and profit margin.  I’ve tried to depict this with some very simple graphics of this below.  I’m thinking of a customer who wants desktop management or desktop plus Exchange and SharePoint.  It would be great to know if this is too simple or the concept is wrong – please feel free to comment below. SBS costs and profit You can see from the picture that hardware , while expensive have a very small (if any) profit associated to it.  The same is true of software , especially if it is Microsoft software which I’m told has lower margins that some other people’s. We then come onto the services elements.  The first part is i nstallation .  For some people this is a lower revenue and profit part of the process.  This is then followed up by the support element...
  • Windows Intune V2 Released–it may take a little time to update existing customers

    So I’ve got a bit Windows Intune batty at the moment.  The book is now finished and in review and today I got this lovely e-mail from Microsoft about my own subscription (yes, I do use it myself) What’s new in the October release? • Software Distribution. Centrally deploy most software to managed PCs from the Windows Intune administration console. • Remote Tasks Right-click the name of a computer to perform actions—run a malware scan, update malware definitions, or force a restart. • Extended License Management In addition to many Microsoft ® volume licenses, manage most of your Microsoft retail licenses, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) licenses for Microsoft software, and most third-party software licenses. * • Enhanced Reporting and Filters Create detailed reports on your hardware inventory with new filters, including Manufacturer, Chassis type, Available disk space, Memory installed, and CPU speed. • Read-only Administrator Access When adding service administrators to your Windows Intune account, you can select whether to grant full administrator rights or read-only access to information.   If you have Windows Intune it will take a little while (weeks, not months) for the account to be migrated over, however if you sign up for a trial today you will be provisioned on the new service straight away.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: intune , Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • The Windows Intune Client components

    Having installed (and uninstalled) Windows Intune a number of times I just wanted to signpost this blog post here that lists the components that are installed and what they do at Coretech by Brian Fahrenholtz .  The information can be found at Windows Intune Client Agent components .  It explains what each of the following does or provides: Microsoft Easy Assist v2 Microsoft Online Management Policy Agent Microsoft Online Management Update Manager Microsoft Policy Platform System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Windows Firewall Configuration Provider Windows Intune Center Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Agent Windows Intune Monitoring Agent   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • Windows Intune V2 moving from Beta to full product (RTW)

    I went to log into the beta Windows Intune console tonight to discover it was “down”, or more importantly, it was directing me to the Service Status page. We can see from this that a number of sites are undergoing maintenance.  When we hover over the sites undergoing maintenance it states:   (The whole service instance was under maintenance from Oct 14 2011 1:00PM (UTC) to Oct 15 2011 3:00AM(UTC) – Wave 2 Beta to RTW URL patch) Hopefully we will see the full product ASAP. David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Cloud , Microsoft
  • New role–Enablement Partner strategy

    I thought I would share some details of my new role at Microsoft, which is still as a Partner Account Manager, but also responsible for the Enablement Partner strategy.  Obviously this is my day job with my author and blogging work still being a personal project for the evenings and weekends. So what are Enablement Partners you may ask?  Well they are partners who provide technology or services that help a customer (or another partner) deploy their chosen Microsoft technology, but do not deliver the project itself.  This may sound complex, so let me give you some examples: AppSense provide a host of technology, but it is around managing the user so they have a great experience no matter which device they log into and their profile flows between these devices, regardless of which version of Windows they are using (XP, Vista, 7, Server, 64-bit, 32-bit).  The direction is forwards and backwards.  They also offer many other benefits such as locking down licenses to specific devices which is frequently an issue for Project and Visio in an RDS environment.  Customers use this before, during and after upgrades to Windows 7, where a user can still use and update their profile on XP, for example. ChangeBase help customers ready their applications for migration, enabling remediation, packaging and certainty to an often complex area.  App-DNA provide an overlap of capabilities and both partners offering unique differences and benefits to customers and partners – I’m not going to try to differentiate either here. Both and excellent partners and both can easily explain their uniqueness and why you should use them without my help.  Customers often need to do this work before embarking on a migration to Windows 7 or a new version of Quest enable customers to manage, consolidate and migrate from non-Microsoft and legacy communication and collaboration systems to modern Exchange or Office 365.  This can be delivered with Microsoft tools, but frequently Quest simplify this process. ...
  • Using Intune with Sysprepped images

    I've just been through this for my book and some people were asking internally, so I thought I would share this little snippet / preview from the book on the process we have to follow to install Windows Intune from a sysprepped image. This means an image that we want to roll out to lots and lots of computers. Here is the information, based on the blog video found at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/archive/2011/09/22/adding-the-windows-intune-client-to-an-operating-system-deployment-image.aspx and the help file is located at http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsintune/hh397411.aspx . Image based deployment The latest version of Windows Intune (which is currently in beta, but due to release in less than 2 weeks) brings with it image based deployment where you can place the Windows Intune files on a computer image that will then be loaded onto several computers. There are several steps to this process if you are using the Microsoft deployment tools. 1. Install Windows to the computer 2. Download and extract the files from the Windows Intune zip file and place this on this folder which you will have to create: %Systemdrive%\Temp\Windows_Intune_Setup 3. Add the following lines to SetupComplete,cmd file, normally located or created in the %windir%\setup\scripts folder. Note there are 2 commands, the reg command and the call to the setup %windir%\system32\reg.exe add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Onlinemanagement\Deployment /v WindowsIntuneEnrollPending /t REG_DWORD /d 1 %systemdrive%\temp\Windows_Intune_Setup\Windows_Intune_Setup.exe /PrepareEnroll 4. Seal the image with a command such as the one below. If you wish to create an unattended install then you will have to create the answer file my_unattended_setup.xml for sysprep. To do this, download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?2Q . Creating an unattended installation process is beyond this book, however Brian Jackson has an excellent article that can be found at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx...
  • Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration Book moving to Intune V2

    Hi, Given the closeness of Windows Intune V2, I have decided with the publisher to update the book with the Version 2 updates and images. This will mean a slight delay in the book as I can’t finalise it until V2 is released to market. Today I’ve been going through the beta for Windows Intune V2, updating the images, reports and adding content on the new features. The ones I’ve spent some time on or plan to spend time on are: Installation – Done Image based deployment – Done Administrator management – Done License Management – Done Policy Setting – Not started Software distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Non-Microsoft update distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Reporting – Not started Alerts – Not started Right Click menus – updated in sections above that are completed My goal is to get the book completed again before October 17th and then to print ASAP for V2. BTW, for great Windows Intune information, look at the official blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • When does Windows Intune make sense for a company as the only management solution or hybrid

    I’ve been asked this question several times, so I thought I would share my thoughts. I don’t regularly work with the Windows Intune team at Microsoft as this is not my role, so this is purely my opinion, not in any way endorsed by Microsoft. To start off with, I think Windows Intune makes sense for a company whenever they are considering a cloud based Management strategy. Windows Intune also has the benefit of providing you with Windows and Microsoft anti-Malware software for your computers, so it is a way to get up to date, stay secure and manage the computers. Having said all of this, there are times when Windows Intune makes perfect sense. Smaller organisations have a range of choices to deliver systems management from Microsoft, which they need to pair with security and desktop software updates to deliver a solution the same as Windows Intune. There are also all the options available to larger organisations, but the options tailored for SMEs are functionally rich at a lower price point. These include the SBS 2011 Essentials and SBS 2011 Standard / Premium Products as well as Windows 7 itself. From a comparison point of view, this is how they simply stack up: SBS 2011 Essentials SBS 2011 Standard Windows Intune Windows Server 2008 R2 Yes Yes No, but could be irrelevant ( Yes in Azure ) Active Directory Yes Yes No WSUS No Yes Yes Group Policy No Yes Yes (some) Management tools Simple monitoring Yes Yes Exchange 2010 No Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) SharePoint Foundation Optional, but not pre-built Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) Premium Add-on Services Optional Optional No ( Yes in Azure ) User / PC limit 25 75 Unlimited Windows 7 (and later versions) No No Yes Anti-malware No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) Yes Remote shared screen assistance No No Yes Payment Model Up front Up front Subscription Windows Intune gives you the ability to run your infrastructure on-premise or in the cloud. This could include Office 365 or Azure if desired. There are basically two options available...

(c)David Overton 2006-13