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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  • How to get SBS 2008 to "fix" managing WSUS after you have manually upset it

    Today's post covers what to do when SBS says it no longer can change the WSUS settings from the console.  The exact message is "Windows Small Business Server Update Service is not running because it automatically turns off if you customize Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)". One way round this problem is to manually change all the settings in the WSUS console (from Administrator Tools, select Microsoft Windows Update Services 3.0 SP1) and change the settings as per instructions found at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/07/13/441594.aspx .  I'm a sort of "quick fix" kind of guy, so the easier way is to go to the same tool, but then run the wizard.  The steps are: Start the Wizard   Click through the first two screens and set the updates to come from Microsoft Update Configure the proxy if required and press next.  Then press Start Connecting.  When done, press Next again. Select the language(s) you want to download Make sure "All Products" has been ticked Tick all the classifications - you can optionally leave out "Drivers" if desired Set the schedule - for me, 5am is a good quiet time on my server Tick to begin sync and press Finish.  Now SBS Console will be back on the case for you.   Ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Microsoft , SBSC
  • SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Released to fix Vista AV reporting issue and GoDaddy domain registration issue

    Hi everyone, the first roll-up of fixes for SBS 2008 shipped today. It addresses some minor issues, which is good, but always worth being aware of. From the Official SBS 2008 blog SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 1 releases today. This rollup package addresses the following issues in Windows Small Business Server 2008. Issue 1 The Security tab in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Console incorrectly reports the spyware and malware status of Windows Vista Service Pack 1-based clients that are joined to a domain. Specifically, some security applications are reported as incompatible in the antivirus and malware status that is reported. Issue 2 The Internet Address Management Wizard exits unexpectedly when you register a domain name. This issue occurs when you select GoDaddy.com as the provider, and then you click Register Now How to obtain this update This update will be available from the Microsoft Update Web site: http://update.microsoft.com More Information http://support.microsoft.com/KB/958715 The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Vista , Windows Vista , Updates , GoDaddy , Anti-virus , Anti-Malware , System Updates , Microsoft , SBSC , Community
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy. The process in outline is below. If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book) Take a full system backup before starting Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC ( see here for details ) Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks. To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here . Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration. Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM. Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available. Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that...
  • How to size the hardware required for SBS 2008

    This question has been asked many times and was once again asked today on an internal forum.  It is hard to come up with an explicit answer, but I feel I can give you some (personal, non-binding, your mileage may vary, please take with a pinch of salt and don’t sue me) opinions.  For SBS 2003 the non-scientific sizing appeared to go like this: “between 2 & 4GB of RAM, depending on number of users”.  I often saw a machine for around 25 users with 4GB of RAM and there was headroom. Disk – don’t buy 1.5TB disks, but don’t by 30GB either.  Buy largish and try to size data before you make the decision 1 CPU or 2, or perhaps more importantly, a box that can take 1 CPU or 2? The the time SBS 2008 arrived the difference in cost of a 2GB or 4GB box was trivial.  Now SBS 2008, if you want to be scientific about it would look something like this: Minimum specs are found at http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx Think Windows Server 2008 for x users, plus Exchange sizing for x users plus some wiggle for all the SBS 2008 bits, including WSS, Backup.  Since working all the above out, I tend to use the following guides: 4GB of RAM for 1 User, 8GB for more than 30 or so, however this is MY opinion and not tested Disk as above, mirrored in h/w (yes, mirrored, not raid 5) Dual core for a starter system going to multi-cpu & multi core for a very busy system The Premium node is sized as any other Windows Server 2008 system SQL or Terminal Services or ISA… etc Now while this might sound very sketchy, I’ve never benchmarked any SBS systems and this is my rule of thumb.  I’ve seen some 5-person businesses that stressed a 4GB 2-cpu Xeon SBS 2003 system and I’ve seen 40 people lightly load a 1 cpu, 2GB RAM system.  Sizing is not a science and you should always put in more than you need as it is easier for something to be sat idle than to be “in need”.  Finally, on the sizing, consider your own system.  Put in SBS 2008 for yourself and can use yourself as a reference...
  • Nick King – Microsoft corp SBS God in the UK on 7th November!!

    Hopefully you have seen this elsewhere, but if not….. 7 th November 2008, Reading: TechNet Exclusive! Hear from the guy that brought you Microsoft’s enterprise computing to small and medium businesses An exclusive opportunity to meet Nicholas King, Technical Product Manager from Microsoft Corporation before the launch of the  Windows Essential server solutions offerings, Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 on November 12 th . Hear Nicholas and Jamie Burgess  advise on why these solutions have been created and why it is still important to invest in solution infrastructure in  economic uncertainty. With the assistance of Jamie they will go into some technical detail around the two products that make up Windows essential server Solutions. 1. Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is an all-in-one server solution designed to help you keep your data more secure and your company more productive. It provides many of the features used by larger companies, such as e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, support for mobile devices, file and printer sharing, backup, and restore—all at one affordable price Premium version also provides advanced support for line-of-business applications. 2. Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 is an all-in-one integrated multi-server solution designed and priced specifically for midsize businesses. EBS provides the essential technology needed for a highly secure and reliable infrastructure. Powered by Windows Server 2008 technology, it combines software for management, messaging, and security features into one integrated server solution that is designed to dramatically reduce IT complexity and improve efficiency across the business, putting IT in control with a centrally-managed network platform.  Join us to get a technical overview of Windows EBS 2008, learn about the server requirements, and find out more about the integrated technologies and architecture.  Finally after covering the key ways to deploy and...
  • SBS 2008 & EBS 2008 – Virtualisation Webcast

    You can access the webcast at https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=249912# As a quick recap, Microsoft see’s virtualisation as more than than just machine virtualisation.  In the Microsoft, virtualisation is split into: Presentation Virtualisation – What would have previously been known as Terminal Services Application Virtualisation (App-V) – Where applications are “streamed” to your desktop or terminal services presentation without being installed Machine Virtualisation (Desktop aka VDI or Server) – what most people think of as “Virtualisation” Virtualisation will be supported in for a set of scenarios with SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  The first thing to understand is that the primary node has a large load on it and is not an ideal candidate to act as a host for virtual machines.  You also need to understand that the host can’t really be part of the domain if the primary node of SBS is virtualised on it as there are all sorts of nasty issues around dependency issues. You might want to run some virtualisations scenarios to enable: Enable more “servers” to be run on a single server Enable greater flexibility in migration and DR between machines Enable greater remote access capabilities to desktops or applications via Desktop or Presentation virtualisation So what was announced: SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Presentation Virtualisation host – i.e. run TS on the 2nd box and use the gateway functionality on the 1st system SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Machine Virtualisation host.  This box can run as both a host and guest, providing the host is used to simply run the Hyper-V role.  Both the 1st and 2nd SBS systems can be run as guests on the host. There are some other gotchas that need to be considered: The backup on SBS is based on USB removable disks, however the USB disks are not passed through to the virtual machine in the same way so you need to look at other strategies, such as creating a large VHD in the USB disks and...
  • SBS 2008 systems limitations and functions are the same as Windows Server 2008

    With SBS 2003 R2, some of the Windows Server 2003 R2 features were not included. I asked today where we were with SBS 2008 and the CPU, Memory and feature lists are, so I am told, the same. On the page http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/compare-specs.aspx it talks about the max number of procs, memory etc for Windows Server 2008 Standard. You should use these to represent SBS 2008, however, note SBS 2008 has it’s own minimum requirements. See below for the important points KEY: = Not Available = Available Specification Standard Enterprise X64 Sockets 4 8 X64 RAM 32 GB 2 TB Failover Cluster Nodes (Nodes) 16 Fault Tolerant Memory Sync Cross-File Replication (DFS-R) Network Access Connections (RRAS) 250 Unlimited Network Access Connections (IAS) 50 Unlimited Terminal Services Gateway 250 Unlimited Virtual Image Use Rights 1 4 The features of Windows Server 2008 that are in Standard Edition can be found here - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/differentiated-features.aspx which should also be a list of what is in SBS 2008. Bear in mind that the product has not released yet, but it appears to be going this direction. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Small Business , Limitations , Windows Server 2008 , SBSC , Microsoft
  • EBS 2208 and SBS 2008 Upgrades & Migrations from SBS 2003 and SBS / EBS 2008

    I saw over on Nicholas's blog post - Nicholas King : EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations that he has started to answer some of the questions around system upgrades and migrations. Below are some snippets of key information he has shared. Read his blog post for more. However, key thoughts for me are: 1) no in box SBS 2003 -> SBS 2008 upgrades. This is a box to box migration process. If you have SA or FPP copies of SBS 2003 then you can potentially do a P2V and then migrate from the virtual image. If not, I would consider running a VM of Windows Server to enable you to move the domain at least 2) Moving from one box to another (eg hardware upgrades in the future) are now supported. This can potentially be used to go from a RC0 build to RTM, but it is not tested or supported, however that does not mean it will not work!! 3) There is a GREAT document linked below that describes a migration in glorious detail EBS/SBS Upgrades & Migrations Recently I had several people ask me whether it is possible or supported to do a build to build migration or upgrade from the RC0 of either SBS or EBS to RC1 or even RTM. Migration and Upgrade are two words often used interchangeably. Technically as you know they have some very specific meanings. Upgrade means to take the existing code base and then lay binaries over the top of, or underneath of (believe it or not this is how Vista does it!) the existing installation effectively taking the old installation and making it the new, whilst maintaining the existing configuration. Migration means setting up a completely new environment and then transferring the settings, user data and environment functionality to the new setup. Upgrades are not something we design, test or develop for either SBS or EBS . For RTM our research points to the fact that most installations have new hardware on site, and added to that the SBS architecture change from 32-bit to 64-bit prohibits us from doing in place upgrades. EBS is V1 so no upgrade requirement there. This leaves migrations, I need to be...
  • Answers to some of the questions about SBS 2008 (32-bit 2nd server, SCE, beta upgrades, migrating users

    [updated 23rd Feb 2008] After posting on SBS 2008 the other day I've had a few questions, so here are some answers Can the 2nd server be x64 or x86 (32-bit) and can it be used for Terminal Services / Hyper-V / a.n.other purpose The 2nd server can be 32 or 64-bit. It is essentially Windows Server 2008 Standard edition, however it does check it is part of a SBS domain. Therefore it can be used for almost anything a Windows Server can be used for (and SQL can be loaded on it too) Why was System Center Essentials removed from SBS 2008 The short answer is that this was not the right product for SBS owners, however SBS can be used / works with SCE. For this reason SCE can, for example, be loaded on the the 2nd server Can I install SBS 2008 beta (cougar) in my production environment and upgrade to RTM when it releases The answer here is one about the fact that betas are betas and have bugs, so there are risks. Officially the answer is “don’t consider using Cougar beta in your production environment unless you are on the TAP as any problems / migration / upgrades will be unsupported. Should you do so, your only access to any support and guidance will be via the newsgroups” If someone has recently purchased hardware for SBS 2003, can they move to SBS 2008 SBS 2008 has migration wizards that will enable the move from one machine to another. For those where they wish to use existing hardware there is NO in-place upgrade, however you should be able to do the following (assuming the hardware is x64 capable): 1) Copy their existing setup to a virtual machine 2) Install SBS 2008 onto the original hardware and use the migration tools to move SBS to the same box or 1) Backup their SBS 2003 system 2) Install SBS 2008 on the existing hardware 3) Add data back from backup (this is a manual process) Can SBS 2008 be used with Hyper-V Yes, we’re in the process of testing which virtualization scenarios SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 will support, and will provide more information in the future. Can SBS 2003 CALs be used with SBS 2008 No, SBS...
  • More information on SBS 2008

    I was reading over at Sean Daniel's blog about more info on SBS 2008 and realised there are a couple of pages you need to look at ( Learn more with a product overview ). I've also posted some answers to questions here . Affordable, Integrated Solution Windows Small Business Server 2008 is designed for small businesses. It is designed to work with existing technology, build on Microsoft best practices, and delivers a comprehensive network at an affordable price. Have virtually anytime, anywhere access to your business desktop; including e-mail, files, business applications, and more. Share resources and equipment, such as Internet access, printers, and fax machines, to get the most value from your technology investments. Enjoy compatibility and scalability. As your business needs to change, Windows Small Business Server 2008 can change with you--easily add users, servers and applications, or expand into other Microsoft technologies. Work more efficiently and add more value to your business with an integrated administrative console. Work confidently with a top performing network based on Windows Server 2008 technologies. Protect Your Business Data Windows Small Business Server 2008 helps protect your vital business information from loss, by automatically backing up the computers and servers in your network and helping enable you to recover accidentally deleted files. Use anti-virus and anti-spam protection to help protect your information from malicious attacks, viruses, and spam. Keep your computers and servers current and your network healthy and up to date with the latest updates. Get better control over your business and business information with daily and weekly reports alerting you on the health and security of your technology. A single administrative console gives you or your IT consultant a daily view of PCs and servers and makes it easier to manage common IT tasks. Get an at-a-glance snapshot of the security and health of your PCs and servers from a 'green check' report. Grow Your Business Capacity...
  • Microsoft Windows Essential Server Solutions - Which one is right for you?

    There is lots of information on how to choose the right Essential solution for you (SBS Std, Premium, EBS Std or Premium. A quick sample can be seen below (there is much more on the web site): Which Solution Is Right for You? Learn how the Windows Essential Server Solutions are designed to fit specific needs for small and midsize business. Find which solution will be the right choice for you and your company’s needs. Remember, each business is unique – consult your Microsoft Certified Partner to help determine the best solution for you. Your Need Windows Small Business Server 2008 Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition Premium Edition Standard Edition Premium Edition Company Size and Growth Our company needs a secure network for 250 or fewer users today Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 supports up to 50 users or devices. Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008 supports up to 250 users or devices. Our business is growing at a fast pace and our IT needs are expanding. As your business needs change, these products provide a “technology building block” for additional servers and a seamless transition to the full line of Microsoft Server products, using Transition Packs. We recommend you decide based on your 1-yr and 2-yr growth plans, as well as on your current and future application and performance needs. We are acquiring other companies and need to connect with their data and email immediately until we can incorporate everything into our server network. The Windows Essential Server Solutions products are meant to be the primary network and email system and not a down-level branch office or subsidiary solution. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , SBS 2008 , Windows Small Business Server 2008 , SBSC , Microsoft , Partner , Community
  • Small Business Server 2008 (formally known as Cougar) announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the SBS 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business Growth Windows Small Business Server 2008,previously known by the code name “Cougar,” is ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers. The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current, award-winning Small Business Server 2003 R2 product, and is also an example of Microsoft’s “software plus services” vision. For small-business owners and employees, Small Business Server 2008 provides increased security and protection with one-year trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server, and with dramatically simplified server and PC backup technologies. Small Business Server 2008 also integrates with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to simplify setup and management of professional Web sites and private online work spaces. Enhancements to Remote Web Workplace, integration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and support for the latest Windows Mobile devices will help employees work remotely and collaborate effectively. For IT managers and technology consultants, Small Business Server 2008 deployment, setup and administration is greatly simplified and improved. A powerful administration console, new monitoring across servers...
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built-in IT best practices and provides a unified console for management of key workloads and product licensing, which makes IT budgeting and purchase simpler and more predictable. Windows Essential Business Server combines the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, System Center Essentials 2007, the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server and, in the Premium Edition, SQL Server 2008 technology. The product will be demonstrated on IBM BladeCenter S and HP BladeSystem c-Class c3000 hardware at the “Heroes Happen Here” launch on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles, and is slated for availability in the second half of 2008. <snipped> More information about Windows Essential Server Solutions is available at http://www.microsoft.com/essential and http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/serversolutions . Now much of this is a repeat of what we already know, but I felt I should share it: Based on x64 technology Capable from 25-250 users, so does...
  • "Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products" announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the "family" section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . To help small and midsize organizations improve business efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. The company also unveiled details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008. The Windows Essential Server Solutions family includes Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for midsize companies. Microsoft conducted extensive research and gathered in-depth feedback worldwide to design the solutions, in order to meet the unique needs of small and midsize customers and partners. The products integrate the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one solutions that are reliable, easy to manage and able to grow with customers. “There are 31.9 million small businesses and 1.2 million midsize companies worldwide in need of powerful IT solutions, * and they typically have very small IT staffs, or none at all,” said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “Windows Essential Server Solutions make the benefits of enterprise-class IT accessible, affordable and simpler for smaller organizations and their technology advisors.” Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business...

(c)David Overton 2006-13