Thursday, March 31, 2005

Windows 2003 SP1, Do Not Install on SBS 2003

OK so we're at a new client today updating security patches and finding out that a backup where they were changing tapes for a year wasn't running at all. (Another post for another day!)

But when you go to http://www.windowsupdate.com on an SBS box the first thing you see is the new Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 .

Folks DO NOT install this. We've been told to wait for SBS 2003 Service Pack 1 due out in 60 days. Plain SP1 will cause problems on SBS so save yourself the time and headache and don't install it.

Now if we can just get Microsoft to better recognize SBS in the product lineup again. This is the very reason that SBS has a bad name with a lot of consultants and customers. Why bother with something that at times is treated as the wicked step child of plain vanilla Windows Server 2003.

The reason is that it turns into a beautiful Cinderella when you do what you need to in the right way. (OK I've been watching my 3 year old's movies again, sorry.) Plus it gives small businesses a large bang for the buck.

But for the average Joe Customer who goes to the web site and does what he's told this is just plain not good.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Smart Feed Mobile Podcast Client

If you're reading this blog you're no doubt comfortable with the idea of blogs and RSS. Have you gotten into podcasts yet? Podcasts definitely had their start with the now infamous iPod but you definitely can do the same on that cool Windows Smartphone you use for email and Outlook information. Check out a free podcast client calledSmart Feed. Great little product to get that podcast down to your smartphone and use it to your heart's content.

Now if I could only get the courage to do a podcast on SBS every once in a while!

Monday, March 28, 2005

IP Change on Your Server and Trend is Out of Date

Recently we did an IP change and install of an additional NIC on one of our clients servers. Today we got a call that Trend wasn't updated and the XP SP2 (install it folks it works) Security Console was complaining that anti virus was out of date.

When we did the install and IP changes we totally forgot about updating Trend Micro. It's easy enough to change the IP in Trend and then alert your workstations. Do the following:

1. Login to the OfficeScan console.
2. Go to Administration -- Web Server (not real clear).
3. Enter in your new IP address.

Trend automagically alerts your clients and updates them accordingly. If for some reason they are no longer on the clients list in Officescan at each station that this is affected do the following:

1. Open the Registry Editor.
2. Go to Start > Run, and then type "REGEDIT".

Important: Before editing the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For more information, view the Restoring the Registry Help topic in Regedit.exe or Restoring a Registry Key Help topic in Regedt32.exe. Making incorrect changes to your registry can cause serious system problems. Always make a back up copy before making any registry changes.

3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TrendMicro\PC-cillinNTCorp\CurrentVersion.
4. Modify these values:
Server REG_SZ
ServerPort REG_DWORD

5. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TrendMicro\PC-cillinNTCorp\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.
6. Modify these values:
Server REG_SZ
ServerPort REG_DWORD

7. Shutdown the OfficeScan client and then reload

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Michigan SBS User Group Tour

Just had to give a review of last night's Michigan Small Business Server User Group Tour sponsored by Microsoft. It was part of a 14 city user group tour that has been a smashing success as it has gone around the country. This week was primarily the "Central Region" where SBS is king and we have a lot of SBS-sized partners.

I'm grateful and humbled that we had over 120 in attendance! What a contrast to starting the group 13 months ago with only 6 people in attendance. We had 137 registered which was 100% capacity for our Microsoft Office room, so it was great to see very little dropoff in attendance. And just to gloat a little we were the biggest UG tour site in the US. We definitely had great support from our leadership staff and the other members as well.

Eugene Ho, Director of Development for SBS and Derek Brown, SBS Product Manager and Marketing guru, were our guests of honor from Redmond. We also had Don Roessler from the local TS2 staff that provided insight and Aanal Bhatt, a Product Manager from the CRM team in Redmond.

The night was definitely more focused on feedback than anything else and Derek had several brainstorming sessions that allowed for a tremendous amount of participation from all involved.

Key points that I took away from the schedule of SBS. In the first half of 2005 we'll get SBS 2003 SP1 with all the included goodies and ISA 2004 for Premium edition owners. SBS 2003 R2 will be released in the second half of this year with some minor updates but well needed that include the Windows Update Services rollout for patch management. In 2007 SBS on Longhorn Server will be rolled out. No mention was made of the previously code name of "Cougar" so perhaps that codename has been scrapped for now. But obviously this will be a major rev of SBS that will focus on better and more collaboration tools and other updates.

Derek mentioned that a pilot marketing effort for SBS will be rolled out in Sydney and Toronto that focuses on really adjusting the education factor of a server based environment and how SBS can do that. It will go after the peer to peer folks initially to start to educate them on the benefits of a server and SBS their business and bottom line. It sounds great, let's see how it goes. And in the marketing campaign no terms such as "easy" or "15 minute rollout" will be used. :)

Don Roessler of the TS2 mentioned about the benefits of the new SMB PEP program for partners and the reasons why we should be a part.

Aanal did a great job of explaining CRM and reaching out to partners about the benefits and what can be done to get CRM out and rolling in the marketplace. Plus some very cool programs/specials going on right now. The biggest item that was mentioned was a new 5 step install of CRM on SBS due out for the R2 release (hopefully) of SBS 2003. Awesome news.

With that being said the questions from the majority of the partners did show a lack of understanding about many key vital areas of SBS that we need more education in. ISA Server and CRM were 2 big glaring examples of this. Also many don't realize all the partner benefits that aren't even utilized. So thus the UG comes to the rescue. Many of these questions were by those that never have been a part of our UG. It was mentioned several times that if you come to the UG, get involved and ask for this type of guidance we can cover it in the UG and then again give a united voice back to Microsoft or have more events such as last nights. We've definitely got more work to do in the UG in the coming months!

We also had some great giveaways including a copy of XP, Mappoint, Swiss Army Microsoft backpack, Tshirts, Harry Brelsford's SMB Consulting Best Practices book and of course the biggie, a for resale copy of SBS 2003 premium.

Here were some of the quotes I got emailed or heard in person. "Best Microsoft meeting I've ever attended." "That was awesome, what a turnout." "Wish we could do this more often." "I'll definitely be back next month for your meeting." "How can I start my own group? I traveled 8 hours to get here."

Overall it was a rousing success. Thanks ever so much to Microsoft and the others including the SBS Team that allowed us to make this happen. We hope to definitely increase our membership on this wild ride we call SBS. Sit down, hold on and scream a little if you like!

Redirecting Local USB printers when connecting through RWW

Just had to point to Gavin's Blog about Redirecting USB printers when connecting through RWW.

Had this very problem arise today and wanted to shout out props to Gavin for having this easy to find online.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Microsoft Developing New Windows Server for Midmarket

Look like Mary Jo has the lowdown on a new Microsoft Windows Server for Midmarket. Are you ready for MMS instead of SBS? I think this will drive a trend towards Microsoft bundling more items together to give small and mid market customers more perceived value.

It'll be a great fit for those of us familiar with SBS at it'll be an easy reach and nice upsell for MMS to larger SBS customers. Although we'll definitely continue to focus on small business, hitting that medium segment does add to the bottom line!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Print Locally or Copy files through Remote Web Workplace

Every so often I get asked if "I can print or copy files through my connection with Remote Web Workplace?". Sure can!

Unfortunately it's one of those slightly hidden things that I think the SBS team could have done a better job of showing what is available. Here's the steps:
1. After you login to RWW you naturally go to the Connect to my Computer link.
2. You'll get the screen to show the computers on the network and naturally you choose yours. Here's where it's not so obvious.
3. Under the Computers box is an "Optional Settings" link with a little arrow that shows there is more.
4. Click the optional settings link.
5. Now you can actually connect your local printers and copy files by choosing the appropriate links. For servers you can actually connect to the server desktop as well by clicking the "resume console connection" link. Very nice feature for admins out there.

Now print locally! Enjoy.

Connection dropped by remote host error when a telnet is done to SBS/Exchange

OK so this past week we started working with a new client that had received a nice new Dell with SBS installed. The original tech (ok he was more of a business consultant turned tech) did a nice job of trying to getting everything running but it wasn't quite there.

After getting a new DSL provider (they were on cable) (oh yeah it's Lightning Bolt DSL, highly recommended. Static IP for a real decent price. www.lbdsl.com) and setting up all the proper information and making sure we got a good connection we started to reconfigure the network.

We went back and did all of the standard settings and reset up IP configurations to what we use as standard. 192.168.1.x on the outside subnet and 192.168.16.x on the internal subnet. This of course meant we needed to reconfigure the NIC settings for new IP ranges, new DHCP, and then rerun the Internet connection wizard.

Everything looked great. We could send email but alas now there was a problem. When trying to telnet our Exchange Server on port 25 we were getting the error message, Connection dropped by remote host. What the ? We had reconfigured everything properly and rechecked the IP's.

Well I started to look over the Exchange settings and here's what you will need to change, especially if you change the address of the server:
1. Go to Server Management
2. Go to Advanced Management
3. Go down to your First Information Store or Exchange management
4. Expand selections and go to Servers. Expand your server name.
5. Go to protocols, SMTP and click on the properties of the SMTP virtual server.
6. Make sure that in the General tab your IP address isn't your old IP address. In a normal SBS setup it will be (All Unassigned). However with these changes it's good to change it to the external NIC IP address. In our case it was 192.168.1.x.

Restart the SMTP service just to be safe and there you go. Now when you telnet domainname.com 25 you'll get the SMTP service.

SMTP Problems on Small Business Server?

MSExchange.org has a great little article on Using SMTPDIAG to Diagnose Exchange 2003 Related SMTP and DNS Problems.

A lot of questions in the SBS space come up about SMTP routing and getting it set up properly. Obviously there are a lot of ways to check and see if your SMTP is working correctly. SMTPDIAG is a great little utility to see just that. Run it from a remote system to make sure that your new SBS System is up and running properly or perhaps to diagnose a recent problem with a mail recipient.

Probably the first thing that is quick and easy and that is most often missed is trying a telnet on port 25. Many techs or first time SBS users miss this step. Try it now from a remote system and you will see what we're talking about. On a remote system go to a command prompt and type telnet mail.yourdomain.com 25 where mail.yourdomain.com is the fully qualified domain name of your SBS machine. You should get a response back that SMTP is indeed working. If not, something is wrong. My next post will give you a tip on what could be the possible problem.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Microsoft Small Business Center

I just noticed this but take another look at the Microsoft Small Business Center Site. It now has over 5000 pages according to a Microsoft rep. And look now it has RSS or XML feeds! Get that important information delivered right to your Outlook. Way to go Microsoft for forward thinking and knowing that small businesses lead the way! :)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Article on SBS SP1 rollout

Not too much new in this article from CRN regarding SBS 2003 SP1.

We'll just have to be patient and get the SP1 rollup that will include all service packs for all the included programs and ISA 2004.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Google Local

Have you tried the latest Google site? Google Local Pretty cool site along with the new Google Maps as well. Why would you want to know this?

Well what if you would like to see what wifi spots are in a town? Type in wifi and then your local or visiting town?

Want to see what the competitor is doing? Type in your business type and then your business hometown and you see the listing of businesses like yours.

The Internet can be an overwhelming wealth of information. Use it to your benefit in your business and you'll prosper! Too often small businesses don't do the kind of legwork they need from the technology side of the house to really make their life easier. Try it, you might actually enjoy it!