Monthly Archives: July 2006

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Well somehow I got the reservations messed up for SMBnation

In past years, the SMBnation slumber party consisted of Anne, Marie and Stephanie…. and last year we stayed in the anchor hotel for the SMBnation conference.  Well dummy me got the reservations messed up and the main hotel and the Residence Inn as are sold out……

….so….. the gals doing the SMBNation slumber party are at the Redmond Silver Cloud this year….instead of the hotel which is the anchor hotel for the Conference…but no worries…

Redmond Features:

But there’s a Fridge and a Microwave… and of course…high speed access..what more can a gal want?


You want more emails Frank or what?

“The features offered in R2 are welcome enhancements, but one of the biggest features touted is the patch management–if SBS did not have all of the security issues associated with it, the patch management would not be such a big deal. The Linux distros include patch management and update services also, but are those are less important than they are in SBS. Linux tends to be more secure (mostly because the virus and malware authors don’t see it as a target) and stable. “

SBS did not have all the security issues associated with it?  Dude do you know where most of the security issues COME from?  The desktops .. and THAT’s where we’re not patching.  That Linux disto includes patch management …but only for Linux… so that Nitix includes a patch management solution that patches the Windows desktops?  Really?  YAST or whatever distro is under Nitix will patch Windows machines… this I got to see.

No sir, it is not the security issues of the server that the Patch management is mostly controlling …it’s the workstations, Frank.  It’s step one in getting control over those workstations, taking back admin rights, and sir, if you don’t understand that the security of any network is the sum total of all of it’s parts and not just the server, then you may need to get a bit of security education like all of those small businesses will need before they learn the lesson the hard way.

Security isn’t just about my Server, Mr. Ohlhorst, and if we just think that my security is only about my server we’re doomed to forever be in break/fix mode.

Right now it’s my desktops that are introducing the most risk.  And that Nitix’s patch management isn’t helping that one bit.

Granted there are some small businesses getting cost conscious…but the real cost of a network is not the server OS… in reality it’s the labor of maintenance.. and if that var/vap has no tools like active directory and group policy to better control those workstations, the long term costs will bite you in the long term. 

As a business owner I moved from Novell to Microsoft for my server OS when I saw that the var/vaps supporting Novell were far and few between.  To me, it’s about support and ‘critical mass’.  Nitix isn’t there yet.

But as far as Patch Managment is concerned.. it’s soooooo NOT about the server these days it’s not funny…. and Linux as a business OS for the desktop really isn’t there for my needs.

P.S.  Show me a screwed up SBS box that’s been nailed by malware and I’ll show you a server that got nailed by stupid users doing stupid things or bad configurations.  At the present time to the best of my Friday brain, I cannot think of a single vulnerability that if the SBS box is properly set up, with only the minimal ports open, with proper passwords, that it wouldn’t still be chugging even without patching. (yeah I know …strike me dead for making that anti-patching statement ‘eh?)

Granted if it was RTM software it would be spewing out tons of emails each time it was part of a bcc thread, but it would not be owned.  The threats on my network come from my users.  I patch because it’s the right thing to do and it ensures that I am abiding by California law AB1950 and taking measures to ensure my clients’ data is protected.  But to not recognize that patch managment is about the entire fabric of the network is not recognizing how we are all a part of security.  And we need to educate our small business owners on that point, that you can’t just slap in technology and assume that it will be the magic pill… that security is about each part of the network (INCLUDING THE USERS) doing their part …otherwise we are doomed to constantly be chasing the tail of security. 

My best tools for ensuring the protection of my network are my end users who ask me, who are educated, and who stop and think.  My second best tools are doing what I can as a network admin to tuck those workstations behind my server and protect them as best as I can.  Patch management is just one part of that protection… one that as far as I can tell, Nitix can’t do for my workstations.

Podcast on SBS 2k3 R2

The Official SBS Blog : Inside SBS Podcast Episode #20 – R2 and WSUS:

…okay so while not exactly the greatest timing in the world…needless to say of interest to some anyway (1) when it finally arrives…..

(1) us wacko SAers anyway


Can you tell it’s an R2 Friday?

Manufacturing Snag To Cause Slight SBS 2003 R2 Delay

Vlad blogged that the Microsoft has figured out beta testing with Vista…..but I’m embarrassed to say that SBS sure didn’t.  The business brain of me wants to say “well it’s a good thing this is being handled correctly”, the IT geek side of me wants to complain about the beta and how it was run, but since there’s probably some NDA agreement somewhere that is keeping me from talking about the beta experience, I won’t.

All I will say is that I will put MS on notice… SBS Longhorn will be a big leap.. 64 bit… and I can’t nor won’t offer up any production box for that test.  It’s too high of a price to pay and I’m not that insane to risk clients and my own office like that… so when you plan on your 64 bit era betas… make it a bigger beta, get lots of feedback….

Microsoft recalls small-business product | Tech News on ZDNet:

I’m glad you did the right thing this time… but plan to do better next time, okay?

Kaseya’s BUDR solution warns about an Acronis issue

 “We have been alerted by Acronis that the folder backup feature within 4.6.2 is not functioning properly. Although it appears that the function is working and reports a successful backup, that is not the case. The backup files created will fail verification and restoration. Acronis is working on a fix for this issue and we should have an update shortly. We will continue to update you as we learn more.”

Reporting services and CEICW

Error message when you install Reporting Services on a Windows SBS 2003 R2-based computer: “The setup has encountered an unexpected error while setting reporting service and share point exclusion path”:

For those that run CRMSBE and SBS in the SBS r2 era you will need to watch this KB as it affects you as well…

Want a daily email recap of the blog?

I saw this on a blog today…. a way to subscribe to a summary email of all the daily blog posts… so if you haven’t yet gotten on the RSS reader wagon… go and subscribe to a daily email of the blog contents…..Pretty cool! is the site that offers this service.

System Center Essentials Public Beta

Microsoft is building a new managed services solution to enable partners to create a services-based business by delivering remote IT managed services to small and midsized organizations. Supported by System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Operations Manager 2007) and System Center Essentials 2007 (SCE 2007) technology, this combined solution creates a powerful platform with which you can provide remote software update management, monitoring and troubleshooting of customer environments over a secure internet connection. In addition, you will be able to create customized reports to show your customers the value of the services you provide.

Pre-register for the Public Beta

To pre-register for the public Beta, please follow these steps:


Use your Internet connection to visit the Microsoft Connect Web site:


Click Invitations on the Connect menu.


You will need to sign in using a valid Windows Live ID before you can continue to the Invitations page.


Enter your Invitation ID in the box. Your invitation ID is: MSSP-RH2J-PWMV


Click Go.

So what does your home office look like?

This is the photo from a friend of mine…so what does YOUR home desktop look like?

Is Quickbooks 2006 locking up on opening?

Technote from the Quickbooks folks —

If QuickBooks 2006 Appears to Lock up When Opened. We recently saw a small spike in calls from users of QuickBooks 2006 whose systems would appear to lock up when they started up the software. If you hear of any of your clients with this problem, please feel free to share this information with them.

Background. The delay happens with a small subset of QuickBooks users as the QuickBooks software attempts to load a message from Intuit. While we research the issue further, here is a workaround that is simple and effective.

Response: Use the Control Key. Ask clients to open QuickBooks while depressing the Ctrl key. This method allows QuickBooks to open without opening a company file. Once the QuickBooks software loads (with no company open), have the client go ahead and open the company file.

Stay Tuned. We will share further information as it becomes available.