Final thoughts, and a wrench in the plan for integration

Office 365: Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Integration:

Final thoughts, and a wrench in the plan for integration

Integrating Office 365 and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials user accounts is an interesting idea and one that allows Microsoft’s latest SMB entry to compete on a more even footing with the traditional SBS offering. That said, I’m not sure what the potential audience size is here. While Office 365 is doing quite well, SBSE–like WHS 2011–seems mired in disinterest, with very few server maker offerings (SBSE is typically sold with new hardware) and little in the way of buzz.

That’s too bad, but then both of these products also suffer from the same basic problem: Configuring them is far too complicated for the intended small business audience. I wrote about the difficulty of just configuring Office 365 for a custom domain for email previously, but the truth is, I glossed over how difficult the similar custom domain configuration for SBSE remote access can be in my note above. Asking a typical SMB worker to undergo either of these tasks could be frustrating and ultimately futile.

My advice here is simple: Both Office 365 and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials offer excellent functionality for small businesses, and integrating them in a “better together” fashion makes even more sense, but only assuming that you can get someone else to do it. This is an excellent opportunity for Microsoft’s partner ecosystem to step in and fill the gap. It’s a role these companies already play. I’m guessing most small businesses just don’t know about that option.

Dear Paul:

Here’s why SMB partners are not stepping up to the plate.

1.  The issue of who controls the client.  Office 365 does not allow the Partner to be in control of the Office 365 billing arrangement.  Clients sign up with Microsoft, Microsoft bills the client, Microsoft pays the partner a low partner fee.  The partner channel right now is seeing Microsoft as a competitor, not as a partner.  They see Microsoft as wanting to steal the clients or move them up the food chain to a Gold or Silver partner.

2.  The issue of the size of the client.  SBS Essentials max’s out at 25 years.  You yourself ragged on Microsoft regarding this upper limit for which there is no solid migration path.  Most SMB partners thusly see Essentials as for really small clients, under 10.  And then in the MSP channel they are not sure that an under 10 user client is worth their time and values a MSP.

The partner ecosystem knows about Office 365.  The partner ecosystem is not too thrilled about Office 365.

What SBS Essentials needs is OTHER hosted email vendors to plug into it.  Other vendors that are seen as Partner channel friendly.  So far there’s only been ONE vendor ( ) that has built a plug in (as far as I’m aware).  Intermedia doesn’t.  Others don’t.

SBS Essentials needs more of an ecosystem is the real problem.

For another write up on the Office 365 plug in — check out

Activesync – it should just work

On a SBS box activesync should -just-work-.

In case it doesn’t – check this out

A script to troubleshoot issues with Exchange ActiveSync – Exchange Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

Coming soon Win8 beta

Looking ahead to Windows 8: five big questions for Microsoft | ZDNet:
“I suspect there’s a hard core of Windows fundamentalists who will never accept Metro style, or will resist it for some period of time. They’ll just have to deal with it, because I’m told the final release will not include a “classic” option with the Windows 7-style Start menu and search behavior.”

Given that I still have a person in the office that uses the Classic menu option in Office 2010 I’m wincing a bit at this.  Heck I’m having issues finding my way around Windows server 8’s new server manager, so I can only imagine what my users will be threatening me with if what I’m seeing in the Windows 8 developer preview ends up in the final version and the metro start menu is the only menu system.

If you want to check out Windows 8 – especially the upcoming consumer beta at the end of Feb and don’t have a hyperV handy, use Oracle’s virtualbox that runs it nicely.

Fasten your seatbelt.  Lots of change ahead.

ERROR E_FAIL (0X8004005) while installing Service Pack 1

Due to the WSUS caused C34 errors with Windows 7 sp1 I had held back rolling out sp1 using any patch automated tools.  So I did it VERY inefficiently using Microsoft update and this weekend I was doing the last of the workstations that didn’t have Windows 7 sp1 on them… including mine.

It worked for every single Windows 7 in my office… except….


Yes, mine.  I’m getting a lovely generic “generic error” that looks like I’m going to have to do a repair install.

ERROR E_FAIL (0X8004005) while installing Service Pack 1 for – Microsoft Answers:

I’ll try those recommended items, but I’m not holding my breath.

Showcasing WD Sentinel DX 4000

Looking for vendors building solutions on Windows Storage Server 2008 r2 Essentials?  First up is Western Digital’s WD Sentinel DX4000:


Support forum:

More resources and information include:

WD Sentinel – Small Office NAS and Backup for SMB Clients:
More Information on the WD Sentinel DX4000 – Using Windows Home Server:
Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 Review | – Storage Reviews:
New To The Charts: WD DX4000 Sentinel – SmallNetBuilder:
Small Business NAS Review: WD Sentinel DX4000:
WD DX4000 Sentinel Mini Review:
Six Minute and Six Second Review of the WD Sentinel DX4000 – Using Windows Home Server:
Western Digital Intros Sentinel DX4000 Enterprise Storage Server – HotHardware:
WD’s Sentinel DX4000 Network Storage Servers for Businesses Debuts | WD,Sentinel DX4000,Network Storage Servers,Business,WD’s Sentinel DX4000 Network Storage Servers for Businesses Debuts:
New Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 NAS Brings Personal Clouds to Small Busines: Western Digital 4 TB WD Sentinel DX4000 Small Office Storage Server: Electronics:

So What A/V can you run on SBS Essentials?

Security program support in Windows SBS 2011 Essentials environments:

Note You cannot install Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 or Microsoft Security Essentials on a server that is running Windows SBS 2011 Essentials.

10 or fewer client computers

If your Windows SBS 2011 Essentials-based network has 10 or fewer client computers, we recommend that you install Microsoft Security Essentials on the client computers. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download for up to 10 client computers, and it provides real-time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. For your Windows SBS 2011 server, we recommend that you install a third-party antivirus solution.

11 to 25 client computers

If your Windows SBS 2011 Essentials-based network has 11 to 25 client computers, we recommend that you install Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 on the client computers. For your Windows SBS 2011 server, we recommend that you install a third-party antivirus solution.

We are currently researching how to support our security products in future releases of Windows SBS Essentials, and we will post more information in this article when it becomes available.

SBS 2011 not impacted – Exchange 2010 Sp2 KB

Error message when you try to install Exchange Server 2010 SP2: “AuthorizationManager check failed”:
Consider the following scenario:

  • You install Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1). (okay SBS 2011 includes Exchange 2010 sp1 – check)
  • You use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) or the Local Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc) to create a Group Policy Object (GPO) or a local policy . (We do have group policies – check)
  • The GPO or the local policy sets the Windows PowerShell Execution policy to a status other than Undefined. (SBS 2011 does NOT do this and thus will not be impacted by this)
  • You install Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2).

When this error occurs, Exchange Server 2010 does not work and is not listed in Add or Remove Programs. Additionally, you cannot reinstall Exchange Server 2010.

This issue occurs because the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service is stopped during the installation process. Therefore, the ServiceControl.ps1 Windows PowerShell script that runs as part of the Exchange Server 2010 SP2 installation process cannot call the WMI service to verify the execution permissions.

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Recover the server that is running Exchange Server 2010

Ouch.  Bottom line, SBS is not impact.  But for anyone else out there installing SP2, you might want to check your PowerShell and ensure you have not set a policy.

Microsoft has released Update Rollup 6 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) that is dated January 25, 2012.

Description of Update Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3:
Microsoft has released Update Rollup 6 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) that is dated January 25, 2012.

Released: Update Rollup 6 for Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 – Exchange Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

Earlier today the Exchange CXP team released Update Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2007 SP3 to the Download Center.

Note: The post title erroneously referred to Update Rollup 3. It has been updated to reflect the correct rollup number.

This update contains a number of customer-reported and internally found issues since the release of RU5. See KB 2608656: Description of Update Rollup 6 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3′ for more details.

We would like to specifically call out the following fixes which are included in this release:

  • DST Cadence Release for Dec 2011 – Exchange 2007
  • 22656040 An Exchange Server 2007 Client Access server may respond slowly or stop responding when users try to synchronize the Exchange ActiveSync devices with their mailboxes
  • 2498852 “0x80041606” error message when you perform a prefix search by using Outlook in online mode in an Exchange Server 2007 environment
  • 22653334 The reseed process is unsuccessful on the SCR passive node when the circular logging feature is enabled in an Exchange Server 2007 environment
  • 22617784 Journal reports are expired or lost when the Microsoft Exchange Transport service is restarted in an Exchange Server 2007 environment
  • 2289607 The week numbers displayed in OWA do not match the week numbers displayed in Outlook for English users and French users in an Exchange Server 2007 environment

General Notes:

For DST Changes:

Note for Forefront Protection for Exchange users For those of you running Forefront Protection for Exchange, be sure you perform these important steps from the command line in the Forefront directory before and after this rollup’s installation process. Without these steps, Exchange services for Information Store and Transport will not start after you apply this update. Before installing the update, disable ForeFront by using this command: fscutility /disable. After installing the update, re-enable ForeFront by running fscutility /enable.

Paying for a fair share of cloud

<please note, this isn’t anti cloud, rather it’s a plea to vendors to provide value for services>

For background, see this post

If you hired me and I did work for you for several years and then I came to you and said that I’d be bumping up the price by 1400% (that’s not a typo) would you want me to justify that what you provided to me increased in value that much as well? 

You know what bugs me the most about putting key business assets lock stock and barrel inside of cloud deployments?  It’s the problem that OpenDNS just showcased to me.  I’d better have an exit strategy that is relatively painless otherwise I’m going to be scrambling to exit should my cloud vendor jack up the price tag.  I’m guessing that OpenDNS’s major shift in pricing is a sign that their venture capital firms want the free ride to go away.  That they want value as well for the dollars they are investing.  Fair enough.  Fair value for what they do.  But that’s the thing, right now I have no idea of OpenDNS’s business model.  I wanted to pay to ensure that the company stayed financially viable.  But I have no idea if $1500 per year is really what I cost to OpenDNS or if it’s a means to get rid of small companies like mine.

It’s the concerns I have regarding the pricing plans and options of offerings like Office 365.  Microsoft doesn’t release the details of the financials behind Office 365 so I have no idea if the price per mailbox I’m seeing now truly is a reasonable fee for the product or if they are loss leading the prices to suck in customers.  Getting onto cloud services is relatively easy.  Getting off, perhaps not so easy.  In this case of OpenDNS, they are not sticky enough and hard enough to migrate off of, nor (in my opinion) provide $1500 of value to my firm that I can’t find elsewhere for much cheaper amount.

But it’s that “are you really making a decent living from what I am paying you or are you going to jack up the price tag once you no longer have your cash cows of Windows and Office to carry the load” that honestly concerns me because I have no means to make that decision based on the financials of Microsoft – and I’m a shareholder.

So all of you cloud vendors that want to get me on board as a smb customer?  Charge a reasonable price tag for your service up front.  Don’t loss lead it.  Don’t discount it so much to get customers that when you finally do increase the price tag for what it actually costs that you give your customers heart attacks. 

And ask yourself (if you are a big company), put yourself in my shoes of making decisions.  Would you pay what you are asking me to pay?  If you increased pricing, would you also consider this unreasonable?

I think even would be shocked if he was paying $1500 for protecting just himself and no one else.

Mail enabled public folder – rejected with ndr

Recently during a migration someone found that public folder mail enabled routing was not working.  Turns out this was the problem:

When sending e-mail messages to a mail-enabled public folder that have been replicated from old Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007, Exchange Server 2010 environment mails are rejected with NDR.:

Also read this: