Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Taking an unofficial survey

Has anyone taken the 74-324 exam and is anyone planning to get the Small Business competency?
(sorry about the Captcha if you are trying to answer... 
Chrome changed something in their code and now it
doesn't present the image in the same screen, if you
want to comment can you flip over to IE or Firefox? Thanks!)

Updated your iPhone and now have meeting weirdness?

Meeting in Attendee’s Calendar Loses Track of the Meeting Organizer:

“Microsoft is aware of an increase in issues for meeting requests that coincided with the release of Apple iOS 6 devices. When this occurs, users that are attendees of a meeting may inadvertently become the meeting organizer.

The organizer information in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA) is not changed in this scenario. If an attendee takes action on a meeting item using an Apple iOS 6 device, synchronizing with Microsoft Exchange Server using Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), the meeting organizer may be changed and replaced by the attendee.

As a secondary result, the device may incorrectly assume that the device user (attendee) is the organizer, and can send meeting updates or cancellations to all of the original meeting attendees, as if the mailbox user is the organizer.”

A private …what?

The other day I saw a NAS unit with a dynamic IP to a remote access offering and it was touted as a “private cloud”

….uh.. yeah.. right.. I’ve been running a private cloud since SBS 2003 then huh?


How do you back up virtualized machines

There’s two ways…through the parent and then blind to the parent.

Hyper-V Backup Strategies:

A good discussion there.

Blind to the parent way:

Take an external usb hard drive or nas and in the HyperV server, build a virtual drive of sufficient size.  Make it a dynamic, not fixed drive size.  Now add that dynamic disk/vhd as a drive to your hyperV children.  Once you’ve done that you can use the vhd as a normal drive and any Windows backup will see it as just another hard drive.

Through the parent way: 

This will only work with Windows 2008/ 2008 r2 or 2012 – not with Windows 8. and info on the topic ––  how backup assist does it 

sbs 2012 will not come with exchange

sbs 2012 will not come with exchange

Dear person who came here from Google.  Or bing.  You got here because you searched for that term.

I’m a bit concerned that it appears from the search strings I’m seeing and the comments on the SBS blog that you are just now finding out that the 2012 version of Windows 2012 Server Essentials (which is what it’s called now) no longer includes Exchange.

If you are just now finding out that instead of Exchange included, that you …that’s right YOU need to sit down with your clients and decide if

a. they will have Exchange (maybe you want Kerio or another mail server instead)

b. where that Exchange will be (hosted, Office 365 or installed on a member server)


c.  How you will now go about doing this you need to connect with a community.  May I recommend

There is no Exchange shipped with Windows 2012 Server Essentials – what you are probably calling SBS 2012.  Instead you need to decide where that Exchange will be.  If Office 365 or on a member server, there is a connector on the box to make the password sync stuff happen.  If you go with a third party Exchange vendor, ask them if they intend to build a plug in or give you guidance.

Installing Exchange on a member server IS doable.  Granted we’re all going to be learning a bit of command line and Powershell but honey, if I can, you can too.

So if you are freaking out that SBS 2012 no longer includes Exchange…..

There is no SBS 2012 it’s now called Windows Server 2012 essentials.

You can download a trial version here:

You can play with a lab here:

You can ask questions here:  and I’d strongly advise you to join a community like

Exchange on a member server is supported.

You can have your client purchase Windows 2012 Standard and do a HyperV deployment and downgrade one of the instances (children) to Windows Server 2012 essentials and the other is where your Exchange will be installed.  As Windows 2012 lets you have two virtualization installs not just one, and you can use a downgrade right to downgrade to Essentials (but buy volume licensing because any other way of buying will NOT be easy to dig out where to get downgrade rights).

But bottom line… sbs 2012 does not come with exchange

And there’s no amount of commenting on blogs that will change this decision and bring it back. 


Picking my battles

Dear Steve Ballmer:

You won’t be getting this email because I’ve decided that the fact that the small number of your customers impacted, combined with the idea that one should “pick our battles”, combined with I’m sure Microsoft is probably sick and tired of hearing from me and MVPs right about now means that I’m not sending this to you.  But that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to vocalize my frustrations and my nagging feeling of unlove here.

Background:  Existing SBS 2011 Standard customer.  Have been on Software Assurance since 2000. 

Problem:  Software Assurance make good offer isn’t making good and leaving me without the needed parts to securely build a replacement platform for what I have.  I feel that Microsoft is leaving me to fend for myself, document my own guidance (and obviously I’ll be sharing it here) .

There’s an old saying “Pick your battles”.  And I’m chosing not to pick this one, but just blog it and get it out of my system.

Details:  Currently as a software assurance customer I get as my “make good” offering one copy of Windows 2012, one copy of Exchange 2010, and the number of Windows and Exchange cals that I have in replacement for the SBS cals I purchased and have SA.  There are plans to support Exchange 2010 on Windows 2012 as it will need Service pack 3 (eta early next year).  Alternatively I can downgrade one of my virtualized instances to Windows 2008 R2 in order to install Exchange 2010 now. 

So I have the following options in order to build a replacement SBS that will be fully supported.  This involves ensuring that only supported items go on Domain controllers:

Option one:  Use downgrade rights for one of the Virtualized instances and downgrade to Windows 2012 Essentials.  This gives me RWA rights (that my current SA rights do not respect that I need) and gives me user set up wizards and integration with an on premise Exchange.  We have received word from the Essentials team that it will support WSUS on it so that I can put that role on the domain controller.  However I am one operating system short as I have no location to place SharePoint.  And I am a customer that DOES use SharePoint in my firm.    So this leaves me one Windows operating system (as SharePoint foundation is free) short of what I need.  Only solution, purchase another copy of Windows 2012 standard, $800 cost.

Option two:  Purchase a copy of Windows 2012 Essentials and install it as an additional virtual machine in my 2012 parent.  With this I can have 2012 Essentials as the DC, then SharePoint in another instance, then Exchange in another instance.  Cost to purchase a Windows 2012 Essentials:  $425.

Both solutions mean that as I roll out of SBS Standard in this Software Assurance make good offer, I’m having to fork out money.  Okay, so honestly not a lot.  But it’s sticking in this beancounter craw of mine that I shouldn’t have to pay any more money especially since I’m on year two of my three year SA agreement and I have one more payment left.  Given that I still have to pay to replace what I already have, I don’t feel that this Software Assurance makes good is good enough.

Software assurance make good should do just that.  It should MAKE ME WHOLE and not leave me with “damages”.  Right now I’m having to figure out how to install, where to install, and what to install to put me in a replacement situation that’s fully supported.

I’m having to take the time to determine the installation, the supportability of all of these parts, to ensure that I can replace my current solution with something that gives equivalent value and technology.  For all that we complain about SBS, the fact that all this stuff was set up for us, you realize how much we’ve (I’ve) gotten used to these install scripts and more importantly for me, the boundaries of support.  SBS and EBS both supported Exchange on a DC – outside of SBS it’s very much frowned upon.

SharePoint is also frowned upon on a DC and SBS is the only platform that allows support. 

Given that as a software assurance customer I’m sure that I’m only .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of Microsoft’s customer base (rounding error in the thousands or more) I’ve decided it’s not worth it, nor do I see this era of Microsoft budging and being reasonable on this.  Unfortunately EBS also got the same “make good” shaft as it too was one Windows license short, so unfortunately the precident was set back then.

The concern for those looking at Essentials and thinking you can easily transmorg or flip from Essentials over to Standard, when you do so, you go from a cal-less Essentials box to a box that needs client user access licenses.  So you get to the 26th user in the firm, get a Windows Standard key, put it in to flip the box from Essentials to Standard to support the 26th user and you need TWENTY-SIX user licenses.  Not 1 license to reflect the additional user, but 26.  You get no credit for the $425 you spent for Essentials.  For a firm that started out with less than 25 users themselves how many years ago, It feels a little unreasonable that growth and credit for existing purchases is not even considered.  So when you read all of those recommendations to simply transmorg – which is wonderful that it’s offered, it’s also may have a bigger price tag than you anticipated.  So go into it with your eyes open.

Also be aware that there are rumors of increasing prices in user cals that may impact us going forward as well.

Okay, I hear you saying, geeze Susan you are being cheap these days, I mean $425 isn’t that much is it? 

This is an accumulatiion of a feeling of Microsoft being really penny pinching in their pricing and no longer offering the discounts for small businesses they once did.  I’ve seen reports that SPLA pricing is going up.  Obviously SMB pricing of Exchange and SQL are gone.  I acknowledge that I am not jumping to the cloud and thus must pay a higher price tag for my on premises needs, but that doesn’t mean I’m not questioning how Microsoft thinks what they are offering me for software assurance is truly a make it right, and questioning how there’s no allowance for growth of customers.

So Steve, I’m not sending this to you because I feel this is a done deal and you guys won’t do anything about it, and I’m saving my battles for another day.

Looking forward to Thursday –

IT Spend and Standard Industry Operating Ratios

Last call, folks! Even if attending via Internet only, please register
by the end of the day. Let's put Microsoft's cloud to the test J




IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Eastern NC Section Joint Meeting - IT
Spend and Standard Industry Operating Ratios


Please join us for a discussion on IT spend and industry operating
ratios with representatives from the IT industry that are able to share
experiences on the subject. Bring your questions and answers. Event is
free thanks to our sponsors. If you are looking for formal agenda and
speaker, you will be sorely disappointed and may obtain a full refund.
We hope you will get as much out of the event as you put into it and
walk away with knowledge that will help you make the best financial
decisions when planning your information technology operating budget.



Howard Cunningham, Macro Systems, LLC

Amy Luby, Trend Micro

Jeff Adzima, netCIO

Jason Hastain, PacifiCom

Chris Amori, Network Depot, LLC

Susan Bradley, SBS Diva

Amy Babinchak, Harbor Computer Services

Bob Coppedge, Simplex-IT

Jim Ray, Neuse River Networks


*** Registration: ***



First Flight Venture Center - Daniels Conference Room

2 Davis Drive

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709


Date: 18-Oct-2012

Time: 04:00PM to 07:00PM (3.00 hours) All times are: US/Eastern



4 PM First Flight happy hour/informal networking/sponsor elevator
speeches/food and drinks

5 PM Panel Discussion on IT Spend/demonstrations

6 PM questions/answers/breakout sessions/informal networking on back
deck weather permitting

7 PM adjourn


Here are the details for the meeting.


We'll be using Microsoft Lync (from the Office 365 suite) for the
meeting starting at from 4-7pm Eastern thanks to Bob Coppedge at


Lync audio will be the only way to listen, so you'll actually need
either to have the Lync Client or Lync Attendee installed (and speakers
on your computer). You can click here for the Lync Attendee download


We'd suggest joining a little early to make sure things are working


Audio and video will be enabled for the presenters, everybody else uses


Join online meeting

Windows 2012 Essentials on Action Pack

Assuming that link works… it’s where you can download the Action pack version of Windows 2012 Essentials.

And check out these virtual labs:

Custom button programming in a Ricoh copier

Got a new Ricoh copier/printer/scanner today and we always forget how to custom program this button thing we use, so I’m blogging it so I don’t forget it.

To custom program the 2 sided to one sided button — which we use when we’re copying double sided paperwork as we need it in single sided. 

Start with User Tools/Counter


Press Copier/Document Server Features

Go to page 2

Click on Customize Function Copier

Click on the empty button on the right hand side

Choose the button you want to be on that custom button

In our case we wanted 2 sided to 1 sided, but obviously it can be any of those custom buttons


 Now when you are done, the custom button shows up on the home screen of the copier


And there you go 

Dead body report for Servers

Watch your SBS 2008’s in patching this week.

Michael Jenkin reports:

"Had 12 SBS 2008 servers lose Exchange services after autoupdates last
night.  Simple service restart fixed it."

Watch SBS 2008 servers this month.  Haven't found the trigger but they are
needing two reboots after patching this month.  I've had multiple
independent reports of this.