So as my backup box by gramps nicely restored it, it wasn’t a major disaster but I just had a laptop with a Samsun SSD 830 Model MX-7PC128 crater and die.

It basically froze up on us as Cliff was doing a presentation last week on Azure.  I unplugged it, plugged it back in, it booted but it would freeze and die ever since.

Just a reminder that when SSDs die, they die without warning.  To make sure you have a backup of them.

I started to post this on the TechNet wiki but the first draft blew up on me.  So I’ll post it here instead.

Migration resources from SBS 2011 to hosted/premises versions.

For those considering moving from SBS 2011 standard – on premises to hosted versions, there’s not a lot of good resources out there.  We’re hoping that with R2 in the future that Microsoft will step up and come out with more documentation – especially with options like the Essentials role.

To migrate from SBS 2011 to Windows Server 2012 Essentials:

Microsoft has provided migration information to migrate from SBS 2011 to Windows Server 2012 Essentials in TechNet.  Essentials 2012 offers the option to install in migration mode via the GUI install.  Once installed you then need to move the email.  This can be done either following Microsoft guidance or using tools such as

The Server 2012 Essentials wiki with install tips can be found here.

Resources for migrating SharePoint from the premises version to the online hosted version have been graciously blogged by Office 365 MVP Robert Crane.

Remote Web Access, the User console, and other specific SBSism is migrated over as the users come over in AD.  If the users have a specific SBS attribute  (which they should have) they will be automatically populated in the Essentials console.  If they do not, there is a specific PowerShell command to get them properly listed.

Once you move the email and SharePoint, the old SBS server must be decommissioned within 21 days.

To migrate from SBS 2011 standard to standalone Server 2012 and hosted Exchange and SharePoint:

There is no specific instructions at this time to go from SBS 2011 standard to Windows Server 2012 standard with hosted Exchange and SharePoint.  However the process is similar to the links posted above.  You will join the new server to the domain, DCpromo it to make it a domain controller, move the FSMO roles to the new server, move the email, move the SharePoint and finally decide to decommission the server by removing Exchange on the old server and dcpromoing down the old server.

Additional resources for migration:

Jeff Middleton of provides migration resources to go from and to all manner of small business migration situations.  At this time he supports up through 2008R2.  Server 2012 support is planned.

So I’m playing with a virtual machine up on the Azure public preview of Windows 2012 R2.  And you get to the hyperv managerish console through the Azure console page and a Microsoft live ID. 

But you can also RDP to your virtual machine.  It’s RDP 3389 published to a non standard RDP port. 

And the thought goes through my mind… uh… you can limit that RDP port to just your IP… yes?

“A significant improvement in the security of virtual machines is the ability to lock down an endpoint so that only a specified set of IP addresses can access it.

To specify ACLs during or after deployment from PowerShell you create a new ACL configuration object using New-AzureAclConfig and then modify it with Set-AzureAclConfig. The created ACL object is then specified to the *-AzureEndpoint cmdlet in the -ACL parameter. “

May I say I think the reports of the demise of the ITpro may be a bit premature.  Granted there’s more Azure powershell and different gui’s to get your head around, but this virtual machine up here is just a server, that can be set up as good or as bad as you want it to be. 

Now off to see if I can get my head around Azure networking.

(done in an old geezer voice)

Honey, I remember when phones were phones.  When cameras were cameras.  When TV rabbit ears had to be moved to get a TV station and you had to WALK across the room to change the channel.  When you’d put foil on the antennas to boost the signal.

So I was setting up a Roku device at my Dad’s because he only has over the air TV.  He used to have cable, then used to have dish network and he doesn’t do the trick I’ve heard others say they do where every six months the drop one service for the next to get the best deal on the sign up.  No he’s like many where he’s cutting the cable cord and seeing how much he can watch without a cable subscription.  Of course that does mean reverting to the historical old way of having to walk over to the rabbit ears and having to attempt to see if you can get the channel you want to be picked up by the digital tuner. 

Just funny that the more things change, the more they stay the same – at least in terms of trying to get a TV channel.

One thing that I was surprised a bit about the Roku is how much it showcases the problems that Apple and Google will have with content providers.  Want HGTV on roku?  Sorry there used to be some sort of private bootleg channel but no more.  Want HBO to go?  You may be a subscriber but until Comcast makes a deal with Roku, you won’t be getting it on that device.

Seeing Google throw more coals on the fire, this should be interesting to see who wins this war of content.


So the question came up the other day about migrating from SBS 2011 to Office 365 and hosted Exchange and SharePoint.  Hosted Exchange has tools to move the data from the premises server to the cloud – is highly recommended.  But when It came to SharePoint, it’s not as clear cut.  You can decide to rebuild and merely map a drive from the old SharePoint to the new SharePoint and drag and drop the data over.  There are third party tools that  are not free and will pull over more of the metadata.  If you highly use SharePoint, you need Robert Crane’s advice as he’s the goto guy on all things SharePoint in SMB.

Computer Information Agency – Publications: and in particular

If you really rely on SharePoint, I’d recommend getting Robert’s take on what method and what tool to use to migrate.  A few months back he blogged:
“The problem has been, especially in the SMB space, has been the lack of a single tool to handle all this sort of migration and do so at a reasonable price. That was until Sharegate came along. Since I first started using the product it has added a variety of features, now including the ability to content from one site to another. Best of all the product is compatible with all current versions of SharePoint including SharePoint Online with Office 365.”

Then I’d also recommend that even if you refuse to use Office 365 now, and even if you think that none of your clients will ever use it, you should make sure you sign up for alerts from this page:

It’s a wiki page that keeps up to date what the latest is with Office 365.  If you sign into the wiki with your Microsoft ID you can sign up to be alerted when it’s updated.


We are in a changing environment and I don’t think you should rule anything out.  So keep an eye on the shifting technologies and choices out there.

Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2 Availability – Office Sustained Engineering – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

SharePoint 2010 sp2 is now on WSUS and up as an optional update on MU.

Rule of Susan:  Never install service packs on the first day they are out. 


Look for posts from Robert Crane on how to install it and I’ll be keeping an eye out for issues.

To all of our Partner Community,

In our ongoing efforts to ensure that our customers work with partners who can meet their capacity and capability needs, we are updating the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) competency attainment policy.  Commencing January 2014, partners will be required to earn competencies by Country.  

This means that partners with locations in two or more countries can no longer “inherit” competencies across country borders.  Instead, each Country will be required to meet the competency requirements where you want to be recognized with that competency.  Please work with your Regional Service Center to create and implement a transition plan if applicable to your organization.

Best Regards,

Partner Support Community

Today I was chatting with someone regarding the end of life of Windows XP.  And he said.. well when we get to October when there’s six months left of XP…and I stopped him and said… well no, we have six months of Windows XP left now.

In many businesses, the end of the business year is December.  If hardware is not deployed by the end of the year, it’s not good from a tax deduction standpoint, and more importantly it may not be good from the cycle of the business.  In many firms such as Accounting firms, there are business cycles where they do upgrades (October 16-December) and cycles of the year they do NO upgrades whatsoever (January through April).

You should be sitting down with your clients right now and ensuring you know how many XP’s they have left, why they are still on XP and if they still have a key need for XP, how you can set up vLans and limitations and keep them off the web come April 2014.