Monthly Archives: September 2014

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Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials

http://www.thecus.com/media_news_page.php?NEWS_ID=15373

09/10/2014- Thecus Technology Corp. today announces another world first: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is now available for NAS users. Available this October, the 2-bay W2000, 4-bay W4000, and the 5-bay W5000 offer a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services, and secure remote access.

“Thecus NAS provide users with a complete solution to their storage needs. With the additions to the W Series, Thecus is able to offer a more diversified product to its customers.  Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is an ideal pairing with Thecus NAS and will equip small businesses with a powerful and trusted storage solution.”  Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp.

By running Windows Server software on a Thecus NAS, users will be able to simplify the integration of Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. These new NAS offerings provide users with an affordable, flexible solution that minimizes resources spent on business operations while still optimizing productivity.

“The Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials software allows small businesses to protect, centralize, organize, and access their data anywhere by using almost any device,” said Peter Han, Vice President of Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft. “We believe offering our software on Thecus NAS devices will provide an excellent solution for those small businesses looking to protect their data while optimizing their resources with a hybrid, on premise, and cloud-connected offering.”

Thanks to proven Thecus hardware based on the Intel Atom platform, serviced by dual LAN ports and no less than 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and all featuring media connectivity (HDMI and VGA), the new line of world-first Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials NAS are user-friendly yet robust answers to the data needs of every forward-thinking small to medium-sized business.

 

 

External hard drive becomes read only

USB External Hard Drives Become Write Protected In Windows 7 – Page 2 – Windows 7:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/300492/usb-external-hard-drives-become-write-protected-in-windows-7/page-2

Have and encrypted usb hard drive.  Today it suddenly started indicating it was read only.  Excuse me?  Read only?  I couldn’t take ownership, nor change permissions, nor change the drive letter.  I ended up flipping it to offline and then back to online and that did the trick.

I’ve never had this happen before.  Weird.

In case it ever happens to you.

Thinking about pen testing

Reading The Hacker Playbook, Practical Guide to Penetration Testing by Peter Kim (Book and Kindle versions) and reading it and thinking about how many firms would not / DO not protect themselves.

So many times in small to medium businesses, a client will say they want a pen test and they really don’t want a pen test.  Or rather, they coudln’t afford the fee for an expert to pen test their network.  Typically what they really want is an external scan that may even merely be an external PCI scan.  Just because you’ve passed a PCI scan doesn’t mean that the network is secure however.  As showcased in the book, there are so many ways a determined attacker can wiggle in, it’s scary.

Trying out a geek toy for the phone

fisheyephoto

Trying out the 4 in one lens for my iPhone 5 from http://www.olloclip.com/

There’s a version for the iPhone and a version for the iPad.  The one thing to watch about the version for the iPhone is that you either need to buy the special case for the phone that allows you to slide a trap door away from the lens so you can put the lens over the phone, or you have to take the case off your phone each time you want to slide on the lens (obviously not too fun to be peeling off a case each time you want to add the lens feature).

This is a view of my backyard with the Hummingbird feeder hanging from the pergola.

 

 

Exchange 2013 and got perf issues?

Performance issues or delays when you connect to Exchange Server 2013 that is running in Windows Server:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2995145/en-us?sd=rss&spid=16526

Bottom line:  If you’ve installed .net 4.5 on that server, make sure you do a registry entry if you have Exchange 2013 installed.

When you connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 server that is installed in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008 in which Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 is included, you may experience delays to access email messages or disconnections to the Exchange server. When this issue occurs, the CPU or memory usage on the server is high for some services that include one or more of the W3wp.exe processes.

This issue occurs because too many objects are pinned on the .NET Framework 4.5 garbage collector heap. It causes heap fragmentation in addition to an increase in CPU and memory usage by the garbage collector.

Important Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration

in case problems occur.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2012


Apply hotfix 2803755 that needs a restart, and then use one of the following methods to enable the hotfix:
  • Create the COMPLUS_DisableRetStructPinning environment variable, and set the value of the variable to 1.
  • Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to 1:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework
Then, restart the computer.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2012 R2


Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to 1:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework
Then, restart the computer.

For Exchange Server 2013 that is installed in Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008


Apply hotfix 2803754 that needs a restart, and then use one of the following methods to enable the hotfix:
  • Create the COMPLUS_DisableRetStructPinning environment variable, and set the value of the variable to 1.
  • Create a DWORDvalue of the DisableRetStructPinning entry at the following registry subkey, and set the DWORD value to 1:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework
Then, restart the computer.

Shared computer activation on RDS

In case folks missed this in the comments…..

Installing Office365 ProPlus on a RDS Server (Terminal Server) using Shared Computer Activation | PowerBiz Solutions:
http://blog.powerbiz.net.au/office-365/installing-office365-proplus-on-a-rds-server-terminal-server-using-shared-computer-activation/

Boon has blogged a step by step how to do the Shared computer activation on a RDS server.

 

No office, but still need a server? Something to think about

So you have a client that doesn’t need a physical office anymore.  Does need a centralized repository.  Does need SOMETHING to replace their old SBS 2003.

Migrating from SBS 2003 to Windows Server 2012 on Azure:
http://www.tachytelic.net/2014/09/migrating-sbs-2003-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-azure/

According to Paulie…. the monthly price tag is

It varies a little from month to month (I guess because of the data charges and because difference in number of days). But in GBP it is around £50/month give or take £5.

This is WITHOUT the link back to the local network which would cost around an extra £30 a month, which is about the same as most small businesses pay for their internet connection in the UK, so seems pretty reasonable to me.

Also check out the related posts:
VPN was not configured successfully in Windows Server 2012 Essentials Experience – Tachytelic.net:
http://www.tachytelic.net/2014/08/vpn-configured-successfully-windows-server-2012-essentials/

How to create a site-to-site VPN link between a Draytek router and Microsoft Azure – Tachytelic.net:
http://www.tachytelic.net/2014/08/creating-site-site-vpn-link-draytek-router-microsoft-azure/

Office 365 and supporting RDS

Office 365 shared computer activation – Welcome to the US SMB&D TS2 Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/09/03/office-365-shared-computer-activation.aspx

So if you’ve been waiting for RDS/TS to be supported by the sku’s released by Office 365 they are FINALLY here.

 

(note fixed link that had an extra thingy on the end)

Pardon for the dust

The community server to wordpress migration has taken nearly a month to get all the blog content moved.  Images are nearly all back, I fixed up the categories, I found a theme I liked.  Now I just need to go back and make sure all past linked up blogs are linked up on the wordpress side and I think we’re nearly done with the migration.

A HUGE thanks to both Barb Bowman and Robert Pearman.  Without them this project would not be successful.

What a pain in the rear.  It’s a case of don’t wait too long to migrate.  So for all of you SBS 2003 folks that haven’t migrated, you are overdue.

Exchange 2013 cu6 issues being tracked

I don’t know how much this impacts standalone Exchange 2013, but
hybrid/mixed installs with Exchange 2007 appear to be having issues.

(from the bottom of
http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2014/08/26/released-cumulative-update-6-for-exchange-server-2013.aspx

Issue Reported: Ryan reported on my blog that they are facing an issue
with CU6 in exchange 2007 mix mode here. Any confirmation will be
appreciated.

http://msexchangeguru.com/2014/08/28/e2013cu6installation/

Following issue reported.
===================================================
Do not install this CU6 if you have a 2007COEX with EX13. Were having
major issues with databases flapping. This is due to EX07 mailboxes
talking to EX13 mailboxes. MS are aware of this and working on a fix now.

@PrabhatNigam – Yes, we became aware of this issue earlier today. This
happens when a 2007 user attempts to access a delegated mailbox that is
on a 2013 server. This issue is being tracked by KB2997209, that is
still being published.

The EXPTA {blog}: Don’t Deploy Exchange 2013 CU6 If You’re a Hybrid
Customer:
http://www.expta.com/2014/08/dont-deploy-exchange-2013-cu6-if-youre.html