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SMBKitchen: Installing Exchange – part one – the reading

At this time one can only install Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 as it’s not yet supported on R2.  We’re waiting for SP1 of Exchange 2013 before it’s supported.

So I’ve installed Windows Server 2012

And then I need to join it to my existing domain

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj200172.aspx

You must install Exchange Server on a second server that is running a version of the Windows Server operating system that officially supports running Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2013. You must then join the second server to the Windows Server Essentials domain.

For information about how to join a second server to the Windows Server Essentials domain, see Join a second server to the network.

In order to list a TS server in the RWA window you want to follow the connect instructions.  The ONLY exception to this at this time is Multipoint 2012.  At this time you want to manually join MulitPoint due to a bug that’s being worked on (see more info http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/8ba41231-62c1-4d88-a812-422e7c7fa213/can-multipoint-server-2012-join-2012r2-essentials-with-client-connector-and-use-all-functions-?forum=winserveressentials )

In a virtual setting you may need to edit the DNS entries on the test servers to get them to pick up the right dns from the play server.

In my test run because I want to install Exchange first and migrate it over before I tackle the Essentials I don’t want to run the connect wizard at this time. 

For now I’ll just manually join my member server to the SBS 2008 domain.  I’ll go to control panel, then to system and manually change the server name and the domain in here and reboot.

In my case I’m going from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 so I’ve found some reading material…

Planning and migrating a small organization from Exchange 2007 to 2013 (Part 1) :: Migration & Deployment :: Exchange 2013 Articles :: Articles & Tutorials :: MSExchange.org:
http://www.msexchange.org/articles-tutorials/exchange-server-2013/migration-deployment/planning-and-migrating-small-organization-exchange-2007-2013-part1.html

Enough for tonight… I’ll be installing Exchange tomorrow

Blogging my way through a proof of concept migration from SBS 2008 to Essentials 2012 R2 series will be a SMB kitchen project whitepaper.  More about the SMBKitchen project at – http://www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business

 

Google docs in your future?

Back after a short vacation down to LA.

And after checking in with the sample geek generation of the future, they are all using google docs.  Not Office 365.

Your next employee will be more used to Google technology than Microsoft.

Something to think about.

Are we Luddites?

Watching Lucy Worsley’s Elegance and Decadence episode http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b014jbyr/Elegance_and_Decadence_The_Age_of_the_Regency_The_Many_and_the_Few_A_Divided_Decade/ where they are talking about the textile workers that violently protested against the technology. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

Luddite is often used as a term describing people who don’t want to change.  At all.

I personally think we, those of us used to on premise deployments – aren’t Luddites as much as we’re not liking how much it feels like we’re being shoved to cloud deployments that ensure that vendors will get constant revenues and us small businesses won’t get a fair price for technology.  Take for example this blog post – http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/12/12/using-windows-server-2012-essentials-with-more-than-25-users.aspx  On first blush the ability to grow past 25 users easily is a huge win for small businesses.  On the other hand this senttence:  “Keep in mind that the ability to run downgrade bits does not change the licensing or support terms in which you can use the product you purchased. So if you purchase Windows Server 2012 Standard, you will need Windows Server 2012 CALs even if you choose to downgrade an instance to run Windows Server 2012 Essentials.”  Means that if you wanted to standardize on HyperV wrapped deployments of Essentials you’ll either need to try to get the free HyperV 2012 working (I gave up as it needs Windows 8 to manage it and trying to deploy it in a workgroup leads one to pull your hair out), or you’ll have to fork out for Server 2012 cals in order to properly license if all you do is deploy Essentials – and nothing else – in a HyperV deployment.

Why would you want to do such a thing?  Because virtualization gives you options.  And this Luddite thinks that Microsoft is being a Luddite to not let small businesses have options like HyperV available with the downgrade right option of Essentials.

To counter, I’d recommend that you look at the free Vmware ESX instead with their more GUI/WEB client to manage a virtual server.  As other Luddites have said, it’s what Microsoft should do with their HyperV deployments instead of recommending System Center (which does not have smb friendly licensing at all).

Bottom line, I don’t think I’m a luddite.  I think I’m trying to keep Microsoft thinking about how small businesses are price sensitive and all of these price increases lately are making us feel like we’re being nickel and dime’d a lot.

I want a fair price for change.  That’s my ask.  Right now all of these changes and monthly fees are adding up.

Looking for the right answers

On a listserve I’m on there’s an interesting conversation going on with a person needing to set up remote access for seven users in their firm.  They have traditional desktops to remote back to, but they do not have SBS.  So there’s a couple of ways to skin this cat.  Way one is to plop down a Backup box from www.smallbizserver.com running Windows Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

Pro:  Flat price tag.
Backs up the workstations as well.

Con:  You have to patch it.
You have to maintain the server.

Way two is to purchase 7 licenses of Logmein (or Gotopc or whatever).  Or you can decide who really needs remote printing and just purchase licenses for those that need remote printing.

Pro:  Supports remoting in from a Mac (unlike the Storage server solution).
Pro:  No patching of a server.

Con:  Annual cash outlay for those needing remote printing.
Potential for price increases.

I stumbled upon this quote this evening and found it insightful:

“Moving it all to the cloud – I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the value of moving software solutions to the cloud, but that doesn’t mean every business should move every program skyward. Carefully consider the short and long-term savings a cloud solution will bring to your business. In some instances it makes more long-term financial sense to leave some programs on-premise.”

Can you guess who may have said that?  Guess?  Nope, keep trying… guess?

Cindy Bates.

Who?! You ask?  Non other than the “Vice President of Microsoft’s US SMB Organization where she is responsible for the company’s end-to-end SMB sales and marketing efforts, including SMB strategy, business development, regional field sales and national distribution sales, channel marketing, and customer marketing. ”  Yes, she’s the evil empire trying to shove your client to the cloud.  And even she says you can’t just knee jerk one is better than the other.  Look at the pros and cons of both solutions.

It is a lot harder to make a decision of what is the right decision these days.  A lot of choices.  A lot of marketing.  It feels like there’s still more questions I should be asking and making sure I know the answers before signing on that dotted line.

 

The level of Microsoft support

I’m getting increasingly concerned in regards to the level and quality of Microsoft support.  I have personally set up support cases for folks on this thread – http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-windows_update/kb2686509-repeatedly-fails-with-error-code/0deeacb6-115c-419d-ac37-03ff8927b79c  and have had folks email me saying that they contacted Microsoft.

The guy who contacted Microsoft directly at 1-800-microsoft was sent off to consumer support where the technician used logmein.  Since when does Microsoft support use logmein?  He wrote…

 I’ve seen your messages on the Microsoft Answers group regarding this update and the fact that many people, myself included, are having difficulties installing it.  I decided to contact Microsoft for assistance.  I spoke with a very patient gentleman who, to his credit, worked on the problem for nearly four hours.  He had me download a logmein client and was able to take control of my computer.  However, after several failed attempts he tried to convince me that this update was likely not compatible with my computer.  I asked him how he knew this and he gave me very generic answers about how certain updates are compatible depending on usage.  I kept asking him to elaborate and I think that his point was that certain updates are compatible with certain programs but I found his answers vague and extremely generic, not to mention unhelpful.  If it can be explained to me that this update is not necessary or applicable then I will accept this and won’t worry about it.  I told him that I was not satisfied with the resolution of the call and that I wished to speak with another technician.  He said that someone would call me in an hour or two.  I know that others on the forum have had success in installing this update when doing some registry hacks.  I don’t mind doing it but I’d like guidance while I do it.  I consider myself an intermediate user and I’m not afraid to try anything that might fix this.  Is there anything you can advise me when/if this person should call back as far as what I can suggest or how to direct the technician?

This patch is applicable to all Windows XP machines.   It is applicable to all Windows XP machines.
Next I set up several support cases and the “scope” email that was setup for two of the cases said this…

Issue Definition: Unable to install the specific update KB2686509Scope Agreement: We will work together to help you install the KB2686509 through the course of this case. Once we are able to install the update we will consider the ticket as resolved. AlsoYou receive this message if any registered keyboard layout files are not in the %Windir%\System32 folder. In this scenario, the computer is incompatible with the security updates. If that is the scenario then there is nothing much we can do because the hardware is not compatible with the update.

Nothing much we can do?  Excuse me?
Genius bar this isn’t for sure….

Justifying the best solution

You know what’s sad?  I’ve heard of several consultants say that they are having to justify to their clients the solutions they are providing to them.  Even if the client has a slow DSL, has a big fat thick client requirement that the marketing of the cloud, the overwhelming “You are dumb to be having an on premise solution” is impacting perceptions of customers.  Even if an on premise solution is the best solution, consultants are starting to have to justify this.

Cloud solutions are v1.  (seriously even if Office 365 is the second cloud version for Microsoft).  They still need a lot of work.  See this for a good write up on where they need work:  http://redmondmag.com/articles/2012/04/01/3-reasons-office-365-could-ultimately-fail.aspx

But obviously that need for large firms to have monthly revenue streams means that they are putting their marketing dollars behind it and it’s having an impact.

Do you want to know more about Home Server 2011?

Do you deploy Home Server 2011?  Do you want to install WSUS on Home Server 2011?

Check out Terry Walsh and Jim Clark’s Step by Step ebook!

WGS’ New eBook “Windows Home Server 2011 Step By Step” Is Now Available | We Got Served:
http://www.wegotserved.com/2012/01/24/windows-home-server-2011-step-step/
 
And keep in mind that due to the shared code base between Home Server and SBS Essentials there’s a lot of shared information that you can use in SBS Essentials.

The ebook starts out with a step by step on how to build the server from scratch.

Nicely done guys!

Selling the cloud

From the Cloud essentials newsletter comes this info:

Great News! Microsoft is waiving the requirement to sell 50 seats of each online service in your organization’s first year of program enrollment because your organization enrolled in the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack between November 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. This means your organization can continue using these valuable Microsoft Online Services Internal Use Rights benefits in the second year of program enrollment.

Okay that’s good…but…. the last I remember reading it was a mere 50 seats of a single online service, now it’s 50 seats of each?  Does that include Azure too?  Stay tuned will investigate.

 

Quickbooks 2012 now out

YOUR QUICKBOOKS® 2012 SOFTWARE IS AVAILABLE NOW


Dear Susan Bradley,

As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor®, you automatically receive the newest releases of QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Accountant as part of your membership. We are happy to announce that your QuickBooks 2012 software CDs will be shipping out as early as September 16th.

Great news – Your Software is Available for Download Now, including QuickBooks 2012 for Mac – read below for more details.

Annoying software installs

Installed a new HP multi function printer last night.  Went to launch a browser this morning and found that since I was lazy and didn’t use the custom install it nicely installed a Yahoo browser toolbar on me.

Gee thank you HP.  I still love your servers and your desktops but your printer drivers really annoy me.