Free Xerox Color Printer – Phaser 8560

Xerox has been doing this for years, but this is the first time that I have seen it in a long while. A few years ago, I got a free color printer from Xerox. It was a Phaser 850 and did a great job for me. Did I mention it was free? I still have this printer and it is still running. It has needed some maintenance over the years, but I still love that printer.

 

It is time for me to maybe get another free printer, so I will apply for it.

 

The printer is their Phaser 8560, which is really fast and the colors just pop. If you meet these qualifications, you will probably have a printer shipped to you pretty quickly:

 

  • 2,000 pages a month
  • Agree to a three year term (after that you keep it or you can return it at any time during your three years)
  • Purchase your supplies from Xerox

Xerox will provide free shipping and free service and support for you during the three years.

 

 

 

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Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering Virtual Lab

Microsoft posted a virtual lab today for Failover Clustering. This lab walks through the following procedures:


  1. Adding a second node to a cluster
  2. Creating a File Share in the cluster
  3. Creating a Print Share in the cluster
  4. Configuring Failback Policies
  5. Installing WINS in the cluster
  6. Installing DHCP in the cluster
  7. Bonus – Adding Physical Disk resources to the cluster

You can get to the virtual lab here: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032345932&EventCategory=3&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US 


The lab should take about an hour to an hour and a half to complete. That, of course, depends on how many times you get interrupted with the kids wanting you to take them to the store to buy candy.


I went through part of the lab, and it looks like it will work just fine for everyone except it will not pass validate. This is because of an issue that seems to have come up in the June CTP.


BTW, I recorded a step-by-step today using Camtasia. I will probably put it someplace on the web for download early next week. Keep an eye out for it.


 


Upper, Lower, and Mixed Case with SQL Server 2005 Clustering

I had a well known geek in my cluster class last week. Ben Miller, a former Microsoft MVP lead and SQL expert sat our cluster class, www.clusterhelp.com.

 

During our many conversations, Ben told me about a problem he ran into recently in SQL Server 2005 clustering. Basically, the issue is that the way the server names were recognized differed depending on what tool pulled the name since the different applications did not pull the name from the same place in the registry. So, if one node was all upper case, and the other node was mixed case or lower case, clustering would install and work just fine. However, SQL Server 2005, which pulls the name from a completely separate key in the registry, does not install properly unless both nodes are all upper case.

 

Ben says he is going to blog more about the issue after he has a chance to do some further testing and documents the issue completely. During class, he was able to replicate the problem with complete predictability.

 

See Ben Miller’s blog for more detail.

 

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Windows Server 2008 Default Share Permissions

I was working on the June CTP for Windows Server 2008 when I created a basic file share. One of my students, looking over my shoulder, asked me to check the default share permissions.


  • Windows 2000 Server, the default is Everyone with Full Control
  • Windows Server 2003, the default is Everyone with Read

In Windows Server 2008, there are no default permissions. The only permission that is there when you create the share is the Administrator with Ownership, but that is it. When you create the share, it bring up the window to create the permissions right away.


I tell you, the more I see of Windows Server 2008, the more I like it.


 

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Building a Windows Server 2008 Failover Cluster – finally!

I have been dying to get my first Windows Server 2008 Failover Cluster built. Of course, I want to do it on the cheap. That means using virtualization. The problem is that Virtual Server 2005 R2 does not provide support for Serially Attached SCSI (SAS) and there is just a complete dearth of virtualized SANs out there with virtualized HBAs. :)  OK, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.


So, my first Failover Cluster didn’t have any shared disks. That makes it pretty worthless for testing.


Microsoft, though its acquisition of Stringbean Software (WinTarget), put an iSCSI target into the new version of Windows Storage Server, but it has not been released and is not available outside of Microsoft. So, Microsoft has been the only real source of testing outside of using real hardware.


Well, our partner, Rocket Division Software, is in the final stages of upgrading their iSCSI target software (Starwind) to support persistent reservations. It works wonderfully, so it should be released pretty soon. The only problems I have found have to do with a user interface issue that they already know about.


Anyways, now I have my first Failover Cluster using iSCSI. It passed the validate tests and runs like a charm.


Keep an eye out for Rocket Division’s release and then you will be able to try it, too.

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Standby Continuous Replication for Exchange Server 2007

As previously discussed, when SP1 for Exchange Server 2007 ships, it will include some new technologies, too. One is Standby Continuous Replication (SCR). I am completely psyched by this new technology.


Myself, I see SCR as the perfect remote site Disaster Recovery solution for Exchange Server 2007. What would make it the perfect solution would be having a hot site available for the implementation.


Please read more about SCR on the Exchange Team’s blog. Scott Schnoll wrote a wonderful post about it last week. I am sure you will love it, too.

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