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More announcements from the SMBNation Keynote. Eric Ligman has announced the "We’ve Got a Guy" campaign starting real soon now. It’s focused around the "We’ve Got a Guy" where often we the SBSC’s have to go and clean up after "the guy". This time however, it spins it a little better and focuses on the skills of the SBSC partner for Microsoft. The website http://www.wevegottaguy.com/ is live now and the promotion to customers starts real soon.
Today here at SMBNation, Eric Ligman announced a new promotion for FY-08 exclusively for the SBSC channel. The grand prize is a trip for you and your team to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, including rafting trips, helicopter flights and much much more… Watch out for more details real soon now.
Exchange, ISA, SQL and Windows Server all have a best practice analyser – the BPA looks at the system and reviews the particular product for it’s setup and configuration and compliance to the recommended best practice as put forth by the MS Product Support Services teams. Well – soon (like in the next week or so), Microsoft will launch the SBS 2003 Best Practice Analyser. I’ve beta tested this now for a few weeks and it’s pretty cool indeed. Here’s a few screenshots to keep you interested till it’s released. I’ll let you know when it’s available here on this blog.
See – it even shows that I’ve got both WSS 2.0 and WSS 3.0 installed on this server.
And the results screen – each of the items can be expanded to show more detail on how we can resolve the issues.
I don’t know if it’s a good day or not. I’ve just been told that long time SBS MVP, Grey Lancaster, the man who I believe is the community grandpa of SBS, has left the SBS MVP family. No – he’s not passed away or anything, in fact he’s quite healthy and has the massive ear to ear grin of a Cheshire cat. Grey has been announced as the first Windows Home Server MVP. Grey was the guy who started what is now the SBS2k Yahoolist which has been a hub of the community around SBS for many many years. I’ve been on that list since 1999 and Greys influence on the community is unmistakeable. He’s a patient, tolerant and very generous man who talks slow but thinks real fast. His quick wit is often under estimated and it’s a real pleasure to know him. I know that whilst he moves into being a WHS MVP, that you never really leave the SBS family. He’s a real asset to the Windows Home Server community and will I know do well. Congratulations mate – you’re a star!
So I’ve spent some time today here in Redmond with the SBS Product team. I and other MVPs are hearing from Microsoft on what they have planned for the next version of SBS aka Cougar due out some time after Windows Server 2008 is launched. I wish I could tell you all the cool things that they have shown us, but naturally a tight NDA covers that and they’ll sue my pants of if I reveal details of what they have talked about. Ok – that being said, what can I talk about? What do you need to skill up on now to be prepared for SBS Cougar?
Cougar will be built on Longhorn Server and will include things like Exchange 2007 etc – beyond that it’s all conjecture until MS release real information. Cougar is 64 bit only – what that means is that moving from current SBS to SBS Cougar will not be an in place upgrade – that much they have said already. Ok – then what will it mean? It means some form of swing migration or similar will need to take place. It also means that your going to need to look carefully at any line of business applications that might run ON the SBS 2003 server right now and assess if they will be able to run on a 64 bit platform. This includes checking with the vendor as to support for their product on a 64 bit platform. It also means that you will need to ensure that the drivers you get are compatible with 64 bit. Lots to learn!
I can say without giving anything away in particular, that the SBS team are listening VERY much to the requests that the community has been making over the past 4+ years for features and improvements for SBS, and that the product I’ve seen and played with is both very new and very exciting. It’s going to take us to another level of SBS well beyond that we are at now.
I plan to be running some SBS Cougar Prep courses in Australia in March 2008 to start to get people ready for SBS Cougar. More details on http://events.sbsfaq.com when they are announced.
With RWW they’ve integrated the….. and then made it more aware of the ….. and then based on the ….. they will provide you with …… wow – that’s fantatic right?
Stay tuned more J
NEWSFLASH: I’m here at Microsoft Redmond today and in the last 45 minutes they have launched a new Tech Center on the MS Technet website specifically for SBS 2003. Which has some cool new features.
You can get to it at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs/default.aspx
Normally, if you post feedback on the Microsoft.com site, you get no feedback. One of the cool things of this new site is that you can give direct feedback to any author of an article on the site. By default all feedback is anonymous, but if you leave your email address in the feedback then the author can get back to you to engage with you in improving the content even further. Now – this is not there as a means of support, but it’s a way to help get better documentation out there in the community that is clear and concise. See below – you can answer Yes/No/Somewhat and then give direct feedback to the author who wrote that article.
See – you can give compliments or even corrections that they can then include in the future
There’s a heap of new things going on behind the scene that will be announced soon too!
Today is the day before SMBNation begins – we’ve been involved in a few meetings with the Centro team which are really cool. I’d like to say more but they have threatened me if I do J
Also got to meet my editor @ MS Press – Karen Szall is the lady who will be guiding me on the way to the Cougar Administrators Pocket Consultant book – due out mid next year. More details to follow soon.
I use a combination of backups on my home SBS network – naturally, it’s not your normal network. I’ve got an SBS 2003 R2 server with a few extra tweaks, a large server that hosts a number of virtualised systems (both WS 2005 R2 and VMWare Server). Backing up this lot is a bit of a challenge. While I’m away, my wife is swapping tapes each day. I use BackupAssist to make this easier. BackupAssist is a pretty cool product that allows you to backup your server to tape, disk, FTP and a number of other destinations. It makes scheduling a backup really easy with a number of preset schedules. One of the cool things that I like is that regardless of being used on an SBS server or a normal Windows Server, it sends me a daily email that I can review to check that backup has taken place, and details of the backup. It can also send reminder emails during the day to a person in your business that is scheduled to change the tape – my wife gets those this week J
The following is an excerpt from last nights backup – it shows clearly how much was backed up and the green tick to say all is good.
One of my servers at the data center, backs up to another server there as a NAS device – here’s an excerpt from that report showing me just how much space is left on the server – now that’s cool.
I’m here in Redmond for a few days to attend SMBNation and also to visit a few people at Microsoft on various teams to make good contacts so I can write even better and more informed things on Cougar, Centro, and the other products I’m involved with. One of the things you learn after working with MS for a while is that their campus here in Redmond is BIG – really big. And you can get around parts of it by walking if you want. So each time I come to MS, I download these three maps to my PDA – that way if I catch a taxi to any building then I’ll know where to go. Most MS employees will tell you – oh – I’m in building 18 or 43 etc – and most taxi drivers don’t always know where building 18 is. Anyway – long story short – here’s the maps. The SBS Dev team are in building 43. MS Press (my editor – Karen) is in building 18 and next week, SMBNation conference is being held in building 33, and next week I’m meeting with the SCE team and they are in building 44. See – simple right? J Oh – and to give you an idea of scale – it’s about a 15-20minute walk from building 43 to building 33.