Insane November is over…


image Yes – November is over and I feel somewhat relieved.  It’s been a mad month this month but I’ve got to say that I’ve really enjoyed it a lot.  I’ve visited Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth once each. Brisbane twice and Adelaide three times (twice this week alone). 

I’ve presented / trained many people on SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  I’ve done two webcasts, one to the entire channel and another for Dell to bring them up to speed.  I’ve also done a heap of training sessions one on one with some of the largest OEMs, Distributors and Partners here in Australia.

In conjunction with HP, Kaseya and Citrix, Robbie and I have visited all the Aussie SBS / SMB IT Professional groups around Australia to do a launch of SBS and EBS and to answer heaps of pent up questions. 

I’ve also had my first two articles written and published by CRN Australia which was a major thing for me.  I enjoy writing and being able to get my thoughts out there via the media to help others understand things better is something of an achievement for me.

All up, I’ve got to say that I am exhausted.  Through all this though I see some amazing potential not just for SBS 2008, but also some massive potential for EBS 2008 which is set to kick some serious butt out there in the community.

I also want to say Thank you to Robbie Upcroft – for his support of the Aussie SMB IT Professional community. Without his support, SBS would not be nearly as successful here in Australia as it is. Without his support, EBS will NOT be as successful as I believe it can be.

I’ll be taking a break too from December 12th going on a well deserved family vacation to Thailand, France, England and Wales. I’ll be taking a total break during this time and won’t be responding to any email during that time either (my computer is being forcibly removed from me). 

Thanks everyone for a great month.  Looking forward to an exciting 2009 and what it holds for us all. will have some exciting announcements in the new year that I know will help everyone in the community.

Published: 28/11/2008 6:46 PM

Microsoft Servers in the SMB Market – Part 2


image Part 2 of my series for CRN is now up on their site.  It focuses more on EBS 2008.  Looks like they got the formatting better for this one than the one before.  Here it is – keen for all comments please!

Category: EBS 2008
Published: 28/11/2008 6:17 PM

HP Configuraider to return!


For those of us in Australia, we’ve been bemoaning to HP about the loss of this excellent tool that they have had now for many years.  Well – I ‘”believe” that shortly we will find that this decision will be reversed and that based on input from the community which are the SMB IT Professionals / SBS Groups of Australia, that HP are listening to us and the feedback we’ve given.  Poor old Deke from HP has taken more than his fair share of a beating from the community over the last few weeks and yet he keeps coming back for more. Tonight he was at the Brisbane SBS Group – the final leg in our tour around Australia and he announced that he is expecting to be able to give us some really good news real soon now.  Thanks Deke for sticking with us on this one.  If you are not a member of an SBS or SMB IT Professional Group then get along to and find out more.

Published: 25/11/2008 11:19 PM

SBS2008 – Exchange 2007 Mail Store Size


I need to make a correction.  I’ve been aware of the fact that Exchange 2007 Standard Edition which is part of both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 has an “unlimited” mail store size.  Now I’ve also been aware of the fact that Exchange 2007 Standard Edition can have up to 5 Storage Groups with up to 5 Mailbox Stores in each Storage Group. Further more each Mailbox Store can be up to 16TB in size.  Now the bit where I have been incorrect is that I’ve stated that you can have 5 Mailbox Stores in EACH of the 5 Storage Groups – therefore 5 x 5 x 16TB of mail. This is factually incorrect.

What you can have is UP TO 5 Storage Groups and UP TO 5 Mailbox Stores in each, however you can only have a MAXIMUM of 5 Mailbox Stores on Exchange 2007 Standard Edition.  This means your maximum is 5 x 16TB or 80TB of mail storage in total. Here’s a link to the MS site that more clearly states this.

Sorry for the confusion for the people I’ve told the wrong thing to!

Further more, the default limit on Exchange 2007 Standard Edition and therefore SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 for the mail store is NOT unlimited – that would be dangerous.  It’s actually 50GB per mailbox store. To increase or remove the limit you need to modify the registry for each of the mailbox stores concerned. This link here refers to Exchange 2003 but the same applies to Exchange 2007 Standard Edition too

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll answer the next question of WHY would I want to have multiple mailbox stores and multiple storage groups?  For that I’ll put together a post later this week.

Published: 24/11/2008 1:42 PM

Microsoft Servers in the SMB Market – Part 1


image I’ve just started writing for CRN Australia, and my first article is funnily enough on Microsoft servers in the SMB Market.  Naturally I am keen for feedback – both good and bad, so please take a look and let me know.,microsoft-servers-in-the-smb-market.aspx

Category: Media
Published: 20/11/2008 2:50 PM

It’s official – SBS 2008 Premium – Second Server CAN be downgraded to Windows 2003 R2


I few weeks back I blogged that the SBS team were working on providing downgrade rights for the 2nd server in the SBS 2008 Premium product to Windows Server 2003 R2 – well it’s official now.

Its official !  They will offer Alternative Version rights – see here for details –

Component compatibility for maximum flexibility

When you purchase the premium edition of Windows Small Business Server 2008 or Windows Essential Business Server 2008 you have a choice to deploy these products:

· Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard x86 and x64 platforms are available as an alternative version in place of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard, and are being shipped as part of the premium editions of both products until December 31, 2009.

· Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard (both x86 and x64 platforms) will be available as an alternative version in place of Windows Server 2008 Standard that is shipped as part of SBS 2008 Premium and EBS 2008 Premium until December 31, 2009.  Beginning on January 2, 2009, this downgrade option will be offered through Solutions Pathway.

Thanks to the SBS team for listening.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 20/11/2008 6:34 AM

SBS 2008 Virus Protection Options


Today Microsoft announced the death of Windows One Care including OneCare for Server which comes as a trial product for SBS 2008.  See here for a blog on how it affects SBS 2008.

So what then do you use to protect your SBS 2008 server?  Well fortunately TrendMicro release yesterday their Worry-Free Business Security suite for SBS 2008 which also works on EBS 2008.  You can download a trial of their here

I’ll shortly have my guide to installing Trend WFBS on SBS 2003, SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 available for those that want it.

Category: SBS 2008 / Cougar
Published: 19/11/2008 1:32 PM

Netgear WGR 614 Router Config Tip


I had to program a Netgear WGR614 Router last Thursday and the normal would not work.  Most frustrating indeed.  I did some searching and found that if I did a hard reboot of the router and then went to and you can reconfigure it without the wizards.  I could not find anywhere on the Netgear website about this little tip. Hope it helps 🙂

Category: Troubleshooting
Published: 17/11/2008 9:07 AM

The Internet must be down…


I’m travelling right now as part of the SBS / SMB IT Professionals Group tour here in Australia, and I’ve just spent a nice relaxing weekend doing pretty much nothing at all.  I’ve caught up with friends here in Perth, watched a bit of TV and a few movies and slept…. a lot!  So it was a surprise this morning when I went to chat to Susan Bradley on MSN IM and found that she herself was offline.  What is the world coming to when “THE Susan Bradley” is offline!  Maybe, just maybe Susan has had some nice relaxing time to herself too.  I sure hope so 🙂  Either that or the Internet is down in her corner of the world right now.


Published: 17/11/2008 9:02 AM

“there wasn’t much real Microsoft content that hadn’t been released already”


The comment above came from Hilton Travis, and was used in the context where he was referring to the SBS/EBS Virtual Launch event that Microsoft conducted on November 12th, 2008.  This blog post is not to pick on Hilton, but to use his comments as an example.  It’s a comment I’ve heard more than a few times now about the information being released around SBS 2008 and EBS 2008. So we have JUST had the launch of the product here in Australia this week. The next version has been 5 years coming, and people have been wanting information for quite some time now. Microsoft have been slowly releasing information for the past 12 months, and in June this year, I was part of a road show around in which we did release a fair bit of information. Microsoft via it’s blogs have also released a fair bit of information along the way too.  So I need to ask a few questions.

Have Microsoft released too much too soon?

In response to community requests, has Microsoft released all the good stuff before the product was even fully baked?

Has the community got an unfair expectation on what other information is ready to be released?

Is it fair to Microsoft for the community to be criticising it for releasing the information that they themselves asked for before the official product release?


What are your thoughts?

Published: 15/11/2008 12:39 PM