Another news item for today is that the SBS 2003 Best Practice Analyser has been updated. This update takes into account a number of improvements and fixes for the rules.
Yes- you heard it here first – Microsoft today have launched their new analysis tool for SBS 2003 servers that will help understand some of the common configuration mistakes and advise on how to correct them. The tool is available here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3874527a-de19-49bb-800f-352f3b6f2922&DisplayLang=en
This tool has been a result of many requests from the community to better configure and understand their SBS servers. Thank you Microsoft for responding to our needs!
Unless it’s ISA 2004 on an SBS 2003 Premium or SBS 2003 R2 Premium server. Microsoft has withdrawn support for ISA 2004 or ISA 2006 on a Domain Controller in certain scenarios. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/isa/2004/plan/unsupportedconfigs.mspx#Installation
They have also further clarified that they do not support ISA 2006 to be installed on an SBS 2003 Premium or R2 Premium Server. I’m ok with the later bit as we all knew that anyway. My concern though is that ISA is a damn good security product and in a small business design decisions are always based on cost vs return. It’s often very hard for a business owner to place a cost on the "what if our security was breached" scenario. ISA in my mind when properly configured has always given a good comfort factor. I can’t say that I get that same comfort factor from any of the low end firewall devices on the market. I love the interface to ISA, the way we can easily see the firewall logging of what’s denied and what’s allowed (available on ISA 2004 with SP3 and ISA 2006 with SP1).
The upside of this revision to supported scenarios is that now finally – we the IT consultant can point to a Microsoft resource that says "You can’t do that!", whereas before we could only say "You should not do that".
I think it’s a shame that MS don’t have a "cheap" Small business sized ISA Firewall appliance – now that would really kick butt.
Microsoft have finally after much community pressure documented the official downgrade path for those customers who have purchased SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition and still need to run SQL 2000 due to application vendor compatibility issues. This is great news for us SBSers as it’s been a thorn in the side of many line of business applications that still (even 2 years after SQL 2005 has been released) do not support SQL 2005. Anyway – congrats to Microsoft for listening and making this happen. The KB article is KB 935573 – link below http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935573/en-us
Be warned though – you have until April 2008 to get this fulfilled and then the offer will be no more!!!!!
This just in from the Microsoft Australia Partner Readiness team.
This technical training focuses on the Small Business Server 2003 Release 2 and will be delivered in two sessions, with each session focusing on a different aspect of SBS Server 2003 R2. The sessions will run for approximately three (3) hours with a lunch break in between the sessions. The session’s outlines are:
Session 1 – Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 – Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003 SP2 Features
This session introduces the new features on SBS 2003 R2 in regards to Exchange 2003 SP2 and Outlook 2003 SP2. After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Describe the new flexible client licensing in SBS 2003 R2.
- Identify ways to increase mobile security and efficiency through new Windows Mobile 5.0 policies and Direct Push technology.
- Provide increased message hygiene by using the Open SPF standard as well as an improved Intelligent Message Filter.
- Show how to allow for more storage with an increased mailbox size limit of 75GB.
Session 2 – Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 – Windows SharePoint Services V2.0\V3.0 Features
This session will introduce WSS v2.0, however it will be mainly focused on WSS V3.0. Students will learn the advantages of using Windows SharePoint services in their SBS 2003 R2 environment. After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Describe the benefits of using SharePoint as an information sharing tool.
- Show the advantages of using WSS V3.0 in their environment.
- Preparing for and upgrading to WSS V3.0.
- Integrate WSS V3.0 into Microsoft SBS 2003 R2 environment.
- Utilizing advanced WSS V3.0 features to enhance the current environment.