Where did my old friend the SBS Console go in SBS 2008 (and EBS 2008)?

I requested of both the SBS and EBS development teams for them to add back into their respective Start Menus their Server Administrative Consoles. They are on the desktop of SBS 2008 (and EBS 2008 Management Server) but not in the menu.  Instead there is the standard Windows Server 2008 Server Management link.  Below was the response from the EBS team and it makes sense for both products after reading the associated blog post.


 


We’ll take a closer look at this in V2. Note, however, that this is not quite as trivial as it seems. There is no programmatic access to the start menu list. See http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/oldnewthing/archive/2003/09/03/54760.aspx for a great explanation (basically that apps were abusing the option to pin themselves there without you asking at install).  Looks like for now we’ll have to pin the SBS and EBS Consoles there ourselves.

How to turn off screen savers during EBS installations

At the time of this writing, Essential Business Server 2008 has a default screen saver time out of 10 minutes and locks the server.  This can be highly annoying during setup when you are watching the progress from across the room as each server runs its respective installation routine.  To get around this bring up a command prompt by using SHIFT-F10 and type in “explorer” to bring up Windows Explorer.  From Windows Explorer, expand (click on the + sign next to each name) the folders on the lower left of the left pane of the window, expand the Control Panel, select Appearance and Personalization, Personalization, and then Screen Saver.  I highly recommend you turn this back on after you are done with the installation and configuration though so the server will lock when unattended! 

If you prefer to stay in the command console, for a great list of command line syntax to open control panel items in both Vista and Server 2008, check out the HowToGeek site page too for a great list.


 If your monitor decides to shut down on you as our Messaging Server just did after you set your screen saver, check your power settings (same as above, except expand Control Panel, Harware and Sound, and then select Power to be taken to the Power Options window), click on “Change plan settings” and set the “Turn off display” to a time you are comfortable with.

The Windows Small Business Server 2008 World Wide Community Survey is Live!

Kevin Beares, the Community Lead for Microsoft’s Windows Server Solutions Group (WSSG) asked a few of us to pass this along.  If you haven’t taken the 2008 SBS community survey yet, click on over to Kevin’s Blog and get crackin!  Below is the link and a note from Kevin:


The Windows Small Business Server 2008 WW Community Survey is Live

This is the third year we have published an SBS WW Community Survey to the SBS Community. We have learned an amazing amount of information from the people who have taken the time to tell us what they thought. Some things we kind of knew already, but other things were not as clear before we had received the feedback.Because of the previous surveys, we have made some adjustments in our community engagement. To name a few; we really worked on putting more focus on the Official SBS Blog. Our Sustaining Engineering team runs mini betas with our MVPs before KB’s and Bug Fixes are released via Windows Update. We try to get more involvement in our techbetas from our User Groups. The list does go on.To the survey, the SBS Product Team would like to hear from the Windows SBS Community again. This survey is completely anonymous. In fact, some of you may have to sign out from Live in order to take the survey. So, if you get a PAGE NOT FOUND error message, please log out of Live and click on the link to the survey again.We want to know how valuable your experience is with the community resources and information that is available to you today as a member of the Windows SBS Community. We also want to know what you think could be done to improve your Windows SBS Community Experience. Please take a couple of minutes to provide us your candid feedback via this survey and let us know what you think. SBS WW Community Survey 2008 Thanks in advance for your feedback.

 Kevin Beares
Community Lead – WSSG

Puget Sound Small Business Server User Group (PSSBS) Meeting tonight (Thursday, May 15th, 2008)

There have been a couple changes over at the PSSBS User Group.  After four years or so of meeting in Building 43 on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus, starting this evening we are now meeting at Microsoft’s Lincoln Square offices in Bellevue.  We’ll be in 27004. We are asking that everyone meet near the elevators on the first floor of Lincoln Square (just north of Tully’s in the main lobby) and we’ll take people up to the room in groups.  Meeting will be 6 PM – 8:30 PM.  Lincoln Square is located on Bellevue Way NE between NE 6th and NE 8th Street in downtown Bellevue.


On the agenda for tonight’s meeting will be a quick presentation by HyBlue’s President, Matthew Sutton, on his new data security solution, IceLock, followed by a Response Point Hands On Lab.  The lab is being run by PSSBS member Van AuBuchon who ran the lab for SMB Nation East earlier this year.  Van is a long-time system builder and early Response Point reseller.


The other major change is the update by Culminis of our SharePoint Website.  We have been upgraded from SharePoint 2.0 to SharePoint 3.0.  The redirect from www.pssbs.org has been made and the new address is https://ug.culminis.com/sites/PSSBS.  I am still working with Culminis in getting the home page open to anonymous users, so for now you have to authenticate to view anything.  Will have that resolved soon so we can have the events calendar public facing again.


If you are in the Puget Sound area and have tonight open, head on over to Lincoln Square and join us for the PSSBS meeting!  If you have any questions or need directions feel free to call me at 206-255-3214 or contact me via email at steve @ banksnw . com (you’ll have to push all that together).


Steve

Microsoft Publically Announces SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 Pricing and Beta

Microsoft has announced their pricing and a link to join the public betas for both Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008.  The URL for their announcement is:http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/may08/05-13PublicPreviewPricingPR.mspx

As a Microsoft Small Business Server MVP I have had the privilege and opportunity to be involved with both these products as they have been progressing through their development cycle.  In my opinion Microsoft is working hard to answer business needs in the small and medium business space and I thank them for their efforts.  I know that people thanking Microsoft is not something you hear much of these days, but the Windows Essential Server Solutions teams (who comes up with these names? [;)] ) has invested a great deal of time, energy, and money into researching our market segment and developing the tools to better serve the businesses in the small and medium business space (of which my own business is a part of).  This is technology and code, so there are going to be hassles for sure, but the overall productivity benefit to the SMB’s who implement these solutions will be great.  Two major areas, the deployment process and the daily administration consoles, have been a major area of focus for both SBS and EBS.  They have been tailored to benefit both outsourced IT and in-house IT who are administering SBS/EBS networks.

SBS Migration’s 2008 IT Pro Conference

Wanted to thank all of you who were at Jeff Middleton’s SBS Migration IT Pro Conference in New Orleans this year.  Sorry to miss those of you who are still at the conference on the cruise right now while I’m here in the great Pacific Northwest enjoying a day of overcast skies and rain.  Too many items on the calendar this year to make it, but Linda and I will be on the cruise portion again next year if it is offered as part of the event.  Hope you are having an incredible time right now!


Was great to see familiar faces and meet new ones; both from the attendees and the sponsors.  Thank you all for an incredible four days of learning and interaction.  What I see most valuable about the IT Pro Conference is how it challenges each person there to question their practices, both technical and business, and to ask themselves how to better their work to improve upon what they already are doing, while giving them tools and ideas to work with to do just that.


I saw vendors introduced to each other by their common resellers who then in turn worked together to think of how they could blend their offerings to better serve the consultants and their clients.  The conversation was not driven by numbers or dollar figures, but rather, it was driven by a thought process of how each party involved could help the end user, the end user’s business, the consultant and their business, and the other vendor, knowing that the monetary numbers would naturally follow once they took care of the needs of each other first.  It is a foundation of business and of life, but not one you normally encounter at a technical conference.  This conversation was over dinner Saturday night.  The idea of looking at the individual and business needs of others, both your clients and your vendors, including professional services you use in your own company, was covered in the opening session Friday morning, and it carried through the entire event both inside the walls and timeline of the sessions and outside into the hotel lobby and restaurants of New Orleans, as small groups would gather and talk for hours on how to better serve the entire SMB Community as a whole.


So for the 2nd year in a row, thank you Jeff and Suzanne for allowing me to be part of an incredible conference.  Thank you Jeff and Suzanne for doing so much for so many through your work.  Your core values of caring and giving to others, of considering others’ personal and business needs first, and then working to help solve those needs as a way to create your own businesses, shows through in this event brighter than any other part of the event to me.  You are an incredible example to follow.  Both in your personal and your business life.