Just a reminder…. 1809 is coming out

On October 2, 2018, in Essentials, by susan

And when it gets installed on computers in your 2016/2012R2 Essential networks, remember to reboot several times after the install of 1809.  Don’t try to reinstall the client/uninstall the client or do anything else but reboot.

 

So what’s next?

On September 7, 2018, in news, by susan

By now you’ve probably seen the announcement that for all purposes the Essentials server sku is dead.  The 2019 version is not the same as the 2016 version.

To be crystal clear it does not have remote web access nor client workstation backup.  Thereby getting rid of pretty much the only two reasons that anyone deployed it anymore.

I wanted to make one other thing clear.  The statement was made that

Furthermore, we recently collaborated with the MVP community and other influencers to listen and get a deeper understanding of the transition that our small business customers are going through.

To be clear we asked Microsoft to fix the issues with the Essentials 2016 server.  We asked them to have it support AD connect.  We asked them to allow it to be a workgroup not just demand that small businesses have a domain.  We asked them to still include remote web access in the 2019 version.  We wanted client workstation backup.

The only feedback that was taken was that this new sku fully supports AD connect.  The rest of our suggestions and feedback from the MVP community were certainly not “collaborated” on and in my personal opinion, the resulting Essentials 2019 does not demonstrate an understanding of what small businesses need in this era of transition.  Many of us are not fully cloud based and still need options such as workgroup servers as well as domain controllers as our options.  While yes, we can stand up standard windows server, once upon a time it was acknowledged and embraced that small businesses not only needed packaged solutions, they didn’t have enterprise budgets, nor did they have the ability as large enterprises do to bargain with large companies and negotiate pricing.  We get the manufacturer’s retail price tag, and we often get the Windows 10 releases faster than Enterprises do because we don’t have the Enterprise sku in order to defer such patching cadence.

If your customers rely on remote access you will need to investigate other options such as third party solutions or standing up another server with the RdGateway role.   You can also consider solutions like LogMeIn (not cheap these days), or Splashtop or Screenconnect or other solutions.  If you rely on client workstation backup, you’ll need to look at other solutions such as Macrium reflect to a NAS, Veeam backup to a windows server or other solutions.

Also in my personal opinion it also means that technology is going to be more expensive for small businesses to consume.  It’s all subscription models now and the wizards of old are gone.  Cloud solutions often need multi-factor security in the mix and this isn’t as easy (in my opinion) to deploy as it should be.  That’s probably a good thing for consultants, but it also means that you need to be thinking about what solutions you can be putting together yourself to assist your clients, because the pre-packaged solutions and wizards from Microsoft are no longer available.

As Robert put it….. https://windowsserveressentials.com/2018/09/06/introducing-windows-server-2019-essentials/

With the release of Server 2019 Essentials, the end of an era has been reached. Gone are the wizards and tools designed for the small business owner.

Gone is the Remote Web Access feature.

Gone is the Essentials Connector.

Gone is Client PC Backup.

Gone is Office 365 Integration.

Gone, is the Dashboard.

Gone, indeed, is the Essentials Role.

All that remains of Essentials, is the name Essentials and the licensing limits of the Essentials SKU, of 25 client access licenses.

What we are presented with, is now more in line with Windows foundation server from several years ago.

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Partner support forums shut down

On August 10, 2018, in Rants, by susan

So I recently logged into the customer support forum venue that is … or rather was… set up for Microsoft partners and saw this:

This Partner Support Community will retire on 30th August 2018

In order to improve the partner community experience, we are streamlining our existing forums to ensure you engage with the most suitable community and to get answers to your questions. From 30th June 2018, members will no longer be able to post questions and content in this Partner Support Community however all the current content will remain accessible until 30th August 2018. After this date, this community will be retired, and partners can go to TechNet for technical product support and to the Microsoft Partner Community for partnership and membership topics.

https://partnersupport.microsoft.com/en-us/par_servplat/forum/par_winserv/this-partner-support-community-will-retire-on-30th/6ecde7bc-6c6d-4d2b-97cc-a318afc03fb9

Lovely.  Fellow partners have indicated some success with the Partner yammer venue.  Others recommend going back to the distributor as they often have better support channels.  What are you using for Microsoft support these days?  (well besides www.thirdtier.net  …)

 

 

Dashboard issues and Essentials

On June 5, 2018, in Essentials, by susan

Just a fyi tracking some side effects with updates and alerts on the dashboard.  As Mark posted in the partner forum here https://partnersupport.microsoft.com/en-us/par_servplat/forum/par_winserv/cannot-ignore-dashboard-alert-on-essentials-2012/8869377d-1fed-4e19-b300-1d9bf38501d7 and posted here:  https://www.mcbsys.com/blog/2018/02/essentials-2012-r2-dashboard-fails-with-net-4-6-and-4-7/  Essentials 2012 R2 fails with .NET 4.6 and 4.7

Peter found that Essentials 2016 doesn’t like the recent Windows server 2016 update:

May 8, 2018—KB4103723 (OS Build 14393.2248)
Content provided by Microsoft
Applies to: Windows 10 Version 1607 Windows Server 2016
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4103723/windows-10-update-kb4103723

Once he removed that, the issues with clicking to ignore alerts went away.  Obviously keeping updates off machines is not a long term fix, so this is still under investigation.

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1803 and Essentials follow up

On May 9, 2018, in Essentials, by susan

1803 and issues with Essentials

Follow up to this

  1.  If the multiple reboot trick doesn’t work, try the following:  “Lost the connector altogether on several systems after the 1803 update and subsequent connector re installation attempts failed. Reapplying Windows10.0-KB2790621-x64 on Windows 10 Version 1803 allows the Server Essentials Connector to successfully install.”
  2. The issue with VPN got fixed with the May 8th update for 1803  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4103721  Addresses an issue that prevents certain VPN apps from working on builds of Windows 10, version 1803. These apps were developed using an SDK version that precedes Windows 10, version 1803, and use the public RasSetEntryProperties API.
 

Tracking another issue – this time only with Server 2016 Essentials.

Impact to Azure integration and Office 365 integration:

Microsoft cloud integration did not succeed.  And the account used is an Admin.

Microsoft alerted, hang loose.

 

1803 and issues with Essentials

On May 2, 2018, in Essentials, by susan

From

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/b75d2462-0716-4af7-b763-605c02336412/windows-server-2016-essentials-connector-will-not-install-after-windows-10-1803-upgrade?forum=winservergen

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/70b91420-6c5f-496f-b3b6-ec98911e0c54/windows-server-2016-essentials-client-connector-stops-working-with-windows-10-1803?forum=ws16essentials

1. When upgrading/updating Windows, the Connector sometimes loses its connection to the server and needs to have ClientDeploy run to get it reconnected. This happened with the update to 17115.

[Solution:  reboot at least three times and that should reconnect back up]

2. ClientDeploy fails on Windows 10 1803 (certainly on the versions I’ve specifically tested) when Anywhere Access VPN connection is enabled. This is a more major issue, and a potential blocker for people who will want to upgrade to 1803.”

It appears 1803 feature update won’t work if VPN is setup in the server.  No workaround at this time other than to disable VPN and then reenable it.

Hang loose while we get Microsoft to fix.

 

Getting a backup of the cloud

On April 21, 2018, in news, by susan

One of the interesting things I’m seeing in the backup space is the increasing number of vendors that are offering up cloud backups.  But… the big problem I see in some of the offerings is the less than stellar means to restore those backups.

Recently I’ve been struggling to find a good solid way to backup AND restore to a different location – Quickbooks online.  There are online backup vendors out there, but to restore the data to another cloud subscription (in our case we want a capture of the QB at a certain point in time), it was hard to find a cloud backup that worked flawless in the restore process.

One alternative I’ve found is to make a desktop conversion from the online Quickbooks.  The trick is to hack up the browser a bit, and to run all programs with full admin rights in order to export out the data.

The full how to post is here

Not pretty is it?  But it does work to get a full and complete backup of the entire Quickbooks online database.

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Patch posts are now at Askwoody.com

On April 16, 2018, in news, by susan

In case you weren’t aware, all of my patching posts are now over at Askwoody.com.

You can find my monthly recaps here:  https://www.askwoody.com/patch-list-master/

All of my posts are tagged with https://www.askwoody.com/tag/patch-lady-posts/

While I plan to still blog here, my patching content will be over there.  Not to mention, I’d like to strongly recommend checking out the very active forum that is located at AskWoody.com.  There’s a lot of talented folks answering a lot of really good questions.

 

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Outlook search problem after 1709 is installed

On March 13, 2018, in news, by susan

I’ve seen many folks bit by this one so again, blogging it to share with others.  After the install of 1709 the MSI version of Outlook 2016 fails to search properly.

Outlook Search: These regekys are missing after the upgrade. You need to add them back in once the upgrade is complete.
REG ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences” /v “{0077B49E-E474-CE11-8C5E-00AA004254E2}” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
REG ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences” /v “{4154494E-BFF9-01B8-00AA-0037D96E0000}” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
REG ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences” /v “{70fab278-f7af-cd11-9bc8-00aa002fc45a}” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
REG ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences” /v “{C0A19454-7F29-1B10-A587-08002B2A2517}” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
REG ADD “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Preferences” /v “{c34f5c97-eb05-bb4b-b199-2a7570ec7cf9}” /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f