Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

While choosing a branch office solution, you have to address various issues, such as security, data replication, minimal IT capabilities, hardware costs, unauthorized physical access, and unwanted changes to Active Directory. The following bulleted list discusses the points above and highlights the solutions to address the concerns. (Source:MSL 89-389) Security In case the security at the branch office is your major concern, you should use the  Server Core installation option of the Windows Server 2008 operating system and install , RODCs, Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0, and BitLocker Drive Encryption. Server core offers a reduced attack surface because of the … Continue reading Branch Office: Thought Process – some considerations from the field

Branch Office: Creating Visio Diagrams

Spider webs. That is what I call most network diagrams I see. A diagram is worth a thousand words when it comes to understanding the layout of your network. There are a few skills which help you get full value out of diagramming and it is the intent of this post to highlight a few. Most involve clearing the cobwebs and bringing clarity through visual cues. I am using a diagram that comes from an administrator for whom I have a lot of respect. He has taken on challenges and kept to a tight budget while advancing the use of … Continue reading Branch Office: Creating Visio Diagrams

Branch Office: Three most common topologies

In planning a branch office configuration, you have to consider the impact of service level and user demands on the topology selection. From full Centralized Infrastructure where all of the resources are managed at the head office through to Full Local Infrastructure where the branch has local copies of everything they need to work. Here are the three main types: Fully Centralized – The head or Hub office provides all of the needed applications and authentication. Hybrid – Key workloads are transfered to the office Fully Local – All applications and authentication performed by local resources Jeff LoucksAvailable Technology  Subscribe in … Continue reading Branch Office: Three most common topologies

Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Branch offices come with a whole set of considerations and not the least of which is they generally are less secure than the main office. This is a critical concern for putting a domain controller in each office. The primary issue in almost every branch office is managing bandwidth across the wide area network. If you lose authentication request because of network outages the office can be rendered unproductive and so having a domain controller in the branch can effectively relieve the need to authenticate back to the main office. RODCs are designed to be deployed in locations that have … Continue reading Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Security Development Lifecycle Agile (SDL)

Perhaps the greatest challenge in Agile development methods is producing secure code in a Sprint. Microsoft developed the Security Development Lifecycle with a waterfall development methodology in mind.   So what do you do in a SCRUM environment? One solution might be to take all the SDL requirements and put them into the product backlog, then pull them into the active queue (aka the sprint backlog, if you’re using Scrum) just like any other user story. Another approach is to complete the entire SDL in every iteration. Every iteration would provide secured functionality after the SDL requirements have been completed. However, a … Continue reading Security Development Lifecycle Agile (SDL)

Peter Klein, Microsoft’s new CFO

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is leaving the company at the end of the year, the company announced Tuesday. Perhaps one of the strongest CFOs in the tech sector has left and Microsoft’s selection shows the depth of its internal roster. Prior to being named Microsoft CFO, Klein served as corporate vice president and CFO of Microsoft’s Business Division (MBD), overseeing the financial performance of the division which includes the Microsoft Office System, Unified Communications, Microsoft Business Solutions and other businesses. In this role, Klein was responsible for overall financial management including financial and strategic planning, reporting and analysis … Continue reading Peter Klein, Microsoft’s new CFO

How to Determine If You have a 64bit version of Windows 7

So your new Windows 7 box just arrived and they said it is 64bit. Cool. Now how do you check. Here are some tips which IT Pros have used for years but first the fastest way to find out: #1 Way to determine if you have 64 Bit Windows. Using DxDiag. Click the Start Button Type dxdiag in the search and press Enter The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will open. On the System Tab  locate the Operating System Row and Check for 64 bit Also note at the bottom you have the ability to run the 64-bit version of the DxDiag tool. … Continue reading How to Determine If You have a 64bit version of Windows 7

First Windows 7 OEM box arrived by courier today

My father’s new desktop arrived today by courier and it has Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit edition on the box. This marks the official launch of Windows 7 a product that really has treated me well for nearly 6 months now. When the Release to Manufacturing announced 2 months ago I upgraded my Vista Ultimate 64 bit to Windows 7 and boy it has been great ever since. My father has been using Windows 7 Ultimate since July for their media center and Windows 7 Home Premium on his netbook and he was excited to get a replacement for his XP workstation … Continue reading First Windows 7 OEM box arrived by courier today

Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

In my last post I talked about Visio 2010 and how we are seeing tools which can drive a lot of business value by representing data in intuitive ways through SharePoint. I raised the concern about once you see the data the next question is how does technology empower action. The answer involves several aspects and perhaps the most important one of which is role based security. The question comes down to this, if I want to share information with my boss and co-worker and give them the ability to perform different actions, how is this done using SharePoint? It appears … Continue reading Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses

A few years ago Microsoft started talking about ‘Model Based Programming’ which would bring software development skills to the masses by making it easier to conceptualize program flows, decision paths and layout key functional areas while intuitively reflecting business processes. Visio 2010 is shining light on this important avant-garde vision. And it is doing it in a manner that seems so intuitive to regular folks that it is hard not to see the value. Software developers and network admins were not the only users of Visio and as the Visio team looked at the other Personas, one can’t help but deduce that … Continue reading Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses