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  • Blog Post: Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) Job Aids released

    As I mentioned in an earlier post , the recently released Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) v.4 is extraordinarily helpful from a practical standpoint in running your IT organization. I'm glad to see that they just released the job aids and templates that accompany the documentation available with...
  • Blog Post: Securing SharePoint and Project Server 2010

    A year ago, I showed how to lock down SharePoint 2007 using the Security Configuration Wizard that was introduced with Windows Server 2003.  The last post includes information on how the tool works, but  as the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit was just released (which includes...
  • Blog Post: Updating SharePoint

    I just finished installing Service Pack 2 on my team’s SharePoint server, and the process went absolutely flawlessly (which is very different from some of my past upgrades).  What made the difference?  Reading the instructions (something we geeks tend to not do :)  Before we get started...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Extranet Collaboration Toolkit

    SharePoint is the hottest thing going at Microsoft.  While Excel is the swiss-army-knife of desktop apps, SharePoint is the do-it-all app on the Server side.  If you are not playing with it already, then you are behind the curve.  Go download the VPC Image , the trial version ( x86 , x64...
  • Blog Post: SharePoint Lockdown – The Easy Way

    If you have been tasked with securing SharePoint, there  are a lot of considerations to take into account.  How do users authenticate? Does part of your farm live in an extranet or DMZ? How do you secure user-to-server communications? How do you secure server-to-server communications? ...
  • Blog Post: Active Directory in the DMZ

    I’ve been waiting for this guide for a while (‘cause that’s how I roll), but if you are interested in guidance on when/how to use Active Directory in your perimeter network, the AD team has released a guide for that: Active Directory Domain Services in the Perimeter Network (Windows Server 2008) The...
  • Blog Post: Audit your Outlook calendar permissions

    By default, others within your organization can only see whether you are free or busy for a particular timeslot.  In theory, people should check whether you are available before scheduling an appointment with you, although nobody seems to do that for me.  Hooray for double and triple-booking...
  • Blog Post: Fingerprints as authentication

    Authentication is an interesting component of network security. In order to be granted (or denied) access to a resource, a user must be uniquely identified. In other words, a user must be able to prove that they are who they say they are. This is critical in a business (and elsewhere) so that (amongst...
  • Blog Post: Backstage Pass

    Ever wondered what kind of sessions go on at TechEd, Microsoft Management Summit (MMS), OCS Ignite, IT Forum, WinHEC, etc? The following site has a ton of videos from these events: http://www.microsoft.com/emea/spotlight/default.aspx Watch Mark Russinovich , Steve Riley , Iain McDonald , and some other...
  • Blog Post: Security Best Practices

    By no means a comprehensive list, today's Best Practices are brought to you by the letter " security ". TechNet Security Home Assess Your Environment •The Security Risk Management Discipline module •The Assessing Network Security book •The SANS Security Policy Project Protect Your Network •The Deploying...
  • Blog Post: LiveMeeting Best Practices

    As part of my role here at Microsoft, I spend a significant amount of time in LiveMeeting doing presentations to Gold Partners. Sometimes it is a small meeting with only a few attendees, and sometimes the meetings involve hundreds of Partners at a time. LiveMeeting scales very well for both scenarios...
  • Blog Post: Virtual PC 2007 Released!

    Great news! Virtual PC 2007 has been finalized and been released to the web for download today.  You can read more about Virtual PC 2007 (and download it), from the new (and great looking!) Virtual PC website: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx . Features of...
  • Blog Post: The best feature you've never heard of...

    Although the File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) has been around since 2005 (it shipped with Windows Server 2003 R2, is present in SBS 2003 R2), I have yet to meet anyone (even hard-core Admins) who have even heard of it. It is an excellent tool to have in your toolbox, especially as hard drives get...
  • Blog Post: Performance Tuning Windows Server 2008

    Now that Windows Server 2008 has RTM'd, and you are preparing to roll it out in your environment (even if it is just a lab or test environment), the following guide will help you get the most out of the OS, both as you choose the hardware, and as you tweak the OS to meet your particular workload. This...
  • Blog Post: Giving Feedback

    If your co-worker knew something about you... that you forgot to put deodorant on, or that you had toilet paper stuck to your shoe, or that your habit of sending angry incoherent emails before you had consumed your morning coffee was about to become a career limiting move... Would you like them to tell...
  • Blog Post: Having a bad day?

    You know… the kind of day where all of the hard drives fail on one of your domain controllers, and then the new sysadmin runs a script on your production AD environment that deletes all user accounts, and then a hurricane hits your backup datacenter and floods your server room, submerging the last few...
  • Blog Post: Best Practices

    It's always a good thing to stand on the shoulders of giants, and implement technology in a way such that you take advantage of the experience of others.  If only someone collected all of these... er... "Best Practices" into one place!  Today, I will share the Microsoft Best Practices...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2005 Best Practices

    There's no shortage of them!!! http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/bb331794.aspx Get the real-world guidelines, expert tips, and rock-solid guidance to take your SQL Server implementation to the next level. These SQL Server best practices draw on the extensive experience and expertise from respected...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Best Practices

    What are Best Practices? According to Wikipedia : Best Practice is a management idea which asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with...
  • Blog Post: Mitchell's Rule of Demos

    Great post from Mitchell Ashley that accurately describes most demos I have seen (I've even been guilty of giving a few of these): Most bad demos are what I call "functional decomposition" demos. You know what I'm talking about -- after some perfunctory sales questions, the demo conversation...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer

    The following screenshot will give a DBA severe indigestion (although I have to imagine it is not entirely uncommon on unmanaged installations of SQL, especially those where SQL is just the black box that is installed as a prerequisite). A SQL installation with the database files, logs, and backups on...
  • Blog Post: Beta Announcement - Solution Accelerators for Compliance Management

    It has been too long since I posted about the latest Solution Accelerators from my favorite team at Microsoft (er… the Solution Accelerator team).  I have a couple of posts queued up in my head that I’ll write as soon as I have the time. In any case, this announcement is time-sensitive, so I wanted...
  • Blog Post: Is There a Guide for That?

    So you have just been tasked with setting up Active Directory, or creating a Backup Plan, or setting up a PKI infrastructure for your company. There's no need to start from scratch!!! We've already done the heavy lifting for you: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/solutionaccelerators/wssra/raguide/default...
  • Blog Post: Operate IT like a pro

    I have been agonizing over this post for the last week and a half. I do my best in this blog to not post entries designed just to make me look smarter... I hope that you can use these posts to make your life easier, do your job better, and maybe have some more time to spend with the kiddoes. This particular...
  • Blog Post: Taking Screenshots in Boot Camp

    In my next post, I'll cover my Boot Camp experience on my MacBook Pro.  But in order to do so, I wanted to take some screenshots.  Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro does not have  a Print Screen button on the keyboard, which makes it difficult to take a screenshot. There are a couple of workarounds...