Mark Minasi, famous IT journalist, author, speaker and consultant, has just finished writing his update to Mastering Windows Server 2003. The updated book will include the new features included in SP1 and the R2 release of Windows Server 2003. Mark has gotten permission from the publishers to post one of the chapters (on Windows Firewall) on his web site.
The publishers state that the following will be covered in the book:
- Getting and installing SP1
- Hiding folders from prying eyes with ABE
- De-worming Windows with Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
- Solving SP1/R2 incompatibilities
- Stopping spyware and locking up ports
- Stopping mobile thieves by blocking USB memory sticks
- Upgrading to R2 and getting to know its GUI
- Understanding R2’s new Print Management Console
- Controlling folder usage with quotas and more
- Integrating Unix and Windows
- Working with Active Directory
At the very least, I’d recommend you read this chapter. I’d also recommend a purchase of this book if you plan to deploy Windows 2003 or make use of Service Pack 1 or R2 features. I read Mastering Windows Server 2003 when I first started to deploy the operating system. Mark really makes his *ahem* mark by telling you both the official Microsoft story and, importantly, how the product really works and how you should really use it. Given that the original book is 1753 pages long and the new Windows Firewall chapter is 48 pages long, I’m left wondering if a free JCB is provided to carry the book.
Make sure you also check out Mark’s free forum, MR&D, and his audio books based on his seminars that cover subjects such as Windows Vista, Microsoft network security and the SMTP service. If you get the chance to, I would also recommend that you attend his seminars. Mark is not only informative but also very entertaining … something that is tough to be in a world full of geeks and nerds!
I was recently working on a customer site where they used Virtual Server 2005 for their test environment (excellent!). They had a production Exchange cluster but had not simulated in test because they believed it was not possible to recreate in Virtual Server. I remembered seeing some sessions at TechEd on the subject but had never actually done it. A quick google gave us step-by-step instructions on how to get this done.
Clustering in Virtual Server 2005 makes use of the virtual SCSI adapters. You set node one to ID 7 and node 2 to ID 6. Then create a fixed size virtual disk and set it to use a shared SCSI bus. Connect both virtual machines using SCSI bus 0 and then you can implement your cluster as you normally would.
The client was well impressed with the virtual Exchange cluster they had at the end of the engagement.
I’ve done some googling and it appears you can do something similar with VMware Server by mucking around with configuration files. I also found this on the VMware site but I haven’t tried it yet.
If you want 4 node virtual clusters then you need to use the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator and the demo release of StarWind or WinTarget.
The following updates were released by Microsoft on Patch Tuesday:
- MS06-052 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows
- MS06-053 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows
- MS06-054 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Office
They also re-released the following 2 security updates on September 12, 2006:
- MS06-040 – addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows
- MS06-042 – addresses a vulnerability in Internet Explorer, a component of Windows
As usual, it is recommened that you test these updates before deploying them on your network. BTW, there have been some rumblings on the net about a performance hit and/or machines failing to start up after this months deployments. I’ve not had any problems myself but there have been some problems with updates over the last two or three months … please make use of the free VM solutions that are out there or the targetting mechanisms built into SMS/WSUS and test before you deploy.
Microsoft Ireland is proving an afternoon of FREE level 300 SQL 2005 training in Belfast and Dublin at the end of this month. More details are on the Microsoft Ireland Technet Blog. I’ll be at the Dublin event if all goes to plan.
Microsoft has released Windows Vista RC1 to the public. This much anticipated release brings a lot of new features in user collaboration and user interface. But for us pro’s, the main things of importance are the new security features, some popular and some not so popular.
You can get access to RC1 on the Microsoft website. Beware that it requires a serious piece of kit to run this OS and the new Aero interface requires high spec and compliant hardware.
Microsoft have issued a new release of Beta 2 for Office 2007. Make sure you read my guide on how to deploy Office 2007 using System Center Configuration Manager 2007. It’s a similar process to what you will use for admin point installations or GPO deployments.
This is my first post using the beta release of Windows Live Writer. It’s a WYSIWYG editor and the cool thing is that MS wrote it not only to support Windows Live Blogs but also other blogging sites too. It makes it much eaier for no webbies like me who are alergic to HTML to add richer content like photos, etc. If you install the Windows Live Tool Bar then you can integrate into IE to directly blog about a site you are currently browsing.
So far I like it. It’s much quicker and easier to use than the web interface.
This is a list of whitepapers I’ve written in the last 9 months both for my site and for work.
Free to download
Requires registration but free to download
I’ve just handed in my resignation to my current employer. Things didn’t work out as I’d hoped but there’s no hard feelings. They’re a good bunch of geeks and I wish them well. So, I am back on the market. I’ll be getting back into the IT contracting game in Dublin. So anyone looking for a Windows 2003, AD, SMS, MOM type person should have a look at my CV/resume
One of the things I liked about working for my current employer was that I had the opportunity to spend time working on beta products from Microsoft. I’ve just splashed out on some beefy h/w and I’ll hope to continue that while writing papers on how to make use of these products.
Look out for these in the future.