The Windows Server Notebook


September 2, 2014  6:27 PM

August in review: the top Windows Server news and tips

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Active Directory, Hyper-V, Patch Tuesday, Windows Azure Pack, Windows Server 2012 R2

For our monthly feature, we round up the most popular stories with our readers from the previous month and share it with you.

In August, Windows Server admins were most interest in the latest Patch Tuesday updates, what’s new with features in Windows Server and a look at the latest changes in Microsoft Azure.

A breakdown of August’s Patch Tuesday updates

The latest round of Patch Tuesday updates included nine security bulletins, one of which is a high priority patch for Internet Explorer. Updates addressed vulnerabilities for a number of programs, including the Media Center, SQL Server, kernel-mode drivers and SharePoint.

Why you should know Windows Azure Pack

As Microsoft continues its push for the cloud, new options continue to appear as the company attempts to nudge companies toward the cloud. One such option is Windows Azure Pack, which can give organizations a private cloud option with some of the benefits of a public cloud.

A closer look at Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

When Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V included a number of changes that make it a solid contender in the hypervisor market. Admins should take a look at some of these changes to learn more about the advantages of running Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.

How Invocation IDs and USNs fit in to Active Directory

Syncing Active Directory can be a difficult task and involves a delicate balance involving domain controllers. Windows Server admins have some help when it comes to tracking their Active Directory state thanks to these two important elements.

What Azure File Service can offer organizations

If your organization wants SMB access in the cloud, you have options. It’s possible to do this with Microsoft Azure File Service, which can access SMB shares in the Azure service without first needing to take additional steps with Windows Server VMs or networking.

What was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

August 7, 2014  7:54 PM

Critical updates coming for IE, Windows in August Patch Tuesday

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Microsoft windows server

Admins will have their hands full applying updates in this month’s round of Patch Tuesday updates.

In its advance security notification, Microsoft released nine bulletins for this month’s security updates. Two of the updates are critical and seven are important.

Both critical bulletins address remote code execution vulnerabilities. Multiple versions of Internet Explorer and Windows will be affected.

The seven important bulletins address remote code execution, elevation of privilege and security bypass feature vulnerabilities. Software in Microsoft Office and SharePoint will be affected, as will multiple versions of SQL Server, Windows and .NET Framework.

This round of Patch Tuesday updates includes one of the highest bulletin counts Windows Server admins have seen this year. Including this month’s upcoming security updates, 2014 has included 51 bulletins, down from last year’s 66 bulletins at the same time.

What do you think of the latest Patch Tuesday updates? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


August 4, 2014  4:17 PM

July in review: the top Windows Server news and tips

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Microsoft Azure, Patch Tuesday, PowerShell, SCCM, Windows Server 2012 R2

In our monthly recap, we round up the most popular content from the previous month and share it with you.

For July, our readers were interested in learning more about add-ons for IT management, analysis of Microsoft Azure and the latest Patch Tuesday security updates.

A look at two new SCCM add-ons

Although small shops are a good fit for System Center Configuration Manager, but larger enterprises with a more complex environment may have to spring for third-party add-ons to have their needs met.

Azure may help Microsoft cloud storage go skyward

Microsoft’s plans to debut a number of server-level and cloud products at its Worldwide Partners Conference left some IT pros questioning if the company was too aggressive in its Azure approach.

Disk optimization in Windows Server 2012 R2

Learning how to optimizing performance, such as being aware of workloads and using RAID properly, can help organizations ease how they optimize disks in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Latest Patch Tuesday updates include fixes for IE, Service Bus

In July’s batch of Patch Tuesday security updates, Microsoft released six fixes, including critical fixes for Internet Explorer and Windows Journal.

Making the most of PowerShell cmdlets in Microsoft Azure

As Windows Server admins begin to realize that PowerShell can be a valuable tool in Microsoft Azure, they can learn more about how PowerShell can closely integrate with Azure’s Automation Service and how to remotely manage an Azure VM’s OS resources.

What content was most helpful for you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in the list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


July 21, 2014  4:34 PM

TechEd North America conference gets a new name

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley
Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft TechEd, SharePoint

TechEd is dead. Long live Microsoft Unified Technology Event for Enterprise.

Mark your calendars: Microsoft set the date and location for the new conference, which will take place on May 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference will encompass the content of TechEd and Microsoft Management Summit and cover a broad range of technologies, including SharePoint, Office 365, Lync and Exchange. Microsoft goes into more detail about what the new conference will cover in a blog post.

At TechEd 2014 a few short months ago, the IT pros we talked to came away with a sense of disappointment over the event. The lack of System Center Configuration Manager news and sessions contributed to many former MMS members feeling left out.

In any case, Microsoft Unified Technology Event (or MUTE, as some have taken to calling it) may not help mute any critics of the event — it may make them louder.

What do you think of this news? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or talk to us on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


July 3, 2014  5:29 PM

Critical fixes for Windows, IE coming in July Patch Tuesday

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Microsoft windows server, Patch Tuesday

Admins can expect to see some familiar security updates in the latest Patch Tuesday, but they can also expect to see a rare update.

In its advance security notification, Microsoft said there will be six bulletins in this batch of security updates. Two are critical, three are important and one is moderate.

Both of the critical security updates will address remote code execution vulnerabilities and will affect multiple versions of Windows Server and Internet Explorer. All three important updates will address elevation of privilege vulnerabilities and will affect multiple versions of Windows.

The rare moderate update addresses a denial of service vulnerability and affects Microsoft Service Bus for Windows Server.

Microsoft will also include an updated version of its Malicious Software Removal Tool, it said.

Last month’s Patch Tuesday security updates addressed a large number of vulnerabilities. One of the critical updates addressed 59 reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer.

What do you think of the upcoming security updates for July’s Patch Tuesday? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


July 1, 2014  8:35 PM

Microsoft backtracks, resumes security emails beginning July 3

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley
Microsoft, Patch Tuesday

That suspension didn’t last long. Microsoft is going to continue sending security updates via email after reviewing its processes.

Late last week, the company said it would stop sending emails to comply with Canadian antispam laws. That decision has been reversed, and end users should continue receiving company emails. This will include the advance notification for the July 8 Patch Tuesday, which will arrive in inboxes on July 3, said Microsoft in a statement provided to SearchWindowsServer.com.

Microsoft Canada has also rolled out an opt-in page so customers can continue receiving emails from the company.

Email isn’t the only way to get the latest updates about Microsoft security updates. The company offers an RSS feed, and SearchWindowsServer.com covers each Patch Tuesday.

Are you happy that Microsoft is continuing to send security updates? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


June 27, 2014  9:05 PM

Microsoft suspends security email notifications to comply with Canadian antispam law

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley
Microsoft, Patch Tuesday

There’s one place you won’t be finding out about advance security notifications from Microsoft anymore.

The company is suspending the delivery of certain security emails to comply with governmental policies. Microsoft revealed the change in — wait for it — an email.

The company will no longer send emails about security bulletin advance notifications, security bulletin summaries, new security advisories and bulletins or revisions to security advisories and bulletins.

Canada will begin enforcing an antispam law on July 1st,  which Microsoft is complying with, the company confirmed.

It’s still unclear why this would lead to the suspension of this service. Perhaps, because patch notifications change from time to time, Microsoft could be found in violation of this clause in the law: “use of false or misleading representations online in the promotion of products or services.”

Microsoft suggests subscribing to RSS feeds as an alternative to the newsletter. One other option: Follow our Patch Tuesday coverage here on our blog and on SearchWindowsServer.com. Read about June’s Patch Tuesday here.

What do you think about Microsoft’s decision to suspend its newsletters about security bulletins? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


June 5, 2014  5:37 PM

Critical fixes for IE, Lync, Office and Windows in June Patch Tuesday

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Office, Microsoft windows server, Patch Tuesday

The latest round of Patch Tuesday updates will include some familiar fixes, but it also includes some fixes admins don’t often see.

In its latest advance security notification, Microsoft said the newest security updates will include seven bulletins. Two of the bulletins are critical and five are important.

Both critical bulletins address remote code execution vulnerabilities. Multiple versions of Internet Explorer, Lync, Office and Windows are affected.

The important bulletins in this Patch Tuesday cycle address remote code execution, information disclosure and denial of service vulnerabilities as well as a rare tampering vulnerability. Multiple versions of Lync, Office and Windows are affected.

The company said it will also release an updated version of its Malicious Software Removal Tool, which can be accessed through the Download Center, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services or Windows Update.

What do you think of the latest Patch Tuesday security updates? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


June 2, 2014  5:55 PM

May in review: the most-read Windows Server news

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Azure, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Microsoft Windows XP

Our feature recaps the most popular content on the site in the previous month and shares it with you.

For May, admins were interested in learning more about the latest happenings in the Windows Server world, including the newest security patches as well as developments with Microsoft Azure and TechEd coverage.

Windows XP hits zombie status with patch after end-of-life

It’s coming to get you, Barbara! Microsoft included Windows XP on its list to receive an out-of-band security fix for a critical remote code execution vulnerability that hit Internet Explorer.

IT pros slow to chow down Azure feast

Although Microsoft highlighted new products and technologies at TechEd pushing its vision of cloud-based enterprises, many corporate end users said they weren’t ready to even consider a move to the cloud.

Spotlight dims on data centers with push for Azure

There appears to be a growing disconnect between Microsoft’s push for the cloud and the enterprises that want the focus to stay on the on-premises tools they need for a functional business.

IT pros get some help from new migration tools

Windows Server admins can expect some relief from frustrating migrations with new management add-ons and server app migration tools.

Patch Tuesday updates bring fixes for SharePoint, Office, IE

The latest batch of Patch Tuesday security updates includes two critical and six important updates. Both critical updates address remote code execution vulnerabilities.

What content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


May 8, 2014  6:48 PM

Critical fixes for IE, Windows in May Patch Tuesday updates

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

If admins were planning on a light month of security updates from Microsoft, they’ll have to plan on spending more time to implement them.

In its advance security notification, Microsoft said it would release eight security updates in the latest Patch Tuesday cycle. Two of the bulletins are marked as critical and six are marked as important.

Both critical bulletins will address remote code vulnerabilities. Multiple versions of Internet Explorer and Windows will be affected, as will multiple versions of SharePoint and Office Web Apps servers and other productivity software.

The important bulletins will address remote code execution, elevation of privilege, denial of service and security feature bypass vulnerabilities. Multiple versions of Office and Windows will be affected.

Microsoft has already released an out-of-band security update this month for a critical remote code execution vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer. Many were surprised by the company’s decision to include Windows XP in the update because the company said it would stop supporting it in April this year.

Microsoft has also gone against last year’s trend of releasing a large number of security updates each Patch Tuesday. At this point in 2013, Microsoft had already released 46 security bulletins. This month’s bulletins bring the 2014 total up to 28.

What do you think of this month’s Patch Tuesday security updates? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


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