The Windows Server Notebook


February 3, 2014  4:08 PM

January in review: the top Windows Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In our monthly feature, we round up the Windows Server content that was most popular with our readers in the previous and share it with you.

For the first month of 2014, Windows Server admins were interested in backup options for Windows Server 2008 R2, updates to Microsoft certification exams and the latest Patch Tuesday security updates.

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

Windows, Office receive Patch Tuesday fixes
This year’s Patch Tuesday cycle got off to a light start with four important bulletins and no critical updates. The updates receiving the most attention addressed vulnerabilities in Office and Office Web Apps as well as one of the last updates Microsoft will have for XP.

Open Compute Project receives Microsoft data center ‘blueprints’
Microsoft said it would contribute specifications for data center servers to the Facebook Inc.-run Open Compute Project, prompting questions about its motivation for the move and if the designs are part of a patent application filed in December 2013.

What’s new with Microsoft certifications changes
With the releases of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, IT pros can expect to see a number of changes and additions to Microsoft certification exams. This tip walks through the complete list of exams affected by the releases.

Must-know Windows Azure Backup basics
The Windows Azure Backup feature, which can offer cloud-based backup, has the potential to be a convenient and flexible option for enterprises. But before committing to its use, admins should be aware of its limitations.

How to use Windows Server 2008 R2′s wbadmin backup tool
The command-line tool known as wbadmin is a popular Windows Server 2008 R2 backup option for Windows Server admins because it offers control without needing to use a GUI and replaces the ntbackup tool.

January 29, 2014  10:06 PM

Microsoft joins ARM server initiative

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley

There’s Windows RT for Surface tablets and other devices. How about Windows Server RT for the data center?

At the Open Compute Summit in California this week, the company joined server builders HP and Dell to devise the first specification called “Server Base System Architecture.”

The spec will help companies standardize around basic requirements for ARM systems on chip, but only revolve around hardware and not software. A report said the company declined to talk about future plans for server software, but confirmed its participation in the ARM forum.

The specification is available on ARM’s website.

What do you think of this news? Would you run Windows Server on an ARM system? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


January 9, 2014  6:53 PM

January Patch Tuesday includes important Office, Windows fixes

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

Microsoft may have ended its 2013 Patch Tuesday cycle with a bang, but it’s starting the 2014 cycle with a whimper.

In the company’s advance security notification for the first Patch Tuesday of the year, there are no critical bulletins. The four important bulletins will address remote code execution, elevation of privilege and denial of service vulnerabilities. The security updates will affect multiple versions of Microsoft Office and Windows as well as Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The light month of security updates is a sharp turn from the 2013 trend of high bulletin counts and high-profile critical fixes. The final Patch Tuesday of 2013, which brought the yearly total up to 106 bulletins, provided security updates that made multiple appearances throughout the year, including Internet Explorer and Oracle’s Outside In library.

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


January 2, 2014  4:57 PM

December in review: the top Windows Server features, tips and news

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In this monthly feature, we recap the most popular Windows Server content with our readers from the previous month and share it with you.

For the last month of 2013, our readers were interested in the latest Patch Tuesday updates, the plans Windows Server admins had for Windows Server 2012 R2 and a look at the tips that made the biggest impact with readers for the year.

What content helped you or your organization most last month? Is it something that isn’t on our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

Essential Guide: Is a Windows Server 2012 R2 migration right for your organization?

This essential guide offers a look at the tips and features that can help Windows Server admins and their organizations decide if a migration to Windows Server 2012 R2 is the right move. The guide includes a look at the latest R2 news, virtualization and storage improvements and more. 

Last Patch Tuesday of 2013 includes critical fixes for Exchange Server, IE

The final Patch Tuesday of the year included 11 security updates, five of which were critical. Multiple versions of Exchange Server received fixes for vulnerabilities in two important features, and multiple versions of Office, Lync and Windows had fixes for a vulnerability in the TIFF file format.

IT pros talk about plans for Windows Server 2012 R2 in 2014

This infographic highlights some of the interesting results we received from our annual Windows Server purchasing intentions survey. We took a look at some of the reasons why IT pros upgrade their Windows Server systems, the lack of interest in Azure and the gain Microsoft is making in the server virtualization market.

This year’s five most popular tips for Windows Server admins

Just as admins began looking at Windows Server 2012 for their enterprises, Microsoft released its follow-up with Windows Server 2012 R2. These two operating systems received the most attention from SearchWindowsServer.com readers, and these five tips were the most clicked-on reads for 2013.

Why admins should know these Windows Server PKI improvements

As security improves in each Windows Server release, admins should stay updated on the latest public key infrastructure improvements. With the release of Windows Server 2012, admins can expect to see improvements in PowerShell functionality and the Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) role services.


December 5, 2013  8:18 PM

Critical bulletins for Office, Lync, IE and Exchange in December Patch Tuesday

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

Microsoft is ending 2013 with a bang with the last batch of Patch Tuesday security updates for the year.

In its advance security notification, the company said it would have 11 total bulletins, five of which are critical.

All of the critical bulletins include fixes for remote code execution vulnerabilities. Multiple versions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Lync, Internet Explorer, Exchange Server and Windows are affected.

The six important bulletins will include fixes for remote code execution, elevation of privilege, information disclosure and security feature bypass vulnerabilities. Office, Windows Server software and developer tools will be affected.

The last batch of Patch Tuesday security updates brings the yearly total to 106 bulletins. This year’s bulletin total marks a reverse in the trend of a decreased number of bulletins that was seen in 2011 and 2012.

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


December 2, 2013  6:26 PM

Microsoft reportedly settles on next Windows codename, ‘Threshold’ is the new ‘Blue’

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley

Microsoft is on track to deliver an update to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 in 2014, but what comes after that? There’s a codename and timeframe for that, according to reports.

“Threshold” — a nod to the “Halo” franchise of videogames — is the codename of a set of Windows updates set to be released in spring 2015, reported Mary Jo Foley on Monday.

The plan — and, as Foley notes, it’s quite early in the game — is to deliver near-simultaneous updates. This should bring the Windows OS (client and server), Windows Phone OS and the new Xbox One gaming console OS closer together in terms of sharing a common code base.

In addition to that, the company would also try to make the developer toolset for the operating systems more similar — presumably, to make deploying apps across the entire Microsoft device portfolio simpler.

What do you think of the codename “Threshold” and Microsoft’s efforts to make the code base across OSes similar? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.


December 2, 2013  5:23 PM

November in review: the top Windows Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In our monthly feature, we round up and share the Windows Server content from the previous month that was most popular with our readers.

Windows Server admins kept busy in November by catching up on PowerShell scripting, the latest Patch Tuesday security updates and the latest virtual disk features.

What content helped you or your organization most last month? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

Important Hyper-V, critical IE vulnerabilities have Patch Tuesday fixes
The latest round of Patch Tuesday security updates included fixes for critical vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, the Windows Graphics Device Interface and a zero-day bug in an ActiveX control. An important vulnerability for Hyper-V was dubbed “coolest” by one analyst.

Make Windows virtualization tasks easier by running PowerShell scripts
With Windows Server 2012 R2 hitting general availability, there’s a revamped version of PowerShell that includes more cmdlets than ever to help admins automate tasks. Admins have a number of resources to learn which cmdlets will be best for their organization.

Learn how to resize virtual disks in Windows Server 2012 R2
This Ask the Expert piece takes a look at whether virtual disks can be resized in Windows Server 2012 R2 and what admins should know before they tackle resizing virtual disks, including requirements and what to expect in the process.

Features of virtual hard disks in Windows Server 2012 R2
Admins should take the time to learn about virtual disks and the characteristics of virtual disks in Windows Server 2012 R2. Critical to virtualization, these disks have a number of features that were specifically designed to enhance performance.

How a Windows Server data center can benefit from shared virtual disks
When used correctly, shared virtual disks can be a big benefit for a Windows Server data center. Multiple virtual machines can share just one virtual disk in Windows Server 2012 R2, which means failover clusters aren’t limited to storage topology anymore.


November 7, 2013  6:32 PM

November Patch Tuesday has critical fixes for IE, Server

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

For November’s Patch Tuesday, admins can give thanks for security with the upcoming fixes from Microsoft.

In its advanced security notice, the company said it would have eight total bulletins in its latest batch of updates, three of which are critical.

The three critical bulletins will address remote code execution vulnerabilities in multiple versions of Windows Server and Internet Explorer. The five important bulletins will address remote code execution, denial of service and information disclosure vulnerabilities in multiple versions of Windows and Microsoft Office.

Last month marked the tenth anniversary of Patch Tuesday. The month’s bulletins brought the yearly bulletin total up to 87, a significant increase from 70 bulletins at the same point last year.

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


November 5, 2013  8:07 PM

Ship my drives: Windows Azure import and export service enters preview

Jeremy Stanley Jeremy Stanley Profile: Jeremy Stanley

If it’s stored in the cloud, it ships. Microsoft’s Windows Azure Storage team debuted an import/export service for transporting large Azure blobs in to and out of Azure.  Currently in preview, the feature lets admins transport a large amount of data efficiently without incurring high bandwidth costs.

The service can only accept shipments that originate in the United States and return to U.S. addresses right now. Interested IT shops can import to and export from these regions: East US, West US, North Central US, South Central US, North Europe, West Europe, East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Microsoft will charge an $80 handling fee for the service but will offer it at $40 during the preview period. There are also additional charges for copying data between Windows Azure regions. There are additional requirements with using the service, such as a 4 TB maximum disk size limit and being able to only ship 10 drives per job.

Cloud competitors like Rackspace offer similar features.

The news was part of a host of additions and improvements to Azure, including access control lists and HD Insights.


November 1, 2013  1:45 PM

October in review: the top Windows Server news and features

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In our monthly feature, we highlight the most popular with our Windows Server followers from the previous month.

For October, admins kept busy by catching up on things like Microsoft’s cloud plans, the company’s new schedule for upgrades and Windows Server features trying to impact the tablet game.

Was there a story that helped you or your organization last month? Was it something we didn’t include in the list? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

Will the new rapid release cadence from Microsoft work?
With Microsoft’s recent pledge to deliver OS upgrades on a more frequent schedule, enterprises are wondering how the new schedule will affect them. Our expert says the new schedule is a mixed bag and that organizations need to look at the pros and cons.

Microsoft offers up cloud plans as it faces competitors
As it continues to face stiff competition in the cloud from Amazon, Microsoft’s next move is offering Azure discounts to customers entering enterprise agreements. The lower cost is a draw, but some believe another price raise could happen after shops make the commitment.

Will Windows Server 2012 R2 features be a tablet game-changer?
Microsoft has received a lot of criticism for its Surface tablets and it hopes to strike back at its critics with new features for mobile workers in Windows Server 2012 R2. But even with these new features, there are still doubts they’ll get a leg up over iOS or Android devices.

Windows Azure could make or break Microsoft’s cloud future
Shops have been slow to take up Azure, which could mean trouble for the company that’s bet on the platform for their ultimate success in the cloud. Recent Azure outages have been a major concern, and some question Microsoft’s reluctance to offer up concrete finance numbers.

Patch Tuesday updates bring eight security bulletins, IE fixes
As admins marked the tenth anniversary of Patch Tuesday, the latest updates included fixes for critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, .NET Framework and OpenType font. Other fixes were included for important vulnerabilities in Office, Silverlight and SharePoint Server.


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