In-Depth

Small Business Best Practices Volume 1, Issue 7

A third-party newsletter featuring small business networking news on Microsoft Small Business Server, bCentral and Windows XP peer-to-peer solutions.


Greetings Fellow SBSers!

Welcome to Small Business Best Practices, the third-party newsletter dedicated to Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS), Windows XP peer-to-peer networking, bCentral and other small business technology topics.

This is Volume 1-7 (late April/early May). Past issues can be viewed at www.nethealthmon.com. You may unsubscribe via the link at the bottom of this newsletter if you desire (so sorry to see you go if that's the case!). And don't forget to send those SBS press releases to me!

cheers....harrybbbbb
Harry Brelsford
Author, Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices
harryb@nethealthmon.com

In this issue:

Headliners
* Security, Security and More Security
* Run and join the MCP Magazine SBS Chat 5-21-02
* IBM enters SBS market
* Gateway Quarterly Earnings Conference Call
* M\BA offers SBS “Cooking School” by popular demand
* Swynk article on SBS
* SMB Course 2395a Update
* FREE Microsoft Technical Sales Training Sessions from the Big Day Team
* KBase articles on SBS
* SBSWatch: Conferences
* Autonomix lands SBS gigs
* Newbie Tip
* GuruTip
* bCentral – Are you listed?
* Windows XP Peer-to-Peer
* Editorial – Run, don’t walk to implement SBS 2000

ADVERTISEMENT: Get SBS Book at Your Local Bookstore!

"Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices" has flooded the distribution channel, making it easy for you to purchase it locally at your favorite bookstore.

For US readers, visit www.booksense.com and provide your zip code. Search on "Brelsford" to find the book at your local bookstore.

For International readers, ask you favorite bookstore to order it from their distributor if it is not on the shelf. Major distibutors such as Ingram, Partners and WoodsLane now have the book.

Details: ISBN: 1-883697-68-9, 900-pages, HARA Publishing, Seattle Washington.

Security, Security and More Security

It’s no secret that Microsoft has dedicated itself to improving security with its new “trustworthy” computing paradigm. From the research and development that has occurred the past few months, some new security tools for use in the small business networking arena are emerging. Take the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, found at www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/
default.asp?url=/technet/security/tools/Tools/mbsahome.asp
is a tool to analyze common security misconfigurations. Also – on April 10, 2002 Microsoft released a cumulative IIS patch (Q319733) located at www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet
/security/bulletin/MS02-018.asp
that you should run.

BEST PRACTICE: Clearly you can’t be too secure with your SBS server. We recommend you make the following link (the Security page at Microsoft TechNet) your default home page so that you read it each time your launch your Web browser: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/
default.asp?url=/technet/security/default.asp
. To make this your default Web page in Internet Explorer (IE), click the above link, then inside IE select Tools, Internet Options, General, Use Current and click OK.

Run and join the MCP Magazine SBS Chat 5-21-02

Hats off to Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Magazine for hosting a BackOffice/SBS Web community (www.mcpmag.com/backoffice) and a monthly SBS chat. The first chat was Tuesday 4-23-02 at 4pm Pacific and SBS planning topics with a focus on the SBS setup and deployment methodology were discussed by over 75-people! The next SBS chat is Tuesday, May 21: Small Business Server Administration. To join the chat and for more information, check out www.mcpmag.com.

BEST PRACTICE: Of all the Microsoft certifications, the new administrator-level Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA) designation might be the best place for the SBS consultant to dip a toe in the certification process. It doesn’t have the same intense engineering focus of the high-level MCSE. Read more about the MCSA at mspress.microsoft.com.

IBM enters SBS market

Here comes Big Blue to further legitimize the SMB marketplace for SBS. IBM will now sell you an IBM eServer preloaded with SBS 2000. For more information, see www-1.ibm.com/businesscenter/us/smbusapub.nsf/
detailcontacts/SBCenter40D3
.

BEST PRACTICE: A little humor at IBM’s expense. It’s been well-documented that “no one ever got fired for purchasing from IBM.” If you find yourself in that situation, IBM’s entry into the marketplace is welcome news.

Gateway Quarterly Earnings Conference Call

So how is Gateway, a favorite of the SMB sector, fairing in its new price leadership strategy? Its first quarter loss was considered within industry estimates. And Gateway won praise for its computer supplier role at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics. This bodes well as Gateway strives to become the neighborhood SMB consulting firm across the U.S.

BEST PRACTICE: You can replay Gateway’s earnings conference call at http://www.gateway.com/about/news/news.shtml if you’re interested in learning more about Gateway’s SMB strategy.

M\BA offers SBS “Cooking School” by popular demand

Targeted specifically towards IT consultants, VAPs and VARs working with SBS 2000, Matthew\Brelsford Associates (M\BA), parent company of NetHealthMon.com, will begin offering SBS workshops in May 2002. “We’ve received a lot of e-mails from consultants asking for help,” said Brelsford. “Our response is a combination MCSE/MBA train-the-trainer offering ala French cooking school.” The one-day workshop allows you to work one-on-one with Harry Brelsford (publisher of this newsletter and the book “Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices”) and complete the basic SBS deployment “recipe.” The three-day workshop, held at your location, covers the basic SBS deployment recipe plus numerous side-dishes such as configuring Exchange 2000 Server and ISA Server 2000. At the end of day three, you will have completed the SSL methodology in Harry’s SBS book. The five day workshop adds MBA-like seminar components focused on best practices for running a highly-profitable SBS consulting firm (based on Brelsford’s well-received “MCSE Consulting Bible” book (Hungry Minds)). For more detailed information, visit www.nethealthmon.com.

Swynk article on SBS

SBS writer Andy Goodman has done again and published a great SBS 2000 installation article at the online Swynk site. Click on www.swynk.com/friends/goodman/sbs2000-2.asp to read Andy’s effort. Don’t forget to rate Andy’s article at the bottom of the Swynk Web page.

BEST PRACTICE: Swynk has long been the home to big-time technology gurus. Don’t be intimated by this site. In fact, you should consider poking around and look at the individual SBS components such as Exchange 2000 Server for expert-level tips and tricks.

SMB Course 2395a Update

In a prior issue of this newsletter, we announced an SMB course under development at Microsoft, Course 2395a – “Planning, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for the Small and Medium Business”. Many of you have contacted us asking what Microsoft Certified Technical Educational Centers (CTECs) are offering this course. This course is not yet available but will keep you posted on its progress. Its release date is tied to the release schedule of Windows .NET Standard Server.

FREE Microsoft Technical Sales Training Sessions from the Big Day Team

Part of the Microsoft Big Day events, now re-branded as the Small Business Solution Seminar, is a Technical Sales Specialist seminar for IT professionals and consultants. We’ve heard from one of the instructors who enthusiastically recommended this one day course for the SBS crowd.

BEST PRACTICE: To find out more on TS2 and sign up for this 4-hour free seminar, visit http://www.msbigday.com/default.asp?eventtype=4.

KBase articles on SBS

New TechNet KBase articles related to SBS this month include:

* Running Terminal Srvcs in Application Sharing Mode on SBS/BOS 2K [Q282009]
* Components Required for SBS Manage Server (Console.exe) [Q178269]
* Running Windows 2000 Terminal Server with Small Business Server [Q256931]
* How to Set Up Windows XP Professional Client in SBS 2000 Network [Q316418]
* MyConsole Terminal Services Client Fails to Connect [Q290199]

BEST PRACTICE: If your song in life is “Momma – I want to grow up and be an SBS guru” then you should print out the SBS KBase articles listed each month, read ‘em and place them in an SBS network consulting notebook for quick reference.

SBSWatch: Conferences

Some members of Microsoft’s Small Business Server development and associated marketing team (the Windows Small/Medium Business Marketing Team) will be manning a booth at the Networld+Interop (N+I)in Las Vegas NV on May 7-9, 2002. Visit http://www.key3media.com/interop/index.php for details and drop by the booth to say hello.

Also – Harry Brelsford will be speaking on developing SBS niche consulting practices in Bellevue WA on May 11 at the Free Agent Events – Spring 2002 Conference. Visit: http://www.freeagentevents.com/fae/

ADVERTISEMENT: Book Signing at N+I

Book Signing at Networld+Interop
Harry Brelsford will be hosting a book signing for "Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices" at N+I on 5-8-02 Wednesday afternoon, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Location TBD. Check www.nethealthmon.com for updated information (location information to be posted Tuesday 5-7-02).

Autonomix lands SBS gigs

Rice Fergus Architects, Inc., a full-service architecture firm located in Bremerton, WA, has selected Autonomix, Inc. to upgrade its computer network. In addition to building and configuring the network server, Autonomix has implemented Microsoft Small Business Server 2000. This follows the recently completed SBS gig where Autonomix installed SBS for VisualApex, Inc., a Bainbridge Island WA firm specializing in the sale and installation of gas plasma displays, LCD projectors and accessories. Visit www.autonomix.com for more information on this hard-charging SBS consulting firm. Autonomix is a Microsoft Certified Partner that offers information technology solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Autonomix services include large and small databases, e-commerce systems, websites and hosting, business automation, custom reporting solutions, and computer network services.

BEST PRACTICE: Let us tell your SBS success stories. Please e-mail your press releases to harryb@nethealthmon.com.

Newbie Tip

SBS Research Techniques. Part of learning more about SBS is being smart with your time and efforts while mastering the trade. Consider using the online help systems from numerous third-party software developers such as tape backup and virus detection products to solve your SBS networking problems. For example, if you type “small business server” into Symantec’s online help system at www.symantec.com/search/ you will be rewarded with numerous SBS technical support documents, such as the one on “Error initializing Local Modem when Modem Sharing Client for Small Business Server is Installed.”

GuruTip

Win XP Workstations – using the remote desktop. Thank god for the Yahoo! SBS ListServ, found at groups.yahoo.com/group/sbs2k. One day recently, in the heat of battle, we tried and tried to perfect the use of NetMeeting’s Remote Desktop Sharing capability with Windows XP Professional. For some reason, it wouldn’t auto answer again after the first session ended. A quick reality check on the Yahoo! SBS ListServ resulted in a lesson learned: use Windows XP’s Remote Desktop (configured by right-clicking My Computer and selecting Remote on the System Properties dialog box). To initiate a Windows XP Remote Desktop session, launch Remote Desktop Connection from Start, All Programs, Accessories, Communications. And leave NetMeeting for other tasks such as serving as the client for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server – Conferencing Server sessions.

bCentral – Are you listed?

It might be that you’re leaving money on the table, as the saying goes in SBS consulting. One way to find out is whether or not your name appears when you search bCentral’s Small Business Consultant Directory. Simply go to directory.bcentral.com/itconsultant. Type in your zip code and select a 50-mile radius. If you’re listed, you’re lined up to get coveted Microsoft leads. If not, you need to join the Microsoft Certified Partner program in order to become listed. Note that you will need to perform this exercise several times as only ten partners are listed at once.

BEST PRACTICE: This exercise will also let you perform competitive analysis and determine who your nearest competitors are. That’s a best practice from the strategic business management viewpoint.

Windows XP Peer-to-Peer

WinXP peer-to-peer networking goddess Bea Mulzer from Cocoa, FL reports the following. When faced with intermittent client connectivity problems in a Windows XP peer-to-peer networking scenario, simply use the IPX protocol (NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol from the Select Network Protocol dialog box. This solved a problem with Bea’s law firm client.

BEST PRACTICE: Remember that Windows XP peer-to-peer networks are best for micro-businesses. We recommend that site with five or more client computers use SBS.

Editorial – Run, don’t walk to implement SBS 2000

Time for an SBS carpe diem talk. There is a tendency to fall into the trap of waiting for the next release of product and delaying your current deployments. If anything about world events and the new Microsoft security focus have taught the SMB community, it’s that you should move ahead with your life now, for you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. The point is this: in North America, spring has arrived and summer is right around the corner (two seasons good for network implementations as much of a client’s staff will be on vacation). May we be the first to suggest that you set aside rumors of future SBS upgrades, ship dates and the like and just “do it” with SBS 2000. We’ve found SBS 2000’s stability first and foremost to be the compelling reason to upgrade our clients. Perhaps you agree and thus you won’t join in the refrain from Fleetwood Mac about “don’t stop waiting for tomorrow”.

cheers...harrybbbb
Harry Brelsford
harryb@nethealthmon.com (use it!)

NetHealthMon
Bainbridge Island, WA
98110
Phone: 206-842-1127
Web site: http://www.nethealthmon.com
E-mail: harryb@nethealthmon.com

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