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!
Author, Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices
In this issue:
* 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
* 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
For US readers, visit www.booksense.com
and provide your zip code. Search on "Brelsford" to find the book at your
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/
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:
Terminal Srvcs in Application Sharing Mode on SBS/BOS 2K [Q282009]
Required for SBS Manage Server (Console.exe) [Q178269]
Windows 2000 Terminal Server with Small Business Server [Q256931]
to Set Up Windows XP Professional Client in SBS 2000 Network [Q316418]
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
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
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”.
Bainbridge Island, WA
Web site: http://www.nethealthmon.com