Join us at 6pm eastern. Find out about the SMBKitchen Project, chat with the authors and basically have a great time speaking geek with us. We always get into some interesting conversations. This month I’d like to highlight the future of small business IT consulting but you can bet our conversation will wander into hyper-v, security, patching and more. It always does!
Come find out what the SMBKitchen Project is all about and chat with the authors in this open free flowing forum. We always get into some interesting conversations.
This month I’d like to highlight the future of small business IT consulting but you can bet our conversation will wander into hyper-v, security, patching and more. It always does!
We’ll use Lync Audio and Video and yes it will be recorded.
Not a subscriber yet and want to be? Join in. It’s $180 for the full year, paid at $15 per month. http://www.thirdtier.net to learn more.
Back in July I wrote a blog post on how to fix 503 errors in your Sharepoint web apps, like Companyweb in SBS. That post shows you how to resync the service account passwords for spfarm, spweb and spsearch so that Sharepoint can starting using them again. The symptom is two fold: You get a 503 and in IIS one or more of the sharepoint app pools is stopped. http://www.thirdtier.net/2011/07/when-sharepoint-companyweb-503s-on-you-heres-how-to-fix-it/
It was always a mystery why those accounts stopped synchronizing. Small business server runs a script that is supposed to change the password and sync it with Sharepoint and sometimes that stops working. In the intervening months I’ve found some reasons for that.
These accounts are by default in the SBS Users OU. That OU has a password policy applied to it. If you set that password policy to a shorter than default time frame the password on the accounts will change and sharepoint will fall out of sync with those passwords. Since those accounts are always logged in you might not see the problem anywhere else than in your event logs until you reboot the server. If the Sharepoint password sync runs before that occurs then you’ll be fine, if not your sharepoint web app will be unavailable. If conversely you’ve crippled your password security policy by modifying it so that passwords never expire you have an opposite problem with the same result. The script is unable to do it’s job and so eventually your sharepoint webapp fails too. I’m still trying to figure the why of this one out. I just know that it occurs.
I’ve run across another reason that the app pool aren’t able to start that doesn’t have to do with passwords. So if the password solution doesn’t work for you, it could be that local security account permissions have changed in the Default Domain Policy. This happened to one of my own server and for the life of me I can’t figured out how that occurred but this is IT and odd things occur every day. This Sharepoint TechNet forum post saved the day and make a potentially long day of troubleshooting a quick fix.
It points out that the farm accounts require logon a Batch right. On your domain controller this is found in the Default Domain Policy in the following location.
Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > User Rights Assignment > Log on as a batch job
Add that right to your farm accounts. Do a gpupdate /force afterwards and sharepoint will be happy again.
I recently was sent a server report from another IT companies SBS server. From the look of the report I can tell that the network is generally neglected.
Now there’s no perfect network and the reports shows errors in the event logs that may or may not be relevant or important or might be transient things that SBS does that throw errors just because it’s running so many servers on a single box that aren’t supposed to run together if not for the magic that the SBS team develops to allow it to happen. So reports from an SBS network and generally not very clean and have to be interpreted to make sense of. But there is one thing that is accurate and that is the update status of the PC’s.
We all live in glass houses and often there are reasons why a computer might not have updates applied to it but if I see that every computer is way behind in updates then you know that there’s a problem. If there isn’t a problem today there’s going to be one soon. Updates are finicky sometimes. Recently there was one causing a blue screen if you were running a laptop with a particular video chip set. At any time some update might cause one computer an issue if you are facing West in the Southern Hemisphere, the Microwave is popping pop corn and the the toilet on the 3rd floor of the building next door flushes at the same time as your computer is replacing a .dll. These things happen, they are unlikely but the mere existence of such rare events causes some IT people to recommend not installing updates.
But not installing updates sets you up for failure. Installing hundred of updates to a computer will almost guarantee a problem. It’s in the nature of the beast. Microsoft releases updates every month and they also release updates to those updates later in the month or sometimes later in the year. The original update becomes a superseded update. Some updates are recalled. Some updates are consolidate into rollups. So if you wait for months and months and months because you dread the update process now you’ve got hundreds of updates waiting to install on that computer, half of which were superseded, updated, recalled, or rolled up and they are all going to install together in the same process. Sounds like a mess doesn’t it? It is, because you waited you’ve almost guaranteed that when those updates all fight for position that something is going to go wrong.
So please don’t wait. Install your updates once a month to minimize the pain. And if you’d like to know more about updating please join the SMBKitchen Project. Susan Bradley is doing a wonderful video series there called Patch-22! where she details out the months updates. She also publishes known issues, solutions to them and alerts so you can avoid problems. Learn more about the project at http://www.thirdtier.net
I serve on the Microsoft Partner Advisory Council for small business partners. There are members of this PAC spread around the Country and we are charged with getting information out to the communities we participate in. As part of that effort I’m posting items related to the Microsoft partner program here on the blog. I hope that you will find them useful. There’s often that nugget that can get you a rebate, or a second-shot training voucher, a discount or licensing training that can end up making you more money. Keep in mind that this information is USA based.
SMBKitchen Project! A big part of being successful is being “in the know”. This is one of the goal of our Enterprise Solutions for SMB project at Third Tier. If you aren’t subscribed, go here to learn more and get signed up. http://www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/
Attention UserGroup Leaders! Third Tier would like to offer a member of your usergroup a free subscription to the SMBKitchen Project. Hold a drawing, then send firstname.lastname@example.org an email to let her know who won. If you’d like us to give your group an introduction to what this project is all about we are happy to do so.
Microsoft Community Connections has updated material and funding available. Microsoft supplies the content, you deliver it to your local business community and (hopefully) gain new clients. Within these links to the webpage, please select Event Resources to see the items included in an event kit. Your speaker will want to download the PowerPoint slides labeled the Customer Presentation so they can begin to customize the slides to best suit their needs. You are also welcome to use any of the other materials available as they see fit.
The current topics available are as follows:
Anywhere Access – the new Office
Built for Business, Compatible with Life
Focus on Your Business
Effectively Manage Your Customers
The Ideal First Server
My own topic
CIAOPS Office 365 and SharePoint Guide special offer for May 2013 ONLY! Full details at http://blog.ciaops.com/2013/05/office-365-and-sharepoint-guide-turns.html.
But in summary:
Microsoft Beyond Easy has 14, count them 14 discount offers available. That’s far too many to list in this blog post. So go check them out at http://aka.ms/beyondeasy Here’s just a few of them:
Syndicate Office 365 Content with Trial Button and Win! •Enroll in Office 365 Web Syndication-to-Win Contest and not only see your Office 365 business grow, but when your customers transact using the syndicated trial button beginning 3/1/13–4/30/13 your company has a chance to win $1,000. Official contest rules. •http://bit.ly/13CTNOb
Customer Ignite Offer •Customize and send unsolicited sales proposals through a direct mail fulfillment program. Microsoft is offering 500 proposals to the first 250 partners—Use promo code IGNITESMB13 during checkout. •http://bit.ly/12pEnx3
Big Easy Offer – Up to 15% Partner Subsidy: For every qualifying volume license customers purchase between now and 5/31/13 Microsoft pays you subsidy funds for additional purchases of Microsoft software licenses or associated services. http://aka.ms/bigeasyoffer
Hybrid IT Accelerator for Big Easy, Cloud Easy Customers can earn an additional 5% partner subsidy fund payout when they attach Office 365 Open to a new Open agreement (transacted on or after 3/1/13) containing Windows Server or SQL Server.
Higher Margins with Hyper-V Surge •Sell Windows Server 2012 and deploy Hyper-V by 9/30/13 to receive $500 on Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition and $150 on Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition. •https://www.microsoftincentives.com/hypervsurge
Who are the Microsoft Online Services Licensing Experts at your distributor? Work with a Microsoft cloud licensing distributor and get help with services readiness, sales training and activation, technical and licensing support, and account management.
Ingram Micro, Ryan Cady, Ryan.Cady@IngramMicro.com or (800) 456-8000 x67246
Tech Data, Sarina Rose, email@example.com or 800-237-8931 Direct Ext 69181
Synnex, Don Lopes, donlopes@Synnex.com or (510) 668-3594
D&H, Licensing Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-340-1001 ext 2
Get more % for your Office 365 sales. The U.S. SMB Incentives team is excited to announce an increase in rebate payout, for qualifying sales of Office 365 Midsize Business and Small Business Premium SKUs sold during the program period. The payout rate increase to 8% (previously 6%), will be retroactive to March 1st, 2013. The rebate payout will be paid along with the standard Reseller incentive program payments.
Go forth and do great things for your clients!
The SMBKitchen Crew has offered a free subscription to usergroups as a give-away item to their small biz members. We began this offer in April and so we’d like to take a moment to congratulate the winners of the SMBKitchen subscription. The goal of the SMBKitchen Project is to provide materials, webinars, chats, training to prepare small IT firms for the next wave of IT success beyond Small Business Server. Our team is made up of technical thought leaders that are actually working in the field today and running small IT firms themselves.
Congratulations again guys and welcome to the SMBKitchen Project!
Not a subscriber yet and want to be? Join in. It’s $180 for the full year, paid at $15 per month. http://www.thirdtier.net to learn more.
Susan Bradley has written a fun piece for the SMBKitchen Project. I thought I would share it here because to me and I think to Susan it exemplifies that we all love about working for small businesses. I hope that you enjoy the article and will subscribe to the SMBKitchen Project, not for Fava Bean recipes but so that you can continue to grow you small IT firm well into the future and continue working in this amazing corner of the IT world.
by Susan Bradley, SMBKitchen Crew
Looking for PCI guidance for a SMB server?
Thinking about what’s next for your SMB client in the post SBS era?
Looking for a recipe for Fava Beans?
We got you covered at the SMBKitchen project:
It all started when I stumbled on a concept called “Community supported agriculture” or CSA. I had come across a web site that listed local growers all around the United States and showcased how you could sign up with a monthly fee and receive a box full of locally grown seasonable fruits and vegetables. Then this year when I went into my local Target and WalMart and saw all of those cellophane wrapped packages of fruits and vegetables grown many miles away from me, trucked many miles to me and picked when they were not ripe and mechanically forced into looking ripe, I knew I wanted to start eating better and eating fresher. After all, I live in the fruit and vegetable basket of the world in Central California. Why was I buying vegetables that had driven more miles than I do on a regular basis? More importantly for me as a small business owner myself, I wanted to ensure that I focused on buying locally and supporting my local small business owners.
So I signed up for my first box of Community supported agriculture (CSA) box. In picking up my box of fresh vegetables through the CSA site I also found a small firm that was using technology. It had a web site, was on facebook, and accepted credit cards through Square.com.
Figure 1 – my first box of CSA vegetables – Scarlet Nantes carrots, Romaine lettuce, Green kale, Yukon gold potatoes, Red Potatoes, Tomatoes, not shown Broccoli
Every week I get an email asking me what I want for the week in my order. In week number three I decided to be adventurous and try Fava Beans. Yes, THAT Fava beans. Of the Silence of the Lamb Fava beans. Like any good geek I found a recipe online that used Fava beans. I tried it out and loved it!
So what does this Fava bean recipe below have to do with technology? Absolutely nothing at all. This article is merely an oddball extra bonus and not a true subscription document to the SMB kitchen project. It’s merely a teaser I’m using on my email tag line advertisements.
But consider it a kind and gentle reminder that there is life outside of technology and you need to stop sometimes and eat the Fava Beans. It’s also a reminder that one finds technology being used by small businesses in all sorts of places and in all sorts of ways. Even the most old fashioned of businesses – growing food that we eat – has found a way to capitalize on a web presence, a social network and an email domain. Furthermore, I think as small business supporters and as small businesses ourselves we should try to remember and to seek out ways that we too can support local small businesses, gain more of a one to one communication with the businesses that may ultimately seek out your services.
So here’s my favorite (so far at least) fava bean recipe from Fine Cooking. I hope you enjoy it too!
Susan – one of the chefs of the SMBKitchen
This quintessential springtime pasta includes lots and lots of fresh herbs, as well as leafy greens. The specific vegetables and herbs used are up to you; choose what looks best at the market. Serves six.
1 lb. fettuccine
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups very thinly sliced mixed spring vegetables, such as asparagus (leave tips whole), baby carrots, baby leeks, baby turnips, baby zucchini, spring onions, and sugar snap peas
1 cup whole, shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas, baby lima beans (preferably peeled), or fava beans (peeled); or a mix of all
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. thinly sliced lemon zest (remove zest with a vegetable peeler and thinly slice)
2 cups loosely packed pea shoots, watercress sprigs, or baby arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigianino Reggiano
1/2 cup roughly chopped mixed fresh herbs such as basil, chervil, chives, mint, parsley, and tarragon
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 6 minutes. (While pasta is cooking, scoop out 1-1/2 cups of pasta cooking water.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, but not browned, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of of reserved pasta water. Add the sliced vegetables and peas or lima beans (if using fresh). Cover and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and lemon zest along with any fava beans or thawed, frozen peas or lima beans (if using). Bring to a simmer.
Drain the fettuccine and return to its cooking pot. Toss with the vegetables and cream sauce, pea shoots (or watercress or arugula), Parmigianino, all but 1 Tbs. of the herbs, and the pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary, adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water; the sauce should generously coat the vegetables and pasta. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining fresh herbs and the pine nuts.
How to peel Fava beans:
Though they are a bit of work to prepare, fresh favas are a fleeting spring treat worth seeking out.
Let’s be up front about it: Favas are a bit of work. But their rich and complex flavor is so delicious, they’re worth the effort it takes to shuck the floppy pods and then peel each bean.
Favas are nutty and slightly sweet, with just a hint of bitterness and a discernible and intriguing taste of cheese. Cooked until tender, they turn buttery and can be added to soups, salads, or pastas, braised as a side dish, puréed for a dip, or eaten plain out of hand as a delightful snack.
Technically, the fava isn’t a bean at all; it’s more closely related to peas. But this vegetable has been called a bean for hundreds of years, and the appellation continues to stick. Fresh favas are a spring favorite in England (where they’re called broad beans), and both fresh and dried favas are eaten throughout the Middle East. In North America, fresh favas are considered a specialty vegetable and can be hard to find, but they are well worth seeking out. Small to medium fava beans are more tender and sweeter than large beans, which are starchier.
Peeled favas (directions in “Getting to the heart of the matter” below) need to be cooked just until tender, anywhere from several to about 12 minutes, depending on size and freshness. Most fava recipes call for braising, starting by warming the favas in a little oil or butter and then adding liquid and cooking until tender. For soups, add peeled favas during the last quarter hour of cooking, so there’s time for them to get tender and for the flavors to meld. Or you can boil peeled favas in salted water until tender and store them in the refrigerator (for up to a week) to use cold in salads or to add to risottos and pastas near the end of cooking. In the sidebar at bottom right I’ve included some ways to use favas when you don’t have a lot. If you find yourself with 3 pounds or more in the shell, though, make the versatile and delicious Fava Bean Purée or try one of the suggestions in the panel “If you have lots of favas.”
Favas’ flavor is enhanced by onions, garlic, and their kin and by cured pork, olive oil, butter, cream, and cheeses. Good herb companions include rosemary, thyme, savory, chives, dill, and mint. Classic vegetable partners are those that are in season at the same time—artichokes, asparagus, peas, beets, new potatoes, spring onions, and fennel. Lemon and vinegar add zip.
Favas grow inside bright green, fleshy pods that have a thick, white, cottony lining. Each flat fava is encased in a pale, fairly thick skin, which becomes thicker and bitter as the favas grow larger. It’s this double shelling that gives favas the reputation of being labor-intensive.
This is not a subscription in the traditional sense, rather it is a payment program in which you will be charged $15 per month for 12 months of access to the materials. The total is $180 for the entire project period. If you have any questions along the way you may email email@example.com and she will help you personally.
Register for an account. http://www.thirdtier.net/helpdesk Press the register button found in the middle of the page. After completing this process, which involves creating a username and password then verifying your email address you will have an account with Third Tier.
Once you have an account with Third Tier log into your account and press the Payments button.
Then Press the Make a Purchase button.
Next press the Purchase more Subscription button.
To start-up enter a 1 in the SMBKitchen Subscription Start-Up item box. (Use the scroll bar at the right if needed) This will catch you up in the project and provide access to all currently published documents through the end of the current month. Optionally you may also purchase future months by entering a number representing the those months into the SMBKitchen Additional Months box. Then choose either PayPal to check out using your PayPal account or the Credit Cards button to use a credit card. PayPal handles our merchant account processing, however no PayPal account is required if you are paying by credit card.
When you’ve completed the check-out you’ll be brought back into our portal. You must press the PayNow button to complete the transaction. That button is on the far right bottom corner of the payment confirmation window.
You’re done! You are now a member of the SMBKitchen Project. You will soon receive a welcome email and another email with invitations to upcoming webinars. We will also add you to a security group that will give you permission to new folders in the Knowledgebase area of the helpdesk portal.