Microsoft Archives - ISInc


Latest Postings

July 23 2012

Three Reasons You Should Switch to Office 365

Photobucket

Office 2013 will soon be here, along with a new and improved version of the cloud-based Office 365. If you’re looking to upgrade, you have to decide whether the traditional desktop version of Office is the way to go, or if Office 365 is a better fit for your needs.

Office 2013 is impressive, but Office 365 is a better value in most cases.

1. Cost
Microsoft hasn’t yet shared what the price tag will be for the new Office 2013. But, unless it follows the same bold path laid out in offering Windows 8 for a mere $40, history suggests the new productivity suite will start somewhere in the $150 neighborhood.

Office 365 plans start at $4 per month. Small businesses can get access to Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync in addition to the core Office productivity applications for only $6 per month. Larger businesses that want to take advantage of Active Directory integration can do so for $8 per user per month.

Breaking those down, it takes more than three years to reach $150 based on the $4 per month plan, and more than 18 months under the $8 per month plan. The 18 months is less time than a business typically gets out of an investment in the desktop Office software, but it also comes with more than the software itself.

Of course, those are the current subscription prices and plans for Office 365, so those figures are subject to change as well.

2. Updates and Maintenance
What else do you get with your Office 365 subscription? An IT department. Sure, you can set up your own Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync infrastructure. You can manage and maintain the desktop Microsoft Office software, and install the patches and updates every month yourself. How much will that cost?

Consider that implementing the same capabilities in-house requires servers, and network infrastructure, and IT personnel to install, manage, update, and maintain it all. Plus, you still have to buy and maintain the Office software itself.

With Office 365, Microsoft takes care of all the dirty work so you don’t have to. Updates, patches, and upgrades just happen in the background without you needing to worry about it. When the server crashes, its Microsoft’s problem. When a hard drive needs to be replaced, Microsoft will handle it. You get the benefits of using Office without any of the headaches of updating and maintaining it all.

3. Accessibility
Office 365 lives in the cloud. That means you have access to Word, Excel, Outlook, and other Microsoft Office tools from anywhere you can get a Web connection, and from virtually any device–Windows or Mac desktops and laptops, Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones and tablets.

Office Web Apps provide basic features and functions for free.This isn’t quite the selling point it once was for a couple reasons. First, even with the desktop Office 2013 suite Microsoft is pushing users to save files to the cloud-based SkyDrive, or to a SharePoint server by default. So, there’s no reason the data can’t be accessible regardless of whether you choose Office 2013 or Office 365.

The second reason it may not be all that compelling is that Office Web Apps are already available for free from the SkyDrive site. So, even without Office 365 users can create, view, and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files from the Web.

For businesses, though, SharePoint, Active Directory, and other elements of Office 365 that go beyond simply creating and editing Office documents still make Office 365 a better value.

Your mileage will vary of course. There are a number of factors involved in calculating the cost of purchasing, installing, configuring, updating, and maintaining Microsoft Office and the accompanying back-end services versus the ongoing subscription costs associated with Office 365. Office 365 is a solid service providing tremendous bang for the buck, though, so it won’t be easy to beat the value it brings to the table.

March 25 2010

Enable Admin Audit Logging Exchange 2010

Exchange 2010 allows auditing of administrative actions. All actions can be audited or just specific cmdlets and parameters. To enable Audit Logging open the Exchange Management Shell and run the following commands.

Audit All cmdlets
Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogCmdlets *
or
Only audit New-Mailbox, all transport rules, all management, all set-transport cmdlets
Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogCmdlets New-Mailbox, *TransportRule, *Management, Set-Transport*

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogParameters *

or

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogParameters Database, *Address*, Custom*, *Region
Audits just the parameters that have Database, all parameters with *Address*, begins with Custom, ends with Region.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogMailbox [email protected]
All auditing is sent to the mailbox of AdminAudit.

Set-AdminAuditLogConfig -AdminAuditLogEnabled $True

 

SetAdminAuditLogEMS

All of the commands can be run on a single line if you prefer.

After creating a new mailbox by either using the EMC or the EMS, an email is sent to the AdminAudit Mailbox. Make sure the Mailbox is secured appropriately and archive or delete the mail after a specified amount of time. A command Set-AdminAuditLogConfig –AdminAuditLogAgeLimit DD.HH:MM:SS is not available for the RTM release of 2010 so be sure to watch the size of the mailbox.

Below is a screenshot of the message sent to the AdminAudit Mailbox after creating a new Mailbox and User.

AdminAuditLogEmail

November 20 2008

FREE SQL SERVER 2008 Software

Get the expert training you need to get the most from Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008—and the software—FREE when you enroll and attend select SQL courses at ISInc. With this expert training, you’ll learn to take advantage of the powerful and trustworthy array of new data-driven management solution of SQL Server 2008, plus come away with a free copy of the software.

 

That’s right. Enroll and attend any one of these 8 featured SQL Server 2008 training classes between December 10, 2008* and June 30, 2009 (while supplies last) and you’ll receive a fully-licensed copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition with 1 CAL—FREE.

 

This offer is available for a limited time and only on these 8 courses while supplies last, so act now.  Contact us at 916.920.1700 or via email at [email protected] to register and remember to ask about the free software. You can also enroll directly into a class from the website and just type “FREE SOFTWARE” in the notes field to take advantage of this terrific offer.

 

Qualifying Classes:

 

2778 Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact—SQL

6158 Updating Your SQL 2005 Skills to SQL Server 2008

6231 Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6232 Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

6234 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

6235 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services

6236 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

6317 Upgrading Your SQL Server 2000 Skills to SQL Server 2008

November 4 2008

SharePoint Consulting Services

Are you trying to kick off a successful project using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007? Do you want to make sure you install and implement it using the industry best practices? Are you migrating from 2003 to 2007?

ISInc can help you kick off a successful implementation with SharePoint with our packaged consulting offerings!

More »

What is Microsoft Forefront?

This is exactly the question that I asked Tom Shinder, a Microsoft MVP on the Forefront Security product. He spent some time and came up with this posting for us to help you understand Microsoft’s offering around Forefront.

What is Microsoft Forefront?

Have you heard friends or colleagues mention Microsoft Forefront and wonder what they were talking about? If so, you’re not alone, as Microsoft Forefront is relatively new and just beginning to get real traction in the network security market.

The first thing you need to know is that there is no “Forefront” product. Instead, Forefront is a collection of Microsoft security products. This collection of Forefront security products is referred to as the “Forefront Security Suite”

More »

October 28 2008

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar

Thanks to everyone who attended our Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar.  If your organization has any questions about how ISInc can help you learn, deploy, upgrade or manage your Microsoft SharePoint 2007 implementation, please contact us.

The slides from the presentation can be downloaded here:

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Seminar by ISInc

If you are interested in our many training options, please look at our Microsoft SharePoint Training page for a list of available courses.

October 23 2008

Microsoft Alert – Critical Product Vulnerability – October 23, 2008 Microsoft Security Bulletin Release (Out of Band)

Microsoft just released an alert to provide you with an overview of the new security bulletin released (out of band) on Thursday, October 23, 2008. Microsoft has released security bulletin MS08-067, Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958644), to address a vulnerability in all currently supported versions of Windows. This security update was released outside of the usual monthly security bulletin release cycle in an effort to protect customers. We request that you take action immediately by first assessing and preparing your own systems and networks and applying the security update, then reaching out to your customers to assist them in securing their systems and networks by applying the update.

 

Details about this security update are below, but here are your key resources:

 

·         The full bulletin for MS08-067 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS08-067.mspx

·         We recommend that you use the Microsoft TechNet Security TechCenter as a source of security information: http://technet.microsoft.com/security

 

Summary

 

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Server service. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. On Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 systems, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability without authentication to run arbitrary code. It is possible that this vulnerability could be used in the crafting of a wormable exploit. Firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can help protect network resources from attacks that originate outside the enterprise perimeter. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that the Server service handles RPC requests.

 

Recommendations

 

Microsoft recommends that you assess your systems and networks and apply this security update to secure your systems and networks and to help ensure that your computers are protected from attempted criminal attacks.

 

New Security Bulletin Technical Details

 

Identifier

MS08-067

Severity Rating

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Impact of Vulnerability

Remote Code Execution

Detection

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer can detect whether your computer system requires this update.

Affected Software

All currently supported versions of Windows

Restart Requirement

The update requires a restart.

Removal Information

·         For Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003: Use Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel or the Spuninst.exe utility

·         For Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: WUSA.exe does not support uninstall of updates. To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

Bulletins Replaced by This Update

MS06-040 is superseded on these operating systems: Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP X64, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 X64, Windows Server 2003 SP1 for Itanium-based Systems.

Full Details:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS08-067.mspx

 

 

Regarding Information Consistency

 

We recommend that our customers use the Microsoft TechNet Security TechCenter as a key source of security information: http://technet.microsoft.com/security, and that you sign up for comprehensive alerts at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx.  We strive to provide you with accurate information in static and dynamic (Web-based) content. Microsoft’s security content posted to the Web is occasionally updated to reflect late-breaking information. If this results in an inconsistency between the information here and the information in Microsoft’s Web-based security content, the information in Microsoft’s Web-based security content is authoritative. 

 

ISInc Support Options

If you are interested in ISInc support to keep your networks up to date, please contact us at 916-920-1700 to hear about our Managed Services options.

September 25 2008

Microsoft’s PerformancePoint Server and Proclarity Analytics

It’s often we have requests from customers on Proclarity, but few know that it is part of a much more complete Business Intelligence (BI) package from Microsoft called Microsoft PerformancePoint Server. This solution encompasses more than just traditional charts and graphs. It provides modules that integrate with the applications you use on a daily basis. Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 is built from Microsoft’s Proclarity Analytics product.

Traditionally we think of BI as just the reports we run off of our database. While this model works, it is a limited view of what it can provide your organization. This is why Microsoft has invested heavily in this space and came up with PerformancePoint. Their goal was to provide a tool that can become a framework for delivering reporting across your organization. Without a standard tool it is difficult to see trends in your data outside of your group.

How many excel reports do you get? Do you use more than 1 tool to perform reports within your company? Do you have Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Reporting Services but only have a few reports to show for it? PerformancePoint is a solution that can give you a consistent, common data model to work from for monitoring, analytics and planning.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are tools you can use to make quick decisions. The challenges are getting all of this information in a format that can be used for reporting. The other challenge is how to disseminate this information to the masses in a way that is secure, easy to understand and highlights the right information. This is one of the many features such as dashboards and scorecarding built into PerformancePoint. You can deliver this information via SharePoint Web Services to your employees, also incorporating security from the various sources such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Reporting Services.

Finally, if your business has to do financial reporting, this is a tool that can help you with the planning and delivering of these reports.

ISInc has recently put together a number of PerformancePoint courses that will help you get up to speed on all of the available features in this application. We have courses on just the planning modules, or on the end-to-end solution.  This is a great compliment to SharePoint Training.

June 11 2008

Get your own free copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition with selected Windows Server classroom training.

Get your own free copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition with selected Windows Server classroom training.

ISInc is excited to offer you top level training on the latest technology, direct from the experts. You’ll learn the powerful new management tools and security enhancements of Windows Server 2008 and come away with the skills you need to configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Windows Server 2008, as well as a free copy of the software.

Enroll and attend any one of these three top Windows Sever 2008 training classes between June 27 and Dec 31, 2008 (while supplies last) and you’ll receive the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition— FREE.

This offer is available for a limited time and only while supplies last so act now. The following courses are the ones that include free software. Please contact ISInc at 916.920.1700 or at [email protected] for more information.

Course Number: 6416b Updating your Network Infrastructure and Active Directory Skills to Windows Server 2008

Course Number: 6421a Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure

Course Number: 6424a Fundamentals of Windows Server 2008 Active Directory

February 22 2008

Have Software Assurance? Don’t Let Your Training Vouchers Expire!

Many Microsoft License packages include the option for Microsoft Software Assurance. If your organization has an Enterprise Agreement, or have purchased Software Assurance with your current license package, be sure to take advantage of the free training or consulting services available to your organization. More »