WindowsNetworking.com - Monthly Newsletter - August 2013

Welcome to the WindowsNetworking.com newsletter by Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MVP. Each month we will bring you interesting and helpful information on the world of Windows Networking. We want to know what all *you* are interested in hearing about. Please send your suggestions for future newsletter content to: dshinder@windowsnetworking.com

1. The Myth of Ubiquitous Connectivity

I'm writing this month's Windows Networking editorial while sitting on my stateroom balcony on a "high speed, anytime" satellite Internet access for the duration of a 7-day cruise.

Unfortunately, neither label has proven to be accurate thus far (half way into day two). I was able to get online for about 20 minutes at around 10:30 the first evening, although the connection dropped out momentarily several times during that period. Then it quit altogether. I got another ten minutes or so of connectivity at 2:30 a.m. I haven't been able to connect at all today.

When I was connected, my download speed fluctuated between 90 and 115 Kbps. I remember, back in the 1990s when I first upgraded to a "blazing fast" 56K modem for my dialup connection, that would have seemed wonderful. For someone who has been spoiled rotten these last several years by a 30 Mbps FiOS plan and a gigabit local area network, not so much. Even when I'm able to access the ship's LAN to check event schedules and other cruise info, it's a "sit and wait" proposition.

I know that many people are going to tell me that the purpose of a cruise is to relax and have fun and I shouldn't be on the computer anyway (so please don't bother to write just to say that). But I'm almost sure I'm not the only person who has a job that requires at least occasional access while on vacation and planned on using some part of one or more sea days to get that work done. And by offering access plans and charging a substantial fee (more than a month of FiOS costs on land) and calling it "high speed," the cruise line seems to realize that.

I didn't expect miracles. I realize the nature of a satellite connection makes it slow, unreliable and expensive. But this experience has brought home to me once again just how "not ready" we are for a cloud-only world.

Because I'm using a Windows 8 machine (Surface Pro) with Microsoft Office installed, I can sit and write this editorial with no need to be online. If I'm unable to get a decent connection through the ship's wi-fi today, I should be able to find a wireless network that works tomorrow when we stop at Key West, or create a mobile hotspot with my phone and tether to its 4G or 3G connection. I changed the topic I had planned to this (more timely) one that didn't require any web research. I worked around the limitations to "get ‘er done."

But what if we had the situation that we seem to be moving toward, in which all data is stored somewhere in the cloud, all applications are streamed from the cloud, and even the operating system is provided via a virtual desktop that runs in the cloud? I guess I'd be out of luck. And I wouldn't be going on cruises.

But here's the thing: It's not just people who spend time in the middle of the ocean who would be severely impacted. I know many folks who live in rural areas, who still have no affordable, reliable, fast connectivity options. That's improving (slowly) but it's still bad enough that it's the sole reason I could never consider moving out to the country even though it's where I'd love to be.

The promise of today's technology is that it removed geo-related limitations. The reality is that it can't yet deliver on that promise. As you make plans to move your company to a cloud-based future, don't forget about all those you'll be leaving behind. Don't assume workers will easily be able to check their email or stay "on call" for questions no matter where they travel just because you set up a great remote access program for them to log into your datacenter. When it comes to the cloud, it takes two (sides of the connection) to make it work.

MS Exchange CON 2013

Just wanted to let you all know that our sister site MSExchange.org is hosting a Virtual Conference on September 12 where you can get your top MS Exchange questions answered.

Register here

  • Hear from a top analyst from Osterman Research with the latest survey research on MS Exchange top trends and challenges
  • Watch how vendors are solving some of the biggest Exchange Management problems
  • Get answers to your top MS Exchange and MS Exchange 2013 questions with an Exchange MVP

All from the convenience of your office.

Discover answers to questions like:

  • What are the key features of MS Exchange 2013?
  • How can we secure and better control our MS Exchange environment?
  • What are 5 strategies to better manage MS Exchange for 2013 and beyond?

This unique, online conference is limited to 1,000 participants, so register now if you have not already done so!

By Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MVP

dshinder@windowsnetworking.com

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Quote of the Month "The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are." – Samuel Johnson
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2. ISA Server 2006 Migration Guide - Order Today!

Dr. Tom Shinder's best selling books on ISA Server 2000 and 2004 were the "ISA Firewall Bibles" for thousands of ISA Firewall administrators. Dr. Tom and his illustrious team of ISA Firewall experts now present to you , ISA Server 2006 Migration Guide. This book leverages the over two years of experience Tom and his team of ISA Firewall experts have had with ISA 2006, from beta to RTM and all the versions and builds in between. They've logged literally 1000's of flight hours with ISA 2006 and they have shared the Good, the Great, the Bad and the Ugly of ISA 2006 with their no holds barred coverage of Microsoft's state of the art stateful packet and application layer inspection firewall..

Order your copy of ISA Server 2006 Migration Guide. You'll be glad you did.

   


Click here to Order your copy today

 

3. WindowsNetworking.com Articles of Interest

4. Administrator KB Tip of the Month

Windows PowerShell Web Access in Windows Server 2012

Windows PowerShell Web Access is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2012. Web Access acts as a gateway to run the PowerShell cmdlets remotely on a computer. PowerShell Web Access does not require any remote management software to be installed on the remote computers. All that is required to run PowerShell cmdlets remotely in a web browser is to configure the PowerShell Web Access Gateway on a Windows Server 2012 computer.

IT workers can use this new feature to run PowerShell commands remotely even from non-Windows computer.

PowerShell Web Access is a three-step process as mentioned below:

  1. Installing the PowerShell Web Access Gateway
  2. Configuring the Gateway
  3. Configuring Authorization rules and security

Requirements to setup Web Access (Server Component)

The following is the minimum requirement before you can setup the Gateway server and below components must be running on server where you want to setup the gateway

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Internet Information Server (IIS)
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • PowerShell 3.0

Note: PowerShell Web Access Gateway is available as a role in the Server Manager.

Requirements for clients to access the Gateway (Client component)

For client to access PowerShell Web Access Gateway, clients must support the following:

  • Must be able to read HTML pages
  • Able to execute JavaScript
  • and enable cookies.

Note: A client can also be running a non-windows Operating System as long as it supports above client requirement.

For more great admin tips, check out http://www.windowsnetworking.com/kbase/

5. Windows Networking Tip of the Month

I've recently been spending a lot of quality time with Windows Azure. The reason why I never was very interested in Azure in the past was because it was mostly by and for developers. As an IT pro, there just wasn't anything in it for me. As you might have heard, Microsoft recently ramped up on its public cloud infrastructure as a service capabilities by introducing Azure Infrastructure Services. While I thought that public cloud IaaS might be interesting, I really never appreciated it until I actually started using it. I have to tell you, it's amazing! I have for years kept a three beefy server virtualization environment for my technology testing, but found that now that I have Azure, I can spin up VMs and get my testing done many times faster than in my own environment. Amazing! One thing I was worried about is costs. Running VMs accrue hourly charges, and I didn't want to be paying for non-production VMs just to test things. But recently Microsoft released the capability that enables you to turn off VMs and you won't be charged for them. They call this "deallocating" the virtual machines. If you're running a test envionment, deallocating VMs is definitely the way to go! To learn more about this feature, check out http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsazure/en-US/f608528e-a9f8-45b3-8d23-4211168cc087/stopped-deallocated


6. Windows Networking Links of the Month

7. Free Tool of the Month: KEMP LoadMaster for Windows Azure

The Microsoft Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform enables applications to be easily provisioned in Microsoft’s cloud. Customers requiring load balancing and traffic management control across Azure virtual machines must consider the inherent limitations in the standard Azure load balancing layer. Azure’s built in Load Balancer does not offer Application Layer visibility to provide the best level of service to the users.

The LoadMaster Load Balancer/ADC for Azure is simple to provision within the Azure IaaS platform.

  • Provision through the Azure management portal
  • LoadMaster becomes a Public Endpoint
  • Connect Application Servers to LoadMaster for Azure on creation of the new instance
  • Start load balancing your workload

Download it here.

8. Ask Sgt. Deb

QUESTION:

Hey Deb,

I'm thinking about poking around in Windows Server 2012 R2 and I'm really into networking! That's why I read your newsletter. Given that TMG and UAG are pretty much toast, I was wondering if the new Windows Server 2012 R2 has something out of the box that might replace these products I knew and loved.

Thanks! – Richard.

ANSWER:

Hi Richard,

Indeed, the loss of TMG and UAG have been felt throughout the Microsoft networking community. These products were known and loved by thousands of admins and their loss left a big hole in the network stack for a lot of us. Windows Server 2012 R2 really doesn't provide anything that can deliver the same flexibility or security as TMG or UAG, but it does include a new out of the box reverse proxy solution that works together with ADFS and can act as an ADFS proxy. While positioned as a possible substitute for TMG or UAG, there really isn't enough information online right now to make that determination. You can read more about it at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn280944.aspx