No Pressure, VMM
Karen Forster got it right with IT Pro Perspective: "Virtual Machine Manager's Significance" (June 2007, InstantDoc ID 95994). Until now, I've only attempted to virtualize servers that don't require a lot of processing power. With quad-core processors becoming available from both AMD and Intel by the end of the summer and Microsoft Virtual Server R2 SP1 taking advantage of the performance-boosting technology in the new processors, the only thing I plan to leave on their own boxes are heavily used terminal servers and maybe SQL Server. (I'll be upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 next year and will try it virtualized first.)
If Microsoft doesn't do well with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) before this virtual machine explosion takes off, I expect it will get shut out by VMware, especially in larger companies that are going to require a good management tool.
Disappointed in Exchange Article
I was quite excited to read Brien Posey's Required Reading article, "Configuring Exchange Server 2007" (July 2007, InstantDoc ID 96044). Because I'm in the middle of a global implementation of Exchange 2007, every tip and trick are welcome, and with that in mind, I found the article to be sad and disappointing reading. The article is a simple walk-through of the guide the console presents, and it didn't even point out the main problems you will meet by following the guide. These issues are connected to the fact that Exchange 2007 extensively uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for client communications and has started using a hard-coded host name of autodiscover .yourdomain.com for configuration of Outlook 2007. Without using this host name as a valid DNS name on the SSL certificate, the configuration will not work. Further, all the commercial Certificate Authorities (CAs) I have tried require that the certificate request contain values for subject and country. The instructions in the article for creating a request don't use these values. Finally, the article doesn't mention that Exchange 2007 requires a certificate with an extended set of properties, to allow more than one host name within the same certificate.
Thank you for your feedback, Thor. Required Reading articles are intended to provide basic-level information for readers who don't have the depth of experience that you obviously possess. We try to cover a broad range of Exchange topics both in Windows IT Pro and on our Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Web site. One example is the article "My Exchange Server 2007 Migration Story," an Exchange administrator's account of his Exchange Server 2007 deployment. You can access this article for free on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP site at http://www.exchangeprovip.com with InstantDoc ID 95906.
I read John Green's "Policy-Based Management of Desktop Antivirus Products" (May 2007, InstantDoc ID 95568). It's a very good article. The management side of antivirus isn't always looked at; other concerns usually come first, but if you don't have a good way of managing the product, you won't have good security, regardless of how well the antivirus client finds viruses.
Several of my customers are running Symantec antivirus software. I'd like to think that John didn't include Symantec's product in his review because it didn't fit the review's scope: "products that offer central, policy-based management of desktops and servers." Is this correct, or was there another reason for not testing Symantec's product?
I approached Symantec about participating in this comparative review, and the company declined. Considering Symantec's prominence in the market, I would have preferred to include its product in my review.
Batch-File Solution Logoff Script
Many thanks to Michael Dragone for solving my problem in Anne Grubb's "It's 10:00 P.M.: Do You Know Who's Logged On?" (June 2007, InstantDoc ID 95922). Unfortunately, the "excerpt" of Michael's script that I downloaded
(i.e., the logon script) is the only piece I already had. Can he provide the logoff script, and explain how to execute it? I just can't figure that part out. I do volunteer work for a couple of non-profits, and we really need this code.
Sure, Gil, I'm happy to help out. The logoff script looks like this:
echo %username% logged out on %date% at %time%.>>
echo Logged out of %computername% on %date% at %time%.>>
Save this as a batch file and run it from a Group Policy Object (under User Configuration>>>Windows Settings>>>Scripts (Logon/Logoff)).