I just had a TBJ Coffee Connection on this topic and I thought it would be a good topic to discuss this month.
The first item when discussing Exchange 2013 is migration. You will need to be on Exchange 2007 or higher to have the ability to migrate to Exchange 2013. You will need Update Rollup 10 for Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 to upgrade to Exchange 2013. For Exchange 2010 you will need Exchange 2010 SP3 installed on all of your Exchange 2013 servers. Finally, you will need to have Exchange 2013 CU1 on all of the servers in your organization
Exchange 2013 supports Outlook 2007 and higher for client connectivity. Older outlook clients will not work with Exchange 2013. They also made a change where the only way to connect to Exchange 2013 is using HTTP over RPC. Microsoft has eliminated direct RPC support to Exchange 2013. Why? They wanted the ability to better load balance Exchange and also maintain session state if a failover occurs.
Outlook Web access support numerous platforms and browsers and has a very nice interface change, it is just about like using Outlook 2013.
Exchange 2013 has eliminated roles down to only 2 roles, the CAS server and the mailbox server. Microsoft has made the CAS role a proxy only role. It proxies the data from the Exchange 2013 mailbox servers. This allows for state full failover when an Exchange server fails. It also allows you to have the Exchange CAS server on a different version. It also improves how Exchange works between sites.
The hub transport also is rolled into the CAS role, it is also a proxy to the Exchange 2013 mailbox server.
Fore Front for Exchange/Malware Spyware
Exchange 2013 has malware and spyware protection built in. Since it has it built in, Microsoft has eliminated the forefront for Exchange product.
This is the last version of Exchange where Microsoft is supporting MAPI/CDO. After this version Microsoft is going to Exchange WEB Services. What this means is devices like Good and Blackberry will need to have a new Version of MAPI/CDO before you will be able to upgrade Good and Blackberry.
Exchange 2013 is a very good upgrade with some nice features. They are attempting to make it more resilient and give you the ability to manage it from just about anywhere (The Exchange Management Console is Web only). Just be sure to have a solid plan before migrating to Exchange 2013. You can always call the office and we can help with the migration also.
If you are like me, you maintain numerous passwords. I use to keep them in Excel spreadsheets, but I found that to be insecure. I have been using a product called Password Safe for some of my very important passwords. I finally moved all my passwords to this product. Password Safe has a master password you need to put in before you can access your accounts. Those passwords are then masked unless you want to read them. It also encrypts your passwords so hackers/malware/spyware don’t steel your passwords. It is a great product located here http://sourceforge.net/projects/passwordsafe/.
Gadget of the Month – Samsung Ultrabook
My old laptop was running a bit slow and I figured it was time for a new laptop. I typically purchase Dell Laptops, but I figured I would go to Best Buy and see what they had. After looking at the devices, I decided I wanted a touch screen. What I found was a great ultrabook from Samsung. It is lite, has a nice touch screen, has HDMI so I can output to the TV in my office so I can have a large screen. It also has a built-in Ethernet port (Important to Computer Geeks like me). I really like the Windows 8 touch screen. Windows 8 is really pointless without the touch Screen. If you are looking for a great device, I would look at the Windows 8 Ultrabook.
Upcoming Event – Evolve Your Datacenter with TBJ Consulting and Nimble Storage
Learn best practices for accelerating performance, simplifying management, and dramatically reducing costs.
DATE: June 5th, 2013
TIME: 9:00 am
LOCATION: 200 S. Executive Drive, Suite 101, Brookfield Wisconsin
Billions Lost By Consumers and Business to Software Piracy
Is it possible to stop software piracy by simply issuing dire warnings?
Microsoft is hoping that new research conducted by IDC will prove more effective than some industry efforts to get consumers and businesses to think twice before torrenting a software application. Pirated software is costing individuals and companies billions of dollars, thanks to malware-riddled code, according to the software giant.
To start with the most significant finding from the study—consumers will spend a hefty $22 billion and 1.5 billion hours in 2013 dealing with malware delivered by pirated software. Enterprises will part with a staggering $114 billion to get rid of malicious code. Currently, the odds of getting infected by malware via pirated software is 1 in 3 for consumers and 3 in 10 for businesses.
The study focused not only on consumers and IT professionals, but also analyzed web sites and peer-to-peer networks, software downloads, and CDs and DVDs.
In addition to the pure financial toll brought on by malware is the possibility of falling prey to identity thieves. Disturbingly, cyber- Peeping Toms can be spying into homes or private business meetings.
Some malware can record a person’s every keystroke—allowing cyber-criminals to steal personal and financial information. It can even switch on an infected computer’s microphone and video camera remotely, giving cyber-criminals eyes and ears in boardrooms and living rooms. The research suggests that software piracy is fueling, at least in part, a booming black market for illicit tools and stolen information. A rough estimate suggests that the market for personal information stolen by cyber-thieves was $114 billion in 2011, and isn’t likely to diminish any time soon. A decent key-logger software can cost as little as $25 on an auction market used by cyber-thieves.
The best way to secure yourself and your property from these malware threats when you buy a computer is to demand genuine software. Chances are, however, that pirated software won’t arrive preinstalled. Users are seeking it out. Of the counterfeit software that didn’t already reside on a computer, 45 percent was downloaded from peer-to-peer networks or Websites. Of that software, 78 percent was found to contain spyware and 36 percent carried adware and Trojans. In an attempt to save money on software, some users are taking a big risk.
The research is unequivocal: Inherent dangers lurk for consumers and businesses that take a chance on counterfeit software. Some people choose counterfeit to save money, but this ‘ride-along’ malware ends up putting a financial and emotional strain on both the enterprise and casual computer users.
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Final Thought of the Month – Spring Cleaning
I have been helping a client fight some network slowness recently. What we have discovered is they needed what I called a little “spring cleaning”. They, like most IT people, have been a bit overwhelmed with projects. This lead to fast implementation of projects and without a chance to sit back and ensure everything is tuned correctly. My point is make sure you are taking the time to review your environment for best practices. You might have built standards, but it only takes one person not following them or a rush project to break those standards. If this is behavior that is happening over a year, it can lead to numerous small items, leading to big things.
Also, PC’s over time get large internet caches, virus scanners that are not tuned and various other items that can cause slowness.
Since it is spring, It might be a good time to do a little spring cleaning on your network and servers. Review switches for errors, make sure your virtualization platform is tuned correctly. Check servers for patches. If you have out of date documentation, update it.
Sometimes you have to take a little time to sit back and review your environment. It is not the most enjoyable job, but it will be well worth it.