Tuesday 6 October 2009

Congratulations to Richard Hicks - Microsoft MVP

A big congratulations to Richard Hicks of Celestix, who has been awarded the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for 2009.

There are less than 30 MVPs in the Microsoft Forefront arena worldwide, so you can understand the prestige of this award.


Well done Richard, it's a honour working with you and keep up the good work! :)

ActiveSync on IAG - Certificate Issues

I realised the other day that I hadn't updated the issue that was encountered within this blog post about ActiveSync on IAG.

Well the issue turned out to be certificate related. The Exchange server was using a self signed certificate, so the trusted root certificate had to be added to the mobile devices.

There is some well documented information with regards to configuring Exchange 2003 ActiveSync using a self-signed SSL certificate.

Export the root certificate

  1. On the Certificate Authority that issued the certificate to the Exchange server, open the Control Panel and double click Internet Options. NOTE - this guide assumes that you are using a Microsoft CA.
  2. Click on the Content tab and then on the Certificates button.
  3. Click on the Trusted Root Certification Authorities tab.
  4. Locate the trusted root certificate for your domain. It is vital that the certificate be trusted rather than be listed under any other tab. Select the certificate and click on the Export button.
  5. The Export Certificate Wizard will be displayed, click Next.
  6. Select the option to export the certificate in DER encoded binary X.509 (.CER) format and click Next.
  7. Enter a name for the certificate and specify where you would like the file saved. Click Next,
  8. Finish and then OK.

Install the root certificate onto the client device

  1. Now locate the .cer file created and copy it to your PDA via Microsoft ActiveSync to any folder on the device (for a Windows Mobile device), or using the appropriate synchronisation software for your device. Alternatively the file could also be saved to a memory card or transferred via Bluetooth.
  2. On the PDA, open File Explorer and browse to the folder where you saved the certificate.
  3. Tap on the icon for the certificate and tap Yes to install it when prompted.
  4. On a Windows Mobile device, tap on Start → Settings → System → Certificates → Root and verify that the certificate is listed.
  5. You are now ready to use Server ActiveSync securely, using your own SSL certificate.

There is also some useful troubleshooting information here: http://blogs.technet.com/edgeaccessblog/archive/2008/07/29/publishing-microsoft-activesync-through-iag-2007-part-2-of-2.aspx

Saturday 3 October 2009

Barracuda EMEA Partner Conference & Barracuda Backup Service

I returned from Prague inspired with the Barracuda philosophy, as well as getting a better insight into the existing product range, and new products and features.

It was great to meet the senior management team of Barracuda, and meet people so driven and inspired by them.

It was also a good opportunity to meet existing e92plus resellers and our Dutch work colleagues from e92plus NL, as well as meet other resellers from around EMEA. It was good to meet Keith, who recognised me from this blog!

The product the caused the most buzz at the conference was the new Barracuda Backup Service.

Using a Barracuda appliance and software agents, you will be able to back up the servers within your organisation. This will obviously give a great alternative to existing tape back ups, but easy restoration and aaccessibility to your data as the appliance is onsite.

Obviously, you will say, what if something were to happen to the building, datacentre, appliance, etc, well the other component of the service is an offsite back solution. Previously this service was only available in the States, but due to some data laws within Europe, the data should not be store outsite of certain countries or Europe. The new datacentres for this European wide launch of this solution will be based in the UK, with new datacentres opening around Europe as and when.

This will allow data to be backed up onsite and allow quick restoration. In a DR situation, the data can be restore from the datacentres. You are able to select which data is sent offsite, so you are able to stop certain data from leaving your organisation.

More detailed information on the Barracuda website regarding the Barracuda Backup Service

The product is officially being launched on the 14th October at Storage Expo 2009 , and e92plus are holding sales training on 23rd October

How much is the service, well aside from the appliance and subscription cost, the offsite data storage is purchased in 100GB chunks, at only....... €69 per month per 100GB!!!

Work out the cost of your existing tape solution, and the savings will become obvious.

Thursday 1 October 2009

Virtualisation on Windows 7 64 Bit?

As you may have guessed, I'm currently running Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit on my new laptop. All is going well, but I have encountered an issue!!

I have a number of Virtual PC guests which use the old version of Virtual PC. I have obviously install Virtual PC RC, in order to achieve the XP Mode, which allows me to use IAG within the 64 bit environment.

My older Virtual PC files don't work in Virtual PC RC!!

So sensing a time for change and to purge the elements I don't use, I recreated the Virtual PC sessions on VPC RC. It's at this point, I think I should try out UAG in a demo environment, but as I have to use Windows 2008 R2 Beta, I discover that Virtual PC doesn't support a 64 bit environment and I seem to get jerky guest sessions unless I allocate a lot of memory and install the integration software, so what are my alternatives:

I have used VMWare Server in the past, and although the software supports 64 bit clients, but the amount of services the software uses up, makes me investigate how to stop these services when I don't use VMWare. I end up switching all the VMWare services to Manual, and then create a batch file to initiate them.

After much snooping and Googling, I discover Sun VirtualBox

I find that it is very easy to use, it will support 64 bit clients (which seems to be better tab) and it is effiecient with its resources (unlike VMWare)

Sun VirtualBox is now my main client for any virtualised environment!! (and best of all, it's free!!)