Posts Tagged Microsoft

Training: 44CO175 – SharePoint 2010 Administrator Bootcamp

44CO175 – SharePoint 2010 Administrator Bootcamp (BPIO)

Step-by-step understanding is key to successfully implementing and deploying SharePoint 2010. This 15-module course will guide you through each critical stage, giving you exactly the skills you need to leverage full value from the latest SharePoint technology.

Module 0 – Getting Ready for a SharePoint 2010 Implementation: Why Governance and Business Requirements are Essential for a Successful Implementation.
Module 1 – Understanding the Architecture of SharePoint Server 2010
Module 2 – Installing SharePoint Server 2010.
Module 3 – Administrating and Configuring Farm Settings in SharePoint Server 2010
Module 4 – Understanding and Administrating Web applications
Module 5 – Managing Web Applications
Module 6 – Introduction to Site Collections
Module 7 – Creating Site Collections
Module 8 – Managing Site Collections
Module 9 – Working with SharePoint Server 2010 Portals
Module 10 – Governance and Information Assurance
Module 11 – Enterprise Content Types & Managed Metadata
Module 12 – Managing Documents and Records
Module 13 – Workflow
Module 14 – Implementing and Managing Search
Module 15 – People & Social Networking
Module 16 – Disaster Recovery

A handful of notes from the week..

Installation Preparation for Service & Install Accounts 

The SharePoint Installation Account

While I’ve become used to installing applications on servers with either the local or domain admin account, SharePoint 2010 really really really needs to have its own account created for the installation process. If you don’t you’ll have to correct the various service and app pool accounts later and that’s a pain.

Key points about the account used to install with –

  • It will become the application pool account used in IIS for the Central Admin
  • If you do plan to let SharePoint create your databases (content DBs’ etc…) this account needs rights to the SQL database to create DB’s (DBCreator and DBAdmin)
  • If DB’s are already created then it only needs DBAdmin
  • It only needs Local Admin permissions on the installation machine
  • Not to be used in day-to-day admin
  • Imagine this account to be “enterprise admin” of SharePoint.
  • It should never be used again after the initial install, obviously that doesn’t mean disable or delete it.

Example User Account – spinstall

The Farm Admin Account

 The farm admin account is an account that should be used by as few people as possible.

  • It either needs to be a local admin on the SharePoint front end or create a new supper user or login as spinstall(logging in as spinstall is not recommended)
  • The farm admin account change services running on the machine hence the need for local admin rights, farm admin right in SharePoint central admin isn’t enough

Example User Account – spfarmadmin

During the SharePoint 2010 install

 Make sure you move index location during install off from the C:\…\14\data location

 This index file is a flat file used in search and can grow very large in next to no time.

After the install – the Configuration Wizard

Do not use it, it doesn’t follow best practice.

 Performance Tip for SharePoint databases 

Turn off Auto Growth

While it’s been mentioned a thousand times and shouldn’t need to be mentioned…

To prevent it happening in existing installations for any new databases:

SQL Management  Studio > Database > Model. Under the file groups section  change the properties for .mdf to grow by 50MB at a time

Fixing it for existing databases:

Open the properties of each database and under the file groups section, change the properties for .mdf to grow by 50MB at a time

Note: Why 50MB? Because it’s just right for SharePoint since it aligns with the default maximum upload file size.

Registering Managed Service Accounts for SharePoint 2010

  • Best practice is to add them here first then start to use them to run services
  • All are generally fine  as just domain user accounts without elevated privileges

Application Pool Accounts in IIS for SharePoint 2010

 Never change the app pool account from inside IIS as the config DB will not know about the change, web apps will not know about the change and new servers added to the farm will not know which account to use.

One of the few things you can and do need to configure in IIS is SSL certificates and also needs to be done on each and every web front end.


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New Microsoft management software on-route, clear-out the old beta’s

With the release of SCE2010 Release Candidate this last week, and coupled with a rebuild of our primary infrastructure & management server it’s been time to do a bit of overdue housekeeping in light of the new software available or about to be released..

This morning (whilst finishing our new Windows 7 with Office 2010 Beta build for the ThinkPad X series – yes I’m a sad git at 07:00!) I’ve deleted space consuming binaries and install media for older beta products that have been superceeded or are about to be.

For the cull are SCE2010 Beta, DPM 2010 Beta v3 (RC is due in early feb), and a really old SCVMM 2008 R2 RC…. saved a mere 26GB of disk space there! (yes this is sarcasm!)

Now I’m not intending to write possibly the most pointless and dull blog post in the history of the blaahhhg, but more as a reference to myself of our involvement in these stages of product testing and development.

If for some reason you’re not aware of how you get hold of Microsoft early release beta’s and release candidates then take a trip to  Be warned this may start a long and time consuming passtime of exploring new software, but the rewards are there for your efforts.

Anyway, its time to start reusing some of that reclaimed disk space and start extracting the 4.10GB of SCE2010 RC I downloaded the other day… who’s going to bet its even bigger than the beta? 😉

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IAMCP UK chapter meeting – 10th Sept. 2009

Today attended the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners (IAMCP UK) UK chapter meeting hosted at Microsoft’s very swish London Victoria offices.

IAMCP U.K Chapter Meeting Agenda

Date:            Thursday, 10th September, 2009.
Location:       Microsoft, 100 Victoria St, London, SW1E 5JL.
Timings:        09:30 to 14:00 

Time Slot: Agenda Item: Presenter:
09:30 Arrival and registration


10:00 Introduction; IAMCP Overview and Updates Kelvin Kirby, Chairman, IAMCP UK Chapter
10:15 Overview of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Aileen Hannah & Gareth Hall, Microsoft
10:50 Windows® Azure™ Platform – What does it mean to me? Dan Scarfe, Chief Executive, Dot Net Solutions
11.15 BREAK


11.30 Surviving in the Current Market Conditions Darren Shirlaw, Shirlaws


12.15 An Overview of the UK Public Sector ICT Market Stephen Roberts, Principal Analyst, Kable
12:45 Voices for Innovation Update Donna Whitehead, VFI


12:55 Close & Wrap Up


13:00 – 14:00 Lunch and Networking Partners are encouraged to stay and network over lunch.

 Aileen Hannah – Launch Lead for Windows Client
  Windows 7E (EU version) – dropped, Win7 in EU will be full product
  “Microsoft are 100% confident that 98% of Vista apps will work on Win7” (not inc. Security s/w! 😉
  Win7 DirectAccess – needs Windows Server 2008 R2 on back-end
  Win7 BranchCache – works with R2, but also will do P2P without R2
  Windows 7 Manageability
   Problem Recorder – automate screen grabs and email to support! J
   Troubleshooting Assistant
   MDOP costs $6 /seat /annum

brains and beauty... 2008 R2 & Windows 7 works better together 😉

Gareth Hall – Windows Server Product Manager, UK
  “$3B of investment covered in 3 minutes!” 😉
  Windows 7 & R2 is a combined sell – massive interest in both, ‘work better together’
  R2 upgrades do not require new CAL licensing, full version do
  Value of Windows Server practise – costs more, takes longer to implement… customer benefit? 😉
  R2 Active Directory Recycle Bin – ever spent 3 weeks trying to recover a bad AD object delete?
  DirectAccess – takes  a lot of setting up, but is very compelling.  Already IPv6 then easy, who is!?
  (services opportunity)
Dan Scarfe – CEO, Dot Net Solutions: Windows Azure Platform – What does it mean to me?
   “.NET for the Data Center”
  Azure ( is made up of:
    Windows Azure (Compute, Storage, Management)
    SQL Azure (Relational data, Management)
    .NET Services (Connectivity, Access Control) EasyJet are trialling connectivity from mobile devices to check-in systems so your mobile device will register you for check-in whilst you are in the queue.
  Generation 4 data centers – Chicago, IL 700,000 sq.ft (16 football fields), 60 megawatts, Dublin, 303,000 sq.ft (8 football fields), 22.2 megawatts – more DC’s planned
   Containers full of servers, whole container is connected, cannot walk inside, if a server goes down it is marked as bad like a sector on a disk, eventually the whole container is swapped out best energy efficiency for data center technology in the world
  Same platform as MS Online offerings (Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics)
  Azure app development is very easy for .NET developers
  Pricing – pay as you go, charges based on metering
  If going for a cloud based solutions you really are getting into bed with the vendor, it had better be the right one as bed hopping has serious ramifications!

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Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008) launch & NMB the largest International pre-release deployment

Today EBS 2008 launched along with SBS 2008 as part of the Windows Essential Server Solutions (WESS).

The Full Circle ( have been at the forefront of this exciting product development having worked with Microsoft on the EBS Technology Adoption Program (TAP) since early 2008 (we’d actually signed up on Microsoft Connect for what was then known as Centro in January 2007!).

To participate in the TAP you need a customer who’s willing to participate in deploying and trialling early release software known as Release Candidates.  Our customer deployment was with a London City based insurance and reinsurance broker call Newman Martin and Buchan (NMB Insurance –

Our old mate, business associate & mentor (for all things PR & communications), John Dean (COO of helped us put together release that announced this exciting project, it went out to coincide with the global WESS launch event and is available online via PRWEB (, but also below for your enjoyment!:


PRESS RELEASE – For release Wednesday 12th November, 16:00 GMT


Step Jump for NMB with Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008


Largest International pre-launch Deployment Completed



United Kingdom, November 12th, 2008 Newman Martin and Buchan Limited (NMB –, a leading independent Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker, announced today that they had completed a successful migration to Microsoft’s brand new mid-market server product, Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008 –, which launches globally today.


EBS 2008 has been developed to help IT managers increase the security, reliability and manageability of an organisation’s IT infrastructure, so they can focus more on strategic projects to boost business results.


NMB were invited to trial EBS 2008 as part of the product development phase in January 2008, and are the largest international pre-launch deployment client for the new product.


In June 2008 NMB migrated to a pre-release version of the product known as Release Candidate Zero (RC0).  The trial was supported by both HP and Microsoft, who worked in tandem with Microsoft Gold Partner ‘The Full Circle’ to implement the project.


Based in the financial centre of the City of London, NMB has over 150 staff. The business was previously supported by a Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server infrastructure, with a small proportion of users accessing Email and calendaring remotely via Outlook Web Access.  The majority of remote Email access was provided using Blackberry mobile devices to around 80 users.


With limited remote working, especially in terms of the range of mobile / handheld options available, the existing user experience had become dated. Providing and maintaining remote working required significant administrative and required the use of a complicated VPN infrastructure. As the existing infrastructure platform was at the end of its life, the need to upgrade both server-side hardware and software had become a business imperative.


NMB were therefore ideally positioned to gain significant benefit from Microsoft’s Essential Business Server 2008, which was in the process of being developed to support up to 300 concurrent users, and offer an easy migration path supported by simplified administrative & reporting capabilities.


According to Simon Edwards, I.T. Manager of NMB: “We appreciated that we would be in the sweet spot for what Windows Essential Business Server 2008 could offer, and were ready to accept the risks surrounding a full scale pre-release migration, and be part of the learning process, in order to enjoy the benefits of a brand new infrastructure.”


He added: “We are enjoying the productivity and capability benefits from the key component upgrades such as System Center Essentials (SCE) & Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), plus Exchange Server 2007 with Forefront security technologies.  We are also looking forward to consolidating a number of legacy databases with SQL Server 2008 as included in the Premium version of EBS 2008 we are running.”


He concluded: “Most importantly, our staff now enjoys a far more dynamic experience, including mobile and remote access, plus collaboration and document management via SharePoint. It’s been a major step jump for the business, but one that we are delighted we have taken.”


The Project was initiated and implemented by London based Microsoft Gold Partner, The Full Circle ( Reuben Cook, Managing Director of The Full Circle, commented: “We have worked closely with Microsoft for a number of years resulting in our Gold Partner status and were delighted to work with NMB in deploying Essential Business Server 2008.  NMB were an ideal fit to benefit from the improvements contained in EBS 2008, and we were the ideal partner to help deliver them”


Cook added: “During the pre-release testing stage, NMB were the largest deployment outside of the US, NMB’s implementation provided unique and valuable feedback to Microsoft.  A number of the experiences we had with NMB had direct results in honing and refining the eventual released product”.



All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners



Ends: 647 words



For more information, press only, contact:


Newman Martin and Buchan – Simon Edwards,

The Full Circle – John Dean,

Microsoft  – Matt Lambert,


Publically available web resources:

Simon Edwards (NMB) & Reuben Cook (The Full Circle) post deployment to RTM code of EBS 2008

Simon Edwards (NMB) & Reuben Cook (The Full Circle) post deployment to RTM code of EBS 2008

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VMware Virtualisation Seminar – 12th November, Global Knowledge, London

Wednesday 12th November, 2008

As founder and CTO of a London based IT consultancy ‘Full Circle Technology Limited (aka The Full Circle – I often attend various trade shows and events, however these are often complimentary or supportive of our position as a Microsoft Gold partner.

Virtualisation has always been hot on our agenda, indeed it is in the business plan from when we launched our consulting business in 2003.  It has continued to be a growth technology we have implemented for several clients over the years using Microsoft Virtual Server, and more recently Hyper-V (

I’ve also been an early user of PC based virtualisation since 2001/2, where as CTO of a technology services company I’d insisted that our support & engineering team use virtual machines (VMware workstation at the time) for testing in relation to support & development (the main reason being to minimise the impact of breaking their production machines by ‘playing’ with flakey software! ;-))

Anyway, today I went along with a keen new associate of ours, Will Darbey, to an excellent seminar event hosted by a leading UK training organisation, Global Knowledge (
The seminar was exclusively about a technology that could be viewed as just ever so slightly competative to Microsoft in the virtualisation space… VMware (

It must be said, that if in the market for VMware training and certfication, then Global Knowledge is well worth a serious look in… (

A most excellent use for the corner of the BSG building (City Road, London)

The agenda for the day was split into two halfs:

AM Session: Business Briefing-Aimed at people who are considering virtualisation for their business and the benefits it can bring to an organisation.

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Management Briefing
    Introduction to VMware
  • Virtualisation the Datacentre Initiative
  • VMware Infrastructure
  • Virtualisation Benefits
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Green IT
  • Government Legislation
  • Virtual Desktop
  • VMware lower total cost of ownership
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Q & A
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

PM Session: Technical Briefing –The session is for technical people responsible for evaluating VMware ESX Server and VirtualCenter; including IT managers, system architects, and system administrators.

  • 14:00 – 15:30 Technical Briefing:
  • Reliable Foundation
  • The Hypervisor
  • Architecture
  • The Management
  • Create, Convert, Deploy, Patch, Protect, Deliver
  • Guided Consolidation, Upgrade Manager, SRM Shared Services
  • Resource allocation
  • Live Migration
  • High Availability
  • Resource distribution, Power management Integration
  • Hardware and Guest OS support
  • Conversion and Capacity Planning
  • 15:30 – 16:00 Q & A


  • David Day –David comes from a 10 year Cisco and Microsoft background, and currently manages the technical delivery program for VMware Authorised Training Centres. Originally from South Africa, David is now based in the UK, and has been with VMware for four years.
  • John Churchhouse –John leads the VMware Strategic Partners team which covers all OEM and System Integrator/System Outsourcer relationships in the UK and Ireland.  Prior to VMware, John worked for Sun Microsystems where he managed the System Integrator partner sales team.

As usual I made a few scribbles from the day…

“Virtualization will be the highest-impact trend changing infrastructure and operations through 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Virtualization will transform how IT is managed, what is bought, how it is deployed, how companies plan and how they are charged. As a result, virtualization is creating a new wave of competition among infrastructure vendors that will result in considerable market disruption and consolidation over the next few years.”
– Gartner


The day was split into two parts, the morning session with John Churchhouse on the business angle, and the afternoon a technical deep dive and demonstration with David Day.

Morning session: John Churchhouse, Manager Strategic Partners, VMware

VMware by the numbers..

Founded 1998

2007 rev. $1.33B projected $1.8-1.9B

6100 employees (almost doubled since Jan, current hiring freeze)..

50% year on year growth for last 8 years, limited

120,000 customers, 87% deployed in production, 43% standardising on VMware Infrastructure (i.e. VMotion, HA, Backup, etc.)


3rd software company to maintain 50% revenue growth after reaching $1B (other two being Microsoft & Oracle)


reasons/uses for virtualisation (with VMware of course! ;-)) 


Server Consolidation & Containment – eliminate server sprawl by deploying systems into virtual machines…

Infrastructure Provisioning – reduce time to provision new infrastructure to minutes with sophisticated automation capabilities and standardised machine templates.

Business Continuity – reduce cost and complexity of BC by encapsulating entire systems into files that can be replicated and restored to any server

Test and Development– rapid provision and re-provision of test & dev environments; store libraries or pre-configured test machines

Enterprise Desktop / Virtual Desktop Infrastructure– secure unmanaged PCs. Alternatively, provide standardised enterprise desktop environments hosted on secure, reliable, centrally managed servers.

Legacy Application re-hosting – migrate legacy O/S & apps to virtual machines running on faster and newer hardware for better/improved reliability.


TCO on server consolidation typically 6 months… ?!?


Greenness– Qualcomm – reduced 900+ servers, 11.2 tonnes of CO2 per server saved!


ESXi / VMware Virtualisation Layer – 32MB, free download – smaller, tighter, less to go wrong!

Can be specified and shipped pre-installed with servers from HP & Dell..


Trigger points for VDI… hmmm I missed that one…


2008: the year of automation!

Automation = Business Agility

Automate IT processes (Lifecycle management from machine birth through death/retirement)

Create resource pools

Capacity on-demand


Disaster Recovery

DR in the virtual world is orders of magnitude simpler in the virtual world.. e.g. hardware and firmware levels can be different across DR sites as the virtual layer is consistent

Turn manual recovery run books into automated


Test & Development

Developer productivity – >75% reduction in server to staff ratio, 10x reduction in system config time, 20% acceleration in system development lifecycle time


A UK ‘small’ business example..

BT consolidated 1503 servers, est 375 racks of x86 ay 5 sites replaced with 30 at 3 sites

4509 network ports down to 168!

Afternoon session: David Day, Technical Services Director, VMware
David’s session was a fast paced, technical deep dive into various aspects of VMware virtualisation, including some complimentary technologies.  He also ran through some demonstrations including an unplanned, unrehearsed demo (always a brave thing to do) – everything worked like a dream! (its good stuff this VMware ;-).

I’d love to give more detail other than David clearly knows his stuff and then some!, however and unfortuantely I was against the clock getting our EBS 2008 PR submitted – had to be out of the door for a 16:00 release… see

Will & I did, however, have a chance to look somewhat confused with VMware… (before the event of course!! ;-)).

 vmware-will  vmware-reub2



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