Saturday, December 03, 2005

MBSA 2.0 Scripting

Sample scripts that illustrate how to extend MBSA 2.0 for greater scalability during scanning and report rollup.

SNARF Articles

SNARF Articles

"Too Many E-Mails? SNARF Them Up!" by Rob Kreis. Microsoft Research News & Highlights. November 30, 2005.
"Microsoft Research tool 'snarfs' up unwanted e-mail" by Elizabeth Montalbano. Computerworld. December 1, 2005
"SNARF Makes Social Sense of E-Mail" by Susan Kuchinskas. InternetNews. December 1, 2005.
"SNARFing your way through e-mail" by Ina Fried. CNet December 2, 2005.

Created within Microsoft Research, the Social Network and Relationship Finder, or SNARF

Microsoft tool 'snarfs' up unwanted e-mail.
The software prioritizes mail from friends and regular contacts

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Step-by-Step Guide to Clustering Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000

Article by Brian Knight at

In this next article of the SQL Server in the Enterprise Series, we'll explore how to cluster Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000 in a step-by-step manner. After this article, you should be able to cluster a SQL Server 2000 machine for failover availability in an Active/Active cluster.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Windows Leads As Server Market Booms

For the first time, Microsoft Windows was the leading operating system in new servers in the third quarter, as the overall worldwide server market grew a robust 8.1%, IDC said Tuesday.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Enterprise firewall configuration for Exchange ActiveSync Direct Push Technology

&A: Microsoft’s Flessner touts ‘game changers’ in SQL Server 2005

NOVEMBER 11, 2005 (COMPUTERWORLD) - SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Flessner, senior vice president of server applications at Microsoft Corp., said the “game changers” that will set SQL Server 2005 apart from the competition’s databases are the integration of the company’s Visual Studio development environment and business intelligence capabilities. Flessner spoke with Computerworld here at this week’s launch event for SQL Server, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2005. Excerpts follow:

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Microsoft Previews Windows Live and Microsoft Office Live

Microsoft Corporation today previewed two new sets of software-based services that utilize the Internet to deliver rich and seamless experiences to both individuals and small businesses. Windows Live and Microsoft Office Live are two new offerings that combine the power of software plus services and provide natural complements to the Microsoft Windows operating system and Microsoft Office products. In particular, Windows Live helps bring together all the elements of an individual's digital world while Office Live will help small companies do business online. With over 40 million small businesses worldwide, partners will be able to tap into the tremendous opportunity to use Office Live as a platform for extending their own small business solutions in a scalable and cost-effective manner as well as apply their expertise to customize and extend solutions for Office Live.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

System Center Capacity Planner 2006 (Beta) Overview

Microsoft System Center Capacity Planner 2006 (Beta) helps size and plan deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 by providing you with the tools and guidance to deploy efficiently while planning for the future by allowing for "what-if" analyses


SyncToy v1.0 for Windows XP

Microsoft has released a tool called SyncToy. Written for WinXP and W23K. It keeps any two pairs of folders in sync.

Microsoft Seeks to Mobilize With Exchange SP2

Microsoft Seeks to Mobilize With Exchange SP2 By Clint Boulton

Microsoft is offering upgrades to Exchange Server 2003 with a new software pack that stresses better mobile messaging, improved spam blockers, and increased e-mail and mailbox storage capacity.

New mobile messaging tools in the Exchange Server Service Pack 2 (SP2) will help hardware partners and content providers deliver a device that "meets the demands of the end user for a rich mobile messaging experience."

For example, new direct push technology eliminates the need for SMS to notify and ensure a mobile device automatically retrieves new e-mail from an Exchange server. SP2 uses an HTTP connection to push new e-mail messages to the device.

The new version also provides greater control over mobile device security, including policy settings that let a user unlock a device with a password; local wipe, which dictates how many incorrect log-on attempts are permitted before your data might be at risk; and remote wipe, which allows administrators to remotely delete information from lost or stolen mobile devices.
Such features are big because research firms say business users are increasingly taking their work with them on the road in the form of handheld computers and smartphones. Such policies help to ensure that corporate data and applications are not compromised when devices are lost or get into the wrong hands.

Some partners have already announced plans to deliver devices that support SP2. Palm's Treo and Motorola's Q Windows Mobile 5.0 devices will be available in early 2006 and will include the MS Windows 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) and support for SP2. Also, DataViz' mobile Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync-enabled client, RoadSync, will offer support for key mobility features of SP2, including Direct Push and Remote Wipe on Symbian OS.

Customers are hip to the benefits of the new mobile technologies in SP2, too. HP is planing a companywide rollout of SP2 in the near future, Microsoft said.

On the security front, Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 adds Sender ID support and updates the Exchange Instant Message Filter to help businesses thwart spam, spoofing schemes and phishing.

Sender ID helps prevent unwanted mailbox phishing and spoofing schemes by verifying the IP address of the e-mail sender against the purported owner of the sending domain.
The result of the Sender ID check is used as input to the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter, which is based on the same SmartScreen filtering technology now used in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, MSN Internet Software and Services, and Hotmail.

To fortify the Exchange mailbox in the face of the growing glut of data that users are creating, Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Standard Edition will increase the mailbox storage size limit to 75 gigabytes.

A new offline address book offers significantly improved performance when Outlook clients are operating in cached mode. Users can also now force clients into cached mode to help improve performance and increase the number of active users per server.

Customers who already have Exchange Server 2003 can download SP2 for free.

The release comes as Microsoft is prepping for its largest launch of the year: the Nov. 7 release of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

SQL 2005 Webcasts for Oct 2005

Twenty-four new webcasts are scheduled for October, covering such topics as SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, SQL Server 2005: Facts and Features, A Primer to Proper SQL Server Development and more.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 1 of 6) (Level 200)
Monday, October 03, 20059:00 AM Pacific TimeThis six-part series presents a comprehensive introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services for developers. In the first webcast, we provide an overview of Reporting Services.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 2 of 6) (Level 200)
Wednesday, October 05, 20059:00 AM Pacific Time This second webcast looks in depth at techniques for delivering canned reports to end users, including URL access, subscriptions, and the Web service.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 3 of 6) (Level 200)
Friday, October 07, 20059:00 AM Pacific Time This third webcast focuses on the Report Builder, a tool for ad hoc reporting.

MSDN Webcast: A Primer to Proper SQL Server Development (Part 8 of 10): Data Loading and Aging Strategies (Level 200)
Friday, October 07, 200510:00 AM Pacific TimePart eight in our series on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 development shows you how to use batch strategies to make data loading and aging more efficient.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 4 of 6) (Level 200)
Monday, October 10, 20059:00 AM Pacific Time In this fourth webcast, we examine some more advanced ideas surrounding report design. Learn how to create tabular reports, matrix reports, linked reports, charts, and sub-reports.

TechNet Webcast: Minimize Blocking with New Snapshot-Based Isolation Levels in SQL Server 2005 (Level 200)
Monday, October 10, 20051:00 PM Pacific TimeAre deadlocks giving you grief? Tune into this webcast and learn how you can increase the availability of your applications to your end users.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 5 of 6) (Level 200)
Wednesday, October 12, 20059:00 AM Pacific Time This fifth webcast focuses on SQL Server Reporting Services extensibility. We demonstrate a custom data source for SQL Server Reporting Services that reads data that is not accessible through SQL queries.

SQL Server 2005: Facts and Features (200-300)
Wednesday, October 12, 200510:30 AM Central TimeLearn about the three fundamental advancements SQL Server 2005 brings to the Market: Enterprise Data Management, Developer Productivity, and Business Intelligence.

SQL Server 2005: Facts and Features
Wednesday, October 12, 200512:00 PM Eastern Time Learn about the three fundamental advancements SQL Server 2005 brings to the Market: Enterprise Data Management, Developer Productivity, and Business Intelligence.

TechNet Webcast: An Introduction to How SQL Server 2005 Can Help You Deliver Highly Available Database Systems (Level 200)
Wednesday, October 12, 20051:00 PM Pacific TimeThis webcast discusses the various features in SQL Server 2005 that can help you deliver high availability: Failover Clustering, Database Mirroring, Peer-to-Peer Replication, Database Snapshots, Snapshot Isolation, and Online Index Operations.

TechNet Webcast: Level Database Mirroring: Why, When and How? (Level 300)
Thursday, October 13, 20058:00 AM Pacific TimeIn this webcast, you will learn how to use Database Mirroring as a solution within the broader range of SQL Server 2005 high availability options such as Log Shipping, Clustering, and Replication. You will examine various deployment scenarios, and the considerations and best practices associated with each. Finally, you will learn about the best practices that are based on the experiences gained by internal testing.

MSDN Webcast: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (Part 6 of 6) (Level 200)
Friday, October 14, 20059:00 AM Pacific TimeIn this sixth and final webcast, we concentrate on security and manageability, beginning with a look at the Reporting Services security model, the sources of security information, and the security roles associated with reports and servers.

MSDN Webcast: A Primer to Proper SQL Server Development (Part 9 of 10): Profiling for Better Performance (Level 200)
Friday, October 14, 200510:00 AM Pacific Time This webcast, part nine in our series on proper Microsoft SQL Server 2005 development, focuses on the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Profiler and its capabilities.

TechNet Webcast: Optimize Your SQL Server Environment for Availability with Storage Foundation for Windows (Level 200)
Wednesday, October 19, 20059:00 AM Pacific Time Join this webcast to learn how to use VERITAS Storage Foundation High Availability for Windows to optimize your SQL Server environment.

TechNet Webcast: How You Can Achieve Greater Availability with Failover Clustering Across Multiple Sites (Level 300)
Wednesday, October 19, 200511:30 AM Pacific Time In this webcast, learn how to turn a server cluster into a geographically-dispersed cluster whose nodes reside in different physical sites.

An Overview of SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and Analysis Services
Wednesday, October 19, 200512:00 PM Eastern TimeDiscover how you can finally offer a unified and integrated view of all your business data in your enterprise reporting environment. See some of the best reasons to get excited about SQL Server 2005.

TechNet Webcast: Disaster Recovery Best Practices for SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 (Level 200)
Thursday, October 20, 20059:30 AM Pacific Time This webcast presents a variety of best practices around maximizing SQL Server uptime and availability, while minimizing service disruption to your customers, using Quest's SQL LiteSpeed.

TechNet Webcast: Minimize Blocking Through Snapshot-based Isolation Levels (Level 200)
Friday, October 21, 20058:00 AM Pacific TimeJoin this webcast to learn how these new isolations eliminate blocking, including deadlocks between readers/writers. You will also learn how isolations provide a transactional consistent snapshot of a database at transactional and statement levels. This webcast will focus on basic concepts, managing row versions, and troubleshooting.

TechNet Webcast: Building Highly Available Database Systems that Scale with Peer-to-Peer Replication (Level 200)
Tuesday, October 25, 200511:30 AM Pacific TimeThis webcast provides an overview for how you can use Peer-to-Peer Replication in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to create geographically dispersed redundant copies of a database to improve both scalability and availability for database applications.

SQL Server 2005: Facts and Features
Wednesday, October 26, 200512:00 PM Eastern Time Learn about the three fundamental advancements SQL Server 2005 brings to the Market: Enterprise Data Management, Developer Productivity, and Business Intelligence.

MSDN Webcast: A Primer to Proper SQL Server Development (Part 10 of 10): Most Common Roadblocks to Scalability and Reliability (Level 200)
Friday, October 28, 200510:00 AM Pacific TimeThis is the final webcast in our ten-part series on proper Microsoft SQL Server 2005 development techniques.

TechNet Webcast: A Technical Overview of SQL 2005 High Availability Features (Level 200)
Monday, October 31, 20058:00 AM Pacific Time This webcast examines some of the features of Microsoft SQL Server 2005-the next release of the SQL Server product-that can help you overcome some of these barriers. This webcast reviews several specific areas: database server failure or disaster, user or application error, data access concurrency limitations, and database mirroring and clustering.

TechNet Webcast: Optimize Performance with Maximum Uptime by Creating and Maintaining Indexes Online with SQL Server 2005 (Level 200)
Monday, October 31, 20059:30 AM Pacific TimeSee how in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 you can create indexes online using data definition language operations such as CREATE/ALTER/DROP index which can be executed concurrently with Data Manipulation Language operations.

TechNet Webcast: How to Increase Availability Using Database Mirroring in SQL Server 2005 (Level 200)
Monday, October 31, 20051:00 PM Pacific Time This webcast provides guidance and offers considerations for operational deployments of database mirroring in Microsoft SQL Server 2005.


Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

Deployment of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool in an enterprise environment

Sunday, October 02, 2005

ADModify.NET 2.1 Released!

ADModify.NET 2.1 Released!

Here is a list of the added functionality:
- Added MAPI user enable/disable (requires Exchange 2003 SP2)
- Fixed bug in variable parser to allow literal /% and /' strings
- Fixed killmail code to include all attributes listed in KB 307350
- Added "Update Email address on General Tab" option for both cmd and gui versions, for updating the mail attribute when a primary SMTP address is added
- Added wildcard search ability when removing email addresses
- Added "do not remove primary" option when removing addresses
- Added Wireless OMA/UIS/UTD options in GUI Some of the requested changes did not make it into this build as they would have pushed the release date back even further.

Rest assured that these options are still being considered as additions to the tool. Any issues or feedback with the 2.1 release, please email

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Windows Server System Reference Architecture (WSSRA)

Ever wanted everything that you need to get a Windows Server in various roles. I am taking about templates and blueprints, guides, tools, documents for taking a server deployments from design, lab testing to deployment to management ? Welcome to WSSRA.

Overview (from TechNet)
Windows Server System Reference Architecture is a technology architecture that has been rigorously tested and proven in a partnered lab environment to provide exceptional planning and implementation guidance that addresses fundamental infrastructure issues such as availability, security, scalability, and manageability of the platform.

WSSRA consists of the following downloadable packages:
Overview Documents
Architecture Blueprints
Implementation Guides
Deployment Toolkit

The Overview Documents provide the supporting information that will aid the understanding of the documentation set and ensure its most effective use within IT infrastructure. The documents included in this download package are as follows:
Getting Started

Lab Implementation Architecture Blueprints provide IT professionals with a common understanding of overriding principles prior to leveraging guidance on specific IT services. This download package includes the following:
Introduction to Architecture Blueprints
Network Architecture Blueprint
Management Architecture Blueprint
Application Infrastructure Architecture Blueprint
Security Architecture Blueprint
Storage Architecture Blueprint

The Implementation Guides provide fully integrated sets of service-specific guidance for each of the services covered as part of WSSRA. Each implementation guide package contains an introduction document, a service blueprint, a planning guide, a build guide, and an operations guide.

The Deployment Toolkit provides all of the low-level scripts, plans, and configuration settings used to build the environment that was used to establish and test the Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The download package contains the following:
Build Order Project Plan
Equipment Configuration Matrix
Low Level Diagram of Services and Components
Equipment and Software List
Test Scripts
Build Scripts
Setup Information


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Update Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4 released

Check out It is mentioned "Update
Rollup 1 for Windows 2000 SP4 was released June 28, 2005."


Thursday, June 09, 2005

SQL Server 2005 Hands-On Labs are online now.

SQL Server 2005 hands-on labs give you the opportunity to try out the new and improved features and technologies that the new version will make available to database developers.


Microsoft SQL Server is now at TechCenter too.

The SQL Server has it's own TechCenter at TechNet.

Just as MSDN DevCenters focus on providing information to developers, TechCenters focus on providing information to IT Professionals such as DBAs. Exchange Server and Windows 2003 Server is also on TechCenter.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Step-by-Step Guide to Migrating from Software Update Services to Windows Server Update Services

Step-by-step guidance on how to migrate from Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) to Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). You will find step-by-step procedures for installation and configuration of the WSUS server on the SUS server as well as procedures for migration of approvals and updates from the SUS server.

System Requirements
Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Other SUS Resources:

Overview of WSUS.

Getting started with WSUS on Windows Server 2003

Getting started with WSUS on Windows 2000


Monday, May 09, 2005

Monday, May 02, 2005

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 application compatibility


Just want to give you folks some heads-up on the compatibility issues with Windows 2003 Sp1. An e.g. is the problems with installing the Windows 2003 sp1 on a Exchange 2003 Cluster on a Windows 2003 server. More information is provided at the site on how to handle issues such as this.

Here is a list of all compatibility issues with Windows 2003 sp1 and also what is tested and what is not.

Sarbjit Gill

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Windows Server 2003 TechCenter


Previously, I had provided Microsoft Technology TechNet website URLs (e.g. SharePoint / Exchange). Now here is the Windows 2003 TechCenter. This is your point of start to learning / understanding / deploying / securing / managing / implementing / articles / how-tos and many other TechNet information on Windows Server Systems and the associated technologies. Not only that, you could browser by alphabetically arranged index on technologies that run on Windows 2003.

Whatever, this makes looking for technical resources easier for you. Do provide feedback to the folks who run the TechCenter, so they could continuously improve their site to better meet your needs.

/Sarbjit Gill

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Windows 64-bit computing.

From the w2knews:

Microsoft will ship the Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions this month. They will be sold with new server hardware. Why would you want this? There are some very good reasons actually. First, the 64-bit architecture has more memory address space which means better performance: bigger memory, page files, cache etc.

Second, soon all the new hardware you can get will be 64-bit by default. Third, soon there will be x64-based versions of SQL Server, Exchange, and Office. And Visual Studio 2005 will support native x64 development of code. Fourth, 64-bit machines and software will have a longer shelf life. Think it through for a moment, these machines may not need replacement for 5-6 years instead of the 3-4 year replacement cycle most of us are on now.

The one major problem? Device drivers. You have to make sure that all the devices you hook up to your systems are compatible.

Paul Thurrott's supersite has a good overview of the different 64-bit Windows editions and a great grid that explains which flavor supports how many processors and RAM. Recommended.

Sarbjit Gill

Monday, March 21, 2005

SharePoint Products and Technologies on TechNet


At the TechNet's new site for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies, you'll find technical resources, tools, and other information designed to help IT professionals deploy, maintain, and support SharePoint Products and Technologies.

As for non-Microsoft SharePoint resources (where there are tons of them), i will start with the WSS FAQ. Is it the ultimate FAQ for Windows Sharepoint Services. It is created originally by Mike Walsh but right now it is a collaborative contribution from the community.

I will be posting more resources related to SharePoint Products and Technologies.

Sarbjit Gill

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The NTLM Authentication Protocol

This article seeks to describe NTLM at an intermediate to advanced level of detail, suitable as a reference for implementors. It is hoped that this document will evolve into a comprehensive description of NTLM; at this time there are omissions, both in the author's knowledge and in his documentation, and almost certainly inaccuracies. However, this document should at least be able to provide a solid foundation for further research

/Sarbjit Gill

Friday, March 11, 2005

TechNet Virtual Lab

Ever wanted to test Microsoft's newest software in a sandbox environment? Wouldn't it be great to be able to test new servers immediately, without formatting hard drives or dedicating one or more computers to the project? Now you can, with the TechNet Virtual Lab.

Technologies included in the virtual labs are:
Desktop Deployment
Windows Server 2003
SQL Server
Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005
Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003
Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005

Enjoy !
Sarbjit Gill

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Top client/server support issues in Microsoft Exchange


This might be helpful. Following at the top client/server support issues in Microsoft Exchange Microsoft Product Support and Services encountered.

Keep this as your resource for troubleshooting your Exchange Server and client installation.

/Sarbjit Gill

Some cool Exchange Tools/Utilities

Firstly is the Exchange Server Topology Diagramming Tool (ExMap).

"Creating topological maps of your Exchange sites, servers, and the connectors belonging to your organization can be a time consuming process. By using the Exchange Server Topology Diagramming Tool (ExMap), you can automatically generate a Microsoft Visio® diagram of your site topology"

The second is a Exinfo.exe.

Exinfo.exe, which is a information collection and diagnostics tool that provides a range of Exchange 2000 Server system state and Active Directory information. Here is the link:;en-us;305816#kb1

Note: Both of this tools are for Exchange but they work fine on Exchange 2003.

/Sarbjit Gill

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Did you know "How Microsoft Does IT?"


Did you know Microsoft has a section on TechNet which is a Showcase that gives IT professionals a unique, insider view into Microsoft's process of developing, deploying, and managing its own enterprise solutions.

Here you’ll find technical case studies and white papers, direct from Microsoft IT, that highlight Microsoft’s key business applications, deployment strategies, early adopter experiences, best practices, and initiatives.


Friday, January 21, 2005

MS SQL 2000 Security Best Practices and Lock-Down

For those who are new to SQL Server and want some good guides for locking down and security best practise, click "SQL Server 2000 SP3 Security Features and Best Practices". It includes:
•SQL Server 2000 Security Model
•Implementation of Server Level Security and Object Level Security
•Secure Multi-tier Deploymnt
•Checklist: Security Best Practices

The other link you should look at is SQL Server Security Tools.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Administering, monitoring, and managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 environment.

Greetings ,

Learn about the different aspects of administering, monitoring, and managing your Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 environment.

Contents include:
Disaster Recovery
Additional Resources (includes DEMOS)
Toolbox (Exchange Server 2003 Operations Tools)
Knowledge Base Articles

Under the Performance categories, you would find the "Exchange Server 2003 Performance and Scalability Guide". The entire site is a must for any exchange installation.


Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery


Recently I was reading lots of queries on Disaster Recovery with Exchange messaging servers. Here is a complete list information from TechNet, including presentations/demos in Windows Media format.

TechNet Briefings Presentations --> Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Overview of Anti-Spyware tool from Microsoft (with screenshots)

Greetings folks,

Here is a URL with link to a nice background history and review of
Microsoft's Anti-SpyWare Tool.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story


Here is the backstage story of Windows XP SP2 during development. Great read. Read what the program manager and his mates went through during Windows XP SP2 development. Very interesting. You would appreciate SP2 so much better. A comment from the article:

"Jim [Allchin] said, we're going to do it big, and we're going to do it once. If we're going to break everything, let's break everything once, but let's fix the problem."