Microsoft Server Essentials still underestimated IMHO

For Small Business and tinkerers, the Server Essentials from Microsoft continues to be one of my favorite best-kept secrets. I’ve set these up at small-business consults since 2010 when it used to be Windows Home server which itself was a descendant of Small Business Server. The most “Essential” elements of why I can be please with this over-and-over again

Microsoft Server 2016 Essentials

  1. Ease of management
  2. Sampling of the best-of technologies available from Microsoft

 

I just finished going through this absurdly useful guide to migrate an existing client from Server 2012R2 Essentials to Server 2016 Essentials, and it reminded me how incredibly easy the Essentials line makes management for a very small-scale operation.

The admin dashboard alone makes management of this, and particularly support for a small Essentials domain the easiest gig available. Everything an admin for a larger enterprise-domain is actually available in some small slice in this product. And of course since it’s Server 2016 under the hood it can be manipulated in an enterprise fashion in case you want to.

The add-ons that are available to the average small-business would take dozens of hours of consulting and troubleshooting to get setup:

  1. Storage Spaces
  2. User Experience Virtualization
  3. DirectAccess
  4. Scheduled Backup
  5. Automated health reports
  6. Connections to O365 if you have it (great for non-profits btw)

 

 

I did the upgrade to move off of failing hardware, and I didn’t actually see any compelling reasons to update from 2012R2 to 2016 while I was working on this, but it was by request.

During the review of differences between 2012R2 and 2016 however I did find only one sad caveat; the Microsoft Streaming pack doesn’t yet work on this version. Womp womp.

 

If you haven’t checked out Essentials before and you need to setup a domain where you will NOT have the luxury of a full-time IT admin you can lean-on for everything, you must do so. It is the most supportable and competitive way to get small businesses the platforms they need to continue doing business in the modern environment.

Just can’t stand Lenovo any longer

Another personal hit against Lenovo has shown up. I recently needed to replace the WLAN card in one of my laptops. I grabbed an older Intel-2230 off the shelf and put it in.

I did it while the PC was hibernating (I know… testing in production and all that.) The OS recognized it immediately upon coming back up.

Later on however when I went to restart the thing, I received a cold warning from Lenovo. The apparently well-known 1802 Error.

In short the 1802 error means only a very specific set of add-ons such as WLAN, WWAN, and HDDs are whitelisted. You are not allowed to use something that Lenovo doesn’t want you to.

If I wanted to be restricted and cave and operate only according to a manufacturer’s demands, I would use Apple.

Between this, the Superfish incident, and the pre-installed malware that came on TWO Lenovo Yogas, I am again ruling out Lenovo from ever being part of my deployments again.

Night@EFF

I told myself going into the eff event but I walk out with someone new engaging and interesting to follow on social media. I also hope that I will walk out with the possibility of making a new friend in the area who cares about the same things I care about but wasn’t necessarily somebody I knew from work.
Perhaps the most interesting thing I walked away from the event was an awareness that I was the only person I spoke to there it was on Twitter, Facebook, and used a standard email system.
Everyone there like signal but agrees that the UI isn’t this great as WhatsApp. Have a lot of concerned citizens with an awareness the senior Administration it’s going to result in political change that is currently unpredictable in it’s consequences and effect on net neutrality, the internet,and in society at Large.

I got one email address. No pgp key