One of the most important aspects of placing your computers on Azure is the ability to connect to them using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to your manage your Windows-based virtual machines (VM). The issue with RDP can be with the Remote Desktop service on the VM, the network connection, or the Remote Desktop client on your host computer. We will attempt to guide you through some of the most common methods to troubleshoot and resolve common RDP connection issues.
The steps are displayed in the general order, but you should try reconnecting to the VM after each troubleshooting step.
Continue reading “Troubleshooting RDP connections to an Azure VMs”
Microsoft Office 365 is a popular choice for enterprises that want a cloud-based suite of productivity and collaboration applications. The latest version of Office 365 gives you access to online Microsoft Office solutions anytime and anywhere on multiple Operating System platforms.
Microsoft’s marketing description of Office 365:
Microsoft Office 365 now includes Office 2016 and gives you the full Office experience. With access to the latest Office applications as well as other cloud-based productivity services, whether you need Office for home, school, or business, there is an Office 365 plan to meet your needs.
Our Office 365 subscription plans include Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, and Office 365 for Mac. With each plan, you can install the 2016 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote (Access, and Publisher are also included only for PC users). When a new version of Microsoft Office is released, you’ll get instant access to it so your applications are always up-to-date – and because Office 365 is optimized across your devices it’s easy to get anywhere access to your stuff on your laptop, phone, tablet and more.
Continue reading “10 Facts About Deploying Microsoft Office 365”
There are often questions about what features are available in the different versions of SQL Server 2016 SP1. Continue reading “SQL Server 2016 Version Differences”
This article by Kimberly Tripp is very interesting. Simply put, she says you want the initial size of your transaction logs set to 8 GB, with auto growth set to 8 GB. This should help keep your Virtual Lof File (VLF) sizes below 512 MB, improve performance, and make maintenance during backups much faster.
The article, in part, reads:
First, here’s how the log is divided into VLFs. Each “chunk” that is added, is divided into VLFs at the time the log growth (regardless of whether this is a manual or auto-grow addition) and it’s all dependant on the size that is ADDED not the size of the log itself. So, take a 10MB log that is extended to 50MB, here a 40MB chunk is being added. This 40MB chunk will be divided into 4 VLFs. Here’s the breakdown for chunksize:
chunks less than 64MB and up to 64MB = 4 VLFs
chunks larger than 64MB and up to 1GB = 8 VLFs
chunks larger than 1GB = 16 VLFs
Continue reading “Transaction Log File Size and VLF in SQL Server”
Communication between domain controllers (DC) can be confusing and the technical information from Microsoft doesn’t always help. This article is an attempt to provide a simple description of the communication between two domain controllers and why machine accounts and their passwords really matter.
Domain Controllers communicate with each other using a shared secret. This is basically the local machine account and the local password hash value. The DC stores the machine name of any other domain controllers, and uses the local machine account and the stored local password hash to establish a connection and pull domain account change information to the local DC, as required. Each DC stores the other computers that is also a DC, and uses the password hash for that computers machine account to establish that connection each time it attempts to communicate. Every DC has a machine account (a machine account represents the entire machine, not just one person) in Active Directory, and the password hash is stored in the registry.
Continue reading “Understanding Domain Controller Shared Secrets”
Ransomware is malicious software that attacks a computer or your entire network to force you to pay a fee (ransom) to regain access to your systems. If the fee is not paid within a set timeframe, the criminals who now has access to your systems will wipe the data. Since those systems are unavailable to your organization most businesses are faced with a decision to pay the ransom and get back to business or refuse to pay the ransom and risk forever losing customer data.
Like any other virus or malware the ransomware is usually downloaded from the internet, most often by clicking a suspicious link in an email or on a website.
Continue reading “Ransomware Lessons”
Many people don’t understand how a spam filter works, especially with the email software from Microsoft called Outlook. In my experience, people are confused about how emails are blocked, or how emails are filtered into the Junk Email folder inside Outlook.
Generally speaking, your email server is usually used to block common unwanted emails, known as spam. This means the email server has the ability built into the server software to detect and filter (block) emails from being delivered to your email interface, or there is some additional software installed and configured to perform that filtering process. This means less unwanted email is delivered to your inbox.
There is an additional feature built into Outlook that looks at the emails delivered to your Outlook client to determine if it should block the email and redirect it into your “Junk E-mail” folder.
Any email forwarded from your email server (usually Exchange, but could be Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) but identified as spam by our Outlook client will be automatically moved to your “Junk E-mail” folder. Depending on your spam filter settings inside the Outlook Options, you may find you missing emails in this folder. You may disable the filter, but that doesn’t mean all your emails will now be delivered to your Outlook inbox.
As we discussed already, the spam filter on the email server could have blocked the email, Outlook may move the email to Junk E-mail, or even your anti-virus software might have blocked the email. If you work with your team in you IT department, they have tools available that can tell them if the server ever received the email, if it was forwarded to our computer, if it was intercepted by your anti-virus software, etc. They will need to know the address of the person sending you the email, when it was sent, and the subject line (when known).
How can I disable the Outlook spam filter?
How can I mark emails detected as spam by Outlook as “not spam”?