Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC) Branch Office Guide Released

If you are involved in a project to plan or upgrade Active Directory in your branch offices, you may have questions such as: What type of domain controller should I use for a given branch office? Does a given branch office even need a Domain Controller? What topology should I use? How do I monitor…

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SharePoint Lockdown – The Easy Way

If you have been tasked with securing SharePoint, there  are a lot of considerations to take into account.  How do users authenticate? Does part of your farm live in an extranet or DMZ? How do you secure user-to-server communications? How do you secure server-to-server communications?  How do you scan for viruses?  How do you harden…

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Meet the Sundancers

On Friday, I blogged about “Project Sundance”, which is an upcoming release from the Solution Accelerators team that combines the Vista/XP/2003/2008/Office security guides with the Configuration Manager Desired Configuration Management (DCM) packs for security, along with the GPOAccelerator tool into one package.  Boy, that rolled right off the tongue.  There’s a reason why I’m not…

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The limits of Active Directory

A few years ago, at my first IT job, my manager told me that there was a server at Microsoft, and all day long it created objects in a test Active Directory Domain.  "This server has been running since Windows Server 2000 was released" he said, "and it still has not hit a limit on…

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Active Directory How-Tos

How do I back up AD? Seize an Operations Manager role? Recover a Domain Controller? Manage SYSVOL? There’s a guide for that… Active Directory Product Operations Guide Process: Back up Active Directory Process: Non-authoritative Restore of Active Directory Process: Authoritative Restore for Active Directory Objects Process: Recovering a Domain Controller Through Reinstallation Process: Installing a…

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What’s that service?

Ever wish that someone at Microsoft would write up a list of all the services that come with Windows Server/client?  Perhaps something that lists the executable command line, the account that the service runs under, a description of what the service does, default service type, service dependencies, and network ports used?  Maybe something that looks…

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The top Active Directory Issues

The Ask the Directory Services Team blog has a great post on the top 50 KB articles used to solve issues in Directory Services support during the first quarter of Microsoft fiscal year 2008 (July 2007 through September 2007). I list the top 10 below, but you can see the whole list after the jump….

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Map Active Directory in Visio

 I see that we released the Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer today.  I’m working from home today, so I can’t run it in AD and attach a screenshot, but this should be helpful for documenting your AD infrastructure.  According to the product description: The Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer reads an Active Directory configuration using ActiveX Data Objects…

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Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 released!

Downloading the bits right now (while watching Ray Ozzie’s keynote here: http://www.visitmix.com/ 🙂  Today Microsoft released Windows Server Update Services version 3.0 to our website for download.  Below are links to where you can get it as well as read more about it: Download: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=e4a868d7-a820-46a0-b4db-ed6aa4a336d9&displaylang=en&tm Overview: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1b5eac37-bd48-41fd-869b-f9b06fa64a61&displaylang=en&tm Readme: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=093f89c5-a887-4fcd-9b98-47d898b5295f&displaylang=en&tm Step-by-Step Guide: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c8fa2fd1-72f6-4f19-a1b0-f689dae14be6&displaylang=en&tm Operations Guide: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=66d250fa-670f-4a49-95ec-2ffda7691f55&displaylang=en&tm Deploying…

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Install Windows Server 2003 Adminpak (Administration Tools Pack) on Vista

It’s always frustrating when an update to one program from a company breaks compatibility with another program from the same company.  In the case of Microsoft, the Windows 2003 SP1 Admin tools (adminpak.msi) do not work on Windows Vista.  Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Administration Tools Pack Windows Server 2003 R2 Administration Tools Pack…

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