Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hope all is well

Hey everyone,

I am back in Silicon Valley working for a former employer. I had a great time working with talented people in Redmond and meeting so many entrepreneurial IT professionals from around the world. While I would have preferred setting up Windows EBS at home, I elected for Windows SBS with Windows Home Server. One of these days I will launch my web site, so stand by.


Chris Grillone

Friday, July 10, 2009

Farewell. Back to Silicon Valley

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported while at Microsoft, both internally and externally, especially customers and partners, and not mention the thousands of readers of this blog.  I have met so many great people in my role at Microsoft.  My decision to leave such a talented group of people was not easy, but I have accepted a product manager position with greater responsibility in Silicon Valley.

While I can be reached through this blog or another blog I will launch soon, please keep in touch with me on Facebook or LinkedIn <>.

Nick King is a great advocate for customers, partners and subs.  I am glad he is assuming my role to continue the market adoption of EBS.

-Chris Grillone

Microsoft IT Health Scanner Released!

Microsoft Essential Business Server team is excited to announce the release of Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner, the new diagnostic tool designed for administrators of small or medium-sized networks who want to assess the overall health of their network infrastructure. When run from a computer with the proper network access, the tool takes a few minutes to scan your IT environment, perform more than 100 separate checks, and collect and analyze information about the following:
- Configuration of sites and subnets in Active Directory
- Replication of Active Directory, the file system, and SYSVOL shared folders
- Name resolution by the Domain Name System (DNS)
- Configuration of the network adapters of all domain controllers, DNS servers, and e-mail servers running Microsoft Exchange Server
- Health of the domain controllers
- Configuration of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) for all domain controllers

This tool is based on the well-known EBS Preparation Wizard, which the EBS team has originally built for customers who were deploying Essential Business Server 2008 (see more on Preparation Wizard here). Very soon, however, the team noticed that Preparation Wizard was widely used, not just by customers who were deploying EBS, but anyone with Active Directory in their network who wanted to verify the health of their environment. That should have come as no surprise – after all, Preparation Wizard ran over 100 different checks which were based on most common issues resolved by Microsoft Customer Support Services over the past 10 years!

Building on the success of the Preparation Wizard, the team is now introducing the Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner. Just like its predecessor, Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner scans your network, identifies various networking and provides links to knowledge based articles that explain how to correct these issues. The one main difference is that the new tool is completely EBS-agnostic. That is, if in order to run Preparation Wizard, the administrator had to answer several questions specific to EBS deployment. Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner, on the other hand, requires no prior EBS knowledge to run. And of course, this new tool is completely free!

Go give it a try!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back from leave of absence and vacation

I am back from a leave of absence and vacation. My apologies for bein off the grid. I will have more news later this week. Partners, I know we are looking forward to seeing you at the Worldwide Partner Conference.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Virtual Convergence is LIVE (with EBS sessions)


New in 2009, Virtual Convergence is your online resource for all post-conference materials – and helps us deliver post-conference videos and information to you faster than ever before. Keynote presentations, general sessions and concurrent sessions are all available for viewing online in Windows Media video (WMV) format, so that you can revisit sessions you attended or view them for the first time. In addition, in case you missed any of the sponsors or exhibitors at Convergence Expo, all of their contact information and downloadable information is available within Virtual Convergence.

To begin your online experience:

  1. Click here. The initial screen loading of Virtual Convergence may take a few minutes to complete.
  2. To enter Virtual Convergence, choose the “Enter” button. This unsecured area provides access to keynotes, general sessions and the virtual Expo experience.
  3. To view all concurrent session Windows Media files, select the “Convergence 2009 Attendees” button in the lower left hand corner of the screen. You will be prompted to login to this secured area; please use your Convergence 2009 registration credentials. (If you’ve forgotten your credentials, go here and use the Forgot Username or Password links. Your credentials will be sent to the email address provided in your registration.
  4. Use that same button in the lower left hand corner of the screen to navigate between the secured and unsecure areas of Virtual Convergence.

You’ll have access to Virtual Convergence for one year. Be sure to maximize the value of attending by leveraging all the content and contacts available to you as a Convergence attendee.

Now that Convergence 2009 is Over – What Are Your Next Steps?

We want to once again thank you for attending Convergence 2009 and hope you enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about your Microsoft Dynamics solution. Throughout the thousands of networking opportunities at Convergence, surely there were hundreds of conversations taking place about new opportunities – new modules, new technology, new services, new editions. Convergence provided you the perfect opportunity to investigate everything in person.

We wanted to remind you that time is running out for the two great offers that are in place exclusively for Convergence 2009 attendees:

The Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Attendee Sales Offer expires May 21, 2009 - Receive up to 20% off. This offer is open to all Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics AX attendees, and provides a 20% discount off the purchase of additional users, additional modules or granules, transitions to new product editions or Licensing Models or upgrades to higher service plans.

Don’t delay in taking advantage of this offer now – contact your Microsoft Dynamics partner or visit for more details.

The Convergence Attendee Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Sales Offer expires May 1, 2009 – Receive up to 75% off

Microsoft Dynamics prospects and customers who attended Convergence 2009 are eligible to receive up to 20 users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for 6 months at $9.99/user/month.

For more information regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, visit or call 1-877-CRM-CHOICE.

Note: is an unmonitored alias. EventPoint, Inc. is the official Convergence CommNet vendor.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Free IT Network Health tool

Preparation Wizard is great free tool that was developed by Microsoft Essential Business Server team ( ) that scans your network,  identifies various networking problems (DNS, AD replication, AD configuration, configuration of network adapters, etc.) and provides links to knowledge based articles that explain how to correct these issues. 
The tool is not just for customers with Essential Business Server or those who are planning to deploy this solution in their environments. Preparation Wizard is for anyone with Active Directory in their network who would like to verify the health of their environment. The tool runs over 100 different checks which are based on most common issues resolved by Microsoft Customer Support Services over the past 10 years!
The tool is specifically designed for mid-sized networks (25-300 PCs). Preparation Wizard does not change any settings in your network, so it is safe to run at any time.  Unlike many other known tools which simply dump large amounts of networking data collected from a single source (such as event logs, for instance), Preparation Wizard is able to gather data from many different areas( Active Directory, DNS, SYSVOL, event logs, etc.), cross reference that data, and make conclusions about the overall health of the network.
Go get it – it’s FREE!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Microsoft discloses ambitious security strategy

Combo of identity, data/access protection at heart of Microsoft plan

By John Fontana , Network World , 04/16/2009

"Microsoft Thursday began detailing a security strategy that will see it combine its identity management efforts with its Forefront security products built for clients, servers and the network edge.

The company plans to integrate its security and identity products under the Forefront brand, offer software-as-a-service versions and present it all as a layered defense of access and control for its corporate infrastructure software..."

Read more here at image