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!