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Best Practices Enterprise Tech Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download Best Practices Analyzers – Exchange & Unified Communications

Best Practice Analyzers are free tools available for most Microsoft Enterprise products and they are used to determine the overall health of your platform. The tools perform read only scans against your environment’s servers and identify items that do not conform to Microsoft best practices. They should be run on a regular basis as part of your standard operations maintenance plan. Here are some tools for the Exchange, Unified Communications, Sharepoint, Project Server and Office System.

Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer v2.8The Microsoft Exchange Best Practices Analyzer is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Exchange servers and topology. The tool scans Exchange servers and identifies items that do not conform to Microsoft best practices. The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer programmatic-ally collects settings and values from data repositories such as Active Directory, registry, metabase and performance monitor. Once collected, a set of comprehensive ‘best practice’ rules are applied to the topology. Administrators running this tool will get a detailed report listing the recommendations that can be made to the environment to achieve greater performance, scalability and uptime.

Office Communications Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer – The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer Tool is a diagnostic tool that gathers configuration information from a Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and 2007 R2 environments and determines whether the configuration is set according to Microsoft best practices. You can install the tool on a client computer that runs Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, or on a server that runs Office Communications Server.

The tool uses a set of configuration files to gather information from the Office Communications Server 2007 or 2007 R2 environment. It compares this data against a set of pre-defined rules for Office Communications Server, and reports potential issues. For every issue reported, the tool provides the current configuration in the Office Communications Server environment, and the recommended configuration. With the proper network access, the tool can examine your Active Directory and Office Communications Server 2007 or 2007 R2 servers to do the following:

  • Proactively perform health checks, verifying that the configuration is set according to recommended best practices
  • Generate a list of issues, such as suboptimal configuration settings or unsupported or not recommended options
  • Judge the general health of a system
  • Help troubleshoot specific problems
  • Prompt you to download updates if they are available
  • Provide online and local documentation about reported issues, including troubleshooting tips
  • Generate configuration information that can be captured for later review

Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System – The Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System Best Practices Analyzer programmatically collects settings and values from data repositories such as MS SQL, registry, metabase and performance monitor. Once collected, a set of comprehensive ‘best practice’ rules are applied to the topology.

Administrators running this tool will get a detailed report listing the recommendations that can be made to the environment to achieve greater performance, scalability and uptime.

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Best Practices Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Download Best Practices Analyzers – Forefront, ISA and Security

Best Practice Analyzers are free tools available for most Microsoft Enterprise products and they are used to determine the overall health of your platform. The tools perform read only scans against your environment’s servers and identify items that do not conform to Microsoft best practices. They should be run on a regular basis as part of your standard operations maintenance plan. Here are some tools for Internet Security and Acceleration Server, Forefront Unified Access Gateway, Threat Management, Baseline security and Security update Inventory tool.

Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool

The ISA Server Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) is a diagnostic tool that automatically performs specific tests on configuration data collected on the local ISA Server computer from the ISA Server hierarchy of administration COM objects, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, the system registry, files on disk, and the Domain Name System (DNS) settings.  The resulting report details critical configuration issues, potential problems, and information about the local computer. By following the recommendations of the tool, administrators can achieve greater performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime.

The ISA Server Best Practices Analyzer is supplied with two supplemental tools.

  • The ISA Data Packager enables you to create a single .cab file containing ISA Server diagnostic information that can be easily sent to Microsoft Product Support Services for analysis.
  • BPA2Visio generates a Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 or Visio 2007 diagram of your network topology as seen from an ISA Server computer or any Windows computer based on output from the ISA Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool.

Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 Best Practices Analyzer Tool

The Forefront UAG BPA is a diagnostic tool that automatically performs specific tests on configuration data collected on the local Forefront UAG computer from a hierarchy of administration COM objects, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, the system registry, files on disk, and the Domain Name System (DNS) settings. The resulting report details critical configuration issues, potential problems, and information about the local computer. By following the recommendations of the tool, administrators can achieve greater performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime.

Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway Best Practices Analyzer Tool

The Forefront TMG BPA is a diagnostic tool that automatically performs specific tests on configuration data collected on the local Forefront TMG computer from the Forefront TMG hierarchy of administration COM objects, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes, the system registry, files on disk, and the Domain Name System (DNS) settings. The resulting report details critical configuration issues, potential problems, and information about the local computer. By following the recommendations of the tool, administrators can achieve greater performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime.


The Forefront TMG BPA is supplied with two supplemental tools:

  • The TMG Data Packager enables you to create a single .cab file containing Forefront TMG diagnostic information that can be easily sent to Microsoft Product Support Services for analysis.
  • BPA2Visio generates a Microsoft Office Visio® diagram of your network topology as seen from a Forefront TMG computer or any Windows computer based on output from Forefront TMG BPA. Note that Microsoft Office Visio 2003, 2007, or 2010 must be installed in order to run BPA2Visio.

Important!: This BPA Tool is designed to support Forefront TMG only. To download the BPA Tool for Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, see ISA BPA Tool

Microsoft Forefront Client Security BPA

The FCS Best Practices Analyzer Tool is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Forefront computers and to diagnose current problems. The tool scans the configuration settings of the computer and reports issues that do not conform to the recommended best practices.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is an easy-to-use tool that helps small- and medium-sized businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance. Improve your security management process by using MBSA to detect common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on your computer systems.

Extended Security Update Inventory Tool

The SMS Extended Security Update Inventory tool is a scan tool built for the sole purpose of helping customers determine SMS client computers that may need security updates that are not detectable using the existing SMS Security Update Inventory Tool built on MBSA. Like the SMS Software Update Inventory tool, this tool also has the instructions for locating each applicable update, downloading it from Microsoft, and deploying it using SMS . The SMS Extended Security Update Inventory Tool is built on Enterprise Scan Tool (EST) detection technology.

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Best Practices Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Download Guides – SBS, Mobile Device Manager, Commerce Server, Biztalk

Best Practice Analyzers are free tools available for most Microsoft Enterprise products and they are used to determine the overall health of your platform. The tools perform read only scans against your environment’s servers and identify items that do not conform to Microsoft best practices. They should be run on a regular basis as part of your standard operations maintenance plan. Here are some tools for Windows Small Business Server, Mobile Device Manager, Commerce Server and Biztalk.

Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer

The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review. The Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer examines the server and collects configuration information from many sources including:

  • Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
  • Registry and Metabase.

After collecting information about server configuration, the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer verifies that the information is correct and then presents administrators with a list of issues sorted by severity. The list describes each issue and provides a recommendation or possible solution.

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Best Practices Analyzer

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 BPA (Windows SBS 2011 BPA) is a diagnostic tool that is built on the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer (MBCA) technology. Windows SBS 2011 BPA scans a computer that is running the Windows SBS 2011 server software, and compares the existing server settings to a predefined set of recommended best practices. Windows SBS 2011 BPA performs the following tasks:

  • Gathers information about a computer that is running the Windows Small Business Server 2011 server software
  • Determines if the server settings comply with a set of best practices that are recommended by Microsoft
  • Provides a report of the scan results, which identifies variances from the recommended best practices
  • Identifies conditions that may lead to problems with the server
  • Recommends solutions to potential problems

Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 Resource Kit – Best Practices Analyzer

MDM Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) Tool helps you to analyze the prerequisites for MDM setup and deployment. Because each MDM server component has different prerequisites, the tool helps you to plan and build a successful deployment environment by assessing each server’s readiness for MDM before you run MDM Setup.

Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer

The Microsoft Commerce Server Best Practices Analyzer examines a Commerce Server 2007 deployment and generates a list of best practices issues it discovers. The Best Practices Analyzer is intended for use in Commerce Server 2007 production and staging environments.

BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer

The BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer examines a BizTalk Server deployment and generates a list of best practices issues it discovers. The BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer performs configuration level verification, by reading and reporting only, and uses the gathered data to determine whether best practices are being followed.

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Best Practices Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Download Best Practices Analyzers – Windows Server Enterprise Platform

Best Practice Analyzers are free tools available for most Microsoft Enterprise products and they are used to determine the overall health of your platform. The tools perform read only scans against your environment’s servers and identify items that do not conform to Microsoft best practices. They should be run on a regular basis as part of your standard operations maintenance plan. Here are some tools for the Windows Server platform which includes PAL, DHCP, Hyper-V, WSUS, Active Directory, Remote Desktop, File Services, and DNS.

  • Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool – Ever have a performance problem, but don’t know what performance counters to collect or how to analyze them? The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log and analyzes it using known thresholds.

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Best Practices Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable: Migrating from Internet Explorer 6 to IE8

Join the Springboard Series Team live at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday, September 30, 2010 for a virtual, interactive roundtable discussion on migration strategies, standards, and support for organizations moving from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8.

As organizations deploy Windows 7, many still depend on web applications that were designed for Internet Explorer 6. Will they still work, and what can you do when they don’t? Join a panel of IT Professionals, Microsoft specialists and technical experts to discuss best practices to simplify and accelerate the migration to Internet Explorer 8. Topics will include an explanation of the causes of and solutions for application compatibility issues (including policy, code, and virtualization solutions), an introduction to tools, and a review of best practices.

Ask your questions live during the event with the online tool – or submit your questions in advance to vrtable@microsoft.com.

Find answers to your Windows client OS deployment and management questions with resources, tools, and tested guidance from the Springboard Series on TechNet.

Missed a previous Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable? Watch them on demand.

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Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

Analyze Hardware and Software problems in Windows 7

Reliability Monitor is an advanced tool that measures hardware and software problems and other changes to your computer. This helps IT professionals better manage the stability of machines in their organization. Reliability Analysis Component (RAC) aggregates, analyzes, and correlates problems at the operating system and application levels. It calculates a stability index that indicates overall system stability over time. RAC also keeps track of any important changes to the system that are likely to affect stability, such as Windows updates, application installations, and driver installations.

The Reliability Monitor is intended for advanced computer users, such as software developers and network administrators.

You can Invoke Reliability Monitor perfmon /rel and pressing ENTER in the command prompt.

Invoking Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 using Command Prompt

You can also search for Reliability monitor in the Control Panel.

When you click on the ‘View Reliability history’, you will get this below dialog. This is actually refreshing and generating the report.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - Report Being Generated

This will open the Reliability Monitor. Users can view RAC data via the Reliability Monitor, which displays data collected from RAC in a stability chart and correlates the computer’s stability index with important events that are likely to affect stability, such as driver failures and software installation.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7

When you double click on any of the events, it would give you the detailed information on how that event occured. For eg: I  see a WindowsExplorer event, which gives the Summary information that the ‘User canceled a hung navigation’. When I double-click it, you can see this below detailed information.

WindowsExplorer Hung Error Information

Another example for an Successful Message – Let us look the details of the VirtualBox USB Driver Installation message.

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - View Technical Details and Summary

Reliability Monitor in Windows 7 - View Technical Details of Virtual Box ErrorIf some applications events triggers an error, you can check for a solution online and also send the report to Microsoft. If the solution is not found online, they will appear in the Action Center when the information in available later.

In Windows 7, Reliability Monitor uses data provided by the RACTask (Reliability Analysis Component scheduled task). Once enabled, This tool will start displaying a Stability Index rating and specific event information 24 hours after system installation. Find the detailed instruction on how to enable this task.

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General Microsoft Tools

SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) Diagnostic Tool

SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) is a diagnostic tool which is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall conformance of their SQL Server instances and topology with established best practices. BPA examines your SQL Server instance for system events, reviews login permissions, scans your SQL Metadata for advisable settings, and recommends solutions to items that do not conform with established Microsoft best practices.

BPA runs within the framework of the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer (MBCA 2.0) and supports both, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2. It is supported on a variety of operating systems including Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7.

For more information and download – go here

If you face any issue installing SQL 2008 R2 BPA relating to Remoting, refer this link

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Best Practices General

Introduction to LaTeX – A Type Setting System

LaTeX is not a wordprocessor but a typesetting system that achieves beautifully typeset documents without any deeper typographic knowledge. LaTeX is most widely used by mathematicians, scientists, engineers, philosophers, economists and other scholars in academia and the commercial world, and other professionals as a primary or an intermediate format (e.g. translating DocBook and other XML-based formats to PDF).

lateX logoLaTeX is used because of the high quality of typesetting achievable by TeX. The typesetting system offers programmable desktop publishing features and extensive facilities for automating most aspects of typesetting and desktop publishing, including numbering and cross-referencing, tables and figures, page layout and bibliographies.

Key Features of LaTeX

  • Typesetting journal articles, technical reports, books, and slide presentations.
  • Control over large documents containing sectioning, cross-references, tables and figures.
  • Typesetting of complex mathematical formulas.
  • Advanced typesetting of mathematics with AMS-LaTeX.
  • Automatic generation of bibliographies and indexes.
  • Multi-lingual typesetting.
  • Inclusion of artwork, and process or spot colour.
  • Using PostScript or Metafont fonts.

Download this software to create effective documents and work with LaTeX – Powerful Open Source LaTeX editor for Windows – TeXnic Center.

Advantages of Using LaTeX:

LaTeX gives you several advantages over regular wordprocessors, depending on what you plan to do with it. The most important of them all shall be mentioned here.

  • Free availability – For almost any operating system a LaTeX distribution is available to download for free on the internet. This leads us to
  • LaTeX plattform-independent – Documents created by LaTeX can be opened, edited and printed on almost any available computersystem
  • LaTeX produces brilliant typographic output – Other than regular wordprocessors LaTeX produces beautifully typeset documents without requiring the user to know anything about typography
  • Typesetting mathmatical equations – Especially engineers, mathmaticians and other users who need to include formulas or equations in their documents can create these very same in a good-looking and rather easy way.
  • Logical instead of physical formatting – This means that all formatting is done by LaTeX, the user only defines the structure of a document.
  • Stability – LaTeX is one of the most stable software packages, which is proven by the fact, that it has been around in its current version. There is no such thing as data loss.

References – LaTeX Features extracted from latex-project.orgWikipedia, Yauh.de,

Categories
How-to Microsoft Virtualization Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Download the Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Guide

Application Virtualization can best be described as running an application using a workstation or terminal server without installing the application on the client operating system. Instead of loading files into the program files directory and adding entries into the local registry, the application is loaded into an isolated virtual environment on the client.

Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5The Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.5 guide enables organizations to implement application virtualization and effectively respond to the associated challenges. This IPD guide takes you step-by-step through the process of planning your application virtualization infrastructure, and assists you in taking advantage of new features in App-V 4.5 such as streaming servers and support for Internet-based clients.

Download the Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Guide to understand and learn more!

Strategically planning your infrastructure can help you avoid problems before they begin, allowing you to serve your customers more accurately and reliably, as well as saving you time and money!

Categories
Best Practices Microsoft

Download eBook – The Shortcut Guide to Data Center Energy Efficiency

Virtualization and commitments to green IT initiatives are changing the way that data centers operate. By utilizing new technologies, repurposing existing equipment, and matching power and cooling supply to actual data center demand, IT will receive maximum benefit in the form of greater data center energy efficiency and decreased power and cooling costs.

The Shortcut Guide to Data Center Energy Efficiency offers insight on building a data center infrastructure that matches data center power and cooling demands in a way that optimizes operational efficiency while meeting the IT business and computing needs. This eBook will show you methods for minimizing the cost of your operating data center, and lays out a set of specific best practices and considerations for upgrading a production data center.

Chapters in this complete eBook include:
Chapter 1: Impact of Virtualization on Data Center Power & Cooling
Chapter 2: Best Practices for Data Center Design
Chapter 3: Free, or Nearly Free, Things to Do in an Operating Data Center
Chapter 4: Strategies for Upgrading a Production Data Center

Download this Complete eBook here!!!

Note: You will need to create a profile in Realtime Nexus (The Digital Library for IT Pros) when you click the above link.

More from the Author….“With the current trends in IT, improving the energy efficiency of your data centers seems like low-hanging fruit; something that will happen in the course of bringing virtualization and consolidation to your data centers, along with the improved energy efficiency of new-generation IT hardware. But it’s easy to overlook the opportunity that these changes present in building data center infrastructures,” explains author David Chernicoff. ” This guide will offer insight on building a data center infrastructure to match IT power and cooling demands in a way that optimizes operational efficiency while meeting the IT business and computing needs of agile and effective business organizations.”

Courtesy: Realtime Nexus IT Management Alerts

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