Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SharePoint Foundation 2010 RTM available for download

SharePoint Foundation 2010 has left beta and is now available for download via the Microsoft web site at:




I have downloaded in and installed it onto a Windows 2008 R2 server without issues. The new release automatically downloads and installed the additional components it requires which is a change from the beta release. So far that is about the biggest change I can see but more information after some more testing.


Now, the interesting question – will SharePoint Foundation 2010 RTM run on SBS 2008? Out of the box no, because it requires a number of additional components such as:


- Windows Identity Foundation

- Microsoft Sync Framework RunTime v1.0

- Powershell V2

- etc


None of these appear to get installed automatically so I’m trying to install them manually one by one and then installing SharePoint Foundation 2010 RTM. At this stage, I’m not 100% sure it can be installed and am in the process of checking but I get the feeling that it probably won’t work or that some of the prerequisites may break other components of SBS 2008.


I’d suggest that you at least hang off trying to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 RTM on SBS 2008 until I can run a few tests.


More updates soon.

In the beginning



Above you’ll see an email I recently received from Linkedin telling me that they now have 100 Million users and that I was user 737,876.


For many years after joining Linkedin I must admit that I really didn’t use it, but all that has changed of late. In many ways I think Linkedin has become the Facebook for business. Think about it, Linkedin can give you access to 100+ million people. Now who wouldn’t want that tohelp their business or career?


I am still amazed at how many people I know that don’t use. It is not that it costs anything as well as providing a place for you to create an online CV, Linkedin is now so much more than that. It is way for me to stay connected to a whole rang of business people over their career. Chances are when people move to a new position they may be looking for people with a certain skills set. Where do you think the most likely place they are going look? More and more I’ll bet it is via Linkedin.


One of the other powerful features of Linkedin is the ability to write testimonials for others. This makes recommending someone simple and easy. This also makes your profile so much more powerful when people visit because they can view all these testimonials.


Like any networking tool, you simply can’t just set it and forget it. You need to keep working it, adding information, adding activities, adding contacts, etc. The more you add the more powerful ii becomes to help grow your career and/or your business.


If you are not already using Linkedin then I suggest you get yourself across to the site and set up your profile. If you have a profile, but have neglected it, I’d suggest you get in there and update it. No matter what I suggest you start making Linkedin a central part of business networking strategy.


Have a look at my profile:




and connect up with me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

We shall remember them


Today in Australia and New Zealand it is ANZAC day. A day when we remember the day that Australians and New Zealander’s landed on Anzac Cove in the Dardanelles, on Turkish soil, in an attempt to bring the First World War to a speedy conclusion.


Unfortunately the campaign resulted in a stalemate and in the end the ANZAC force was evacuated. It then went on to fight with distinction in the battlefields of France.


Gallipoli, as the place is known to Australians, resulted in a number of ‘firsts’ for Australia. It was the first place we fought together as a nation and it was the place that we received our first Victoria Cross, the ultimate military medal for bravery in combat.


During the 9 months of the Gallipoli campaign, 9 Victoria Crosses were awarded and 8,709 men were killed. Contrast this to the 5,333 who were killed or wounded in the first battle of the western front at Fromelles in 1916.


Now contrast this again to the final battle Australian troops fought in during World War I – Mont St Quentin, in which 8 Victoria Crosses were awarded for a single battle. My point is that I am glad to see that ANZAC day is becoming a day that we remember all our service people both past and serving as the awareness grows beyond one simply landing.


Another interesting point that I was pondering today. During World War I we received 63 Victoria Crosses. During World War II we won 20 and during Vietnam 4. Since Vietnam there has not be a Victoria Cross awarded until recently when 2 were awarded to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. It seems to me that there is a correlation between the number of losses we sustain in a war and the number of Victoria Crosses awarded and unfortunately it seems that both are increasing again all these years after the war to end all wars.


For those that are interested, like me, the Australian Battlefields of World War I – France take a look at my site www.anzacsinfrance.com.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Productivity and health

I was watching a recent video upload from Tim Ferriss which you’ll find here:



For those who haven’t heard of him he the author of the 4 Hour Work Week and the 4 Hour Body both I which I commend to people. Now Tim’s work certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but a lot of what he says really resonates with me.


One of the topics he deals with is the link between health and productivity. When Richard Branson was asked what one way he would recommend to lift productivity, his answer was simple – work out. Tim also mentions a great book (which I have also read) called “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” which demonstrates the link between improve brain function and physical activity.


All this got me to thinking. Some of the smartest and hardest working people I know are also the most unfit. Imagine what they could achieve if they could improve their fitness. So many of them pooh-pooh the idea regular physical activity citing time constrains and workloads, etc. My response to that is this is simply an excuse. How do I know? Well, I was in a similar boat for many years. Although I have always been physically active I did not differentiate between exercise for recreation and exercise for health. I do now.


As Tim notes, exercise for health does not necessarily mean absolutely killing yourself in the gym. It means setting some goals, developing a plan and measuring the results. As time progresses it is matter of finding out what is minimum amount of work that can be done for the maximum result. Simple efficiency if you will. Problem is that too many people don’t take the time to learn and understand their body and what works for them, they are lead by ‘popular opinion’. As Tim notes, popular opinion is wrong most of the time.


Even if you dislike Tim you should at least acknowledge the process he goes through to obtain results. He tests, and adjusts. Measures and adjusts. Learns and adjusts. In recent time this is exact what I have been doing for myself (more in later posts) and I can’t tell you the improvement that it has made for me.


There is no time like the present to make a change, and the secret to successful change is to make in small increments. However, just as importantly you need to MEASURE what you do so you can spot trends. Again, in the above video Tim responses to a question about what are the key characteristics of successful people. One of his observations is that they measure and record their results so they can spot trends.


Let me ask you, what are you doing?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Office365 public beta now available

You can now get your hands on Office365. Sign up today at:


View the press release at:


and don’t forget who to call when you need help with Office365 (especially SharePoint), that’s right me (director@ciaops.com).

Review - Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration

Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration by Todd Klindt
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

An excellent book on SharePoint 2010 that cover a wide spectrum of topics. It would be suitable for most people who want to better understand what SharePoint 2010 can offer. The main focus is on the SharePoint Server 2010 product rather than SharePoint 2010 Foundation but that doesn't mean that it still isn't relevant for Foundation users.

It covers the whole gambit from installation to branding and customization. The book contains plenty of technical information as well a tutorial style walk throughs to help you better understand exactly what the capabilities of SharePoint 2010 are. I especially like how the SharePoint terminology and functions are described and explained in detail by the author.

In summary the book is a a valuable edition to any SharePoint administrator's library.

I read this on my Kindle (also available via the CIAOPS Amazon Affiliate store) and found no major issues. Some of the screen shots were a bit small on the Kindle device but not totally illegible. If I wanted to see more details on the images I simply used my Kindle PC or iPad app.

View all my reviews
Purchase from the CIAOPS Amazon Affiliate store

CIAOPS SharePoint bootcamps almost filled

I am happy to say that my upcoming SharePoint bootcamps are almost fully booked in each location (Melbourne 19th of May, Sydney 25th & 26th of May). Being limited to a maximum of 20 attendees this does make seats a little more exclusive. I would therefore recommend that if you are considering attending that you visit the registration site at:


and register to avoid disappointment.

Remember that all attendees get a 12 month subscription to my SharePoint Operations Guide (www.wssops.com) which gives you access to 2,000+ pages of documentation, hours of video tutorials, links, best practices and more. Apart from all meals and refreshments on the day attendees also receive a hard disk crammed with virtual machines images for training and testing, documentation and more.

As soon as you sign up you’ll get access to my SharePoint Operations Guide, so with a limited number of places left I’d suggest you register soon to avoid missing out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Essential viewing

On of the things that I’m currently hanging out to see is how SBS 2011 Essentials integrates with Office365. The above video which is part of a number of training on SBS 2011 Essentials I reckon is really worth a closer look because it provides an important insight into not only the Office365 integration but also the swag of other addins that are coming soon. The rest of the training can be found here:


Why is this important? It demonstrates to me that Microsoft is committed to making SBS 2011 Essentials a relevant product for the market but it also demonstrates to me that they GET what is happening out there with technology. What do I mean by this? I mean that fact that world is all about apps now rather than web sites. Many products are delivered directly via their totally encapsulated ‘application’ without the need for the browser. The app manages everything from installation to management and even updating. This is exactly the model Microsoft appears to be going down with the addins for SBS 2011 Essentials.

I also like the look of the Windows 7 Phone integration which allows plenty of directly control of your network right from a mobile device. Now of course all of this is blue sky mining until it becomes available but if you are interested in how SBS 2011 Essentials will connect to the cloud and how easy it appears that is going to be then I’d recommend you take a moment and have a look at this video.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April newsletter now available

I’ve completed the CIAOPS April newsletter. If you are not a subscriber you can view it at:




It even has the ability to retweet, and ‘Like’ on Facebook. If you want to be a subscriber you can sign up at:




and past editions are found at:




as part of the these newsletters there is also a video edition which you can view at:

CIAOPS April 2011 video Newsletter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZa1Vc3wzVw


As always happy to receive any feedback or suggestions (http://www.ciaops.com/contact).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reality check

I heard a number of people recently say that they wouldn’t store their data in data centres because it is more likely to be hacked and stolen. Ah, …say what…? Rather than get into the technicalities of cloud security let me draw an analogy here.

If you really wanted to you could stick all your money under you mattress at home. Does that make in immune from theft? Nope. Most people elect to trust their money to a bank. You’ll pay a fee for this but you gain a certain amount of increased security and convenience. Given that banks are holding the assets of many people they can spread the cost of improved security across all the customers as well as given them the convenience of accessing their money just about everywhere.

Does this mean you won’t maintain some money at home and in your wallet? Nope. It just means you don’t have to maintain all your savings with you all the time. Does this mean that a bank isn’t subject to theft? Certainly not. But generally you’d have to agree that it is less likely to be subject to theft even though it looks after a lots of people’s money.

Security is never perfect, security is journey not a destination, security is about human beings and human beings are far from perfect and finally it is about risk and return. Sure you could keep all your money under your mattress but is it really more secure? And what price do you pay in convenience over trusting it to a bank? Seems to me that most people see the rewards of being with a bank much greater than the risk. Banks are also commercial entities, which means they need to abide by legislation on how they deal with people’s money. They are also private enterprises whose reputation (and stock price) will suffer if theft occurs. These is just two powerful incentives for banks to ensure they keep people’s money secure.

So how is it that people seem to think their data is more secure if it is saved on a server in their office? Chances are that server is connected to the Internet full time. This makes it its own data centre. Why is it people believe their own little in house data centre is less subject to attack that a large commercial data centre? It really just doesn’t make any sense.

Of course there is the argument that if you money gets stolen while in a bank it will generally get refunded by the bank but what happens in the case of your information being stolen? Once your information has been stolen there is generally not a lot a way to ‘replace’ it. However, let’s look at the fact that people are happy to send emails full of that same information to people they have never met, unencrypted and unsecured across the public Internet without a moments thought. Even given this hugely insecure process it still remain wildly popular doesn’t it? Why? Because the convenience trumps the security issues. Risk and reward at work again.

There are certainly challenges with cloud computing including the storage and security of data. Yes by all means lets have a debate about the issue, but lets have a debate about the reality of the world we live in not some hysterical emotional response to a perception of the truth.

Humming to the tune

I attending a hands on training course for Windows Intune this week. Firstly, what is Windows Intune? Well, according to the marketing blurb:

The Windows Intune cloud service delivers management and security capabilities through a single Web-based console so you can keep your computers and users operating at peak performance from anywhere. Give your users the best Windows experience with Windows 7 Enterprise or standardize your PCs on the Windows version of your choice.

It is basically a cloud based security and management subscription service from Microsoft that also includes a Windows 7 Enterprise license. This allows you to manage the security updates for a desktop, maintain anti-virus/malware, as well provide remote support. This is all done via a subscription of about $13 per PC per month.

One of the benefits that Windows Intune provides is the ability to aggregate a number of different PC’s into a single console. This would allow an IT Service provide to manage and maintain a number of clients PC’s all from a single web console without the need to invest in their own infrastructure.

There has been plenty of noise from IT Service providers who already have these features via other third part suppliers that Windows Intune is not worth their time and effort (as evidenced in the low turn out for my course). On that score I beg to differ.

Firstly, Windows Intune allows customers to nominate a partner or record. This means that any business so nominated receives a small ongoing commission. Secondly, no other third party management software I know of comes with a Windows 7 Enterprise license. This license allows the user (provided they maintain their subscription) to always upgrade to the latest version of Windows. This is an excellent method to ensure that customers are up to date with their operating system as well as generating migration and upgrade revenue for the service providers.

Windows Intune is certainly not as feature rich as other third party applications already in the market but remember that this is only a version one product from Microsoft. If you want to understand the potential of this product then you only have to look at the onsite monitoring Microsoft already has with the likes of System Center. If Microsoft can deliver this type of solution via a hosted cloud subscription, including a Windows OS license, then it will certainly be a strong player in the market in my opinion.

At this stage I have rolled out Windows Intune to my families PC’s and it is working quite well. I can easily see the machines, their status, security level and what software they have installed. I am interested to see when the next patch Tuesday rolls around how easily I can deploy updates to the machines but it looks very straight forward.

I like what I’m seeing in Windows Intune so far and I am very hopeful for the quick enhancement of this product. Hopefully at the next release they can integrate it with on site Windows Update Services to allow patches to be delivered from a central on site repository. However, as long as the product keep improving I am confident that it is great solution to add to my arsenal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Setting maximum upload size in SharePoint 2010

By default SharePoint has a limit of 50MB per uploaded file. This value can be changed via the SharePoint Central Administration console.




Select Start | All Programs | Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products | SharePoint 2010 Central Administration. Right mouse click on the program and select Run as Administrator from the menu that appears.




Accept the User Account Control dialog that appears by pressing the Yes button.




When the SharePoint Central Administration is display select Manage Web Applications from under the Application Management section in the top left.




Select the Web Application you wish to change by clicking on it once so it is highlighted. From the Ribbon menu select the pull down arrow below the General Settings button. From the menu that appears select the General Settings option.




Scroll down the window that is displayed until you locate the Maximum Upload Size section.




Adjust maximum file upload size to the desired amount. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and select OK to save the changes.


Exit the SharePoint Central Administration.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April release of CIAOPS SharePoint Guide


The April 2011 version of my SharePoint Operations Guide is now available for subscribers. In this month’s edition you’ll find out how to change the passphrase on a SharePoint farm which is really  important if you are now using SBS 2011 Standard. Why? Because it is installed with a random passphrase and if you need to repair the installation of SharePoint Foundation 2010, and you don’t know the passphrase then you’ll have no option but to uninstall and reinstall SharePoint Foundation 2010. Yuk!


You’ll also find some information about Office365, especially in regards to SharePoint online.


I’m also please to welcome along a number of new subscribers who have received my Guide after signing up to my upcoming SharePoint bootcamp. When you sign up you’ll get a whole days hands on training PLUS a 12 month subscription to my Guide. Even better, if you sign up now the subscription won’t start till May, so you’ll get 13 months of the Guide.


Would you believe that next month marks 3 years of the Guide? Who’d thought, all those years ago that it would grow to what it has become today? Not me that’s for sure. So I take this opportunity to thank all my subscribers for their continued support.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

SBS 2011 Companyweb upgrade gotcha

Hopefully people know that Companyweb content databases on SBS 2011 Standard are limited to 10GB in size total because SBS 2011 Standard uses SQL Express 2008 R2 as its storage mechanism. What you may not appreciate is that there is NOT a 1:1 conversion process during a migration.

This means that if you are migrating your content databases from SBS 2008 or SBS 2003 Companyweb they may end up being significantly bigger in SBS 2011 Standard. This is something I didn’t appreciate until recently. I was working on a migration of a 7GB Companyweb site to SBS 2011 when I uncovered the issue. I had successfully migrated the databases to WSS v3 from WSS v2 but during the migration to SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2011 Standard I received the following error part way through the conversion process:

Action of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPContentDatabaseSequence failed

After a bit of Googling it would seem that this error is due to lack of free space on the source drive. That wasn’t the issue for me but when I looked at the Companyweb content databases they had grown to almost 10GB in size. Given that 10GB is the limit of the version of SQL that SBS 2011 Standard uses I had no option but to use a full blown version of SQL, which doesn’t have the database size limitation, to at least complete the migration process.

After completing the migration process I found the databases had grown from their original 7GB to over 16GB. This raises an important gotcha when migrating old Companyweb content. Even though your existing databases are less than the 10GB limit imposed by SQL 2008 Express R2 on SBS 2011 Standard you need to allow for the databases to grow substantially during the migration process. This would indicate that you can’t comfortably convert databases that are greater than 4GB without the risk of the conversion process exceeding the database limitations.

I can’t say for certain if different types of content (i.e. files versus lists) makes any difference and whether coming from Companyweb on SBS 2003 via WSS v3 or Companyweb on SBS 2008 directly makes any difference during the conversion process. I do however suggest that if you are looking at conversions of Companyweb data around the 4GB mark or more you test to ensure that the conversion process will run within the 10GB limit that you are restricted to on SBS 2011 Standard.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook

I have recently completed providing technical feedback for the book :

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration Cookbook from Packt Publishing

Which covers:

The book starts off by demonstrating the various upgrading and post-upgrading tasks to be performed in SharePoint 2010. Next come recipes for managing SharePoint service-level applications and for monitoring the SharePoint environment. The book introduces one of the best new tools that should be in your arsenal, PowerShell, and the commands you will need to script your tasks with Powershell.

You can purchase the book from :


and is a worthwhile addition to any IT Professional who administers SharePoint 2010.