WServerNews: Are you nearing the edge?

In this issue:

Infrastructure limits. Microsoft Build takeaways. VMware walkways. Ridiculously easy security awareness. Centralized log management solution. Monitoring Azure. IT Bookshelf: Radical Reporting. Factoid: Failing to plan. Fun videos from Flixxy. Productive meetings and other non sequiturs. Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

Better not look down if you’re this close to the edge. Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

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Editor’s Corner

We talk a lot these days in our IT community about “edge computing” and how it’s helping enterprises overcome the limitations of centralizing data storage and processing functions. Some industry watchers claim that edge computing is revolutionizing the cloud computing paradigm by bringing significant improvements in application responsiveness and agility to customers. For a good summary of some benefits of edge computing see this article on Data Center Frontier.

But there’s another “edge” that’s making its presence felt for many of us these days who work in the IT sphere. It’s an edge in the sense of a limit to how far we can take our current IT solutions without having them fall off the edge into oblivion. Two recent articles I read this week raised this issue in my mind.

The first one is an article on ITPro, a UK-based technology site. The article talks about how live streaming has been pushing IT infrastructure to its absolute limits for many enterprises and how this problem is only poised to get worse as 5G makes inroads with consumers and businesses. In many jurisdictions this is not just a service provider problem, it’s a hodgepodge collection of issues associated with the entire backhaul infrastructure undergirding Internet connectivity between businesses, customers and the world. If major initiatives are not planned soon to resolve these issues, the result can only be frustration and disappointment by consumers over poor application performance and hits on the reputation and revenue of companies relying upon streaming services.

The second article is on Network Computing, an Informa site I’ve been following for many years. The article is titled Petabyte-Scale Deployments Push Existing Storage Systems to the Brink and it talks about how today’s storage solutions are frequently falling short in meeting customer needs. While the organization you work at as an IT professional may not yet be facing petabyte-scale storage issues, the rapid rise of processing and storing big data in business environments and need for archival storage of such data means that very likely your organization will be approaching the limits of its data storage capabilities sooner than you might imagine.

What limits in processing, storage and communication is your IT infrastructure facing? How close are you to dropping over the edge into the pool of poor performance and user dissatisfaction? Do you wake up each day feeling like you’re only a few steps away from the edge of a cliff when it comes to keeping your organization’s infrastructure running? How close are you to the edge?

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This Week in IT

A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors. Feel free to email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in.

Microsoft Build has come and gone, and for those readers who missed it (or managed to avoid it) we have a few links to some recap articles that summarize what several different pundits feel was most important at the online event:

Of course Microsoft Build wasn’t the only major IT event that happened recently, there was also VeeamON, Veeam’s global user and partner conference focused on Modern Data Protection. And VeeamON even took place in Las Vegas which made it much more fun than Build, which was only online (boo-hoo, Microsoft). Veeam legender Chris Childerhose has a blog post recapping this event on the Veeam Community Blog. It’s a very good blog post because it uses bullet points to concisely summarize important information instead of rambling on in paragraphs that bloggers often do in order to fill the sky with words. (Just my opinion).

There’s no need of course for us to talk about the recent acquisition of VMware by Broadcom which is being covered endlessly elsewhere in the tech media universe. One news item concerning the acquisition did catch our attention however—and almost took our breath away: Broadcom to ‘focus on rapid transition to subscriptions’ for VMware (the Register).

Yikes. Hear that?

It’s the sound of countless companies ditching VMware and transitioning instead to KVM-based solutions like Proxmox and oVirt.

Do you use VMware in your environment? How will your company feel if what The Register talks about actually happens? Email us!

Windows news

Just one Windows client news item caught our attention this past week. It’s directed at those who are still running Windows 7 SP1 in their environment and have been forcing the installation of security updates with ESU Bypass v11. It seems that some doing this scenario are seeing their PC’s lose their activation status. If that’s you, check out this article by Günter Born.

Windows Server news

And a couple of things of interest concerning the Windows Server platform. First comes an announcement from Elden Christensen passed on to us by Pierre Roman that WSL2 now available on Windows Server 2022 (ITOps Talk Blog). And second we are informed by Günter Born that Microsoft has provided guidance on protecting against KrbRelayUp attacks in Windows domains (Born’s Tech and Windows World).

Upcoming webcasts, events and conferences

Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!

June 8 – Live Demo: Ridiculously Easy Security Awareness Training and Phishing (KnowBe4)

June 8 – Webcast: Threat Spotlight: Cloud-Native Ransomware (SANS)

June 9 – Webinar: Tools for Better Network Monitoring and Observability (NetworkComputing)

June 21-23 – Data Center Week, a 3-day online event produced by Endeavor Business Media’s Cabling Installation & Maintenance, Data Center Frontier, and Lightwave (Data Center Frontier)

Also be sure to check out the following event listings:

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Meet the Editors!

MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.

INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.

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IT Workshop – tools, whitepapers and more

Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!

Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is Graylog a centralized log management solution for capturing, storing, and enabling real-time analysis of terabytes of machine data.

Choosing a firewall is no trivial matter, especially for a small business with a limited budget. For guidance in this area see this article by John Villanueva on TechGenix. Also be sure to check out Kerio Control the next-generation firewall and unified threat management product from GFI.

Need an encrypting USB flash drive with USB-C connectivity and a touchscreen you can use for entering a pin or password? Check out the Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50.

Learn Raspberry Pi and Arduino with 9 Online Developer Training Courses – For a limited time, you can get lifetime access to nine courses on Arduino and Raspberry Pi development for just $39.99 via the Hacker News

Windows Autopatch automates the process of managing and rolling out updates for Windows and Microsoft 365 apps. For more information and to join the public preview see this post on the Windows IT Pro Blog.

Tips and Tutorials

Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!

Azure DevOps can be a one-stop-shop platform for managing source code for applications. Learn how to use it in this short series of articles by Eric Eissler on TechGenix:

A Starting Point for Monitoring Azure (Core Infrastructure and Security Blog) explains how you can stay updated on the status of Azure.

Some tips and tutorials on Hyper-V:

Got multiple Outlook email accounts? Are you struggling to manage them? Check out My three tips to make Outlook management better with Microsoft Sweep by Eileen Brown (OnMSFT).


Got a freebie you want to offer our readers? You can reach almost 200,000 IT pros worldwide with our newsletter—email us!

COMING SOON: Free ebook– Trust No One and Automate (Almost) Everything: Building a Modern Zero Trust Strategy (The New Stack)

Free ebook – How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center (Altaro)

Free ebook – The Top 4 Cybersecurity Threats of 2022 (The Hacker News)

IT Bookshelf: Radical Reporting

If you’ve ever written a report for your organization you know that it can sometimes be heavy going. After all, one of the reasons that many of us in our IT profession entered the field of technology in the first place is because we failed English in high school. Give me a math problem anyday, but write an essay? Fuggedaboutit!

Unfortunately writing reports is sometimes an essential part of our profession, particularly when it comes to auditing information security. This is why you will want to get a copy of Radical Reporting: Writing Better Audit, Risk, Compliance, and Information Security Reports a new book from CRC Press. By following the principles and practices described in this book you’ll be able to write reports that others will appreciate reading instead of moving them onto the procrastination pile on the left side of their desk.

The author Sara James starts by exploring the nature and function of communication in different cultures and within teams of people working together. Clarity is essential in report writing, and she explores this concept in depth, analyzing why clarity is often missing in reports written by professionals. Practical strategies for achieving clarity in report writing are presented next, focusing on the ABCs of using the active voice in writing, being brief, and presenting information concretely. Hindrances to writing clearly are examined, followed by guidance on how to plan the structure and layout of your report. The book continues by explaining how to properly present observations and findings, offer recommendations, and create an executive summary. The concluding chapter then describes the best ways of undertaking the reviewing process, something that most of us tend to rush through because of the tedium and pain involved.

A good report is one that grabs the attention of its reader because of the importance of the content it presents. But the way that content is presented is what makes a report truly good, because important information alone often isn’t enough to change what needs to be changed as a result of the auditor’s investigation. If your $dayjob or the services you provide involve cyber security to any degree, and especially if they encompass governance, compliance and auditing, you’ll definitely want to read this fine book. Radical Reporting can be purchased from Amazon.

Factoid: Failing to plan

Our previous factoid was this:

Fact: Microsoft’s CEO Warns of the Impact of All Those Late-Night Emails (Bloomberg)


Question: Does your IT job require that you deal with late-night emails? How often does it happen? And how do you cope with it?

We received several responses to this one but the best by far was what Wayne Hanks who lives in Western Australia had to say on this subject:

Hi Mitch,

Ah, late night emails and phone calls ! The bane of any technician’s life, the mobile phone has made it easier for bosses to bug you about stuff that seriously should wait for business hours.

As you may know, I’ve worked for a number of industries that are 24/7, often as the only available IT staff.

The one I remember clearly was complaining to the IT manager at the stockbroker that I was working for about having been woken at 11pm the previous night. At this point in time I was getting up at 4am to be in the office by 5am as we were 3 hours behind the East coast and worked their business hours to provide support before the market opened. His response was that the work mobile was to be used for work calls, during work hours and that I should turn it off when I got home. I have since used that as my mantra, if I am not being paid a standby rate for answering the phone out of hours, then the phone goes off. I have also made it a policy that my personal number is never given to work colleagues unless they are a friend.

However when I was working for the shipping company, they were truly 24/7 and I had some weird and wonderful calls at all hours. In fact I had a call at midday on Christmas day as we were about to sit down to lunch, asking for a puk code for a mobile. After about half an hour I was able to get this from the carrier and relay it to my staff member. Unfortunately when working as the only IT staffer for a 24/7 operation, late night calls come with the turf. Fortunately the shipping company I was working with was all in one time zone, however they did occasionally have staff picking up vessels in Malaysia or the Middle East.

I have now got to the stage where I turn off the notification for emails on my phone and make sure it is on DND between 9pm and 6am, along with all weekend. I will usually look at my work phone in the morning, at lunch and before dinner and if nothing urgent is required, it gets left for the next business day.


P.S. I learnt many years ago that a failure to plan by other staff does not constitute an emergency on my behalf. In these days of delayed supply chains, I have learnt to let people know that they may see a significant delay if they do not plan sufficiently far ahead.

Wayne’s last comment inspired us to pose the following as this week’s factoid:

Fact: A failure to plan by other staff does not constitute an emergency on my behalf

Source: Lesson learned by reader Wayne Hanks from years of providing IT support to different companies.

Question: What’s the *worst* example of failing to plan that you’ve seen at companies where you’ve worked at or provided IT services for? Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!

Fun videos from Flixxy

Tom Cruise and James Corden – Tom Cruise takes comedian and television host James Corden to the Danger Zone in a Top Gun fighter jet.

Wingsuit Flight, Dolomites Italy – Experience the thrill of wingsuit flying through the cracks of the Dolomite mountains in South Tyrol, Italy.

OutHorse Your Email– Nothing ruins your vacation like work. Thankfully, Iceland has created the perfect solution.

Your Wife Is Always Right – The scientific reason your wife is always right as presented by comedian Don McMillan.

And Finally

The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.

From seawater to drinking water, with the push of a button (MIT News)

[That is totally amazing.]

Increase Meetings Productivity with Apps for Meetings (Public Sector Blog)

[That is totally impossible. I mean, a meeting that’s productive—really?!]

Mitsubishi Electric faked safety and quality control tests for decades (Bleeping Computer)

[First Volkswagen, now Mitsubishi. What’s next? Is there *any* big company you can trust nowadays?]

Links between paranormal beliefs and cognitive function described by 40 years of research (Science Daily)

[Well of course paranormals have brains that differ from ordinary people. I knew this article was going to appear long before it was published!]

Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!

Please tell others about WServerNews!

We hope you enjoyed this issue of WServerNews! Feel free to send us feedback on any of the topics we’ve covered—we love hearing from our readers! And please tell others about WServerNews! It’s free and always will be free—and they can subscribe to it here. Thanks!!!

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