Default Web Sites installed by SBS

On Experts-Exchange.com, I often have to describe the set of FOUR default web sites that are initially installed by SBS.  Because the formatting on EE’s posting tool does not provide for pre-formatted text, the list always comes out rather jumbled.  So, in the interest of clarity, I will post the information here:

Description

Identifier

State

Host header value

IP address

Port

SSL Port

Default Web Site

1

Running

  

*All Unassigned*

80

443

Microsoft SharePoint Administration

2

Running

  

*All Unassigned*

8109

  

SharePoint Central Administration

3

Running

  

*All Unassigned*

8081

  

companyweb

4

Running

companyweb

192.168.16.2

80

444

 

Please note. There are two items above which may be different on your SBS:

  1. Microsoft SharePoint Administration Port – 8109 is a random port assigned during installation. Yours may be different.
  2. Companyweb IP address. This should be the INTERNAL IP address of your SBS. Yours may be different.
Advertisements

So, you want to use multiple User or Computer OUs on your SBS?

 

As you may know, Small Business Server 2003 requires that you keep the default Organizational Units (OUs) within Active Directory that are created during the initial setup of SBS.  Modifying even the names (ie, changing MyBusiness to some other less non-descript name) will cause all sorts of things to go wrong with your server and your domain.  Even though you are required to keep the SBS order to your Active Directory, you can still use OUs to organize your users and to apply specific Group Policies to certain groups. 

First you will need to create the new OU in the proper SBS-defined location, which is within the Users container directly under MyBusiness.  Since all of the SBS default group policies are linked at the domain level, there’s no benefit to placing the OU anywhere else in the Active Directory structure.  But, by creating it within the MyBusiness\Users Container, your new OU will work just great with SBS’s management tools.

 

After creating the OU, the next step is to create a User Template which will be used when adding new users via SBS’s Add User Wizard.  User Templates ensure that you have all the proper settings applied to a new user without having to manually tweak each item.  Because you’ve created a new OU, there will be this additional OU selection screen in the Add Template Wizard that you otherwise wouldn’t see:

You’ll note that once the first additional OU is created, you can create other ones on the fly by clicking on the "Create new OU…" button.

You can then create any Group Policy Objects you like and link them to the specific OU for which they apply.  Of course, creating additional Computer OUs would be done in much the same way with any new OU residing within the MyBusiness\Computers container.

Zipcar makes zero points with me for new website!

I’ve been using Zipcar now for about six months and for the most part I love the service.  Especially since I moved into an apartment building that has a bunch of Zipcars parked in the garage below.  For those that aren’t familiar with the company or it’s concept, Zipcar is a car-sharing company that rents cars by the hour which can be reserved within seconds once you’ve been approved for the program. 

One thing that I’ve always loved about Zipcar is that I can easily make a reservation or extend my current reservation right from my Motorola Q Smartphone.  Well, I could do that up until a few days ago. That’s when Zipcar launched "the redesign of its web-reservation and patent-pending "Z3D Knowledge Center." 

When the folks at Zipcar were hinting about this new system last month and allowed members to try it out, the first thing I noticed was that it didn’t work at all from my phone.  Not even in the "Full Desktop" view that I can normally use for even the worst designed websites.  I then went to send feedback regarding the new site, and the Operating System choices were as follows:

Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Mac
Linux
Other

I thought for sure this must just be an oversight during the pre-launch… that of course they would come out with http://mobile.zipcar.com (or the stylish http://m.zipcar.com).  But it now looks as though they just didn’t even think about it.  Now I’m not a web development expert by any means… I do have a fair understanding of the ajax elements though.  More importantly, I use plenty of mobile web applications and sites to know how important it is to make sure that mobile users can freely access your web site.  Especially if your primary busines is mobility!

To be honest, Zipcar does make it rather easy to extend your reservation over the phone on their automated system.  It’s just a couple of digits to press.  But, that’s only convenient if you are extending an hour or so and the car you are currently using isn’t booked after your slot.  Any situation that’s more complex really requires a view of availability… and that brings us back to the browser that doesn’t work on my phone anymore. 

C’mon Zipcar!  Is it really that sleepy in Boston?

SBS is Different, Part 2

I can’t tell you how many SBS Consultants or Admins I talk to regarding their SBS issues begin the conversation with … "The strangest thing…" or "This is really weird…".  You know what?  These things are hardly ever strange or weird when it’s apparent that the server has been misdeployed, misconfigured, or mismanaged.

Unlike many other Topic Areas, if there is an SBS anywhere in the realm of the problem, it’s generally an SBS issue. The reason for this is due to SBS’s centralized role in its network, and the general misunderstanding of most experts as to the nature of SBS and its unique requirements.

What I generally find, when I go to a site with SBS installed already, are a string of configuration settings that would not only be wrong for an SBS environment, and unfortunately they have often caused damage to the server or network that is only correctable by doing a complete reinstallation.

The nature of SBS is such that it’s an integrated platform which contains components that would never be combined in a normal environment. The fact that it looks like a normal server, feels like a normal server and even acts like a normal server makes it all the more difficult to get the point across to folks that it’s NOT a normal server. Most often, someone with a tremendous amount of Server 2003 experience will offer up their assistance and then deploy an SBS in a way that would be just fine for a Standard Server.  They make mistakes such as creating new Organizational Units in order to link a new Group Policy. If they are unaware that you cannot create OU’s outside of the standard SBS Active Directory structure, then they will end up breaking the server’s tools and possibly the entire AD. Most often, these seasoned experts have never installed an SBS, or even seen one operate.

So, please make sure your SBS is installed by someone who is familiar with SBS, or at least is willing to read and follow the manual.  If you want to get your hands on a good book to assist in deploying your SBS check out the list I’ve put together here:  SBS Book List