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Archive for the ‘Small Business Server 2008’ Category

IIS errors when running 32-bit application pools on SBS 2008

August 17, 2010 12 comments

I have run into this problem a few times with customer migrations, and again recently when installing some service packs and updates.  Consider the following scenario:

You are running one or more 3rd-party web applications on a machine running Small Business Server 2003.  You decide it is time to upgrade to Small Business Server 2008 only to find that your web applications no longer function, and the application pool is crashing. 

This is because SBS 2008 is a 64-bit operating system, and the web application you are trying to run has 32-bit components.  If you look in the Event Viewer, you will likely see the following in the Application log as well:

A listener channel for protocol ‘http’ in worker process ‘####’ serving
application pool ‘DefaultAppPool’ reported a listener channel failure. The
data field contains the error number.

Application pool ‘DefaultAppPool’ is being automatically disabled due to a
series of failures in the process(es) serving that application pool.

If you edit the Advanced Settings for the Application Pool and set Enable 32-Bit Applications to True (see above), you will be met with a new problem: 500.19.

This can be remedied by editing a few lines the applicationhost.config file (C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config) like thus:

<add name=”PasswordExpiryModule” image=”C:\Windows\system32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll” />

becomes

<add name=”PasswordExpiryModule” image=”C:\Windows\system32\RpcProxy\RpcProxy.dll” preCondition=”bitness64″ />

This, along with an IISRESET, will fix the IIS errors and let your 32-bit ASP web application play nice on SBS 2008.  Should you later install Exchange 2007 SP3, you will need to repeat the process for exppw.dll (it is listed twice – once in GlobalModules and once in Modules).

Just for the record, this problem is not limited to SBS 2008.  It’s the rpcproxy.dll that has the incompability with 32-bit application pools that causes this, and that DLL is needed for Outlook Anywhere and the Terminal Services Gateway role.  You may see this on any 64-bit Exchange 2007 server or Terminal Server Gateway server, depending on your configuration.

Microsoft announces Small Business Server 7!

We’ve had some people take vacations at Vision One recently, so the rest of us have been spread pretty thin, and I completely missed the fact that Microsoft revealed some of the details on the much-anticipated successor to Small Business Server 2008.  This announcement was made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference early this past Monday, July 12th, 2010.  According to The Official SBS Blog, there will be public preview releases for the next version of SBS within the next month or two.  And yes, you read that right; there will be TWO releases:

  • Windows Small Business Server “7”:  This next version of SBS will include a richer remote access experience, replaces Windows Server 2008 with Windows Server 2008 R2, replaces Exchange Server 2007 with Exchange Server 2010, and will also replace Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with SharePoint 2010 Foundation.  SBS 7 will still have the 75 user limit.
  • Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”: This is a whole new type of SBS.  Aurora, as it is being called right now, will offer a mix of traditional and cloud capabilities.  Some of the features it boasts is automated backup and restore capabilities, organizing/accessing business information from almost anywhere, and will be limited to 25 users.

If you are familiar with the SBS platform, then there isn’t much I can tell you about SBS 7 that you didn’t already get from the above, so I won’t go into that.  Instead, I will elaborate on Aurora a little.  Aurora is meant only for new customers since it cannot be joined to an existing Active Directory domain, and must be the first server in a new domain.  Based on some of the screenshots and management features, a lot of the code base is likely shared with Microsoft Home Server “Vail”, which only makes sense as this is meant for customers with 5-25 PCs.  One big difference between SBS 7 and SBS Aurora is the lack of e-mail and collaboration on the box.  Instead, Aurora customers will leverage Microsoft’s hosted services for Exchange and SharePoint.  My feelings are torn on this idea until I see pricing, since SBS Aurora will mean a monthly fee for the hosted components, whereas SBS 7 has no monthly costs.  One nice perk with Aurora is that in addition to Windows Server Backup there will be a PC image backup tool for customers who need to backup client machines.

For those of you interested in beta-testing the new SBS line, head on over to this link to be notified on updates from Microsoft 🙂

Vision One is now a Microsoft Small Business Specialist!

May 8, 2010 1 comment

If you are familiar with our company, you probably already knew that the majority of our customers are in the SMB market. We cater to companies of all sizes, but our focus is primarily on small businesses that aren’t big enough to justify a full-time IT staff, but still have IT needs. We have taken the next step to further ourselves in this growing market by becoming a Microsoft Small Business Specialist. Basically this means that we have engineers and technicians on staff that are Microsoft certified in the technologies that will affect you (the SMB customer) the most. It’s one thing to say we work with small businesses, but it holds a lot more clout when Microsoft recognizes our expertise in this market J.

RIM announces BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

February 16, 2010 5 comments

For the past few years, RIM has offered BlackBerry Professional Software to SMB customers as an alternative to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.  BPS was more or less a watered down version of BES (latest version was 4.1.4) with a hard limit of 30 users.  The server software was free, and included 1 CAL, and you could add up to 29 additional users by adding BES CALs.  Sadly, RIM killed the project a while ago, and while BES kept getting service packs and new features, BPS was starting to get stale.  My biggest pet peave was that BPS did not support Server 2008 (which was a big problem for SBS 2008 customers).

RIM just announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, which seems to be the replacement for BPS (and I can’t even find BPS on www.blackberry.com anymore).  It won’t be released until next month, but as far as I can tell, it is basically BPS with a new name, and the following features added:

  • 30 user limit has been increased to 75 (or 2000+ if installed on dedicated server)
  • Works with *BIS and BES data plans, software and CALs seem to be free
  • Remote file access (Windows Shared folders)
  • Support for SBS 2008 and Exchange 2010
  • Web-based administration

This means that the BlackBerry solution for SMB customers will be ABSOLUTELY FREE.  There is no cost for the software, and CALs are even free.  Also, no longer will end users need the enterprise data plan, which most carriers charge an extra $10/month per line for.  This will mean new features and a much lower cost for SMB customers!

*EDIT: I just read on the BES Express documentation that a BES data plan is needed for wireless enterprise activation, as well as: “Over-the-air (OTA) updates require a BlackBerry Enterprise data plan.”  This means BIS users will need an updated data plan if they want to stay wireless :/

Exchange 2007 Web Services stop responding after a few hours

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I recently had an issue with one of my customers where the Exchange Web Services in Exchange 2007 would stop responding after a few hours on Small Business Server 2008.  When this happened, the following features seemed to stop working:

  • Outlook Anywhere
  • Remote Web Workplace (users could login, but not connect to any machines)
  • BlackBerry Internet Service accounts using OWA would stop working
  • Test-Webservicesconnectivity from the Exchange 2007 shell would return 401 errors

By restarting IIS, all this would work again for a seemingly random period of time, at which point it all stopped again.  There were no errors in the Event Logs or IIS logs, so it was quite frustrating.  I posted this on the BerryReview Forums, and found that a couple other people had the same problems.  I also later realized that Outlook 2007 users were constantly being prompted to login, despite being logged into domain PCs as domain users (and the login prompt had no bearing on Outlook’s functionality).

I never did discover the source of the problem, but I was on Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 Update Rollup 7 when I ran into this.  I installed Update Rollup 9 and the problem went away…