Microsoft Bizspark – free business software for 3 years

If you’re thinking about which cloud service to use for a startup business, Microsoft just upped the ante with BizSpark.

Microsoft BizSpark https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark#start-two is really an amazing deal for business start-ups. If you wish you could get Microsoft software for free or for a huge discount check out their offer. BizSpark offers the following services and software for free for three years:

BizSpark gives startups 3 years of free stuff – software, services, tech support, and Azure cloud. Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1M annually. And at the end of your 3 years, you keep all the software you’ve downloaded – at no cost.

To expand on this service what you get with the Microsoft Bizspark details are the following:

Get up to $750 per month of FREE Azure cloud services for 3 years; that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers.

This potentially is a $27000 value!

Membership puts all Microsoft development and test software at your fingertips, including Azure, Windows, and Office 365 – for free. Plus, enjoy access to hundreds of free training classes, technical content, and 4 break-fix phone support incidents to help you on your journey.

It’s pretty amazing that BizSpark, in addition, also offers up to $120,000 worth of Azure credit.

Makes me want to go out and start a new business – hmm, maybe jasoncoltrin.com would qualify?

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SBS Server 2003 network connection NIC unresponsive. Solved!

After several restarts/reboots, a Small Business Server 2003 would not respond to pings, and was holding a network hostage by not servicing DNS requests. When trying to repair the Local Area Connection, the following error occurred: “Windows could not finish repairing the problem because the following  action cannot be completed:
Clearing the ARP cache”

After starting/stopping the Routing and Remote services service, and disabling/enabling the NIC in the Device Manager with no luck, we tried manually clearing the arp cache with the following actions:

Check the ARP table from the command line with the command:

arp -g

See if there are entries, and if so, delete them with the command:

arp -d *

This did not help and what did resolve/solve the issue was the following actions:

  1. Shut down the server (Start -> Shutdown)
  2. Once the server has completely shut down, remove the CAT5 Ethernet cable(s) from the Network Interface Card in the back of the server. Make a note which NIC port(s) the cable(s) are plugged into if there is more than one.
  3. Remove the power cable(s) from the back of the server. With both the power and Ethernet cables unplugged, press the power button on server to flush all electricity from the motherboard and interface cards.
  4. Replace the power and Ethernet cables, and power up/start the server normally. In our case the server began responding to pings and started running normally.
  5. After logging in, check to see that all services have started that are set to Automatic. To do this, go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Services. Sort services by Startup Type. All of the services with the Startup Type: Automatic should be in the “Started” status (except for some that normally stay stopped like Performance Logs and .NET services).

Hopefully this tip will save you some frustration from wrestling with a non-responsive NIC or hunting down Microsoft hotfix updates.

A final note that if the unresponsive server is your primary DNS/DHCP server, and while it’s down clients are unable to get out to the internet or contact other network resources, you may wish to modify your DHCP client lease settings to include some (external) DNS servers other than your primary DNS/DHCP server.

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ActiveSynch troubleshooting on Exchange/SBS 2003

Do you have Exchange running in your environment but are having trouble connecting iPhones and Android phones? ActiveSync is much more preferable to POP or IMAP, so hunker down and fix ActiveSync on your server to get email, calendar, and contacts synched with your smartphones. Below are two of my favorite links for troubleshooting ActiveSync on Exchange and Small Business Server 2003. I was able to resolve issues on a few servers who’s certificates had expired by using the following resources:

Alan Hardisty’s ActiveSync Configuration Guide is a great starting point:

http://alanhardisty.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/exchange-2003-and-activesync-configuration-and-troubleshooting/

Secondly, the following website can test Exchange connectivity in a number of different ways:

https://testexchangeconnectivity.com/

The site above is able to test exchange connectivity with the following tests:

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests
Microsoft Exchange Web Services Connectivity Tests
Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests
Internet E-Mail Tests

 

 

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ActiveSynch troubleshooting on Exchange/SBS 2003

Do you have Exchange running in your environment but are having trouble connecting iPhones and Android phones? ActiveSync is much more preferable to POP or IMAP, so hunker down and fix ActiveSync on your server to get email, calendar, and contacts synched with your smartphones. Below are two of my favorite links for troubleshooting ActiveSync on Exchange and Small Business Server 2003. I was able to resolve issues on a few servers who’s certificates had expired by using the following resources:

Alan Hardisty’s ActiveSync Configuration Guide is a great starting point:

http://alanhardisty.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/exchange-2003-and-activesync-configuration-and-troubleshooting/

Secondly, the following website can test Exchange connectivity in a number of different ways:

https://testexchangeconnectivity.com/

The site above is able to test exchange connectivity with the following tests:

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests
Microsoft Exchange Web Services Connectivity Tests
Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests
Internet E-Mail Tests

 

 

Hits: 40