Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free Remote Desktop through Firewall

I've been a fool for too long. There is a FREE (yes, FREEEEEEEEE!) tool for performing remote desktop through firewalls. has a free version of their tool for remote desktop access through firewalls.

This tool is excellent for users that want to remote control and office or home PC when they are in different locations. It is not as well suited for IT professionals that want to control PCs within the internal environment for repairs.

The biggest benefit of this software is that no firewall configuration is required. After the agent is installed on the PC, it initiates the connection out through the firewall on port 80. If your computer has web access without authentication, then game on.

If you need other tools like the ability to transfer files or print, then you can upgrade to another version with a monthly fee. The other main alternative product with a monthly fee is GoToMyPC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Exchange 2007 Backup on Win2008 - Finally!

This may be not overly relevant to many environments, but Microsoft is finally releasing a solution for backing up Exchange 2007 when running on Windows Server 2008. When you install Exchange 2007 SP2 the functionality is added.

If you have SBS2008, this functionality is already there. If you are a large organization, you likely have third party backup software that performs Exchange 2007 backups. However, for mid-sized organizations trying to save a few $ on backup software, this is a life saver. I know of one client that will start using this immediately.

For more information see:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Testing Exchange 2007 connectivity

When you configure Outlook Anywhere or RPC over HTTP, the error messages from the client side are basically useless. However, there is a new Web site that simplifies the troubleshooting process.
When I used it to test RPC over HTTP connectivity to our Exchange 2003 server, it came up with an error on our GoDaddy certificate. However, the certificate is legitimate and works fine for both Web stuff and RPC over HTTP. So, perhaps there's a reason it's still in beta.

For a more detailed description of the tool see this article from the MSExchangeTeam:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Windows 7 Backup

I was playing with Windows 7 today and I noticed that the backup utility is much improved over Vista. Two big things:
  • You can backup just specific files and folders. In Vista, it was done on a per volume (drive letter) basis.
  • The disk you back up to does not need to be dedicated to backup. So, you can just keep a folder for backups. Vista took a whole partition and then hid it from you so that you couldn't put other data on it.