Microsoft Simplifies Deployment Of Defender, Firewall, Windows Update

Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

According to Michael LeWorthy, a senior product manager at Microsoft, the Windows 7 Pro Pack add-in will help administrators ensure a minimum level of security, threat and data protection on all deployed Windows machines. For data protection, the update might be of particular benefit to mobile users, LeWorthy said, whose machines might not always be present when in-office networked backups occur.

"Most backups occur at night, when users are not in the office," he said. "And mobile and laptops users miss the client backup component when they're not in the office, and if they have critical data in the laptop, they lose it."

With folder redirection, which LeWorthy said will be enabled by default, data on remote machines is backed up as soon as machines are reconnected. "With Pro Pack, offline users save locally as they normally would, and data is replicated automatically to the server when they're on the network and then backed up by the server. When they make changes, info is instantly updated to the server as well.

The feature takes about six mouse clicks to set up, he said, and enables an instant cache of folders when a user connects. "All the folders I might have made changes to are backed up to the server. So it protects people who move in and out of the office."

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News of the pending Windows 7 Pro Pack add-in comes just weeks after release of the Windows Server Solutions Phone Connector for Small Business Server 2011 Essentials , which puts control of many SBS 2011 Essentials administrative functions in the hands of Windows Phone 7 users. "They can view alerts and perform backup database repair without a laptop and without opening the Dashboard," said LeWorthy, referring to the primary administration utility for SBS 2011 Essentials.

Smartphone admins also can reset passwords, disable user accounts and view reports on storage usage, all of which are among the most common tasks, particularly among urgent requests.

LeWorthy said resellers will be interested to know they can administer multiple customer servers using the tool, and get "at-a-glace actions right from the phone, or quickly determine whether I have to go into the laptop and take immediate action."

Using the phone connector requires server-side and client-side software. For the server, you'll need to download the Phone Connector add-in, and for the phone, you'll need to visit the Windows Phone Marketplace or go there on your Windows PC using the Zune client. Both are free.