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Best Practices Analyzers (BPA)

Okay, it's just shocking to me the number of people that haven't heard of these. I could blame Microsoft and say that they aren't doing a good job publicizing, but I can't. Until the day comes that I read every single Microsoft newsletter that hits my inbox, I am simply not allowed to complain about Microsoft not telling me about something.

So here we go:

SBS 2008 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=86a1aa32-9814-484e-bd43-3e42aec7f731&displaylang=en

SBS 2003 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3874527A-DE19-49BB-800F-352F3B6F2922&displaylang=en

The SBS BPA tools are absolute must haves on all SBS boxes.

Not running SBS?

Exchange Analyzer Tools main page: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/bb288481.aspx

Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4BDC1D6B-DE34-4F1C-AEBA-FED1256CAF9A&displaylang=en

Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (for anything to do with remotely accessing Exchange, also works with SBS): https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/

SQL Server 2005 BPA: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=DA0531E4-E94C-4991-82FA-F0E3FBD05E63&displaylang=en

SQL Server 2008 BPA (Not ready yet, but here's a link to something related): http://blogs.technet.com/andrew/archive/2008/03/30/sql-server-2008-best-practice.aspx

The Microsoft IT Health Scanner: http://blogs.technet.com/essentialbusinessserver/archive/2009/06/29/microsoft-it-health-scanner-released.aspx

You could even use the EBS Preparation Wizard to give a network a clean bill of health: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc768594(WS.10).aspx

With the release of Server 2008 R2, Microsoft has taken BPAs to the next level and included them for every single server role: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd759260.aspx

Now, one thing I feel is missing here is some kind of Terminal Server or Remote Desktop Services (RDS) BPA. I don't think the RDS BPA included with R2 really hones in on best practices that directly affect performance and the user experience, which I think would be valuable. Maybe someday soon.

The truth might not be out there, but help sure is.

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