Operating System Security(the joke is on us) part 2

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Oh boy oh boy here we go again yet another round of Microsoft patches. Why must we the small business owners have to deal with this stuff. For those business owners whom don’t have the time to research everyone of these patches, meaning what they will or will not break as in other software within the Windows system. If you are running a server this can be very daunting although there are those whom simply don’t care and just go on about their business because they don’t have any crucial software that needs to be up and running 99.9 percent of the time. But for those who do such as their office servers running either Small Business Server, Windows Server 2003 or SQL Servers this can be a total pain in the butt.

You come in to work the next morning and find that you can’t connect to your network printer or oops you can’t find that share drive you’ve always connected to and the database connection to Sharepoint server is no longer available; Not saying that these patches can cause any of this to happen although Microsoft has not confirm that they would not either.

Regardless our recommendation is to actually get a test machine running such Windows servers or Windows operating system just to make sure that everything is working correctly before you go an update all of the workstations/servers and break something.

Microsoft while trying to help patch their security holes actually go about breaking other things which you might need. So again the “joke is on us”. Why? You may ask; because we can’t get away from this even if we tried(only if you are using a windows system environment). Some of you may disagree and say that this happens on all operating system but no your wrong it does not. And I’m not bashing Microsoft here I truly think that they are doing a great job at trying to patch their software which is so insecure. But I don’t blame them I blame you the users because just like those people in bad relationships you guys keep coming back for more or stick around for yet another round of abuse.

Windows will never be secure simply because it is just a badly designed and flawed operating system. If you are going to use Windows servers for your business please get a testing machine to test all your software deployments and patches which may come from all of your software vendors including Microsoft, it is just good practice.

Here is some resources which give you some information about these patches.

Oh and just for those of you whom don’t or just won’t believe what I’m saying here is a bit of some bad news. The Windows 32sys flaw has been carried on to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/msrc/archive/2010/08/10/update-on-the-publicly-disclosed-win32k-sys-eop-vulnerability.aspx

Man having Windows servers is a total pain in the butt… But hey we support them too.

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PHP 5 AND SQL SERVER DRIVERS

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While this is nothing new or big news Microsoft has managed to release PHP 5 drivers for its SQL Server platforms. We have not ran PHP on a Windows server in a very long time and so we decided to give it a shot and honestly it was a total pain in the ass but only because we are not use to the IIS 7 web server. Honestly we like IIS 6 better less complicated and more to the point. Sure IIS 7 is great for those .NET applications but not everything else. For instance we tried to install and run Coldfusion 8 on IIS 7 and again a total pain in the ass while on IIS 6 it installed like a dream.

Back to the main point, PHP runs fairly well on IIS 7 but if you don’t know your way around IIS 7 then you might have some issues with it. The simple PHP scripts we tried worked perfectly well but they were not as efficient as PHP and MySQL 5. In all honesty if your going to use PHP with a database I would stick to the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) it just works better and a ton faster.

But if your a Small Business Server user and want to go the PHP route instead of .NET or ASPX then sure PHP will get the job done on IIS/Windows Server. The best part about it is that the driver is

released under the Apache license.

Straight from their site:

The Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server are PHP 5 extensions that allows for the reading and writing of SQL Server data from within PHP scripts. The release contains two drivers, the SQLSRV driver and the PDO_SQLSRV driver. The SQLSRV extension provides a procedural interface while the PDO_SQLSRV extension implements PDO for accessing data in all editions of SQL Server 2005 and later (including SQL Azure). These drivers rely on the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client’s ODBC driver to handle the low-level communication with SQL Server.”

Here is some more information on the driver if you guys are interested in it.

http://sqlsrvphp.codeplex.com/