Offsite Backups – ExchangeDefender Blog

July 11, 2008

OWN Partner Call with Matt Makowicz

Filed under: Offsite Backups — vlad @ 9:59 am

Joining us to wrap up the Microsoft WPC is Matt Makowicz from Ambition Consulting and Endevor, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and an ExchangeDefender marketing powerhouse! Matt talks about the overall impressions with the event and how different it was this year in particular:

  • Business maturity
  • Change in partner profile at WPC
  • Passions of Vista stop short
  • Partner training and

Click here to download the podcast, runtime 30 minutes.

July 10, 2008

OWN Partner Call with Vijay Riyait and Dean Calvert

Filed under: Offsite Backups — vlad @ 2:45 pm

Joining us today live from Microsoft WPC in Houston are two partners from the opposite sides of the globe and opposite business models in the IT business. They are both great proponents of OwnWebNow and our services so we got them on to discuss the Microsoft’s new direction and how it impacts their business.

CALVERT Dean Calvert is the president of Calvert Technologies, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Small Business Specialist from Adelaide, Australia. Dean’s firm specializes in network design, management and technical consulting. Dean was recently a Microsoft PAL and has been recognized for many years as an expert Microsoft MVP in Small Business Server product.

Vijay Riyait is the managing director of iQubed, Microsoft Small Business Specialist from Leicester and a leader in the SMB community, working with Microsoft as a PAL representing SBSC interests of the community to Microsoft. Beyond that, Vijay’s company focuses on on SharePoint and Information Worker technologies, their development and use in SMB.

Wednesday was the final keynote day at Microsoft WPC 2008 and we caught up to Vijay and Mark for a first impression of where they believe they can use their significant expertise to impact their clients business and grow their own as well. Discussion included:

  • Use of SharePoint in social networking cases
  • Australian SMB owner habits and hosted services penetration
  • Discussion over the changing business models with the services in mind
  • SBS and EBS importance and expectations
  • Partner Program changes and the impact on you.

Click here to download the podcast, runtime 30 minutes.

July 9, 2008

OWN Partner Call with Scott Colson

Filed under: Offsite Backups — vlad @ 11:24 am

bannerScott Colson, Microsoft CRM MVP and Vice President of Autonomix (Gold Certified Partner from Seattle) has been a long time friend and partner of Own Web Now. Autonomix specializes in Microsoft CRM deployments and given the recent launch of Microsoft CRM Online and Microsoft S+S announcements from WPC, he was the best candidate to discuss the further Microsoft penetration into the area of services and where this leaves us Microsoft partners. Scott joined us live from the Microsoft WPC keynote with Ballmer in the background to talk about:

  • Microsoft Software + Services
  • Status of Microsoft CRM Online and direction so far
  • Personal take on what Software + Service means for us
  • The opportunity for partners to use Microsoft in this space
  • SBS and EBS annoumcements

.. and we also discussed Scott’s key area of expertise: Delivering Microsoft Dynamics solutions, in particular CRM. Besides being the person to call for ExchangeDefender in the Seattle area, Scott and OWN share a client that has leveraged the online CRM solution for their business. Scott talks about the partnership process and the value delivery in services beyond infrastructure and why they are so critical to the businesses we all serve. An excellent interview to consider not just from the S+S news perspective but also possible business ventures you can pursue with CRM (and with Scott of course!) For more information, take a look at his web site:

Click here to download the podcast, runtime 30 minutes.

July 8, 2008

OWN Partner Call with Mark Crall

Filed under: Offsite Backups — vlad @ 7:11 am

bg_c31bMark Crall, MCP, PAL from Charlotte Tech Care Team joins us live from Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference to discuss the news and events from the first two days and PAL meetings affecting the SBSC:

  • Launch date SBS and EBS announced
  • Upcoming changes to the SBSC requirements
  • Free SBS 2008 exam vouchers
  • Changes to the Microsoft partner program for SMB
  • Software + Services
  • Tech business in Charlotte

Mark runs Charlotte Tech Care Team (OWN ExchangeDefender, Exchange 2007 partner) in Charlotte, NC and has a very popular blog covering the SBSC & MSP buzz. If you need tech work in Charlotte, SMB support services, ongoing managed IT care, any of our OWN products, VoIP/ResponsePoint product support you can reach Mark at (704) 248-8328.

Click here to download the podcast, runtime 30 minutes.

July 3, 2008

OWN says G’day to Australia

Filed under: Announcements,Offsite Backups — vlad @ 2:16 am

One day after our UK launch we are taking another giant step in our mission to level the world of hosted business services. Today we proudly announce the launch of our Australian line of business, with Exchange 2007, SharePoint v3, Virtual Hosting with the same features, higher storage limits and most importantly, the same price as in United States and Europe.

We would like to again thank our partners in Australia for making this possible with the help of Equinix, SuperMicro and Microsoft. Our partners from Australia and New Zealand have made ExchangeDefender and ShockeyMonkey into a huge regional success and we are doing our part to help our partners from down under add more services to their portfolios. We believe that making these services affordable will open up a lot of opportunities for our partners to provide additional services on top of Exchange and SharePoint that would otherwise not be possible for customers that are not interested or in a position to design servers and reliable network infrastructure required to support their business.

All services will be branded and centrally managed through the upcoming OWN Service Manager portals that will extend the partners brand over services and solutions delivered from our two data centers in Sydney. Portion of profits will be used to help support the local ITPRO communities across Australia.

We would also like to extend special thanks to several individuals that made these moves possible: Dean Calvert of Calvert Technologies, Wayne Small of Correct Solutions, Robbie Upcroft of Microsoft Corp, Jared Hirst of Equinix as well as thousands of partners across Australia and New Zealand that have done business with us throughout the years and demanded these solutions in their country to help serve the emerging market in need of technology business management beyond network infrastructure design and upkeep.

Thank you!


Vlad Mazek, MCSE
CEO, Own Web Now Corp

July 2, 2008

OWN Launches European Branch

Filed under: Announcements,Offsite Backups — vlad @ 1:08 am

We are very proud to announce the launch of the European division of Own Web Now Corp. After years of global success with ExchangeDefender and a large growth in our other lines of business in UK, Ireland, Germany, Greece, France, Italy and Spain the demand for an European line of business, and a native European network, made the following moves possible.

Effective July 1st, Own Web Now Corp is proud to start offering all our hosting services in Europe, starting with the following:

Exchange 2007 with 10 Gb Mailboxes by default, OwnWebNow Offsite Backups, SharePoint 3.0, Virtual hosting services for Web (Linux or Windows), SQL, FTP and email.

All services will be priced at identical levels to their United States counterparts but due to the further commoditization of server infrastructure solutions we are able to offer more storage better performance with services spread across the continent: United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Germany.

To comply with the new EU privacy laws, and avoid United States Patriot Act concerns, the European infrastructure is managed and located completely within the EU geographic limits.

With this move we are also establishing funding for IT community support in Europe. Stay tuned for details, further global expansion, new product announcements, centralized management and branding announcements and more over the next few days.

June 25, 2008

Feature enhancements in upcoming Offsite Backup upgrade

Filed under: Offsite Backups — vlad @ 1:14 am

I wanted to share with you some details of the upcoming upgrade to our Offsite Backup service over the next 60 days. If you work closely with us you are perhaps already well aware of the information below but we thought it would be nice to have it in a blog post.

First, starting the first week of July, our European Offsite Backup offering goes online based in United Kingdom with a replication server infrastructure in Netherlands. In United States we already do triple replication between Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago. The two offsite backup systems will be physically and logically separate, no data stored in European Union will be replicated to United States or vice versa. However, nothing stands to prohibit you from purchasing space on either network and to the surprise of many of our EU clients, the price will indeed be the same as in United States.

Oh, and we’ll also give you quota and account management functionality so you don’t have to work through the tickets and can have centralized service management functionality straight out of our portal 🙂

So without further ado, feature set from AhSay 5.5:

  • AhsayOBS
    • Backup
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Restore
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Customization
      1. [Pre May-07] Include link to download OBM / ACB based on user type in the welcome email. (ref: SQN-381142)
      2. [Pre May-07] Client requests to have the encrypted password included in the welcome email or make this it available as an optional feature. (ref: TRK-830097)
    • GUI / Reporting / Logging
      1. [Pre Dec-06] Ability to set catalina log files to another directory (it is the catalina.out file in particular. Let the user know how to set the location of this file)
      2. [Pre May-07] Show the expiration date of all trial user accounts on the [List Users] and [User Profile] pages (ref: JMN-416336) 
      3. [Pre Dec-06] Show total number of files and uncompressed file size for each backup set (ref: FMZ-208525)
      4. [Pre May-07] File search and filter function (ref: BFC-291647, QBH-761540, VRT-928212, DOU-264678, 383)
    • API
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Administration / Maintenance / Deployment (e.g user account maintenance, billing, monitoring, system jobs, installer)
      1. (Key Feature) Load balancing support for AhsayOBS
      2. (Key Feature) Add LDAP (or Windows Active Directory) support to AhsayOBS
        1. [Pre Dec-06] Allow backup quota to be shared by group of users (ref: SYA-626989)
        2. [Pre May-07] Allow the default backup set setting for different users or for user groups customizable by administrators (ref: 291)
        3. [Pre Dec-06] Global filter settings – allow client setting to be overridden by server setting at system level, at user level and at backup set level
        4. [Pre May-07] Allow administrator to change the in-file default settings from incremental to differential delta (ref: TST-934738)
    • Replication
      1. [Pre Dec-06] Multi-user homes for RPS, e.g. allow replicating from user home to user home
    • General
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
  • AhsayOBM / AhsayACB
    • Integration with other applications (e.g. AS/400, Postgres)
      1. (Key Feature) Continuous data protection – start backup whenever a file is being modified (ref: KLY-561803)
        1. [Pre May-07] Start backup whenever the computer is not in use (no network traffic) (ref: KLY-561803)
        2. [Jun-07] Monitor changes on computer but backup only when CPU utilization is below a configurable percent (e.g. 20%) (ref: WPC-416541)
      2. [Pre Dec-06] Integrate with Microsoft Exchange recovery storage group feature
      3. [Pre May-07] Enable/Disable truncate logs after backing up Microsoft Exchange Information Store (ref: 216)
    • Backup (core backup logics and scheduler) 
      1. [Pre May-07] Add options for user to choose to backup using 256-bit Encryption (ref: XWM-772999)
      2. [Pre May-07] Alert users when listing backup sets with “Run scheduled backup on this computer” not checked (ref: FBT-783473)
      3. [Pre May-07] If a user set “\\” or “\\SERVER” as backup source or filter’s top directory, backup job failed with an unclear error message. Better error messages should be presented to users to explain the problems. (ref: YSH-282296)
    • Restore
      1. [Pre May-07] Allow OBM to run decrypt.bat without contacting OBS as a standalone EXE executable (ref: DPV-515226)
    • Auto upgrade agent
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Customization
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • GUI / Reporting / Logging
      1. (Key Feature) Re-design of AhsayOBM / AhsayACB GUI
      2. [Pre May-07] Add the functionality of “Backup and Sleep (Hibernate)” and “Backup and standby” (ref: MMP-653617)
      3. [Pre May-07] Remove “Run all backup sets” from system tray in ACB (ref: CCV-309638)
      4. [Pre May-07] In the restore window, it should give a label to the other radio button (not the original location but the one which allows to choose restoring to another location) (ref: 935)
      5. [Pre May-07] Variable retry interval – it will only wait for 5 seconds for the first retry and all subsequence retries interval will a double of previous retry interval until an interval of 300 seconds is reached (ref: ERY-169217)
      6. [Pre Dec-06] Add the option to skip all files with invalid encrypting key during the decryption process.
      7. [Pre May-07] Ensure that the “UnsupportedLookAndFeelException” will not display when running “” with a backup set that could not be found on server (ref: LRU-783282)
    • Administration / Maintenance / Deployment (e.g. monitoring, installer)
      1. registry before installation of AhsayOBM to fix the bug of system tray icon not showing during startup when there are duplicates entries to the same executable
      2. [Jan-08] Bug fix – The point-in-time view from AhsayOBM drop down list under the [Restore] tab is not correct and is not consistent with the view of AhsayOBS on the web interface when using advanced retention policy
    • General
      1. [Pre May-07] With the current restore.bat or, Java will pop-up a prompt to reconfirm whether to overwrite previous files when restoring to an existing folder. This doesn’t make sense as people may not have a GUI when using command-line, besides, it doesn’t work when they use a OS level scheduler to trigger the script. Provide a switch to the script file so that no reconfirmation will be prompted. We may want to consider putting in a synchronization logic to the restore function as well. (ref: TYW-997121) 
      2. [Pre May-07] (bug) OBM doesn’t timeout in 6 hours (ref: VOZ-927176)
      3. [Pre May-07] Users first logon to OBM using the encrypted password, it should prompt the users to change their password. (ref: TRK-830097)
  • AhsayOBX (AhsayOBS, AhsayOBM & AhsayACB)
    • Administration / Maintenance / Deployment (e.g. monitoring, installer) 
      1. (Key Feature) Ability to initiate backup from OBS (ref: QDP-817039)
    • Backup
      1. [Pre Dec-06] Allow backup schedule to run every X minutes (ref: 234)
    • Restore
      1. [Pre May-07] File search and filter function in OBS and OBM (ref: BFC-291647, QBH-761540, VRT-928212, DOU-264678, 383)
    • GUI / Reporting / Logging
      1. [Pre May-07] Change “Show jobs after….” to “Show job as of ….” (ref: HSO-458501) 
      2. [Pre May-07] In the restore window, it should use “AS OF” instead of “After” a certain jobs (ref: 935)
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) integration
    • [Nov-07] Integrate OBS into Thecus NAS products:
      1. Building a client utility which install AhsayOBS into NAS products
      2. Enhance user experiences by streamlining the installation process with easier installation instructions
AhsayOBS v6.0 (beta: 1-Oct-2008, stable: 1-Dec-2008)

This release will contain bug fixes and enhancements listed below. 

  • AhsayOBS
    • Backup
      1. (Key Feature) New backup file system architecture that can span multiple partitions and run faster. For example, multiple user homes for the same user, allowing a user to span multiple user homes (ref: HUM-981718, 548)
        1. [Pre May-07] Permission updates should not increase the storage massively (ref: AIC-665482)
    • Restore
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Customization
      1. [Pre May-07] Add the option to change where OBM stores the log files (ref:  HOU-743486, 382)
    • GUI / Reporting / Logging
      1. (Key Feature) Re-design GUI using AJAX
      2. [Pre Dec-06] Auditing of all administrative activities 
      3. [Pre Dec-06] Add remaining quota to usage report 
      4. [Pre Dec-06] Once detects the client has exceeded storage quota subscribed, can show an option for the user to request how much more storage is needed, and allow user to buy additional storage and proceed with backup
      5. [Pre Dec-06] Raise quota automatically and send confirmation emails to user and admin
      6. [Pre May-07] Generation the following reports on OBS side (ref: 790):
        1. Report on when users were first registered so I can keep track of renewals (I know the usage report gives this info but it is static and without manual intervention, I can’t manipulate it)
        2. Any point in time report between dates on when and which users restored files
        3. Missed user backups
        4. Backups with errors (essential from a customer services point of view)
      7. [Pre May-07] File search and filter function as in AhsayOBS (ref: BFC-291647, QBH-761540, VRT-928212, DOU-264678, 383)
    • API 
      1. [Pre May-07] Enhance ListBackupJobs API with more details (e.g. username, job name, start time, end time, upload size and job status) (ref: EEU-184625, 547) (This has been delayed because a simple testing showed that this could lead to significant slow down in response time of this API because it would take too long to get the backup job status of all backup jobs)
    • Administration / Maintenance / Deployment (e.g user account maintenance, billing, monitoring, system jobs, installer)
      1. [Pre Dec-06] A routine job that merges delta files with full backup files on AhsayOBS
      2. [Pre Dec-06] Allow retention policy to keep a certain number of versions of the same file 
      3. [Pre Dec-06] Allow user type to be defined by partners, e.g. paid, trial, others
      4. (Key Feature) Integration with Windows Active Directory and OpenLDAP
        1. [Pre Dec-06] Backup report setting per user group or per user instead of per system right now (NTT request)
        2. [Pre Dec-06] Enable different administrator accounts for different group. These group admin accounts will have privileges to manage accounts under their own groups (ref: XSB-581351, RER-199696, RWI-435051, TKD-379677)
        3. [Pre May-07] Delegate user account management to other support staff without giving them full administrative privileges (ref: 347)
        4. [Pre May-07] Add “Company” Field in User Profile (ref: XSB-581351, RER199696, RWI-435051)
        5. [Pre May-07] Add “phone number” field for user account (ref: RUX-816258)
        6. [Pre May-07] Provide a “Company Name” field for each user account. This field should only be visible and modifiable by the administrator. Administrators should also be able to sort and filter accounts by company name. (ref: 650)
        7. [09-05-2008] Add functionality to backup/restore full OBS configurations, not including userdata (ref: UQT-815782)
    • Replication
      1. (Key Feature) Many-to-one and one-to-many server data replication
      2. [Pre Dec-06] Replicating selective users (or backup sets) from OBS to RPS (ref: FBT-783473)
    • General
      1. [Pre Dec-06] Add support of time zone GMT+9.5 (Adelaide) 
  • AhsayOBM / AhsayACB
    • Integration with other applications (e.g. AS/400, Postgres)
      1. (Key Feature) Bare metal backup / restore
      2. (Key Feature) Backup Framework (allow OBM to be integrated with other applications)
        1. [Pre Dec-06] Allow AhsayOBM to be easily extended to support Sharepoint, Sybase’s iAnywhere, Progress database, Quicken, Quickbooks (*.qbw files), Peachtree, MAS90 module for Peachtree
        2. [Pre Dec-06] Install OBM in silent mode – Embedded “User Account” / API to create user account
        3. [Pre Dec-06] Automatically create a “standard” backup set for target application
        4. [Pre Dec-06] Expose OBM features as external API
        5. [Pre Dec-06] Allow OBM to be hidden from end users, file restore can be invoked through API
        6. [Pre May-07] IMAP mailbox backup – Scalix support. (NB: Scalix is a Linux based Exchange server replacement ) (ref: RFZ-476395)
        7. [Pre Dec-06] Add filter to exclude files from a certain date
        8. [Pre Dec-06] Extract individual email from Outlook (PST) file
        9. [Pre Dec-06] Upload checksum incorrect backup file again during backup
        10. [Pre Dec-06] Add multi-thread delta file calculation & upload for performance
    • Backup (core backup logics and scheduler)
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Restore
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Auto upgrade agent
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • Customization
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • GUI / Reporting / Logging
      1. [Pre May-07] (bug) OBM backup source of a mapped directory disappears after the mapped drive is unmapped. The backup set will still backup that directory but cannot find the path in the backup source. Web interface will still show the mapped path. (ref: WVK-850816, ORO-725960)
      2. [Pre May-07] Add the option to “Skip logging failed backup of all open files as error” when running backup in OBM / ACB (ref: GXH-275737)
      3. [Pre Dec-06] Add wizard to detect if SQL or Exchange is installed and configure it automatically
    • Administration / Maintenance / Deployment (e.g. monitoring, installer)
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category
    • General
      1. N/A – No updates have been made in this category

May 28, 2008

Our official policy on RBL/blacklists

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Offsite Backups — vlad @ 10:52 am

With more and more misconfigured mail servers generating junk rejections we felt it was time to discuss our official policy on realtime blacklists (RBL) and the extent to which we support them.

First of all, all Own Web Now Corp mail servers and every piece of mail leaving our network is scanned for SPAM, Viruses, malware and just about everything we scan inbound mail for we also scan outbound mail for. We do not allow open/blind relaying, we disinfect anything dangerous and take every precaution to keep dangerous content off the Internet. However, from time to time something may slip. Clients still get infected with viruses, clients still use weak passwords or their systems that open up their infrastructure to worms and mail blasts, stuff happens.

OWN Network Operations monitors network activity and RBL lookups 24/7/365 and if there is an item that slipped our post and made it into an RBL (it usually takes just one piece) we immediately quarantine the user and request removal. We monitor over 100 RBLs and immediately act to make sure none of your mail is returned or bounced.

However, as more and more mail server administrators lose control over their servers, they start implementing policies that affect the ability to deliver legitimate mail to them. Because some of the best RBLs are also commercial some users stoop to stealing DNS RBL zones, longer RBL lookup caching to avoid being rate-limited and kicked off the free service, or their mail servers simply have no resources to fight with the SPAM.

Because our servers act as a transparent stateful proxies, meaning that we deliver your mail on your behalf, if there is a time that we have to return the message you will see as the server providing information on why the message was returned. This does not mean that rejected your message, it is simply quoting the error it received from the remote server.

Own Web Now Corp does not have control of the remote servers, it usually does not have a relationship or contact information for neither the sending server (you) or the recipient (where you are sending mail) so we are unable to help with any rejections that happen outside of the generally accepted rules and protocols around mail delivery. If the mail server on the other side didn’t implement their RBL directives correctly, if they are overloaded, if they manually chose to program in a configuration to reject your mail or anything out of the normal course of server management – we can’t help.

If you are seeing sources that are not adhering to these generally accepted rules such as quoting why the IP was blocked or message returned, we recommend you remove from your smarthost configuration and route messages to them directly. If that fails as well, try to contact the mail server administrator if you can locate their contact information. If you are tech savvy, you can create an SMTP connector for a given address space and route mail for particular domains directly to their mail servers, bypassing ExchangeDefender outbound proxies completely.

Just to repeat, we constantly monitor network traffic and actively keep our servers off RBLs that you can find at We do everything in our power to assure mail delivery but if the configuration change on the remote end specifically interferes with that delivery that is the place you need to contact and find a way to get mail from your network delivered to theirs.

January 16, 2008

Conference Call Tonight, Wednesday Jan 16

Filed under: Announcements,Offsite Backups — vlad @ 7:56 am

Please remember that our monthly conference call, one of many this year, is taking place tonight, Wednesday, January 16th at 4 PM EST (22:00 GMT, 2 PM PST, Jan 17 9:00 AM EDT/Sydney). We have found from previous conference calls that this time slot is the most attended compromise of time zones across our global client base and we will make every effort to record the conference call and post it for your listening pleasure if you are unable to attend.

The purpose of the call is to take feature requests for the upcoming Own Web Now Service Manager extension of Own Web Now Portal (Shockey Monkey) to streamline ordering, provisioning and initial support of our growing product lines. We will quickly discuss the features that we have already put into the product and would like to see what else might be helpful in the software to reduce the cost and time required to purchase and provision Own Web Now Products.

The conference call number is in the monthly Own Web Now News newsletter sent on January 5th. If you are unable to attend but still have a question or comment that you would like us to discuss, please email and we will consider adding it to the presentation. If you do not have the newsletter handy, you can get the dialin phone number from our support portal (on the front page announcements)

Note: This conference call is meant specifically for the discussion of the service manager feature set, we will not be able to answer questions or offer guidance regarding the schedules or features of our other products.

January 2, 2008

If you have important email to send save it for tomorrow

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Offsite Backups — vlad @ 10:08 am

January 2nd, when it falls on a weekday, is the worst day of the year to send email on. From business perspective, it’s the first day of the calendar year so everyone is back and probably from more than just a few days off, some even two weeks off. From the technical side, this is also the first day of the year that IT admins come back to work, doing the tasks they do to keep the systems working, usually catching up on a few days of missed maintenance tasks.

Every year the SPAM problem gets worse. On January 2nd not only are you going to be fighting maintenance intervals that didn’t take place but also people coming back from work and catching up to days of piled up emails, where catching up means sending out even more mail. Most email servers out there are overloaded with just the SPAM problem alone, compounding a few days of email correspondence on top of it will make today the least likely day for your email message to be delivered and read.

So if you have a newsletter, a really important note, a critical deadline to meet or an important contact that you absolutely have to reach… email is not your friend on January 2nd.

Of note, ExchangeDefender is currently performing at 43% capacity (10 AM EST, -5:00 GMT)

Older Posts »