System Center Store–Proxy blocking resolved

I solved two problems affecting System Center Store this week.

System Center Store uses a specific URL to fetch the zipped and encrypted XML Manifest file from the web, this URL (a Microsoft owned domain, SharePoint farm) is rated as Script\Medium risk by BlueCoat, which causes it to be blocked by some companies Proxy servers, depending on how they have configured the categories for blocking. This caused the tool to fail and misbehave. I’ve changed the URL to SMSMarshall.com, which is (until only recently) rated as Business  category by BlueCoat,, should reduce any blocking taking place. But even this would have failed if I hadn’t of dealt with another problem …

I work for SMSMarshall Ltd, a UK consultancy, and we found out that our website SMSMarshall.com was black listed by BlueCoat, rated as High risk. We’re not sure when this came about as we never noticed. We carried out some checks, scans, and nothing suspect was found on the website. The High risk rating caused it to be blocked at any company that employs a Proxy using BlueCoat technology. Ouch. That was quite a few companies unable to even visit the company website. A quick web-form request submission to BlueCoat had that sorted within 12 hours and I was able to have it verified by William Cullen (thanks Will!). The reason for it being rated high risk seems to be due to linking from the company website to a popular community forum which was rated High risk for whatever reason, this was a known issue late 2015, affected other websites that linked back to it, causing them to be rated High risk, most likely related, but we will never know as BlueCoat didn’t address why they rated it such, just responded that after review its been rated again.

So now, System Center Store should have a higher success rate when being used behind a proxy. Let me know on twitter @RobMVP if you have any problems with the tool, or post on the tools Comments section on the TechNet Gallery. I am especially keen to hear if it works behind Proxies with or without proxy configuration within the tool.

 

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