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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sat, Sep 20, 1997
WHAT THE HECK _IS_ ActiveX REALLY?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
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Hi All,

You read this because you run an NT server and probably many more than just one. In this newsletter we try to give you an overview of the market with an NT focus, but to a large extent also what is happening in the 3-rd party tools and application area.

One of your colleagues remarked on the fact that just talking about SQL did not paint a complete picture. His comments were: "While MS is making a beginning with clustering and failover systems, I think its only fair to remind readers whose systems are used for database servers that Oracle has both clustering and failover for NT. It should also be noted that Oracle for NT is still a significantly better and more mature product than SQL Server. Here at our site where every millisecond counts in transaction processing for the customer's products, we have done repeated and very demanding tests to determine which database is faster, more robust and easier to recover when disaster strikes and Oracle wins hands down - its not even close.

I think you do a disservice to your readers to continually talk about SQL Server and fail to mention Oracle. Oracle is the product for large scale databases where speed and reliability is paramount (even on NT) and SQL Server is more for the smaller shops".

You are right. We all move to NT as we can see that this _is_ the wave of the future. That in itself does not make Redmond a holy place and we still have some other players in the industry that provide excellent solutions. Oracle is an example.

Before you jump, remember to bookmark our new URL that was changed from ntsoftdist.com to:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com

And if our list server seems to be not in the air, we are in the final stage of debugging the beta version we're running so we'll let you know when that is done in the next newsletter.

There are again many things happening in the NT space, so let's have a look at the latest news.

Warm regards,
Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])

  TECH BRIEFING

INETINFO PROBLEM SOLVED. HERE'S MORE SOLUTIONS

As you all know, we solved the problem with our webserver going down, the inetinfo.exe process crashed due to a misbehaving plugin put there by WebTrends. The way to take plugins out of IIS is as follows:

Fire up regedit, and go to: HKEY_Local_Machine, System, CurrentControlSet, Services, W3SVC, Parameters Edit filterdlls and take out extndlog.dll (that is the one put in by Webtrends) but you can take out all other plugins this way too, to create a clean system.

Some other solutions that helped people to solve this problem were: (Thanks everybody for your contributions!)

  • Plugin for the IIS Assistant logging system also caused this problem
  • Using the database logging caused this problem
  • Using the #404 plugin caused this problem
  • If you use a lot of Perl, I've found that when a user switch/stops/disconnects from a page performing Perl processing will sometimes throw the Perl Dll into what appears to be an infinite loop - causing the inetinfo.exe processing to consume lots of CPU, memory, etc. depending upon the Perl script code caught in the loop.
  • You can also run into similar trouble when applying the "international" grade SP3, instead of the 128-bit version, over your US version (so 128) of NT.
  • Make sure you have enough cache space for your files and especially for your printers because this will hang your server every time you print a file that exceeds this space.
  • If after about every 8 hours inetinfo crashes, watch the amount of memory that the process takes and see it take off until it finally hangs the process. What was discovered is that if you are running low on disk space, Inetinfo hangs. Freeing up a few hundred MB solves the problem.
My advice is to get rid of all plugins . Seriously though, it does seem that plugins have been the root of many of the problems. If you do have plugins, I'd remove them one by one and see if any are the culprit. Failing all that, head over to http://www.bitshop.com and get their program that does nothing more than check IIS every 20 seconds and restart it if there are problems. Hope this helps!
  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

WIN NT V6 CODENAME HAS BEEN REVEALED

Just when the NT 5.0 beta is supposed to be released at the DevCon this week, we get the new code-name for the next generation: "Millenium." Looks like they plan to come out in the year 2000! It is very likely that one if it's flavors will be the version that replaces Win98 and becomes the "Personal Version" that gets preinstalled on any new piece of hardware you will buy.

The Server and Enterprise flavors of "Millenium" will nicely coincide with Intel's 64-bit Merced chips, so there is a good chance these will be tuned for one another.

LATEST NT MARKETING DATA

Microsoft Corp. is strengthening its position in the small- and midsize-company network operating system market as rival Novell Inc. loses ground, the August CRN/Ruzinsky Research software reseller poll found.

Microsoft's market share jumped sharply in June, and since then they have held onto this higher share level. MS's share of the NOS market was 60 percent in August, 61 percent in July and 63 percent in June.

This used to be average 47% in Q1 1997 and 43% in Q4 1996. Prior to June, MS's share of the NOS market had never been higher than 50 points.

Novell's share has averaged 28 percent over the past three months. This is down from an average of 38 percent in Q1 1997

THE FINER POINTS ON DOMAIN PLANNING

Microsoft has an interesting new document by John Jacobs that is downloadable and also can be read on-line. Recommended:
http://www.microsoft.com/syspro/technet/tnnews/features/0697dom.htm

SUNBELT SPONSORS NEW LIST: NTSYSADMIN-SPANISH

We have found that the Spanish speaking market was not served well in the NT system admin space. On our webserver we have now a new list especially for Spanish speaking NT System admins that can help out each other via this on-line community. People from Brasil that speak Portuguese are welcome too! Subscribe at:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl
(if you get a message that not enough quota is available, we are restarting the list so try later?)

AD A LOOK AT RELEASE CANDIDATE 2 OF NT ENTERPRISE EDITION

After a look at Release Candidate 2 of NT Server, Enterprise Edition 4.0, it was more or less clear to be a nicely packaged bundle of the current NT Server and some of the newest NT add-ons. There are a few important differences between E.E and the Standard Edition but they will only affect users with machines that have more than four CPU's or have more than 3GB RAM.

Where is E.E. different? Three things: support for 8-way SMP, a a change in the way memory is managed, and Cluster Server is added. In the current version NT would allocate as many as 2GB for apps, while reserving 2GB for NT. In E.E. the kernel has been tuned to allocate as many as 3 gig to apps and max 1GB for the OS.

Other than that, the differences between E.E. and the normal version come down to the second CD, called the Component CD. On it are Wolfpack, Transaction Server, and Message Queue Server, and IIS 3.0 and FrontPage 97. SP3 is included on the CD, but you still need to upgrade manually. By the time you read this, E.E. has been released and you can play with the final version.

NOVELL GIVES AWAY FREE NT ADMINISTRATOR TOOL

As part of its strategy in directory-enabled network services, Novell announced that the new Novell Application Launcher(TM) 2.01 and Novell Administrator for Windows NT 2.0c will continue to be available to customers free of charge. Novell Application Launcher 2.01 offers customers efficient software distribution and management services. Novell Administrator for NT 2.0c reduces the administration efforts needed to maintain NT domains. Both solutions help customers reduce the cost of maintaining their networks and applications by leveraging the power of Novell Directory Services(TM) to automate admin tasks.

"Thanks to these NDS services, networks just got a lot easier," said Michael Simpson, director of marketing, Network Services Group. "No longer will IT managers and systems administrators need to touch their workstations to manage and upgrade software or struggle with NT server domains. These services offload to the network tasks that historically required armies of administrators and hundreds of hours of effort."

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

NEW FEATURES IN V1.1 OF LOGCASTER

LogCaster NT is a suite of network components dedicated to the real-time monitoring of Windows NT event logs, providing advanced log reduction functions, routing of events to alphanumeric pagers, Email, ODBC databases, and WEB servers. The management of the network components supports dynamic configuration, remote diagnostics and commands, DES encryption of network transactions and system registry.

The RC1 version is downloadable since 9.15.97 and here are the specs:

  • Now easier to install and configure
  • Provides a Management Console
  • Supports Email, paging, ODBC databases, WEB Servers, and Intranet
  • Built-in NT Service watcher to guarantee system uptime
  • Built-in Diagnostics and watchdogs
  • Support for basic remote commands: ping, version, reboot
  • Supports remote software installation from the management console
  • Propagation of config settings to the logcaster agents and servers
  • Remote configuration and distribution of audit policy
  • Active event filtering to reduce network traffic
  • Support for DES encryption of network transactions
  • Asynchronous message delivery
  • Internet enabled!
Download at:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/logcast.htm

NEW ROLL-OUT UTILITY ON THE MARKET

I would like to make you aware of a product that just hit the market. It is Called Picture Taker. Looks like SysDiff and WinInstall are facing some stiff competition from Picture Taker. If you are an automation specialist, deal with many domains, many thousands of PC's and tens of thousands of users Picture taker will be saving you lots of time in automation time.
Take a look at it over at the website of: http://www.lanovation.com

NEW MICROSOFT CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MAG ON-LINE

The September/October issue is now online - Descriptions below

  • New exam release from Microsoft
  • New Office 97 Service Pack Available
  • Exchange 5.0 exam in excruciating detail
  • Take Control! Enterprise Management
  • NuView on Systems Management
  • Can a certification "boot camp" really make you an MCSE?
  • From the Trenches
  • NT Insider

    And many more interesting articles (you want to bookmark this) have a look at:http://www.mcpmag.com

    KANE SECURITY MONITOR WINS BEST OF SHOW AWARD

    Well, this proves it again... Sunbelt gets you the best tools around!

    The Kane Security Monitor new 24-hour burglar alarm for NT was recently awarded the BackOffice Best of Show Selects Award at the Window's NT Intranet Solutions Exposition. KSM was the only network security product to win this prestigious award.

    'We are pleased that the KSM has been singled out for awards and positive reviews so soon after its release,' said Robert Kane, developer of KSM. 'And our selection as the top new security solution for Windows NT reinforces our leadership role in the industry.'

    The B.O.S.S. award honors products which either integrate, communicate, facilitate or assist in the migration to Windows NT and BackOffice technologies. The Kane Security Monitor(TM) is a 24-hour burglar alarm which constantly monitors NT networks for suspicious activity, such as hacking attempts or unauthorized access to sensitive files. When the KSM detects a security violation, the company's security personnel is notified in real time via e-mail, fax, pager or audible alarm.

    Download the 17 Meg eval from our website or ask for the CD at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ksm.htm

    HINTS AND TIPS - TIME SAVERS AND OTHER GOODIES...

    Q: Does TEM 2.0 properly support a Master Domain Model:
    A: Yes TEM 2.0 supports all recommended Domain Models.

    Q: We want to delegate the functions 'Reset of locked accounts' and Creation of new accounts to specific
    Persons of the User Help desk (and those users should not have any other privileges).

    A: Yes, with TEM 2.0 you can assign those specific rights to Help Desk personnel's regular NT user accounts.

    Stu,
    I think everyone knows about the bug in NT (because imo it's evident that it's a Microsoft *wanted* bug) that disables write-back cache in cyrix/ibm 6x86 setting it as write-through: this decreases performance for 20-30% (as cyrix says), making the cpu slower than a Pentium: my 6x86- 166+ (that is a 133 Mhz) should run faster than P-166, but it runs as fast as a P-133, or less...

    Anyway, everyone knows about it. But very few people know about several patches available for NT to fix the bug: these are not patches from IBM or Microsoft, they're only "private people" patches. Get them at http://www.alternativecpu.com, click on "Files Section". I tried "DirectNT", available at that address, written by the staff of a german computer magazine. I've found that performance is not increased by 20 or 30% (as expected), but increased by 42%!!!!
    Christiano