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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sun, Sep 13, 1998
Survey Results!
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
Sunbelt Windows NTools[tm] Electronic Newsletter
Vol. 3, #18 - Sept 13, 1998
--- http://www.sunbelt-software.com ---

*****************************************************************
Sunbelt Windows NTools E-News is the World's first and largest 
E-Newsletter designed for NT System Managers that have the job of 
getting and keeping NT up & running in a production environment.
Sunbelt launched this electronic newsletter early 1996 so we 
could keep the Windows NT community informed and aware of what 
is happening with NT and 3-rd party NT System Management Tools. 
You get hints and tips that will enable you to better utilize 
and understand Windows NT. You'll find general Windows NT related
and third party news, technical information, and 3-rd party beta
and release information. By subscribing to NTools E-News[tm],
you will receive instant notification of important NT related
events and you are also a charter member of the Sunbelt Field 
Test Bonus Program. Sunbelt Software is the first and largest 
distributor worldwide of Third Party System Management Tools for 
Windows NT with 6 subsidiaries in the USA and Europe.
******************** over 100,000 subscribers!*******************


This issue of Windows NTools E-News contains:

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 
* SEPTEMBER 1998 SURVEY RESULTS

2. "TECH BRIEFING" skipped this time for survey results
3. "NT RELATED NEWS" skipped this time for survey results 

4. "NT THIRD PARTY NEWS"
* NEW NETWORK AND EVENT LOG MONITOR: SiMON

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

6. "THE NT STOCK WATCH"

7. "HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST"
NEW Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off
and change your address.

***********************SPONSOR**************************************
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same 3-year warranty and on-site support as new systems. Check out
their on-line stockrooms and you will like what (price) you see. 
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***********************SPONSOR************************************


1. "Editor's Corner"

* SEPTEMBER 1998 SURVEY RESULTS

Wow! I asked for input and you sure gave it. We received over 2000 
surveys back from you guys in less than 3 days, thanks! Fortunately 
enough all of the questions (except the last one) got loaded in an 
automated survey software tabulation product so the percentages are 
instant. I have some VERY interesting numbers for you. Most of this
issue of NTools E-News is about the survey results.

The last question was an open survey question. You could answer pretty
much anything you liked. Well, you did! Most surprising is the
uniformity of the problems you are running into. We have split these
in three sections: small, medium and large sites as there clearly are 
different kinds of problems cropping up when you (try to) scale NT up.

So let's cut to the chase. Here are the results:

1. 90% of you have NT System Administration as part of your post duties.

2. The average amount of NT servers you have running is 20.

3. The average workstations (95&NT) you have hooked up is 631.

4. The idea to have centralized printer drivers was answered as
follows:
- Strongly Agree: 20%
- Agree: 35%
- Neutral: 32%
- Disagree: 9%
- Strongly Disagree: 20%.

5. Did you implement NT to become Y2K compliant was answered:
- Yes: 16%
- No: 78%
- Not Sure: 6%

6. If NT 5.0 came late 1999, would you wait until after the Y2K 
RollOver before you implemented 5.0?
- Yes: 73%
- No: 15%
- Not Sure: 12%

7. How much time would you wait after Jan 1-st before you would
implement 5.0?
- 6 months 31%
- 3 months 29%
- 1 year 10%
- 9 months 8%
- One year+ 8%

8. Are you personally worried about the possible disruptions in your 
own life caused by the Y2K situation?
- Naah, no problem: 23%
- Needs to be looked at: 34%
- Concerned: 36%
- Quite worried: 7%
- Panic: 1%

A short comment before we are going into your biggest NT management
headache. The idea of centralized printer drivers looks like something 
we're going to follow up on and see which tool is the best.

The Y2K issue is revealing! Looking at the time schedule 5.0 is now on,
it is most unlikely we will see 5.0 earlier than fall 1999. This means
that the vast majority of the NT Sites is not going to touch 5.0 until
deep into 2000. Based on that datum, it is reasonable to predict that
only about 10% will have 5.0 in production end of 2000 and only in
2001 we'll have an odyssey of migration to the 5.0 space.

Question 8 about Y2K disruptions in one's personal life reflects your 
reality of knowing computers and how pervasive they are. Because all
of you understand what embedded systems are and how many millions of 
those small chips are hidden in all kinds of 'society mission critical 
systems' like the power grid and nuclear reactors, your level of 
awareness is MUCH higher than the average Joe Citizen. 

A whopping 77% of you understand at the very least that Y2K might have 
an impact on your personal life and that this needs to be investigated. 
Sunbelt is hosting a local Florida Y2K-chapter on our website as a 
community service. But there is also a self-serving purpose, we're 
_very_ interested in having power to keep our computers running on 
Saturday morning, January 1, 2000! If you want to see that site, 
check out http://www.make-y2k-safe.com/ . I'll see if I can find 
something that is completely recent so that you can get up-to-date 
on the current state of Y2K affairs. Not sure if that will be a book,
a website or a video or something.

 It's my personal opinion that the press attention and all 
the hoopla about Microsoft's legal issues are misplaced. It's a case of 
the wrong importance being assigned simply because of the fact that the 
press likes controversy. Getting this Y2K thing licked is infinitely 
more important and merits people's attention instead of some legal 
hassles. 

OK, let's get back to the 'here and now' reality in the NTrenches.
90% of us will still be running NT4.0 two years from now. And there
are major headaches to be resolved before that time. I have spent the
last few days tabulating the last open question of the survey and I
can tell you it was interesting to go over those 2000 answers on the
question: What is currently your biggest headache in managing NT?
For some problems we have suggested solutions, for others there are 
none but wait for 5.0. or gamble NT 5.0 Beta 2 will stay up in a
production environment. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are the results for BIG SITES (50 and up servers)

1) User Account Management 13%
2) Remote Administration 10%
3) Domain & Trust management 9%
4) Uptime - BSOD Crashes 6%
5) Software Distribution / SMS 6%
6) Security (installing hotfixes) 6% 
7) Lack of single integrated Admin Tool 6%
8) Lack of Granularity in Admin rights 4%
9) Disk Quotas 4%
10)WINS 3%
11)Lack of Directory Services 3%
12)Performance Monitoring 3%
13)Event Log Management 2%
14)Backup 2%
15)Disk / File Management 1%


1) THE PROBLEM: One answer was "User Manager Sucks!" I guess that hits 
the nail on the head. The larger the site becomes, managing users, 
their accounts and (roaming) profiles becomes the biggest headache. 
Having to do that on a continuous basis is a drag.
SUGGESTED SOLUTION: Get rid of it and delegate it out to the department
themselves, by giving them limited admin rights via Trusted Enterprise
Manager. http://www.sunbelt-software.com/tem.htm . That also solves
problem number 8 which is related.

2) THE PROBLEM: Remote Administration is not built into NT and when
you manage 50 or more servers it can be a nightmare. SMS has remote
control built in but is often still too unwieldy. TELNET does not
cut it either, not enough command line power in NT like in Unix.
SUGGESTED SOLUTION: Get a third party tool to be able to take control
from where ever you are. NetOp was developed with Large Sites in mind,
and has a series of features that are built to help you manage dozens
of servers easily: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/netop.htm

3) THE PROBLEM: Having many domains and resulting trust relationships
is rapidly becoming completely unworkable for large sites. Having 
hundreds of trust relationships gets crazy and a 'time-sink' you would
not believe. 
SUGGESTED SOLUTION: Flatten those domains! If at all possible, move
to a simpler domain structure like a Single Domain or Single Master 
Domain. That will also get you ready for NT 5.0. If you need to migrate 
or reconfigure your domains, have a look at the Virtuosity module in 
the Administrator Assistant Toolkit. It's drives User management via
a database and does a whole slew of other things as well.
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/a2nt.htm

4) THE PROBLEM: The dreaded Blue Screen Of Death. You generally called
it Uptime, stability, robustness, or crashes. All the same thing. It is
your experience NT does not stay up as long as Novell or Unix does.
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS: There are a few actually. Some proactive, some
reactive. For mission critical systems you need a mirror server and
an failover solution: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm
The proactive component of preventing downtime is a network monitor 
that shows which devices are up. (A device is defined as one physical 
piece of hardware that is used in a network as a server, workstation, 
bridge, router, hub, or printer) and at the same time monitors your 
event logs in real time for critical errors & alerts as an early warning
system. We are introducing a brand new product that does this: 
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/simon.htm . Please read the announcement 
in the section NT THIRD PARTY NEWS?

5) THE PROBLEM: Software Distribution. Using whatever means (like SMS)
to keep applications up to the latest rev level gets to be quite a bit
of work. SMS has its own problems and resource requirements and tools
like Seagate's WinInstall are used for this too.

6) THE PROBLEM: Security and installing hotfixes has been called the
hotfix hell because of the lack of Service Packs for more than a year.
A known problem and the only solution is scream bloody murder until
Microsoft gets SP4 out which should be Real Soon Now...

7) THE PROBLEM: Not having a Single Integrated Unified Admin Tool that 
you can use Enterprise Wide is costing you a lot of time. 
SUGGESTED SOLUTION: We have recently introduced a product called 
Network ServaNT that is making a start doing this. It's a young tool
and they are working at it hard. If you would buy now, start using it
and tell us what you want added, you have a damn good chance a few
months later it will be in there. They have an aggressive development
schedule and a team of programmers on a 'Death March' schedule to
get features added to this puppy. It's now scalable for thousands of
users, and the latest version was just uploaded. Merits a look!
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/netserv.htm

8) THE PROBLEM: Lack of Granularity in Admin rights. See number one
how to delegate this down to the department level with TEM.

9) THE PROBLEM: NT's absence of Disk Quotas. We have been talking about
that in this newsletter a lot so we'll keep it short. The interesting
thing is that it was often mentioned in the same breath as disk/file
space and storage management, which is number 15.
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS:
Quota Advisor: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/qa21.htm
Storage Resource Manager: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/highsrm.htm

10) THE PROBLEM: WINS, Solution is wait for NT 5.0

11) THE PROBLEM: Lack of Directory Services. Solution is wait for NT 
5.0 or use Novell's solution NDS for NT which might have some of its 
own problems...

12) THE PROBLEM: Performance Monitoring. Well, PerfMon is a start but
does not begin to offer a more professional alerting and capacity
planning utility. SUGGESTED SOLUTION is a best selling Third Party tool
called PerfMan: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/perfman.htm

13) THE PROBLEM: Event Log Management is per server only, is not 
consolidated over more servers, cryptic, and a hassle to manage.
There is no centralized repository where all events are stored for
historical analysis either.
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS:
LogCaster: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/logcast.htm
*** NEW *** SiMON http://www.sunbelt-software.com/simon.htm
See Announcement in the section NT THIRD PARTY NEWS?

14) THE PROBLEM: Backup not picking up all files, growing disk space
consumption, backup window shrinking, corrupt backup media, you name
it. SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS: Get a strategic storage management solution
in place: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/highsrm.htm

15) THE PROBLEM Disk / File Management: see 14) just above.

--------------------------------------------------------------------


Biggest headache in managing Medium Sites (11 and up servers):
The problems are the same but compare with the big sites, some
have shifted, like Domains and Trusts are now problem #1, and
Security goes from 6 to 4. Also Disk/File management and quotas
are moving up. If you are growing your NT environment, I strongly
suggest you take these three tabulations together and you will
rapidly see what problems you are going to run into when you get
bigger. Better to prevent than to cure!


1) Domain & Trust management 8%
2) User Account Management 6%
3) Remote Administration 6%
4) Security 6%
5) Lack of single integrated Admin Tool 5%
6) Disk Quotas 5%
7) Uptime - BSOD Crashes 4%
8) Disk / File Management 4%
9) Lack of Granularity in Admin rights 4%
10)Event Log Management 4%
11)Software Distribution / SMS 3%
12)Backup integrity/ window shrinking 3%
13)Novell Integration 3%
14)Reboots needed after changes 3%
15)Network Monitor (services & devices) 2%
16)Lack of Directory Services 2%
17)Disaster recovery 2%
18)Performance Monitoring/Tuning 2%
19)WINS 1%

-------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Biggest headache in managing Small Sites (10 and down) servers:
Some things have dropped out of the list all together like lack
of Directory Services which is understandable. For small sites
Remote Admin takes the Number One spot, very closely followed by
Security (we do not show decimals but it was close). Things like
Software Distribution have also dropped away. Disk storage and
quotas are as strong as in Medium sites.

1) Remote Administration 8%
2) Security 8%
3) User Account Management 7%
4) Domain & Trust management 5%
5) Lack of single integrated Admin Tool 5%
6) Disk Quotas 4%
7) Disk-File Storage & Space Management 4%
8) Uptime - BSOD Crashes - stability 4%
9) Reboots needed after changes 4%
10)Backup integrity/ window shrinking 3%
11)Software Distribution / SMS 2%
12)Event Log Management 2%
13)Novell Integration 2%
14)Network Monitor (services & devices) 2%
15)Lack of Granularity in Admin rights 1%
16)Performance Monitoring/Tuning 1%
17)Disaster recovery 1%
18)WINS 1%


So there you have it. The real life 'in-the-trenches' NT problems
and a few suggested solutions. Hope this helps you in keeping your
NT environment up & running and prevent some problems.

We are skipping this issues's Tech Briefing and NT Related Stuff
as there is no space. We'll save it for next time!

What I _do_ want to announce is SiMON. Part of what you all said
was that you wanted integrated tools, uptime, easily accessible for
remote management. We found one that has all that and then some. 
Have a look at this new member of the family?


Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman


********************************************************************
4. "NT THIRD PARTY NEWS"

* NEW NETWORK AND EVENT LOG MONITOR: SiMON

SiMON is built like SRM. It's Browser-based you have access to it
all the time. SiMON's web interface makes spotting network and NT 
errors blatantly obvious to the most casual user. The SiMON web-app
is an ideal WindowsNT based service-level and troubleshooting tool for 
managers and engineers. Using SiMON's Active Monitoring, we test, log 
and analyze the integrity of network devices such as WindowsNT Servers, 
Workstations, routers, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and POP3 servers. SiMON also 
monitors Windows NT services. If an error is found, SiMON can send 
mail to let someone know about the failure, and subsequent return to 
service. Automatic traceroute on ping failures ensure you know exactly 
where the failure occurred. SiMON's reporting and status views allow 
you to slice and dice NT Event Logs showing where your errors are 
occurring. SiMON doesn't use agents so installation and deployment is 
simple - the way it should be! SiMON's price is $995 for 25 devices.
(Prices in Europe may vary due to currency exchange rate fluctuations)

Device Definition:
A device is defined as one physical piece of equipment (hardware) that
is used in a network as a server, workstation, bridge, router, hub, or
printer.

NT Event Logs:
SiMON collects data from the Application, Security, and System Event
Logs on Windows NT Servers and Workstations.  The information is stored
in a relational database so that you have a permanent copy of a system's
history, even after the information has dropped out of the machine's
local event logs.  This makes it easy to look back at a system's
problems over longer periods of time.  But the best part of having the
information in a relational database is the reporting.  Using Seagate's
Crystal Reports, we created reports that slice and dice the event log
information.  You can report on a single NT machine, or all of them if
you choose to.  You can specify your own time line from one day to
several months.  SiMON quickly organizes and summarizes the information
into easy-to-read reports, all within your web browser.  The charts and
graphs show you how many events of each type are taking place and which
services and applications are generating them.  Double-clicking on the
report data drills down onto the individual events that make up the
report.

Version 2.1 is downloadable here. This is also a new product. If you
get your copy now you will have a strong influence on the development
strategy, as the developers have asked us to find out what you want
in this product: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/simon.htm


*********************************************************************

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

--------------------------------------------------------
Time Synch your full NT Lan with the Atomic Time Server.
--------------------------------------------------------

The time server from the Reskit now and then takes 80% of the CPU,
that is obviously unacceptable in a production environment. Here
is an idea to do it another way:

First, get the shareware tool AtomTime95 over here:
http://www.pcworld.com/software_lib/data/articles/internet/2448.html
Then update the clock on your server \\server1 and minimize AtomTime95.

Now throw in an AT command and you can update your network time:

Something like:

AT \\server1 13.00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F,S,Su "C:\Atomtime\Atomtime.exe"

(make sure that your \\server1 has the right timezone. The time that
is polled from the atomic time server is GMT)

To synch up all the systems on your LAN, you can use different
approaches:

1. You can synch the clock of a W95 or NTWS box during the logon
with a line in the logon script. Use the command 
NET TIME \\server1 /SET /Y

Save the logon script in C:\WINNT\system32\Repl\Import\Scripts
and in the UserManager for Domains your users need to have a logon
which is normal anyway.


2. Synch up the clocks of the other systems with \\server1
You can do this with an AT command that looks as follows:
AT \\This_Server 13.00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F,S,Su
"C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\NET.EXE TIME \\server1 /SET /Y"

You would be able to also run \\server1 ook /DOMAIN:MyDomain 
but that only works on NT Servers and WS.

Contributed by Arjan Douwes, Holland.


*****************************************************************
6. "THE NT STOCK WATCH"

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
BMC Software............. 51 5/16 58 1/2 27 3/8 48 +9.4%
Citrix Systems........... 63 1/8 75 1/2 31 1/2 -1.3%
Compaq Computer.......... 31 7/8 39 3/4 23 1/8 +7.3%
Computer Assoc........... 30 5/8 61 15/16 26 34 +4.7%
Data Genl................ 9 3/8 34 7 +11.9%
Dell Computer............ 57 7/16 64 3/4 17 1/2 69 +4.9%
Gateway 2000............. 49 3/4 68 3/4 25 1/16 65 +5.5%
Hewlett Packard.......... 50 82 3/8 47 3/4 18 -0.8%
IBM...................... 126 9/16 138 1/8 88 5/8 21 +6.0%
Intergraph............... 6 14 3/16 5 1/2 +1.0%
Microsoft Corp........... 104 1/4 119 5/8 59 62 +7.8%
NCR Corp................. 24 5/8 38 1/2 24 15/16 34 -2.9%
Network Assoc............ 37 11/16 56 7/8 27 3/8 +16.8%
Novell Inc............... 11 5/8 13 5/8 6 13/16 65 +14.1%
Oracle Corp.............. 25 1/2 40 1/16 17 3/4 26 +23.2%
Qualcom Inc.............. 45 1/2 71 15/16 40 15/16 34 +6.9%
Qualix Group Inc......... 1 5/8 6 1/8 1 1/4 0.0%
Seagate Tech............. 22 15/16 40 5/8 16 1/8 +25.6%
Silicon Graphics......... 10 15/16 29 9/16 9 1/16 +6.7%
Sun Microsyst............ 48 3/8 52 13/16 30 3/8 25 +13.3%
Sybase Inc............... 6 5/16 23 5/8 5 9/16 +1.0%
Symntc................... 16 1/4 32 5/8 15 13/16 15 -15.0%
Unisys Cp................ 22 11/16 30 11/16 11 1/16 +19.4%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 7,795.50 +2.0%



**************************************************************
7. "HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST"
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off
or change your email address

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIST

US: http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl?join=nt-list
and fill out the form, simple & easy: 1 minute work.
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TO QUIT THE LIST

1) The Web Way:
http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl?
choose the NT-List, use your email address that is at 
the bottom of each newsletter and leave the list via 
the web interface.

2) The Email Way: Simply follow the instructions at 
the very end of this newsletter.
_____________________________________________________

TO CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS

First unsubscribe and then resubscribe as per the
procedure above.

*************************************************

FOR MORE INFORMATION

On the World Wide Web point your browser to:

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**************************************************

Things Our Lawyers Make Us Say:
This document is provided for informational purposes only. 
The information contained in this document represents the
current view of Sunbelt Software Distribution on the issues
discussed as of the date of publication. Because Sunbelt
must respond to changes in market conditions, it should not
be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Sunbelt
and Sunbelt cannot guarantee the accuracy of any informa-
tion presented after the date of publication.

INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED "AS IS"
WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
FREEDOM FROM INFRINGEMENT.

The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the
use of this document. This document may be copied and
distributed subject to the following conditions: 1) All text
must be copied without modification and all pages must be
included; 2) All copies must contain Sunbelt's copyright
notice and any other notices provided therein; and 3) This
document may not be distributed for profit. All trademarks
acknowledged. Copyright Sunbelt Software Distribution, Inc.
1998.

(email me with feedback: [email protected])