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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sat, Dec 12, 1998
Sunbelt Windows NTools E-News[tm] - Dec 12, 1998
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
********************* OVER 135,000 SUBSCRIBERS*********************
Sunbelt Windows NTools E-News is the World's first and largest 
E-Newsletter designed for NT System Managers that have the job to 
get and keep NT up & running in a production environment. Sunbelt 
launched this electronic newsletter early 1996. Every two weeks we
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,
now renamed to Windows 2000.

You'll find general Windows NT related and third party news, tech
information, and 3-rd party beta and release information. As a
subscriber to NTools E-News[tm], you will receive instant notifi-
cation 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 US and EU.
********************* OVER 135,000 SUBSCRIBERS**********************

This issue of Windows NTools E-News contains:

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 
* SOME QUICK REMARKS

2. "TECH BRIEFING"
* BOOST EXCHANGE PERFORMANCE 28% WITH AUTOPILOT
* WHY USE FORTRESS-NT WHEN WINEXIT SEEMS TO DO IT FOR FREE?

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 
* NT BOOK OF THE MONTH
* W2K BETA 3 COMES OUT Q1?99.
* WIN NT RUNS NASDAQ TEST OF 4 BILLION TRANSACTIONS SUCCESSFULLY.

4. "NT THIRD PARTY NEWS"
* 1998 WINNERS IN THE NT THIRD PARTY COMMUNITY
* INFOWORLD COMES OUT WITH CLONING COMPARISON & WINNER
* DOUBLE-TAKE VERSION 3.0 IS IMPRESSIVE
* FREE SP3 HOTFIX REFERENCE REMOVAL UTILITY FOR SP4
* NEW PERFMAN V3 DOES BACKOFFICE: MONITOR TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE

5. "HINTS AND TIPS - TIME SAVERS AND OTHER GOODIES...
* BIGGER LIST OF NT4 SP4 KNOWN BUGS

6. "THE NT STOCK WATCH"

7. "Y2K WATCH"

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

***********************SPONSOR***************************************
W I N D O W S N T F A Q 
The Windows NT FAQ now has over 1000 answers to common NT questions.
It has a powerful search engine to help you find the answers to tricky
problems that your colleagues also ran into. You can check the site
via your browser, but free download versions of the site in .hlp, .chm 
and .html are also available for off-line viewing. This is one of the
best NT Sites on the Net. Check it out at: http://www.ntfaq.com
*******************************************************************

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 


Hi NT-ers,

A few quick remarks, there is a lot of NT news again!

- The first day (Friday) we sold 250 of the MCSE+I package. There are
250 left with the Y2K book & video. You have to be fast to pick up
your copy. But even without the Book & Video, the offer is still
worth it: MCSE+I and AutoPilot for 200 bucks is a killer deal.

- Convoy Cluster sales are skyrocketing. Everyone with mission critical
websites that are not planning to run NT Enterprise Edition, and in need
of a fault tolerant website is currently scooping up Convoy before it
gets assimilated by MS in to NTEE. You have until December 31-st, hurry!

- In between Christmas and New Year?s we will not have a full NTools
E-News, but likely a NewsFlash in case important stuff hits the wires.

Let?s see what is happening in the NT-world!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman


********************************************************************
2. "TECH BRIEFING"

* BOOST EXCHANGE PERFORMANCE 28% WITH AUTOPILOT

Microsoft Exchange is often the driving force behind a corporate NT
deployment. Standardizing on one email and document flow product is
an obvious strategy to save cost. We see many sites using Exchange 
and in certain cases the amount of users grows faster than expected.
That has the potential result of performance problems. AutoPilot has
shown to give good results in these kinds of situations. 

Curt Aubley recently wrote an excellent book called Tuning and Sizing
NT Server (Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-095388-1, www.phptr.com). He spent
a chapter on some case studies, one of them Exchange with 2000 users.
Curt used the LoadSim software that comes with Exchange. It allows 
you to create a realistic user load to simulate Exchange performance.

Since he is a tuning expert, he did the LoadSim in three stages. The 
first configuration was pretty much Exchange as it was. In the second
configuration he optimized the Disk I/O distribution and in the third
one he added AutoPilot to the mix. He used the ?heavy? users option in
LoadSim. The response times score in seconds were as follows:

Users: Configuration 1 Configuration 2 Configuration 3+AP
500 0.470 0.334 0.258
1000 0.613 0.513 0.323
2000 0.1200 0.900 0.700

Curt has more about these specifics on his website, and explains in an
abbreviated form what tests were done and what the results were. They
are over here: http://www.tuningandsizingnt.com/article4.htm

If you want to try this for yourself using the LoadSim software, pull
a copy of the latest AutoPilot (supports SP3 and 4) over here:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/autoplt.htm
----------------------------

* WHY USE FORTRESS-NT WHEN WINEXIT SEEMS TO DO IT FOR FREE?

One of our users asked the following question:
?WinExit seems to be directly competitive to Fortress-NT, and part of 
the NT Resource Kit. Why use Fortress when WinExit is free??

Both products log off Idle Users to free up resources and ensure the
security of an NT LAN. The Answer:

The WinExit screen saver has been a part of the NT Resource Kit for many
years. For a long time, however, NT/Intel users couldn't use it because 
MS accidentally put a RISC version of the screen saver in the directory 
where the Intel version was supposed to be, and it simply would not run. 
They fixed this in the 4.0 Resource Kit, but there are still other issues.

Probably the biggest one is that NT doesn't respond well when a screen 
saver triggers a forced logoff, particularly when the workstation had been
locked. Often, the logoff will be incomplete and the computer will be left 
in an indeterminate state. This problem occurred through NT 4.0 SP3 ? and 
is still in SP4 as well. This unusual problem was SOLVED by Fortress-NT, and
Fortress-NT's Idle-Logout Screen Saver does work correctly in this case,
both on SP3 and SP4.

Some other features of Fortress-NT which are absent in WinExit:
* Enforcement of screen saver policies, such as required use of password
protection, maximum allowable delay, etc.
* Easy system-wide policy enforcement and maintenance through the use of
Fortress command line parameters in logon scripts;
* Remote configuration dialog;
* Enforced logon/logoff times;
* More flexible downcount -- WinExit's downcount time is limited to 999
seconds (16 minutes, 39 seconds).

30-day Fortress Eval at: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/fortress.htm

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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* NT BOOK OF THE MONTH

The December 1998 ?BOTM? is the MS EXCHANGE SERVER SURVIVAL GUIDE from 
SAMS publishing, written by Greg Todd. A few of the Sunbelt Account Reps
made me aware of this extremely useful system administrators guide and
last night I went over to the local Barnes and Noble bookstore to pick
up a copy. Clearly written with good examples, from the trenches of
experience and a lot of hints and tips to make sure things go right.

This one I would say is a mandatory read if you go live with Exchange for
a serious size site and this month?s ?Stu?s Warmly Recommended?. The ISBN 
is 0-672-30890 and probably you can get it online with a discount on the 
list price of $49.99
---------------------------

* W2K BETA 3 COMES OUT Q1?99.

It looks like Microsoft tells W2K beta testers that Beta 3 will be ready
late February or March 1999. A special Web site for testers called Beta
News, leaked that Microsoft plans February as the Beta 3 release date.
Beta 2 of NT5 was pushed out to beta testers last August, before it was
renamed to W2K.

It is still completely unclear when Microsoft will release W2K. Specula-
tion is that it will be Q3 or Q4? 99 or perhaps even later. A known
statistic is that even the best coders make 3 errors in one hundred lines.
Looking at the fact that W2K is something like 35 million lines of code,
the obvious conclusion would be that W2K has a million bugs that need to 
be resolved.

Not all of those are showstoppers, and even if it?s only 100,000 bugs that
is still an immense amount of debugging for a team of a few hundred people.
And adding more people only makes it slower, as we all know. My guess is 
that they are still looking at a minimum of a thousand or two showstopper
bugs but I have to admit that is a guesstimate. Beta 3 in March means no
Gold Code until late 1999, that is a thing that?s for sure. 
----------------------------

* WIN NT RUNS NASDAQ TEST OF 4 BILLION TRANSACTIONS SUCCESSFULLY.

The tests were used to gauge the feasibility of developing Nasdaq's 
new Surveillance Delivery Real-Time (SDR) application for the Nasdaq
MarketWatch department. "This is a big strategic win for Nasdaq and
Microsoft, as this is the first commercial Windows NT-based system to
conquer such high transaction volume," said David Osborne, MMA's Chief
Technology Officer. 

"A lot of trading firms are evaluating Windows NT 4.0 for its known 
price/performance value. This is the first tangible proof that high-volume
performance demands can be met with Windows NT." MMA, a leading expert in
building innovative financial solutions, provided software architecture, 
design and development services.

The study:

- Demonstrated to Nasdaq managers that Windows NT could support peak
conditions over an extended period. The test involved running 800
transactions per second continuously for an equivalent of 8 trading 
days. 
- Provided analysts with alerts within 200 to 700 milliseconds, well
within the 2-second requirement. 
- Showed that the system could remain 100 percent available, even
under stress. During the test, utilization averaged 15 percent. 
- Demonstrated instant recovery from all failure tests with no data
loss and immediate availability of the backup system.

The benchmarking effort significantly exceeded all of its goals, and
consisted of Windows NT 4.0 Server EE, MSQ 1.0, Microsoft Transaction 
Server 2.0, and Microsoft SQL Server 6.5. The Unisys hardware included 
Unisys XR/6 enterprise servers with 10 processors and 2 gigabytes
of memory, running in parallel. The benchmark was conducted at the
Unisys/Microsoft Enterprise NT Center of Excellence in Blue Bell,
Pennsylvania.
----------------------------

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

* 1998 WINNERS IN THE NT THIRD PARTY COMMUNITY

At the end of every year we look back and see what third party products 
were really winners. We define that simply as steepest climbing sales
curves: a majority in the market sees a good product and jumps on it.
Sunbelt looks at sales figures instead of votes, we believe that when
people vote with their checkbooks it?s a little more reliable than simply
clicking a button on a website where you can vote... ;-) 

So, what were the products with the fastest sales growth?

1) Trusted Enterprise Manager: Granular User Management delegation.
2) Storage Resource Manager: Browser based, SQL-driven, enterprise disk 
management with thresholds, alerts, graphs, and a whole lot more.
3) Diskeeper: Still the leading disk defragger.
4) Convoy Cluster Software: Fault tolerance for mission critical websites
5) Double-Take: File mirroring and fail-over for mission critical servers
6) Quota Advisor: Hard disk quota tool that does user and object quotas.

There you have it. That is what most of your colleagues have been buying.
The expectation is the only thing not in this list next year will be 
Convoy as that?s going to be part of NT Enterprise Edition. There are some
very interesting products on the horizon though that likely will break
through in 1999. There is a cool Configuration Management tool coming
soon, a brand new security product from a surprise player, a Suite of cool
NT Utilities, and the new AutoPilot release will likely see some healthy
growth because of it?s unique technology and positive effects on MS Exchange.
------------------------------

* INFOWORLD COMES OUT WITH CLONING COMPARISON & WINNER

InfoWorld conducted a 7-month study of all multicast-based cloning 
packages available. They looked at speed, ease of use, support and overall
features. The verdict: ImageCast IC3 was the best package available.

The editors went on to write; "IC3 is the most comprehensive imaging 
package we have encountered -- easily knocking Norton Ghost from the 
perch it has held since it inaugurated this market." If you want to 
know more, this is the full article. Click on the link below.
http://www.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/displayTC.pl?/981116comp.htm

or, if you want to try it out, you can get the ImageCast IC3 demo 
http://www.innovativesoftware.com/imagecast/ic3_download.htm
-------------------------

* DOUBLE-TAKE VERSION 3.0 IS IMPRESSIVE

Just this week I was given a presentation about Double-Take (DT). 
As you know, if you buy DT before the end of the year you get
Balance Suite thrown in, but actually the deal is a lot better.
You get 2 nodes of DT V3.0 as a free upgrade and OH BOY is that
product improved over V1.6. 

The developer decided to bite the bullet earlier this year and 
rewrite a good chunk of the code. The result of this is that V3
is everything everybody has ever wanted is a mirroring and fail-
over product. The features are _impressive_. One of the really
cool parts is that the code can now be ported easily to other
platforms. V3 will be available for Sun Solaris to start with
and a little later for NetWare as well. That means mirroring
your data cross platform. You can see the possibilities. Apart
from central backup this is also very cool for disaster recovery
and migration purposes. 

So if you buy DT 1.6 before the end of the year, you get a free
upgrade to two nodes of V3 which is the Rolls Royce of NT fail-
over and mirroring utilities. You may think I?m kidding you and
that this is just Stu?s marketing hype. Well, when you see the
features you?ll understand why I?m so excited. Click your way to:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm for an eval.
----------------------------

* FREE SP3 HOTFIX REFERENCE REMOVAL UTILITY FOR SP4

The developer of SPQuery released a free utility in both command-line
and GUI version called SPClean to remove Hotfix 3 references from SP4
installations. 

SPClean or SPCleanW should be used only when you are updating your 
system with Service Pack 4 and you want to remove all references of 
Service Pack 3 hotfixes from the Registry and the hard disk. Make
sure you read the readme file.

Also, on December 14th, Microsoft will feature SPQuery on their Web site.
Check out www.microsoft.com/technet/resource/downloads/thirdparty

Get the free tool at: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/spquery.htm
-----------------------------

* NEW PERFMAN V3 DOES BACKOFFICE: MEASURE TO BE ABLE TO MANAGE

There is an old saying: You cannot manage if you don't measure. That
is especially true for NT Server farms where it's humanly impossible
to keep track of dozens of machines to see how they are doing. But you
need to do that for two reasons. The first is immediate performance
levels need to be guaranteed. The second is that you need to be able
to plan your future capacity.

The new version 3.0 of PerfMan is by far one of the easiest-to-use
capacity planning utilities available for Win NT. Perfman explained in
one sentence would be "NT's perfmon on steroids". It gives you the tool
to do adequate planning in small and large NT environments. Setup and 
configuration are a breeze, and its intuitive interface make your NT
performance management a minimal effort.

The reason why Sunbelt chose for PerfMan as the performance management
tool (out of a group of 8) is that PerfMan does NOT need any remote
agents for its use. You can monitor 100 servers from one machine and the
data gets polled from the remote systems with absolute minimal overhead.

PerfMan collects your performance data, stores it in a database. The 
PerfMan Analyst module summarizes for you, and you can even run that
piece of code on a Win 3.x or 95 machine if needed. PerfMan offers three
distinct advantages: it automatically manages historical information, it
offers extremely flexible monitoring configuration options, and its
reporting functionality is highly intuitive. Now that it also supports
BackOffice this is a tool you definitely want to have a look at:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/perfman.htm


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

* BIGGER LIST OF NT4 SP4 KNOWN BUGS

[email protected] sent me this:
I just thought you might like to know, the list of problems with SP4 you
posted in your newsletter is nice but it's not real complete. Check
www.nthelp.com/nt4sp4.htm for a list I've been compiling from the WINNT
forum on compuserve where I sysop. Feel free to copy any you want to add 
to your list, it's important folks know what to expect.

Thanks George!

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

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 30 3/16 32 3/4 12 3/4 -3.7%
BMC Software............. 47 60 1/4 27 5/8 39 -0.3%
Citrix Systems........... 82 1/2 90 3/4 36 3/8 +0.8%
Compaq Computer.......... 41 7/8 42 3/4 22 15/16 +8.2%
Computer Assoc........... 42 1/4 61 15/16 26 44 -3.5%
Data Genl................ 17 7/8 21 13/16 7 -14.3%
Dell Computer............ 67 3/16 73 1/2 18 7/8 71 +1.8%
Gateway 2000............. 53 7/16 68 3/4 28 9/16 28 +4.1%
Hewlett Packard.......... 65 7/16 82 3/8 47 1/16 24 +2.8%
IBM...................... 168 170 9/16 95 5/8 28 +2.2%
Intergraph............... 5 1/2 10 7/8 4 11/16 -12.8%
Micron Elec.............. 18 15/16 24 3/4 8 7/16 38 -7.6%
Microsoft Corp........... 134 134 5/8 59 66 +5.2%
NCR Corp................. 38 11/16 40 5/16 23 1/2 36 -0.3%
Network Assoc............ 53 3/8 56 7/8 25 1/2 +3.6%
Novell Inc............... 17 13/16 18 7/8 6 13/16 61 -0.6%
Oracle Corp.............. 37 1/4 37 1/4 17 3/4 34 +1.8%
Qualcom Inc.............. 52 3/16 70 1/16 37 3/4 36 -3.2%
Qualix Group Inc......... 6 7/8 7 1/4 0 15/16 +5.7%
Seagate Tech............. 30 13/16 34 1/2 16 1/8 -3.7%
Silicon Graphics......... 13 3/8 16 1/2 7 3/8 +3.3%
Sun Microsyst............ 77 3/8 82 1/2 34 5/8 40 +2.9%
Sybase Inc............... 7 3/4 15 1/8 4 1/2 +9.7%
Symntc................... 19 7/8 32 5/8 8 11/16 23 -2.1%
Unisys Cp................ 30 15/16 33 3/16 11 1/2 -0.6%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 8,821.76 -2.1%
---------------------------------------------------------------------


********************************************************************
7. "Y2K WATCH" Only 382 days to Jan 1, 2000 


This morning I attended a presentation by Marvin Thornton, Head of
the SouthTrust Bank Y2K steering committee. He explained the bank had
been working on the Y2K problem since 1996 and was completely d o n e!
They will do some testing the coming year but all their systems passed 
the date test already. The Federal banking system seems to be in good
shape. 94% of all USA banks get a ?satisfactory? grade, and that means
they are close to being compliant. The control systems are thorough.

Banks are forced to be compliant and will get shut down around June 
?99 if they are not, so that makes it pretty compelling to work hard 
at the problem. Unfortunately Telecom and Power companies do not have 
that government requirement. The local Florida Power company is quite 
cagey about their level of compliance. Having a contingency plan for 
rolling blackouts (no power 15 minutes out of the hour seems to be a 
prudent approach. Having a battery backup for 2 hours for your mission 
critical systems is no excessive luxury!
-------------------------

Paul Akin posted this on the MCSE-list. It?s not all doom and gloom 
?Redmond, WA (AP) -- Microsoft announced today that the official release 
date for the new operating system "Windows 2000" will be delayed until 
the second quarter of 1901...?
-------------------------

UPDATED MICROSOFT YEAR 2000 PRODUCT GUIDE: 
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/topics/year2k/default.htm
This is the place to read MS?s Y2K Readiness Disclosure and Resource
Center. You can read the Product Guide to find information on Microsoft
Mail for PC Networks components, as well as resolutions for known Year 
2000 issues. Find the fixes you need for client, server, and gateway. And 
this is the link for the latest 6 weeks updates:
http://microsoft.com/technet/december/year2k/updates12_8.htm


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

8. "HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST"
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign offor 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.
_____________________________________________________

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:

For the newsletter and our website:
USA: http://www.sunbelt-software.com

Email for US sales information to:
[email protected]
Email for US Tech support to:
[email protected]
Email to the US Editor:
[email protected]

Email for European Sales to:
[email protected]
Email for European Tech support to:
[email protected]

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


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])