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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Jan 21, 1999
Important CONVOY Announcement
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
Hi All,

I have some VERY GOOD NEWS for all of you that need fault tolerance,
scalability and load balancing for your NT Web servers! *** BUT YOU 
HAVE ONLY UNTIL THE END OF JAN '99 TO ACT *** Everybody that has bought
CONVOY Cluster Software from Sunbelt in the last 6 months is going to 
be thrilled. 

OK, what is the story?

If you only started receiving NTools E-News recently, there is some 
background you need to have. Sunbelt has been distributing a fault 
tolerance tool called Convoy Cluster Software for NT since '97.
It can cluster up to 32 webservers together and load balance the IP
requests for fault tolerance and scalability. More about the specs
over here: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/convoy.htm

Microsoft thought it was a great addition to NT and they acquired the
code to include it into NT Enterprise Edition (EE). That means the stand-
alone Convoy product is going to disappear by the end of this month. 
Microsoft renamed Convoy to Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS),
but the code has remained practically the same except for some cosmetic
changes. Legally you will only be able to run WLBS as part of the NT EE
license, with one exception: read on!

Normally Convoy costs about $1,000 per node. NT EE costs between 3 and
$4,000 per node, and upgrades from NT Standard Edition to EE are around
$2,000 per machine. You see that Convoy stand-alone saves about $1,000
per machine if you want scalability and load balancing for NT web-boxes.


Now, why would you want to do this? Here comes the good news. Microsoft
has made the upgrade from Convoy to WLBS extremely attractive: IT'S FREE!
Existing Convoy customers get a free upgrade to the full WLBS, and will 
be supported by Microsoft's Tech Support. More over, and this is the most
important part, only existing Convoy customers ARE ALLOWED TO KEEP RUNNING

Think about this for a moment. If you buy Convoy before Jan 29, 1999, 
you are NOT required to license NT EE to be able to run it. You will get
a copy of WLBS for FREE with FULL Microsoft Tech Support for each Convoy
node you license. This is a HELL of a DEAL, that will never ever come
back. Time to act and use some of that new 1999 budget! This is the time
to get more nodes for your existing Convoy cluster or get your webcluster
created RIGHT NOW.


1) Q: How will I get my Convoy?
A: Sunbelt will send you a Key that makes the eval into a FULL copy.

2) Q: How will I get the free WLBS upgrade?
A: Via download from the Microsoft website

3) Q: Will I still be limited to the cluster size with WLBS?
A: Legally, yes. Technically, no. You will get a key-less copy
of WLBS for 32 nodes. But you need an NT EE license for each
machine you will run WLBS on, unless you are a legal Convoy
user. Microsoft has removed the license encryption. WLBS 
essentially now uses the 'honor' system. It's up to you to keep
your installations legal. You'd better ;-)

4) Q: Will I be able to run WLBS on NT Standard Edition?
A: Technically, yes. Legally, no unless you are a legal Convoy user.

5) Q: I have an 8-node Convoy Cluster, do I get 8 copies of WLBS?
A: Yes, you can run WLBS on all 8 machines

6) Q: I now have a two-node Convoy Cluster, can I upgrade to an 8-node
cluster and then get 8 free copies of WLBS?
A: Yes, but you have to do it before the end of Jan'99!

7) Q: Where can I get a powerpoint presentation of WLBS for my manager?
A: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/ntserverenterprise/exec/feature/wlbs/wlbspowerpoint.asp

8) Q: Where can I get more details on WLBS?
A: Go to the Microsoft website and do a search on WLBS.

9) Q: Where can I download the latest version of Convoy?
A: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/convoy.htm

10)Q: What is the pricing of Convoy?
A: SKU Size # nodes Price:
CONV005...Small .....2 .............$2,000
CONV010...Medium ....3 to 8 ........$6,000
CONV015...Large .....9 to 32....... $20,000

I think that Microsoft has taken the right approach here and chose to
make our lives easy. It's great technology, our website has not been
down for more than a year now. I also suggest you combine Convoy with
Double-Take which replicates the mission critical data on your servers.
More info on Double-Take: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm

So now you understand that everyone that already bought Convoy has a
great deal, and if you buy before the end of this month you are able
to benefit from this exceptional offer as well. 

You have until the 29-th to jump on it. Start with downloading Convoy 
and try it out!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman

(email me with feedback: [email protected])