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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sun, Jun 27, 1999
4 NEW HOT TOOLS
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER 
* SUNBELT GETS CISCO/INC MAGAZINE AWARD
* 4 NEW HOT TOOLS ANNOUNCED
2. TECH BRIEFING
* HOW TO 'CYA' FOR Y2K POWER ISSUES
* AUTOPILOT GETS BACKOFFICE CERTIFICATION
3. NT RELATED NEWS
* RESULTS ARE IN: WIN2K BETA 3 GETS GOOD MARKS
* HOW MICROSOFT SEGMENTS THEIR SUPPORT FOR YOU
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS
* NEW: CLUSTERX - RUN MS-CLUSTERS? THIS IS A MUST-HAVE
* NEW: EVENT LOG MONITOR - POWERFUL EVENT MANAGEMENT
* NEW: FILE RESCUE - NEW UNDELETE TOOL
* NEW: NTSCRIPT - GREAT SOLUTION FOR LOGON SCRIPTS
5. HINTS AND TIPS - TIME SAVERS AND OTHER GOODIES...
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH - June 25, 1999
7. CERTIFICATION NEWS

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

***************************SPONSOR*********************************

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****************WHAT IS NTOOLS E-NEWS?******************************
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 new developments
of 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 (abbreviated to Win2K).

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 
Europe.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT-ers,

Since NT has gone mainstream, its strong momentum has also created
a wealth of opportunity for third party software developers. And
especially recently we have seen a whole slew of new tools appear, 
all geared to making the life of NT admins easier. Since NT has 
quite a few areas that can be added to, this is a part of the market 
that is growing as fast as NT or perhaps even faster. 

Sunbelt gets called about once a week with the request if we want
to sell a particular product. Basically we only pick up so called
'Best Of Breed' tools, so mostly we say 'no' to new products. But
as _so_ much good stuff is hitting the market, there are some tools
that we simply _had_ to pick up. So that is why in this issue we 
announce no less than 4(!) New Hot NT Utilities in the Third Party 
News section.

We were also very pleased to hear Sunbelt was chosen in Inc. Magazine
and CISCO's Top 10 Internet/Virtual companies. This is an award that
recognizes the companies that grow fastest using (inter)networking.
Thanks to INC Mag. and CISCO. We'll keep working hard on getting you 
hot news and cool tools. http://www.inc.com/cisco/virtual.html

Coming Wednesday I'm flying to Amsterdam to visit the Microsoft
TechEd Europe. Next newsletter I will announce all the hot news I 
found while over there. One last point, I know that a very useful 
new tool will be announced at TechEd. This puppy replaces something 
in NT that you use every day, but is now domain-wide and very cool.
More soon!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman

PS: All the back issues of NTools E-News are available with just
your email address as the key to get in, searchable by keyword at:
http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl?enter=nt-list&text_mode=0


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

2. "TECH BRIEFING"

* HOW TO 'CYA' FOR Y2K POWER ISSUES

There is a certain small percentage chance that some (local) power 
companies might not have their act entirely together. Some have 
already announced that they are completely Y2K ready, but others are 
still working on it and testing is still in the works. But it would 
not be a bad idea in general to be prepared for localized short 
disruptions and/or brownouts.

Since Power is decentralized in most area's, that means in one city 
you might have no problem, but in another city close by you might 
have an issue. I personally do not think the percentage is higher 
than 5-10% percent that any major area gets hit with power outages 
but as IT Pro's it's our job to keep the data safe. Here are some 
numbers about downtime for a site running 24 hours per day. Downtime 
does not mean: 'The network is down', but it means 'business is down'.

Availability Cumulative Unplanned Downtime per year
------------ -------------------------------------- 
90% 36.5 days
95.1% 429 hours
96.5% 306 hours
99% 3.6 days
99.6% 35 hours
99.9% 8.8 hours
99.99% 53 minutes
99.999% 5 minutes
99.9999% 32 seconds

As you see, a decimal place means quite a lot! Also, the more uptime
guarantee you want, the higher the price gets. Of course there is a
big difference between keeping your systems up at very high levels
and keeping your data safe. If you are talking 99.9999% uptime, these
boxes are called Fault Tolerant systems and this is pricey stuff. 
The band between 99 and 99.9% you could call 'High Availability'
(these indications are somewhat arbitrary but give the big picture)

Next, there is the discipline called 'Disaster Recovery' That means
when one site gets completely splattered with a hurricane or flood,
you have to have your mission critical data in another city removed
from the problem. Getting that data on-line is then priority # 1.
Some more data about downtime from the Strategic Research Division
of FIND/SAP Contingency planning group:

Downtime Source Recovery Method Average Outage Time
--------------- --------------- ------------------- 
Scheduled Maintenance Restart 60-180 min typically
Application failure Reboot/Reload 15-60+ minutes
Operator Error Reboot 15-60+ minutes
OS Failure Reload 30-90 minutes
Blue Screen of Death Restart/Reload 30-120 minutes
Hardware Failure Diagnose/repair 1-3 hours
Power/Environmental Third Party repair 1-5 days
Natural Disaster Relocate/restart 1-30 days

And the cost of downtime is also interesting:

Industry System Outage time Average Cost in $
-------- ------------------ ----------------- 
Manufacturing operation 1 hour $28,000
Retail Store 1 hour $140,000
Brokerage operation 1 hour $6,500,000
Banking Data Center 1 hour $2,500,000+
Industry Average 4 hours $330,000

So, there is a definite need to create redundancy to prevent downtime 
and recover from disasters. This is of course nothing new, and is part 
and parcel of normal business-critical IT operations. So how comes Y2K 
into play? Well one of our customers which is a large financial firm
in New York came to the discovery that if the power went out, they
did not have their NT Server data safe somewhere out of town serviced
by a separate power company. In other words, they had their systems 
clustered and were OK on high availability, but were not set up with
disaster recovery to get data out of town real-time. They decided to 
implement Double-Take for that. We have also just updated that page
with an excellent PDF-white-paper about Exchange High Availability:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/dtake.htm

(*) CYA is a U.S. abbreviation that is short for 'Cover Your A$$'
-------------------------------

* AUTOPILOT GETS BACKOFFICE CERTIFICATION

Many of you are running AutoPilot on your BackOffice Servers. Well,
the product now also has Microsoft's stamp of approval. More over,
it was included in Dell's Direct Effect Alliance program. 

"Continuing improvements in performance and reliability are key areas 
of interest for customers. AutoPilot delivers a solution that strives 
to improve horsepower and throughput by alleviating bottlenecks." 
said Bob O'Brien lead product manager, BackOffice, Microsoft Corp.

More data: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/autoplt.htm
The full list of Microsoft BackOffice Certified products is here.
Quite interesting actually, simply to browse through and bookmark!
http://www.microsoft.com/isapi/hwtest/backoffice/soft.idc?Letter=S

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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* RESULTS ARE IN: WIN2K BETA 3 GETS GOOD MARKS

Sunbelt is of course also playing with Beta 3. We try to break things
as much as we can, and except for some points this is generally working 
well. Beta 2 was known to be buggy but Beta 3 is nothing like it. It 
has gotten rid of some large memory leaks and using the right hardware
can even be faster than NT 4.0. As far we can see the file system, 
security and general stability are solid. We don't have it in production
yet though!

One good point is of course the fact that instead of 6 architectures,
domains and security permissions are down to just one which is a definite
benefit. This means you definitely need to start thinking about your
domain structure and how to flatten it out. It also looks like we will
see a Release Candidate for Win2K soon. Rumor has it this might even
be in the next few weeks. 

The way they did it last time, it would be numbered RC0 (zero) instead 
of RC1. We will see. I'll keep you up to date the moment it's out there. 
The October shipping date for Win2K seems to hold up at the moment. 
Late last week Jim Allchin said: "I haven't seen anything that in any 
way makes me worried". He's the MS Senior Veep who heads the company's 
Business and Enterprise division.
-------------------------------

* HOW MICROSOFT SEGMENTS THEIR SUPPORT FOR YOU

Microsoft recently overhauled its support plans so that these are more
aligned with the 'customer segmentation' they changed to. Microsoft
now has four different support options (with in each additional sub-
options). This is an abbreviated overview:

ALLIANCE SUPPORT: Highest level, for mission critical apps on MS
platforms in the most demanding technical environments. You can get
it in two flavors: 1) Enterprise Systems getting a dedicated Technical
Account Manager (TAM) and including specific responsiveness levels
based on what you need. 2) High Availability that uses the services
of MS Certified Support Center HA providers that offer service-level
commitments based on system availability. (we are talking third party
here)

PREMIER SUPPORT: This exists since 1992, and is Account based. There
are about 2,600 companies using this globally. Premier has 4 flavors:
- Premier Enterprise
- Premier Developers
- Premier for MS Certified Solutions Providers
- Premier for OEM's
Each segment gets its own tailored support relationship and goes 
beyond incident-based support by providing account management,
proactive tech services and 24x7 incident resolution.

PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT: This focuses on support to resellers, consultants
and technical professionals like software developers and system builders.
This includes support via the TechNet website and 24x7 incident resolu-
tion by expert support professionals with escalation paths higher up.

PERSONAL SUPPORT: designed to answer home user questions via call-in
centers during business hours. Also has a website with free self-help
options, a Knowledge Base and user support newsgroups. Users can send
email with help requests.

Most of these new options are available from July 1 forward in the U.S.

********************************************************************
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS: 4 NEW HOT TOOLS


* NEW: CLUSTERX - RUN MS-CLUSTERS? THIS IS A MUST-HAVE

Do you have NT Clusters? If so listen to Richard Lee, author of MSCS, 
"If you have NT clusters, you need ClusterX". ClusterX will solve a 
couple of really major problems in the managing you Microsoft Cluster 
Server environments:

The ClusterX one-to-many user interface allows you to view and manage 
all of the clusters in your enterprise. This simply means no more 
running around to determine the status of, or changing, cluster 
configurations. Finally a single point of management for distributed
clusters!

Installation Wizards ensure that your cluster configuration is complete 
and accurate right from the get go. That will save you hours and hours 
of error-prone configuration work - and you can distribute your new
configuration to any cluster anywhere with absolute confidence.

Auditing, Reporting and Alerting features give you total knowledge of 
cluster status - and all of this is displayed on a single "explorer-
like" screen so that you can easily see what's going on out there.
Get control over IIS, SQL, Exchange and other clustered applications 
with the Application View. The hardware view shows any platform issues. 
The dependency view saves you hours. The stats view shows you CPU 
utilization and uptime statistics for service level agreement enforce-
ment.

In addition, ClusterX allows policy based (schedule or perfmon stats)
application load balancing. In other words, if one node gets too busy, 
you plug one application to the other node.

Finally, cluster config backup/restore features can be used to 
confidently deploy and/or backup the cluster config to complete your 
disaster-recovery support. ClusterX is standards based, an MMC snap-in, 
W2K and Y2K- ready. Oh yeah, Dell and Data General are already bundling 
this with all the MS-clusters they sell. Now that is a ringing endorse-
ment if I have ever heard one.

Anybody who as bought Convoy from us - remember that ClusterX will also
support Convoy/WLBS/NLBS in August - from the same user interface as a
snap-in. If you run NT clusters, you just GOTTA download this puppy
and check it out: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/clusterx.htm
-------------------------------

* NEW: EVENT LOG MONITOR - POWERFUL EVENT MANAGEMENT

Unfortunately the developer of SiMON has withdrawn their product from
the market very abruptly. That put us certainly in kind of a 'situation'.
We needed to get another tool fast! We did our normal thing. Checked
with end-users what features were really needed. Surveyed the market
(there are quite a few of these tools out there) and picked the one
we liked best (Price/Performance value) after comparing all that was 
offered. Here goes :-) (Call us when you run SiMON)

Too few hours in a day? How can 20, 50, or more servers spanning the 
globe be effectively managed? How can repeated logon failures, app 
crashes, or system capacities be proactively managed before they become 
frustrating and time consuming? Here is the answer with the new Event 
Log Monitor 2.0 (tm). ELM dynamically consolidates and filters Windows 
NT events, performance data, applications, and service/device changes. 
A powerful notification engine alerts you locally and remote via pop up
messages, email, pagers and more. Download, install, get instant results.

Check out the features over here: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/elm.htm
-------------------------------

* NEW: FILE RESCUE - NEW UNDELETE TOOL

Undeleting files is still something that many people need and want, and 
when you need it, it's U R G E N T !!  Here is a happy camper 
using the new File Rescue he bought online with instant delivery:

"File Rescue is awesome! Best $70.00 I will ever expense. I just restored 
95% of three years of archived Eudora e-mail which I rely on heavily. 
And this happened from a drive where one of our technical administrators 
was later tweaking our installs of the Office '97 suite, which (obviously) 
wrote to the disk. I installed the app on a second machine, then copied 
and ran the .exe from a floppy. The software was intuitive and flexible 
to use. (In other words, completely unlike Tiramisu from Ontrack. I had 
thought earlier that Tiramisu @ $395.00 was my only option since I'm 
running NT with a large hard disk formatted as NTFS.) The provided report 
seemed accurate in its assessment of the status of each file, which is 
helpful for starting to hand-repair some of the more badly damaged ones.
Thanks again. Rich Marshall

OPERATING SYSTEMS SUPPORTED:
Windows 95, 98, Windows NT 4.0 Server and Workstation, Windows 2000

FILE SYSTEMS SUPPORTED:
FAT 12, FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS

DRIVES SUPPORTED:
All Hard Drives, 3.5" Floppy, Zip Drives, Syquest Drives, JAZZ Drives
Ditto Drives, ETC...

FILE RESCUE FEATURES:
- Undelete Compressed files.
- Undelete Small, Medium, and large files.
- Undelete HEAVILY fragmented files.
- Scan for specific file types.
- Ignore .TMP files
- File List Sorting.
- Multiple File Undeletion.
- Easy Installation 

Get a 5-file demo: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/filerescue.htm
-------------------------------

* NEW: NTSCRIPT - GREAT SOLUTION FOR LOGON SCRIPTS

Use a 'Ghost-like' tool to clone your workstations for deployment?
Want to take it one step further and have all the user related stuff
also automatically configured? Have a look at NTscript in that case.
It's the world's best selling graphical logon script for MS networks.

NTscript is basically duplicates the functionality of Novell's very
versatile logon script; Drive mappings, Search Drives, Print Capture,
and Environment variables all based on group membership. If you 
would position the product, it's a logon script on steroids.

Many administrators simply do not have the time to program logon
scripts in either KiXtart, batch or other batch languages. You could
see NTscript as an intuitive GUI with point&click configuration for
KiXtart. You can easily justify it as a client-side admin tool because 
it cuts down on your time to manage desktops. 

NOTE: This is not another scripting language with a high learning
curve. It does not require programming. Just launch the management
console and fill in the blanks. it will save you countless trips
to desktops by using server-based template technology.

- Frustrated with roaming profiles? This puppy solves that problem.
- Got a mixed environment? This supports 95/98/NT/2000, Exchange,
BackOffice/SBS, Terminal Server or Citrix.
- Tired of creating MAPI profiles for Exchange clients? NTscript
does it on the fly during logon.
- Really need custom scripting? Can do as well.
- No time to code & debug 3500 lines of logon script? 

Here is the solution: Grab a copy and try a full 30-day eval at:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ntscript.htm

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

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

I promised you in an earlier issue that when I found out about the
new free UPTIME tool, I'd let you know. Here is the download on the
MS website:

Uptime is a simple command line tool that analyzes a single server 
for reliability and availability information. It can work locally 
or remotely. In its simple form, the tool will display the current 
system uptime. An advanced option allows you to access more detailed 
information such as shutdown, reboots, operating system crashes, and 
Service Pack installation. Download and instructions over here:

http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/nts/downloads/management/uptime/default.asp

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

6. "THE NT STOCK WATCH" Closing Friday June 25, 1999

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 17 1/4 33 12 3/4 -8.0%
BMC Software............. 48 9/16 60 1/4 30 33 -1.3%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 54 5/8 57 23 1/8 67 +0.2%
Compaq Computer.......... 22 3/8 51 1/4 20 +2.8%
Computer Associates...... 51 1/2 61 15/16 26 46 +0.7%
Data General Corp........ 14 21 13/16 7 +4.1%
Dell Computer............ 36 15/16 55 20 3/8 65 +0.6%
Electronic Data Systems C 55 9/16 59 15/16 30 7/16 51 -4.8%
Gateway Inc.............. 61 1/8 84 1/2 36 1/8 26 -6.0%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 92 5/8 97 9/16 47 1/16 30 +0.9%
Intergraph Corp.......... 7 15/16 10 1/4 4 11/16 +4.1%
International Business Ma 123 1/8 127 3/4 55 1/2 35 +1.9%
Legato Systems Inc....... 57 7/8 67 3/4 27 1/2 70 +5.2%
Micron Electronics Inc... 9 27/32 24 3/4 9 25 +1.6%
Microsoft Corp........... 84 15/16 95 5/8 43 7/8 67 -0.0%
NCR Corp................. 47 15/16 55 3/4 23 1/2 40 +1.1%
Network Associates Inc... 15 67 11/16 10 1/16 75 +5.7%
Novell Inc............... 25 28 1/8 9 1/2 64 +1.0%
Oracle Corp.............. 35 3/4 41 1/8 12 1/8 41 +1.9%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 126 3/4 137 1/2 18 7/8 -2.3%
Seagate Technology....... 29 1/2 44 1/4 16 1/8 40 +2.8%
Silicon Graphics......... 14 9/16 20 7/8 7 3/8 +8.3%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 64 7/8 72 1/2 19 1/4 45 +1.2%
Sybase Inc............... 9 13/16 11 5/8 4 1/2 -0.6%
Symantec Corp............ 26 11/16 29 8 11/16 31 +5.9%
Unisys Corp.............. 37 11/16 39 3/4 17 5/8 30 -1.9%
Veritas Software Corp.... 92 99 3/4 23 3/4 85 +3.3%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 10,552.56 -2.7%

********************************************************************
7. CERTIFICATION NEWS

Sunbelt University has opened its doors and many of you have already 
checked out the courses. Computer Based Training is certainly nice
when you have to squeeze your training into a busy schedule. There
is a brand new Special: FULL MCSE CORE requirements with a very good
price indeed. Check out http://www.sunbelt-university.com


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

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIST (Tell your friends!) Click: 
http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl?join=nt-list
and fill out the form, simple & easy: 1 minute work.

Or by email, send a blank message to the following address:
[email protected]

_____________________________________________________

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 personalized 
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

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At the time of this newsletter's release, all links were checked 
to verify their accuracy and validity. However, due to the ever-
changing pages of various sites, some links may later prove to be 
invalid. We regret any inconvenience should you be unable to open 
any of these links.
********************************************************************

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.
1996-1999.

(email me with feedback: [email protected])