- Sign-up Now!
 - Current Issue
 - Edit Your Profile/Unsubscribe

Subscribe | Media Kit | About Us | All Issues | Subscriber Feedback | Contact Us | Privacy Statement
Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sun, Sep 12, 1999
NT4.0 SP 6 IS IN BETA
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER
* NTOOLS E-NEWS 1999 TARGET AWARDS
2. TECH BRIEFING
* ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT CATEGORY: EVENT LOG MANAGEMENT
3. NT RELATED NEWS
* NT 4.0 SERVICE PACK 6 IS IN BETA
* NEW TOOL ENHANCES SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT SERVER
* WINDOWS 2000 ADOPTION REPORT PUBLISHED
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS
* NEW PRODUCT: ELM V2.0 WITH EXCELLENT INSTALL GUIDE
* PRODUCT REVIEW: ST BERNARD'S OPEN FILE MANAGER
* ZIFF DAVIS GIVES FILE RESCUE A 5 STAR RATING
5. HINTS AND TIPS
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH - check out some of these numbers!!
7. HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off or change your address.

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

A key server is down, your pager is going off, and you need to 
know what's happening... now! When your users are complaining, where 
do you turn? In the world of distributed apps and client server 
computing, bad server performance can mean lost opportunities, 
and lost jobs. Task-Xplorer gives you more than Server Monitoring, 
it gives you in-depth Server Management. Dynamically reduce a 
working set, identify processor hogs, and limit their access to 
the CPU in real time and much much more. Check out Task-Xplorer:
- http://www.luxorsoft.com -


****************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/2000 and help you to pass your certification exams.

Via (separate) NTools E-NewsFlashes we will send you important 
breaking news like new service packs, killer viruses, etc. Sunbelt 
Software is the first and largest distributor worldwide of Third 
Party System Management Tools for Windows NT.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT-ers,

Many of you asked me questions like: "What are the tools that 
everybody is using? What is the best utility for this job? How
can I find out if it is reliable? What is the support of this
vendor like?

That is why NTools E-News decided to introduce a 'Product Of The
Year' in each major category of NT/Win2K utilities. We are calling
these the 'NTools E-News Target Awards' in the tradition of a now
defunct but well loved magazine that was called Digital News & 
Review. It was run for many years by excellent editor Jack Fegreus
who also initiated NT BackOffice Magazine. 

Coming weekend we will send you a NewsFlash with the request to
vote for your 'fave' tool in almost 20 categories. And as this is
fully automated we'll get back to you with the results and an
analysis the week after in our next issue of September 25. Think
of it as the 'Oscars' for NT tools, and you all are members of
the 'Academy' :-) 

The categories you can vote for are below, we will pick the 
3 to 5 Leaders in each category to make it easy.
- Availability / Fault-tolerance
- Backup
- Communications Management 
- Disk Defragmentation
- Disk Quota Management
- Domain / User Management
- Event Log Management
- Network / Domain Reporting
- Network Monitors
- Performance Enhancement
- Print Management
- Remote Control
- Scripting/Automation
- Security 
- Software Distribution
- Software Metering
- Storage Management
- System/Application monitoring
- Undelete tools

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
BOOK MARK THIS URL - YOU MAY NEED IT SOME TIME.

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

2. "TECH BRIEFING"

* ANATOMY OF A PRODUCT CATEGORY: EVENT LOG MANAGEMENT

Right after NT 3.51 came out mid 1995, it was clear that there were
a few holes that needed to be filled pretty much immediately. One
was disk defragmentation. A second was disk quota's and the third one
that people with more than a few servers needed was something to
automate the management of event logs.

Regularly checking the event logs of a server is crucial. It warns you 
about all kinds of things that are happening including hack attacks,
disks getting full, apps giving critical errors, devices with problems,
you name it. Not checking your event logs is a bit like crossing a
busy highway being blindfolded. 

There are at least 6 different ways to manage your Event Logs.

1) Do nothing. Downtime will hit rather sooner than later.

2) If you have just one server, you can do it manually every day.

3) Get a simple shareware product, consolidate the logs and check them.

4) Buy a low-end (point-solution) commercially supported Event Log tool

5) Roll out a high-end (enterprise solution) Event Log tool

6) Use your $uper high-end Framework like CA Unicenter, Tivoli or HP.

Each of these has their place in the development cycle of NT domains
in your organization. The larger your NT environment gets, the more
important it becomes to get notified _before_ your users start to scream.
The fact that NT is a distributed environment with lot of servers all
over the place does not help much to keep central control. That is
why event log managers were developed as the earliest NT tools.

The first one on the market in 1996 was SeNTry. Originally developed
by Serverware in the UK, and sold later to Mission Critical this is a
cat 5 tool (see above). Soon after a whole slew of tools came out,
most of them cat 4. Some examples are Aelita's EventAdmin, LogCaster,
and TNT's Event Log Monitor. 

And after those, the shareware tools came up, with as the best example
Doriansoft's Event Archiver that costs 20 bucks. In categories 3 to 6, 
the rule is that you get what you pay for, but some caution is advisable. 
The prices are sometimes astoundingly different for feature sets that 
are very close.

The main thing that these tools have in common is that they gather the
events in a central database, allow you to run filters and set alarms
and/or notifications in case something critical happens. Some can also
monitor NT Services for you, check devices and device drivers, runaway
processes and memory leak problems. Some of the Cat 4 and 5 tools even
support SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) so they can integrate 
with the Frameworks.

Why use a Framework _and_ a Cat 4 or 5 tool? The Frameworks are usually
not in-depth enough to get into the NT-specific nuts and bolts reason
of the problem. It makes sense in these situations to have a Cat 4 tool
that does the footwork and reports to the framework using SNMP traps
(traps are another word for alerts).

A relatively high percentage of sites with 5 or more servers deploys 
some form of Event Log Management. These are the system administrators 
that have decided that prevention is the least costly route compared to
downtime. And for security audit reasons, it is also VERY important to
never ever delete the events from the Security Log. Being able to store
these centrally is crucial.

Last but not least, when one of your domain systems has the Security 
Events log cleared, that action should be recorded by the PDC as a 
domain event. And make sure that you keep separate event logs for
each domain a system can participate in. Managing those events is a
drag, but if not done can be extremely painful. Automate it!


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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* NT 4.0 SERVICE PACK 6 IS IN BETA

This is just a little notification, there is little known about what
is in it and when it will be available but I will let you know with
a NewsFlash the moment there is more data!
-----------------------------

* NEW TOOL ENHANCES SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT SERVER

If you are running SMS, a new solution from Mobile Automation extends 
the functionality of Systems Management Server to mobile devices. 
Administrators can control software distribution, application management 
and system configurations for Windows(r) CE and Palm OS devices. More
over here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/dailynews2/083099.htm
-----------------------------

* WINDOWS 2000 ADOPTION REPORT PUBLISHED

This is fairly interesting information about who will implement
Win2K when. The Windows 2000 Adoption Report is an independent report 
based on the responses to an online survey of over 1,400 IT pro's. 
The respondents were drawn from a Survey.com panel of 8,000 IT 
administrators and managers who intend to implement Windows 2000 
within their respective organizations. 

They represent a cross section of business, government, and education, 
with an emphasis on IT-related industries in North America. 

The report is intended for vendors and integrators of NT systems, as 
well as anyone in the supply chain (peripheral vendors, semiconductor 
houses, storage vendors, ISVs, custom software developers, etc.) who 
supports their customers with hardware/software upgrades or replacements
necessitated by the introduction of Windows 2000. 

http://www.survey.com/bidw/eswin2k.html


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

4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS

* NEW PRODUCT: ELM V2.0 WITH EXCELLENT INSTALL GUIDE

Sunbelt is happy to announce what we feel is an excellent new tool.
Event Log Manager provides the feature set of an enterprise tool,
but is priced like a point solution. That is a fancy way to say
it's very, very cheap for the features you get. Here is a short
description of the product with pricing at the end.

Are you underutilizing the Windows NT Event Viewer? Could downtime
have been avoided if you only had the time to regularly check the
logs? The Event Log Monitor (TM) Enterprise Edition provides you the
toolset to proactively administer your network through efficient
event log management.

With ELM, the System, Security, and Application logs of all your NT
Servers and Workstations are consolidated and stored in an ODBC
database. Archived audit records support the Security Administrator's
efforts to evaluate failed logons and security changes. 

Not limited to Windows NT logs, custom events can be written to expand
the information available for critical decisions. Configured alerts
are triggered from performance data thresholds typically tracking CPU
availability and detecting memory leaks. Routers, printers and UNIX
machines are monitored though TCP/IP and SNMP. 

Without filtering, managing you event logs would be overwhelming.
Customized or pre-configured event sets cut through the barrage and
presents your logs in a usable format for easy diagnostics. 

Notification is the critical link between event log collection and
proactive management. You can be notified by pop-up, email, pager, 
or browser messages when decisive action is required. The sooner 
you have the most accurate information, the better your ability to 
manage the network. 

The Event Log Monitor is a great NT Admin Tool. ELM is also available
in Small Business and Single Server Editions. Check out our website 
for a free download with 30 day evaluation. 

ELM Enterprise Edition: includes 1 Admin Console 
Agents: Less than 20: $345 each
Agents: From 20 to 49: $295 each
Agents: From 50 to 99: $245 each
Agents: 100 or More: Call!

Additional Admin Console: $495
NT Workstation Agent: $65
IP Device Monitoring: $45

Small Business Edition Monitors 10 Agents: $1,595
Single Server Edition Monitors 1 Agent: $245

Get your download at: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/elm.htm
-------------------------------------

* PRODUCT REVIEW: ST BERNARD'S OPEN FILE MANAGER

Network and system administrators are becoming acutely aware that 
their current backup software solutions are failing at the very thing 
they were purchased to do - back up the most critical data in the 
organization.

The reason for this failure is that the most important files 
(such as email, databases, accounting, manufacturing & technical 
support information software, sales contact programs, key word 
processing and spreadsheets in use after regular business hours, 
etc.) are usually "open" when the backup program is run.

In these instances, any of three things can happen, and none of them 
is good:

1) Files get skipped. Some backup packages will come back later and 
retry, but most open applications will still be open and, therefore, 
their files will get skipped again.

2) Users get locked out of their applications. Clearly, this is not 
the way to run a business.

3) The backup could get forced. Then, if any changes occur to a file 
during the backup of that file, parts of the changes might get captured 
by the backup software, while other parts may be in areas of the file 
that have already been read for backup. Hence, the data on tape will 
be corrupt. This is a very dangerous scenario, since the administrator 
thinks there is a copy of the file on tape, when that data is not 
useable. 

When you are locked into your current backup software and do not want 
to change to a tool that natively can backup open files, what is needed 
is a complementary utility. There are two types possible. One is a tool 
like Double-Take that replicates critical data in real-time. 

The other possibility is a utility that helps the backup software
capture files that are open, even if they are changing during the 
backup, all without locking users out of the applications or forcing 
them to log off the network. Open File Manager is such a tool.

What Open File Manager Does:

- Works on Windows NT servers and workstations, plus NetWare servers. 

- Supports all leading backup software.

- Backup hardware independent - choice of tape drives, controllers, 
autoloaders, etc. is solely a function of what hardware works with 
your backup software.

- Open File Manager is delivered configured to recognize most popular 
backup applications. If you are using one it recognizes, the product 
is ready to use immediately after installation.

- Helps your backup software handle all open files without interfering 
with users' access to those applications.

- Configurable to support backup verify pass. Open File Manager is 
configurable to maintain a stable, unchanging image of files until 
either they have been backed up or until the backup application's 
verify pass has been completed, whichever the LAN administrator 
prefers.

- Related files are automatically treated as a logical set. Open File 
Manager automatically treats sets of related files that are updated 
together by an application as a single unit for backup purposes. 

- Installation is quick and easy. Open File Manager is installed by
loading either a single NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) or a Windows NT
driver and executable on the system. You are not required to make any
changes to your existing backup configuration.

Open File Manager's Technology

Open File Manager monitors the file system for read requests coming 
from a backup software program. It recognizes backup programs that 
run on the same system as it, as well as backup programs running on 
a remote system (across a network). The remote system recognition is 
based on the configurable user name the LAN administrator has reserved 
for backup.

When the backup application accesses the first file for backup, Open 
File Manager determines when there are no partial transactions pending. 
When it discovers this state, it then begins maintaining a dynamically 
allocated pre-write cache (in the form of a standard disk file) for all 
open files in the system. 

From this point on, any file write operation from another application 
goes directly to the proper file while a copy of the data that will 
be overwritten is placed by Open File Manager in the pre-write cache. 
When the backup application's read gets to a part of a file that has 
been changed during the backup of that file, OFM substitutes the 
original (pre-write) data to fulfill the read requests. The file, 
on tape, will then look exactly like it did when the backup application 
started. Meanwhile, users of the data had normal access to read and 
write to their files, and the information on disk is what would be 
expected at all times, without a backup running!

Open File Manager is configurable to release the pre-write data for 
a file after it is backed up, after it has been read for the backup 
applications verify pass, or after the backup application terminates. 
This provides the network administrator the flexibility to manage 
system disk space with respect to backup program functionality. If 
system disk space is scarce, Open File Manager can discard pre-write 
data as soon as a file is backed up. If disk space is not so constrained, 
Open File Manager can hold the pre-write data until the backup verify 
pass is complete giving the network administrator additional confidence 
in the backup. This provides more functionality while requiring the 
pre-write data be maintained for a longer period of time. 

If there is a reason the entire file system needs to be static for 
purposes of backup for the entire length of the backup application's 
execution, that can be handled, too. The amount of information that 
is overwritten in a file during backup is minimal, so the total space 
required to cache changed data is slight.

Open File Manager adds no noticeable overhead to the systems on which 
it resides. Further, the speed of the backup is fully dependent on 
the backup software, tape drives and network bandwidth availability 
(when backing up across a LAN). This, too, is not impacted by Open 
File Manager. 

If backups take longer to complete, it's only because more data has 
been copied. This is good, since it is the reason backups are run. 
Part of the value Open File Manager brings is the fact that the "backup 
window" can become irrelevant, since Open File Manager allows backup 
software and end users to deal with open files concurrently.

With St. Bernard Software's Open File Manager
1. Files don't get skipped.
2. Users don't get locked out of their applications or chased off 
the network.
3. The copy of data on tape is solid, even if the file was 
changing during the backup!
4. No need to worry about grouping files.
5. You can run "verifies" with your backup software program.
6. You can release pre-write cache data as required to help maintain 
free disk space on the volume.
7. You can continue to use the Open File Manager licenses you 
purchased, even if you:
- Change backup software.
- Change applications or versions of applications you run.

More info at: www.stbernard.com or email to [email protected]
-----------------------

* ZIFF DAVIS GIVES FILE RESCUE A 5 STAR RATING

ZDNet tested the new File Rescue Version 2.0 and rated it: *****

They wrote: 

Deleting files on a Windows NT machine (either at a command prompt 
or over the network) causes them to circumvent the Recycle Bin. That 
means that accidentally removed files, which are no longer salvageable, 
need to be retrieved from a recent backup, which can cause network
administrators one heck of a headache. File Rescue for Windows NT 
takes over where the Recycle Bin leaves off. 

With it, any deleted files can be easily recovered just as they are 
using the DOS undelete program, but with an easy-to-use Windows 
graphical interface. Just install and fire up the program. It 
automatically scans the entire volume in seconds, then builds a list 
of all files that can be restored. The list can be sorted on filename, 
modified date, size, or condition (odds of successful recovery). To 
restore, simply mark the file(s) to undelete and click the Undelete 
button. 

File Rescue works on NTFS, FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 formatted drives. 
It also supports removable media such as ZIP, Syquest, and Ditto 
Drives. Users can print or copy the list of deleted items to a file. 
This demo version works for 30 days or five restores, whichever 
comes first.

Program Pros
* Recovers files that are not in the recycle bin
* Fast
* Shows odds of recovery
* Easy to use GUI

Program Cons
* none

Download your eval here, or buy with immediate delivery at the On-Line 
Shop for $69.95 - http://www.sunbelt-software.com/filerescue.htm -

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

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

This is actually a useful little tool if you run NT as a WebServer!

The Microsoft Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) is specially designed 
to valuate how Internet servers running Windows 2000 (or Windows NT) 
and Internet Information Services respond to a variety of different 
client requests for content, data, or Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) 
pages. The results of these tests can be used to determine the optimal 
server and network configuration for your computer. 

This tool is also included on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit (version 
4.13). The WCAT and the MS Web Capacity Analysis Tool User Guide are 
provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. For details, please read 
the "Resource Kit Support Policy" in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit 
Release Notes. 

Download here: Microsoft Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) Update
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/cdonline/wcatupd.htm


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

6. "THE NT STOCK WATCH" Closing Friday September 10, 1999

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 21 11/16 33 13 5/8 +3.2%
BMC Software............. 65 57/64 64 7/8 30 52 +17.8%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 59 27/32 65 1/4 23 1/8 60 +1.8%
Compaq Computer.......... 25 3/16 51 1/4 20 45 +8.3%
Computer Associates...... 60 3/4 58 29 3/4 51 +9.9%
Data General Corp........ 20 5/8 21 13/16 9 86 +10.7%
Dell Computer............ 49 9/16 55 20 3/8 79 +0.2%
Electronic Data Systems C 60 5/16 67 3/8 30 7/16 54 +5.3%
Gateway Inc.............. 50 15/16 51 3/4 18 1/8 41 +3.4%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 112 1/4 118 7/16 47 1/16 34 +2.4%
Intergraph Corp.......... 5 1/8 10 1/4 4 3/8 -2.3%
International Business Ma 135 139 3/16 58 3/8 33 +4.7%
Legato Systems Inc....... 49 1/8 49 1/4 13 3/4 +8.8%
Micron Electronics Inc... 11 3/16 24 3/4 9 28 +11.5%
Microsoft Corp........... 95 100 3/4 43 7/8 67 -0.9%
Mission Critical Software 43 5/8 44 1/2 16 +9.4%
NCR Corp................. 43 55 3/4 23 1/2 36 -1.1%
NetIQ Corporation........ 33 1/8 39 7/8 14 3/4 +13.7%
Network Associates Inc... 20 11/32 67 11/16 10 1/16 +12.2%
Novell Inc............... 24 1/16 31 3/16 10 3/16 52 +0.5%
Oracle Corp.............. 46 3/8 44 13/16 13 7/8 53 +11.7%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 165 11/16 198 5/8 18 7/8 +1.4%
Seagate Technology....... 33 5/8 44 1/4 19 13/16 7 -5.9%
Silicon Graphics......... 13 7/16 20 7/8 7 3/8 48 +16.2%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 85 11/16 88 19 1/2 54 +1.4%
Sybase Inc............... 13 3/16 13 3/8 4 1/2 +1.4%
Symantec Corp............ 35 3/4 36 1/4 8 11/16 28 +11.0%
Unisys Corp.............. 45 5/8 46 3/16 18 1/8 33 +4.1%
Veritas Software Corp.... 70 31/32 71 1/8 11 7/8 +8.1%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 11,028.43 -0.4%

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

7. "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

On the World Wide Web point your browser to:

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

For Tech Support on Sunbelt products mentioned:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/rightnow.exe


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]

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])