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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Sun, Dec 12, 1999
SALES PROJECTIONS
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER
2. TECH BRIEFING 
* WHAT IS FIBRE CHANNEL?
3. NT RELATED NEWS
* WIN NT ACHIEVES ADDITIONAL C-2 SECURITY RATINGS
* WHAT SIZE PASSWORDS FOR NT IS BEST?
* SALES PROJECTIONS FOR NT 4.0 AND WINDOWS 2000
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS
* WQUINN RELEASES FILESCREEN: STOP FILE POLLUTION.
* SCRIPTLOGIC HELPS TO GET W95/98 WORKSTATIONS Y2K-READY
5. THE NT STOCK WATCH - Closing Friday December 10, 1999
6. HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off or change your address.

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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/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 provider worldwide of Third 
Party System Management Tools for Windows NT. Tell Your Friends!
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT-ers,

Many of you receive this for the first time. This list is still
growing like wildfire mostly by word of mouth. If you are in the 
UK, Sunbelt was at the recent NTShow in London and spoke to a lot 
of people. This is your sample issue, welcome! You are in the good 
company of 400,000 colleagues that run NT. You can unsubscribe at 
any time and you will not hear from us again, but I strongly suggest
you read a few issues before you decide to leave the list. Too much 
exciting NT/2000 related news is happening all the time.

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman
Email me at 
[email protected]


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

* WHAT IS FIBRE CHANNEL?

Fibre Channel is usually abbreviated to FC. It is an ANSI standard
(American National Standards Institute) that enables connectivity
with the speed of gibabits/second. FC is also used for Gigabit 
Ethernet, as the basis for the physical foundation layer specifi-
cation. 

What is the difference between Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet(FC)?

Ethernet is a networking protocol that is geared for message-based
traffic, but Fibre Channel is designed to move large blocks of
data in groups. The latter is significantly different. You can use
FC in three different network topologies:
1) Arbitrated Loops (smaller implementation)
2) Point-to-point (smaller implementation)
3) In an enterprise environment in a switched 'fabric'.

Fibre Channel is a key enabler for Storage Area Networks (SAN's). 
You could say that FC is for SAN's what Ethernet is for LAN's.
Dataquest projects that the Fibre Channel infrastructure market
(mainly due to demand for SAN's) will grow from about $500 mill.
this year to about $3.5 Billion in 2003. 

Why a SAN? To offload storage traffic from the normal network.
FC provides high data rates via fiber-optic links of up to 10
kilometers, can support up to 127 devices on a single FC loop,
and can guarantee transfers of large blocks of data. It will 
handle simultaneous transmissions of different protocols like 
you can on an Ethernet segment, like SCSI and IP. You can also 
use FC to hook up NT Servers with each other at high speeds.

The only problem up to now with FC that there are no real main
industry standards set yet. SAN's and related devices from different 
vendors may not be compatible. It's going to take at least a year
to get this done, but it's moving faster than any earlier storage
technology. The vendors are getting the picture we need devices
that are interchangeable.

More over, things might start to look fairly simple in the
future. FC is apart from an enabling technology also a unifying
medium. You can use it to build LAN's, SAN's and System Area
Networks. NIC's can handle all the protocols. The upshot? Well,
Storage is going to keep growing like mad. You will have more
and more and more and more files to manage. Better find some 
tools to get a grip on it.

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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* WIN NT ACHIEVES ADDITIONAL C-2 SECURITY RATINGS

Microsoft announced Dec. 6-th two major U.S. government evaluations:
"Orange Book" evaluation of the Win NT 4.0 at the C2 level and FIPS 
140-1 validation of the crypto code in the W95/97, NT 4.0 and Win2K.
What this means that you now have a formal, third-party verification 
of the security of the Win OS family.

Both the "Orange Book" and FIPS 140-1 are U.S. government security
evaluation processes. The "Orange Book" reviews computer products 
and evaluates their overall security. C2 is generally acknowledged 
to be the highest rating a general-purpose operating system can 
achieve. Keep in mind that these C2 conditions are not all usually 
possible to apply in a normal business networking environment. 

The C2 evaluation team had full access to all source code. The entire
development process was scrutinized, including how Microsoft designs,
develops and tests software, as well as how any reported security
vulnerabilities are handled. FIPS 140-1 evaluation is a joint certi-
fication process of the U.S. government and the Canadian Communica-
tions Security Establishment that serves as a verification of the
correct implementation of cryptoalgorithms.

Jim Allchin, group vice president, Platforms Division, Microsoft said:
"We are proud to deliver this significant security milestone to 
customers today." Windows 2000 promises to be the most secure OS
Microsoft has ever shipped. In short, they now have received their 
C2 certification for 6 different NT 4.0 configurations: 

-Server operating as a primary domain controller
-Server operating as a backup domain controller
-Server operating as a member server
-Server operating as a non-member server
-Workstation as a domain member
-Workstation as a non-domain member

More info about this over at:
http://www.microsoft.com/security/issues/c2evaluation.asp

Now, Microsoft can say that the OS is C2 secure and that is true as
per the US government's requirements. That does not mean you are done.
There are about 600 security holes and new ones are found literally
every day. It's up to YOU to fix these holes. Products like STAT
can help you with that as they give you a regular assessment what
holes are there and how you can fix them. Product specs over here:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/stat.htm

Next, it makes total sense to get yourself an NT-specific real-time
intrusion detection tool that warns when hack attempts are tried
in real time. An example is the following utility I have installed 
on my own cable modem system at home. It's a very useful products 
called BlackICE. At this very moment it sits in the tray winking a 
red eye to me that some one called 'idiotic.cx' is trying a DoS 
overload attempt which is a possible Smurf-amplifier attempt. (An 
ICMP echo frame has been sent to a subnet address) 

Now, this could be a false positive but it does not look like it. 
The www.networkice.com website is the home of BlackICE and explains 
it like this. http://advice.networkice.com/advice/Intrusions/2000103/

Conclusion: Microsoft can claim WinNT is C2 secure but the 'Net
is an insecure place and YOU are still responsible to take 
effective countermeasures. 
--------------------------------

* WHAT SIZE PASSWORDS FOR NT IS BEST?

How many characters should the ideal NT password be? Well, it's
actually 7 characters. I found a very nice article in InfoWorld
that explains why. In a nutshell, the existing password cracking
tools around will crack an 8-character password faster than a
7-character one. 

Sounds crazy doesn't it? Until you realize what NT's Lan Manager 
password hashing algorithm does to passwords. NT stores two (2)
separate encrypted versions of your users' passwords in the SAM 
(Security Accounts Database). One is the Lan Manager version,
and the other is the more strongly encrypted version for NT.

Why two? Backward compatibility with Windows 9X systems my friends. 
And the Lan Manager password flavor is the weak link in the chain. 
The need for backward compatibility also dictates that it will 
still be in Windows 2000 and we won't be able to get rid of it 
for the near future. 

The people from L0pht explained well why the LAN Manager way is
weak over at: http://www.l0pht.com/l0phtcrack/rant.html

I strongly suggest you standardize on 7-character, numbers, 
letters, different case type passwords. That is also still
relatively easy to remember for those pesky users ;-)
--------------------------------

* SALES PROJECTIONS FOR NT 4.0 AND WINDOWS 2000

The Gartner Group reports that NT 4 will still outsell Win2K
by a ratio of 4 to 1 next year. NT 4 is stable and who knows
what the server versions of Win2K will bring. 

Actually, the feedback I'm getting is the Win2K Pro flavor
is already rock solid and will be a biiiig hit. The servers
seem to do well too. The fact that third party drivers need 
to be certified for Win2K is a major improvement. If you try
to install a driver that is not certified, Win2K will tell
you that the system can become unstable and that it's all
on your own head if you get a crash. 

That will weed out the good from the bad code. They have 
these shoot-outs in Redmond where a whole set of software
developers are invited and all drivers are matched with each
other to see if there are incompatibilities. Man, some guys
blue screen all over the place! So, if you are interested
in keeping your Win2K servers stable, make sure you get
certified drivers!!

Anyway, here are the projected sales figures:

YEAR: WIN NT 4.0 Win2K
1999 $8.98B $0
2000 $9.0B $2.4B
2001 $2.0B $12.9B
2002 $0 $18B

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

4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS


* WQUINN RELEASES FILESCREEN: STOP FILE POLLUTION.

With FileScreen 2000 you can stop MOVIE, MUSIC, PICTURES and other 
unwanted files from being stored on your servers. FileScreen 2000 
blocks thousands of different file types including .mp3, .pdf, .zip, 
.mov, .etc and more. With FileScreen 2000, you can go from 
installation to file-screening policy selection and enforcement 
in just minutes and start watching unwanted files get rejected 
in real time.

Everything from music files to games, from graphic images to 
videos - large files that waste valuable disk space, bog down 
your network with unnecessary backups, and put your organization 
at risk of violating piracy laws.

Many file types have basically no business on your file servers.
You don't want non-business related files being stored on your 
server. Just imagine the liability problems you may have to deal 
with.
- Your backup software has no choice between backing up 
production files or the latest download pollution 
- The next month will be used to send electronic cards
around with all kinds of "well meant" attachments. These 
emails and attachments will be stored on your system. 

FileScreen 2000 features: 
- Pre-configured policies allowing fast and easy deployment 
- Policy replication enabling one-time policy setup you can 
propagate across your entire network 
- Customized policies to tailor screening rules to your 
unique environment 
- Real-time monitoring of screening activity and display 
of failed policy-breaking attempts 
- User exceptions to exempt certain users or user groups 
from some or all policies 
- Definable actions to be taken following a screening event, 
including alerting the administrator or user, denying the 
attempt, and logging the screen to the audit file 
- Microsoft Management Console (MMC) conforming to the 
Windows 2000 Interface Standard 
- Full integration with the Quinn companion product DiskAdvisor
for comprehensive reporting 
- And more.
Check out a 30-day eval over here:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/filescreen.htm
--------------------------------

* SCRIPTLOGIC HELPS TO GET W95/98 WORKSTATIONS Y2K-READY

ScriptLogic is the leading graphical login script manager. No
more darn programming you have no time for anyway. But here is
a goodie they created:

Scriptlogic has a ready-made script you can use to quickly update
hundreds of W95/98 machines. Specifically it applies the 4 
necessary OS patches to 95 and 98 for Year-2000 compliance -- 
according to Microsoft. For 95 (all), they are: MSDUN13.EXE, 
W95Y2K.EXE, Y2KVDHCP.EXE, MSJAVX86.EXE.

For 98 (1st ed.), they are: Y2K.EXE, Y2K_2.EXE, WUCSP.EXE, 
MSJAVX86.EXE Of course, they need IE5 as well, but we have 
a different custom script for the automatic installation of 
IE5 (also on the website since early this year). More here:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ntscript.htm

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

5. "THE NT STOCK WATCH" Closing Friday December 10, 1999.
Have a look at those 22.3% that NT-only software developer NetIQ 
has made this week!

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 29 1/4 33 14 9/16 -7.1%
BMC Software............. 70 84 1/16 30 60 -4.4%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 109 5/8 122 26 1/2 99 +9.1%
Compaq Computer.......... 25 1/16 51 1/4 18 1/4 44 -3.8%
Computer Associates...... 62 3/8 69 11/16 32 1/8 49 -8.5%
Dell Computer............ 41 1/2 55 31 3/8 69 -7.5%
EMC Corp................. 94 7/16 97 5/8 39 94 -1.1%
Electronic Data Systems C 67 1/4 70 42 5/8 65 -2.5%
Gateway Inc.............. 68 5/8 84 24 5/8 51 -4.7%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 109 118 7/16 63 3/8 33 +3.8%
Intergraph Corp.......... 4 1/4 10 1/4 3 3/16 -4.9%
International Business Ma 109 139 3/16 80 7/8 26 -2.5%
Legato Systems Inc....... 71 3/16 79 1/2 15 1/8 +2.6%
Micron Electronics Inc... 10 9/16 22 5/8 9 28 -8.1%
Microsoft Corp........... 93 13/16 100 3/4 63 3/8 61 -2.6%
Mission Critical Software 62 77 5/8 16 -6.8%
NCR Corp................. 33 55 3/4 26 11/16 22 +0.1%
NetIQ Corporation........ 54 1/8 65 14 3/4 +22.3%
Network Associates Inc... 27 13/16 67 11/16 10 1/16 +10.1%
Novell Inc............... 20 15/16 31 3/16 16 1/16 38 -0.2%
Oracle Corp.............. 84 11/16 81 13/16 21 93 +7.6%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 391 1/2 407 1/2 24 1/2 +1.8%
Seagate Technology....... 38 13/16 44 1/4 25 1/8 8 -2.3%
Silicon Graphics......... 11 3/4 20 7/8 6 7/8 +18.9%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 81 3/4 82 15/16 14 1/4 93 +14.9%
Sybase Inc............... 17 7/16 19 13/16 5 5/16 70 -5.7%
Symantec Corp............ 58 1/4 69 5/16 12 1/2 45 +16.5%
Unisys Corp.............. 34 49 11/16 20 15/16 21 +7.0%
Veritas Software Corp.... 109 1/4 116 17 5/8 +2.9%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 11,224.70 -0.5%


********************************************************************
6. "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])