- 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!
Mon, Jan 31, 2000
New Windows 2000 Shoot-Out.
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER
2. TECH BRIEFING
* WHAT SOFTWARE CAN REALLY BOOST PERFORMANCE?
3. NT RELATED NEWS
* WINDOWS 2000 INCHES AHEAD IN BRAND NEW NOS SHOOTOUT
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS
! SECURITY BEST SELLER STAT WAY CHEAPER FOR SMALL LANS !
* IS YOUR NT AND EXCHANGE NETWORK DOCUMENTED?
* WINDOWS 2000 BEST PRACTICES
5. HINTS AND TIPS
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH - THEY TOOK A BATH THIS WEEK.
7. HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off or change your address.

**************WINDOWS 2000 MAGAZINE - FREE ISSUE OFFER*************

Windows 2000 Magazine (the original Windows NT 
Magazine) contains practical, hands-on information 
for Windows NT/2000 professionals. Extensive NT 
coverage, along with expert advice and analysis 
about migrating to Windows 2000. Review your first 
issue. If you decide not to subscribe, return your 
invoice marked "cancel", and enjoy your FREE copy. 
http://www.win2000mag.com/sub.cfm?code=WS00INANTL


********************WHAT IS NTOOLS E-NEWS?***************************

Sunbelt Windows NTools E-News is the World's first and largest 
E-Newsletter designed for NT/2000 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 week we keep 
the Windows NT/2000 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!
All back issues are here, searchable and indexed on key words:
http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl?enter=nt-list&text_mode=0
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT-ers,

Many of you pointed out a typo in a URL that I made in my youthful
enthusiasm. When I pointed you all to Dell's Online Outlet where
they sell refurbished systems, I referred to the 'wonderful world 
wide web' (4 'w'-s). That did not fly of course. This newsletter is
sent to you from a Dell 4300 with half a gig RAM and RAID5. The
price we paid for it was _significantly_ less than new, but I got
a warranty as if new. It's really Dell's best kept secret and you 
should check out their pricing and compare to any new system of
any vendor out there. http://www.dell.com/outlet/sunbelt.htm

And since the year 2000 has already proven to be the year that
'B2B' (business to business) e-commerce is going to take off, 
SECURITY is going to be a major concern. Best Seller STAT has 
revamped its licensing scheme and it just got MUCH cheaper for 
small sites, so check out the first item in Third Party News.

Let's get to work!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman
Email me at [email protected]

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

Do you need to ensure the availability and performance of your
Windows NT and 2000-based servers and applications like
Exchange, SQL Server and IIS? Do you want to monitor and report
on service level agreements, server performance and Exchange
email traffic? Find out why companies like Microsoft, NASDAQ and
Southern Company chose AppManager to get a grip on centrally 
monitoring their Windows environments. To request your *FREE* 
AppManager Eval kit visit: http://www.netiq.com/go.asp?ID=41
-------------------------------------------------------------------

TECH BRIEFING

* WHAT SOFTWARE CAN REALLY BOOST PERFORMANCE?

I have been in this bizz for 21 years now, and there are only 
three types (categories) of tools that I have seen that can 
really make a substantial difference in performance. Three only!

1) DISK CACHING. 

CPU speeds have increased hundreds of times in the last decade. 
We will very soon have systems that run on a clock speed of a 
full 1 Gig (1000 Mhz) and up. Memory speeds are keeping up, as 
this is silicon as well, but disk speeds have badly lagged behind 
which is no wonder of course as they are still magnetic or optical. 

The ideal scene would be to have 50GIG RAM disks and the system
would have no hard drives at all. Too expensive unfortunately.
So we have to 'make do' with slow hard disks. The only smart
thing we can do is keep often used data blocks in a special part
of memory that behaves like a disk. That is called 'Disk Caching'
There are two flavors in this category: Static and Dynamic.

Static means you wall off a chunk of RAM and make it behave like
for instance Drive S:\. It stays the same size always, and can be
about 40 times faster than a hard disk. Pretty cool if you have
a big database that gets hit by a 100 users. Data that gets written
TO it, does not stay in RAM but goes straight to the drive so it
is safe. This technieque is called 'write-through caching. A 
Dynamic Disk Cache shrinks and expands depending on the memory 
available. Systems that have an I/O Bottleneck can be helped 
tremendously with a disk cache.

2) DYNAMIC TUNING

Over the years there have just been a few tools that did this right. 
In earlier products, it usually meant that they were playing with 
the so called 'quantum' parameter. In short, it's the amount of
CPU clock cycles given to each thread in more or less round-robin 
fashion. The simple theory behind it is that is you shorten the 
quantum amount, the threads each get a bit less CPU, but they cycle 
through faster and the system speeds up. It was simple to program
and a relatively crude way to try to enhance performane. It did not
always work, but when it worked it did wonders.

Modern systems like NT/2000 are more complex and need more intel-
ligent tuning to actually speed things up. What modern tuners do
is identify bottlenecks and inform the OS what to do to get around
them. Modern tuners add 'outside artificial intelligence' to the 
OS, and they are based on neural network technology. To be frank, 
the same rule applies as before. Some configurations are simply 
not helped by tuners, especially if the systems are not busy. 
But when you have a setup that is a good candidate, you have
a killer tool that wrings more speed out of the box.

3) DISK DEFRAGMENTATION / OPTIMIZATION

It is clear that file fragmentation is a slow disease that bit by
bit slows down your box. It's like aging, you see your own face
every day so you do not perceive the fact you are getting older.
But a relative that has not seen you for a year suddenly remarks
that those bags under your eyes are a lot bigger than they were!

Same with hard disks. You see your systems perform every day and
do not perceive they get slower and slower. I have done this 
experiment many times. Do not defrag your disk for 3 months and
then completely clean it up. The system seems a lot zippier all
of a sudden. You simply gotta defrag your disks on a regular
basis to make sure performance keeps up. 

Better yet, new systems come badly fragged out of the factory,
so you can even squeeze performance out of boxes that is the
way it should have been to begin with. And then there is the
raging discussion about optimization. Some people say that file
placement improves performance. (much used files closer to the
beginning of the disks, or in the middle). Other developers
say that it makes no sense at all, and costs more resources than
it gives back. I still have not seen any actual benchmarks that
prove either one way or the other so my position is agnostic
in this battle. Prove it to me and I'll believe!

And these are the only three categories that I have EVER seen
making a real performance difference: Disk Caching, Tuning and
Defragging.

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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* WINDOWS 2000 INCHES AHEAD IN BRAND NEW NOS SHOOTOUT

Network World Magazine recently compared W2K to the other available
Operating Systems in a first comparative test. Network World farmed 
out the tests to Centennial Networking Labs (CNL) at North Carolina 
State University in Raleigh.

Win2K did not blow everyone out of the water. CNL technical director 
John Bass remarked as he stated that 'each OS had its strengths and 
weaknesses'. 

But the overall W2K score was 7.78 out of 10, Netware got 7.61, 
6.35 for Red Hat and UnixWare came last with 6.10. The only area
where Win2K lagged behind was in the CNL file services benchmark.
There it only scored 5.6 against a whopping 9.3 for NetWare and 
6.7 for Red Hat.

Tech Director Bass commented that disk drive device drivers may
have been the culprit. Not having stable and up-to-date drivers is
an issue for all makers of W2K peripherals for the coming months.

Then there was the issue of configuring Win2K's disk caching 
mechanism that influenced speed significantly, but NT still lagged
behind NetWare and Red Hat. but the Red Hat score went down big time
when it turned out that Linux started slowing with more than 100 
users. 

The one space where NetWare was the clear leader was networking 
performance, which is historically its strong point anyway. NetWare 
scored 9.6 with W2K making 8.4, Red Hat 7.4 and 7.5 for UnixWare. 

File and Print Management for NetWare and W2K both scored 8. Where
W2K really shone was an 8 for stability and fault tolerance, and 
the other strong area was security. W2K scored a whopping 9, where
UnixWare took 8, and Linux and NetWare just got a 6. Last area
where W2K did well was scalability, where it got an 8 in a tie
with UnixWare, NetWare and Red Hat only got a 6.

Comparing all of the OS-es, Red Hat did not achieve the top score
in any of the areas. That made the testers position Linux as "an 
inexpensive alternative that will give you bare-bones network 
services with decent performance." 

Your job is to simple determine the best platform for the app !
This review really is worth reading. Spend 30 minutes and save
months of having to figure it all out yourself. Warmly recommended.
http://www.nwfusion.com/reviews/2000/0124rev.html

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

4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS

* SECURITY BEST SELLER STAT WAY CHEAPER FOR SMALL LANS

STAT has revamped its licensing scheme, and intro'd its Version
3.0 at the same time. The costs are now MUCH better for smaller 
LAN's. For a 1-server/10 Workstation configuration the license 
is now only $795, and the subscription service for updates on
new vulnerabilities is just $680 per year. That used to be close 
to $4,000. Of course with a tool like this you absolutely NEED 
to get the subscription service. Just like with Virus tools you
need to stay up to date. 

Old quotes will be honored till Feb 15, 2000. If you already run 
STAT, your current license will be exchanged for the new licensing 
scheme that is now server based. Call your Representative that
will explain the new licensing scheme. Developer Harris Corp 
decided to make STAT more affordable for smaller NT networks which
made Sunbelt very happy as this was one of the main things that
people asked for. 

STAT will start scanning for Windows 2000 vulnerabilities with
the April 8-th update, and has a database of more than 750 known
vulnerabilities for Windows NT.

NEW IN V3:

- Greater scalability and flexibility of network configuration 
- Enhanced screen navigation 
- Now able to detect hidden machines by typing the IP address 
- Eliminates more False Positives 
- New easy-to-use reports function 
- New Licensing Model to address security needs of small networks, 
and improved enterprise-wide scalability too! 

GRAB THE NEW STAT V3.0 DEMO THAT SHOWS YOU THE 20 MOST COMMON
VULNERABILITIES IN YOUR NT LAN FROM THE SUNBELT WEBSITE NOW AT:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/stat.htm
------------------------------

* IS YOUR NT AND EXCHANGE NETWORK DOCUMENTED?

Let's all confess. If you are like most shops the answer is no. 
The fact is it just takes way too much time to do, and the tools
to do it are simply lacking. You have to collect configuration 
data from all servers, know where to find it, and know what the 
configuration settings mean. 

If you don't you will have to look it up. Then comes the real fun 
part - writing it all down. It is bad enough to do this for one 
server. You can only imagine how much fun you can have doing it 
for 100 servers!! And just when you have finally finished it, 
your Boss wants to consolidate a couple of servers. Guess what 
that means?? You got it.

Tis' time to update your documentation again!! Fun, fun, fun, and
we have all been there. There is a better way, there are tools
to do this. How about if you could sit down in-front of your 
system and with a couple of mouse clicks: 'Voila' - all the 
documentation is written for you. It is accurate, comprehensive, 
and covers all the servers in your network.

Depending on the tool you use, you can get it in multiple formats. 
Want to print it? Use PDF? Add it to your corporate intranet? 
Want to keep your documentation current? As your network changes, 
a few mouse clicks and your entire documentation has been updated 
- just like that! 

I suggest two very different solutions, one is the SDR tool, which 
are small executables you license in the traditional way and run 
on your LAN. http://www.sunbelt-software.com/sbdomrep.htm

The other way is on-line and it runs as an ActiveX that you run
from your browser. That means there is no software to install on
any of your systems, or nothing to configure. The place to check
that out is https://www.ecora.com. You can register there and run 
the ActiveX code on your system one time for free. Now, who said 
documenting has to be a drag??
---------------------------------

* WINDOWS 2000 BEST PRACTICES

Many of you are beginning to look at Windows2000 and are beginning to 
wonder how (and when) you will roll it out in your environments. As 
we continue to test and get feedback, Sunbelt will be giving constant 
updates on best practice methodology. That being said, one of our best 
selling products, Trusted Enterprise Manager, provides a ton of help 
in getting you ready for Windows2000 and beyond. In-house we use TEM 
to provide us with reports on our users, groups, and 'who-has-access-
to-what' information, which is essential if you want to start planning 
for Active Directory. 

We also use TEM to control the naming conventions over users and parent-
child group relationships. This means that while we still use NT 4.0, 
we already have a hierarchical management structure that is ready to 
translate into OU's. TEM is simple to install and deploy, and will save 
you literally weeks of time as you are evaluating and moving to Windows 
2000. Check out TEM at http://www.sunbelt-software.com/tem.htm


********************************************************************
5. HINTS AND TIPS

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by the fact that you need to 
use a multitude of utilities just to do your day-to-day file 
maintenance? Magellan Explorer is a file manager that offers seamless 
integration of FTP and compressed archives, such as Zip and Cab. In 
addition it is packed with built-in, time-saving tools such as Folder 
Synchronization, Print Folder, Folder Size and Time Stamp. and Clone.
I found it pretty useful! Free eval copy at http://www.enriva.com

********************************************************************
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH Closing Date Friday Jan 28, 2000

Whoa Nellie! Have a look at _that_ correction :-)

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 35 1/4 45 1/8 14 9/16 -6.9%
BMC Software............. 37 7/16 86 5/8 30 38 -16.3%
BindView Development Corp 49 61 3/4 17 1/4 -11.5%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 134 7/8 164 3/4 26 1/2 -10.1%
Compaq Computer.......... 27 1/4 47 15/16 18 1/4 48 -12.8%
Computer Associates...... 68 3/4 79 7/16 32 1/8 54 -2.9%
Data General Corp........ 22 1/4 23 11/16 9 5/8 93 0.0%
Dell Computer............ 37 1/4 55 31 3/8 62 -14.7%
Gateway Inc.............. 60 1/16 84 28 3/8 46 -3.1%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 108 3/4 118 13/16 63 3/8 33 -3.8%
Intergraph Corp.......... 5 7/16 10 1/4 3 3/16 +6.1%
International Business Ma 111 3/8 139 3/16 80 7/8 27 -8.3%
Legato Systems Inc....... 26 3/8 82 1/2 15 1/8 -12.8%
Micron Electronics Inc... 10 13/16 16 1/2 9 26 -9.8%
Microsoft Corp........... 98 1/4 119 15/16 72 61 -5.2%
Mission Critical Software 60 3/4 77 5/8 16 -9.0%
NCR Corp................. 38 7/16 54 9/16 26 11/16 11 +0.1%
NetIQ Corporation........ 61 77 3/4 14 3/4 -12.3%
Network Associates Inc... 25 11/16 57 1/8 10 1/16 -5.5%
Novell Inc............... 30 3/16 42 7/16 16 1/16 55 -15.8%
Oracle Corp.............. 47 3/8 62 5/8 10 1/2 97 -20.8%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 110 1/4 200 7 1/4 -28.5%
Seagate Technology....... 40 1/4 48 13/16 25 1/8 10 -5.0%
Silicon Graphics......... 9 7/8 20 7/16 6 7/8 -10.2%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 75 1/16 87 15/16 23 1/8 81 -10.7%
Sybase Inc............... 23 13/16 24 15/32 5 5/16 32 +3.2%
Symantec Corp............ 50 1/16 69 5/16 12 1/2 18 -14.2%
Unisys Corp.............. 31 1/16 49 11/16 20 15/16 19 -8.3%
Veritas Software Corp.... 154 181 1/2 20 3/8 -8.8%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 10,738.87 -4.5%


********************************************************************
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:
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.
1996-2000.

(email me with feedback: [email protected])