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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Feb 7, 2000
Win 2000 Reliability Survey Results
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER: 
* MICROSOFT QUOTES STU
2. HOW TO PICK ONLINE TRAINING VENDORS - by Ed Tittel.
3. NT RELATED NEWS
* WINDOWS 2000 RELIABILITY SURVEY RESULTS
* SUNBELT ANNOUNCES NEW FREE SQL LIST
* W2K ALREADY RUNS 10,000 WEBSERVERS
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS
* MAIL ESSENTIALS PROTECTS EXCHANGE EMAIL.
* EVENT LOG MANAGER (ELM) V2.0 PROVES ESSENTIAL TOOL
5. HINTS AND TIPS
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH - Feb 4, 2000
7. 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/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:
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-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT-ers,

It was an exciting week for sure! The results that came out of
our survey were so positive that Microsoft decided to publish them
via a press release and yours truly was quoted as well. The link
is further down. 

There is more good stuff in this one, Ed came out with a really
good column, and some one asked me for my personal FAVE NT Sites
so I dug em up and they are in the Hints & Tips section. And we
just have created a new list for SQL admins. Keep on reading!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman
Email me at [email protected]

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-------------------------------------------------------------------

2. HOW TO PICK ONLINE TRAINING VENDORS - by Ed Tittel.

Dear Readers,

Thanks very much for your many responses to my first three 
columns for this newsletter. That response was so strong--and
so positive--that I've been invited to contribute a monthly
column from now on, which should appear in either the first or
second newsletter in any given month. I'm grateful for the 
opportunity to address your needs.

For today's column, I'd like to share the results of some
research I just conducted on behalf of reader Michael Fry, who
wrote to request information on how to pick online training
vendors for CNE and MCSE topics. It seems he's working offshore
(in Chile, in fact) while his wife is on assignment there for 
the next couple of years, and wants to pursue some certifications
while he's got the time.

This actually raises some interesting questions, which I'd 
like to try to address from two different angles. First, I'd like
to explain how you might go about identifying online training 
vendors for these subjects. Second, I'd like to describe how you
can find out if what they have to offer is worth the money they
may want to charge you.

-- Identifying online training vendors

To some extent, finding out who's offering MCSE training online
is something like finding a needle in a haystack. But thankfully,
that haystack is the Internet, and you've got search engines to
help you separate all that straw from the occasional needles that
do come along.
It's important to remember, however, that there are two kinds of
search engines that you will typically encounter on the Web:
1. Those that simply search indexes of large amounts of text
swept up by their robots or spiders as they troll the Web.
These sites include engines like Excite, Altavista, and InfoSeek.
2. Those who employ humans to organize the text information that
the robots or spiders find, and who search that more organized
content, as well as the text that represents what's on the Web.
This includes sites like Yahoo!, iwon.com, Lycos, and AskJeeves.
If you know what you're looking for, both categories can point you
at the "good stuff." If you're in need of some education on the 
search domain, the second category will help you find your bearings
a little more easily than the first.

One more thing: you can find the "mother of all search engine lists"
at C|Net's search.com, under any of a number of categories. For the
"computing" category--which I think is most germane to a search for
online education on MCSE, CNE, or other certification topics--you'll
find about 70 search engines to choose from, 50 or more of which 
could have relevant content. Also, there's a "learning" category here,
too, which includes at least three searchable collections that 
would probably deliver information on this topic as well.

Then, there's what I like to call the "secondary search" approach.
By looking for mailing lists or newsgroups that cover MCSE or CNE
exams or education, you can find commentary about online or Web-
based training, and not only identify who some players might be, 
but what others are saying about them. The same thing is true for
resource sites for MCSE and CNE preparation, of which there are many
on the Web; most of these include pointers to online training 
providers, and may even provide rating information as well.

Don't forget to check out the magazines that serve certification
communities as well. For MCSE and Microsoft topics, that includes
the obvious suspects, like:
NetWare Connection: http://www.nwconnection.com
Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine: http://www.mcpmag.com
For general online training and certification information, including
regular coverage of MCSE and CNE topics, this also includes:
Certification Magazine: http://www.certmag.com
Professional Certification: http://www.procertmag.com
Technology Training: http://www.ittrain.com
It also includes the various magazines that focus on specific vendor
platforms, such as these Microsoft-focused publications:
Windows 2000 magazine: http://www.win2000mag.com
ENT: Enterprise NT Computing: http://www.entmag.com
For magazines, you should not only search the articles, but also,
check out the education-related advertisements. Both can be valuable
sources of training-related information.
As you plow through this mountain of information, you should be 
able to build yourself a short list of vendors whose online training
products may be worthy of further investigation.

-- Rating online training

Identifying vendors is the easy part; figuring out which ones 
you might consider patronizing is much harder. This is where the
voice of the community, word of mouth, and anything you can find in
print or online that rates such vendors will be worth its weight in
gold.
I suggest trying to separate the winners from the losers by taking
the following approach:
1. Visit the DejaNews Web site at http://www.deja.com and search
their archives for mention of the vendor's name.
2. Post questions on relevant mailing lists (after, not before, you
search any archives they might have) for reader ratings of those
vendors.
3. Check out the various topical resource sites, and look for pointers
to vendors that the site's maintainer recommends or includes. Be
aware that such listings may be suspect for all kinds of reasons
(from advertising relationships to the site maintainer's biases).
3. Look for articles that rate such vendors in the trade publications
mentioned above. If those vendors advertise in those magazines, take
their ratings with a grain of salt.
4. Don't pay too much attention to the testimonials that vendors 
post on their own Web sites. When was the last time you read 
anything negative when the vendor controlled the rating?

Weigh the positives against the negatives, then weigh the overall
subjective rating--yours, that is--against what the vendor wants to
charge you for its materials. A thorough search of the online 
universe can turn up a surprising number of cheap or free alternatives.
The lower your budget, the more appealing low-cost resources become. 
On the other hand, if an online course costs more than $500 on just
about any topic, if you can afford it, there better not be too many
negative reviews out there, or you should steer clear!

There's an old saying that goes: "Give a man a fish, feed him for
a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." I hope that
helps to explain why I didn't make any definite recommendations 
for online training vendors here. Rather, I wanted to explain how 
you can identify such vendors yourself, and then decide which ones
might be worth investing with your time and money. Happy hunting!
Just be sure to eat what you kill...(just kidding!)

Please, tell me how I'm doing. If this information is helpful, let
me know; if it's not useful, tell me what else you want to know.
Either way, you can reach me by e-mail at [email protected] Thanks
in advance for your feedback.

--Ed--

Ed Tittel 2207 Klattenhoff Dr, Austin, TX 78728-5480
LANWrights, Inc: Network-oriented writing & consulting
Please visit our Web site at http://www.lanw.com 

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

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* WINDOWS 2000 RELIABILITY SURVEY RESULTS

A few weeks ago, Sunbelt did a survey over all the NTSYSADMIN and
MCSE list members together with the GIGA Group. The surveys are
funded by Sunbelt. The GIGA group will publish their results 
the coming week. The two lists are respectively just over 5000 and 
3000 subscribers. More than 1000 people responded to the questions 
about the reliability of Windows 2000. It's actually pretty good. 
Win2K is 2 times more reliable than NT, and 3 times more reliable 
than W95/98. These conclusions are conservative actually. If you 
want to check out the questions and the percentages of the 1032 
responses, click http://www.sunbelt-software.com/win2kpro

And Microsoft thought that the results were so positive that they 
included them in a press release that came out just last Thursday:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2000/Feb00/W2KReliabilityPR.asp
-----------------------------

* SUNBELT ANNOUNCES NEW FREE SQL LIST

Last month we announced the new free Exchange List and that list is
now healthy and humming with over 3300 subscribers and about 100 posts
per day. One of the things people kept asking for was MS-SQL so we 
now started the Sunbelt SQL list as well. Sunbelt provides these lists 
as a free service to the NT/2000 administrators community and all of 
them have as their main goal to be: ON TOPIC, NO NOISE and FRIENDLY!

To Subscribe: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/sql_list_charter.htm
All Sunbelt Lists: http://lyris.sunbelt-software.com/scripts/lyris.pl
-----------------------------

* W2K ALREADY RUNS 10,000 WEBSERVERS

In the UK, an outfit called Netcraft makes it their job to track 
what software is running computers hooked up to the Net. They have
done this for years, and have very interesting stats starting 1995.
Their recent survey shows a very revealing graph. Check it out here:
http://www.netcraft.com/survey/

On that same page they said that already 10,000 servers run W2K, and
among the companies that trust their sites to W2K are Dell, Nasdaq
and Hotbot. (sometimes as part of a loadbalancing cluster)
Now, the fun thing is they also have a page where you can query any 
site (!) to find out what they are running. Here is the place where 
you can waste your next 10 minutes: http://www.netcraft.com/whats/

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

4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS

* MAIL ESSENTIALS PROTECTS EXCHANGE EMAIL.

You are running Exchange, but can you check email for spam, viruses 
and offensive or confidential content, and can you add a company-
wide disclaimer to your outgoing Internet email? And how about 
automatically archiving all in-and outbound e-mail and compressing
attachments to save on bandwidth? 

Can your company respond to email from customers with a personalized 
reply and tracking number? Although these features are all essential 
to your business, most mail servers do not offer these possibilities. 
That is where Mail Essentials comes in.

Mail Essentials adds the above features to your mail server, making 
your email system more secure and increasing your control. Because 
Mail Essentials is a server product there is no client installation 
necessary, making the use of Mail Essentials completely transparent 
to your users. Mail Essentials integrates with Exchange Server, Lotus 
Notes and SMTP/POP3 mail servers. 

You can use Mail Essentials CONTENT CHECKING tools to scan the content
of in- and outbound mail for offensive language or confidential data. 
The DISCLAIMER tool is used to effectively make employees responsible 
for the content of their own messages. You can use ANTI VIRUS tools 
to block any virus infected email or attachments from entering your 
system. Last but not least you can the ANTI SPAM tools to stop 
spammers using your mail server to send out unsolicited email.

And remember to read through the brand new features chart that looks 
at similar products out there and compares price/performance.
Check out: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/category_search.cfm#1
----------------------------

* EVENT LOG MANAGER (ELM) V2.0 PROVES ESSENTIAL TOOL

Any NT/2000 System Administrator that is worth their salt knows that
monitoring the Event Logs is an absolutely necessary headache. The
more servers you have, the bigger that headache becomes. Four system
administration 'best practices' dictate you need to monitor your 
event logs: uptime, security, reliability and performance.

Event Log Management is one of the first things that system admins
automate. Having a flexible and powerful tool to do this is really
essential. Sunbelt has the luxury to select the best of breed tools
in the market, and then support them like a mainframe environment.
That is why we chose to carry ELM, and it has proven to be a great
tool to keep your environment up & running. 

The reason why we think this is an excellent choice is that it is
low cost compared with other tools out there, but has a great set
of features. In addition to monitoring the NT event logs, ELM 
monitors services, processes, and performance counters and generates 
alerts when things start to go wrong. The alerts and event log 
entries are forwarded to a central console which processes the 
events using notification methods you have defined.

The ELM Real-time monitoring will help minimize down-time and reduce 
user stress. Without real-time monitoring you have to rely on your 
instinct and users to detect the small problems. With ELM on your 
team, you can count on being notified before your users notice the 
problem. ELM is an NTools E-News Target Award Winner, meaning it
was the favorite tool in its category chosen by people in the NT
trenches. Read this page. You will like what you see. Get the 30-
day eval and you will see this is one of those tools you cannot
live without. http://www.sunbelt-software.com/elm.htm


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

I'm getting ALL the newsletters from Microsoft, and this TechNet 
item was the most important one of the week from my perspective. 
I checked it out and this is very useful.

WINDOWS 2000 SERVER DEPLOYMENT PLANNING GUIDE
Here's the whole book -- the detailed scoop on what you need to 
consider when planning to deploy Windows 2000 Server. We're 
providing all 25 chapters of specific planning info, plus five handy 
appendices with sample worksheets, setup commands, and answer files. 
Also this week - over a dozen new articles in the Windows 2000 
technology center.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/win2000/dguide/home.asp
-------------------------------

I was recently asked what my own Fave List of NT-sites was. So I
took a bit of time and here it is, in no particular sequence but
for the fact of them popping in my mind this way .

* Beverly Hills Software
http://www.bhs.com/
The original Windows NT Site

* Windows NT Magazine
http://www.winntmag.com/
One of the best resources around

* SearchNT.com
http://www.searchnt.com/
New one, but promising NT-specific search engine

* Windows NT FAQ
http://www.ntfaq.com/
The best (biggest) FAQ out there

* ClieNT Server News
http://208.16.54.204/index.html
The latest skinny on NT and other OS-es

* FatBrain
http://www.fatbrain.com/
Best technical internet bookstore out there

* Microsoft TechNet
http://www.microsoft.com/TechNet/?RLD=87
Newly designed and very useful

* JSI's Reghack
http://www.jsiinc.com/reghack.htm
Full of good technical hints & tips

* NTSecurity.Net
http://www.ntsecurity.net/
Excellent site for Security Conscious NT Admins,
with a free Security book to boot

* RedComm
http://www.redcomm.com/
For IT Pro's that need the inside scoop on Microsoft. 
Expensive, but worth it.

* Winternals/Sysinternals
http://www.winternals.com/
Really advanced low-level system tools

* NT Toolbox
http://www.nttoolbox.com/
nice collection of useful points

* LabMice
http://www.labmice.net/
Collection of NT Admin related links

* NTBugTraq
http://ntbugtraq.ntadvice.com/
High Level discussions about security exploits


********************************************************************
6. THE NT STOCK WATCH Closing Date Friday FEB 4, 2000

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 38 9/16 45 1/8 14 9/16 +9.3%
BMC Software............. 42 5/16 86 5/8 30 43 +11.9%
BindView Development Corp 45 11/16 61 3/4 17 1/4 -6.7%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 153 9/16 164 3/4 26 1/2 +13.8%
Compaq Computer.......... 27 1/4 45 5/8 18 1/4 80 -0.9%
Computer Associates...... 70 3/4 79 7/16 32 1/8 56 +2.9%
Data General Corp........ 22 1/4 23 11/16 9 5/8 93 0.0%
Dell Computer............ 38 1/2 55 31 3/8 64 +2.8%
Electronic Data Systems C 75 76 1/16 44 1/8 89 +14.2%
Gateway Inc.............. 60 11/16 84 28 3/8 46 +1.0%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 118 118 13/16 63 3/8 35 +8.5%
Intergraph Corp.......... 5 5/8 10 1/4 3 3/16 +3.4%
International Business Ma 115 9/16 139 3/16 80 7/8 28 +3.5%
Legato Systems Inc....... 27 11/16 82 1/2 15 1/8 +3.0%
Micron Electronics Inc... 10 11/16 16 1/2 9 26 -0.5%
Microsoft Corp........... 106 9/16 119 15/16 72 66 +7.6%
Mission Critical Software 52 1/2 77 5/8 16 -13.5%
NCR Corp................. 39 1/16 54 9/16 26 11/16 11 +1.6%
NetIQ Corporation........ 62 77 3/4 14 3/4 +1.6%
Network Associates Inc... 25 11/16 52 9/16 10 1/16 0.0%
Novell Inc............... 36 42 7/16 16 1/16 65 +19.2%
Oracle Corp.............. 57 13/16 62 5/8 10 1/2 +20.1%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 137 7/16 200 7 3/4 +25.0%
Seagate Technology....... 43 1/2 48 13/16 25 1/8 11 +8.0%
Silicon Graphics......... 10 18 7/8 6 7/8 +1.2%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 83 3/4 87 15/16 23 1/8 90 +9.8%
Sybase Inc............... 23 9/16 25 5 5/16 32 -1.3%
Symantec Corp............ 58 5/8 69 5/16 12 1/2 21 +17.1%
Unisys Corp.............. 32 1/4 49 11/16 20 15/16 20 +3.8%
Veritas Software Corp.... 156 15/16 181 1/2 20 3/8 +3.2%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 10,963.80 +2.0%


********************************************************************
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.

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

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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.
********************************************************************

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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
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WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
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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])