Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jun 26, 2000 (Vol. 5, #28 - Issue #201)
New NT/2000 Performance Booster Suite
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- This Week's Short Update / Renew Your Subscription / SunPoll
- TECH BRIEFING
- Performance Management Is Tricky Business
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Gates Bets Company on 'Microsoft.Net'
- SP2 for Systems Management Server 2.0 Released
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Ultimate NT/2000 Performance Booster Finally Available
- W2Knews Target Awards Off To Great Start
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
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This Week's Short Update / Renew Your Subscription / SunPoll
Hello NT/2000 Pros,
Some exciting things have happened this week! Microsoft announced
their Web-strategy, the 'Ultimate NT/2000 Performance Booster Tool'
was finally released, (see story in NT Third Party News) and the
Stocks were rollercoastering WAY up for some and WAY down for others.
Renew Your Subscription
Some changes in Sunbelt too. Since the MS name change from NT to
W2K, we renamed our NTools E-News to W2Knews, but the lyris distri-
bution list was still called the 'nt-list'. We are now moving this
over to 'W2Knews', we rolled back to our May 12 backup to get rid
of some list pollution, and we're giving you a free tool to renew
your subscription. Despite the name change, you will still get
pragmatic, from-the-trenches, technical news for _both_ NT and W2K.
As a bonus for renewing you will get a FREE PERMANENT copy of a very
popular tool with a value of about $150 for a Server. RENEW your
subscription now to find out about your mystery free utility:
You may have noticed that once a month we now have a poll on the
welcome page of our website. Last month's (non-scientific) question
was: "How has Win2k impacted your budget/purchasing of network/
system admin tools in your company?" The result was:
- Not Noticably : 47.29%
- Slowed it down a bit : 7.4%
- We now need to evaluate
related W2K features
before we buy tools : 32.19%
- Purchasing Utilities is
put on hold completely : 13.1%
Thanks much for answering, and we have a new one that is also
already giving a VERY interesting picture. You should vote and
see how everybody else is doing! This months's question is:
-- 'How is your Windows 2000 migration progressing?' --
You can see the instant and surprising voting results at:
Let's have a look at all this week's news!
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
There are only 3 ways to boost a system using just software:
1) Defrag the disks 2) Cache most used data 3) Tune on the fly.
It's been two years coming, but now there is a solution that does
ALL THREE-IN-ONE. SuperBoost-NT is the ultimate way to squeeze
maximum power out of your systems. See it as the first NT/2000
Peak Performance Suite. So powerful we can hardly contain it in
the box! The first 1000 buyers get a SuperBoost-NT-Shirt and Pin.
Visit SUPERBOOST-NT for more information.
Performance Management Is Tricky Business
In the mean time it's very old news that the hard disk is the
slowest component in your systems. But what you can DO about it
is still very actual indeed. Optimizing Disk I/O performance is
crucial to squeeze more speed out of your box, and you'd be
surprised how MUCH more performance is possible.
Grateful acknowledgement to "Essential Windows NT System
Administration" by Aeleen Frisch, O'Reilly and Associates,
1998. ISBN: 1565922743. The four following paragraphs are hers:
"Disk I/O can be a major performance bottleneck that can affect
a system or individual job. In this section we will look at
some of the factors that can affect disk I/O performance.
Filesystem fragmentation degrades I/O performance. Fragmentation
results when the free space within a filesystem is scattered in
small chunks, rather than fewer large ones of the same total size.
This means that files themselves become fragmented (noncontiguous),
and access times to reach them become correspondingly longer.
Filesystem fragmentation tends to increase over time. Eventually,
it will be necessary to defragment the filesystem. There are several
commercially available utilities designed for this purpose.
Sequential access of large files (i.e., reading or writing,
starting at the beginning and moving steadily toward the end) is
most efficient when the files are contiguous: made up of a single,
continuous chunk of space on a disk. It may be necessary to
defragment or even rebuild a filesystem to create a large amount
of contiguous disk space".
So it's clear you need to defrag the drives on a regular basis
or your performance will go downhill bit by bit. The other thing
you can do is cache the most used data blocks in RAM. That prevents
a read request and responds about 100 times faster. Especially
useful with applications where LOTS of disk access happens all
the time (graphics, databases, video etc)
But the real trick is to know if the measures you are taking really
DO something for your system. That is why benchmarking is so very
important. You just have to get your base-line first. Then change
one parameter, and measure again. Most of us have no time for this,
we are already way overloaded as it is. So we rely on the computer
mags, and independent test labs like the NSTL (National Software
And then there are the leading computer-market research firms
like International Data Corporation. "Defragmenters are rising
sharply in popularity as people realize they can often deliver
comparable performance gains to hardware upgrades at a fraction
of the cost," said Paul Mason, Vice President Infrastructure
Software Research at IDC. "This might be related to the apparently
diminishing returns that hardware upgrades can frequently provide."
Mason refers here to the fact that the more CPU's you add, the
less real return you get as the overhead goes up big time with
multiprocessor machines. This is also referred to as scalability.
The old truth is still valid. Your disks are your weak/slow point.
Being able to improve disk I/O performance, and at the same time
enhance the scalability of multiprocessor machines would be the
ideal solution. I'm really excited to announce that SuperBoost-NT
does just that. In another article in this newsletter you will
find more about that new performance booster utility.
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Gates Bets Company on 'Microsoft.Net'
Last Thursday BillG did the same thing he did a few years
ago with Windows NT. He bet the whole company on a new
strategy. This time its middleware, new programming software,
and Internet services. The umbrella name is Microsoft.NET,
and the whole thing is built on top of Windows 2000.
MS is going to throw the majority of their resources in
this multibillion-dollar effort that Gates called the next
generation of the Internet with 'data available anytime on
MS calls it a 'new platform'. That may be a bit exaggerated
but what they mean is the fact that the user interface is now
the primary focus. They will adapt all MS-products to make
it have .NET features. The platform will extend across various
Microsoft services and client and server products with W2K
at its foundation.
Gates said last Thursday in his presentation to about 500
journalists and analysts that the initiative is a major
step for the company in outlining a plan to leverage its
Internet strategy to get more customers and keep their
shareholders happy. MS got smart and ditched the ugly NGWS
(Next Generation Windows Services) and it is now both called
Microsoft.NET or Windows.NET. The version 1 will be released
in 2001. That means we will have an actually usable version
about a year later in 2002.
One of the key building blocks of the new platform is the
popular extensible Markup Language XML which will be made
part of SQL 2000, Exchange 2000 and BizTalk, Visual Studio
Using XML, they will provide (and ask developers to create)
a set of interactive applications stored "in the cloud" instead
of storing executables and data on individual computers or
servers. Data would then be delivered via various devices,
depending on where you are. Think cellphones and PDAs to full-
fledged desktops. The data would arrive in an appropriate form
for each device. Software will increasingly become a service,
rather than a product, Gates predicted.
MS is not alone in this field, and they are certainly not the
first ones to jump in this battle. Especially IBM has far
advanced, with SUN on their heels. "It's not all here and now,"
Gates said. "This is about how we are focusing the R&D efforts
of the company. For the first time, we'll have a platform
designed around the human interface." Mark Andriessen, whose
former company Netscape battled MS in the browser wars, was
one of the developers that announced on Thursday that his new
company LoudCloud will create software for MS's new platform.
Basically what they want to do is move toward a so called natural
interface, which means other ways to interact with the system
than just the keyboard. Think voice and pattern (handwriting)
recognition, and getting away from 'islands of information'.
In the presentation, they demonstrated a prototype tablet PC
that was running Windows 2000 with some of these admittedly
The down-to-earth analysis of the whole thing is that they
are pretty much done with W2K except for the last things in
the high-end Datacenter version, and can now finally focus on
catching up with the future of the Net. High time.
SP2 for Systems Management Server 2.0 Released
MS released SP2 for SMS June 20-th. SP2 supports W2K and they
claim it has many performance improvements. These last ones
were quite necessary, from what people tell me. Microsoft also
announced the results of a new study by NerveWire Inc., which
found that customers using Systems Management Server 2.0 are
able to reduce their support costs by an average of $1,872
per year for each managed system.
SP2 has better scalability for large environments, increased
accuracy of software distribution and easier client upgrades.
It also extends client and server support to include W2K. You
can use SMS for part of the planning and rollout of W2K-based
systems, and then use it to manage your (mixed) environment.
The NerveWire study, "Investing in Desktop Management Productivity,"
can be found at
THIRD PARTY NEWS
Ultimate NT/2000 Performance Booster Finally Available
I have to say that I am _extremely_ pleased to be able to finally
announce a dream that I have had for a loooong time. The ultimate
software-only Win NT (and soon W2K) performance booster tool. The
first ad just hit the June Windows 2000 Magazine. I have been
talking in these columns for years about performance issues, and
I was always hoping to see a bundle of tools come together that
would be the ultimate answer to all performance problems.
Well, three sources of power have joined forces to provide you with
what formerly was an elusive goal: squeeze the absolute maximum
power out of your existing hardware. SuperBoost-NT is the result.
The combination of three powerful performance tools from Symantec,
SuperSpeed.com and Sunbelt Software provides a dramatic boost in
system throughput. A version for Windows 2000 will soon see the
Disk defragmentation, Disk Caching and Automatic Tuning are the
invincible trio making your system faster than a speeding... well
you get the idea. SuperBoost gets you higher and more reliable
performance, with a mainframe type of stability.
We have been getting very positive results back regarding the
increase in performance and savings that are possible. You will
hear a LOT more about this first NT/2000 Peak Performance Suite.
But let's have some one else say something about it first. Dave
Kearns is the Network World Windows NT/2000 Master, and writes their
weekly e-zine. Here are 4 paragraphs by Dave:
"When I first heard about the "new" product offering Sunbelt
Software would be introducing at the Windows 2000 Conference &
Expo, I thought that Stu Sjouwerman, Sunbelt's guru, had taken
leave of his senses. After all, it wasn't anything really new,
and it wasn't for Windows 2000.
"But after I sampled the mood of users at the show and found
that few were in any hurry to move to Windows 2000, Sjouwerman's
ploy takes on the dimensions of a masterstroke. Of course, this
is the same guy who just released the book Windows NT Power
Toolkit. He either knows Windows 2000 very well, knows the mood
of his customers, or both.
"Sunbelt has joined with SuperSpeed.com (formerly EEC Systems)
to create a package called SuperBoost-NT. These two former VMS
utility houses have taken their flagship products SuperSpeed-NT
and Sunbelt's AutoPilot, thrown in Symantec's SpeedDisk for NT,
and created a performance-enhancing package for NT workstations
"You get the all-time best-selling disk defragmenter, a highly
configurable cache utility, plus the constantly monitoring and
performance-enhancing AutoPilot. According to Sjouwerman, test
sites have seen up to a 40% improvement in performance. Your
mileage may vary, but if you (like most people) will have NT 4
running for the next year or so, SuperBoost could help improve
the operating system?s usefulness until you're ready to move to
your next operating system". End Quote.
Well, there you have it. The version for W2K will be ready in
Q3 (all three modules already run in field testing), so we will
be able to get you maximum boosting power on both platforms.
And if you order before July 31-st, you get a free upgrade to
W2K. Since these tools are bundled, the price has come WAY down
compared to buying them separately. More over, the first 1000
buyers get an extremely cool SuperBoost-NT-shirt and a pin
wrapped in that new outsized whacky SuperBoost Box.
Pricing and availability: Bundle only available in USA and Canada.
Suggested Retail Price just $149.95 NT WS and $649.95 for Server.
Ask your Rep for volume discounts. Check out the T-shirt. It's
already a collector's item. On the download page are also some
performance measurement tools you can use to check the increased
Download your 30-day eval copy and feel the power:
W2Knews Target Awards Off To Great Start
The new W2K Target Awards 2000 Vote was off to a great start, you
can vote for your FAVE TOOLS at our site and see what your NT/2000
colleagues think about them. This is definitely worth a few minutes
of your time:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
The Hidden Treasures of Windows 2000. Pretty good reading! (wrap!)
The biggest problem with the current IT Industry. Article (wrap!)
Dell Describes Real-Time Data Protection with NSI's Double-Take.
SearchWin2000.com - The Web's Windows NT/2000-Specific Search Engine
is giving away 100 FREE copies of Windows 2000 Professional to
registered members. It's a good idea to register for FREE over at
and each week over the next 10 weeks SearchWin2000.com will choose 10 registered members to receive a copy of Windows 2000 Professional at no cost or obligation. Only SearchWin2000.com members can win, so register today and start
taking advantage of FREE member benefits.