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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 25, 2000 (Vol. 5, #44 - Issue #218)
Happy Users, Managers, Boxes, LANs...
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • More Data on 'Swiss Cheese' OSes
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • The Black Hat Windows 2000 Security Conference
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Windows Update Site Is Worth IT
    • WinME Sales Are So-So
    • Get Your Rebel MCSE Certificate Now
    • Some One Out There Likes My Book
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • Happy Users, Happy Managers, Happy Boxes, Happy LAN: How?
    • Defragment Your Machines Before W2K Upgrade
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Hints and Tips
    • Windows 2000 Deployment & Desktop Management
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  EDITORS CORNER

More Data on 'Swiss Cheese' OSes

Mea maxima culpa. There was a boo-boo in my last W2KnewsFlash (#43). I said that NTBugtraq maintained the statistics dB for OS vulnera- bilities. In fact, its done by SecurityFocus.com who owns BUGTRAQ, unrelated to NTBugtraq in all ways but name. I confused the two.

And I got a whole bunch of feedback for which I thank all of you. Most people wanted to know the source of my info, so let me start out by giving that:
http://www.securityfocus.com/vdb/stats.html

Next, some people said that they were way too high, that I was scaring people out of their wits and only poured coal on the 'OS- war' flames. Others said these numbers were way too low (in the sense of not reflecting the full extent of the problem) and gave me this URL:
http://oliver.efri.hr/~crv/security/bugs/list.html

Let me explain that I was not trying to make any point regarding the safety of one OS versus another. The statistics on the URLs above should not be taken to imply that some particular operating system or application is more or less secure than another one. Since security is such a hot topic at the moment, I was trying to illustrate the point in the OS space, not compare the OS-es. Hope this clarifies.

Most of you have budgets that need to be gone before the end of the year. I will send you a NewsFlash if I find interesting products or services!

Have your MCSE, and want to work in Paris, France for a few years? Check:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/techjobs.cfm

Let's look at all the news this week!

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman
(email me with feedback: [email protected])

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  TECH BRIEFING

The Black Hat Windows 2000 Security Conference

How come I'm talking about a Conference in the Tech Briefing? Well, this is the place where you can be briefed far better than I will ever be able to do. The conference is February 14th and 15th, 2001, in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. They are now inviting speakers and I thought it would be nice to make you aware of what it is all about.

The Black Hat Windows 2000 Security conference was created to focus specifically on the security issues created in the W2K environment. Many new technologies are included in W2K and they have security implications that need to be understood. Because the issues re. W2K security are so numerous, a specific Black Hat conference has been created to explore them. Spanning two days with three separate tracks, this conference will explore in greater detail the tools, technologies, and techniques needed by system administrators to stay on the cutting edge.

What makes Black Hat W2K Security different? The speakers. They try to select speakers that are doing unique research, writing the security tools, or finding the bugs. No vendor pitches. Just straight talk from people who know what they are talking about. You can check out the last briefings, and check the Call For Papers over here:
http://www.blackhat.com/

No time to go? Well, then there is always QualysGuard .

  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

Windows Update Site Is Worth IT

MS launched a new component to their Windows Update site a few weeks ago that you are going to like. It's a section specifically designed for corporate IT pros to assist you with finding system updates on Windows Update. Here are the nice pieces about it:

  1. Instead of an agent searching your machine to tell you only what that one machine needs, you as an IT pro can do rich searches based on vendor, OS, and type of devices you're looking for updates too.
  2. Instead of only installing the code as Windows Update does, you can download these updates in self-extracting .exe's and put them in a test bed for 'torture-testing'.
  3. Track what you've downloaded by having a download history online.

Here's the URL to the Corporate Update site:
http://corporate.windowsupdate.microsoft.com

WinME Sales Are So-So

PC Data, one of the best outfits that tracks software sales reported that about 250,000 PC owners pulled a WinME copy off the shelf. And on the first day which was Thu Sept 14, about 75,000 were sold. The sales are not to write home about, and PC Data did some extrapolation that shows a rough 400K will be sold in the first month.

Compared to W95 and W95, that is 30% less, they sold 600K in their first month, and the WinME upgrades are even cheaper than the W9x ones. However, the wave that was created was nice for the market and will likely create a good Q4 in retail software sales. Perhaps you do not know, but preinstalled OEM Windows versions are selling something like 30 times more than retail, so in just a few years there will be over a hundred million WinME copies out there anyway.

Get Your Rebel MCSE Certificate Now

Remember the August 5 issue? A new disgruntled group called NTCIP that has broken off from the Microsoft MCSE-track created their own certification program. They started issuing their certs last Thursday.

NTCIP stands for NT Certified Independent Professional and they are mainly the creation of an IT training outfit called Lanop. All MCSE certs are going to expire Dec 31, 2001 and from Dec 31, 2000 you will no longer be able to take MCSE exams from Microsoft.

Obviously Microsoft wants every MCSE to go to W2K certification, but quite a few people balk at that idea. NT is stable enough to be around for a long time, and they simply do not feel it is justified to throw away all the long evenings of study and all the (often out of pocket) money they spent.

If you already _have_ your MCSE, you can get grandfathered into NTCIP without another exam. All you have to show is your passing exam forms and ask for your FREE NTCIP Cert Number. For another 30 bucks you can get an ID card and a real Cert you can hang on your wall. I would do that without blinking an eye.

The moment you cannot do any MCSE exams anymore, the NTCIP people will jump in and allow you to take these via Sylvan Prometric and VUE for the same price as MS charges now. Here's the rebel base:
http://lanop.com/ntcip/

Some One Out There Likes My Book

Read this and you'll see what I mean:

I'm the author of the W2K Slipstreaming article you praised in your last issue of W2Knews - thanks very much for the positive plug. I was watching the hit count on the article climb like crazy and couldn't figure out why until I got around to my e-mail and found your recommend. :-)

I have just finished reviewing your book, the W2K Sys Admin Black Book for Cramsession's Win2K Newsletter - you'll be happy to hear that we think it's a great piece of work. The newsletter is going out tonight and we've also included the article on our site at:

[LINK IS WRAPPED]
http://networking.brainbuzz.com/tutorials/tutorial.asp?t=S1TU898&tn= The+W2K+Sys+Admin+Black+Book&pi=S1C20&pn=Product+Reviews

Thanks again and kudos on both your excellent book and newsletter!
Regards,
Sean McCormick

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

Happy Users, Happy Managers, Happy Boxes, Happy LAN: How?

Monitors: you gotta have them! Your company relies more and more on their IT infrastructure. That means _you_ are responsible for the availability and performance of business-dependent apps. It has become a critical issue for both network administrators and business managers. You need an _intelligent_ solution to detect and correct system conditions before they cause downtime.

One of the new products we have on line provides a great solution. OpalisRobot gets you a powerful, smart and highly efficient system management tool in your hands. Its got a cool visual GUI that really simplifies keeping proactive control over your NT/W2K LANS and improves the health of your systems and network.

OpalisRobot provides real-time monitoring of your applications, web servers, services, email, databases and file systems. Its in-depth filtering of event logs and performance counters gets you immediate alerts and usable information to prevent downtime.

This power-tool goes further than other monitoring solutions. Opalis has built-in corrective action features. It can start/stop/pause services, reboot, ping remote hosts, launch programs, move, copy, delete files and query an SQL/ODBC database. It also supports email, pager and pop-up notification, event log messaging and database logging.

Having this puppy running equips you with an essential tool to simplify administration and improve your system performance. Result? Happy users, happy managers, happy boxes, happy LAN. And guess what? You might even get home early and catch that game. The new Opalis Robot is an Award Winning, 'Best-of-Breed' tool. 30-day eval:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=585

Defragment Your Machines Before W2K Upgrade

Twenty percent of sites are in the thick of upgrading to W2K, or already done. The other 80% are still thinking about how to do it. Having a defragger deployed PRIOR to the upgrade can be vital to performance both before and after your W2K roll-out.

Windows NT

It's no secret that NT's performance can suffer big time by disk fragmentation. According to a recent report from leading IT analysts at IDC, "Disk Defragmentation for Windows NT/2000: Hidden Gold for the Enterprise", defragmentation improved NT performance by as much as 80%.

If performance is improved by even half that figure, the gains are still quite spectacular, especially when you considers the large numbers of NT machines deployed across today's NT sites. You can download this white paper from the Sunbelt Diskeeper Webpage in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

As a result of the performance boost, user productivity is greatly improved, as well as TCO for every machine a defragger is installed on. Site-wide deployment of a defragger like Diskeeper or a bundle like SuperBoost-NT, where the highest impact of system performance, reduction of TCO and increased productivity can be realized, is also made very easy by 'volume licensing' (=big savings) these tools.

Upgrading to Windows 2000

In addition to the TCO and productivity gains available to you now on your current Windows NT machines, you should also carefully examine why you should have a defragger deployed in advance of your W2K upgrade.

First, the "Disk Defragmenter" contained in W2K is ideal for sites with one or two standalone machines -- but not for large enterprise sites. Per Microsoft, "'Disk Defragmenter' is not intended to be a tool for administrators to maintain networked workstations..." (Microsoft Knowledge Base article #Q254564). This is true not only of the W2K Disk Defragmenter, but of any manual defragmenter.

In addition to other functional limitations, such as no scheduling or background defragmentation, these types of defragmenters require local admin privileges to run. That's no good as we all know: bad security and data protection. By opting to use a manual defragmenter, you have two choices: 1. Run around and MANUALLY defragment all boxes on a site, or 2. Risk giving out administrator privileges to users. This is clearly not an option. In order to obtain the substantial performance gains available on both NT and W2K you'll schedulable, network-wide automatic defragging.

W2K benefits three times more from defragging than NT !

Second, according the IDC White Paper, W2K performance can be boosted through defragmentation by as much as 219% -- almost three times the gains available on Windows NT. It is obvious that you'll need a defragger on every W2K machine in order to boost the throughput of these boxes. It is therefore vital to performance and TCO that you have a defragger installed on every machine prior to the upgrade.

Third, having a third-party defragger installed on every machine means that, when Windows 2000 is installed on those machines, you'll have the power of network-wide scheduled defragmentation right at your fingertips. And you'll need it; testing has shown that simply installing an OS or applications fragments a disk to a very marked degree. Having Diskeeper or SuperBoost-NT installed on every machine means that you can maximize performance right from day one, and not waste a minute of productivity or a penny in TCO.

Many sites are also purchasing new hardware as part of their W2K deployment -- and it's obvious from the data above that performance will need to be maximized on these machines as well. Again, you can use volume license discounts to make defraggers an inexpensive and cost-effective part of your Windows 2000 upgrade.

Download a FREE 30-day working copy of Diskeeper from:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=455
Download a FREE 30-day working copy of SuperBoost-NT from:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=900

Both pages have a brand new comparison about the differences between Diskeeper V5.3 and Norton Speed Disk V5.1 but here is the direct link:
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/evaluation/900/web/documents/nsdkcomp.htm

  FAVE LINKS

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

  • Looking for an NT/2000 site that has a whole bunch of good things all in Spanish? Check out the site of Luis Alejandro Allegretti: Recursos e Información para usuarios de tecnología Microsoft
    http://www.paraisowindows.com.ar
  • "Windows NT/2000 Tips, Tricks, Registry Hacks and More" joined with Windows 2000 Mag and is constantly updated. find it at:
    http://www.jsiinc.com/reghack.htm
  • Need an overview of what a MS Open License is, and how they work?
    http://www.microsoft.com/directaccess/rdr/2000/09/0918/seminar.asp
  •   PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Hints and Tips

    Hate to see your Menus change all the time in Office and IE? Here's how to keep them from doing that. MS Office: go to Tools -> Customize, Options tab to uncheck the box for "Menus show recently used commands first". That will get you your full menus back. IE 5: (If you want to see all your favorite links.) Tools | Internet Options | Advanced | Enable Personalized Favorites Menu (uncheck). You'll need to close and re-open IE for this to take effect.

    Windows 2000 Deployment & Desktop Management

    More than a simple overview of new features and tools, this solutions-driven book is a thorough reference to deploying W2K Pro to corporate workstations. The expert real-world advice and detailed exercises make this a one-stop, easy-to-use resource for any system administrator, integrator, engineer, or other IT professional planning rollouts of Windows 2000 clients.

    With this book you will:

    • Examine the business and technical benefits of automated desktop deployment.
    • Select the best combination of deployment options, including distribution share points, Remote Installation Services (RIS), system cloning with SYSPREP, the Windows 2000 Professional CD -ROM, and integrating installation with Microsoft's SMS 2.0
    • Learn how to use Windows 2000 Support Tools to create and maintain unattended install answer files
    • Explore using RIS and RIPREP to automate deployment of Windows 2000 Professional over a network
    • Implement the IntelliMirror technology suite, including the W2K Software Installation and Maintenance component, User Data Management, and User Settings Management
    • Find out how to use automatic repair features, how to avoid "DLL Hell" with integrated protection, how and why to lock down desktops, and how to prepare, install, and manage applications.

      Find it at:
      http://www.sunbelt-software.com/bookclub/