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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Nov 13, 2000 (Vol. 5, #53 - Issue #228)
Just Married! Exchange 5.5 & NT/W2K Admin
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Last Warning: W2K Survival Kits almost sold out
    • New SunPoll
    • What To Do If User Disables Virus Scanner (humor)
    • State Of Affairs: Enterprise W2K Upgrade
    • Why are Service Packs better than Hotfixes?
    • Microsoft Caves in to German Bias
    • STAT now supports French, German, Italian, Portugese, Spanish
    • Transcender Releases Their Second 2000 MCSE Elective
    • Just Married! Exchange 5.5 and Win NT/2000 Administration
    • Brand New DirectoryAnalyzer (for AD) Version 1.1 Released
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • XML By Example
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Last Warning: W2K Survival Kits almost sold out

The 1000 'Limited Edition' kits we produced have been going like hotcakes. We have a good deal less than half left so you gotta be quick if you want to give yourself that Christmas present. We can now also deliver internationally, (but shipping is higher, so send an email to [email protected] to get details). Consider this kit your very own home 'W2K boot camp' at about 10% of the cost, and will prep you for the 70-240 exam. You want to grab this opportunity while it lasts. Normal $794.90, but now just $195.00(add s/h).

And here is some one that just received his W2K Survival Kit:

"Good day Stu,
I have to say that the Win2k Survival Kit is a GodSend. I just received my set yesterday and I've gone through some of the CD's and they are great. I have to admit I've never seen so much information for such a price. Thank you. I don't have to go for training anymore ;)"
Adrian Ku, Consultant

Get yours here:

New SunPoll

Our last SunPoll about MCSE 2000 Certification was very enlightening. The results are:

Here is the new November SunPoll:
How useful would it be to have a network wide graphic 'taskmanager' built into your web-browser so you can quickly check CPU, RAM and I/O queue of each machine in your domain (with the browser open doing other things)?

  1. Yeah I would love to have that!
  2. Sounds fairly useful
  3. Not so sure
  4. Totally useless idea
Vote Now At:

If I see any good 'end-of-year' deals I'll send you a W2KnewsFlash.

Let's have a look at this week's news!

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

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What To Do If User Disables Virus Scanner (humor)

OK Guys&Gals, yesterday was Friday and we are moving offices again. This time in the same building, so it's expansion and an internal move. Not as bad as moving into a whole new building but still a hassle. We are close to 60 staff in Sunbelt USA now and we were bursting out our existing digs (again). Anyway, sometimes you need a good laugh and the Exchange List we sponsor was discussing what to do if one of your end-users turns off their virus protection for whatever reason.

[email protected] suggested this remedy. Sounds like a very effective one to me [grin]

"As far as what you /should/ use... I'd go with subroutines...

if virus_scan.disable then user.idiot = true 
if user.idiot then 
end if 
private sub break_fingers(user as dumb_person) 
 tool.hammer.size = really_big 
 for finger = 1 to 10 
  use_hammer(user, finger) 
 next finger 
end sub 
private sub bash_in_head(user as dumb_person) 
 dim club as new wooden_object 
  club.beat user 
 until user.lesson_learned 
end sub"

We have 11 list forums you can subscribe to for free. Sunbelt sponsors these lists so you can use and contribute to these peer-to-peer support groups. It's over here:

Horace Greeley commented as follows after we started the recent new Active Directory List:

I know that, in part, you do what you do to make money. It is also clear that you have a substantive commitment to helping others build their knowledge and experience. Starting an AD list is a greatly needed and necessary service - just the kind of thing we have come to expect. Thanks for all the many kinds of support you continue to provide to so many people. Best regards".
Horace Greeley, CNA, MCP, RPT
Systems Analyst/Engineer

Thanks much Horace. All of us at Sunbelt appreciate your feedback!


State Of Affairs: Enterprise W2K Upgrade

Well, the picture is still relatively obscure. Quite a few large outfits like Compaq, Dell, HP, IBM and others are helping MS to get W2K into the enterprise but it's not moving very rapidly. If you look at what choices there are at the moment, it's still a very competitive landscape.

  • Unix, which once was touted as the favorite "open system", has become a mix of flavors that are incompatible with each other. This means that when migrating from one Unix flavor to another you have to buy new apps as well and that is way too expensive. This creates a profitable lock-in for the current Unix vendors. But customers are no fools and with Windows you're free to switch HW vendors, so the existing Unix crowd now offers W2K as well as their Unix-es.

  • Version 2.4 Linux kernel has had significant delays. It will include things like enhanced threading, symmetric multiprocessing combined with additional high-end features. It's expected in Q1, 2001 but that is still a guess. And Linux is usually implemented in low-end environments.

  • NetWare continues to be hooked up to life support monitors and anxiously watched. Novell has refrained from pulling the plug as Netware is still a revenue source and its latest ventures in Internet related stuff is not paying off. Rumor has it that SUN is going to wind up with Novell Directory Services but hey, it's only a rumor.

  • And the good old Big Blue Iron is still making money but leveling out in a flat revenue graph. Both Hitachi and Amdahl have bowed out of this market and it's just IBM now like 30 years ago.

    So, looking at all the above W2K should be going great guns right? Not so fast. NT is actually pretty stable and many of us are still hesitant. There are a few different reasons. One is because of the steep learning curve. A second reason might be that MS has thrown its marketing weight behind .NET and left W2K to some extent to itself. (Of course the whole .NET thing uses W2K as its foundation but MS does not really communicate that fact in a clear way. They are always 'selling the future'. Dot NET in this case... )

    The third reason companies are dragging their heels seems to be more an issue of timing than things like technical problems. A recent survey by InternetWeek shows that IT managers say their migration from NT to W2K will happen for sure, because W2K is more stable and has Active Directory which makes network management easier.

    But looking at the rapid change in all server platforms, you should exercise some caution. Choosing an OS is a pretty heavy decision for IT, driven mainly by the application and time required to keep it up & running. If what you have now ain't broken, there is no rush to fix it. That is, transition to the next generation slowly but surely.

    The full article with much more info and a few company examples (Wells Fargo, General Motors and Home Shopping Network) can be found at the InternetWeek Website:

    Why are Service Packs better than Hotfixes?

    I was just made aware of a really good article about SP's and fixes on the MS website. It boils down to the question which one to use in what situation. The upshot? SP's are tested better and are more secure. Generally, use the latest SP and only add those hotfixes that you think are needed. The whole article is definitely worth reading and stems from the Microsoft Security Response Center. Check:

    Microsoft Caves in to German Bias

    Client/Server News 2000 is a paid e-zine I subscribe to as one of my sources, it's about 600 bucks a year and definitely worth it. They just reported on something interesting regarding Diskeeper, the most popular tool for NT/2000 Disk Defragmentation. Something like this could _never_ happen in the United States. Here is an extract from their story:

    "Microsoft has caved in to German government demands that it find a way to remove the defragmenter built into Win2K because Craig Jensen, the CEO of Executive Software, which built the defragger, is a Scientologist. For what it's worth, Jensen is known to run his company along L Ron Hubbard's guidelines.

    "The Germans say they're afraid that Executive Software built some sort of subversive code into Win2K that would cause undefined "security problems," according to initial reports out of Berlin by way of Reuters. To placate the Germans Microsoft has posted, in German, a set of tricky instructions on how to remove the defragger...

    "Executive Software blasted back full barrel, stopping short of invoking Germany's Nazi past. "The stench of religious intolerance is high among government officials in Germany, Jensen said. Jensen noted that German officials have also boycotted movies starring actors who are Scientologists - prominent among them John Travolta and Tom Cruise. He claimed, "American companies now face the possibility of being blacklisted and their products boycotted if the Germans decide they don't like the religion of their CEOs... next it will be American cars, books, hardware, textiles, foodstuffs."

    "Jensen claims, ironically, that removing the defragger could harm Win2K's overall security. He didn't explain how, and Microsoft has been mum on the issue. Jensen also tried to make a distinction between the German people and government officials. The people, he said, have been buying Executive's offerings at a record pace".
    [end quote]

    In the mean time, Diskeeper version 6.0 has come out with a bunch of new features that cement its market leader position. My comment on the above is that Microsoft thoroughly reviews *all* code that goes into the OS, and already declared the defragger code to be completely clean. You can draw your own conclusions about the rest ;-) The new V6.0 at:


    STAT now supports French, German, Italian, Portugese, Spanish

    You all know that STAT is an extremely popular Security Vulnerability scanner. Sunbelt has had thousands of downloads and many of these were from Europe. We have excellent news for Europeans that have NT or 2000 localized language versions. STAT is now able to run on these platforms. The language will still be English, but Microsoft's local OS versions are now supported. STAT now scans your network inside-out for 900+ vulnerabilities.

    (Just as an FYI, The multilingual support is available in the FULL Product, not yet in the 20 vulnerability demo that is downloadable. If you already own STAT, you should grab the latest 'update' with the most recently discovered security holes and multilingual support.)

    At the same time, they decided to rename themselves. STAT used to be an abbreviation for 'Security Test and Analysis Tool', but it was changed to more accurately describe what the product was developing into: Security Threat Avoidance Technology. And a few more cool security products are coming soon from developer Harris Corp.

    If you have not already, you should definitely have a look at STAT so that you can report to your bosses that you do a comprehensive security vulnerability assessment on a regular basis, from a company that supports the most secure U.S.A. Department of Defense sites.

    Transcender Releases Their Second 2000 MCSE Elective

    Transcender announced just two days ago the release of Directory Cert/Design 2000, a simulation of the Designing a MS Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure exam 70-219. Single-user licenses for DirectoryCert/Design 2000 are available for $149.

    "The benefits a user gains by testing themselves on Transcender's 2000 MCSE products is invaluable," says Kim Sullivan, VP Marketing. "Especially when the user is faced with an exam such as the 70-219, which contains case-study questions. Becoming familiar with that format is a much-needed skill that DirectoryCert/Design 2000 provides."

    Exam 70-219 counts as either a core or elective credit on the new 2000 MCSE track. DirectoryCert/Design 2000 includes three full-length exam simulations that feature four case-study questions apiece, which is the same format as the actual Microsoft exam. Each simulation includes detailed questions and answer explanations with direct references to Microsoft documentation and other study resources, and a score history report that pinpoints the user's weak areas requiring further attention. More at their Web site at www.transcender.com.

    Just Married! Exchange 5.5 and Win NT/2000 Administration

    Since the beginning of this newsletter back in early 1996, we have introduced a lot of new and exciting products to you. Now and then we reintroduce a new and improved version of existing product, but after visiting with the CTO of Trusted Enterprise Manager (TEM) last week, I was impressed by how much this vendor was able to reduce day-to-day Exchange Mailbox and NT/2000 User Administration. Not only is TEM able to dramatically simplify your Exchange 5.5 admin work today, but also if you eventually move to Exchange 2000 TEM will continue to streamline and improve mailbox administration.

    Lets face the facts and take a small step back from all the recent MS W2K marketing hype. Whether we like it or not, many us will be managing a mixed Microsoft environment for the next 12-24 months. While deploying Windows 2000, we will still be required to manage our existing Windows NT 4.0 network, in addition to our current Exchange 5.5 E-Mail directory.

    This means that the day-to-day management of this mixed environment will still require mastering three separate administration tools from Microsoft; MMC for Windows 2000, User Manager for Windows NT, and Exchange Administrator for Mailbox maintenance. This means you have triple the workload as you attempt to synchronize management between these tools.

    You can put an end to your multi-directory management blues today with MDD?s Trusted Enterprise Manager (TEM) 3.1. TEM 3.1 is the only product on the market that leverages the power of Microsoft?s SQL to simultaneously manage your Windows NT, Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange environments. TEM 3.1 has even tighter Exchange integration by leveraging Microsoft?s Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI).

    Today you separately maintain groups in User Manager and distri- bution lists in Exchange Admin. With Active Directory, you will add a third set of groups and users to maintain while mixed envi- ronment. Currently, you must perform administration in two places, adding Active Directory will give you a third. With TEM 3.1 you can cut this administration overhead by 200%.

    TEM 3.1 allows you to take any of your existing Windows NT or Active Directory Groups and use them to manage your Exchange Distribution List simultaneously. Copying an existing user and the associated group membership to a new user will automatically add the new user to the corresponding Exchange Distribution Lists.

    All future administration changes will automatically be reflected in both directories. All of this can be accomplished in a matter of seconds. TEM 3.1 enhances this benefit by allowing delegation of this feature to trusted non-domain administrators. TEM has had an impressive positive impact with thousands of NT/2000 Enterprise Administrators, who use it everyday to automate tasks, delegate administration, strengthen security, centralize auditing and generate real-time reports. See for yourself and download the latest TEM 30-day eval version. Fast install & Powerful features:

    Brand New DirectoryAnalyzer (for AD) Version 1.1 Released

    Developer NetPro announced the latest release of DirectoryAnalyzer, recent winner of the "W2Knews Target Award for Active Directory Management." NetPro's DirectoryAnalyzer is the first solution available to proactively monitor and troubleshoot your new Active Directory during initial deployment and throughout the AD lifecycle. DirectoryAnalyzer ensures the health of your directory and gives you the confidence you need to deploy W2K across your entire outfit.

    What's new in DirectoryAnalyzer v1.1? You will find new alerts on key infrastructure issues including replication, Active Directory- related DNS functions, domain controllers, global catalogs, operations masters, domains, and sites.

    Complimenting the broad inventory of new alerts, you will be able to view alert history, generate and export reports, rely upon improved agent fault protection and enhanced support for monitoring DNS services on any platform. Finally, users can also take advantage of enhanced interactive troubleshooting utilities to quickly and easily diagnose directory connectivity issues.

    There is a wealth of new alerts in DirectoryAnalyzer V1.1. This version includes 28 new alerts, a new alert history and reporting feature, agent fault tolerance, and the ability to disable alerts.

    Dave Kearns said in his Network World e-zine this week: "It?s the knowledge base that attracts me to the application. Lots of packages monitor the health of network components, and even notify you when a problem occurs, but Directory Analyzer goes beyond that. It recommends courses of action to either correct problems or to head off potential problems before trouble can occur. If you aren't using this product, you need to evaluate it." You can download an eval copy and see it for yourself over at:


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

  • Want to get up to date on the standards of Unified Messaging? (email and voice mail combined) Here's the scoop:
  • Set Up System Events and policy change auditing categories to catch hackers.
  • Did you know there are a 1000 colleagues discussing Disaster Recovery at the Sunbelt NT/2000 Community Forum? And 3,000 discuss Exchange? And 1,100 talk MS SQL?

    XML By Example

    You know that the new MS .NET initiative revolves completely around XML. You need to know what this is, and get your wits wrapped around it quickly. That is why we have a new title in the Sunbelt BookClub about XML.

    XML by Example teaches Web developers to make the most of XML with short, self-contained examples every step of the way. The book presumes knowledge of HTML, the Web, Web scripting, and covers such topics as: Document Type Definitions, Namespaces, Parser Debugging, XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language), and DOM and SAX APIs. At the end, developers will review the concepts taught in the book by building a full, real-world e-commerce application. Suggested Retail: 24.99 But the Sunbelt Bookclub gets it to you for: $14.49.