Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Nov 20, 2000 (Vol. 5, #54 - Issue #229)
MS Goes Subscription-Based
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- W2K Survival Kits now sold out / the Not Comdex Issue
- TECH BRIEFING
- W2K Datacenter Server aims at Unix-based boxes
- Just DOUBLED my download speed... FREE!
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Told Ya So: Office 10 will be subscription-based!
- Gates Shows Transmeta Tablet PC running W2K2 at Comdex
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- New Diskeeper 6.0 Most Powerful Network Defragmenter Ever
- Another One Is Worming Its Way Through Outlook
- Squeeze More Speed Out of Older/slower Servers
- "Double-Take for Windows 2000 Is A Fine Piece Of Work"
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Designing a Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure
Looking for detailed hardware and software inventory of all your
PCs? Altiris Inventory Solution can run as a zero footprint---
nothing has to be installed on the client. Ideal for LAN, WAN
and mobile/remote users. Gathers PC serial number, comprehensive
software auditing, detailed hardware, registry settings, and full
end-user information. Track your data from any browser with
numerous pre-packaged reports. It can be run from the network,
and fits on a single floppy to inventory non-networked systems.
Get your 30-day FREE trial by clicking here:
Visit ALTIRIS for more information.
W2K Survival Kits now sold out / the Not Comdex Issue
Well, the 1000 Limited Edition W2K kits are all gone. Can't tell
you I didn't warn in advance, deals like this come only once every
so often. Thanks everyone that took the opportunity, we have sent
practically all orders out last Friday the 17-th. If you do not get
yours within 1 week from now, email [email protected]
Since last week was Comdex in Las Vegas, everybody and their
brother was sending news from there. Not Me! [grin] I stayed in
FL to watch the messy spectacle of democracy slugging it out.
I'm sure they will find a resolution in the coming weeks. It's
very entertaining to watch. At least the media scrutiny was off
Microsoft for a while ;-) At Comdex a whole bunch of wireless
gadgets were showcased, but no major OS-related stuff.
If I see any good 'end-of-year' deals I'll send you a W2KnewsFlash.
So, let's have a look at the relevant news items this week.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
Stop manually documenting your NT/2000 and Exchange servers.
Instantly identify security holes. Automatically generate a
comprehensive natural language report. Takes 3 minutes to run on
your work station. Download a Windows .exe file by visiting the
Ecora website. Click below:
Visit ECORA for more information.
W2K Datacenter Server aims at Unix-based boxes
The last and most significant release of Windows, the Datacenter
version is aimed squarely at throwing out Unix from the enterprise.
Well, perhaps Dave Cutler will be able to do it with Windows, he
did not succeed with VMS. Most of you know that Cutler was the main
architect of Digital Equipment's vaunted VMS that is now owned by
Compaq. VMS is a rock solid, secure and enterprise class OS that
never 'made it big' in the market which is a shame as it is a really
Now Cutler has his second chance, (and this time the marketing is
better) so I expect it to succeed. Obviously the technical merits
are also important. W2K Datacenter comes with hardware certification,
access to much more memory (64GB), four-node clustering, advanced
load balancing and is simply cheaper than high-end commercial-grade
Microsoft has shown us that NT was a good and reliable product,
but too many reboots were needed and an ill-behaved driver could
bring it down. That was the reason for companies that are looking
for high-end boxes with 4 or 5 nines uptime (99,99 or 99,999) are
willing to cough up the big bucks. But where do you go when you
have no expensive and hard-to-find Unix expertise in the house?
Datacenter may be the answer apart from specialized HA offerings
from companies like Marathon and Stratus. A very interesting point
is that when MS went for reliability, they looked not only at the
software but also at the hardware. They decided to take full
control over both. You cannot buy Datacenter through the normal
channels, you have to source it through a limited pool of certified
vendors. The certification is based on the combination of both
hard- and software.
This is great, as the major players like Dell, Compaq, HP IBM and
Unisys are now forced to testbed it in-house, meaning customers
like you and me are for once sent a whole configuration that works
out of the box... guaranteed!
The hardware players are also required to do extra testing, keep
the configuration under control, commit to supporting their platform
for the life of the W2K Datacenter version plus 18 months, provide
services like pre-installation, site configuration, support it
together with MS when needed and provide at least a three nines
(99,9) uptime guarantee.
Some of you may opt to wait for Intel's 64-bit architecture (code
named Itanium) and the 64-bit version of W2K, but the current 32-bit
systems will still be here for years to come and the new 4-node
clustering makes this a viable option. The usual size of clusters
is 4 to 6 nodes anyway, unless you are talking about very large
A last interesting bit of technical info is that Datacenter has
something called Windows Sockets Direct Path which for short is
called Windows Direct. If you have a Storage Area Network, this
new version allows applications that are Winsock 2.0 compliant
to bypass the TCP/IP stack and that means faster response times.
The question remains how many of the existing software vendors
will write applications and get them certified for the platform.
But I'm sure that MS will to a sufficient evangelizing job so
this is just a matter of time.
Just DOUBLED my download speed... FREE!
My friend Hubert pinged me with something amazing. A registry tweak
that increases broadband download speed big time. At the moment at
home I'm running a few different machines. One of these is a Dell
Dimension with a Pentium II, 256MB Ram, still on NT 4.0 SP6. I'm
hooked up to a roadrunner cable modem.
The registry tweak consists of adding a key in the TCP/IP section
that makes the 'RECEIVE WINDOW' 32767 instead of the default which
is way too small. So, I ran a simple test. Went to a space-related
site and downloaded a 13Mb file called quasar.avi, impressive ani-
mation BTW. It's over at:
The download took 90 seconds. Next I created the new registry key,
rebooted, went straight to the same site, and downloaded again
about 2 minutes later. It's relatively early in the morning so the
cable segment I'm on is not busy yet. Guess what happened to my
pleasant surprise? Second download came in at 45 seconds instead of
90... WOW! Linden DeCarmo wrote it, way to go Linden! Link at:
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Told Ya So: Office 10 will be subscription-based!
Told ya so, told ya so, told ya so. In my issue of Nov 16, 1998(!) I
warned that MS was going subscription-based software. Well, the moment
is here. Last Monday at Comdex they unveiled their subscription plans
for Office 10.
And of course with this they are putting you in the 'pre-soak' for
Office.NET that will be web-based and that I expect somewhere in 2002.
Your data may reside who knows where, and you'll pay for it monthly or
yearly I'm sure. Like I said earlier, MS has a strong incentive to
change from the current 'one-shot order' to a recurring revenue stream
type model like your phone or electricity bill.
You will be able to get it both as a shrink-wrap and on a 1 year-long
contract, but the software will be the same. If at the end of the year
the software timebombs, you can choose to renew your subscription or
let it lapse. 90 days before that happens though, it becomes nag-ware
and you will be able to plug in your credit card number to get it
renewed via the 'Net.
I doubt a lot of people are going to let it expire with all their
documents in there that you cannot edit anymore. You *will* get
'viewers' though so that you can at least SEE them. But MS is going
to open up a hole for the open software movement with this. I can see
the headlines now: Is Your Office Expired? FREE Upgrade to LinOffice!
Anyway, they did not announce the cost of it yet which remains a
mystery for the moment. Only thing they said was: "a lower initial
cost" compared to a shrink-wrap version. All the Office versions
(boxed, subscription and the coming .NET) will coexist for years
to come so that might become a nice support nightmare in itself.
It's clear that they are testing the waters with this because the
ASP model is not proven at all and Office is where they make their
big money. And why am I mentioning this? Think about what is going
to happen to our OS in a few years from now (or sooner).
I'll keep you up to date! Here is the MS release: [HYPE ALERT]
Gates Shows Transmeta Tablet PC running W2K2 at Comdex
But MS called the thing not so much a product design as more a
proof of concept. What Bill Gates demonstrated at Comdex was
running Whistler, which I nicknamed W2K2. It was not an embedded
operating system running out of Read-Only Memory (ROM)--Tablet PCs
will have more than sufficient RAM to run a full desktop OS.
You can still run all your normal software on this puppy: Word,
Excel and all the rest, but it treats 'ink as ink'. That is, you are
able to write on it with a stylus, and your handwriting remains
that way (no translation in machine generated characters) but you
will be able to edit it, and search on it too. Of course you are
going to have wireless connectivity, and it's expected in 2002.
Conveniently parallel with W2K2 don't you think? Pretty nifty tool
though. I might get one myself.
Here is Bill's speech at Comdex if you could not make it (like me):
THIRD PARTY NEWS
New Diskeeper 6.0 Most Powerful Network Defragmenter Ever
I actually had some time to look at this new version. It ROCKS!
The newest version of Diskeeper (version 6.0) has been released and
is available. PC Data sales figures reveal that YearToDate, Diskeeper
has sold 93% of all defragmenters sold to corporations everywhere.
And now, this popular performance utility boasts a series of break-
throughs that continue to set the standard for the enterprise.
According to independent lab tests by NSTL and others, Diskeeper
speeds system performance on WinNT/2000 by as much as 200 percent.
But now these performance gains can be achieved in a fraction of
the time using a nominal amount of system resources. Advances in
the new V6.0's engine and algorithms allows it to defragment a
drive 100% to 500% faster than other defragmenters, including the
manual utility built into Windows 2000. Diskeeper 6.0 only uses
about one third of the memory and one fifth of the CPU resources
when compared to other defragmenters.
Perhaps the biggest news about Diskeeper 6.0, however, is Smart
Scheduling(tm), an exclusive feature that allows you to go beyond
'fixed schedules' for the network. With Smart Scheduling, DKP 6.0
automatically fine-tunes the frequency of defrag runtimes according
to the amount of fragmentation detected on your drives.
This means that without any further system administrator attention,
Diskeeper 6.0 will arrive at an ideal defragmentation schedule
that always maintains disks in optimum condition. It also saves
resources as a result of defragmenting only when needed.
All of DKP's standard "Set It and Forget It" scheduling features
are included in Diskeeper 6.0 to give you as a system admin the
amount of flexibility and customization you need. Diskeeper 6.0
is also certified for Microsoft Windows 2000. The new V6 is a must-
have for your entire Windows 9x/NT/2000/ME network. Check it out at:
Another One Is Worming Its Way Through Outlook
SANS reported on 10 November 2000 that the Navidad worm is spreading
through in-boxes in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, and arrives
as an attachment to a reply e-mail. If the attachment is opened, an
eye icon appears on the desktop in the system tray. Clicking on the
eye yields a button accompanied by a message in Spanish, which, if
clicked, installs a program that prevents the computer from launching
any executable applications. It's not that high risk at the moment
as Melissa, but that is caused by a bug in the worm that likely will
be fixed by some one so you have to watch out for this one anyway.
Here is an article about it at CNN:
And if you want to make sure it does not come in, use something like Mail Essentials:
Squeeze More Speed Out of Older/slower Servers
You have probably heard that AutoPilot now is available for W2K
as well as for NT. A recent customer made me aware of the fact
that the benchmark is sometimes misleading in the wrong sense of
the word. Read the comment and you will understand. Thanks Brent!
"AutoPilot really helped our older/slower server. Although
not as obvious with our new faster server it does prevent the
CPU intense apps from taking over. The AutoPilot Bench mark
program is misleading because it showed that our new server
was better without". -- Brent Wenzel
So, if you have older servers with a lot of apps running on them,
AutoPilot NT/2000 is definitely a way to prevent an upgrade and
get some more life out of those puppies. 30-day eval at:
"Double-Take for Windows 2000 Is A Fine Piece Of Work"
John Shireley is a manager of Web-hosting solutions, and writes
articles for Network Computing. It's an objective article by a
guy that has no commercial incentive to push it, so I suggest
you read the whole thing if you want to prevent downtime.
His conclusion after testing the new version was: "Double-Take
4.01 for Windows 2000 is a fine piece of work. NSI has taken what
could have been an overly complicated interface and installation,
and packed it into a tidy group of applications".
The article started with: "NSI Software's latest version of
Double-Take exceeds its predecessor as an outstanding failover
solution in a clustered environment where data and applications
are mission-critical. Double-Take 4.01 is intended for customers
with extreme high-availability needs. It's made not only to protect
file and directory access, but for application integrity as well
--even if the hardware or network fails.
"Double-Take does not require a server cluster to function and
works just fine with a source and target machine. As such, it can
be used to complement virtually any clustered environment, including
those from Microsoft and Novell. It's not limited to single-site
clustering either; off-site mirroring can be accomplished easily via
TCP/IP over almost any link type. And Double-Take now supports
Microsoft Windows 2000 in addition to Novell NetWare (4.x and 5.x),
Sun Microsystems Solaris and Microsoft Windows NT."
Here is the link to the full article:
And here is the 30-day eval you can download and test.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Check this article about good Security Hygiene at SearchWin2000
Interested in the future of Windows.Net? This is a good read:
Why the NT-CIP may not fly after all? Here's an article about it:
OK, OK, OK, it's not a link but useful anyway. Did you know what this
does? CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. Lot faster than right-clicking the taskbar!
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Designing a Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure
Exam 70-221, Designing a Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure tests
the skills required to analyze the business requirements for the
Network Infrastructure and design a network infrastructure that meets
business requirements. Network Infrastructure elements include:
network topology; routing; IP addressing; name resolution such as
WINS and DNS; virtual private networks; remote access; and telephony
Training Guides offers you the perfect self-study tool to prepare you
at your own pace and time. We've included information on the new
testing types and designed the titles to provide the reader with
plenty of practice opportunities to gain the skills required to pass
these exams. With the release of Windows 2000, the entire MCSE exam
structure has changed and the New Riders Training Guides have changed
to address the new needs of the audience. Adaptive testing, emphasis
on hands-on knowledge, and a more skills-focused designed are
addressed in the new Training Guides. SRP: $49.99 But here: $32.50 Buy it online at: