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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Feb 19, 2001 (Vol. 6, #10 - Issue #245)
New Tool Announced
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • New Tool Announced
    • Mark Minasi's Newsletter is Worth IT
    • New AntiTrust Chief Makes Microsoft Cheer
    • Microsoft's Latest '2000' Server Releases
    • NT Returns To The MCSE Exam Pool
    • What if you had a software distribution tool that could ...
    • Dell Announces 60GB NAS for $1,399. Wow.
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Like other Essential Reference books, Windows 2000 Essential Reference
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New Tool Announced

Hi All!

For those of you that do not want to receive the html version and have unsubbed from that list, you can always read last Thursday's issue over here: http://www.w2knews.com

And to clarify one more time, these are two separate lists. If you unsub from the html one, no worries. You will still receive the TXT version on Mondays!

Make sure you check out the new product we are announcing this week: Picture Taker. Just keep on reading.

CORRECTION: Last issue I mentioned Sybari's product Antigen as a good solution against VBS attachments (and a whole host of others) but I said they were at www.antigen.com. My bad! They are of course at www.sybari.com and we selected this puppy to protect our own Exchange server.

Warm regards,

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

The #1 rule in security is "You can't attack what you can't access".
CyberwallPLUS - World's best Host-Resident firewall for Windows NT/2000.
Fine-grain access controls for NT/2000 servers and desktops. Active
intrusion detection & prevention identifies and stops hackers dead.
Local and central management tools make it suited for enterprise deploy-
ment. For a free evaluation and white paper on host-based firewalls visit
Visit NETWORK-1 SECURITY for more information.

Mark Minasi's Newsletter is Worth IT

Usually in this section I write something about pure tech stuff. But this time around I'm showing you a place where you can GET it. You may have heard about Mark Minasi. He's a prolific tech writer that knows his $#!+ and does a lot of seminars both on-site and on conferences. I've co-authored a few books, but he's widely seen as the KING of NT and W2K books. A true celeb in our field, and deservedly so.

So, I went to his website and had a look. I found out that he's also writing a newsletter and I subscribed to it. Then read a few back issues. It comes out once a month and is warmly recommended. Full of technical hints and tips that might save you tons of time when the moment comes you are stuck 'up the creek without a paddle'.

He also just wrote a book about Linux, and since he was NOT a Unix guy he had to figure out a whole bunch of stuff from scratch. This might just be the book for you NT/W2K system admins that need a quick primer in Linux and what it can (and cannot) do for you.

You should check out Mark's site, and see if you can make it in one of his seminars. They are more than worth it. And fun too I hear! The site does not have a bunch of time wasting bells and whistles, and the content is really good.


New AntiTrust Chief Makes Microsoft Cheer

Client/Server News 2000 reported yesterday that the Bush administration has nominated Charles James as its choice for antitrust chief. He will be the replacement for Joel Klein who recently went back to commerce. James is at the moment the head of a Washington attorney's office specialized in antitrust, but used to be acting assistant attorney general for antitrust at the end of President Bush Senior's stint in office.

James has been stating some firm viewpoints he has about the Microsoft case. It looks like he said in a CNBC interview: "One thing that is very, very clear is that consumers have benefited by there being a common platform. If Microsoft were to be broken up you would see divergence of that common platform". He then predicted, "At the end of the day there are going to be conduct remedies," but no breakup. This is a quote from an article in the Wall Street Journal last year.

It looks like his concept of antitrust is a departure of the Clinton days and a more hands-off approach. Keep in mind that he is nominated but not confirmed yet. From my perspective this means that a settle- ment gets more and more likely.

Microsoft's Latest '2000' Server Releases

As you know, MS is readying something like 9 or 10 'Server' products. The latest two have just appeared. What are they? One is called the Application Center 2000. What does it do? Allows you to build your own very high-end webserver clusters and manage them as if you just manage one machine. The marketing hype is that this is one of the .NET servers. (Just disregard the fact that this was in development waaay before the .NET concept was even invented).

Technically, it shows you one single image, but in the background it magically spreads the load across the cluster via network and component load balancing. It's got built-in software to manage uptime and health. AppCenter costs a healthy $2,999 per CPU.

The second product released this week is their ISA server. I have talked about that one before. What ISA stands for is Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000. Basically a combined firewall and web cache. We all remember its predecessor Microsoft Proxy but they insist this is a complete rewrite. (Despite the fact that internally ISA was called proxy V3.0 for a while).

Microsoft's press releases were full of the power and speed of this solution, touting that configuring firewalls is not for the weak of heart and that ISA would make it much easier. They boasted that ISA got certified in record time and that nobody had been able to break it. Gotta be careful with those claims! Anyway, they have a point. It is easy to misconfigure a firewall and have a deadly false sense of security.

The Standard Edition ISA server is $1,499 per CPU and the Enterprise Edition a whopping $5,999 per CPU. I have to admit that I do not like this 'per CPU' pricing. Despite the fact that our own AutoPilot is also priced per CPU, it smells too much like the old mainframe days. Or perhaps it is me wistfully wanting to hold on to the old times of the PC days where you would have the same price per box regardless of the amount of CPU's. Sigh.

NT Returns To The MCSE Exam Pool

Some one sent me a bit of good news! The co-author of my first book is Ed Tittel, of ExamCram fame. He wrote the paragraphs below which I think are definitely a step in the right direction.

"Feb. 2, Microsoft posted objectives on its web site for Exam 70-244: Supporting and Maintaining a Windows NT Server 4.0 Network. This ended months of rumor and speculation based on Microsoft's own disclosure late in 2000 that such an exam was under development, and finally put a name to that promised exam. Here's a quick peek into its contents and some information about the planned beta schedule and final delivery of this new exam."

  • The exam is still under development, even though initial objectives are now available.
  • The exam will go into beta from March 21-27, 2001 -- as with all other current Microsoft exam, beta participation is by invitation only. If previous history is an indicator, the current beta dates -- which can always slip -- would put the final, commercial release of this exam in the early May to June, 2001, time frame.
  • This exam really does focus on Windows NT 4.0. In fact, here's a direct quote from the Audience Profile for the exam: "Candidates for this exam operate in medium to very large computing environments that use Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 as a primary network operating system." Windows 2000 shows up here only as a potential client system!
"This is an exam that's both good and useful. It covers things that full-time NT administrators already wrestle with on a daily basis. It does a good job of covering all the hot topics they must master. My biggest problem with the older NT 4.0 exams was that they never took cognizance of Service Packs or system upgrades and enhancements. This exam brings the NT knowledge base tested up from August, 1996, to the present day -- right where it belongs. If you know NT well, and need an "easy elective" for your MCSE upgrade, you will love this exam as much as I do because Microsoft will finally test you on stuff that you know inside out and backwards".

Thanks for the good news Ed!


What if you had a software distribution tool that could ...

  • Repackage software for deployment in a matter of minutes?
  • Simplify, strengthen, and extend SMS (or any other network management suite) deployment capabilities?
  • Update local, remote, and mobile PCs with a single file?
  • Find file and registry conflicts (like DLLs) BEFORE deployment?
Sunbelt had been looking for quite a while to find a best-of-breed deployment tool before we decided to carry LANovation's PictureTaker. It's an easy-to-use enterprise software deployment tool that really works. Winner of 11 major industry awards, PictureTaker updates every local and remote PC across your entire enterprise with blazing speed and accuracy.

EWEEK says: "Users of Microsoft Corp.'s Systems Management Server should dump the Windows Installer at once and replace it with LANovation's PictureTaker. PictureTaker is much abler at compressing packages and has many more options when it comes to checking for files on target PCs."

WINDOWS 2000 MAGAZINE says: "PictureTaker is flexible, easy to use and can make your life easier. PictureTaker helps you keep PCs healthy and can significantly reduce overall PC management costs."

CRN says: "For those required to distribute applications or configu- ration changes to multiple workstations, PictureTaker is the tool necessary to save money, time and sanity."

It's easy to try PictureTaker. Just click below and grab the eval. You will see how much more easy it is to use than most anything else out there. And check out all the industry prizes they won.

Dell Announces 60GB NAS for $1,399. Wow.

As you know, NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. Pretty much plug the puppy in, and here's another bunch of storage available. Their latest announcement is pretty darn good value for money. It also revealed a unit that retails for just under 10 grand but has a capacity of a full Terabyte. That's just over half of what the competition charges for that kind of storage.

There's also the new PowerVault 705N for $4,300 with 240GB in it. Highest model is the dual-cpu 735N that is running on W2K and costs $11,999. It starts with 144GB but can house 1.44 TERABYTE of data. Wow. But think about all the gunk that users will throw on those systems thinking there is 'space enough'. You still gotta manage and back up all that storage. Best to have some software that helps to keep it all under control. Dell likes StorageCeNTral for this kinds of job. Why?

  • Active Directory Support - You can now utilize AD to properly configure quota-based e-mail alerts to users for greater efficiency.
  • The enhanced TruStor(tm) I/O Quota Filter Driver. The latest revision processes data transfer 4.5 times faster than previous releases, which were already the fastest in the industry. In large SAN (storage area network) and data center environments where millions of files are frequently processed, this enhancement has a tremendous impact on efficiency.
There is a white paper available that explains how you to use StorageCeNTral. At the same time you can ask for a free subscription to the 'Dell Power Solutions' magazine which is chockful of technical articles and definitely worth the read. Get the StorageCeNTral white paper and free subscription over here:

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

  • Instant Exchange, NoFail Email! Attend Marathon Webinar for details.
  • Want to see the new MS website where they explain Windows XP?
  • Need to move Exchange to a new machine with the same name? Read this!

    Like other Essential Reference books, Windows 2000 Essential Reference

    is a unique, focused, easy-to-use reference for anyone who administers, supports or manages a Windows 2000 network. It will provide a concise, technically accurate distillation of the essential information an administrator would need to know to successfully administer Windows 2000 in a real-life, enterprise production environment. Most admins will find it hard to get their hands around the Active Directory, Kerberos authentication, IntelliMirror, group policies, and other new technologies in Windows 2000 because of their complexity. These admins will be searching for a reliable and expert source of advice that will help them successfully implement these new technologies. http://www.sunbelt-software.com/bookclub