Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Feb 26, 2001 (Vol. 6, #12 - Issue #247)
Hack Four of your own IP's
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- One Year Anniversary of W2K - Where are we at?
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Microsoft Unveils W2K-Based Small Business Server
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- You can now Hack Four of your own IP's
- Getting Rid of Stupid Questions From End Users
- Transcender Wins Gold Award For Best Practice Exams
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Peter Norton's Network Security Fundamentals
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Some of you asked me how I do it. Now *two* newsletters per week.
Well, it's actually still fun. I'm getting news input from a variety
of sources: something like 15 print mags, dedicated web clipping news
services, about 25 email newsletters, individual press releases from
vendors that find their way to me, and technical articles from the
developers we deal with.
Then I see stuff all day long in our office where we have deployed
W2K wall-to-wall on the workstations and a mix of NT/W2K on the
servers. So, apart from running the company I'm a sponge for NT/
W2K news full time. When I write the newsletter I'm in my home
office, filter all the stuff and keep the few items that are really
relevant. It's fun, I get to do the research I need to do anyway,
and I'm getting paid for it! Oh, and it takes about 20 hours a week.
And, we have just reached a milestone in Sunbelt. All our mission
critical applications are now SQL7 based so they can be integrated.
I envisioned this 4 years ago, and we are finally here. But, that
means we are now using Lyris with a SQL7 back-end for the first
time and we need to test if it works well. It may stall and I may
need to resend this newsletter. Do not be surprised if you get TWO
instead of one [grin].
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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One Year Anniversary of W2K - Where are we at?
Well, it's a year already. And we're at the beginning of something
good. But most of us are still running tried and true NT 4.0. As
always most of us only change if we *have* to. Application support
is crucial and often the driving force. To give an example, our CRM
application in Sunbelt is called SalesLogix. Only the coming release
V5.0 will support Windows 2000, a full year after W2K's arrival.
MS is doing pretty well with W2K and I think Dave Cutler has achieved
what he originally set out to do when he got hired by MS in 1988.
Dave Cutler was Digital Equipment's Chief OS Architect, responsible
for their bigtime VMS Operating System, that still runs on thousands
of now Compaq mission critical sites. Since I am an old VMS-hand, for
me NT/W2K are very much like VMS, but with a GUI.
W2K was this OS that everybody in Microsoft said they would 'bet the
company' on, and to a large extent they did and pulled it off. W2K is
now growing faster than many of the Industry analysts said it would,
and the only credible threat on the horizon is Linux. About 50% of the
websites out there are running either NT or W2K with W2K taking an
ever larger share. You can go to www.netcraft.com and see this for
yourself. To a large extent, the fact it was slow was more a matter
of timing than that it was related to product stability.
The big issue though is Active Directory. Microsoft is now really
moving into the area where corporate politics can get in the way.
To plan AD you have to have your IT engineers sit together with
management and plan out how the company needs to be managed. You
can imagine the 'disconnect' between these parties. They simply
speak different languages. And then there is the political battle
which group is going to manage the IP addresses: Unix or W2K!?
You really have to look at the history of Novell's Network Directory
Services (NDS) to get an idea of how this is going to play. It took
them several years to get it right, which is no surprise with such
a complex environment. So, I'm predicting here that full scale AD
adoption is still a few years out. We first need wide application
support for AD to get adopted, and that is going to take a while.
Developers need to get their wits wrapped around the whole AD concept
and then figure out a way to work with it. Exchange 2000 is the best
example of an app that uses the AD-database as its foundation. Many
apps will come in the future with AD support, but this is a slow
and agonizing process.
However, similar to W2K, AD will slowly but surely penetrate up into
our companies and over time MS will make it easier to use AD. It's
still early days and it's got holes. What else is new. I'm pretty
stoked about W2K though. This one-year old is a healthy baby, growing
fast and has got a bright future ahead of it. Getting certified for
Windows 2000 starts making more and more sense.
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Microsoft Unveils W2K-Based Small Business Server
Just last Wednesday, MS took the wraps off their latest flavor of SBS.
It's a mix of the server and most used backoffice apps in one package
with a single install procedure. This was to be expected, as new
versions of SBS come out right after a bunch of updates of the modules
in SBS which in this case were the new '2000' releases. Dell and
Gateway are going to sell pre-configured systems right off.
The new package costs $1,499 and consists of W2K Server, Exchange
and Outlook 2K, SQL2K and the brand new ISA 2000 Server. Included
are FrontPage 2000 web-design tool, Windows Terminal Services and
a shared fax and modem service. Not too bad a deal for that kind
of money, but the licensing has been changed. Used to be 50 users
included, but MS restricted the license for the SBS 2000.
Initially, the software may only be installed on five clients and a
single server. Additional client licenses can be added in packs of
five and 20 clients, up to a maximum of 50 PCs. At that point, you
have to upgrade to MS BackOffice Server 2000. The additional
client-add packs are provided as a single floppy disk, which can
only be used once.
A virtually unlimited number of users can use the software on a
single client, and a customer could also dial in to an office PC
remotely, via a notebook PC. "A user who has a primary PC with a
license can connect from another secondary device...as long as that
secondary device is used less than 20 percent of that time by that
user," according to the FAQ.
My take: Hmmmm. Keep it simple, stupid.
THIRD PARTY NEWS
You can now Hack Four of your own IP's
Tens of thousands of you looked at the new QualysGuard solution we
announced late last year. Hacking your own networks from the outside
in is a very tempting thing to do, so you can see all the holes,
estimate your own vulnerabilities, and fix them.
However, I have to admit we did not have our act together at the
intro. There was paperwork involved that had to be faxed over, the
eval period was too short, and you could only check one IP. More
over the price for a one year subscription caused some sticker shock.
And the whole procedure took way too darn long. Hey, we admit it if
we make mistakes, and then try to improve the offering based on the
feedback we get from you. We were basically totally overwhelmed
with the interest.
So, I hope we can entice you to try this one more time. But now with
a smarter, faster procedure, more IP's you can check and a new short
3-month introductory subscription of only $495 per IP. I'd like to
invite you to go to the QualysGuard page, and fill out the form. Next
you will get an email from one of our reps for a form you can fill
out online. With that form we'll do a quick WHOIS check and then
pop you an email back how to do the scans. No More Paperwork :-)
What you can do now, is get FOUR of your IP's scanned, all the same
day or over a 30-day period, and of course there are no costs for
this eval. What I said last year is still true. Better hack your
own networks before somebody else does. Let's retry this and hope
it goes better than last time. Please go to the QualysGuard page,
down bottom, and click on the 'Request Free QualysGuard Scan' link:
Getting Rid of Stupid Questions From End Users
If you read this success story of an end-user after they did the
Understanding Computers course, you can see that the amount of Help
Desk calls will decrease significantly.
"I use a computer on a daily basis for business as well as for
recreational use but I never took the time to really understand
how a computer operates. I guess you can say I took my computer
for granted. By taking the "Understanding Computers" course, I
was able to gain a complete in depth understanding of my computer
and how it functions. I strongly recommend this course to anyone
who uses a computer and wants to become more proficient with
their computer skills." - G. M. (Age 25, Los Angeles, California)
Check out the course over here. It's worth training your users.
Transcender Wins Gold Award For Best Practice Exams
Transcender won a Best of the Year 2000 Gold Award, sponsored by the
MCSETutor Gold Report. In a newsletter released February 3, Michael
DeBussy, editor of the Gold Report, announced the winners. According
to their poll, 83 percent of voters chose Transcender exam simulations
as the Best Practice Exams. This was the first time the awards were
held in a contest that ran in conjunction with the MCSE Live!
certification discussion board.
"Being voted the #1 practice exam software by the Net's most popular
certification board is indeed pretty impressive," says DeBussy. He
adds that the MCSETutor Gold Report (www.mcsetutor.com/newsletter.html)
is a free weekly newsletter sent to 17,000 subscribers and is targeted
to individuals pursuing IT certification and who are looking to further
themselves in the IT industry. The MCSE Live! forum (www.mcselive.com)
is a part of the MCSETutor.com Web site.
"We were very pleased when we learned we had won the Gold Award," says
Kimberly Sullivan, vice president of marketing for Transcender. "MCSE
Live! has a discerning audience, and we appreciate our product being
chosen as 'Best Practice Exams'." Check out Transcender's latest stuff:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
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PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Peter Norton's Network Security Fundamentals
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common network systems and protocols that network administrators use
daily and describes the security measures necessary to keep the
systems working smoothly and securely.