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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Mar 15, 2001 (Vol. 6, #17 - Issue #252)
W2K Complexity Delays Deployments
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • Active Directory Slowing Down W2K Deployments?
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • W2K Complexity Delays Deployments
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Economic Downturn Might Spell IT O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • Failed Your Security Audit?
    • Which Migration Tool To Use?
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Designing Security for a Windows 2000 Network
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  EDITORS CORNER

Active Directory Slowing Down W2K Deployments?

Hi All,

Again, a reminder: in the next few weeks you'll get an invitation to have W2Knews at all times in HTML or in TXT, once we get your new profile on-line. This allows you to opt-in to the way YOU want it. I'll repeat this reminder a couple more times so you will remember to actually *do* it when you get it [grin].

The big release this newsletter is the W2K DEPLOYMENT RESEARCH we have just finished with the Giga Information Group. The role Active Directory is playing may mean a two edged sword for MS. See the Tech Briefing for the results.

And, you are invited to participate in the NEW SUNPOLL:
Question: How often do you check for and apply Hotfixes to the machines in your domain?

  • We have no schedule. I apply them when it looks they are needed
  • About every three months
  • About every month
  • Weekly

    Let's see how everybody does this, interesting! Vote here, left column:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/index.htm

    Warm regards,
    Stu Sjouwerman
    PS, Plagued by time-outs when you want to get to our website? try our mirror-site http://www.sunbeltsoftware.com instead! (no dash between sunbelt and software)
    (email me with feedback: [email protected])

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      TECH BRIEFING

    W2K Complexity Delays Deployments

    Sunbelt and the Giga Information Group have done another in-depth survey of the speed of and problems with W2K implementation. We now have the full research on our website and I strongly suggest you read the whole first part of this series of three by clicking on the link at the bottom of this article. I'm quoting the recommendations here, but you need to read the full analysis to understand how we got here:

    Based on the constancy of the responses between the initial December, 1999 Giga/Sunbelt Software survey and the latest February, 2001 survey, Giga strongly advises all users, including those who have no immediate or firm plans to deploy Windows 2000 Server, to begin planning and preparing, now.

    In summary, the results of the latest Giga/Sunbelt Software Windows 2000 Deployment survey nearly identically track with earlier surveys that indicate the measured adoption pace will continue in the coming months. Additionally, many corporations indicated they will adopt Windows 2000 Server but delay a full Active Directory implementation.

    Start by taking a realistic inventory of your existing Windows 9x and Windows NT 4.0 domain directory architecture and consolidate it where necessary. Determine what hardware needs to be upgraded, which third-party add-on packages you will need and which existing applications must be upgraded. Most important of all: fully assess your service and support personnel (both internal and external) before committing to a time line.

    The ongoing industry-wide shortage of trained IT personnel is real. Windows 2000 will exacerbate this situation. There are simply not enough trained Windows 2000 MCSEs. Taking the weekend correspondence course or cheat-sheet exams do not count, and they are certainly not a substitute for experience. Therefore, Giga believes that it is crucial for businesses to fully assess both the number and expertise of their available support staff. These people will make the difference between a smooth, successful Windows 2000 Server rollout and a nightmarish experience fraught with pain and network outages.

    Buttress your internal IS staff with experienced Microsoft, Compaq, IBM, EDS, Lucent and other well-known and trusted system integrators and outsourcers. Meet with these outside service providers well in advance and make sure they can fulfill their promises and deliver reliable, experienced personnel. The key word here is experience; a Windows 2000 upgrade is neither the time nor the place to learn on the job.

    Corporations do not risk anything by delaying a Windows 2000 - particularly Server deployments. Identify and develop a clear and compelling business case. Make a realistic assessment of the costs and training required for your IT staff and put together a pilot test network that most closely reflects your planned production environment. But above all, do not rush to deploy before your organization is ready.

    Here's the full article:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=031501TB-FEBSURVEY

      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Economic Downturn Might Spell IT O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y

    As a Microsoft specialist, you are to some extent the effect of the swings of the economy and how MS is doing in that area. Most of the large Tech providers like Intel, Cisco and EMC preannounced that their revenues and profits would fall short. MS is currently staying pretty healthy but when server hardware drops, in a few months their sales will show some slowdown too. Not to worry though. There is a silver lining.

    Recently, a bunch of the world's largest companies CIO's came together in a meeting called the Strategy 21 Executive Conference. Surveying them showed that 87 percent of these big guys plan to either keep investments level or increase their IT spending in apps like supplier management, sales and channel management, and the B2B marketplace. And guess what? Most of the new development in that area will be XML based. And guess who is coming up really strong in that area? Right: Microsoft.

    In other words, it is always a good idea to invest counter-cyclical. Whazzatmean? If the economy goes down, then the people with a strong position should invest in areas that have a positive effect on both their top and bottom lines. That means in many cases IT projects. These increase revenues and should cut cost at the same time. Sure, areas like personnel and admin usually get the ax, but IT is an 'island of protection'.

    Probably you remember why Accounting are sometimes called the 'bean counters'. It comes from the 'bean theory'. You have 100 beans, and need to decide what to do with them. Eating them is a short term solution. Better is plant a bunch and get a huge return on your investment that way. Management does this all the time. They need to decide where to invest to get maximum beans back for their shareholders. Putting money in W2K based XML business process automation makes a whole lot of sense at the moment.

    With the current economic weather, your IT strategy should be investing in (or promote and support) projects with a measurable return. That's what the top execs are looking for: stuff that both helps their profits and total revenue. And we'll help you keep those servers up & running.

      THIRD PARTY NEWS

    Failed Your Security Audit?

    Most of the security audits that are being done in large companies start their search by focusing on a few well known major procedural omissions. One of these is not changing passwords of services. This is something you simply *have* to do on a regular basis.

    Service Explorer allows you to manage multiple services across multiple servers simultaneously. Ever come across the familiar loophole of unchanged service accounts that have Domain privileges? Service Explorer fixes this by allowing you to change passwords on hundreds of services located across your network, all in one single operation.

    You can target multiple services on multiple systems in one operation. For example, you can now change the password on hundreds of services spread across your network. You can control any service on any server in your network easily with Service Explorer. Easy to use GUI allows you to stop, start, restart, and change any property of services on any system on your network.

    Service Explorer requires no agents to be installed on managed systems, and you can easily install and remove Windows 2000/NT services. You can choose to remove a single service on a single system, or remove ten services on a hundreds systems in one simple operation. Service Explorer fully supports Windows 2000's services as well as Windows NT. This puppy is worth a look.
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=786

    Which Migration Tool To Use?

    As you have seen in the Tech Briefing above, getting to W2K is no breeze. It will take a lot of preparatory work, and then you need to migrate. You will need tools and even *with* the tools, it's still a headache. Network World just did a review that I liked and think will save you a lot of time. It starts like this:

    "If you're not concerned about the magnitude of the task required to migrate to Active Directory, you probably don't run Windows NT. But the reality is that if you're planning a migration, don't plan to take any time off soon. Four firms offer tools that can help you make the transition from an NT 4.0 domain-based network to Windows 2000 Active Directory. These third-party products are Aelita Software's Controlled Migration Suite, BindView's bv-Admin for Windows 2000 Migration, FastLane Technologies' DM/Manager and NetIQ's Domain Migration Administrator (DMA)." Actually I have a fifth you should have on your shortlist, www.altiris.com but these are the main players in that niche for sure. The article on the network world site is here and warmly recommended:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=031501-NETWORKWRLD

      FAVE LINKS

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

  • A bunch of cool games were announced for the XBOX (which runs the W2K OS)
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=031501FL-XBOXGAMES
  • Remember I talked about the Kyocera Smartphone with the Palm OS? Here's the Microsoft alternative (only available in Europe for the moment)
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=031501FL-MONDO
  • Article about anti-piracy poison pill that destroys file if messed with
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/redir.cfm?id=031501FL-POISONPILL
  •   PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Designing Security for a Windows 2000 Network

    Exam 70-220, Designing Security for a Windows 2000 Network tests the skills required to analyze the business requirements for security and design a security solution that meets business requirements. Security includes controlling access to resources, auditing access to resources, authentication, and encryption. Ideal for you, professionals looking for comprehensive self-study materials to get you through the exam successfully. Years of publishing in this category has shown us that the most asked-for type of study information comes in the comprehensive, study-at-your-own-pace package. New Riders Training Guides, with their objective coverage, emphasis on hands-on knowledge, and practice exams, are an ideal tool for this audience. Thirty six bucks in the Sunbelt Bookclub (add S&H)
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/bookclub