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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Mar 19, 2001 (Vol. 6, #18 - Issue #253)
NT & W2K Job Security
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Your Own W2Knews Profile
    • America's Most Wanted NT/W2K Jobs
    • Microsoft Might Pre-Announce
    • W2K Service Pack 2 Out Soon
    • Server Sales Both Up And Down. Huh?
    • Free Exchange 2000 Webcast
    • In Europe? Need get from NT to W2K? Try Ideal Migration
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Windows 2000 Administrator's Black Book
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Your Own W2Knews Profile

Hi All,

With the stock markets officially in Bear Territory, how's your job security? Pretty good actually. The economy itself is not doing all that bad. And Microsoft is poised for bigger growth than ever. Just read this issue and you'll see you are in a pretty good corner of the IT-universe.

End to end off, 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 :-)

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

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America's Most Wanted NT/W2K Jobs

After 25 spectacular years, MS's potential is still mainly untapped. Why am I saying this? They just announced XML and the .NET initiative, are ready to pull the trigger on the XBOX which is going to make life for game consoles like Sony's Playstation and Nintendo very difficult, and just got Windows XP ready, which finally unifies the code base. In other words, MS is poised for more spectacular growth in the coming 5 years. And I'm predicting the DOJ-case is not going to deter this expansion much.

The XBOX is of course positioned to become the intelligent home hub of all incoming internet, broadband and telecommunication. This is a massive move into the consumer market that if they can keep up with the demand will be highly successful. And do not forget the Pocket PC which is their third attempt and a worthy competitor for the Palm OS.

Look at a few facts. 1) HP consumer goods veteran Rick Belluzo now is Pres. 2) MS still is strong in traditional PC and Server markets, and 3) combines these with consumer offerings in the Net-space, games, direct-TV and portable information appliances. All in all, a pretty bright future to jump onto. So, what NT/W2K jobs are the most wanted?

    Companies need not just one guy, but a team of specialized developers that understand the OS, ASP, Java and/or Cold Fusion. But you also need to be good in graphic design, GUI's and plain old marketing. And it's not just for Websites. Intranets are bursting to take over (or be front ends for) legacy apps.
    It would be a good thing to have a thorough understanding of NT/W2K itself (get your MCSE), and on top specialize yourself in SQL7.0 and SQL2000. When you have this down, you can always get a job. Prepare to work closely with the web developers as they will use SQL as their back-end data repository.
    Well, a year ago this would not even have been on the radar screen, but it certainly is now! Lots of companies want these, and they are *very* hard to find. It's a hard bizz to get into. You have to be very specialized and have the attitude to 'sweat the detail'. Knowing NT/W2K's vulnerabilities, handling firewalls, access control lists, VPN's, system penetration counter measures and all the other stuff to secure a network and harden servers is not easy. But once you're good at it, you can pretty much write your own paycheck. Start by reading "Hacking Exposed V2.0" by Scambray, McClure and Kurtz.
    There is a steady job growth in this area. More and more NT/W2K servers are being installed. Sometimes they get consolidated in a few large machines, but especially for those boxes companies need experienced administrators. Building networks is often combined with this job, and it's easy to see where all that is going: CISCO is pretty much the standard for routers, switches and most other networking gear. Get certified in that area, remember to beef up on wireless and you have job security for another 5 years.

Microsoft Might Pre-Announce

First, some random snippets that are interesting this week. MS will port its new programming language C# to Linux. That will allow users to 'DOTnet' other platforms than Windows. Some people are going to freak out about that. Another point, remember I told you about W2K sources becoming available for qualified companies? Well, the Meta Group reflected a bit and said it would be only a matter of time before this would come out on the web somewhere. For everyone to grab.

Is that bad? Not necessarily. It would allow a whole lot more people to look at it, try to break it, and in that way make the OS more bulletproof. Kind of the advantage of 'open source' but MS still having it exclusively for themselves to sell. Interesting future perspective.

Compaq, Dell, and Intel sales are all soft in some areas. If the hard- ware sales drop, you can figure that MS is going to feel it too. The softness will put their margins under pressure for sure. And when one half of the 'WinTel' pair gets wobbly, you can bet the other one follows shortly.

MS has been doing some belt-tightening this quarter already, so I kind of expecting Ballmer to also jump on the pre-announcement wagon and tell the market the quarter isn't looking all that fantastic. It would make sense. Funny thing is, that the economy is doing reasonably well. This is something of a 'crisis of confidence' more than anything else. With MS' stock something like 45% lower than its peak of last year, this will drive it even lower. It may soon be time to go 'bargain hunting' on the Nasdaq :-) (FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not own any stock in any of the companies I discuss in this newsletter - except Sunbelt. Neither have I owned any stock of them in the past. It is my opinion that this would be incompatible with writing a newsletter like this).

W2K Service Pack 2 Out Soon

Looks like the full list of SP2 bugfixes has been nailed down. At least a list of almost 300 fixes has surfaced last week. SP2 was originally announced to ship Q1, 2001 so they have 2 weeks left. There is not much more known than the list below but it looks like they are keeping their promise to not include new features in the SP's. It's just a long list of bugfixes. Want to have a look? They are at the Wininformant site:

The moment it appears, this is one of the links where they'll have it:

Server Sales Both Up And Down. Huh?

ENT Mag's website commented on this week's report from IDC about server sales in Q4,2000. IDC reported that worldwide server sales grew. How? Rack-optimized server sales boomed a whopping 257 percent in Q4 last year. (No news about the first quarter this year though). Rack-optimized servers are small form factor 'pizza boxes' you can slide in a rack and have something like 3 servers in the space that one server used to take before.

Q4 revenues of factory server sales were about $16.7 billion, and that is 14% over Q4-1999. It was the largest quarterly increase of the year. "Rack-optimized servers stole the spotlight in the server industry in 2001" said Vernon Turner, IDC's vice president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions.

But -without- these rack-optimized servers, overall server revenues would have gone down by about 6 percent from 1999 to 2000. The NT server platform had a good year, and is gaining a lot on revenues from Unix server sales. The total 2000 worldwide sales of servers was about $60 Billion. Unix has a 14% increase and clocked 29B of the whole, but NT/W2K took 13.9 Billion which was 31% more than the year before.

And for you Linux enthusiasts, the sales are of course much smaller but growing rapidly. Total Linux-based servers were a total of $1.7B, a hefty 132 percent more than the year before.


Free Exchange 2000 Webcast

As a reminder, don't miss the "Managing Exchange 2000" Webcast on March 20 sponsored by NetIQ, Compaq and Microsoft. You can see, hear and experience in 'virtual person' the industry's leading Exchange experts. You can still register for Part 3 of this series. Better do it now:

In Europe? Need get from NT to W2K? Try Ideal Migration

I last week's issue I mentioned 5 tools to get from NT to W2K, but I forgot one. This is a vendor in France that services all of Europe. The product is called Ideal Migration. It manages the transfer of required objects to successfully get your migration done. Ideal Migra- tion is a very useful tool for the re-organization of your domains.

It's got some cool features like 'Password migration' from NT to W2K and enables secure, automated transfer of user account passwords to Active Directory. With this new feature you can upgrade and preserve your passwords, which will help reduce end-user confusion, new password distribution, and reduce helpdesk calls.

Another option is the "SIDHistory attribute" . It records the user's old SID in the new W2K account. This gives the new user access to resources that exist in the Windows NT 4.0 domains. Some other features:

  • moving of some shared folders from a server to another,
  • moving of user accounts from a domain to another,
  • moving of file and folder securities from a server to another,
  • automatic addition/modification of printers relative to a backup configuration.
Another strong point is the ability to export and import objects using CSV files. Those files can be easily installed in a database, modified or you can even create them yourself. Check out Ideal Migration:

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

  • FREE Download TeleSweep Secure[r] Distributed Dialup Vulnerability Scanner
  • Find out if your NT/W2K server is vulnerable for the 'Russian Hack'
  • How Much More Money when I get Certified? Here's the latest numbers:

    Windows 2000 Administrator's Black Book

    This book that will make your life a LOT easier. I know because I co-wrote it. It provides everything you need to know to keep a Windows 2000-based network running smoothly and efficiently. This book is a must-have reference book for system administrators and IS pros who (plan to) install, configure, and support workstations and servers on Windows 2000 networks.

    Windows 2000 System Administrator's Black Book provides all the reference information to anyone who requires a detailed guide to Windows 2000 system administration, security, as well as start-up and shut-down procedures, disk and file systems management, networking, Internet Information Server, and of course Active Directory.