Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Mar 22, 2001 (Vol. 6, #19 - Issue #254)
Digesting Tech Purchases
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- What Are The Most Used Tools?
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- NT and W2K Service Pack Schedules
- Careful With Wireless Technologies
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Get A "Real-View" Of Your Exchange Network
- Check If Your Product Has Been Updated!
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Windows 2000 Administrator's Black Book
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Digesting Tech Purchases
High Tech has a headache. Why? It's not just the economy alone. They
are hit with multiple waves at the same time. First it was massive
spending to upgrade everything to prevent Y2K 'meltdown'. Then it was
the Internet Bubble that prompted everyone to spend on Tech like there
was no tomorrow. A good illustration is the fact that early last year
big-tech company earnings were a mind boggling 42% over the year before.
So, prompted by the fact the Bubble burst April 2000 two things
happened to high tech. A whole raft of dotcoms failed cutting into
high-tech revenues. Next is that a lot of companies slowed down their
Internet investments as well. Combined with the slowdown in growth of
the general economy making CEO's a bit skittish to sign off on large IT
investments you get this combined result of IT purchases slowing down.
In many cases, companies now have the IT infrastructure they need,
new servers, workstations, websites, and applications that are supposed
to make all this work. Organizations are now trying to leverage and
integrate all the IT investments that have been made in the last few
years. You could say we've been pigging out on IT, and arrived at the
inevitable digestive phase, not to mention upgrade fatigue.
So now is the time to get all these systems optimized, play nice together,
and get some more control over your environment. System Management
tools are the kind of thing that you will now be able to get approval
for in this time of consolidation. You know where to get them.
PS: The work on your new Profile is getting along well. We've also
found a great lil' reward for you when you update your profile.
Wait for the announcement in the next few weeks.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
PREVENT EMAIL USER COMPLAINTS
Is Exchange business critical for you? Need live real-time measuring
and reporting software to manage your Exchange performance and availability?
Real-View monitors events that are uniquely important to you. Graphical,
intuitive interfaces create customizable topologies that map out your
Exchange setup. Real-time and historical analysis facilitates future
planning and management. Easy single point installation: Real-View is
always watching over your messaging environment. Access Real-View anytime
and anywhere via a java-enabled web console. This quick download allows
you to have Real-View installed and collecting data in ten minutes.
Visit Real-View for more information.
What Are The Most Used Tools?
A recent discussion on the Sunbelt Community NTSYADMIN list resulted
in a compilation by JayW of the most used of "general tools" that all
System Admin's need to get. He tried to stay away from specific
recommendations and application support, but rather just general NT
Admin support. So, here's what everybody else is using!
Here is the list charter for your free subscription if you want to
discuss NT/W2K system admin things on an immediate basis with almost
5,000 of your colleagues:
- Zip Utility
- Text Editor
- Scripting Tools
- NTFS Boot Utility
- Password Cracker
- Remote Control
- Resource Kit
- Documentation Tools
- User/Domain Management
- Performance Management
- Inventory Software
- Deployment Software
- Cloning/Imaging Software
- Event Log Monitor
- High Availability Software
- Storage Management
- Active Directory Management
- Network Management
- Policy Management
- Disaster Recovery System
- Intrusion Detection Systems
- Vulnerability Scanners
- Encryption Tools
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
NT and W2K Service Pack Schedules
In the last newsletter I said SP2 for W2K was expected in Q1. Whoops.
That was Q2, 2001. And NT 4.0's SP7 is expected to arrive in Q3 this
year so you'd better plan for thorough testing and deployment in the
second half of this year.
Careful With Wireless Technologies
OK, they are creeping up everywhere, wireless links. Infrared comm
between Palms, Apple with their AirPort hub, and cordless phones on the
2.4 gigahertz band to name a few. Better brace for mid-air collisions.
There's a whole bunch of these technologies coming down the pike, but
it's very early days. Corporate networks will not be far behind, as
they promise the fabulous anywhere, anytime computing 'heaven'.
Well, there is trouble in paradise. Many of these devices use the more
and more crowded 2.4 gigahertz band of the radio spectrum. Wireless
technologies come with different names. One is Apple's Wi-Fi which
really is the 802.11b standard. Something close to that is called
HomeRF, and then there is Bluetooth of course.
The latter will allow communication up to 30 feet between cell phones,
handhelds, pagers, laptops, and devices like printers. Where's the
catch? When radio signals use the same frequency, they collide and
this corrupts the signal. They need to retransmit and that slows
things down. The FCC had really not intended the 2.4G-band to be used
for 8 different household devices, more like an experimentation
zone that entrepreneurs could use to test new wireless devices.
The interference that this causes between devices needs to be solved
by the engineers that build them. They have to be robust enough to
cope with the inevitable noise. But this is not really a good recipe
for reliability what so ever. Engineers design these technologies
in such a way that when there is signal overlap, your communications
For situations where the connection is intermittent, that's no issue.
But when companies start to use this kind of connection for a more
persistent and data-intensive situation (like between a PC and its
screen) this will start causing interference problems that will be
very difficult to trace. And if this stuff is being taken outdoors,
the potential problems multiply.
A real life example that could make your life as a system admin hard
is the following example. Suppose you work for an advertising agency.
You have NT servers and dozens of Macs around. The infrastructure of
the building did not cooperate and now a bunch of the Macs are using
the AirPort Wi-Fi technology to print and hook up to the network.
But now you are getting Bluetooth devices chattering right next those
Macs, and this will very likely cause the Mac connection to your NT
servers to go blaaaah. And you're stuck with an intermittent problem
that is hell to resolve. Well, you're warned now!
THIRD PARTY NEWS
Get A "Real-View" Of Your Exchange Network
It's a good idea to get a "Real-View" of your Exchange network before
users start calling you with complaints.
Real-View is one of the most intuitive monitoring management solutions
for Microsoft Exchange messaging. Through an intuitive graphical user
interface, you can monitor over 750 attributes of your full MS-Exchange
setup. Low-level data calls allow you to conduct real-time monitoring
of Information Services, Directory Services, Windows Services, Connectors,
Queue Sizes and more.
Real-View does not reside on the Exchange server, nor does it require
any agent installation. It is an independent solution running on a
dedicated workstation. Using minimal bandwidth, Real-View allows you
to view your Exchange topologies, as well as graphs, charts and summaries
from a web-based console, and even troubleshoot when problems occur.
Moreover, its notification system provides both console and remote alerts
that can be set when different thresholds have been exceeded. Remote
notification options include SMTP messages, Alpha pages, audible alerts
and integrate with third party applications such as Tivoli and Unicenter
Real-View also provides you with report summaries for simple viewing of
your metrics with the click of a button. Some of these summaries include
Server Performance, Queue Performance, Connection Availability, Folder
Replication, and Public/Private summary information. In addition to the
summaries, through the use of *.csv (comma-separated values) Real-View
records historical data for Exchange Server performance analysis.
Custom charts can be created to display system metrics. Charting MTA
queue levels, server availability, and disk space availability are just
some examples of the attributes that Real-View can provide statistics on.
Best of all, Real-View can be accessed anytime, anywhere through a java
web console to allow for remote administration.
You can run Real-View on any PIII box with a minimum of 128 MB of RAM,
and NT 4.0. Real-View supports both NT and W2K. Want to save time? Grab
the download, and we'll schedule a walk-thru with you!
Check If Your Product Has Been Updated!
This is the page we update daily to keep you aware of new version of
the software you are testing or purchased. Check this page once a month
to check for the newest version of your tools:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
Raxco now has a very fast (free) web-based defrag analysis tool download
Nice site with a bunch of useful W2K hints and tips
ZDnet will hold a web-preview of Windows XP on April 2. Check it out:
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
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.