Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Apr 5, 2001 (Vol. 6, #23 - Issue #258)
Is Your Disaster Recovery Site On The Same Power Grid?
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- Sunbelt Primary WebSite now on a T3 / Q1 sales 38% higher.
- TECH BRIEFING
- Is Your Disaster Recovery Site On The Same Power Grid?
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Windows XP - Some more detail
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Third Party Vendors To Stratify Their Pricing
- Top Management Demanding Flat Data Storage Budgets?
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Exam 70-220, Designing Security for a Windows 2000 Network
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Sunbelt Primary WebSite now on a T3 / Q1 sales 38% higher.
Some short 'good news points' about Sunbelt this time.
1) We got our Cisco 7100 series router in yesterday, configured it
with our ISP and last night we hooked it up to two coax cables. These
two went straight to a DS3 box in Verizon's wiring closet. The DS3
is connected with fiber via the phone company's Central Office
straight to our ISP (again via fiber) so that we now have an optical
point-to-point T3 connection to the Net. T3 is the same as DS3 and
is 45Mbps. And BOY it makes a difference. It's smokin!
2) The media is rife with all kinds of dire news about economic
slowdowns, layoffs and the like. While in reality the economy is
actually still growing, admittedly a bit slower. Consumer confidence
went up again, so most of us are not buying the media hysteria. In
Sunbelt, our First Quarter sales were 38% over the Q1 sales of last
year, so all of us would like to thank you for your continued
confidence in us. And hey, if we -do- screw it up, you write ME an
email, and I'll personally jump in to make it go right.
UNDO DEPT: TYPO in the last newsletter. It was CCIE, not CCIA.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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Is Your Disaster Recovery Site On The Same Power Grid?
The Wall Street Journal just wrote an article about power shortages
in California, and also said it might spread this summer to states
that surround CA. Part of the cause is the current draught, resulting
in not enough water to drive the hydro-electric turbines. And two days
later they said power shortages might hit states in New England as
well, I'm not sure why yet but I'll find out. Rolling blackouts ain't
I was just thinking that your Disaster Recovery site might be on
the same power grid. Especially in New York that is a possibility.
You should call your power company and check into that as Step #1.
The result of course would be both sites go down at the same time
and data loss and/or disk corruption could ensue. It would be better
to have your DR site on another grid all together. For example,
Sunbelt's primary site is in Florida, but our backup site's in Texas.
When you pull the plug on some boxes, it is not sure the apps are
built robust enough to take that gracefully. Also, improper shutdowns
could cause disk corruption. Let me quote one paragraph from MS
Knowledge base item: Q160963 (I have added the emphasis)
"It is always advisable to run chkdsk on volumes that have been
improperly shutdown, however, there may be some situations in which
running chkdsk after every improper shutdown is not possible or practical.
In some cases, chkdsk may take several hours or even days to
completely check the volume or may hang while checking the volume.
In these situations, it is more practical to postpone the chkdsk
until a more convenient time".
And one more paragraph from another KB-item, number Q187941.
"It should be pointed out that NTFS does not guarantee the integrity
of user data following an instance of disk corruption -- even when
a full CHKDSK is run immediately after corruption has been detected.
Thus, there may be files that CHKDSK cannot recover. Also, files that
are recovered may be internally corrupted even after CHKDSK has been
run. It, therefore, remains vitally important that mission critical
data be protected by means of a regimen of periodic backups or other
robust disaster recovery methodology."
So, basically your power is still a very important bit of the whole
uptime equation. Of course with Y2K behind us, all of you have been
giving this some thought already. Most of us have some sort of UPS
equipment in place. That will buy some time. But how much? Some of
the recent blackouts in CA lasted several hours. Microsoft is right
in strongly suggesting you need a robust disaster recovery system in
place. We can help you install it, implement it, and train you on site.
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Windows XP - Some more detail
Last Monday I attended a web-seminar held by Microsoft and ZD-net
for more than an hour where they went into some more detail about
WXP. Arrival dates for Release Candidate 1 is planned at end Q2
this year, and Release to Manufacturing envisioned Summer 2001.
If you run on Windows NT or Windows 2000 already, this is more an
evolution than anything else. WXP will play well with both on a
domain. If you are running W9x, this is of course a revolution
in the sense of major change. WXP will likely trash the hardware
you have, as you need a more powerful box to run it. I recommend
a P300 with 128 as a bare bones minimum. P500+ and 256 will be
The performance will be about the same as W2K, do not expect major
speed increases. The GUI is pretty nice, it's the result of countless
hours of studies of people using it, and has a new look to it. Even
IT people will like some of the changes. One of the neat features
I found was the compatibility settings. You can right click on the
properties, and indicate for that app, which OS it "runs" on. Then
WXP will fool the app to make it think it runs on whatever flavor
of Windows (e.g. 95/98/ME).
The remote control feature will only work between WXP and WXP boxes,
so that is a limited use for the moment. Unless you are wall-to-wall
WXP in a business environment, you'll not be able to use that for a
The Windows Product Activation (WPA) is going to be a headache. Think
about the following scenario. You decide to trash all your old work-
stations, and upgrade to 1,000 new Dell Optiplexes.
You have Dell preinstall everything, and all the apps you need as
well. But this is an OEM installation, and that means you need to
individually touch each one of these 1,000 workstations to activate
the OS via the web. I don't like it a bit. If you want to send
some one an email with your vision, here's one:
This is MS's PR agency and they will make sure it gets to the product
managers for sure. [grin]
THIRD PARTY NEWS
Third Party Vendors To Stratify Their Pricing
Since I'm one of the people that gets to hear these things first, I
thought to send you a heads-up as it will influence your budgets for
the coming years. Ed Lacey just sent me an email to remind me of
the results of MS trying to standardize all W2K Server users to
More and more third party vendors are starting to charge more money
for their tools if that tool will be running on Advanced Server or
Datacenter server. Just as an example, Veritas has a sizeable price
difference between Backup Exec 8.5 Standard Server and 8.5 Advanced
Server. Many other tools have similar price tiers.
So, if you upgrade to W2K Advanced Server, you'd better do the upgrade-
math for all the third party apps that are running on that puppy as
you might need to upgrade those too!
Top Management Demanding Flat Data Storage Budgets?
In many organizations, the data storage budget consumes up to one
third of the total IT budget. That means billions of dollars per
year that are spent on storage and storage management which is
way more costly than the hardware itself. If your top management
dictates that the budget needs to stay flat, as for instance the
Meryll Lynch top dogs just did, you have an interesting problem
to solve: Storage still expands rapidly, but you cannot spend more cash.
So, that gives you -two- approaches, and I suggest you indeed use
the following two-pronged attack. 1) Aggressively negotiate lower
prices with your storage hardware vendors, and 2) Aggressively
control any all storage utilization by the user community.
With NAS devices coming available for ever lower prices, 1) above
is relatively easy to implement. The price per Gig is ever falling.
But solving 2) above is another story. Making sure users are not
hogging all that space is often a political issue that can get you
burned. I suggest you have a chat with top IT management that very
well knows the management of storage costs about 5 times (or more)
the cost of the initial hardware purchase.
So, you need some top management air cover to implement a company
storage management policy. This is the time to ask for it! Once you
have that, you can much easier implement tools to monitor, control
and curb disk space usage. A great tool to do that is StorageCeNTral.
It allows you to do a host of things like graphing disk consumption,
capacity planning, monitoring per user what storage they consume,
and set either completely automated soft or hard quota's for them.
Having your storage consumption under control will help keeping those
storage budgets flat as well. Here's a great tool that will do the job.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
The Proxomitron is a cool free tool to filter web traffic. Useful.
Confidentiality of user information using Passport/Hailstorm? Fuhgeddit.
The new Ghost V7.0 is pretty powerful. Admin's will like the specs!
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