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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Apr 19, 2001 (Vol. 6, #27 - Issue #262)
Failure To Plan => You Plan To Fail
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • My New Book Will Come Out Soon: W2K Power Toolkit.
    • Failure To Plan => You Plan To Fail
    • Customers Grade Windows 2000 / New Q2 Survey Invitation
    • Microsoft's Latest Advice Regarding W2K Defragmentation
    • WXP Server (Whistler) Not To Arrive Until Q1, 2002
    • UltraBac Announces Agents for Linux, Solaris & More
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Tuning and Sizing Windows 2000
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My New Book Will Come Out Soon: W2K Power Toolkit.

NT Power Toolkit was the first book we came out with almost two years ago. It was a smash hit, as it was not just a bunch of rehashing the manual and res kit, but added a whole bunch of hard-won in-the-trenches experience to the mix. And there were hundreds of links to hard-to-find third party vendors that created great add-on tools for NT.

Well, we have done it again, but now for W2K! Next month, New Riders Publishing will come out with the Windows 2000 Power Toolkit and it's even better than the NT-version. We especially made sure you would be able to use it to get started quickly, migrate NT to W2K if needed, and there is a wealth of links with supporting resources, tools, and stuff to get the max out of W2K.

So, stop buying W2K books and wait for the May release of this one :-) You'll like the special offer that comes with it. (we're throwing $498 worth of software in.) Here is a page from the publisher with the ISBN, but you cannot buy it there, it's just a sneak preview.

UNDO DEPT: In the last issue I mentioned "W2K built-in load balancer called WLBS. But in W2K that was renamed to Network Load Balancer (NLB).

Also please check your new profile to make sure you get the right version:

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

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Failure To Plan => You Plan To Fail

Sometimes the cause is man made, like California's power woes. But other times it's the planet that has an itch and an earthquake happens. If you are in CA (or neighboring states), and need to plan for power failure, I was sent this additional info that might help.

"I recently spoke with a vendor in CA, who told me one of the data centers he deals with purchased a generator to run their center during the rolling blackouts. You may want to suggest this to persons responsible for centers that may have black outs later this year. In addition, the power company should be able to tell you the schedule for the blackouts so that the center can be shut down gracefully if necessary. This information may be found on the power company's web site". - Kevin Jones. Thanks Kev!

Another point is that some one in MS commented that the midwest was a safe place for earthquakes. Well, he did not do his homework. It turns out that New Madrid, MO was the site of the most destructive string of 8.0+ earthquakes ever recorded in the United states in 1811-12. I have a link here that shows what happened there, with pictures and all. Very interesting. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide ;-)

But the message is clear. You GOTTA get your mission critical data off site, to a place that is well out of a danger zone. Getting it to your Disaster Recovery site in real-time is of course the best quarantee for a minimum of downtime. Double-Take can help there:


Customers Grade Windows 2000 / New Q2 Survey Invitation

As you all know, every quarter Sunbelt Software and the Giga Information Group do a survey on the state of the major Operating System. The final report on the Q1 results just made it on the Microsoft website. After one year of deployment in production networks, Windows 2000 Pro and W2K Server are given an "A" for reliability by an overwhelming majority of corporate customers. But what you should look at is the full report card at the very end of the page. Here's the report on the MS-website:

And we'd like to invite you to participate in the Q2 survey, which goes a bit more in depth and tries to identify what the real life savings are (both in productivity and tech support time) of using W2K, if any. Here is the link to the survey, and as always, we will share the data with you the moment Giga is done with the analysis. Thanks for your time. Please take the 5 minutes it will take to fill this one out!?

Microsoft's Latest Advice Regarding W2K Defragmentation

MS has come out with its latest advisory to keep W2K fragmentation under control. In today's climate of tightening budgets, no aspect of your network's performance is beyond scrutiny. But when performance slows, it's just the visible tip of a broader, hidden situation that can cause productivity to suffer. The conclusion MS came out with is as follows, I'm quoting:

"File fragmentation can negatively affect operating system speed and performance. To maintain peak performance when using Windows 2000, the condition of your disks should be analyzed on a regular basis?preferably once a week for moderate-to-heavy use; less frequently for intermittent use?and defragmentation performed as needed.

"Disk Defragmenter is designed primarily for stand-alone machines and users with Administrator privileges. It is not intended to be used for network defragmentation. Administrators who require network controls, automatic scheduling, and the capability to simultaneously defragment multiple partitions, and MFT and paging files, should consider upgrading to a third-party, networkable defragmenter".

Well, there you have it from the horse's mouth. Link to the full article:

And here's the leading third-party defragger you can take for a spin:

WXP Server (Whistler) Not To Arrive Until Q1, 2002

If you were looking for the Server versions of Windows XP, you'll have to wait for a bit. Since Active Directory is not taking the country by storm, MS decided to delay the WXP servers a while and plug some advanced AD features in these servers.

Stuff like a schema delete and domain/forest rename kind of things. Features like these would certainly accelerate AD deployment. MS is listening to the customers out there, and they tell MS that AD needs more functionality before they are willing to touch it. The MS guys are trying to give a positive spin to the slow AD deployment by recent statements that go something like: "AD deployment is about where we expected it to be". But really they are worried about Novell's NDS which is still well ahead of AD.


UltraBac Announces Agents for Linux, Solaris & More

The developer of the UltraBac product announces the April 30 release of new backup agents. With the popularity of Linux and other Unix platforms, they developed an agent for those users who are interested in backing up these platforms to Windows based machines. UltraBac will have Agents for Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and HP-UX.

These are the current INTRODUCTORY list prices:

Every Ux Backup Agent (License + 1 Client) $ 295.00
Every Backup Agent (Each Additional Client) $ 95.00

These Agents will be available for wide release on April 30.


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

  • For *very* advanced (multi) bootable CD creation look at Bart's way:
  • MS starts to legally crack down on certification test vendors:
  • Do you trust Microsoft handling your confidential data via .NET?

    Tuning and Sizing Windows 2000

    Tuning and Sizing Windows 2000 is a good intermediate-level admin's guide to making the most of the performance, scalability, and reliability of Windows 2000. Shows how to size and tune Windows operating system, key back office applications, and system hardware. Also shows how to optimize the performance of SQL Server and other programs.

    You can maximize Windows 2000 Server performance and scalability - through a hands-on, step-by-step approach that provides immediate solutions to your performance issues. It's got practical "rules of thumb" for identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks.

    There are specific techniques for optimizing file servers, backup servers, IIS, SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange. Covers sizing and optimizing the latest hardware technology. Exclusive management scripts for tracking performance and availability. Good one!