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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 23, 2001 (Vol. 6, #28 - Issue #263)
DELL Breaks Into #1 Spot
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • Stu's 'Good News Show' ;-)
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • Survey Results: Tools Needed and Budgets Available
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Microsoft Beats The Street
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • DELL Breaks Into Number One Spot
    • Double-Take for Windows 2000: Excellent Business Continuity
    • Sick & Tired Of Having To Mess With Logon Scripts?
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Network Monitoring and Analysis
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  EDITORS CORNER

Stu's 'Good News Show' ;-)

Well, after the last few months that were doom-and-gloom, things start to perk up from many different angles. The stock markets rallied and this time it looks like they may have hit bottom and are on their way up after Greenspan cut the rates again. Dell took the #1 spot in worldwide PC sales, IBM performed up to par, and Microsoft beat Wall Street expectations with a pretty decent quarter. It's not all that bad out there. So, here is an issue that shows a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, and we will very shortly officially announce a brand new Security Consulting Service that Sunbelt will offer in a strategic alliance with an expert player in this field. You'll be able to get an anti-hacker on your site, for a 3-day security assessment resulting in a full report of 'how bad it is', and what needs to be done to become hacker-proof. Expect this Real Soon Now!

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

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  TECH BRIEFING

Survey Results: Tools Needed and Budgets Available

As you know, Sunbelt supports around 10 free NT/W2K communities. One of these is the NTSYSADMIN list with over 4,000 active and sharp system admins. This week, I did our irregular "System Admin Headaches" survey, to see what the lay of the land is. Out of 4,000 invitations, more than a 1,000 came back within 24 hours (!) This is fully automated so the results were tabulated very fast. Here are the results:

Question 1: Asked for the things 'you were losing sleep about'. The only two items that were -way- above anything else, and scoring a '7-8' were:

  • Disaster Recovery, and
  • Network Security.
  • Next up was W2K and AD migration with a '5-7' score
    (1 means no problem, 10 means permanent insomnia)

    Question 2: What areas are you able to get budget for? None scored higher than a 5, but these were:

  • Network Security: 5
  • Disaster Recovery: 5
  • Storage Management: 4-5
  • System Admin: 3-5 (Note a very interesting thing though. NO budgets whatsoever for W2K and Ad Migration, despite the headaches. It scored a 1.)
    (1 means no budget at all, 10 means splurge!)

    Question 3: Lack of Manpower:
    The score was 7-8, meaning you guys are -really- BUSY to say the least. (1 means no problem, 10 means everyone is working 80 hours a week)

    Question 4: Return On Investment justification demands from management:
    Scored 7-8 as well, but a good chunk of you gave this a 10, so it's getting a tougher to get budget approved for what you need.
    (1 means they never ask the ROI-question, 10 means jumping through three burning hoops to get a lousy thousand bucks)

    Here is the (now closed) survey, so you can see what we asked.
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301-AdminHeadaches

    If you want to subscribe to the NTSYSADMIN list, here is the link:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/ntsysadmin_list_charter.htm
    Heavy Traffic warning. This is 100-200 messages per day, but you can set your status to 'digest' once a day. I suggest you 'lurk' for a while before you post anything.

  •   NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Microsoft Beats The Street

    MS topped Wall Street's (reduced) expectations with ease for their fiscal Q3. Sales rose 14% over their fiscal Q3 2000. (their year goes from July to June). The main growth comes out of the Windows 2000 and MS-Office product lines. From Jan 1-st to March 31 they sold $6.46 Billion with $2.45B profits, about 300 million ahead of what the Street thought. W2K Pro revenues were up 40% and the combo of W2K Pro & NT accounted for 35% of all desktop sales, which was up 9% year-over-year.

    Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund said: "It's obviously very encouraging, seen the recent blowups at other tech companies". MS also did a lot better than SUN Microsystems, with sales almost flat compared to last year (2.2% higher). Microsoft's CFO predicted a 10% growth for their fiscal year 2002. That's less than the old days of a heady 30-40% growth though. Looks like the PC market is stabilizing out.

    So, why is MS doing so well? It's really a matter of the sales model. Other tech outfits like Sun and Oracle are often caught in this traditional quarterly model of a bunch of really large sales that all are supposed to happen at the end of the quarter. Some CFO's get worried and do not sign that large PO, and then suddenly sales are in a world of hurt. Microsoft on the contrary sells a whole bunch of relatively small products to a whole bunch of both consumers and businesses on a continuous basis.

    The outlook for their coming fiscal Q4 was expected to be relatively positive although MS always try to manage expectations and warns for all kinds of things that might go wrong. Nobody pays attention to those things normally. CNNfn has a good article about it:
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301-CNNfn

      THIRD PARTY NEWS

    DELL Breaks Into Number One Spot

    IDC's latest figures that were released last Thursday night, showed that Dell pushed out Compaq as King of the Hill. Dell's Q1 shipments were up 30% year-over-year to 4.15 million units, 13.1% of the world market. This in contrast to worldwide PC shipments that grew less than three percent.

    It's a historic moment, as Dell has never done this before. But Michael Dell in an email to all staff warned not to become complacent. The reason they took over a combination of factors. Dell is growing but Compaq's shipments were down 4.7% year-over-year to 3.8 million PCs, which accounts for 11.9% of the market. HP and IBM did not do too well in the PC arena either. The IDC numbers show what was already expected. Total PC shipments worldwide were up only 2.8% year-over-year.

    In a combined email from the three top guys at Dell - Michael Dell (Chairman and CEO), Kevin Rollins (President and COO), and Jim Vanderslice, (President and COO) to all Dell employees worldwide, they remarked in a paragraph:

    "No.1 is a landmark event for us and one that we should be very proud of, particularly given these challenging times. But now is not a time for us to relax, because it's when you think you are successful that you are most vulnerable. While we are No. 1 worldwide, we are not No. 1 in many very important markets and we still have a great deal to accomplish. Our continued focus on servers and storage, Globalization and delivering the best Customer Experience will ensure our success."

    You may not know this, but Sunbelt partners with Dell on two major admin tools: Double Take and StorageCeNTral. All Dell's customers can get these best-of-breed system admin products via their Dell Account Reps, and on-site installation services are available.

    Double-Take for Windows 2000: Excellent Business Continuity

    John Shireley is a manager of Web-hosting solutions, and writes articles for Network Computing. It's an objective article by a guy that has no commercial incentive to push it, so I suggest you read the whole thing if you want to prevent downtime and create business continuity.

    His conclusion after testing the new version was: "Double-Take 4.01 for Windows 2000 is a fine piece of work. NSI has taken what could have been an overly complicated interface and installation, and packed it into a tidy group of applications".

    The article started with: "NSI Software's latest version of Double-Take exceeds its predecessor as an outstanding failover solution in a clustered environment where data and applications are mission-critical. Double-Take 4.01 is intended for customers with extreme high-availability needs. It's made not only to protect file and directory access, but for application integrity as well --even if the hardware or network fails.

    "Double-Take does not require a server cluster to function and works just fine with a source and target machine. As such, it can be used to complement virtually any clustered environment, including those from Microsoft and Novell. It's not limited to single-site clustering either; off-site mirroring can be accomplished easily via TCP/IP over almost any link type. And Double-Take now supports Microsoft Windows 2000 in addition to Novell NetWare (4.x and 5.x), Sun Microsystems Solaris and Microsoft Windows NT."

    Here is the link to the full article:
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301TP-DisasterRecovery

    And here is the 30-day eval you can download and test:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=111

    Sick & Tired Of Having To Mess With Logon Scripts?

    The latest version 3.0 of ScriptLogic has turned out to be a major hit. This is a great new version if you are sick and tired of logon script coding. Most of you are using Windows NT Shell Scripts, VBScript/JScript, Perl, or WinBatch and they usually are a 'time-sink' headache. You're a system admin, not a programmer!

    If you have never looked at something to make Logon Scripts easier, this is the time to do it. ScriptLogic V3.0 takes centralized client administration to a new plateau. The new Pro Edition adds a great many features, including:

    • A more granular 3-part validation logic system that now allows you to validate each function (drive map, printer deployment, security policy, Internet, MS Office setting, registry change, etc.) based on:
      • Group membership.
      • Domain membership.
      • Active Directory Site membership.
      • A specific user's logon ID.
      • A specific workstation name or subset of workstations based on a partial name match.
      • A TCP/IP host address or subnet.
      • A distinguished TCP/IP host name.
      • A NIC's MAC address.
      • A specific client OS type, including W95/98, NT/2000 WS, SV or Terminal Server client.
      • Whether the client connected over the local area network or via dial-up networking.
    • A new Service Manager applet, that allows you to:
      • Globally monitor the status of the RPC services on all your servers.
      • Start, stop and configure the startup parameters of the RPC services.
      • Remotely install and uninstall the RPC services on all the Domain controllers throughout your enterprise from a single location.
      • Monitor the replication status of any changes made to the ScriptLogic configuration through the ScriptLogic Manager.
    • A new System Options screen that allows you to:
      • Specify the conditions which must be met prior to executing ScriptLogic (e.g. exclude all servers).
      • Control the client application files update behavior.
      • Easily import your own company graphic to display during the logon process.
      • Specify particular servers to locate the ScriptLogic and KiXtart RPC services on.
      • Edit the text of the warning message boxes that are seen by the clients logging on. (Internationalization).
      • The ability to install service packs to your Windows NT WS, even if the user logging on is NOT a local administrator of their machine!
      • The ability to synchronize the time on Windows NT/2000 clients, even if the user logging on does not have the "Change the system time" right on their local machine.
    And check the ScriptLogic V3.0 webpage for the features of the earlier upgrade from 2.0 to 2.5. You should really download this puppy and have a look at this great time saver. Eval copy at:
    http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=299
      FAVE LINKS

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

  • The full list of post- NT SP6a and W2K SP1 hotfixes. Some 418 of them!
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301FL-postSPfixes
  • Microsoft's official statement re nixing NT 4.0 Service Pack 7
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=043201FL-SP7position
  • MS confirms bug in its new security product: ISA Server. Patch it!
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301FL-ISAbug
  •   PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Network Monitoring and Analysis

    This protocol approach to troubleshooting allows you to troubleshoot NT and W2K from the ground up. It's full of real-world scenarios, easy examples and a lot of illustrations. You're going to get solutions for improving network performance and how to support new applications. it's got some good techniques to monitor security and detect intruders. The CD-rom has some cool stuff on it too. Author Ed Wilson. The ISBN is 0-13-026495-4 by Prentice Hall. Stu's 'Warmly Recommended'.
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=042301BOW-Network