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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Oct 11, 2001 (Vol. 6, #78 - Issue #313)
Sunbelt Software Makes The INC. 500!
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • Sunbelt Software Makes The INC. 500!
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • Preventing Downtime Before It Happens
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • You Spoke, Microsoft Listened
    • Free License Calculator
    • Corporate Users Cool To Windows XP
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE SQL LIST
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • MCSE Windows 2000 Core Exam Bundle
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  EDITORS CORNER

Sunbelt Software Makes The INC. 500!

Hi All,

Please find a Press Release that makes me personally VERY HAPPY indeed:

"CLEARWATER, FL (OCTOBER 10, 2001) - Sunbelt Software, the world?s first and largest distributor of system management software utilities for Microsoft?s Windows 2000 today announced that it has been ranked 409 on Inc. Magazine?s comprehensive list of America?s 500 fastest growing private companies. Sunbelt Software has experienced explosive growth, with a 711% increase in sales over a five-year period.

Over the past five years, Sunbelt Software has quickly grown from just a handful of staff to more than 60 personnel in the year 2000. Sunbelt has leveraged the Internet from day one, had its own website up and running in July 1995 and started an electronic newsletter (an e-zine called W2Knews) in January 1996 which is now received twice per week by over 500,000 customers world wide. Sunbelt Software?s customers are system administrators that are responsible to keep Microsoft?s Windows 2000-based networks up and running.

"We are extremely pleased to be recognized by Inc. Magazine for the incredible growth we have experienced during the last five years," stated Stu Sjouwerman, President of Sunbelt Software. "The credit truly goes to our loyal customers and dedicated employees. It is their trust in us and continued support that has put Sunbelt in this position today. We are self-funded, profitable, have no debt, and we?re uniquely positioned to service our market for the years to come."

The Inc. 500, published on October 30, 2001, is an exclusive report on the companies and CEOs who are changing the face of American business. Noteworthy alumni include such household names as Microsoft, Oracle, Intuit and CompUSA. The ranking is based on the percentage increase in sales from 1996 through 2000. To be eligible for the Inc. 500, companies have to be independent and privately held through 2000, have at least $200,000 in sales in 1996 and 2000 sales must have exceeded the company?s 1999 sales."

I'm one very happy camper! Thanks again to all of you that have supported us with your business the last 5 years.

Warm regards,

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

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  TECH BRIEFING

Preventing Downtime Before It Happens

You really should have a look at this new High Availability tool we recently released. It's not just a monitor. It looks at patterns that predict potential downtime and can then take action based on industry best practices. You can set it that way, but it can also just notify you, or you can create your own scripts. This is a pretty cool tool actually. Here is a Case Study that illustrates what it can do in an Exchange environment, but it also supports the NT/W2K OS, SQL and IIS. More agents will arrive soon. Want a custom agent just written for your environment? We can do that too.

SITUATION
The client is a mid-sized software company with a systems environment of 145 users and three Exchange servers for all e-mail traffic. The Exchange servers are administered on a 24x7 basis by one IT admin, and are running on NT or W2K with Exchange 5.5, service pack 4. These servers are single processors with 512-768 MB of memory.

PROBLEM
During a period of heavy e-mail traffic, an anti-virus software program running on one of the Exchange Servers began to page excessively, causing memory and CPU utilization to be dramatically increased. Due to the excessive memory and CPU utilization, the anti-virus app used to protect the server forced the Internet Mail Connector (IMC) to shut down.

POTENTIAL IMPACT
The first noticeable effect was the sluggish response times in the delivery, receipt and opening of mail, especially while trying to open attachments. This dramatic slowdown of services resulted in the shutting down of the IMC. If not acted upon, the Exchange server would have completely failed. Users still connected to the server via their e-mail client would then experience lockage of their workstation, with the only solution being the rebooting of the workstation.

According to Microsoft?s "Database Tip: Troubleshooting a Corrupted Exchange Database", the results from an Exchange failure can have a domino effect. "From an abnormal shutdown of the server running Exchange to a defective hard drive, an Exchange database can be corrupted." When trying to correct these problems, an Administrator can spend a minimum of two hours of downtime and as much as six-plus hours of downtime, on top of the loss of critical data.

SOLUTION
The Admin averted failure due to the installation of Availant Manager Agent for Microsoft Exchange Server and Availant Manager Agents for Windows Server, an application management tool that allows you to pre-configure rules to prevent system failure. These agents' intelligent and multi-step actions are safe and effective ? you enable every automated corrective rule. Upon installation, the Admin had enabled both CPU and IMC rules that took action:

The first two CPU rules stopped the services dependent on the core anti-virus software program. The third rule restarted the anti-virus software program once CPU utilization exceeded 91% for a given amount of time.

The IMC Rules detected if there had been any incoming or outgoing mail, and if network connectivity existed, restarted the IMC. Therefore, after the CPU rules corrected the utilization problems, the IMC would not be working until this service has been restarted. If only the CPU rules were enabled, the server would not fail, but incoming and outgoing mail would have been affected until manually corrected by an Administrator.

BENEFITS

  • IT saves hours of downtime
  • Enables a more effective use of resources
  • Enhances departmental status and credibility
  • Organization-wide productivity is maintained
  • Eliminates the cost of corrupted or lost data
  • IT and business goals are achieved
Availant Manager for Windows is an easy-to-use availability management tool designed to enable IT pros in small and medium-sized enterprises to achieve high availability at a fair price. Availant Manager observes system behavior, diagnoses problems and takes ALWAYS SAFE corrective action to prevent application failure. You can currently use four advanced agents:
  • Agents for Microsoft Windows Server
  • Agents for Microsoft Exchange
  • Agents for Microsoft IIS
  • Agents for Microsoft SQL Server
  • More agents coming soon. Want a custom one? Tell us about it.
You can download evals here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-PreventDowntime
  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

You Spoke, Microsoft Listened

Well, it pays off to answer to our surveys! It sure hit the press like a tidal wave these last days. This survey "got ink" all over.

Hot on the heels of last week's Sunbelt / Giga survey that showed 80% of MS customers are unhappy with the V6.0 licensing model, MS announced that the cut-over date for its version 6 licensing programs -- Open, Select, Enterprise Agreement and Enterprise Agreement Subscription -- will be extended until July 31st, 2002. Thanks, MS. But now we all really need to do our homework because I'm sure that this is the last and final extension. David Willis, Microsoft Canada's director of Small Business and Channels, said there are two major changes to the company's licensing plans, the roll-back to July and the decision to recognize Office 2000 as current so it can be eligible to be part of the Software Assurance. Previously, only Office XP was designated as current. "When we listened to customers, the biggest thing that came through was timing," he said. "We thought five months would be enough, but it wasn't."

Here is MS's statement on their Press Release website:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-MSLicensing

InfoWorld also has a good article that takes the user viewpoint:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-Infoworld-MSLicense

Free License Calculator

You did it. And here is a little present from the Dutch Users Association and W2Knews. It's a Free License Calculator.

With this zipped version of their most recent XL spreadsheet model in just 4 steps you can make an estimate of expected cost of MS Office upgrades. The model was originally built in Holland so it's bi-lingual: Dutch and English. The model will give you an indication of the different possibilities. The calculator was tested and works well under Office 2000. The name of the zipped Download file is mslicenses-010906-nl.zip and it's 130K. Grab yours over here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-LicenseCalculator

Last week we gave you the Executive Summary of the licensing survey. Giga is going to come out soon with a more in depth analysis of the results. You should check them out, this is an outfit that can help with your MS-strategy.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-Gigaweb

Here are the raw percentage numbers for each question:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-SurveyFindings

Corporate Users Cool To Windows XP

ComputerWorld just finished a survey and that shows that many are still migrating to Windows 2000 and the other major factor is the cost. MS will have to be extremely persuasive to sway corporate users.

Their survey this week of 200 IT managers and decision makers shows that more than half (52.5%) don't intend to migrate to the new operating system. Another 25% said they're undecided.

The chief reason? They're in the process of migrating to W2K. The No. 2 and No. 3 reasons cited by 155 IT managers who either don't plan to migrate or don't know if they will move to WXP were "no need for new features" and "cost," respectively.

Why Not XP?

The article mentions the following reasons:

  1. Still moving to Windows 2000
  2. No need for new features
  3. Cost
  4. Lack resources to train users
  5. Just finished move to Windows 2000
The full article with graphs and user stories is over here at the ComputerWorld website:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-WinXP
  THIRD PARTY NEWS

Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE SQL LIST

Sunbelt Software hosts this list to invite the free and open discussion of Microsoft SQL Administration Issues. This list is intended to be a forum to discuss how to keep SQL up & running in a production environment, and as help to pass the SQL Certification Exams.

What does that include?
Anything you can think of (tools, scripts, hints & tips, exchanging of knowledge and experience, suggestions to solve problems, compatibility issues) to make SQL run better in your environment.

Do's:

  • Discuss SQL Admin problems and/or workarounds, how to, what to, why to, type questions.
  • Discuss third-party SQL products, providing that the product is designed to aid in SQL Administration
  • In short: ON TOPIC, LOW NOISE, and FRIENDLY!
Don'ts:
  • Discuss Windows '95/98/NT/2000 system admin problems. Use the Sunbelt ntsysadmin list for that.
  • Post large articles to the list, web pages were made for that. Send a link with the URL!
  • Generate noise, voice your upset, flame, or make inflammatory remarks. Save that for offline or better yet, do not do it at all.
Sunbelt reserves the right to now and then make the list aware of a new product as an exchange for the bandwidth we provide. We allow Vendor involvement in the list. Vendors are requested to not blatantly promote products. If vendors don't address the issue in a technical fashion their subscription will be revoked. Any participant flaming another will get one warning from the LIST ADMINISTRATOR. The next time their email address and/or domain will be banned from the list.

As you see, this gives you a very wide range of topics to discuss in a professional environment. Sunbelt hopes that the list proves useful to you and your organization. This list has saved a lot of people a lot of money and all of you that are contributing are much appreciated! You can subscribe here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101-SQLlist

  FAVE LINKS

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

  • The new SANS Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities.
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101FL-SANSTop20
  • University develops fully autonomous robot running on ?slugs?! The Mpegs are interesting.
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101FL-SlugBot
  • With DelGuest you can delete the built-in Guest Account in NT. (normally not possible)
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101FL-DelGuest
  •   PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    MCSE Windows 2000 Core Exam Bundle

    A little birdie told me that MS is going to postpone the expiration of your NT 4.0 MCSE. This is still a rumor and I could not confirm it, but it may make getting your W2K exams a bit easier when the deadline is pushed back. Here is a set with complete coverage of Exams #70-210, 70-215, 70-216, and 70-217 - the four core Windows 2000 exams for just under $100 on the W2Knews BookClub Site!
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=101101BOW-W2kCore

    Also, check out the ActiveCert site. They have certification goodies there:
    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=092701BOW