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:
- EDITORS CORNER
- Sunbelt Software Makes The INC. 500!
- TECH BRIEFING
- Preventing Downtime Before It Happens
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- You Spoke, Microsoft Listened
- Free License Calculator
- Corporate Users Cool To Windows XP
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE SQL LIST
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- MCSE Windows 2000 Core Exam Bundle
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Sunbelt Software Makes The INC. 500!
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.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
- 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
You can download evals here:
- 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.
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:
InfoWorld also has a good article that takes the user viewpoint:
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:
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.
Here are the raw percentage numbers for each question:
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
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:
The full article with graphs and user stories is over here at the
- Still moving to Windows 2000
- No need for new features
- Lack resources to train users
- Just finished move to Windows 2000
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.
- 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!
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.
- 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.
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:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
The new SANS Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities.
University develops fully autonomous robot running on ?slugs?! The
Mpegs are interesting.
With DelGuest you can delete the built-in Guest Account in NT.
(normally not possible)
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!
Also, check out the ActiveCert site. They have certification goodies