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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, Oct 18, 2001 (Vol. 6, #80 - Issue #315)
What Am I Worth?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • MIS Management And The New Budget Crunch
    • Migration Path from MCSA to MCSE?
    • What Am I Worth?
    • Large UK MCSE Training Outfit Goes Bust
    • Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE EXCHANGE LIST
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Configuring W2K WITHOUT Active Directory
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MIS Management And The New Budget Crunch

As all businesses are trying to "get back to normal" or at least a semblance of it, MIS is now being confronted with having to create more recession-wary budgets for the next year. Corporate Chiefs who were already bracing for a bad year now have to cope with military action and potential more terrorist activity.

In situations like this, the tendency is to move away from focusing on short term earnings and more toward preserving resources, shoring up security for both personnel and IT infrastructure and batten down for the long haul. A lot of CEO's find themselves with the following question and not enough data to make the decision: "Should we move boldly ahead against competitors that are now weaker or hunker down and carefully manage what we have?"

Well, InfoWorld reported last week that if you look at IT budgets, this translates to less investments in the following areas, with certain exceptions of course. Planning for computer hardware generally goes down, as well as spending money on data networking equipment. Telecom gear and outsourcing IT services usually also stagnate.

But the two areas where you can expect IT budgets to actually rise is a modest increase in storage systems and the biggest jump is in spending on Infrastructure Software. So now you know where you are most likely to get Management approval for IT spending: software that will help you protect and keep your systems up & running.

Warm regards,

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

"And All Hotfixes Were Done Next Morning... "
"I purchased UpdateEXPERT and had the product tell me which patches
needed to be applied. That way, I no longer have the headache to
research, download, test, install etc... Now, I fire up UpdateEXPERT,
right-click on the fix for the computer and click "install". It handles
the install and tells me if I have to reboot or can continue to work.
Last night I scheduled a few NT SP6a, W2K SP2, IE55 SP2 and Office2000
SP2 updates to run in stealth mode and reboot the systems during the
night just to find all done next morning". Here is your 15-day eval:
Visit UpdateEXPERT for more information.

Migration Path from MCSA to MCSE?

We asked Certification Guru Ed Tittel if this was actually possible and fortunately he answered the following:

"The 70-218 exam now appears on the list of valid electives for the MCSE for Microsoft Windows 2000, and careful choice of the elective for the MCSA means it will count toward the MCSE as well. There is indeed a clear upgrade path from MCSA to MCSE, and that it will be a matter of taking the remaining core exams (70-216 and 70-217), plus a designing exam (70-219, 70-220, 70-221, or 70-226) to qualify for the MCSE.

Because the MCSA requires 4 exams and the MCSE 7 exams, and it takes only 3 exams to "upgrade" from MCSA to MCSE, I think that the upgrade path is straightforward and involves no necessary throwaways at all."

My comment: Yay!


What Am I Worth?

Recently we put together a list of job positions and what these positions were worth to a company. The project presented some interesting questions:

  1. What value do you put on IT Professionals who have an intimate knowledge of the company network as opposed to those who have a current certification?
  2. Who brings more value to the company - the techie who ensures the e-mail and network always works or the manager who finds solutions before they crop up?
  3. What distinguishes the difference between the $40,000 per year MCSE and the $80,000 per year MCSE?
These are not easy questions to answer and can cause some upsets if not dealt with in an objective manner. Certifications are useful as an indication of knowledge however the real worth comes from knowledge leveraged by experience. Moreover it is obvious that the business of business is intertwined within the business of technology. A good read for insights on this topic is the "Salary Surveys" newsletter that you can get over at FreeTechMail:

Large UK MCSE Training Outfit Goes Bust

A W2Knews subscriber in the UK just sent me this and asked for help.

"I know a lot of your readers will be US-Based so the following may not be of interest for them, however thought you should be aware that Amraf Training Plc (one of the largest UK MCSE Training Companies) has been put into Administration by the High Court over here. {Editor's Note, similar to U.S. Bankruptcy proceedings)

"They have shut 10 out of their 11 training centres leaving hundreds or possibly thousands of students stranded part way through their W2K MCSE, me included. The company trains several thousand MCSEs per year at an average cost of $4000. With Microsoft forcing many IT Pros to upgrade to W2K before year end or look elsewhere to other manufacturers for different qualifications, this has meant that the number of students has dropped dramatically.

"The situation has been made worse by the economic downturn in the UK economy. If it is possible, I would appreciate it if you could put a small insert in your next newsletter as I know Amraf's MCTs used to give out your distribution list address to their students whether they had already passed their MCSE or not. We need to find as many students as possible who have been affected. Keep up the great work - I try to read as many of your articles as possible."

An online MSN community has been set up to help advise anybody who has been affected is here:


Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE EXCHANGE LIST

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

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


  • Discuss Exchange Admin problems and/or workarounds, how to, what to, why to, type questions.
  • Discuss third-party Exchange products, providing that the product is designed to aid in Exchange Administration
  • In short: ON TOPIC, LOW NOISE, and FRIENDLY!
  • 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.
We allow Vendor involvement in the list. Vendors are requested to not blatantly promote products. Sunbelt reserves the right to now and then make the list aware of a new product as an exchange for the bandwidth we provide. 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 ADMIN. 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 time and all of you that are contributing are much appreciated!

TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIST (Tell your friends!)


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

  • Worried about Anthrax? Germ warfare expert sez: "Iron The Mail" :-)
  • Good article about Disaster Recovery after Sept 11-th by Mark Edmead, a well known Security and Performance Guru:
  • Databases of the British Census needed to be expanded. Star Wars Rules!
  • New VBS-type worm called Anthrax fails to spread because of bugs. ;-)
  • Guess who got into trouble just before Christmas 1977? (Classic)

    Configuring W2K WITHOUT Active Directory

    To my knowledge, it's the only book on the market that successfully addresses how the majority of MS production networks are still being run. W2K is clearly becoming the industry standard OS for its proven stability - and the fact that it doesn't have WPA implications and isn't marked for support retirement half way through 2003! However, although adoption of AD networks is slowly increasing, it's clear that more MS networks than not still run NT4 domains - and yet it's incredibly difficult for network admins to find clear advice on how to configure their W2K workstations and member servers in this environment.

    All MS official documentation and most other sources now assume an AD-only environment (possible exception being standalone Web servers). All the new features and benefits of W2K are usually discussed in an AD-only environment - which makes it incredibly difficult for admins to know exactly which features will run independently of AD, and how they could get the most of their W2K boxes without AD. This is particularly important now the IT industry is in decline - with fewer resources available it makes sense to make the most of what you already have.

    Not only does this book include info on how to make the best of W2K outside AD, but acknowledges risk management (i.e. often the less risky designs are implemented before the best technical ones) and how politics is the overriding 8th layer in the 7 layer OSI model :) It also takes into account the need to run MS networks with service packs, hot fixes and Microsoft Knowledge Base articles - so rarely mentioned when experience doesn't extend beyond the lab. It's here!