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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Mar 24, 2003 (Vol. 8, #12 - Issue #418)
MS System Management Summit News
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Disaster Recovery: How Are You Doing?
    • Microsoft Management Summit: Report
    • You Really Gotta Fix THIS one...
    • RIM, Sprint Back Microsoft Phone Platforms
    • Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) Beta now at MS
    • Active Directory Administration Tip
    • Spyware Used In Bank Heist
    • Data Replication Webinar: Don't Get Left Behind
    • OpalisRobot Supports Automation for Linux and Solaris
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • iHateSpam Server Edition
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    Disaster Recovery: How Are You Doing?

    Well, W2Knews readers are doing pretty well. 50% of you have an active business continuity and/or DR plan in place. 14% is busy implementing one, another 15% will have one in a year and then there are some stragglers.

    And here is the new SunPoll for this week: "Is the War causing you to accelerate your business continuity / Disaster Recovery plans?" It's an easy Yes/No Vote. Vote here, leftmost column:

    Quotes of The Day:

    • Work... Before you open your mouth to speak, please make sure it's an improvement upon the silence.
    • Middle age is when you have a choice of two temptations and choose the one that will get you home earlier.
    • Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
    • Prairies are vast plains covered by treeless forests.
    Warm regards,
    Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])
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    Microsoft Management Summit: Report

    We had someone at the latest MS management bash in Vegas. No it wasn't me unfortunately but Greg Kras. They came out with a pretty complex plan to get system management simplified. And to start with, they changed the name of their Management Business group to the Enterprise Management Division. The big thing is that they want to get you out of your 'best-of-breed' habit and into integration into self-managing systems (provided by MS of course).

    And here is the new buzzword for data center management: Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). It's part of their new 'System Center' and supposed to gather hardware vendors, software vendors and service providers around a unified software architecture. This new design is supposed to simplify IT operations and make them lower cost. MS said a few big boys are playing: Dell, HP, EDS and CA.

    And here is another new buzzword for ya: 'System Definition Model' (SDM) In short it's based on XML and puts some operations intelligence into your apps. They think all of this will see the light of day in Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM 2004) and System Management Server 2003. SMS 2003 is due in September.

    MS claims that 'System Center' will slowly grow into a unified architecture that will do capacity planning and reporting, asset management, change- and configuration management, and application management. MS Kitchen sink anyone?

    New In Windows Server 2003: (W2K3)

    • Windows System Resource Manager;
    • Windows Server Clustering;
    • Volume Shadow Copy Services and a Virtual Disk Service
    • Network Load Balancing;
    • Virtual Server, Server consolidation gear like VMWare
    • Automated Deployment Services (ADS), a new provisioning tool;
    They have a beta out of ADS. It's a precursor of the System Definition Model, and limited to server provisioning. This stuff will automatically deploy any number of (customized by you) Windows Server system images in minutes. This feature announcement got a big applause at the presentation. And expected for MOM 2004 are the following goodies:
    • Central console with lots of data
    • MOM-packs that are canned configuration, management and automation options for W2K3, AD, Exchange, Server and .Net.
    Here is an interview with an MS exec if you want some background:
      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    You Really Gotta Fix THIS one...

    Microsoft late Wednesday alerted customers to a critical flaw affecting all versions of Windows since Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98. The problem in the Windows Script Engine could allow attackers to run code of their choice on the systems of users who visited a malicious Web page or opened a malformed HTML e-mail.

    An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a Web page that, when visited by the user, would execute code of the attacker's choice with the user's privileges. The Web page could be hosted on a Web site or sent via e-mail. Oh, and they found another buffer overflow leak in IIS.

    More at the ENT site:

    RIM, Sprint Back Microsoft Phone Platforms

    Application and device options for Microsoft's phone platforms will expand with announcements at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans.

    Research In Motion (RIM), in Waterloo, Ontario, plans to help users of Microsoft-based phone devices take advantage of its Blackberry wireless e-mail technology, and U.S. mobile operator Sprint PCS Group this year will deliver two more CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) devices that use the Microsoft platform. Full story at:

    Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) Beta now at MS

    Group Policy gives IT administrators fine-grain control over their Windows computing environments by enabling proactive policy-based management of critical IT functions, such as security management, user management, data management, software access, and configuration management. With Group Policy, administrators can manage groups of users and IT assets across administrative entities such as computers, domains, sites, and organizational units.

    Core Group Policy infrastructure and functionality were first provided with Windows 2000 Server. Windows Server 2003 provides enhancements to Group Policy including the ability to:

    Easily determine actual Group Policy settings on target entities. Perform what-if simulations regarding the effects of Group Policy settings. Features:

    • A user interface (UI) that makes Group Policy much easier to use.
    • Backup/restore of Group Policy objects (Goes).
    • Import/export and copy/paste of GPOs and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filters.
    • Simplified management of Group Policy-related security.
    • HTML reporting for GPO settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSoP) data.
    • Scripting of Group Policy-related tasks that are exposed within this tool (not scripting of settings within a GPO).

    GPMC Beta 2 is available for download by members of the Customer Preview Program (CPP), which is open to anyone who registers. For more information about the CPP, see Windows Server 2003 Customer Preview Program. To register for the CPP, see Sign Up for Windows Server 2003 RC2. The final version of GPMC is planned to be released as a Web download to customers licensing Windows Server 2003:

    Active Directory Administration Tip

    You have undoubtedly heard about IntelliMirror, but do you know how the thing works and how you would configure it? As you probably suspect, configuring it is all a part of the work you do with Active Directory, and it's easier than you might have thought. In fact, it's all a part of setting up the appropriate GPOs:

    Check here for a great AD Security Analysis Tool:


    Spyware Used In Bank Heist

    Hackers installed a keylogger program on a Japanese Bank's network. The program (commonly known as "spyware") secretly transmitted every keystroke to the hackers. From the data they received, they identified the passwords to 5 accounts. The result was the theft of $141,000 from the bank.

    Spyware is malicious code that can be installed on a computer or network to transmit personal and confidential data to unauthorized third parties. Spyware is not detected by firewalls, anti-virus programs, or intrusion detection systems.

    The only protection from spyware is with spyware detection software. PestPatrol is the best selling solution out there. Get an eval here:

    Data Replication Webinar: Don't Get Left Behind

    The IT community agrees; ensuring company longevity, data must be stored in multiple locations. Double-Take is helping many companies -- just like yours -- implement business continuity plans centered on data replication. Learn more by attending a unique first webinar hosted by Sunbelt Software, about replication for business continuity April 9-th 11:30 Eastern Standard Time. Keep your agenda free. We'll have registration pages in place soon.

    OpalisRobot Supports Automation for Linux and Solaris

    Linux and Solaris are supported in the latest release of the software, version 4.06. More specifically, the new platforms are now supported with the addition of daemons specifically written for each operating system. Once installed, the server(s) can be centrally administered with an OpalisRobot client interface on a Windows Server or Workstation.

    "The much anticipated support of Linux and Solaris for OpalisRobot allows our customers to extend their automation projects to more servers on their network," said Louise Johns, director of product marketing of Opalis Software. "The support also enables us to better address the needs of the data center, as well the cross-platform requirements of our Powered by Opalis development partners."

    OpalisRobot 4.06 is priced from $995. Additional licensing is required for Linux and Solaris support:


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

  • Wired mag's wish list for gadgets in 2013:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-Gadgets
  • ThinkGeek Auravision EluminX Illuminated Keyboard, and while you are there check out the USB port FlyFan:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-ThinkGeek
  • How the Israelis destroyed Hussein's nuclear facility in 1981:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-Nuclear
  • Go to Google. Enter the search term "French Military victories" Click "I feel lucky"
  • Did you know that there is such a thing as "The Microsoft Museum"?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-Microsoft_Museum
  • Annoyed with telemarketers? here is a great trick to get off these lists with the "Free telezapper":

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-TeleZapper
  • A friend of mine builds the finest real birch bark canoes you can imagine:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-Canoes
  • Active Directory gets souped up in Windows Server 2003. Good article:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030324FA-Active_Directory

    iHateSpam Server Edition

    Sunbelt Software is excited to announce the March 25 release of iHateSpam for Exchange 2000. This server-based version (with MMC interface) is ending its Beta test. In 2002, iHateSpam has become the best-selling anti-spam add-in for Outlook. The Press loves it. PC World just said: "The iHateSpam Outlook version caught an impressive 96 percent." Spam costs anywhere from $8 to $26 per employee per month. Do not lock into any spam filter until you have evaluated IHATESPAM SERVER EDITION. Our reps and resellers are now able to quote you prices! More info (no downloads yet) at: