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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 7, 2003 (Vol. 8, #14 - Issue #420)
Enterprise Wide Patching: How To?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Enterprise Wide Patching: How To?
    • New W2Knews Refer-A-Friend Campaign
    • Server Consolidation Survey Results
    • Set Processor Affinity For A Device Driver
    • Trend Toward New Security Architecture
    • W2K3 Will Be Released April 24, 2003
    • Can Microsoft Be Secure?
    • Redmond Unveils Office 2003 Lineup
    • Download The New UpdateEXPERT V6.0!
    • Replication For Business Continuity: Webinar April 9-th
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • ScriptLogic: Cut Your Help Desk Support Calls by 50%
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    Enterprise Wide Patching: How To?

    I think I have some pretty exciting news. Up to now, with any tool out there, patching over a variety of platforms has been at worst an incredible headache and at best somewhat cumbersome if you have many machines in lots of different locations. Any tool available out there had its built-in limitations in that kind of environment.

    No more. UpdateEXPERT V6.0 just came out. I got a web-demo of this new version. WOW. This is a full, real enterprise level patching architecture. You have a well designed model that allows for completely centralized (but also decentralized if you want) worldwide patching, with an incredible flexibility built in and an extensive database of patches that goes way beyond any other solution out there in the sense of depth and reliability.

    It easily outclasses any tool that uses the MS XML database, can't be talked about on the same day as a matter of fact. UpdateEXPERT V6 now supports AD, has an improved security model, validates patches in more advanced ways and many more cool features. You may think I'm overdoing it a bit here, well I'm just my normal enthusiastic self after seeing this demo.

    Anyone that has bought UpdateEXPERT in the past is going to be delighted with the power of this new version. I think you will be especially pleased with the upgrade policy. They really pulled off a masterpiece with this one. Check out the specs in the Third Party Tools Section, or go to the new V6.0 page here:

    New W2Knews Refer-A-Friend Campaign

    We've got a spectacular prize for the Q2 2003 campaign. It's the Netsurfer Chair! Know a colleague that does not get W2Knews? Refer them as a subscriber and the both of you have a chance to win this piece of ultimate Internet furniture. Click below, complete your profile and refer a friend! Here is a picture of the chair I'm talking about:

    Have your friends use the link below to subscribe to W2Knews if they aren't already a member:

    Server Consolidation Survey Results

    Well, they are clear. Just half a year later the amount of people seriously thinking about and working on server consolidation has increased significantly. Here are the numbers so you can draw your own conclusions. The Survey question was:

    Is server consolidation becoming a priority?

    • We have no plans to consolidate servers
      September 2002: 37.01% - 104 votes
      April 2003: 29.97% - 125 votes
    • We're considering consolidation now
      September 2002: 17.08% - 48 votes
      April 2003: 17,98% - 75 votes
    • We're already trying to consolidate as much as we can
      September 2002: 45.9% - 129 votes
      April 2003: 52.03% - 217 votes
    And, we have a new SunPoll over in the NT/2000 RELATED NEWS section. We'd like to know how fast you are going to migrate your NT4 servers to W2K3!

    UNDO department: The correct expression is "a shot across the bow", instead of "a shot before the bow".

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

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    Set Processor Affinity For A Device Driver

    W2K admins with multiprocessor systems are probably familiar with the procedure for setting a particular application to work with a specific processor. This is known as assigning processor affinity for an application, and in certain circumstances it can be extremely useful. If you have a dual-processor system with Web server software and database software, you can assign each one to a specific CPU so they don't step on each other's toes, so to speak. But it's also possible to assign hardware drivers to a specific processor. Click here for the full tip:

    If you are looking for a fully automatic solution to load balance a bunch of applications on an SMP server, you should check out AutoPilot Enterprise Edition. This tool is deceptively simple but in reality has a supercomputer CPU load balancing pedigree and runs effortlessly in the background and increases throughput by looking at many potential bottlenecks on your server and telling the NT Kernel what to do. Think of AutoPilot as an IQ-boost for your Operating System, especially if you are thinking server consolidation:

    Trend Toward New Security Architecture

    The Security Wire e-zine had an interesting little article that pointed to next-generation security tools for the Fortune 1000. They quote The Yankee Group, which claimed that many large outfits are launching next-generation security architectures, a trend that could show a trend away from traditional security appliances.

    In fact, Yankee recommends its large enterprise clients stop purchasing traditional security appliances, such as firewalls or Intrusion Detection Systems, as stand-alone items to avoid funneling cash into what it says may soon be obsolete technology. Instead, Yankee recommends companies draft a plan to adopt the new architecture.

    The shift, outlined in two reports on the "security service switch," is well under way and will result in another wave of consolidation within the security industry, says Matthew Kovar, Yankee's director of Security Solutions & Services.

    Kovar says 25 percent of the 100 largest U.S. companies are launching these next-generation approaches this year. The new approach will see appliances such as firewalls evolve and be combined into integrated systems providing security services and security management in a single architecture.

    A similar evolution happened with networks, Kovar says, where network providers have rolled various components--bridges, hubs, routers, etc.--into single products. For security, the shift should result in better management of security events, as multiple services and tools will be working in tandem.

    The main distinction is the goal of the deployment. "Security appliances have traditionally been aimed at improving network performance rather than truly securing at an application level," Kovar says. "That's like going to the Wright brothers to ask them to get you to the moon when you should be going to NASA."

    Kovar says more than a dozen companies have already moved into the space, from network vendors like TippingPoint and Mazu Networks to application security firms like NeoScale and Netilla and traditional security vendors such as NetScreen and Symantec. Those and other vendors are now likely takeover targets from network equipment vendors like Cisco Systems, Nokia, Siemens and Ericsson, he adds. Here is a link to the actual press release of Yankee:

    If you are not in the Fortune 1000, and need a tool to patch your networks, the best selling tool to do that is UpdateEXPERT. The new version 6.0, however, coming to think of it, even IF you are in the world's 2000 largest corporations, will do just fine. You SHOULD check it out, as it now will support your large environment too:

      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    W2K3 Will Be Released April 24, 2003

    Well, we're ready for it. That means, we're going to have a cautious look under the hood, and see when we want to plan for an upgrade. We'll document our own experience for you, but it may be a while before we get to it. How about you?

    MS has been eating its own dogfood as usual and has W2K3 in production environments. They say that W2K3 has been through well over half a million preview betas and a line-by-line code audit was done as part of the $200 million Trustworthy Computing initiative.

    Redmond claims that W2K3 can cut the number of servers needed by 20%-30%, perform twice as fast across workloads, cut overall management costs by 20% and cut NT4 costs by 50%. They said 35% of the people who tested it were able to redeploy IT staff to other things.

    From what we have seen up to now, W2K3 is a pretty mature and stable environment, and if you are running NT, this is compelling. If you already run W2K, you have some time. Of course this version is supposed to be more secure, so that might be a reason to look at it. Microsoft's main focus in their marketing is to make people that run NT upgrade to W2K3. So here is the new SunPoll:

    In what timeframe are you going to migrate your NT4 servers to W2K3?

    • Pretty much right away
    • 3-6 months
    • 6-12 months
    • 12-24 months
    • Never. I'm going to either leave them at NT4 or move that server to Linux
    Vote here, leftmost column:

    And here is a link to an interview with a TechTarget security expert on why the upgrade to W2K3 might be worth it for you:

    Can Microsoft Be Secure?

    Practically three quarters of security experts in large enterprises that were surveyed by Forrester Research, do not believe that MS's products are safe. And though 77% of them think that security is priority #1 when using Windows, a whopping 89% uses Windows for sensitive applications. Interesting disconnect there, right?

    Forrester draws the obvious conclusion that too little companies take sufficient responsibility to really secure their Windows environments. 40% indicated that they are not really planning to do much more about security than they already do, but 59% of the victims of a security breach have really changed their operating basis and "did something about it".

    The way networks were being patched also was surveyed. Seen the fact that there is an average time delay of 305 days between the announcement of a vulnerability and it actually being exploited for hacking attempts, too few system admins were applying patches for fear of destabilizing their systems, and simply no time to keep up with the stream of patches. The Forrester Report is over here (you have to buy it though):

    Redmond Unveils Office 2003 Lineup

    When MS releases its Office 2003 suite in June, several new bundles of applications will join the Office lineup, including a high-end Professional edition and a new Small Business edition.

    Microsoft's current Office suite, Office XP, has three retail editions: Standard, Professional, and Developer. Microsoft also sells a Students and Teachers version of Office XP, offering all the apps included in the Standard Edition at a lower cost.


    Download The New UpdateEXPERT V6.0!

    It has a new Agent Architecture, now you can manage locked down and/or isolated machines. New powerful patch validation options. All components use encrypted communications, and the database is CRC-checked. You can now delegate access rights! Active Directory is fully supported. You can use the OUs to manage your machines more efficiently. Profiles are enhanced for ease of use. Enhanced GUI makes searching for patches a lot easier. Multiple Management Consoles mean now distributed management and reporting is possible.

    Additional key information regarding the v6.0 release:

    • Pricing has not changed.
    • Version 6.0 live trials are available from Sunbelt's web site.
    • Existing v5.x customers wishing to move to v6.x will need to uninstall v5.x. Additionally, it is possible to export the machine list prior to uninstalling v5.x to be used in v6.x. Either way, please contact Tech Support for a clean transition.
    Version 5.x customers will have 6 months to transition to v6.x. Version 5.x customers wanting to familiarize themselves with v6.x prior to transitioning can do so by running a separate occurrence of UpdateEXPERT v6.x on a separate console. (using the same serial number).

    Now You Can Keep Your Networks Patched Enterprise Wide!

    Check out:

    Replication For Business Continuity: Webinar April 9-th

    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. Put this in your planner!

    Topic: Business Continuity
    Time: Wed, 9 Apr 2003, 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Meeting URL (Address):

    To add this meeting to your Outlook calendar, click the following URL or enter it in your browser:

    (This URL works for Internet Explorer users with Outlook 2000 or later.)


    1. Click the following Meeting URL or enter it in your browser:

      Or alternatively, use the following URL:

    2. On the "Enter Meeting" page that appears, supply this information if requested:
      Your Name: (enter your name)
      Meeting ID: Business Continuity
      Meeting Key: 880000
      Conference Center Name: sunbelt
      and then click the ENTER button at the bottom of the page.
    To get to the audio for this presentation,
    Telephone Conference Call Information:
    International 302-709-8433
    USA 1-800-416-4956
    Passcode 104764#

    See you there!


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

  • Microsoft's code names for all products:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-CodeNames
  • A UK Subscriber sent this: "since you're in the habit of sending funny links out with the newsletter, it's only polite to give you one back. Here's one England style :)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-Moon_Song
  • All security problems solved. A very technical article (ftp):

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-Security
  • IronPort launched a real-time e-mail monitoring site called SenderBase which offers a variety of methods for analyzing both the volume and source of e-mail being sent to addresses managed by several thousand participating ISPs, universities and corporate sites:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-SenderBase
  • A site that is highly critical of MS, with a very offensive name too:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-Critical_of_MS
  • Optical illusion? Doctored Video? Self-camouflaging technology by recording video of the background and displaying it on a surface in real time? Check this out from the Tachi Laboratory at the University of Tokyo:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030407FA-Tachi

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