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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 28, 2003 (Vol. 8, #17 - Issue #423)
So, W2K3 Is Here. Should You Adopt It?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • Two New Tools!
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • Top-down Domain Deployment
    • Free Download: Mastering Windows Server 2003, Chapter 1
    • Inside Cisco's Eavesdropping Apparatus
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • So, W2K3 Is Here. Should You Adopt It?
    • "Upgrading AD Is Not That Painful"
    • Downgrades From W2K3 to W2K
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • New Network Sniffing Tool: LANHound
    • Who's Helping You Migrate to Exchange 2000?
    • Wireless System Management - Now For Windows 2003 Server
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • FREE Active Directory Webcast Featuring Mark Minasi
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  EDITORS CORNER

Two New Tools!

1) I'm Now Having Spam Filtered On My E2K Server

We're in the process of releasing iHateSpam Server. I uninstalled the client version of iHateSpam and now have RC1 of the server version running on our E2K production environment in Sunbelt in the tried-and-true MS tradition of 'eat-your-own-dogfood'. It's actually performing very well.

We have the aggressiveness of the filter currently set at medium, and it gets over 80% of the spam this way, with just one false positive up to now (over 24 hours, and it was a newsletter) which I like a lot. There is so much more I'd like to talk about, but our CTO has threatened me with the pain of death so I'll hold off till the next issue (coming week) before I'll spill the beans [grin].

You guys are also pretty vocal about what YOU want regarding spam blocking: the results of your votes on the last SunPoll was pretty clear:

  1. In-house server/gateway-based system only: 53%
  2. Combination of in-house server gateway and desktop: 35%
  3. Outsourced System: 5%
  4. Desktop-based system only: 5%
  5. Other:2%
This is extremely close to the results of a recent market poll done by Osterman Research by the way. iHateSpam Server Edition allows you to do both/either of 1) and 2) above.

Check out the screenshots of the iHateSpam server version here, and you now can get your name on the list for the eval version:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428ED-iHateSpam_Server

2) Who's Your LAN's Best Friend?

LANHound, that's who. Late last year, a lot of you told us you really needed a protocol analyzer/packet sniffer that supported switched networks. So we got to work and now we have one for you! You also told us that the current products on the market were way too expensive when switched networks came into play, and we took care of that for you as well.

LANHound arrived on the scene this week, and it looks very cool. Brand new, ready for NT, W2K, and XP with remote agents that show you in a snap what is happening on another segment. We love this puppy, and I think you will too. See the article in the Third Party Section below for specs. Grab a 30-day eval and find out what is happening in those wires!!
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428ED-LANHound

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"In baseball, it's called a donnybrook; an all-out fight where both teams empty the benches and pour onto the field. That's what the fight over proposed regulations for the wireless industry by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is shaping up to be."
--"Wireless World" columnist Ephraim Schwartz

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

  SPONSOR: iHateSpam Client Edition: FREE
NEW! Unbelievable but true. Until June 14, 2003 you can actually
get iHateSpam for FREE at Amazon.com after their limited time $20
Mail-In Rebate. It's currently their best selling software title.
You'll get boxed product shipped to you by Amazon. Mail in their
rebate coupon and the iHateSpam Client is really free. Great for
at the house when you run the server version at the office. (Note:
you'll have to pay their shipping & handling charges, this Mail-In
rebate is only available via Amazon.com and only valid for the USA)
Visit iHateSpam Client Edition: FREE for more information.
  TECH BRIEFING

Top-down Domain Deployment

It's really true that when installing Active Directory, if you don't get it right the first time, you're in for a world of hurt. The list of things you cannot do once they've been done wrong is staggering. So it's a good idea to take your time, plan well and do everything right the first time. This series of tips, tricks and considerations for deployment from the top-down will help. It's got the 8 most important points you need to take into account! Here is the article on the SearchWin2000 site:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TB-Deployment

Free Download: Mastering Windows Server 2003, Chapter 1

Mark Minasi has been writing nonstop for almost six months, and his book on Windows Server 2003 is finally here. Here's a page with information about it. There's also a link to download the first chapter from the book; I encourage you to pull it down, it's just 20 pages and offers an overview of the new stuff in W2K3:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TB-Mark_Minasi

Inside Cisco's Eavesdropping Apparatus

Source: News.com. Cisco Systems has created a more efficient and targeted way for police and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on people whose Internet service provider uses their company's routers.

The company recently published a proposal that describes how it plans to embed "lawful interception" capability into its products. Among the highlights: Eavesdropping "must be undetectable," and multiple police agencies conducting simultaneous wiretaps must not learn of one another. If an Internet provider uses encryption to preserve its customers' privacy and has access to the encryption keys, it must turn over the intercepted communications to police in a descrambled form. Interesting to say the least. The rest of the article is here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TB-Eavesdropping

  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

So, W2K3 Is Here. Should You Adopt It?

Not that easy of a call. The MS Reviewer's Guide for W2K3 runs over 360 pages and lists more than 600 individual feature improvements. If I were you I'd focus my attention on these three critical areas when evaluating W2K3:

  1. Reliability and security
  2. Data center readiness and server consolidation
  3. PC management
Microsoft is mainly focusing on NT4 users with this new version, which is about 35% of the NT-code base servers out there. MS claims W2K3 is eight times as reliable as NT4. If you want to see what your peers are going to do, see our recent survey "In what timeframe are you going to migrate your NT4 servers to W2K3?"
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428RN-Past_SunPoll

Steve Ballmer said W2K3 is faster than any Unix system. It maxes out at 64 CPUs and 512GB of memory in 64-bit mode and 32 CPUs with 64GB of memory in 32-bit mode. W2K3 is not expected to be a whitehot seller, but MS is going to spend about $250 million advertising it this year.

And as an FYI, if you look at the latest IDC numbers of world-wide shipments of operating systems for servers, the market shares as of Q4, 02 (latest available data) are:

  • Windows: 60.22%
  • Unix: 14.72%
  • Linux: 13.95%
  • NetWare: 9.32%
  • Others: 1.79%
The W2K3 Datacenter Edition broke all records for database speed on an HP Superdome machine made out of 64 1.5GHz Madison Itanium 2's with the new 64-bit SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. They said this combo did 658,277 tpmC at $9.80/tpmC, blowing away the last speed record. (And when those Itanium chips get larger caches, these numbers will only go up).

The HP/Microsoft result came at about a third the cost of the Fujitsu/Solaris result. Here is the link to TCP.org with the specifics, and this site gets updated regularly, so keep it on your favorites:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428RN-TCP

Also, here is a link to the ENTMag site, which has a good article with comparisons and things to look out for regarding W2K3:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428RN-ENTMag

"Upgrading AD Is Not That Painful"

A reader sent in the following technical comment, which I thought would be very interesting for all of you to read.

"Stu, in your latest newsletter, you state: 'Be aware that the process of upgrading AD might be painful. It looks like the fixes in AD synchronization can only be achieved by going to AD on W2K3. It sure would have been nice had they made the AD a modular product that could be upgraded on W2K server.'

I find this statement misleading and disagree wholeheartedly.

I have been working with Microsoft's Joint Deployment Partner/Rapid Adoption Partner (JDP/RAP) customers since last summer, and have been delivering training and consulting on the product since it was still Whistler. Upgrading AD to 2003 is remarkably painless. Yes, you have to introduce at least one Windows Server 2003 DC into your environment (after running ADPrep to extend the schema) to start taking advantage of new functionality, BUT the "fixes" in "AD synchronization" [which does not exist-synchronization and replication are entirely different things] are fixes for problems that one should not have if one's AD is properly deployed in the first place.

The real difference in Windows Server 2003 as far as these "fixes" are concerned is that if people who shouldn't be deploying AD because they don't know what they are doing still proceed to do so, they're going to find fewer manifestations indicative of having deployed it poorly.

The changes to the KCC algorithm should be unnecessary for existing AD implementations, and indeed, companies owning some of the largest implementations of AD in the world have expressed to me that the new algorithm is of no interest to them because they've already dealt with replication in their current implementations--and it works.

The new LVR replication (linked value replication of group membership) is great, but is still something that should have, and easily could have, been dealt with in Windows 2000.

Support for InetOrgPerson objects is useful enough even with a mixture of Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 domain controllers that it's still an exciting feature.

I could go on ad nauseum, but my point is this - hammering on MS for lack of backwards compatibility is irresponsible. This is the first time that Microsoft has introduced a product wherein they favored security over backward compatibility. The reason that you can't take advantage of many of the new features of Windows Server 2003 in AD is because there are extensions to the schema that Windows 2000 DCs simply cannot use without significant rewrites of the OS.

The reason that you can't run Exchange 2000 on Win2K3 (who cares, anyway) you can have as many Win2K member servers as you want, regardless of your domain/forest functional levels) is because of changes to security in the operating system. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a more secure OS, and yes, I'll give up backward compatibility to get it.

The fact is, transitioning to Windows Server 2003 is painless and seamless. Taking full advantage of new features requires that you eventually get rid of down-level DCs. So what? "

Laura A. Robinson Consultant/Technical Instructor
IntelliMark IT Solutions

Downgrades From W2K3 to W2K

Some additional data on this was sent to me from one of you.

"Unless Microsoft has changed the procedures on downgrades, depending on the program you are in you should be able to do a downgrade over the phone. I have downgraded Office products over the phone, and within 10 minutes, the rep has read back a new PK to me. They have on one occasion sent it to me via plain text e-mail."

Another thing I just realized is that when MS announces that their sales of the W2K3 OS are better and more and higher and etc. etc. etc., you have to realize that quite a bit of these licenses are going to be used to downgrade from W2K3 to W2K. Stu's comment: "It's a marketing world..."

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

New Network Sniffing Tool: LANHound

We have just introduced a new tool: "LANHound". What's good about it? All the features of products double (or more) its price, and it supports switched networks! The market was really waiting for a truly affordable network diagnostic tool, industrial strength and with mainframe quality tech support!

"LANHound delivers what administrators want: a fast, easy-to-use tool that troubleshoots and monitors local and remote networks--at an incredibly affordable price," said Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software.

LANHound provides several quick views of all communications occurring on your network segment. LANHound's tables allow you to see the systems on your network, the traffic being generated between stations and servers (including Internet sites visited) and the protocols that are being used on your LAN.

The product also provides graphical views to help understand network traffic and visualize the problems that lead to network abnormalities. You can display the data in predefined formats such as area, pie or bar charts.

Using a LANHound Remote Traffic Agent, you can capture network traffic from a switched network segment. LANHound includes three remote agents at no charge and additional agents are available at a very reasonable price.

Other features:

  • Capture network packets
  • Decodes the most popular protocols into a readable format
  • Alarms alert administrators to network traffic problems
Pricing and system requirements:

LANHound is available NOW. Pricing starts at $595, with THREE FREE remote agents included. Additional agents are $149 each. The program supports Windows 98/Me/NT 4.0 (SP 6a)/2000 and XP with Microsoft TCP/IP installed. The program will run on a PC compatible 200 MHz Pentium with 64MB of RAM and 10MB of free hard disk space; and an Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Token Ring, or WAN (e.g. ISDN, 56K modem) adapter that supports "promiscuous mode" (most modern adapters do). For optimal assessment on Internet access, LANHound is best deployed on the Internet routing server or the router's LAN segment.

Here is a link to the product and download page:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TP-LANHound

Who's Helping You Migrate to Exchange 2000?

Migrating Exchange can be a tough proposition. You want to prevent downtime as much as possible. There are third party outfits that have specialized in these cases, with field-proven methods. You can make a migration a lot easier (both Active Directory and Exchange 2000) by reading up on how other people have done it, and what tools they used. Here is a good 'technical brief', called Migrating to Exchange 2000 Using FastLane Migrator, and it gives you a clear grasp on the typical migration scenarios and best practices for migrating an entire organization to Exchange 2000, using their industry-leading tool.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TP-Exchange

Wireless System Management - Now For Windows 2003 Server

ASG, a worldwide enterprise software provider to Global 5000 companies, in partnership with StarRemote Wireless, announced today the release of ASG-MobileControl Administrator(tm) version 3.0, optimized for Windows® 2003 server.

MobileControl provides enterprise network and systems management from any wireless handheld device including PDAs (PocketPC, PalmOS, Linux, RIM, etc.), Smartphones, Web-enabled mobile phones, or any Internet browser. MobileControl 100% handheld and network agnostic.

With MobileControl Administrator you can manage your Servers, Network, Users, Databases, Telnet devices etc. MobileControl works on Windows NT, 2000, XP and now Windows Server 2003. MobileControl has 3 levels of built in security and works with all commercially available security configurations.

With just a single 15-minute install on your IIS server and no server agents or handheld software to worry about, ASG-MobileControl Administrator(tm) for Windows® puts management of your network, systems and users literally into your Pocket!
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428TP-StarAdmin

  FAVE LINKS

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

  • Create your own virtual apartment in the world's tallest virtual skyscraper:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-MyHouse
  • This site lists random global comparative stats. Great to throw in a conversation if these awkward silences crop up: [grin]

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-Stats
  • The Matrix Movies II and III will appear in IMAX format. Yay!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-Matrix
  • Longing for the gameplay of the Twentieth Century's favorite 8-bit video game console? No longer do you have to pine!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-Video_Game
  • One of your peers has created a very useful small series of targeted tech guides with tech topics that are worth checking out:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-TechGuides
  • FCC moves forward on power line broadband. Woo Hoo!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-FCC
  • Get your 'WeloveTheIrakiInformationMinister' paraphernalia here:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428FA-Paraphernalia
      PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    FREE Active Directory Webcast Featuring Mark Minasi

    Want to separate fact from fiction when it comes to managing Active Directory in a Windows Server 2003 world? Tune in on May 6th to get the real-world expertise you need during NetIQ's free webcast, "Managing Active Directory in a Windows Server 2003 World," featuring Windows guru Mark Minasi. Register now:

    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030428PW-WebCast