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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 19, 2003 (Vol. 8, #20 - Issue #426)
Why iHateSpam Server Edition Is A Smash Hit
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • A Whole Lotta News!
    • Should You Defrag Server Memory?
    • Why Are People Finding Viruses On "Protected" Systems?
    • Hackers A Bigger Threat Than Rogue Staff?
    • Microsoft Offers Peek At Future Wares At WinHEC
    • Redmond Rushing To Finish Exchange 2003
    • Another Good E-Zine: Woody's OFFICE Watch
    • Four Ways To Sell A Patch Management Strategy
    • Windows Internals Gurus Train UK Windows Pro's
    • What Are Your Disaster Recovery SLA's?
    • Why iHateSpam Server Edition Is A Smash Hit
    • Get More From Your Disk Storage with Sunbelt hIOmon
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • iHateSpam Server Edition: You Asked For It, So We Built It
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A Whole Lotta News!

All kinds of interesting stuff happening. First of all, you can nominate your favorite tools for the reader's choice at Windows & .Net Magazine. This is a so called write-in vote, which means that they just count which tool gets nominated the most and the result of that ballot is the winner. The ballot went live 5/12, and will be up through 6/30. We'd like your support and suggest to have a look at the Top 10 and then make your suggestions! [grin] Top 10 Best Sellers:

Link to the Ballot:

May 19-th you can get a free chapter of my new book: Chapter 25, "Establishing a Windows XP Security Regimen" from Windows XP PowerPack. In this book you'll find out how to squeeze maximum performance out of your XP Box, learn how to network your XP machine with other local computers or over the Internet and more. And this chapter will teach you how to secure well-known Windows XP vulnerabilities with tips and workarounds on how to close, mitigate or eliminate them. Put an alert in Outlook and pick it up over here on the 19-th:

Want to know more about the book itself?

We definitely would like your input for some high-level future data-networking trends. As an IT "opinion leader" in your organization, we are particularly interested in your thoughts. (Don't live in the USA? Ignore this item.)

This survey is no more than 10 minutes at the most. You'll be entered to win a cash prize of $500 and we'll send you a summary report of our findings. Getting this research data sent back to you is an extremely valuable bonus, as you can plan your own strategy with it. Please take part in this important research:

A little Matrix Reloaded secret. We went to the Premiere last night, and if you wait till after the (enormously long) credits, there is a non-announced PREVIEW of the third installment! And for nerds like us, this movie is incredible, with awesome special effects and interesting software architecture discussions. [grin] PS: we took the whole company to the movie, to celebrate the release of iHateSpam Server. Here are some shots of the trip:

Several Quotes of the Day are squaring off with each other!

  • Silly Optimist: A person who expects to feel well all the time while running a meat body.
  • When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.
  • We tell people a password is like your underwear; Change it frequently, don't share it with others, and don't ask to borrow someone else's.
  • If the enemy is in range, so are you.
  • Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.
  • No 18-inch armored plate can stop an idea.
UNDO DEPT: .NET as a technical concept and products is still alive, despite my claims it was dead last week. But as a marketing concept it was a dismal failure and that is why the .NET addition to a bunch of products was taken away. Here is an article about what the real deal is with .NET:

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

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    Should You Defrag Server Memory?

    It's almost conventional wisdom that when you want to improve the performance of a computer system, you should defragment the disk. But there's a lesser known and lesser discussed defrag capability: defragmenting memory. It forces all free memory to be contiguous, which intuitively seems like it should be a good thing. If it works for disks, then surely it will work for active memory. Right? Don't be so sure. Typically, this type of thing is detrimental to overall system performance. As with most of these "magic tricks", there are targeted cases where this could be beneficial but in general, no. Unless there is a particular application where this is found to be a large performance benefit, I'd vote to stay away from this, and use a general tuner like AutoPilot. More in an article at SearchWin2000:

    Why Are People Finding Viruses On "Protected" Systems?

    Remember when I found two viruses on a machine I thought was fully protected? Turns out that's not even a lot! Mike Keeney at Silvestri Enterprises writes in to say he found ten viruses on his machine after trying out that free Panda software we've been offering (a W2Knews exclusive!):

    Mike had the very best AV software installed, continuously updated, and scanned daily. He reports: "I installed Platinum V7 more out of curiosity than anything else... I was completely blown away by the results. Platinum found 10 different viruses on my system, with each virus infecting a whole bunch of files.

    You won't take anything for granted anymore, will you Mike? Now, I'm not claiming Panda is better than the rest (I hear they did catch Fizzer first). But you should take a look just to be sure. There's an even-handed review on about.com:

    Hey, this puppy does not cost you a dime. BTW, in last week's SunPoll? you seemed to approve of these giveaways. So if you haven't done it yet, download now (they close these links very quickly to avoid being ripped off):

    Hackers A Bigger Threat Than Rogue Staff?

    The VNUnet site has a new article that is interesting. For years, study after study has always said that the biggest threat to your network and IT security is a disgruntled employee with access to your systems. However, a new study says that may no longer be true. The majority of hack attacks on financial institutions are now coming from outside the company. Either this means that companies have gotten much better at guarding against internal rogue employees - or there's so much more external hacking activity that it's drowning out those scamming insiders. Either way, there's plenty of hacking going on. More at:

    Microsoft Offers Peek At Future Wares At WinHEC

    Microsoft last week gave a glimpse, but few details, of two technologies that could help you corporate users to better manage and secure your networks.

    At its annual WinHEC conference, they demonstrated their Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), a self-managing environment, and its Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), a combo of hardware and software for partitioning dedicated space on operating systems for secure execution. Full article here:

      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Redmond Rushing To Finish Exchange 2003

    Now that Windows Server 2003 has left the nest, Microsoft is rushing to get Exchange 2003 out the door. Users are hoping the release candidate will shed some much-needed light on the platform. Here is an article at the SearchWin2000 site that goes into some more detail. Also, we have some news about the anti-spam features in E2K3 down in the Third Party Section:

    Another Good E-Zine: Woody's OFFICE Watch

    In our last issue we unknowingly ran an article that was reprinted directly from a long-established electronic newsletter called "Woody's WINDOWS Watch". The article "What's That Windows Key Really For?" appeared earlier this month in Woody's Watch.

    "Woody's OFFICE Watch" has been holding Microsoft's feet to the fire for seven years now, and it's by far the largest and most influential Office ezine available. "Woody's WINDOWS Watch" concentrates on Windows as it really works - not the way Microsoft (and much of the industry) thinks it's supposed to work.

    Woody wants W2Knews readers to know that his newsletters are absolutely free, unbiased, and unabashedly blunt. You're most welcome to subscribe by visiting:

    Four Ways To Sell A Patch Management Strategy

    If Code Red and Nimda weren't enough to help you persuade the boss to get a patch management strategy going, then these four "sales" tactics may help you make your case. Good article on this site:

    Oh, and if you want to have a look at the best selling patch management tool out there, check UpdateEXPERT over here:

    Windows Internals Gurus Train UK Windows Pro's

    Sysinternals & Windows internals classes by David Solomon & Mark Russinovich! Come to London in June to gain insight into using the tools from www.sysinternals.com and delve into the internals of Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 with David Solomon & Mark Russinovich, authors of Inside Windows 2000 3rd edition. Attend one of two classes:

    1. 24 June - "Troubleshooting with the Sysinternals Tools" by David Solomon
    2. 25-27 June 2003 - "Windows Internals & Advanced Troubleshooting" by David Solomon & Mark Russinovich
    Advance discount pricing ends May 27th; special discount pricing is available for Microsoft employees. For details, visit:

    What Are Your Disaster Recovery SLA's?

    When it comes to recovering data, faster is better. It does not matter if your data was lost because of a power failure, data corruption or a system crash, the result is the evil and dreaded word "downtime". Service Level Agreements (SLA's) on a guaranteed time for getting systems back up are under pressure. Why? Your data usually grows. The bigger the database gets, the longer it takes to get things back online. Or does it?

    The traditional view of restoring data is obviously based on tapes and tape drives. So people tend to throw a lot of money toward bigger and faster drives. There is a cheaper solution around this SLA problem though. Separate your 'active' from 'inactive' data, and replicate the active data in real-time to another server. You could call this strategy 'Active Archiving' or data replication. It really is worth looking into it, as per server it's only about $2,500. Double-Take is the leading tool in this field. Here are the specs and a 30-day eval:

    Why iHateSpam Server Edition Is A Smash Hit

    First, some smaller issues. We have created a special list server (Forum) for admins that are testing this, or have already purchased iHateSpam Server. Here is the List Charter with how to subscribe/unsub and what topics are discussed:

    Second, we have expanded our special offer "Save Our Schools From [email protected]" also to Universities. These organizations are now eligible for deep discounts.

    Third, if you thought that Exchange 2003 has an 'Anti-spam tool', well, listen to what Windows Guru Paul Thurrott has to say: "With Exchange 2003, Microsoft is adding a weak blacklist feature that you must constantly update for it to be even remotely effective. I find it insulting that Microsoft would even consider offering new messaging solutions that include such meager anti-spam technologies." We think that MS is being careful to not trigger the anti-monopoly rules.

    So, now why is the iHateSpam server version 'flying off the shelves'? If you think you know all about spam filters, we urge you to read on, it's not like those 8 other tools that you tried, and found wanting. Or even the one you are running now in fact may not really be up to the job. If this article seems a little harsher than my usual tone, well it is. Because we HATE spam too, and the time it demands, in users lost productivity and in admin time that could be better spent on other things.

    Consider these Exchange Administrator scenarios:

    "We have filters in place, we use DNS Blackholes, another third party product that is 'integrated' with the antivirus solution at great expense, and we block IP's at the firewall, we use Outlook Junk mail filters too, and WE STILL get spam!

    "And, since I use all this filtering, I have an administrative quarantine folder that I have to check for false positives--when I can--between screaming emergencies, and sometime days after the fact. We lose at least one WHOLE "Exchange-Administrator-Day" per week, checking and forwarding so as not to miss some important client email, "Eyeball filtering" the few false positives that are there, wading through all that annoying and sometimes more and more offensive junk."

    So now you've basically done this: You've doubled your workload having to check the quarantine folder, spent a ton of cash on some integrated third party tool, not to mention time, checked out open source gateways that took two weeks of admin time to 'sort out' the scripts on, and your management and users and STILL are inundated with spam. And still complain. Loudly.

    Well many of you bought our iHateSpam client product to 'solve ' this dilemma corporately. We thank you, but all that does is keep the users from screaming and adds to the workload of the guys who maintain and update workstations. The admin and infrastructure demands for maintaining your current filtering system is now 1/8th to 1/3rd of your week. Spammers and their tactics have changed, and spam has grown exponentially. You think that perhaps legislation will stop it? Last we checked there are plenty of laws, and still plenty of crime.

    Wading through spam is not the road to job security. In some places there are internal politics and OS group wars in IT and "we've always done it like this" but it's not working.

    So you say "But we have a central quarantine mailbox/public folder that ANYONE can check for false positives so the admin does not have to!" Right. All umpteen users are going to browse through that and, well, that's great if they don't have to work. The security aspects of having your CFO's emails from your auditor bounce into the 'public' quarantine folder don't even have to be explained.

    And even in the central administrative quarantine scenario where only the administrator has the folder, do ALL organizations WANT the Exchange team reading the false positives? No. There is sensitive data in your email, maybe about the Exchange team as above? [grin]

    Well to answer the question posed in the first sentence of this article, iHateSpam Server Edition SOLVES all of the above, in less than an hour. No kidding, in less than the time it takes to read your current admin/public quarantine folder, you can have this puppy up and running--filtering ALL of your Exchange users mailboxes. We didn't limit the number of mailboxes you can filter on the eval copy. We've thrown 30,000 spams an hour at it and it swallowed them all. It scales. It won't hurt your server or even load it down processing spam. There is no service to add to a loaded box.

    Each user gets his own quarantine folder solving the admin/privacy/security problem.

    The user gets his or her own spam, and any RARE false positive which the user then whitelists for his own mailbox regardless of the admin. It's even simple enough for your less than computer savvy users. No buttons to click, They can't break it. Incoming quarantined spam doesn't set off the new mail notification. Every so often user checks the folder: "yep it's all spam" CTRL-A, SHIFT DELETE. Gone. That is the extent of training they need. Anything that the user does blacklist because spammers change tactics and things slip through, you can ensure, automatically, that it never gets to the user's mailbox again. (Deleted off the server, upon arrival).

    The iHateSpam Server filter engine will nail well over 90% out of the box with default settings: no tweaking, no blacklist setups, no rules definitions or "you-put-it-together" open source tools. The iHateSpam engine DLL is tuned. Some people say Bayesian filters are the best. We beg to differ. And if the sales are any indicator, you'll like it. Quote from one of your Admin colleagues: "If they install it, they'll want it, and most of all the USERS like it." Try it. We've got some serious Artificial Intelligence in there, and we update it via our Learning Network of spam fighter iHateSpam clients, near 100,000 now, with our secure iHateSpam Server Edition update server, often.

    Then an admin can do what he does best: tech, go to meetings, fool with your new wireless gadget :). Since you are an admin you like to tweak things. If there is a setting, you can change it. If there is checkbox that can be checked we know you will. It's adjustable and flexible so you can with minor tweaks, adjust to new spammer tactics globally. In this manner you can, from one place, via the MMC console tweak the iHateSpam settings for even better than its already stellar performance.

    Next week's subject: False Positives and how they are affecting your business. Especially YOU Financial Institutions, law firms, CPA's, Consultants and Tax advisors. It's no secret that a lot of spam is money and finance related. But so is your legitimate email. Other spam filters and blacklists are stupid when it comes to these. You get the picture. How much legitimate email does not get to you? With us, it will.

    Come see iHateSpam Server Edition at TechEd in booth 366, we'll be throwing spam at it from far and wide, live, and you can SEE it work. Download the 30 day fully functional unlimited users eval copy here:

    Get More From Your Disk Storage with Sunbelt hIOmon

    Are you struggling in these tough economic times to get the most out of the disk storage that you've already got? Or maybe you've been lucky to finally get a budget to buy some new disk storage? In either case, maximizing the utilization of your disk storage is a top priority. Questions like: "Is that SAN paying off?"

    Since capacity consolidation can often breed performance bottlenecks, "best practices" for optimal disk storage utilization involve a focus upon performance as well as capacity. With its unique "focus on files", Sunbelt hIOmon File I/O Performance Monitor enables you to measure and monitor disk I/O operations at the file level so that you can easily, quickly and precisely identify (as just one example) your specific "hot" files and their respective performance.

    Armed with an extensive set of file I/O performance metrics that only Sunbelt hIOmon provides, you can continually verify that those steps taken to maximize disk storage utilization (such as moving files around within the storage hierarchy, SAN, NAS, etc. to improve performance without spending IT dollars on new hardware or by making best use of your newly purchased hardware) are indeed of benefit. Moreover, you can substantiate benefits in terms of actual performance metrics specific to your key files and their associated applications.

    Now available in the latest version, the Sunbelt hIOmon Command-Line-Interface (CLI) support has been significantly enhanced to allow for real-time file I/O operation performance metrics (for both files and devices) to be displayed based upon a sorted order that you can specify. With more than thirty (30) performance metric sort options supported, you can now quickly and easily determine your particular 'Top Ten List' of files based upon your specific metric of interest and all in real-time. Get your eval here:


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

  • The Microsoft Toilet saga continues. Apparently it was NOT a hoax. Here is the latest link from MSNBC:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-MS_Toilet
  • The true scale of your favorite science fiction spacecraft:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Matrix_Ship
  • Stratfor: global intelligence, geopolitical analysis and industry and country forecasts to mitigate risk and identify opportunities:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Stratfor
  • The Internet Version II. Who What Why How?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Internet2
  • For those lonely 3am nights when you are doing an endless Restore:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Face
  • What do Legos and computers have to do with each other? Top 10 FAQ:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Legos
  • Build your own laser. We at Sunbelt have one too now, it's just a little bigger. More on that later:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Laser
  • A collection of wild links:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030519FA-Wild_Links

    iHateSpam Server Edition: You Asked For It, So We Built It

    Here are the features that system admins just love in iHateSpam Server Edition:

    • Exchange 2000/2003 AD integration
    • End User manages their own white- and blacklist
    • No workstation installation
    • Updatable spam engine
    • Easy, flexible and powerful policy-based settings
    Get a 30-day eval here and protect users within the hour, for a killer price: