- Sign-up Now!
 - Current Issue
 - Edit Your Profile/Unsubscribe

Subscribe | Media Kit | About Us | All Issues | Subscriber Feedback | Contact Us | Privacy Statement
Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 5, 2004 (Vol. 9, #14 - Issue #470)
Backup/Restore Failures - The Real Numbers!
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Backup/Restore Failures - The Real Numbers!
    • NT4 MCSE? You Are Reinstated.
    • Vote For Your Fave Tools
    • Interesting Discussion: Patch Management Best Defense?
    • Microsoft Program: 'You Patch, We Pay'
    • Get Up2Speed on Office 2003
    • Instant Message Spam To Triple This Year
    • Redmond Releases Free Port Reporter Tool
    • Gates: Hardware Will Be Free
    • Gates Sends Security Braindump Email
    • Your Next Windows Version: 2006
    • The Tape Reliability Challenge
    • SURVEY: Small Business Server
    • New Tool Digs For Active Directory Glitches
    • A Really Happy iHateSpam For Exchange Reseller
    • How To Use iHateSpam Server with POP Users
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • FeedDemon: Get Latest RSS Feeds
  SPONSOR: Panda's GateDefender Stands Guard!
Are your traditional antivirus solutions really protecting your
Panda Antivirus GateDefender is a dedicated hardware
device installed at the Internet gateway to block viruses before
they contaminate your network. It scans 7 different communication
protocols, achieving optimum protection against external attacks.
Panda Antivirus GateDefender 7100 (25-500 seats) & Panda
Antivirus GateDefender 7200
(500 seats+) provide the highest
scalability with native load balancing that transparently adapts
to traffic volume.
Visit Panda's GateDefender Stands Guard! for more information.

Backup/Restore Failures - The Real Numbers!

Sunbelt just finished another survey together with Yankee. This time about tape reliability. Quite interesting results, and you will find them at the end of the NT/2000 section, with right after that another short survey for all small businesses among us, about MS Small Business Server. The item is called: "The Tape Reliability Challenge". You are going to find out the percentage of tape restore failures the last 12 months. Hold on to your hat.

NT4 MCSE? You Are Reinstated.

Microsoft decided to stop retiring the certifications of techs those were MCSE under the NT 4.0 track. A lot of people have been screaming bloody murder about it. Redmond also announced how many people currently hold the W2K MCSE: 47,000.

Redmond has a more human certification policy starting right now. No longer will you be faced with a "decert" threat. Microsoft says that it will create version designations of its titles. An MCSE holding the title under the NT 4.0 track will be designated as "MCSE on Windows NT 4.0." MCSEs in Windows 2000 will now be formally referred to as "MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000." Updated designations will appear on MCP transcripts probably beginning in April 2002. More about this good news at the MCPMag site:

Vote For Your Fave Tools

There are a couple of very close races going on! Let your voice be heard for the fave system admin tools in the 2004 W2Knews Target Awards:

Quotes of the Week:
- A Saying from the Middle Ages of computing: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a U-Haul truck full of floppy disks traveling down the highway at 55 mph."
- Cohn's Law: "The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing but reporting on the nothing you are doing."

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

  SPONSOR: DOUBLE-TAKE For Exchange 2000(3)
Double-Take now has high availability for Exchange 2000 and 2003.
It can automatically (you could even say automagically) failover
for both of these. This is HUGE for many of you that needed
this feature. Double-Take's companion product for MS-clusters
(called GeoCluster) now officially works with Exchange 2000 and
2003 as well. Check the latest version.
Visit DOUBLE-TAKE For Exchange 2000(3) for more information.

Interesting Discussion: Patch Management Best Defense?

The NetworkWorldFusion site has a good discussion going, between a proponent of Patch Management and someone who claims patching sucks and has another solution. Erik Schultze of Shavlik Technologies says YES, it is; Steven Hofmeyr of Sana Security says NO it isn't. Read their opening arguments, then jump in with your comments and questions.

Microsoft Program: 'You Patch, We Pay'

Under a new program for enterprise customers (500 seats or more), Microsoft is paying for security assessments of its customers' networks to help improve policies in areas such as software patch management and help calm down fears about the security risks. Here is the article.

If you are smaller than 500 seats you missed the boat. Lucky for you that Sunbelt just came out with a truly top quality and affordable scanner. Get your eval here:

Get Up2Speed on Office 2003

Weighing a move to Office 2003? This administrator's guide outlines the pros, cons and pitfalls you may encounter. You'll also find articles on new Office features, a webcast and tips about Outlook, security and collaboration.

Instant Message Spam To Triple This Year

New messaging research fingers the culprits responsible for the sharp increase in junk messages delivered via instant messaging platforms. Remember, this stuff is called "spim."


Redmond Releases Free Port Reporter Tool

The Port Reporter tool runs as a service on computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. The tool logs TCP and UDP port activity. This webpage contains information about how to obtain and install the tool. When you install the tool, the setup program creates the appropriate registry entries and installs the Port Reporter service.

The page also contains information about how to use start parameters to configure the Port Reporter service and information about the Port Reporter log files that are generated by the Port Reporter service. Here is a link to the page with all the MS security tools, and the new Port Reporter:

Gates: Hardware Will Be Free

The WIRED site has a Reuters report that states BillG pronounced hardware costs will fall sharply within a decade to the point where widespread computing with speech and handwriting won't be limited by expensive technology.

"Ten years out, in terms of actual hardware costs you can almost think of hardware as being free -- I'm not saying it will be absolutely free -- but in terms of the power of the servers, the power of the network will not be a limiting factor," MS's chairman said. Full article here:

Gates Sends Security Braindump Email

Wow, there is a LOT of data in this future look on security. It's actually best you read it yourself, why would I repeat it all here? This was sent to enterprise customers in an email (MS defines enterprise as 500 seats and above), but they also put it on their website. Among a lot of things, I though the next bit was interesting:

"Exchange Edge Services: This new technology addresses the evolving security problems associated with Internet email. Exchange Edge Services is designed to block incoming or outgoing malicious email and junk mail, defend against email server attacks and email-borne viruses, and encrypt messages to optimize for security. It is also designed to provide a foundation on which third-party developers can build technologies such as next-generation email filters, email encryption products and email compliance solutions."

Part of what they are talking about here is an extension of the Virus and Spam API (VSAPI), because that is at the moment pretty limited: it can only interface with one third party app at a time.

There is WAY more information, describing what security features are in WinXP SP2, Windows Server 2003, ISA Server 2004, their new "Active Protection technologies, Spam, secure web services, and update services. If you run a MS shop, this is required reading. But keep in mind that a lot of this is only planned, so here is my usual... [Vaporware Alert!!] ;-)

Your Next Windows Version: 2006

Bob Muglia, Senior Veep of Microsoft's Windows Server division, discussed Redmond's options for Windows in Las Vegas. They are not really sure if they will release an interim version or not. W2Knews predicts they will, since the next real release (code name LongHorn) will be 2006. You will see the client version of Win 2006 earlier than the server one. You may even see the server version only in 2007, since the beta will likely slip into 2005.

There are three major pillars for Windows 2006: 1) new GUI, 2) WinFS which is the new storage system, 3) Web services infrastructure called Indigo at the moment. Windows Update Services was due first half 2004, that will now be second half due to feature creep. (more stuff stuffed in) [grin]. The 'stuff' that will likely be in Windows Server 2003 Revision 2 is here:

The Tape Reliability Challenge

Today, tape continues to be one of the most commonly used storage mediums for backup, archiving and remote site disaster recovery. In addition, the emergence of new compliance regulations has significantly raised the stakes in data protection for both large and small-to-medium customers. A Yankee Group and Sunbelt Software survey of 362 IT executives in March 2004 found 42 percent of respondents had been unable to recover data from tape in the last year as a result of tape unreliability. As a result, customers now rank tape reliability as a key buying criteria for tape cartridges.

Disk is emerging as an alternative to tape, but tape?s importance has not diminished as it continues to be used for a range of customer needs.

  • 65 percent use tape to support backup operations.
  • 61 percent use tape for disaster recovery.
  • 30 percent use tape for archiving.
  • 15 percent use tape for compliance/data retention requirements.
Customers often speak about the difficulty of successfully performing backups during a given window of opportunity but customers should be most concerned about recovery - especially since it appears the need to recover data on a regular basis is growing.
  • 33.6 percent of customers have had to recover data from tape five to 15 times over the last year
  • Close to a fourth of customers, 23.5 percent have had to recover data from tape 20 times or more in the last year.
Customers now rank tape reliability as the most important element in their tape buying decision, ranked even more important than price.
  • 75 percent selected reliability as one of the most important elements
  • 42 percent selected price as one of the most important elements
  • 36 percent selected tape life/archival life as one of the most important elements
How reliability is defined today depends on the customer. 220 respondents ranked Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) as a very important metric in evaluating tape reliability, followed by metrics around tape life/archival life (with 182 respondents). Customers also view the certification and qualification of tape reliability as by the manufacturer as very important. Close to 76 percent of respondents ranked tape manufacturer certification or qualification as either very important or important to their buying decisions.

Customers also have strong impressions about which vendors have the strongest track records regarding tape reliability. While nearly a third of customers polled believe that all tape manufacturers have roughly the same reliability (they believe that all tape manufacturers are the same)

  • HP was ranked as number one among customers for its tape media reliability with 22 percent of those customers surveyed.
  • Sony was ranked second among customers with 15 percent of respondents.
It is important to note that customers remain mixed on their impressions about the differences each vendor has in developing their own tape reliability metrics. This in many ways could be considered a call to action, in which customers need to educate themselves more about how each vendor tests and qualifies the reliability of their tape media platforms.

[Editor's Note]: So now you know. Tape restores fail a whopping 42%! And a third of you had to pull out tapes at least 5 times last year. Twenty five percent had to restore 20 times or more. No wonder Double-Take is the best selling tool for real-time data replication. Check it out here:

SURVEY: Small Business Server

Are you a small business? Here is finally your chance to see what your peers are doing with their Microsoft environments. It's a simple 9-question survey and it's all multiple choice. Should take less than a minute. You are invited to participate and we'll come back with an executive summary in a coming issue. Let's see what small business is gearing up to!


New Tool Digs For Active Directory Glitches

Availability and performance tool vendor Winternals has developed diagnostic software designed to help corporate users ferret out problems in Microsoft's Active Directory that could knock critical applications offline.

A Really Happy iHateSpam For Exchange Reseller

"Dear Sunbelt Software,

"It's not often that we take the time to thank our software vendors for their accomplishments. At this moment however, I would like to take that time to acknowledge the superb quality of your product as well as the customer service that comes with it. Sunbelt Software has proven time and again that the products developed are based off end user needs with end user interfaces. The products they develop are always standard setting products leading markets into new areas.

"iHateSpam Server Edition has been the highlight of my career and the highlight of our company. With the use of your software, our customer's satisfaction has been increased far more then any other service we have ever provided before. The stress of spam accompanied by potential loss of sales has been eliminated from the networks and companies we service. Sunbelt Software once again listened to cries from end users and developed the solution to end the pain and suffering. We're forever in your debt and wish the best for Sunbelt Software and the years the come.

Joey Cox
Network Engineer"

How To Use iHateSpam Server with POP Users

Since the POP users can't see the quarantine folders or the personal whitelist/blacklist folders you will not want to use those features. If the users could be switched over to IMAP that would alleviate the problem as they could then see the full folder structure on the Exchange server.

However, if they have to remain as POP users, there is a method that many of our users employ. Simply create a policy for all the POP users that quarantines the messages into "/Inbox" and uses the subject prepend option. This way anything IHS detects as spam will get an identifying subject that the end user could write a rule to handle. Also one could lower the delete threshold to say around 500 which should never get a false positive but would cause about 30-50% of all spam to just go bye-bye :)


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


FeedDemon: Get Latest RSS Feeds

Get News, Headlines And Other Content Instantly On Your Desktop. RSS is a nickname for "Really Simple Syndication". Thousands of web sites offer their content as RSS news feeds. In order to receive these news feeds you'll need to have an RSS program. If you want one that is really simple to use we recommend FeedDemon. It enables you to quickly explore the world of RSS from your desktop ? without having to visit hundreds of sites. FeedDemon makes RSS as easy as reading your email. W2Knews subscribers get a special $5.00 discount coupon. You can try it out for free. Download it here.