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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 3, 2004 (Vol. 9, #18 - Issue #474)
May 7 Deadline: Vote For Your Fave Tools
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • May 7 Deadline: Vote For Your Fave System Admin Tools
    • Short MS Snippets
    • Survey Results: Anti-Spam for Exchange
    • Next Generation Smart Devices
    • 25 Exchange Tips In 25 Minutes
    • W2K3's First Birthday
    • 12 Steps To Improving Stability In Windows
    • Improving The Default Domain Controller GPOs
    • Unsupported Windows A Disaster Waiting To Happen
    • Turning ClearType ON/OFF
    • Windows Update Services (WUS)
    • Sunbelt Software Announces: ServerVision
    • Network Associates Ditches Sniffer
    • New Product: MOM-Monitor
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • NEW: Monitor Your Server Status: ServerVision
  SPONSOR: Still Run Exchange V5.5?
And need an anti-spam solution? The new iHateSpam for Exchange
V1.5 is now the best selling anti-spam tool for your environment
with well over 3,100 licenses in production sites. If you plan
to upgrade to Exchange 2000(3), there is NO upgrade penalty;
just download the correct iHateSpam for Exchange build and use
your existing License Key. Spam Sucks. Your life shouldn't!
Visit Still Run Exchange V5.5? for more information.

May 7 Deadline: Vote For Your Fave System Admin Tools

W2Knews Target Award Voting closes May 7, 2004! Better head over and cast your vote fast. This years Target Awards are pretty exciting again. There are quite a few categories with a tie between the front runners: anti-spam, anti-virus, backup, event log management, firewalls, network traffic monitors and remote control. So, get over there quickly and let your peers know which tool you prefer the most. It might very well benefit you a bit later down the road.

We will keep the "finalist and winners" list up all year, and it's the ultimate shortlist if you look for the best tools. Saves a lot of time to have them all there when you need them. (Rules: Any employee of companies that are finalists are not allowed to vote. Only one IP per vote. Double votes will be identified and stripped out. Companies are allowed to actively ask their customers to go and vote.)

So take a minute right away and cast your important vote here:

Short MS Snippets

WinXP SP2 which was expected in Q2-2004, has been pushed back to the second half of the year. Initial response in WinXP news of people running the beta was ho-hum. --- The massive April 13 security patch causes serious problems in some W2K systems. --- ISA Server 2004 will officially be launched at Tech.Ed San Diego, May 24. --- Windows 2003's first birthday was April 24th. More about its future in the NT/2000 section --- MS will re-brand all their main management products with "2005". --- They renamed Software Update Services (SUS) to Windows Update Services (WUS) - you can imagine the chuckles that acronym generated ---

Quotes Of The Week:
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." -- Henry Ford

"Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security." -- Benjamin Franklin

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

  SPONSOR: Never Could Afford A Scanner?
But knew deep down you really needed a security vulnerability
scanner to keep your domains safe? The problem: "Low-end scanners
instill a false sense of security and high-end scanners are too
expensive." What to do? Finally, here's the scanner for the rest
of us. A high-end vulnerability database, licensed per admin for
an affordable price! "SNSI is a World-Class Vulnerability Scanner
That Won't Make a Hole in Your Budget." NEW: SNSI V1.5 will scan
by machine and by IP address. Come see it at Tech.Ed in San
Visit Never Could Afford A Scanner? for more information.

Survey Results: Anti-Spam for Exchange

Sunbelt Software recently sent out a survey to well over 12,000 system administrators that had downloaded trial versions of iHateSpam for Exchange Server Edition. Over ten percent answered and the 1,200+ survey results that came back were quite interesting. We thought you'd would want to know what they are, and our thanks to everyone that filled out the survey.


The first question related to the amount of mailboxes in the organization that was investigating anti-spam solutions. The first column is the number of mailboxes, the second is the percentage of sites of that size.

1-25            28.5%
26-50           17.2%
51-100          14.7%
101-250         16.0%
251-500         8.7%
501-1000        5.0%
1001-2500       4.9%
2501-5000       2.7%
5001-10000      0.6%
10001-20000     0.9%
20000+          0.7%
The second question asked if they decided for another anti-spam solution, which one? Regarding this, the results were surprising. The majority that answered (34%) simply had not decided yet for any anti-spam solution and were still in the evaluation process.

Another section had actually acquired iHateSpam via a reseller and Sunbelt's records did not reflect that yet. That was 29%. Then a few other vendors came up: GFI with 5%, Postini, Symantec, SpamAssassin and MS-Office all with 3%. Trend Micro, Sybari and NetIQ came up with 2%. All others were 1% or less. The survey showed that there is a jungle of different solutions out there. It's a bewildering mix of trialware, freeware, combinations of these with internal hand-crafted filters and many small players in the field.

Question three went into reasons why specific solutions were chosen. The main purchasing requirements that your peers use to determine anti-spam solutions are:

  • Flexibility (27.9%),
  • Cost (16.5%),
  • Administration/support (13.7%).
A few respondees suggested that iHateSpam develop a solution that sits "in front" of the server instead of on the server, so that no spam or spam-solution would take up server space. Others wanted faster tech support during the evaluation process.

Again, thanks for your input and we listened. iHateSpam for Exchange recently was upgraded to version 1.5 and now supports Exchange 5.5, 2000 and 2003. iHateSpam for Exchange has two versions. One is called "Server Edition" and integrates directly with Exchange 2000 and 2003. The other is "Gateway Edition" and is designed for Exchange V5.5 primarily, but can also be used as an "off box" solution for Exchange 2000 and 2003.

We also doubled the amount of tech support reps for iHateSpam for Exchange. To end off, if you run Exchange V5.5 and buy iHateSpam now, the upgrade to 2000 or 2003 is free. There is no upgrade penalty.

We suggest you give the latest versions another try. iHateSpam for Exchange is now the best-selling anti-spam solution in Microsoft Exchange environments and recently won SC Magazine's best anti-spam product award. Download here for 30 spam-free days:

Next Generation Smart Devices

In case you missed the recent Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco, WindowsForDevices presents a virtual tour of Microsoft's embedded "Device Alley," showcasing a wide range of next-generation cool gadgets and smart, connected devices that incorporate Microsoft's embedded software platforms including Windows CE .NET and XP Embedded. The slide show includes over 80 devices ranging from PDAs to set-top boxes, robots, and even a sewing machine.

25 Exchange Tips In 25 Minutes

Want 25 Tips on Exchange 2003 in 25 minutes? SearchExchange.com has them, from Exchange Expert Scott Schnoll's new book, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled." Check out Schnoll's tips on tuning, deprecated Exchange 2000 tuning parameters, Exchange 2003 tuning parameters, and Exchange 2003 tools in this comprehensive feature article. (You need to register to get into this site, it's free.)


W2K3's First Birthday

So, what's the future going to look like? Pretty good. First of all, W2K3's been selling well, just look at last quarter's numbers. The first thing to come out is Microsoft Virtual Server (MVS), due out in the second half of 2004. Redmond will position it as a solution to help sites migrating their NT 4.0 apps to W2K3. Its official name is "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005," and private beta testers already had a look at it last February 2004. Next, look for W2K3 Service Pack 1 at the end of this year. They are beta-ing it now.

12 Steps To Improving Stability In Windows

There are two things every administrator wants out of an operating system: security and stability. While security has received a lot of attention in the past year, when have you ever seen a stability checklist? The plain truth is, many system instabilities are preventable. Here are some steps to help you improve the overall availability of your servers and workstations.

Improving The Default Domain Controller GPOs

When Windows Server 2003 is used to establish an Active Directory based network, there are two default GPOs: the default domain GPO and the default domain controller GPO. These GPOs are configured to provide a basic minimal level of security for your domain network and its domain controllers. However, there are several ways to improve upon the default settings in these two GPOs. Here are three. (Registration required.)

Unsupported Windows A Disaster Waiting To Happen

IT analysts at Partners Healthcare System Inc. in Boston share their insights on a recent internal study about how and when it will migrate from Windows 2000. SearchWin2000.com chronicles the decision-making process in this three-part series. Check back for coverage when Partners makes its final decision.

Turning ClearType ON/OFF

Windows XP includes ClearType, a nifty feature for LCDs that's disabled by default. [Hello, Microsoft? How about making it a little clearer for people to test if they like it?] You can turn it on by going to the MS site and use this page. I turned it on and worked with it a bit on my LCD monitor, but turned it off after a while. You mileage may vary, but try it out at least.

Windows Update Services (WUS)

It is currently in beta, with general availability planned later 2004. Redmond claims it is pronounced like "bus", and will combine updates for Windows, Office, SQL Server, and Exchange into one engine. For MS customers this will be free. They also said that they are working on new update technology that will decrease the average size of updates by 30% to 80%. [Vaporware Alert]: Further in the future they claimed to plan "Microsoft Update Services" which will allow third parties to distribute updates via Microsoft's process.


Sunbelt Software Announces: ServerVision

Sunbelt has been providing you with event log monitors since the stone age of early Windows NT. It's one of these tools you cannot do without if you want to keep your systems up and running. After selling various solution of other vendors and not being completely satisfied, we decided to do a bunch of research on what system admins really needed from system uptime monitors. Then we asked someone to build one according to the result of this research. Took about 18 months but here it is: ServerVision.

You wanted a tool that would get you the system status of your servers EASY and FAST. It should be affordable, and one point you made especially clear: you wanted it EASY to configure. Many of the older monitors were a PITA to get and keep working. So ServerVision is a next generation system status monitor, with easy filters, alerts and automation. It's got everything you need and nothing you don't. You're invited to the CUSTOMER PREVIEW of ServerVision. I'm pretty sure you are going to like what you see:

Network Associates Ditches Sniffer

Word from Network Associates last week that it is selling its Sniffer management tools business to narrow its focus on network security runs counter to an industry trend to tighten security. The money-losing Sniffer unit is being sold to two private-equity firms, Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group, for $275 million, with the deal expected to close by the third quarter. The two equity firms are expected to establish a new company called Network General. Current Sniffer customers hope the new organization will be better in sales and support. More at:

Can't afford a high-end packet sniffer? Get LanHound: LAN's Best Friend and Silver Product Of The Year:

New Product: MOM-Monitor

Start-up Silect Software is releasing a tool that promises to help Admins make sure Microsoft's monitoring software is doing its job and not flaking out. MOM is supposed to be a performance and uptime monitor. And now MOM needs a monitor to monitor itself? What's wrong with this picture?

Silect's Software's Health Reporter 2004 monitors problems with the components and configuration of MOM. It also can provide users with troubleshooting tips when problems arise and help decipher MOM alert messages. If a company sees a commercial opportunity in doing this and build a product for it, what does that say about MOM itself? Hmmm. Check it out here:

MS released some MOM news recently. They plan a second-half 2004 release of MOM 2005, and they announced 24 new MOM management packs. Some of these include Siebel and Veritas. They also said MOM will have a Web GUI, making it easier to use. Further news was they told the press about MOM Express. To me that's more like "MOM-Lite". Target: small business with less than 10 servers. Kinda "start with us when you are small so we can lock you in when you are big". Once you see how complicated MOM is, I'm sure you'll just love the new ServerVision we announced. Other remark is that I have never seen any "lite" product really succeed.


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


NEW: Monitor Your Server Status: ServerVision

A brand new event log monitor on steroids that allows you to keep an eye on your servers and automate admin actions needed to keep them up & running. It was made to be EASY and affordable, with everything you need and nothing you don't. Configuration is a snap. Running it is a breeze. Next generation product, with both a MMC snap-in and Web GUI interfaces. Check out the exclusive ServerVision CUSTOMER PREVIEW here: