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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jul 25, 2005 (Vol. 10, #30 - Issue #535)
Linux vs. Windows Survey Executive Summary
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Linux vs. Windows Survey Executive Summary
    • Y2K All Over Again? [grin]
    • New SunPoll: WeatherBug Y/N?
    • Phlagrant Marketing
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • More On The Optimus Keyboard
    • Microsoft Warns Of Remote Access Protocol Flaw
    • Learning Guide: How To Evaluate Hardware
    • Making Linux And AD Integration A Snap
    • Configure Group Policy To Prevent Attacks
    • Windows vs. Linux Survey Results
    • Another Strong Quarter For Microsoft
    • New CounterSpy Enterprise Release
    • New iHateSpam for Exchange Gateway Version
    • You Can Run CounterSpy Consumer From The Command Line
    • Business Continuity and COOP Concerns for the Public Sector
    • Well, What ARE The Top 10 Spyware Threats?
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • iHateSpam for Exchange: The Best Made Better.
  SPONSOR: CounterSpy Enterprise: Hit Spyware. Hard.
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Linux vs. Windows Survey Executive Summary

Now here was a high-interest Survey! Almost two thousand of you "bit" and answered the questions, that is an enormous response. Check down in the NT/2000 Relates news for the very interesting results.

Y2K All Over Again? [grin]

You may not be aware of this thing happening, but Congress is planning to change the U.S daylight savings time (DST)... as early as this year. The last thing is for President Bush to sign off on it. When Congress gets its way, DST will be extended two months, from March to November. And here is the snag. A lot of your apps heavily rely on accurate time data. More over, a lot of them have pre-programmed adjustments for DST. So now, will this be another Y2K? Catchy title I have to admit, and it's firmly tongue-in-cheek, but will IT be able to fix it in time?

New SunPoll: WeatherBug Y/N?

Should WeatherBug be detected by antispyware programs? We'd like your feedback on this one: Yes/No/Don't know. Vote at:

Phlagrant Marketing

It's happened again: An Internet security company seeking a little free PR has coined yet another ominous-sounding word beginning with the letters "ph" to describe an online threat. The word of the day is "Phlooding." The Washington post has a humorous story about it, and a link where you can suggest your own "ph" words:

And talking about marketing, the Redmond marketing team has gone into overdrive, and the official name for Longhorn is now "Windows Vista". Sounds a bit odd at first sight but when I watched the announcement video I saw the light. [grin] See if yourself:

Quotes Of The Week:
"There is still no cure for the common birthday" -- John Glenn
"Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth." -- Ernest Hemingway

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


More On The Optimus Keyboard

This was a slashdot posting: "paulius_g writes "It seems that Art Lebedev has responded to the Slashdotting that occurred to their page about the 'Optimus Keyboard'. They have included a FAQ at the middle-right of the page stating some of the questions that Slashdotters were wondering. A few interesting ones were 'It will be real', 'We hope it will be released in 2006', 'It will cost less than a good mobile phone', 'It will be OS-independent', and finally 'It will most likely use OLED technology (e-paper is sooo slow)'. They've also included some common answers about Russia and it seems that they are as well searching OEMs (From the FAQ: OEM will be possible (why not?), Contact us for hi-res images, or interview inquires). It will be very interesting to see how this technological marvel will be created. Sign me up! I'll be ordering one in 2006."

And here was the very popular fave link of last week with pics:

Microsoft Warns Of Remote Access Protocol Flaw

Microsoft is warning users that a flaw in the software used to remotely access computers running the Windows OS could leave them vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack. ComputerWorld has the story:

Learning Guide: How To Evaluate Hardware

Knowing what hardware to buy is never easy. Sure, you can read product reviews in industry publications, but sometimes that just isn't enough. Vendors' literature on their products is oftentimes filled with marketing hype. SearchWinSystem contributor Bernie Klinder offers expert advice on what to look for when evaluating hardware in this three part series at SearchWinSystems.

Making Linux And AD Integration A Snap

It's not easy being an Active Directory administrator trying to integrate non-Microsoft OSes into an Active Directory DNS. AD expert Laura E. Hunter offers some help. (SearchWin2000.com)

Configure Group Policy To Prevent Attacks

This list of critical Group Policy settings will help you lock down Windows against security threats, whether you want to thwart automated password cracking attacks, enable audit logging or simply force attackers to jump through more hoops. Over at the SearchWindowsSecurity site.


Windows vs. Linux Survey Results

Yankee Sunbelt Server Survey Executive Summary By Laura DiDio, a research fellow at Yankee Group in Boston.

A significant number of corporations, regardless of the size of the company, are holding onto to their server hardware for an average four-to-five years. Those are the results of the latest joint Yankee Group/Sunbelt Software survey of over 1,700 IT managers and executives worldwide.

Survey Methodology

The independent Web-based survey included responses from North America, Europe and as far away as the island nation of Timor- Leste in the South Pacific. Yankee and Sunbelt accepted no sponsorship monies; no vendors had any input or influence on the questions or responses and none of the respondents received any remuneration for their participation. Yankee Group and Sunbelt Software employed authentication and tracking tools to ensure that no tampering occurred and to prohibit multiple responses by the same parties.

Yankee Group and Sunbelt used the same phrasing for the Windows and Linux responses in order to maintain objectivity. Corporate respondents were also provided the opportunity to make additional comments in an essay format. Over 50% of those polled availed themselves of the opportunity to express their opinions; their answers were frank, forthright and un-rehearsed.

Survey Demographics

Companies of all sizes and vertical markets were represented in the server poll. Nearly one-third of the survey respondents - 31% -- came from the Small and Midsized Businesses (SMB) with 1 to 100 persons; 22% of those polled were from mid-sized companies with 100 to 500 employees; nine percent were drawn from corporations with 500 to 1,000 persons; 19% of respondents worked corporate accounts which employ 1,000 to 10,000 people and the remaining nine percent of responses came from large enterprises with 10,000+ workers.

Additionally, 38% of shops said they had from one to 10 servers; 23% had 10 to 30 servers in their organization; 10% of respondents had 30 to 50 servers; seven percent had 50 to 100 servers; eight percent had 100 to 250 servers; four percent had 250 to 500 servers and the remaining 10% had over 500 servers in their companies.

Survey Highlights

The July 2005 Yankee Group/Sunbelt Software Global Server Survey contained results that were both anticipated as well as surprising. As expected, Dell is the first choice for server hardware for over one-third of customers, followed by Hewlett-Packard which was chosen by 27% of the survey respondents. One in five corporate accounts - 20% -- said their firms did not have a primary server hardware vendor, stating that their organizations truly heterogeneous and did not favor any one hardware vendor's servers. Eight percent of those polled said they used IBM equipment as their chief server, while the remaining 10% choose "other." The Other category includes Sun Microsystems' SPARC station running the Solaris operating system.

The protracted life cycles are particularly pronounced with Windows and Linux file and print servers. Some 48% of companies kept their Windows file and print servers for four to six years compared with 31% of respondents who retained their Linux file and print servers for the same period. It should be noted however, that 50% of those polled said they were not currently running any Linux file and print servers and of the remaining 50% that do have Linux servers, 29% have had them for three years or less.

A 12% minority of leading edge users changes their Windows file and print servers every two years, while another 21% are on a three-year server upgrade cycle. In Linux environments, five percent of corporate users similarly swap out their server hardware every 24 months while another six percent said they were on a three year upgrade cycle.

Corporations upgrade their database servers and Email/messaging servers a bit more regularly. Some 12% upgrade Exchange every two years; nearly one-quarter of respondents - 22% upgrade their Microsoft Exchange servers every three years while another 21% upgrade the messaging servers every four years.

The percentages are much smaller in Linux environments since 56% of survey respondents said they do not currently have Linux-based Email and messaging servers. Of those that do, four percent upgrade them every two years; six percent upgrade every three years; eight percent every four years and 15% are on a five to six year upgrade cycle.

And in one of the biggest surprises of the survey: 48% of all organizations that upgrade or switch to Linux do not install new server hardware when they do an operating system. Anecdotal evidence obtained from customer responses indicates that many of the older repurposed UNIX servers that get converted to Linux have equally good or better performance and reliability using a Linux distribution, despite the age of the hardware.

This figure contrasts sharply with the 12% of the respondents who said they do not switch the underlying server hardware when they perform a Windows operating system upgrade/migration.

On the other end of the spectrum, 16% of organizations replace 100% of their server hardware during a Windows migration/upgrade compared to nine percent of corporations who completely upgrade their server hardware infrastructure during a Linux migration/upgrade.

Server Spend Trends

The survey respondents left no doubt that they were still fiscally conservative as a result of the protracted economic downturn. Six percent said they paid only $500 to $1,000 for their mission critical servers.

But the bulk of respondents - nearly two-thirds of organizations spend between $1,000 and $10,000 on their mainstream mission critical servers. That percentage is split nearly equally: 33% paid between $1,000 to $5,000 and 31% purchase servers in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. On the high end, five percent of the businesses pay upwards of $50,000 for their servers.

Other Survey Highlights:

  • Over half - 53% of respondents have one to five IT managers; 22% had between five and 20 IT administrators; 10% had between 20 and 50 IT managers and 15% of companies had 50 to 100 admin.
  • An overwhelming 93% majority of businesses' servers is either a single CPU or two processor machine. Some 42% of firms have single CPU servers and 52% have two processor machines. Only six percent run four processors and one percent of respondents said they have eight processor servers.
  • Application server configurations are a bit more powerful: 56% of companies have two processors compared with only 26% that have a single CPU application server; 15% have four processor machines; two percent have eight-processors and one percent have a 16-processor CPU application server.
  • Web server configurations are equally split with 45% of firms having a server with a single CPU and 46% who have two processor CPU configurations.
  • Windows usage remains high: 55% of the respondents noted that 80% to 100% of their servers are running Windows. Only three percent of respondents said they had no Windows installed.
  • Linux deployments also remain healthy: 38% of the respondents reported that up to 20% of their servers were running Linux, while only 28% said they did not have any Linux installed.

The 1,700 respondents were frank and vocal regarding their likes and dislikes regarding both the server hardware and the Linux and Windows operating systems.

Some respondents continued to express a dislike of Windows and a desire to migrate from Windows to Linux and other open source software. However the number of vociferous and strident complaints regarding the performance of Windows has diminished considerably compared with earlier Yankee/Sunbelt surveys. In fact, many respondents noted the vast performance and reliability improvement from the legacy Windows NT 4 platform to the current Windows Server 2003 release.

Those respondents that are using or plan to migrate a portion of their environment for Linux extolled the performance and reliability of that platform. But criticism of Linux - mainly centering on the dearth of available documentation and application support have begun to crop up. Finally, a number of respondents expressed continued loyalty for the Sun Solaris and Novell NetWare operating systems.

Laura DiDio's email is: [email protected] and welcomes your comments or feedback.

Another Strong Quarter For Microsoft

Here is a quote from the new CFO: "These results provide solid momentum heading into fiscal 2006, which is shaping up to be a strong year for growth and investment. We expect double digit revenue growth next year, kicking off the strongest multi-year product pipeline in the company's history".
Chris Liddell, chief financial officer at Microsoft.


New CounterSpy Enterprise Release

This week we posted CounterSpy Enterprise 1.5.234 to our web site. Fixes in this release include:

  • Full support for International date formats.
  • Enhanced support for multi-homed servers and agents.
  • Quarantine issues have been resolved for all OSen supported.
  • Active protection settings have been updated to more accurately reflect the active protection state specified in the policy.
  • Optimized memory usage and performance of the policy server.
  • Corrected a decryption problem on initial agent installations.

Get your 30-day eval copy here:

New iHateSpam for Exchange Gateway Version

iHateSpam for Exchange has released its new 2-engine version now also for the Gateway version. The new version 1.7 delivers the industry's only system with dual spam detection engines. It allows you to specify the Sunbelt antispam engine, the Cloudmark antispam engine, or both. 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 V5.5 primarily, but can also be used as an "off box" solution for E2000 and 2003. Please ask your Rep or Tech Support if you have questions about the configuration.

You Can Run CounterSpy Consumer From The Command Line

As you all know, the code for CounterSpy and Microsoft's Windows Antispyware started out as the same code, and then each went their own way. But there are still some things the same, and one is the command line interface. Meaning you can fire it off from a command line instead of via the Graphical User Interface.

Here is a blog entry from a Microsoft Technician that explains how that works: "It has been a busy few months on the Anti-Spyware team, and I have learned a lot about the product while supporting millions of users in a newsgroup format. Here is a cool feature I ran into the other day...executing antispyware with switches through the command line!"

Sunbelt's developers said: "We saw no reason to change the command line options from the originals. The main reason they exist is that when scheduled scans or updates are triggered CounterSpy is launched with command line arguments by the system tray application (sunServer in our case, sunASServer for Microsoft)

Business Continuity and COOP Concerns for the Public Sector

While "Business Continuity" may be the hot topic for the private sector, "COntinuity of OPerations" (COOP) is the buzz for federal IT workers. COOP is currently the focus of many federal IT workers and we know that you face unique challenges in the public sector trying to meet COOP standards.

Keeping Applications Available - with limited budgets, how does one really do more with less and ensure it stays running

Centralizing Backups - eliminating tape drives at remote offices and improving the success of backups

Disaster Recovery - protecting important data in support of COOP and other initiatives

The bottom line, more than ever, last night's tape is not good enough. Today's IT teams need to efficiently move data between sites, leverage it for better backups and ensure that data and applications are highly available and can be recovered in the event of a disaster.

Please join the developers of Double-Take to discuss how affordable, data replication software can help you meet your COOP requirements. We will review lessons learned and share relevant public sector case studies from the federal, state, and local venues. Register:

Well, What ARE The Top 10 Spyware Threats?

The vast majority of CounterSpy users have opted to become part of Threatnet. Thank you very much. Together we are fighting spyware. Now we have a little goodie to give back to you. Here you can see in real time what the actual threats are, and you can choose over which time frame as well. Thanks very much for being a CounterSpy ThreatNet member. Here is the link:


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


iHateSpam for Exchange: The Best Made Better.

iHateSpam for Exchange is still the best selling antispam tool in the USA. It's a multi-year-in-a-row winner of the WindowsIT Pro Reader's Choice. It now comes with TWO antispam engines. One is signature based, the other heuristic: the best of both worlds! Buy iHateSpam for Exchange now, and get grandfathered into its V2.0, which will have plug-in options for anti-virus, filtering for attachments, content, server-based auto-replies and for disclaimers. Well over 5,000 enterprise installations. Your end-users will love it. Get your full-feature 30-day eval here: