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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 12, 2005 (Vol. 10, #37 - Issue #542)
The Eternal Darkness Of The Clueless Mind
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • MCSE and Job Security
    • The Eternal Darkness Of The Clueless Mind
    • Stu's "Pet Peeve" [grin]
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Best Practices For Partitioning A Hard Disk?
    • Spyware Means Wasted Time, Headaches and Trouble for IT
    • New Startup Looks At Mars for Mining -- Really
    • Worst Practices For SQL Server Backup And Recovery
    • Exchange Server Performance Learning Guide
    • Juicy Tidbits Department
    • Microsoft Sues European Commission
    • Microsoft Alert: Windows Firewall Flaw
    • Best Tips Winners From SearchWinSystems.com
    • Sunbelt Releases New CounterSpy Enterprise V1.5.265
    • Cymphonix' New Spyware Firewall with CounterSpy Protection
    • Seminar: What Every IT Manager Should Know About Application Failover and Centralized Backup
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Directory of Disaster Recovery Resources
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MCSE and Job Security

The results of the recent SunPoll were not unexpected. Your opinion about the current program was that you did not get enough credit for "real world" experience, and that the certification does not translate to higher pay. However, something new is planned.

A little birdie that is involved with the process told me that MSCE will no longer be the "premier" certification available from Microsoft. You will still be able to get it, pretty much like it is today. But a new certification will be created that will have a name akin to 'Microsoft Certified Technical Architect'.

That title signifies a combination of proven technical skill, real world experience, and it is a blend of both Project Management and high-level technical architecture knowledge. And you only get this 'MCTA' cert if you successfully complete both a written exam and an interview - possibly with some hands-on demo's. Now that is something that might make a few people nervous.

Which brings me to job security in general. I saw some amazing numbers recently. The economy in the U.S. destroys and creates jobs at an astounding rate. For the period between 1993 and 2002, 300 million job were destroyed and a whopping 318 million new jobs were created: 18 million net gain. Wow, hard to imagine.

To put these numbers in perspective, this year we have roughly 140 million total jobs in the whole economy. If you do the math the conclusion is quite surprising. Every year, we create and destroy more than 20 percent of all the jobs. Better yet, The U.S. economy basically replaces all jobs every five years. So in reality, very little real job security exists.

So what does that mean for you in your IT job? Your loyalty should really be focused on your own career. Keep your skill set up to date, keep your resume "in present time", and definitely keep an eye out for opportunities that you might be able to grab and what your loss might be if you would pass on them. Most of all, keep an eye on any new trend you see, and think about how your skill set might fit, you may be forced to do consulting work for a while to survive.

The Eternal Darkness Of The Clueless Mind

The Soft.Letter is an industry newsletter I subscribe to. They used this title as a take-off on the movie "The Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind" where a guy deliberately erases a part of his memory in a failed attempt to feel better in the future. He basically inflicts brain damage on himself.

When you look at the recent report of the Office of Inspector General (IG) of our recently formed Dept of Homeland Security, you would think top DHS management have done the same. Their IG reported that 15 out of the 19 agencies under DHS lack fully operational disaster recovery sites. Talk about being ready for national emergencies...

I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons, especially the upheaval caused by the recent reorganization that must have thrown a wrench in their IT Operations, and budget issues caused by this, but nevertheless, this should not be. And I'm sure that all the operational IT people in these departments could not agree more!

Below is the full report if you can confront the 34 pages of doom. Just the Executive Summary is worth it though. With a government prepared for emergencies like they are, I have included a few links for your personal disaster recovery at the end of the Fave Links below. For the first few weeks, you can only rely on yourself and your own preparations! Here is the IG Report:

Stu's "Pet Peeve" [grin]

Here is one of my "pet peeves" I'd like your feedback on. Suddenly everyone includes "antispyware" in their apps. Some vendors try to sell you patching and spyware mixed into one. Others mix it with anti-virus. Well, why pay for patching if you get WSUS for free? Not cost effective, and likely gets you substandard antispyware. Several independent tests showed that stand-alone antispyware products have been proven to be the most effective. After all, these products are only as effective as their databases. To be safe you need the best threat database in the industry. Let me know what you think about these "mixed apps"?

Quotes Of The Week:
"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." -- Donald Trump
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before." -- Mae West

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


Best Practices For Partitioning A Hard Disk?

W2Knews subscriber Will Harper said: "The article on the Redmond website is WRONG! A lot of it is about opinions, some of them good - others - ho-hum. But the advice to create a SEPARATE PARTITION on a disk for the swap file breaks long-established "best practices."

"The rule is, and always has been, to place the swap file on "the most busy partition of the least busy spindle." The reason for the "most busy" rule is because of the mechanics of disk drives. It takes huge amounts of time for a disk to switch between partitions, relative to the time required to find a location (swap file) on the partition that the head is already over.

"The advice the author is giving COULD be good -- but only if the rest of the real-estate on the disk spindle is NOT active. (e.g. storage only).

"As an aside, Microsoft, and many vendors place a "rate this article" link on each published page, especially if it offers opinions. Why not this one?" Here is the offending webpage:

Spyware Means Wasted Time, Headaches and Trouble for IT

Yours truly was interviewed by the IT Business Edge reporters about what we thought about spyware. See for yourself if I was somewhat balanced or completely off my rocker. [grin]

New Startup Looks At Mars for Mining -- Really

Space entrepreneurs eyeing Mars as a hub of some future solar system economy launched a startup on Tuesday to mine the red planet for building materials. The new company, 4Frontiers, plans to mine Mars for building materials and energy sources, and export the planet's mineral wealth to forthcoming space stations on the moon and elsewhere. Their new site is at:

Worst Practices For SQL Server Backup And Recovery

In the event of a SQL Server failure, wouldn't it feel good knowing you have a well-tested and reliable backup and restore process to protect your data? The success of your efforts depends more on seemingly small oversights or mistakes you make than on the best practices you follow. In this tip, Edgewood Solutions' Greg Robidoux identifies backup and recovery worst practices.

Exchange Server Performance Learning Guide

This Exchange Server Performance Learning Guide will explain best practices, outline pitfalls to avoid and provide troubleshooting help and advice. You'll find articles, tutorials, tips, tools, white papers and expert advice to pump up your Exchange performance know-how.


Juicy Tidbits Department

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer vowed to "kill" Google in an expletitive-laced, chair-throwing tirade when a senior engineer told him he was leaving the company to go work for Google, the engineer claimed in court documents made public on Friday.

In a sworn statement made public Friday, Mark Lucovsky, another Microsoft senior engineer who left for Google in November 2004, recounted Ballmer's angry reaction when Lucovsky told Ballmer he was going to work for the search engine company.

"At some point in the conversation, Mr. Ballmer said: 'Just tell me it's not Google,'"Lucovosky said in his statement. Lucovosky replied that he was joining Google.

"At that point, Mr. Ballmer picked up a chair and threw it across the room hitting a table in his office," Lucovosky recounted, adding that Ballmer then launched into a tirade about Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "I'm going to f***ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to f***ing kill Google." Schmidt previously worked for Sun Microsystems and was the CEO of Novell. There is more at news.com

Microsoft Sues European Commission

Microsoft Corp. said that it has filed a lawsuit against the European Commission in a European Union court, the latest wrangle in its long-running battle against competition authorities in Brussels. "Microsoft has filed an application for annulment with the Court of First Instance, specifically concerning the issue of broad licenses for the source code of communications protocols," a company spokesman said. The issue relates to server software that runs printing, filing and security tasks for small-office groups. ComputerWorld has more of the story:

Microsoft Alert: Windows Firewall Flaw

Microsoft alerted users to a problem in Windows Firewall that could be exploited by attackers. Windows Firewall can be made to hide certain information from the user. It's not itself a hole, since it can't be used to invade a system. It is, rather, an "unexpected behavior" that an attacker could use to cover up malicious activity, Microsoft said. Install this update to ensure that a firewall exception created via the registry is listed in the Windows Firewall interface the same as if the exception was created in the interface itself. After you install this update, you may have to restart your computer.

Best Tips Winners From SearchWinSystems.com

Sunitha Sunkara took the gold in SearchWinSystems.com August tip contest. She is the lucky recipient of a portable DVD Player for her tip on how to use the Auto Complete feature in the Command Prompt. Second and third place winners are Julius Mallepalle for his tip, Automatically clean up temp files on your hard drive and Ken Steffes for 'Resolve the "Error Log File is Corrupt"'


Sunbelt Releases New CounterSpy Enterprise V1.5.265

This version has a lot of fixes and enhancements to existing features. A very important new feature is the ability to have multiple update servers for scalability in large deployments. This new Counterspy Enterprise Version 1.5.265 was released Sept 7, 2005.

Here are links to the updated User Guide:

The updated Active Protection Whitepaper:

And the download itself:

Cymphonix' New Spyware Firewall with CounterSpy Protection

A new collaboration between Cymphonix Corporation, maker of the award-winning Network Composer(TM) intelligent gateway appliance, and Sunbelt Software, developers of CounterSpy(TM), recognized by PCWorld and Laptop Magazine as the leading antispyware program in their tests, provides network managers a new breed of spyware firewall that combines the premiere antispyware desktop technology with the leader in advanced, intelligent gateways.

Cymphonix will begin shipping its products with the new Network Composer firmware release version 5.5, which includes a full integration of the new CounterSpy Gateway SDK from Sunbelt. The new solution will also provide up-to-the-minute spyware protection to Cymphonix customers by adding automatic, ongoing database updates of new spyware threat signatures from the Sunbelt Research Center.

"With the advances that have been made in version 5.5, this new offering has made our lives much easier," said beta customer Kevin Allgaier of US Synthetic. "In the last 5 days, Network Composer blocked over 5,500 spyware requests across my network of 500 users."

The CounterSpy Gateway SDK brings thousands of individual spyware traces into Network Composer's existing Spyware at the Edge(TM) recognition database, and will deliver a significant number of new spyware threat signatures weekly to Cymphonix customers, according to Carol Montgomery-Adams, vice president of channels and business development at Sunbelt.

More than six years in development, the Cymphonix XLi engine is a revolutionary network gateway design built to handle a new generation of networking challenges. Network Composer(TM), Cymphonix's flagship application, offers best-of-class spyware, antivirus, firewall and content filtering protection, along with sophisticated dynamic application shaping and instant message logging. The product provides a turn-key, next-generation gateway solution. For more information please visit:

Seminar: What Every IT Manager Should Know About Application Failover and Centralized Backup

What if your key application server went down today? Component failure, power outages, operator errors, viruses and natural disasters can all influence a system's availability. Sunbelt and NSI Software would like to invite you to informative seminars in Cleveland and Detroit.

In these seminars, we will discuss strategies for implementing high availability, remote availability and centralized backup solutions. You will also learn how to begin to develop a tactical plan that you can use to meet high availability and disaster recovery objectives based on the needs of your business. All attendees will be registered for a chance to win an Apple iPod.

Cleveland registration:
Wednesday, Oct. 5th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Breakfast included)
Location: Microsoft Corporation
Park Center III
6050 Oak Tree Blvd, 3rd Floor
Independence, OH 44131

Detroit registration:
Wednesday, Oct. 19th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Breakfast included)
Location: Microsoft Corporation
1000 Town Center Dr.
Southfield Town Center, Suite 1930
Southfield, MI 48075


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


Directory of Disaster Recovery Resources

Be Prepared for Anything with the Definitive Directory of Disaster Recovery Resources. The middle of a crisis is no time to start searching for vendors and resources needed to implement your company's disaster recovery plan. That's why the Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages is an essential resource for any business that wants to be ready for unexpected emergencies.

Published by Edwards Information, this comprehensive guide to disaster recovery and business continuity resources features more than 3100 up-to-date listings. The Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages is an invaluable planning tool whether you are starting work on a new disaster recovery plan or looking to fill gaps in an existing one. Its informative articles and 355 listing categories can help even experts discover critical disaster recovery plan elements they are missing.