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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Nov 21, 2005 (Vol. 10, #47 - Issue #552)
Suite Or Best-Of-Breed?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Want Some Of Microsoft's Money?
    • Last SunPoll: Suite Or Best-Of-Breed?
    • More on "Web V2.0"
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • MOM, WSUS, Windows Management Tools Bundled For Mid-market
    • SQL Server 2005 May Call For A Smarter DBA
    • Delivering Daily Security Tips To Users
    • Step-by-step Guide: E-mail Compliance To-do List
    • Microsoft Exchange 12 Facts!
    • Redmond Updates Plans For 64-bit Computing
    • Microsoft Offers Beta 2 Of Compute Cluster Server 2003
    • MS End User Licensing Tool Released: MPLA
    • Beta Office 12 Released
    • SANS Antispyware Webcast Now Available
    • iHateSpam and CounterSpy Finalists in SC Magazine's 2006 Reader Trust Awards
    • Microsoft: "Print Manager Plus Is Solution of the Month"
    • Double-Take Customer Success Story
  6. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Group Policy, Profiles, and IntelliMirror for W2K3 by Jeremy Moskowitz
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Want Some Of Microsoft's Money?

You may not be aware of the fact that Redmond started its own leasing company with these billions they are sitting on. If you are short on immediate cash, but need these new licenses pretty much yesterday, you can now lease software from Redmond. Over the long haul you pay finance charges of course, but in the short term it might be a good solution if you are confronted with a few more SQL licenses (ouch). And this brings me to the new SunPoll:

"How likely is your business to take advantage of the new Microsoft financing arrangements to charge your software?"

  • Yes, we would definitely do it
  • We're very likely to use this financing
  • We're open to the possibility
  • Not very likely
  • Definitely not
  • We were not aware of this possibility to begin with

Vote here: bottom mid column:

Last SunPoll: Suite Or Best-Of-Breed?

The results of the last SunPoll was interesting. The question: "Regarding layered security in your organization, would you prefer:"

  • An integrated suite from one vendor: 24.1%
  • No, I want to select best-of-breed for each module: 69.3%
  • Neither/Other: 6.4%

More on "Web V2.0"

Remember me talking about "Web V2.0" last issue? Well, it's really more marketing hype than anything else. So a reader sent me this link. Put on your cynic's crash helmet and enjoy:

Quotes of the Week:
"My interest is in the future because I'm going to spend the rest of my life there." -- Charles F. Kettering
"When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him." --Thomas Szasz

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


MOM, WSUS, Windows Management Tools Bundled For Mid-market

A small flurry of Microsoft product news blew in from Spain and IT Forum 05 last week. Mid-market IT managers are getting an integrated management package for patch distribution and server monitoring. Plus, Virtual Server R2 and enterprise desktop search have arrived. More over at the SearchWin2000.com site:

SQL Server 2005 May Call For A Smarter DBA

SQL Server 2005 embodies Microsoft's ambitions toward the larger enterprise database management market. Sybase, Oracle and IBM have traditionally required more highly trained -- and higher priced -- administrators. Will SQL Server now need them, too? Article at SearchSQLServer.com

Delivering Daily Security Tips To Users

Educating users on security is a big part of overall security. This little-known Quote of the Day protocol for Windows Server 2003 can help dispense advice using a login script without overwhelming the user. Networking expert Tom Lancaster provides instructions for enabling this protocol. SearchWindowsSecurity has the scoop.

Step-by-step Guide: E-mail Compliance To-do List

SearchExchange.com expert and longtime Exchange MVP David Sengupta outlines 10 compliance-related tasks that will help maintain control over your burgeoning corporate e-mail. This article is at the SearchExchange site, but you need to register for it (no cost)

Microsoft Exchange 12 Facts!

Steven Bink, a friend of mine in Holland has a good site; Bink.nu. He wrote this and I thought it would be interesting to get this raw data just as he sees it!

"OK I had no time yet to write a decent article I have on Exchange 12 based on sessions and interviews from the IT Forum. I will do that next week, for now get the facts based in my notes in no particular order:"

Role based deployment: Edge, Mailbox, Routing, client Access etc.
So no more need of OWA files or pub folders on all servers
50 Storage Groups total
50 databases total
Page size from 4k -> 6k
IO and large Mem optimized
Target 5MB RAM /user
Full command line support (Monad)
ESM completely re-written from scratch
90% of new code is managed code
Faster server startup
No more STM files!
14 day dumpster by default
Enable Large, low cost mailboxes
E12=0.25 IO/sec (Ex2k3 1.0)
Logfiles limit 2 billion
Low impact fast re-index
Multi mailbox search
Works with OL and OWA and Mobile Outlook
Local continuous backup, no tape needed
Remote continuous backup
Reduced TCO
Fast recovery (minutes)
No more PST's! expensive, legal risk.
Managed email folders, corporate assigned folders
Outlook Voice Access
Branding: Demo's used Beta1 named Exchange 2007
Binaries are version 8!
Only 64 bit, reported 1st by Bink.nu few months ago :)
No active/active cluster support
No more OMA support
Last version with public folders
Access intranet and files outside the office without VPN

Purdy kewl huh?


Redmond Updates Plans For 64-bit Computing

Microsoft announced updates to both its Windows Server 2003 and Virtual Server 2005, pledging to commit itself to 64-bit computing. They fleshed out their road map for transitioning customers to 64-bit computing and unveiled updates to several of its management and server products at its IT Forum 2005 conference in Barcelona on Tuesday.

The server version of Microsoft's Vista operating system will come in both 32- and 64-bit versions, but Release 2, scheduled for 2009, will be 64-bit only, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of MS's Servers and Tools Business, said in a speech there.

Another product currently dubbed Centro -- a set of server software aimed at medium-size businesses -- will also be available in only a 64-bit version when it comes out around 2007. The Vista version of Small Business Server will also be 64-bit only, Muglia said. More at ComputerWorld:

Microsoft Offers Beta 2 Of Compute Cluster Server 2003

Microsoft continues to move into the direction of supercomputing, and released the second beta of Windows Compute Cluster Server '03.

Bob Muglia, senior vice president, Microsoft Server and Tools Business, talked about Microsoft's commitment to high performance computing in his keynote address in Barcelona at the Microsoft IT Forum 2005, the company's annual infrastructure conference.

The Beta 2 release of Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, is designed to accelerate time to insight by providing an integrated, easy to use and manageable high performance computing solution. Redmond's PR flacks spoke last week with Muglia. Here is the interview if you are interested in Windows SuperComputing:

MS End User Licensing Tool Released: MPLA

OK, here is something new and interesting. Redmond showed up with a tool that allows you as an IT end user compare their different licensing programs, get guidance with your licensing, go through a training wizard and selection products. So far that is it for V1.0. Later, Redmond will add more intelligence to it, and have it guide potential prospects from an initial business problem to their complete proposed solution.

Brent Callinicos, corporate vice president of Microsoft's worldwide licensing and pricing group said: "We want it to be a conduit for people to buy stuff, not another black box that customers need to figure out". Callinicos also said Microsoft "in no way, shape or form" is halting its efforts to make its software licenses simpler.

With the output you can step to a Redmond Reseller and show them what you want. MPLA will simplify licensing, and facilitate the discussion between MS customers and MS partners. Now, it's going to work fine when you are in the USA, but the rest of the world is out of luck for the moment it looks like. Download Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor:

Beta Office 12 Released

Redmond recently released a beta-version of Office 12 to a group of roughly 10,000 testers, made up of customers and partners. A broader scale release is scheduled for next spring, which is open to the public via advance registration. Initially set for final release with Longhorn, Microsoft has since indicated it would ship Office 12 in 2H06 and will work with Windows XP and 2000 operating systems. According to the company, this version of office includes more server-related functionality and offers a context-sensitive ribbon interface. Applications included in the productivity suite include Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, InfoPath, Excel and Access. It will also include SharePoint Portal Server, Project Server and Exchange Server.


SANS Antispyware Webcast Now Available

The State of Vermont presented their final solution for antispyware in a recent SANS webcast. They looked at all the tools out there, and decided what they wanted in their own environment. Here is how to see the full webcast, but if you do not have time for that, we also included a link to the slide deck that you can flip through in just a few minutes. It's got good ammo in it if you need budget approval for your own antispyware. Here is the SANS Webcast:

And here are the slides in PDF Format:

iHateSpam and CounterSpy Finalists in SC Magazine's 2006 Reader Trust Awards

With over 1,300 product and service nominations from over 330 competing companies globally, the SC Awards one of the world's leading awards program for the information security industry. The SC Awards are composed of both the Reader Trust Technology Awards--voted on by SC readers in each region and the SC Awards Council, a group of carefully selected senior CSOs--and the Professional Awards that are judged by a panel of the industry's top talents.

Sunbelt's flagship product, iHateSpam for Exchange provides system admins with a robust anti-spam product that delivers fast setup, a high rate of spam detection, and continuously updated spam engines with tunable parameters and customizable options. It's Version 2.0 called Sunbelt Messaging Ninja will be released in Q1, 2006.

CounterSpy Enterprise, a multiple award-winning anti-spyware tool, delivers best-of-breed spyware detection and prevention with centralized management console capabilities. Both products provide continuous protection for enterprises against the latest spam and spyware threats.

Microsoft: "Print Manager Plus Is Solution of the Month"

Microsoft has selected Print Manager Plus for education as Solution of the Month for the Public Sector. It appears as one of the six top solutions at the Microsoft website http://www.partnermarketplace.com. Print Manager Plus manages printing, eliminates waste and replenishes budgets by reducing printing costs up to 30% to 75%. Being selected as Solution of the Month came on top of the release by Microsoft of its new Learning Network Manager in Europe wherein Microsoft includes a link to the free, fully functional trial version of Print Manager Plus.

Industry studies on 800 schools across Europe showed the average schools saving over 800 Euros or over $1,000 a month by using Print Manager Plus. It is unparalleled among print accounting solutions as it is native to the Windows operating system and supports every printer brand, while controlling printing from any operating system. It can be installed and operated by anyone familiar with Windows.

Award winning Print Manager Plus software is the first Microsoft verified and logo certified software to support Hewlett-Packard® Multifunctional printers' (MFP) walk-up copying or printing. Thousands of schools and universities as well as small, medium and large companies worldwide use Print Manager Plus. Eval at:

Double-Take Customer Success Story

NCsoft and its affiliates develop or publish the widely popular online computer games Lineage®, Lineage II, City of Heroes® and Guild Wars®. NCsoft Corp., headquartered in Seoul, Korea recorded worldwide revenues of $246 million in fiscal year 2004. NCsoft selected Double-Take for data protection at its four datacenters in Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Austin and Frankfurt, Germany, each containing about 50TB of data. NCsoft's data centers are configured in a circular, high-availability network which uses Double-Take to replicate data between its facilities. Additionally, NCsoft has centralized its tape backup operations with Double-Take to reduce the high operational and capital expenditures associated with maintaining tape drives at disparate locations.

NCsoft originally considered competitive solutions for the large implementation, but deployed Double-Take based upon the NSI Software's service and support expertise acquired over hundreds of engagements in a wide range of environments. Additional requirements that determined the selection of Double-Take included:

  • Superior flexibility and ease of configuration.
  • Much higher data replication speed, based on DT compression features.
  • An integrated, comprehensive feature set for high availability.
  • Automated application failover capabilities.

"NSI gave me everything I was looking for and more in data replication and protection software, including high performance, an extensive feature set, configuration flexibility, true application failover, and 24x7 live, expert customer support. Notably, the level of support that I get from NSI is light years ahead of anything that a competitive solution would provide me," said Chad McKinney, senior systems engineer, NCsoft. More info at:


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


Group Policy, Profiles, and IntelliMirror for W2K3 by Jeremy Moskowitz

Jeremy sent this book to me and I have not had the chance to really dig into it, but it looks awesome and it sits on my reading stack as Number One now! From the back cover:

The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is a dramatic step forward in the way Group Policy is administered. This book provides all the instruction and insight you need to take full control of your Active Directory with GPMC and other Group Policy tools. You'll also learn techniques for implementing IntelliMirror, making it possible for users to work securely from any location; and you'll find intensive troubleshooting advice, insider tips on keeping your network secure, and hundreds of clear examples that will help you accomplish all your administration goals. Over at Amazon: