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WServerNews (formerly W2Knews)
Vol. 10, #49 - Dec 5, 2005 - Issue #554
Breaking News: Sunbelt To Acquire The Kerio Personal Firewall

  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • Breaking News: Sunbelt To Acquire The Kerio Personal Firewall
    • New From Redmond Research: No Cost Email Triage
    • Global Warming a Fact? Not So Fast...
    • Quotes of the Week
  2. ADMIN TOOLBOX
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. TECH BRIEFING
    • MS Makes RSS A Two-Way Street
    • How To Become A Microsoft Certified Architect
    • Microsoft Now Offers Its Own Tool To Test Memory
    • Security Competency Gets Revamped
  4. WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
    • The Impact of Microsoft Live May be Years Away
    • Checklist: Five Backend Tasks You Should Automate
  5. WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • How Will The New CounterSpy Enterprise V2.0 Look?
    • So, How Does Double-Take Compare To Neverfail?
    • Latest SNSI Vulnerability Update
    • New Utility Keeps Window Registry Tidy
  6. WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  7. WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • The Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall
Stop Spyware Before It Enters Your Network

Now you can stop spyware before it enters your network!
The new Cymphonix Network Composer uses Sunbelt's industry-
leading CounterSpy SDK threat recognition database to ensure
that your business is completely protected from spyware threats.
With Network Composer protecting your network at the Internet
Gateway and CounterSpy Enterprise on the client-side you'll have
the best spyware protection available on the market.
Visit Cymphonix to Order Your Free Evaluation Unit!
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Cymphonix

EDITORS CORNER

Breaking News: Sunbelt To Acquire The Kerio Personal Firewall

Here are some of the highlights:
  • The acquisition is expected to be finalized by the end of this month.
  • The Kerio Personal Firewall will be re-branded on an interim basis as the "Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall".
  • All existing customers of the Kerio Personal Firewall will be able to receive support through Sunbelt once the acquisition is completed.
  • Upon the close of the deal, Sunbelt will also announce new reduced pricing for the full version of the product and a variety of special offers for both Kerio and Sunbelt customers.
  • Additionally, Sunbelt will continue Kerio's tradition of providing a basic free version for home users.
  • During the transition period, Kerio will continue to support the product and users are encouraged to download the Kerio Personal Firewall from the Kerio website at www.kerio.com until the acquisition is completed.
We are thrilled with this acquisition, it's our personal favorite. We just really like how it operates. It's straightforward, very effective and also has cool features like ad blocking and intrusion prevention.

The deal will be closing at the end of the month and at that point we'll reduce the price. Sunbelt customers will also get the opportunity to buy the Kerio Firewall at a discount and we'll also be offering Sunbelt products to Kerio users at a discount. Such a deal.

From a technical standpoint, this product is pretty amazing. We were blown away during our technical due diligence with the quality of the coding and the many security features built into the product. This product is hot. This should all be wrapped up in a couple of weeks. If you want to check it out now, scroll down to the Product Of the Week section. We have a link there. (Tip 'o the hat to Alex.)

New From Redmond Research: No Cost Email Triage

The tool is called SNARF. An email from your manager is more important than a message from a stranger. SNARF applies this idea to email triage: handling the flow of messages when time is short and mail is long. The SNARF UI is designed to provide a quick overview of unread mail, organized by its importance. The UI shows a series of different panes with unread mail in them; each pane shows a list of authors of messages. Clicking on a name shows all messages involving that person. Works with several email clients and handy when you are roaming and check email on the fly. I just indexed all my folders and it was cool to see that in the 2,000 emails I got this week, it indeed identified the important people I deal with, and which emails I had not answered yet! When I whacked a whole folder at once, it updated dynamically. This is actually very useful. I have it sitting on my desktop now!
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-SNARF


Global Warming a Fact? Not So Fast...

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I just ripped through a fascinating book by Michael Crichton that just came out in paperback. It's called "State of Fear". Could not put it down! Crichton spent three years studying global temperature data and CO2 emissions and a lot of other data related to global temperature change before he wrote this book. Instead of 'listening' to opinions in the media, he used his scientific background and 'looked' at the actual data.

Truly eye-opening and this book definitely has my "Stu's Warmly Recommended". Do not believe what you read and hear in the mass media about 'global warming'. Here is someone who actually did his homework, without an 'agenda'. And he provides all the references. Plus, a gripping story as well! Here's a link to the paperback. Great Holiday Gift for yourself or a family member, and share it.
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Crichton


Quotes of the Week

"When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power"
-- Alston Chase
"Nothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known"
-- Montaigne

Hope you enjoy this issue of WServerNews! Warm regards, Stu Sjouwerman  |   Email me: [email protected]


ADMIN TOOLBOX

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without



TECH BRIEFING

MS Makes RSS A Two-Way Street

Redmond is extending the popular RSS 2.0 Web syndication format to make it "multidirectional," allowing it to be used to synch information such as contacts and calendar entries across different applications, they said. Did I hear some one say: "Embrace and Extend"? [grin] More at InfoWorld:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-RSS2


How To Become A Microsoft Certified Architect

Here is the site that tells you all about it. The program "validates top industry experts in IT Architecture. These professionals have 10 or more years of experience in IT with at least 3 years of experience as a practicing architect and possess strong technical and leadership skills and form a distinguished community."

If you want to be part of this illustrious group, you must pass a rigorous review board made up of previously certified architects. The certification is targeted to people who can use "multiple technologies to solve business problems and provide business metrics and measurements to describe the success or failure of the projects they drive." More at:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-MS_Certified_Architect


Microsoft Now Offers Its Own Tool To Test Memory

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer for errors. The diagnostic includes a comprehensive set of memory tests. If you are experiencing problems while running Windows, you can use the diagnostic to determine whether the problems are caused by failing hardware, such as RAM or the memory system of your motherboard. Windows Memory Diagnostic is designed to be easy and fast. On most configurations, you can download the diagnostic, read the documentation, run the test and complete the first test pass in less than 30 minutes. Here it is:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-WinDiag


Security Competency Gets Revamped

Michael Domingo at MCP Mag has a good article about MS and Security Competency. As a response to partners seeking help from Microsoft in its never-ending battle to keep customers secure, Redmond says it has restructured the Security Solutions competency into two specializations with revised requirements.

"Whether you're working with Microsoft technology or providing security products, services or solutions - across the enterprise we want them to have a home in this program," said Thomas Dawkins, a group product manager involved in developing the security partner strategy, through a statement. More at:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Security_Competency


WINDOWS SERVER NEWS

The Impact of Microsoft Live May be Years Away

By our guest Columnist Laura DiDio from the Yankee Group

In the wake of Microsoft's November 1st debut of its new Software- Based Services initiative, many industry watchers are rightfully puzzling over the possible impact and implications of the initiative.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie, the company's chief technology officer touted this as a "revolutionary" event. Yankee Group believes that Microsoft is taking a very big step in the right direction to articulate its often confusing "software as a services strategy. However we view Microsoft's strategy as more "evolutionary" than revolutionary.

Make no mistake. Microsoft's strategy is a good one. The company is doing exactly what it needs to do to keep current customers satisfied, remain competitive with other large players like Yahoo and Google and also try and expand its traditional installed base of customers and lure new ones in. Many in the industry believe that Microsoft is to a large degree, scrambling to catch-up to Google and Yahoo! In some areas this is absolutely true. The reality is a bit more complicated than that.

Google holds the high ground and dominates in the Web search engine and Web advertising space. It is a market arena that Microsoft covets. Microsoft holds the high ground and dominates in the desktop apps arena. This is a market that Google covets. Google, Microsoft, along with Yahoo!, IBM, HP, Sun and others are all encroaching on each other's traditional markets in a bid to keep their existing customer base, attract new customers and gain and maintain a competitive edge against traditional and new nemeses.

It's unlikely that any single vendor will be able to so completely dominate the software or Internet services arena. The most likely scenario is that several vendors will predominate. We can also expect to see vendors strengthening their position via a series of alliances. This has already begun as witnessed by the still nebulous Google/Sun Microsystems partnership.

The Windows Live, Office Live and Xbox Live offerings are at least a year and probably more, away from delivery. They are designed to deliver the functionality of these products online -- at some unspecified point in the future. That day is probably years away, but in order to convince customers, business partners, analysts, press and the financial community that it is keeping up with Google et al., it is imperative that Microsoft articulate its strategic vision.

Yankee Group does not anticipate Microsoft effecting this migration within the next two years. For starters, it is technically daunting. There are also practical financial considerations which preclude a quick conversion. To put it bluntly, Office and Windows remain Microsoft's bread and butter products which combined, account for over 50% of the company's revenue. Microsoft cannot sacrifice the recurring revenue stream from these core products until it ships the Office Live and Windows Live Web-based services and they begin to get traction and deliver revenue.

Historically, mainstream software deployment for new releases and the associated revenue generally do not occur until a year or more after the product ships. So what will Windows Live and Office actually do? Microsoft's intent is to transition its core Windows and Office products to two new Internet-based software services that in practical terms will meld all of the elements of a consumer and corporate knowledge worker's world into a seamless online package and in the case of Office Live, SMB and midmarket users will be able to conduct all of their business online.

Windows Live allows users to build their own personal Web portals that incorporate all of the core desktop functionality -- such as Email, Instant Messaging and collaboration features, powerful local and Internet based search engines.

If it fulfills its mission statement, it is very likely that Windows Live and Office Live will make MSN redundant. At the very least the combination of MSN, Windows Live and Office Live presents corporate and consumer customers with a confusing array of choices. They are unlikely to use both MSN and the Live products. In fact, Windows Live and Office Live look as though they will supplant and obsolete MSN within the next several years even if Microsoft doesn't say so.

We do know that eventually current MSN Hotmail and Email services will have to migrate to the Windows Live Email service, which is now in beta. But once again, the delivery is months if not more than a year away. So there is no immediate impact on businesses. Still, it's never too soon for IT administrators, CTO's and CIO's to cast a watchful eye on the developing software-as-services landscape. At the very least the presence of several formidable competitors slugging it out for your capex dollars bodes well for end user organizations.

Laura DiDio is a Research Fellow at the Yankee Group, a Boston consultancy.

Checklist: Five Backend Tasks You Should Automate

This checklist continues the Search Win Systems special series of tips on tasks you should automate. SearchWinSystems.com expert Serdar Yegulalp names five backend tasks you should automate, and we will run a tip in the coming weeks that expands on each of these tasks. To see the checklist of the five desktop tasks Serdar says you should be automating, check below. The life of any server administrator is harried enough, and admins are eager to find any way to make common tasks easier (or at least less of a chore).

Over the next five weeks he'll be writing about five common areas where you can take advantage of scripting or third-party apps to reduce the burden of the most quotidian -- and tiresomely repetitive -- Windows Server administrative jobs:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Backend_Tasks


WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS

How Will The New CounterSpy Enterprise V2.0 Look?

Below is a list of features that will be included in the CSE 2.0 release. This release is currently planned for Q1, 2006. This list doesn't include any bug fixes, rather it is only areas that have enhancements or new features.

Deployment Wizard Improvements:
  • Ability to run pre and post install actions
  • Ability to be configured by Support as well
Performance and Scalability
  • Support up to 5000 Agents on a single server basic server
  • Performance monitors at key locations in the Services
Agent
  • New Threat Engine (lower memory footprint) New Active Protection
    • Blocks changes from happening
    • Reduced CPU time
    • Allows admin to specify custom "allowed" active protection items
    • Allows admin to specify custom "blocked" active protection items
Console
  • Persist some UI config and grid settings
  • UI Enhancements to Agents Grid
  • Massive speed increases when managing agents and viewing history
  • UI changes for new AP settings, simplified configuration
  • Display version threat was added/changed in database
Reporting
  • New database layout so that custom reports could be written directly from the database:
  • Allow user to export to HTML
  • Large increase in speed of reports
  • Fix reports for new schema
Current users under maintenance will get this new version at no cost when it gets released. You are invited to test the current V1.5 and see how much malware your existing AV solution could not find. With a key from your rep or reseller you can get a key to scan your whole domain, and get reports for all workstations:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-CounterSpyEnterprise


So, How Does Double-Take Compare To Neverfail?

I was asked this question recently by a few of our Double-Take customers. Here is a summary of what my take is on the many differences:
  1. Neverfail is NOT Microsoft certified on any Windows Server platform (yet), but Double-Take is certified on EVERY Windows Server platform.
  2. Neverfail is NOT real-time replication as I define it. Data changes are queued and sent to the target server when the queue reaches a pre-defined size. This introduces the possibility of data being lost and not protected at any given time. However Double-Take sends data changes as they are made to minimize latency, resulting in near zero data loss in the event of failure.
  3. The Neverfail GUI shows just a single pair with no ability to view the entire environment for overall management. But DT's management console provides a single management interface for all Double-Take servers, providing a Global view of the entire replication environment.
  4. Neverfail heartbeat does not adequately support encrypted files, but Double-Take fully supports encrypted files.
  5. Neverfail does NOT provide an option to control its usage of network bandwidth. Double-Take allows for bandwidth utilization limits to control the amount of bandwidth used by the replication process.
  6. Neverfail is a 1 to 1 solution only and you must provide matching hardware, OS, etc, on the target server. The target server is NOT available for anything including acting as a target for other servers, to back up to tape, etc. But Double-Take can be 1 to 1, 1 to many, many to 1, few to many, etc, and the target server can failover for multiple sources, is available to be backed up at any time, etc.
  7. Neverfail is known for their focus in "local high availability" and not really created for replication and failover over the WAN. Neverfail was really designed to replace Microsoft Clustering on a LAN. However, Double-Take was designed from the start to be the best in both HA and DR. There are more Double-Take licenses protecting Exchange alone ... than Neverfail has protecting everything. The are over 100,000 Double-Take licenses protecting Window Servers both in both HA and DR scenarios.
If you are looking for a good combination HA and DR, test Double-Take. There is a more complete white paper on this topic that you can ask your rep for.
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Double-Take


Latest SNSI Vulnerability Update

To update from within the SNSI console, select Settings, enter your full registration key and click on Check Now button. Vulnerability updates for this release include:

ID Name
H136 Remshd in Trusted Mode grants unauthorized access - HP-UX 11
H137 Envd permits local privilege elevation - HP-UX 11
H138 Xterm permits privilege elevation - HP-UX 11
L999 Fetchmail - configuration file writing - RHE
L1000 Kernel - Multiple vulnerabilities - RHE
L1001 Openssl - null pointer assignment - RHE
L1002 Macromedia Flash - Memory access - RHE
L1003 Php - Data manipulation/Cross site scripting - RHE
W2667 RealPlayer Image Skin File Vulnerability
W2668 Sony BMG CD Rootkit Vulnerabilities
W2669 First4Internet CodeSupport ActiveX Vulnerability

Updated Checks

Vendor Superseded Patches
W1142,W1986,W1999,W2067 - Anti-Virus Signatures
S234 Netscape NSS Library Vulnerabilities - Solaris 8 - 9
H70 OpenView Authentication HP-UX 11
H101 OpenView Operations Privilege Vulnerability HP-UX
H129 Veritas data protection issue - HP-UX 11

Revised Logic
S234 Netscape NSS Library Vulnerabilities - Solaris 8 - 9
S352 NSS tools unzip files unsafely - Solaris
W2481 Windows AntiSpyware
W2595 Adobe Acrobat 7
W2601 Adobe Acrobat 6
W2664-2665 VERITAS Netbackup
W2666 Flash

SNSI uses the latest Mitre Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list of computer incidents. It also contains the latest SANS/FBI top 20 vulnerability list. SNSI also uses the latest CERT, CIAC Microsoft and FedCIRC (Department of Homeland Security) advisories. To get the latest SNSI version, visit
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-SNSI


New Utility Keeps Window Registry Tidy

European utility developer 1-abc.net is shipping version 1.0 of another new tool for end users, this one designed to help clean up out of date Windows Registry entries. Registry Washer examines the Windows Registry and removes entries that are leftovers from programs that failed to completely uninstall or are no longer valid. These old and invalid entries can impact performance when Windows needs to extract information from a cluttered Registry. Read more:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Registry

Download at:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Registry_Washer


WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS

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



WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

The Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall

You read in the Editors Corner that Sunbelt is in the process of taking over the Kerio Personal Firewall. It's a really good one, and was given Excellent reviews at both PC Mag and PC World. If you want to take a look at it, here is the existing site where you can get a 30-day eval and try it on an XP box. It's got some very neat technology! Check it out all its features at:
http://www.wservernews.com/051205-Kerio