Vol. 11, #12 - Mar 20, 2006 - Issue #568
2006 Server Reliability Survey Results
- EDITORS CORNER
- 2006 Server Reliability Survey Results
- More On Other Platforms To Support
- Your Feedback About Software Firewalls
- I Missed The Antispyware WebCast With Eric Howes!
- Quote of the Week
- ADMIN TOOLBOX
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- TECH BRIEFING
- What the Heck is SLI, And Why Is It Interesting?
- Technology Spending Rises at Corporations
- Pet Peeves In The Workplace: PDA's Offensive?!
- Tell Your Users: Do Not Use Cell Phones While Flying
- Topping The Windows IT Salary Charts
- Tutorial: Exchange Server Public Folder Permissions
- Deploying Apps Via Group Policy -- Cost-effective, But Risky
- WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
- Yankee Group/Sunbelt 2006 Server Reliability Survey Results
- On The Road But Still Having To Manage Servers?
- Watch For Pre-Installed Google Desktops
- Top Five T-SQL Stored Procedures
- WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
- VMware Says GSX Server Not Fit For Prime Time. Says Who?
- Protecting Your SQL Environment. Easier Than You Thought!
- VeriSign Details Massive Denial-of-Service Attacks
- WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- How To Get Free AV: Participate In Ninja Beta
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deep-packet scanning, payload identification and traffic control -
making it easy for administrators to optimize the demand for
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Spyware, Viruses, P2P and Inappropriate Content! Log IM sessions!
And more... Visit this site to see the Online Demo:
2006 Server Reliability Survey Results
Yankee Group/Sunbelt are delivering on our promise to get you the
Executive Summary of the 2006 Server Reliability Survey Results.
Very interesting data! Make sure you read the Summary in the
Windows Server News section!
More On Other Platforms To Support
Quite a few of you remarked, hey, that's what I get paid for, so
what's the big deal? I'm quoting: "The job of IT Support is to
SUPPORT, not make unilateral decisions about what will and will not
be supported as if you are the decision maker. Yes, IT always has
input to help corporate make good decisions, but in the end you
don't get to say, "We will not support that." OK, understood and
point taken! ;-)
Your Feedback About Software Firewalls
It has been a long time that I received so much feedback on one
of my editorial topics. And lots of people also took the time to
vote in the SunPoll. Turns out that 22% of you already have a
software firewall on production servers, and another 23% say it
is a good idea if affordable. I was surprised by that, and thought
the percentages would be lower. 34% stated they -do- rely on
the hardware firewall at the edge, mainly to prevent problems
with connectivity. Some of the reasons people wrote in claiming
internal firewalls were a good idea:
Perhaps you know that Sunbelt acquired the Kerio Firewall. Based on
the survey feedback, later this year we will come out with a
centrally managed server version of it.
- "Depending on who writes the application management, it could be
a great secondary point of protection. A properly secured interior
firewall isolates servers from the brunt of internal points of entry."
- "In our educational environment, we'll always have students who want
to "experiment" with the freely available hacker tools on the Internet,
so we have added additional software firewalls".
- "A software firewall is likely to appeal to many environments. The
days of playing fast and loose with your network are drawing to close,
and network administrators will be required to know exactly what ports
and protocols are being used on each client and server in their
network. 10 years ago, we were struggling to keep systems up and
connected. Now, the challenge is to identify and stop all the
I Missed The Antispyware WebCast With Eric Howes!
Did you guys record it and can I see it anyway? Yes we have and
yes you can. It is posted here:
Quote of the Week
"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President;
I'm beginning to believe it." -? Clarence Darrow
What the Heck is SLI, And Why Is It Interesting?
A WSN subscriber made me aware of some very cool technology that
somehow or another had slipped by me, so I sat up and listened.
SLI is some seriously interesting graphics hardware. This stuff
allows you to connect -two- graphics cards for brilliant and
blistering 3D graphics. I asked for some sites that would explain
more, and he sent me three that I will give to you below. If
you are either into professional 3D graphics or serious gaming,
I guess you should check these sites out:
Technology Spending Rises at Corporations
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that IT spending among
corporations is seeing a slow and steady acceleration, according
to a survey of corporate technology buyers conducted by Goldman Sachs.
The survey found that an increasing number of participants in the
survey are anticipating spending growth of more than 10% this year.
Of the respondents, 19% fall into the above-10% spending camp.
"Our survey's latest reading on spending health continues to point to
a 2006 IT spending picture similar to that of 2005, with some subtle
signs of improvement," said Goldman Sachs analyst Laura Conigliaro.
Pet Peeves In The Workplace: PDA's Offensive?!
In a workplace etiquette-themed survey released by Randstad USA,
a temp agency, they reported among the top pet peeves, 44 percent
noted condescending tones as one of their biggest pet peeves at
work. 37 percent cited public reprimands as a big pet peeve. 34
percent selected micromanaging as one of their biggest pet peeves.
Nearly one-third (32 percent) rated loud talkers as one of their
biggest pet peeves. 30 percent listed cell phones ringing at work.
22 percent cited the use of speakerphones in public areas as one
of their biggest complaints. 11 percent find it annoying when
colleagues engage in personal conversations in the workplace. And
nine percent find the use of PDAs during meetings to be offensive.
Tell Your Users: Do Not Use Cell Phones While Flying
You as a Network and/or security manager can contribute to the effort
to maintain flight safety. Giving your users personally useful security
info is an excellent way to engage them in the culture of security.
Point your colleagues to the FAA "Fact Sheet on Cell Phone Use" here:
Topping The Windows IT Salary Charts
Results from two recent Windows IT salary surveys show a need
for professionals to broaden their perspectives as they climb
higher on technical or management ladders. At SearchWinIT:
Tutorial: Exchange Server Public Folder Permissions
In this four-part tutorial, Brien Posey explains how to create a
simple Exchange 2003 public folder tree structure, customize Exchange
public folder roles and permissions and automatically propagate parent
public folder permission changes to child folders. At SearchExchange
Deploying Apps Via Group Policy -- Cost-effective, But Risky
You can deploy applications using Group Policy. But without the
proper planning, this is a good way to shoot yourself in the foot.
The article at SearchWinSystems is interesting from the perspective
of learning from other people's mistakes...
||WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
Yankee Group/Sunbelt 2006 Server Reliability Survey Results
By Laura DiDio, Research Fellow. The Yankee Group.
All of the major server operating system platforms have achieved a
high degree of reliability, though Unix-based servers still record
the least amount of annual downtime. Microsoft?s Windows Server 2003
notched the biggest reliability gains over the past 3 years and the
Microsoft server platform, along with some custom Linux distributions
ranked close behind Unix for the most reliable server operating system
Those are the results of the latest independent Yankee Group/Sunbelt
Software Web-based global survey of nearly 400 IT administrators
worldwide. The survey also indicated that heterogeneity is the order
of the day: a majority of respondents indicated they had an average
of three server operating systems running in their environments.
And, in what can only be described as welcome news for corporate users,
all of the major server operating system environments: Linux, Windows,
Unix and open source environments exhibited a high degree of reliability
-- with a surprising lack of disparity among the platforms.
Businesses reported that on average, their firms experienced fewer
than two, Tier 2 reliability-related outages per server, per year
and approximately one of the most severe Tier 3 outages per server,
per year across all server OS platforms.
The survey also highlighted a number of crucial IT trends and revealed
some surprising everyday administrator practices. Foremost among these
is that a majority of IT administrators opt to manually apply patches
and updates because they are not yet fully comfortable with automated
patch rollouts. Perhaps the most surprising patch management statistic
is that Unix administrators spend the most time patching their servers
overall -- about 58 minutes and about 62 minutes for each server that
they patch manually.
Microsoft IT administrators used automated patching far more than
their Linux and Unix counterparts -- 32% of Windows 2000 Server IT
managers and 38% of Windows Server 2003 managers use automated Group
Policy to apply their patches. After Windows, automated patch management
was most prevalent in the Novell SuSE environment where 28% of admins
said they use Group Policy mechanisms to automatically update their
systems. Red Hat and Unix administrators were least likely to deliver
their updates automatically -- only 5% of Red Hat Enterprise Linux
managers and 7% of Sun Solaris, HP/UX and IBM AIX Unix managers
apply their patches manually. Other survey highlights include:
In summary, Yankee Group and Sunbelt, want to express our gratitude to
the nearly 400 of you who took the time out of your busy schedules to
respond to the survey. As our way of saying ?thanks for participating?
anyone interested in receiving a copy of the full Yankee Group report
-- which will be published by April 4th, should send me an Email at: [email protected]
- Not surprisingly, the UNIX distributions ? Solaris, AIX and HP UX
took top reliability honors. Corporate UNIX users reported experiencing
just under 600 minutes of per server, per year.
- Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Linux with customizations and Novell
SuSE Linux all reported roughly equivalent per server, per year outage
times of just under 800 minutes. Surprisingly, Red Hat Enterprise Linux
standard distribution users reported said they experienced 900 minutes
of per server, per year.
- Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 recorded the greatest
number of Tier 1 Reliability related incidents -- nearly 3 incidents
per server, per year for Windows 2000 Server and 2.5 Tier 1 reliability
incidents for each Windows Server 2003 system annually. Still, the
actual number does not vary substantially from rival platforms.
- The Reliability and patch management of Windows servers has improved
dramatically -- about 20% from Windows 2000 Server to Windows Server
- Custom SuSE Linux delivers the highest reliability and fewest minutes
-- about 430 minutes of per server, per yearly outages. However, because
so few of the respondents -- less than 2% of businesses -- use a
customized implementation of Novell SuSE Linux, it is not a statistically
valid response. Hence, among mainstream server OS platforms, Unix must
still be considered the most reliable server environment.
- There were several write-ins for Novell?s legacy NetWare server OS
platform -- seven to be exact -- taking us to task and asking why NetWare
was left out of the survey. Overall, we included 11 different server
OS configurations that represent the largest share of the current user
base as well as the projected server OS environment going forward over
the next three to five years. NetWare as a standalone server OS platform
is rapidly disappearing. It currently accounts for approximately 3% of
the installed base. However, for the record, the respondents still
utilizing the legacy NetWare platform had high praise for its reliability
and said they suffered little if any downtime.
On The Road But Still Having To Manage Servers?
Here is a good solution for system admin/road warriors. T-Mobile
is going to be first with a converged Wi-Fi/Cell Service. PC World
just broke the news!
Converged Wi-Fi and 3G cellular service has been the dream of mobile
warriors for a while now. Being able to roam seamlessly over high-speed
cellular and Wi-Fi nets without dropping a connection is both a
technological feat and billing conundrum. Now, T-Mobile International
is taking advantage of its large hotspot network and emerging 3G HSDPA
service (available now in Europe, coming soon to the U.S.) to do just
Beginning this summer, T-Mobile Germany subscribers will be able to
subscribe to one billing plan that lets them connect via laptops,
PDAs, and smartphones to both T-Mobile hotspots and EDGE/HSDPA service.
The one downside is that the service won't work on home or office
Wi-Fi nets, but it probably won't be long before T-Mobile comes up
with a solution for that too. PC World has the full story.
Watch For Pre-Installed Google Desktops
A while back, Google added a disconcerting feature to the Google
Desktop search engine. From a security perspective, this might cause
compliance problems. They added the ability to store indexing data
on Google's own servers. This allows users to search across computers
and makes files like web history, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs
searchable via Google's servers. They promise it's secure. Sure.
If you are in any way supposed to comply with HIPAA, or other
federally mandated privacy data security laws, you need to look
into this. The Electronic Frontier Foundation warns against this
as well. Guess might happen when Google is subpoenaed? Right.
Top Five T-SQL Stored Procedures
T-SQL (Transact-SQL) is a set of programming extensions from Sybase
and Microsoft that add several features to the Structured Query
Language (SQL) including transaction control, exception and error
handling, row processing, and declared variables. Microsoft's SQL
Server and Sybase's SQL server support T-SQL statements.
T-SQL guru Brian Walker's series on stored procedures offer database administrators and developers simple tricks from finding columns and
tables to executing code from a file. Find out what are your peers
fab five routines, based on your visits to SearchSQLSever.com.
||WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
VMware Says GSX Server Not Fit For Prime Time. Says Who?
IT shops that use the popular GSX Server from VMware Inc. might be
interested to learn that the company's sales and engineering teams
are now saying the about-to-be-discontinued software was unfit for
a production environment.
At a recent VMware whistle-stop road show, Kirk Niska, a VMware
software engineer, told IT managers that GSX -- which until recently
sold for roughly $3,750 for a two-CPU server -- was never intended
for use in production. The company is recommending that customers
use its flagship product, ESX Server, a data-center-class virtual
server, in business-critical environments.
In a move to defend against competition from Microsoft's Virtual
Server 2005, VMware last month said it would discontinue GSX as
a paid-for product, replacing it with VMware Server, a free follow-
on to GSX Server. VMware Server is expected to come out sometime
in mid-year. Customers can purchase support for VMware Server,
and those with an existing GSX license will also continue to receive
support, the company said. More of the story at SearchWinIT.com
Sign up for ongoing SearchWinIT.com server virtualization coverage
at this link:
Protecting Your SQL Environment. Easier Than You Thought!
Would you like to cluster SQL Server, but can't afford it? Can
you backup SQL Server 24/7 without impacting production? How long
would it take your DBA to get SQL up and running if the whole
server crashed? Can you send data 3,000 miles in real-time without
sacrificing data integrity? Breathe Easy. Other than email, every
critical application in your company probably relies on a database.
No one has more experience and proven success protecting Microsoft
SQL Server than Double-Take. Find out more at:
VeriSign Details Massive Denial-of-Service Attacks
VeriSign said that about 1,500 organizations worldwide have been
attacked this year by unknown hackers who used botnets and DNS
servers to swamp their networks with unmanageable torrents of data.
ComputerWorld has the story:
||WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
How To Get Free AV: Participate In Ninja Beta
Did you know that Sunbelt Messaging Ninja just went into Beta 2?
If you are interested in testing Ninja on one of your production
servers, there are some very attractive awards available. With
Ninja you can scan and eliminate threats at the server level,
filter attachments in a truly smart way, scan spam and viruses
through multiple engines and much more. Check out the specs, and
click on download to get instructions how to get the beta: