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WServerNews (formerly W2Knews)
Vol. 11, #26 - Jun 26, 2006 - Issue #582
More News from Tech.Ed

    • More News From Tech.Ed
    • New SunPoll - Microsoft and Security
    • Sunbelt Seminars This Month
    • Quotes of the Week
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
    • Microsoft Ships Windows Live Messenger
    • SMS 2003 R2 Lets You Apply Updates To Third-party Apps
    • Learning Guide: SQL Server Tools
    • Infrastructure Master: Dissecting The AD
    • Understanding Virtual Hard Disk Options
    • Checking Access Permissions With Server Share Check
    • Dude, Where's My Data?
    • Forefront: Am I Missing It?
    • June 2006 Top 5 Lists!
    • What's New In CounterSpy Enterprise V1.8?
    • Free Tool Spikes Windows Genuine Advantage Code
    • Intel And VMWare Launch Virtualize ASAP Program
  6. WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  7. WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • BOOK: Winternals Administration Field Guide
Combat spam on several fronts - with Kerio MailServer

Taking complete approach to spam filtering can be surprisingly
easy with Kerio MailServer. It's a well-rounded package of anti-
spam techniques ranging from directory harvest attack protection
to SPF verification to Bayesian filtering that can turn any PC
into a powerful anti-spam gateway. You can install Kerio MailServer
a Windows or Linux server, making it a powerful anti-spam appliance
for under $500 plus hardware. Continues...


More News From Tech.Ed

The fact that Redmond's Exchange team committed to ship their public Beta (Beta 2) of Exchange Server 2007 this summer is really big. Time to start asking for 64-bit hardware though. They expect it to be ready late July. It's feature complete, so you can now get your hands dirty with the Exchange-specific version of PowerShell, the new message transport rules, and the vastly better Outlook Web Access interface.

Next, Antigen. Redmond finally releases their year-old acquisition next month. Like I said last week, it's the old Antigen with a few add-ons and integration features. I'm going to make a bold statement. If you currently run Antigen, it's time to migrate to Ninja. Why? Antigen is just second-generation and it shows. But Ninja is third-generation, and more over, Ninja is a whole lot less expensive. Plus you'll get 24 months of powerful attachment filtering at no charge, even if you do not buy Ninja, but this 2-year offer is going to disappear, so download Ninja NOW:

Redmond also launched ISA Server 2006. This new version adds tools for publishing Exchange and SharePoint servers, as well as other Web-based applications. ISA Server 2006 supports new methods for authentication, and one I like a lot is one-time passwords. It also does LDAP-based authentication. Furthermore, it supports load balancing based on cookies, making this a lot easier. Another cookie feature is a session-state cookie to the outbound traffic, allowing ISA to correctly direct traffic.

The new Windows Compute Cluster is purdy exciting. Although it's geared to high-end computing (science, weather models, etc) it still is cool to know that now you yourself are able to create a Windows supercomputer cluster. Woot!

Last but not least, Redmond is revamping the MCSP program big time. Your MCSE cert will be a thing of the past. They started this last November with SQL Server and Visual Studio 2005. The next shoe will drop with Vista, Office & Exchange 2007, and Longhorn (Vista Server). PS, I think it it highly likely that Longhorn will be called something boring like Windows Server 2007 or 2008. Yawn.

Your new certification process will essentially be modular in the sense that you get a technical cert for the technology, and then you add one or more "job roles" to that. For instance, you could see three or even five job roles with your technical cert for Longhorn server. MCSE Change is a-comin'! Here's more:

Want to see some pictures of the Tech.Ed 2006 booth and the big giveaway? Check the Sunbelt Underground site for pics and video!

New SunPoll - Microsoft and Security

Here is the new SunPoll! I'm expecting a lot of you to vote on this one. You can see the results of your peers' voting instantly. "Would you trust Microsoft Client Security to protect your endpoints vs. the traditional AV companies?"
  • Sure!
  • Perhaps
  • Not sure
  • No
  • Hell, no!
Vote here:

Sunbelt Seminars This Month

We'd like to invite you to attend the following seminars that we are hosting:

"Winning the War on the Spyware Battlefield" - Join renowned spyware researcher and Sunbelt's Director of Malware Research, Eric Howes, for an engaging discussion on the scope of the spyware problem.

Hosted at the Microsoft office in Denver, CO on Tuesday, July 25th. Register here:

"What Every IT Manager Should Know About Protecting Microsoft Exchange and Centralized Backup" - Join Sunbelt and Double-Take Software as we discuss strategies for implementing high availability, remote availability and offsite disaster recovery solutions for Exchange and other mission critical applications using Double-Take.

Hosted at the Microsoft office in San Francisco, CA on Tuesday, June 27th. Register here:

Hosted at the Microsoft office in Nashville, TN on Friday, July 21st. Register here:

Hosted at the Microsoft office in Seattle, WA on Tuesday, July 25th. Register here:

Quotes of the Week

"Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you'll suck forever." - Brian Wilson
"The mind sees what it wants to see" -- used in the Da Vinci Code movie but origin unsure, help me out?

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


Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Check out this free software we found at Tech Ed. Web Employee Directory + Self Service from Namescape:

Just getting started on WSUS? Wondering if there are good white papers on configuring WSUS, including groups? Check out this FAQ:

How to Eliminate a Process That Is Not Responding Without Restarting the Computer. Very useful item on the KBalertz site:

Sunbelt's Messaging Ninja now runs on 1,310 production servers. You do not have to buy it to get the 2-year free SMART attachment filter!


Microsoft Ships Windows Live Messenger

Microsoft has shipped Windows Live Messenger, an IM application that replaces MSN Messenger and the first deliverable from the company's wide-reaching set of Windows Live services. Windows Live Messenger combines traditional IM features with free PC-to-PC phone calls and inexpensive PC-to-telephone calls, video conferencing, and simpler file sharing.

SMS 2003 R2 Lets You Apply Updates To Third-party Apps

Administrators may get some much needed help installing third-party application updates and monitoring a network's well being with the latest version of Microsoft's desktop management software. SMS 2003 R2 is a beta version of its next-generation server manager.

Systems Management Server 2003 R2 lets IT managers apply updates to third-party applications automatically on a company's computers in the same way that Microsoft updates are accessed and distributed. Third-party vendors can publish and catalog updates or patches in a specific format that allows the tool to find the patches and distribute them, Microsoft said.

At least one user said he is looking forward to some of the advantages that SMS 2003 R2 may offer his IT department. Josh MacNeil, the technology services assistant director for the Whitman-Hanson School District in Whitman, Mass., said the latest version of SMS is attractive to his school district because the hardware requirements to run it haven't really changed. That means users can load it and use it right away without having to update any machines. More at:

Learning Guide: SQL Server Tools

Do you know exactly which tools changed and how in SQL Server 2005? Or would you like to learn tricks for using the built-in tools available in SQL Server 2000? This learning guide will teach you ways to utilize the new and pre-existing tools more efficiently. At SearchSQLServer:

Infrastructure Master: Dissecting The AD

In this exclusive article, learn about the technical motivations, the role and general behaviors of the Infrastructure Master and a number of related and/or dependent technologies. Understanding these key Active Directory components and the interaction among them assists in the design, implementation and troubleshooting of an AD network.

Understanding Virtual Hard Disk Options

Learn the pros and cons of fixed-size and dynamically expanding virtual hard drives supported by Microsoft Virtual Server. At the SearchServerVirtualization site:

Checking Access Permissions With Server Share Check

Windows Server security permissions can get confusing. Contributor Brien M. Posey explains why NTFS permissions are better than share level permissions and how to check permissions with Server Share Check. Over at SearchWindowsSecurity:

Dude, Where's My Data?

Computer World Columnist Jon Espenschied reminds you that whoever controls your data controls your company. With everything from thumb drives to Google Spreadsheets within reach of your users, it's up to you to ride herd on access and policy. Good article:


Forefront: Am I Missing It?

At Tech.Ed several Forefront security team leaders attended and spoke to journalists and analysts. Some of these reported that enterprise customers like Microsoft jumping into the security market. Others were doubtful. A quick SunPoll among system admins shows that almost 50% do not trust Microsoft at all with their security!

Competition is good in general, unless a 'big dawg' pushes out others with unfair pricing. That's why a lot of antitrust legislation was put in place over the last century. However, looking at MS Forefront products I am missing something.

This new product line is very similar to what you see from a lot of the other security vendors. There isn't really all that much really innovative, "big idea" stuff. On the contrary. It's a relatively boring bunch of products merged under a new marketing umbrella. OK, Antigen is a good product, but it's gotten long in the tooth. Forefront is not the disruptive technical approach to reduce complexity that it could have been.

What they did is the traditional approach of externalizing security technology and deliver standalone products, instead of for instance embedding critical parts in servers and clients. This way they first deliver insecure products and then make money securing them. I do not think we should reward Microsoft for that kind of behavior. Perhaps when they get it right in a few years time, and really build something innovative, we could have a look at Forefront 2.0. The current V1.0 release is to some degree still vaporware and uninspiring to say the least.

Apart from that, as a principle, I think it is not a good idea to combine operations and security from a single vendor. You need a layered security architecture, and it is very wise to have several vendors in that stack, each with their unique specialties and viewpoints, so you can create a more secure segregation of duties. A monoculture in security is not a healthy state of being.

June 2006 Top 5 Lists!

Here are several Top 5 lists that I ran into during the last few weeks. They are all Admin and IT related and some are quite interesting. Here goes:
    1. WinPatrol 9.8.1
    2. CounterSpy 1.5.82
    3. Spy Cleaner Gold 9.5
    4. HijackThis 1.99.1
    5. GoGoData Toolbar 3.0.1
    1. Forget the glasses--3D monitors ready now
    2. Sex, schmoozing, and video games
    3. Microsoft releases public download of Vista
    4. House rejects Net neutrality rules
    5. Worm wriggles through Yahoo mail flaw
    1. Creative USB Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX
    2. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
    3. Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bit
    4. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum
    5. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music
    1. Limited budgets and expanding responsibilities
    2. Spam
    3. Spyware
    4. Keeping up with technology
    5. Security and system hacking
  • WinITPro Readers: What's Hot In 2006?
    1. Active Directory and Group Policy
    2. Security
    3. Backup and Recovery
    4. Remote Administration
    5. Scripting


What's New In CounterSpy Enterprise V1.8?

A whole bunch of really cool improvements, mainly in performance and the Console. Below is a list of features that will be included in the CSE 1.8 release. This version is currently planned for late August. The list doesn't include any bug fixes, I'm only mentioning areas that have enhancements and/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 10,000 Agents on a single basic server (over 3x perf increase!)
  • Performance monitors at key locations in the Services
  • Persist several 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
  • Large increase in speed of reports
  • New database layout so that custom reports can be written directly from the database
  • Allow user to export to HTML
  • Fix reports for new schema
Get a CounterSpy Enterprise full eval now and Hit Spyware Hard!

Free Tool Spikes Windows Genuine Advantage Code

Want to stop Windows from phoning home? A free tool from the firewall leak tester site spikes Redmond's Windows Genuine Advantage code. Once the tool has validated a copy of Windows, it says, "there is no decent point or reason to check it again and again every boot." It goes on to say that connecting to Microsoft "brings security issue for corporate networks". You can get a copy here and experiment with it yourself.

Intel And VMWare Launch Virtualize ASAP Program

As if VMware wasn't in the news enough lately, here they come again. This time, VMware is making a joint press announcement with Intel Corporation announcing the launch of something called the Intel-VMware Virtualize ASAP.

According to the announcement, Virtualize ASAP is a global program to further accelerate IT customer deployment of applications in virtual environments using VMware Infrastructure on Intel Xeon processor-based platforms. More of this blog at InfoWorld:

WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS

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


BOOK: Winternals Administration Field Guide

As a system administrator for a Microsoft network, you no doubt spend too much of your life backing up data and restoring data, hunting down and removing malware and spyware, defragmenting disks, and improving the overall performance and reliability of your network. The Winternals Defragmentation, Recovery, and Administration Field Guide and companion Web site provide you with all the information necessary to take full advantage of Winternals comprehensive and reliable tools suite for system administrators. Check out the description details at Amazon: