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WServerNews (formerly W2Knews)
Vol. 11, #36 - Sep 4, 2006 - Issue #592
Should You Upgrade Your Users To Vista?

  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • WinIT Pro Readers' Choice
    • Sunbelt September Seminars
    • Quotes Of The Week
  2. ADMIN TOOLBOX
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. TECH BRIEFING
    • Free Server Virtualization Seminar
    • Dissecting The AD Architecture: Cross-references And Phantoms
    • Tips To Keep Your Windows Servers Humming
    • Tip: Troubleshooting OWA Problems
    • Windows System Configuration Utility: An Unexpected Antispyware Tool
    • Fast Guide: Clustering in SQL Server
  4. WINDOWS SERVER NEWS
    • Should You Upgrade Your Users To Vista?
    • Microsoft Restructures Custom Support Agreements
    • Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 Released
    • Redmond Drops Support For WinXP SP1 October 10!
  5. WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • Network Instruments to Acquire Sunbelt's LanHound
  6. WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  7. WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • "GFI MES To Ninja" Competitive Upgrade Offer
Kerio WinRoute Firewall: VPN simplified. Again.

Secure remote access to the network seems like a solved problem
but when it comes to managing VPNs, IT admins usually have to
choose between an overpriced, over-complicated package or an an
under-performing low cost option. Kerio WinRoute Firewall turns
a regular Windows PC into a powerful SSL-based VPN Server in
minutes. Moreover, it integrates with Active Directory and costs
less than $40 per user. Continues...
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-WinRoute

EDITORS CORNER

WinIT Pro Readers' Choice

Of course we are very happy that system admins nationwide chose both Ninja and CounterSpy Enterprise as their favorites. Thanks for your votes!

You also sent me feedback about the last issue. Testing of antivirus and antispyware has been in the news recently. I got a lot of IT people writing me about what they thought about Consumer Reports and it wasn't very complimentary.

There are other examples of testing done right. For instance, the Malware-Test Lab people are doing it more correctly. They take malware that is active now, in the wild and infecting people's machines. Then they take the 100 or so most prevalent ones, and test antispyware products against the REAL THING. And of course that shows the actual effectiveness.

This opposed to so called "objective Veritests" that are fatally flawed because they do not measure the things they claim to measure. The "universe" of threats for this Veritest was chosen and supplied by Webroot. And guess who comes out as number one? Right, Webroot. You can draw your own conclusions. In reality, CounterSpy regularly is in the top three! You can check the recent Malware-Test Lab results here and see how the antispyware apps are really doing:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Malware-Test


Sunbelt September Seminars

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 Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, September 21st. Register here:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-CSE-PA

"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 apps using Double-Take.

Hosted at the Microsoft office in St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, September 20th. Register here:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-DT-MO

Hosted at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, HI on Tuesday, September 26th. Register here:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-DT-HI

"What Every IT Manager Should Know About Protecting SQL"
Join Double-Take Software as they discuss strategies for database protection and how you can leverage data protection and replication solutions to do more than just disaster recovery.

Hosted at the Microsoft office in Denver, CO on Thursday, September 7th. Register here:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-DT-CO


Quotes Of The Week

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved." -- Charles F. Kettering
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it." - Dudley Moore

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

Must-have FREE software. Web Employee Directory + Secure Self Service - rDirectory for Microsoft Active Directory.
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-NameScape

Windows ITPro Readers' Choice: Sunbelt Messaging Ninja. Award-winning antivirus, antispam, powerful attachment filtering and soon disclaimers:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Ninja

Windows ITPro Readers' Choice: CounterSpy Enterprise. The newly released V1.8 is blisteringly fast and truly enterprise-ready:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-CSE

Configuring the WinXP firewall from the command line. A very handy tip from a SANS security specialist:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-XP_Firewall


TECH BRIEFING

Free Server Virtualization Seminar

Don't miss out on SearchServerVirtualization.com's upcoming seminar, "Server Virtualization: When, Why and How to Virtualize." Whether you've already deployed virtualization or are just starting to consider it, attend this seminar in New York City to find out everything you need to know about server virtualization. Independent experts Bernard Golden and Chris Wolf will explain which servers you can virtualize and offer advice on how to effectively set and implement your virtualization strategy. Register today!
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Virtualization_Seminar


Dissecting The AD Architecture: Cross-references And Phantoms

Part one on the Infrastructure Master focused on the technical motivations, the role and general behaviors of the Infrastructure Master and a number of the related and/or dependent technologies. In this article, learn how cross-references, link-pairs and phantoms are critical to the AD architecture. SearchWinIT.com (free registration required):
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Dissecting_AD


Tips To Keep Your Windows Servers Humming

Servers that don't perform well lead to unhappy users, and unhappy users can make your life hell. Check out this list of tips that can help you maintain the performance of your server. At SeachWinComputing:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Server_Tips


Tip: Troubleshooting OWA Problems

Outlook Web Access is highly dependent on Internet Information Server. An improperly configured IIS server can cause OWA to malfunction for some or all of your remote users. In this article, learn which symptoms point to potential IIS configuration issues and how to resolve them. At SearchExchange.com (free registration required):
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-OWA


Windows System Configuration Utility: An Unexpected Antispyware Tool

The System Configuration Utility is a tool that shows you everything that is being run at system startup. It also gives you the option of disabling anything that should not be running. In this tip, learn how this utility can be particularly effective in the war against spyware! (free registration required)
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-System_Configuration


Fast Guide: Clustering in SQL Server

There are many options to choose from when it comes to clustering. Choices include what to do when a server is failing or getting bogged down, do you want another to take over full operation or just some of its tasks? Will it be a complete fail-over design or just load balancing? What's the best way to minimize downtime? This fast guide will help direct you towards the clustering design fit best for your environment. At SearchSQLServer.com
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-SQL_Clustering


WINDOWS SERVER NEWS

Should You Upgrade Your Users To Vista?

First of all, Vista prices have leaked. In a statement through its PR firm, Redmond acknowledged Monday that Microsoft Canada "inadvertently" posted Vista Canadian retail prices on its Web site, but then quickly yanked that page. The Neowin blog posted them though, and Amazon jumped the gun and started taking Vista pre-orders. Vista Ultimate is listed at $499 Canadian which translated into 450.36 in USD but Amazon is charging $399 for it. Home Premium was listed at 299 CA or USD 269.86, but Amazon charges a lower $239 and their other prices are for the ultimate upgrade $259, Home Premium upgrade is $159, Home Basic upgrade is $99.95 and a Vista Business upgrade is $199. Amazon is also advertising additional license packs ranging from $89.95 to $359.

So, should you upgrade? Well, I believe Vista is a BIG step in the right direction from a security perspective. And one definitely should upgrade when the time is right. But do not believe changing to Vista will solve all your problems. Just look at the recent Vista critical security updates. You will still be patching holes. Another issue is that users might get too smart for their own good and learn tricks to turn off the new security features. If you run Windows on your desktops, plan for a slow, regular migration to Vista. Some of you might want to wait for Vista's SP1 before you move. There are a few things that make Vista a pain in the neck from the admin perspective:
  1. The Glass GUI. It needs compatible video cards.
  2. Disk I/O. Vista needs 7200RPM disks to have acceptable performance
  3. Explorer. The places where files have lived have changed.
  4. Admin Account. It's disabled in Vista, and the only way to log on as an admin is a registry hack. Now wade through all the prompts!
  5. User account control. I have talked about that one already.


Microsoft Restructures Custom Support Agreements

Microsoft announced this week it has restructured its Custom Support Agreement (CSA) program for legacy products to provide large customers with more options when it comes time to begin migrating off of products for which long-term support has expired. No use repeat the whole story, you can read the rest at ENTMag!
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-CSA


Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 Released

Try saying this three times quickly: Microsoft is shipping Beta 2 of Virtual Server 2005 Release 2 Service Pack 1. The company made the Beta 2 code available for download on Thursday. According to statements on Microsoft's Web site, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 includes compatibility with both AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) and Intel Virtualization Technology (IVT), as well as providing Active Directory integration using service connection points. Read more at ENTMag:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-VS2005R2SP1Beta1


Redmond Drops Support For WinXP SP1 October 10!

Our friends in Redmond will discontinue all public support of WinXP SP1 this Oct 10th. From there on out, no new security patches or hotfixes will be released. SP1 is getting a bit long in the tooth anyway, as it was replaced by SP2 Sept. 17, 2004. Keep in mind that all tech support will end Oct 10 as well! If you want to to get support, you will need to be updated to SP2. This move has been expected for a while. It's a few months after Redmond's announcement they ended all support for Win98 and ME this July 2006.

You might think, "Hey, but MS promised a full 10 years of mainstream and extended support for my business products!" Yes, that's true, but that doesn't apply for individual service packs. Their policy for service packs is that, "when a service pack is released, Microsoft will provide 12 months of support for the previous service pack...Support may be extended to 24 months for those service packs when Microsoft believes customers will need additional time for testing and deployment."

So if you have not done it yet. You gotta move to SP2!

WINDOWS SERVER THIRD PARTY NEWS

Network Instruments to Acquire Sunbelt's LanHound

Sunbelt Software will cease development and distribution of LanHound, the company's network analyzer product. Network Instruments (NI) acquired Sunbelt's LanHound customer base who will be offered a fully licensed copy of NI's Observer product as a replacement for LanHound.

Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software, said Sunbelt wants to focus on their security product line, thus the decision to discontinue LanHound and sell the customer base.

"Of all of the companies in the network analyzer market, Network Instruments was prepared to deliver the greatest value to LanHound customers," said Eckelberry. "Their scalable platform easily meets the needs of our largest [LanHound] accounts, and they have the internal resources in place to make this transition seamless to the end-user." Companies that use LanHound can find more information about switching to Observer at Network Instruments' Web site. Here is the official Press Release:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-LanHound


WServerNews 'FAVE' LINKS

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


WServerNews - PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

"GFI MES To Ninja" Competitive Upgrade Offer

Sunbelt Software offers all existing GFI MailEssentials (MES) users a 50% Competitive Upgrade Discount so they can afford to move from their second-generation product to the latest third-gen (policy-based) messaging security platform: Ninja. Download the 30-day Ninja eval, see for yourself how good it works, and ask your Rep or Reseller for a Competitive Upgrade quote. You'll be pleasantly surprised:
http://www.wservernews.com/060904-Sunbelt_Messaging_Ninja