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WServerNews (formerly W2Knews)
Vol. 12, #43 - Nov 5, 2007 - Issue #649
What Is Application Virtualization?

This issue of WServerNews is sponsored by
  1. Editor's Corner
    • Virtual Apps
    • Happy Anniversary, ARPANET
    • Sunbelt Exchange Archiver: Instant Blockbuster Hit
    • A CounterSpy Enterprise User Talks
    • Two (Very Long) Quotes of the Week!
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Tech Briefing
    • Trojan Targets Mac Users
    • SLAs And Service-Level Management: What's It Mean For Windows Admins?
    • Microsoft: Viridian Beta May Arrive Just Before New Server Software
    • Application Virtualization: The Terminal Services Killer?
    • Tip: Managing Microsoft Outlook Search Folder Functionality
    • System Recovery Options For Vista
    • Tip: Testing Exchange Server 2007 On A Virtual Machine
  4. Windows Server News
    • What Is Application Virtualization?
  5. WServer Third Party News
    • How Many Machines On Your Network Are Infected With Malware?
    • PDF SPAM Resurrected
    • Do You Need To Be PCI Compliant?
  6. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  7. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • The most versatile Active Directory tool available with Presence(r).
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http://www.wservernews.com/071105-rDirectory

Editor's Corner

Virtual Apps

You should check out the main article in the Windows Server Section this issue, written by a WServerNews subscriber like you. Application virtualization is a very interesting technology that to date has focused mostly on the desktop, but also can help you reduce the number of servers in your organization. There is also an article about it in the Tech Briefing section.

Happy Anniversary, ARPANET

Last Monday was the 38th anniversary of the very first host-to-host ARPANET message that was sent from UCLA to the Stanford Research Institute.

Sunbelt Exchange Archiver: Instant Blockbuster Hit

To keep you in the loop, some exciting things have happened here at Sunbelt in the last few weeks. Our new archiver has taken off like a rocket ship. We have had a tre-MEN-dous amount of interest in it. The feature set and the price make this an extremely attractive alternative looking at Symantec Enterprise Vault, Zantaz and the other enterprise-level products. (And it's a whole league up over GFI's tool) If you are running any of these, you will be very interested in the competitive upgrade discounts available.

SEA supports a host of very cool features:
  • Integrated HSM at no extra cost
  • Direct Archiving (no journaling needed!)
  • Seamless integration with Outlook
  • Blackberry support
  • Outlook/Entourage Mac support
  • eDiscovery web interface
  • PST File Gatherer / Importer
  • Disaster Recovery options
  • Third party integration
  • And many, many, many more.
So attend the next Webinar: Introducing Sunbelt Exchange Archiver: Enterprise-Class Email Archiving for Exchange, Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

If you need a powerful, easy to use, enterprise-class email archiving tool that automatically enables you to comply with all requirements, and allows you or your end-users to transparently retrieve any archived email, then don't miss this webinar! It will be hosted by Alex Eckelberry, CEO and Greg Kras, VP of Product Management for Sunbelt Software on Tuesday, November 6th at 2:00pm EST and will explain the features and benefits of implementing a powerful email archiving solution for your Exchange Server at a great price.

Learn how Sunbelt Exchange Archiver can help you:
  • Improve Exchange performance
  • Eliminate PST headaches
  • Dramatically reduce backup times
  • Use up to 80% smaller message store
  • Meet compliance requirements
  • And more
When: Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 2:00 PM EST
To register for this event please visit:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-SEA-Webcast


A CounterSpy Enterprise User Talks

"Just wanted you to know that we are still using CounterSpy as an integral part of our network and desktop security enforcement. At first the scans produced a large number of trojans and other potentially and known dangerous threats on the systems. Setting the Agent responses to the different levels was very easy. Also having the option to allow specific applications is a great feature, which is also very straightforward. The automatic daily scans find the occasional intruder and faithfully delete or quarantine, send out notification just as the script is written. It's great to have a product on the network which is doing the job that it is marketed to do. Kudos to you and your application team for a great product. -- Daniel Bruen

Two (Very Long) Quotes of the Week!

"The displacement of the idea that facts and evidence matter by the idea that everything boils down to subjective interests and perspectives is -- second only to American political campaigns -- the most prominent and pernicious manifestation of anti-intellectualism in our time." -- Larry Laudan.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -- Robert A. Heinlein

And thank you for being a WServerNews subscriber.

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

Past, Present, and Future of Virtualization

USA: November 14, 11am - 12am EST
Europe: November 14 5pm - 6pm CET

Join Double-Take Software along with guest speaker IDC Analyst John Humphreys, for an informative webinar covering the current state of the virtualization market -- including how to leverage virtualization as part of your disaster recovery strategy. A combination of perspectives on this webinar (including an industry analyst) will offer interesting and valuable insights on virtual server technologies and disaster recovery. In addition to answering common questions about disaster recovery and virtualization, you will learn specifically about other organizations that have successfully leveraged virtualized systems to reach the highest level of recoverability for critical workloads.
  • What virtualization solutions are available today?
  • Which technologies make sense for an organization's business continuity goals?
  • Are there solutions designed to leverage the capabilities of virtualized servers to make implementing disaster recovery easier and more cost-effective?
  • What kinds of use cases are most beneficial to investigate?
Register today to learn more.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Virtualization-Webinar

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Act now, the Community Edition is only free for a little while longer. Go download Namescape's rDirectory and webify your Active Directory free.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Namescape

Extend Active Directory to your UNIX, Linux, Mac, web and database platforms. View the webinar.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Extend-AD

This long list has a whole bunch of favorite "Web 2.0" tools, from blogging, RSS, Ping, podcast, videocast, Wiki, Social/networking, to Web2 Suites:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Web2-0-Tools

Need to get PCI compliant? Running a powerful, priced-per-admin, multi- platform vulnerability scanner helps a lot. Get SNSI before the price goes up:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-SNSI


Tech Briefing

Trojan Targets Mac Users

Dan Kaplan from SC Magazine reported: "Apple users, your days of worry-free clicking could be numbered. A Macintosh Internet security and privacy software maker has discovered what is believed to be the first professionally-crafted in-the-wild malware targeting the Mac operating system. The trojan, a DNS changer that can be used to hijack search results and divert traffic to the hacker's website of choosing, has been spotted on numerous pornography sites, according to Intego. Attackers attempt to navigate users to the malicious sites through comment spam posted to Mac forums. The trojan masks itself as a QuickTime plug-in.

Security experts said the discovery is proof that cybercriminals are beginning to consider the Mac a financially viable vector for attack. Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software, said hackers likely were spurred on by the release of the iPhone and iPod Touch, which generated millions of new Mac OS X users.

"The economic motivation for the Mac has reached the tipping point," he told SCMagazineUS.com today. "The Mac is emerging as a more widespread platform in general. I think Mac users need to get off their complacency about Macs being safe." Talk of malware for Macs has been a quiet subject since early last year, when a proof-of-concept virus appeared that spreads via the iChat instant messaging system. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment. More at:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Mac-Trojan


SLAs And Service-Level Management: What's It Mean For Windows Admins?

As an IT manager in a Windows environment, you know that transitioning to Windows Vista will be a huge and critical undertaking. To prepare, consider these two things right away: service-level management issues and implementing service-level agreements (SLAs). Find out more in this tip! (registration req'd)
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-SLA


Microsoft: Viridian Beta May Arrive Just Before New Server Software

Both Microsoft and Citrix Systems Inc. are working closely to build a comprehensive virtualization strategy for users that centers around the Windows operating system. Mike Neil, general manager for Microsoft's virtualization strategy talked to SearchWinIT.com about the development of Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 virtualization technology, due out in mid-2008. Read this exclusive article to learn more.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Viridian-Beta


Application Virtualization: The Terminal Services Killer?

There are many reasons to deploy Terminal Services. But new virtualization technologies that simplify application management and lower server costs could change all that.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Application-Virtualization


Tip: Managing Microsoft Outlook Search Folder Functionality

Microsoft Outlook search folders simplify email management, because they let users sort messages with customized mailbox search queries. But, if used excessively, Outlook search folders can place a heavy performance burden on Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server resources. This tip outlines the pros and cons of using Microsoft Outlook search folders and explains how to configure group policies that control search folder usage.
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Outlook-Search


System Recovery Options For Vista

In this chapter download from "Tricks of the Microsoft Windows Vista Masters," author J. Peter Bruzzese provides administrators with tools and tactics they can use if their Windows Vista system will not boot. (registration req'd)
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Vista-System-Recovery


Tip: Testing Exchange Server 2007 On A Virtual Machine

Testing trial version software typically requires a separate, dedicated computer. If your supply of extra machines is tight though, this can be a real issue. In this tip, get expert advice on one possible solution to this problem: virtual computing. (registration required)
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-E2K7-VM


Windows Server News

What Is Application Virtualization?

WServerNews subscriber Bill Prehl and I discussed this virtualizing apps and I asked him to write an article, explaining this very interesting technology. Here it is:

"Application virtualization is a concept of creating a "bubble" inside the operating system just for the application. In addition, products like SoftGrid originally developed by Softricity but now owned by MS add other related elements of behavior such as thin-client "push" technology.

First of all, virtualizing an application can mean several things. Most importantly it means the removal of DLL-hell. So many IT administrators are still very frustrated with the DLL requirements for applications to operate properly. This is predominantly a Microsoft Windows issue. But, not to make Microsoft the entire bad guy Sun Microsystems also has an issue with the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) when running old and new versions on the same machine. Having two JRE's running on the same system at the same time is very difficult, if at all possible.

A developer, in particular, would like to run their app in the older JRE's but usually has to have more than one workstation running to perform this test. With Application virtualization we can run both JRE's at the same time on the same machine. In fact, the same application can, itself, run in both JRE's at the same time. The unique features of App Virtualization is shared information (e.g., registry keys, property files, etc.) which are also virtualized so there is no file dead-lock issue or settings competition or confusion. Plus, both can make changes to the files or registry keys and there are no conflicts. Lastly, the changes are virtual - meaning they do not permanently stick to the machine's hard drive so upon reboot we find them still lingering.

Secondly, App Virtualization using SoftGrid can provide a mechanism to push applications to users that need the app. The administrator can provision that certain applications be available to certain users and/or workstations. In addition, the technology will push only the required information (reg keys, application execution and settings files, etc) just to get the application started. Even if the application requires more files once up and running, App virtualization can provide the additional files on the fly. This provides an excellent opportunity for remote users on low-bandwidth (or encrypted VPN sessions) to use the latest version of the app without having to download and install. On top of this, the user could have their own "local" version of the application but also use the virtualized version if needed, at the same time if necessary. This concept provides fundamental licensing control and up-to-date applications without having to keep a nightmare of software inventory agents running to constantly update a database of software and workstations.

Another plus is that the user can gain access to their applications while out of the corporate environment. Taking this a step further would be allowing to run apps over the web via a web browser. This then allows the concept of using a public machine for private corporate information and applications. And again, when the machine is rebooted all evidence of the application is gone. How does that sound for a web browser that inadvertently downloaded a few spyware applications?

So, summing this up, Application Virtualization is a strong solution to pushing applications to users on high and low-bandwidth connections, using effective software licensing and software updating, and removing software version conflicts. I believe this is a sleeping giant of a solution for a lot of network and system administrators but since Microsoft has purchased Softricity who created SoftGrid there has been little marketing about this technology. Parts of SoftGrid are going to be included in Windows Server 2008 and the associated server management tools so I strongly urge people to check out this technology. It just might be your diamond in the rough. -- Bill Prehl

Bill is Director of IT for K12 Systems, Inc. and an IT enthusiast ever since soldering his first Zenith Heathkit PC together in 1986 which booted with Microsoft DOS 2.0 and came with Microsoft Word 1.0 for DOS.

WServer Third Party News

How Many Machines On Your Network Are Infected With Malware?

Imagine a new hybrid technology that merges the 'system cleaning' properties of traditional antispyware products with the efficiency of powerful antivirus based technology. It's available with Sunbelt Counterspy Enterprise. Find out how many machines on your network are infected now! Download the free trial now:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-CounterSpy-Enterprise


PDF SPAM Resurrected

You still need an engine that checks for and kills PDF spam, as the bad guys now and then go for broke and spam everyone and their brother with a new exploit. This week, a malicious PDF file (report.pdf or debt.2007.pdf or overdraft.pdf) has been massively spammed. The PDF is spiked with CVE-2007-5020 exploit that downloads an ms32 executable which downloads more components. Both of the engines in Ninja get these critters!
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Stop-PDF-Spam


Do You Need To Be PCI Compliant?

Then running a vulnerability scanner is a really good idea. SNSI will soon go up in price when V2.0 comes out, but you can get grandfathered in for the old price and save hundreds of dollars. 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. New vulnerability updates for this release include:
L0176 LibPNG10 chunk handling errors - FC
L0177 Elinks POST request https URL error - SciLinux
L0181 KDEBase URL spoofing errors - SciLinux
L0182 KDElibs multiple vulnerabilities - SciLinux
L0186 Nfs-utils RPC library and nfsidmap errors - SciLinux
L0191 HPLip hpssd user input error - SciLinux
L0193 OPAL SIP packet handling error - SciLinux
L0196 Seamonkey multiple vulnerabilities - SciLinux
L0198 Thunderbird multiple vulnerabilities - SciLinux
L0201 PHP multiple vulnerabilities - SciLinux
L0202 OpenOffice TIFF tag processing error - SciLinux
L0205 Libvorbis header size and stream errors - SciLinux
N0072 EAP Response Identity packet processing - IOS, CatOS
S0527 Kernel IP protocol vulnerability - Solaris 10
S0526 Socket SCTP INIT vulnerability - Solaris 10
S0525 SSL get_shared_ciphers off-by-one Vulnerability
W3220 Symantec Mail Security for Exchange file parsing vulnerabilities - W2K, W2K3
Sunbelt Network Security Inspector version 1.6.82.0 was released Nov 1, 2007). Sunbelt Software recommends you download the new SNSI version 1.6.82.0, scan, and patch your machines today. To get the latest SNSI version, visit:
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-SNSI


WServerNews FAVE Links

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



WServerNews - Product of the Week

The most versatile Active Directory tool available with Presence(r).

Tap into Active Directory's potential and save time and money. Easy to use with compose-able web applications you can deploy in minutes. New & expanded rDirectory v2 combines an easy to use designer with templates and preconfigured applications for secure solutions that leverage the existing AD information. It's the perfect system: a self-editable directory, a template driven account creation tool, a way for users to create and self-subscribe to email lists and groups, a self- service password reset utility, a valuable tool for any help desk and more. This is one powerful product. Discover the flexibility of rDirectory and new ideas will start popping up. See why customers call rDirectory the "the most versatile Active directory tool available."
http://www.wservernews.com/071105-Presence