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Vol. 16, #43 - October 31, 2011 - Issue #852

What's That Admin Tool You Are Lacking?

  1. Editor's Corner    
    • What's That Admin Tool You Are Lacking?
    • XP Turns 10 - Redmond Wants It To Go Away
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without:
  3. Webinars & Seminars
    • VIPRE Antivirus Business Product Demonstration
    • Building A High Impact Security Awareness Program - SANS Mgt 433
    • Free Desktop Virtualization Seminar
  4. Tech Briefing
    • Malware Loves Windows Task Scheduler
    • Ace This Test And Get A Job Interview With Facebook 
    • 5 Tech Pros Companies Want To Hire
    • Forget New Threats: It's The Old-School Attacks That Keep Getting You
  5. Windows Server News
    • Windows Server 8: The 4 Best New AD Features
    • How Many Virtual Machines On A Hyper-V Server?
    • Private Cloud Blockers And Barriers
    • Why Licensing Windows 8 Now Isn?t Such A Bad Idea
    • Desktop Virtualization Expert Advice Forum
  6. Third Party News
    • Want To Manage VIPRE Business From Your Mobile? 
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff.
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor
      for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring

New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring

Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor, SolarWinds? latest and greatest free tool, allows you to monitor interfaces on your network, see how much bandwidth is in use, or how much is traffic is currently on the interfaces. Now you can poll your interface as frequently as every half second. Set critical and warning thresholds to instantly see when usage is out of bounds. Monitoring a troublesome interface has never been so easy!

Download Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor


 

Editor's Corner

What's That Admin Tool You Are Lacking?

You're an IT Administrator, and need to keep servers up and running, workstations patched, applications updated, the network operating at top performance, make sure Backup/Restore actually works, and a zillion other urgent things.

Was there ever a time when you thought: "If I only had an admin tool to do _________, my life would be -so- much easier!" Tell us about that tool you are lacking, we'll try to find the best solution, and tell you about it in a coming issue. This is a one-question, 30 second answer!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869215281

Windows 8? That's Waaay Into The Future...

Received this two-feet-on-the-ground input regarding the last newsletter.

"Hi Stu, you need to hear this regarding windows server and workstation versioning and business real-world needs. Both Microsoft and possibly your newsletter are out of touch with what people are really running and using in the Windows world.

First of all, Windows Vista was passed in favor of running Windows XP for most businesses. It simply was not worth it to play the upgrade game. Windows 7 finally started a faster adoption rate, with many businesses starting to deploy it, as they developed new master images and felt comfortable with the features. W7 64-bit is going to be the mainstream workstation OS for some time. W7 32-bit will probably die a quick death.

I have many customers who are still primarily Windows XP and am just now, over the past 6 months, starting to aggressively deploy W7 with them. In other words, the "real world" will not be force-fed another operating system anytime soon. And guess what, there are application problems in the migration ? some business critical apps don?t run so well on W7.

To think of another workstation operating system in the next 3 years is a joke. This won?t adopt quickly by many customers. Stick to Windows 7 content for at least 2 more years. Regarding Windows server 8, many small businesses that are not virtualized will not be migrating to that anytime soon. And many folks have older IIS apps that simply cannot run in W2K8, let alone a new windows server version. Also, Active directory and other products are running fine on many Windows 2K3 versions, still to this day. They have not even considering going to windows 2K8, let alone Windows Server 8. So I think WS8 will probably face a slow adoption as well.

So keep that in mind when creating content, etc. And send this over to the folks in Microsoft marketing." -- Will Richmond

My comments: Appreciate the input, And yes, I am fully aware this is the case. I ran a company with almost 250 employees and twice that amount of workstations plus oodles of servers... and it takes a looong time for platform upgrades.

XP Turns 10. Redmond Wants It To Go Away

Redmond wants you to move away from XP after 10 years in the wild. Win7 seems on track to take XP?s place as the most-used OS, but that takes years. The numbers are fuzzy, different analytics sites come up with divergent numbers. The Net Applications site shows, XP still holds 47.29% of the market, with Win7 next with 30.36%, but stats given by StatCounter, show Win7 going up, having 40.39% and XP as #2 with 38.54%.

Redmond really wants XP to leave, for instance IE9 will not run on XP. Their Download Center even offers a little WinXP "End of Support Countdown Gadget", ticking off the days until XP's official support ends in 2014. I downloaded it, just to see. Today it shows 893 days left.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869561343

Invitation: Server Hardware, Database Reliability Survey

WServerNews and ITIC are teaming up to conduct an online survey on Server hardware and Database Reliability. The aim of this survey is to gauge user satisfaction with the reliability and uptime of your major server and DB platforms and your satisfaction with the pricing, service and support you receive from your vendors. Are the hardware and databases performing up to expectations? Are they too expensive or too hard to use? Tell us what you think.

As always, we know that you?re busy. This survey should take only a few minutes to complete. All responses are kept confidential. The survey is for informational purposes only. No one will call or Email you with any sales pitches.

Once again, ITIC and WServerNews are giving away a free iPad and a free iPod to the survey respondents who provides the most insightful response to the final essay question. So be sure to leave your Email address along with your comment within the Essay question response. Once the survey is finalized, we'll publish the Executive Summary and survey highlights in a coming issue. To thank you, anyone who completes the survey can get a complimentary copy of the Report once it's published by Emailing: [email protected]

Here?s the link to the survey:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869759125

Quotes of the Week

"Your big opportunity may be right where you are now." -- Napoleon Hill, born in 1883.

"Give light, and the darkness disappear of itself." -- Desiderius Erasmus, born in 1469.

Warm regards, and thank you for being a WServerNews subscriber. No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced. Please tell your friends about us. They can subscribe here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1307096257843

Stu Sjouwerman
email me: [email protected]

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Orion IP Address Manager - Get detailed visibility into IP address space usage and prevent IP address conflicts from taking down network devices.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1320068427830

Insider. Outsider. With Centrify's detailed recordings of privileged user sessions, you've got a better way to see if outsourced IT staff are acting like insiders?or outsiders. View Demo:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1320067904888

mPowerTools - an AD Admin essential!  200+ reports, bulk import/export, scheduling, GPO/File Share Reports. Eliminate scripting! ONLY $1,299 for limited time! 
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1320068022984

Free Service: Email Exposure Check. Find out which addresses of your organization are exposed on the Internet and are a phish-attack target:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869870203

Subscribe to the latest hot e-zine: CyberheistNews: 'Arming you with the facts'. Once-a-week ammo to defend your network against cybercrime:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869885187

 

Webinars & Seminars

VIPRE Antivirus Business Product Demonstration

Looking for a security solution that doesn?t slow you down? VIPRE Antivirus Business combines antivirus and anti-spyware technologies into one powerful security solution for total protection with low resource usage. New VIPRE features include scalable multisite tiering and role-based access control.

Join us as we demonstrate the many features of VIPRE Antivirus Business. Register today!

Nov 1 at 2pm ET:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869956015

Nov 8 at 11am ET:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319869972562

Building A High Impact Security Awareness Program - Mgt 433

Lance Spitzner will teach a 2-day class at SANS, December 15-16 in Washington. DC as part of SANS CDI. If you or your organization is considering a security awareness program, or looking to improve an existing one, this intense two day course is for you. We are also teaching this as a simulcast, meaning you can virtually attend the class and get the same training but without having to leave home:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870047937

Free Desktop Virtualization Seminar

Coming to 3 cities throughout the remainder of the year, independent expert and desktop virtualization guru Brian Madden will update you on where the desktop virtualization market is in 2011, focusing on what?s real and what?s not. Spend just a few hours out of the office to take advantage of a live Q&A, peer networking opportunities and tons of valuable information.

Register today!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870073921

 

Tech Briefing

Malware Loves Windows Task Scheduler

Roger Grimes wrote in InfoWorld: "More malware is using Windows Task Scheduler to do its dirty work. Here's how to mitigate this surprising attack vector. Malware authors have been using the Windows Task Scheduler (or AT.exe jobs) to victimize hosts for at least a decade, but the Stuxnet worm seems to have ushered in a renaissance. Recent Zlob variants have made frequent use of Task Scheduler; the widespread click-fraud Trojan Bamital drew on Task Scheduler as well.

Stuxnet exploited Task Scheduler in a way that was previously unknown -- it was a true zero-day attack. But malware doesn't have to get too fancy to put Task Scheduler to ill use. For example, malware will often create a task that looks for certain preconditions to launch, downloads new malicious code on a schedule, or uses scheduled tasks as a way to always remain in memory. I've seen malware hunters struggle to find out how the malicious code "keeps re-infecting their clean system." Answer: Check the Task Scheduler.

Roger explains the details:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870208093

Ace This Test And Get A Job Interview With Facebook

Ready to take the hardest programming quiz ever? Even if you aren't looking for a new job, Facebook's timed test for potential programmers is a fascinating challenge. Read More at InfoWorld:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870394015

5 Tech Pros Companies Want To Hire

NetworkWorld has some good news. Networking pros are among the top five tech professionals that companies want to hire, according to Robert Half Technology. Seasoned networking pros are in an enviable position. The tech staffing firm includes systems and networking engineers among the top five tech professionals that companies are currently looking to hire. In particular, companies are searching for network and systems pros who are experts in cloud computing, software as a service and virtualization. People with combined skills in server, software and networking are the most sought after, Robert Half Technology explains in its newly published Salary Guide 2012.

Here is the list:

  1. Systems and networking engineers
  2. Developers
  3. Quality assurance professionals and business analysts
  4. Data warehousing and business intelligence professionals
  5. Security professionals

For developers, the most in-demand skills are .Net, Java, PHP, Silverlight, Flex, MySQL and portal technologies such as SharePoint. Here is the story:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870474750

Forget New Threats: It's The Old-School Attacks That Keep Getting You

This is a really cool article in NetworkWorld. "Everybody in IT knows it is a dangerous world out there, filled with an endless variety of cyber attacks aimed at compromising and taking advantage of security flaws. But there is still a persistent lack of awareness of specific threats and how best to confront them, according to Rob Havelt, director of penetration testing for Trustwave, an international provider of information security and compliance solutions.

The irony, he says, is that it is not necessarily the newest, scariest malware or hack technique that can compromise an enterprise. There are some very cool examples, like hacking into the security cameras so they could point them, zoom in and read passwords:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870529875

 

Windows Server News

Windows Server 8: The 4 Best New AD Features

Although it will take many of you a lot of time before you upgrade to WinServer8, it's always interesting to know what's in there. InfoWorld has the best write up about AD.

"Among the key changes, you'll find an improved recycle bin and better password policy controls. With each new edition of Windows Server comes changes to Active Directory, usually in the form of slight adjustments in performance, schema inclusions, and sometimes new tools like the less-than-stellar Administrative Console and the Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2008 R2.

But in the forthcoming Windows Server 8, you can expect some major changes. Here are the big four so far related to Active Directory.

Feature No. 1: dcpromo gives way to a new wizard

Feature No. 2: Enhanced Administrative Center

Feature No. 3: Recycle Bin goes GUI

Feature No. 4: Fine-grained password policies

All the details are here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870617687

How Many Virtual Machines On A Hyper-V Server?

Virtual administrators are regularly faced with the question of, how many? For the sake of solid forecasting in your data center as well as your budget, someone always wants to know how many virtual machines can be consolidated to a physical machine. The answer is always the same: it depends. Learn more in this expert tip:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870669687

Private Cloud Blockers And Barriers

For growing businesses with variable needs, cloud computing can reduce costs while boosting project flexibility and time to market. But the cloud still raises IT hackles. This featured article details some of the factors that block many cloud implementations, including networking and security obstacles, and how you can overcome them:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870710031

Why Licensing Windows 8 Now Isn?t Such A Bad Idea

While Windows 8 may be a year or more from release, organizations that have the operating system on their IT roadmaps should start planning their Windows 8 licensing strategy now. Discover how licensing the product today can help your organization achieve a standardized desktop more quickly in this popular piece of content: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870766562

Desktop Virtualization Expert Advice Forum

Many organizations are looking to desktop virtualization as a means of saving money and simplifying IT management processes. Whether your organization is only thinking about the possibilities of a virtualized desktop environment, has begun virtual desktop implementation or has already built a success virtual desktop infrastructure, this tutorial can help solve some of the more common desktop virtualization issues faced by IT admins today:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870808546

 

Third Party News

Want To Manage VIPRE Business From Your Mobile?

GFI is interested in your opinion and feedback in regards to a mobile phone app that would allow you to remotely manage your VIPRE Business (formerly VIPRE Enterprise) server. This brief survey should take just 2 minutes to complete. Participants will be eligible for a chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card (U.S. residents only). Start here: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1319870862906

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

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

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

New Free Tool - Real-time Bandwidth Monitor for Sub Second Device Polling and Interface Monitoring

Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor, SolarWinds? latest and greatest free tool, allows you to monitor interfaces on your network, see how much bandwidth is in use, or how much is traffic is currently on the interfaces. Now you can poll your interface as frequently as every half second. Set critical and warning thresholds to instantly see when usage is out of bounds. Monitoring a troublesome interface has never been so easy!

Download Real-Time Bandwidth Monitor