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July 30, 2002—In this issue:
- Win.NET Server RC1 and the Laptop of the Month
2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
- Microsoft Introduces Win.NET Server CPP
3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
- Microsoft Search Out of Service
- How To Disable SSDP Discovery Packets
- RRAS/VPN Server TCP/IP Memory Leak
- Custom Service Name Limitation
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You
- Cut Wasteful Printing That's Costing Your Organization Money!
- Win 1 Year of Microsoft Certification Exams ... Free!
5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)
- FREE Security Webcast from Microsoft and NetIQ
6. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Small Business Server
- New Instant Poll: Hardware and Software Spending
- Featured Thread: Temporary Internet Files Group Policy
- Tip: How Can I Remove the DFS Tab from Windows Explorer?
8. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Plan for and Manage Storage
- Filter Spam
9. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Late last week, Microsoft finally unveiled its oft-delayed Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) Release Candidate 1 (RC1), which includes near-final builds of its next-generation Windows Server family of products. The company is making the Standard and Enterprise Editions of Win.NET Server RC1 available for free download as part of the Win.NET Server Customer Preview Program (CPP), substantially increasing the number of people who will have a chance to kick the tires on this new OS before Microsoft releases it to the public early next year.
Win.NET Server is a difficult product to categorize. Unlike Windows 2000 Server, this version isn't a huge architectural change from previous versions and won't require the same planning, training, and testing investments. Instead, Win.NET Server is a minor upgrade to Win2K Server that you can easily integrate into existing networks. One big change, however, is Win.NET Server's support for Windows NT 4.0 upgrades. Microsoft realizes that a lot of customers have been reluctant to upgrade to Win2K—generally because of intricate NT domain structures or the complexity of understanding the many changes in the Win2K release. To help these users, Win.NET Server has many tools and additions that ease NT 4.0 migration.
Win.NET Server's complexity lies more in the number of small changes it supplies than the few sweeping changes we saw last time around. Recently, I accompanied several writers and editors from Windows & .NET Magazine to a 3-day Win.NET Server Reviewers Workshop near Seattle. Each day, we came away with the sort of glazed-over look that accompanies a student placed one level too high in school: Microsoft had gone for the technical jugular, hammering home the many ways that this product is technically superior, world-class, and ready to take on all comers at any level of functionality.
I find it hard to peg down the most important enhancements in Win.NET Server, but here's my list of what I consider the most significant improvements:
- Win.NET Server is more secure. Win.NET Server is the first Microsoft OS to benefit from the Trustworthy Computing code review and will ship with many of its unnecessary services turned off by default. Bravo to Microsoft for finally addressing these security issues and further kudos for providing warnings to the user when potentially harmful features are turned on.
- Win.NET Server is easier to configure and manage. Technically savvy administrators hate wizards, but you should give the wizards in this product a chance: The new roles-based Configure Your Server Wizard lets you assign roles such as Web server or File server to each Win.NET Server after installation, and lets you manage those roles from a central management console.
- Win.NET Server has a more mature Active Directory (AD). In Win.NET Server, AD supports numerous customer-request features, such as domain rename and cross-forest trust. AD has no major changes, just several small changes that make the transition to Win.NET Server easier, especially for companies that haven't upgraded from NT 4.0 yet.
- Win.NET Server performs better than Win2K Server. Microsoft says that Win.NET Server performs 1.5 to 2 times as fast as Win2K Server on the same hardware; if true, this Windows upgrade might be the first one that doesn't require a hardware upgrade. We'll see.
- Win.NET Server covers all the bases. With this version, Microsoft has dramatically increased the number of Windows Server editions, giving the product a wider range of uses (or in Microsoft-speak, "more scalable"). These editions range from low-end blade Web servers to the biggest 64-bit servers on the planet, supporting 256GB of RAM and 32 processors.
- Win.NET Server reduces the number of times you need to reboot, either by choice or not. Most OS upgrades, including hot fixes, no longer require reboots, and a new Reliability Service—previously used inhouse at Microsoft—tracks any problems you might have and locates the source.
- Win.NET Server is more manageable. The OS supports Remote Installation Services (RIS) for the rapid installation of a small number of servers, Windows Update and AutoUpdate, a new Group Policy Management Console (shipping right after Win.NET Server through a Web download, Microsoft says), a Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) Wizard that lets you test policy changes before committing them, more command-line tools, headless server mode, emergency server access capabilities, and numerous other management improvements.
I'll look more closely at Win.NET Server RC1 in the near future, but in the meantime, check out the exhaustive overview of the product on the SuperSite for Windows.
And if you're interested in the Win.NET Server CPP, head over to the Microsoft Web site for the free downloads.
Laptop of the Month: Fujitsu Lifebook S Series
This month's laptop—the Fujitsu Lifebook S—is frustratingly close to being the perfect mobile companion, but a few foibles mar an otherwise perfect road warrior design. The Lifebook S6010 I tested ships in an attractive, thin, light package similar to the subnotebook models I prefer. But the similarities end with the unit's lithe 3.75 pound weight: Somehow, Fujitsu has squeezed a 13.3" XGA screen and internal DVD/CD-RW combination drive into the unit as well, an amazing achievement for a machine in this class. The unit bristles with the ports that matter: The S series includes two USB ports; FireWire, modem, Ethernet, and various sound ports (including Dolby Headphone support), and one PC Card slot that also serves as a Smart Card reader. A port replicator is also available, and the unit ships with built-in 802.11b wireless support, a feature all laptops should now include.
The unit is powered by a 1GHz Pentium III-M processor, can accept up to 1GB of RAM, and ships with up to a 40GB hard disk. But the S series is crippled by two problems. First, the video subsystem shares up to 8MB of the main system memory, so the device offers substandard performance on anything more demanding than Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. DVD movies, for example, are difficult to watch on the device because of constant stutters and display problems. This poor video performance is further frustrating because of the excellent built-in Dolby Headphone support.
Second, the Lifebook S6010's battery life isn't what I had hoped for. I had only 2 hours of juice while working with Microsoft Office applications and far less watching a DVD movie. This type of battery life was the norm about 18 months ago, but I expect more today, especially for such an otherwise portable machine. Fujitsu does offer a hot-swappable battery for the combination drive bay, raising the battery life to a reported 8 hours (I didn't test this option), but this feature negates the benefits of having an internal combination drive in the first place.
However, even with the Lifebook S6010's few shortcomings, its $1800 street price is excellent, given its feature set, weight, and expandability. If you're not driven by high-end graphics, and you want a single, light and capable machine, the Lifebook S6010 delivers.
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2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, email@example.com)
Microsoft has unexpectedly announced that it would make Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) available for free to customers through the Win.NET Server Customer Preview Program (CPP). Under terms of the CPP, customers can download or order CD-ROM versions of Win.NET Enterprise Server (formerly Windows 2000 Advanced Server) RC1, which will expire 360 days after installation. Additionally, customers who choose the download option can access Windows .NET Standard Server (formerly Win2K Server) as well. For more information, visit the following URL:
(contributed by Paula Sharick, firstname.lastname@example.org)
I visited Microsoft's main support page at http://support.microsoft.com and the Microsoft for Partners Web site at http://members.microsoft.com/partner/default.aspx multiple times during the past few days. Much to my dismay, the drop-down fields on the search screen were blank, and I couldn't enter any search criteria. In addition, the Go arrow was a placeholder that only changed to an arrow when I placed the cursor over the "X marks the spot" area. Today, the search screen accepts input, but the process is still quite buggy. The engine doesn't return any matches for items entered during the past 3 to 7 days; the font size on the form changes when you click the Go arrow; if you don't enter a search string, the string defaults to "support;" and several other glitches appear in the page display. How can a main source of technical "how-to" remain broken for almost a week? Have any of you experience the same problem?
WEB-EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES: The following items are posted on the Windows & .NET Magazine Web site. For the complete story, use the following link and scroll to the appropriate article.
If any of your RRAS/VPN servers hang occasionally, the behavior might be due to an RRAS server TCP/IP memory leak that occurs in the nonpaged pool. For more details and a remedy, visit the following URL:
If you develop Windows 2000 applications, and you implement the code as a custom service, the service name can't exceed 40 characters. Otherwise, when you reboot your test system, the OS might not detect Plug and Play (PnP) devices properly. Read more about this problem at the following URL:
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
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5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)
Learn how to combat hackers during the free 8/20/02 Webcast, "Computer Crime Forensics," Part II of the "Defending the Enterprise" series. Security experts will cover how to safeguard and harden your Windows network. Register now!
6. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does Microsoft Small Business Server offer a compelling solution for your enterprise?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 144 votes:
8% Yes, and we plan to roll out SBS in the near future
55% No, SBS doesn't offer a compelling solution for my organization
8% I don't know
The next Instant Poll question is, "Does your organization plan to purchase computer hardware or software with the money budgeted for the rest of 2002?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, we are planning to purchase hardware, b) Yes, we are planning to purchase software, c) Yes, we are planning to purchase both hardware and software, or d) No, we have no plans to purchase either hardware or software.
This user wants to know how to configure the storage place and size of Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0's Temporary Internet Files by using Group Policy over an Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC). Can you help? Join the discussion at the following URL:
(contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com) To remove the DFS tab from Windows Explorer so that you can prevent users from changing properties on local DFS shares, perform the following steps:
- Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
- Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PoliciesExplorer subkey.
- From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value.
- Enter a name of NoDFSTab and press Enter.
- Double-click the new value, set it to 1, and click OK.
- Close the registry editor.
You can also use Group Policy (go to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Explorer, and select the Disable/Remove DFS option) to remove the DFS tab.
8. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, email@example.com)
Tricord Systems and Realtimepublishers.com announced John Vacca's "The Definitive Guide to High-Availability NAS," a free ebook hosted on the Tricord Web site. The ebook will cover Network Attached Storage (NAS) technology in general; clustering NAS; designing NAS; installing, deploying, and maintaining NAS; and the future direction of NAS. Tricord Systems will post the ebook chapter-by-chapter as John Vacca writes it. Registered readers will receive an email notification as each installment is made available for download.
Bind Networks released BindMail, a spamand virus-filtering service that tests whether an incoming mail is spam. The service also checks incoming email messages for viruses and notifies the sender, recipient, and administrator when it finds one. If your email server or Internet connection go down, the service will retain your messages to prevent bounced emails, provide automatic fail-over storage for 3 days, and provide automatic delivery of your email when email service is restored. For pricing, contact Bind Networks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
- ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — email@example.com
- ABOUT KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT — firstname.lastname@example.org
- ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — email@example.com
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — firstname.lastname@example.org
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Customer Support — email@example.com
- WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE UPDATE?
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