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Patching a Leaky Boat
I read Paul Thurrott's "What You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware" (April 2005, InstantDoc ID 45598) and agree with his assessment of the product. Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy just can't hold a candle to GIANT Software's (now Microsoft's) product. But when Paul talked about licensing and pricing, I couldn't help but chuckle. Would Microsoft dare to charge its customers for a solution to security problems inherent in its Windows products? That's like buying a patch kit from the same guy who sold you a boat full of holes. I expect better from Microsoft. Windows AntiSpyware should be made available to all registered users of Windows for free—just like the beta version. In fact, it ought to be part of Service Pack 3, should there be plans to release such a thing.
Readers and Subscribers
I have an irk to pass on to the management of Windows IT Pro. I bought the magazine, but I must be a subscriber to read Web sidebars that articles in the magazine refer to. You should make it clear that only subscribers have access to Web-exclusive elements that go with magazine articles. For what it's worth, I've been buying the magazine forever, and this sort of thing ticks me off.
Thank you, Steve. Your point is well taken, and we'll follow your suggestion to mark subscriber-only content as such when we reference it. Access to Web-exclusive content on our Web site is a special benefit we offer to our subscribers. For non-subscribers who want to access our online content, we now offer a Monthly Pass that provides unlimited use of our Web sites for $5.95 per month.
What about ESX Server?
I read Michael Otey's article "Virtual Server Face-Off" (March 2005, InstantDoc ID 45253) and was disappointed to find that he compared VMware's GSX Server to Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. He really should have reviewed ESX Server, VMware's enterprise-class product. Although Michael gave GSX Server high ratings, it's missing most of the functionality that makes ESX Server so impressive, including the Virtual Center and VMotion features, which allow you to manage virtual machines (VMs) across multiple ESX Server machines and move VMs between ESX systems without interrupting end users.
My organization has deployed two ESX Server machines connected to a SAN. Each server houses 12 VMs. Virtual Center lets us view all the VMs' performance, no matter which server they're located on, as well as see the resources each VM is using. The VMotion option lets us move all of our VMs between ESX Server machines to perform hardware maintenance without disrupting our end users. Given the stability and features of VMware, in my opinion, VMware's ESX Server product is the only choice for enterprise-class customers who want to perform server consolidation in a production environment.
I agree that ESX Server is a superior product. However, ESX Server doesn't use a host OS and Virtual Server does. Because GSX Server is the VMware product that's comparable to Virtual Server, we reviewed it with Virtual Server. But you're right, Jerry—ESX Server is cool, and we'll consider doing a standalone review of the product.
More About Women in IT
I read Nicole Leonoff's letter in firstname.lastname@example.org: "Women in IT" (March 2005) and I want to say, Nicole, you are absolutely right! Women solve problems and prioritize differently than men. At least, this is what I see every day in my small, four-person computer support shop giving support to about 250 clients. The only woman on my team doesn't always think technical first, even though she is technically very competent. She insists on client perception and understanding while providing the necessary technical assistance, and this kind of approach is very much appreciated by some of our clients. Some clients prefer to wait for her to assist them rather than to receive more rapid help from one of our "three guys." I like the "alternative perspective," and so do our clients!