Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies.
http://www.winnetmag.com


THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY

FREE Windows Security White Paper from NetIQ!
http://www.netiq.com/f/form/form.asp?id=1153

Raxco's PerfectDisk 2000 Defragger AND Optimizer
http://www.raxco.com/win2k
(below COMMENTARY)


SPONSOR: FREE WINDOWS SECURITY WHITE PAPER FROM NETIQ!

Learn proven strategies to manage group policies in Windows 2000/Active Directory. This free white paper will reveal how to EASILY manage Group Policies so you can unleash its power to eliminate and address security holes as well as automate time-consuming administrative tasks. Get the reporting and documentation you need to feel comfortable with the security of your Windows environment.
http://www.netiq.com/f/form/form.asp?id=1153


May 14, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Microsoft's Storage Grab: Friend or Foe?

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS

  • Microsoft Remedy Hearings Complete

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

  • Post-SP2 Bug List Status
  • Third Version of FRS Hotfix Corrects Replication Problems
  • Terminal Server Temporary Blackouts
  • Blue Screen During Terminal Services Logoff

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Nobody Knows Windows Internals Better!
  • Attend Our Free Webinar: Understanding PKI

5. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Print or Online
  • New Instant Poll: Web Administration Duties

6. RESOURCES

  • Featured Thread: FAT32 Vs. NTFS 5.0
  • Tip: Modify the Installation Credentials

7. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • New Version of AdminStudio
  • Increase Backup Throughput

8. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY

  • MICROSOFT'S STORAGE GRAB: FRIEND OR FOE?

  • Greetings,

    Microsoft receives a lot of criticism for some of the technologies the company bundles with its Windows OSs, with various organizations and groups calling for the removal of end-user applications such as Internet Explorer (IE) and Windows Media Player (WMP). But certain other technologies, arguably, should be part of the OS. Given the maturity of the current OS market and the ever-increasing set of capabilities we've come to expect from our PCs and server hardware, it's inevitable that Windows has grown from a bare-bones applications launcher to the versatile, full-featured platform we all know and use every day.

    However, if Microsoft continues to step on the toes of its application partners, the ill will these partners feel toward Microsoft because they're competing to outdo Microsoft's freebies might begin to outweigh any benefits these partners see. In all fairness, Microsoft is racing to meet competition on the low-end from Linux and on the high-end from various UNIX systems, such as Solaris. As a result, the company can't afford to let Windows be left behind.

    Enterprise storage is an important area that has long been the province of Microsoft's partners. But the storage market has undergone radical consolidations in recent years as the market has changed its focus from hardware-based solutions to software-based solutions. This situation has evolved because storage hardware—primarily hard disks and other mass storage devices—has become a commodity in all but the most high-end scenarios. So the software that controls storage devices has risen to the forefront of the market. And as storage requirements have scaled upward, the complexity of the software has risen as well.

    Not surprisingly, storage is one of many enterprise concerns that have suddenly fallen under Microsoft's gaze. Earlier this year, the company created a new Enterprise Storage Division, under the guidance of long-time executive Bob Muglia, that will work on storage technologies the company can add to Windows and various other products.

    Muglia's perspective on the move into storage is logical enough: "Microsoft has had an important role in storage management for many years—we build file systems, we build file servers, we build databases that people use to store information—but there are a lot of things we can do within our existing products, and our new products, to improve the way our systems work, make it easier for partners to build storage solutions, and give our customers a better experience," he said. "That's what my division is all about. It's about looking across the overall Microsoft product line, thinking about how we can improve Windows Server, thinking about how we can improve SQL Server, thinking about all the ways we can augment what we are already doing to provide a better experience for our business customers."

    So what is Microsoft working on and how will it affect the company's storage partners? First, Microsoft will ship the Volume ShadowCopy Service (VSS) in Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server), currently expected in late 2002. VSS will provide several useful data-caching features, including the ability to retrieve old file versions and access offline network data resources.

    In 2003 or 2004, the company will release a new file system based on the next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Yukon. The product will ship as part of the next Windows version, code-named Longhorn. Once known as Storage+ inside the company, this file system will let users query any type of data from one location. Consider the current situation, where you might store some data in the file system (e.g., Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations), some in email systems such as Microsoft Exchange Server, and some in databases such as SQL Server. The Yukon database engine will consolidate the file system with the data stores in SQL Server, Exchange Server, and Active Directory (AD). Soon, the distinction between these data islands will blur and disappear.

    Muglia says the goal is to make Windows the ultimate platform for storage-related applications—not to usurp the work already done by Microsoft's partners and competitors. I think the company has learned a valuable lesson from past behavior, when Microsoft pushed its way into markets dominated by its partners. Microsoft's storage plans will enable a new generation of inexpensive storage application servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices that you can easily plug into existing environments, providing the same cost and ease-of-use benefits we experience today with off-the-shelf PC components. And underlying work on the stability, reliability, and scalability of the Windows platform can only make Windows-based storage solutions all the more desirable.

    On a related note, I'm going to visit with the Windows Server team twice during the next 30 days, and I'm interested in any feedback you have about which features and services you think should—or shouldn't—be included in future Windows Server products. Let me know, and I'll pass along the feedback.

    Paul Thurrott, News Editor, thurrott@winnetmag.com


    SPONSOR: RAXCO'S PERFECTDISK 2000 DEFRAGGER AND OPTIMIZER

    New PerfectDisk(R) 2000 Version 5.0, the world's most complete defragger, is now optimally designed to defragment disks 100 GB to over a terabyte. Windows 2000 certified. Designed for Windows XP - Optimized.

    See why Network World calls PerfectDisk the "Cadillac" of defragmenters. Join EDS, IBM, Ohio Savings Bank, Nortel Networks, and hundreds of other companies that are improving user productivity and slashing administrative costs with PerfectDisk 2000.
    Defrag AND optimize with PerfectDisk 2000.
    Demos, Eval Guide, Web tools - ALL free at http://www.raxco.com/win2k


    2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, thurrott@winnetmag.com)

  • MICROSOFT REMEDY HEARINGS COMPLETE

  • The Microsoft remedy hearings ended on a quiet note Friday after 8 weeks of often-contentious cross-examination, thousands of pages of written and oral testimony, and hundreds of pieces of evidence. A few formalities await Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, however, including a Microsoft motion to exclude new evidence that the nonsettling states presented during the hearings. But the big question revolves around how the often-inscrutable judge might rule in this case. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
    http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25181

    3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
    (contributed by Paula Sharick, paula@winnetmag.com)

  • POST-SP2 BUG LIST STATUS

  • As of May 7, Microsoft has updated the Windows 2000 Post-Service Pack 2 (SP2) bug list to include 810 entries. New postings include a rerelease of the File Replication Service (FRS) hotfix that corrects NTFS bugs that Microsoft introduced with the previous FRS hotfix, the Microsoft IIS Cumulative Update, COM+ version 20, and three patches for Windows 2000 Terminal Services problems. Do you think the list will reach 1000 entries before Microsoft finally releases SP3? I bet it will be close if we add in all the security updates Microsoft has published during the last 12 months—whew!

    Regardless, we'll need to test SP3 for weeks to ensure production systems perform as expected. Although Microsoft has a rigorous testing methodology for code fixes, validating such an extensive OS update in all environments and under all conditions is impossible. Aside from the nearly infinite variations in how system administrators configure and fine-tune networks, I worry about how such a massive update will perform when we accidentally make mistakes configuring components or services.

    Given the complexity of such massive updates, maybe we need to encourage Microsoft to issue service packs at least twice a year, instead of only once. Would you rather test one mammoth update for weeks and distribute 100MB packages across your network, or would you prefer smaller updates that are easier to test and distribute? Please send your feedback directly to me, paula@winnetmag.com. I'd love to hear what you think.

    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.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25196

  • THIRD VERSION OF FRS HOTFIX CORRECTS REPLICATION PROBLEMS

  • Microsoft has posted yet a third version of the File Replication Service (FRS) hotfix. The latest hotfix eliminates some replication problems caused by the modified file system driver ntfs.sys packaged with the second version of the FRS hotfix. Visit the following URL for more details.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25196

  • TERMINAL SERVER TEMPORARY BLACKOUTS

  • A registry flush timing problem in the kernel can cause some Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services systems to blackout for 10 to 30 seconds. A system with this problem will temporarily hang multiple times per day. Read more about this problem at the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25196

  • BLUE SCREEN DURING TERMINAL SERVICES LOGOFF

  • Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services can crash when a user logs off a Terminal Services session. The problem occurs when the OS attempts to access the desktop window after another component has already deleted the window. Visit the following URL for details:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25196

    4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • NOBODY KNOWS WINDOWS INTERNALS BETTER!

  • David Solomon and Mark Russinovich continually innovate the best training for Windows 2000 internals. Their new 11-hour video is now available on DVD or Windows Media for intranet and desktop delivery at a special price of $950. Check out their live classes in Boston and London, too. Click here!
    http://www.solsem.com

  • ATTEND OUR FREE WEBINAR: UNDERSTANDING PKI

  • Implementing public key infrastructure (PKI) successfully requires an understanding of the technology with all its implications. Attend the latest Webinar from Windows & .NET Magazine and develop the knowledge you need to address this challenging technology and make informed purchasing decisions. We'll also look closely at three possible content-encryption solutions, including PKI. Register for FREE today!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/webinar/pki.cfm

    5. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: PRINT OR ONLINE

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "If you subscribe to Windows & .NET Magazine, do you primarily read the print or online version?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 237 votes:
    • 45% primarily read the print version
    • 10% read the online version first, but primarily read the print version
    • 27% primarily read the online version
    • 8% rarely read the online version
    • 10% read both equally

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: WEB ADMINISTRATION DUTIES

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "How much of your job involves Web administration?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Nearly 100%, b) About 75%, c) About 50%, d) About 25%, or e) 0%
    http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

    6. RESOURCES

  • FEATURED THREAD: FAT32 VS. NTFS 5.0

  • Radu wants information about the performance differences between FAT32 and NTFS 5.0? He has three equal FAT32 partitions and a 30GB disk running on a Windows XP system. Join the discussion at the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?app=83&id=104566

  • TIP: MODIFY THE INSTALLATION CREDENTIALS

  • ( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )

    Q. How can I modify the installation credential settings in Windows 2000?

    A. An administrator can lock down a system to prevent a user from installing new software, or the administrator can configure the system so that the user can provide credentials to allow the installation to continue. To modify the installation credential settings for one machine, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PoliciesExplorer subkey.
    3. Double-click the NoRunasInstallPrompt value; set it to 1 to disable credentials or 0 to allow credentials.
    4. Click OK.

    To modify the installation credential settings for network installations, perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PoliciesExplorer subkey.
    3. Double-click the PromptRunasInstalNetPath value; set it to 1 to disable credentials or 0 to allow credentials.
    4. Click OK.

    7. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Bob Kretschman, products@winnetmag.com)

  • NEW VERSION OF ADMINSTUDIO

  • InstallShield announced AdminStudio 3.0, an integrated solution for systems administrators who package, customize, and resolve application conflicts before deploying applications to the corporate enterprise. AdminStudio 3.0 contains process workflow management capabilities, advanced capabilities for isolating and resolving application conflicts, and expanded integration with popular software distributions such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS). AdminStudio 3.0 is aimed at administrators migrating to Windows XP and Windows 2000. Prices start at $599; contact the vendor for specific pricing information. For more information, visit InstallShield's Web site.
    http://www.installshield.com

  • INCREASE BACKUP THROUGHPUT

  • UltraBac Software released UltraBac 7.0, which leverages Distributed COM (DCOM) technology for better manageability and departs from previous UltraBac versions by incorporating Remote/Local Server Agent technology. RSA provides client-side compression of all data to be backed up, which can significantly reduce network traffic and increase backup throughput. UltraBac 7.0 also gives administrators the ability to direct backups to remote tape devices, including tape libraries, anywhere on the network. UltraBac 7.0 works with Microsoft Windows platforms and is certified for Windows 2000 Advanced Server. Contact the vendor for pricing information. For more information, contact UltraBac at 425-644-6000.
    http://www.ultrabac.com

    8. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — thurrott@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT — paula@winnetmag.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — gayle@winnetmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
    • QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
      Customer Support — winnetmagupdate@winnetmag.com
    • WANT TO SPONSOR Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE?
      emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

    This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for Windows professionals who want to learn more and perform better. Subscribe today.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=wswi201x1z

    Receive the latest information about the Windows and .NET topics of your choice. Subscribe to our other FREE email newsletters.
    http://www.winnetmag.net/email