Windows IT Pro UPDATE--Microsoft Ships Vista, Talks Up Windows Server Advances

In This Issue *Microsoft Ships Vista, Talks Up Windows Server Advances *From Windows IT Pro: Cisco And Microsoft Team Up On Network Access Control *From the Community: Training Users and Backup *Symantec's OpenStorage API Provides Collaboration Between Intelligent Disk Devices and NetBackup



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***Commentary: Microsoft Ships Vista, Talks Up Windows Server Advances
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

Last week, Microsoft reached a major milestone: After five long years, the software giant finally shipped its long-awaited Windows Vista client OS. We've discussed Vista a lot here in Windows IT Pro UPDATE, and I'm sure we'll keep talking about it in the months and years to come. In the meantime, if you're eager to know more about this product, please check out my ongoing 8-part review of Vista on the SuperSite for Windows (see the URL below).

This week, however, Microsoft is looking ahead. At the European IT Forum 2006 trade show in Europe, various Microsoft executives will speak about the status of Longhorn Server, the company's upcoming version of Windows Server, and various other products and services it plans to roll out over the next 12 months. To find out more about these products, visit the following URL:

Longhorn Server The follow-up to Windows Server 2003 R2 will be a major Windows release with major new functionality. Microsoft told me this week that it's still on track to ship Longhorn Server Beta 3 in the first half of 2007 and the final version in the second half of the year. This isn't news, per se: Microsoft first announced this schedule in March 2006. But the fact that it's not further delaying Longhorn Server at this point is probably good news.

Windows 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) The next service pack for Windows 2003 (and Windows 2003 R2) will ship sometime in the first quarter of 2007, but Microsoft will announce a public release candidate (RC) version this week for anyone who wants to evaluate the product early. Windows 2003 SP2 includes only one major new feature--Windows Deployment Services (WDS), the Vista-compatible deployment tool that will replace Remote Installation Services (RIS). Otherwise, it's all critical and noncritical bug fixes, just like a traditional service pack.

Windows PowerShell Microsoft has completed development of the Windows PowerShell (code-named Monad), an object-oriented, .NET-based command line and scripting environment that rivals the power of UNIX command line environments, while offering a level of discoverability and ease of use unknown in such products. Windows PowerShell will be integrated with Windows after Longhorn Server, I'm told, but it will begin appearing in Microsoft products as soon as December, when Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 ships.

Virtualization We recently discussed Microsoft's virtualization plans, but to recap: Microsoft will ship its Hypervisor-based technologies for Longhorn Server within 180 days of Longhorn Server's release. A beta is now expected in the first quarter of 2007.

Forefront Microsoft's coming generation of enterprise security products are finally beginning to appear. The most eagerly awaited is Forefront Client Security: This is Microsoft's unified malware protection platform, aimed at protecting desktop PCs, notebooks, and servers. Microsoft will show off Forefront Client Security publicly for the first time at IT Forum, but in a briefing last week, I got my first peak at the product, which includes a typical Microsoft administrative console and a Windows Defender-like client. Microsoft is shipping a public beta this week, so you can get your hands on it early. The final release is expected in the second quarter of 2007. There's a lot more to say about Forefront Client Security, but I'll reserve that for a future column.

Note, too, that Microsoft will ship other Forefront products in the months ahead. In December, we'll see ForeFront Security for Exchange 2007 (formerly Antigen for Exchange) and Forefront Security for SharePoint 2007 (formerly Antigen for SharePoint). These are 2007 product-specific releases (i.e., they don't protect earlier versions of Exchange or SharePoint), but they'll include licenses for earlier versions. In mid-2007, Microsoft will also ship a unified Forefront Security Management Console (formerly Antigen Enterprise Manager).

However you slice it, things are heating up. And although it's improbable that many administrators were sitting on the edges of their seats wondering where all the new products were, it's increasingly clear that the next 12 months will be quite eventful.

Windows Vista Review


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***From Windows IT Pro

Cisco And Microsoft Team Up On Network Access Control Find out more about Network Access Control technologies in this Web exclusive by Mark Edwards:

***From the Community Training Users and Backup
Why is it that people only remember to back up data after they've lost it? Find out what you can do about that in Orin Thomas's Hyperbole, Embellishment, and Systems Administration blog at

------ Have a question? Got answers? Join your peers in the Windows IT discussion forums:
Current Threads in the Windows XP forums ( ):
XP Eating Memory
Windows XP SP2 and GPOs
Remote Re-Image Computer


Results of Previous Poll:
The voting has closed in Windows IT Pro's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Does your organization have a network access control solution in place?" Here are the results from the 58 votes:
- 22% Yes, we're using a network access control solution
- 14% Not yet, we're waiting for Windows Vista's NAP solution
- 17% Not yet, we're evaluating third-party solutions
- 47% No, we don't plan to use a network access control solution

New Instant Poll
The next Instant Poll question is, "When will your organization deploy Vista?" Go to the Windows IT Pro home page and submit your vote for a) Within 6 months, b) Within 12 months, c) Within 18 months, d) Already deployed it, or e) No plans to deploy it.

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***New and Improved
by Samuel Davenport, [email protected]

Symantec's OpenStorage API Provides Collaboration Between Intelligent Disk Devices and NetBackup
Today, Symantec ( ) announced an application programming interface (API) that will allow users of disk-based backup technologies--like Data Domain, EMC, Falconstore, Network Appliance, Diligent Technologies, Copan Systems, and Sun Microsystems--to integrate their existing applications with NetBackup. This development represents a triumph over a long-standing challenge for the industry; it has been difficult for intelligent disk drive technologies to offer anything more than basic interoperability with major back-up applications. This challenge had endured because, until now, there hasn't been any purpose-built API provided to address problems of integration. "There is a growing need in the market for technologies that help reduce complexity," said director of technology consultancy firm Enterprise Information Assurance, Dianne McAdam. "\[The NetBackup Openstorage API\] will be the first solution available that leverages the features of disk storage devices while enabling control of various advanced backup techniques via a single interface." Pricing for the OpenStorage API is not expected to be released until mid-2007.

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