Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, April 8, 2003


Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies.



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April 8, 2003--In this issue:

- 64-Bit Computing Gets a Shot in the Arm

- Unisys Ships New ES7000 500 Series

- Updating Drivers in a Slipstream Installation

- Join The HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show! - Register Now for Our Wireless Technology Web Seminar!

- Integrate FAX with Microsoft Exchange (Whitepaper/ROI) - Quest Software: Free "Bulletproof" White Paper

- Results of Previous Poll: Windows Server 2003 Security - New Instant Poll: 64-Bit Processing

- Tip: How Can I View the Source of a Message in Outlook Express?

- Restore Single Files from Image Backups - Protect Systems from Unauthorized Access - Submit Top Product Ideas

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



(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected])


Last week, I had a long conversation with representatives from Intel about the company's plans for the Itanium family of 64-bit microprocessors, how the release of Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit) will bolster those plans, and the ways in which the long-awaited migration to 64-bit computing is finally showing some traction. Intel, you might recall, first released its Itanium processor family 2 years ago, and Microsoft responded with two limited-edition (and prerelease) Windows releases to support the platform: Windows XP 64-Bit Edition and Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition . Today, Microsoft is prepping the launch of the final versions of these products, and Intel is ready with a new Itanium version, the Itanium 2. Intel will also begin implementing an aggressive processor release schedule that will see the company upgrading its enterprise offerings at least twice a year going forward. A lot has changed in 2 years.

First, some technical details. On the 64-bit front, Itanium 2-based systems now support up to 64 processors and a whopping 512GB of RAM, a massive change from the 8 processor and 64GB of RAM systems that were shipping two summers ago. The processors support larger page sizes than their predecessors, for better performance, and Enhanced Machine Check Architecture, for extensive error detection, correction, and logging functionality. This last feature lets the processors identify and fix processor-level problems or provide information to the OS so that the OS can fix the problem. The end result is a much more stable and reliable system, Intel says.

Going forward, Intel will upgrade the Itanium family frequently, a welcome change from the relatively glacial development pace until now. In summer 2003, Intel will unleash its next Itanium 2, code-named Madison, which will feature a clock frequency of 1.5GHz, up from 1GHz today, and 6MB of cache, up from 3MB today. And in late 2003, the company will release a new low-voltage version of the Itanium 2, code-named Deerfield, in response to requests from customers who wanted a smaller, less expensive, less heat-generating solution that would be more appropriate for smaller, denser, rack-mounted systems. Looking to 2004, we can expect faster speeds, smaller die sizes, and larger cache sizes. A version of the Madison chip featuring 9MB of cache will ship in early 2004, I'm told, and a late-2004 version code-named Montecito will feature dual-processor cores and an even larger cache.

Intel has good reason to improve these processors as quickly as possible, even though the 64-bit market still represents a relatively small part of the overall server market. Despite the fact that 88 percent of all servers sold are based on Intel technology, the company takes in only 50 percent of the overall revenues. The other 50 percent is largely owned by RISC-based server systems from Sun Microsystems, IBM, and other high-end companies. And that 50 percent represents a $20 billion market opportunity, Intel told me, an opportunity the company intends to seize.

Historically, performance of Intel-based servers--running, not coincidentally, Windows-based OSs--has increased, while total cost of ownership (TCO) has decreased. In 1996, when Intel formally entered the server business, a 4-way 166MHz Pentium Pro (ah, memories) delivered 5600 transactions at a cost of $136 per transaction on the industry-standard tpmC benchmark. Today, a 4-way 1GHz Itanium 2 system delivers 87,700 transactions at a cost of only $5 per transaction. But the differences are even more impressive when you consider that the 1996 system represented a top-of-the line system for its day, while the four-processor Itanium 2 in today's benchmark barely pushes the platform's scalability limits. Now, it's possible to buy 64-way systems, and from a much wider array of OEMs. The third-party support for Intel's architecture has made all the difference.

And nowhere is the support more important, perhaps, than at Microsoft. The software giant will deliver 64-bit versions of Windows 2003, Enterprise Server and Windows 2003, Datacenter Server, as well as Windows XP 2003 for scientific workstations on April 24. Equally important is the delivery of SQL Server 2000 (64-bit), the first mainstream Microsoft server application to ship for any 64-bit platform, which will arrive the same day. These releases will help ensure the viability of the Intel 64-bit server platform.

And yet, the 64-bit platform has holes. While I was preparing a chart identifying the differences between the various Windows 2003 editions, I discovered that the 64-bit versions of these products still lack some crucial features found in the 32-bit editions. First, none of the 64-bit editions support any of the Microsoft .NET technologies. That means no Windows .NET Framework and no ASP.NET, which are critical components of many dynamic Web sites. The 64-bit versions also lack support for Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), and the Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM), any of which are arguably necessary components in various scenarios.

Even more questionable is the point of XP 64-Bit Edition, a workstation OS that will run on Itanium 2-based hardware. The problem is software support. The platform has no Microsoft Office or similar end-user software, leading me to wonder what types of bizarre niche software could exist to make the system viable for end users. As Intel noted, most users of this system also maintain a separate 32-bit PC for mainstream work. But I have to wonder whether the overall market size for this product numbers in the teens.

Another obvious question is AMD, which is developing its own 64-bit platform, the Opteron, which, unlike Intel's solution, is natively compatible with the wide array of 32-bit x86 software available today (the Itanium 2 includes a kludgy x86 software-compatibility environment). AMD will announce plans for its 64-bit products later this month, so we'll know more soon. But we do know that Microsoft has pledged to support the platform. Whether the company will deliver unique Windows 2003 and XP editions targeting Opteron or release add-ons for its existing 32-bit products remains to be seen.


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(contributed by Kathy Ivens, [email protected])

* UNISYS SHIPS NEW ES7000 500 SERIES Unisys has begun shipping the new 500 series of the company's established Unisys ES7000 server line. In addition to upgraded features for customers who run versions of Windows Datacenter Server 2002, the extended line includes entry-level servers for customers who run Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. The servers all use the Unisys Cellular MultiProcessing (CMP) architecture.

I had a chance to examine the new servers at the Unisys Engineering Evaluation Lab in Pennsylvania, and I discovered several changes since I last wrote about the server series in June 2001. Visit the following URL to read all about the new server series:



(contributed by Paula Sharick, [email protected])

* UPDATING DRIVERS IN A SLIPSTREAM INSTALLATION Now that references to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows 2000 SP4 are appearing in Microsoft documents, it's time to review the procedure you follow to combine hotfixes with a slipstream installation directory. Hotfixes that you might want to include in the current build can include updates you get from Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS), security hotfixes, updates you download through the Windows Update catalog (e.g., for an internal Software Update Services--SUS--server), and fixes for OS components that are available for public download. For those readers unfamiliar with the slipstream technique, a slipstream installation contains the original release of the OS (e.g., Windows 2003 Server, XP, Win2K) updated with the current service pack, plus any hotfixes you deem necessary for your site. A slipstream installation saves time when you're deploying many new workstations, and you want the system image to be fixed in time and consistent across the enterprise. If your images are well defined, you might want to distribute a new image every quarter instead of distributing 20 to 30 hotfixes per month to affected systems. For a review of the process for combining hotfixes with a slipstream installation directory, as well as how you add hotfixes that update drivers to a slipstream version of the OS, visit the following URL:



(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW! Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Come to our 10-city Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register today!

* REGISTER NOW FOR OUR WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY WEB SEMINAR! Windows & .NET Magazine's newest Web seminar, sponsored by BlackBerry, covers what you need to know about wireless access and Exchange. Learn more about how to provide secure wireless access, what performance and scalability issues to watch out for, and what user issues you need to be prepared to handle as you roll out. There is no fee for this Web event, but space is limited. Register now!




* Integrate FAX with MS Exchange (Whitepaper & ROI) - Send/receive/manage FAXES from Outlook - FAX business-critical information 20-80% faster - Receive faxes as PDF attachment within Outlook 30-Day trial fax server software, Whitepaper and ROI!

* QUEST SOFTWARE: FREE "BULLETPROOF" WHITE PAPER Do you want to take advantage of Group Policy? Don't spend the next year testing GPOs and learning from mistakes! Download "Bulletproof Your Windows 2000 Network with Group Policy," by renowned Windows/AD author Darren Mar-Elia:



* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: WINDOWS SERVER 2003 SECURITY The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you believe Windows Server 2003 will be Microsoft's most secure OS yet?" Here are the results from the 177 votes.

- 60% Yes - 31% No - 9% I don't know

* NEW INSTANT POLL: 64-BIT PROCESSING The next Instant Poll question is, "Does your company have plans to implement 64-bit computing technology?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) We already operate a 64-bit environment, b) We plan to move to 64-bit technology within 1 year, c) We plan to move to 64-bit technology within the next 2 to 3 years, or d) We have no plans to move to 64-bit technology.



* TIP: HOW CAN I VIEW THE SOURCE OF A MESSAGE IN OUTLOOK EXPRESS? (contributed by John Savill, ) To view the message source within Microsoft Outlook Express, perform the following steps: 1. Open Outlook Express, right-click the message, then select Properties. 2. Select the Details tab. 3. Click Message Source.

Alternatively, you can click the message and press Ctrl+F3.



(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* RESTORE SINGLE FILES FROM IMAGE BACKUPS UltraBac Software released UltraBac 7.0.3, backup and disaster-recovery software that includes built-in encryption, client-side file compression capability, the ability to restore single files from image backups, and a new remote installer. Pricing starts at $495 per sever, and you can back up an unlimited number of workstations. Contact UltraBac Software at 425-644-6000.

* PROTECT SYSTEMS FROM UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS imagine LAN announced LockDown Key, security software that protects Windows XP/2000 desktops, notebooks, and Tablet PCs from unauthorized access. The software runs from a USB flash drive or other USB-based portable storage device. LockDown Key costs approximately $29 per device license and should ship second quarter 2003. Contact imagine LAN at 603-889-3883 or 800-372-9776.

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]



Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

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