Windows IT Pro UPDATE--SA, End-to-End Email Security, and a new PowerToy--August 9, 2005

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1. Commentary
- SA, End-to-End Email Security, and a new PowerToy

2. Hot Off the Press
- VMware Opens Up Virtualization Wares

3. Peer to Peer
- Featured Thread: Event 578
- Tip: How can I use Group Policy to control the new Windows Firewall that's included with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows XP SP2.

4. New and Improved
- Continue to Deploy NT Patches

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==== 1. Commentary: SA, End-to-End Email Security, and a new PowerToy ====
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

Beginning September 15, Microsoft will offer four Web cast presentations that will explain enhancements the company is planning for the next-generation of Software Assurance (SA). I'll be covering these changes in Windows IT Pro Magazine UPDATE, of course, but if you're interested in the red Kool-Aid version, Microsoft will present the Web cast at midnight, 8:00 A.M., noon, and 6:30 P.M. Pacific time on September 15.

Although Microsoft has changed the SA program several times, September's Web cast volley leads me to believe that this year's changes will be quite a bit more drastic than we've seen previously. Microsoft has come under fire from many of its SA customers for signing them up for its volume-licensing program with a promise of future software updates, only to delay most major software updates beyond the SA subscription period. My guess--and this is only a guess--is that Microsoft will address these concerns in its presentation. You must sign up for one of the Web casts to participate. Here's the address:

Thinking About Email End to End
I had an interesting discussion with Symantec Senior Director for Product Management Nick Mehta last week. Symantec, as you might know, recently merged with VERITAS Software, maker of such products as Backup Exec and Storage Foundation. The resulting company will use the Symantec name and will seek to integrate the Symantec and VERITAS product lines into a cohesive, integrated enterprise solution. It makes sense. VERITAS is known largely for its storage solutions, whereas Symantec is, perhaps, the world's best-known supplier of security software.

Integrating the two companies' products will take time. With the merger completed, Symantec is now working to identify synergies and to communicate to its customers how the new company's products can benefit them. Then, Symantec will likely look into product-bundling opportunities and begin work on integrated management tools that work, as appropriate, across its product line.

Right now, however, Symantec is still trying to figure out how the pieces fit together. And the most obvious benefit of the newly combined company is that it now offers complete end-to-end email security and availability offerings that can help enterprises keep email safe (i.e., prevent spam, viruses, phishing attacks, and other malware attacks outside the firewall, inside the firewall, and at the mail server itself); manage the email lifecycle by providing record discovery, retention, and retrieval capabilities; and ensure that email stays up and running at all times, through backups, clustering, and offsite replication.

"Email is much more critical than previously imagined," Mehta told me. "Your business goes down when your email goes down; it's not just an application. Everything you do is in there, so it's also a smoking gun for liability. Email is basically your corporate memory."

Symantec doesn't have one cohesive solution that targets all enterprise needs. Instead, the company is first identifying the vast set of Symantec and VERITAS software that can work together to tackle this enormous challenge. But Mehta's points about the importance of email are well formulated. Email is no longer just a way to communicate with others. Instead, it's the primary face of your business with most customers and between employees. We need to start thinking about email safety and resiliency in a more holistic way. Whether the solution comes from Symantec, Microsoft, or another company doesn't matter--we just need to start addressing the problem.

New SyncToy Gives Briefcase the Boot
Like many business travelers, I maintain roughly overlapping sets of data on two PCs--my desktop PC and my notebook. Although various ways exist to synchronize data between two such devices, including the out-of-date Briefcase tool that first appeared in Windows 95, Microsoft recently released a beta version of a free new PowerToy called SyncToy for Windows XP that lets you keep the contents of a folder synchronized between two locations, regardless of where they are.

As a PowerToy, SyncToy is unsupported, but if you're looking for a super-simple way to keep data files up-to-date in two different locations, you could do a lot worse. The SyncToy interface is pure simplicity: You create a folder pair, which represents the two locations you'd like synchronized. After selecting the two folders, simply called Left Folder and Right Folder, you determine how to pair them: Choices include synchronization (new and updated files are copied each way); echo (new and updated files and renamed and deleted files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder); subscribe (updated files from the Right Folder are copied to the Left Folder when a file of the same name already exists); contribute (new and updated files and renamed files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder, but deletions aren't repeated to the Right Folder), and combine (new and updated files are copied both ways, but renamed or deleted files aren't copied either way).

The tool is amazingly powerful. You can preview how the synchronization will change things, run synchronizations, and manage existing folder pairs from a simple interface. SyncToy is available from the Microsoft Web site and requires Windows XP. Definitely check it out if you have a need for this kind of functionality.


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==== 2. Hot Off the Press ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

VMware Opens Up Virtualization Wares
VMware, which pioneered the software virtualization market with VMware Workstation, ESX Server, and GSX Server, announced this week that it will open up its technology in a bid to make it an industry standard. VMware's move comes in the wake of increased competition from Microsoft, which recently unveiled its own software virtualization products and has hinted that it will include virtualization services in its next-generation OS, Windows Vista. Read the entire story at the following URL:

==== Events and Resources ====
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

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Integrate Fax Services with Business Applications for Big ROI
In this free eBook you'll discover all you need to know about fax technology! You'll learn how to improve business processes by minimizing manual faxing and integrating faxing into your business workflow for improved ROI. The eBook will also look at the how-to of the desktop fax client, fax automation, faxing hardware and software technologies, and the future of faxing. Let this important guide help you stay on top of fax server technology within your business environment.

The 15-Minute Failover Solution for Exchange
Do you rest confidently knowing your Exchange and BlackBerry backup/restore solution meets your high-availability requirements? If not, you won't want to miss this free Web seminar. Join industry guru Paul Robichaux and learn all about choosing the appropriate technology, balancing the cost and the skill set, assessing the knowledge level required, the complexity added to your existing environment, and how much availability each technology gives you. Attend and you could win a $50 gift certificate to Best Buy!

Reduce Downtime With Continuous Data Protection
Continuous or real-time backup systems help avoid the danger of losing data if your system fails after the point of backup by providing real-time protection. In this free Web seminar, learn how to integrate them with your existing backup infrastructure, how to apply continuous protection technologies to your Windows-based servers, and more. Sign up today and learn how you can quickly roll back data not just to the last snapshot or backup, but to any point in time!

Compliance Vs Recovery: Can You Have Your Cake and Eat It Too?
In this free Web seminar discover the issues involved with integrating your compliance system with backup and recovery, including backup schedules, the pros and cons of outsourcing your backup media storage and management, the DR implications of having to back up all that compliance data, and the possibility of using alternative backup methods to provide backup and compliance in a single system. You'll learn what to watch out for when combining the two functions and how to assess whether your backup/restore mechanisms are equal to the challenge.

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==== Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll:
The voting has closed in Windows IT Pro's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Will your company upgrade to Windows Vista when the final version ships?" Here are the results from the 206 votes:
- 30% Yes
- 54% No
- 16% I don't know

New Instant Poll:
The next Instant Poll question is, "When purchasing software, do you read the End User License Agreement (EULA)?" Go to the Windows IT Pro home page and submit your vote for a) Always, b) Sometimes, or c) Never.

==== 4. Peer to Peer ====

Featured Thread: Event 578

Forum user ljCharlie writes that his Windows Server 2003 domain controller (DC) Security log is logging event ID 578 more than 452,000 times in 20 minutes. Learn more and join the discussion at the following URL:

Tip: How can I use Group Policy to control the new Windows Firewall that's included with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows XP SP2.
by John Savill,

Find the answer at the following URL:

==== Announcements ====
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Windows IT Pro Gives IT Professionals What They Need
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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Angie Brew, [email protected]

Continue to Deploy NT Patches
Shavlik Technologies announced support for Windows NT 4.0 patches, to assess and deploy recent security patches to NT 4.0 workstations and servers. Microsoft officially ended support for NT 4.0 systems on June 30, 2005. Security patches for these systems are no longer made generally available to customers, even though these systems might be vulnerable. Shavlik's Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Custom Patch Services lets Shavlik customers scan for and deploy the NT patches by using Shavlik HFNetChkPro patch-management application. The custom patch data program is available to current Shavlik customers who have purchased a Microsoft Custom Support Agreement for NT 4.0.

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