Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--July 1, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

CDW
http://www.cdw.com/r.asp?n=32018

HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show
http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

===============

1. Commentary: Well-Timed Follow-Ups, Part 1: Windows SBS 2003

2. Hot Off the Press
- Court Throws Out Windows Java Injunction

3. Keeping Up with Win2K and NT
- Windows 2000 SP4 Hits the Street

4. Announcements
- Active Directory eBook Chapter 2 Published!
- Take Our Brief Active Directory Survey!

5. Instant Poll
- New Instant Poll: SBS 2003

6. Resources
- Featured Thread: Win2K - ADPrep Errors
- Tip: What's the Windows Server 2003 Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)?

7. Event
- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

8. New and Improved
- Chat Securely on Your LAN in Real Time
- Use a Mouse with Your Laptop
- Submit Top Product Ideas

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

==== Sponsor: CDW ====
Join us for Part 2 in the three-part Webinar series on Windows Server 2003 on 6.25.03 at 12:30 p.m. (ET). Learn about dependability enhancements that can help organizations lower their total cost of computing. We will focus on the areas of reliability, scalability, availability and manageability.
http://www.cdw.com/r.asp?n=32018

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==== 1. Commentary: Well-Timed Follow-Ups, Part 1: Windows SBS 2003 ====
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

We had a weird series of coincidences recently in Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, and this week I'll start to straighten it all out. Two weeks ago, I wrote about small businesses, and specifically about Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2003, which I believe will be an important release. The day before the article appeared in Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, Microsoft coincidentally called and asked whether I'd like to be briefed about the product, which just entered the Release Candidate 1 (RC1) stage. So I have more information about that product this week. Then last week, I wrote about the problems of patch management, and the day that article appeared in Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, I joined a group of folks from Windows & .NET Magazine in a visit to Microsoft's Redmond campus to discuss upcoming road show topics. One of the briefings--surprise--was about patch management, and I have some exciting news about that topic as well, although for space reasons I have to save that information for next week.

Microsoft says it will release the next SBS version in late summer. This release is notable for several reasons. From Microsoft's perspective, small businesses are a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy business environment. Although sales in most markets that invest in IT are stagnant, sales to small businesses are growing 8 percent to 10 percent annually, according to IDC, and broadband usage in small businesses is growing almost 20 percent. The latter statistic is important because broadband Internet connections let small businesses inexpensively host their own mail servers and other services, while letting outside service companies remotely manage the company's IT infrastructure. Likewise, low-end server hardware prices are falling dramatically, following the PC pricing curve, meaning almost any small business can now afford the hardware part of the SBS 2003 equation.

As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, SBS targets businesses that are too small to hire full-time server administrators; these businesses typically use an offsite service provider or a part-time employee to manage their IT infrastructure. SBS 2003 addresses the needs of these environments by providing super-simple management consoles that can be remotely accessed; in fact, these consoles are so good, the wider Windows Server development team is investigating which consoles they can port to the other Windows Server products going forward. Microsoft also told me that the top concerns for the businesses it's targeting are backup and recovery (which is even more important because most SBS 2003 installations will be single-server, with no backup domain controller--DC), security, complexity, and cost.

SBS 2003 will ship in two versions, a standard edition and a premium edition. SBS 2003 Standard Edition includes Windows Server 2003 (essentially Standard Edition), Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, and Microsoft Outlook 2003. SBS 2003 Premium Edition adds Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, and Microsoft FrontPage 2003 (note that existing SBS customers can upgrade only to the Premium Edition). This product split is exciting because many businesses will choose to forgo SQL Server and use a standard, low-cost hardware router to provide Internet connectivity to the office; SBS 2003 can work with these products and can do so automatically if they're compatible with Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), as Microsoft's Broadband Networking devices are. This choice will save customers money, although final pricing isn't yet available; Microsoft tells me Premium Edition will cost about the same as the current SBS version. Another exciting option is that SBS 2003 will be available with low-end server hardware from various OEMs, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HP). You can set up these preconfigured SBS 2003 boxes within 15 minutes, although you'll need to complete some configuration tasks after the initial boot. But the ability to have a functioning Active Directory (AD) and email server so quickly and inexpensively will be a boon for the small businesses Microsoft is targeting.

SBS 2003's Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Server Management Console snap-in, predictably, is excellent, and existing SBS users will feel right at home. The most commonly needed tasks--Users, Licensing, Internet and Email, Backup, Computers, Internet Web Site, Monitoring and Reporting, and the Help-like Information Center--are available from the main page of the MMC console, and other tasks, such as To-Do List, Internal Web site, and Printers, are available from the left-hand treeview. You can also access advanced management options (i.e., the tools you typically get with Windows Server). The real beauty of SBS, from an administrative perspective, is that all the tools have custom front ends that simplify the task at hand; you're not left with the technical, often indecipherable tools that Microsoft provides to enterprises.

Take Backup, for example. The first time you launch the Backup tool, it prompts you to set up a backup schedule. Although you can configure which parts of the system the tool backs up, SBS 2003 offers only full backup capabilities because the notion of incremental backups is both confusing and error-prone (e.g., one might lose a key tape required to get the backup restored, rendering the entire backup set useless). Then, SBS 2003's Backup tool provides options for modifying the backup schedule, modifying the storage used for deleted files and email (which abstracts the powerful Volume Shadow Copy Service--VSS--feature from Windows 2003), configuring My Document redirection, and more. As with most of SBS 2003's administrative features, your technical employees or the service provider can remotely administer Backup, monitor its progress, or receive email notifications when certain events occur. This functionality appears to be very slick.

I discussed SBS 2003's end-user experience a few weeks ago, but one item I neglected to mention is the way in which you configure desktops and notebooks to access the server. In the past, SBS used a low-tech, 3.5"-disk-based installation trigger, requiring someone to visit each machine. Now, users simply boot into the OS, go to a local Web site on the SBS server, choose a machine name, and the configuration occurs over the course of one reboot. Then, when users log on, they'll generally be unaware that they're now logging on to the domain and not logging on locally, and they'll have whatever custom features, applications, and settings you've configured. This element, too, appears to be very slick.

I have a lot more to say about SBS 2003, but I'm out of space and have yet to test the release candidate extensively. However, you can find out more about SBS 2003 in my exhaustive preview on the SuperSite for Windows ( http://www.winsupersite.com ), which will be available later this week, and I'll review the product's OEM preinstallation option more thoroughly later this summer. If you have questions about SBS 2003 that I haven't answered here or in the SuperSite preview, please drop me a note at [email protected]

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==== Sponsor: HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show ====
Missed the Network Storage Solutions Road Show?
If you couldn't make the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show, you missed Mark Smith talking about Windows-Powered NAS, file server consolidation, and more. The good news is that you can now view the Webcast event in its entirety at:
http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

==========

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

Court Throws Out Windows Java Injunction
A federal appellate court ruled late last week that Microsoft won't need to immediately bundle Sun Microsystems' Java technology in Windows XP, paving the way for a trial late this year to determine the final outcome. However, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond also ruled that Microsoft must stop distributing its outdated and incompatible Java version, noting that the technology probably violates Sun's copyright. This ruling is important; it suggests that Sun's case against the software giant has validity. And if this implication is true, the court might ultimately reward Sun with the inclusion of its Java version in Windows. For the complete story, visit the following URL:
http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=39417

==== 3. Keeping Up with Win2K and NT ====
by Paula Sharick, [email protected]

Windows 2000 SP4 Hits the Street
In case you missed the news last week, Microsoft released Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) on June 26. (Visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp4/default.asp for the complete details.) This upgrade contains 668 patches to the Win2K SP3 version, including 161 base OS updates, 78 Directory Service (DS) fixes, 42 Microsoft IIS/COM+ fixes, 9 setup fixes, 65 tweaks to management and administration tools, 3 Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) fixes, 22 message queuing fixes, 71 networking fixes, 27 updates to correct printing problems, 94 fixes that affect security, 50 shell fixes that improve how the GUI responds, 18 Win2K Server Terminal Services fixes, 13 program-compatibility patches that improve the execution of legacy applications, and 17 fixes classified as "other." For all the details about this latest service pack, visit the following URL:
http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=39435

==== 4. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Active Directory eBook Chapter 2 Published!
The second chapter of Windows & .NET Magazine's popular eBook "Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials" is now available at no charge! Chapter 2 looks at what's new and improved with Active Directory. Download it now!
http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/ebooks/administeringad/index.cfm?pc=adupd

Take Our Brief Active Directory Survey!
Windows & .NET Magazine would like to know how your organization uses Active Directory. Your feedback will be kept absolutely confidential, so take our brief survey today!
http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?SR9V871GEDPDXA8232G9XG8S

==== 5. Instant Poll ====

New Instant Poll: SBS 2003
The next Instant Poll question is, "Is your company a candidate for the next version of Small Business Server (SBS), which Microsoft will release later this year?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, we have 50 seats or fewer and we plan to purchase SBS, b) We have 50 seats or fewer but we won't purchase anytime soon, c) We have 50 seats or fewer but we have no interest in SBS, or d) SBS doesn't fit our needs (we have more than 50 seats).
http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

==== 6. Resources ====

Featured Thread: Win2K - ADPrep Errors
Reader mpearcy is installing a Windows Server 2003 server into his Windows 2000 domain. When he runs the ADPrep utility on the Schema master, he gets the following error:

"Current Schema Version is 17 Upgrading schema to version 30 ERROR: Failed to transfer the schema FSMO role: 52 (Unavailable)."

If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL:
http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=54&tid=59969

Tip: What's the Windows Server 2003 Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)?
by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com

A. Windows 2003 includes several new file-system features, such as enhanced Dfs closest-site selection, the Virtual Disk Service, and Automated System Recovery (ASR). The most useful new feature is VSS.
Local Windows file systems include the Recycle Bin, which you can recover a deleted file from, on the desktop. However, you can't recover deleted files on network shares unless you install third-party software. One thing VSS does is replicate the Recycle Bin for the network.
At configurable intervals, VSS takes a snapshot (aka Shadow Copy) of the state of content stored on selected volume shares. VSS stores only the changes for the shares, not the entire share content. For example, if you make a small change to a 5GB file, VSS stores only information about the change. The service stores as many as 64 versions of a share, depending on disk space. When the service creates the 65th Shadow Copy (or if you've used all the disk space allotted for Shadow Copies), the service deletes the oldest snapshot to make space for the newest snapshot. You can enable Shadow Copies only on NTFS volumes; you can't enable them for FAT volumes.
To enable Shadow Copies, clients install a software component that adds a Previous Versions tab to the Properties dialog box for the shares you want to Shadow Copy. Uses can select this tab to obtain a point-in-time view of the share and access its content. This functionality is great for users and administrators. If a user deletes a file or a file becomes corrupted, the user can simply view a version of the share that precedes the deletion or corruption and recover the file without troubling the administrator.
VSS doesn't replace backups because the service stores only file changes--if you lose your file systems, the Shadow Copy information would be of no use. Microsoft also has stated that during times of exceptionally high I/O, Shadow Copies might be lost, so you shouldn't rely on VSS during crucial-use times.
The amount of disk space required for Shadow Copies is based on the size and frequency of the file changes, which are driven by the applications used. For example, if an application writes only changes to a file when the file is modified, that application's changes will require far less Shadow Copy space than will an application that rewrites the entire file.
When you access a Shadow Copy, the file and folder ACLs still apply. Therefore, if you didn't have access to a particular file before, you won't have access to the file when you view the Shadow Copy. Windows 2003 stores information about the actual Shadow Copy file or folder in the System Volume Information of the volume that holds the Shadow Copy information, and this information isn't accessible.
Finally, although VSS protects the entire contents of a particular volume, you must use the share properties to view previous states of each volume share. Therefore, if you need to recover a file that isn't listed under a share, you must create a new share that contains the file, then connect to that share. (If you create a new share, you'll see a full history of the entire drive because VSS logs the entire file system, not just existing shares.)

==== 7. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!
Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event!
http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/wireless

==== 8. New and Improved ====
by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Chat Securely on Your LAN in Real Time
Barefoot Productions released NetChat, a Windows peer-to-peer network message communications system that lets you chat securely in real time on your LAN, without having a server running. The program provides direct network communications to let you have private chats with other LAN users. NetChat doesn't require a server, other software, or an Internet connection. Because NetChat runs on your LAN and is insulated from outside connections, it provides security and privacy features that are often lacking on Instant Messaging (IM) systems. NetChat costs $29.95. The program runs on Windows XP/2000/Me/98 systems. Contact Barefoot Productions at 303-665-7843 or [email protected]
http://www.barefootinc.com

Use a Mouse with Your Laptop
LapWorks announced the MouzPad attachment to its flagship product, Laptop Desk. For notebook users who prefer an external mouse, MouzPad is a snap-on accessory that increases the Laptop Desk's mouse surface. The MouzPad works for right- or left-handed users. The MouzPad is 1/8" thick and weighs 3.7 ounces. Pricing is $9.95 or $4.95 when you purchase with Laptop Desk. Contact LapWorks at 909-948-1828 or 877-527-9675.
http://www.laptopdesk.net

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]

==== Sponsored Links ====

FaxBack
Integrate FAX into Exchange/Outlook (Whitepaper, ROI, Trial)
http://www.faxback.com/w2ksponsorlink

AutoProf
Jerry Honeycutt Desktop Deployment Whitepaper
http://www.AutoProf.com/Update_TextLinks_2003_06_23.html

==========

==== 9. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

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