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Configuring the WinXP firewall from the command line.
A tip from a SANS security specialist.  Link here.

Free Server Virtualization Seminar has an upcoming seminar entitled “Server Virtualization: When, Why and How to Virtualize.” Whether you’ve already deployed virtualization or are just starting to consider it, attend this seminar in New York City to find out about server virtualization. Independent experts Bernard Golden and Chris Wolf will explain which servers you can virtualize and offer advice on how to effectively set and implement your virtualization strategy. Register here.

Dissecting The AD Architecture: Cross-references And Phantoms
Part one on the Infrastructure Master focused on the technical motivations, the role and general behaviors of the Infrastructure Master and a number of the related and/or dependent technologies. In this article, learn how cross-references, link-pairs and phantoms are critical to the AD architecture. Link here (free registration required).

Tips To Keep Your Windows Servers Humming
Servers that don’t perform well lead to unhappy users, and unhappy users can make your life hell. Check out this list of tips that can help you maintain the performance of your server. Link here.

Tip: Troubleshooting OWA Problems
Outlook Web Access is highly dependent on Internet Information Server. An improperly configured IIS server can cause OWA to malfunction for some or all of your remote users. In this article, learn which symptoms point to potential IIS configuration issues and how to resolve them. Link here (free registration required).

Windows System Configuration Utility: An Unexpected Antispyware Tool
The System Configuration Utility is a tool that shows you everything that is being run at system startup. It also gives you the option of disabling anything that should not be running. In this tip, learn how this utility can be particularly effective in the war against spyware.  Link here (free registration required).

Fast Guide: Clustering in SQL Server
There are many options to choose from when it comes to clustering. Choices include what to do when a server is failing or getting bogged down, do you want another to take over full operation or just some of its tasks? Will it be a complete fail-over design or just load balancing? What’s the best way to minimize downtime? This fast guide will help direct you towards the clustering design fit best for your environment. Link here.   

Microsoft Restructures Custom Support Agreements
Microsoft announced this week it has restructured its Custom Support Agreement (CSA) program for legacy products to provide large customers with more options when it comes time to begin migrating off of products for which log-term support has expired. No use repeat the whole story, you can read the rest at here.

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 Released
Try saying this three times quickly: Microsoft is shipping Beta 2 of Virtual Server 2005 Release 2 Service Pack 1. The company made the Beta 2 code available for download on Thursday. According to statements on Microsoft’s Web site, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 includes compatibility with both AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) and Intel Virtualization Technology (IVT), as well as providing Active Directory integration using service connection points. Read more at ENTMag here.

Redmond Drops Support For WinXP SP1 October 10
Our friends in Redmond will discontinue all public support of WinXP SP1 this Oct 10th. From there on out, no new security patches or hotfixes will be released. SP1 is getting a bit long in the tooth anyway, as it was replaced by SP2 Sept. 17, 2004. Keep in mind that all tech support will end Oct 10 as well! If you want to to get support, you will need to be updated to SP2. This move has been expected for a while. It’s a few months after Redmond’s announcement they ended all support for Win98 and ME this July 2006.

You might think, “Hey, but MS promised a full 10 years of mainstream and extended support for my business products!” Yes, that’s true, but that doesn’t apply for individual service packs. Their policy for service packs is that, “when a service pack is released, Microsoft will provide 12 months of support for the previous service pack…Support may be extended to 24 months for those service packs when Microsoft believes customers will need additional time for testing and deployment.”

So if you have not done it yet: You gotta move to SP2!