Making Things Better

The world is not a perfect place. That's true whether speaking globally of the conflict in Iraq, tsunamis in the Pacific and the nightmares unfolding in Africa, or speaking of the world in which we work -- the Microsoft world.

They may not have solutions for world peace, but fortunately, there's no shortage of vendors scurrying to fix imperfections in the Redmond world. Redmond's heavy hitters like MOM (soon to be renamed SCOM) and Exchange are both getting help from a veritable army of third-party peacekeepers.

Lil' Help from My Friends
Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 fans will soon be able to beef up their troubleshooting capabilities. The Zenprise Connector for Operations Manager (ZCOM) 2007 promises to reduce the volume of alerts and the time it takes to troubleshoot problems.

The ZCOM (not the official Zenprise acronym) provides context-sensitive, step-by-step instructions for problem resolution; management pack extensions with more than 5,000 diagnostic routines for Exchange, Active Directory, DNS, IIS and Windows Server Operations Manager; advanced troubleshooting routines for BlackBerry and Exchange environments; and event correlation group alerts for your e-mail system.

Exchange admins may also sleep easier if they're running DigiVault. Lucid8's continuous data protection solution can help recover all your Exchange Server files. Its SingleTouch recovery feature lets you quickly restore an entire Exchange database after an outage. The new version 1.6 boasts faster backups, a simplified setup process, expanded support for Recovery Storage Groups, and Exchange 2007 and 64-bit support.

For the AD crowd, NetPro Computing Inc. just announced a new version of RestoreAdmin. This tool gives you control over online AD restores and scheduled backups. RestoreAdmin 3.0 lets you restore or roll back any objects without having to waste time taking your domain controllers offline. It also lets you choose the objects you want to back up, or recreate deleted objects when you can't run a restore.

Car Troubles
The next time your car dies in the middle of nowhere and you have to use one of those 800 numbers to call for help, you may have AVIcode Inc. to thank. No, the Baltimore-based .NET developer isn't getting into the business of changing flat tires or replacing dropped transmissions. It is, however, supplying Cross Country Automotive Services with its Intercept Studio .NET application performance-monitoring tool.

Cross Country is a major player in the roadside assistance market, through its own auto clubs and contracts with auto manufacturers. Its call centers handle more than 1 million calls per month, and manage a network of 20,000 towing services and other roadside service vendors. Nice to know there's a safety .NET like that the next time you have a flat in Fryeburg, a dead battery in Boise or lose your keys in Klamath.

Sleepless Nights
Add this to the list of things to ponder: the current state of Internet security. Trust me, it won't make you sleep any easier. Webroot Software Inc. just released a report on the increasing sophistication and damage caused by malware.

In Webroot's State of Internet Security report, 43 percent of the companies it surveyed suffered some sort of disruption of business operations due to a malware attack. Here are some other disturbing findings:

  • 26 percent of those companies reported compromised confidential corporate data due to spyware;
  • 39 percent reported Trojan horse attacks;
  • 24 percent reported system monitor attacks;
  • 20 percent reported pharming and keylogger attacks.

Pretty grim statistics, especially when you consider the findings of a report from the Small Business Technology Institute: 20 percent of the companies it surveyed lack adequate virus protection, more than two-thirds don't even have an information security plan, and most only put security measures in place following an incident. What's that saying about closing the barn door after the horses are out?

Webroot issues its State of Internet Security report on a quarterly basis. You can get a copy of the latest report at www.webroot.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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