Letters to Redmond
This month, readers add to our list of free tools, and weigh in on virtual licensing and more.
There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Here's an addition to Greg Shields' "Cool
Tools that Rule -- and They're Free!
" article [December 2006]: A utility
I find helpful for a variety of tasks is Ultraedit (www.ultraedit.com
It's basically a text editor with syntax highlighting, macro capability, file-conversion
tools (ASCII-EBCDIC), text-binary display and more.
It's very powerful and not very expensive (though not free).
Regarding the November Reader Review ("Microsoft
Virtual PC: Good Enough -- for the Price"), VMware and Virtual PC are
just proof of concepts in the "safe" layer.
What we need is a boot environment before any operating system that does the
job, either in the BIOS or bootstrap, which allows us to boot into profiles
or OSes as easily as a user logon. A place where our hardware can be
back in our control. Drives, memory, processors and networks could all be allocated
to an environment and kept safe from other environments.
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Thanks for the excellent article on virtualization in the December 2006 issue
You Cash In with Virtualization Licensing?"]. I cover licensing for
Directions on Microsoft, and it's always nice to see someone else tackling this
One thing that I might place more emphasis on is Datacenter (DC) server. The
rules have changed a bit for this, and it promises even more economies.
Before, DC was licensed through special OEMs, but it's now available on the
volume products list to run on any hardware. It's sold on a per proc basis and
costs about $3,000 per proc. If you can get eight virtual machines (VMs) on
one DC machine, the operating system licensing works out to less than $400 per
VM, compared with about $600 per VM on an Enterprise Server where you get four
"free" OS instances. When we're talking about eight VMs, we're talking
about saving $1,600 per machine.
Another small angle on this relates to hardware vendors. VMs and this type
of licensing opportunity could generate a lot of interest in premium hardware.
In the case I just mentioned, I could spend another $1,000 on the hardware and
still save money. However, I can't spend it on additional procs without incurring
the cost of an extra DC license. So that's where the calculations can get complicated.
I can run a single edition of enterprise edition on eight procs, I believe,
so if you need a lot of CPU per VM that could be cheaper. On the other hand,
if you don't need a lot of CPU time per VM and can cram a lot of VMs on one
high-end CPU, Datacenter might be the better choice.
[Ed. note -- Paul DeGroot writes the Directions
column in Redmond's sister publication, Redmond
Defender Beta Flaw
I read Doug Barney's column ["Vista
Flaw Found, No Surprise There," Jan. 2 Redmond Report Newsletter] and
it's well enough talking about Vista, but my worries about security were enlarged
by the notice on all of my Windows 2000 servers stating that the Defender Beta
had finished and I should click on the link to update the software. What it
didn't say was that you can't update. So, all of us using Windows Server 2000
of whatever flavor have succumbed to a marketing snafu. It's not as if it would
be difficult to allow Defender to work, because it was working until that very
second when the message appeared on the screen. Welcome to Dec. 31 indeed. And
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at [email protected] and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.