Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prowess SmartDeploy eases Windows 7 migration

SmartDeploy is a software tool that converts virtual machine disk files into Windows Image files that can be used to deploy new OSs, including Windows 7, across an enterprise. It is easier to use than WAIK [link], and Kbox, [http://itexpertvoice.com/home/kace-kbox-best-way-to-massively-migrate-windows-xp-desktops-to-windows-7/]
both of which we reviewed earlier.
Price: $1995 per technician, plus added fees for various support levels

Using Windows AIK to automate Windows 7 deployment

has updated its own tool sets for this purpose, called the Windows Automated Installation Kit or WAIK. It has got a lot of new features for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

I recommend WAIK if you have already tried out earlier versions and
know your way around SYSPREP and Windows volume licenses. Be prepared for a somewhat steep learning curve, especially if you are going to try to automate everything for your deployments and have a large collection of diverse PC hardware.

While you can't beat the cost (it is free), Kbox or SmartDeploy might be a
better alternative for these more complex situations.

You can download the tool here:

Viewfinity can solve multiple user XP Migrations to Windows 7

Viewfinity User Migration is another XP to Windows 7 migration tool. It doesn't automatically move the applications, you have to reinstall them yourself or use another deployment tool. It does handle XP desktops that are used by multiple users quite elegantly.

See our other Windows Migration product reviews here:
WAIK: http://itexpertvoice.com/home/using-windows-aik-to-automate-windows-7-deployment/
PC Mover: http://itexpertvoice.com/home/using-laplinks-pc-mover-to-migrate-a-windows-xp-desktop-to-windows-7/
SmartDeploy: http://itexpertvoice.com/home/prowess-smartdeploy-eases-windows-7-migration/
Zinstall: http://itexpertvoice.com/home/product-review-migrating-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7-with-zinstall/
Kbox: http://itexpertvoice.com/home/kace-kbox-best-way-to-massively-migrate-windows-xp-desktops-to-windows-7/

Migrating to Windows 7 using the Kace Kbox

Kbox is used to manage and control desktop system images that contain user files and applications and – with its Systems Management Appliance sold separately, to do PC inventory and audits. It also works with both virtual and physical machines too. Unlike the PC Mover and Zinstall approaches, they are designed for large-scale deployments of hundreds or more PCs. A more complete video that describes the process by one of Kace's techs can be found here.

KBOX 2100 Systems Deployment Appliance
$4500 for 100 nodes, additional nodes $13
$39,000 for unlimited nodes

Kace Systems Management Inc.
Mountain View, Calif.

Using McAfee TrustedSource to protect your network

The combination of McAfee’s TrustedSource reputation system and geo-location filtering can help to better protect your network when using McAfee Firewall v8, as you can see in this short video.

Using McAfee Firewall to block BitTorrent in three clicks

McAfee Firewall v8 has a lot of flexibility when it comes to blocking difficult applications like BitTorrent, and in this short video, we show you how to do so using a combination of features in the firewall.

How to use McAfee Firewall to prevent SSH tunneling

Network admins need more granular control over how Secure Shell (SSH) connections traverse their networks, and in this short video, we show how McAfee Firewall v8 can be used to allow SSH for file transfer and terminal connections but be used to block BitTorrent apps from tunneling through that protocol.

Controlling applications with McAfee Firewall’s AppPrism

We show in this short video an innovative method available in McAfee Firewall v8 that is called AppPrism. It can identify particular applications and control parts of their behavior, such as blocking Instant Messaging file transfer but allowing the actual IM chats themselves

How McAfee Firewall Enterprise can better secure your network

McAfee’s Firewall Enterprise version 8 has more protection that can be more easily configured than the Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5500. We look at three distinguishing areas in this video:
• creating firewall rules
• protecting their network users and applications
• integrating other security features into their firewalls

We tested a beta of the McAfee Firewall Enterprise on a live network in April 2010, using its Windows-based client and also ran the Cisco ASDM client in its demo mode for comparison purposes.

3965 Freedom Circle
Santa Clara, CA 95054


Pricing: Starts at $1500 with higher prices for higher throughput and additional network interfaces

Friday, April 23, 2010

ITexpertVoice screencast: Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer Comes Up Short

Software inventory is one of the most important steps in migrating desktops to Windows 7. This video -- posted on ITexpertVoice.com -- shows you the promise — and limitations — of Microsoft’s Software Inventory Analyzer.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How online relationships create trust

I was talking to Paul and Dana Gillin about their new book, called the Joy of Geocaching. I would urge you to buy this book, even if you aren't interested in the sport. You'll see why in a moment.

Today's column isn't about finding small objects hidden in plain sight across the landscape. (It is actually more interesting than I make it sound.) It is about how online relationships can fuel and shape how we interact with our colleagues in the real world. You know, that environment that exists outside our desktops?

Our newspapers and Web sites are filled with stories about how the nature of friendship has become devalued as we go about connecting on MyLinkFaceSpace et al. But what few have covered is how the online world creates new kinds of communities, and builds trusted relationships that carry on in the real world of face-to-face interaction. And that is where the Gillins' book comes into play. In it, they tell stories of geocachers and how they have come to enjoy finding and hiding these objects.

There is one story of a woman who travelled to Toronto on a business trip with several colleagues. She left them at the airport, and was picked up by a stranger – with the only thing in common being that both were cachers. How many of us would climb into a car in another country with nothing more than exchanging a few emails? That involves a certain level of trust and comfort that just doesn't happen in the real world.

Other examples are people that use the Meetup.com site to find people of similar circumstances. And of course there are the online dating sites, too. Crowdsourcing is another. I am sure you could think of other examples.

This use of online connections to prime the pump for a face-to-face meeting happens more and more frequently because we are doing more than just sending emails, or friend requests, or linking to others via online sites. We are sharing a common bond, a series of interests. We are building an authoritative source of content, context and identity. And along the way, we start shaping these micro-communities one person at a time.

Yes, there are people who pride themselves on having thousands of "friends" or who can connect with celebs and CEOs alike. But that isn't what today's Internets are all about.

Yes, it takes a village. But increasingly, our villages are formed online and with hyper-specific interests – not just because we share a common street block or elementary school classroom of our children. This is nothing new. The early bulletin board systems were great at this. But what is new is the potency of these relationships, and how quickly they can come to fruition.

Sure, I belong to lots of different communities, some based here in St. Louis, some that include people from all over the world. And my biggest community is you, the Web Informant reader. Or I hope so. Do share some of your own online/offline relationship stories with my readers on strominator.com if you feel so inclined.

Self (and other) promos dep't

If you want to buy Paul and Dana's book, click here:

I will be on the Tim Taylor Digital Nation radio show this Saturday at 1pm Central, talking about Windows 7 migration tools and methods. This uses some of the research for articles and screencast videos that I have done for the Dell-sponsored site ITexpertVoice.com. If you are interested in having me come speak at your next group meeting about this topic, email me.

Finally, if you are going to be in St. Louis next Tuesday, do stop by and say hello at the Gateway to Innovation Conference at the Chase Park Plaza. While I won't be speaking, I do think the conference organizers have put together a great program.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ITExpertVoice screencast: Viewfinity Can Solve Multiple-User Windows XP Migrations to Windows 7'

Viewfinity User Migration is another XP to Windows 7 migration tool. It doesn't
automatically move the applications, you have to reinstall them yourself or use
another deployment tool. It does handle XP desktops that are used by multiple
users quite elegantly. This screencast shows you how it works.


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About Me

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David Strom has looked at hundreds of computer products over a more than 20 year career in IT and computer journalism. He was the founding editor-in-chief of Network Computing magazine, and now writes for Baseline, Information Security, Tom's Hardware, and the New York Times.