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Microsoft Plans to Share Network ...

By Mark Hall
April 4, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - ... troubleshooting tool with users and vendors alike. But it wants a quid pro quo of a sort. According to Neil Leslie, general manager of Microsoft Corp.'s customer service and support group, the company within six months will release a beta version of Network Monitor 3.0, an upgrade of a tool that has shipped as part of its Systems Management Server (SMS) software. What will be different in the next SMS release, Leslie says, is that Netmon won't have a "90-day time bomb" that turns off the tool unless you buy it. In other words, if you get SMS, you'll get Netmon 3.0. Free. Netmon captures and stores network packets for analysis. It can filter packets by protocol type and let you find devices on your network and track their packet-broadcasting rates. The 3.0 release adds a Visual Basic-like scripting language so you can easily customize it, says Leslie. Today, he notes, you need C and assembler language skills to do so.
Now for the quid pro quo. Leslie says Microsoft will also make available later this year D-Code, its database of the various service and support tools that the company uses internally. The database not only lists what's what, but it also rates the effectiveness of what's what. Leslie says he wants other companies to rate their troubleshooting and analysis tools inside D-Code so the info can be shared broadly. Microsoft giveth, and it asketh.
Have a Snort so you can protect ...
... your network in real time. That's Snort, the open-source intrusion-detection and -protection software. Sourcefire Inc. in Columbia, Md., this quarter will upgrade its Snort-based appliances to evaluate data packets at rates as high as 8Gbit/sec., according to Michele Perry, the company's chief marketing officer. The Intrusion Sensor appliances will be able to apply 2,900 network-access rules in real time, Perry says. She boasts that the rules can eliminate up to 80% of network alarms, thereby assuring IT managers that the alarms that do ring are truly trouble. Pricing for the high-speed Intrusion Sensors will start at $179,000.

Sourcefire's Intrusion Sensor appliance
Sourcefire's Intrusion Sensor appliance
IT lacks control of network ...
... perimeter because, well, it doesn't own that. So claims Rita Selvaggi, vice president of marketing at Permeo Technologies Inc. in Austin. She contends that 30% to 40% of the devices accessing corporate networks aren't owned or managed by internal IT departments. They're the home PCs of your employees and the computers used by your supply chain partners and your onshore and offshore outsourcers -- in short, who knows who is using


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