TechEd to focus on firewall, spam filter

Unless it has a surprise in store, expect Microsoft's TechEd conference to be heavy on the "how-to" and light on the "gee whiz."

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Microsoft isn't offering any blockbusters for IT administrators at TechEd this year. Rather, the focus will be on a new version of its

If this year is a dud, administrators will consider smaller, non-Microsoft conferences.

Douglas Spindler, president

S.F. Networking Technologies Users Group,
firewall, a service pack for Exchange Server 2003 and the release of its much-anticipated spam filter.

Microsoft's biggest event kicks off this week in San Diego. While there will be a handful of third-party products that will be released at the event, Microsoft won't have a major release to discuss, unlike last year, when Windows Server 2003 dominated the agenda.

For server and network administrators waiting in anticipation of the event, there is a question of whether it will be worth the time, said Douglas Spindler, president of the San Francisco Networking Technologies Users Group.

"The reviews from last year were

For more information:

Read more about Microsoft's next-generation firewall

 

Find out why Microsoft extended the availability of its spam filter

that it wasn't worth the week invested, and they would have rather attended [Microsoft's discontinued MEC conference]," Spindler said. "[They said last year's conference] was too heavy on the marketing. If this year is a dud, administrators will consider smaller, non-Microsoft conferences."

Security issues are expected to continue to dominate the conference. Microsoft said last month that its Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2004 would be made available at TechEd. The Exchange Server 2003 team will have a new service pack to discuss, as well. Microsoft also plans to release Intelligent Message Filter (IMF), which is expected to be available to all Exchange 2003 customers, and not just those with Software Assurance maintenance agreement in their contracts, as originally planned.

Following are a few of the third-party vendors that will attend TechEd, and the products they will be demonstrating.

  • Defrag Manager 3.0 from Winternals Software LP, of Austin, Texas. The software, which was developed using technology licensed from Microsoft, allows the use of Windows XP and Server 2003 components to speed up defragmentation on all Windows platforms.
  • PolyServe Inc., Beaverton, Ore., will be releasing shared data clustering software for the Windows platform.
  • Advanced Systems Concepts Inc., of Parsippany, N.J., will release ActiveBatch 5.0, a cross-platform job-scheduling and management application.
  • AutoProf Inc., a Portsmouth, N.H.-based desktop management software company, is making its desktop configuration management system for Windows available. Policy Maker Professional adds some features to Microsoft's Group Policy. The company is also releasing its patch management software, called Policy Maker Software Update. Both are available now.
  • Lightspeed Systems, Bakersfield, Calif., will release a new version of its network security software. Total Traffic Control 5.0 adds host- and network-based intrusion detection, virus scanning, file-integrity checking and vulnerability assessment.

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