From The Editor

A few months ago, we launched the first issue of TechNet Magazine, the Microsoft magazine for IT pros. At the time, we were cautiously optimistic about what we were doing, but we were also anxious to see how the people who make everything run—the IT superheroes—would react to the new publication that ended up on their desks.

We were pleased to find that by all accounts, the first issue was a valuable and much appreciated tool. It is against this set of raised expectations that we provide this, the second issue of TechNet Magazine. Over the past months, we have talked to hundreds of IT pros just like you. This second issue builds upon our many discussions to provide more in-depth articles on the products and technologies you're using at work today.

Most of you are either administering Active Directory or are planning to move to it soon. We've put together a wide range of material to help, from articles on the top new group policy settings in Windows XP SP2 to migrating thousands of mailboxes in Exchange Server.

We also heard from a number of DBAs and postmasters about what they would like to see in the magazine. Thanks to these discussions, we have more coverage on SQL Server and Exchange Server in this issue as well. Of course, we also continue our focus on security, as you'll see throughout the issue.

SQL Server 2005 is fast approaching RTM. We know that adoption doesn't happen overnight, but it's always handy to know what's on the horizon when the CIO calls you in and asks you to explain it.

Many of you told us that you'd like to see more utilities you can use at work. As part of our mission is to help you do your job, we're making our Utility Spotlight a regular feature, and this issue we bring you a handy, customizable app that will let you limit the number of concurrent logins on an Active Directory domain as well as a few other neat things.

If you're the IT guy at a small company, a couple of our articles might be of special interest to you. They contain some lessons that I, unfortunately, learned too late. Several months ago, I was at the local electronics superstore and purchased a new 250GB hard drive for only $99. What kid wouldn't love a quarter terabyte? I took it home, moved everything on my kids' machine to it, and had an extra 200GB to work with. Everything was fine for a couple of months.

Last week, the machine wouldn't start. When I turned it on, it went into a permanent reboot loop. I inserted the Windows XP CD and went to the recovery console. The big drive didn't show up at all. Even though hardware's not my game, I followed some instructions I found online, ran fixmbr, tried some other commands, and I got the drive back! Of course, the file names in the directory had been replaced with entries that look like comic book swears. Everything's gone, and it's not coming back.

If only I had taken Jay Shaw's or Robert Walker's advice. In this issue, they'll help you back up your machine and set up a RAID server. I lost a stack of photos and newsletters the kids had created. True, your company's data may not have the same sentimental value, but you know how valuable it is. If you're the IT superhero for your company, make this the year that you implement full backup and redundancy policies. Don't learn the hard way—those system failures can be career kryptonite.—J.T.

Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts for their help with this issue: Kahren Allakhverdyan, Nino Bilic, Henry Chan, Girish Chander, William Chow, Charles Chung, Eric Deily, Jeetendra Falodia, Oscar Omar Garza Santos, Eric Hanson, Ken Henderson, Christian Kleinerman, Kevin Lam, Peter Larsen, Bill Long, Vikas Malhotra, Andrew Moss, Michael Murphy, Greg Nicholson, Matt Nunn, Michael Rys, Brian Sabino, Dmitry Sarkisov, Steve Schiemann, Dan Stevenson, Cristian Teodorescu, Don Vilen, Dan Winn, Rik Wright, Christoph Zelazowski, and Jason Zions.

Active Directory, ActiveX, Microsoft, MSDN, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, Visio, Windows, Windows NT, Win32 and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks or trade names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Microsoft Corporation makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any code or other information herein, and disclaims any liability whatsoever for any use of such code or other information.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.