LettersReaders Speak Out

The Windows Linker

In response to Raymond Chen's September 2008 Windows Confidential column, "Windows 95 Unplugged", I'd have to say that I think the story of the Windows linker is not quite complete. The original Windows linker came from Convergent Technologies. If you have a copy of it and dump it to the screen, you will see the letters GW; these are the initials of Greg Walsh, the programmer who wrote the linker. The difference in the code was the signature and the checksum.
—Ken W.

VMM and VMware Virtual Center

As a VMware administrator, I was happy to read the October 2008 article "Manage Your Virtual Environments with VMM 2008". It's really great that Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) supports managing VMware systems, but something wasn't clear from the article. Is VMM a replacement for VMware Virtual Center? Do I still need to buy VMware feature licenses, such as VMotion support, from VMware, or will VMM enable VMotion for me without VMware software?
—George H.

For VMware environments, VMM is a complement to the Virtual Center infrastructure and can replace the Virtual Center console. But VMM requires a Virtual Center server to manage the VMware hosts. While VMM does communicate with the hosts directly for some functions, most functions, including VMotion, require a Virtual Center server. Also, VMM doesn't enable any VMware-specific functions that are not enabled in Virtual Center, such as Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) or VMotion. Your Virtual Center must be licensed for VMotion for VMM to enable it.
—Edwin Yuen, Technical Product Manager, Windows Enterprise Management, Division for System Center VMM

Dual and Quad Cores

In the September 2008 Exchange Queue & A column, HenrikWalther discussed processor cores. I followed this up by reading the article "Planning Processor Configurations," which discussed only dual-core processors.

My concern is whether quad-core processors would change any of the information from your column. Was the decrease in mailbox server performance you mentioned due to the number of processor sockets in a server (for example, 4 sockets × dual core = 8 processor cores)? Does quad-core technology change this at all? Does having a single-socket quad core give you the same performance as a 2-socket dual-core configuration in Exchange 2007?
—Scott M.

Quad-core processors also work very well with Exchange Server 2007. Normally, when I spec Exchange 2007 Mailbox servers, I always try to get 2 × quad core and these always deliver very good performance. But you could also use 4 dual-core processors. You would rarely notice any difference.

The potential decrease in performance comes when you use more than 8 cores in total (not processors), such as using 3 quad-core processors or 5 dual-core processors.
—Henrik Walther, Columnist, Exchange Queue & A

Admin Passwords

I read your article "Understanding Shared Account Password Management" in the September 2008 issue. We always disable the admin account. Why do we need to manage its password?
—Karen H.

In Windows, just because the administrator account is disabled doesn't mean it can't be used. Take a look at the article "How to Access the Computer after You Disable the Administrator Account", which does a good job of explaining things. The referenced article specifically notes Windows Server 2003, but the information applies to the other Windows operating systems as well.

Further, just because the account is disabled doesn't mean it can't be re-enabled at any other time, even without access to safe mode—this can be done by anyone with sufficient rights to manage accounts on your system. Even if you use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to disable the account, the account can be re-enabled. Moreover, using Group Policy = (with default settings) can take up to 120 minutes to refresh on the client.
—Chris Stoneff

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