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Dos and don'ts: distributed computing

Meredith B. Derby, assistant news editor

In the chaotic world of distributed Windows systems, a random event in a single desktop can create a network-wide disaster. So, many Windows managers have become masters of putting out fires. By being masters of prevention, however, they could bring order and discipline to their Windows worlds, says Ian MacKay, vice president of Platform Computing's SiteAssure business unit. SiteAssure is an event automation product for distributed environments. Mackay and Rodney Jones, director of advanced customer engineering for SiteAssure, offer these tips that will help Windows managers make their Windows kingdoms peaceable.

Do "regularly check your machines and investigate them for attacks and basic system integrity," said Mackay.

Do have security and management policies in place, Jones said, even if they're manual processes.

Don't "roll processes into production without testing. Test, test and then test again," said MacKay.

Do check for consistency and that applications match operating system and library versions, too, Mackay advised.

Don't grow too fast without investing in tools that will help employees do their jobs, said Jones.

Do have appropriate security patches and availability and performance patches installed in a timely fashion, Mackay added.

Do store your IT expertise "in a centralized place, even if it's just in a document," he finished.

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