The foremost concern on everyone's mind this past year was security, security, security. Between Code Red, Nimda and the other slew of viruses, worms and Trojans that spread throughout the industry, more systems were affected in 2001 than in the last five years combined.
For next year, security will remain at the forefront. Many software vendors -- most notably Microsoft-- have launched programs and initiatives to try to help us remain secure. But as we've seen, having patches available for a known security hole is only part of the problem. Even when patches are available, many administrators still don't apply them to their systems. This means that those of us who do are only partially protected. Sure, we didn't become infected with Code Red or Nimbda, but we came under very heavy attack from systems that weren't patched. In my own case, I took quite a bandwidth hit even though I proactively maintained my systems,
In 2002, you can expect fewer hardware vendors to remain standing. You can also expect software vendors to continue their derision of Microsoft, including its .NET initiative and its security practices. However, with the release of Windows .NET Server, even Microsoft's harshest critics will have to admit that the company has made great strides delivering on its promises. My biggest prediction: by the end of 2002, almost everyone on the Internet will be using at least one of Microsoft's .NET services.
Scott Schnoll is the Product Support Manager for TNT Software, a Vancouver, Washington software company that specializes in Windows NT and Windows 2000 management applications. Scott is an MCSE, an MCT and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. He is co-author of the book, "Exchange 2000 Server: The Complete Reference," and has written numerous articles for Exchange & Outlook Magazine.