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Application Compatibility: Inside the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5
The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) lets users know whether applications are compatible with a new version of Windows before deployment and can also help them determine how an operating system update will impact these applications. By taking a look under the hood of the Application Compatibility Toolkit, readers are better able to evaluate the potential of each tool and invest in them appropriately. Chris Corio and Chris Jackson
Application Compatibility: Planning Your Application Compatibility Project
One of the biggest obstacles that hinder operating system upgrades is application compatibility, so it makes sense to design a project that will reveal the applications you have and figure out what will work or how to fix things ahead of time. This article describes what you have to consider to implement a successful project. Chris Jackson
Group Policy: Automating Group Policy Management with Windows PowerShell
Group Policy is used in almost every environment and relied on by many to secure and their Windows environment. Surprisingly few have introduced automation into the process, however. This article explains how to take advantage of the GPMC APIs and Windows PowerShell to automate management of Group Policy in your organization. Darren Mar-Elia
Active Directory: Using Catch-All Subnets in Active Directory
In an ideal world, users are directed to the appropriate domain controller for Active Directory authentication, but this is not necessarily what happens in most organizations due to IP subnet information not being properly defined in Active Directory. This article presents a solution to ensure users locate the appropriate DC for authentication—a catch-all subnet to catch the authentication from clients on subnets are not defined in Active Directory. John Policelli
Web Infrastructure: Providing Scalability for ASP.NET Applications
Although Web technology provides an elegant architecture of Web farms and load balancers for ASP.NET applications, data storage technologies have not kept pace, so the applications are unable to scale effectively. The solution is an in-memory storage mechanism that can grow linearly—a distributed cache, as this article discusses. Iqbal Khan

Columns
From the Editor: It’s All Gotta Work
Joshua Hoffman
Toolbox: New Products for IT Pros
Greg Steen highlights new tools and utilities for the IT Professional. Greg Steen
SQL Q & A: Removing Index Fragmentation, Synchronizing vs. Synchronized, and More
Paul Randal answers your SQL questions: How does removing index fragmentation affect statistics? Does data compression interfere with backups? Can you explain database mirroring states? And more! Paul S. Randal
Utility Spotlight: PendMoves and MoveFile
You can’t move, rename or delete a file that’s in use—but sometimes you have to. Luckily, two free utilities called PendMoves and MoveFile let you handle these tasks with ease. Lance Whitney
Inside SharePoint: Creating an External Storage Solution for SharePoint
Storing unstructured data in SharePoint content databases is not always ideal. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using an external storage solution; extending the SharePoint storage architecture using the ISPExternalBinaryProvider API in managed and unmanaged code; and how to avoid data loss during lazy garbage collection. Pav Cherny
Windows PowerShell: Automating User Provisioning, Part 4
Don Jones concludes his four-part series on automating user provision with Windows PowerShell. In this final edition, Don discusses adding users to domain groups and modifying directory attributes. Don Jones
Geek of all Trades: The Benefits of Big, Cheap Disks
Windows Server Backup is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to back up computers running the Windows Server 2008. Greg Shields explains some of the design decisions that went into this tool, an why it may be useful in small environments. Greg Shields
Hey, Scripting Guy!: Creating A Self-Documenting Script
In this article, the Microsoft Scripting Guys develop a script that will gather comments from other scripts (providing those comments follow a certain pattern) and then save the comments in a text file. The Microsoft Scripting Guys
Security Watch: Thoughts on Identity, Part 1
In this first part of a two part series, security expert Jesper Johansson delves into the concept of identity - What defines an identity? Who gets to control the information, and how do we ensure it is properly secured? Jesper M. Johansson
Business of IT: Successful Project Management
IT organizations today face challenges whose complexities rival those of advanced software development projects and, to boot, require doing a lot more with substantially less. Certain practices, however, can help to ensure the success of a project. Alessandro Muti
Blog Tales: Monitor the Default Management Pack
It seems almost inevitable that the Default Management Pack will become cluttered over time, and that can build a dependency for this MP on any MP it references. In this column, Jonathan Almquist gives you a sample script and Management Pack that will alert you whenever someone saves an override to the default MP. Jonathan Almquist
The Cable Guy: NAP on the Internet
Network Access Protection (NAP) on the Internet is the extension of Internet Protocol security (IPsec) enforcement to the Internet. It allows roaming computers to validate and correct their health state, remain healthy, and mitigate security risks. NAP on the Internet helps fill the security gap that exists for mobile computers that are only evaluated for system health when connected to the intranet. Joseph Davies
Field Notes: Building Strategic Vision into IT
Rather than fighting against the introduction of consumer technologies into IT organizations, IT pros should consider the ways they themselves use these technologies, and how this knowledge can be translated into a business resource. Romi Mahajan
Windows Confidential: When Windows Audio Goes Haywire
Raymond Chen discusses how to handle unexpected trouble with the Windows Audio Engine (AudioDG). Raymond Chen
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