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One of the best resources around for administrators who deploy and manage Windows-based networks, myITforum.com is best described by its CEO and founder, Rod Trent.

myITforum.com (http://www.myitforum.com) is the leading systems administration web site and community. It was created to be the Internet's premiere knowledge and information forum for IT professionals. The web site provides IT administrators the opportunity to gain better insight about what they do by learning/sharing from other IT experts throughout the world. Through the web site, myITforum.com users give tips, share insight, and download utilities and tools to assist them in managing their IT enterprises. Whether you oversee 10 nodes or 100,000 nodes, myITforum.com can help you manage your environment.

myITforum.com is managed by Rod Trent (myself!), a Microsoft MVP and author of the best-selling books Microsoft SMS Installer, Admin911: SMS, and IIS 5.0: A Beginner's Guide. Rod Trent is the leading authority on Microsoft SMS and an annual presenter and keynote presenter at the annual Microsoft Management Summit (http://www.microsoft.com/management/training/mms.mspx). He has over 18 years of IT experience, 8 of which have been dedicated to SMS. In addition to his best-selling books, Rod has written thousands of articles on technology topics in many publications, on the Web, and in the form of Microsoft white papers, case studies, and technical guides. Rod is also a principal in NetImpress, Inc. (http://www.netimpress.com), a technology publishing company.


myITforum.com's roots lead back to the now defunct Swynk.com web site. Swynk.com was founded and operated by Stephen Wynkoop until 1999. Stephen had developed a web site that allowed administrators all over the world to gain support for their everyday IT tasks. myITforum.com was built on the success of the Systems Management Server (SMS) section of Swynk.com. The success of the SMS section led to an urgency to keep the ever-growing community alive when it was evident that the parent company of Swynk.com was not going to support it. Swynk.com had become much more than simply content and articles, and it became evident that the web site had outgrown its electronic boundaries. It had become a live community that was represented both on the Web and in the real IT world. So, the SMS community from Swynk.com migrated to its web site location: http://www.myitforum.com.

Since the move, myITforum.com has grown by leaps and bounds, primarily due to the opportunities it presents to administrators all over the world to interact with their fellow administrators and peers. The members of the myITforum.com community are the most caring folks found in any corner of the Internet. They give their time, experience, and knowledge selflessly to help create a brain trust of smarter administrators who become efficient and proficient IT professionals.


While myITforum.com was based on Microsoft Systems Management Server, it has grown far beyond this one topic. To be an SMS administrator, an IT professional must be proficient in far more than just SMS. SMS administrators are required to support many different applications, operating systems, and technologies. Because of this requirement and myITforum.com's ability to grow quickly with the community needs, myITforum.com expanded its topic base to include many more areas in the IT world. myITforum.com supports Altiris products, Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), VBScript, SMS 1.2/2.0/2003, Windows, SQL Server, Networking, Active Directory, security and patch management, antivirus technologies, Windows Mobile technologies, web technologies, and deployment technologies such as Windows Installer.

MyITforum.com supports these many topics through articles, email discussion lists, and web-based forums Figure 1-18 shows the myITforum.com home page. The articles posted to the web site are quite a bit different than the articles you find in other publications. Instead of information from individuals you can't be sure have ever worked in IT, the myITforum.com articles are from real IT workers from real IT experiences. The premise is that if you are faced with a real-world situation, someone out there has probably already been through it and has the solution all wrapped up. By sharing their experiences through articles, the myITforum.com columnists provide a central location for IT administrators all of the world to get solutions to problems they might be facing, without having to spend days or weeks working through a tough situation. If it's a problem, someone has already faced it and succeeded, and the solution is probably outlined on myITforum.com.

Figure 1-18. Home page of myITforum.com

In addition to providing these web resources for the myITforum.com community, myITforum.com has transcended the confines of the Internet. Because real IT professionals make up the myITforum.com community, myITforum.com has reached beyond the Web to aid real people in setting up real-world local communities. myITforum.com has been instrumental in setting up over 17 user groups all over the world. From the U.S. to Canada to Israel to Australia, myITforum.com has provided valuable time and resources to set up and manage some of the most successful user group communities in the real world. myITforum.com provides many things to the user groups, including a free web site for the group's web presence, contacts with vendors for speaking services, and an intermediary link between Microsoft and the user group for planning, support, and meeting facilities.

Over time, myITforum.com has also become a successful liaison between employers and prospective employees. Offered as a free service, myITforum.com has helped place hundreds of qualified employees into IT jobs. During the last few years, when the economy has caused layoffs and outsourcing, myITforum.com has stood as a central beacon for employers and employees to connect with each other. So, in addition to providing a central repository for connecting with peers, myITforum.com has become an informal meeting place, where workers find employment and employers locate the top candidates for open positions.

It has been noted that if you attend any IT event, anywhere in the world, you will find at least one myITforum.com community member. myITforum.com's influence reaches into almost every nook of the IT world, primarily because it provides what IT professionals need to advance to a higher level in their profession, but also because it provides a level of sharing that can't be experienced anywhere else. myITforum.com is a real community comprised of real people with real personalities. Participating in myITforum.com is like meeting with friends. myITforum.com is an ever-evolving, ever-growing community meeting place that extends experience and knowledge that is more valuable than sitting through a weeklong training class. At the end of the day, myITforum.com is the one location for everything IT.

?Rod Trent