Collaborative computing, Exchange and Windows Server Engineering, PowerShell for Exchange, and the next steps that will evolve as traditional corporate email goes mobile, cloud-based, instant, and social.
This looks really interesting - CompTIA, the folks who brought us A+ certification, have come out with a "Green IT" certification. If you are looking for a new certification to make your resume stand out, especially in the realms of Data Center Management or Facilities Management this could be useful.
You have an super user login and a regular user login and you want to be able to explore the network as your Admin ID while logged into the PC as your User Id. Or you need to explore a users' system as the local Administrator without having to log the user off the system. You used to be able to Run Internet Explorer with a Run As switch to do this, but after upgrading to Internet Explorer 7 that no longer works.
Use the program C:\windows\ie7\iexplore.exe. Browse your hard drive to the folder C:\windows\ie7\ and find the program iexplore.exe. (This is a hidden folder, so if you can't see it make sure you can see hidden folders under Folder Options) Now right-click on that program and pick "Run As." Click "the following user" radio button and then use your Domain\User ID or else the Computername\Administrator, depending on who you need to log in as, and the password associated.
This will spawn a new instance of Internet Explorer with the credentials you specified. Nifty!
I am having to brush up on my Visio and be able to put together a nice looking network diagram. I will document the resources I am using as I find them in the hopes it will help me later or help someone else going through the same.
My husband is almost finished with his B.A. Computer Science with a focus on Networking. This week he has a homework assignment to listen to three weekly podcasts on the topic of computer security and provide a critique. Being the helpful spouse that I am, I am helping by using my Google-Fu skills to look up some decent sounding podcasts about computer and network security.
Always the blogger, I figured my readers might also be interested in the podcasts.
The Security Response Podcast from Symantec is one that immediately caught my eye. Symantec is one of the mail leaders is network security, backup, and archiving solutions and I have enjoyed working with Symantec and Veritas products so it seemed a good place to start.
The CERT Podcast Series
features conversations with experts in areas such as security threats, risk management, privacy, and trends. CERT is the Carnegie Mellon affiliated internet security response center funded primarily the U.S. Department of Defense and the
Department of Homeland Security. Oh, and by the way after a big more Googling I have learned that CERT is not an acronym and does not stand for anything. It just is. Who knew?
This would be great for a home system or a small office that needs simple file sharing on a dime. Or perhaps even for larger organizations that need on the fly file space for temporary use. Or just to get more practice with Linux.
Of course if you are a small office using this method you should be using RAIDed drives so that if one drive goes out you can rebuild the data set by replacing it. Also, don't forget the backups.
This morning Gmail was down for about 100 minutes. The Google blog has a well written explanation of the downtime Gmail users experienced this morning: More on Today's Gmail Issue.
This is a good example of how to communicate with your user community about downtime issues. I don't think I have to tell any System Administrator that it is very important to communicate with users both during and after the fact of a downtime incident.
The fact is that no matter how well you set up fail-over and high availability, there may be time when systems fail. A good IT team needs to have monitoring set up to know when failure occurs, troubleshooting skill sets to determine the cause of the problem, the ability to think on their feet under high stress, and the ability to communicate status with their customers.
When I communicate downtime reports, I like to harken back to one of the first jobs I held after college. I used to process warranty claims for an Acura car dealership. On the back of the repair orders the technicians had to report "the three C's" or "C.C.C" which stood for "Complaint, Cause, and Correction." Like the 5 W questions of journalism (Who, What, Why, When, Where) these 3 C's serve as a good mnemonic device to help you make sure you cover the details.
An example of using this format on this morning's Gmail problem might look like this:
Key detail: What systems/users/functions were affected. Note start time of first system down report, and end time when all systems were back to normal.
Complaint: Gmail down for 100 minutes.
Cause: Failover Request routers became overloaded during routing maintenance. Insufficient amount of request routers to handle failover.
Correction: Brought up additional request router servers.
Of course you will flesh this information out in different ways depending upon the audience, but the three Cs of repair technicians can be a good way to remember to report key details.
It is also good to remember there are two types of incident reports you may need to make: the first being a communication during the downtime, the second the full incident report after systems are back to normal. In the middle of the crisis there is a temptation to forgo communication and just work hard to fix the problem. Its good to have a member of management do the communication at this point, as the technical team is busy solving the problem. Always tell your boss(es) immediately when a problem occurs that is going to be on their radar. They hate being surprised.
During system downtime you may need to communicate via an alternative method. (Can't email them that email is down, right?) Voicemail, intranet, company blog, or even old fashioned overhead speakers can be used. Update the help desk teams, and task them with updating the help desk voicemail message for your callers.
After the problem is fixed, then you want to put together your "post mortem" incident report. Use the 5 W's of journalism and the C.C.Cs of Automotive service to help you remember to record all the key details. And remember, the most important thing after a downtime experience is to do what is needed to assure your customers and management what you are doing to ensure that this does not occur again.