Posts Tagged Infrastucture

Wireless Network Design Tips

Posted by on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013

As we’ve helped clients deploy high-quality wireless networks, we thought we’d compile a list of some of the top tips to ensure consistent performance and security:

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It doesn’t make sense to filter websites as blogs, and it hasn’t for at least half a decade.

Posted by on Friday, 4 January, 2013

Wow, time flies when you’re busy billing. As we enter 2013 it’s easy to see how neglectful we’ve been of this blog. 2012 was our busiest year yet, and we thank all our wonderful clients for all the great opportunities to help them solve their technical challenges.

One challenge that repeatedly comes up is in regards to permitted web browsing. A few of our clients work under a much larger entity that controls web access through proxy appliances, namely devices by Blue Coat. This isn’t to point them out specifically, as what I’m about to describe seems de rigeur across the web filtering industry niche.

These specific customers are troubled often when trying to research a technical issue. Perhaps they, like many of us, do a google search of the problem. They see in the results something germane to their issue. When they click on the link however, the proxy appliance that is maintained by the controlling organization’s IT team blocks access to the page, because that organization decided they wanted to block anything in the “Blogs/Personal Pages” category. (Click here to see the definitions for these categories used by Blue Coat)

So while researching the issue I noticed that Blue Coat’s own security blog was not classified as a “Blogs/Personal Pages” and pointed this out to them. They agreed that it should be put in this category according to their current definitions. Blue Coat helpfully pointed out that an IT Department could craft rules that would, for example, allow websites marked as “Blogs/Personal Pages” only if they were also categorized as “Computers/Internet.” While useful, the cold hard fact is that often IT teams don’t do this: it’s simply more effort on already overworked IT groups, and such groups are apt to want to keep things as simple as possible.

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Understanding Exchange 2010 Personal Archive Requirements

Posted by on Sunday, 20 March, 2011

We recently had a client who was looking to implement Exchange 2010 personal archives. For those that aren’t familiar with the feature, personal archives are essentially a second mailbox associated to a user’s primary mailbox. By creating a personal archive, companies can potentially get away from PST files for archiving of old mail. The personal archive can be stored on a different mailbox database, and isn’t cached if you’re running in cached mode. Nifty.

Of course it’s pretty well known that Microsoft requires a premium Exchange CAL to use Personal Archives, and that you also must be running the Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server 2010. Fair enough, even though I think personal archives is a feature that every company small or large can really benefit from and should be something Microsoft is pushing harder. What ends up being a confusing topic is what version of Outlook is needed to access the personal archive, and this is where our client ran into snags.

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Microsoft KMS Demystified

Posted by on Thursday, 15 July, 2010

In my travels recently (which explains the paucity of blog entries) I have noticed a lot of organizations seem to be struggling with Microsoft’s Key Management Services (KMS). Today I’ll briefly cover the technology and how it can help your business.

What is it?

Microsoft KMS is a service that companies who have volume licensing agreements for their Microsoft Products can activate installed copies of their software.

What’s covered?

As of this writing, KMS covers all volume licensing editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Office 2010.

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