Our IT Consulting Blog
If you are looking for the latest updates with OAC Technology or in the IT world, check out our IT blog for tips, news, and more!
Every device that connects to the internet is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) Address. This includes every smartphone, tablet, computer, server and more. Just like a street address (or a snowflake!), each public IP address is unique, which allows data to find its way to the right location.
If your business has ever renovated or moved office space, then you know how much work and planning goes into that process. Of all the things you have to consider with an office move–hiring movers, packing, changing addresses, updating business cards and websites–network cabling is probably pretty low on the list. But if you want your team to be on the network in the new office space, you better make sure the space is properly wired to meet your network’s needs.
When planning your first server room, the hardware that will be housed inside is obviously the largest consideration for you to make. After all, it is why you are planning for the room in the first place! In order to properly plan for the space and power needs of your server room, you will need to know what hardware will be involved.
Last week, we said that the probable single best thing you can do for your IT environment is to set aside a dedicated room for your network hardware and servers–a server room. Things you should plan for include room size, location, security, energy consumption, proper cooling and noise dampening. We covered room size, location and security. Today, we’ll look at the power needs of your server room.
As your business grows, so does your database… New clients, more transactions, financial information and marketing data all add to your database server’s storage size. No matter what database server software you use, that means the potential for slower performance. And when your database server slows down, so does your entire business.
What is a database server and why would your small business need one? Well, if your business tracks customer information in a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, stores transactional data or analyzes marketing data, chances are some sort of database is being used to store and access that information. Other common programs that use databases include accounting and financial software and Microsoft SharePoint.
As your business grows, so do your IT requirements. Oftentimes, business growth means more servers, which requires careful planning not only due to your technological requirements but also due to your business’s physical requirements. In other words, you need a place to safely store your servers, switches, racks and other network hardware. Because IT budgets are often tight, it’s important to properly plan your network environment in order to maximize IT dollars.
With the looming end of support deadline for Windows XP just around the corner, migrations to Windows 7 in IT environments around the world are ramping up. Many organizations skipped the XP to Vista migration, which means they’ll be making the leap from XP to Win 7 as April 2014 approaches.
If you’ve been an Exchange administrator over the years, you know that Microsoft’s been telling you stop using public folders, primarily because they couldn’t take advantage of database availability groups (DAGs). And if you’ve had clients using public folders, you know they didn’t want to give them up unless they absolutely had to.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012, formerly known as SQL Server Denali, has been several years in the making. In 2010, Microsoft released the first preview to the IT community and with it announced several new features that may be of interest to you and your business. We highlight a few below:
Virtualization is a hot topic among server administrators these days, and the use of virtual machines and cloud services continues to rise. A virtual machine essentially allows an IT administrator to set up multiple “virtual” servers on a single piece of server hardware. A popular example of a system that uses virtual machines is Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2), and many highly visible websites use Amazon EC2, including Instagram, Foursquare, Dropbox and Amazon itself.
Over the past few months, we’ve noticed a trend with our new clients–they want out of their existing contracts with other IT companies. It seems that every week we at OAC Technology hear from a potential client looking for help moving from their current IT support. These clients want out of their contracts with their current providers because of high tech turnover rates, an attitude of not caring about the client and the hiring of techs without the technical know-how to do their jobs.
Exchange Server 2013, the newest version of Microsoft Exchange Server, a popular messaging, email and scheduling platform, includes several enhancements that may be of benefit to your business. One of the most visible improvements for the end user is the revamped Outlook Web App (OWA).
If your small business has made the decision to move to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, there’s quite a bit to consider depending on your current environment. Here are a few items you’ll need to discuss with your IT administrator to make sure you’re prepared for a smooth transition.
Microsoft has long been touting the advantages of using Exchange and SharePoint together, and the integration between the two has been improving with each release. One of the new benefits found in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 are new enhancements to Exchange’s SharePoint integration: Site Mailboxes, eDiscovery Center, Unified Contact Store and User Photos.
Microsoft Exchange Server is Microsoft’s messaging, email and scheduling platform used in many small, medium and large businesses worldwide. Since 2003, it has been upgraded by Microsoft every 3 to 4 years–2003, 2007, 2010, and now it’s latest release, 2013.
While a lot of the work on Exchange Server 2013 has occurred under the hood, here are a few of the new features you’ll be able to see in Exchange Server 2013.
The release of Windows Server 2012 in early September 2012 introduces several new features and updates over the prior Windows Server 2008 R2, including SMB improvements, a new Task Manager, an updated Hyper-V and revamped storage features.
Today, we’ll look at Windows Server 2012’s updated virtualization, Hyper-V 3.0.
Windows Server 2012 (formerly referred to as Windows 8 Server) was released in early September 2012. It introduces several new features and updates over Windows Server 2008 R2, including SMB improvements, a new Task Manager, an updated Hyper-V and revamped storage features.
For this post, we’ll be looking at two new storage-related features found in Windows Server 2012: Resilient File System (ReFS) and Storage Spaces.
IP address management has long been an inefficient task for IT administrators, particularly in larger environments. Many admins use spreadsheets or text files to keep track of what static IP addresses or DHCP scopes are assigned to which server or device–a process that is prone to human error and unruly to maintain.
With the recent release of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s newest server operating system, many businesses have been considering whether or not the upgrade is right for them. Microsoft has listed over 300 improvements over Windows Server 2008 R2, and the security improvements are significant.
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the recently-released Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s newest server operating system. This week, we’ll be covering some of the more impactful new features, including virtualization, storage spaces, IP address management and more. While those features are certainly large improvements, Microsoft has listed over 300 improvements over Windows Server 2008 R2. Here, we’ll explore some of the highlights.
With the advent of smartphones, tablets and other bring-your-own-devices in the corporate environment, IT administrators have been working hard to maintain network security while remaining flexible for the end users. On top of that, many of these BYO-devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are now able to create their own networks or hotspots, giving your IT department another acronym to manage: bring-your-own-network (BYON).
Alison Gardner, a director at Dell, said that Dell will offer Windows 7 as long as it is allowed to after the release of Windows 8 later this month. “We’re still moving our business customers from Windows XP to Windows 7,” Gardner said. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be available as options on Dell’s Alienware, Latitude, OptiPlex and Precision brands.
While the end-of-sales date for Windows 7 is yet to be determined, Microsoft in the past has allowed PC makers to continue selling prior versions of Windows after a new version is released.
A new virus scam popped up last week claiming to be a part of the “Stop Online Piracy Automatic Protection System.” As you may recall, SOPA is was an ill-fated bill from earlier this year that didn’t become a law due to widespread internet protests.
If you receive a message on your computer stating that your files have been locked due to being on a SOPA Black List, that means you’ve been infected with a type of virus called ransomware that has nothing to do with SOPA the bill.
When starting a business, IT security is often overlooked or considered only after something goes wrong. Sure your business may have antivirus software and firewalls, but those are the only the basics. On top of that, security is something that needs to be monitored and continually considered.
Here are four things you should do right away to ensure your company’s IT security stays ahead of the game:
Recently, a security researcher found a way collect the phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users. By default, your Facebook privacy settings allow everyone to find you with their friend finder using the contact info you have provided to Facebook. This functionality was exploited by the researcher with a simple automated script (or bot) he wrote, allowing him to collect as many valid phone numbers as he wanted.
Now that this exploit is public, you can be assured that scammers will be using this method to collect as much user information as possible, which could lead to increased spam or provide more firepower for social engineering attacks. Here’s how you can protect yourself adjusting Facebook’s privacy settings.
We’ve already discussed the downside of storing your passwords in your browser. Essentially, it’s not a good idea since a thief could easily access any account you have saved in your browser. However, if you use Mozilla Firefox and save your passwords in it, using a Master Password will help protect your saved passwords. According to Mozilla:
If you’ve used a major web browser for any length of time in the last 10 years, you’ve been asked to save your password. Because browsers have been asking us to do so for so long, we have a tendency to take for granted just how safe (or not) our saved passwords truly are.
Before your business jumps into purchasing another server in order to add a new application to your IT infrastructure, you may want to consider virtualization. If used properly, virtualization (or the use of virtual machines) can help your business more effectively use its IT hardware.