Scheduling and Availability Notifications

Datto Conference time is almost here… we’ll be gone to Denver from 2 June through 10 June for the Annual DattoCon. That’s three weeks out so a few items of note relating to our support during this time…

  • We will not be accepting any projects that require site time because… well, we won’t be here so that explains that!
  • All support will be via Remote and responses will necessarily be slower than usual but it will be handled as best as possible
  • Hardware issues that are warranted through Dell can be easily managed… we arrange parts replacement and Dell Technician support as usual
  • This qualifies as the only break we get until the holidays at the end of the year so compute accordingly, please

Summer through Early Winter Task Scheduling

  • The first part of 2017 has been far busier than we had anticipated. We have just completed two new network installations and are wrapping up the last of the remaining major site tasks for the second quarter.
  • Please let us know of any network-related tasks that are projected through the end of the 3rd Quarter… include any major vendor software changes, please
  • As usual, no new projects requiring completion in 2017 will be started after the end of October… holidays and end-of-year internal task management, you know

Recurring Maintenance Tasks

  • At the beginning of each Quarter, we send out the Recurring Maintenance Task listing for each site. This is critical information so please don’t delete it out of hand (have seen seven instances of this)
  • Trend is moving from on premise based Antivirus to Cloud based. Consequently, we are moving clients to that model as current Trend licenses expire- may involve cost reduction, we’ll let you know
  • Battery refresh actions are ongoing… will schedule Server-based power backups so as not to interfere with workflow as much as we can possibly do
  • NOTE: Please try to keep the Server rooms accessible and clean… broom closet is probably just down the hall, not in the Server room! Cleanup of Server areas is billable time…

Quick Notes/ General Observations

Security Patches and Updates plus Network Use Monitoring

  • Security updates are released monthly and some are critical Zero-Day fixes
  • Some users have voiced their displeasure at having to interrupt their day to reboot systems that need to complete these updates
  • I am more than happy to send them the bill for the cost of a network infection recovery due to their failure to work and play well with others
  • Certain systems at each site are task-specific, as in “Not for Internet Cruising Use”… (i.e., Servers, broadcast units, medical/legal database machines, etc.)
  • Some clients have asked us to monitor certain machines for unauthorized use and report the results… more than happy to do that as opposed to dealing with a failed network

Client-Server Best Practices

  • We start the workday at 4AM
  • Between 4AM and 6AM, we check all networks and workstations for problems and try to fix them before your business day starts
  • Please, please, please ask your users to log off at the end of the work day… not shut down, not lock the screen, not make the unit unavailable for routine maintenance
  • Logging off means your profile is written back to the Server where it gets backed up… no log off, no saved Profile, possible lost data… additional billing to fix that
  • Opening e-mails… be extra vigilant about opening e-mails with attachments… no Amazon did not give you a $50 gift certificate, Walgreens didn’t give you a $100 credit on your account and no, a company isn’t sending you an invoice if you don’t work accounting
  • Our antivirus defenses are pretty good but we have had 8 intrusions this month alone… none managed to activate but the Trojans are making it into the Inbox at a higher rate than normal

End-of-Support-Life Reminder

Operating System Super Nova Coming Soon

  • The vast majority of installed Operating Systems will fall off support by 2020… time to begin planning and budgeting
  • All versions of Server 2008 and Windows 7 drop off in 2020
  • Windows 8 is off support… Windows 8.1 runs to 2023
  • Server 2012 Essentials runs to 2023
  • Vista is out and Windows XP is off support and yet there are still a number of these units out there which present a serious security risk to those networks… I have no words…
  • We have 33 physical Servers and over 500 Workstations/Mobile devices under management… that is a lot of update/upgrade work…
  • The last time we hit this level of tasking, it took almost two years to complete
  • Unless a client specifically asks for Windows 7 Pro, we are beginning to field strictly Windows 10 Pro units as of the 1st of June 2017
  • Time to begin planning and budgeting even though it’s a bit over two and a half years out
  • Unless we win the lottery in which case….