Archive for the ‘Popular’ Category

Be Critical of Claims…

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Looking for a good, qualified, professional IT services company shouldn’t be as difficult as it is.

Some have argued recently that regulation by the state, like they do with contractors, would help this. I disagree, for a myriad of reasons. But that is for another post.

I would venture to say that one way is to simply be more critical of the claims of a company. For example:

Do they claim to be a “leading” company? If so, by what criteria?

Do they claim to be vendor-neutral? If so, is that reflected in their partnerships with certain hardware or software manufacturers? Vendor neutrality is extremely rare–we all have preferences based on situation, support options, etc.

Do they make a particularly major point about the age of the company or date it was established? Does that ignore ownership changes or employee turnover, both of which can be far more of an indicator of the true stability of the company?

Are they a one-size-fits-all company? One of the major trends on IT in recent years is that of managed services, and there are some very valid reasons for it. But is it the right fit for every client? Absolutely not.

IT Service Works is here as a resource, whether that be to consult and support your company, supplement your current IT support, or to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of your current support and issues. Feel free to contact with any questions!

Small Business Server 2003 and Spam

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Despite years of fighting it, legislation designed to deter it, and technology designed to stop it, spam is only increasing. For small business clients running Small Business Server 2003, the increase of spam is a decrease in productivity as email has to be checked and/or deleted.

Years ago Microsoft came out with the Intelligent Message Filtering for Exchange and SBS, but it has continually fallen short for desired results. It bases its filtering on the SCL (spam confidence rating) of an email message, where the content of a message is “read” and given a rating based on content and its likelihood of being spam. Results, as the advertising world would say, vary–but in general, it isn’t reliable.

Other vendors–both hardware and software–have begun adding services designed to combat spam. A particular one I like is a gateway anti-spam service for Watchguard firewalls, mostly because I like the idea of a gateway device doing so before the spam hits an Exchange or SBS server.

But even so, I very recently came across a solution to add much more effective filtering into SBS/Exchange. So much in fact that with one client, it reduced their spam problem to almost nil. Was so effective that I immediately applied the same to two other clients with SBS 2003 and then emailed them. In both cases, they saw a huge difference…and both sent emails thanking me for the proactive response.

Best of all, it required no additional software or hardware, just some configuration. If you would like to know more, or would like assistance in getting the spam under control in your SBS-based network, please contact me!

And when the internal spam filtering just isn’t cutting it, check out this spam filtering service that ITSW uses with clients!

Do you really need a mail server?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

One of the trends over the past 10+ years has been for a small business to bring their email internal using Small Business Server, Exchange, a Linux server, etc. But is it necessary any longer?

For some, the answer will be yes…whether by size or industry requirements. But for others, there are new options that provide similar functionality with far less financial and technical  burden. Hosted Exchange is one of those options, Google Apps is another, and others are beginning to come into play.

The cost for these other options most often is a flat monthly or yearly fee per mailbox, and tend to be relatively low. Google Apps also offers a free version with limitations on space, is ad-supported, and doesn’t provide for archiving/message security. But for many small businesses, it provides what is needed.

An additional benefit to hosted email? Disaster recovery…since it is hosted elsewhere, and most often across multiple geographically-diverse data centers, you have the safety that your email/calendars will be available if something happens locally.

Any questions? Feel free to email me at scott@itserviceworks.com

–S.

Business Examiner Article!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

I was featured in the Dec 2008 edition of the Business Examiner! Text below:

Executive SPOTLIGHT

Editor’s Note: Executive Spotlight is a profile of an individual, business or local industry here in the South Sound. The feature will appear in the print edition of the Business Examiner as well as its online sibling; the BE Daily. Candidates from this feature are chosen from print and BE Daily subscriber lists. To subscribe, visit www.BusinessExaminer.com.

New small business owner ready to provide support
After 12 years working as an information technology consultant for several South Sound companies, Scott Kuhn took his own one-man IT support firm full time just last month.

Kuhn’s firm, IT Service Works, is based in Tacoma, though he works on-site for companies across the state and beyond. A Navy veteran, Kuhn got a degree in Church Ministries before focusing on the rapidly growing local technology sector.

He does wish he had taken more of an interest in the bookkeeping side of business ownership earlier in his career. “I’ve always been adverse to the back-office financial aspect,” Kuhn said. “I wanted to take care of the client and fix the issues, not generate invoices and manage billing. That being said, I now find myself having to.”

Kuhn said supporting local IT needs isn’t what he dreamed of doing with his life, but he understands his attraction to it. “It isn’t too much of a shock” he said. “I get to have the balance between technical issues and dealing with people that I’ve enjoyed for years.”

Kuhn advises others interested in a career in the technology sector to understand that most issues aren’t purely technical. “Have people skills,” he said. “Have patience. Have more patience.”

Kuhn said he chose to work with small businesses because of the economy. “When times are tough, the companies hardest hit are the larger ones:’ he said. “Small business owners, by and large, keep going because they have to. Just like me, they’ve got families to feed.”

Kuhn said, if he could do anything over, he would’ve taken the daunting leap into small business ownership earlier in his career. “I would have gone out on my own sooner, despite the risk and uncertainty,” he said.

Moving shares between servers, maintain security

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

1. On the the source server: START > RUN > REGEDT32
2. Go to the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/LanmanServer/Shares

3. From the Registry menu, select Export Registry file.
4. Copy the file to the target server
5. On the target server: START > RUN > Name of the exported registry file> OK
6. Reboot the target server

If any of the local paths of the shares change (for example, E:\Data to F:\Data), the locations can be edited in Share Management on the target server.

Then use Robocopy to transfer the files from old to new share and maintain file/folder permissions!

 

Did the info help? You can say thanks via PayPal here!

Robocopy is your friend!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Robocopy (short for robust file copy) is a utility that originally was contained in Server 2003 Resource Kit, but became so popular that it was included natively in Server 2008 and in Vista. For those that have used xcopy, this is like xcopy…on steriods.

It allows for mirroring of directories, or, my personal favorite, migration of data from old servers to new. And it does so maintaining NTFS permissions.

See more on Wikipedia (opens on new window).

If you need any guidance in using robocopy, please feel free to contact me via the Contact page.

 

Did the info help? You can say thanks via PayPal here!