How a cloud service pays for itself in one emergency

Imagine this scenario: It’s Friday evening and a storm that was going to hit a nearby town veers off toward your corporate HQ. Suddenly you are looking at torrential rains and flooding of biblical proportions at your corporate HQ. Oh, and to top it off it’s your major stocking location for your national distribution business.

We weren’t imagining this when Hurricane Harvey dropped trillions of gallons of rain on the Houston area. Of all the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans the one that was so very very simple was email and communication. We had already transitioned all of that to Office 365. What was our DR/BC plan for email and other written communication? We didn’t need to worry about the service.  We simply made sure that key people had laptops and good to go!

Of course, all wasn’t peaches and roses.

We have a couple of areas in the business that were still using on-premises file servers. The users trying to access those servers had to use a VPN (an uncommon occurrence for many of them). That was awkward and strained our licensed capacity for VPN connections, but it wasn’t a major ordeal. Guess who is going to be pushed toward SharePoint Online Document Sites? You betcha!

The other pain point was our legacy IBM PowerSystem. None of our locations lost power/connectivity during the storm, but we watched it like a hawk to determine if we should failover to the DR site. If that system was in a cloud bank in Arizona, there is less chance of hurricane issues.

True enough, cloud-based systems have their own set of problems. However, if you go with a geo-diverse plan, the likelihood of a big storm/blizzard/earthquake halting your business are greatly reduced. This is in addition to all the typically touted benefits of OPEX vs CAPEX, hardware maintenance and all that.

The moral of the story: If you work in a hurricane zone – pay attention to the cloud.

 

 

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Your “WannaCry” Takeaway

Postmortem on ransomware attacks.

Don Jones

As the news media continues to report on the meltdown of all global tech (sigh), there’s one takeaway for you, a professional IT person, as a postmortem. And it’s a simple question:

View original post 1,004 more words

Update Status

Once again life has bitten me in my best intentions.

I promised myself and both my readers that this blog was going to be a regular thing, and in the beginning I did OK.  Then life happened as usual. Between work projects and an increasing feeling of pressure to finish my MS Certifications, blogging fell by the wayside.  This has been somewhat exacerbated by my agonizing over every word going on the screen.

“What if I put out something wrong?”  ” What if I look dumb?”

I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman that I admire and respect who told me to stop agonizing and DO IT.  If there is a mistake, own it, fix it and move on. Spell Check, Grammar Check,  POST he told me.

Later on at TechMentor Don Jones and Jason Helmick talked about how people are slowed by a fear of failure. The “what if..” consumes them into paralysis. To grow, to move forward, we have to get over that. Conquer it.

That’s what blogging was like for me. I was foolishly trying to make every entry a Pulitzer prize type thing. Yeah, ridiculous I know. Especially when I have more fingers than readers.

So this is me “getting over it”.  I’ll post much more often. Things may not be perfect, but they’ll be honest and as accurate as I can be.

Here’s to the ride.

And now for something completely different………..

So I had the cool project going for the email account scripting and all of that mentioned in the previous post.

But then the inevitable happened. Pulled from that project to work on this more important project, pulled from that second project to work on putting out this fire. Blah blah blah the story of an IT Pro in a smaller company. It’s both my greatest joy and largest pain, so rather than a long pause between posts, I thought I’d dash out a little blog-blurb  about what’s going on.

The major project that pulled my attention away from the Exchange reporting project is actually related.  While I was working on that and sharing some preliminary results with some senior management folks, they say “ bah those people don’t need email – just delete them”.

Of course that throws a monkey wrench into the employee onboarding script I had written some time ago. See at that point, the policy was ‘Everyone gets a mailbox’ and I was a bit of a larval scripter, certainly not quite a toolmaker. Of course the result of that was a one size fits all script that had a lot of assumptions and not much reusability. So with the change in policy, I took one look at the old script and said  OH HELL NO! Time to refactor.

So what was a 200 line script that did several things all intertwined is in the process of becoming a full fledged module with six Advanced Functions plus a ‘controller’ script to tie them all together.

The bad news is that put my Exchange/Archive joining project on hold.

The good news is that this refactored User Profile Tools module will save us a lot of time, confusion and headache. Bonus round,I’ll have another subject for this blog  Smile

Until Next Time…………………

Once more with feeling…..

OK so I have tried the whole blogging thing before.
Truth be told, my heart wasn’t in it then. I lacked a bit of confidence that I had anything to contribute to the greater voice of the Internet.
Then I realized that it really doesn’t matter. Not like I’m taking up space that someone else could use. Storage is cheap comparatively speaking and the only way to improve is practice. So here we go!