The musings of an IT Consultant


May 30, 2011  3:28 AM

The dangers of cheap cloud services



Posted by: Raj Perumal
cheap, cloud services, dangers

Hi folks! So the cloud is all the rage and you’re ready to jump on the band wagon. How do you choose a cloud provider?

Well a lot of people seem to choose their cloud provider just based on price. Now you might luck out and end up with a good provider, but if that is the only factor you use in your decision making process you will most likely end up getting burned.

A few questions you should ask yourself:

  • Why is their price so cheap?
  • What is the resiliency of the network your data is stored on?
  • What kind of security measures are in place? Are they PCI compliant?
  • What country is your data stored in and what search and seizure laws is your data subject to in that country?
  • How is your data backed up?

These and many more questions should be asked when choosing a provider, not just price. If you do your due diligence and keep your own external backups you will definitely sleep better at night!

-RP

May 30, 2011  3:22 AM

Sony’s Troubles



Posted by: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! So as you probably know by now, Sony had a huge breach of consumer data that ended up in them having to shut down the PlayStation network.

This is a classic example of how nobody is immune to these kinds of attacks. I think often people get a false sense of security with their personal data when they give it to a large corporation, but it just goes to show you that anybody can be a victim.

What can you do to protect your own networks as a network administrator? First off, you should be following the PCI compliance rules that are available to you at the PCI Security Standards website.

Have a reputable 3rd party company also do a security audit of your network. This will provide you with a report that you can follow to increase your security. This way you and your network will be better off!

-RP


May 30, 2011  3:15 AM

Time for new strategy at RIM



Posted by: Raj Perumal
PE ratio, RIM, stocks

Hi folks! So if you have been following the saga of RIM, their stock prices have been plummeting and their PE ratio is pretty much in the toilet.

How are they going to come back? I think it’s time for them to adopt a new strategy. What they are doing now is just not working and it’s time for the leadership at RIM to take a step back and go back to the drawing board on a strategy.

It seems like RIM is just worried about it’s survival and is not concentrating on coming out with new product that can actually go toe to toe with Apple and Google. It might even be time for a change in leadership at RIM since the current leadership is seemingly out of touch with it’s consumer base.

-RP


May 30, 2011  3:00 AM

Being prepared for disasters



Posted by: Raj Perumal
disaster recovery preparedness

Hi folks! So I wanted to talk a little bit about disasters in IT. All of us in IT dread the day when something fails and we have to work those long hours to restore service.

Here are a few things you can do to mitigate disasters and ensure you are prepared in the event of a disaster. If you follow these few simple steps, you will be in a better position in the event of a failure.

  • Maintain at minimum a 24x7x4 on-site warranty for all critical hardware
  • Keep spare parts sitting on the shelf so you don’t have to wait for warranty part delivery (such as spare hard drives, etc.)
  • Maintain up to date backups of your configurations for all devices. This allows you to restore your configurations after a hardware failure quite easily.
  • Keep all firmware up to date on your hardware to protect against the latest vulnerabilities
  • Ensure that similar hardware such as stacked switches for example, are all running the same firmware version.
  • Ensure all documentation for your hardware and network is readily available in a printed hard copy that is easily accessible in the event your network is down and the electronic copies are inaccessible

-RP


April 30, 2011  10:31 PM

Remotely managing your Windows network from your Mac



Posted by: Raj Perumal
management, RDP, Remote Desktop Client for Mac, Windows

Hi folks! For those of you PC users like me, even if you buy a Mac you probably still have a Windows network to maintain. How do you do that when you switch?

Well one way is by using VMware Fusion with a Windows 7 VM like I mentioned in my previous blog. But this can be kludgy way to do things and not exactly seamless. Instead I would recommend downloading the Remote desktop client for Mac!

Yes, Microsoft has provided this for Mac users free of charge. With this you can easily logon to your Windows machines remotely to manage them. You can download it here.

-RP


April 30, 2011  10:27 PM

Virtualization on the Mac



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Apple, run pc on mac, run windows on mac, Snow Leopard, VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation, Windows 7

Hi folks! So you are a former PC user and just bought a Mac. How do you run virtual machines on your new Mac?

Enter VMware Fusion! VMware fusion allows you to run Windows 7 in a VM on your Mac so you can run those apps that are only Windows capable. This is quite useful in office environments where your company might be invested in some sort of custom app that is only Windows compatible.

You can look into VMware Fusion here.


April 30, 2011  10:22 PM

Evernote Update



Posted by: Raj Perumal
Android, BlackBerry, evernote, iPhone, Mac, PC

Hi folks, as you know I’ve been an avid user of Evernote as of late. It’s the application that you can use to take notes and use it cross platform.

Well as I mentioned in a previous blog I just bought a MacBook Air. One of the first things I did was install Evernote for the Mac of course! How do I like it? It’s great!

Evernote has all the same features I have grown to know and love from Evernote for the PC and it is super easy to use. I have already converted a few friends of mine who have multiple machines and they love the product. If you haven’t had a chance to try out Evernote, whether you use a Mac or a PC, I urge you to give it a try!

-RP


April 30, 2011  10:15 PM

SSD drives for the win!



Posted by: Raj Perumal
hard drive, HDD, OCZ Vertex 2, SSD

Hi folks! So I have to say I’ve been loving the SSD drives in my various computers that I use. They are so fast and I wish they were the norm.

There are still lots of people buying workstations out there with normal hard drives, not realizing the amazing benefits of SSD. Even recently my co-worker Nathan (and fellow blogger) just bought an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD drive and he loves it.

When you get an SSD drive you will notice how fast things open up and how fast the computer boots. The longest part of booting I find is the BIOS startup screen! Anyways if you haven’t made up your mind on that new HDD purchase, consider buying an SSD drive!

-RP


April 30, 2011  10:08 PM

MacBook Air



Posted by: Raj Perumal
MacBook Air

Hi folks! So i’m a victim of Apple! Not only do I use an iPhone 4, they have now convinced me to go and buy a MacBook Air! I now use a laptop with Windows 7 and a MacBook Air!

I never thought this day would come, but I figured I probably should start using a Mac again since more and more customers are using them. I have to say I am quite happy with what the Mac can do. I wouldn’t say it replaces my PC though. I find that I like using the PC for some things over the Mac and vice versa.

One thing is for sure, my MacBook Air is super light and portable and more than powerful enough for most regular office tasks. I much prefer it to using a Netbook or some form of tablet pc.

-RP


April 30, 2011  10:04 PM

Hubs, seriously?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
gigabit, hubs, network, switch, upgrade

Hi folks! So in this day and age gigabit is considered pretty normal. Gigabit switches are cheap and 100 Mb switches are considered old news.

So it’s funny when people run across old environments with 10 Mb hubs kicking around. Now that’s ancient! It’s amazing to see that people will spend a ton of money on that big screen tv in the front reception area of their business but will not shell out a few dollars to upgrade their network.

As a network guy I find this hilarious and scary all at the same time. After all, if they won’t upgrade their networks, what level of security do they have for their data?

Business owners should understand that IT security is extremely important these days when we all use computers in some shape or form.

-RP


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