Back to school – are your IT systems ready?

Back to schoolSummer has come to an end, and schools have started a new term, highlighted by the mad rush of activity within the IT department to get things ready and ensure everybody has a consistent, productive IT experience.

The activities that cause IT departments pain at the beginning of term are numerous, often compounded by the fact that staff have had their laptops at home over the summer, meaning that these devices generally haven’t been receiving updates or anti-virus definitions for nearly two months. Cue the complaints about machines being slow and taking hours to upgrade or apply updates.

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Automating VMware Host Config Backups

Backup Button - smBackups are an important component to any disaster recovery plan, and the majority of people religiously backup their servers. Backing up the configuration of the hosts that run your virtual environment on the other hand is not so common, this may be because you can build and deploy a host in record time but it also relies on you knowing exactly how the host is/was configured.

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Time to reinvigorate your school’s website

Back to schoolLike businesses in the public and private sectors, schools have a number of stakeholders that they need to communicate with. Your website is essential to doing this effectively; it isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s crucial to enable you to keep your students, parents and staff up-to-date.

Leon Mitchell, a Graphic Designer in our sister company, Foundation SP, has designed some examples to give you an idea of what to think about when addressing your school website:

See them here…

The car…

Purple car“You don’t expect to buy a car with no engine.”

“It’s like buying a car and being told a steering-wheel isn’t included.”

“When I buy a car, I expect to fill it with fuel occasionally.”

The car analogy seems to fit all circumstances. Within IT, it’s used regularly to convey complex issues in simplistic terms, with varying degrees of success.

It’s lazy, often throwaway, but it can occasionally help to get to the heart of an issue by emphasising requirements, expectations or circumstances that are perceived to be illogical, unfair or just plain dumb. Both suppliers and customers use the car, internally and externally, to highlight things that they feel are wrong. Continue reading

A look back at July

The holiday season is upon us. Whilst most people start to wind down ready for their exotic holidays, dreaming of soaking up the summer sun on golden sands with a cocktail in their hand, life at Foundation seems to get busier!

Rob and NickAfter months of recruiting, we finally found two great candidates for our Business Development Executive roles. Rob and Nick joined us fresh out of university and both have ambitions for great things. Their first few weeks have been quite intense, with a heavy training schedule to get them up-to-speed on Foundation IT, our customers, and the Dell portfolio. Both guys have fit into the team quickly and have a really important role to play at Foundation, helping to support our sales and marketing efforts. They’ll also be spending three days a week in Dell’s Demand Generation Team so it’ll help to further cement our great relationship with Dell.

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Adam Start + RideLondon100 = AMAZING!!

It’s for Charidee mate!

“Who’s idea was this?” was almost certainly going through both our minds at 05.30am, as myself and Paul Bevis from Foundation SP were getting organised on a pavement somewhere in East London, marked as one of the official drop off locations for the RideLondon100 event we were taking part in. Mother Nature was being extremely kind to us and the other 18,000 people also mad enough to get up at silly o’clock on a Sunday, as the sky was blue and the temperature was very pleasant – the more I woke up, the more I thought we were in for a good day.

Adam and Paul getting ready for RideLondon100

Adam and Paul getting ready for RideLondon100

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A day out at Palmersport

We knew it was going to be a good day as the sunshine poured in through the windows as we listened to the safety briefing, and were given a rundown of the cars we’d be driving during the day. Foundation IT had the pleasure of taking one of our key clients to the Palmersport experience at the Bedford Autodrome, and there was definitely a competitive atmosphere developing. Several of us had done the day before and so had high expectations of our own abilities (well, we just didn’t want to be slower than the previous time there or we’d be ridiculed), whilst others were track day virgins and exhibited signs (thankfully not smells) of nervousness.

Car 5

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Upgrading/deploying Exchange 2013 cumulative updates

In my previous post we discussed “How to install an Exchange 2013 server on a single Windows 2012 Standard Edition server“.

In this follow up post, we look at updating Exchange 2013 cumulative updates.

Unlike Exchange 2010 rollup updates, Exchange 2013 cumulative updates are effectively full builds of the product and therefore when downloading a full install with the latest build of the product is downloaded.

The Exchange 2013 cumulative update 2 can be downloaded here.

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A look back at June

Our team continues to grow. This month we’ve welcomed two new superstars to the practice. Andy McCartan joined our Manages Services team (though I’ve also discovered he’s a keen photographer so I’ve stolen him to help with some marketing initiatives!), and Patrick McGreevy joined as a new Project Manager. Both are already doing a fabulous job and are settling in well to the team.

Andy_200  Patrick_200
Andy McCartan                            Patrick McGreevy

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Considerations for BYOD

BYODI’ve been engaging with some clients of late who have all started to use the phrase ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD).

It’s a great concept, and your favourite search engine will produce articles from VMware, Aruba (Dell re-brand its wireless and network access control (NAC) technology), Deloitte, HP and others with a total of about 82.5 million search results returned.

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