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Category Archives: Managed IT Services

PowerShell : Exporting multi-valued attributes with Export-Csv – how to tame the beast (SysAdmins, rejoice!)

By | July 28th, 2014

The Scenario:

You want to query AD, Exchange, SharePoint, etc. to quickly retrieve some basic, but really useful information about something really common. Examples: users, sites, etc. And of course you want to export these values to a CSV so you can sort, filter, aggregate, count, etc. in Excel or some similar tool.  One or more of the values that you’ll retrieve – usually the most important ones, in our experience – is not a single value, but instead, a set of values (e.g., a user belongs to multiple groups, or multiple distribution lists.) Easy, right? Not so much.

The problem:

PowerShell queries on fields/objects that naturally yield multiple results don’t return the values when you use the Export-Csv cmdlet, even when the values are displayed in the PowerShell console itself.

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Categories: Managed IT Services

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What Should We Expect from Cloud Providers During an Outage?

By | June 25th, 2014

Reality check: Outages happen. They happen with on premises systems, and they happen in the cloud. It doesn’t matter whose service it is. We could argue about who’s more reliable, but in the end, assuming that you’re up enough of the time that it’s a tenable solution, we generally judge our providers on how they handle the outages.

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Categories: HostingManaged IT Services

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Look before you leap: Evaluating cloud migrations in high-performance LAN environments

By | September 24th, 2013

Seth Miller demonstrates why its crucial to gather all the relevant data about how your systems are used before moving anything to the cloud.

Using cloud based file storage, sync, and collaboration systems is very popular, and a great fit for a lot of organizations of all sorts and sizes. Here’s the catch, though: If you’re in an environment where users are doing more than email and basic office apps, the cloud doesn’t always make sense – and evaluating the viability of a move to cloud can be very difficult.

Sample scenario

Let’s bring this a bit closer to the ground. You’re in IT for a group working in media production.

  • You may have as few as 40 or 50 total users – but you wouldn’t know it from looking in the server room. That probably looks more like a “typical business” with 250 or more users. Dozens or hundreds of terabytes, lots of servers (physical or virtual, doesn’t matter).
  • You’re dealing with big files (video, high fidelity audio, high res images, etc).
  • You’re not 100% Windows at the desktop. You’ve got a split of Macs and Windows, maybe even a few Linux boxes.
  • You’ve had SANs/NAS/large DAS RAIDs for many years by the time 2013 rolled around. When GigE LAN became standard, productivity soared.
  • Let’s assume you don’t have a multi-gigabit internet connection, for sake of discussion.

My friend, if this all sounds familiar, you are in a textbook high-performance LAN environment. Assuming you don’t have a multi-gigabit connection to the internet, you may have a real problem moving to the cloud.

Cloud migrations always sounds great on paper. This heatmap told us otherwise for one of our clients. Check out our TechRepublic article to see if you might be in the same boat.

Read the full article on TechRepublic.
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Categories: AnalyticsManaged IT ServicesSolution Architecture

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Have SharePoint Online and Office 365 Evolved Enough for SMBs to Get Value Past the “Price of Entry”?

By | September 12th, 2013

Originally published in CMSWire, August 29, 2013

Office 365 has made SharePoint available to the masses due to its aggressive price point.  But is a low monthly cost per user enough for an organization to really facilitate enterprise collaboration and ultimately justify the ROI?  Will SMBs be able to successfully implement and adopt SharePoint Online without substantial investments in expert assistance?

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Perspectives on Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

By | April 10th, 2013

Seth Miller participates in an interview with SmartPros, a leading provider of accredited professional education and training to Fortune 500 companies. Watch as Seth talks about his current perspectives and insights on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning, including the impact rising technologies such as mobile and cloud are having on BC/DR plans.

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Why Won’t Apple add a “Private Appointment” Check Box in the iOS Calendar?

By | October 8th, 2012

Do you have an Exchange calendar that you share with colleagues in your organization? Did you know that there’s no way to create a private appointment on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using the native calendar app? Well, if you didn’t know, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Search Google for some variation of “can’t make private appointment iPhone Exchange calendar” and you’ll find thousands of posts with people asking for this feature – since 2008. Continue Reading…

Categories: Managed IT ServicesMobile

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Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity – What’s the Difference?

By | September 18th, 2012

Here’s a classic semantics/nomenclature problem in IT: people often interchange “Business Continuity” and “Disaster Recovery”.  While they’re birds of a feather, there are some substantial differences, at least in this author’s humble opinion. Here goes:

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