31 Mar 2011

Keep Control - The Turnkey Linux PDC

I’ve previously mentioned the need (or not) to implement a server at small business level (SMB/SME). Office workgroups (up to 12 PC’s) can happily share files and printers from a SAMBA NAS whilst running eMail & collaborative groupware from Google Apps, account admin is quite manageable with a dozen or so users and if remote desktops are enabled both application and operating system management can also be kept in check by the *appointed* office IT individual. 

30 Mar 2011

Continental Cost Savings - The French Police and Linux Ubuntu

If implemented intelligently the resultant cost savings from mainstream software licensing against an open platform can deliver quite substantial returns. The larger the organisation the greater the potential for reduced TCO and there can be no greater example of this than the on-going migration by the French 'Gendarmerie Nationale' (National Police Force), the results are quite amazing.

29 Mar 2011

Open All Ours

Open source means different things to different people. To some it’s a descriptive tag for certain platforms of community developed free software, to others it’s “lab” computing for geeks and at the far end it’s a comprehensive lifestyle ethos, however there is a constant and if we dig down we’re going to end up somewhere around root “collaboration”.

28 Mar 2011

The Funky and the Fear

I like the Germans. I love their open boundaries for inspired technical innovation, not only are they huge advocates (and users) of Linux but outside the virtual their adventurous ingenuity has developed all manner of engineering icons, many now globally revered for brand performance and reliability, but some, like the BMW C1, predominantly confined to a brief few years inside the physical and cerebral borders of the Fatherland. 

27 Mar 2011

Likewise 6 - Instant Integration

The core of our Linux workshop revolves around the integration of Linux desktops into Microsoft Active Directory via a utility produced by US company Likewise. As such we were most keen to evaluate v6, their most recent release. The following review is based on a basic installation to MS Server 2003 SP2 with the concurrent client installed to Ubuntu 10.04.1 Desktop.

26 Mar 2011

AWS - The Amazon Cloud

For the majority of organisations data backup is a full time job. As a former I.T Service Manager I was once responsible for ensuring a digitised archive was backed up, a lengthy and laborious process involving a multi-site system of networked tape libraries with accompanying software and a regimented physical routine for changing tapes and/or rotating them to off-site storage.

25 Mar 2011

Clean up with Google Apps

For one reason or another (invariably an infected PC running a local mail client unknowingly knocking out SPAM) it’s not uncommon to find your hosting providers mail server IP address has found its way onto an internet blacklist and you’ve frustratingly become some sort of virtual e-leper, unable to contact your important clients due to an inbox full of rejected messages.

Seasoned Support

The major mental hurdle for any business assessing open source software is that of support -  migration support (impact on existing business), user support (familiarity training) and on going support (upgrades/roadmap etc). Such concerns can, and do, offset the most substantial of cost savings, but what’s the actual situation?
Microsoft obviously factors into the mindset and with its 90% market share support is more than available, however it does come at a price. 

23 Mar 2011

Linux - Realised

With a 70% forecast for enterprise additions over the next five years it seems the realised benefits of Linux have finally filtered through the proprietary marketing machine. It’s taken a while, but cream always rises to the top ;-)
Interesting too are the figures for new installations with a huge 66% across greenfield deployments.

In with the In-Box

Email is, of course, the ensconced backbone of global business communication at all levels and there’s no apparent mystique on how to use it, i.e “Create Message” and “Send”, that’s it? Well yes, that’s the bottom line, however in a dynamic business environment if you haven’t got a handle on your data flow and message management things can quickly get out of hand.

Does todays SME really need a server?

Due to their size and admin requirement many small businesses cannot financially justify a fully dedicated I.T department (or employee), as such their computer systems usually evolve (in)organically over a number of years from one or two computers into a disparate mixture of self-installed desktops running an insecure and unmanaged mixed platform.