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Monthly Archives: January 2016

  1. Upgrade to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1


    One of my students recently asked how to upgrade from System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager to R2 SP1.  So, I thought this would make an interesting blog.  Here are the steps to perform the upgrade.

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  2. Teamwork Made Easier with Office 365 Groups

    Categories: Microsoft

    With the introduction of Microsoft Office 365 came a particularly handy collaboration tool: Office 365 Groups.

    In a modern work environment, it can be extremely difficult to get coworkers on the same page, especially as files and discussions are spread all over different databases. Office 365 Groups puts an end to the madness by allowing users to create a collective work space to get projects done efficiently.

    According to the Microsoft Office blog, “When a user joins a group, they immediately gain access to all of the assets of the team, such as conversations, meetings and documents.” In other words, users are able to utilize all the benefits of SharePoint and Exchange on a single platform.

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  3. Reports for the Masses from System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

    Categories: IT Ops & Management

    System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager uses SQL Server Reporting Services for reporting purposes. The reports that are available can answer questions that people in your organization may have.

    Administrators have access to the reports from the SCCM Administration Console, but what about the rest of us? For that we can rely on both subscriptions and the Report Manager website. For this blog, we’ll focus on the subscriptions.

    A subscription is nothing more than a standing order to run a report and return its results to a particular destination. The report may be emailed to a user or group of users. It can also be placed in a shared folder.

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  4. Cloud Wars Are Producing More Than Just Fluff

    Categories: Cloud Computing

    Earlier this month, Amazon Web Services kicked off the New Year by announcing a 5% price cut to select instances running Linux.

    Not to be outdone, Microsoft has also recently announced a 10-17% price drop for its Azure Dv2 Virtual Machines.

    This back-and-forth may seem exhausting to spectators, but cloud customers have seen legitimate benefits from the rivalry over the last two years.

    No, this isn’t the first time these providers have reduced prices for cloud services.

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  5. Active Directory GPO Practices

    Categories: IT Ops & Management

    Group Policies Objects (GPO’s) are one of the most common, and most powerful tools in Active Directory.  GPO’s are used to configure nearly every aspect of network control, yet there is a great deal of pain and suffering introduced by less-than-perfect policies. 

    With a few simple rules, you can reduce the headache factor, while making your job easier, and making you better at it.

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  6. The Cheapest Way to Fill the Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

    Categories: Information Security

    For the past few years, a growing shortage of cybersecurity professionals has caused IT executives around the globe to become desperate for skilled IT workers in this field. 

    The 2014 Cisco Annual Security Report estimated the need for 500,000 to 1 million qualified security workers internationally, projecting this number to rise to 1.5 million by 2019.


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  7. Cisco Certification: Is It for Me?


    This question really has two broad groups of interested readers. Those that are relatively new to IT and those that are interested in seeking ways to advance their careers and earning potential within the industry.

    First, let’s consider some information that might be useful to those that are new or relatively new to the industry and are trying to determine a career path.

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  8. The Big Deal about Big Data


    It has become increasingly apparent that the hot new commodity in business is big data. As technology continues to affect every aspect of our lives, from buying trends to travel habits, companies who are able to collect, organize, and analyze this data are rising to the top.  

    Some consumers may not like it, but there’s a humongous pile of data collected from every click of a mouse or tap of a touchscreen. It seems impossible to end a web session without some sort of digital footprint.

    And like Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass, companies are using business intelligence tools to examine every curve of that footprint. They can identify the character, profile their habits, and predict where they’re headed in terms of buying habits.

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