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Mobile Technology Usage – looking forward….

Mobile technology continues to rapidly evolve and this will have an ongoing impact on the delivery of IT services. With an increasing number of organisations adopting BYOD and CYOD strategies, it has become critical for IT Departments to understand changes in technology that will impact and drive individual’s preference and use of mobile devices. This article will highlight some usage estimates and identify 7 expected changes that will impact individual using mobile technology over the next 5 years…

Table 1 highlights some key findings in this area. The complete report can be found here:



Table 1: Adapted from the Cisco VNI Mobile Forecast (Cisco, 2016)

7 Expected Changes that may impact an individual using smartphone, tablet and IoT devices over the next 5 years…

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Deploying Office 365 on Remote Desktop Server

Gone are the days where simply inserting a Microsoft Office DVD and running the setup executable was sufficient for installing Microsoft Office on a Remote Desktop Server. With many organisations switching to the flexible Office 365 model, Microsoft was released the Office Deployment Tool to facilitate installing multi-user, per-user licensed editions of Office.


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The business case for Hosted Exchange

A large amount of organizations have been moving to hosted email solutions. Hosted exchange can be considered a relatively tried and tested way to push services to the cloud, and this, as well as the complexities and costs of managing email systems internally has contributed to the popularity of this cloud service. There are many paths one can take to move to a hosted exchange platform; Microsoft Office 365, Google, your service provider, ISP solutions and cloud service providers all offer varying hosted email services.

Hosted Exchange is a remotely managed 3rd party vendor provided solution to a business’s email needs charged on a monthly per mailbox / user fee. It negates the need to have your own exchange server and the maintenance that goes with it. Different offerings will have different feature sets such as mailbox size, archiving option, additional storage, and discovery and management tools. It is important to note that we are not looking at POP style email solutions which is limited in the way of collaboration and security, and generally stores mail to your local workstation; which is not adequate for any business that relies on email as a key part of communication.
Because of licensing costs, and the fact that managing an exchange server for a small organization can take as much time (or even more) than a larger organization, smaller organization will see most cost benefit from their existing solutions. However, large enterprises, who often have to manage multiple exchange servers, with the added overhead of clustering and redundancy resulting in addition hardware and expert staff have also been migrating to hosted exchange platforms, completely reducing complexities while maintaining redundancy and increasing uptime and potentially security.

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What’s new in Windows Server 2016


With Windows Server 2016 set for release this year, we take a look at some of the exciting features that have been included in technical previews so far.

Nano Server

Possibly the most interesting feature is the introduction of Nano Server. Nano Server is a purpose built operating system, scaled down to act as a platform of containers (more information below). Reducing the server footprint, Nano Server will require fewer patches and updates, improved resource utilization, less OS components and features as well as tightened security.

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Configure Default Computers and User OU’s in Active Directory


By default, machines joined to a new domain are added to the Computers OU. For any managed network, it is important to ensure machines are placed in a production OU as soon as they are joined to the domain, to ensure the correct polices are applied and applications are deployed.

You can automate this administrative step so newly machines added to the domain will be placed a pre-determined OU, negating the need for an administrator to go into the server to make the change.

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Windows Provisioning and BYOD

What is it?

Provisioning packages can be created and deployed to windows 10 devices by using Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (IDC). IDC creates provisioning packages which can be deployed to Windows 10 devices, including home devices which are not added to a domain. It allows quick configuration of a device without having to re-image. A provisioning packages is a set of rules that can be applied to both domain and non-domain (home) workstations / laptops and home devices, opening the door for a simplified approach to the complexities of managing a BYOD solution in the enterprise.

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Setting up IDP on the Juniper SRX





Intrusion Detection Prevention (IDP); or sometimes known as IPS, is a feature of the Juniper SRX range. IDP is available on the branch SRX’s all the way through to the datacentre versions and is a fantastic item under the IT Services feature set. IDP is particularly useful as another layer of security to inspect data transmissions between client and server and perform an actions upon it, a good example is IDP’s ability to detect known Shell code buffer overflow exploits that are out there in the wild and stop them in their tracks AND also block that IP for set period of time, like 1 hour, 1 day or a week! These buffer overflow style attacks are typically launched at a server once traditional enumeration steps have been performed by the remote attacker. To thwart the enumeration attacks juniper makes use of SCREENS, but that is a discussion for another time.

so how do we configure an SRX for IDP?

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Juniper Partnership Requirements


Clarity around Junipers partnership levels is murky at best, there are many benefits associated with each individual level so it perplexes me as to why the partnership requirements aren’t more succinctly explained on their website particularly for those engaged in IT Support as their profession. I have gathered what i have learned and presented it below

Juniper offer 3 levels of partnership

  • Reseller Status
  • Select Status
  • Elite Status

The difference in the partner levels equates to a larger percentage discount from equipment RRP buy price(s) plus marketing and engagement incentives.

The requirements for Reseller level is quite straight forward, but the Select and Elite level require partnership levels require multiple engineers and sales staff with JNCIS, JNSS and JNSA qualifications and a significant level of engagement from the company seeking to obtain the high levels. The JNCIS, JNSS and JNSA cover both the technical, product awareness and sales material which is important for pre/post-sales and implementation & advisory work

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