The Old Ones Are The Best – Aren’t they?

Working from home with Jumpcloud

So, what have we been up to? Well, I am happy to report that things have continued to go well with only a few hiccups. I have been continuing to play around with Powershell/Jumpcloud to interrogate our JumpCloud LDAP, learning about Commvault’s new features and putting out fires including a couple of server outages. Needless to say, I have been busy.

We have also continued looking at our return to the office plan so that we are ready to go just as soon as we are told we can.

The Old Ones Are The Best – Aren’t They?

A bank holiday last Friday meant no update but back at it this week and will try to cover of the past two weeks without being too boring. To start with, what did we think of a bank holiday Friday? Were you a fan? For me it just felt weird almost like I was taking a sneaky day off 😊 I much prefer my bank holidays on a Monday and thankfully there is not that long until the next one. Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed the continuing good weather and made the most of it.

Powershell & JumpCloud

Through my work with Powershell/JumpCloud, I feel I now have a better understanding of what we have out there in the wilds and will use the information gathered to draw up a plan on how we can patch what we need to patch and upgrade what we need to upgrade. As I mentioned last time round JumpCloud also recently released a PS command set for their new Directory Insights which has also been giving me some interesting insight into how our directory is being utilized.  Have you tried Jumpcloud? In reference to updates, I attended Ivanti’s Patch Tuesday webinar this week and was happy to learn from it that Windows 10 (Build: 1809) has had support extended to November this year – Maybe that takes the pressure of some of you in regards to updates as it did me – Thank you Microsoft.

As my career has progressed and technology moves on its been a while since I had to use what I call the basic skills of fault-finding engineering – That all changed this week as we dealt with not only a server outage due to a failing raid set but also a good old (what we thought to be Windows permission) application install problem.

The server outage happened on Monday (what a start to the week) and caught me off guard as all had been OK logging off on Friday. After giving the raid set a couple of hours to complete its checks and not get very far I decided it best to head into the office and get started on a restore.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, a backup is only as good as its last restore so to say that I was nervously waiting on it to complete would be a giant understatement. Thankfully the finger crossing (and a good backup) paid off and the server was back online the same day and has since been backed up again 😊

The application install issue was one that caught everyone out for a good few hours. Lots of smart people looking at lots of possibilities of root cause and drawing a blank. Enter some fresh eyes this morning and after a quick internal meeting, we went back to the customer with a list of possible fixes. It was a good Friday, we tried the first one and low and behold, the install completed without issue – For those old school Windows admins out there, any guesses as to the root cause?? Permissions? Effective access? Ownership? None of the above, it was in fact down to good old AV scanning ☹ We all know the importance of good AV maintenance in IT but sometimes, could you not see it far enough? Anyway, all’s resolved now and the POC is set to continue hopefully without any further issues.

What else? Well, it turns out that preparing to return to the office is a large task for any of us given the new government guidelines around social distancing, cleaning, face masks, public transport and all that good stuff.

As a company, we are making strides in our planning but have a bit to go yet. I never expected there to be so much to it. And it’s the small things that will catch you out as well – How have you all been getting on with your own planning? If you have not started yet I highly recommend you do as I am sure now it will not be as quick as anyone thinks.

From a security point of view, there is a lot of work ahead in making sure when we all return to the office that we do so in a safe and secure manner both in regards to people and systems. We’ve been playing around with JumpCloud, but for weeks now peoples laptops (either work or BYOD) have not been on corporate networks (asides from whatever remote access you have allowed) and instead they have been on home WiFi, probably left unlocked for longer than normal, not behind office secure firewall and security but rather home security and the list goes on. When the green light is given for office returns, how are you going to bring them all back online safely? Just go for it and see what happens or with careful planning and policies in place? For us, it will be the latter and next week I will be turning my attention to exactly what that will mean for us and coming up with a policy which everyone can then be made aware of. IT Governance has been running a series of webinars of this subject which I have found very useful. If you are looking for advice on this area, check them out.

Anyway, enough work. What about leisure? Well as you can see from the latest 2 build pictures, the Lego Bugatti is taking shape and I hope to start on body work this weekend.

Its been a great build so far with a lot of intricate sections. I also eventually got round to looking at some stats from my fitness tracking and I have to say that one positive of the lockdown has definitely been in that area. Last year from 23/03/19 to 14/05/19 I had only completed a very poor 16 hours 46 minutes of exercise over 8 activities whereas this year from 23/03 to 14/5 I have completed 47 hours 49 minutes of exercise over 42 activities.

Now, there were other mitigating factors last year which added to my low number but even taking those into consideration I can say with confidence that the lockdown has definitely had an impact (for good) on my fitness.

I hope you too are continuing to get the downtime required to stay sane and have found a good balance between work and leisure. I always like to hear stories of what people are up to so if you have a good one, please reach out.

Right, coffee time. As a present to me, I splashed out this week on some Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from SD Bells so as it’s been a rough week I believe a cup of that is what the Dr ordered. It may also help to increase my brain activity in advance of the Big Datactics Lockdown Quiz #4 😊

Have a good weekend everyone.

Until next time. Stay safe and well. Dave

Dave Brown, head of DevOps

Dave Brown heads up all things IT for Datactics. Joining in 2019 and bringing over 20 years’ IT experience in various roles across the industry he is delighted to be bringing that expertise to this exciting new role for the company.

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