When we work with an architectural practice that has a particularly large user base (~400) working long hours and with looming deadlines every day, as part of our day to day managed IT support and helpdesk, we look for ways to unobtrusively balance what we must take care of for data security and availability, against ensuring the deadline driven teams aren’t hampered by downtime associated with upgrades, installations, etc.
Some strategies and best practices we might employ with upgrades, disaster recovery and migrations to subscription based cloud services would run along these broad outlines.
By Jason Joe-Lum, NGneer®
23 rd October, 2016
Because it’s extremely difficult to install and upgrade software packages; sometimes with certain programs running, it can stop or even restart computers if not careful.To mitigate this issues, with a combination of scripting to do pre-flight checks and PDQ Inventory and PDQ deploy, we can then streamline, schedule and deploy software within a few clicks. The result for client teams is a seamless experience.
We have advised and deployed ShadowProtect at AHMM, which allows for scheduled incremental snapshots of systems to a central repository, across multiple sites, which then consolidates at regularly intervals the data, saving storage space and then uploads the snapshots to a Disaster Recovery site. As the product has matured we can handle large (10TB+) backups, monitor snapshots via a web portal or remotely push updates to servers themselves, while also being able to mount the snapshots directly and quickly for rapid restores. What this means for the client is a safety net that’s always in place, continuously updating and available for restoring all your work in the event a disaster does take place.
Migration to Subscription based cloud services
When clients successfully migrate key application suites such as MS Office and Adobe products to Office365 and Adobe Creative Cloud, it really simplifies licensing and standardises software deployment across the client’s main business, any external locations, and makes remote working easier. A move to the cloud frees up many client management hours and reduces the complexity of licenses, inventory, renewals, expiry, etc.
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