Case Study: Allowing remote workers to get access to central systems
The customer was establishing a number of new offices, and needed the staff at these offices to be able to access all the facilities currently available at the main office.
We designed a system using thin client terminals which could be installed at the remote sites and linked into the main system using VPN over the internet, to provide the required functionality.
However, it was also important that the remote sites could be quickly established without the need for IT staff to travel to each site to set it up.
To achieve this, we devised a scripted install procedure and an equipment pack including thin client terminals, printers, VPN client hardware, switches and cabling which could be sent to the site.
A local IT engineer could easily set up the site using the scripted install procedure.
We also provided a user guide for the staff, and guides for the applications so that they could start using the system immediately.
Case Study: Preventing virus infection
The customer needed to extend Internet access and email to all staff, whilst ensuring that they were protected against viruses which could arrive by email, or by direct exposure of workstations to the Internet.
We installed an Internet firewall/router to enable internet access, and configured workstations to use this. We updated and expanded the email system to cover all staff, and installed an anti-spam filter.
We installed a server-based Antivirus console, which took control of the anti-virus settings on each computer, ensuring that each computer was kept up to date, with no operator or user involvement required on a day-to-day basis.
We monitor the anti-virus console remotely, and are able to see the current status of the anti-virus software on each computer, and take action if we see a problem arising. The console also advised us of any intercepted viruses.
Case Study: Overcoming barriers to system expansion
This customer was having problems with running out of disk space on the main file server.
We installed quota control software on the file server. This was then configured to provide users with a limited quota, which can be set on a user-by-user basis. Users are given automatic warnings if they go over their allowed quota. If they continue to remain over their allowed quota they are prevented from creating new documents until they have reduced their overall storage use.
This leaves users free to choose their priorities for data storage, whilst preventing the server from running out of storage space.
Case Study: Email Management
The customer was experiencing problems with spam email. Staff time was being wasted in identifying and deleting these emails.
We installed dedicated anti-spam device their network which checks the source of each incoming email against lists of known spammers, and from intelligence gathered from spam interceptions around the world.
The software also checks the content of emails to estimate the likelihood of an email being spam.
Users have the ability to check the mail flagged as spam being held on their account and are able to release any incorrectly labelled email without the involvement of IT staff.
Case Study: Managing Printers on Large Sites
This customer had a large number of printers, each of which was directly connected to the network, and workstations had been configured to print to the directly. However, printer management was problematic, as users could select the wrong printer and cause the printer to become unavailable for other users by sending inappropriate jobs to it.
We installed a printer server, based upon the Windows server operating system, to drive all the printers from a single point, and provide a central monitoring point. We then assigned printing rights for each printer by user group, so that users would be guided to the correct printer, and prevented from using the wrong printers.
We also migrated these printer settings into the customer’s terminal servers, so that all users on these servers would benefit from the print server as well.
The result is a simpler, more manageable and more robust printing environment
Case Study: Keeping data secure through effective backups
The customer had a backup system, but this system needed to be monitored on a daily basis to ensure correct operation, which was eating into the time available to IT staff to work on projects to develop new capabilities in the business.
We installed a new backup system for this customer, who have also engaged us to monitor the system on a daily basis, and to maintain it’s operation, thereby freeing the customer’s IT staff to work on other tasks.
The backup system provides backup services to over 20 client servers, running the organisation’s mission-critical applications. Backups run on a daily basis, with reports sent automatically to us for examination.
Backup failures are quickly identified and action taken directly by us to rectify any problems. We are able to directly control the backup system at our customer’s site from our offices.
Case Study: Controlling web access
The customer had an old hardware-based proxy server, but this did not integrate with Active Directory, so there was duplicated work in setting up new users for both Internet access and Active Directory. Also, each user would have to enter a username and password to obtain internet access, but this only worked with a limited range of applications, consequently other applications which needed internet access would not work.
We installed a new server for control of web access, and then integrated the security for Internet access with Active Directory. Users are then added to an appropriate AD group, and these groups are given access to the Internet. Some groups are given full access with all applications available (eg web browser, messenger, FTP), whilst others are limited to web browser only with a limited range of web sites on a “whitelist”.
The system keeps records of all internet access, and third party tools are available to view these records, thereby ensuring that staff are complying with the company policy on internet usage.
Case Study: Providing extra resources for an inhouse team
The customer’s IT staff were becoming overworked due to growth in demand and limited resources, and a wide range of systems which needed support.
We put in place arrangements to act as an extension of the inhouse IT department for this company. We carry out a wide range of tasks, including server builds, user management, PC and notebook builds, data transfer and recovery, problem solving, backup and anti-virus monitoring.
Work is carried out onsite or remotely as required. With VPN connectivity and remote monitoring tools we are able to take remote control of servers and workstations on the customer’s site to carry out the work in many cases.
Our experience, high level of training, and familiarity with the customer’s systems means that we are able to work effectively with minimal supervision. We use a helpdesk management tool to provide feedback on each assigned job.
Case Study: Understanding and managing IT
This client is a small business, and like many small businesses, is dependent upon IT, but without the resource of a permanent IT staffer. The systems used are a combination of industry-specific software tools, and generic office tools. They have an ongoing need for support and service.
We provide an ongoing support and maintenance service, keeping their systems up-to-date and installing new facilities where a need has been identified.
Case Study: Solving reliability issues
This company had an old server based upon an obsolete operating system with no clear migration path. The backup device had failed, and the server was not maintainable. They had a critical database business application which they needed to continue using.
Active IT Support ported the application to a new server, allowing them to continue to use the application, and with improved performance and simpler operation.
We also modified the applications that connected to the database system to enable them continue to use it.
Case Study: Removing system bottlenecks
The customer had a backup system which had grown out-of-date, no longer capable of handling the number of files which were to be backed up.
We diagnosed a bottleneck in the hard drive subsystem on the server. We fitted a new tape library, and migrated the backup system to a different server. Although this was not a new server, by re-organising the drive configuration and installing the latest backup software we were able to dramatically improve the performance of the system, so that backups which were taking 3 days were able to complete in 6 hours, and were able to backup all servers on the site.
We provide a daily monitoring service for this server, with automatic email notification so that we can identify problems quickly, and fix them in time for the next scheduled backup