Aug 312010

  Bill Murphy blogs about technology today.

Back-ups can be slow and can be scheduled. When it comes to back-ups, ask yourself what you want to do:


Use traditional back-up software?

Leverage VCB and a proxy server to back-up your virtual hosts to tape?

Implement an ‘in the cloud’ backup solution?

Use a disc-to-disc approach for backup (cool method)?

 Then you should also ask the following questions:

1) What is the method for corruption protection? This is key to the design and architecture of your system.

2) What is the present cost to back-up? Costs include Iron Mountain, tapes, and maintenance fees.

3) What is the cost to lose back-ups now? Costs include communications with members, and fines.

4) Do you want to plan for archiving now? Do you want to use a SAN approach of integrate with cheaper back-up discs when archiving? What about your core system?

5) Can you integrate all aspects of the company? This includes Microsoft, Imaging, and Unix. Can you integrate your core system into the back-up solution? What about the imaging system? What about your Microsoft environment? In summary, can we embrace a comprehensive solution with the back-up system? 

6) Can you truly “go tapeless”? What about the O/S tape from the core system?

Post any thoughts you have about back-ups right here on the blog!

Aug 312010

I hope everyone likes this video I put together of my journey from zero triathlons in August of 2009 to competing and finishing the Louisville Ironman on August 29th. This 7 minute video starts a couple of days prior to the event and captures key points of the race. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Aug 262010

Let me share an interesting story about a business that I worked with to develop budgeting and IT strategy. I’d worked closely with the EVP to solidify his thoughts in strategic areas for their executive team and board. Business optimization was the goal for each and every IT decision. Together we made the shift from direct integration support to blending integration with a more proactive planning approach, including an IT roadmap to development for the next two years.

What made this remote access decision interesting to observe was how they turned a technical decision into a brilliant strategic decision. This is the overview of the situation:

* 25 remote access users needed remote access to the network
* SSL certificates were expiring
* Simplicity and security are paramount at the network edge
* The edge device had to be an intelligent perimeter to aid the inspection engine
* Avian Flu remote access support was needed
* There was a DR bump license requirement
* Legacy Citrix remote access technologies were in place (including CSG, NFuse, and cert server) and there was no desire to move to a newer weak Citrix remote access product
* 3 quotes were needed from 3 quality vendors
* Integration with two-factor authentication was needed
* DR site integration
* Tight Citrix integration
* Ease of management
* Full client integrity and security policy enforcement was needed at the end points

I arranged for two new SSL VPN product demonstrations. The organization’s IT team reviewed product demos from Citrix, F5 Firepass, and Sonicwall/ Aventail.

How can an SSL VPN be strategic?

I have previously blogged about the importance of client integrity for companies as they develop their security strategy. My own company and I have recommended and integrated SSL VPNs for over 7 years, and have seen the client integrity aspects of these products morph and change quite a lot.

When it comes to strategy, make sure you look at SSL VPNs from the “end game” perspective. Download the White Paper for the big questions you need to ask. I hope they will help! My point is to never, ever, make an IT decision based on technology alone. Always make the business a partner.