Almost two weeks in…

Well, I’m almost two weeks into my new job. It feels good to be back in a school again. It feels even better to be back in a job with a wider range of responsibilities. It feels brilliant to be in a job where I feel like I actually have something to do. 

My new boss seems like a good guy so far. He’s very happy to listen to my thoughts and ideas and he is encouraging me to look at the way things are and to suggest improvements. He is quite new in the position too, he’s only been there for about three months. I suspect that if I’d been invited for interview in the first round, I’d probably have started at around the same time as him. 

There is so much to do. With all due respect to the people looking after the network there before me, I think there have been several questionable design choices. Some of the security policies are downright scary. 

The first thing that needs to be done is to install the latest version of Smoothwall. Unfortunately, the virtual farms that the current instances are stored on are too old to install the latest version. This means that either we have to install some Smoothwall appliances or we need to update the virtual farms. I’m in the process of getting pricing for both options. 

Other things I’ve been doing are:

  • Enabling deduplication on one of their shared network drives. More than 350GB of savings on 1.2TB of data!
  • Attempting to wrap my head around the instance of Veeam they have backing up their virtual farms. 
  • Installing Lansweeper to get an idea of what hardware and software we have in the place. 
  • Installing a KMS server. Seriously, more than 1200 machines using MAK keys is nuts!
  • Installing PasswordState, a locally installed password management system similar to LastPass and Dashlane. 
  • Installing some RADIUS servers to handle wireless authentication. 
  • Planning to deploy WSUS to manage updates on servers. 

It may sound hyperbolic but I feel I’ve done more in two weeks there than I did in an entire year at Westminster. I hope it continues like this. I’m sure it will. 

By the way, as and when I get the time, I’m working on a new article about the Parallels Mac Management product for ConfigMgr. There have been some pretty big updates for it in the last year and one of my contacts at Parallels very kindly let me download it to have a look. Suffice to say, I’m very impressed with what I see there. 

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