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Alternative to Microsoft SBS?

Alternative to Microsoft SBS?

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We are a small consultancy practice with 11 employees, running a Microsoft SBS server. We had planned to replce the server in September 2014, but our IT support company today suggested that we bring this forward to December 2013, because after the end of this year MS are withdrawing SBS completely. MS will be continuing to support SBS, and we can still add licences, so if we bring forward our purchase we at least get another 5 years on SBS. The IT guys seem to think MS are doing it to force everyone onto cloud computing, but being located in a remote area we are loath to trust all our business activity to our slightly dodgy internet connection.

Does anyone know of an alternative to MS SBS which we could use to run our business - we use MS Office, Quickbooks, Moneysoft Payroll and MapInfo. Does anyone use LINUX and if so do you have support?

Replies (33)

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By dnicholson
01st Mar 2013 15:09

Changing name

According to Wikipedia it's now called Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Of course that's unrelated to whether it's what you need, but I think it's only going away in name.

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By merlyn
01st Mar 2013 22:43

Linux

You can run Linux as your server operating system and continue using PC's to run any applications you currently do.

I've used Linux for a number of years and once you get used to it then it's much better than Windows, you should be able to find a support company to look after the support if you don't have in-house IT support staff.

The other option you have is to move to a full version of Windows server, but this can work out quite expensive once you add exchange etc.

 

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By Cube
02nd Mar 2013 21:35

There are many Linux server distros. Some of the more popular include (I'm no expert and this is a cursory list):

Free Open Source: Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS

Commercial: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

However, you asked:

Does anyone know of an alternative to MS SBS which we could use to run our business - we use MS Office, Quickbooks, Moneysoft Payroll and MapInfo.

The Linux distributions (Open Source and free) that are closest to your requirements IMHO are:

SMEserver  ...  there are companies that will support this

ClearOS   ...   there is the opportunity of full commercial support with this (I think).

Both of the above are AFAIK based on CentOS, which itself is based on RHEL.

I am not connected with any of the above.

Of course, as a previous poster pointed out, your listed software (I am unfamiliar with Mapinfo) can run on a Windows workstation/PC and that computer can be backed up to your Linux server. There may be an opportunity to do limited networking of Moneysoft - I believe only one person can access one company's data at any one time (otherwise there is the possibility of data corruption). However, I think that I have read somewhere that QB doesn't work well with Linux.

 

If you want a one word answer, IMO it would be ClearOS, although personally I like SMEserver. They are similar.

 

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By [email protected]
14th Mar 2013 11:28

Cloud Server

We've recently moved over to a hosted server via the cloud/internet. I know this is something you said you were loath to do but we've found it such an improvement over our old local server and it's actually quite a bit cheaper too so might still be worth considering at least?! It's made my life a whole lot easier too as i don't have to worry about internal IT support anymore!

I don't want to blatantly advertise our provider on here but if you want any details just let me know.

 

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By Ray051
14th Mar 2013 11:47

Windows Server 2012 Essentials

We were in the same boat and have moved to the above which is excellent. It does not contain Exchange so we have moved to Exchange in the cloud using Office 365. This is a no-brainer as emails arrive via the internet anyway. We are also pleased there is less loading on our in-house server as SBS in our view was unstable with so many different servers built into it.

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By tomsk100
14th Mar 2013 11:57

SBS 2011

Your IT guys are right and Microsoft are trying to force everyone down the Office 365 route.
Office 365 is great, but not for everyone, so if you do want to continue with an on premise solution I would buy SBS 2011 this year and as you say you will have a few more years use out of this.

As mentioned Windows Essentials doesn't have Exchange Server included.

SBS 2011 is a good product and can give you your email, shared folders and sharepoint via its remote web workspace web site.

I'm an SBS fan and gutted that it's being discontinued myself. 

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By Hosted Accountants Ltd
14th Mar 2013 12:07

Dodgy internet....

Hi Fenella

You are quite right to be cautious but there are many options available to improve your broadband provision - different providers, fibre, satellite, etc.

If you want any help on this then drop us a line and we will tell you what you can get where you are - we sell comms and broadband.

Ultimately you will find that going hosted is cheaper - it's "pay as you go" versus whatever (£5k+?) your IT company will want for a shiny new server that does exactly the same as before.

No-one is buying servers any more.

Dan

www.hostedaccountants.co.uk

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By jndavs
14th Mar 2013 14:36

Quickbooks

If you are still using Windows desktops, Quckbooks can be run on the client (Windows) machines and the data stored on a Samba share on the Linux server see

http://support.intuit.co.uk/quickbooks/en-gb/iq/Company-File/Create-a-Sa...

 

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By rayhelmke
14th Mar 2013 15:32

Cloud

I recommend moving to the cloud - it sounds perfect for you and could actually save you a small fortune in support as well as software and hardware.

Give Steve Thorne a call 01524 735757 or 07736 809152 and he'll give you a demo and prices.

They mainly target accountants and I beleive they were themselves, in a past life were also accountants.

Their website is http://www.hosteddesktopuk.co.uk/ and i know a few people on here that have recommended them.

Good Luck!

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By Cube
22nd Mar 2013 12:13

The Cloud

I am moved to respond to this old thread.

 

Let's not lose sight of the clever marketing surrounding 'the Cloud'. What they are describing is a hosted and managed solution on a third party server - somewhere.

There are all sorts of issues hidden by the label 'Cloud'. Obvious ones like - who owns your data, where is it stored (possible contravention of Data Protection laws), back-ups, emergency recovery local (LAN) software, just basic security - who is looking at 'your stuff'.

 

For me, there is a very worrying area that isn't openly discussed much. YOUR data is worth a hell of a lot to YOU, but unless you have some special IP not that much to your hoster. I hear squeals of disagreement from the hosters   ...   there are many orders of magnitude of difference in the level of 'I care about it' here.

Please consider, following a major corporate 'disaster' involving the loss of your corporate data  (by fire, water ... who knows how)  it is reported that 85% of businesses fail within 18months. Bust. Now that is a very high degree of 'I care' and no 3rd party data company (in the cloud, or elsewhere) is going to 'wear' the loss of your data that that degree.

Now. Can it happen (total data loss in the Cloud, I mean). Apparently it already has. April 2011, Amazon's huge EC2 Cloud data services:

 

Amazon's Cloud Crash Disaster Permanently Destroyed Many Customers' Data

 

Amazon is a well funded company with IT pedigree and long experience of the web. I need say no more.   I keep reading about Cloud providers celebrating their latest round of funding. What does this mean??? Well, it might mean that they aren't making any money. As soon as a less well run 'Cloud' data company goes bust and companies and individuals experience a well publicised negative data event, perhaps the headlong rush towards "3rd party data storage and application management - who knows where" will abate.

 

Perhaps I should make clear that I do not have any commercial axe to grind here, I just find the unquestioning leap of faith that many recommend, needs to be tempered somewhat.

 

The cloud is definitely not the solution for everyone.

Cube

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Replying to Portia Nina Levin:
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By merlyn
21st Mar 2013 15:34

The Cloud

Cube wrote:

I am moved to respond to this old thread.

 

Let's not lose sight of the clever marketing surrounding 'the Cloud'. What they are describing is a hosted and managed solution on a third party server - somewhere.

Well actually that depends on the type of cloud setup, if it's a public cloud then yes a host will keep your data/apps hosted on a server (or farm) either at one data centre or split across a number.

With a private cloud you know exactly where your data/apps are stored but they do come at a premium. 

Lots of companies already have cloud setups without using any 3rd party providers, so they own the server farm and have complete control over them.  Then apps/data are provided to their users via thin client technology such as Citrix.

 

Cube wrote:

There are all sorts of issues hidden by the label 'Cloud'. Obvious ones like - who owns your data, where is it stored (possible contravention of Data Protection laws), back-ups, emergency recovery local (LAN) software, just basic security - who is looking at 'your stuff'.

Anyone using a public cloud provider should ensure all data is encrypted, so a lot of the issues around security are then resolved.

Cube wrote:

For me, there is a very worrying area that isn't openly discussed much. YOUR data is worth a hell of a lot to YOU, but unless you have some special IP not that much to your hoster. I hear squeals of disagreement from the hosters   ...   there are many orders of magnitude of difference in the level of 'I care about it' here.

Please consider, following a major corporate 'disaster' involving the loss of your corporate data  (by fire, water ... who knows how)  it is reported that 85% of businesses fail within 18months. Bust. Now that is a very high degree of 'I care' and no 3rd party data company (in the cloud, or elsewhere) is going to 'wear' the loss of your data that that degree.

Now. Can it happen (total data loss in the Cloud, I mean). Apparently it already has. April 2011, Amazon's huge EC2 Cloud data services:

Yes providers have failures which is why you should never just rely on them holding onto your data, regular backups to you own IT systems should be made, or even replication to a 2nd cloud provider should be considered.

However any of the better cloud providers who have invested millions into building state of the art data centres are at much less risk of failures than a firm who has their server room in a normal office environment.

Just to say I have no tie to any cloud hosting company and have worked for firms who have 100+ servers on-site and those who have the majority of their servers hosted in the cloud.  Both had pros and cons and personally I prefer a hybrid approach where the best of both is used to provide a more stable setup than using 100% of either.

Cube wrote:

The cloud is definitely not the solution for everyone.

The cloud is not one solution and can be used in a number of ways (total hosting, online backups, for DR use etc).  Used in the correct way utilising cloud services can be a very cost effective way for companies to gain access to enterprise level scalability at very low prices.

 

 

 

 

 

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By Cube
21st Mar 2013 17:55

The Cloud

Merlyn,

First off, thank you for a comprehensive reply.

You bring up a host of issues that I avoided.

 

1) You say that you can pay more, perhaps a lot more, and then know exactly where your server is located (in a rack in a data centre, say, in Bracknell). You might decide to rent part of a server (Citrix virtualisation), or rent a whole 'dedicated' server (in a rack in a data centre, say, in Bracknell).

I agree with this, but (i) this is no longer a cheap solution, and (ii) the term 'Cloud' is beginning to look a bit silly.

 

2) You mention that data should be encrypted and I agree with you. However, I am aware that both encryption and compression (used in data back-up's) is very resource hungry - + long upload / download times NOT at all suitable for (i) large data file, or (ii) underpowered / under-resourced hardware (read need more expensive hardware).

 

3) You say - "regular backups to you own IT systems should be made"

I am in total agreement with you. But with the amount of data being stored by companies  rising 'exponentially', one should be aware that there comes a point where transfer of large amounts of data over the internet is no longer feasible. I am always surprised at how low this level is.  It might easily apply at < 1TB data stored.

 

4) You say - "However any of the better cloud providers who have invested millions into building state of the art data centres are at much less risk of failures than a firm who has their server room in a normal office environment."

I honestly don't know who they are, and far more importantly, nor will their customers until it all goes pear shaped. It's all ok until it isn't :)

 

5) You say - "I prefer a hybrid approach where the best of both is used to provide a more stable setup than using 100% of either"

I am unfamiliar with this, and am very interested to hear more.

 

Isn't there something of a contradiction in the whole Cloud concept - a dedicated solution is best, which is not a cheap solution and therefore perhaps less suitable for small companies. A large company will have huge data requirements which are not suited to transport/backup over the internet???

Cube

 

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Replying to madar:
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By merlyn
21st Mar 2013 20:11

The Cloud

Cube wrote:

Merlyn,

First off, thank you for a comprehensive reply.

You bring up a host of issues that I avoided.

 

1) You say that you can pay more, perhaps a lot more, and then know exactly where your server is located (in a rack in a data centre, say, in Bracknell). You might decide to rent part of a server (Citrix virtualisation), or rent a whole 'dedicated' server (in a rack in a data centre, say, in Bracknell).

I agree with this, but (i) this is no longer a cheap solution, and (ii) the term 'Cloud' is beginning to look a bit silly.

Sorry I didn't mean that as this would be classed as server hosting and not cloud hosting.

Some cloud providers will allow you to setup a private cloud, where you use part of their infastructure to setup services split across multiple servers/sites, but these are not shared. 

Or you can use a public/private cloud where you have some dedicated servers and you use some of the public part for other apps.

This is still cheaper in terms of setup and on-going support costs than hosting a lot of servers yourself, the price really depends on what exactly is required in terms of resource also it allows for scalability if your needs increase overtime without you having to purchase additional hardware.

Cube wrote:

2) You mention that data should be encrypted and I agree with you. However, I am aware that both encryption and compression (used in data back-up's) is very resource hungry - + long upload / download times NOT at all suitable for (i) large data file, or (ii) underpowered / under-resourced hardware (read need more expensive hardware).

If implemented properly encryption does not increase upload/download times as it can be provided using special hardware and compression technology.

Some cloud providers provide encryption which is invisible to the user and automatically encrypts all data using keys the customer picks.

Also there is a real misconception that people think their data is safer because it's on servers in their offices, this is in fact wrong as it's much safer in a proper data centre with 24/7 security, all data fully encrypted and a proper firewall.

Cube wrote:

3) You say - "regular backups to you own IT systems should be made"

I am in total agreement with you. But with the amount of data being stored by companies  rising 'exponentially', one should be aware that there comes a point where transfer of large amounts of data over the internet is no longer feasible. I am always surprised at how low this level is.  It might easily apply at < 1TB data stored.

It really depends on how it's setup as you wouldn't copy all data just the data which has changed, this can be either done in realtime or on a daily basis. You can also have your backups copied to another hosting provider which generally have large data feeds provisioned by shared locations (telehouse east/west etc.) so speed isn't an issue.

However the correct solution for a firm would very much depend on their size, budget and a number of other factors.

Cube wrote:

4) You say - "However any of the better cloud providers who have invested millions into building state of the art data centres are at much less risk of failures than a firm who has their server room in a normal office environment."

I honestly don't know who they are, and far more importantly, nor will their customers until it all goes pear shaped. It's all ok until it isn't :)

Thats why it's very important to do a lot of research before choosing a cloud provider and the cheapest isn't always the best.

Personally we use Rackspace as I've been to see their data centres so know their infastructure is solid.

Cube wrote:

5) You say - "I prefer a hybrid approach where the best of both is used to provide a more stable setup than using 100% of either"

I am unfamiliar with this, and am very interested to hear more.

This is where you don't simply choose to use the cloud or have servers on-site/hosted by yourself.

A company looks at the applications/services/data it requires and then looks at the best way to ensure these are provided to users using a combination of servers on-site, hosted servers and cloud technology.

Cube wrote:

Isn't there something of a contradiction in the whole Cloud concept - a dedicated solution is best, which is not a cheap solution and therefore perhaps less suitable for small companies. A large company will have huge data requirements which are not suited to transport/backup over the internet???

Cube

The cloud concept isn't a new one and has been around in I.T. terms for many years.

There is no "one size fits all" solution and which route a company takes is very much down to their size and what they actually want to achieve. Large companies tend to use thin client technology where no data actually leaves the hosted environment so data transport across the internet doesn't happen.

As an example though prior to hosted cloud applications if a small company wanted to setup a server for exchange (email) and files, they would have to purchase a server, a copy of windows server and a copy of exchange (or SBS).

They would then need to host this either in their offices or in a data centre if they wanted it to be a bit more stable.

The cost of this would easily be over £2000 and then the company would have to worry about on-going support, backups etc.

With the cloud you can have a full exchange setup provided in under an hour via a good cloud provider (Rackspace for example) for 5 users at a cost of £30 a month and 1p per gig for cloud storage.

Then as the company grows and takes on more staff/data their opex cost simply increases.

Thats rather good value if you ask me.

 

 

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By Cube
22nd Mar 2013 11:30

Back-up and Restore

Meryln,

You said - "setup a private cloud, where you use part of their infastructure to setup services split across multiple servers/sites, "

This doesn't sound simple or cheap and would have me, personally, running for the hills.

 

I do think that for many a small business, "scalability" might just involve slapping a couple more GBP60 HDD's into the server in the back office.

The one area that is so often overlooked (under-looked) in all these situations is not just BACKUPS but actually doing a real-life test of your back up (a RESTORE)- make sure it ACTUALLY works.

 

My hunch would be that whilst >50% of company data systems have a back-up system in place, of those, <25% do a real-life test RESTORE every year. This would suggest that the vast majority of data systems (maybe > 80%) have a less-than-adequate back-up regime. Of course, this is an area or relative strength for a cloud provider.

 

I agree with you that 'the Cloud' was around long before the term entered the common lexicon. However, I stick with my original point:

"the unquestioning leap of faith that many recommend (i.e. 'the Cloud), needs to be tempered somewhat"

Cube

 

 

<edit> BTW does that "Exchange / 5 users / GBP30 per month +1p per Gb storage" actually include the M$-Exchange software licence?

If so, then with a good internet (which the OP suggests that she doesn't have) connection perhaps a small company could host low resource software (this incl accountancy software) on a hosted server for M$ server software and have a basic Linux file server locally (cheap, secure and stable) for large file storage and backup. <edit>

 

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Replying to hje:
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By merlyn
22nd Mar 2013 11:31

Cloud

Cube wrote:

Meryln,

You said - "setup a private cloud, where you use part of their infastructure to setup services split across multiple servers/sites, "

This doesn't sound simple or cheap and would have me, personally, running for the hills.

Simple and cheap are relative terms, for me it's pretty simple and for a large company it can be cheap when compared to their million pound+ IT budget.

As I said the exactly solution for a company depends on their size, budget and what they are looking to achieve.

 

Cube wrote:

I do think that for many a small business, "scalability" might just involve slapping a couple more GBP60 HDD's into the server in the back office.

Storage isn't always the issue, sometimes a small business may open another office or take on a number of new staff so their server can't handle the extra load.

But again it really depends on a lot of factors so there is no "one size fits all" solution.

Cube wrote:

The one area that is so often overlooked (under-looked) in all these situations is not just BACKUPS but actually doing a real-life test of your back up (a RESTORE)- make sure it ACTUALLY works.

 

My hunch would be that whilst >50% of company data systems have a back-up system in palace, of those, <25% do a real-life test RESTORE every year. This would suggest that the vast majority of data systems (maybe > 80%) have a less-than-adequate back-up regime. Of course, this is an area or relative strength for a cloud provider.

In my experience that may be true of the smaller hosting companies, but the bigger ones do regular tests on their infastructure.  This can include cutting the power to ensure backup generators etc kick in, taking a hosting centre offline to ensure their other centre start to process requests with no downtime for users  etc.

With server hosting using one of the bigger hosting companies was far too expensive to be considered for small firms, with the cloud you get access to all that infastructure for not a lot of money.

Cube wrote:
I agree with you that 'the Cloud' was around long before the term entered the common lexicon. However, I stick with my original point:

"the unquestioning leap of faith that many recommend (i.e. 'the Cloud), needs to be tempered somewhat"

Cube

Oh I agree, no firm should simply jump into using the cloud without fully understanding the pros/cons and also doing a lot of research into the company which will be holding all its data.

Used in a correct and informed way the cloud can offer great benefits to a company, used incorrectly can mean a whole load of trouble.

<edit> BTW does that "Exchange / 5 users / GBP30 per month +1p per Gb storage" actually include the M$-Exchange software licence?

If so, then with a good internet (which the OP suggests that she doesn't have) connection perhaps a small company could host low resource software (this incl accountancy software) on a hosted server for M$ server software and have a basic Linux file server locally (cheap, secure and stable) for large file storage and backup. <edit>

 

Yes it includes an Exchange licence on the server side and an Outlook 2007/2010 licence for users.

Depending on the size of files being used then on-site storage with a nightly backup to cloud storage may be a suitable solution, but would depend on a few factors.

 

 

 

As you mentioned BCP (Business Continuity Planning), I wrote something for another forum which AW members may find useful :

Analyse – The first step of any continuity plan is to analyse the resources you use, this includes data, applications, people and physical things like paper files.

 As part of this step you may also need to put measures in place to ensure all data is held centrally, for example if you have a lot of staff who keep data on the hard disk of their laptop then you need to put in measures to ensure this is copied to the network at regular intervals.

Prioritise – Once you have completed the analysis of your resources you need to assign a priority to each of them.  For example any resource which is critical to the running of your business is given a high priority, things which are needed but not critical are a medium priority and applications/data which are infrequently used are given a low priority.

As an example CRM, email and billing applications may be given a high priority, systems used to send out mailshots given a medium priority and historic data given a low priority.

Plan -  After you have prioritised your resources you can then look at the different types of issues which can affect the smooth running of your business.  These will range from minor interruptions right up to major disasters.

For minor interruptions such as a 5 minute loss of internet connectivity you may want to look at having more than one internet connection which will provide some resilience.

For more major issues such as the building suffering a long term power cut then you need to look at ensuring the high priority resources previously defined would be available to users, this may include replicating applications/data to a cloud provider. Or if you already use a cloud provider for these services looking at the measures they have in place to ensure your service is unaffected should they suffer things like power cuts.

You also need to ensure an up to date plan is circulated among key staff and that all employees know who to call should they be unable to get into work due to any issues, this plan should include details on which employees are required to work and how they access systems/data. 

If for example you have 20 staff you may decide that in an emergency having 10 of these working would be enough to keep things running, so you only need to facilitate 10 users on any systems you set up for such an eventuality.

Update – Putting a business continuity plan in place is only the first step to ensuring your company will continue to run smoothly should disaster strike, any plan should be regularly checked and updated to ensure it’s still fit for purpose.

Test – This is the step which most firms miss, any business continuity plan is only worthwhile if it actually works, at least once a quarter it should be tested to ensure that it’s effective and provides the level of service sought.

 

 

 

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By Cube
22nd Mar 2013 11:39

Wow that was quick

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Replying to thomas34:
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By merlyn
22nd Mar 2013 11:35

Poor her

Cube wrote:

Wow that was quick

You sound like my girlfriend!

 

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By Cube
22nd Mar 2013 11:55

Extra-Vocational Interests

First off - excellent post.

Thank you for copying in you BCP (Business Continuity Planning) stuff. This was a very readable summary and will have many who read it scratching their heads in the bath tonight.

 

Now. On to your girlfriend   ....   lots of chuckles this end. Much as I would love to continue down that avenue, we would get 'modded-out' pretty quickly (not to mention you receiving a hard-time, or should I say, more of a hard-time). However, it is interesting to note how many people with a healthy interest in things computery, also have an excellent sense of humour.

 

That is a fine end to a pleasant (and informative for me) exchange on network nonsense.

 

In summary, I would love to hear that the OP had switched over to Linux - ClearOS (operating system) + Zarafa or Open-Office (email/calendar/address-book) + OpenERP (accounts), however this is often even more of a leap of faith than the Cloud. I think that you really need to WANT to 'Go Linux' to maintain the stamina to investigate and instigate.

Thanks for the exchange (pun intended).

Cube

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By merlyn
22nd Mar 2013 12:05

Thank you, I wrote the BCP stuff for AW's sister site UK Business Forums as they were looking for some pointers on what firms should do regarding BCP.  As you rightly said even firms who think they have BCP plans in place seem to miss the stage of testing them, so when the worst happens they find the plan they had doesn't actually work correctly.

 

I would love to comment on getting a hard time along the lines of my girlfriend being pleased someone is....but for fear of being banned will stop there.

 

Linux is an excellent and stable OS and with Microsoft dropping SBS soon I think a lot of smaller companies will look at using this as a good alternative, for those without an IT support department you can buy preconfigured NAS boxes which are in reality just a Linux server in a box with a couple of big hard disks and a nice easy Web interface for configuration.

 

 

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By Cube
22nd Mar 2013 12:40

NAS

Yes I completely agree regarding the NAS offerings. How many of their users, who are intimidated by the word 'Linux', know that they are already using it? That also goes for Google Chrome too (Fedora)?

In fact, I had a look around a few weeks ago for Synology and QNAP listings - they are both privately held Taiwanese companies.

What is the matter with the Brits and the Europeans - why can't we make a decent NAS box?

We are completely missing the party.

Instead of fussing over whether a 99p Costa blooming Coffee is tax deductable,  we need to be furiously encouraging genuine hi-tech entrepreneurs - not builders and car salesrooms (rant over).

Cube

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By merlyn
22nd Mar 2013 14:43

We are trying!
Linux is also the base for the android phone os :-)

I now work helping tech firms claim R&D tax relief, so there are some companies out there trying to do clever stuff with technology.

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By MissAccounting
22nd Mar 2013 15:02

Some of what you guys are talking about is almost recognisable but if my less techy opinion is of any use we currently have 6 users on Office 365 for email and a Synology NAS box for the data storage which gets backed up internally and also to the "cloud" via Acronis which all works great for us.

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By MissAccounting
22nd Mar 2013 16:07

Nobody in house other than myself really, Im certainly no expert but all what we use was pretty easy to set up and use.  I think if we grew any more then it we might need an IT contract perhaps but I cant see us getting much bigger if any.

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By merlyn
22nd Mar 2013 16:12

Do you

Just out of interest do you ever test your backups to the cloud ? Just to make sure if there was a failure on your NAS then you could recover everything ?

 

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By MissAccounting
23rd Mar 2013 16:10

Yes the backup is testing once or twice a year by doing a full restore to a separate partition on the NAS and remapping the computers to that drive.  This is done usually over a bank holiday weekend as the data can take quite some time to download which is obviously one of the major drawbacks with any cloud based backup solution but one we have to accept to have the data offsite.

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By Cube
28th Mar 2013 13:06

Passwords Compromised

This sort of report is another reason to not take the Cloud lightly and to use encryption.

http://www.stuartsheldon.org/blog/2012/06/millions-of-linkedin-passwords...

This will happen again and again IMHO.

Also, how many breaches of security are not reported and do not make it in to the press. many more than do, I guess.

Cube

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Replying to JNHogis:
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By merlyn
28th Mar 2013 14:32

Who knows ?

Cube wrote:

This sort of report is another reason to not take the Cloud lightly and to use encryption.

http://www.stuartsheldon.org/blog/2012/06/millions-of-linkedin-passwords...

This will happen again and again IMHO.

Also, how many breaches of security are not reported and do not make it in to the press. many more than do, I guess.

Cube

Sites liked linkedin are targets for hackers because they have a lot of members and most people use the same password for lots of services.

The professional hackers who do it to make money have little interest in getting access to your linkedin profile, but using those details can get into your email, bank accounts and all sorts of other systems.

Lots and lots of security breaches (cloud, hosted and on-site systems) are not reported as they are never noticed, just look at any botnet the whole point is to ensure the user doesn't realise they have been compromised and for the longer the better.

Encryption helps if done properly, but lots of firms don't.

The easiest way to get into a firms data is to use social engineering on some of their users. It's amazing how many will hand over usernames/passwords just because you call them and say you are so and so who is new in IT support, or will let you remote control their PC to fix a non-existent problem, whilst you are of course installing any backdoors you like. 

Sorry but did the Certified Ethical Hacking course a few years ago and ensuring proper IT security is not a quick thing to implement and even harder to maintain.

 

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By dnicholson
28th Mar 2013 13:13

Compromise

@Cube

"Also, how many breaches of security are not reported and do not make it in to the press. many more than do, I guess."

Then you should also ask how many non-cloud compromises and losses are unreported.

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By Cube
28th Mar 2013 13:49

Still asking

I've asked and I've asked .... no answer!  :)

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By jndavs
28th Mar 2013 15:05

The cloud

Anyone noticed how slow the net is today?

Good luck with the cloud based software.

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By merlyn
28th Mar 2013 15:09
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By paul.k2
31st Mar 2013 10:40

Deleted - Posted in error

Posted by mistake - sorry

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By Fenella
06th Jun 2013 10:57

Thanks for all your input

Like an Oscar winner I can't thank all of you individually without bursting into tears....

 

I think we need to stick with a local server if we can, as the consultants use GIS mapping software and aerial photography that can be massive, and although our connection isn't bad I think it would creak badly under the strain of the consultants day to day work.

If we went with Linux we would have to change our support company (which would be a shame as we are very happy with our current support, but they don't do Linux). Can anyone suggest a reliable outfit in the Dorset/Hampshire area that do Linux support?

 

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