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Parker Pearson

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Ready to stop worrying that your data is backed up and accessible when you need it?  We have some exciting data backup and disaster recovery services now available!

Posted by on in Executive

Curious about why some are making the switch?  We profile a recent client migration to show the benefits that have been typical.

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Video is quickly being adopted into many organizations across the globe to facilitate more dynamic business processes.  Our region will be no exception.

To help organizations in the region learn more about how video is already re-inventing the Justice process, we are excited to have an opportunity to host  Judge M. Boyd Patterson, Jr. (ret.), Senior Judicial Advisor for Cisco Systems' Connected Justice initiative.

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Posted by on in Technical

CTO Thoughts on the HP-Aruba Acquisition:

This morning HP silenced the rumors and announced its acquisition of wireless provider Aruba Networks for $2.7 Billion.  

That’s a hefty price tag and potentially a big change in the industry.  Certainly one that has everybody talking this morning.

 I’ve been following Aruba’s shopping out for a while, and I have some thoughts about how this may play out.

 

Posted by on in Executive

January is a tough month. Definately one of those glass half full situations. For some it's the tsunami of projects that got backed up during the holidays, and for others, it is a fresh start and a time to look forward.

We’ve been advocating Filr as a great solution for organizations who need the file sharing capabilities of a cloud service like Dropbox, but want all the security features of your network file system.  Now Filr has introduced even more features!

 

Posted by on in Technical

By now many of you have become familiar with a new IT systems vulnerability nicknamed "Shellshock".

With the wave of systems breaches and vulnerability exploits making the headlines during the past 9 months, it is understandable that there is concern about what the Shellshock vulnerability might mean to your IT systems. We wanted to give you our update on this latest vulnerability and what we are seeing so far.

(Updated with Citrix info 10/13)

Is your organization in the academic field?  Did you know ALI staffs academic specialists with years of experience managing IT infrastructure, staffing & instructional technology?

Posted by on in Technical

The world of malware has coughed up a new and nasty threat to your valuable data: holding it hostage and ransoming it.

Don’t believe it? Meet Cryptolocker a member of the malware clan that ransoms your hard drive data.

 

The leader in file and print is back with a big statement and the release of FILR.  FILR provides enterprise level mobile file-access and secure file sharing for today's busy professionals.

Posted by on in Technical

Security breaches happen – to just about every organization. That’s an ugly truth.  Unfortunately, data security breaches are becoming an increasingly routine occurrence. Yet, the majority of these breaches don’t come from outside hackers and malware – they come from poor security practices that are very avoidable.

Have you ever heard that old saying… something about the universe will whisper to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, it will escalate to some special hell that will bring you to your knees? I’m having an odd case of that lately when it comes to the subject of secure file sharing. I think we all are, and I’m wondering why aren’t we collectively taking this issue a lot more seriously?

 

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Posted by on in Executive

Advanced Logic Industries (ALI) is pleased to announce that it has acquired Brush Mountain Data Center. This regional IT data center has been providing private cloud services and data hosting from its location at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Blacksburg since 2006.

This week we have guest blogger Andy Marquez of Arrow Electronics taking a stand that may surprise many - banking on Novell again.  As a Brand Specialist for Arrow, it's his job to assess technologies and he's seen a lot, so his quick take might cause you to just take another look at today's Novell solutions.

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Please note that in a recent update published by Novell, they have opted to lengthen Extended Support for Novell NetWare 6.5 and Novell ZENworks 7 Suite by a year, to 30 September 2013. In addition, Novell BorderManager and Novell GroupWise 8 are extending General Support, and will be supported on NetWare 6.5 for the same time period.

Product Previous Support End Date New Support End Date

  • NetWare 6.5 30 Sept 2012 (Extended Support) 30 Sept 2013 (Extended Support)
  • ZENworks 7 30 Sept 2012 (Extended Support 30 Sept 2013 (Extended Support)
  • GroupWise 8 1 May 2013 (General Support) 30 Sept 2013 (General Support)
  • BorderManager 3.9 30 Sept 2012 (General Support) 30 Sept 2013 (General Support)

For the best value, Novell encourages upgrades to the latest release of Novell Open Enterprise Server and Novell ZENworks Configuraiton Management, but is offering Extended Support on these older releases to provide more deployment time for customers who need it.

The Extended Support phase of Novell's Product Support Lifecycle offers installation and configuration technical support and critical security fixes for customers with current maintenance on the replacement products - in this case Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 and Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11.

Free Unlimited Extended Support on ZENworks 7 Suite

Current Novell Open Enterprise Server maintenance customers already realize free, unlimited 12x5 technical support during the Extended Support phase for NetWare. Effective 1 January 2012, Novell is offering this same free, unilmited 12x5 technical support benefit on ZENworks 7 Suite for all customers with current maintenance on Novell's ZENworks Configuration Management.

Product Information

  • Novell NetWare 6.5 and Novell ZENworks 7 Suite Extended Support brings the following benefits through 30 September 2013:
  • Continue to receive installation support while you plan and execute your upgrade from NetWare 6.5 to Open Enterprise Server on Linux, and from ZENworks 7 Suite to ZENworks 11
  • Receive unlimited service requests 12 hours a day, 5 days a week from a Novell technical support engineer

Customers who are not current with maintenance may purchase Standard or Priority maintenance for licensed users and take advantage of Extended Support on ZENworks 7 Suite or NetWare 6.5 for free.

For further information

For detailed information on Novell's Support lifecycle, visit http://support.novell.com or contact Cindy DeHart, Novell & Virtualization Practice Manager at (540) 443-3392 or cindy@ali-inc.com

While this may not be a technologically focused topic, the team at ALI is excited to see that Bloomberg Business Week rated Blacksburg, VA as the number one place to raise children in the U.S!  Our employees in our Blacksburg office could not agree more, many of whom relocated to the area for the great lifestyle. With good schools, an affordable lifestyle, and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the backyard, it's more than just a great place to raise kids.  It's a great place to have a great quality of life with the benefits of the high tech ecosystem facilitated by proximity to Virginia Tech, Roanoke and many other organizations throughout the region.

Advanced Logic itself was founded because of the appeal of the area's resources.  Our founder moved to the area attracted to all the benefits, and saw it as the perfect place to raise his own children.  At the time, there were so few IT providers in the region, there was a clear need for high level IT services delivered locally instead of being brought in from Washington DC, Richmond or Charlotte.  The original team was assembled, and ALI was born.  20 years later, we are still growing. 

We're very grateful that this region has been so supportive of our business, enabling us to expand to provide services throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  This article is just validation of what we've known for years: this is a great place to live and work!

> Read the article: Blacksburg Named the Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids

Posted by on in Executive

I wanted to follow up on the recent announcements made by HP. As a committed HP Partner, Advanced Logic Industries (ALI) is dedicated to helping you understand the meaning and impact of these changes to you, our valued customer.

Included among last week’s announcements was the HP board’s decision to evaluate strategic alternatives for the Personal Systems Group business. Although these may include a range of options, this was not an announcement of a shutdown of the company’s PC business.

Having now heard directly from Todd Bradley and other members of HP’s senior leadership team, I can tell you that HP remains committed – now more than ever – to driving growth of its PC business. A $42 billion business, PSG is the largest PC business in the world with #1 market share and profitability in the PC industry worldwide.

HP is not taking its foot off the pedal now and is will continue to drive leading innovation across its PC portfolio moving forward. You also can expect HP to continue the company’s strong and solid history of taking care of you, its valued customer. You should absolutely feel comfortable and confident in buying HP just as you always have, despite the confusion HP’s competitors might be stirring.

While there is uncertainty with change, I can tell you that ALI remains committed to HP and their products, and look forward to traveling on this journey with them. I also can tell you that I remain committed to you and will continue to keep an open dialogue with you as we identify the best technology solutions to help you run and manage your business. I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions.

Regards,

Parker Pearson
Advanced Logic Industries
Vice President, Marketing
(434) 386-4284

Posted by on in Executive

Today, Hewlett Packard made a very unexpected announcement that it is looking to spin off its personal computer (desktop pc, notebook and tablet) business and cease shipment of their newest WebOS tablet.

Understandably, this is causing unease. While the information we have on hand is preliminary, I have spoken with our representatives with HP and I have been assured that existing HP warrantees and support agreements will not be impacted. Support and parts will continue to be available.

For those of you with planned purchases coming up that were slated for HP devices, we already have an excellent alternative to offer from Lenovo. (Formerly IBM) They offer terrific products and a great price point. Contact your ALI Account Manager and they will be happy to discuss this with you further and provide revised quotations.

While it will take time to see how the changes at HP will shake out, we expect to see no change in their server and storage lines. As your local IT support provider, part of our job is to help minimize the impact of these kinds of issues on your plans.

We are here to help. If you should have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your preferred ALI representative.

Parker Pearson
Vice President
Advanced Logic Industries
parker@ali-inc.com
(434) 386-4284

Jeff Bowers is one of our IT professionals with a unique background: he's a Certified Ethical Hacker, MBA and an IT networking professional.  His area of expertise is in Network Assessments and Data Security.  We sat down with Jeff recently to ask him some questions about assessing data and network security.

Data security is a challenging and delicate area.  What are your credentials that have made you successful in this field?

JB:  I have field experience from a variety of previous jobs, along with some specialized certifications.  I gained a lot of experience in my roles as an IT Auditor, a Systems Analyst and as an Information Security Analyst.  I was also the Information Security Officer of a very large ($2B) financial services company. 

As for my technical skills, I have two highly sought after certifications in the information security field.  I hold the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation from ISC(2).  I am also a Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH), a certification sponsored by the EC Council. 

My background in information security includes developing the matrix used to assess the level of security on the network by utilizing standards and guidelines from ISO 27001, NIST and industry best practices.  It also includes configuring Firewalls, routers, servers, workstations, group policies to meet the stringent guidelines of various regulatory bodies as well as accepted industry standards.  My experience includes not only the configuration of network and server equipment but also the assessment of the security controls. 

Being a Certified Ethical Hacker sounds intriguing, but how do you apply those skills to clients today?

JB: My expertise as a Certified Ethical Hacker has provided the professional training and technical expertise to perform very in-depth network security assessments for a wide range of industries. 

Utilizing a multitude of tools I gather information on network topology, penetration testing, social engineering and vulnerability exploitation.  I can develop a methodology of assessing a network ranging from a complete black box assessment to a full disclosure white box assessment. 

What’s a black box assessment or a white box assessment and what’s the difference?

JB: To explain the difference, a black box assessment is done with zero input from the customer other than the name of the company; the typical goal for this type of assessment is to gain access to the internal network of the client.   The assessment in this case will end upon successful penetration of the client network. 

A white box assessment is the complete opposite.  This type of assessment involves full disclosure from the client to include access to the internal network via an onsite visit and/or a computer setup onsite to allow remote access.  This type of assessment is usually done to assess the level of security of the network with no penetration testing.   There are various levels of assessments in between the two extremes which is where most client assessments will fall.  The length of time for a black box assessment is typically much longer than a white box assessment.  The increased length of time is due to the level of information gathering that is necessary.  A fully documented summary of the findings, methodology and the steps required to better secure the network will be provided to the client upon completion of the assessment.

What is the number one issue you see unaddressed in organizations large and small when it comes to data security?

I think the number one issue unaddressed in most organizations is data integrity.  When I say data integrity, I am referring to how the organization is able to ensure that the data they rely on to run and operate their business is properly secured.  This ranges from their accounting software to proprietary formulas to the data that is used to drive the organizations business decisions.  Improperly secured data could lead to significant financial loss for any business.  Enabling proper access controls to the data can help mitigate this risk.

Do you only help really large organizations that are heavily regulated?

Organizations large and small, heavily regulated and not all have the potential for loss due to a lack of proper controls.  Proper security controls are not just a good practice for large, highly regulated organizations.  All organizations need to ensure that they have the proper security controls in place to prevent potential business ending losses due to a data leak.

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August 27, 2010

Every organization's data multiplies every day. This is necessary. Normal. Yet the ugly truth is that often there is so much data, it's overwhelming to cope with how to access or prioritize just certain files. Or make sure certain user identifiable files are archived differently. You could end up with a mountain of data to back up that takes too long and costs a bunch of money that might be unnecessarily spent. So how to do deal with this issue of managing unstructured data?

This topic of conversation got started on a Linked-in Technology forum back in March as we were publicizing a webcast session on managing unstructured data. Some felt that the time had come for this discussion, particularly in the wake of an excellent presentation by Virginia Tech of the challenges they went through after their campus shooting. Some advocated a very short retention policy, which sparked more debate about the life span of "content" and its importance in the organization for documentation and continuity. If you are a member of LinkedIn, you can follow the full discussion on the Region2000 Tech Council Group discussion, or post your comments and questions here.

LEARN MORE ON DEMAND

Want to learn more? If you’d like more information on this topic, be sure to access the webinar on demand. That session really dug into how to address the real challenges of managing all those “unstructured” files: documents, spreadsheets and all the other types of documents that get created each work day.