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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

Just a quick update on the Novell Open Workgroup Suite.  It is not often that I can give you product features and enhancements without cost. . . so I am pleased to pass this information on to you

Novell is consolidating all versions of NOWS into one single, enhanced version. Moving forward, NOWS customers will also be entitled to Novell Vibe OnPrem and ZENworks Endpoint Security Management in addition to their existing entitlements.

Novell Open Workgroup Suite customers will now be entitled to all the following products:

  • Novell Open Enterprise Server
  • Novell GroupWise
  • Novell Vibe OnPrem **NEW ADDITION!
  • ZENworks Configuration Management
  • ZENworks Endpoint Security Management **NEW ADDITION!
  • ZENworks Linux Management
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
  • LibreOffice

Product Information

Novell Open Workgroup Suite is a buying program that delivers high value to customers who use two-or-more of Novell's core products. By purchasing these popular products through NOWS, customers pay less for licenses and maintenance than if they purchased the products separately.

  • Benefits include:
  • Simplified purchasing of multiple products into one part number
  • Simplified software asset management
  • Lower license and maintenance cost to customers than buying the products independently

What do you need to do as a current customer?

If you are a current customer of NOWS or NOWS with Vibe OnPrem then your new entitlements will show up automatically in Novell Customer Care Center.

If you are not familiar with Vibe OnPrem or ZENworks Endpoint Security Management, then read about their powerful capabilities and benefits at www.novell.com or take an OnDemand training class at your convenience.

http://www.novell.com/products/vibe-onprem

http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks/endpointsecuritymanagement/

 

For further information

http:www.novell.com/products/openworkgroupsuite/

http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks/endpointsecuritymanagement/

http://www.novell.com/products/vibe-onprem/

Please feel free to call me with any questions that you may have.

Cindy DeHart
Advanced Logic Industries
Office: 540-443-3392
cindy@ali-inc.com

 

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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Yesterday, November 22, Novell announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Attachmate Corporation. There has been quite a bit of speculation about what this means and how it will impact those of you running Novell products.

I am not sure that any of us know exactly what this merger will mean to us collectively or individually however I have been asked to share my thoughts below:

  • As a publicly traded company Novell was often in the position to make business decisions to appease the market. I do not feel that this was always in the best interest of the product line. I believe that this announcement will be a great benefit in the aspect that Novell will now be privately held and can therefore make the best business decisions for the product line and you the customer.

 

  • The purchase price was above value – some have it too low, others do creative math and lower the cost – there are a lot of factors involved. Nevertheless, they paid a price for a group of products that they felt had value. I do agree – as do you as a customer, that there is value. I feel strongly that the full intention is to build on that value to increase revenue and provide a stronger and better product than what they purchased. I think this is exciting news that lends itself to looking forward optimistically to see what the future holds for this product line.

 

  • Finally, it happens . . . . The rumors have circulated for many years . . . it is about time something happened. There were many options; this is the one they took. I for one am glad that they have made a decision and will be moving forward. I think it is exciting – infuses new ideas, energy and synergy around the product line. I am looking forward to what comes next.

I have included below a few links, which of the many I reviewed today had some of the best re-cap of the events both good and bad. I encourage you to review them as well. There was also a letter to all Novell customers – if you do not have this information please let me know and I will be happy to send it as an attachment.

http://blogs.forrester.com/christopher_voce/10-11-22-what_does_the_novell_acquisition_mean_to_you

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9197739/What_next_for_Novell_?taxonomyId=18&pageNumber=1

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20023535-264.html

And finally, at ALI we see products bought and sold on a fairly regular basis. We can provide reliable guidance and advice as you navigate the many options available. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

I always look forward to hearing from you,

-Cindy

Cindy DeHart

Advanced Logic industries
Novell & Virtualization Practice Manager
540-443-3392
cindy@ali-inc.com

Contributed by: Cam Cole

To stay competitive, small businesses must make the most of current technology.

Problems Are:

  • It can be expensive
  • Time consuming
  • Inefficient to maintain a full-time IT department like larger companies.

A true Professional Technology Services Provider offers

  • on-demand talent
  • depth of experience
  • deep resources
  • predictable expenses

Here are the top 5 benefits you’ll see by using a Technology Services Provider:

Benefit #1: Stay Focused on Core Business Functions:

Business owners are happiest doing what they do best, running their small business. Researching solutions and fixing IT-related problems not only distracts them from their business but is extremely inefficient especially for non-IT professionals. Further it can tie up internal staff from revenue-generating functions and the business of doing business.

Benefit #2: Reduce Costs & Control IT Expenses

By utilizing a Professional Technology Services Provider a typical Small Business will spend 25% to 50% less than the cost of even one mid-level IT professional. Also by taking in consideration recruiting, training, vacation, sick days, turnover and other management issues out of the equation to see even more savings.

Due to a single focus on IT, technology services providers are able to achieve greater efficiencies and savings by consolidating purchasing power and vendor special pricing programs, providing access to deep and broad knowledge bases and by using developed best practices which means tasks are completed more efficiently than small businesses can do on their own. This means real cost savings– both in time and money.

Costs are budgeted, predictable, and controlled.

Benefit #3: Access Greater Support & Specialized Talent

Even a few minutes of systems downtime carry enormous business costs. Maximizing uptime must be a high priority. Small businesses can no longer afford issues with internet connectivity, email communications, corrupt data or systems failure - the cost of reacting to these events is just too high. Professional technology services providers offer planned, measured approaches to pro-active systems maintenance, security, backup and disaster recovery.

Small businesses cannot cost effectively achieve the scale and flexibility to properly support their technology environments. Even a very experienced and dedicated IT employee has limits to skills and avenues for help. Professional technology services providers offer access to teams of IT specialists that deliver the cross-sectional IT knowledge needed to provide both on-going and critical support for small business networks.

Benefit #4: Help Employees Innovate and Stay Productive; Attract & Retain Employees

Communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing allows employees to innovate. These capabilities are delivered through a multitude of technologies including file servers, central databases, broadband connectivity, mobile platforms, email communications, and many others. However, true productivity and business benefit can only be realized when this complex technology is properly planned, implemented and maintained. The best practices and comprehensive experiences around planning, implementing and maintaining such systems allow technology services providers to successfully deliver these productivity improvements.

Employees want to work in an environment where their computers are up and running. Employees want to be competitive with their rivals and they want the technology tools that really help them deliver. Potential new talent will weigh your company’s technology prowess. Utilizing a professional technology services provider allows small businesses to meet these expectations and increases the ability to attract and retain employees.

Benefit #5: Get A Technology Edge Over Competitors

Don’t just level the playing field, take advantage of new technologies for a competitive advantage. Technology services providers keep up with the latest solutions through ongoing training and real-world experience. They know how to implement the latest hardware, software, and network applications available. Just as important: they know which technologies are not worth the investment.

Want to know more? Visit our information center on ALI's Managed IT Services, or contact Cam Cole at (434) 386-4274