Blog Comments

  1. tom_newton's Avatar
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    Thanks zag. Most appliance vendors likely base their offering on a linux kernel somewhere way down beneath the shiny tin. This makes hyper-v support quite hard. We're certainly "better than we were" on hyper-v, but I would still generally caution against its use outside of a test environment for Smoothie.

    As for SSD... our support manager is keen - but they still have price and reliability issues which we would not dare pass on to our customers for the benefits offered!

    PS. We have since changed the look of the front panel of our UTM... so hopefully it would pass your high standards now
  2. john's Avatar
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    How small is this Sophos box? My Smoothwall UTM isn't that big, its probably 50cm deep if that so this Sophos box sounds like its a mini-itx box or something like that?!
  3. zag's Avatar
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    To be honest it was a close run thing between smoothwall and Sophos. I liked smoothwalls power and support but the Sophos box was easy to use and did the job just as well. I am a great believer in power through simplicity.

    Both companies were willing to match on price so that wasn't a huge issue.

    The Sophos kit is 1u yes but its very light and half depth and looks great (yes I'm that vain).

    I was using the G2 interface on smoothwall but there didn't seem to be a clear schedule of when G3 would be available when I was looking(some time ago).

    The shipping country wasn't a huge problem but I thought I would mention it as the Sophos box came from the UK.

    The hardware thing is understandable but when buying a brand new server that could last 5 years then I want the latest core i5000 whatever

    Neither companies offered a Virtualized Hyper-V solution which was very frustrating. I understand there are good technical reasons for this though.

    Also annoying there is no SSD option
  4. tom_newton's Avatar
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    Too right I would be interested in feedback. We are constantly improving based on it - it just takes a while sometimes Not a massive fan of "2 clicks" type rules, I'd rather have 4 obvious clicks than 2 arcane ones (see: Vi vs Emacs!). We've a way to go... but getting there. Wonder if you saw G2 or G3 interface. The fact you point to our wrong website, and a short review sounds like you spent minimum time on the box. Price wise - we try to be competitive, thats all we can hope for.
    We ship from Germany or California depending on where you are - these are both out of house fulfilment partners (as probably most companies do for appliances). Germany is a good base for shipments as we can cover most of europe, north africa, some of asia very quickly. They're also a really good bunch and do a great job on RMA etc. for us.
    Also... I don't think our hardware is old... the UTM1000 is based on a fairly new core2quad - we'll probably move to a sandybridge platform next year, but to keep costs sane, you have to stick to a platform for a while. If you're owndering why not xeon - heat & power. We find the c2q performs very well for its power draw. And please tell me how to get that CPU, 6 NICs and 2 Western Dig RE4s into a smaller chassis?
    Updated 3rd July 2011 at 02:40 PM by tom_newton
  5. john's Avatar
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    Interesting your comments on Smoothwall, the 1U rack mount appliance isn't that huge, infact its the same size as a Sophos WS1100 which is also a 1U rack appliance.

    I don't find my UTM using much electricity at all either, attractiveness is a personal thing but it certainly isn't ugly with its Blue LCD display and simple design its clean and effective in my view.

    What is wrong with the German shipment, replacement kit arrives on-time and on-schedule and it works what more do you need?

    I am sure that @tom_newton would be very pleased to hear from your and take your feedback on the product, what you don't like about it and the UTM appliance as I am a big fan of the UTM and the product they produce and its been a great asset to us and our entire LA now they are moving onto it, and its a UK designed and supported product, and I know that using it is keeping a good number of people in the UK in jobs
  6. ICTNorth's Avatar
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    Plenty Brain Dumps Mate!! You will be fine lol... Last Microsoft exam I took I noticed they have brought in a lot of simulation within the exam. Reminded me a bit of the CCNA exam but thankfully not as nearly impossible to do in the time they give you lol
  7. jtotheb's Avatar
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    Microsoft changed the wording on their skills measured pages for the Server 2008 exams, which apparently is all they have to do! I don't remember them making it widely know apart from on their own certification forums. They changed them way back last autumn, but the new official second edition R2 training books have only just come out. I sat the 70-642 just after Christmas and it was R2 based, but I'd known it would be going in.
  8. JessFlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanHamilton
    Jess
    Many thanks. Have been told no funding this year now so on the back burner but I've found out a lot more about how modern apprenticeships work so maybe next year...
    Ian
    Hi Ian,

    That's a shame, but it seems to be a similar picture across the board. Best of luck with your future recruitment. Jess
  9. IanHamilton's Avatar
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    Jess
    Many thanks. Have been told no funding this year now so on the back burner but I've found out a lot more about how modern apprenticeships work so maybe next year...
    Ian
  10. JessFlack's Avatar
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    Hi Ian,
    I'm a Work-based Learning Advisor from City University London and often place students in IT Helpdesk/User Support roles in schools etc, in fact most of our IT students looking for placements will do this kind of work as it provides them with a really good technical grounding - something they will need when they graduate and search for graduate roles. At City, we use SFIAplus to map our students' learning, it might be of use to you have a look at this if it's not something you've come across before? You can see the basic version here SFIA Foundation | SFIA Home | SFIA Foundation and if you are a member of the BCS you can see the full SFIAplus version via the main membership page. It's an industry standard matrix of all the jobs across the IT industry that people can do - at various different levels. Most students will start out at level 2 and work their way up. Helpdesk/user support comes under USUP - Service Desk and Incident Management.
    Hope this is useful.
  11. RobBaxter's Avatar
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    People who talk the MSITP EA course anything less than "challenging" is mad. I went to firebrand to do mine, im glad i did as it tool 13 days of solid uninterupted tutoring to get it. The last PRO exam was hard a friggen nails!
  12. Drummer_Boy's Avatar
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    The cloud is a hot topic at the moment (I remember when a cloud was an ISP's internal comms infrastructure!), and no matter what our thoughts on it we need to have an answer ready when the bosses come calling!

    I attended the AWS event in London last week (we operate a 'private cloud' environment for our customers, or SaaS as it were 2 years ago!). The AWS vent was very good, but I noticed that the emphasis has subtley shifted to flexibility, and away from cost, as mentioned in a previous post.

    If you need high burst capability, but normally low capacity then the cloud could be the solution for you, as you effectively 'buy' the based level kit, and then rent,m when needed, the rest.

    If you expect to fully utilised a piece of hardware over a period, then running in house is still cheaper - they'll try and muddy the waters with cost of people, but usually this does not stack up in the real world.

    For example, my US colleague is looking at moving to a hosted exchange platform, and the platform providers provided a TCO spreadsheet, based on 5 people working a 24*7 shift pattern, and proving it was cheaper. This was all well and good until I pointed out to my CEO that we only have 2 people working normal office hours, and so the TCO was smoke and mirrors.

    There is a military saying of 'time spent in reconnaissance is rarely wasted', that works equally well for IT. Also, 'Buy once, cry once'.

    PS @GrumbleDook, thanks for the mention.
    Updated 22nd June 2011 at 10:56 AM by Drummer_Boy
  13. GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    If you want to see them being used by students you only have to ask. I can take you to a goodly number of local schools where they have been used and used effectively. I am not saying it is without pain ... a certain amount of that has had to be managed by laborious work by me or, more frequently, one of me LA colleagues.

    It might even be that as a device they are more suited to primary school. Heck, they get so much more out of it than I have seen in secondary schools so far, but that is not unheard of for new tech. Unfortunately, as you are all too aware, the standard of tech and the standard of teaching with tech in primary schools is too varied ... and that will not be solved by a single device such as an iPad or any other tablet. Then again, neither would a Wii, a new machine running Windows 7, a lovely setup based on Ubuntu ... but that doesn't mean we don't try.
  14. willtech's Avatar
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    I somehow passed first time I was half asleep and had not revised. I was shocked when they said I passed. I find the windows server 2008 AD a hard exam
    Updated 20th June 2011 at 10:43 PM by willtech
  15. Grumpy_Old_Man's Avatar
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    You'll get there next time.
    I'm another one who needed two attempts. I found the 70-680 exam to be the hardiest of the three Windows 7 exams, probable due to the amount of material covered.
  16. mmoseley's Avatar
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    I Agree...It took me 2 attempts and I think I passed it bang on 700 (i think!) But keep going, it will click!
  17. SYNACK's Avatar
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    Just read this on Slashdot Why businesses move to the cloud: They hate IT | ITworld

    The cloud is a tool so that those who don't actually fully know what they are doing can avoid those that do and make decisions (bad or otherwise). The cloud is Apple for admins, a box of crayons for those that can't work a pen.
  18. Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    We have just done the same, and decided that it was time to move away from the DigiBlue Cameras. We bought Zu3d (£350 for a small network licence) and 10 webcams. The software is much better than the Digital Blue Software, and it does not need expensive propriatory cameras to work either.
    Updated 16th June 2011 at 03:47 PM by Mr.Ben
  19. JamesG's Avatar
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    Replacement Cameras are not really needed, our school found a way around it without having to buy a whole new kit

    You can still access the camera video files by doing the below instructions. It basicly turns the camera into a external HDD so you can access the files you want.

    * Switch on the Camera when itís not connected to the PC



    * Hold down the Resolution button on the camera.



    * Plug in the camera while still holding the Resolution button.



    * You will notice a new drive mounted in your 'Computer' folder called 'Removable Disk'.



    * Double-click to open it, then open the 'DCIM' folder > '100MEDIA' folder.



    * You can now drag the movies out of that folder and into any location you wish, double click the files individually to view them.
  20. GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The important thing is not that you think out loud ... but that you think ... and your worries are expressed carefully, considerately and with a decent amount of understanding of the impact that things can have when they go wrong. Keep thinking ...

    I might have to sort out another DPA chat at a #NetworkNorthants meeting again. I'll have a dig around for a speaker of the quality of @Drummer_Boy