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General Chat Thread, Corporate IT failing? Speak your brainz. in General; From those trolls over at the reg : My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS The sad thing ...
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    Corporate IT failing? Speak your brainz.

    From those trolls over at the reg :

    My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

    The sad thing is I recognise some of that and If I'm not in charge of IT here, I don't know who is. What to do? Speak your brainz!

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    I guess my issue (well more comparision) with that is once again it's a one-2-one environment.

    However, it is no longer just my home PC. I’ve got better software tools and back-end systems
    Surely "better tools/back-end systems" comes back to what you as an individual thinks. If they prefer mac's, with Maccy stuff, then it won't matter what you're running backend, it's always going to be worse in their eyes. And I'm guessing if it's an end user they don't even know what they're running? :P

    Add the integration with my mobile devices and my home setup is in a completely different league altogether. I can edit documents on my iPad, my MBA, my desktop, even my phone and they’ll all sync up and be in the same place for me. My email is a common experience across all devices. My media? It’s just there
    Sure, their stuff on their devices. But no-one else is using them, no-one else is monitoring it, or needing to manage it etc. :P

    Steve

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Meh he does have a point, maybe I will just get rid of our whole networking environment, make generic local accounts across all the computers set as administrators, have no restrictions in place and use GDrive for everything.

    Thats pretty much how a normal home setup is, also sounds like his too, the problem is you can't trust your users so GPO's need to be put in place and disabling one thing may have an effect on another so you need to find a more complex solution around that problem, he's talking absolute bull, yes it would be easier and I wouldn't probably ever have to do anything again and the users will be happy but think about the long term implications, security breaches and more issues!

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    I would say it is a difference of scale. If I had a network of one machine then I could probably make it the most awesome network known to man, an affront to $deity themselves. But scaling up means that things have to be standardised.
    He also openly admits that he is an enthusiast so probably has time to 'tinker'. Unfortunately in a busy network environment if we have any spare time (ha ha ha) it is usually taken up by planning, documenting or any number of small jobs that usually get forgotten. So he has the time to fiddle and play and make things work but we have to make things work first time, normally on a stupidly small timescale.
    Finally there is the suitability/redundancy/security question. Yes his home syncing system might be fab for his music but what about when it goes wrong in the middle of the day? Will the provider expect me to send an email in and wait for a response or will they actually be ready to fix the issue there and then? How secure and configurable is the system to stop certain files being synched out of the allowed ecosystem or being accessed by nefarious means.

    It's an interesting thought provoker but is a bit simplistic. He may as well ask why aren't planes made out of the same material black boxes are.

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    AButters's Avatar
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    It's trivial to set up an outstanding IT system if you do not need to take security or data protection into consideration. The Author probably doesn’t care that his home router is already compromised by hackers, or that all his and his family’s data (including photographs of his daughter playing in their garden) are being stored god knows where, (maybe Azabigan?), and with god knows what physical and virtual security precautions.

    When you don't have to think of the "big picture", it really is very easy to draw yourself a stick man on a post it note and be happy with that....

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Call me old fashioned but I always like to keep my data on my own LAN! I have my own MicroServer that does the trick, I don't trust these big co-operate companies holding all my data!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    The Author probably doesn’t care that his home router is already compromised by hackers, or that all his and his family’s data (including photographs of his daughter playing in their garden) are being stored god knows where, (maybe Azabigan?
    That's a hell of an assumption! Looking at his reg bio :

    "Storagebod is better known as Martin Glassborow, an IT geek who has been playing around with computers for over 30 years; who at the age of 4 having been left alone in a university computer room proceeded to re-IPL the mainframe. He has been breaking IT infrastructure ever since. A career which has taken in banking, shipping, petrochemicals, seismic and many other industries, Martin is currently adrift in a sea of media working on building one of the largest digital media archives in Europe. "

    IMO it's too easy to be dismissive if we assume the ignorance of the author. You have to think a bit harder if you assume he actually knows what is involved in 'our' world.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I've posted on that article and I just think this journalist is trolling as there are a great many reasons that workplace devices are more restrictive, such as budget and legal requirements!

    Put simply, my home rig cost me a heck of a lot more than a standard workstation at work. Not to mention, I can't trust staff here to comply with their legal duties!

    I totally agree that we *should* strive to provide as much flexibility to our staff as possible, but we simply can't afford it. The technologies to do it are all too often 'not quite good enough' or are too expensive etc...
    Last edited by localzuk; 12th March 2014 at 03:57 PM.

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Put simply, my home rig cost me a heck of a lot more than a standard workstation at work.
    The people who write this sort of thing hardly ever point out that, while your home machine is more powerful, it costs A LOT more than we can afford to pay per machine.

    Plus, home rigs do a lot more than work ones.

    While your home machine can [and does] play LatestShootyBangBang that isnt what work machines are for, so we don't look for that sort of spec.

    £1000 for an all-singing, all-dancing computer that can play games AND do work may be appropriate for a 1 off home purchase... buying 200 of them for the school is a waste of money.

    Plus, AwesomeSoftware that you use for your work at home may be free for YOU. But we'd probably have to pay a lot for licences.
    Last edited by X-13; 12th March 2014 at 04:21 PM.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    That's a hell of an assumption! Looking at his reg bio :

    "Storagebod is better known as Martin Glassborow, an IT geek who has been playing around with computers for over 30 years; who at the age of 4 having been left alone in a university computer room proceeded to re-IPL the mainframe. He has been breaking IT infrastructure ever since. A career which has taken in banking, shipping, petrochemicals, seismic and many other industries, Martin is currently adrift in a sea of media working on building one of the largest digital media archives in Europe. "

    IMO it's too easy to be dismissive if we assume the ignorance of the author. You have to think a bit harder if you assume he actually knows what is involved in 'our' world.
    Not wanting to slate the author but "playing around with computers for over 30 years" could mean anything from gaming to building a replica Colossus in his bathroom. "A career which has taken in banking, shipping, petrochemicals, seismic and many other industries " doesn't state he was working in IT in all those sectors, he could have been a tea boy and a receptionist & as for "working on building one of the largest digital media archives in Europe" that could be anything from project managing to collecting recordings. Having looked around it does look like he is a storage specialist so doesn't necessarily understand the wider implications of implementing policy. How many members of staff have said those imortal words "at home I can..." to us?

    Yes the underlying point of systems should be user-friendly and work for the user is right & I bet we all strive towards that. But there are other implications that we as Network Managers have to think about, as others have mentioned, such as Data Protection, security, user idiocy, sustainability, recoverability, managability etc etc.

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    I think the real point he didn't really make was internet connections.

    The problem is at the moment that home ISP's seem to be better than businesses. Everyone seems to have Fibre in their homes now and love telling our IT department that their internet connection at home is much faster than work! Out dedicated 10MB synchronous link with 1:1 contention ratio is just far too slow for these with BT, Virgin giving 100mb speeds at home. A lot of my sites only have ADSL because they can't get fibre (dedicated links everywhere just don't make sense money wise, but like every PC having i7's and SSDs just to perform Word, Email etc), but the nearby residential properties all have fibre. The ISPs expect us to pay for the fibre to the buildings at extortionate rates. I know schools usually only have 1 dedicated line with an adsl back up but how many times have people said "why is the internet is slow?" "is there a problem with the internet?" just because their fibre is super fast at home?

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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    £1000 for an all-singing, all-dancing computer that can play games AND do work may be appropriate for a 1 off home purchase... buying 200 of them for the school is a waste of money.
    Have you ANY idea what the likes of EDS charge their clients to put a PC on a desk? Far, far more than I would pay at Pissy World for their best offering!

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    AButters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    IMO it's too easy to be dismissive if we assume the ignorance of the author. You have to think a bit harder if you assume he actually knows what is involved in 'our' world.
    Hmm - see your point but not so sure I agree!

    Based on that article I think my assumption that he does not know what is involved in our word is correct. If he did know, the article would not have been so..rabidly fanboyishly...one sided methinks?

    Also - I am assuming that for his current project build of the "largest digital media archives in Europe" he is going to be using iCloud, as that's so darn awesome?

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    Well, this is pretty much the reality of what we all face with users these days. Let's see, in what ways could a home environment be better than a much more expensive and complex work environment:

    1. Internet - a 100Mb fibre connection shared by 3-6 people tops? I would hope it would be fast. We have to share ours with 700 people.

    2. WiFi - so you have 1-2 802.11n or 802.11ac WiFi APs shared by maybe 15-20 devices tops. We could have 50-100 on a single AP at times.

    3. Networking and Severs - probably not a single switch, firewall, proxy, web filter, or local server anywhere to be found at home. You have a DHCP server built into your router and use external DNS servers and probably external storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive exclusively. We have 22 switches, a firewall, web filter, DHCP server with 25 VLANs, and 27 VM and physical severs, multiple SANs and backup storage arrays.

    4. Backups - probably a USB drive or possibly a simple NAS drive or online backup for a handful of devices. We have TBs of data to backup including VMs backups, tape backups. RTOs and RPOs to meet.

    5. Users - need I say more?

    Yes, this article is kind of like a school nurse thinking they are as capable as a world renowned brain surgeon because the surgeon occasionally loses a patient and the school nurse has never had anyone die on their watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    Hmm - see your point but not so sure I agree!

    Based on that article I think my assumption that he does not know what is involved in our word is correct. If he did know, the article would not have been so..rabidly fanboyishly...one sided methinks?
    That kind of 'trolling' is typical of the publication. To be honest I don't think it matters whether his experience is top notch or bottom drawer. In terms of formulating a reasoned, rational response, I don't think you get very far assuming the latter, whereas assuming the former will take you all the way.

    We probably see this kind of thinking from senior teachers, who probably don't have the necessary expertise to understand what the detail of differences are and why. IMO that can lead us into troubled waters. So we see them taking decisions to buy iPads without consulting and then there are frustrations when the equipment doesn't perform as expected. They are tempted to see us as resistant to change, protective of our empires and unwilling to change with the times. It can be difficult to explain the issues in a way that is meaningful and succinct.

    We have an external consultant coming in, at the invitation of the Head, to look at all aspects of IT. I think many might see that as a threat or at least indicative of a lack of trust. I'm quite relaxed about that but even so, I think it is useful to try and step back and look critically at what we are providing and why. It won't benefit me to either assume that the consultant doesn't have the necessary expertise and critically, even if it becomes apparent that he doesn't, attacking his credentials would be (IMO) extremely bad strategy.
    Last edited by pcstru; 13th March 2014 at 11:38 AM.



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