telanova Blog

telanova: the outsourced IT team that feels like your own

Providing advice, consultancy, helpdesk, monitoring and maintenance, updates, upgrades, security: all the things your in-house team would do, but better and at a fraction of the cost and hassle.

Windows 11: Are you prepared?

Windows 11. That’s right, Windows 11 is coming. Yes, we had been assured by Microsoft that Windows 10 was the last of the Windows.XX line however, Microsoft have had a change of heart and their next major update to their operating system is going to be known as Windows 11.

Windows 11 is designed to be more secure in a world where malware and ransomware are a constant threat, and the improved security it will bring is going to be a major benefit. If your hardware can run it, it will be a free upgrade. The improved security is built upon specific hardware requirements, so if you have an older or lower spec’d computer, you will either have to pay to upgrade the PC or more realistically, buy a whole new PC.

Your first consideration before you decide to adopt Windows 11 should be it’s compatibility (or otherwise) with your existing software. Is your business-critical software supported on Windows 11? It can take many months for software developers to carry out all of the necessary testing to ensure that their products will work smoothly on Windows 11.

Do you have some older or specialist hardware that you need to connect to your computers? You may find that the manufacturer is unwilling or unable to create new drivers to allow those devices to work under Windows 11 - the manufacturer may even have gone out of business, so, do you buy new peripherals or stick to Windows 10?

Windows 11 is currently still in preview and so details are still subject to change. The interface will be a bit different, it looks a bit more, dare I say it? “Mac like”. If as an organisation, you decide to embrace the new interface then you will probably need to allow some training time for your users to adapt.

At telanova we understand the challenges that organisations face when a major Operating System upgrade is rolled out, and we leverage that experience to make sure our customers have a smooth transition. Contact us to make your journey to Windows 11 painless.

What’s the point of workstation monitoring?

Workstation monitoring tells us when something is wrong, or about to go wrong with a particular workstation. We tailor the precise monitoring checks to each customers’ environment, but some common ones are:

  • Physical Hard drive status - Predicts an upcoming hard drive failure so we can carry out a planned replacement
  • Disk usage - Is there enough disk space free? How quickly is it being used up?
  • Anti-malware status - is it running? Up to date? Scanned recently?
  • Windows update and other patches - Are all recent updates installed? Have any failed?
  • Hard drive encryption status - Is the hard drive encrypted?
  • Number of failed logins - Is someone attempting to brute force access the device?
  • Windows services - Are critical Windows services running?

The end goal of each of these checks is to detect and quickly fix technical issues before they become business problems.

You can’t rely on colleagues reporting these issues as they rarely do in a timely manner. The business then risks downtime, ransomware and fines.

For peace of mind, engage telanova as your IT team.

Colleagues forget to set out-of-office?

Do your colleagues forget to set out-of-office? With Microsoft 365 it’s possible to give someone the ability to set anyone’s out-of-office. If you want an IT team who does this for you and a lot more besides then contact us!

To give someone the ability to set anyone’s out of office

  1. Login to the Office 365 admin portal - https://admin.microsoft.com
  2. Go to the Exchange admin center
  3. Select “permissions” from the left hand menu
  4. Select “admin roles”
  5. Double click on “Recipient Management”
  6. Under the “Member” section, click the + icon
  7. Double click each account you want to give this permission and then click “OK”
  8. Click “Save”

To set someone else’s out of office

  1. Login to Exchange - https://outlook.office.com/ecp
  2. Click your initials / picture in the top right
  3. Click the “Another user…” link
  4. Double click the user you want to set
  5. Select “organize email” in the left hand menu
  6. Select “automatic replies”
  7. Set as you wish and click the “Save” button

If your servers started overheating would you know in time?

Remember the recent heatwave?

It can be a big problem for customers with on-site servers: the servers need cool air to disperse the heat they’re generating. That’s why we continuously monitor server temperatures for our customers.

Almost every electronic device generates heat. Servers generate a lot of heat and the harder they have to work the hotter they get. They have fans to expel the heat and draw in cooler air. But there are limits, if the servers are sucking in air that’s too hot, then the server will shutdown (possibly causing data loss).

A typical maximum temperature for air going into a server is 42C. However, prolonged operation at such high temperatures reduces the life of components, they will break more often, and the system will be less reliable. This increases the risk of data loss and system downtime.

Obviously air conditioning is a great option and keeps the ambient temperature low and the systems running smoothly. In addition to this, creating space around the servers for air to flow really helps. If a server or cabinet is pushed up against a wall or cluttered with boxes it can really reduce the effectiveness of the cooling. Dust is also the enemy of cooling as it has an insulating effect and reduces airflow

With targeted monitoring we get an early warning and take action.

In one dramatic case the aircon broke down for a customer with six high power servers in a small server room. Normally their ambient temperature would be 15 degrees even in a heatwave. But now the servers were approaching a “meltdown”. The customer had no idea their servers were heating up... except us. We called the customer, made sure everyone saved and closed their work, then shut down the servers to prevent permanent damage.

Engage telanova as your IT team and we’ll proactively monitor your systems (including temperature!) and take action as necessary.

SMB ransomware flying under the radar

Over the past couple of years the number of ransomware attacks has grown to epidemic proportions. While the majority of the press coverage has focused on attacks against high profile targets such as the Colonial Oil Pipeline in the USA or the Irish Health service, or the games company Electronic Arts, what flies under the radar are the attacks on small and medium businesses.

The rationale behind targeting SMBs is quite simple.

  • they’re poorly protected,
  • they’ll pay the ransom and
  • the authorities can’t be bothered to investigate

The ransomware gangs know that taking on a high profile target is high risk with the full force of the NCA (UK), FBI (USA), and Interpol coming after them and if caught they will face the full weight of the penal system. Targeting a small company will not yield as big a ransom, but the authorities will be less likely to investigate. SMBs are also less likely to have the resources to defend against or restore their systems without resorting to paying the ransom.

At telanova we believe even the smallest organisations need to take the threat of ransomware attacks seriously, which is why we make sure our customers have protections in place to prevent attacks and data securely backed up offsite to restore from, should the unthinkable ever happen.

Engage telanova as your IT team and we’ll implement security strategies appropriate for your organization and implement them.

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