Informal notes from 7/12/16 meeting at Mass Bay Community College:

††††††††† scribbled by Adam Frost (adamfrost@ComputerCareandLearning.com, 617-325-9526)

 

7/12/16:

Announcements:

Marc has lined up subjects for the next two months:

 

Building a book from idea to shelf-- Aug 2nd

Network monitoring Sept. 13th with Paessler: PRTG Network monitor

 

October?-- HP VM Explorer

 

Bring a computer book to swap!

 

Future dates: Oct 4, Nov 1, Dec 6

 

Marc would like to have sessions about a business and a vendor or technology the business depends on.

 

www.northeastern.edu/break-through†† a $10K scholarship-- Bachelors in IT. You can nominate someone else for the scholarship. A Northeastern faculty member may come and visit us about their STEM program. This might be good for Mass Bay students who want to transfer.

 

December is 30 years of BNUG! Steve has begun a Wikipedia page to explain BNUG.

 

Technical questions: replace a questionable laptop fan? Yes, says the group, donít take a chance, even if cleaning out the fan makes is seem ok.

 

 

Our speakers:

Matt Mainhart @ Continuum

Mike Barnes

 

 

Managed Services:outsourcing management responsibilities. Alternative to break/fix or on-demand outsourcing model, where e bill is only for work done.

 

The customer is the owner, as opposed to the MSP, who is the service provider.

 

Matt Mainhart @ Continuum

Mike Barnes

Headquarters at 99 High St downtown.

 

Fully managed backup/disaster recovery solution for small and medium businesses

 

Continuum Managed Services overview

(slides will be available via bnug.org)

 

What is Managed IT services:

 

Proactive RMM vs. Break/fix. Selling uptime, not a service for uptime.

24/7/365 monitoring/remediation and help desk

Remote triage to avoid being interruptive

Comprehensive backup and disaster recovery

Mobile Device Management

Project Work

Cloud Services

Limited onsite resolution, thus limited intrusion

Support their entire IT infrastructure, all from one vendor

Perfect complement to your current support relationships

Creates more sales opportunities beyond Voice, Data and Internet.

 

www.continuum.net

Boston-based1200 employees. 800+ NOC tecs. 50K organizations monitored. 1Million devices managed. Offices in Boston, Pittsburgh, Houston, UK and Mumbai.

Work only with MSP that resell our services.

 

The Continuum advantage:

 

Unified management, pre-integrated tools, predictable costs, always on monitoring, integrated NOC, preventive maintenance, easy access to experts.

 

They have a dashboard-- the local company has the dashboard, but also has people power to offer-- you can push some of the work on to Continuum.

 

"Matt's computer service in repair" -- we can be proactive about monitoring what's going on the machines"Intellimon technology". If they throw up an alert, the NOC people step in and help. They can also run frontline support, and then reach out to the MSP or consultant, this might need onsite fix.

 

Glenn-- Broadleaf does design, installation and managing, but only run 8 am - 6 pm. So Broadleaf hired Continuum for monitoring, and also help desk for routine stuff. If they can't handle it, they send an email to Broadleaf. This way you can be "larger than you are".

 

800+ experts with 1 partnership

 

"Single pane of glass"-- one simple monitoring

 

Devices:

Windows, server and desktop

mac

linux

 

Mobile: Apple, android, microsoft, blackberry

Network devices: SNMP, ICMP, POSIX

Virtual: VMWare/vCenter, Hyperv

 

Matt on Continuity247, the backup and recovery solution.

 

Fully managed backup service: 24x7 NOCX team to monitor, troubleshoot and ensure backups run

Proactive services and issue resolution to save you time and labor cost

Bad hard drive-- NOC will step in and help

 

Appliance on site, and cloud based, managed with a single pane of glass.

 

Based on R1Soft, which they chose from 30 companies. They provide CDP technology

 

Realtime change tracking technology

Efficient storage and resource utilization

Efficient block level backup technology

 

Reads at bit level, and writes to the cloud. Write a little bit at a time.

 

How this works:

Backup agent goes to virtual servers, host machines, any windows, seek to add macs and linux.

 

Agent backs up to server backup manager, replicates to the cloud. Partner with IBM to use their IBM Softlayer, with centers in Washington and San Jose.

 

Integrated with IT support portal for a single pane of glass management.

 

The local appliance can contain as much info as necessary.

 

If building doesn't work, you can get a virtual machine from the cloud, using tightvnc-- can be "spun up" right away.

 

"Lights out computing"-- you can access the NOC remotely.

 

You can do the cloud stuff to keep you going until you are reprovisioned.

 

Monitoring of the local backup appliance:

Space

Performance

Software updates

hardware

 

Monitoring backup status:

running on time

running successfully

offsite sync occurring

offsite storage

 

You can virtualize any machine and test it

 

Testing: onsite standby server functionality and performance

offsite virtualized server testing

full site disaster recovery testing with user access and vpn settings

 

Disaster recovery support

 

Host machine spins up the guest machines. Big and difficult to backup.

 

Great talent pool in India, and less expensive. Been in Mumbai for 10 years.

 

Onsite recovery features:

 

Restore file/folders: original protected server, alternate server, retain ntfs permissions

 

Virtualization: close to instant recovery times, bring back critical serve4rs

 

Bare metal restore: more important for servers. Probably a standard image for workstations.

 

Matt demonstrated dashboard.

 

Our group asked about ďContinuity of care, and how the helpers are trained and supervised.

 

Partner managers help review the help desk access.

 

Recruit from Pittsburgh technical-- level 1, then tier 2 who have to have more experience. Two trainers-- new and ongoing. Checklist of standards. Checklists ae based on trouble tickets.

 

Charisse: my big problem is outsourced support.

 

How does outsourcing work well?Matt started at the help desk. Jackie Raudeend does a lot of education. On the partner feedback-- we make strides.

 

The portal:

Can order usbís to do installs.

 

Can send seed drive by mail, so you can upload quickly,.

 

Disaster recovery menu: choose site, appliance, the machine.

 

Matt got his start at the help desk.

 

You can request a recovery drive.

 

Backup appliance can be a Poweredge server.

 

Download backup agent as a msi, and deploy from policy, or you can push from the backup appliance.

 

5800 MSPs-- no strict guidelines on retention from Continuum.

 

What about privacy issues? PCI and HIPAA compliant

 

You can store credentials.

 

Staff can access data, but usually not help desk staff.

 

Matt worked the 4 pm - 12 shift, and really got to know the customers.†† `††