Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rotate Your Spare UPS Batteries

If you keep spare UPS batteries on the shelf, make sure you rotate them into your running UPS unit every month or so to keep them fresh and charged.
I am mostly speaking of data center level user replaceable UPS batteries like a APC Symmetra or similar. Keeping spare batteries is a good idea for replacement of a failed battery and for extra runtime when the lights do go out. In the case of extra runtime needed, you can keep extra batteries on the shelf and swap them in if your runtime gets low due to a power outage and you don't have a generator on standby. Just make sure you rotate them into the unit every month or so. The approximate shelf life of a Symmetra battery is 6 months. After that, they are considered dead or at least reduced efficiency.

Another UPS battery tip is to date stamp the battery when you buy it. This will help control the shelf life as well as overall life as the life expectancy of one of these is usually about 2 years.

Friday, July 20, 2007

TrendMicro OfficeScan Upgrade

Kudos to Trend Micro for providing a very seamless upgrade from OfficeScan/ServerProtect 7.3 to 8.0. To my surprise, it was as simple as validating the new license key, downloading version 8, and install on our central TrendMicro AV server. Our AV server then seamlessly and quickly pushed out the client updates without user interruption. In addition, there are some nice features in the new version that we can take advantage of.

I was anticipating a nightmare of uninstalling clients and re-installing (similar to the nightmare Symantec caused us a couple of years ago... arrrggg, curse you Symantec!), but it was actually very pleasant.

Thanks to Trend Micro!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beware of Black Market Network Hardware

Black Market Network Equipment? Oh yes, and something to watch out for.
It only recently came to my attention that this even existed. There is a growing problem of counterfeit, imitation, fake and the like of Cisco and other high end network equipment. When recently shopping around for a couple of Cisco boxes is when I was made aware of this problem through a couple of trusted used network hardware resellers.

There is an organization called UNEDA that has taken the lead on bringing attention to the problem using an alliance of more than 300 of the top used network equipment dealers worldwide. Check them out and be aware!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Working in IT Hazardous to your Health?

Most would say no, and for the most part, IT work is a pretty safe profession. But, what about the IT guy or girl that sits in one place with their hands on the keyboard most of the day? Or, the IT person that lifts servers or desktop computers often? Are you plagued with shoulder pain, headaches and backaches? Here are a few tips to keep your body pain free (or at least, less pain):
  • Keep your chair adjusted properly. In time most chairs will move out of adjustment through daily use. Check it on a regular basis.
  • Get up and Move! Walk to lunch, walk around the building or up a few flights of stairs during your break time.
  • Use a phone headset. If you spend a reasonable amount of time on the phone, get a headset instead of straining your shoulder and neck.
  • Use the buddy system for lifting and moving equipment. Don't try to be the hero by racking up equipment by yourself. You also run the risk of dropping a very expensive piece of equipment... that would not be good!
  • Don't strain your eyes. Adjust your monitors and wear the proper eye correction.
For me, I suffer from frequent neck strain and headaches when I don't pay attention to these details.

Take Care.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

M$ Patch Tuesday Overview Report

SANS released a very useful "July 'Black Tuesday' overview" report. I don't know if they do this for every patch release Tuesday, but it is a nice report and I suggest you check it out at:

They have columns for level of importance for Servers and Desktops (ISC rating) which is a nice feature. I like getting the second opinion from SANS!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Company eMail Privacy

Company email Privacy? Not so much.

When it comes to sending email from your employers company email address, there is no such thing as privacy. Company email users need to be reminded of this. It should start with an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that is signed upon employment and then employees need to be reminded of this through training or occasional memos.

Many people do not understand that any email communication via a company email account is company property. These message are typically stored in a long term archive and can be recalled upon by court order in a legal case. It could be a law suit with a client, competitor, employment, sex harassment etc. Any email that is even remotely related to the case can be presented as evidence. As a result, employees need to be trained to think about every email message that they compose.

These policies and training many times falls in the hands of your IT department... we get to be the bad guys... again! It's no wonder that they hate us.