Sophos Anti-Virus and Windows 7

I’ve just begun testing Windows 7 on a few of our computers at Grace Family Church and as a part of the configuration process I install our anti-virus software, Sophos.  The Sophos client can be pushed to the machine from the Sophos Enterprise Console on our central anti-virus server.  The issue I have ran into is that the client would not install; it kept failing.

Sophos support was very helpful in referring me to KB29287 on their support site.

In a nutshell, on each Windows 7 client, you need to make sure that the following services are running in order for the remote install process to work:

  1. Computer Browser
  2. Remote Registry
  3. Server
  4. Task Scheduler
  5. Workstation
  6. Windows Installer

I hope that this saves you some time in the future when installing Sophos on a Windows 7 client.

Florida Church IT Roundtable

Following is an email I received from Jeff Suever and Jason Reynolds, hosts of the Florida Church IT Roundtable.  Simply, this is a gathering of Church I.T. employees and volunteers.  The purpose is to have open discussion about various topics which relate to our ministries.  You’ll gather a better understanding as you read below.

If you are in anyway involved with I.T. in your church and you work/volunteer for your church in Florida, then you NEED to attend this Roundtable.  Anyway – read on…

We would like to take a moment to excite and encourage you about the upcoming Fl.CITRT.

SCHEDULE CHANGES
We have made a few minor changes in the schedule, so please see that on the wiki.  Breakfast is still at 8:00 am, but it will need to end by 8:30.  This is NOT “continental”.  Our food services guys are putting together eggs, bacon, the whole works.  Please be there on time for this.  I’d suggest a couple minutes early.  Some of our participants can EAT!

Opening devotion and keynote are now at 8:30 in the auditorium.

The rest of the day remains unchanged.

LUNCH PLANS
Lunch will also be a REAL MEAL.  Please be sure to thank our vendors.  It is because of their participation that we are able to offer full, hot meals instead of a “box lunch”.

We are specifically structuring things for interaction.  Think “social networking” only in analog form. You will have a chance to talk with your peers as well as the vendors and get eye-to-eye contact.

YOUR CONFERENCE TO RUN

There are many breakout rooms available.  Much more than is listed on the wiki. As the need arises, we will open them up. All are adjacent to the auditorium.

With the exception of the opening, the Vendor Flavor, and the closing by FP&L, we hope all discussions will be in the breakout rooms.  If there is a topic that is important to you, please put it on the schedule.  Alternately, let us know by replying to this email and we will put it on the schedule for you.  Facilitating a discussion is easy.  We prefer no “speakers” or “leaders”.  Just us regular Joe’s.

TONS OF HANG OUT TIME

Sunday
We have several guys coming in on Sunday.  As we get a little closer, there will be more information on events posted on the wiki.  Feel free to bring your ideas to the site.  We are tech guys, not cruise directors.

Monday
The event is scheduled to be over at 5pm, however – do not think anyone will be giving us the “bum’s rush”.  The building itself will be open until much later to continue discussions.  Some of these guys can TALK!

WATCH & USE THE WIKI

Please keep an eye on the wiki for more information.  Also, you will be receiving a packet when you arrive with instructions on how to sign into the public wifi among other things.  I would highly recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early.  Bring a fully charged laptop and an appetite.

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
Originally, this event was conceived as a bunch of guys sitting around a table talking tech and ordering out for some chicken wings.  It has morphed into so much more.  By looking at the vendor list, this is truly a spectacular event.  Who would have thought we would have the largest ChMS provider, the largest event servicer, representatives from the second largest computer manufacturer, as well as Apple, Inc, and others?

The primary focus is Florida Disaster Recovery.  We deal with specific issues here. Issues such as:

  • Heat
  • Humidity
  • Power fluctuations
  • Humidity
  • Hurricanes
  • Humidity
  • New York drivers
  • Mosquitoes (yes, mosquitoes will kill a PC. Don’t ask me how I know)

However, topics such as cloud computing, Google apps, storage, network optimization, etc. are sure to be discussed.  This will be our chance to share what we have learned, what works, and what didn’t.  And if you don’t have at least one horror story of something that went wrong you can share-you aren’t trying hard enough!

Please pass this information along. Blog about it.  Tweet about it.  Forward the wiki site to your colleagues.  It really is for, and all about YOU, the participant.

Jason Reynolds jasonr at cftoday.org
Jeff Suever jsuever at pinkpres.org
http://fl.citrt.org
http://citrt.org

So… What are you waiting for?  Hit the site and sign up now.  I can’t wait and I’ll see you there!

BlackListed

Blacklist: a basic access control mechanism that allows every access, except for the members of the black list (i.e. list of denied accesses)

Last week, our IP address at Grace Family Church was blacklisted.  Apparently Trend Micro, the keepers of the Dynamic User List (DUL), changed the way they asses whether IP addresses were dynamically or statically assigned.

Trend Micro decided to put every IP address that our ISP assigns, whether static or dynamic, to their DUL.  Typically only Dynamic addresses are added to this list.  Our IP addresses being placed on the DUL basically shut down our ability to send email outside of the church.  Our communications with the outside world via email basically stopped cold.  Long story short, our ISP was able to work with Trend Micro to resolve the issue but this got me thinking…

We cannot be added to God’s “Blacklist”.  He is always there for us, always available for us if we need to chat, catch up, cry, or whatever.  How awesome is that!?  No matter what we do, there is absolutely no way that we can be added to His blacklist.  He will always hear us.  Does that mean he will always answer? Yes, BUT not always in the way WE would like the answer to come.  He will answer our prayers according to our attitude, our situation, and our commitment to Him; answering with lessons to be learned, blessings, and even silence.

Have faith in knowing that you will never be on God’s “Blacklist”, blocked from communicating with Him.  The door is open, walk in, sit down, talk, cry, celebrate, revel, spill your guts and then you have to do your part: LISTEN.  Listen for the answer then act.  If you don’t listen, you essentially put God on your “Blacklist”.

Have you established your own “Blacklist”?  What do you need to do to remove those you’ve placed on it?

Just asking…

Intrigued by Virtualization

Have you ever had one of those nights where you know that you have slept extremely well but at the same time your mind was running all night long.  I woke up Thursday morning feeling rested but also somewhat mentally tired as I had been “thinking” all night about virtualization.  Huh?  What’s that?

Essentially virtualization is this:  a physical server is partitioned into multiple servers so that each has the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine.  OR in layman’s terms – you are running several different computers on one physical computer, all at the same time, all doing their own individual jobs.

I participate in a group called the Church I.T. Roundtable and virtualization has been a major topic of discussion within the group over the last few months.  I don’t know a whole lot about virtualization but the mere thought of it has me intrigued.  I can use one actual, physical server to run multiple servers which control things on the network like Email, Shelby, File Serving, Print Serving, Windows Updates, Anti-Virus, and more.

David Szpunar is the Network and Systems Manager at Lakeview Church located in Indianapolis, IN.  I have been following his blog and discussions in the #CITRT IRC Channel with great curiosity and am learning a lot about server virtualization.  I am finding that there are many Pros and Cons to running an I.T. Operation with virtualized servers.

Pros:

  • Consolidation:  Many servers are able to run on 1 physical machine.  Most resources on a computer (processor, RAM, etc.) sit idle for a long periods of time.  By combining multiple machines onto one, resources are used more effectively.
  • Cost:  Instead of purchasing multiple servers to each handle different tasks within the network, you are purchasing one server to do the job of many.

Cons:

  • All eggs in one basket:  Basically all of your virtual servers are running on a single server.  What happens if a hard drive decides to crash?  What if your OS bombs?  This can be avoided by having a 2nd server set up to take over if the first should fail – just attach the virtual machines to your 2nd server should the 1st crash and you are back up and running in a matter of minutes vs. hours or even days.
  • Initial Cost Outlay:  After making sure the servers you have or are ordering a capable of running virtualized machines, you should also consider purchasing a Storage Area Network Device on which to house the virtualized machines.

By all means these are only a 2 pros and cons of running in a virtual world.  In a nutshell – it only seems logical to consider running virtualized servers as you can take advantage of unused computing power, lessen hardware costs over time, increase disaster recovery efficiency, and increase redundancy.

This is definately something for me to consider as I continue my evaluation and redesign of the network at Grace Family Church.

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