The Dropbox Hack and Your Account IS In Danger

Howdy folks!

Yup the new is correct, Dropbox was hacked the other day, and your information is in danger.  Normally I’d run around flailing my arms looking like Robbie the Robot from Lost in Space…but this has been going on for so long, that if you haven’t learned to change your password regularly, you almost DESERVE to lose your information.

Don’t get me wrong, even I’ve fallen prey to not updating information regularly…but if you’re using a Cloud option like Dropbox that’s high profile…you should expect that hack and change your password regularly.  There’s a reason that admins make their co-workers change their passwords every 30/60/90 days…and everyone needs to follow suit.

So from my friends over at CNet, here’s instructions on how to change your password on DropBox.  DropBox has TWO STEP AUTHENTICATION…both the folks at CNET and I suggest that you enable it.  One more way to not lose information…please use it. 🙂

 

Who wants to win stuff and get free stuff???

free-stuff-because-we-love-you

Yup no lie…I’ve got ways for you to win prizes and get some free stuff.  Not from me, but I don’t mind being a facilitator…so when you win something you’ll think of me right? 🙂

First…Sophos.  This company has come a long way since I came into this industry.  They have a new Sophos Cloud product that has some super fast deployment (no server to install) and like one of my favorites, Meraki, their management console is in Sophos’ Cloud.  One policy – multiple platforms, mobile management and device control…and it’s easy to use.  Watch this video here and download the free trial.  It’s worth a look. 🙂  Also PCM is doing a webcast about Sophos tomorrow September 25…yea I just found out about this today.   Sign up if you have time!

SolarWinds…one of my favorite IT Helper companies.  These folks offer all kinds of basic free tools, and some amazing advanced ones for network, security, optimization and databasing (that we offer for sale).  But here’s something you can win from them…a new Honda Ruckus ($2770 value) and an NPM V11 license ($2675 value).  Just download their Network Performance Monitor v11 software trial.  Build your quality experience dashboard, send them a snapshot and potentially win.   Easy.  If you don’t win and like the software, we can talk about how you can get the full version! 🙂

See?  Two quality things…and all you had to do was read this for less than 2 minutes.  Win! 🙂

 

Top 5 reasons you need to get Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Teams!

 

cloud-computing-saasI think we all remember my many battles with Adobe over the years.  Too many SKUs, not enough customer service, too many products that nobody understands…to name a few.  But those are my issues. 🙂  Today I wanted to talk to you about the top 5 reasons you need to be using Adobe’s Creative Cloud for Teams.  Everyone remember talking about Software As A Service?  Well this is the starter set. 🙂

 

Adobe CCT is the evolution of the Software Market.  Simple as that.  Everything is moving to Software As A Service, and these folks just forced the entire gamut of creative users and companies to join that movement.  Creative Cloud for Teams is a package for a user.  The 5 items below will explain more.

running from CS6 to CCT

1) Well you HAVE to get it – Defeatist?  Not really.  Staying relevant in the tech world is something that has to happen.  If you were still using the same computer you were in 2004, could you do what you can do with your new i7?  Yea, I don’t think so.  This does depend on what you are doing with the CS products, but if you’re using an up to date system, then you’ll want to use up to date software.  Purchasing this for your design team will help to keep them up to date & viable (see #2), and using products that pay for themselves quickly.  Is this for the average user?  They do have discounted version for students…so go take a class already! 🙂

collaboration

2) Collaboration – Oh my yes.  This word matters a lot now.  Through the cloud setup that Adobe creates with CCT, collaboration on documents/projects has just become exponentially easier.  You have your shared workspace where your team who may not even be in the same city or continent can still reach out and keep projects up to date.  Thinking about how this went when I worked in publishing 9 years ago makes me shudder in fear.  This is also worth the price of admission.

Bang-for-buck

3) More for your Money – CS has always been expensive…but Adobe is at the top of the market, and paying for quality stuff is always a good idea.  However…if you think you just need Illustrator and Photoshop, you’re sorely wrong.  You see, those two pieces of software…you can rent EACH of them from Adobe for $350 a year.  So for $700/year you can have those two…or for $799/year, you can have every single piece of software Adobe has in the CCT offering.  Last year at this time, Master Collection was $1800 and didn’t cover everything…so where’s the deal now?  Not only that but with CCT, your software doesn’t have to be updated…it’s done automatically at the source.  Again, more value than you’d think. 🙂

090213_Budget-Cuts

4) Budgeting – I am willing to believe that EVERYONE who has worked in IT has been told before “there’s no budget for updating this year”…not just for Adobe, but for most everything.  Well, again, by paying a yearly “subscription” for the product, you’re always up to date, and you can build it into your yearly budget.  If there’s one thing that Accounts Payable likes, is clockwork purchases that happen once a year.  So with the yearly update baked into this with the subscription, you’re assured to always be up to date with Adobe.

dilbert-new-technology-old-people

5) Living in the Past WILL Cripple Your Company –  Some will say that I’m being confrontational about this, and I know I am.  I see this every day in companies that need to come forward into 2014 (or at least 2010) because they are unwilling to spend to keep their Information Systems current.  From Networks, to Clients on the desks, to modern Printers, Virtualization, dynamic data storage and the like.  There’s a place to make sure that your company will be at the forefront of design…access to the newest tools creates employees who feel empowered, relevant and useful, which makes them more productive.

There you have it…my opinions, but really, you should be looking at this right now.

Hope you have an awesome weekend!

Raining Down…

I’ve always had a soft spot for Phil Collins.  Call me a dork.

Anyway, I’ve had Cloud on the Brain the past few days, talking to clients about PCM’s new Cloud Data Center that has opened in Ohio recently.  Cloud Services are a tricky thing to manage, let alone be a business in need of them.  You have to know if you need a Private Cloud, can use a Public Cloud or a little of both…known as a Hybrid Cloud.  Every business that has more than 10 people out there already has a private cloud, because you have data storage at your offices on premise.  That’s that stuff you have to back up now and then so when Mongo pulls the Power Cord, you’ve still got a business.  A Public Cloud is going to an outside service like Amazon, PCM, Barracuda, or Google Cloud, and allowing them to keep your data for you.  The trick is to utilize a Hybrid Cloud model…the best of both worlds.  Let me explain…

cloud need data

 

A Hybrid Cloud setup utilizes on-premise hardware as per normal storage (Private Cloud), but for your failover, you reach out to the provider’s (Public Cloud) setup you have for more storage, permanent or temporary.  The control still lies in the your hand, as most Public Cloud companies have their own interfaces, and they don’t always work with everything…while SAAS (Software as a service) has its benefits, the detriments of system redesigns breaking your setup are a reality.  So that calls for you to build something AND go offsite…best of both worlds!

The Cloud IS a useful tool, if you’ve got experts on your side to help you.  Secure those allies and it can be bent to your will.  I’ll give you a hint, while i’m not a HUGE expert, I have people on my teams here that always make me feel the mental midget when it comes to this topic.  I’d like to get you in front of them to talk about this.

So really, let’s sit down for 20 minutes and talk in depth about what you want to do with your storage and how the Cloud can make things easier.  I have several clients I can refer to , and I know there are many others my employer has helped so far that we can talk about.   :):):)

-Mike Leader

XP dies next week, Now Adobe CS6 is in Hospice

Trust in the PCMDragontech team...we've got you covered!

 

Well I’ve harped on enough with all of you about the end of Windows XP.  Yup, next tuesday…poofda, no support, no bug fixes/patches…hell for an operating system.  Heck, my company held a funeral for XP recently, you can see it below.

But more importantly, in case you hadn’t heard, the folks at Adobe moved their product to their Creative Cloud model last year.  That setup basically means you pay an annual/monthly subscription fee for their products and you’re kept up to date.  Their meaning behind this is valid, as it forces companies & users to stay up to date, reduces their SKU pool (if you only knew the joy of going through a 45000 line excel document looking for 1 sku), and should make companies happier with an OPEX expenditure instead of a CAPEX one.

Now I can assume that some of you have already got the sweats, but let me help.  You see, on June 1, 2014, Adobe will no longer be selling their CS6 product.  It’s gone.  Kaput.  So buy it in the next 2 months or forget it.  Change can really suck for some of us, but I’m telling you now to get over it.  The death of XP has proven that holding onto something for too long is only detrimental to your business and your sanity.  Being fluid and full of forward movement is the way to stay in business.

Most importantly on 6/1/14 the price for Creative Cloud jumps back up to $600.  Don’t let this kick you in the ass…call me or the rest of the Dragontech team and get on board before you lose a lot of money.  Don’t want to talk to us, fine, take it to your regular supplier…but know we care about your bottom line, or we wouldn’t be putting this up now.

Don’t be that person who is still clinging to the past.  Embrace the future…it gives good hugs. 🙂

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Cisco, buy my desktops!

Cisco has wanted in on the desktops and servers game for a VERY long time.  When they released their UCS server systems onto the market recently they met with decent success and have actively been working to grow that product in an already very competitive market.  What happened yesterday wasn’t too much of a surprise when I read it, because it seems to me that it was on Cisco’s radar quite a while ago.

Yesterday, Cisco announced Desktop as a Service (DaaS – anyone else find these acronyms silly?).  Now basically this helps allow for clients to build their own Virtual Desktops or subscribe out to Cisco’s Cloud for them to provide all of that.  Of what they mentioned in that LONG article were these 3 bullet points that caught my eye…

  • Improved density of hosted virtual desktops offering up to 252 virtual desktops on a single UCS blade server
  • Support for end user applications that require high-quality rendering of immersive, 3D graphics
  • New UCS Solution Accelerator Packs for Desktop Virtualization, providing simplified ordering

Look at #2.  So they’re saying that they can provide a virtual desktop that can render immersive 3D graphics?  Wow.  These have come a long way from the Dumb Terminals of the 1970s and 1980s! 🙂  Let’s not go back to those nightmares.

Tell me what your thoughts are on Desktop as a Service.  I’m always curious to hear.

Wow…

Cloud Myths…

No this isn’t a tribute to Final Fantasy VII… 😉

The folks at Trend Micro put this out to my team the other day, and I wanted to share it with all of you too.  Cloud Computing has a lot of use to small & medium businesses…but uses never come without danger of misuse.  This article here, discusses the myths of Cloud Computing and what the realities are.  Now if you ignore the last couple of pages…the ad for TM…there’s some insight in this article.  Let me discuss the first 3 now, and the rest in a followup post.

Myth #1: SMBs know they are using The Cloud.  – Do they?  I think a lot of companies who use Gmail, Yahoo mail, facebook, twitter, picasa, dropbox and other online tools forget that those are Cloud tools.  The Cloud is a nebulous thing that encompasses concepts of how technology is delivered to people, it is not a specific thing.

Myth #2: Paying for Cloud Services is more costly than buying hardware or software  – Have any of you bought and managed servers these days?  Do you think that a company that’s struggling along and cannot afford a proper IT manager can take care of that?   It’s a tough call for businesses.  While I think most people outside of work rely too heavily on one thing at a time (yes I have duplicate files spread out among Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, and Copy.com…but I’m paranoid 😉 ), a business needs to invest into protecting its data, and if they’re too small…it’s very difficult.

Myth #3: Cloud Computing slows processes down and reduces productivity – Wow that myth is so untrue it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Like I mentioned in #2, an SMB that isn’t running their own servers and IT staff reduces expenses.  Shoot, we have a hosting service through PCM for your Exchange and servers…and for what it costs, it can take a lot of pressure off of your company to maintain its own servers and pay someone to do it for them…including repair bills.

More to come! 🙂