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lampey
Mar 27, 2012



BaseballPCHiker posted:

Thinking of going to Office 365. I'm worried about moving our exchange, sharepoint, and lync hosting off site. Anyone have any experience migrating? Any annoying day to day outages?

If you are comparing O365 to rackspace/apptix/appriver hosting it is better than most at a similar cost. Compared to an on premises server you are making a lot of trade offs. For a small organization the fixed costs like licensing and hardware combined with the ongoing infrastructure needed to support it make hosted a more cost effective solution. Then you have to consider the ongoing costs like the power bill and potential for expansion. The benefit is that you can save bandwidth for internal mail, you have more flexibility with exchange add ons like CodeTwo, and when something breaks you don't have to wait on a third party to fix it. O365 has good integration with Microsofts other offerings like EOP for spam, archiving, encryption, sharepoint, lync. The Lync hosting is great compared to what is required to do it yourself.

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lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Out of the 30 or so of out clients with 0365 email 20 of them were not affected at all by the recent largest outage. The others have not had any "major issues" just a couple hours of time when email was degraded but all messages were eventually delivered. Also all of them use EOP or FOPE for spam filtering.

You could go with a non microsoft spam filter to keep your mail stored somewhere in case of a microsoft outage, or a hybrid deployment. Anecdotally we have had better uptime percentage and fewer issues with Microsoft for email hosting than with other exchange hosting providers, but worse than most of the email only hosting companies like Google. It's hard to compare availability to an on prem exchange server because it depends a lot on what kind of internet access and how many remote users you have. It's pretty nice to have everyone on 25/50gb mailboxes with all of their email searchable and available on mobile devices.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Alfajor posted:

This is probably better answered here than in the Windows thread, but tell me if I'm wrong about that.

As a remote user using Win7 Pro connects to our VPN (PPTP), and needs to access stuff on the domain, with his credentials. How does this remote user change his domain password from his non-domain Win7 PC? I can't seem to find a straight answer, so I'm thinking I'll have him RDP into something that belongs to the domain, and there change the user's domain password... but that seems cumbersome to change a user password.

Do you have exchange? They can change passwords in owa.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Alfajor posted:

We do, but this user doesn't have a mailbox

If their computer was not on the domain but physically in the office they wouldn't have any way to change passwords. Some of the Cisco firewalls can handle password changes. Does the security policy allow setting the user's password to never expire?



Does anyone have an environment where the DC is remote via a site to site vpn? How much latency is tolerable?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



I listen to the IT in the D podcast off and on. Sometimes they get off topic but its interesting.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Now more than ever a degree is less important to a career in IT. If it is important at a later date there are increasingly non traditional options like WGU to get a degree.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



evol262 posted:

The increasing availability of nontraditional options makes it more important, not less, as the number of people you're competing against who have degrees goes up proportionally.

The industry's legacy of "no degree, no problem as long as you can do the job" stems from the relative newness of the field and the tendency of early professionals to come from other specializations as the "computer person" who's now managing the business' VAX and math/physics majors learning how to code to run computations.

When pretty much anyone can get a degree these days, stagnating wages, and a glut of unemployed degreed people, what's an employer's incentive to hire entry level people without them? To pay you wages on par? There are people in these threads all the time asking for advice switching to IT. Why hire a high school grad or dropout when someone with a degree will do it for the same price?

It has never been more important, and it's only going to keep getting more so.

There will always be exceptions, but the industry is changing.

And, as noted, it's better to do it while you're young than to wait until you need it and you're trying to juggle other obligations while you try to finish a multi-year program so you can get on with your life and your career. Even the nontraditional options take years as a best-case. Do you want to wait until it's "important"?

The increasing commoditization of IT means that individuals require less job specific knowledge to perform the needed roles, and it takes less time to learn than previously. A bachelors degree is not without merit, but many of the experiences that result in a being well rounded can be learned while on the job. If someone was 30 years old and wanted to get into IT should they get a 4 year degree first?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Misogynist posted:

You know what critical piece you're ignoring? Modern IT jobs require more skills than they used to regardless of how long it takes to learn any one of them.

Most IT salaries aren't going down, they're going up, which is the opposite of what would be happening if the jobs were getting easier. Pretty much every IT job from technical writer up through business analyst requires a tremendous amount of multidisciplinary skill, and more effort than ever to align with the goals of an increasingly complex business. Availability strategies that used to be the purview of architects are now everyone's concern because of the idiosyncrasies of the cloud. Everyone needs to worry about storing and processing absolutely gargantuan amounts of data or they lose their competitive advantage to companies that do. Sure, desktop support CJ work is easier now than it was 10 years ago, and sysadmins manage marginally fewer apps because of SaaS. But you're out of your fuckin' gourd if you think there's less people on the business side to impress and not more, or that the soft skills associated with a degree are becoming in any way less important in the workplace.

Wages are going up mostly because there is a tech bubble. You don't need a degree to have soft skills, and many people with and without degrees have terrible soft skills. It is a stereotype in general that many people in IT have poor soft skills.

The tools we all have available require less knowledge to use. It is relatively simple to deploy email with archiving, spam filtering, message encryption and availability for an organization through Office 365. This is much simpler than installing exchange properly. There is a group at Microsoft that is doing the job of hundreds of different sysadmins spread out with less time and delivering a better product.

Do you still need to know how to setup an exchange server? How to host a website? VOIP PBX?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Roargasm posted:

It could depend on how much you made. Positions above ~$25/hr salary equivalent in computer technology are exempt from overtime laws in the USA.

src: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

in CA its $40.38 http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/LC515-5.pdf I'm not sure how many other states have higher requirements.

You should file for overtime for the time you have worked. It's not that big of a deal to the company in terms of $$, and any future raise negotiation is not going to affected by this.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Gothmog1065 posted:

Do you have any examples of a cheap esxi compatible computer? Most everything I've seen so far has been a basic i5 CPU with some other stuff going for 800+ (with the RAM upgrades).

Unless you are doing nested virtualization, you can just get another hard drive and install esxi on any modern computer. You will want 8+gb of ram depending on how many vms you want to run

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Docjowles posted:

It's explicitly called out in our labor laws that IT work is exempt from overtime pay, in fact!

I am salaried and get paid OT for working more than 8 hours in a day, even if that would be less than 40 a week. For salaried exempt employees in CA its different, but you can still negotiate to be paid overtime, or to not work any overtime.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Zero VGS posted:

Nothing set off any red flags except the IT philosophy there was dead-set against hosting anything on-site if it could possibly be avoided. I get that it's nice to always be able to blame someone else for an outage, but I'm sure there's some performance to be gained by managing certain things locally, or at least money to be saved. Humorous that the server room (really just a single Optiplex running VoIP and a bunch of HP switches) had no active air conditioning, IT was like "yeah I'm glad you noticed that, we're working on it".

Do they have a fileserver/dfs local? What is the internet connection like?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



We use Bomgar for workstations. We have two appliances in different time zones for redundancy. The extra tools and overall performance are better than any of the alternatives for things like getting system info or transferring files. Things like rebooting into safe mode work great without disconnecting the client. It has automatic recording of all the remote sessions so you can bring one up to review. The support is great too. On the two occasions I had a problem with it they were quick to respond and knowledgeable. I think we pay for up to 16 concurrent users, two appliances. Also it supports Windows, Mac, IOS(view only) Android, (view only) and Samsung Android fully. We have 'jump' points and pinned sessions setup on some computers where we need unattended access like pos terminals.

Nable is used for servers and Meraki for managing software on most of the iPads. Nable's direct connect for workstations is ok, but its much slower and requires some extra browser plugins that can be difficult if you are working remotely.

How is the android support on the other tools?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Tab8715 posted:

My only concern, do I have to have the Xeon for just a ESXi lab?

I have the i3 version of this server for an media server. The Xeon supports vt-d so you can pass through something like a pci-e raid card to a vm, but they both support vt-x for things like nested vms. The IPMI is not fully supported on the i3, but I hear Lenovo's version of it is good for the Xeons. It is very quiet, has enough hard drive bays for my uses, and the ECC ram is a bonus. I tested ESXI 5.1 on it before, but I will test the nested vms with just the i3 tonight.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Inspector_666 posted:

Dropbox had one breach 2 years ago and rolled out 2FA after it happened. Also what the hell makes Dropbox "shady" compared to iCloud?

http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/20/dr...for-four-hours/
This breach?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



DrBouvenstein posted:

How do your employers handle on-call pay? Because I get the feeling we get shafted...we only get paid if we do actual work, i.e. open a ticket (though it is a min. of 1 hour if we do that.) But if it's a nuisance page and all we do is clear it out, or maybe put up a maintenance window, we don't get any extra money. I think that's BS. If I have to get up to do anything, I should get compensated for it. I also believe that merely being on-call, even if I don't get a single page all week, is deserving of a small pay increase for that week since I am forced to be strapped to my phone, pager, and laptop all week long.

What state are you in? How often are you on call? Are you salaried exempt?

Edit, meant to preview.

I work in CA for an MSP and generally it is 1 hours min of time coded if it is after hours, but this can be higher for some of our clients that get charged 2x or 2.5x for emergency after hours calls. On call is a week long as primary and two weeks before as backups. There is extra pay ($500 for a normal week or more for a holiday.) If you are non exempt salary you can get more than the $500 depending on how many late night and weekend calls come in. Also we have an answering service that heavily reduces the amount of after hours calls.

lampey fucked around with this message at 23:11 on Nov 18, 2014

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Tab8715 posted:

Eh, I thought the DHCP-chat was quite engaging but if we want to move onto a different topic how about getting jobs way outside your current residence? It seems this is less of a problem in our industry but curious to see what's everyone else's take on it is.

I was living in MI and applied to companies that I wanted to work for including many out of state. After a phone screen and a skype interview the company I work for now provided a plane ticket for an interview. The day of the interview I was given an offer and accepted. I would say this is not typical for an entry level position at a smaller company, but it is more common in higher demand areas.
I was really surprised how many candidates look good on paper and then bomb the interviews. Simple stuff like not being prepared for open ended questions. "What was the last project you worked on, do you use computers outside of work, can you tell us about a difficult problem you worked on?" If you want to move to a high demand area apply to the companies you want to work for. On the cover letter focus on the value you bring to the company. It seems like half of all the IT workers in the bay area or the DC metro come from somewhere else so it is just business as usual.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Tab8715 posted:

Are there any basic guidelines I should know when answering open-ended questions?

I was asked "A client is upset, how do you handle it?" or "An important server crashed and a client is losing thousands of dollars per minute, what do you do?".

I responded with more or less "I would let the customer speak, listen and not even interrupt if I knew the answer or even if it was their fault." and "I would safely and quickly stop whatever I'm doing, message my immediate supervisor, so they know what's going on, what I'm doing, where I am and start/join an outage bridge".

I was never hired for that gig but I did get up to the 3rd round of interviews

It is really an opportunity to tell a story and position yourself in the best possible way. Ideally you should say something you should always be positive, have a concrete example of your past technical skills that you can talk about, explain what you learned from this past situation, and further how this situation taught your enough that you can now teach everyone, giving the whole company value even when making mistakes. It is a little bit different for hypothetical and "wierd interview" questions. Some companies will focus a lot more on technical questions. I think about it as having an end goal of the interviewers knowing that you would be a valuable addition to the organization even when making mistakes and work back from there.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



If it would cost the company more to replace you, you have some leverage for a raise. It is common to have to move to a new company to get "market" rate for the current work you are doing. Even in a large company with well defined roles you would be exptected to be doing tier 3 work as a tier 2 for months before being promoted. See if the company will reimburse costs for certifications or send you to a tech conference. For some managers the credentials matter more and you can grow with the company.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Whether you can be more or less productive from working more closely with your peers depends on the nature of your job. I couldn't image a NOC with private offices, not overhearing each others calls. What is more important is that there are few interruptions from non peers.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



I prefer cubicles over offices with locks. It is much easier over the course of a day to interact with other people when everyone is not in an office. It's like the difference between working at home or coming into the office. Sure you will get interrupted less at home/private office, but many of those interruptions are for the best. You miss out on physical cues. It takes less time to see what someone is doing, ask them a question, and get back to what you were doing before. Working remote a few days made me appreciate the office more.

With an open office in this context, would you have the same space and computer every day?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...s/bb963906.aspx
I just learned about this ad restore tool recently. It is easy to restore a deleted account, reattach the mailbox and set a new password if an account accidentally gets deleted. Just type > adrestore johndoe to see the accounts and add -r to restore it.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



If you are just concerned about costs why not get a subscription for as long as the web developer needs access?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Sickening posted:

Didn't they butcher windows backup though without any good reason to?

They replaced shadow copy with file history in windows 8. It uses a lot more disk space, but it works well for its intended task. I would not use windows image based backup and would use a third party program if this is what you wanted.
The windows 10 command prompt works with normal copy and paste now. The new start menu works great. Live updating tiles if you want it, but really it is just a more customizable start menu that doesn't take over the while screen. The windows 8 to 10 upgrade is very smooth. The only problem I have with the technical preview is that some of the configuration options are not available like disabling searching from bing without setting the wireless connection to metered.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



22 Eargesplitten posted:

That's what I was thinking, but this is the only grown-up job I've had, and I've been conditioned by working overtime literally every week since I can remember. The 12-hour days are "just" once every couple of weeks. The 12-day weeks are because the on-call rotation puts one of us on every weekend, and while we used to get the day off after our rotation is over, we don't anymore. So we work M-F, at least a half day each Sat and Sun, then another M-F.

It's a shame, because I just became a full-time employee instead of contract, but you're right, I should probably start looking elsewhere in the time not dedicated to work or school

They billed this job to me as an 8-5 when I started, too.

Edit: blogpost, but as soon as I posted this I find that I'm doing my second 12-hour in a row, and once my coworker quits next week, every week will be 12 days. gently caress this noise, now the only question is if I should ask my supervisor for special permission to look at internal postings or just look elsewhere. She isn't a bad boss, it's just that we've been pretty consistently understaffed by corporate for our workload.

In CA working for more than 8 hours in a day is overtime. If you are working this much overtime the business needs to hire more people for multiple reasons. Do you have the option to not work any overtime and just tell people you will help them on the next business day?

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



meanieface posted:

What would be the simplest/cheapest way to go about having a box somewhere that I can remote into from work & run a smallish SSMS on? Work only has 2008 and I want to practice on 2014 for the first MS SQL cert.

(Trying to get security folks to approve me accessing a 2014 version will literally take over a year. I've already tried that route.)

ETA: I don't have an 'extra' home computer to set up myself or I would have done so.

http://www.lowendtalk.com/categories/offers

They can be really cheap if you can deal with a little less reliability and a weaker control panel compared to linode or digitalocean.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Many it workers are incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime laws by their employer. If your work fails any of the tests, you are not exempt. Additionally in CA overtime starts after 8 hours in a day, and the minimum salary for computer workers exemption is 85k a year for 2015. Also there are executive and administrative exemptions that have different requirements but generally don't apply if computer work is your primary duty. If your job involves regular work outside of business hours it may be easier to get comp/vacation time instead of extra pay. Also consider performing any maintenance during working hours so that it doesn't require overtime pay. If the impact to the business is too great, getting redundant hardware so that it is not interruptive.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Roargasm posted:

It's tying your compensation to the value you generate, not the loving CPI adjustment. I've always focused on the organizational above the technical and I love selling ideas and managing people. And I wanted to be a senator when I grew up if that's a hint towards the kind of person I am (i.e. delusional).

It's not about how much value you generate for the company if there are 10 other guys who will do the same thing for the same pay. It's about the best alternative. If it is cheaper for the company to hire and train someone new instead of giving out a cut of revenue...

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Chickenwalker posted:

Is OpenDNS worth a drat? Anybody use it? How easy is it to add a domain to your whitelist with their business level offering and how long does it take to kick in?

Thinking about proposing this for our users since the editing programs and media servers we use mean we basically can't install antivirus on any stations.

We use this and it has measurably reduced the amount of time spent on malware removal and reimaging. We do not block any groups other than the malware related ones. The changes are easy to make on a windows server so everything in the office is covered and problematic users can have the agent installed that uses opendns servers while out of the office. For an msp perspective it is easy to manage all of our clients in one place.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



I am really happy with an osprey momentum bag. Two pockets for laptops. Plenty of space for other things while not being too big. The back part is ribbed for extra airflow. There is extra padding and a rain cover on the bottom to protect the insides. There is a zipper along the top to stow the arm straps. The osprey radial has a nicer back for ventilation but does not have the expansion zipper or as many compression straps.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



CLAM DOWN posted:

Yup. I don't really have much of a choice about the WAN link unfortunately Obviously there are going to be problems but I'm curious what they'll be. I've done old fashioned mirroring over this same link and it's actually hilarious what happens to it sometimes. It's partially why I drink.

If you don't have any option to upgrade the WAN you could use a WAN optimizer like one from Riverbed. We used them on satcom links in the military and it makes a big difference in throughput over a high latency connection.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



go3 posted:

its a good way to get yourself terminated for 'performance issues'

http://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-prote...s-section-7-8a1
It is a legally protected right to discuss your salary with coworkers. By not discussing salary you are shortchanging yourself and your coworkers.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



GreenNight posted:

You don't understand. Just because it's protected doesn't mean they won't find another reason to fire you.

Employment law is a nuanced subject and there are many protections afforded for cases like this. If you are fired for discussing your salary with your coworkers I would recommend speaking with an lawyer. Generally a consultation is free and takes little time. You could be entitled to back pay, future pay, damages for emotional distress, expenses related to medical/psychological treatment, and in some cases punitive damages. There is no reason to avoid talking about your salary for fear of being fired in the US.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Sickening posted:

That is definitely pretty ballsy and probably super uncommon. Messing with an employees final paycheck (or their paycheck in general) is a very protected thing and leaves you open to a lot of litigation. I would assume the vast majority treat it as the hallow threat it is or hope you voluntarily give them the money.


My condolences to anyone that actually gives their employer money out of the kindness of their own heart.

Some of the contractors I worked with in Afghanistan would have there travel expenses contingent on working for 6 months overseas and a bonus of 15-25% of their total compensation after filling out a whole year. So there wouldn't be any money coming out of your paycheck if you switched companies for a better offer, but you wouldn't be getting those expenses reimbursed if you don't work there.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



KillHour posted:

Where do you live that 50k is standard for helpdesk?

It depends on the cost of living in the area and the actual responsibilities. Bloomberg in SF is paying more than that.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Vulture Culture posted:

If you have pretty much any decision-making autonomy at all, like basically anyone with any systems administration responsibilites, you can be made exempt. Helpdesk and field service/desktop support employees, not so much.

It is more nuanced than this. You have to pass every test to be considered exempt as a computer worker exemption. In California one of the requirements is an hourly pay of $41.27 or a salary of $85981.40.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



SSH IT ZOMBIE posted:

Labor laws are specific state by state...what state is there that has a "salary threshold"?

At least NY, https://www.labor.ny.gov/sites/lega...d-questions.pdf
In NY, pretty much you can only be salaried unless you fall into a very very specific job description, regardless of how much you're making.

You can be salaried as an administrative employee, as long as you are on a regular basis defining policies, making large purchases, doing programming work, implementing systems, etc.

You might not technically qualify to be exempt if you are primarily just working on tickets....

I got stuck in the middle of a DOL audit in the past when I was Tier III support. Was salary, got bumped to hourly.

It is common for employers to incorrectly classify employees. Unless your work is primarily administrative this exemption would not apply. You would still need to meet all the other criteria if this was applicable. Executive exemption requires having two direct reports and the ability to hire and fire. Overtime wages are the default and required unless there is a lawful exemption.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



PCjr sidecar posted:

Yearly physicals have no impact on health outcomes: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...59EEA384.d01t02; requiring them is an example of why I'm deeply uncomfortable with someone in HR or management with no health care knowledge making decisions about what is appropriate medical care instead of the patient, doctor, or public health expert, but that's hardly new.

GreenNight posted:

The company I work for won't pay their cut of your health insurance unless you get a physical every year. Married? Your wife has to get one too.

They are not denying healthcare without a physical. It is just required to get the employer contribution.

lampey
Mar 27, 2012



Honest Thief posted:

So is everyone on even remotely IT related jobs just miserable? Is there such a thing as a 'it gets better' PSA?
A little over a year ago I was transitioning from the military and living in MI. The IT market in MI was ok compared to much of the US but not even comparable to CA. This company is great but I was still worried about having to move back to MI and wanted to have a good year of emergency savings so I only took a few days of vacation last year. Instead made a lot of day trips around the bay area. Took two weeks off in Feb to go to Disney and see some family on the east coast. Taking a week(4 days because of memorial day) off this month and still have plenty to look forward to this year. My advice would be to take care of yourself first and make sure your short term decisions allow you to reach your long term goal. Live close to where you work or spend most of your time.

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lampey
Mar 27, 2012



siggy2021 posted:

I was just handed a wiki page on Sharepoint and a powerpoint from some company about SharePoint, told to learn it and that we would be deploying it/utilizing it sometime in the future and I would be the point person on it, and if I needed any books they would be purchased for me.

Any recommendations?

Are you hosting your own or going with something like office 365? Sharepoint is a complex product and it would be best to look at what your boss wants to accomplish with this long term.

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