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Expert opinions and experience from Novosco, one of the UK and Ireland leading managed service providers.
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10 Minutes with... Jonny Murray, Event Management Technician

10 Minutes with... Jonny Murray, Event Management Technician

 

Jonny Murray is an Event Management Technician who has been with Novosco for nearly two years. He's a huge Manchester United fan and likes to spend his free time on the Playstation4.

Question: So, Jonny, what do you do at Novosco?

Jonny: I’m an event management technician. Which probably sounds a bit too vague, so for a specific “what is my role”, I’m part of a team that monitor our customer’s various systems to ensure things work as they’re supposed to.

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Digital Transformation: Strategy Push or Technology Pull?

Digital Transformation: Strategy Push or Technology Pull?

 

“If we understand what the technology is capable of, we will be in a better place to tell you how our organisation can leverage it” - says one business leader.

“This is what we want the business to achieve and how we’re going to get there.  Go find technology that helps make this happen” - says another.

So which comes first?

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Understanding Citrix App Layering

Understanding Citrix App Layering

 

Layering can seem a complicated concept at first; once you look under the hood though, the rationale, benefits, and purpose all becomes clearer.

A layer is a container which allows for the storing of file systems, objects, and registry entries which are all unique to that layer. For example, an ‘Application Layer’ is a layer where the files and registry entries that have been added, changed, or even removed during the application install, uniquely reside.

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Skype for Business with Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop

Skype for Business with Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop

 

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and XenApp (Shared Desktop/Session Based Computing) environments are used by companies to improve security and compliance, particularly where sensitive data is being dealt with regularly. Users do their work in a virtual desktop or application hosted in the secure datacentre. Working with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop has many advantages for Novosco and our customers.

The concern with Virtual Desktops may be that using Skype for Business with full audio and video may require heavy loads of audio and video processing on VDI or shared desktops.

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You can't control what you don't know about

You can't control what you don't know about

How do you manage systems you can’t see or don’t know about?  Where is your customer data stored or used – on your servers or in the cloud? Confident you are abiding by compliance requirements?

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Protecting both sides – IT security challenges in social housing

Protecting both sides – IT security challenges in social housing

 

The social housing market continues to be under huge pressure from all sides to provide more for tenants with very little in the way of incremental resources.  Set against the backdrop of a digital revolution and an intimidating rise in cybercrime, few social housing organisations have sufficient security skills in-house to keep tenant data and services safe.

While every organisation has their own particular challenges at different times, conversations with our customers in this sector tend to fall into the following areas;

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10 Minutes with... Laura Henry, Service Desk Engineer

10 Minutes with... Laura Henry, Service Desk Engineer

Laura Henry is a service desk engineer who has been with Novosco for two years. When not overseeing the technical side of Novosco's managed services, she dreams of living in a hobbit-home, in Tolkein's The Shire, or failing that, New Zealand.

Question: Laura, describe a typical working day for you in Novosco?

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Moving Office 365 to Microsoft’s UK datacentres

Moving Office 365 to Microsoft’s UK datacentres

 

Are you using Office 365? Do you know where your data is stored?

For UK companies that have specific data residency requirements, Microsoft have provided a window to request that your data is moved to UK datacentres. The deadline to request this move is 15th September 2017. 

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10 Minutes with... Karen Shearer, Finance Director

10 Minutes with... Karen Shearer, Finance Director

 

 

Karen Shearer is the Financial Director for Novosco; she is a member of the Chartered Institute of Directors, and when not overseeing all-things-Novosco, she likes sunshine, walking, gardens and gin.

Question: Karen, you’re our Finance Director, what does that actually mean?

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Why Software Defined Networking?

Why Software Defined Networking?

 

July’s Let’s Talk webinar saw cloud expert, amateur chef, and webinar host Mal Toner delve deep into the mysteries of Software Defined Networking. However, unlike conventional mysteries such as those you might find on TV, this one doesn’t involve a cliff-hanger ending.

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Novosco Rowed A Marathon for Bowel Cancer UK

Novosco Rowed A Marathon for Bowel Cancer UK

 

42,000 metres, or 137795 feet. That’s how far Team Novosco aimed for in the Bowel Cancer UK Row a Marathon fundraising event. And achieve it we did, and then some!

We teamed up with Edwards & Co to bring together 14 other companies from across Northern Ireland; all pulling towards the same goal of raising £15,000.

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10 Minutes with... Eamon McNally, Senior Infrastructure Consultant

10 Minutes with... Eamon McNally, Senior Infrastructure Consultant

Eamon McNally is a Senior Infrastructure Consultant with Novosco. He has spent over 15 years working with Microsoft and Citrix technologies including Metaframe XP, XenApp, Netscaler, Active Directory, and Exchange, amongst others. 

Eamon is an expert in the design, migration, deployment, and support of remote desktop services, and loves almost nothing as much as he loves a good cup of coffee.

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Ransomware Updates

Following the event of the successful and large scale ransomware attack, and a very busy weekend for a lot of Managed Service Providers, we wanted to inform you and your organisations what actions you can take now, and in future, to assist in reducing the exposure and risk from these types of cyberattacks. 

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10 Minutes with... Myles Gray, Cloud Technologist

10 Minutes with... Myles Gray, Cloud Technologist

Myles Gray is a cloud technologist at Novosco, primarily focussing on public cloud R&D, designing customer platforms and services, and utilising automation for both self-hosted and private customer clouds. He is also a: VMware vEXPERT 2016-2017 (NSX, vSAN), VCIX-NV, VCAP-DCV and a Veeam Vanguard.

You can find him blogging at blah.cloud and climbing the occasional mountain.

Question: What do you do, and what do you love about it?

Myles: Essentially, I get to design, tweak, improve-upon, and play with really cool technologies!

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Ransomware - 3 steps to protection

Ransomware - 3 steps to protection

Malware used to be about hackers being disruptive and causing an inconvenience - random or politically motivated groups making a point.  Not so any more.  Now it’s a serious, almost professional activity directed at doing real harm and making real money.  

Cisco’s Annual Security Report 2016 documented the statistics of the Angler exploit kit targeting up to 90,000 victims per day and reaping a staggering $34m annual revenue for the hackers.

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Multi Layered Network Security

Multi Layered Network Security

Multi Layered Network Security describes a series of strategies that collectively build a security protection plan to prevent malicious attacks from entering an environment and compromising systems and data.

There are five key network areas to consider when developing an infrastructure security posture:

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Sourcing the skills you need, when you need them

Sourcing the skills you need, when you need them

Recent years have seen increased pressure on IT to be flexible and agile, requiring investment in different technologies and processes to deliver IT services in new ways.  All too often, human resources have become the limiting factor, with recruitment cycles potentially lasting several months; innovation is curbed and productivity limited by the lack of the right technology skills.

There are lots of reasons why an IT department may not have the resources on hand, such as;

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Events Roundup

Events Roundup

It's been an eventful first few months of 2017 for all of us at Novosco - literally! A whole range of events, across the UK & Ireland, maybe we've seen you at some of them, if not then we hope to see you at some in the future!

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What if prevention isn't enough?

What if prevention isn't enough?

Our security mantra is “Prevent, detect, respond”, but if we’re honest, the main focus should really be on preventing cyber attacks first and foremost. 

The first important point is that detection has now become a form of prevention and a significant rethink is required to really stay on top of security.  The current onslaught of ransomware and malware has proven that signature-based antivirus and next generation firewalls do not offer as much protection as might be hoped.

Why is this?

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Cyber Security – back to basics

Cyber Security – back to basics

With our acquisition of NetDef last year, Novosco now has an additional team of security experts in house. Cloud security is of vital importance so in our blogs over the coming months we’ll start looking at security in more detail and what it means for your business.  

If you’re planning to be at Cloud Expo Europe next month, you can catch Dave Beesley discussing these issues – more details here

Recently there have been some very public and serious security breaches, putting cybersecurity on the front pages.  Cybercrime is big news for organisations of all shapes and sizes in every sector, so every manager and board member has reason to want to understand how their organisation is protected.  However, it can seem like a labyrinth of complex jargon and technical terminology to those not already initiated into the world of network infrastructure and IT. So, we've put together a quick guide on what you need to know.

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