Tech Report

Date: February 17, 2010
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary

Shortly after our Christmas break people had been asking me how things were going in our department and I was able to say that the work had reduced to a steady stream rather than a torrent, and shortly after that things got busier again! In all seriousness this time of year is generally as quiet as it gets and the guys are going a great job of staying on top of our Helpdesk tickets and sharing the burden of some of my server and network management tasks.

Our old Exchange server has now been retired. I attempted to utilize the old hardware for something else (non-critical), and as soon as I rebooted it the hardware reported problems and failed to come up without intervention. I'm relieved not to be relying on this old machine for anything now!

Our anti-virus subscription for Avast is due and we're in the process of evaluating alternatives as we haven't been happy with it's performance or the support we get. Unfortunately the world of Windows anti-virus software is not a nice one, and frankly no product is perfect, but after Avast interfering with MS Publisher and failing to catch the latest browser hijacking exploits we're frustrated enough to go through the pain of switching software.

The problem we've been having since the start of the year with video conference quality has finally been resolved. It seems to have come down to a combination of factors, increased load through the Middle School IDF being one which we've reduced by moving a part of the Thin-Client infrastructure to the Middle School side of that connection. The final (and probably main) piece of the problem was a duplex mismatch between our firewall and K20's new fiber switch that went in over the summer. Correcting that made for a perfect last couple of video conferences according to our Sped folks (who have been the heaviest users of this system lately). I've been grateful for their patience while we got to the bottom of this.

Finally, I've christened our new student data system Sips for 'Student Information and Progress System', so I can refer to it in a concise way! Work on Sips is ongoing...