Saturday, October 27, 2012

Should the Management of Critical IT Services like Active Directory be Outsourced to the Cloud?

My hiatus from blogging can be attributed to the incredibly insane workloads I've been dealing with over the least few years, especially as we are all forced to do more with less in this global economy.

Today, I did want to take a few moments out to touch upon a rather contentious subject that many companies in the UK are faciing...

Should we manage our Active Directory deployments ourselves, or should we outsource them to a provide in the cloud?

Outsourcing the management of Active Directory has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. This is a relatively new phenomenon in that it has been around for about 3 - 4 years, but it may be starting to pick up some real steam this year given the dismal state of the global economy.

Should you Outsource the management of your Active Directory to the Cloud?

I've heard many reasons both in support and against the argument.

Proponents of outsroucing point out that it can result in lowered cost of management and thus result in IT savings which is something all CTOs would love to have in this economy -

However, critics argue that while this may save costs, it could substantially increase the risk to IT security as by outsroucing the management of something as core as the Active Directory, one would effectively be outsourceing the bedrock of security -

Personally, I am inclined to find a balance and see if there are ways in which we can ahcieve greater efficiences in our IT management without having to outsource the management of critical infrastructure components as the Active Directory to providers in the cloud.

If you'd care to share any thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment, and I'll be happy to respond.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is WikiLeaks Really Threatening National Security?

It's been months since I visited my blog, mostly because I was out on a long and heard earned sabbatical, and in fact just got back last week.

And boy has the world changed in these last few weeks. At least that's what you'll start to beleive if you start reading all the papers and the publications.

In fact, just the other day, the Telegraph published a piece which said that Downing Street believes that WikiLeaks is threatening National Security. Then, there are prominent politicians around the world calling what WikiLeaks is doing a crime. And these are's just nobodys - the list is long and prominent, with folks like Sarah Palin from the U.S. doing so unequivocally.

Then there were these daily news articles calling the latest computer attacks on Visa and Mastercard as cyber-attacks and cyber-war and what have you. I mean what has the world come to. Are there no sane people with sane and rational explanations left?

I believe there are. Yesterday, a colleague at work forwarded a very thoughtful write-up on this whole WikiLeaks incident. It was actually authored by an ex-Microsoft IT security expert, and I believe it just may have provided one of the best explanations of this whole incident.

The article is titled The WikiLeaks Security Incident – A Warning and a Wake-Up Call to Organizations Worldwide. Although the article seems to be a call to action for organizations, it actually provides a refreshingly objective analysis on the whole subject, and if you read it, I think you'll find that most of the blame here lies squarely with a security deficiency within the vast appartus of the U.S. government. By the way, in case the above link does not work for you, the the article is at a website titled simply Identity, Security and Access Blog, which you should be able to locate using your favorite search engine.

This was worth sharing, and perhaps a great way to get back to to blogging, so there you have it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rule #1 - Keep it Simple

The #1 rule I have applied over the years is to keep IT management as simple as possible.

Now we all agree that simple means different things to all of us, so what I'm referring to here is to as far as possible strive to ensure that you can standardize as much as possible, automate whatever can be automated, minimize all dependencies and use the right tools to proactively obtain insight into the state of your IT network.

In other words, as they say, even when it comes to IT, less (complexity) is more (uptime and security). So for example, perhaps the next time you're looking to switch your routers, make sure to get them all from the same vendor and as far as possible specify and maintain the same base configuration across all of them, and do monitor them as well.

This one rule has saved me substantial headache and time and I'm certain it'll help you as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hello there

Hello There,

I'm Andy, a Jack of all trades and the master of none, albeit I have been doing IT management for almost a decade now, so I suppose that is the one thing I could share my shilling with you on.

Yup, I got involved with IT almost by accident back in 1999 and since then, I've helped so many small business set up and run manageable IT networks.

Over the years, I believe I may have picked up some helpful thoughts and ideas on how to manage IT, so I thought of starting a blog to share my shilling on it.

I've no idea as to how many of you out there might end up coming across my blog, but I reckon its worth a shot and the experience, so here you have it - welcome to my little blog!