BYOD…. to be or not to be…. maybe its not that simple!

I’m still in two minds about what the business benefit is on BYOD initiatives. I’ve just read an article and while interesting (BYOD DRIVES COMMUNISM OUT OF IT) it seems a little one sided. In my mind its not about business unit’s walking off and consuming IT from other providers, its about ensuring that that the services IT provide are aligned with the business. I’ve yet to see someone come out with a statement around BYOD where an actual purpose is drawn out. Sure we can create an 802.11x access path and utilise intelligent access controls with health validity and individual vlan’s per client (all very cool technical stuff) but if this is just to access systems that are accessible in the workplace using corporate facilities which can be secured, governed and controlled I don’t see the benefit to the business other than the removal of gadget buying on the businesses budget.

I’m building a BYOD POC, maybe I will become enlightened….. only time will tell.

Planning to deploy Windows 8? Where do I start?

Understand the as-is state

    Use tools available, MAP, ACT, SCCM and other SAM/Inventory tools…
    Enhancing the end user experience: Compile a list of (10) enhancements that the new deployment will have. e.g. Automated software deployment (group policy), enhanced security (bitlocker), Removal of user administrator rights (Group Policy), improve patch management (monthly restart feature), remove password reset burden from the service desk (Self service reset), providing self service re-deployment capabilities…. The list could go on and on.
    In my mind this list is important, it can be used as a measure of success and also will help focus on key areas of enhancement. Build these from the business and IT discussions, compile them then have IT and the Business sign them off.

So do I know if I was successful?
Often IT projects will run with no formal investigation to establish the success… sure great for the times when things don’t go quite to plan… but its a bit of a head in the sand approach. Once complete and the dust has settled, send out a survey to your user base. Find out if you were successful and take the feedback as a lessons learnt.

Automation, automation, automation… am I clear about this?

Ever since I was tasked to build more than handful of PC’s (migration, refresh or new deployment) I started to automate. While my colleagues would spend hours installing Windows manually or creating ad-hoc ghost images, I was building an unattended install and a syspreped image…. this soon became the standard mechanism and changed the way OS installation was viewed at the company. If you are deploying Windows 8 to more than a handful of devices I would automate. If we take 4 hours (seems to be the accepted figure for client builds) per pc @ 50 pc’s we have 26.7 days of effort.
If we spent a week creating an image and we half the time it takes to deploy we end up with 17.4 days that’s a 9.3 day saving of effort. As you can see even on small scale it makes sense to automate.

I hope this start help to begin to draw a picture of how to approach a Windows upgrade. There is always loads of guidance from Microsoft that’s always been really useful to me so if you get stuck the answers are never too far away.

Windows 8 Planning

Adding a boot menu in Ubuntu 12.04 (Grub2)

So on my quest to learn something other than windows I’ve been working with Linux (Ubuntu). Since I’m dual booting one of my laptops with Ubuntu and Windows 8, I wanted to change the boot menu as the windows option was defaulting to partition 0 which is the recovery partition.

To change this I ran the following proceedure:
Open Terminal
Sudo Bash
navigate to \root\etc\grub.d
create a text file name 07_Windows8
Update-Grub

[07_Windows8 Contents]
setparams ‘Windows 8 OS (loader) (on dev/sda1)’

insmod part_msdos
insmod ntfs
set root=#hd0,msdos2)’
search –no-floppy –fs-uuid –set=root A226F4C726F49E0B
drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
chainloader +1

———————
So after a quick read of a doc and a few commands later I have a dual boot machine that defaults to booting into Windows 8 Release Preview. 😉

Windows Server 2012

I’ve started to write a Server 2012 Core Active Directory Installation Guide. 2012 has heap of new features, configuration posibilities and what appears to be a better management hat on. One of the cool articles I have just read exaplins a little about how 2012 can help in terms of forest restore capabilities.

How Windows Server 2012 Improves Active Directory Disaster Recovery Process

I’ll be writing a series of how to’s and posting them in the near future.

Watch this space!