State of IT 2017

As we start the New Year it’s appropriate to look at the state of I.T. and give you the JustWorks perspective on where the best path forward will take us.

First we need to remember that the basic structure of a computer has not changed: a computer uses a processor to process data that is kept on storage. The proximity of the processor to the storage is still absolutely key, and that affects how “cloud services” work, or don’t work. The larger the data being processed, the more important it is that the processor and the data it is working on are joined by a fast connection, so applications like CAD and accounting cannot tolerate a situation where the processor and the storage are separated by the typical Internet link available to most businesses today. Either the data needs to be local (in the same place, like the office) to the computer, or the processing needs to be done remotely, close to where the data is.

Using this model we can more easily understand the different cloud services that are available.

  • “True cloud” services are where both the processing and the storage are provided by the vendor, so all the user needs is a window into their systems — a good example is QuickBooks Online, where the data and the processing are done on Intuit’s servers and all you need is a web browser to see the results.
  • “Hybrid cloud” services are where the processing and the storage are not always colocated. A good example of these type of services are the cloud file services, where the files exist in the cloud but are also replicated locally so that they can be used by your (local) computer. Hybrid solutions typically require both some local systems and some remote (cloud) systems to deliver the solution effectively.

For the majority of businesses the world of cloud services has not advanced to the point where they can replace their local applications, and it may well be many years before that is true. So most businesses are stuck in between the old world of local networks and servers, and some combination of the true and hybrid cloud services.

The way forward is to be ready to move applications to the cloud when that becomes feasible, and in the meantime get as much advantage as possible from hybrid cloud services without breaking what works on the local, office-based network. This is what we have designed JustWorks 7 to deliver.

jw7JustWorks 7 is our seventh major design revision in our 21 year history, and just happens to neatly coincide with 2017 as the launch year. In designing JustWorks 7 we have preserved the ability of our customers to continue to run the applications they need on their office network, while also providing the benefits of a distributed cloud file system that is available from anywhere on any device. Customers can share their data securely with partners and vendors, enable remote working, and still have lightening fast access in the office.

JustWorks 7 provides a platform that supports local applications today, and is ready for those applications to move to a cloud service provider as soon as our customers are ready to do that. Our design is a “hybrid cloud” that prepares our customers to move to “true cloud” when the time is right.

Our new design moves the core collaboration tools of email, calendaring and file sharing so that they are cloud based, but easily accessible from the office too. The reference design for JustWorks 7 is based on using Microsoft’s Office 365 services for email, but can also accommodate anyone who would prefer to use Google, Amazon or another vendor for email. The JustWorks 7 cloud file service works equally well irrespective of which vendor is providing the email services.

JustWorks 7: designed for the future, and today.
We make IT simple.

Email encrypton added

JustWorks has added the ability for our customers to send encrypted emails.

Should you need to send secure email, for instance to the bank or other security sensitive recipient, you need only mark the email as “Confidential” in the sensitivity setting (in Outlook, or through webmail Options…).

The email will automatically generate a request to the recipient to create their own password. After they have created their password, all emails will be delivered to them as PDF documents, encrypted with their password, and attached to an email – they use the password they set to open the PDF.
There is a reply button in the PDF that allows them to send you a secure reply using a web portal.
All subsequent emails to the same recipient will use the same password. If unused for 90 days they will have to create a new password.
We can reset the password for anyone who has lost/forgotten theirs, but that will not get them access to old emails encrypted with their old password.

There is no charge for this service, and any user can send as many secure emails as they wish to as many people as they wish. Service requests for password resets and troubleshooting will be billable.

The best way to get a feel for how it works is to send yourself a Confidential email to your personal/home email address.

We hope this new feature will prove useful to your company.

The Future of Work + Phone

As more and more people have smarter and smarter phones in their pockets, the challenge of integrating those devices in a way that allows us to manage our life and our work without having to carry multiple devices is key to making IT work.

The answer is going to be the kind of solution that VMware demonstrated today at VMworld 2012.

A “firewall” for your phone

The new Horizon for iOS app allows your business to create an isolated environment on a smartphone that your employee also uses for their personal matters. It’s like having an Internet firewall, only in this case the separation is between corporate data and personal data.

This short video shows how this kind of app is going to work:

This is just a sneak peek into the future, Horizon for iOS will be available later this year or early 2013, so don’t hold your breath just yet.

The cloud is the future

The future of IT is cloud services: accessed from anywhere, using the best device for the user in the place and at the time they find themselves… and much of the time that device is going to be a smartphone.

The key is going to be creating this kind of secure micro-environment, in which the business can set the policies it needs to protect its data, without affecting the usefulness of the device for the user.

 

Windows 2003 in the cloud? Yes!

The JustWorks Central cloud can host servers running a wide range of operating systems, including Windows Server 2003.

Thousands of businesses and organizations have applications that still require Windows 2003 to run. For some the cost of upgrading the application to a version that supports newer operating systems is prohibitive, for others the time and effort required to rewrite their applications to run on a newer operating system is taking longer than planned. Whatever the reason, the fact is that these are often core, critical applications and they need to be kept running.

Stuck on old hardware

The situation is complicated by the difficulty of getting old operating systems to install onto new hardware; often there are no drivers to support the more modern chipsets and peripherals built into new computers. So old operating systems tend to be left running on old hardware, further compounding the problem and increasing the chance of a disastrous failure.

Custom clouds for unique businesses

JustWorks Central provides a boutique cloud platform that allows our customers to define their needs very precisely, and get just the right cloud, built just for them. We can support any operating system that runs on VMware, and that means any of the following, to name just a few:

  • Windows Vista, XP, 7
  • Windows 2003
  • Windows 2008, R2
  • Windows 2012, R2
  • Red Hat
  • Ubuntu/CentOS
  • Apple OSX

So if you have an old Windows server that needs a new home, JustWorks Central is the 5 star hotel it deserves at the budget price you want.

From your old hardware to our new cloud

JustWorks services include the ability to ‘scrape’ your old Windows server off the old hardware it is running on now, and convert it into a virtual machine that will run happily on our cloud infrastructure. And because we use VMware standards, your new old server is fully transportable – take it to any vCloud you like, or even bring it back in house next year!

Your cloud, built just for you

Find out more about how a JustWorks Central cloud built just for you can improve your business’ return on IT and deliver the most reliable, hassle-free platform for your applications, old and new! Call us today.

 

How to Change your Password BEFORE it Expires

Remember that changing your network password will require you to re-enter your new password for email from your phone, home PC or laptop with Outlook.

For help on how to change your password on your phone/mobile device use these links to helpful online articles:
Apple, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile.


Changing  your password on your PC in the office.

Windows  XP and Windows 7:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to bring up the Windows Security dialog box
  2. Click Change Password to get to the Change Password dialog box
  3. Input your current password into the Old Password text box
  4. Input the desired new password into the New Password text box and type  it again into the Confirm New Password text box.
  5. Click OK.

Your  password is now changed.

 

Changing your password through Outlook Web  Access

There are times when you need  to change the domain password, that could be when you are traveling or when  working remotely. Within the network there are many ways to change the  password, but from outside the network the options are limited. Outlook Web  Access offers an option to change the password through  the web.

To change your password within your Outlook Web Access page, click on Options on the upper right (or left  side panel  for older versions), then Settings on the left and Password icon in the ribbon.

You will be asked for your current password and then your new password twice.

OWA Password Change

Click  the Save button and that  will change your network/domain/email password.