Embedding online videos in PowerPoint 2013

Since its release embedding online videos from sources such as YouTube have been problematic in PowerPoint 2013. This can be achieved by enabling the developer tab and using embedded flash objects to insert the link to a YouTube video however this workaround doesn’t address the fact that the insert online video tab doesn’t work in the way PowerPoint 2013 users would expect.

This issue has now been addressed in the recent April 2014 updates, using the insert online video tab now shows additional source options including YouTube video however, Office 2013 updates kb2837627 and kb2817636 are required for this feature to work correctly.


These updates have been included within the Edge Hill University managed software update schedule and the Majority of the estate has already been updated so customers should now find this feature available to them.


If this feature isn’t working for you please remember to allow the scheduled Windows Updates to complete as this important task not only resolves any possible security issues but also adds or update features within your Microsoft products.

Posted in Office 2013 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

IT Services achieve Customer Service Excellence Award

I’m delighted to say that IT Services have joined the list of departments within the University to have achieved the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Award. A number of our fellow departments including Facilities Management and Learning Services already completed the award (the latter have held it for 8 years!) and it’s great to have achieved it ourselves.

IT Services scored full compliance across all 52 criteria of customer service, covering everything from core customer service principles to monitoring, community support and accessibility. However the good news doesn’t end there, the CSE system supports a concept of “Compliance Plus”, where the service provided is either of an exceptional standard or especially innovative. IT Services received five of these Compliance Plus awards from our submission, covering the following areas:

  • Developing Customer insight to better understand their needs and preferences.
  • Tailoring our service to support hard-to-reach or disadvantage groups.
  • Providing customers with relevant information via multiple channels.
  • Working with providers and partners to supply co-ordinated services.
  • Benchmarking our performance and using it to improve our service.

  • While this provides reassurance of being on the right path we don’t intend to settle there. Our whole team is committed to not only maintaining the standards required for retaining the award in future, but also pushing our service forward so that we can deliver further “compliance plus” levels of customer service in other areas. I was part of the team that worked on the CSE compliance plus submission and thought it would be useful to share some of the practises that Infrastructure Solutions brought to those areas.

    For our Active Directory project work the team worked incredibly hard to develop a better understanding of all our customers requirements. The massive levels of change involved in a project of this scale required that our staff worked closely with the other departments around campus. Designing the new role based user permissions and mapping our Active Directory structure to that of the departments organisational charts could only be done successful when our team understood how the different parts of the University interacted and worked together. We were able to build many useful relationships with our customers during this process and have strived to maintain that connection and continue working as partners. The pending migration to Office 365 and Outlook E-Mail will hopefully be a smooth transition thanks to this collaboration and we will once again be working side by side with departments to ease the change over.

    Part of our submission for providing customer information talked about the public screen saver project that my team provided. If you visit any student area you will see a rotating slideshow of information on any computer that isn’t logged in. Web Services provide us with a number of slides from the large information screens (like the ones in the hub) and we push these out all around campus. It might seem a small thing but it’s proved a useful channel of communication for our department and the University as a whole. We’ve even customised the screen saver to provide different content in areas like the library so staff and students get information relevant to where they are.

    Hopefully there will be many more projects along these lines and we will continue to improve the service we provide on all fronts. The customer service excellent programme is a really good way to sanity check the work you are doing and help you stay focused on keeping the customer at the heart of your service. I certainly enjoyed the process and believe that we learnt a lot about ourselves and were able to set some targets so we can achieve even more in the future.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

    Enabling Archives and Retention Policies in Office 365

    I’ve spent a few days working on email archives in Office 365 as we want to enable this function for all users. I had a few interesting discoveries so I thought I would share them.

    The first was over retention policies, this allows you to specify rules for automatically archiving or deleting mail from the inbox and other folders. I was surprised this functionality wasn’t enabled by default so I started working on turning it on.

    During my initial tests I had been unable to have retention policies appear for users despite having assigned them a policy and having active retention tags. From my investigations it appears there are a number of things to consider in this situation, firstly it appears only users with archives can apply the default retention policy. In this instance enabling the archive turns on the default retention policy automatically. The second thing to consider appears to be a delay in this setting processing, I’d tried enabling and changing a number of settings but saw no changes until I left this system overnight. This is likely similar to the delay on global address list changes that run once a day.

    I’ve since found a powershell command to manually force a refresh of the retention policies:

    $UserMailboxes = Get-mailbox -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq ‘UserMailbox’)}
    $UserMailboxes | ForEach {Start-ManagedFolderAssistant $_.Identity

    I’d found a helpful guide here but it didn’t cover how to enable archives for all users. As we are using Dirsync I didn’t want to have to manually enter each and every user account and enable the archive function. After a lot of digging around I found this powershell to enable archives for all users:

    Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq ‘UserMailbox’)} | Enable-Mailbox -Archive

    Unfortunately I can’t find a way to automatically set it so new users are provisioned with a archive so instead we’ll have to script it to run this command on a regular basis while we are still creating new accounts.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Troubleshooting Lync DNS errors in Office 365

    I’ve been having a great time working on Lync instant messenger for Office 365. Despite this I’ve still managed to run into a few problems so I thought it would be good to share one of them on the blog. This is another one of those boring techie posts which will hopefully help someone else out who find this problem but likely isn’t that interesting for anyone else!

    The problem I want to discuss today relates to the following Lync error message:
    Instant Messaging isn’t available right now. The Contact list will appear when the service becomes available.

    This error had been appearing in Outlook webmail since we first started using it. Reading Microsoft articles had suggested it was an issue with DNS (which seems quite likely as we maintain a split brain DNS with one set of BIND servers providing external and one set of AD DNS for internal). We had followed documentation and added all the relevant DNS entries to both sets of DNS but were still having this error.

    I’d tried running the MOSDAL support kit but that hadn’t given me any obvious answers on the issue. It was then that I found some really useful documentation that helped solve the issue. Surprisingly the process was very simple. From the office 365 admin interface you navigate to the domains page, highlight your domain and then pick “troubleshoot”.

    This will then run a wizard that reports on your DNS settings. In our case reporting the specific DNS entry that had been entered incorrectly.

    By correcting this DNS entry we soon had Lync up and running via Outlook webmail. Hopefully this will help out someone else who’s had this error with their version of Office 365.

    Posted in Office 365, Technical | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    Reporting PC status for the Computer Availability system

    For anyone who follows the IT Services blogs you’ll already be aware of the newly launched Computer Availability system. If you haven’t already then I suggest you read this excellent post on the Web Services blog and then have a look at the actual system here

    As the other blog already covered all the basics I really wanted to focus on what part Infrastructure Solutions had been able to play in the project. Most of our work was done in relation to reporting the status from each computer and helping to draw up an accurate representation of their locations.

    For the later part we already had a fairly useful system in place for PC location, we’d been looking at creating a PC availability system for around 2 years so this was on our mind when we moved to Active Directory. At that time we implemented a quite robust naming convention for all PC areas around campus. By splitting computers up into specific areas we can deliver different group policies to them, this makes it very easy to offer up specific printers or software based on the location of a PC.

    To understand how this works we’ll take a look at one of the areas, in this case the Library quiet study. From this area we will look at one PC, in this case UL2QS-12-10056. From the name we can tell the following information:

    UL : University Library
    2 : 2nd Floor
    QS : Quiet Study
    12 : the 12th PC in the area
    10056 : Edge Hill hardware audit record 10056

    As you can see in the screenshot below (click for big) we have similar names for each PC in the area, just with individual numbers and audits to mark them apart.

    As you can imagine this information came in very useful when we started looking at a PC availability system. Immediately we could not only take the PC name and use it as a unique identifier but also tell roughly where the PC was located. From there it was a fairly simple case of working with Web Services to map the exact location of each computer onto the Library floor plan.

    Once we had all of the computers mapped we then had to get them reporting their status. After a few different approached it was determined that Powershell would be the best option for this task. A repeating script running on each computer would put a tiny overhead on the machine while keeping the web site up to date. The script is very simple and will report the computer name and if a user is logged in or not. If the script isn’t reporting then the computer is switched off (so therefore available). We run the script in a loop that makes it report every 60 seconds, this way we can make sure that the information is no longer than a minute old (and hopefully pretty accurate!)

    Here’s the powershell we are using, we use group policy to target specific areas to run the script.

    $computername = “NONAME”
    $domainusernametemp = “”
    $domainusername = “NODOM”
    $locked = “false”
    $computername = gc env:computername
    $domainusernametemp = Get-WMIObject Win32_Process -filter ‘name=”explorer.exe”‘ | ForEach-Object { $owner = $_.GetOwner(); ‘{0}\{1}’ -f $owner.Domain, $owner.User } | Sort-Object | Get-Unique
    $domainusernametemp = $domainusernametemp -replace “\\”, “/”
    if ($domainusernametemp) { $domainusername = $domainusernametemp } else { $domainusername = “NODOM/NOUSERNAME” }
    if (Get-Process “LogonUI.exe” -ea SilentlyContinue) { $locked = “true” }
    (new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(“https://website.goes.here/computers/update/$computername/$domainusername/$locked”)

    We still need to work on another script so that we can monitor the status of Apple Macs. This will be a bit more complex as they dual boot both OS X and Windows 7 and we will need to perform more checks to determine their availability by querying both operating systems. Hopefully then we can expand the system to monitor the Hub!

    Posted in Cool Stuff, Technical | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    Dropbox Space Race – 2 weeks left to get 8GB of free storage!

    I wanted to post a quick reminder that we still have 2 weeks left to register for the Dropbox space race. With the current numbers we have, any new Student or Staff registrations on the site will get a massive 8GB of free storage added to their accounts. But don’t stop there! We are only 45 registrations away from reaching the next tier and getting 15GB each!

    If everyone who registers also completes the “getting started” guide then they add 6 points to the University score, then we would only need 20 registrations. So sign up, install dropbox on your device and finish the getting started guide. Then go and invite your friends for good measure! Even existing dropbox users can benefit from the space race by linking their existing account to their University email address.

    So get yourselves over to dropbox and sign up here

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Dropbox Space Race – Even more free storage for Students and Staff

    Cloud based storage is a very up and coming subject. There are quite a few flavours around including offerings from some of the big IT players such as Microsoft Skydrive and Google Drive. Personally I’ve always used Dropbox as I’ve found it to be one of the best systems out there and that their free space model is very generous.

    I use Dropbox to store a lot of my important files, think of it as an online backup. I also find it’s great for getting files from my laptop to my Iphone which can be tricky on occasions. (Itunes I’m looking at you…) I’d say it’s a great way for students to keep a backup of their important work and much safer than a USB drive!

    Dropbox currently have an offer on for Universities where they will give everyone who signs up (and verifies their University email address) 3GB of storage for the next two years! Even better, the more who sign up the more space you get!

    So what are you waiting for? Go and sign up right here

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Profile pictures in Office 365

    I’m very much hoping to write a series of posts on our current office 365 project. I could start from the top and show each phase but I figure it’s better just to jump in at the deep end and share what’s going on right now. This will be a bit of technical geeky stuff so feel free to switch off!

    I’ve been looking at populating user profile pictures for Microsoft Lync, while it’s possible to do this on a individual basis I thought with all the federation work we had done to get Office 365 working it was worth using Active Directory instead. Now AD already supports user profile images using the thumbnailLogo attribute but getting an image in there can be a bit tricky. There are some powershell options but those could be handy for batch operations they didn’t seem very user friendly for our service desks, instead we found two decent alternatives.

    The first technique I found from another blog post here this adds adext.dll to your system to manage thumbnails via ADUC. I popped this on my machine and it seems a really simple way to add and remove images. See the screenshot below for the interface, apologies for the photo!

    The next option was found by my colleague Steve, this is the free edition of AD Photo Edit available here. This has a really nice interface and supports searching for AD users as well as giving some useful information out such as image resolution. See the screenshot below, click for big:

    Those two tools got us off to a good start and we soon had some images in our system. Being impatient I then forced a manual update from dirsync to push them out to Office 365, it took a little while for them to appear but before long we had them up and running in Lync! One of the images had issues and it seems that 365 doesn’t like images bigger than 10kb in size or 96×96 pixels resolution. Changing the image to this resolution had it working after the next sync. Outlook took a little longer to see the images, I’m guessing it took a full update of the Global Address List to filter in. So here are some screens of Lync and Outlook now working with our pictures, I guess all we need now are some decent corporate photos!

    I’m unsure if we will end up rolling it out as a service but given that we take photos for the library cards we could look at integrating those into AD. I think it brings a nice personal touch to email and messaging so I’m hopeful that we will use it fully!

    Posted in Office 365, Technical | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    Server 2012 now available on Dreamspark free for students

    Just a quick post to mention that Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter editions are now available on the Dreamspark website for students. I’d really recommend anyone studying IT at Edge Hill hops over there and grabs a copy of Datacenter edition, throws it on a computer and has a play with Hyper-V. Virtualization skills are massively in demand in the IT sector at the moment so it’s a really good idea to brush up on them, even better to do it on the latest version of the product.

    Dreamspark is free to sign up for and you can verify your account using your Edge Hill email address. Just be aware the downloads are pretty big so you’ll want a decent sized USB stick/external drive on hand. Enjoy!

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Service overview – Sun Ray & Terminal Services

    Summer has been and gone (mostly without any time to blog anything!) and a whole host of changes have been made and new developments arose. Firstly you might notice that we have re-branded ourselves! As I’d mentioned previously, the name “Core Services” hadn’t been ideal so our team put their heads together and looked at similar teams at other universities and businesses. After much deliberation we’re now officially called Infrastructure Solutions. We’ve already given the name a spin out at a Microsoft Tech Day in Manchester (a very enjoyable early look at Hyper-V on Server 2012) and general consensus is that it’s a vast improvement and a better reflection of our work.

    I’d previously started a series of posts about some of the systems and services that we support so I thought that would be a good starting point to reboot the blogging. In my last entry I talked about Microsoft Active Directory which forms the backbone for a lot of other services. This time I want to talk a little about the Sun Ray system and how we use Windows Terminal Services. If you trawl the older posts you’ll find a lot of information on the Sun Ray project. For anyone new to the concept, the Sun Ray system is based on a Thin Client model of desktop units (DTU’s) connecting to a Sun Ray server infrastructure which then manages connections to a pool of Windows Terminal Servers. In our original implementation we had our DTU’s connecting to a pool of Windows Server 2003 Terminal Servers, users were distributed to the servers by a 2X load balancer to try and ensure that no single server took too much load. The system worked as advertised but never really had the performance we had hoped for. We tried a variety of things over the years, patches and updates. We added more Terminal Servers with more powerful processors and significant amounts of RAM. Each of these changes made marginal improvements but never made for a “wow” change. That was until we installed our first 2008 box…

    One limitation of our Server 2003 infrastructure has always been our dependence on the Novell back end. The Novell client and Zenworks 7 sit on top of Windows and have been increasingly showing their age. With the Active Directory migration we have been phasing out the Novell systems, as such our new installations of Windows 7 have all used pure Active Directory authentication and have generally proven much faster to login. When we looked at an upgrade path for the Terminal Servers the natural course of action was to move them to Windows Server 2008 R2.

    We spent a fair bit of time testing 2008 in our department (where we use quite a few Sun Rays on a daily basis) and were pretty impressed with how it ran. As with all of these services you’re never sure how it will behave under real load so the next natural step was to move some departments over and find out! We’d been busy migrating departments over to Active Directory based file shares, as departments moved we also swapped over their Sun Rays. FM were the first department to fully move over to the Server 2008 Terminal Servers and our initial feedback was very positive. Since then we’ve moved almost all of our Sun Ray users, only Faculty of Education and a few areas of Health remain on the 2003 environment. With the file migration approaching its completion we can finally move all remaining users and decommission the 2003 terminal server environment completely.

    The hardest part of this change has been balancing the load between two different systems. As I mentioned the 2003 servers used a 2X load balancer, for 2008 we use a session broker to achieve much the same. The hard part is actually reinstalling the servers as we’ve had to remove them from one infrastructure, re-image the servers and then move them into the 2008 system.. all while ensuring we keep enough 2003 servers running for the users who haven’t migrated yet. Generally we’ve done this by taking a 2003 server out on a Friday, re-installing it as 2008 over the weekend and having it all up and running in time so that the migrated users get to login to it on Monday morning. By managing the move so that we transfer around 10-20 users per server moved we can keep both systems running with plenty of capacity.

    Hopefully that’s given you a decent overview of the Sun Ray migration, there’s a wealth of information in the old blog posts if you want to know more about the Sun Ray system as a whole. With luck I’ll be able to report back soon to say that the migration is completed and that the good feedback continues!

    Posted in Services, Sunray | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    Spam Stats

    On almost a daily basis we get reports of users who’ve found an email detailing a vast inheritance from distant wealthy uncle in Nigeria or a parcel which they didn’t order but is waiting for them; readily accessible with just a few minor details printed on their credit card!

    As modern systems improve to filter these messages out of the continual stream of emails, unfortunately also the exploiters’ techniques become more advanced. This battle results in an “apparent” static change of spam, although over the past several years the numbers of spam messages have grown beyond belief.

    Obviously there are certain things that can be checked for, such as viruses, Trojans, even dubious links are fairly easily recognisable for a sophisticated filter. But when you are looking for advanced phishing attacks and subtle ways to lure users into a trap, it can be incredibly difficult to detect. Don’t forget, if you block emails (even if it is just one!) which may have been genuine, the entire email system – and business – might suffer the consequences.

    To give you some context:

    In the last 24 hours we’ve had a total of 401,179 emails arrive from external sources to our domain.

    Of which only 9,792 are genuine! That’s roughly ~3%.
    That’s a huge 397,387 or ~97% ratio of “bad” emails!

    When you look at these numbers you can understand that a couple might slip through the net.

    Having said all that; we’re constantly working with our suppliers to offer the very best service possible and ensure you aren’t left with a bad taste in your mouth.

    Posted in General, Services | Tagged , | Leave a comment

    Eduroam wireless service

    If you’re a member of staff then you likely received an email this week telling you that IT Services have just implemented the Eduroam wireless service. We’ve been working with Network Services (who did 99.9% of the work to implement this) but seeing as they don’t have a blog I thought it would be interesting to talk a little about this new service.

    Eduroam (short for EDUcation ROAMing) is an international wireless roaming service for education users. The concept is based on a large number of education institutions all sharing a common wireless SSID and allowing users to authenticate back to their home institution from any of the participating sites. The authentication is based on a series of RADIUS servers hosted at each participating site and by central providers such as JANET.

    Now all that stuff is very exciting for us but what does it mean for an end user? Well the basic concept is that you can go to any eduroam partner site and use their wireless internet connection by signing in with your Edge Hill username and password. This also applies the other way around where staff or students from other eduroam institutions who are visiting our site can sign in and use our wireless points. The only thing to remember when using the service is that you need to identify your institution as part of the sign-in, this is done by appending it to your username, so for example I would use goulds@edgehill.ac.uk as my username with the @edgehill.ac.uk part identifying where eduroam should look to authenticate me. It’s important to remember that this is not necessarily your email address, just your username with @edgehill.ac.uk on the end.

    If you are going to be visting another university and want to know if they support eduroam you can find information from a few places including http://www.eduroam.org/ or www.ja.net/eduroam IT Services also have some information on our pages here: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/itservices/eduroam/ You can also look out for the eduroam logo:

    An important point to remember is that your authentication is always the responsibility of your home institution, so if you are from Edge Hill and have a problem with logging in you would contact the IT Service Desk as usual. This also means that any visitors having problems should speak to their institutions in the first instance too.

    Posted in Cool Stuff, Services, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

    Service overview – Active Directory

    As I mentioned in my previous post I’m intending to write a series of new posts relating to some of the services/systems supported by the Core Services team. These aren’t going to be massive technical rants but more of a little taster for what each service does and a bit of info around how we look after it.

    First on the list seemed a very obvious choice, given that it’s the main reason you haven’t seen many posts on here of late. For the last 18 months Core Services have worked intensively on designing and implementing a Microsoft Active Directory (AD) infrastructure. This project was undertaken so that we could finally move away from our ageing Novell E-Directory systems and ensure we were able to deliver a modern and efficient directory solution to support our Windows 7 migration and overall business needs as we move forward. It’s been a massive project and it’s likely to be another 18 months before it’s all done and dusted.

    So what does Active Directory do then? Well that’s a complex question, in it’s most basic terms AD is like a large address book (or maybe the yellow pages) that holds information about our users and computers. We can then search this information to do any number of things from authenticating users to determining permissions and groups. This is the sort of service that has a very low visibility to most users but is absolutely vital to our operations. Without it you wouldn’t be able to login to any of the Windows 7 computers, map your network drives or access web based services such as GO.

    As you can imagine this sort of services lies right up the top of the list in terms of priority for our team. Each of us probably spends at least some time every day working with AD in one way or another, maintaining the 40,000 user accounts and 2000 computer objects stored in our directory. Physically Active Directory exists on 6 different Windows 2008 R2 Servers (Domain Controllers) which are split between the Durning and CMIST data centres. This provides us with the vital level of resilience such a key service requires and is part of our overall strategy of high availability (which I’ll talk more about in another post..)

    A lot of the work we do in AD is via the Active Directory Users and Computers interface. This is a really useful administrative tool and is used quite a lot by our department. If you have ever spoken to the Service Desk when you had a password problem, it was likely this tool they used to resolve it. We specifically designed our AD structure so that it was easy for us to manage, as a result the staff are split up so departments and teams each have their own organisation unit (OU). While this doesn’t really speed up searching it does make it a lot easier for us to control things like shared drive permissions and special user policies. You can see the AD Users and Computers tool with the structure of our team OU in the screenshot below.

    Hopefully this has given you a bit of insight into one of the many back end services we look after. As I’ve said before it’s hard to know these services even exist if we never talk about them. They just sit in the background somewhere and we all run around like headless chickens when the break. Even then, if we’ve done our job properly you won’t even notice!

    Posted in Services | Tagged , | Leave a comment

    So what is a “Core Service”?

    Since I moved teams to become a member of Core Services I’ve had a lot of people ask me what my new role is all about. IT is notorious for having a wide range of peculiar titles and descriptions for job titles. At a conference it’s quite common to see name badges sporting everything from analyst, engineer or technician to even architect! Needless to say these titles have nothing to do with socket wrenches and greasy overalls or to designing towering glass skyscrapers. This doesn’t mean they aren’t valid, simply that they are a different meaning to the way these words are usually used. A systems architect will design new IT systems from the ground up, creating the structure based on user and business need but within the limits of project budget. In that way their process isn’t that different those of a structural architect, just with a different type of construction as an end result.

    To understand the origin of our teams name you need a foundation course is the structure of IT Services. The department is based on a number of small teams that have responsibility for certain elements of the IT systems or infrastructure at Edge Hill. Business Solutions manage all of the business systems such as the student record system or E-Fin. The web team manage virtually every web presence in the university from the main corporate site to GO and even this blog. Technical Services look after the desktop support side of things, the actual end user devices like desktop computers or laptops. Network Services are responsible for the network infrastructure, wireless and telephony. So where does that leave Core Services?

    Our responsibilities sit somewhere between the network infrastructure and the desktop. We support the servers and services that provide the back end to a lot of the systems you see. When you login to your desktop PC you will authenticate to a server we manage. Your printers exist on a different server and will be delivered to your desktop by another process we manage. The files you access on the shared drive will be handled by a server we have installed and the data stored on a SAN in our data centre. It’s fairly safe to say that every person who uses an IT resource on campus will be using one of our services in one way or another. This is where the “Core” part of our name stems from, the fact that our systems sit at the heart of the IT infrastructure. Much like the network, many of the services we manage sit at the very top of the dependency tree, if they fail then everything below stops working too. The result of this is that our customer can be anyone from a member of staff, student, visitors to the campus or just an interested party looking at the website or reading an email sent from our system. Even our own colleagues in IT Services are our customers as they too depend on the service we provide, the servers to host the website and business systems or just the information we provide for the IT Service Desk so that they can keep their customers informed.

    Over the next few months I intend to write a new series of posts for this blog to give a little taste of the Core Services that we support and what each of them provides to our customers. We’ll also be looking at our current projects, as a major part of our responsibility lies with developing new solutions and integrating new systems and services. So when you bump into me at staff development and you see Core Services on my name badge, you’ll think “Shouldn’t he be back in the office fixing my email??” or more hopefully you’ll know what I do and pop over for a chat.

    Posted in Random, Team News | Tagged | Leave a comment

    It’s finished !!

    Hand over day finally arrived and IT Services have taken control of the new data centre. It has taken a lot of planning and a lot of work from consultants, contractors and sub-contractors but the new data centre is finally finished. On Saturday 24th the Core Services team moved the first ‘live’ servers into the room, and over the next few weeks we will be moving a lot more servers across. It will be around 4 weeks before the data centre is fully operational.

    This is what the data centre looked like on the 22nd July 2010

    Through the sliding door is the ‘contained cold aisle’ (I’ll explain what that is another day but it looks like this)
    The room has all the features of a modern data centre; strengthened false floor, fire detection and suppression, fault tolerant mains power feeds, remote control power feeds to the servers, fault tolerant air conditioning, environmental monitoring, fault tolerant battery back up and a generator backup. There’s more about the design of the room to come, but I need to find a decent diagram somewhere to explain the concepts because my efforts to draw one have so far been rubbish.

    Posted in Data Centre | Tagged | Leave a comment