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Traditional vs Best Practices in System Provisioning

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The hardware and software environment in many organizations has become extremely complex as each department puts different demands on the IT team. This growing complexity is often a result of the proliferation of hardware platforms, operating systems and business applications. Automated system provisioning has made it possible to deploy the necessary software throughout the company and to all these hardware configurations, but there are still some challenges that must be overcome.

In many companies, different departments will require their own hardware configurations and, on top of that, they could have very unique software needs. The engineering department, for example, may need some powerful workstation computers loaded with the appropriate design software. At the same time, the sales department might need something a little more mobile with access to the customer relations management software. Traditional disk imaging and software deployment has made system provisioning easier in some cases, but it can also make things more complex in others.

The Traditional Method

Many companies that employ automated system provisioning methods have, traditionally, used a type of “gold master” disk image for every combination of software and hardware in the company. These are called “fat images” because they include the operating system, the necessary business applications, and all the current updates or patches that have been released to that point.

In a small company, this can still be an effective method, but it does introduce some big challenges as the business starts to grow. As the number of departments in the company increases and more hardware configurations are introduced, the number of fat images that the IT team maintains can expand significantly. If, for example, there are four different hardware platforms used in four different departments, the company is suddenly faced with 16 different images that must be updated and maintained. This kind of expansion tends to add a lot more complexity than it actually removes.

Best Practices

A more effective method is to avoid the fat images and start using the IT team a little more efficiently. A thin image can resolve a lot of the complexities introduced in the traditional method because it includes only the OS and the software that is used across the entire company. Any department-specific software can then be installed directly on the platforms that need it.

This method allows the IT team to focus on only maintaining the images for each hardware configuration, rather than the configurations multiplied by the department-specific applications. The IT team can go around all the complexity that comes from maintaining so many images and provide the software directly to the that department needs it. In the end, this can reduce the amount of effort required to keep software up-to-date, reduce the demands on the IT department, and increase overall efficiency.



Angela Luke

Angela works with Dell KACE. She is interested in all things related to system management as well as deployment. Outside of work she enjoys reading, hiking and writing about technology.

Understanding firewalls

Many people actually misunderstood the function of the firewalls. People usually think that firewalls are used to block connections on certain ports or applications. That’s a part of firewall function but the main function of a firewall is packet analyzer or packet filtering like some people usually refer to. Routers can also be used to block specific ports using access list control or usually know as ACL.


To help you understand what firewall is all about, you can read this article titled Understanding Computer Firewalls. The article is really great in my opinion since it’s explained computer firewalls in plain English. So it’s really easy to understand even for people with no computer background. The article also talks about computer history briefly from the start of new age computer era and the emergence of computer viruses.

It also talks about why firewall came into the picture in the first hand when anti viruses can’t no longer cope with the worms and viruses which developed rapidly, growing fast and getting more complex each day. The article also explained what type of firewalls in the market these days, how it is implemented and why is it so important to have a firewall these days, even for a personal computer and not limited to only corporate networks.

Please take your time to read and understand the article. I hope you can get some new knowledge from the article and feel free to comment if you have anything to ask.

Dish network for the high speed internet

What is a dish network ? Dish network is a connection based on a satellite receiver network and it’s really popular in the urban areas as well as the rural areas. The popular usage for dish network is to get the high definition TV but little did they know, dish network also can be used as the receiver for high speed internet and this give an advantage to the people in the rural areas to get the fast internet connection at their location.


In my line of work, dish network are also used on the oil rigs and platforms as the main source of communication. It plays a really important part in getting the internet connection needed to send data to the data center all over the world for processing, phone communication using VOIP which is much cheaper than satellite phones as well as video conferencing. The dish network deals a high impact in closing the communication bridge with the oil rigs and platforms to the main office which really helps a lot in making things done faster.

In rural areas, the people can benefit a lot from the dish network. Besides getting entertainment for themselves, the high speed internet connection will make them be able to communicate with the rest of the world and catch up with the technology to make sure they are not left behind. The special dish network offers a great advantage from the other internet service provider method of delivering internet like DSL, cable, T1 connection and dial up connection because they are portable and they are not wired. This means they can take it wherever they want as long as they have power source for the dish network unit. This makes dish network is almost unbeatable in the rural areas since wired internet service provider will not take the risk of expanding their network to the rural areas where there are limited subscribers and can’t cover the cost they have to bear in expanding their network.

Server monitoring for web applications

My job is to manage and troubleshoot firewall problems. The monitoring part is done by another group of team. In short, one team will monitor the firewall for problems using the monitored security systems or system monitoring utilities. They will be the first point of contact for the customers if they have a problem with the firewall and the team will check and verify the status. If they can’t resolve it, they will escalate the ticket to me to troubleshooting and resolve the problem. System monitoring service is a must for corporations running with a lot of servers, web servers and other network devices since everything is important for the customers. Systems management will play the most important role in getting everything in order.


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