Servers and Networks
Email & Remote Access Sysyems
Communications wherever you are in the world
Internet and Technology Advances
The internet continues to completely revolutionise communication & information systems for people at work and at home. High-speed, reliable broadband internet access is getting more cost-efficient and more widely available. Access to information has never been easier, and communication is being redefined with every successive technology innovation. As new technologies emerge, it becomes easier to chat, email, audioconference, videoconference, share ideas, work collaboratively & work remotely. Whether people are sitting in the same room, or situated on different continents, the internet enables communications to span space and time-zones to bring people closer together in real-time. The question is are you ready to embrace and make full use of all the technology available? Today’s technology has the potential to change your life and indeed improve the quality of your life at home & at work. Let us help you take the first steps….
Broadband and Connectivity
We offer a range of services, from planning, provisioning, supplying, configuring and managing a broadband implementation. We can help you with each step of the move to broadband:
- Choosing the right broadband supplier (ISP) & package for you
- Provisioning a broadband connection & all the necessary equipment to get your broadband / network up and running (modems, routers, firewalls, switches etc)
- Liaising with the ISP to ensure that all your school requirements are met
- Installing, configuring and testing all your equipment to ensure that your network performance exceeds your expectations & fulfils your organisational needs
- Management and support.
Network & System Setup
We are Microsoft partners, so you can rest assured that setup and support of solutions based on Microsoft Exchange Server and the Microsoft Windows Server Systems will be implemented to best practice industry standards on your network.
Your servers are the heart of your infrastructure. An investment in proven server technology along with professional installation and configuration will ensure that you get the best return from your investment and enduring value for money. Whenever we are specifying, installing, configuring, or supporting servers, we ensure that they always get the full care & attention they deserve. There are a range of Microsoft Server solutions available and here are the common ones we recommend:
Microsoft Windows Server Family
The Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system builds on the proven reliability, scalability, and manageability of Windows 2012 Server. There are marked improvements of essential services, and with enhanced security and better performance, Windows Server 2012 is our no.1 choice of server infrastructure for increasing IT efficiency and enhancing productivity. Networks based on Windows Server 20012 R2 will give you a secure, stable and robust platform on which to base the communications, groupware & applications that power your business. Windows Server 2012 R2 installations are more secure, easier to manage and offer better performance than ever before. A Windows Server based system will provide you with:
- A secure, stable & protected operating system
- File, print & application sharing
- Web server and Web application services
- Mail server
- Terminal Server
- Remote Access
- Directory Services (Active Directory)
- Streaming Media Server
Windows Server 2012 R2 includes all the functionality you need today from a Windows server operating system to do more with less.
E-mail has quickly established itself as the dominant form of business communication. More schools and organisations these days view e-mail as their primary and preferred form of written communication – over 60% of all internal and external business communication is done by email today. Email in many small organisations is controlled by the use of a hosting service package from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), with mail being transferred to the disparate local computers via POP or IMAP access. These two solutions are best suited for home and personal use where requirements for data recoverability and security are not high.
With POP e-mail, messages are removed from the server and put on the local POP client. This places the data management and security responsibility in the hands of the user, which is not an ideal situation. IMAP is better, offering both offline and online access, but like POP, IMAP does not offer advanced collaboration features such as scheduling and group scheduling, and task and contact management. Email in most larger organisations (schools would come under this category) is controlled by the use of either a hosted Exchange package or a school based server with a locally installed Microsoft Exchange solution. In both of these cases, mail is transferred transferred to the local computers via MAPI access. This solution is best suited where requirements for data security and recoverability are high and is the one we recommend for our schools.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (and Microsoft Outlook 2013)
An Exchange / Outlook system combines the best of online and offline access to mailboxes, and the combination of the two is optimised to perform the best through a messaging and communication protocol that includes e mail and built-in support for scheduling, sharing free/busy information, contact lists, tasks, directory address books, and public folders. Exchange 2013 also has built-in support for non-Outlook clients, such as Web browser clients supporting HTML (Outlook Web Access), CHTML (Outlook Mobile Access) and WAP 2.0 (Outlook Mobile Access). Basic POP and IMAP e-mail systems were never designed to include this broader set of collaborative capabilities, and for most schools and organizations, basic e-mail services are not good enough to meet today’s needs for greater productivity and collaboration.
Remote Access Solutions (working from home)
Schools of all sizes are enabling remote access to internal networks in order to facilitate staff working from home. The vast majority are building their communications fabric over the public Internet for a number of reasons:
- Cost savings: Compared with the options such as dedicated lines, high-speed, high-bandwidth always-on, Internet connections offer access to and from internal networks at a fraction of the cost.
- Flexibility: These standards-based networks can be deployed over almost any type of connection, whether you are looking for a solution linking two sites, or a client-to-site solution that allows staff to connect back to the school.
- Performance: With the proliferation of high-speed, low-cost internet connections, the internet is really the only sensible choice.
All of these benefits come with a caveat, namely data security. Going over public networks means that there is the potential for someone else to snoop your communications, hijack your connections and gain access to your network and or your data. The solution is to use a ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN).
A VPN connection that provides you with instant and secure access to your network from anywhere in the world. Data connections are all maintained within a secure VPN “tunnel” that prevents anyone on the internet from looking at the encrypted traffic that flows between the two end-points. We deliver turnkey VPN solutions that signify the very best solutions in terms of flexibility, scalability, security and ease-of-use. Deployed using secure tunnels, leading encryption, and implemented as part of an organisational policy, VPN access represents the quickest, easiest and most secure method of providing remote access. A staff member using our remote access solution can easily connect to the school network, log in to their workstation and be instantly be presented with the same desktop environment & resources that they would have if they were actually sitting in their classroom. Our range of VPN-enabled Internet security solutions support a number of VPN technologies (IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, SSL), and facilitate both telecommuting and mobile computing.