Is the Cloud a Career Killer?

I read Michele Crockett’s "Securing Your Position in the Cloud" (February 2011, InstantDoc ID 129267). I make my living administering a small company, and I see cloud computing as a potential career killer. So, I was excited to see an article that would address my concerns. After reading it, I feel no better.

Basically, Michele says to research how it works, ask a service provider a few questions, and hold hands for a while until all the services are transferred to the cloud. But here's my story: Last month, a large client of mine approved a huge IT budget to move to an offsite Hyper-V solution. I acted as a trusted source, did some research, answered a few questions, and now—bang!—I'm out of the loop. The guys who took over even have a local tech taking care of all the “cloud appliances” required to connect to the new service. Other than menial jobs around the shop, there will be nothing much for me to do.

What I see working in my community are IT shops buying expensive iSCSI and software-as-a-service NAS boxes, getting into a data center somehow, and moving the service to their hardware—just paying the bills, by the looks of it.

I think cloud computing works wonders for big firms with terminal servers all over the place and locations everywhere. But for the little guy, I'm not so sure. I also think once the price of high-speed NAS comes down, there will be a place for me to move my existing clients’ physical servers to virtual servers in their own shops. And that will happen as virtual computing becomes more robust than physical servers.

—Craig Musgrove

WSUS Code Tip

In the December 2010 issue of Windows IT Pro, reader Markus Köstler suggested a modification to a script I contributed in my Reader to Reader article, “Automate the Product Update Approval Process in WSUS” (September 2010, InstantDoc ID 125613). I appreciate his constructive suggestion. I did modify the script using the searchupdates() function. However, it's not a matter of only replacing

$updates = $updateServer.GetUpdates()

with

foreach ($title in $ReqUpdatesFile) \\{ $updates = $updateServer.SearchUpdates($title)<br>  .<br>  .<br>  .<br>  \\}

 

Additional adjustments are necessary to accommodate the change. First, remove the If block that checks an update retrieved from WSUS database against a required update (line 50 in the original script). Second, there's no need for the code block that finds missing updates (line 76); instead, just add a new variable called $InstancesCount that counts how many instances of an update are found (if any). It can be used later to count and log missing updates.

I’ve added the updated code to the original article. Go to www.windowsitpro.com and enter InstantDoc ID 125613.

—M. Samer Sawas

Management Pack Explained

Thank you to Pete Zerger for providing a nice dissection of a management pack (“Inside the Ops Manager Management Pack,” November 2010, InstantDoc ID 126053). I've been pointing all my customers to the article. Nice work!

—Anthony Puca

VIPRE Response

Regarding Russell Smith's review of VIPRE Enterprise Premium 4.0 (January 2011, InstantDoc ID 129300), we would like to make some additional points in contrast to the reviewer’s comments in the article.

VIPRE Enterprise Premium is designed to be a fast, powerful, and lightweight enterprise antivirus product, without clutter and bloat—all of which are attributes that the reviewer commented favorably on in the article. In order to optimize the performance of VIPRE and achieve these characteristics, we intentionally do not include certain features. For example, the reviewer criticized the product for its lack of a built-in NAC server (instead, VIPRE supports virtually all NAC appliances through OESIS integration). In fact, this lack of functionality is intentional. These types of additional features add bloat and bugs and are not responsive to the core demands of systems administrators, who want a high-performance antivirus product that doesn’t require excessive management.

This singular focus on the core functionality requested by admins—powerful, fast, and lightweight antivirus—is the primary reason why VIPRE has become one of the most popular business antivirus products on the market, with more than 23,000 enterprise customers. Surveyed customer satisfaction for VIPRE is, in fact, higher than any other competitor on the market, including the ones outlined in this review. We respect Mr. Smith’s opinions but respectfully disagree with him on their actual value or interest to the vast majority of system administrators we communicate with on a regular basis.

—Alex Eckelberry, General Manager, GFI Software’s Security Business Unit