Following on from my earlier Blog Post about bad IT Support Companies (here) I visited a potential new customer today to look over their IT. The background information I got from the company was that they had used their existing IT Support Company (a one-man band) for the past 5 years or so and whilst mostly happy with their service, there were some outstanding issues that were being neglected and this was causing some concern to the company.
They had recently installed a ‘server’ and their IT wasn’t running as smoothly as they had anticipated, so wanted to get a 2nd opinion about their setup and my company (IT Eye Ltd) was recommended by a mutual company.
Once I arrived, I had a quick look over their IT and came across 4 PCs and a Netbook. Asking where the server was, I was directed towards an HP xw6600 Workstation with a label on it suggesting it had come out of a company in New York City (NYC-XXXXXXXXX)! I then used Remote Desktop to connect to the server and discovered that it was running SBS 2008. This prompted the question about when the server was purchased and I was told May of 2012. I then asked how much they had paid for the server and they advised me £2,500.
Okay – so they had a recently installed SBS 2008 server of which Exchange 2007 was now no longer supported by Microsoft because the Mainstream Support had now expired! That begged the question why SBS 2011 wasn’t installed and to that there wasn’t an answer. I then looked for a license sticker and couldn’t find one, so that also begged the question if they were actually legal. This conversation continued to the other workstations and no conclusive evidence was available to suggest that they were even remotely compliant.
Looking at one of the XP workstations I saw that it was running XP pro, so checked to see if it was part of the Domain and saw that it was still configured as a Workgroup.
Data was being shared from the server, so at least the server was being used for something other than a drain on their electricity bill, but data was still being held on the Netbook and the data wasn’t being copied to the server or backed up, so was at risk of being lost. No evidence of server backup was visible either.
I then asked about emails and found out that they were being hosted externally (1and1) and were being collected via Outlook configured as an SMTP/POP3 account and to allow for shared calendars to be accessed, they had turned to Google Mail.
I then pointed out that their server had Exchange built-in and that they need not pay for mail to be hosted externally or use Google Mail for shared Calendars as they could do everything on their own server.
At this point – I think they had decided that they were not being well looked after by their existing IT Support Company and I left them pondering my findings. We will wait to hear from them and see how they want to proceed.