Client Spotlight – Mikesell’s Project Overview

DataYard is proud to announce our latest partnership with the Mikesell’s Snack Food Company – the oldest potato chip company in the United States! Since 1910, Mikesell’s has been manufacturing and shipping delicious treats from right here in Dayton to the surrounding tri-state. DataYard and Mikesell’s were introduced via mutual partners and Technology First relationships, and we began discussing a full-scale technology redesign and refresh in May of this year.

Mikesell’s had an interesting predicament, albeit not out of the ordinary – recent restructuring of the internal technical team had brought with it a change in long-term vision and strategy. Mikesell’s new CIO, Steve Hangen, wanted to shift the focus of the internal technical resources away from supporting local servers and towards supporting internal processes. However that didn’t remove the reality that there were multiple (and fairly critical) line of business applications running internally on antiquated hardware. Pair that with an Internet bandwidth bottleneck and an outdated DR strategy, and the risk to business continuity was enough to make anyone sweat.

After months of planning and fine-tuning, DataYard and Mikesell’s finalized our strategy and partnership at the end of August. In a few separate installments, I’ll be describing the individual goals of the overall redesign – the how, what, and why.

  • Network topology redesign – DataYard completely re-imagined the WAN design, and has deployed a new network to centralize ownership and management of network services. We had to get creative in a few spots, and a description of these challenges will be an interesting read!
  • Active Directory Upgrade and Virtualization – Once the WAN was centralized, we needed to upgrade and migrate internal Active Directory (AD) services up into the DataYard cloud. One less administrative headache for Mikesell’s internal personnel! We’ll discuss the process, benefits, and challenges here in a later post.
  • Exchange Upgrade and Virtualization – After the AD project was completed we’ve now set our sights on the upgrade from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016. This upgrade is happening simultaneously with the migration up to the DataYard cloud. The Exchange project will lighten the load on Mikesell’s staff, and the coming description of the objectives and execution should give valuable insight to anyone facing a similar challenge.
  • JDE Deployment – Mikesell’s is moving away from legacy line of business applications on an internal mainframe and towards the JD Edwards ERP solution in the DataYard cloud. This project will undoubtedly have its obstacles, but the resulting streamlining of operations will provide significant benefit and increased efficiency at Mikesell’s for years to come.
  • University of Dayton Project – DataYard is assisting seniors from UD and providing the needed infrastructure for the students’ MIS Capstone project. The development of this new application will result in the increased day-to-day effectiveness of Mikesell’s internal staff, as well as provide invaluable experience to future IT professionals.

I’m looking forward to sharing the details of these projects as DataYard knocks them out, one by one – starting with a description of the network topology redesign and deployment, coming soon.

Mikesell’s is a historic brand with deep roots in Dayton, and we are very excited to begin a long and successful partnership – stay tuned!

Linux Exploit Liability? Backspace 28 times to get in…Really?

Linux Exploit Liability? Backspace 28 times to get in…Really?

Recent headlines on a new Linux exploit have been spectacular:

  • How to hack any Linux machine just using backspace
  • Exploit Logs You Into Linux Systems After Hitting Backspace 28 Times
  • Log into most any Linux system by hitting backspace 28 times

The vulnerability lies within the Grub2 bootloader, a password management system used by some Linux systems upon startup. Unpatched, the exploit would cause the system to reboot or bring up a Grub rescue shell granting the user a full set of admin privileges — within the rescue function only.

What is the real danger? Ryan Chewning, DataYard Linux Systems Administrator, sees these as largely sensational pieces. “The exploit requires physical access to the Linux system, first and foremost,” he says. “Additionally, it is my experience that the feature being attacked is not widely used in the first place.”

Our bottom line? If you’re hosting in DataYard’s managed Linux environments, you need not worry. Physical access is controlled and systems are constantly updated with all necessary security patches.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know!

DataYard Talks Linux Exploit Backspace 28

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wishing you the gifts of the season — Peace, Joy, Hope

As we stop to celebrate the holidays, one of our real joys is the opportunity to thank you and wish you the very best in the year to come.

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year to come!

To honor the holidays, DataYard’s offices will be closed for normal business on December 24 and 25 for the Christmas holiday and on January 1 for New Year’s Day.

For non-urgent needs during this time, submit requests by web, email, or phone using the following:

Requests will be reviewed and handled as we return to regular business hours on December 28 and January 4, respectively.

Remember to follow us on Twitter, updated in real time as things happen!

  •  @DataYard – News, fun, tips and tidbits, etc.
  •  @DataYardTechOps – Behind the scenes on maintenance, outage info, etc.

Wishing you many happy celebrations,

David Mezera
President

*Note: Additional charges may apply. 24 x 7 service included in some plans.

 

Monthly Maintenance Window – December 12, 2015

The DataYard Technical Operations team will begin the December Maintenance Window at 5:00AM EDT, Saturday December 12, 2015 with an anticipated completion time of 11:00AM EDT on Saturday December 12, 2015.

During this month’s maintenance window, DataYard System Administrators will be installing security patches on all managed and shared servers. DataYard Network Administrators will be performing updates to some Host Firewalls. Service interruptions are expected to be brief, if they occur at all.

If you have any questions regarding this maintenance please contact our technical support team at 1.800.982.4539 or support@datayard.us. Remember to follow us on Twitter (@datayardtechops & @datayard) for the latest service and maintenance status updates as well as other happenings at DataYard.

Outlook 2010 starting in Safe Mode

If you are experiencing an issue with your Outlook 2010 starting in Safe Mode after running Windows Updates on or after 12/8/2015, here are the steps to resolve this problem.

Uninstall the KB3114409 Outlook 2010 update:

  1. Open Installed Updates by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button Outlook 2010 fix, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then, under Programs and Features, clicking View installed updates.
  2. Select the update KB3114409 to remove, right click, then click Uninstall. Administrator permission required for Outlook 2010 fix If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. (If you have an issue finding it in the list you can use the search in the top right of the screen)
  3. Restart Computer.
  4. Open Outlook 2010.

If you are asked if you would like to start in Safe Mode, select NO and delete the shortcut you launched Outlook from and add it back.

 

Job Opening – Network Engineer

DataYard is looking for an experienced Network Engineer to join our Technical Operations team in Dayton, Ohio. DataYard’s Network team works to maintain, expand and improve the network that provides connectivity to both our customers and DataYard’s cloud infrastructure. This position is located at our Tier III data center in downtown Dayton.
Job Details

  • Manage DataYard’s core network switching and routing
  • Troubleshoot tier three network support requests from a queue based ticketing system
  • Work with other members of DataYard’s Technical Operations team to help deliver services to customers
  • Respond to network service issues during your on-call rotation
  • When needed, perform on-site work for customers with enterprise network services
  • Leverage your technical skills to identify the future of DataYard’s network

Who You Need to Be

  • Self-motivated individual; you don’t ask for things to work on, you find them
  • Understand that people are the most important component of the network
  • Willing to say that you don’t know the answer, but will find it
  • Crave knowledge, but know you can’t learn everything from a book (or the Internet!)
  • Experience supporting an enterprise Cisco network for 1-5 years
  • Feel passionate about networking and all things that run the Internet

 

What You Should Know

  • A strong comprehension of Cisco IOS
  • Fundamentals of network switching in a Cisco environment
  • Understand basic network routing concepts, both static and dynamic
  • Comprehension of core Internet fundamentals (DNS, Network Routing, BGP Peering, etc.)

What Would Really Help

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Internet Meme Research)
  • Hold an active CCNA certification, a CCNP is preferred
  • Possess a strong comprehension of layers 1 through 4 of the OSI model
  • Be comfortable managing and manipulating dynamic routing protocols (BGP and OSPF)
  • Able to navigate and leverage Linux to complete basic tasks

Who Are We?

DataYard was founded in 1995 in Dayton, Ohio, as Donet (Dayton Ohio Network). The company initially provided Internet services to consumers, but began focusing on the technology needs of businesses a few years later. In 2012, the company was re-branded as DataYard to better represent the mission, vision, and service offerings that the company has grown to encompass.

Through the years, our clients have counted on our stability, reliability, and honesty to keep their businesses secure and running smoothly. Today, we provide clients with mission critical cloud based infrastructure, enterprise class Internet access and rock-solid data center colocation. We believe the blending of these services is the key to our and our customers’ success.

 

What Next?

To apply to this position send an email to hr@datayard.us. Please include your resume in PDF format and a brief cover letter answering the following questions:

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What makes you interested in working at DataYard?
  • Describe the most difficult problem you have worked on.