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World Backup Day–20% off @Crashplan

Monday March 31st is World Backup Day… and in honor of this day, a brief Public Service Announcement.

Imagine if everything on your computer was gone… I’m talking… All your photos, music, documents and videos gone.  I don’t mean temporarily gone… I mean like forever… never again accessible gone..

In the world of IT, the reality is not if your computer will crash, but when.  At some time your computer’s hard drive / SSD, Power Supply, Motherboard, or other component will die and are you ready for that?

One way to prepare for the inevitable is to have a backup of your data.  This doesn’t prevent your computer from having issues but makes life a little more tolerable when it does. 

Nothing is worse than having someone call me and say they have a problem with a device asking for help and when asked “where is the backup saved” it’s that dreaded deer in the headlights look.

So in Honor of World Backup Day and out of respect for your family member or friend who fixes your stuff… Please Backup your computers.

Imagine this…it’s such a coincidence…  Crashplan.com is even offering a 20% off coupon thru March 31st.  That’s as low as $3.16 per month for one computer or $7.16 per month for up to TEN COMPUTERS!
(And no, thanks for asking I get nothing from Crashplan for referring you, I just want to see you backup your computers!)

What is Crashplan you ask?  It’s a service that does your computer backup for you… off site and secure.  If you use crashplan you don’t have to worry about that pit in your stomach feeling when your computer is dead and your favorite IT Guy or Gal asks where is your backup saved.

End of PSA, you may now continue about your normally scheduled programming.


Goodbye Old Friend Logmein…

So for many years I have found Logmein.com to be an extremely reliable solution for remote access… and it was free!  I’m not going to join the legions of haters… but simply am saying goodbye to a great free tool and make some notes on new tools I have found to fill the void..

Specific to the Logmein Change…Its kind of like a kid who has a ball and lets you play with it for a while and then they decide to go home.. its their choice to take their ball home and not let you use it anymore… Same way with Logmein.. they were offering a free product… its their choice to say its not free anymore… Granted the ‘hey jack, your done in 7 days’ (in the words of Uncle Si) didn’t give warm fuzzies… but its their choice.

So they’ve made their choice.. so I need to make some decisions… use the “new uber awesome” paid Logmein tools (which are way overkill for what I need for helping my family or my small consulting business) or find another solution.

So in a quick quest to beat the 168 hr timer from Logmein, I’m on a quest for a affordable (jason speak for free) remote tool to support family and customers.

Option 1 – TeamViewer
TeamViewer has been around for along time, but i never really give it much consideration since i had already setup machines with LMI, but a quick install of the client and then logging in with TeamViewer to uninstall LMI on my family computers proved it to be a solid alternate.  Some things to keep in mind, it is only free for non-commercial so that rules out consulting customers or for the real job at the non-profit.  To honor the TeamViewer team I have elected not to use this for my consulting customers… being honest, it was very tempting… but hey they are giving something for free lets not be disrespectful and ignore the rules.

One thing for a TeamViewer Noobie…and it may be completely obvious to the rest of the world… but I found its easy to give Grandma access to your computer… not just you access to Grandma’s computer.  In the install process there is a little box that says keep signed in… this is actually in addition to giving you remote access, it’s keeping your account logged in on the remote computer… one click of the machine name in the TeamViewer app and GRANDMA is controlling YOUR PC… not a desired result.  A quick “Log Off” in the app fixes that and you can access the remote PCs but they can’t access yours.

I was a little surprised to see that when the app is kept logged in, there is no password prompt before your connection to the remote computer is started… so the choice here use a easier password to remember than the auto generated lastpasss login password, or lock your PC.  I guess i was just expecting the LMI second authentication to happen.

Option 2 – Meraki
So while I’ve not completely consumed the cool-aid and not yet the FanBoy status that my buddy and pal Dustin Cassady is when it comes to Meraki… The Meraki Dashboard is something to be considered.  When I first looked at the product it did Meraki device management (Switches, APs, Firewalls) but not much else, then they added Free Mobile Device Management, which we have used to track some corporate devices and I have on my mobile devices… then they added desktop/laptop management.

Ok.. so who cares. In fact I have had the client management on my MBP and Windows machines for quite a while but really never paid any attention to it… but then I remembered when we setup Dustin’s Lync Environment he kept talking about Meraki Remote management.  Sure enough, right in the client info there was a Remote Desktop Button… Granted that button bombs, but clicking on the Remote Desktop In the navigation bar sure enough, i was remotely controlling my machines from Meraki.  The Remote agent appears to be offline until you select which device you want to connect and then it fires up a VNC session.  One nice feature you can setup networks and give access to other users depending on their needs…. Very Similar to LogMeIn Central.  One drawback, Meraki’s remote uses Java and VNC… ugh Java…but for now i can look over that.

One negative, since Meraki is using VNC and Java, the interface does seem a little laggy compared to LMI or TeamViewer.  But it’s a free option for a “commercial” use.

Option 3 – Crossloop
Not alot of time using this … you only get 1 or two machines free so i’ve only briefly tried it… but its another option to review.

Option 6 – Lync
Now I think you would be disappointed if i didn’t include Lync in the list… Lync does screen sharing.. and is free to non-profits thru Office365, however just setting up Lync for this is a little overkill.  Additionally, you can’t remotely access a machine with Lync, the user has to be present to share the screen.  And, possibly the most challenging part, for those sharing their windows computer screen, when a UAC prompt displays the remote user can’t enter credentials to proceed.

Option 5 – Logmein
Well… not really a ton of options here… Pay for 2 computers $99/yr ($50 for the first year) $250 for 5 computers and up.  Not likely.  So the other option several have suggested was to use Logmein  Central that was already being paid for by my day job… SomethingIi don’t’ feel comfortable combining Business, Personal and Consulting… so LMI and LMI Central really aren’t options.

 

I’m sure there are things i haven’t considered, or other options… this isn’t an exhaustive list… but leave a comment if there is a product that should be on the list or a comment that needs included.


Lync 2010 to Lync 2013 Migration completed … Almost… A Missing Step from Technet Migration Guide

We are nearly completed in our project to move Lync from 2010 to Lync 2013.  The project has gone amazingly smooth.  The step by step documents and tools on the Technet Migration from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013 have proven to be a great guide.

Our “test” or “lab” migration was done on our good friend Dustin Cassady’s environment simply because he hadn’t yet rolled it into production for his staff and he hadn’t yet deployed enterprise voice.  It made sense to migrate him before adding enterprise voice and then turn around and migrate.  So with that knowledge we proceeded to upgrade the Northwoods Lync infrastructure.  Since you can read about the process and plan your own deployment I won’t bore you with all the details but simply say our process was:

  • Spin up a new Lync 2013 Pool
  • Move a handful of users to the new pool.
  • Realize we forgot to run the Exchange ExchUCUtil for the new pool and fix voicemail for those users.
  • Enjoy fun with Certificates
  • Learn about the new WebApps Server Role
  • Spin up a new Survivable Branch Pool
  • Again forget to run the ExchUCUtil for the new pool and fix voicemail for those users.
  • Migrate all Gateways, Common Area phones & Analog Extensions
  • Migrate all users to the new Pool
  • Test new mobility and Windows8 Clients
  • Decommission the old environment

All of this went pretty smooth except for two three pieces:
Reponses Groups Fail to Migrate
Migrating UM Messaging Contacts not Documented
Migrating Unassigned Numbers not Documented (added 5/28/13)

Reponses Groups Fail to Migrate
Our first area of heartburn was Phase 9 Step 1, Migrate Response Groups.  I followed the steps, all groups moved but they didn’t work.  A bit of clarification, the Workflows and Queues of the Response Groups worked fine, but calls would not alert the agents in the groups.  We had to delete the groups and re-create them.  With new Groups everything worked great.

Migrating UM Messaging Contacts not Documented
The second area of heartburn is the fact that Technet doesn’t include the step of moving Exchange UM Messaging Contact Objects.  This step is in the OCS 2007 to Lync 2013 guide here, but that step is never mentioned in the Lync 2010 to Lync 2013 guide.  This caused a problem for us when we started Phase 8 of the Migration Guide and started to shut down the 2010 pool.  We stopped all 2010 services and then calls would ring 4 times and disconnect rather than the Auto Attendant answering.  In the Lync logs we saw a 504 Server Time-Out error. 
Lync Logs

And kudos to Dustin Hannifin asking a great question “Did you run UCUMUTil on the 2013 pool”… Well of course I had, but I didn’t to think to check which pool the objects were homed to… sure enough they were homed to the old 2010 pool which was powered off.
(Contact Server Pool was NCC-…)
Contact 2010

So starting the Front End service on the 2010 server and one powershell command later, all Contact Objects were homed on the 2013 pool and  the auto attendants were once again answering calls.
(Contact Server pool is now NWP-….)
Contact 2013

Steps can be found here to migrate the Contact object or use the following powershell command:
Get-CsExUmContact -Filter {RegistrarPool -eq “pool01.contoso.net”} | Move-CsExUmContact -Target pool02.contoso.net

Migrating Unassigned Numbers not Documented (Added 5/28/2013)
Like the contact objects the technet article doesn’t mention moving unassigned telephone numbers from the 2010 pool to the 2013 pool.  The steps and instructions of moving the Unassigned number can be found in the Lync Server 2013 Resource Kit Tools Documentation.  After installing the Resource kit the powershell command will move the unassigned number groups from the 2010 pool to the 2013 pool.


Mountain Lion Software Update Service Client Settings

We have finally gotten around to migrating our OSX print and open directory server to OS 10.8.  While there is a good amount of documentation for Server 10.6 and 10.7 there are some areas of lacking documentation for Server 10.8.

One area that we found to be very lacking is how to setup clients to check Apple Software Updates from the local server vs directly from apple. 

When we were last deploying the OS 10.6 server we were using Software Update Service with a local Cache to help with bandwidth usage because of total available bandwidth was pretty low, but now its just about making the install of updates faster since they can be downloaded and then served across the network at network speed.

Since Apple has so graciously returned Workgroup Manger in OS 10.8 we have decided to deploy the settings with Workgroup Manager preferences. 

You can push the settings with profiles or scripts but in our environment we are already using WGM.  Our Macs are bound to both AD and the Mac Server’s Open Directory.  

(Note Bind to OD then AD, we use Jason Synder’s memory trick “Ode is over 80” to remember the order.

With Server installed on your Mac, go to the “Server” app and scroll down to Software Updates Turn the large button to “on” and you are ready to begin serving updates.

Software Updates

You can see when the updates are downloaded and enabled by selecting the Updates Tab.  At first this will be empty since your server is downloading updates.  Once they are downloaded they will be enabled (if that is how you have configured the server.)

Software Updates

The next step, telling client machines to look at the server vs apple for updates, was the part that was poorly documented and took some reading and trial and error.  All previous documentation here and here and here all fail to communicate where the client setting needs to be directed to download updates from Mountain Lion Server and for Mountain Lion clients.

WGM’s hint says point clients to http://server:8099/index.suscatalog, which doesn’t work.  We knew it probably wouldn’t work since there is a merged catalog for various versions of OSX and the WGM hint is from version 10.5.  So the quest to figure out the right address.  

WGM Hint Screen

Thanks to http://www.justinrummel.com/10-8-mountain-lion-server-software-update/ I was able to head down the right path.  While Justin Rummel doesn’t say how to use WGM and setup the client, he does explain where 10.8 server saves it config and updates. 

So on the 10.8 server, browse to the config at: /library/server/software updates/html and you find the the alias called index-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog

SUS config

From any network machine go to http://servername:8088/index-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog and you get an XML page of all the enabled updates.  If its not the right URL, no XML page.

XML

So now that we know the URL, plug that into workgroup manager, apply the preference to a machine group reboot the client and your updates are served by your local server. 

WGM Settings

You can test this by turning the service off on the server and go to Software Update on a managed client.  It should fail if your client is looking at the server.  Additionally you can un-enable the updates on the server and updates should stop displaying for clients.


ACSTech Ideas to Impact Workshop

This year I had the privilege of leading a workshop again at the ACSTechnologies Ideas to Impact Conference.  Its super fun to have these conversations with my peers and I enjoy learning how others are harnessing technology in Ministry.

Again this year we had a awesome IT RoundTable on Tuesday as a pre-convention day.  Dean Lisenby does a great job hosting this event that is for both ACS Customers and anyone involved in church IT.

If you are an ACS Customer, Ideas to Impact is a don’t miss this yearly event… Not to mention that Impact2013 is in Orlando FL @ Disney!  It is invaluable to attended the workshops and learn about the tools we have available, but even more so to interact personally with your peers and the staff at ACS.

I lead a workshop this year on 10 Best Practices for IT in the Church.  While these aren’t the only best practices but 10 important practices in Church IT.

We talked thru multiple technologies and various resources so I have posted the slide deck & links here as requested by the attendees of the workshop.


Site to Site Streaming without breaking the bank – Test 1

About this time last year we were preparing to open our campus in Galesburg, IL.  Since the opening last spring this Campus has been using the recording of Saturday night’s teaching during their 11 am service on Sundays.  This solution has been a fairly stable, but has hasn’t operated without issues.  Additionally our pastor has really wanted to be able to teach the Galesburg campus live but we have multiple limitations… the distance between campuses is 50+ miles, our Peoria Campus is about 3-5 miles from any internet connections that can provide more than 10mb upload and any ISPs offering more speed has wanted nearly 6 figures in construction costs, and point to point connectivity is way more than we can afford.

In addition to the current limitations the locations we are evaluating for future campuses don’t improve limitations on the list above.. in fact, they might be even more challenging.  Yet, being live is a huge desire from our leadership, so our quest continues.

Since Fiber isn’t an option at either of our campuses (but hopefully soon), we are limited to 50×10 cable modem in Peoria and a 16×2 cable modem in Galesburg.

our requirements for site to site streaming needs to:
-  provide 1080i display in the remote locations
-  not rely upon a private point to point connection
-  not require more than 10 mb upload from the sending location
-  be a solution that is easily reproduced for future sites in smaller towns with limited connectivity
-  be easily powered up and down by volunteers (not a 30 step process between multiple platforms).

We have demoed the Haivision Mako encoder/decoders and while the encoded video they produce is pretty amazing.. the pricetag is way to high to “not break the bank” not to mention  too high for for a “test environment” as we figure out what “live streaming” really means to our organization.  (However, you should at minimum demo their gear.. the Haivision gear gives a great benchmark for anything else you test.)

So we have been doing some testing with various other streaming solutions and thought we might share our mileage.

For our testing / phase 1 project we decided to try several pieces of gear:
-  Marshall VS-102 Encoder/Decoders
-  Wirecast and Wowza Streaming to a Roku
-  Marshall VS-102 and Zixi.com Hybrid

Our Media director thru the Church Technical Leaders and our peers at Willow Creek came across a encoder/decoder hardware (Marshall VS-102) made by the Display Monitor company Marshall Electronics (and Marshall USA).  We had heard that people were having good success using the VS-102 on the LAN but the device was capable of WAN streaming site to site.  The hardware is also able to additionally stream bi-directional Audio… (hmm maybe ClearCom in addition to the video’s audio?) This device across a LAN some pretty awesome results!  I came into the test expecting YouTube quality and was amazed.  If you are looking for a way to extend your HD/SDI video infrastructure this is a device you should checkout.  I don’t know of many hardware encoder/decoders in this price point … let alone something that can provide such a quality signal.

After a local LAN test, We quickly configured the boxes and streamed from site to site over our hardware VPN connections.  Remember we are using cable modems for our internet.. and the streaming at 1mb was solid.. but video quality was lacking… moving much above 2.5 mb we started to get a lot of jitter and audio drop outs.  If you have more than 10 mb upload.. I suspect you would have much better results, but those are just suspicions since we weren’t able to do such testing.

Next enter Chris Kehayias and his teaching us about Zixi.com.  Zixi is an internet based “private CDN” (Content Delivery Network), their strength is delivering HD video content over the public internet, including higher latency connections without the receiving end dropping frames or loosing quality or dropping audio.  The really awesome piece of the puzzle is the ability to stream from Zixi to a Netgear 550 Media Player.. (a endpoint and decoder for under $100 similar concept to roku).

So with all this new knowledge we started some field testing in Galesburg, so I thought I would share what we have tested and what our results were.

We first started streaming site to site with the two VS-102 units, with similar results to our pretesting, dropping frames and audio if we went above 3 mb.  Next we tested a roku streaming via the Amazon EC2 services but had stability issues even at 1 mb.  The quality of the video, when stable was pretty good, but couldn’t get it dialed in to keep a constant connection.  Next we configured the VS-102 encoder to stream a TS-Mpeg stream rather than the default streaming VS-102 to VS-102.  It streams to the Zixi “sending” application on a PC on the same network.  This PC is responsible for applying the Zixi goodness to the stream and sending it to their cloud.  Then at the remote campus we configured a Netgear 550 Media Player, pointed it to the stream and we have video.  We let the stream ‘chew’ for over 2 1/2 hrs, never dropped a frame or received the audio garbled.

The only real test we couldn’t get working was to us the VS-102 decoder rather than the Netgear 550.  This was because we couldn’t get the VS-102 to receive what the Zixi receiver was pushing across the LAN.  We are working with Marshall support and expect to test this part soon.  Our motivation to getting the VS-102 to be the end point in Galesburg, 1 is the output of HD/SDI but also hopefully an improved video output beyond the Netgear Media Player.

After a fairly strong showing in Galesburg on Friday, we took the advice of Chris Kehayias, testing the stream during service to see the impact when our Wi-Fi is most populated and everything is buzzing… So during the Sunday Am services we tried streaming from the Peoria Campus to my house via Zixi, first 2 hrs total fail.. too much chewing thru our upload… and after smacking around a dropbox upload we were able to get a stable connection to Zixi and from there smooth sailing… even while the Sending Zixi software reporting having to recover over 50k dropped packets.  On the receiving end, you wouldn’t have known that Zixi was working so hard to keep the stream stable.

Overall I have been impressed by the flexibility of the VS-102, however their support has been limited.  The service of Zixi has been pretty amazing..  keeping a stream rock solid even with pretty poor ISP conditions.


Top Ten Reasons to attend the Church IT Roundtable 2012

The 2012 top ten reasons to attend the Church IT RoundTable in Dallas Texas April 18th – 20th.

 

10. You have a project you need to finish by May 1st and don’t have a clue how to do it… nothing like 100+ free consultants to help you.

9. BBQ (nuff said)

8. North Texas spring thunderstorms are awesome!

7. LAN Party (Throw back to an old school LAN party) Bring your own DEW.

6. In & Out Burger AND Chick-Fila AND Hard 8 BBQ in the same city!

5. Free Workshops on Networking/Vmware, VOIP, Wifi and Exchange.  Yes I said FREE!

4. Trying out some of the cheapest most promising site to site streaming gear.

3. Building relationships with some of the most committed partners (aka vendors) serving the Church IT market who are ready to make your ministry shine.

2.  Because everyone else is going.. and you’ll be sad if you aren’t.

1. Hundreds possibly Thousands of Dollars worth of training and peer learning for only the cost of admission $75!

Don’t wait Register NOW!


Testing Lync Failover to Backup Registrar “Got Ya”

Project Scope
Preparing for Deployment – Research and Education and Pricing
Deployment of Standard Server & Director Role
Deployment of Edge and Reverse Proxy
Deployment of Lync Voice Capabilities
Configuring Lync PSTN Calling thru Avaya IPOffice
Configure Lync 4 Digit Extension Dialing without DIDs
Configure Asterisk as a SIP Proxy for Avaya IPO and and Lync
Deployment of Lync Client to users
Testing Configuration of Backup Registrar
Training

Continuing the series in our Lync Deployment.  As we are approaching the date that we will completely cut over all users to lync we wanted to build in some redundancy to our deployment. 

We have done this by licensing a second standard server and configuring it in the topology as a backup registrar.  This will allow us to have a fail over server to host all voice calls in the event of a failure to the primary standard edition server (PSE).  The Backup Standard Edition Server (BSE) will provide voice capabilities and limited IM capabilities in a production down situation of the PSE. 
Note: for calls to be made in a ‘failed over’ scenario backup calling routes will need to be configured for the BSE mediation role as discussed in a future post

So we have configured our backup in the topology (how to in a future post) and configured the failover routes so it is time to test the scenarios.  For our testing we want to confirm that the PSE can fail and we can still make calls to the PSTN and if the PSTN is not available make a call out the analog backup lines.

You will want to review the default setting in your topology to set it to the lowest value possible when testing otherwise this test could take 15-20 minutes depending upon your value selected to fail over to a backup registrar. 

Failover

Our test was to remove the NIC from the PSE, the Lync clients will disconnect, attempt to re-connect and after the specified time connect to the BSE as the fail over registrar and make calls via the PRI and Pots lines.

However after configuring a Backup Registrar Lync Clients wouldn’t login during a failed server.  The clients would drop the connection as expected but however, they wouldn’t login to the backup registrar with limited functionality as expected. 

Side note… Kudos to @DHannifin helping figure this one out…
check out our awesome buddy Dustin’s blog:
http://www.technotesblog.com/ for lots of Uber good Lync goodness.

Even after changing the fail over time to just 30 seconds, the phone handset endpoints would login and calls could be made, but the Lync client would fail to login.   After some digging in the trace logs we found client that wouldn’t connect that we were getting an unauthorized error because the newly added BSE server wasn’t in the user certificate issued by the server to the client so the Lync client didn’t trust the backup registrar.

The Lync Client uses a certificate for communications with the front end server.  This certificate is not updated very often, in fact the default value to when it will update is 8760 HOURS that’s 365 DAYS!  (A little longer than we wanted to wait for our testing…Winking smile)

You can use the PowerShell command: Get-CSWebServiceConfiguration
to review the current values of your setting for MaxValidityPeriodHours’

CSWebserviceConfig

Since we didn’t have a year to wait, there are a couple solutions.
1. Change the default value by using the PowerShell command
Set-CSWebServiceConfiguration but this changes the cert settings for all clients and would require time for replication.
or
2. Delete the certificate on the machine that you are using for testing. This is a little more killing a fly with a sledge hammer, but for this testing appeared to be the best solution.

So in a testing scenario where you don’t want to change the re-issue certificate settings, on the machine you are using to test, simply launch an mmc window add the add-in for certificates and choose to manage users certificates.  Next browse to the personal certificates where you should find a certificate named the SIP URI of the user you are logged in as and it is issued by ‘Communications Server’. Delete the certificate and then restart your Lync Client (exit the application not just log off). 

Note: After deleting the cert, before you re-launch the Lync Client, you will need your primary front end server online so a new certificate can be issued to the client on the workstation.  Otherwise you still will not have valid certificate to connect and since the PSE is offline your client will try to connect to the BSE for which it still doesn’t have a valid cert.

After you re-connect to Lync to the PSE you can then power off the PSE (or remove the virtual nic from the virtual machine as we did.) You will notice the Lync client log off and after your Backup Registrar time out passes Lync will login to the Backup Registrar.  You will know this has happed when you see the Lync client display the red bar indicating limited functionality.

Lync Backup Registrar

If you have correctly configured a backup call route to your gateway, all voice calling will route out the gateway as if your Lync topology was operating normally.

Note: In an actual failover after you have configured all backup routes a call in progress should stay active even while the Lync Client is going thru its log off/log on process to connect to the backup registrar.  If you are in an active call during this fail over, your call should stay connected, BUT it will disconnect if you hit cancel on the Lync client during the reconnection process.


National Church IT RoundTable 2012–Dallas Texas

CITRT2012

I can’t believe that it’s that time of year again, but registration officially opens today for the National Church IT RoundTable (CITRT) April 18-20, 2012

The National CITRT  is one of those events that I plan to make every year… Thankfully 3.0’s release date is early March so I won’t feel TOOO guilty leaving my wife at home with a newborn and a 31/2 yr old.

The Church IT Round table gatherings are a great time to reconnect with old friends, meet some great new friends and learn from some of the great minds in Church IT.  I am already making my list of things I plan to learn while in Dallas.

Make plans now to join us at Watermark Church in Dallas.  This is going to be a can’t miss event!

JUST $75 includes most meals and the event registration for the 2 days (and optional training day).

This year we are adding a optional Pre-Event Training day that will include workshops on:
- Exchange
- VOIP
- VMWare & Networking
- and more

Also NEW this year, we’re making a focused effort to involve Church Web/ChMS developers and integrators, this is an important group of peers to our community, so this year we are building a track for web/dev.  We want our web/dev peers to benefit from an event like we have had over the past 6 years. The web/dev track will have breakout sessions to geek out about code, APIs, ChMS integrations, tools and best practices. These breakouts will be lead by web/dev heads David Drinnon (Second Baptist Houston) and Chris Kehayias (Calvary Chapel Melbourne). So go now and invite your web/dev peers on staff to join you this spring.

If you only go to one training/convention/workshop this year, CITRT2012 is the can’t miss event.. CITRT2012 will make you a better IT Pro, help you build relationships with others doing the same projects you are working on, and improve the ministry you support!

Check out the event info here: http://www.churchitnetwork.com/spring2012/

If you are a vendor with focus on serving the Church market and would like to partner with CITRT to help with this even or have space at the vendor expo check out the “Become A Partner” tab: http://www.churchitnetwork.com/spring2012/


Lync Deployment continues thanks to our Volunteers

Over the past month we have been re-wiring our “Phase 1” portion of our Peoria campus in preparation for our move to our new phone system Lync.  As part of that project, we have pulled out hundreds and hundreds of feet of old cat3 and cat5 wiring that was abandoned, wired wrong or damaged.

We rewired over 60 data locations in just 3 Monday nights, and the work couldn’t have been done without our awesome volunteers.  I just wanted to say thanks again to Steve T, Wayne T, Gene S, Mark B, John S, and Bob P.  Guys your heart for kingdom ministry is awesome and with out your help we couldn’t do what we do!  Ceiling Tile Dust and carting around ladders is more fun with you guys around!

A couple crazy photos from our work nights:

This is a prime example of why we decided to re-wire! Scotch locks on Data wiring NOOOO!

 

The Growing pile of wire that has been pulled out

 

The new IDF wiring rack getting installed

 

Jeremie and the team formulating the action plan.

Wiring work night

 

Steve has a history of wanting to drive… granted there have been a few accidents, but when it was time to clean up we had something special for him to drive that was fairly accident proof.

wiring work night cleanup

Thanks to our volunteers our VOIP migration has an end in site.


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