Even more upgrades for the new year

Our upgrades have gone a bit further. We have installed an internal DNS server based on BIND. In doing so, we have taken the opportunity to standardize our naming scheme. First off, internal addresses are in a subdomain "int". Secondly, all web-applications (nearly everything we use is web-based) use functional application names. For example JIRA is called "issues.int.osintegrators.com" and Mediawiki is wiki.int.osintegrators.com. Our SugarCRM instance is crm.int.osintegrators.com. Protocol dependent services such as ldap continue to be ldap.int.osintegrators.com rather than say ds.int.osintegrators.com. The point is that we could very well switch to a different CRM, or even ldap implementation but if we switched to some other type of directory server (non-ldap) then everything that depended on it would have to change.

We are in the midst of investigating whether iFolder is a viable solution. Meanwhile we are codifying all of our policies and procedures on the internal wiki. This sure beats having all the ODT files flying around (ODT is the file format used for documents in LibreOffice an open source productivity suite).

We standardized on Android phones last year and so most people have G1s or Cliqs. I think we put the last Palm Treo to bed in September. Now that Motorola has released Android 2.1 for the Cliq, everyone in the company has access to Google Navigation which is pretty critical in a company like ours. Garmin run out of date and Telenav frankly was not very good (exiting when you temporarily loose connectivity is not very nice when the user is lost).

We are also making big improvements in our backup process. It is mostly based on backing up VM images. We had already standardized on KVM early on. Making it more archival is important. The nice thing about this is we can just mount the image an restore a single file or restore an old image and have a ready to roll VM. Since most data is NFS mounted from the NAS this works pretty nicely.

I think our next big tackle will be accounting software. Our present system is proprietary, platform specific (and not our preferred platform) and worst of all not web-based. It scares me. The migration won't be fun but I think it will be worth it in the end.

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