IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on February 19, 2021

Vistumbler is wireless network scanner for Windows that uses wireless and GPS data to map and visualize the access points around you.

Steve on Security offers high-level, practical advice and information on security for Microsoft products. It’s the work of Steve Syfuhs, a senior developer on the Azure Active Directory team at Microsoft who was previously a Microsoft Developer Security MVP for many years before joining the MS team.

Diagrams.net offers collaborative, security-focused diagramming for teams. Available as either a convenient online tool or a desktop app for those who need maximum privacy and control.

Meraki-CLI is a wrapper around the official Meraki Dashboard API Python SDK that makes all 400+ commands available to the user as a standard command-line tool, including -h help options, commands, switches and arguments. Supports classic Linux-style pipelining, so you can pipe the output of one instance of the program to another.

Some time-savers:

  • Get last reboot: systeminfo | find "Time"
  • Is user in any admin groups: whoami /groups | find "Admin"
  • Reboot in 10 minutes: shutdown -r -t 600
  • Generate battery report: powercfg /batteryreport
  • Generate wifi report: netsh wlan show wlanreport
  • Force an app to stop running: taskkill /f /im notepad.exe
    on a remote computer: taskkill /s computername /im notepad.exe
  • Windows update stuck shutting down trustedinstaller and you need to force reboot (run from another networked pc): sc \\computername queryex trustedinstaller
    Taskkill /s computername /f /im trustedinstaller.exe

VcXsrv is an open-source display server for Microsoft Windows that allows a Windows OS user to run GUI programs designed for the X Window System. VcXsrv can run Linux GUI programs installed with WSL, the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Knowledge of terms to know

What is Autonomous Vehicle?

An autonomous vehicle is a vehicle that can drive itself without input from a human driver. These types of vehicles are also known as self-driving cars, driverless cars, or robotic cars.

The term self-driving car is becoming a standard as these technologies continue to mature.

What is Cardinality?

The term “cardinality” in database design has to do with counting tables and values. With that said, cardinality has three main definitions. It can relate to counting the number of elements in a set, identifying the relationships between tables, or describing how database tables contain a number of values, and what those tables look like in general.

Cardinality between tables can be one-to-one, many-to-one or many-to-many.

What is Supply Chain?

A supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product.
A supply chain encompasses everything from the delivery of source materials from the supplier to the manufacturer through to its eventual delivery to the end user. The three main flows of the supply chain are the product flow, the information flow and the finances flow.

Supply chain management (SCM) involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies. Supply chain managers need to adapt to the growing speed and scale of the global marketplace. Best practices for doing this include:

  • Use lean SCM and logistics techniques. Lean increases flexibility and minimizes inventory waste.
  • Increase inventory velocity. Companies need to ensure their supply doesn’t outweigh demand, and that they can capitalize on distributed, quickly changing demand.
  • Collaborate with other businesses in their supply chain to optimize the entire chain, not just one company’s process. The relationship with suppliers is especially important.
  • Shorten cycles. As supply chains become more complex, they get longer, and so do processes.
  • Use supply chain technology. Technology allows managers to integrate their supply chains and collaborate more effectively.
  • Implement useful metrics. Well-defined metrics allow managers to accurately gauge the efficiency of the chain.

“No one predicted 2020 would be the year when supply chain trends would shoot to the top of everyone’s watch list. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted manufacturing and supply chains around the world.” – Jim O’Donnell

Related Terms: supply chain management, supply chain visibility, service supply chain, digital supply chain, supply chain security, supply chain transformation, supply chain sustainability

What is Amdahl’s Law?

Amdahl’s law, named after a computer architect named Gene Amdahl and his work in the 1960s, is a law showing how much latency can be taken out of a performance task by introducing parallel computing.

In parallel computing, Amdahl’s law is mainly used to predict the theoretical maximum speedup for program processing using multiple processors.

This term is also known as Amdahl’s argument.

What is Eisenhower Matrix?

The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple time management tool for prioritizing tasks. It is also known as the Urgent/Important Matrix, Time Management Matrix and the Eisenhower Method.

The matrix is simply a square that’s divided into four quadrants. Users consider the urgency and importance of the work that needs to be done, and sort tasks into the appropriate quadrants.

Each quadrant has a specific call to action — do, schedule, delegate or eliminate. Each quadrant also has a priority level: Quadrant 1 tasks should be done first, while tasks assigned to Quadrant 4 should be done last or eliminated.

The matrix gets its name from the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was quoted saying, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

Urgent: a discrete task that demands immediate attention and carries clear consequences if not completed on time.

Important: a task that contributes to long-term objectives. Important tasks typically have a lot of dependencies that need to be taken into consideration in order for task completion to be successful.

According to a consumer research study titled “The Mere Urgency Effect,” it’s human nature for people to choose urgency over importance because the feedback loop for an urgent task is very short. The Eisenhower Matrix factors in the importance of a task to help project managers overcome this type of cognitive bias.

“IT managers must work closely with the business to increase the number of people using BI tools in companies — and a time management framework bearing the name of Dwight Eisenhower can help.” – David A. Teich

Related Terms: time management, matrix, cognitive bias, feedback loop, personal productivity, maturity grid, triage, resource allocation

What is Network Identity (Network ID)?

A network ID, in the world of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or TCP/IP, is the portion of the TCP/IP address which identifies the network for a given host, usually composed of three octets with dotted decimal representation.

The term “network ID” can also be applied in different ways to local network resources, for user authentication, but the classic use of the term relates to the TCP/IP address itself, how that is used to route information, and how it is used in the context of modern cybersecurity.

A network ID is also known as network identification or NetID.

What is CompTIA Project+?

CompTIA Project+ is the Computing Technology Industry Association’s certification program for business professionals who are tasked with coordinating small to medium-size projects.

The CompTIA Project+ exam covers the project management life cycle and tests for the skills required to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control and close a project. Project+ certification also covers “the business, interpersonal and technical project management skills” required for successful management of projects and business initiatives.

ComTIA promotes the Project+ certification as being a versatile certification for project management because it does not focus on just one methodology or framework. Successful candidates must demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to:

  • Manage a project’s entire life cycle.
  • Maintain project documentation.
  • Design and carry out a communication plan that includes all stakeholders.
  • Manage the physical and virtual resources required to complete the project.

“IT project management professionals are essentially the middlemen and women between the business teams and the technical teams.” – Mike Podesto

Related Terms: project management framework, project scope, resource contention, cost management, IT project management, Project Management Office, Project Management Body of Knowledge

What is Scripting Language?

A scripting language is a language that uses a sophisticated method to bring codes to a runtime environment. In key ways, scripting languages are made for specific runtime environments, and they automate some of the code implementation.

In that sense, they are modernizations of a system that previously used compilers to interpret inputs.

What is Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK)?

Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key or WPA-PSK is a system of encryption used to authenticate users on wireless local area networks. It’s typically utilized by telecom companies for end user access in home local area networks.

WPA-PSK may also be called WPA2-PSK or WPA Personal.

What is Business Intelligence Analyst (BI Analyst)?

A business intelligence analyst works with data assets and data mining processes on the key concept of business intelligence or insights.

Over time, as technology world evolves, there’s the growing mentality that data is one of a company’s biggest assets, and that by utilizing certain systems and processes, companies can glean valuable business intelligence to guide decision-making and improve business process results.

A business intelligence analyst is a front-line worker in this exciting field.

What is Terraform?

HashiCorp Terraform is an open source infrastructure as code (IaC) software tool that allows DevOps engineers to programmatically provision the physical resources an application requires to run.
Infrastructure as code is an IT practice that manages an application’s underlying IT infrastructure through programming. This approach to resource allocation allows developers to logically manage, monitor and provision resources — as opposed to requiring that an operations team manually configure each required resource.

Terraform users define and enforce infrastructure configurations by using a JSON-like configuration language called HCL (HashiCorp Configuration Language). HCL’s simple syntax makes it easy for DevOps teams to provision and re-provision infrastructure across multiple cloud and on-premises data centers.

HashiCorp offers a commercial version of Terraform called Terraform Enterprise. According to the HashiCorp website, the commercial version includes enterprise features on top of open source Terraform and includes a framework called Sentinel that can implement policy as code.

“When Terraform was first developed, infrastructure as code was largely the province of IT ops specialists who might not be familiar with mainstream programming languages — but the lines between developers and operators have blurred since then.” – Jay Christopherson

Related Terms: infrastructure as code, version control, load balancing, API, Kubernetes, JSON, interpolation, state management

What is cloud APM?

OpenStack is a collection of open source software modules that provides a framework to create and manage both public cloud and private cloud infrastructure.

To create a cloud computing environment, an organization typically builds off of its existing virtualized infrastructure, using a well-established hypervisor such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or KVM. But cloud computing goes beyond just virtualization. A public or private cloud also provides a high level of provisioning and lifecycle automation, user self-service, cost reporting and billing, orchestration and other features.

When an organization installs OpenStack software on top of its virtualized environment, this forms a “cloud operating system” that can organize, provision and manage large pools of heterogeneous compute, storage and network resources. While an IT administrator is typically called on to provision and manage resources in a more traditional virtualized environment, OpenStack enables individual users to provision resources through management dashboards and the OpenStack application programming interface (API).

An organization can use OpenStack to deploy and manage cloud-based infrastructure that supports an array of uses cases, including web hosting, big data projects, software as a service (SaaS) delivery, or deploying high volumes of containers.

OpenStack competes most directly with other open source cloud platforms, including Eucalyptus and Apache CloudStack. Some also see it as an alternative to public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

“Each new version of the Red Hat OpenStack Platform aligns with the latest stable release of the Linux OS. Red Hat tests and certifies the OpenStack and Linux releases for hardware and software compatibility and performance.” – Carol Sliwa

Related Terms: API, OpenStack Innovation Center, OpenStack Horizon, IT chargeback, Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack, cloud service level agreement

What is C++ Programming Language?

C++ is an object oriented computer language created by notable computer scientist Bjorne Stroustrop as part of the evolution of the C family of languages.

Some call C++ “C with classes” because it introduces object oriented programming principles, including the use of defined classes, to the C programming language framework.

C++ is pronounced “see-plus-plus.”

What is Color Hex Code?

A color hex code is a hexadecimal way to represent a color in RGB format by combining three values – the amounts of red, green and blue in a particular shade of color.

These color hex codes have been an integral part of HTML for web design, and remain a key way of representing color formats digitally.

What is C2C backup (cloud-to-cloud backup)?

C2C backup (cloud-to-cloud backup) is the practice of copying data stored on one cloud service to another cloud service. The backup stored on the second cloud service serves the same purpose as an off-site backup.

Cloud-to-cloud backup is important for organizations that rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications like Microsoft Office 365, Box and Zendesk. SaaS vendors back up their customers’ data, but any system can fail and restores can be difficult if the SaaS vendor’s backup software is fairly basic.

As more software applications are being delivered as services, there are an increasing number of vendors who are specializing in C2C backups for specific applications. In this scenario the C2C provider manages both the backup software and its implementation for the C2C customer.

“Cloud-to-cloud backup providers generally focus on the most commonly used SaaS applications.” – Brien Posey

Related Terms: differential backup, 3-2-1 backup, data recovery, archive, cloud controller