IT Managed Services Provider Resource Recommendation Update on October 06, 2021

Free Tool

InfraRecorder is a CD/DVD burning solution for Windows that offers a wide range of powerful features with an intuitive interface and Explorer integration. Allows you to create custom data, audio and mixed-mode projects and record them to physical discs (including dual-layer DVDs) as well as disc images. Nice little tool to create iso’s, burn CDs, DVDs—available as a portable app.

EVE-NG Community Edition is the first clientless multivendor network-emulation software that can be run in a completely isolated environment so that network and security professionals can create virtual proof of concepts, solutions and training environments. The limitations [of the community version vs. pro] are ok for me. The only thing you need to think about is the connections/cables, but you get used to doing that at the beginning of the lab when everything is still shut down. Otherwise, I have the client side pack for Wireshark, which works great.

Certify the Web allows you to easily manage, install and auto-renew free SSL/TLS certificates from letsencrypt.org and other ACME certificate authorities for your IIS Windows and other services. Suggests it as a good Let’s Encrypt client, “if you are allergic to Linux…. It has built-in workflows for a lot of Windows software including Exchange, and I am phasing out paid certs for hybrid servers now.”

Certify the Web allows you to easily manage, install and auto-renew free SSL/TLS certificates from letsencrypt.org and other ACME certificate authorities for your IIS Windows and other services.

SSL Security Test is an online tool for testing the security of your web and email server SSL, SSL certificate and PCI DSS, HIPAA & NIST. Explains, “It is a scanner tool that runs externally and from a webbrowser … It is free, but to get printable reports, or to save results, it costs money. I recommend when using it that you check “hide from global results” as if you do not, your IP and vulnerabilities will become public info. This is a great assessment tool, and is basically just an external server that runs sslscan (Linux command line) on all 65k ports to see if anything is open. Will also tell you if your edge router has old encryption and such.”

OCS Inventory is an asset-management solution that discovers the soft and hard composition of each machine and server as well as the active elements on your network. A web console allows you to view inventory results and the detected network hardware and to create deployment packages.

EasyJob helps you organize and execute all your PowerShell and BAT scripts from a single interface. Its author, akshin1995, explains: “As a sysadmin, I use many PowerShell scripts on a daily basis. To make them more accessible, organized and easy-to-execute, I created this tool using .NET 5. Decided to share it with the community—maybe it might be useful for someone.”

Cheatsheet

The Complete Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Licensing Comparison is a quick navigator for the confusing world of MS subscriptions. Includes a list of updates to the chart, so you can always tell if the most-recent announcements have been added. For a lot of the M365 stuff, the Infused Innovations post (originally from 2019, updated regularly, most recent with changes in March, comments from maintainer as of this month), this gives a lot of detail. It does have the M365 Business plans split into two separate locations—Biz Premium with M365, the others under O365. Bear in mind that the original predates the rebranding of O365 plans.

The Complete Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Licensing Comparison

Tutorial

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Optical Networking is a tutorial that can provide a basic understanding of how fiber works, its power characteristics, how to work with optics, DWDM, dispersion and the latest state-of-the-art optical technologies and trends.

Security Guide

NIST Password Guidelines and Best Practices are considered by experts to be the gold standard for password security because of how well researched, vetted and applicable they are for the private sector. Find out if your organization is using password practices that are outdated or even counterproductive, so you can keep your data safe. Who adds, “Honestly, it worries me the amount of IT pros glossing over these requirements.”

Tip

This suggestion can help ease user panic resulting from tech issues so you can improve outcomes: “Sometimes users don’t realize it, but they are looking for some emotional support along with a fix for their problem. We techies tend to believe that emotions have no legitimate place in a support call. But, hey, if it helps end the call faster, it’s in our interest to be a little supportive. A friend of mine, who supports complex software, gets frantic calls from one of her clients. After listening to the problem, first thing she does is ask the client about their cat. Client loves the cat and calms down talking about it. My friend interrupts (doesn’t make sense to ‘waste’ too much time) after a few moments, says something nice about the cat, and immediately asks a specific question about the problem. She gets much better results faster. As for users who have trouble following directions, shoot them a link from your KB which has both an illustrated step by step and a link to a screen video. Don’t have them? Your company should make it easy and efficient for you to create them and should incent your team to do so. You will still get pushback and obvious questions, but it can save you some time and aggravation.”