Linux Server Consulting, Microsoft Windows Server Consulting | Toronto & Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
From the physical server itself to its hosted applications, databases, websites, files, email, your server provides the technology you use to remain competitive. Everything you use your server for is built from dozens of programs which are cohesive and automated. Everything just simply has to work
Microsoft Windows Server Infrastructure and Projects
Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services
Active Directory is a database system built off of LDAP technology and is utilized at corporations where there are many computers running Microsoft Windows. Active Directory provides the means of centralizing IT administration of user accounts, computer and user access control across the business. A company-wide IT policy can be replicated, and configured independently, from office to office and can be used to simplify your corporate IT. Access Control can be applied according to your office location, department or both. Networks with over half a dozen of Windows computers will be easier to manage by using a Windows Server with Active Directory installed in tandem with Windows Professional licenses of Windows.
Group Policy Management
Group Policy Management is a core feature in Microsoft Active Directory that allows administrators to create policies and control system settings for a group of Microsoft Windows computers joined as domain members. If you are familiar with Local Computer Policy, the concept is the same with Group Policy except that much more control is available across an Active Directory forest or domain, whichever is required. Different Group Policy Objects can be created and customized for different needs. Let's assume that you have a sales department, a finance department and human resources department, whose computer needs are vastly different in each department. With Group Policy Objects, you could configure the automation of printer installations, software installations, firewall settings, scripts, Windows access privileges, while also leaving another department with very little access privileges and while preventing another department from plugging in removable storage devices, resetting passwords or even shutting down Windows. Group Policy objects allow administrators to simplify the configuration of many computers by configuring them as one single policy. Windows 2000 Server was probably the first Microsoft Server OS that first utilized many of the same properties that can still be used today. Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 provides up-to-date configurable properties for the latest in Windows 7/8.1/10 desktop operating systems
Remote Desktop Services
If you require assistance with any Terminal Server or Remote Desktop Services, we can assist. Remote Desktop Servers are similar to a regular computer that one may remotely connect to with Remote Desktop Connection, except for the fact that Remote Desktop Services require Windows Server operating systems with compliant licensing. Remote Desktop Services allow multiple users to run multiple simultaneous instances of a single piece of software, but also provides a means of centralizing the application and profile data at a single source. Many businesses and organizations like to simply back up one server with every application saved to it. Remote Desktop Services also provides a means for computers running Windows, Mac or Linux to use the same applications, since all you need is Remote Desktop or RDC installed as a prerequisite
DFS & DFS Replication
Distributed File System is great Windows Server Operating System feature, because it allows corporations to create friendlier paths to data by gathering a list of common file locations that everybody needs to access, but making the file locations easier to remember. You can create namespaces that link to your Active Directory domain and convert a bunch of weird folder locations into simple paths without changing the real file location of the data. DFS is a way to make shortcut-like paths to data at the server level so that the entire network can view a simplified file structure, without having to dismantle existing links to information. Once a DFS service is enabled, you could run an extension to DFS called DFSR or DFS replication to clone the data as a backup service to another offsite Windows Server running DFS.
Network Storage Configuration
We can help you deploy your network storage appliances such as your network attached storage (NAS) devices or your storage area network (SAN) devices. Virtual machine hypervisors utilize network storage to help make a running virtual machine portable in such a way where it can be moved from one computer to another. In the case of a NAS, modern NAS devices contain applications that allow you to easily backup any live virtual machines or other file data. Network Access Storage devices of today can handle the tasks of a small business server, without the licensing cost of a Windows Server. A single NAS device can allow you to hold your organization's shared data away from your workstations directly, which reserve your workstation's resources primarily for your applications. NAS devices are ethernet connected with cat5e/6 cables that work as members of a local network unless specially configured. Storage Area Network devices are typically rack-mountable and are designed for direct attachment to servers. SANs are designed for medium-large corporations or those who need centralized and fail-safe data sources.
Microsoft DNS Management
We're excellent at DNS, meaning that we can correct network issues that are related to named file locations that are reporting errors. Problems that arise from DNS issues are, lost mapped drives, shortcuts not working, computers appear to be no longer available, websites can no longer be accessed, email no longer working and mail delivered to clients end up in their SPAM. There are many reasons why DNS could be a factor in network reliability and availability, that's why it's very important to consult a good IT professional, especially when you don't employ one regularly
Microsoft SQL Server Administration
We can help you deploy or set up a new business application by helping your software vendors install SQL or do work to existing SQL servers. Many software vendors will ask you to consult an IT person to work with initial setup. We can help with application errors that related to SQL, such as authentication issues, collation, encoding or any issue that is making things not work correctly.
Offline Files is a file synchronization feature that has been out for a very long time on the Microsoft Windows platform, which allows mobile and local network users to maintain a copy of a file for use while not physically connected to the network. An employee or user of a file can edit a local machine copy while the file server is disconnected from their computer and then report back to the server at a later time to write the changes to the server. Offline File synchronization is great for those who need to sync files on local network running on networks with Windows servers
Volume Shadow Copy
The volume shadow copy service is heavily used in server and workstation file backups as well as the previous versions file backup feature that allows Active Directory Domain Users or employees to easily fetch their backups directly from their computer by selecting the properties. This feature typically integrates well with a network-based Microsoft File Server running Windows File & Print Sharing Services
Batch, Powershell, VBScript Scripting
Most network and system administrative tasks can be automated today. We can help you by writing backup scripts, file copying scripts, user login scripts and various other scripts used for installation and manipulation of a Microsoft Windows computer system. Basic batch operations are handled well with batch scripts; although, the more advanced tasks are served best with Windows Powershell due to the fact that PowerShell contains many features that are comparable to a full scripting language and can utilize .NET libraries. Microsoft also provides their own text editor for PowerShell called, Powershell ISE, which is an excellent application for writing very powerful system administration programs. If you'd like to take functionality and convert it to PowerShell, we can help you with that work.
Microsoft HyperV Management
Virtual Disks, Virtual CPUs, integration with VLANs, or any help with customizing your hypervisor resources on the Microsoft platform can be provided by RapidEye Consulting. Some applications are optimal with one vCPU and some need more. Sometimes not enough physical memory allocated to a VM might cause excessive virtual memory usage on your virtual machines, resulting in poor VM host performance. In fact, there are lots of reasons why a hypervisor might need regular ongoing maintenance and we're here to assist you with those tasks if they are too complicated for you to deal with on your own.
CentOS Linux, Fedora Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Projects
We know mostly Red-Hat derivatives of Linux; whereby all most directory structures of server applications are completely different from Ubuntu or Debian-based Linux operating systems. We mainly work with CentOS, because the versions of software that are available for download are typically very stable releases of software that are tried, tested and true versions. If you require more up-to-date of server applications, we'd be pleased to assist with Fedora and other Red Hat derivative Linux distributions
If you are confident that your server applications are configured correctly, though something seems to not work, SELinux policies might be preventing the access depending on what the exact role of the system is. SELinux contains an evolving series of policy booleans, which are a series of software-based security switches that are designed to protect your applications and the computer itself from outside tampering that typically protect a system with a poor firewall configuration or application security settings. SELinux provides an additional layer of protection of the computer system from most external attacks. We can help people properly implement SELinux so that they are not forced to disable it.
System Tuning and Customization
Many Linux installations require customized parameters to be configured inside various configuration files. Systemctl is one of the major Linux software components that allow an administrator to configure many advanced properties, such as, TCP & UDP behaviour, virtual memory and swapping values, advanced network stack values and much more. Some Linux servers are optimal at their default settings; However, some computers require tuning adjustments based on customer demands or legitimate problem-solving.
firewalld & iptables Firewall
Linux firewall services are challenging to configure for network administration novices. Prior to CentOS and RHEL 7, iptables was the firewall service typically used. Today, firewalld is the default firewall service that is used in CentOS and RHEL 7. We are there for those who either need to have the server-side firewall turned off, on or configured for best IT server hardening practices.
We can configure NFS or Samba File Sharing Services for your File Server needs to ensure that all your network computers have a reliable network share for digital storage purposes
If you need your Linux server to print and also be network accessible, we can help you configure the CUPS server and administration interface for your physical printer devices, as well as integrating it with Windows File Sharing through samba daemon
Bash Shell Scripting
Bash scripts can be authored and implemented to achieve your desired results. Common uses for bash scripts are similar to SQL for the purposes of data processing; However, system, network, file and print operations can be performed as well. If you find yourself running a batch of commands on a regular or daily basis and would like to have the process simplified, let us know which Linux applications must be run and we can add logic and write scripts that can accept input from other files or accept manual arguments from the shell itself.
Scheduling Tasks with crontab
crontab is the task scheduler for Linux and can be used to set automated tasks to run at set intervals. Common Crontab uses are to invoke execution of various scripts, whether you use PHP, Python, Bash, Perl, SQL or need to change system parameters and run backups a scheduled basis.
Mail Services Configuration
Whether to need to interface email functionality with a specific application or you are looking to implement a full email server with email accounts and email storage, ask for help with Sendmail, Postfix, Exim or other related email applications
Database Server with MySQL or PostgreSQL
Ask for data related administration for MySQL (MariaDB) or PostgreSQL. Many of the SQL concepts and commands are similar in nature though implementations of database vendors have different strengths and weakness. MySQL is highly popular whereas PostgreSQL is an enterprise-level & ACID compliant version of SQL. MySQL and PostgreSQL are the flavours of DBs we have experience with.
No GUI or Desktop Enviroment? No problem
If you have a server implementation without a graphical environment installed and you require help with a command-line interface only, we can still help you out.
Server Virtualization and Virtual Machines
A virtual machine is a computer that runs entirely as software on a computer called a VM host or hypervisor. Virtual machines are powered off, on and rebooted completely in a software program. Most modern computers and servers are designed to run many virtual machines simultaneously. Instead of having four hardware servers all running small roles, you can have one or two of those physical machines performing your entire IT organizational roles. One advantage of having virtual machines running on your server is to be able to maximize your server investment instead of most of the CPU laying dormant. Another great advantage is, that your servers can be backed up in the exact state they are in and can be moved to different computers in the event of a failure or when needed.
Which virtual machines solutions have we worked with?
Citrix XenServer is the main hypervisor we are experienced with, which runs on the open-source, Xen Hypervisor. We also know much about VMWare vSphere ESXi, vCenter Server, VMWare Workstation, Hyper-V on Windows Server and Hyper-V Server 2012
Citrix XenServer leverages LVM storage technology for versatile storage configurations and virtual disks running iSCSI or NFS on network storage devices such as a NAS or SAN. Citrix XenServer is also free to use with a basic configuration.
Back up & File Restore
We can help you with back up jobs which are not completing or assist when a file, folder or system restore is required. We can also configure and maintain your existing back up solution.
If you need server administration for your business on an as-needed basis, call us at (416) 494-9716 or email us for information.