It’s the first week of August and everyone is planning how to go back to school in style! I can’t say that we are a stylish bunch, but we do know how to test and improve your IT before school starts in a month! Here are some regular maintenance things you should consider before opening the doors for the fall semester:


  1. Reimage your devices while you still can! It is always better to start from a known working environment then trying to troubleshoot cumulative years of problems and issues. But wait! Won’t my users lose their local files? You will want them to put all their files into a cloud storage solution like OneDrive for Business. This will allow you to easy restore their files post-imaging.
    1. Not ready for cloud storage yet? Check out the User State Migration Tool! It moves user local files to a network share that can be then copied back to their workstation after the reimage or OS upgrade.
    2. Want to automate your deployments? Talk to us about System Center. You may be licensed for it already and not know it!


  1. Check your backups! You always want to make sure you are getting good daily backups but more importantly want to make sure you can successfully recover from those backups! Set yourself or your help-desk up with daily e-mail notifications to ensure backups are being successful and then schedule a time to perform a test restore for each server.
    1. This also applies to your e-mail backup solution. Make sure that you are able to pull your e-mail backups as these are often just as important as any file and hold compliance standards around FERPA and COPPA.
    2. Don’t forget to make sure your legal retention is enabled!


  1. Content filtering is a constant struggle. There are more new slang words and terms each week than there are acronyms in I.T.. You will want to make sure that your Web Content and E-mail Content filtering solutions are up to date. These help keep your environment safe from known malicious sites and e-mail scams.
    1. You can also leverage Data Loss Prevention Policies to prevent sending of e-mails with certain keywords. You can use DLP polices to stop cyber-bullying and help identify it to the correct channels!


  1. Run Windows Updates! This includes your servers as well as workstations! Windows Updates are the first line of defense to stopping malicious attacks on your computers. Even the latest viral headliners of Petya and WannaCry could have been stopped with the correct patching.
    1. Windows Server Update Services is a great investment, it significantly cuts down on your network bandwidth by centralizing updates to a server instead of individual computers pulling from Microsoft. WSUS also gives you added control of which updates are delivered and patch management strategies.


Lots to do in such a little bit of time! And that is why we are here to help! If you find yourself short on time before school starts and would like assistance in preparing your environment, please reach out today to or 701-251-0999. We are here to kick off the fall semester prepared!