Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

Archives for February 2012

Mimecast release Mimecast Services for Outlook MSO v4 beta

As you know I am working on a blog series to document an implementation of the top class unified cloud messaging services, part 1 is here.  Looking over a training session today I discovered the next release of MSO (Mimecast Services for Outlook) this is the client side agent that seamlessly intergrates into Outlook to provide and extend the functionality of the service.

Over 10 months ago I posted a feature here http://community.mimecast.com/mimecast/topics/mimecast_encrpytion_outlook_plug_in to request a feature where the end users can select to encrypt the email message.  WELL what can I say but THANK YOU and as always Mimecast exceed this by adding 5 options:-

mimecast secure

  • Default Route – This is the default value, and results in emails being delivered as configured in the Administration Console
  • Best Route – Uses TLS encryption (if available), otherwise will deliver the message via Closed Circuit Messaging (CCM).
  • Encryption Not Required – Will attempt to deliver using TLS, but is not available will deliver the message via clear-text SMTP
  • Encrypt Connection – Enforces TLS encryption from the Mimecast servers to all recipient servers. If a given recipient server cannot perform TLS, then the message is not delivered, and the sender is notified.
  • Closed-Circuit Message – The email is held on the Mimecast platform, and a notification message is sent to external recipients informing them an email is available in the Mimecast portal. Recipients are then required to log into the Mimecast portal to read their messages. This prevents any sensitive emails from traversing the Internet.

To cover my other favourites are:

  • Stationary picker.
  • Document conversion.

Now to check out the additional excellent functionality please see the Mimecast Knowledge Base:-

http://www.mimecast.com/knowledgebase/

Well done Mimecast.

CloudShare who? Blog Series Part 1

Welcome back everyone, as promised I am starting to populate this blog more and more and therefore onto the next installments.  CloudShare is one of those fantastic companies that comes along every once in a while, you take a look sign up for a trial and then cannot put it down.

If you are looking for a virtual environment that is cloud based and do not want the hassle of building virtual machines, mounting software etc then these guys are perfect for you.  Hopefully when I get their permission I will blog on how to setup your environments, give access to additional team members of guests and so the easy of the interface – even working on the iPad..!

The purpose of us using these environments are two fold; first to start building our SharePoint Development platform instead of using Office365 then next to build an Exchange 2010, Lync, Win 7, Linux and AD environment – this way we can remove the hardware in our lab and consolidate onto using the CloudShare.

Now you may think there is a catch for such a great product – there is but only small, your servers are not powered on all the time (there is an upgrade option for this), after so many mins / hours (I can not remember off the top of my head)  your VM’s will spin down, but is this such a problem – no way just look at the benefits:-

  • Pre-built servers, built and powered on within minutes.
  • Share environments with team members, clients and demo’s.
  • Web based and RDP based access.
  • Integration with your internal platform.
  • Ability to create snap shots.

No here is the perfect offer – all this for only $499 a year for 24GB RAM allocation (at present), see the below for details:

CloudShare ProPlus is now available with up to 24 GB of RAM.  And You Can Save $390!

Click here for details

Blog Series – My experience with the first Mimecast implementation part 1

I wanted to build up a series of blog posts around my first experience with implementing the Mimecast solution.  These posts will be part of an on-going series, as we progress throughout the project so please check back our look at our twitter feed for more details.  Before diving into the detail I want to give an overview (in my opinion) of what the Mimecast Solution has to offer and then the reason(s) for selecting this product for the company I am working for at present.

Mimecast offer a complete cloud based unified messaging platform that offers the following services.  It is worth noting that Mimecast are currently the best of breed within the industry and look at the Bloor report for Best Practice Email Archiving comes top:-

1. Email Security, Anti Virus and Anti Spam filtering.

2. Email continuity – if you Exchange (internal or cloud hosted, such as Office 365 / BPOS) server goes offline then the Mimecast client (additional module) will redirect the traffic to the Mimecast cloud.

3. Email archiving – the default is 10 years but you have the option of unlimited storage, yes that’s right UNLIMITED..!  Microsoft Office plug-in to search the archive – just like a PST file.

4. eDiscovery and Litigation – the ability to securely search for mails or mailboxes under investigation.  You can define a very tight sign off and auditing procedure for this.

5. Email Migration – One of the biggest selling points of the continuity elements are the benefits to aiding Exchange migration to 2007 / 2010 or even off premise.

6. Blackberry continuity – those Blackberry outages last year are a thing of the past with Mimecast’s solution.  The ability to invoke Blackberry DR and route all your RIM email traffic through the Mimecast cloud.

7. Email Branding – the ability to multi-brand emails based on users, Active Directory groups, email addresses etc and have some limited reporting on how many recipients click back.

8. Secure attachment portal – remove the attachment and email the recipient a link to retrieve the document from a secure portal.

9. Convert attachments – convert attachments based on a rule-set to PDF.

10. Online based portal – Web based admin portal and Blackberry / iPhone based application to search the archive.

11.  100% Uptime and SLA – yes I said it Mimecast claim to offer 100% – I will report back on this.

12.  Data Sovereignty – yes, this is a massive benefit for me and one that I think will make cloud providers stand out – UK based data, securely encrypted within the UK (the data is written to a number of data centres at once).

 

As you can see with all the above features there is no wonder why this has become a truly “best of breed” technology.  Now the reasons for purchasing in this example is to replace an on-site email archiving, consolidate the current email security devices, dramatically reduce the onsite email storage, improve email continuity and provide a lower TCO.

So where am I now?

The process of implementing and on-boarding the Mimecast service is one of the best I have ever seen so far.  Very positive, organised and informational at each of the 3 phases:

1. Configure Outbound Routing.

2. Configure Inbound Routing.

3. Data Ingestion – Configure Exchange servers, export the data and roll out the Outlook client / plug-in.

Mimecast have a very good knowledge base system and provide free online training.  You get assigned dedicated engineers to assist at each phase with information provided via email, PDF and direct contact with the engineer.

The next post will going into the phase 1 Outbound configuration testing.

New EC Law – Businesses to report data breaches within the EU within 24hrs

I have been meaning to post this information up for the last 2 weeks.  Recently I came across an interesting article from the SC Magazine regarding a new EU Law that will apply to the 27 counties within the EU.  Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission in charge of justice, fundamental rights and citizenship mentioned that companies will need to report breaches within 24hrs.

The article goes on to explain the need and role of a data protection officer.  For more details please see the following link.

http://www.scmagazineuk.com/businesses-will-have-to-report-major-data-breaches-within-24-hours-under-new-ec-law/article/224624/