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Advice for jumping in blind(ish)  


New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
September 19, 2018 1:54 EDT PM  

When approached to help transition a small marketing businesses IT and misc technology needs - after their admin unexpectedly departed, I immediately thought of my fellow geeks here on MGG forums and hopefully learned advice any of you might have.   

Not knowing yet what I will and won't have access to or lists of assets, passwords etc., I'm a bit concerned about pulling too many plugs to prevent unauthorized access as I do not want to devastate the companies productivity.  I also don't want to have the company/client to be devastated by unauthorized access. So I was hoping some here could help me with lists of their own for inventorying and other "gotchas" that might get easily lost in the fog of transition. 

No doubt there will be a few missed and panic moments, I'm just trying to limit them and set it up so the client won't find themselves "CAUGHT" in a one person dependent world again.

Thanks in advance & don't get caught!  

New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
October 23, 2018 11:11 EDT AM  

So given the crickets, I'd figured I'd follow up with my own lessons learned so far... also @davehamilton this may be a better topic for your Small Business Show Podcast with Shanon.

I was able to work with many folks in this small co. of 28 that I've been asked to consult for and potentially manage their systems long term. Thankfully the previous IT staffer had also been working with an outside IT vendor to provide some server and ad-hoc support and was able to get me most of access and passwords I needed to get myself going on my quest.

As I wade through the rat's nest of cloned Macs folks are working on with endless issues (nothing has ever been "nuked and paved", some folks are on newer machines form with CCC clones that began back in ~2008), my first order of business after sorting out things is to set up a fresh image for migrations and new hires. I also have a unanimous agreement the current network setup vastly over-engineered, overcomplicated and could be radically simplified. The good news is the company is moving this January 2019 so I have a prime window of opportunity and green light from the client to "get'r done". So now the real fun begins, coming up with a solution, proposal, budget and migration plan. I've been looking at the different Synology NAS setups and various routers. The company currently uses a Sonicwall (by Dell) as their main router, VPN, security front door. It's an all Mac shop and because they do a lot of print design work, large files have to be moved around a lot (and quickly). There are only about 8-10 "creatives" moving the big files while the other 15 users use Filemaker Multileger and other more sales and administrivia low bandwidth tasks. Offsite backup is also a must but isn't it always 🙂

My question to all my fellow geeks is: Would using a Business Grade Synology NAS with a mirrored sibling be a good option for hosting documents, files, backup tasks, VPN, DNS etc., while also playing nice with a Mac Mini or two running Mac OS server. My concern right now is, will the Synology have the horsepower to keep up with the demands of the network traffic, data transfers, VPN, backup/archiving and be a good Mac citizen? I think it will but I've never tried this approach before I've mostly used Dobos and Mac Server. The entire network will be accessing the interwebs via gigabit fiber. I'm planning on deploying JAMF Now to manage all the clients so I may not even need the Mac Server(s) to manage profiles anymore especially as Apple seems to be putting (ever so slowly) Server in a similar bin as their Airports. 

Thanks again all for any bits of advice or info. I will be dure to continue to follow-up as my story progresses with this venture in hopes of helping others in the future. Cheers!

-Will S.

Sorry for the lengthy ramble friends and appreciate any thoughts or experiences even remotely related. 

Dave Hamilton
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 552
October 24, 2018 5:12 EDT PM  

HI @willdesign! Sorry for the initial crickets. I think your post came in during the early days of this launching and I didn't (yet!) have a good system for catching things from falling through the cracks.

Thanks for circling back and sharing your advice here. As for your Synology question, yeah, I think just about any Synology unit has the horsepower to handle network traffic for the things you describe. Those are all pretty low impact in that sense. Synology's DiskStations are happy to coexist with Macs (and Macs with them), so I think you'll be fine. You can even use RADIUS or LDAP if you want to share logins amongst different servers, etc.