Weekly Tech Tidbit – When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight

September 25th, 2020
Weekly Tech Tidbit – When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight

"When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight" - FedEx

As many of you know, Bob and I have been doing this for a while - 41 years in fact.   And through all those years, every day is new and fun.   Thanks for your support and friendship and trust through all those years.  The entire staff works very hard to keep earning that trust every day.

As we start the new school year with the revolving door of how we are doing school this year, this FedEx tag line reminds me of a few items I wanted to share with you:

1 - Build redundancy into your network.  Now more than ever with remote staff, remote students, and all these in person and hybrid variations it just has to work.   Redundant disk storage, redundant UPSes, redundant power supplies, standby power, redundant firewalls, redundant links.   We can help you define the priorities and your roadmap and help you get it done.

2 - Become obssesive about backups.  Read your logs.   Question issues you see.  Test your backups.  Whether you are in a BOCES/RIC CoSer, using CommVault, Veeam, or Backup Exec pay attention to what is going on daily.

3 - If you haven't implemented SPF, DKIM and DMARC records for your email, DO IT ASAP!  Bob has talked at length about the technical side of these records.   However, the reason we care is that by implementing SPF and DKIM records for your email domain AND by including all those vendors sending emails in your name (i.e. SchoolMessenger, SeeSaw, Blackboard, Blackbaud, etc.) you can ensure that your outgoing district email meets the highest standards for authenticity.   Receiving email systems and receiving spam filters will know you are really you and that the vendors you subscribe to that are sending your emails in your name are legitimate.

The fluid nature of what is going on with schools during the pandemic has dramatically increased the number of emails I get from school for each of my kids.   It is hard enough to get people to read the teacher's instructions and the district's communications on what is going on during normal times.   If it is sitting in the parents spam filter, they probably will never see it.  Implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC probably will ensure the district's emails are sent in the best possible way which hopefully translates into more getting to the intended recipient the first time.

These are challenging times.   We need to do absolutely everything possible to reliably deliver district and teacher communications.   This is an easy one and in these stressful financial times, there is nothing to buy.   It is a very little bit of time to logic this out and implement the appropriate DNS entries.   We can help you get this implemented.

The entire staff of CSI is ready to help you in any way we can make this school year a great year.   If you need help, or have questions, give us a call.