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Workstation Management Service

NSMS offers a wide range of affordable services which aim to improve workstation security and to simplify their day to day administration.

These services include:

  • installation of critical updates for Microsoft’s operating systems, Office and other server applications such as Exchange Server and SQL Server
  • anti-virus software provision and monitoring
  • day to day support and troubleshooting for approved applications and operating systems disaster recovery

All services can be provided on either a non-contractual basis, charged at an hourly rate, or via an annual contract, the charges depending on the number of workstations involved. The services are available for stand-alone workstations, as well as for workstations in a client/server environment, regardless of whether the servers are managed by the customer or NSMS.

Windows Server Update Service (WSUS)

NSMS offers a WSUS server which allows automated installation of critical updates for Windows 2000/XP and Microsoft Office. Connected computers can be put into groups, which allow granular control and also allows monitoring of which updates have been applied. Configuration of stand-alone computers is done via a registry import file, while domain computers can be easily configured using Group Policy.

Sophos Anti-Virus Service

We will connect your workstations directly to the update servers at Sophos, but will configure them to report back to the NSMS team and\or a member of your own staff. We will monitor the workstations with the Sophos Endpoint Security package and all infections will be dealt with by us, as necessary.

Day to Day Troubleshooting

If problems or questions arise, clients have direct access to the NSMS team. Either phone support or email is available. The email route is monitored by the entire NSMS team, which ensures the fastest possible response. The NSMS team can also take advantage of remote desktop functionality, which again contributes to faster problem resolution. On-site visits may be necessary and are part of the service.

Disaster Recovery

Using imaging technology, NSMS can ensure the quick recovery of business critical workstations.

In addition to these basic services, NSMS also offers consultancy for purchasing new hardware and/or upgrading existing installations.

Normally, many small departments or workgroups would find it expensive to set up and maintain their own file server. NSMS provides an affordable service for such groups by means of a Linux file server, running Samba [http://www.samba.org/]. Using the service does not require any special software to be installed on the connected clients, meaning that both PCs and Macintoshes may take advantage of it.

The charges for the service depend on the amount of storage space required and the number of users. For details on our current pricing, please see our web site at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nsms/charges.xml.

To safeguard the security of your data, the shared file server is protected by a firewall installed and managed by NSMS. The server is backed up every night to the OUCS TSM backup system to ensure that data and files can be quickly recovered. In addition this server is backed up to a tape archive system fortnightly.

Case Study: Streamlining windows workstation management at Occupational Health

The UOHS, a department of Oxford University, exists to prevent and alleviate work-related health issues. Please see http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/uohs/ for additional information.

NSMS has been supporting the UOHS for many years and is currently managing a NetWare file and print server and a Windows Server 2003 machine, which hosts a mission-critical database application for managing appointments and highly confidential patient data.

To address the department’s need for confidentiality, the local network is secured by a firewall which has been installed and configured by NSMS and is managed and monitored on an annual-contract basis.

NSMS has upgraded all of the workstations to Windows XP Professional SP2, so that they meet acceptable standards of security and flexibility. The workstation upgrade included profile transfer, and the installation of client software to allow connectivity to the new database application. NSMS was in communication throughout with the software vendor to ensure a successful transition to the new database.

All the workstations are connected to the NSMS Windows Server Update Service (WSUS). This automatically applies critical updates for Windows XP and Office 2003. Anti-Virus software provision and monitoring for all workstations is provided by the NSMS Sophos Anti-Virus service.

UOHS now has a fully functional and secure IT setup, only requiring routine ongoing maintenance.