Thursday, 31 January 2013

Microsoft Technology Posters - The Xboxercist


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Welcome to the third instalment of Microsoft Technology Posters, today's Movie Poster Parody has a slightly more sinister feel.  As the eerie green light chases away the oppressive dark of the night we are greeted with the silhouette of "the Xboxercist".

These days it's perhaps not hard to imagine requiring the services of a Priest, some Holy Water and the power of God to separate children from Demon incarnate Xbox Games console. Yusuf Mehdi,  Head of Marketing Strategy for Xbox was quoted by the LA Times  in march 2012, stating that the average Xbox user is online for 84 hours a month! With half of that time spent gaming.

But before you race to the phone to call your local minister, take the time to read this interesting post by Daniel Burrus; a  Technology Futurist and Innovation Expert, titled "An Education Revolution: Automate and Humanize!". Burrus argues that today's complex games teach kids to memorize elaborate scenarios and develop sophisticated strategies and tactics to complete goals. It helps them to focus, prioritise and make complex decisions in a high pressure, time sensitive situation. All the while they communicate via head set to instruct/communicate with friends and gaming allies, when's the last time you did that at work?

Anyway....let us not forget our Microsoft Technology Poster....check back tomorrow for the fourth instalment.

The Xboxercist


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About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy and SEO for Firebrand Training's portfolio of websites. 

50% of Londoners hacked




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A recent survey has found that over half of Londoners have fallen victim to cyber crime, with a fifth of them losing money as a result.

According to the Get Safe Online campaign, each attack is costing its victims an average of £274.

Chief executive, Tony Neate said “We conducted this survey to highlight the need for more awareness about staying safe online and it has done just that.”

The survey also found that a third of people did not know they were putting themselves at risk online. The figure sounds quite serious considering London is a technology hot stop were you can’t walk for 5 minutes without seeing someone online. Whether it’s through their phone, tablet or laptop. 


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Microsoft Technology Posters - Bill and Ted's Excel Adventure


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Today we bring you the second instalment of Microsoft Technology Movie Posters, made possible thanks to the fantastic submissions from Firebrand readers during the Microsoft Movie Mash-up Competition back in August.

Perhaps one of my favourites, this image was made possible thanks to a spark of genius from the @TheTerinator. We hope you all love it as much as we do.

Bill and Ted's Excel Adventure



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One can only imagine the mischief Bill and Ted would have gotten up to as the analysed spreadsheets to discover and reveal hidden insights in their data. They would have no doubt described Microsoft Excel as "totally boadcious", of course back in good old 1989 they'd be using Excel 2.2. Having not had the pleasure of experiencing 2.2, I imagine the functions available in that version of Excel were somewhat lacking compared to the eagerly anticipated Office 2013, sporting a  Metro Design and cloud integration.

Tomorrow we will be taking a look at the third instalment of Microsoft Technology Posters....


About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy and SEO for Firebrand Training's portfolio of websites. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Windows Server 2012 and how it can benefit you and your business

This video by Michael Leworthy, gives a high level look into Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2012 is the broadest and most scalable web and application platform which gives you the ability to build and deploy applications in the cloud, on the premise and virtually.

Millions of companies are moving to the cloud and seeing the benefits, find out how it can benefit you and your organisation:




Interested in gaining an MCSA or MCSE on Windows Server? The MCSA certification course will give you the fundamental set of skills needed to develop and manage your Windows Server environment. You'll gain all these skills - and the certification. It’s also your first step towards earning an MCSE: Server Infrastructure or MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification.

Apple powered The Terminator!?



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You've seen it, that mysterious scrolling code running down the bright red eyes of the terminator, giving it orders to kill Sarah Connor. But where is this evil code coming from?

The Terminator Powered by Apple

When you take a closer look, it turns out the code comes from Apple! Apple (AKA Skynet) who suspiciously released its Macintosh Performa on the year before Skynet became ‘Self-aware’ (1997), has been used in other Sci-fi movies too.

But relax, before you design a Robot to send back to the past, the harmless code shown in the movie is actually an assembly code for the Apple II. “Maybe the Terminator is booting up off a 5.25-inch floppy.”

The infamous Terminator is among many other movies which have had their robots powered by one of the tech giants of today, as Networkworld discovered.

Robocop was powered by Microsoft?


Our dedicated police officer, who was killed and brought back to life as a Cyborg, ran COMMAND.COM to keep him alive (see top left). That’s right, Robocop was powered by MS-DOS.

Robocop was powered by Microsoft

Others…


In Terminator 3, if you look closely to the left of the her hub, the T-X model shows "Remote Access," "Software Update," "Quicktime Player," and others all from the Mac OS 9. And Apple didn’t use this as an ‘I’m a Mac” ad?

Terminator 3 powered by Apple code

In both Stargate SG-1: Ark of Truth and the movie Strike Back, you see the JavaScript source code files for WordPress.

Have you noticed any coding on one of your favourite Sci-Fi movies?

Let us know in the comment section below…


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The top 100 CIOs of 2012 in the UK




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Publishing company, CIO, have announced its yearly top 100 CIOs in the UK.

Top 100 CIO's of 2012 in the UK - CIO logoSince the 2008 recession, it has been very difficult for many companies to operate in the UK. And with the fast and ever changing world of technology, it has become essential for businesses to change the way they operate in order to stay alive and keep their customers happy. 

CIO online editor Mark Chillingworth stated that “success will only result if CIOs embrace the transformation agenda and organisations and their boards understand that if they do not engage with, understand, promote and lobby for technology led transformation they will struggle to adapt to the environment that prevails.”

The list was formed by a CIO panel of experts, who select the top 100 they believe to be the foremost transformative CIOs in the British economy over the last 12 months. So the list is not based around the size of their estate.

The top 10 CIOs of 2012

  1. Easyjet – Trevor Didcock
  2. Severn Trent Water – Myron Hrycyk
  3. Thomson Reuters – Jane Moran
  4. Marks & Spencer – Darrell Stein
  5. COLT – Mark Leonard
  6. Betfair - Tony McAlister
  7. The Welsh Assembly Government - Gwym Thomas
  8. University College London Hospitals - James Thomas
  9. The Cooperative Group - Ian Dyson
  10. Hiscox - Andrew Turner

For the complete list of the top 100 CIOs and why they were chosen, click here: http://www.cio.co.uk/cio100/company-name/  

Who do you think should've been in the top 10?

Let us know in the comment section below...


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

IT Security high in demand - what certs to go for



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It’s everywhere, we keep hearing. Cyber crime is taking over the world with unending waves of attacks that seem to get more and more difficult to deal with.  Even MI5 is battling "astonishing" levels of cyber-attacks in the UK industry and Symantec has stated in their 2011 report that they recorded thousands of hacking events every second.

The subject also came up in the ASIS / (ISC)2 Congress 2012 in Philadelphia when Janet Napolitano, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, stated that there has been over 106,000 reports of cyber attacks in 2011 to the US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team).

What this means…

As the number of IT security threats continue to grow, the demand for those to defend against it has become ever more important. IT security has become the fastest growing sector in the IT industry.

Taking the opportunity

Opportunities in IT security are popping up everywhere so why not take it? Get the right security certification and earn on average £50,000. Here are four certs which are highly respected and will guarantee advancement.


Top four security certs




CISSP is offered by the highly respected (ISC)2 vendor. CISSP professionals are always in demand and many businesses now require it. It’s one of the key certs employers look for to fill management-level information security positions. Having a CISSP demonstrates that you have a strong understanding of security concepts as well as the specific methodologies involved.

It is very well known in the IT security community and has also become a requirement in many companies in order to join their IT security team.

According to itjobswatch.co.uk, the average salary for a CISSP professional is £50,000.



CISM is offered by ISACA and is also highly sought after for IT positions. Widely recognised in organisations and government agencies.

It provides a body of knowledge for information security management, focusing mainly on information risk management. It also demonstrates to employers that the professional has a strong understanding of security governance, risk management and compliance, security program development and management, and security incident management.

According to itjobswatch.co.uk, the average salary for a CISM professional is £55,000.


3. EC-Council - Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)


The CEH certification from the EC-Council is widely recognised as the entry into the hacking world. As an ethical hacker, you’d attempt to penetrate the networks or computers of the organisation you work for. Why would you do this? "White hat" ethical hackers are widely sought after to help find and fix the vulnerabilities that would otherwise be exploited by "black hat" criminal hackers.

Demand for CEH professionals continues to grow. Due to the alarming increase in cyber attacks over the past decade, organisations are looking for ways to protect themselves and tighten their security. The CEH course and certification covers all that is needed to identify system vulnerabilities and countermeasures.

According to itjobswatch.co.uk, the average salary for a CEH professional is £40,000.


4. CompTIA Security+


The Security+ certification is offered by the world renowned CompTIA and is one of the highest paying security certifications. It demonstrates that you have a strong knowledge of security concepts, cryptography, access control, and the tools and procedures to respond to security incidents. You’ll also learn about disaster recovery methods, risk management, and compliance and operational security. 

Once gained, you’ll then be able to anticipate and prevent cyber attacks, and effectively deal with security events. The Security+ cert is greatly recognised in the industry, many companies have it as a requirement including the U.S Department of Defense’s IT department.

According to itjobswatch.co.uk, the average salary for a Security+ professional is £47,000.

Note, it's worth checking the links to itjobswatch.co.uk for each of the certs, as average salaries can vary over time.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Kim Dotcom’s MEGA - Massive demand




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Kim Dotcom MEGA logoThe cyber pioneer, Kim Dotcom and founder of the now obsolete Megaupload, has launched the new cloud file storage and sharing site called ‘MEGA’ on Sunday at his New Zealand mansion – mega.co.nz

The service was released exactly one year after his New Zealand mansion was raided by authorities who also shut down his highly successful site - Megaupload.  The site was known to hold pirated materials, but charges against him were dropped.

Kim Dotcom briefly spoke on the shutdown of his previous site in the MEGA launch Press Conference. He stated that “The allegations against us are wrong, we are innocent and we will prevail.”

The site has started off extremely well. Dotcom has stated that over half a million users had already signed up in the first 14 hours. Some are estimating that it has now passed the one million mark. Although it could be getting a little too much for him as he admits his new file-sharing site is struggling to keep up with massive demand.

Dotcom designed the site to be more protected from future charges. The difference from Megaupload is that all the files are now encrypted using a 2048-bit RSA key. Meaning that Dotcom cannot be accused of knowingly storing copyrighted materials because he technically will not know the content of the files stored on MEGA.

MEGA describes its User Controlled Encryption (UCE) as ‘symmetrical encryption’. Unlike other sites like Dropbox, the user in MEGA holds both the encryption and decryption keys. The standard cloud storage providers usually hold the decryption key themselves.

This is what allows other file storage services to decrypt files and give data to government authorities. This will not be possible with MEGA, as it does not retain the decryption keys.

This can still be undone by its users, who have the power to share their files and the encryption keys. Even though the terms of service prohibits uploading and distributing copyrighted material, users are known to routinely ignore them. If users do post links and the encryption keys to public sites that index pirated material, MEGA could face clear external evidence of what is on its servers, even if it cannot see the files itself.

The service offers 50GB of storage for free and three Pro tiers of 500GB to 4TB for $13-$40 a month.

Watch Dotcom speak about his new site MEGA, Hollywood, Internet & Copyright Enforcement in the interview below.



In an interview with the Guardian, Dotcom states “we want to show the world that we are innovators. We want to show the world that cloud storage has a right to exist. And, of course, when you launch something like this, you can expect some controversy. The content industry is going to react really emotionally about this. The US government will probably try and destroy the new business … you’ve got to stand up against that, and fight that, and I’m doing that … I will not allow them to chill me.”

Below you can watch the full MEGA Launch Press Conference.



In the conference he states: "They can't blame me for the actions of third parties. Megaupload was a dual-use technology. You can use it for good things, and you can use it for bad things. If someone sends something illegal in an envelope through your postal service, you don't shut down the post office. If someone speeds with the car he just bought, you don't go to the car manufacturer and say, hey, we're shutting you down."


About MEGA Kim Dotcom

Do you believe the shutdown of his previous site Megaupload was fair? Let us know in the comment section below.


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

How to disable Java - new vulnerability found



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If you are one of the millions of users who has the Java plugin installed on any of your web browsers, then you could be at risk.

A new vulnerability has been discovered in the Java plugin that allows hackers to use malicious code to access information from your PC.

The US government has warned everyone with an official announcement through the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s (CERT) site, stating that the bugs in the program were being exploited to commit identity theft and other crimes. You can find the announcement here: www.us-cert.gov

Oracle-Sun, the company who created Java are currently working on resolving the issue, but until then the safest option is to disable the java plugin. They recently released an update to the plugin but the US Department of Homeland Security warned that it does not do enough to protect computers from attacks, so it’s still advised to disable the plugin until further notice.

"Unless it is absolutely necessary to run Java in web browsers, disable it," – CERT

How to disable Java on Windows

To disable Java on a Windows PC, go to the Control Panel. Open the Java icon, click on the Security panel and uncheck the box that says "enable Java content in the browser."

How to disable Java on Mac

To disable Java in Mac OS X, click on the Apple symbol symbol at the top right; select System Preferences. On System Preferences, type in Java and select the highlighted panel. One opened on a new console, click on the Security tab and on the security settings, and unclick the box which says Enable Java content in the browser. Finally, click Apply and you should have disabled Java in OS X.

How to disable Java on your web browser

To disable Java on your web browser, click on settings; then ‘Extensions’ or ‘Plugins’; find the Java plugin and disable it.


How to disable Java

Further information is available from Oracle on its Java website.


About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Greatest threat to the UK armed forces - Cyber attacks



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A Cyber attack has now been said to be the biggest threat to the UK armed forces.

Despite this, MPs recently stated in a report that there are as of yet no plans to protect soldiers, warships and aircraft from hackers.

Almost everything has become reliant on technology and the internet which now-a-days can be easily compromised by a 15 year old in the comfort of his own house.

If radar and satellite systems were compromised and came under attack it could be fatal for our armed forces, the commons defense committee stated.

To add to our worries, the government seems to have no contingency plans meaning that the military would not know how to act in the event of a cyber attack.

Chairman James Arbuthnot stated “If it has none, it should say so, and urgently create some”. He also accused ministers of being complacent about the threat.

Last year, despite budget cuts in defense spending, Prime Minister David Cameron said that £650 million has been earmarked for a cyber security initiative. You can watch a video report on effectiveness of the investment here: Video: McAfee's CTO on UK government cyber security spending - 18 Dec 2012 - Computing News.

In another report by the Cabinet Office, British businesses have suffered about £21 billion a year from cyber crime.

Be part of the defense  join the counter attack and take advantage of the opportunity. Gain an IT security certification and earn up to £100,000.

Read here: http://www.crisp360.com/news/top-5-it-security-certifications to find out the top IT security certifications.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Ouchage – Windows Azure





Just when you thought it was safe to move to the cloud there’s a whole series of high-profile outages, but should you really give up on the cloud?


Christmas and New Year is always a good time to schedule a bit of downtime, nobody really works much and a few hours here or there won’t make much difference. Unfortunately the same isn’t true for unscheduled downtime, as PC management service Soluto and online movie service Netflix found to their cost over this Christmas and New Year.


Netflix app logoNetflix was the first outage victim just as the US was cozying up to their internet TVs to watch some streamed Christmas movies the service failed, and it continued to fail over the Christmas Eve peak viewing time and into Christmas Day. The next victim was Soluto, for 62 hours between Christmas and New Year the service was down, no doubt just as their users were probably taking advantage of a bit of R&R to sort out their computers before the New Year. 

The more observant of you will have noticed the words victim used in both of these examples? But were they really victims or did they seed their own problems by choosing the cloud?

Netflix are a service that couldn’t exist without the cloud - to build the sort of infrastructure they needed to launch would have required tens of millions of dollars and taken years to build – and they also know that to build a successful consumer service you need to inspire confidence. So unlike many businesses Netflix take time out to test and test their systems continually using a team of Chaos Monkeys and Chaos Gorillas to see what happens if their own internal systems, and those of their cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) were to go wrong. 

Soluto logoSoluto are similar in their use of the cloud but very different when it comes to resilience. Like Netflix Soluto wouldn’t have been able to launch if it wasn’t for the cloud, but unlike Netflix, Soluto took a decision to rely solely on their cloud provider (Microsoft Azure) to look after the service resilience. As the Soluto team explains in their apology email.

We could have obviously spent time building various mechanisms to make sure that whatever happens to Azure, we’ll be able to provide our service (the extreme example would be creating a redundant deployment in Amazon). But that’s not the startup way. Because by doing so, we wouldn’t have created hundreds of features for our users at the same time. And for well over a year, we didn’t experience a severe downtime except for a single case of several hours in February, but once a year that’s acceptable.

So are Netflix victims and Soluto guilty? The answer is probably yes, and no. Soluto were unlucky to see such a catastrophic failure, 62 hours is a long time and no doubt Soluto will be drawing to Microsoft’s attention to their SLA agreement and be spared the bill for this month’s hosting.

What you should take away from these two high profile problems is not a fear of cloud but a template for how to deal with a crisis. If there is a problem then deal with it quickly, communicate it to your customers, and keep them regularly updated. Don’t pretend it will go away and don’t hide it, both Netflix and Soluto handled this outage well and hopefully it won’t tarnish their brands, learn from them.

Lastly, if you are choosing a cloud solution then you should probably take a look at a plan b for 2013.

About the Author:
Marcus Austin works for Firebrand Training as a Technical Author. Marcus has over 25 years’ experience in the technology and business sector. His recent work includes constructing a mobile strategy for the Guardian Media Group, together with writing and editing for magazines and websites including TechRadar, Internet Retailing, IT Perspectives, and Santander Breakthrough.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Can I hack your password in 10 minutes?


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2011 saw some of the worst passwords ever recorded! In a previous post, we found that the five worst passwords of that year were:
  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
‘password’ is the number one password?

The report was made by Splashdata which gathered data from the millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers in 2011.

But a new year has passed and with MI5 battling "astonishing" levels of cyber-attacks in the UK industry and Symantec stating in their 2011 report that they recorded thousands of hacking events every second, we have surely learnt from our mistakes, right?

According to the list below, we’re still as lazy as it gets. In the 2012 report released by Splashdata, ‘password’ is still the most popular password…

Here's the full list with comparison to 2011:

1.    password (Unchanged)
2.    123456 (Unchanged)
3.    12345678 (Unchanged)
4.    abc123 (Up 1)
5.    qwerty (Down 1)
6.    monkey (Unchanged)
7.    letmein (Up 1)
8.    dragon (Up 2)
9.    111111 (Up 3)
10.   baseball (Up 1)
11.   iloveyou (Up 2)
12.   trustno1 (Down 3)
13.   1234567 (Down 6)
14.   sunshine (Up 1)
15.   master (Down 1)
16.   123123 (Up 4)
17.   welcome (New)
18.   shadow (Up 1)
19.   ashley (Down 3)
20.   football (Up 5)
21.   jesus (New)
22.   michael (Up 2)
23.   ninja (New)
24.   mustang (New)
25.   password1 (New)

Source: Gizmodo - The 25 most popular passwords of 2012


But are we really that lazy? No and here’s why


As mentioned, this data is gathered from millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

There’s a reason ‘123456’ is on this list!

Many hackers use tools to randomly guess your password, and depending on its length and characters contained, it can take the tool anywhere from 10 minutes to (in my case) 44,530 years to get!


How to make hackers wait 44,530 years to get your password


Simply make your password 9 characters, add a symbol and a number. Below you can see how long it takes to hack your current password.

Length: 6 characters
Lowercase: 10 minutes
+ Uppercase: 10 hours
+ Nos. & Symbols: 18 days

Length: 7 characters
Lowercase: 4 hours
+ Uppercase: 23 days
+ Nos. & Symbols: 4 years

Length: 8 characters
Lowercase: 4 days
+ Uppercase: 3 years
+ Nos. & Symbols: 463 years

Length: 9 characters
Lowercase: 4 months
+ Uppercase: 178 years
+ Nos. & Symbols: 44,530 years


As you can see, it’s obvious why the simple passwords are on the list. It only takes 10 minutes for hackers to get any of them. Hackers aren’t going to wait more than two days to get your ‘real’ password. So relax, the world is not as lazy as it seems… unless for reasons you won’t discuss, you are concerned to see "monkey" so close to the top.

Will 2013 bring a more creative list of passwords? let us know in the comment section below.

Lets at least hope 'password' won't still be at the top.

About the Author:
Julian writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Julian is the companies Digital Marketer.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Firebrand becomes official Cisco Learning Partner


Now you can get official CCNA training at twice the speed. Your training will be delivered by an approved Cisco instructor, and you'll learn from official Cisco courseware.

This ensures that you'll get the most up-to-date training material available. We offer all Cisco Certifications, from Entry level to Professional.

The Cisco Learning Partner Program is recognised as one of the most successful in the industry. It has established a select group of training entities which offer Cisco's customers top quality instruction in Cisco's products, solutions and architectures.


Now's the time to start the New Year with a CCNA, the number one networking certification and an important stepping stone to other more advanced Cisco certifications. CCNA is a beginning-level certification that aims to provide a solid foundation in Cisco networking. Cisco’s certification programs are about certifying the competence of networking professionals in routing, switching and connectivity. CCNA requires passing two exams - 640-822 and 640-816. As you’ve become qualified in Routing and Switching, or you can set yourself for a Professional-level certification.

Already have a CCNA? Why not get a Cisco CCNP Certification in just five working days (a Firebrand exclusive).

How to Manage Multiple Servers in Windows Server 2012 - Infographic

Cloud computing is now the future, and software is moving into this great technology. Server Manger now has a multi-server view of the environment. You can now see all your servers, check their performance and fix any issues.

Windows Server 2012 allows multiple servers; with remote management, monitoring, installations and roles. I can now make changes to a group of DCHP or DNS servers – regardless of where they are physically.

Learn how to manage multiple servers in Windows Server 2012 with this useful infographic designed by Firebrand. The content is from our Windows Server instructor Ed Baker.

How to Manage Multiple Servers in Windows Server 2012

To see the original article posted by Ed Baker, follow this link: http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/roundup/how-to-manage-multiple-servers-in-windows-server-2012-1098422

To embed this Infographic copy the text in the box below:




Thursday, 3 January 2013

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma MethodologyMany people ask, what is Six Sigma, and why is it so popular? 

Six Sigma is a management philosophy that has transformed organisations, helping them become more effective and efficient. It was originally developed by Motorola in the U.S.



There are four different levels of Six Sigma - Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt and Champion:

Yellow Belts are trained in the basics of Lean Six Sigma, and can typically carry out performance improvements within their teams.


Green Belts are trained and certified at a more advanced level in the tools and approach of Lean Six Sigma. They tackle change within their business in addition to their other responsibilities. 

Black Belts are professional change agents, who are fluent in the use of the Lean Six Sigma approach and tools. They deliver major performance or efficiency transformations for a business. They usually are Change Leaders.


Champions are those that sponsor performance improvement projects. They are usually managers of processes and business areas that are trained to pinpoint where transformations / improvements are needed to and help remove barriers to the implementation of changes.

This method has had great success and is one of the most used by all types of organisations. The demand for Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt certifications has increased dramatically at Firebrand Training especially with the combination of the Green Belt and Black Belt, which will get you both certifications in just 10 days.


Learn more

George Eckes  gives an effective explanation and introduction of Lean Six Sigma.


He uses an interesting story called three blind men and an elephant. The story goes like this: 

Three blind men touch different parts of the elephant and draw very different conclusions. One touches the tusk and says it’s a spear; the other touches his torso and says it’s a wall, and the third blind man touches the tail and says it’s a snake.


The point of the story is that depending on your perspective and viewpoint, it can mean very different things. Six Sigma is a metric, it’s an improvement methodology, it’s a management philosophy and it creates a common language throughout the whole organisation.

You can watch his introduction to Six Sigma in this two part video:







About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, IT training, , IT certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the IT industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.