NorthRidge also uses cloud-based application services from ACS Technologies with its applications for school and church administration that were once only available as programs that ran on servers locally. Switching to cloud-based services turned out to be an advantage when the church suffered a fire a few years ago, Gilley says.
But NorthRidge also operates its own network, and within the last two years Gilley deployed the Sophos Astaro Security Gateway, a combined firewall, VPN, Web and e-mail gateway. NorthRidge also uses a wireless network based on Astaro Access Points. Gilley says he sought out a technology partner to help administer the security gateway, but being in a fairly remote rural area made it difficult to find. But he says the business partnership he established with firm Data Integrity in Lakeland is working out, since the company has been amenable to the idea of sharing technical duties with him.
"It's a trust issue," Gilley says. He undertakes security-event monitoring, noting the barrage of daily attacks bouncing off the gateway every day, from all around the world.
New pleas for more technology keep coming in. Now it's iPhones, which Gilley would like to sync up with an older Microsoft server for e-mail, but is having trouble doing. But for Gilley, figuring out what to do next often simply seems to be a matter of faith.
Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.