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Have A Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business

By Jim Reams|April 3rd,2018|Disaster Recovery|No comments

In 2010, our home city of Nashville experienced what was called a 1000-year flood, causing massive damage throughout the middle Tennessee area. Lives were lost, homes and business were destroyed. The physical damage is estimated to be as much as $2 billion.

hurricaneNobody expected this flood. We just thought we were going to get some rain. That’s how it works with disasters. Most of the time they’re unexpected and when they are expected, like in the case of hurricanes, there is still plenty of uncertainty as far as exact locations and severity of damages.

Most businesses have insurance to protect them in the event of a disaster. But it is equally as important to have an up-to-date disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place that has been thoroughly tested on a regular basis. Increasingly, technology DRPs have to prepare for cyber disasters as well as physical disasters such as flood, fire or earthquake.

A good Network DRP is a document that is created by your company’s IT department with plans for procedures for recovering and reinstating your networks, servers, and network applications. The plan should also address data recovery, and prioritize which data is the most critical to be recovered first.

Many companies have turned to the cloud for much of their networking needs, which usually has redundant backups in place. But not all IT systems can count on the cloud, such as some legacy and custom applications.

It is essential that your DRP be updated on a regular basis. Quarterly is a good idea, but do it at least once a year.

If DRP creation, testing, updating and implementing in the case of an actual disaster is more than your IT department can handle, consider an IT consulting firm that offers Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). With that in place, you can handle all the other things that are happening during such a stressful time for your business.

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Is It Time To Move Your Business To The Cloud?

By Jim Reams|March 29th,2018|Cloud Services,Disaster Recovery|No comments

If your business handles a lot of data and you’ve been around for a while, it’s likely you have hardware like servers and routers to handle all that data. And you might be wondering, as those servers reach capacity again, if it is time to move to the cloud. Here are a few things to consider about making such a move.

Budget

clouds as sunsetIt is likely that moving to the cloud will save you money in the long run. Keeping and maintaining a data center is expensive. And you have to pay for everything you buy, whether you use it or not. With cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can find plans that let you pay for only the storage you use. And you don’t need to have expensive IT professionals on staff full time. You can leave that up to your Network Services company.

Scalability

A lot of businesses have fluctuating needs when it comes to data management, like retailers who have a spike in sales during the holiday season or an education data company that has spikes during testing periods or the beginning of the school year. Using the cloud lets you easily scale up and back depending on your needs so you only pay for what you use.

Security

You may have heard something like, “there is no cloud, it is just someone else’s computers.” Well that’s true if that someone else has those computers in a secure locked-down site with closed circuit cameras, 24 hour security, and limited access by only a few people. Legitimate cloud services providers make sure they have the latest in security in place to protect your data and keep it away from unauthorized eyes.

Disaster Recovery

Natural and man-made disasters rarely give you advanced warning to properly backup your data. By having your business based in the cloud instead of hard drives and servers in your office means that in the event of is disaster like a fire or flood, your business can carry on without much of a hitch.

Increased Collaboration and Productivity

In today’s world, emailing documents with different chronological versions or sharing them on a flash drive has gone the way of pagers and DOS. Using collaboration tools like Google Apps for Office lets your team collaborate in real time, including version tracking and commenting. Live chat apps like Slack and Google Hangouts make it easy for team members to work remotely.

There may be some growing pains at first when you decide to go with cloud migration, especially for people who are resistant to any kind of change. But if you’re seriously considering it, then it is probably time to make the move.

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3 Reasons To Outsource Your Network Services

By Jim Reams|March 22nd,2018|Client Services,IT,Managed Services,Security|No comments

Cost Savings

Having a dedicated network manager on staff means interviewing, vetting, hiring and training, and that is just the beginning. Then you have to factor in salary, benefits and what to do when your dedicated network manager goes on vacation, has a sick day or goes on parental leave. Also, take some time to think about why you would manage your own network in the first place. Sure your network may be vital for your business, it is for almost every business these days. But that doesn’t mean you should manage it.

Imagine you own a restaurant. You need people on staff to handle things like customer service, food preparation, and keeping things clean and sanitary in order to operate. The kitchen equipment is vital to your day-to-day operations, but you would never have someone on staff solely dedicated to monitoring and fixing the ovens and fryers when an issue arose. The same thing applies to network management for many businesses.

An Diverse Level of Expertise

Your in-house network person or team can become excellent at what they do, which is manage your network. But the people who work at network management companies with multiple clients are collectively experts at many different types of network installations and functions. They might spot a process of yours that is outdated and can recommend an updated and modernized version that could save you money. Someone who only specializes in your system likely won’t do that.

Keep Your Focus

If you are managing your own network and you need to scale up, it is going to cost a lot of time and money. If your network goes down for some reason that your manager is not familiar with, it could be down for hours or even days. Outsourcing your network management allows you to focus on what your customers, your sales, and your products without having to worry about keeping your network going.

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