Tag Archives: storage

Is it Time to Go to the Cloud?

26 Jan 16
lverbik
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It’s a commonly asked question: Should we get a new server or go to the cloud? The answer differs, depending on who’s trying to sell you their services. So what’s the answer? Is there just one answer?

If you’ve maxxed out your old server and it’s coming to its life’s useful end, you have an important decision to make. Buying a new server and staying with a private cloud may be beneficial for a majority of businesses, but sometimes a public cloud may work best.

There’s one story, the word-on-the-street benefits of the cloud:

  • increased business efficiency and agility
  • save on IT costs
  • employees can access your company data easily wherever they are
  • easy file sharing, collaboration and conferencing
  • eliminate file backup worries
  • free storage
  • works from any device
  • cloud users enjoy higher revenues* according to a survey by accounting software provider MYOB

All true, the above benefits of the cloud may be best suited for:

  • startups
  • very small companies
  • virtual company
  • company with global locations
  • businesses with high internal IT costs
  • businesses who require mega computing power

But wait—here’s another story to consider. Most small and medium-sized businesses who make up the core of our country’s free enterprise system-the manufacturers, the service companies, the product distributors—these types with existing application housed on their old servers–are smart, savvy, and not switching to the cloud. They instead choose to buy new servers.

Why would they NOT choose the cloud? Didn’t the media world determine it was all-around cheaper and better for companies? The answer for a large segment of the business population—and possibly you—is no.

It’s a cost and ROI story. Established companies running their own applications are finding that migrating them to the cloud and operating them using cloud based applications is in fact too costly when all is said and done—oft times more expensive than the current situation. Companies who were surveyed and did so found that it came in at roughly the same price to switch over—about $100 per month per user. That was the 2013 price for a business to switch over its current infrastructure to one that is cloud based.

So what is the answer for you? Do your cost comparisons, start small and try some free and low cost cloud tools to get your feet wet, and use some free trials to see what may be to your benefit. And let TechnoAdvantage give you a cloud analysis to see if it’s right for you. You may find that the cloud is just too high in the sky so you’ll want to keep yourself grounded with good internal server and outside support from a company like us. Either way we’re here to help you make the wise choice for you.

Running your business on relics? Time to think of cleaning house.

15 Sep 15
lverbik
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You’re small, nimble, and don’t need the latest and greatest expensive technologies—we get that. It’s costly. It’s time consuming to research the stuff. You may not even know what exists out there. However, some of the old technology you’re still hanging onto to run your business may be costing you more money than avoiding a new purchase is worth in the long run. And you may be unwittingly blocking new profitable opportunities.

Now might be the time to embrace new technologies as you purge your office of the relics. So what are these old technologies you should think about getting rid of? Consider moving away from:

  1. Big old honkin’ desktop computers. They were once the standard, just like landlines. We all know what’s happened there. You no longer need these clunky space hogs that chain your employees to their desks. Today’s business is done on the go. Give your employees the freedom to get the job done anytime anywhere. Today’s laptops have all the power, speed and affordability that desktops had. There’s no reason not to make this change.
  2. Mobile phones for your business. To be clear: Mobile phones for your employees—yes, great. Paying for them—no, don’t. A more cost-effective and preferred route is the “Bring Your Own Device” policy. Most businesses today are doing this—and savings thousands of dollar each month. Don’t forget to protect your business with a written BYOD policy.
  3. Purchasing localized software. Used to be that businesses would buy software they needed for any old computer function: word processing, image/ graphics, accounting. These often came bundled in expensive packages along with a lot of crap they don’t need but were paying for.  If this is the way you’re still doing it, consider a move to Software as a Service (SaaS). You pay only for what you need and it’s stored on the fluffy white cloud. Many of the networks, platforms, and software you need are available as a service with more being added all the time.
  4. Using portable onsite storage exclusively. Backing up your valuable data with physical onsite storage devices has its place—external hard drives, flash drives, CD burners. They make sense for a lot of situations. But if that’s your only line of defense against data loss, you are putting a lot at risk. If a device fails or is stolen or damaged, you’re in trouble. Wise is the business owner who employs the cloud or offsite storage to back up his or her data.  There’s an efficient and cost-effective way to combine the best of both onsite and offsite data backup that will give you peace of mind.

Get in touch with TechnoAdvatange for more ways we can help your business flow with the best IT solutions.

DON’T OPEN THAT RÉSUMÉ SO FAST: THE LATEST SCARY TREND IN RANSOMWARE

23 Jun 15
lverbik
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YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED. Now you must pay ransom to an unidentified thief in order to unlock your computer system and gain access to your own data or lose it forever. This might be the worst message to ever have come across your computer screen. If you become its victim, the only way around it is either, 1) pay them, or 2) reformat your computer, and restore data from a backup (if you have it). There’s no easy way out—they lock your drive so you won’t be able to “hack” your way back in, and this is not only local drives, but they can affect mapped drives as well, so if you have a data drive on a company server that everyone uses, that one can be hijacked too.

You’ve just experienced CryptoWall, a new and highly destructive variant of ransomware—a malicious software that infects your computer and holds hostage something of value to you in exchange for money. With CryptoWall, thieves use asymmetric encryption, where the decryption key is different from the encryption key and is not stored next to the encrypted data. This forces victims to pay the thief a ransom for the decryption key to unlock the data. It is so insidious as to encrypt your data with RSA-2048 standard, which makes decryption just about impossible within the given timeframe the infection hobbles you with—usually 48 hours.

And now criminals have refined their malware yet again through the use of exploit kits to spread their poison deeper and wider. This time, with seemingly innocent looking résumés.

How it works:

A hacker sends a zipped file or corrupted word document appearing to be a résumé of a potential hire. When opened, it encrypts the entire contents of the computer and possibly network drives. Information on how to pay a “fee” to decrypt your files is then presented on the screen. After some time, the “fee” may double or you cannot retrieve the files at all. Criminals may demand $500 or more to lift the restrictions on your hostage data.

What can you do to prevent an attack?

  • First, be aware and help spread the word. Our best line of defense against this type of crime is to prevent its occurrence in the first place, and help as many people as possible be aware of the threat and how to avoid it. Share this blog post.
  • Second, train your staff not to open any résumés that come as zipped files—delete the emails immediately. Make sure anyone who hires people knows not to open these emails. Continue to make intelligent decisions about which email attachments you open. If you have an email that you question, contact an IT manager.

Prepare for the worst

  • Always back up your files. There are many excellent and reliable backup services out there. There are similarities and differences so it’s important to find the one that best suits your business’s needs. Compare costs, performance and security levels, among other things, and of course, how they do with disaster recovery. 

What can you do if you become a victim?

  • If you ever think you have clicked on one of these emails, shut down your computer immediately (hold the power button for 6 seconds) or unplug from the network immediately and contact your IT manager.

 

Be informed and share!

The team at Techno Advantage will help you select the right cloud-based or on-premise backup and storage solutions.  Give us a call to discuss which option is right for you. We also offer a backup software option for businesses. Need more help deciding how to protect your business from a malware attack? Contact a Techno Pro today!  And watch this blog for updates on any new malware. We want to keep you informed.

The Cloud Explained Part III – A Marketing Tool

07 Oct 14
lverbik
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Now that cloud computing technology has already gone past the infancy stages, many industries are realizing the benefits it provides, and are adopting and integrating the technology to fit their businesses. One major sector that stands to benefit a lot from the cloud is marketing, as it has the ability to change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.the benefits it provides, and are adopting and integrating the technology to fit their businesses. One major sector that stands to benefit a lot from the cloud is marketing, as it has the ability to change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.

The most recent technology forecasts released by Forbes, Cisco, Forrester, and Gartner all reveal that there is widespread adoption of cloud computing going on worldwide. The forecasts have been unanimous in their predictions, with over one third of digital content in the world estimated to be stored in the cloud by 2016.

As for storage, it is estimated that the average data storage consumed per household will grow from 464 gigabytes in 2011 to 3.3 terabytes in 2016. Not every household will have large enough storage devices to accommodate that much data, so majority of it will be hosted on the cloud. This will result in an increase in spending towards the cloud, with the studies estimating that the global market for cloud computing will see an increase from $40.7B in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020.

According to Forrester’s research, majority of users in 2020 will be abandoning installed programs in favor of web-based applications. The move is not purely motivated by personal preferences as the companies themselves are pushing for migration to the cloud due to the cost savings.

One of the key effects of the cloud that will benefit digital marketing is that it has provided marketers with more venues from which to approach potential customers.  It has also allowed more individuals to become potential customers. For instance, a person who is watching TV and texting on the couch used to be out of reach of digital marketers. Now, the cloud has made it possible for the same person to access his data through his phone and his TV without even leaving the couch. There’s no need for complicated user interfaces or servers. The person is also more likely to access the Internet simply because it is now possible, making him more accessible to digital marketers.

Here are 3 reasons why marketers are migrating to the cloud:

  1. Multi-device support – with the cloud, marketers no longer need to worry about hard drives or other local storages as their files can be accessed and shared over the Internet using any internet-capable device they have on hand.
  2. Security – Security is no longer an issue with the cloud, as large and established companies have started entering the market, bringing with them their expertise and skills with regard to safeguarding the security of their customers. Additionally, marketers, no longer have to worry about losing data to a hard drive crash or acts of god, as cloud service providers have off-site backups, which means it’s almost impossible to lose data completely.
  3. Low Cost – the real crowning jewel of cloud computing technology is its cost efficiency. There’s no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on setting up an infrastructure as a web enabled device and internet access is all that’s needed to get a cloud based system up and running.  as a web enabled device and internet access is all that’s needed to get a cloud based system up and running.

So, working with the cloud can lead to better marketing, more options, more security and best of all – more money!
Talk to the pros at Techno Advantage today to learn more about cloud computing solutions for your business.