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Tools of the Trade: File Sharing and Collaboration Options for Small Business

Posted by on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 with 4 Comments

The rise in cloud services and applications has given businesses of all sizes myriad choices in tools to maintain their operations. Many of the tools integral to successful business operations center on file sharing and collaboration between employees. In fact, Gartner reports that file sharing and collaboration services are second in adoption behind only data backup and disaster recovery solutions. However, the influx of new options in the collaboration space has made the decision of which tools to use more difficult than ever. How do small businesses know which offerings not only fit the budget, but also accommodate their needs without a steep learning curve?

a blue server room

Datacenters around the world host file sharing and collaboration platforms for millions of businesses.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

At the root of any file sharing and collaboration solution are storage and permissions. Each user needs to have space to store files and data. Each company needs to administer permissions to some degree so that only authorized parties can see specific items or files. Without storage space and permissions, file sharing and collaboration looks a lot like coworkers simply emailing a file to each other whenever it is convenient. That solution is wildly inefficiency and nearly impossible to manage for very long.

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Preventing Denial of Service Attacks: DoS and DDoS Prevention Best Practices

Posted by on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 with 4 Comments

Denial of Service attacks can cripple a network. Thankfully, most DoS (denial of service) and DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks do not seek to steal information or data, but rather punish the network or extort money from them in exchange for ceasing the attack. Unfortunately, there are very few things you can do to prevent a denial of service attack; nefarious parties intent on doing your network harm are likely determined to do so. That said, there are a number of things that you can do proactively that will minimize the damage and shorten the timeframe of the attack so that your network will be back to operational as quickly as possible.

skull and crossbones icon

Denial of Service attacks are nearly impossible to stop, and they can be crippling to your network.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Cloud Services Hacks: Getting the Most Out of Your SaaS Tools

Posted by on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 with 3 Comments

The rise of cloud computing has made enterprise-grade software not only available, but also affordable, to businesses of any size. From CRM platforms to website builders, from bookkeeping software to photo editing programs, there has never been another time when so many tools were so readily available. Furthermore, competition between the companies producing these applications means that prices continue to decrease while service and support levels continue to rise. It is now not only possible, but oftentimes practical, to run every aspect of your business from the cloud without a single piece of software actually installed on your workstations or servers.

SaaS

Always-on software is great for business, making SaaS solutions ever more popular.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

But the ubiquity of cloud applications and always-available software brings challenges, as well. If you’ve decided to add a SaaS (software as a service) tool or application in to your organization, your work is only just beginning. Here are four things you absolutely must consider and plan for if you intend to get maximum value out of your cloud services and cloud applications.

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Be Prepared: The Differences Between Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

Posted by on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 with 6 Comments

When Jerry terminated his sales director, he made the mistake of letting him go back to his desk unattended to collect his belongings. The sales director, angered at his dismissal, logged on to the company’s shared server and deleted six years worth of client data. Just under one terabyte, the files he sent to the trash can included information about client proposals, projects, contracts, and payments.

But once Jerry caught wind of what had happened, he simply rolled his eyes, picked up the phone, and called his Managed Services provider. “I had to terminate an employee and he deleted a lot of data. Can you please see to it that everything is restored as soon as possible?”

The response? “No problem. We’ll have it done in about an hour.”

A startling number of businesses don’t implement a disaster recovery solution because they think that regular data backups are sufficient for that purpose. Just as surprising, a high number of businesses don’t implement a data backup solution because they’ve grown comfortable with the idea that a disaster recovery solution provides all the data backup they need. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Data backup and disaster recovery solutions are unique and both can play a pivotal role in the long-term stability and success of your organization. Jerry’s data backup solution was sufficient to restore the deleted data, but what if a water-main had flooded the building and ruined all the machines? Data backup wouldn’t have restored all the applications on the machines or brought the network back online. The differences between data backup and disaster recovery are important to understand if your IT infrastructure is going to provide security and stability though all types of challenges you might face. Here are some of the differences between the two:

Data backup gives users a way to quickly recover files that are accidentally erased or become corrupted.

Disaster recovery gives entire organizations a way to restore full datasets and software applications in the event of a catastrophe.

Data backup can be performed onsite with network attached storage, thumb-drives, or other hardware.

Disaster recovery solutions should be physically detached from your network so that any primary failure doesn’t spill over to your DR solution.

Data backup can include multiple restoration points or file versions.

Disaster recovery solutions primarily focus on restoring a business to its most recent steady-state so that operations can begin again after an incident.

Data backup can take place in the cloud, as well as using SaaS solutions that sync with workstations and mobile devices.

Disaster recovery solutions deployed in the cloud can often take days or weeks to restore an entire network.

Data backup is about keeping data safe and secure in a secondary location.

Disaster recovery is a multi-part strategy that addresses sudden loss of electricity, connectivity, or hardware functionality, as well as any security intrusion or damage done by malware.

Data backup is about having a backup copy of files so small mistakes (like accidental deletions) can be fixed quickly.

Disaster recovery is about getting your business back to operational after a large catastrophe.

Understanding the differences between data backup and disaster recovery means understanding the practical applications of each and the benefits and drawbacks of both within the entire IT environment. While there is some overlap in process between the two, the purpose of one stands in stark contrast to the other. Treating a data backup as a disaster recovery solution is shortsighted, just as viewing a disaster recovery solution as a way to store your critical data is inefficient. Instead, your organization needs to view both as separate entities that are both essential to business continuity.

When choosing the best way to safeguard your data and your network, make sure to put measures in place that address both backup storage and what to do in the event of a catastrophe. Click here to learn how Mosiac NetworX can help implement a solution that addresses all of your data backup and disaster recovery needs!

Scaling Through Dedicated Colocation Services: Leveraging Colo for Growth

Posted by on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 with 0 Comments

Aspire Gaming finally had a hit on its hands. After years of development, their new puzzle game was at the top of the charts among mobile applications. Thousands, then millions, of downloads were happening all around the world. The team knew that their server infrastructure was on the cusp of failing.

There was so much activity taking place that the updates and rollouts that had been planned for weeks would suddenly have to wait. The lead developer told the rest of the team, “I’m afraid if we do even the slightest little thing, the entire backbone will fall apart…we really are hanging on by a thread here.” The team needed new hardware to support the growth, and they needed it right away.

A server rack in a tower

Scaling a server bank can be expensive, but colocation gives you affordable options.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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