The 3 IT Systems You Need In Place Before a Geographical Expansion

By Tom McDonald | Oct 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A true measure of business success is expansion. Opening up new markets and satellite offices demonstrates that business is booming, but one of the biggest mistakes any business can make is unplanned expansion. Growing too fast or without carefully considering what kind of infrastructure you will need to sustain a larger operation has proven to be the downfall of many companies. You especially want to plan out your IT strategy to give you centralized control of data and gain a more accurate picture of global operations.

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How to Avoid IT Downtime When Moving to a New Office

By Tom McDonald | Jul 17, 2015 10:35:00 AM

Moving is stressful, but it can be exciting too.

Moves are typically a landmark in the life of small businesses. It usually means the company is growing to the point where it needs more space to house additional employees.

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Five Things You Should Do Right Now to Preserve IT Support Systems

By Tom McDonald | Sep 5, 2013 7:17:00 AM

Here at NSI, we do a lot of IT consulting for network support and computer services, including vmware projects, storage, and data backup and recovery solutions for small business.  Let's jump right into the five things you can do right away to improve your businesses IT environment - One: Backup Files Every Day - As catastrophic as data loss is, the number of businesses that still are not backing up their network is unbelievable. According to the Symantec Small to Medium Size Businesses (SMB) data, only 23% of SMBs are backing up their data on a daily basis and fewer than 50% are backing up data weekly. Any number of events can result in data loss, so the importance of frequently backing up your network cannot be overstated. 

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K-12 School Series: TOP FIVE Tips for Summer IT Prep

By Tom McDonald | May 17, 2013 11:44:00 AM

Complete IT Support from Connecticut based NSI, serving CT and the Northeast Government, Education, and Small Business sectors since 1985 – What are the TOP FIVE things your IT staff should do to prepare IT resources for the summer?

As Connecticut Schools plan for the Smarter Balanced assessment test scheduled to roll out and replace Connecticut’s Mastery Test, and the Academic Performance Test during the 2014-2015 school year, IT preparedness and resource evaluation are key components for many district’s summer schedule.

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15 Run Commands to Help You Become a Power User

By Tom McDonald | Jun 10, 2011 10:28:00 AM

A power user is someone who uses the advanced features of the OS that a "normal" user wouldn't need access to. For many power users, getting to the right menu's and utilities as quickly as possible is a must have. Below is a list of 15 Run Commands that every power user should be acquainted with.

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New Study from AMD shows more than 1/3 of companies are now using the cloud

By Tom McDonald | Jun 2, 2011 11:42:00 AM

A new study from CPU maker, AMD, shows that over one third, 37%, of companies are now using cloud infrastructure for their data centers with an additional 43% of companies investigating implementation. And this isn’t just small companies who are relying on the power of cloud technology, with 63% of those using the cloud saying that they have data stored in there worth over $250,000, meaning billions of dollars worth of information is now sitting securely off-site.

Cloud computing has been growing over the past couple of years, and has increased with the wide spread of virtualization allowing companies to scale their IT department easier and more efficiently. 1 in 10 companies are now storing over 10 million dollars in the cloud now, but there is still concerns from security experts who point out that are still some flaws that have come to light recently with companies like Sony having their servers hacked and Amazon’s cloud service going down for an extended period of time leaving many companies unable to access their information. While security was still sited as the number one concern when moving to a cloud infrastructure, these flaws in the cloud computing model haven’t deterred companies from moving to the cloud, having the benefits of accessing their information from anywhere and allowing companies to outsource certain IT tasks to an outside company.

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How to choose the best PSU (Power Supply Unit) for the money

By Tom McDonald | May 9, 2011 3:49:00 PM

Buying a power supply can be a daunting task for many PC builders, the prices and rated capabilities range widely and there is little in comparable specifications. To make matters worse the power supply doesn’t affect performance in any direct way. Buying a $200 dollar power supply won’t make your computer run any faster compared to a $50 dollar supply, this leaves people with the unfortunate task of trying to not spend more money than they need to, as this money could be better spent on other components, but at the same time not buying a power supply that will underperform.

Brand is Key

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Discover the value: VMware Health Check from a VCP

By Tom McDonald | Apr 29, 2011 11:14:00 AM

With a VMware vSphere Health Check, one of our VMware Certified Professional consultants (VCPs) will work with your IT team and assist them with configuration and management of VMware vSphere by providing knowledge and guidance on best practices. If you're running the latest in VMware software, it is important that you are getting the most out of your environment. By working closely with your IT department our VCP will be able to provide concrete recommendations that will optimize your virtual IT infrastructure.

WHY THIS MATTERS:  Over time, adding new VM's and changes/upgrades to your virtual environment alters the efficiency. Having a VMware Health Check ensures you’re not over/under utilizing resources and your environment is staying within VMware’s best practices guidelines. Its a good idea to have a VCP check your environment every 6 to 12 months or a couple months after any major upgrade or change to the infrastructure. This ensures your infrastructure is well maintained and that any problems are realized before they require a major overhaul.

 

Benefits

• Optimize VMware vSphere performance
• Maximize resources through efficiencies and roadmap for future improvements
• Mitigate risk by leveraging experienced consultants and proven best practices

Deliverables 

• Collect data and conduct assessment of VMware vSphere (up to four ESX™ hosts)
• Identify potential opportunities to optimize configuration and improve performance
• Hold an interactive workshop to facilitate knowledge transfer on VMware vSphere best practice

Scope

• Up to two (2) days on-site, and one (1) day off-site to create assessment report
• Health Check includes up to four (4) ESX hosts
• Maximum of five (5) participants for interactive workshop
• Contact your local VMware representative for pricing information
• VMware vSphere Health Check will be delivered by a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) consultant 

Requirements

• Existing VMware vSphere including VMware ESX
• Administrator (root) access to VMware installations
• Conference room with projector and networked desktops/laptops running MS Windows® 2000 or higher

You've made an investment in your virtual infrastructure, so ensuring that you are getting the most out of this investment is key. By having a VCP consultant optimize your environment you not only ensure that vSphere is running to the best of its abilities, but also gives your IT the knowledge and training to maintain the virtual infrastructure.

Go Here to get the WhitePaper Outlining the Health Check processs and VMware best practices that are reviewed

IT Guide for Small Business Owners

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Not big enough to Virtualize but still need a solid Disaster Recovery Plan, maybe its time for a ZoomBox

By Tom McDonald | Apr 27, 2011 11:15:00 AM

Are your backups taking too long? How often do you test them, and are you sure they would restore properly when you need them? The problem with most disaster recovery solutions is there is no middle ground for SMB’s (Small Medium Businesses). Large corporations can invest in complex virtualization strategies using technology from VMware, this is a great option, but companies with limited IT support or who don’t have the funds to invest in virtualizing their servers are stuck with strategies that don’t give them the support they need. Many are forced to continue using Tape as a backup solution, which has a notorious reputation of not being able to restore. Others rely on having a RAID array, giving them the benefit of allowing a hard drive to crash without losing data, which does give them some security, but only in that one respect. If the server were to die the data would be fine but wouldn’t be assessable until the server was back up and running. This leaves SMB’s with old outdated and extremely limited Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans that don’t even come close to the benefits that virtualization gives the larger corporations.

NSI’s main target audience has always SMB’s and having seen the gap in technology brought its technicians together to create the ZoomBox. The ZoomBox is an NSI ran and owned product that gives SMB’s the virtualization protection that their business needs without having to change their entire network. What happens is NSI installs a client on any Windows machine that the customer wants to ensure up time and data protection. The ZoomBox then creates virtual images of each server/desktop 1-3 times a day, this image is then backed up to the cloud for extra protection, ensuring that all your data is perfectly safe regardless of what might happen to your business environment.

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