Why You Should Get On The Cloud
A recent article by The Guardian (UK) states that the cloud industry is set to see a growth of around 30% soon. But many small and medium business owners are still struggling to make sense of the cloud and how it can benefit them. Here are some of the benefits when you migrate to the cloud:
The Cloud. It's the place to be. Perhaps Sir Richard Branson will find a way for us to tour the cloud. If anyone can find a way, it's him.
We use the cloud when we put gas in our car. We use the cloud to pay our bills (even if you are sending a paper check, funds are transferred through the cloud by the banks and corporations that process payments).
IT Support Technician from NSI - review of Microsoft Office 365 / MS365: Working with Small and Medium Businesses as a Network Support Specialist, I'm asked about new advances in technology almost every day. Most recently, I received an inquiry about Microsoft 365 / Office 365. *NOTE: This post is from 2011, updated information is on its way! Subscribe to this blog and get the latest on Office 365. We will have a series of posts regarding Microsoft 365! Our "What needs work" section, below, will be addressed, along with other awesome improvements to this great product.
eConcierge powered by Xerox is a new pilot program being implemented to help SMB’s Manage their printers easier and most efficiently. Xerox’s eConcierge program installs a small client onto your computer finding each of your printers on your network; this client monitors each of your printers and gives you all the information about each of your printers allowing you to easily manage them from a single location.
What makes eConcierge really powerful is its ability to notify you, either through pop up notifications or via email that your toner levels are getting low and instead of having to manually check the printer periodically, find the model number and then find the associated toner cartridges through an online store and wait for the order to arrive. Using eConcierge powered by Xerox, you have all the printer info stored in the program, when the ink is low you are sent the notification and a link to the store giving you the exact ink cartridge that works with your printer with competitive pricing. You just click order and the cartridge is on its way.
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.
As an Android user and Google fan, I have been waiting for quite a few months for Google’s new music service to finally debut. It is rumored to be a place where you can store your music in the cloud and then can be played from anywhere. Well after months of waiting it looks like Amazon has beaten Google to the punch with the debut of Amazon Cloud Storage. This new offering from Amazon allows users to place their music onto Amazon’s free 5gb of storage and then stream it to any computer or android device, with iOS currently not being supported. Amazon is looking to rival apple in many ways, with Amazon focusing on MP3 sales to combat Apple’s iTunes and just a few days ago Amazon releases their own App Store for the Android market. Now Amazon has added icing to the cake giving away 5gb of space to users to store not only music, but videos, photos and documents.
The benefits of virtualizing your desktop environment are numerous, in today’s world business’s IT departments are growing by leaps and bounds and the work needed to add, integrate, and maintain can push IT resources to the limits. Virtualization was traditionally used to help reduce the number of servers needed to run the IT, but as the software became more advanced, the usefulness of having a Virtualized Desktop infrastructure (VDI) has become more apparent.