It used to be that the only option for robust email services (i.e. Microsoft Exchange – – it really is the gold standard of email servers) was to buy a server, figure out the Exchange software licensing and hire someone to set it all up and provide the ongoing maintenance. Luckily, those days are behind us and there are several options that are powerful, reliable and affordable. Let’s review the pros and cons of the most common solutions. Read more
Many of the posts on this blog have been about cloud services and that’s because so many of our clients are looking at migrating their IT infrastructure (their shared files, backups, email, applications and many times their whole desktop experience) to the cloud. But how do you know if it’s a good fit for your business? If you do decide to move to the cloud, do you have to move everything? While for many people, a full cloud migration is the right way to go but there are also ways to take advantage of the cloud without giving up the functionality or control that you may require onsite. When we work with our clients, we walk through all of the necessary items to determine what parts of the cloud (if any) are right fit.
A lot of businesses are making the move to the cloud with the logic of “why pay for servers, licenses, power redundancy, backups and support when I can just move to the cloud?” For some businesses, moving just your files to the cloud is the right answer (for example, if you don’t have any applications that you share, such as QuickBooks or time tracking software) and there are appropriate file-sharing services that cater to business needs but more on that in another post. But many businesses like the idea of moving their whole infrastructure, shared applications and all, to the cloud. With this option, your infrastructure becomes much more simplified and your IT expenses become very predictable – – and you get the added bonus of anytime, anywhere any device access to the stuff that runs your business. Done right, this creates a truly “worry-free” IT infrastructure.
So many times when we meet with new clients and we audit their network health and we get to the “How are you backing up your data?” question, the person in charge of the server will look up with a big smile and point out how they back up every night (like they were told to do) and how they switch their backup disks every day (“and see, we know that tapes are bad so we use USB disk drives”). And then they look at me expectantly and wait for me to tell them that their backup situation is all set. But, sadly, that’s when I have to (gently) burst their bubble and point out the flaws in their plan.