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What’s in Your Data Center?

What’s in Your Data Center?

Most experts agree we will create more Data this year than in all prior years combined. According to research firm IDG the world will create 163 zettabytes of data a year by 2025. It is no surprise IDC forecasts worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure to reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4% over 2016. What is driving this growth and what do you need to know to manage what’s in your data center? What is Driving Data Center Growth? While businesses are drowning in data they find themselves starved for information. Trends in mobility, social media, and customer analytics can create an exponential explosion of data in your business. Business applications, email archives, file sharing and more all drive us to hoard and store data like never before. Regulatory compliance requires many industries to archive data. Additionally, low-cost storage allows businesses to easily accumulate data on a range of devices including desktops, laptops, and on-premise services. Many companies turn to economical options including Infrastructure as a Service for Application Hosting and Failover to store and protect this data. How can a Business Benefit from Infrastructure as a Service? Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a way for businesses to use cloud computing to tap into computer resources over the Internet. The Cloud Computing model allows businesses to avoid the Capital Expense (CapEX) of investing in infrastructure. The business owner only pays (rents) the portion that is consumed. This utility computing model is adopted by most businesses today and helps alleviate some of the concerns related to managing your own data center. How to Avoid...
The IoT Security Challenge

The IoT Security Challenge

The internet of Things (IoT) is much-talked-about technology. Driven by low-cost sensors, ubiquitous connectivity and updates to the Internet Protocol (IP), IoT is rapidly being adopted. Research firm Gartner expects over 8 billion devices connected in 2017. Cities use IoT to relieve parking congestion by collecting data on open parking spots; farmers can measure moisture in soil; and manufacturers use this technology to track inventory in their supply chain. Because these devices may use machine-to-machine connectivity without human intervention, this can increase the IoT Security Challenge. Here are some security considerations for IoT. IoT Network Security IoT Network Security goes beyond traditional network security requirements for connecting PCs, Laptops, Tablets and servers together. Networks supporting IoT will need to support a wider range of devices using a wider range of protocols for connectivity. Not surprisingly, Markets and Markets forecast IoT network security as the largest segment of a market expected to grow to over $29 billion by 2022. IoT Encryption One of the primary business benefits of IoT is the data that can be collected and analyzed from these devices. Using IoT encryption technologies to protect this information at rest or in transit is an IoT Security Challenge for businesses adopting IoT technologies. Standard encryption technology is stretched to its limits by IoT encryption requirements. Specialized IoT encryption technologies are needed due to the wide range of devices used for IoT deployments. IoT Security Reporting and Analytics IoT applications are not immune to hackers and security breach attempts. Due to the volume of devices, monitoring and analyzing IoT security will become increasingly challenging. Artificial intelligence and big-data analytics are...

Disaster Recovery and Data Protection –Now More Than Ever

Recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, along with major earthquakes in Mexico, remind us how vulnerable we can be to disasters, and underscore the importance of data protection. As businesses depend on access to a range of systems–including call center, communications and collaboration application, customer management, and more–having a solid data protection plan can help you in a disaster recovery scenario. Now more than ever, a range of options exist to help maintain business continuity. Here are a few options to consider. Review Your Data Protection Plan Key to your data protection plan is identification of mission-critical systems. The most important systems should be redundant, with the ability for failover in the event of a disaster. Your data centers and failover options should be geographically dispersed and on different network backbones. This can minimize downtime and get you back up and running sooner. Having your data backup available in Cloud Storage can help you recover other important files and application data if you lose access to your on-premise systems. SD-WAN for Business Continuity Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can also provide you a highly reliable and redundant network. Having the ability to switch Wide Area Networks using SD-WAN as an alternative to more costly MPLS solutions can ensure connectivity during a natural disaster. What’s more, Software-Defined Wide Area Networking can save you money in the long run by giving you the flexibility of a multi-carrier solution. Software as a Service for Disaster Recovery More businesses are turning to the Cloud for a range of applications–hosted email, Voice over IP (VoIP), Call Center, and others–to keep communications flowing during a disaster....

Technology Trends for 2017

It’s that time of year when many businesses are setting goals and budgets for next year. This is a good time to reflect on the impact technology can have on your business. While Cloud Computing adoption remains strong, companies will increase migration from Public to Private Cloud and even migrate back “on premise.” Cloud adoption, digital transformation and streaming media will increase the demand for bulletproof networking. New technologies including SD-WAN will hit mainstream in 2017 to improve network performance in support of business requirements. Cyber threats will continue to keep business owners up at night with increased intrusions from ransomware and unplanned downtime from DDoS attacks. Here are a few takeaways to consider for your 2017 plan. More Choices for Cloud Computing In a recent study by the Computing Technology Industry Association’s (CompTIA), 43% of those using Public Cloud are expected to migrate to another Public Cloud Provider. For example, companies using Hosted Exchange may find themselves adopting Office 365 or Google for Work to keep current on the latest version of these communications and collaborations applications. The CompTIA “Trends in Cloud Computing” research also revealed 21% of Cloud usage will move from Public Cloud to Private Clouds. This scenario is driven by the need for compliance with industry regulations, including HIPAA regulations for health care and SOX compliance for Financial Services, among other business requirements. Digital Transformation Will Emerge as Competitive Advantage for Business of All Sizes Businesses will adopt new strategies for reaching new customers and servicing existing customers in 2017. These new strategies will fuel the need for digital transformation. Reaching new buyers through digital...

Proactive IT for Small and Medium Businesses

Let’s face it, most businesses rely on their IT Systems to run their daily operations. Whether it is email, eCommerce, accounting or other “line of business” applications, SMBs need the same up time and availability as a large business. Most of the time everything hums right along. When PC’s crash or the network crawls, business can come to a grinding halt. Being proactive with your IT Services can make all the difference in the world in getting up and running again. Here are some tips to ensure you get back up and running quickly: Start off by having all your ducks in a row. When things go wrong, make sure you know who to call. Don’t wait until things are broken to find an IT Service Provider or Computer Repair Company. Establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a reputable IT Service Provider in advance. By having an agreed upon response time and rate schedule, you can ensure a rapid response to your problem that works by your schedule. In many cases you can pay by the hour or by the ticket. You may even be able to include unforeseen computer repairs as part of a fixed fee IT Managed Service Agreement. By having a service level agreement in place, you will save time and money when things go wrong. Also consider having both local and off-site backups of your data. When we thing about backup we typically think about a disaster, theft or other systems failure. Any way you look at it, backup is all about recovery. A local backup can help you find lost files or recover...

5 Tips for Protecting your Data

It seems not a week goes by when you hear about some company getting hacked. Not only is this embarrassing, but also it can be costly if you compromise customer’s data. According to PCICompliance.org banks may pass along fines ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 for each infraction. So what can you do to protect yourself and reduce your risks? Here are 5 quick tips for you to consider: 1. Windows O/S Patch – Everyday there are new patches, updates, and hotfixes available from Microsoft for your computers. Many of these patches are created to close security holes for your PC. If your PC is at risk your network is at risk. This means your data is at risk too. By making sure ALL your systems are up to date on a DAILY basis, you will help protect your data, and your systems will run better too. 2. Antivirus – Keeping your Antivirus definitions up to date is another way to protect yourself from data loss. These Antivirus updates are designed to avoid dangerous attacks and to prevent malicious programs from destroying your data. Verify your Antivirus definitions are always up to date. 3. Malware – Malware is short for malicious software. These programs not only slow your computer and disrupt your work, but they can also gather information from your machine resulting in a breach of privacy. Many malware programs are designed specifically for capturing credit card information. There are many new programs designed to detect and destroy malware. Make sure you are ahead of these types of attacks. 4. Network Scan and Audit – You can identify security...