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Posts tagged cloud services
What’s a Hybrid Cloud & What Does it Want?

I’m sure by now you’ve caught wind of the cloud storage trend. Organizations big and small have been moving to the cloud or thinking about it for some time now, and it’s been touted as the wave of the future for data management. Certain more security concerned businesses, however, have been reluctant to move into this brave new world of storage. With their reluctance, new solutions have had to be found. Flash forward to now, and the hybrid cloud infrastructure is the talk of the town. But what the heck is it?

Contrary to the name, it is not some half chicken half monkey monstrosity. Hybrid cloud really just refers to the process of using multiple clouds all connected to your data center. Instead of having only one option for cloud storage you have several, and their use depends on the type of data they’re meant to keep.

Using a hybrid cloud setup you’d be able to store your privileged data (your EPHI if you’re required to be HIPAA compliant for example) on a private cloud, while still being able to utilize the public cloud (like Amazon Web Services) and all its extended resources. Because these multiple houses store varying levels of protected data your exposure threat is minimal; the most sensitive information is stored privately away from potentially prying eyes.  The tricky bit then becomes how to get them all to work together!

If you’ve been thinking about moving your storage into the cloud, or upgraded the cloud services you’re already using, reach out to us. We can help make the process much smoother.

As always, follow us on Twitter @MannassiIT or Facebook for daily updates.

Not All Clouds Have A Silver Lining

Currently, there is a big push for businesses to move some or all of the their IT infrastructure to the cloud.  However, there is one thing that tends to get overlooked in the planning; that is the connection between the corporate office and the cloud servers.  Regardless of whether you have gone to public cloud with AWS, a hybrid, or a private cloud, that internet connection is now the keystone to your productivity. 

Here are four things to consider when planning your switch to the cloud:

  1. Can the internet current internet connection have sufficient bandwidth to support this extra traffic, over and above regular internet browsing? You may also want to implement a policy to prevent Internet slow down, such as restricting March Madness streaming on ESPN.
  2. Does you ISP provide a service level agreement so that in the event of an outage the repair work is started immediately and guarantees a return to service? Most cable, FiOS, & DSL connections (like Spectrum, Cox, Frontier, U-verse, & the like), make only a best effort and give you no bill credit for extended down time.
  3. Do you have a secondary/redundant internet connection from a different ISP? This will provide a failover option in the event that the primary ISP goes down.  Depending on the firewall you have, you may be able to load balance traffic over both connections, giving you better performance.
  4. Speaking of firewalls, this too is a single point of failure, a second firewall is key to redundancy.  Automatic failover is a common option on most business and enterprise class firewalls.

It may seem like, on the surface, having to pay for two internet connections is an unnecessary expense, but remember the last time your own internet went down & how frustrated you were. Now multiply that frustration by a factor of 1000 for you & your staff as you are unable to get any work done because your cloud servers are unavailable! Make sure your backup plans have backups so you’ll be prepared for any emergency.

Check out our facebook page or follow us on twitter @MannassiIT for daily updates.

When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Go Virtual!

For the past several weeks we here at Mannassi IT Solutions have been working from a virtual office as we searched for an ideal new office space. The transition out of our physical space (and shortly our transition back into a new office) was made much easier by our virtual workstations. It was no problem for staff to set up their home offices in a matter of minutes!

As the President and owner of a small business, I am always looking to squeeze every dollar out of our IT investments.  Nothing seems to hurt more than hearing that workstations need to be upgraded because they do not have the CPU, RAM or storage to run the latest and greatest app.

So, rather than going out and buying a bunch on new systems that you hope will last 3 to 5 years, look at an alternative by going to virtual workstations.  Just like cloud servers, desktops can be hosted in the cloud as virtual systems, with the user in the office or remote accessing the virtual desktop with a small app that takes almost no resources, such as Window Remote Desktop Connection or VMware Horizon.

For all money-conscious CFO’s and small business owners out there, the benefits of a virtual office keep on giving, because virtual desktops can be spun up as demand rises, or if a user needs more memory to run an app then it can be added in minutes, rather than wasting hours, or days having to go out and acquire memory to be put into a physical computer. You can also utilize “Desktop as a Service” for virtual desktop infrastructure, which boasts a pay as you go model, so you’re only charged for what you use.

A recent Gallup study revealed that workers who spend at least some of the work hours remotely show higher productivity and satisfaction than those who only work from an office. If you want to drive up employee engagement, improve productivity, and attract the best new talent, all while saving on overhead costs consider a combination remote/on site schedule. Even if you opt to stay in-office only, virtual workstations can save you big on money and hassle.

Best,
Beverley Mannassi, President

As always, follow us on twitter @MannassiIT or on Facebook for regular updates.

Greatest Hits from Channel Partners Expo 2017: What We Learned

This past week we attended Channel Partner’s 2017 Conference at the Mandalay Bay Conference center in Las Vegas. This is the second year we have attended the show and we always get some great insights. This year it was apparent that the cloud telecom economy is booming, based on the increased attendance and exhibitors.

The conference and expo covers telecommunication and cloud technology, with this year’s focus being on Software Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN). This tech is set to be the new way to connect multiple office locations and organizations to their cloud infrastructure. Many of the vendors at the show are currently focusing on creating relationships with managed service providers, like Mannassi IT Solutions, to promote and sell their products to consumers. Having a managed service provider streamlines your technology needs, giving you a complete IT department at a lower cost than hiring someone in-house. It’s like having an IT guy on call just when you need them!

Other topics that came up included moving some or all a company’s IT infrastructure over to the Cloud. Cloud adoption has been in the news recently, with companies large and small making the switch to save space, money, and effort. Imagine being able to house everything you need without taking up any space!

Chat with us about the cloud on twitter, @MannassitIT.

What is U.C.a.a.S. & How Can it Help You?

In the world of business the telephone system has always been the one element that just has to work. That digital PBX box on the wall in a closet humming away doing its thing day in and day out is no longer up to snuff. Savvy business owners need more than just a device that an answer and make calls. They also need something that streamlines their communications and resists failure.

This is where a cloud hosted telephone system (AKA Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS) comes in. UCaaS first rose to prominence in 2014 on the coattails of the Cloud Computing movement. Providers were able to deliver a solution that was affordable, easy to setup, and came with many more features than the traditional PBX setup. Most importantly, UCaaS reduces businesses exposure to outages by having no single point of failure.

Instead of paying a per minute fee, UCaaS saves money by charging only a monthly user fee of around $20-$30 after the initial startup cost of an IP phone. With very little hassle small and mid-sized businesses can have a phone system that rivals the big guys, and enterprise businesses can have a communication solution with a lower total cost of ownership and easier scalability.

Are you following us on twitter? Stay tuned here and at @MannassiIT for more info about implementing UCaaS with Mannassi IT Solutions.