3 Critical Services Your Current IT Support Is Missing

3 Critical Services Your Current IT Support Is Missing

It’s always fun for IT guys to see people in the financial industry marvel at Bitcoins and their fluctuations. Here in IT, fluctuation and change are the norm.  A significant service can be a lifesaver now but give it a few years, and it will be completely null.

Herein lies the problem. In IT, things change fast, and businesses that don’t adapt to these changes are flushed down the toilet. This is why choosing an IT Support is a daunting task. The service spectrum is broad, and needs are always changing, and it’s always difficult to tell if your IT service provider is providing you with the best services, or leaving some vital things out of their checklist.

Your IT service provider may be missing the following boxes on their service provision checklist:

Cloud Cost Optimization

The internet always seems free for everyone except for IT firms. Your internet provider may be intentionally or unintentionally, making you pay way more to the Cloud Service Providers than you should. Statistics show that most companies spend about 36% more than they should be paying to their Cloud Service Providers such as AWS.

Most IT businesses lose out on massive savings by outsourcing their Cloud Management to IT Service Providers who overlook cost optimization. To these providers, just getting you to the cloud is an accomplishment, even if your business has to spend fortunes to use it.

There are a plethora of actions your MSP should be undertaking to cut your cloud costs significantly. Your IT service provider should be:

  • Using or be heavily invested in Cloud analytics
  • Integration of Auto Scaling To reduce costs
  • Using AWS cost optimization tools
  • Power Utilization Practices such as Power schedules
  • Right-Sizing Of Computing Services
  • Use of Spot instances when necessary

Contingency Plans and Security

Once you have outsourced most of your IT service requirements to an IT firm, the security and safety of your data and the customer’s data becomes a priority. The two most essential things in security are contingency plans and constant improvement. Though most MSPs invest heavily in security, very few offer “Plan Bs” when the ceiling caves. Failure to plan, in IT more than any other industry, is planning to fail.

  • Your MSP should have:
  • Clearly laid out Disaster Recovery Plans
  • Insurance in case of a Cyber Attack
  • Extensive and Secure Backups for your data

In terms of constant improvement, your IT service Provider’s security plan should always be evolving. Security in IT is not a destination but a journey. Malware is continuously changing and improving, and so should your IT providers Security Plans. Your IT provider should be keeping up with the following cybersecurity and malware trends:

  • Increase in instances of Ransomware
  • Third-party Cryptomining
  • State-sponsored cyber attacks
  • Artificial intelligence in cyber terrorism

Regulatory Compliance

For years now, it was assumed that the web and IT were beyond regulation. Well, the amount of regulation in IT has significantly increased for two fundamental reasons. Governments and regulators have spent the past few years catching up. Also, the rise of IT and its growth has seen IT expand into uncharted territory and industries increasing its influence. This has called for more regulation.

Navigating the regulatory landscape is an essential service your MSP needs to offer. Some of the past, present and future regulations that have been lorded over the IT industry include:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union
  • Consumer Privacy Act in California (CCAP)
  • The Biometric Data Law in Illinois
  • Consumer Online Privacy Right Act(proposed Bill)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  • To show how a lack of regulatory compliance can cost a business and how fast the regulatory climate is changing, YouTube was recently fined $170 million for violating the COPPA regulations.

Regulation in itself is a noble idea, but it may lead to massive losses in money and time if neglected. Your IT provider has the responsibility of preparing you for future regulations and how they will affect your business. Your IT provider should be able to

  • Extrapolate your current investments and plans to see if they will be legally viable in the next ten years or so.
  • Align the services they offer to ensure that they comply with present and possibly future regulation.
  • Assure the privacy of your IT firm and the data of your customers and staff.

Though it’s true that the IT climate is always changing, we here at 4 Corner IT have always been changing with it. For any inquiries about IT and Custom solutions on your IT needs, contact us and let us be part of your story.

Is it Possible to Host a Private Cloud in the Cloud?

Is it Possible to Host a Private Cloud in the Cloud?

Many business owners, typically at the urging of their technology services company, have finally made the decision to move their computing tasks and perhaps even their data to the “cloud”. While some of the benefits, including reduced costs and anytime/anywhere access to corporate systems is appealing, some business owners may have security concerns and wonder if it is possible to “be in the cloud” yet still maintain privacy. In this post, we will define the various cloud options, so business owners can determine which route is ideal for them.

The Public Cloud

Any technology service using shared hosted resources with others is considered part of the public cloud. Office 365 and Google Drive are two such examples. They both offer anytime/anywhere access to users, plus the added benefit of minimal or no costs for usage and/or infrastructure maintenance. While these are two applications hosted by well known technology companies, there are many other industry-specific applications and/or services that companies may provide through the public cloud. 

A Private Cloud

Using their own hardware resources, large companies typically host their own private clouds, providing the convenience of anytime/anywhere access to their employees. However, even small companies can have their own private cloud, either hosted on their own premises or on a external provider’s hardware resources, typically in an off-site location. More and more, smaller companies are considering the advantages of maintaining a private cloud, since a private cloud can also incorporate other services such as data storage, application hosting, and data backup and disaster recovery. 

The Best of Both Worlds

Some companies decide to take a hybrid approach and use some applications and services offered in the public cloud, while also maintaining a private cloud. By utilizing the best of both worlds, a company can take advantage of the lower costs typically associated with using the public cloud, while still keeping vital corporate data safe and secure on their own private cloud infrastructure. 

If you would like more information on to set up a comprehensive cloud computing plan for your company, please contact us!

Cloud Computing Test: 5 Multiple Choice Questions

Cloud Computing Test: 5 Multiple Choice Questions

Over the past few years, cloud computing has been one of the most popular discussion topics for businesses. “The Cloud” is no longer the future, it’s now, and it has almost endless possibilities. Businesses that have transitioned to the cloud have realized cost-savings and increased functionality. But what’s really important, however, is that every business owner at least understands the basics of cloud computing.

If you think you have a general idea about cloud computing but want to test your knowledge, try this 5 question cloud computing test below and evaluate your results with the answers at the bottom. No peaking!

1. ________ describes a cloud service that can only be accessed by a limited amount of people.

A. Data center

B. Private cloud

C. Virtualization

D. Public cloud

2. ________ describes a distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to users.

A. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

B. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

C. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

D. Cloud service

3. True or False: Access to a Cloud environment always costs more money compared to a traditional desktop environment.

4. _________ is the feature of cloud computing that allows the service to change in size or volume in order to meet a user’s needs.

A. Scalability

B. Virtualization

C. Security

D. Cost-savings

5. True or False: A Cloud environment can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as the user has access to the Internet.

Answer Key

Now consider for a moment if these questions were difficult to answer. Many business owners have a general idea about cloud computing, but need guidance before making a final decision.

Learn More

Do you want to see what the cloud can do for you? Fill out the form below and choose Cloud Computing under Interested In. We’ll have a technical adviser reach out to discuss what services the cloud can fill for your business needs.

Here is the answer key to the quiz:

Answers:

1. B (Source)

2. C (Source)

3. False (Source)

4. A (Source)

5. True (Source)

Benefits of Using Cloud Servers

Benefits of Using Cloud Servers
cloud servers.

cloud server refers to a virtual server that runs on a cloud computing environment. This explains why cloud servers are commonly called virtual dedicated servers (VDS). Undoubtedly, there is plenty of buzz about cloud servers. If you’re interested in using cloud servers, here is some information about the benefits.

Benefits of Using Cloud Servers

One of the main advantages of using cloud servers is that you are free to modify the server software to suit your needs. In fact, you can even modify the operating system kernel, which is not possible with many other virtualization solutions.

Cloud servers tend to be more secure and stable. If you encounter a software problem, it will likely be isolated to the cloud computing environment. You won’t be harmed by the cloud servers of other people. The opposite is also true. Cloud servers also possess the best stability to cost ratio.

You will find that cloud servers are economically efficient. You will spend less on cloud servers and receive more resources and speedier performance. Essentially, your site will run faster if you have a cloud server rather than a traditional server at a comparative price.

Another advantage of cloud servers is that they scale quite well. This makes cloud servers especially beneficial for individuals who have needs that increase or decrease significantly from time to time. If you need to upgrade the disk space, CPU, or memory of your cloud server, it will be easy and affordable to do so.

Undoubtedly, there are many benefits of using cloud servers. For more information about the benefits of using cloud servers, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Hype About Cloud Hosting

The Hype About Cloud Hosting

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.”

Robert Kennedy

Let’s face it. Change can be hard. This is especially true when entire industries have to go through growing pains. Think about how frustrating it was when the home video industry changed up on Blockbuster. They had a nice, cozy place as a household name throughout America and several other countries. Then, wham!

This is the way a lot of companies that focus only on dedicated hosting are likely feeling today. Yet, for many businesses, dedicated hosting still does have a place. Every dedicated hosting customer isn’t going to cancel. However, for many business models, switching to the cloud just makes more sense.

Because of natural competition, many professionals with biased interests haven’t done much to clear up confusion over the security that cloud hosting platforms can offer businesses, especially SMB’s.

The popular discourse can have you imagining all sorts of cloud vulnerabilities, yet truthfully, nothing leaves you more vulnerable than having only one server. In addition, the top corporations of the world (like Google), rely entirely on multiple cloud hosted servers.

The Numbers

Simply put, cloud hosting puts the resources of several servers at your disposal. This is financially impossible for most companies that rely on dedicated servers. Hence, these companies typically have just 1 or 2 servers. Should your website experience a DDoS attack for example, bandwidth issues and other problems your competitors will experience won’t be a concern for you.

With cloud hosting, you can also pay for what you need. If your business grows, you pay for more resources. Dedicated servers cost much more money to set up. You also have to maintain them and update them yourself. For many businesses that means hiring staff and buying new hardware and software every year.

Though these are tax write-offs, it’s important to determine if dedicated servers are affordable and practical in the long run. Alternately, some businesses share servers with other businesses to cut dedicated server costs down to cloud hosting costs. However, this diminishes reliability and redundancy. Shared VPS typically isn’t the best solution.

Contact us today at 4 Corner IT to learn more about cloud hosting. Let us get your business running smoothly in just a few days.