Category Archives: IT Managed Services

INET Dynamics
IT Managed Support Services

Managed IT Services versus Traditional IT Support

 

Written by Xuan Luan for I-Net Dynamics

With the speed of technology growth and how it is impacting every aspect of modern society, organizations and businesses have been putting more and more emphasis on their IT readiness. One important consideration is whether your IT system and support are adequate for your growing business.

By this point, you have probably heard quite a bit about businesses’ adoption of cloud, AI, and different levels of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. The main theme here is leveraging the suitable expertise and resources for your needs instead of handling everything locally. By ensuring you have the right resources, properly trained personnel to provide the right end-user assistance, impacts more than just downtime; it impacts the bottom line, your scalability, and the ability to implement new technologies.

In this article, we look into traditional IT support and managed services to see their key differences and why we think managed IT services is the choice of the future.

Traditional IT Support

First, let’s consider traditional IT support. Most of the time includes a local IT team. This type of support is sometimes called “break-fix” support. You require support when something is breaking or working incorrectly. Your local IT staff might also not be available 24*7, and their skills can become outdated compared to other certified IT experts from tech companies.

For some small businesses, you may decide to invest and build an in-house team to set up, monitor, and manage your IT system. Or traditional IT support can also be outsourced to other IT companies. They may provide you some IT guidance and outsourced IT staff who can stay at the client site.

However, the key nature of traditional IT is reactive, which can become a weakness in this era of rapid technological advancement. Your original IT system and infrastructure are likely not built to adapt quickly to your business’s advance. The system is not ready for scalability and high availability demands since investing and scaling a traditional system can be time-consuming and expensive. Your growth demand can outgrow existing IT ability.

Traditional IT support solves many problems, however, if your business is growing in complexity, a traditional IT support model may be a good choice. But, it may be a good choice if you have a complex, customized application base that is not subject to frequent upgrades; or if your applications don’t require specialized skill sets and regular training to maintain.

Having said that, technology affects every business. Organizations have been increasingly utilizing technology to build and maintain their advantages in the current competitive market. That’s why Managed Services grows to be one attractive approach.

Managed IT Services

Managed IT Services are services provided by a third party to care for all your IT needs. IT services from trustworthy providers offer different services including but not limited to operational support, asset management, patch management, anti-virus, backup, replication, monitoring, and reporting.

One of the main differences between a managed IT service support and a traditional IT support is that the former provides you expert support with coverage options from regular business hours to 24×7. The providers can help you to build a scalable and adaptive model. Thus, instead of a reactive and passive approach, the team from managed services provider actively prepares and develops a system that can handle disruptions, new demands.

In this model, your business’s powerline relies on IT services. For example, with I-Net Dynamics’  IT management expertise, you can focus on the one thing that matters the most: running your business.

Some Key Features and Benefits of Managed Services

As shared in some previous articles, Managed IT Services provided by certified and reliable providers bring some undeniable benefits:

 

  • Priority Focus: choosing to delegate IT services, you do not have to worry about and invest heavily to meet the crucial needs in many aspects, for example, monitoring, analysis, security, and performance. Your resources are allocated to your business.

 

  • A single point of contact for a wide range of professional services: Working with a competent service provider should give you better peace of mind. We can perform throughout the IT assessment of your current physical and virtual IT infrastructures. Based on it, we can identify weaknesses and points for improvement, and next, a more strategic IT plan might be created combining various services such as backup services, anti-virus, replication, monitoring, and reporting.

 

Rather than staying in a reactive mode and wasting more money on hiring contractors when outages or issues occur,  certified providers like I-Net Dynamics are committed to providing reliable, responsible, and timely support, monitoring, maintenance, and reporting of your IT system.

 

  • Cost Efficiency: With expert IT engineers, we can assist in evaluating and developing a strategic IT plan for your business as well as prepare for your growth. You then have more predictable IT plans with manageable costs since service providers should inform their costs.

 

You no longer have to invest heavily in your research and development of an in-house IT solution. For a similar level of IT system, services generally come at a better price. Moreover, some other kinds of costs, such as hiring and training IT experts, are handled by managed IT services providers. You have access to top-tier certified IT experts at much lower costs.

 

  • High Availability with Constant Monitoring and Support: 24/7 monitoring is available to ensure your business productivity and minimize all potential downtime. Through proactive monitoring and maintenance, IT systems are more resilient; as a result, your business productivity and reliability are enhanced.

 

  • High Scalability and Readiness for Growth: Managed IT services are also easier to scale to meet your growth needs. Managed IT services providers can carry out an assessment about newer demands and then scale to achieve these goals. In these scenarios, a faster solution is also provided without a long time for R&D and then deployment from your side. The big part is now absorbed and fulfilled by the provider.

 

  • Security and Risk Management: apart from general operational tasks, services, including anti-virus, backup, and replication, are available to make your business disaster-proof as much as possible. Even in the cases of outages or downtimes, you can be confident that an appropriate action plan will be performed to protect your data and business.

 

Furthermore, in many countries, your IT system might have to meet several security compliance requirements, these demands are better left for the experts. IT providers like I-NET consist of professionals always stay up-to-date with the advancement of technologies. Our staff is well-trained in the provided services and newer releases of them to ensure your system is well-managed.

 

Overall, managed services are a practical and effective solution for many businesses. Apart from the mentioned benefits, some points should be noted that to utilize any products and services, you should consider providers with a good track of records, then, contact and work closely with them for an initial assessment. If you are interested in a local and reliable provider, please contact us here.

 

INET Dynamics
cloud hosting database

Comparing Databases: Cloud VS Local?

 

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What is a cloud database?

 

A cloud database is a database service built and run in a cloud platform. A cloud database’s structure and purpose is not much different to a traditional local database. However, the core difference of where the database resides (on cloud versus on-premises) can bring some striking competitive advantages, which attract businesses to cloud adoption.

 

One key attractive offer of cloud databases is a database as a service (DBaaS). DBaaS is a model that provides a database as a ready-to-use service, which users can quickly deploy and has access to a database without the need for infrastructure investment and setup. The aspects of administration and maintenance can be taken care of by the service provider so the focus of users is on using it and utilizing it for their maximum returns.

 

Some key players in the industry

 

Cloud databases and DBaaS are undoubtedly offered by cloud providers. Some prominent players in the market are Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, IBM. Most providers offer support for both relational databases (SQL) and nonrelational databases (NoSQL). Businesses should research carefully about each provider offer when they select one.

 

 

Some key features and competitive advantages of a cloud database

 

The core of a database is no difference since, for example, a SQL Server database works the same on-premises and on the cloud. Database users and admins still use the same knowledge and skills to handle the database. However, cloud database providers generally offer some key features and benefits as below.

 

  • The database is on the cloud.
  • It’s quick and easy to set a database up to use.
  • It’s cost effective since you can choose your database tier and pay for what you use.
  • Businesses no longer have to buy dedicated hardware upfront.
  • Can be managed by the user or offered as a service and managed by a provider
  • Support SQL (including MySQL) or NoSQL databases
  • Accessed through a web interface or vendor-provided API

 

 

Cloud Database vs Local Database

CriteriaCloud DatabaseLocal Database

Residence On the cloud (it can be either a private or public cloud) On-Premises (Typically, businesses’ own local server and machines.)
Access Via the Internet Mostly local network (LAN)
Investment Mostly fee-based models. Users pay for what they use without investing in physical hardware and software. Businesses have to invest their own physical infrastructure, software to install and IT staff to set up from scratch.
Administration Control options: Organizations can opt for what they want, a traditional database on a virtual machine or a DBaaS.
Database admins still have full control over how to use their data.
Users have full control of their databases and the infrastructure they reside in.
Maintenance Businesses do not have to worry about cloud infrastructure.
With DBaaS, database admins can focus on using their data only, cloud providers commit to manage and operate the databases.
Similar to the administration, businesses have full control here. However, sometimes, these tasks can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
Speed It depends on the Internet. Speed is one big plus point of a local database as it lies locally and the access is over the intranet.
High Availability and Scalability Cloud providers often commit to nearly 100% availability of their services since their data servers are powerful with worldwide support.
It’s easy to migrate and replicate between data centers.
Also, scalability is one of the best selling points of cloud services since it’s so much easier to scale a cloud solution than an on-premise one. You can easily purchase new space and raise your database tier.
These aspects also depend on an enterprise’s investment in their infrastructure and their IT experts to build an appropriate database architecture.
Security With a remote database on cloud, your data is always backed up so, in case of a disaster, you should have a peace of mind that your backups are safe.
Also, cloud providers are often large enterprises who commit to necessary security compliances.
They also keep their hardware and software up-to-date for the newest digital threats.
Again, with full control, enterprises’ IT experts and database admins must stay sharp to implement crucial security setup and ensure their on-premises updated and ready for security threats.

 

Summary

 

With cloud technology growth, it’s undeniable that cloud databases are also attractive, however, the decision of choosing a database solution is still strongly up to your specific business needs. This article provides a brief overview of the two options so you can have an understanding of the pros and cons. For a more detailed assessment and solution, please contact us for consultancy.

INET Dynamics

Everything You Need to Know and Consider | IT Managed Services

 

Categories: IT Managed Services
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IT Managed Services – What is it? When do you need it? And Why it is good for you?
What is it?

Regardless of your business size, IT is the crucial backbone of many businesses. This creates the requirement of continuous improvement to your IT System as you try to keep up with the latest technological growth and competitors in your market. However, in the current era of constant technology growth, especially with the boom of cloud-based technology, the choice of managing and developing everything on your own is no longer optimal.

This is where IT Management Services providers, like I-Net Dynamics,  come into the picture to help businesses like yours to focus on their main job – running their business efficiently and serving their clients.  IT Managed Services usually consists of operational support, monitoring, maintenance to security, and analysis.

A trustworthy provider in IT services should be a single point of contact with high-quality services with more manageable and predictable costs. You would be able to simply delegate your IT tasks to IT experts to boost your productivity.

When do you need it?

Below are some scenarios that will indicate the need for a IT Managed Service provider. If you check off more than two of these scenarios, you should consider acquiring an IT Managed Services vendor.

– You find that your IT system is not capable of handling your daily workload.
– Your IT department is overworked and understaffed.
– You have difficulties in planning your IT plans as well as evaluating the cost.
– You have frequent downtime or outages.
– You do not have frequent updates or reports of your system health and find it difficult to identify critical issues.
– You are not fully confident in your backup and recovery plan.

IT Managed Services has also constantly been evolving with more services and also, going alongside the trend of cloud, many services are offered as cloud services with higher availability and real-time analysis.

 

Why is IT managed services a good choice for you?

Priority Focus: If you choose to delegate IT services, you do not have to worry about and invest heavily to meet the crucial IT needs in many aspects, for example, monitoring, analysis, security, and performance. Your resources and manpower are prioritized to your core business.

A single point of contact for a wide range of professional services: working with a competent service provider should give you better peace of mind. I-Net Dynamics can perform a throughout IT assessment of your current physical and virtual IT infrastructures. Based on it, we can identify weakness and points for improvements, and create a strategic IT plan combining various services such as backup services, anti-virus, replications, monitoring, and reporting.

Rather than staying in a reactive mode and wasting more money on hiring contractors when outages or issues occur, certified providers like I-Net Dynamics are committed to providing reliable, responsible and timely support, monitoring, maintenance and reporting of your IT system.

Cost Efficiency: with our expertise in IT, we can evaluate and develop a strategic IT plan for your business as well as prepare for your growth. With a long -term plan in place, I-Net Dynamics can work together with you to manage your IT costs in the long-run.

You no longer have to invest heavily in your research and development of an in-house IT solution. For a similar level of IT system, services generally come at a better price. Moreover, some other kinds of costs, such as hiring and training IT experts are handled by managed services providers. You have access to top-tier certified IT experts at much lower costs.

High Availability with Constant Monitoring and Support: 24/7 monitoring is available to ensure your business productivity and minimize all potential downtime. Through proactive monitoring and maintenance, your IT systems become more resilient; as a result, your business productivity and reliability are enhanced.

High Scalability and Readiness for Growth: Managed services are also easier to scale to meet your growth needs. IT managed services providers can carry out an assessment about newer demands and then scale to achieve these goals. In these scenarios, a faster solution is also provided without a long time for R&D and then deployment from your side. The big part is now absorbed and fulfilled by the provider.

Security and Risk Management: Apart from general operational tasks, services including anti-virus, backup, and replication are available to make your business as disaster-proof as possible. Even in the cases of outages or downtime, you can be confident that an appropriate action plan will be performed to protect your data and business.

Furthermore, in many countries, your IT system might have to meet several security compliance requirements. These demands are better left for the experts.

IT providers like us consist of professionals that always stay up-to-date with the advancement of technologies and work with big partners to provide you enterprise level products at a more affordable cost.

Overall, managed services are a practical and effective solution for many businesses. Apart from the mentioned benefits, some points should be noted that to utilize any kind of products and services, you should consider providers with a good track of records, then, contact and work closely with them for an initial assessment. If you are interested in a local and reliable provider, please contact us here.

INET Dynamics

15 Questions Checklist : Finding The Right Managed Services Partner

 

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Managed Service Partner

A Managed Services provider is an IT partner that will take care of the health, performance and planning of your organization’s infrastructure. As the capability of your potential managed services partner is directly related to your business’ uptime, which leads to the profits of your company, the process of choosing a trusted partner requires a lot of careful evaluations.

Although the process of on boarding a Managed Services partner can honestly be a bit of a hassle, shifting your IT operations to a Managed Services provider brings multiple benefits in the long term. With the support from a team of professional consultants bringing together a joint pool knowledge as well as experience, downtime will be significantly minimized and your value for money will be maximized.

The checklist below can be used as a guide when choosing a Managed Services partner (MSP).

No.

What You Should Be Looking For

Do They Have It?

1 Remote help desk ability to assure response time in the event of an incident.

2 Real-time incident monitoring and management to minimize resolving time.

3 24/7 systems and devices monitoring tools that are used to notify prior to certain incidents.

4 Long-term commitment to stay as your trusted partner.

5 A team of certified IT professionals so that your IT environment will be well taken care of.

6 Documentation and guide will be provided to make every process transparent.

7 Proactive IT support approach to minimize downtime.

8 Asset management ability to not only manage the current setup but also to plan for the future.

9 Industry standard SLA is provided.

10 All-in-One services to avoid contacting multiple vendors when an incident occurs.

11 Proven track record in providing IT supper services.

12 Disaster recovery and backup services are available to safeguard business data.

13 Cloud computing ability so companies do not have to look for another vendor when moving to the cloud.

14 Microsoft Gold Partner Status – a MSP that obtained this world-class standard has proven their ability and commitment.

15 MSP is also a hardware reseller who understands your IT needs well.

It is important to note that when evaluating the most ideal choice for a MSP, it is key to place importance and priority on suitability and not at pricing.  A competent MSP will be able to prevent incidents, not just to fix them. They can also work together with you on IT planning, based on your current IT setup as well as future business requirement.

i-Net Dynamics has over 10 years of experience in support clients in many aspects of IT. We provide not only an industry standard Manages Services, but also a long term commitment to grow business together with our customers.

Click for more information about i-Net Dynamics Managed Services offering.

Contact us today for a demo of our IT support approach.

INET Dynamics

The Aftermath of WannaCry: Now What?

 

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For i-Net Dynamics by Paris

Patch Management and Cyber Security

It is difficult to overcome the pain of being hit by Ransomware – WannaCry, knowing that there was a way to avoid the whole incident altogether. The breach occurred because of a convenient exploitation of a Windows OS vulnerability by the cyber robber, which was updated by Microsoft two months ago. However, out of this tragic event that affected hundred thousands of devices all over the world, it did one good thing – increase the awareness of Patch Management.

There are many reasons why companies find it challenging to keep operating systems and applications up to date with one of it being time consuming. For more traditional companies, the IT person usually attends to each of the company’s many devices to carry out patching. More sizable companies usually have a bigger IT department, but with a large company, their roles and responsibilities multiply as well.  Considering all the tasks included in the job role of a IT Security personnel, patch management is probably not a priority in their daily operations.

Knowing the public’s challenge in keeping software current, IT companies have long been releasing patching tools to assist clients in completing this crucial business process. Having being awarded a 5-star rating in The Channel Company’s CRN seven years in a row, SolarWinds N-central provides a comprehensive and flexible patching tool that is suitable for all organizations.

A Powerful Patching Tool 

Patch Management and IT Managed Services

N-central is a monitoring software that enables a preventative as well as proactive approach to IT Managed Services and one of the many features of N-central is the Patch Manager.

N-Central’s Patch Manager is designed to provide full control and access when updating multiple (a few thousands) of endpoints and servers. The tool allows companies to preschedule patch deployments, which assists to reduce interruptions to employees. For example, a new OS update could be scheduled to be first installed for finance department and followed by marketing department to prevent business disruptions. By using this Patch Manager, companies can proactively keep their systems network secured and healthy, regardless of the number of IT devices. 

Patch Manager can patch all of the devices with the press of a single button” – N-central

I-Net Dynamics has been a trusted partner of N-central for several years now, ever since we discovered how powerful the N- Central’s Patch Manager tool can be in running an efficient IT environment. By bundling N-central’s smart features with our top-notch IT managed services, we have entered a new age of Patch Management:

  • Automated system patching to automate the process for certain class of patches for selected groups of servers, workstation and network devices
  • Advanced Scheduling of patching to minimize downtime
  • Third-party support patches deployment inclusive of third-party applications
  • Reporting to keep companies up to date of multiple patch status
  • 24/7 monitoring to ensure all the critical patching are successful
  • Unlimited remote and onsite support from our team of friendly experienced professionals

While N-central provides a powerful patching tool, it is but a small portion of a complete monitoring solutions that can assists in increasing your business productivity. To understand more about this award winning software and how it can benefit your organization, please contact us here.

To understand more about other I-Net Dynamics services that can support you in Cyber Security, please download our brochure here.

Read our previous blog here to find out how you can take a stance against ransom-ware.

All Photo Credits to SolarWinds

INET Dynamics

Avoiding the Consequences of Hard Drive Failures for Businesses

 

Categories: IT Managed Services
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By Paris for I-Net Dynamics

The consequences of a hard disk crash can be difficult to bear for your business, server hard drives are where you hold all your important data, and any damage to it can put your business at risk. Studies have shown that the risk of hard drive failure rates can be as high as 14%, unlike the typical 2% – 3% that are being promoted.

Offsite Backup

The reasons for a hard drive failure can range from hardware issues to human errors. Once a hard drive has failed, it can be extremely difficult, expensive and time-consuming to recover the lost data. And in some unfortunate situations, the data may not be recoverable at all. In most cases, only a small portion of data will be lost, however, what can be recovered and what is lost are totally beyond control.

From a business point of view, any type of hard drive failure can be financially damaging or worse, bankrupting. Critical business data loss such as customer information, financial transactions, and sales data can take months to recover from. Take financial data as an example: without a healthy hard drive, the accounting department would have to manually record multiple day-to-day transactions and after the system is back up (usually after a few months), have key them into the system all over again manually which might increase the chances of human error, overlap in data and is extremely time consuming,

Many companies often struggle with a dilemma upon hard disk failure – to buy a new system, or to wait for the old ones to be recovered?  Whichever option is taken, business still must absorb the opportunity costs during the long wait time and possibly additional expenses associated with recovery of data or purchase of new hard disk.

Fortunately, there are still ways for companies to save themselves from being in any of the situation above – keeping a healthy hard drive environment and having sufficient data backup solutions.

Data Backup Solutions 

It should be common place for companies to ensure all its important data are backed up constantly lest anything happens to the physical hard disks. One of the most common backup strategy is “3-2-1”. The name directly reminds you that any business needs at least 3 copies of data, 2 onsite but on different machines, and 1 offsite copy.

While this strategy is well known, it is sadly not widely used. Throughout our time in this industry, we have come across several businesses that had to suffer losses because their data backup were on the same server. And before they could apply the “3-2-1” strategy, they had to painfully send their hard drives away for recovery.

Hard Drive Monitoring 

Having 3 copies of backup is essential to protect business in the event of hard drive failure. However, besides having enough data backups, there is another layer of prevention that companies can use.  Companies can, instead of only focusing on preventive measures (making sure to use the 3-2-1 strategy when backing up), also implement proactive measures to data backup.

The N-able monitoring software tools can help businesses prevent hard drive crashes by informing you of your hard-disks’ health status and inform you of any issues in advance. With the ability to notify you when the drive is almost full, or when the warranty is expired, for instance, this monitoring tool allows companies to proactively act before anything happens.

The consequences of a Hard disk crash are countless and can be devastating to anyone who is not prepared.  Don’t take chances and turn your business into statistics, start backing up your data and monitor your hard drive today.

Click here for more information about i-Net’s proactive IT Managed Services, or here for our Offsite Backup Solutions. 

INET Dynamics

Don’t Become A Victim of Ransomware!

 

For the past 10 years, we have encountered many painful stories from clients regarding data loss. It can be due to hardware failure, unexpected disasters or careless employees.

Ransomware is one of the latest threats, well-known for its effective destruction of your business.

Ransomware locks the victim’s computers and files, holding them as a “hostage” until the victim pays a “ransom” to unlock access to their precious business assets.

In 2015, ransomware caused roughly $325 million in damages worldwide. In a one-month study by Norton*, 68,000 computers were infected, amounting to 5,700 a day.

Don’t become a victim of ransomware.

Contact us and find out how you can protect your business from being held hostage by cyber criminals.