Cloud Keeps Miami Businesses Running During Disasters

Naples, UNITED STATES:  Palm trees at a hotel bend in the fierce winds, 24 October, 2005, as Hurricane Wilma slams into Naples, Florida. Hurricane Wilma pounded Florida with torrential rain and some of the strongest winds in its arsenal early Monday as it came ashore in the southern US state, threatening death and destruction. An Air Force reconnaissance plane measured Wilma's winds at 193 kilometers (120 miles) an hour, slightly weaker than when it made landfall, but still making a strong category three storm. "It made landfall at 6:30 (1030 GMT) at Cape Romano," Eric Blake, an official with the National Hurricane Center, told AFP.Cape Romano is about 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Everglades City, Florida. Landfall marks the official arrival of a hurricane's when the center of its eye reaches land. Quiet usually reigns in the eye of such a storm, with no significant winds, which resume with a vengeance with the back wall of the eye hits land.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA  (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

As a Miami-based small business, you may think that the best strategy when it comes to moving your technology to the cloud, is to put it off until it seems less scary. The truth is that moving to cloud takes some consideration and planning. However, one area that you may consider as a starting point is a hybrid cloud Business Continuity solution.

This brief article will take a look at some of the added benefits that a back up and disaster recovery (BDR) and business continuity solution, based on a Hybrid Cloud Backup, can deliver to your small business.

4 Reasons for a Hybrid Cloud Business Continuity

  1. Security: With a hybrid solution, your organization’s essential data is backed up locally and then an additional backup is replicated off-site, providing additional data security. Then, your in-house data is protected by redundant sets of information with the local device being the first line of defense.

In most cases, three distinct copies of each of your file exist – on the workstation or server, on a local device, and in the public cloud. In addition, encrypted files are stored off-site are available in case an unforeseen event, like a natural disaster, occurs. This should give you and your organization the peace of mind to know that your data is always accessible no matter what the circumstances

  1. Storage: Your organization also benefits from local storage flexibility, addressing a key concern that many small businesses have with a hybrid cloud solution.

Since cloud storage is far less expensive, your organization can retain more data on the cloud and have a shorter retention locally. Organizations like yours are often concerned about space on local storage devices, and the cloud gives you the chance to make decisions about how long to store backups on their local devices.  You no longer have to worry about purchasing more local storage, nor do you have to make difficult choices about what files to delete when you are running out of space.

  1. Savings: One of the biggest concerns you may have when making any sort of technology decision is the bottom line. Fortunately, a hybrid cloud backup solutions is cost effective.

The hybrid model keeps costs low for you. Why? Because you only need to purchase a local unit, while the rest of the infrastructure lies in the cloud.  You also won’t have to worry about purchasing expensive hardware, which will cut down on your capital expenditures.

  1. Virtualization: In the event of a disaster, be it natural or technical, you must be confident you’re your data is backed up and that it could be restored in a timely manner. When your small business experiences down time, you stand to lose a great deal of money as your technology support strives to bring operations back online.

In these instances, virtual machines (VM) can be the difference between downtime and uptime. VMs are copies of workstations or servers running on a server in the cloud. Every aspect of the duplicated machine can be run from this virtual machine that lives in the cloud, and is therefore not vulnerable to localized phenomena, like a hurricane or other natural disaster. So for instance, your organization, can failover to the cloud to avoid downtime, keeping your data and operations running smoothly.

Hybrid cloud business continuity solutions offer your Miami-based small business the best of both worlds: local and in the Cloud.

Give us a call and find out how to receive a free assessment on how a Cloud Business Continuity solution can help you business survive a unforeseen disaster. 

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6 Disaster Recovery Tips for Miami-based Businesses

disaster recovery_business continuity

According the FEMA, 40% of businesses are affected following a serious storm, earthquake, flood, or hurricane. As a Miami, FL-based business experiencing downtime due to a server crash, a power outage, a natural disaster such as a hurricane, and causing the inability to work, this would mean significant lost to revenue.

When evaluating the need for a disaster recovery planning, businesses especially in the Law, Finance, and Healthcare industries must address their backup and continuity needs based both on 1) compliance and regulation issues (if applicable), as well as potential 2) loss of revenue. Typically, the cost of downtime is based on:

  • Cost of continuing without the data
  • Cost of recreating the data
  • Cost of notifying users in the event of a compromise
  • Loss of reputation
  • Fees incurred due to compliance breach (for Law, Financial, Healthcare firms)

The potential for lost is a big reason why preparing for the worst and making proactive decision before disaster strikes will increase the chances that the worst disaster will have a minimal impact on your firm’s ability to continue operating.

Use the below checklist to both plan and prepare for a disaster:

  1. ASSESS THE PROBLEM AND ITS IMPACT ON YOUR FIRM

Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it will impact your client.

  • Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
  • Have files been deleted or are servers /workstations down?
  1. ESTABLISH RECOVERY GOALS

Recovery is what makes a Disaster Recovery solution different from a simple backup product. Be sure to plan out your firm’s road to recovery.

  • Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
  • Identify critical systems and prioritize recovery tasks
  • What date/time should you recover from?
  1. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE RECOVERY TYPE(S)

To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery procedure must be followed. Think about which approach best will get you to your end goal.

  • File restore
  • Local virtualization
  • Off-site virtualization
  1. VERIFY THE RECOVERY AND CONFIRM FUNCTIONALITY WITH USERS

Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.

  • Test network connectivity
  • Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment
  1. RESTORE THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM(S), IF NEEDED

If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best.

  • Bare metal restore
  • Virtual machine restores
  1. SELF-ASSESS AFTERWARDS

After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently?

  • What precipitated the failure?
  • What ongoing issues need to be addressed?
  • What can be done better in future Disaster Recovery scenarios?

Please contact us for additional assistance.

 

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4 Reasons Why Miami-Based Businesses Benefit from VoIP Phone Service

VOIP2

The growing use of mobile and cloud technologies within small and medium sized businesses have also given rise to the number of businesses using hosted Voice over Internet Protocol phone service or more commonly known as VoIP.

As of matter of fact, it is estimated that 65% of business will use some form of VoIP within the next few years. Given this fact, VoIP providers have worked to bring innovative features that businesses and their employees require to compete in today’s environment.

One such innovative feature is that VoIP services can integrate with cloud-based applications such as Salesforce.com and provide the features needed for today’s increasingly mobile and remote workforce.

Here are four additional benefits that businesses can expect when they move to a hosted VoIP phone system.

  1. Cost savings. Hosted VoIP is far more cost-effective than their traditional phone system counterparts. First, service is less expensive because calling uses the Internet instead of copper wires. Second, there’s no expensive hardware to buy and maintain. Third, businesses can purchase and use the amount of service they need without having to pay for excess capacity.
  1. Mobility. Hosted VoIP easily works with mobile phones. First, it works through Smartphones via a dedicated app or the web. Second, it works wherever there is Internet access, even where cellular coverage is sparse.
  1. Voicemail anywhere. With a hosted VoIP system, voicemail can be checked from any web browser. While this sounds like a minor reason to use hosted VoIP, it can have a huge impact in day-to-day business life, especially for business professional that are on the go.
  1. More functionality. Along with everything we’ve listed, hosted VoIP solutions come with just about every calling feature a business could need, and usually without additional cost. This could include call screening services to simultaneous ringing on multiple devices and dynamic caller ID functionality. Not to mention integration with other web services.
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How Miami Small Businesses Benefit from a Hybrid Cloud Solution

Hybrid-cloud

Today’s hectic businesses environment requires a backup solution that delivers much more than a traditional local only strategy. Given the constant risks your small business faces with your important data, it’s critical for you to ensure 1) that your data is protected and 2) that your data can remain operational in lieu of a system disruption. That’s where a hybrid cloud-based backup solution comes in.

According to analysts, hybrid solutions are the top desired features by today’s small businesses.

4 KEY REASONS WHY A BACKUP, RECOVERY & BUSINESS CONTINUITY SOLUTION BASED ON A HYBRID CLOUD MODEL IS PREFERRED

  • Security

With a hybrid solution, your company’s essential data is backed up locally and then an additional backup is replicated off-site, providing additional data security (data insurance if you will). The in-house data is protected by redundant sets of information with the local device being the first line of defense. In most cases, three distinct copies of each of your files exist – on the workstation or server, on the local device and in the public cloud.

  • Storage

Your organization also benefits from local storage flexibility, addressing a key concern that you may have with a hybrid cloud solution. Since cloud storage is far less expensive, you can retain more data on the cloud and have a shorter retention locally. Small businesses like yours are often concerned about space on local storage devices, and the cloud gives you the chance to make decisions about how long to store backups on your local devices.

You won’t have to worry about purchasing more local storage, nor do you have to make difficult choices about what files to delete when running out of space. Once again, it’s important to emphasize the peace of mind that this option provides. It eliminates a pain point that organizations have struggled with: limited resources dedicated to storage.

  • Savings

One of the biggest concerns you may have when making any sort of technology decision is the bottom line. Fortunately, hybrid cloud backup solutions are cost effective. The hybrid model keeps costs low. Because you only need to purchase or rent a local unit while the rest of the infrastructure lies in the cloud. It’s important to look for an IT company that could provide you with options.

  • Virtualization

In the event of a disaster, be it natural or technical, you should feel confident that your data was backed up, and that it can be restored in a timely manner. When organizations experience downtime, they stand to lose a great deal of money as IT strives to bring operations back online. In these instances, virtual machines (VM) can be the difference between downtime and uptime. VMs are copies of workstations or servers running on a server in the cloud.

Every aspect of the duplicated machine can be run from this virtual machine that lives in the cloud, and is therefore not vulnerable to localized phenomena, like a weather disaster. For example, in a disaster scenario, your organization’s server and or appliances could failover to the cloud to avoid downtime, keeping data and operations running smoothly and consistently, ensuring business continuity even when the winds are strong and the weather fierce.

Hybrid cloud backup solutions offer small business and many other organizations the best of both worlds, and play an essential part of a comprehensive backup, recovery and business continuity strategy. The added benefits of Security, Storage, Savings and Virtualization should make the transition to a hybrid cloud solution a little easier, and hopefully alleviate any fears you may have of the cloud.

Anton Resnick is CEO of WebHosting.Net.

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5 Reasons to Choose Virtual Desktops for Your Miami Business

Desktop-Virtualization1

Since the beginning, desktops have caused endless hassles for small businesses like yours. Aggravations such as fixing a PC after a virus has been downloaded or having to upgrade all the Windows machines to Windows 10 or just the fact that managing PCs is time consuming and distracting for whoever handles it, taking them away from more important duties.

The reality, that manufacturers have failed to share with us in their marketing, is that managing desktops is a never ending aggravation. The good news is that today there is a solution to your frustration. The solution is a Virtual Desktop and it may just be what the doctor ordered.

Virtual Desktops have been around for several years, however, recent trends in Cloud computing, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and advances in virtualization technology have made Virtual Desktops a viable option for a small-and-medium-sized business like yours. Making it possible to finally let go of your many desktops and making life easier for everyone.

The following is an overview of what benefits you can expect from utilizing Virtual Desktops for your business.

Cost Savings

By migrating to Virtual Desktops, you can extend the life of your existing desktops and postpone large capital expenditures like purchasing new desktops or on-premise servers.

Control

With Virtual Desktops you are also in more control than with traditional desktops. Your important data is stored centrally giving you the ability to control and adjust access to the applications or data.

Security

Virtual Desktops also provide multiple layers of security. The data centers, where the servers that run the Virtual Desktops are located, are protected 24/7 by live security guards. Furthermore, access to the Virtual Desktop is encrypted and thus protected. Data is backed up regularly and retained per your unique requirements.

Agility

Virtual Desktops also give your business more agility and flexibility. For instance, new software can be rolled out quickly and software updates are done automatically through a centralized management dashboard.

In addition, with Virtual Desktops you can give your employees, contractors, volunteers, access to your applications and data (you decide who as access to applications and data) using their own devices (a.k.a. Bring Your Own Device). By doing this, your employees can securely use your data and applications regardless if they use a Windows laptop, Mac or Apple iPad, or their own laptop, or work from home on their desktop.

Lastly, if a natural disaster, weather, or sickness prevents your workers from getting to the office, you have flexibility to allow remote work from any location without hampering productivity.

Productivity

With Virtual Desktops, every one of your employee can be productive from anywhere, anytime through virtually any device. Whether it is a laptop, desktop, iPad, or Android device – your employees can get to their business applications and be as productive as they would be if they were in the office in front of a PC.

Lastly, with Virtual Desktops your IT gets easier too. You can choose to co-manage or hand over management of the Virtual Desktops to companies like Webhosting.Net. Either way, Virtual Desktops lower your capital expenditures and give you better control, security, agility, and productivity than ever before.

Anton Resnick is CEO of Webhosting.Net

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Ruby on Rails hosting is just one of our specialties

JelasticRubyThe emergence of programming-based hosting environments allows for the rapid development and testing of customized Web site applications. Most dependable and experienced Web hosting service providers, like Webhosting.net, are now providing specialized hosting for programming-based environments such as “Ruby on Rails”.

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Reasons for Establishing a Holistic Internet Strategy

24x7 Services and SupportWebhosting.net can assist in creating a holistic Internet strategy for enterprises. Too often, companies take an “ad hoc” approach when deploying their Internet architecture. They obtain services piecemeal, rather than taking an integrated approach to technology service acquisition.

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