Enterprise Data Center

Depositphotos_21259467_l-2015EBM understands the importance of data center optimization to today’s businesses. Business functionality and efficiency is ever more dependent on the ability to create, store, and access data in a timely, secure, and cost-effective manner.

Whether relying exclusively on online cloud computing or combining an in-house network with cloud capabilities, you need your data center to be maximally productive, combining powerful performance with ease of use.

Here are some ways that EBM helps its clients optimize their data centers:

Servers

Without powerful, reliable servers working at maximal efficiency, your data center will not be able to meet the data handling needs of your business. EBM engineers have deep expertise in installing, upgrading, and maintaining data center servers to ensure they achieve optimal performance.

Server-related services offered at EBM include:

  • Help you upgrade/replace inadequate servers
  • Install and organize tier 1, mission critical, regulated, and other types of servers in your data center
  • Prevent “server sprawl” and resultant low utilization rates
  • Plan build-outs in a way that will not hurt performance
  • Implement “unified computing” to boost productivity and reduce costs
  • Monitor your servers to prevent over-load, viral “infections,” and security breaks
  • Ensure servers are available for your use even when disasters strike

Storage Infrastructure

EBM can bring together the latest advancements in data storage technology and integrate them with your existing systems. We can make your storage systems both more efficient and more secure. We understand that effective data storage is a prime key to your business’ success, and our team of highly trained engineers can equip you with modern, high-performance data storage infrastructure that is second to none.

Data storage related services offered by EBM include:

  • Install new, “scalable” data storage hardware and software
  • Modernize legacy storage systems
  • Use “thin provisioning” to reduce idle storage space
  • Provision adequate storage space for disaster recovery
  • Utilize HPE to reduce floor space usage and power consumption
  • Use data encryption and automated security-level tiering to keep sensitive stored data as safe as possible

Virtualization

Virtualization is one of the leading trends that is revolutionizing modern data centers. In essence, it represents a transition from a hardware to a software-centric approach to computing and data storage. EBM engineers are fully versed in cutting-edge virtualization technologies and can utilize them to increase overall effectiveness while consolidating servers and lowering energy consumption.

Virtualization-related services offered at EBM include:

  • Storage virtualization, which shows servers “logical representations” of stored data instead of loading the data itself, thus saving energy and improving data-retrieval efficiency
  • File virtualization, which enables easier access to and sharing of data files
  • Desktop virtualization, which improves security and saves on power and desktop space
  • Unified computing, wherein we tie together all aspects of your data center to enable virtualization to have the highest possible impact

Networking

Advanced data center network architecture can give your business a competitive edge by boosting processing speed and power, while simultaneously lowering operating costs. EBM can equip you with a wide range of networking products and optimally configure your data center to ensure it is up to its “full networking potential.”

Networking-related services offered at EBM include:

  • Optimally arrange your switches, routers, controllers, and access points
  • Ensure easy management of network access control
  • Integrate cloud and in-house networks and help you transition from legacy architectures
  • Improve network convergence and performance through physical redundancy, WAN and other links, and server connections
  • Conduct a network assessment to identify any problems/inefficiencies and then make the necessary adjustments

 

If you’d like to read more about Data Services, read this post from our blog.

Managed Services

Large, medium and small businesses alike have realized that they need to use technology in order to operate efficiently and effectively. This has led to increased reliance on IT without necessarily having the required resources to support it, especially for medium and small businesses. This is because they have limited IT resources that are easily conquered in the now complex IT environments. As a result, they rely on visiting on-site technicians who are not proactive hence expose their systems to human errors. Thankfully, managed services are now affordable, and no business should still be struggling with security, backups and patches among other forms of IT support. It is, therefore, not surprising that more and more businesses are doing away with the traditional break-fix IT maintenance model and embracing managed IT services. Managed IT services include the following:

Network management

This is the monitoring or supervision of individual network components using a set of hardware and software tools. It includes the identification of devices that are present in a particular network, the monitoring of those devices, checking for their performance indicators and configuration of alerts in response to particular scenarios. Network management areas include the management of hardware, software, security, files and users.

System Security Management

This involves setting up of policies and procedures to safeguard the information assets or sensitive data of your business. This is to minimize risk and provide the continuity of a business, ensuring that security risks are prevented proactively by looking at employee behavior, data, processes and the technology that is being used.

Desktop Management

This is simply the management of all the computers within a company or business to allow for proper administration of all the computing devices. This service is important to ensure that you keep track of all the hardware and software components of your company’s computer system from a centralized location.

Server Management

Server management is the monitoring and maintenance of your web servers. This ensures that your hardware and software are performing at maximum levels and that you keep track of anything that may affect their performance in full capacity. This is important to prevent your server from crashing as a result of viral attacks and security breaches.

Business Continuity/Backup Disaster Recovery

Backups always ensure that you can retrieve data in case you lose the primary version as a result of deletion, changes or system failure. While disaster recovery is not possible without backup, it involves restoring not only data but also the entire working environment. Business continuity, on the other hand, is ensuring business functioning in the presence of disruptive events. This managed service ensures that you safeguard your important data, systems, servers and applications.

Application management-Exchange, SQL, Active Directory

This involves managing the operation, upgrading, maintenance and versioning of applications to ensure that they are operating and functioning optimally, securely and efficiently while they are still in use.

Incident remediation and maintenance (on-site and remote)

Incidences, such as security breaches may happen, and this is where you will need an organized approach to address and manage it so that you can further reduce the damage and recover within the shortest time without incurring major costs. This requires an elaborate incident response plan that should be followed whenever the incident occurs.

Reporting and analysis

Reporting is a way of organizing data in a way that you can monitor the performance of different areas of your business while analysis is the process of exploring such reports and data to extract information that will help give a better insight in order to come up with ways of improving the business.

Managed IT services are important for your IT operations, and you can choose to take basic or comprehensive service plans from your provider.

Cloud Computing

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the “cloud,” or at least asked yourself exactly what the “cloud” means when it comes to computing. At EBM, we have a large Cloud portfolio that offers a wide range of services that can help your organization or small business create the secure online environment you need.

But, first, let’s take a look at this mysterious Cloud and what it really means.

What is the Cloud?

One way to understand cloud computing is by thinking about what it’s not – in this case, your computer’s hard drive. When you store data and/or run programs from your hard drive, it’s called local storage and computing. Your is data easily accessible from your computer, or others on the same network, and it’s how the computer industry has functioned for decades. It’s a about having a dedicated network attached storage hardware or server in your office or home.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, means being able to access your data and programs over the Internet. In this way, the information you need is accessible anywhere, anytime, simply by having an online connection.

Cloud computing is also about sharing resources rather than relying on local servers or personal devices to handle your business or personal applications. Instead, it’s Internet-based computing where different services (storage, applications, servers) are delivered to your organization’s computers via the Internet.

How it Works

The goal of cloud computing is vast as it applies traditional supercomputer power to a wide variety of consumer applications. To do so, it relies on networks of large groups of servers with specialized connections to spread data-processing tasks across them. In other words, it’s a shared IT infrastructure containing large pools of systems that are linked together.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

For small businesses and other organizations, cloud computing comes with a vast array of benefits. It not only helps to increase productivity, but it helps improve collaboration and promote innovation. A cloud host helps facilitate data storage, Web-based phone systems, email services, and much more. Cloud computing is used by private and public organizations (including educational systems and governments), as well as individuals.

The Difference Between Private and Public Cloud Computing

  • *Public CloudA public cloud is run by a cloud-service provider built on an external platform. In this case, users get their own cloud through a shared infrastructure, and the provider offers system resources, system security, and system maintenance. It’s cost-effective because it’s provided by an outside company that offers services to a wide range of customers.*Private Cloud

    A private cloud is a platform that’s built within your own organization with your own hardware and software. It’s managed by your organization’s IT team, and it allows for more exclusive access, flexibility and control than public cloud computing.

    It’s also worth mentioning a hybrid cloud, which combines both private and public platforms. In this case, your own IT team manages part of cloud while the rest is managed off-site. It’s great for organization’s that want to manage business-related data such as customer files in-house, but is content to store less-sensitive information with a third party.

Office 365 Consulting

Microsoft Office 365 is ever-changing and evolving, and implementing it into your business or organization is a big step. Expert advice is needed to get the most benefit from it, and that’s why hiring an Office 365 consultant is an important step you can take.

Hiring the Right Office 365 Consultant

Choosing the right Office 365 consultant should be done only after a careful search. But if you’re an IT professional who is responsible for your company’s migration to Office 365, having an expert to help you through the process will make sure that the migration is not only done smoothly, but done on time. Here are some of the requirements you should expect your consultant to meet:

*They should understand all aspects of Office 365

There are many complexities and components when it comes to Office 365 and your consultant should understand the full spectrum of it. That means understanding the infrastructure aspects – such as email and instant messaging – but also all of its business and social aspects. Many consultants understand the infrastructure aspect of Office 365, but don’t have a full grasp of the business and social elements.

*The consultant should be able to help with full migration

Your consultant should help you migrate all of your content into Office 365. Handling this migration on your own can be frustrating and time-consuming, and carries with it the risk of losing valuable information.

*The consultant should help now and later

Offering ongoing support and guidance after the migration to Office 365 should be an important service your consultant offers. Because Office 365 is ever-changing, you run the risk of falling behind without future support.

Other Benefits of Hiring a Consultant

There are many instances where hiring an Office 365 consultant makes perfect sense. Moreover, there are cost-effective ways you can use a consultant, such as:

*Reducing the overall time of the project

If a consultant can help you finish your Office 365 migration in half the time it would take you alone, then the price of hiring one can actually save money.

*Helping with certain aspects

There will likely be portions of the migration to Office 365 that are too complex to handle on your own (or with your team). A consultant can help with just those aspects of the projects.

*A consultant can provide general guidance

Even if your team feels confident in handling the migration, certain issues will arise and having a consultant available will save valuable time as you work through those issues.

*A consultant can answer all of your questions

Many questions will undoubtedly arise once it’s decided that your company or organization will migrate from its current platform to Office 365. Some of these questions may be:

*How do you match the applications you now use to Office 365?

*How do you keep the user experience from changing too much?

*How long will the migration last?

*What are possible issues that you haven’t thought of yet?

*What are resources within your organization that you can use?

*What level of Microsoft licensing is appropriate for your migration?

Network Security

All types of organizations take measures to protect their network infrastructure from things like outside attacks, malfunctions, unwanted access, and theft or misuse from inside the company. The protective tools include security software and hardware that help identify authorized users and create an IT environment free from criminal activity.

The Importance of Network Security

Cyber systems of all sizes require protection because they are vulnerable to unauthorized use. A system’s function is allowing users to move data from one location to another without having physical access to onsite computers. A lack of adequate protection means, in theory, your data could be stolen, misdirected, or tampered with from any computer regardless of its location.Hackers can cause you or your company harm by taking money, resources, or your identity. Building a robust program of network security helps reduce your risk.

Security Threats for Small or Medium-Sized Businesses in 2016

  • Mobile devices will continue to change the business landscape. Entrepreneurs introduce hundreds of new apps monthly. The newness and sheer quantity make things easier for the bad guys to cause trouble.
  • For example, stealing information from the Internet of Things (IoT) on mobile devices. These devices often have inadequate or no security, making infiltration easy.
  • Spying on competitors and helping themselves to trade secrets that they can sell on many black markets throughout the world.
  • Black markets have existed in every era, and the digital age is not immune from the danger. The lower the level of security, the higher the level of risk. Easy money always brings out the creative talent.

Firewalls and Proxy Servers: Solutions that Protect

The first step in securing your network is authenticating authorized users with a password. Depending on your level of concern, granting access can require simple or complex levels. For example, a password is one factor, adding a picture ID is a second factor and adding a fingerprint would be a third factor. The higher the number of factors, the higher the level of security.

An active firewall is your network guardian. It regulates the information that moves in and out using your connection. Another function of this tool is limiting users to only authorized actions. For example, many employers don’t want their people on social media sites during work hours. The firewall can block these sites. Arguably, the most valuable asset of a firewall is stopping unwanted access by people and software trying to harm your network in some way.

In addition to firewalls, proxy servers also act as guardians. They monitor communication that takes place between servers and identify incoming content with malicious intent. Proxy servers allow administrators to create and block a list of dangerous websites and also build a list of welcome sites. The creation of records helps control bad information coming into or leaving the network.

Stay Current

Network security is an issue you must pay attention to daily. You can be sure the people who want to harm you work hard every day to get past your security measures. Set up your system to automatically update security software as soon as it is available. Use the best spyware, malware, and anti-virus protection you can afford.

Protecting your network is equivalent to protecting any other asset your organization owns. To find the best methods of protection you should consult with professionals in the field of network security. EBM is a leader in the area of network security in the northeastern United States. EBM focuses on solutions for small to medium businesses and other organizations.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery, also known as business continuity, involves having a pre-thought-out, fully tested plan to recover from such unforeseen emergencies as fires, power outages, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, and anything else that could potentially shut down normal business operations for a significant interval. Putting the right precautions into place so as to minimize the disruption and get all systems running again in as little time as possible is crucial to business success.

For enterprise computing, e-commerce sites, and any business with an IT department, disaster recovery has taken on increased importance in recent years. Hardware, software, and networks continue to grow in complexity, even as more revenue becomes dependent on their uninterrupted operation. In response, some IT departments now spend up to 25% of their budget on disaster recovery planning. Yet, at the same time, about half of businesses don’t even have a disaster recovery plan, and many who do have tested it.

Big Changes in Disaster Recovery

Twenty years ago, disaster recovery was much simpler and much more hands-on. A recovery plan from a fire threat, for example, might have included elements like powering down the mainframe before turning on the sprinklers, taking apart computers to check for damage, and drying off circuit boards with a hair dryer. Today, such methods would be too tedious for many companies because of the sheer size and complexity of their systems. Furthermore, speed in recovery is crucial because every minute of downtime represents lost profits and less satisfied customers.

Even ten years ago, tape and disk were the number-one method used in data backup for small to medium-sized businesses. Today, tape and disk are still sometimes used, but disaster recovery systems on the enterprise level have progressed beyond and now use a great variety of backup methods. Many of these methods are easier to manage, more reliable, and work faster. Because enterprise back-up systems are available to smaller businesses via online clouds, everyone can benefit from them, eliminating data loss and minimizing downtime.

The Biggest Threats You Face

The seriousness of having an effective disaster recovery plan in place can be seen in the fact that businesses that fail to re-open after 10 days of disaster-caused shutdown usually never re-open at all. Further, 80% of businesses hit with a major disaster fail within three years’ time, and 40% hit with a major IT failure do the same within a single year.

The most common threat to disruption of your business, however, is not weather-related. It is malicious malware infecting and disabling your hardware and/or software systems. Human error and fraud also rank high on the list of problems, and hard drive crashes are so common they happen every hour. Both businesses and private PC users often lose all or some of their important files due to reasons beyond their control. Failing to test backup tapes and later finding them faulty is another common experience.

Help From EBM

EBM is a top IT solutions provider with over four decades of experience in the industry. EBM specializes in providing products and services to businesses and organizations of all descriptions and has built a reputation of excellence and integrity that inspires confidence in its clientele.

EBM’s disaster recovery and business continuity systems are at the cutting edge of the industry. By contacting EBM and scheduling a consultation, you can get started on forming a viable disaster recovery plan for your business that will prevent unnecessary data loss and keep interruptions as brief as possible.