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Why Companies Need to Rely on Secure Online Storage?

Companies have always opted for online storage because chances of system crash are minimal and data retrieval is also quick and effective. Entrepreneurs are mostly focused towards ensuring that their private and confidential information is kept safe and away from the threats of hackers. There are also several anti-malware programs that help virus attacks to be at a distance.

For companies, having a secure online storage to fall back on is something that is very appealing. A secure storage space is more about convenience and safety than about anything else. So let us take a look at the reasons for companies to increasingly opt for online storage.

Additional Security – Secure online storage is nothing but an additional form of security that you are adding to keep data safe. This form of security is extremely water tight and there is no breach of any security issue. Data stored in the server is considered to be safe because very few people have accessibility to it and there is no chance of the server crashing.

Fully Automated Backup Solution – When thinking of data backup, it is important for each company to have their own procedures and protocols to keep data safe. Most companies opt for the automated system of keeping data safe. The automated process is safe and there is no scope of minor human error. Automated data backup are scheduled at fixed interval through which data backup also becomes regularised.

Easy Recovery of Online Backup – The main reason to prefer online backup over any other backup solutions is because of its ability to recover data easily. Data recovery is easy irrespective of any system crash. Online backup system software allows easy process of file recovery. Not just the easy data recovery but in that process there is no disruption in the flow of work. These backup softwares have been tested extensively and then put to use on clients so they guarantee great results.

Data Syncing Through Different Devices – Synchronization is another useful and extremely important feature that online storage options require. Backup service providers are the best in this business and they make sure that it is easily done through various devices. Syncing data across various devices makes the flow of work simple and easy.

Cost and Time Savings – Online data backup is one of the easiest and the best ways to save on both time and cost. Automated data backup is easy and saves a lot on time and there is minimal human error. This means that you need less time and people managing it, and incurs significant reduction in costs. Furthermore if you make sure you have data backup systems ready so that there is less scope for any problem at workplace it will be beneficial to your business.

This is the major reason all enterprises have high demand of using secure online storage to make sure the work is going in the right pace.

DO YOU CHECK YOUR BACKUP REPORTS?

Years ago in a previous Job, I looked after a customer who created GBs of new data every day. They insisted on backing up the data themselves even though they had a maintenance contract with the company I worked for who also offered an online backup service. Anyway, one of their staff religiously put a DAT tape into the drive every night and removed it every morning, labelled it, and stored it in a fire proof safe. One day the servers hard drive failed. They called us in because they couldn’t restore the data from tape for some unknown reason. It turned out that although they put a tape in every night, removed it every morning, labelled, and stored it in a fire proof safe, what they forgot to do was check the backup reports. If they had check the backup reports, they would have realised that the backups had never run. They had a year’s supply of backup tapes, neatly dated, and all of them empty.

In the end, they had to send the faulty hard drive off to get their data retrieved and were very lucky to get back 90% of their data back. It cost them thousands of pounds and two weeks without their data.Online backup companies like ourselves offer services where you don’t need to worry about checking your reports, you can just sit back and relax. Is it not worth thinking about letting someone else take responsibility for your data?

Ensuring that your data is stored safely

Whatever type of business you’re in, it’s almost certain that you will rely on computers for at least part of your day-to-day operation. Computers and the information they hold have become increasingly essential to our everyday lives and if they stop working, or if you lose the data that’s stored on them, it can bring your business to a standstill.

If this happens it’s not only inconvenient; it could lose you money through lost work or customer confidence. So what can you do to ensure that your information and your business are properly protected?

Backup the old way

We all know that our data storage is vulnerable and that we should do something to protect it. The problem is that knowing this and doing something about it aren’t always the same thing. Taking a backup to an external drive or to some other storage medium takes time and effort to set up and to monitor. You may start with the best intentions but in reality, these seldom remain practical. You’ll end up skipping one backup and perhaps another, and before you know it the data on your backup copies is hopelessly out of date. If you had to restore it you could be missing week’s or even months’ worth of information.

There’s also the issue of where you keep your backups. Making a copy to another disk is fine, but it loses its value if you keep it next to the computer. Should there be a fire or a burglary, you risk losing both your original data and your backup. A similar situation applies with servers. Technology such as RAID protects the data and allows you to recover a server or NAS unit in the event of a disk failure, but it’s of little help if you lose the entire machine. To be effective you need at least one recent copy of your backup to be stored in a different, secure location.

The cloud

Cloud storage has become one of the main buzz words in the IT industry over the last decade. Many people see the cloud as a simple solution to their data storage and backup needs, but there are a number of things that you need to take into account to ensure that it really is the answer.

It’s easy to sign up to one of the many free or low-cost cloud storage services that are available and think that the job is done. However, whilst these services are good for transferring data easily between computers and for storing items such as family photos, they’re not necessarily suited to business use.

While there’s usually a small amount of storage available for free, you need to pay for larger amounts and it’s important to understand the pricing structure. What started off as a cheap service could become expensive as your business grows larger.

You also need to consider how secure your data is. If you’re storing sensitive information such as customer details, you need to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. A public cloud service is not really suited to this type of work unless you go to the trouble of encrypting the information.

Another issue you need to consider is where the servers the cloud provider uses are located. If they’re overseas you may have issues concerning storing sensitive data. You also need to think about how reliable access to them is going to be. Storing data in the cloud means you need a reliable, fast internet connection in order to be able to access it.

Using public cloud storage for backup purposes may be a solution for smaller businesses, but you need to ensure that you understand the full implications in terms of cost and security. You may want to use it as part of your backup strategy, whilst still retaining other local backups too.

Dedicated backup services

Rather than try to build your own backup solution using local storage or a public cloud service, it’s increasingly common to turn to one of the dedicated online backup services. These use the cloud for data storage but are designed specifically for backup use. As such, they address many of the security and other worries that can arise from DIY solutions. If you’re considering a backup service there are a number of things you need to look for from your provider.

Security is a key consideration and most providers will ensure that your data is encrypted both in transit over the internet and when it’s stored on their servers. Of course a backup has to be available when you need it, so look for a provider with more than one data centre so that you can be sure your information will be safe even if there’s a failure at one of them.

As with any other cloud service, backup relies on an internet connection, but how it uses that connection is important too. It’s essential that any solution you use manages its use of bandwidth effectively so that it has minimal impact on the use of your connection for other purposes.

You also need to think about what you have to back up. There will of course be data stored on your PCs and network servers, but you also need to think about backing up your emails. If you use any cloud software services such as Office 365 then it’s a good idea to back up the data from those too for additional safety.

Ease of use

Ease of use is another key factor. If backup requires effort then there’s more likelihood that it will get skipped – probably during busy times when it’s most essential. Having a service that works automatically and backs up files as they’re changed takes the hassle out of the task and ensures it will never be forgotten. Most dedicated services work constantly in the background rather than running at a specific time, so your file copies will always be up to date.

The service you choose also needs to be easy to configure so you can take account of changes as your business evolves, adding new data and removing items that are no longer required. Should the worst happen and you need to recover some information, this need to be easy to achieve. It’s relatively rare to need to restore an entire system; however, recovering files that have accidentally been deleted or overwritten is a surprisingly common requirement. Your backup system needs to be flexible enough to cope with recovering a specific file or folder if need be.

You need to understand that your backup is working properly, and be able to prove it for audit and compliance purposes, so any system you use should have good reporting capabilities to show you exactly what’s been saved, when and where. You also need to be able to carry out spot checks to ensure that it’s working and that you’re alerted to any problems.

Even more branding for our resellers

Even more branding for our resellers

Branding is very important

Branding is very important when you resell online backup to your own customers. For years we have been able to provide our resellers with their own portal access where they can create, modify, view accounts, send branded daily emails and most importantly, install branded client applications. But now we can offer a little bit more. We can now offer fully branded back end servers and with the addition of SSL certificates, we can host the server as backup.yourdomain.com.

People who know what they are doing

This gives the reseller everything they would have if trying to setup an online service themselves, but with the peace of mind that the server is securely in our London data centre, replicated to our second data centre in Maidenhead and maintained by people who know what they are doing

If you are looking to sell online data backup to your clients, contact us to find out what we can do for you. Call us on 0844 406 8094

Facts You Need to Know about Cloud Backups

Several large corporate companies face the problem of not finding the required data because they might have accidentally deleted them or even overwrote the data. In the need of the hour, having to face such a problem is uncalled for and extremely disturbing. In the attempt to keep these problems at bay, corporate houses need to take resort of cloud to cloud backup. In order to implement this solution, it is important that you invest a certain amount of your time to make sure that the solution is well executed. Since the execution of this solution is the best way to keep the unwanted problems of not finding the data at bay.

In case you are planning to opt for cloud to cloud backup in UK then there are these following facts that you need to know about. Let us take a look at those pointers.

Search Functionality

Search is one of the most commonly used options on a regular basis specially for SaaS applications. However, the search option is only used when a certain data is lost or is misplaced. Searching can get extremely tedious and time consuming. Hence cloud backup service providers offer a diverse range of functionality in the search option to ease the searching process for clients. Therefore, understand the functionality of the various options so that you can get exactly that will suit your client needs.

Export or Download

In the corporate world, there are bound to be instances where you would need to download a particular document or an entire backup set on your external drive. Therefore, you need to place this requirement in front of your cloud backup vendor and ask him the same whether they provide this. Having the export or the download option is extremely useful but care needs to be given that the functions allow you to format the data for further use. It is important to have clarity on the kind of formatted version of the data that you will receive. Since the format needs to fulfil your needs and requirements and failing to do that will not solve the purpose.

Browse Methodology

Searching for a particular data is the most important thing in case the data is exported or restored as several last stored documents, then finding it can get tough. Browsing is extremely useful but in such a scenario, browsing can get tedious and might not guarantee exact results. Therefore, it is important that you ask your vendors about the capabilities or the functionalities that browsing has before you set up that particular back up. Understanding the brose backups is important before you decide which one you would want.

These facts will help you figure out the pointers you need to consider before using cloud backups.

Features of Online Data Synchronisation that Help Companies

Online data synchronisation is considered to be an effective way of making changes and updating the database throughout various server platforms sharing the same network. This is mainly done to ensure that the information remains the same across all servers. When focusing on keeping parity in information across all servers, it is important to note the geographic location of the servers does not really matter. The main focus is to make sure that the updated data reaches all servers so that all the platforms belonging to the same network receive the information easily.

The functionality of this feature is considered to be a helpful technology that makes employment opportunity processes simpler. With the help of the data synchronisation feature, professionals can enjoy more flexibility in their work space with lower time consumption. Not just these two, but there are several other data synchronisation features that help organisations to improve productivity.

Updated Data in Real Time

With the help of online data synchronisation you can keep information updated across all servers in real time. This on spot sync takes place irrespective of where your server is kept. However, to make sure that the process is executed smoothly, a strong internet connection is a must. A Device enabled with the internet is necessary and all the changes you make get recorded effectively. This helps tremendously in making co-ordination related work among employees easy even if they are placed elsewhere.

Cost-Effective Data Management System

The solutions provided by several data storage companies are cost-effective and complete value for money. This means that the edits and changes you make are recorded online and everybody gets easy access to the upgraded version. The entire data management system becomes easy to handle and the work flow gets convenient for people working together.

Easy Accessibility

When the upgraded data reaches all the servers sharing the same network, it means that the information accessibility is easy. Therefore, in order to achieve this easy accessibility, it is best to avail the online data synchronization. The ability to sync data easily is great when working on intricate details on a larger scale. The data size and volume does not turn out to become a problem in such a situation because the upgraded versions are equally and easily accessible.

These are some of the most relevant features allowing companies to improve their productivity and efficiency. Data synchronisation in real time definitely helps companies to grow and at the same time also solves some of the core and basic issues. Resolving these issues help companies to make a name for themselves in this competitive industry.

Get Rid of the Common Cloud Backup Myths

Although online data storage is the most accepted technology trend right now, there are several misconceptions around it. While most organisations including those in the education sector are gradually embracing the cloud solutions, the common myths are compelling many to stay back. So, what are these prevalent misconceptions and what do you need to know to make the best use of the available cloud data storage solutions.

Myth 1: “Cloud and Compliance Oppose Each Other”

Many business entrepreneurs fear that storing their data on the cloud would mean a non-compliance with the security rules and regulations. This is certainly not true. When your data is stored on the cloud, it is made to go through a strict security audit, which includes a full proof encryption, management and security of your critical data. Also, compliance regulations do not necessarily speak about where your data needs to be saved, so assuming that data on the cloud does not abide by compliances is baseless.

Myth 2: “Data is Not Enough Secure in the Cloud”

Well, cloud security is the most robust form of security that your data can expect to get. although different cloud service providers offer different levels of encryption, there is no chance of your data being insecure or unprotected on the cloud. If you are fortunate enough to get online data storage solutions from a reputed provider, they will provide you with local encryption and decryption of the files in addition to backup and storage. This means that your data gets “zero-knowledge” privacy and even the server administrators have least to almost no access to your most critical data.

Myth 3: “Data in the Cloud is Not Visible”

This was an issue few years back but today, it is yet another misconception. Cloud providers understand that it is essential for you to have access as well as visibility of your data. In order to let you know what’s going on in the cloud environment, they have come up with granular management and visibility solutions too. With this, visibility is no longer an issue, be it the status of the applications what is being uploaded to the cloud.

Myth 4: “Cloud Data Gets Accessed by Unauthorised Users”

The fear is justified keeping in mind the number of high-profile data breaches that are reported every year. But it is a myth that unauthorised users get easy access to cloud data. The good news is that professional, business-oriented cloud providers address the possible vulnerabilities by means of advanced security and authentication procedures. Proper authentication is ensured through the usage of unique usernames, digital certificates and strong passwords. This works well in preventing the phishing scam and compromise of credentials.

GOZeuS, Are You Ready?

We have all received dodgy, suspicious emails, and they keep getting harder and harder to spot – I mean it’s not like they come from fraud@iwantyourmoney.co.uk or openme@virus.com.

Nowadays these emails come from addresses pretending to be your bank, huge organisations or Government Bodies. These can be spotted usually by looking at the subject line (for order numbers that are incorrect or notification of a tax rebate) or the address it was sent from being incorrect or unfamiliar to the normal ones used.

Zeus was not thenice God Disney would have you believe

However, sometimes malignant emails come from contacts we have in our address books. This week the NCA (National Crime Agency) issued a warning that we have a little under two weeks to protect our computers, and ourselves, against two powerful pieces of software; CryptoLocker and – the aptly named – GOZeuS (Zeus was not the nice God Disney would have you believe, just ask Prometheus). So far these two viruses have fraudulently transferred millions of pounds into the accounts of cyber criminals. Once these viruses infect your computer (via a Trojan link or attachment in an email you open) it can send emails containing the Trojan links to all of your contacts (infecting more computers) and monitor everything you do – some reports have even suggest they can gain control of your webcam…

ransoming your data for anywhere between £200 to £300

Once infected, your PC will be joined onto a network of other infected PCs known as a BotNet where your activity is monitored. What makes these viruses so profitable to the criminals is that they work together. If GOZeuS is unable to find information on your PC that will make a good enough profit, the CryptoLocker will take over. CryptoLocker works by encrypting and locking your files without your knowing, until you get a popup that is essentially ransoming your data for anywhere between £200 to £300 – what do you think the chances are that your files will actually be unlocked if you pay up? Exactly.

To keep yourself and your data safe please take the following precautions – make sure your security software is installed on all of your PCs and fully updated, run scans on your PC and check your operating systems and applications are all up to date and that you have an effective backup system in place with a good retention period.

warning signs to look out for

Some warning signs to look out for include; your operating system running very slowly, unauthorised logins to accounts or unauthorised money transfers and your curser moving around erratically with no input from yourself. It has been suggested that over 15,500 computers in the UK are currently infected so the sooner you address your security systems, the better.

However, if your PC has already been infected with CryptoLocker and GOZeuS it is too late, this is when a good retention period on the backup system you have in place will come in handy. If you have to buy new PCs etc, you will be able to restore all of the information you have backed up to before your PC was infected.

If you believe you have lost money due to malware you can report your loss to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

Potentially Malicious Emails 5/6/2014

Guidelines for Choosing Cloud Data Storage Service Provider

Choosing data backup service provider is much more than just considering the costs part. Data backup service is essential for every business today and as a business owner as you decide to invest in a cloud data backup service, you are sure to find multiple benefits of this service. But to get maximum benefits of such online back service, you need to choose the right service provider.

When you choose a cloud data backup service you need to look for a few things:

Storage: You can make a choice from a huge range of options depending on your needs. Make sure how much storage you are in need of so that you can be within budget as space offered is related to service costs directly.

Scalability: Get a service provider who can offer agility and scalability so that you can have bigger backup storage as your business flourishes. Get a service that offers flexible options regarding backup storage as you must be able to purchase more space to satisfy the data backup storage needs of your business.

Uptime: Make sure that you have access to your data each time you need it. Check well that that the cloud data backup you choose offers less downtime and ensure maximum level of availability.

Disaster recovery: Unforeseen events can take place anytime; natural disasters or cyberattacks can shut down servers anytime and make your data unable to access. The service you choose should offer an efficient and effective disaster-recovery plan so that you can be back online as soon as possible.

Backup frequency: Since you are updating information always and working on files, you need to be sure that the latest versions are backed up always. So make sure of the frequency rate at which the data gets backed up to cloud and the way it is done. Since the service providers’ practices differ widely, you may find that some services suit your kind of business more than others.

Security: Safety is a vital issue to consider while looking for a service provider. Ask your provider how safe and how protected your data is.

Compliance: The backup service provider should provider regulatory compliance so that you can have the maximum level of protection. Especially if you handle sensitive data, the data backup provider should be in compliance with certain industry regulations.

Pricing: Pricing varies widely among vendors. Pricing is mainly based on storage size, features offered and billing is made on a yearly or monthly basis. Read the terms of service carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises. Make sure of contract terms, service limits, etc.

Support: Choose a reliable provider from the data storage companies so that you can be absolutely tension free that when you need help or something goes wrong, they have your back. Some servers may provide excellent support, while others not. It is better to choose a provider who can be contacted by means of multiple channels like phone, chat, email and even social media.

Choosing to invest in a cloud data backup service is going to be one of the best decisions for any business owner and baking data in the cloud would make any unfortunate events like natural disaster or others much more bearable.

HIGH MEMORY USAGE IN 2008 R2 SERVERS

High Memory Usage

A number of our servers run Windows 2008r2 and look after huge data areas containing hundreds of millions of files.

We were finding no matter how much memory we gave the servers, after a week or so, the memory usage would be between 90 and 100% full.  Our only fix at the time was to restart the server each time to free up the memory.  There was no application taking this memory, it was just disappearing.

Clear System Cache

A very good friend of mine had come across this problem before and suggested using SetSystemFileCacheSize64.exe which clears the system cache and frees up the memory instantly.  The problem was related to the amount of files Windows was keeping in it’s cache.

You can also set SetSystemFileCacheSize64.exe to limit the amount of cache the system uses.

I hope this may help others who have the same problem.