Category: IT Services

How to Save your Business Through Backup and Disaster Recovery

how to save your business through backup and disaster recovery

 

How to Save your Business Through Backup and Disaster Recovery

 

data recovery

The world is increasingly evolving and becoming connected globally. Ever since the inception of the internet, people and businesses have shared and stored their data online. This only means one thing, we have more to lose than ever before. It does not matter what type of business you operate, but your data and protection are vital for your business operations. Before you think that you do not need a data backup or a recovery plan, we would like to clarify a few points that are essential for your business survival:

  1. People make mistakes
  2. Software or hardware failure may result in the failure of primary data.
  3. accidental deletion of data and malicious ransomware attacks may halt your business.

Hence several things are out of our control, and it is essential to have a recovery plan to avoid losing critical business data.

What You Can Do to Save Your Business from Losing Critical Data

  1. Have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DR)

A disaster recovery plan is a set of rules and SOPs (standard operating procedure) on a formal document created by the organization. It entails all the details on tackling situations like cyber-attacks, power outages, any act of God, and other disruptive and unexpected events. Having a DR is vital for your business as it ensures that your business operations resume back to normal after an accident has caused an interruption. Without a DR, your company can suffer heavy financial losses, loss of reputation, and unhappy customers. A DR can help in the following ways.

  • Control damage and financial loss
  • Your employees become trained to tackle unexpected cyber security situations.
  • There is a streamlined restoration process and the guidelines to restore and bring business on track.

2. Backup Validation

Backup validation is an integral part of the Disaster Recovery Plan, which allows you to test your backup protocols’ consistency and recoverability. Every data block retrieved from the backup is given a checksum via validation. The sole exception is file-level backups stored in cloud storage, which must be validated. The consistency of the metadata recorded in the backup is checked to ensure validity.

Validation is a time-consuming procedure, even for a tiny incremental or differential backup. This is because the operation verifies the data physically present in the backup and all of the information that can be recovered by selecting the backup. This necessitates access to backups that have already been produced. While successful validation indicates a high likelihood of recovery, it does not examine all elements that affect the recovery process.

It is vital to test backups and restore processes to check if they work. There is a chance that some backup archives are corrupt or damaged, which will hamper the restoration process. You must test the restore process; it helps learn about data recovery from backups should there be a disaster. The testing can also help you learn about real-life risks without losing the actual data.

3. Use Air-Gapped Backups to Isolate the data

An air gapping technique is one of the most popular backup strategies. At any given time, all your business’ critical data shall have a copy stored offline, which will be disconnected and inaccessible via the internet. Air gapping isolates data from unsecured networks or production environments, and they can be stored off-site.

4. In-house Data Recovery Solutions

Your business will greatly benefit from a data backup solution all in-house. It can be a physical server on or off-site. If data backups are on the cloud (online backup), they will take an ample amount of time to get restored, costing you time and money. Some IT companies deploy 10Gb pipe to hosts allowing them great flexibility, and they are never limited to their network. They are cost-effective for small size businesses. The data is also accessible without the internet, which is excellent as it allows access to data 24/7.

Choose your IT management partner carefully.

You must have an excellent IT management partner who can be available for your business 24/7. These IT partners must have the proper skill set, which is an essential first step to ensure your data remains safe and uncompromised. The responsibility to protect crucial business data is vast, and you must work with companies that provide you with excellent customer support. You never know when your data is attacked or compromised.

If you want to ensure your company has the necessary IT infrastructure in place to continue operating during and after a disaster, it’s crucial to partner with a reputable and reliable IT provider. Protected Harbor ensures your data is backed up and is continuously being monitored to ensure its integrity so that we’d be able to restore your data should it ever get lost or corrupted. By working with Protected Harbor, you can have peace of mind knowing that your business is protected, no matter what happens.

Above all, it is vital to have a backup plan. The strategies outlined in this article will help you to achieve that. Armed with the knowledge of how to recover your business after a disaster, you can be confident that your investors and employees will thank you. With Protected Harbor by your side, you will be better prepared for any eventuality, and in this case, that’s going to count for a lot. Contact us now.

What are DaaS providers?

daas provider

 

What are DaaS providers?

DaaS is short for Desktop as a Service. It’s a cloud-based computing solution that gives you access to your desktop via the internet, regardless of where you are. As a result, third-party hosts provide one sort of desktop virtualization. A virtual desktop or hosted desktop service is another name for DaaS.

 

DaaS Providers

If you’re diving into cloud services to deliver your applications, a growing proportion of these apps may be hosted in the cloud. When your application needs storage, networking, and computing resources, you can host it yourself or with a service provider. But you might want to consider a third option: a DaaS provider.

DaaS providers allow on-demand access to infrastructure and app environments from a single provider, with lower costs than buying your own servers. They also provide services like load balancing, high availability, and disaster recovery if needed. In basic terms, DaaS service providers are organizations that provide desktop virtualization services as per your needs.

Why should you consider using a DaaS provider?

Data centers are a necessity in today’s digital world. But, with so many options and all of the different features, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. However, it is not hard to find the right data center once you know what you want.

Data centers can offer increased security for your servers and ensure your business continuity is never compromised. They can provide you with 24/7 support and have the facilities to install a disaster recovery plan on-site. Many data centers have built-in backup power systems to keep your network running smoothly no matter what time of day.

Desktop as a service (DaaS) providers provides a wide range of hosted desktop solutions. Many can provide turnkey virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) implementations that support multiple users, but some also offer single-user desktops. Some providers offer additional services and management options, while others provide only essential software.

There are many reasons to consider using a DaaS provider:

  • They can allow IT to focus on more strategic projects by taking over day-to-day tasks such as application and OS updates and patches.
  • They can simplify the deployment of new desktops by reducing the need for manual configuration.
  • They can reduce hardware costs through thin clients or zero clients.
  • They can enable BYOD policies by allowing users to access their desktops from any device with an internet connection.

What are some of the benefits of using a DaaS provider?

The most obvious benefit of using a DaaS provider is the flexibility it allows your business. This can be particularly advantageous if you need to bring on new staff quickly. You can add more desktops whenever you need them and remove them at short notice.

When you use a DaaS solution, you only pay for what you use, so there’s no need to worry about capital expenditure or over-provisioning.

The fact that desktops are hosted offsite and accessed over the internet makes it easy for employees to work from anywhere — a definite plus in an era when remote working is becoming increasingly common.

Another benefit of DaaS solutions is that they’re easy for IT teams to manage, as the provider does all the work. The only maintenance required on your part is to keep client machines up to date-and running smoothly.

Setting up a desktop virtualization solution using traditional methods can be expensive, so you may save money by using a service DaaS provider instead.

 

Who are the big players in the market?

Stability, security, and mobility are all features to look for in a DaaS service provider. The following is a list of the Top Desktop as a Service (DaaS) providers in 2021:

How to choose the best desktop as a service solution

Choosing the right desktop as a service (DaaS) solution can be difficult. First, you should assess your business needs when deciding on the right DaaS platform. Consider whether you’re looking for a secure virtual desktop infrastructure vdi solution or need help with end-user support. Second, look into the solution’s scalability and ensure it fits your current and future IT requirements. Finally, research the DaaS platform provider’s pricing structure and customer service to ensure that you get the best value for your budget. With this in mind, you should have no trouble finding the perfect desktop-as-a-service solution for your business.

 

Conclusion

Any of the players named above will not let you down. All of them are excellent DaaS providers. Ultimately, it comes down to which cloud services best satisfies your needs while focusing on the cost savings.

When you’re short on time and need to enable a vast workforce, it’s challenging to examine every DaaS service provider access and make an informed decision.

We leverage a unified data center in a DaaS solution like Protected Harbor Desktop to deliver desktop virtualization services to end-users over the internet, on their preferred device, and at their preferred time, and regular snapshots and incremental backups keep your essential data safe.

Protected Desktop is a cloud-based virtual desktop that provides a wholly virtualized Windows environment. Your company will incorporate highly secure and productive applications within DaaS by utilizing one of the most recent operating systems (OS). We monitor your applications for a warning indication that may require proactive action with our on-demand recovery strategy.

Protected Harbor alleviates the problems that come with traditional, legacy IT systems. Another significant benefit of our high-quality DaaS solution is that it allows you to extend the life of your endpoint devices that would otherwise be obsolete. Set up your desktop; click.

IT lessons learned from the Covid-19 outbreak

IT lessons learned from the Covid 19 outbreak

 

IT lessons learned from the Covid-19 outbreak

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed the IT industry beyond the thoughts of our economies and societies.

It’s the end of the year 2021, and the world is still recuperating from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis that significantly impacted the technology sector. The Pandemic fluctuated the supply chain technology and came as an unusual shock.

The crisis transformed the lives of people around the globe digitally. We started being more dependent on technology than exposed. Now it’s almost two years, and the technology adoption we have seen is revolutionary.

At the pandemic’s beginning, companies opted for temporary solutions for their work and operations. A few months later, it was transparent businesses would need to find new ways to adapt for the long term. This started a rise in digitizing workplace applications and operations.

A recent pandemic news report by Mckinsey concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic brought about years of technology change and innovation in just a few months. Customer relationships and supply chains have been digitized, and internal operations have been moved to the cloud three to four years early. In the last few years, companies have multiplied their digitally enabled products in their portfolio by sevenfold.

 

Potential long-term impact on the technology sector

  • Forecasts indicate that cloud infrastructure services and specialized software will be in demand. As organizations motivate employees to work from home, the telecom services and communications equipment market is also anticipated.
  • IT departments and solution providers will play a more significant role in transforming businesses to digital. The need for reliable, secure, and flexible network systems is evident.
  • Demand for cybersecurity software will increase 37% as companies need to secure endpoints, particularly from employees working from home on less-than-ideally secure Wi-Fi. With the increase in report work came a massive increase in attacks. Attacks from home computers connected over VPN are difficult to stop because a VPN is a trusted connection. Still, computers at home, even company computers, are difficult to keep clean from viruses and attacks when there are no corporate firewalls or other layers of protection.
  • It’s proven that most employees would continue working from home even after restrictions are lifted. During the pandemic, we saw a productivity improvement. Studies show that during COVID, people worked more hours than they previously did when they worked in the office. The organizations must see this as a long-term impact and invest in creating a digitally sustainable environment. Read more here.

 

Practical next steps

Organizations across the country and from every industry reported a significant increase in customers’ and employees’ needs and remote working. We also saw a rise in advanced AI technologies in operations and business decision-making. Services such as DaaS, ransomware protection, and data centers are most likely to stay in the long term. After living through the impact of Covid-19 on technology and business, CIOs will be defined by their ability to respond, recover, and thrive.

Here are some practical next steps to make your business pandemic proof

  • The rise in remote work and co-working spaces will push the need for Remote Desktops (RDP) so employees can take their desktop images of apps, documents, and folders anywhere. Therefore developing a budget for technology improvement and implementation to prepare your company for the future sounds like a plan.
  • With a rise of remote workers comes a drop in in-office workers. Companies will be able to save on office space costs. The reduction in real estate also allows companies to reduce their hardware profile by switching from on-prem to off-prem servers and hosting. Besides saving physical space, off-premise servers are also secured and maintained by the provider.
  • Flexibility is the key to innovation and understanding how disruptions can be minimized in future events. Because the shift will have long-term ramifications that no one can foresee, custom networking and server hosting are critical to gain the flexibility your company needs for whatever comes next.
  • In the future, we will see a digitally enabled work environment and advanced tools for business processes, including back-end office functions. The Tech boom has advanced all technology integrations such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Adapt and make use of technology for an edge over the competition.
  • One of the most important steps is to make your infrastructure and technology sustainable and focus on mental health during pandemic. Because going digital is a new normal now, we are moving towards a highly technology-driven environment. Businesses have to be agile, which means understanding, changing, and adapting quickly to the environment. Consider a solution provider who spends time understanding your needs and provides customized solutions.
  • If you are ready to migrate your data and applications to a protected cloud network and still own your data, you need to look past a traditional MSP and find a Managed IT infrastructure and design partner.

 

Take the final step

Post Covid-19 business IT priorities have changed. More than half of the business leaders say they invest in digitization and technology for competitive advantage, creating the entire business strategy. The needs of customers and your employees have become more digital, and as an organization, you must ensure the best of the services.

Remote work is no longer a culture of experimentation; it is a culture of necessity. The companies that invested in cloud technologies and figured out how to fit remote work into their processes were rewarded because the small work culture is here to stay long-term.

With businesses moving to virtual and cloud servers, it’s wise to opt for reliable, flexible, and secured data centers. And what’s even more brilliant is to take the help of one of the industry experts. Protected Harbor works with businesses to create personalized solutions. We keep your data on our internal servers with 99.99% uptime and 24×7 monitoring, ensuring you don’t crash and your team stays working. Remote work has left businesses vulnerable to malware and ransomware.

All Protected Harbor solutions employ custom-solution cyber security protocols to protect your business and your data. We made extra investments into air-gapped servers and triple-backed-up images, so your information is always on and always protected. Does your managed IT provider do that?

The importance of owning your remote servers and using a dedicated protected cloud.

The importance of owning your remote servers

 

The importance of owning your remote servers and using a dedicated protected cloud.

If you’re a business owner, then there’s a good chance this question must have crossed your mind to own your equipment and servers. Just remember, “owning” your equipment doesn’t mean the computers and systems in your office. Likely, you are already using a hosting web service or server for your business needs. After carefully considering your unique business needs, it would be best if you decided between onsite or off-site servers. Read along, and we’ll make the decision easy for you.

Onsite servers to Off-site servers; The trend

In 2021 more than 50% of the organizations moved their workloads to off-site or cloud servers. Managed service companies (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) are gaining traction with their one size fits all solutions. Keeping an onsite physical server and equipment and maintaining the infrastructure is costly. But there are other reasons motivating businesses to move to an off-site setting.

  • Onsite hosting has limited connectivity and accessibility than off-site hosting, which has unlimited capabilities.
  • Remote and geographic expansion are more realistic in an off-site and cloud environment.
  • The physical space of onsite housing servers incurs real estate and energy charges; off-site servers do not.
  • Storing your data in a colocation datacenter is cost-effective, removing the need for in-house IT costs.
  • The upfront costs of the physical equipment and server are significant for most businesses.

These technology barrier costs are causing the shift to datacenter solutions or dedicated off-site servers. Put, a datacenter solution or dedicated server is an option dedicated solely to your business needs and purposes. No other individual can access the server; it’s your data in our datacenter.

A closer look at AWS servers

The most popular dedicated off-site solution is Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platforms. But how do you choose what’s best for your business? They all follow the pay-per-user approach and additional services and products needed over time, adding to costs as you grow.

Since AWS dominates the field, we will focus on just Amazon’s platform. The first thing to consider is that “You want solutions, not a platform.” For example, Office365 is a solution to edit and create documents, while Microsoft Azure is the cloud platform that hosts 365 and other programs online. Thus Amazon is a platform – not a solution. Amazon gives you cloud space for rent, with unpredictable costs as your business needs rise and fall.

You will not see an automatic performance improvement when you move your company’s workflow and applications into AWS. For that, you would need a dedicated protected-cloud environment and an intelligent, distributed database. Just hosting your applications on AWS does not mean you will have the ability to use those programs and computing resources efficiently. You have to meet AWS system requirements; AWS does not have to meet yours. If you want data backups and recovery, you have to do it yourself.

With AWS, Azure, and other popular server options, you only get a Virtual Machine (VM) and a console to work from. It is your responsibility to manage, maintain, and secure that VM. For example, with AWS, someone has to customize the CPU utilization limits, check to ensure the Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume doesn’t hit the IOPS or throughput limits, and increase your read or write performance using parallelization. It sounds like more of a problem than a solution

Also, it has been proven that AWS cloud is not as secure as your datacenter. The world JUST experienced an AWS outage, interrupting the operations for thousands of people and loss of business downright. Not only do you lose flexibility and cost-effective scalability with AWS and Azure. But you lose the reliability and stability you thought you were getting with the Amazon and Microsoft name.

The bottom line is if you work with GPU, AI, or large data sets, you need someone to manage and personalize your IT infrastructure. Moving to a dedicated protected cloud solution lets you customize the server environment to improve AWS.

What is the alternative?

With a dedicated protected cloud, someone constantly monitors your private environment to make sure everything goes smoothly and is customized to the company’s requirements. Actual IT management means knowing when to optimize the storage and network layers to support your extensive data set. Unlike AWS and Azure who will slow down your traffic moving between VM’s –unless you pay additional fees – we can help optimize applications to respond to requests made to these large data sets in a remote environment, with no extra cost.

Before anything, we always have an expert examine the applications a business uses, how exactly employees use those applications in a daily workflow and finally review the data loads involved to figure out what needs to be done to make this run properly. Having a team that understands and develops personalized Technology Improvement Plans (TIP) gets your business more bang for the buck than AWS or on-prem.

This is the gist of overall performance, Bottom line? You want to opt for a service that offers 99.99% uptime with reliable IT support. We improve the environment to give you the best performance for your workload. Not the opposite way around. For example, for a single client, we don’t have to tune the S2D. But we do because we have it and want to give them the best performance possible.

Check out our post on how dedicated servers are a safer alternative. But that doesn’t mean you are 100% safe from attackers. To ensure the safety of the data, consider providers with built-in features like Application Outage Avoidance (AOA) and complete network monitoring to handle issues before they are critical…

So, despite all of the above facts, if you’re still crazy enough to go with AWS cloud, that’s your decision. Irrespectively, if you’re not terrified by the lower and fixed price complete solution, best infrastructure setup and system monitoring, or our team doing the magic for your business, in that case, we at Protected Harbor will be more than happy to give you all the solutions you need.

Virtual servers—are they more safe and secure than physical ones?

Are virtual servers more secure and protected than physical ones?

In 2022, cloud data centers will process 94 percent of all workloads. It will dominate the workload processing and supersede non-cloud data centers. Thus, if you’re planning to migrate to a cloud server, this article will assist you in your decision.

Are the physical servers a thing of the past? Not long ago, people feared a future of thronging data centers covering the globe. While that sounds exaggerated, spatial concerns have always been a critical part of any information center or server room. Owing to virtualization, the development of physical infrastructure slowed within the last decade.
As more organizations benefit from virtualization, virtual servers are already becoming a vital component of the modern hybrid ecosystem.

Businesses and service providers are choosing virtual servers over physical ones due to several advantages, including:

  • Reduced costs and overhead expenses
  • Better scalability as new virtual servers can be created as per need
  • Recovery and backup features for a fast and reliable restoration
  • Technical support from the virtual server hosting provider for setup and maintenance.
  • Ease of installing updates and software to several virtual servers

Is it true that virtual servers are less exposed to threats?

It’s not that virtual servers are less secure than the other servers. In many ways, virtual servers are more secure than physical servers because they depend upon a single-host server and are more isolated.
Each virtual server has its OS (operating system) and configuration, which may or may not be according to the benchmarks set by the parent company. Every one of these servers must be patched and maintained the same way other server does to keep up with the potential vulnerabilities.

The rise in virtualization has yielded a significant vulnerability. Gartner released a study that concluded that many servers being virtualized are less secure than their physical counterparts. So, using virtual servers has its benefits and leverages, but when security is concerned, at a minimum, organizations must have the same type of monitoring as physical systems.

Servers enable you to control and distribute the information and secure and protect the information. Servers can be distinguished into three main types:

  • Physical server
  • Virtual server
  • Cloud server

Physical server

These are the dedicated servers that use the standard components including processor, memory, hard drive, network, and operating system (OS) for running applications and programs, also called Traditional or ‘bare-metal servers. ‘ These servers are mostly single-tenant which means a single server is dedicated to a specific user.
The pros of having a physical server are that it is dedicated, unshared, and can be customized to serve a specific purpose. The obvious disadvantage is that it’s expensive and space required to set up the infrastructure.

Virtual server

A virtual server is like renting out space on a physical server off-site, similar to AWS. They have the same efficiency as a physical server but not the fundamental biological machinery. A virtual server is cost-efficient and provides faster resource management. Multiple virtual servers can be created from a physical server with a hypervisor or container engine.
Cost reduction, less operational expense, and scalability are the most significant benefits of server virtualization. The drawback, however, is that the upfront investments might be expensive for the software licenses and servers. Also, not all applications and servers are virtualization friendly.

Cloud server

A cloud server is a centralized server resource built, hosted, and delivered through a cloud computing platform over the internet and can be accessed on demand by multiple users. It can perform all the functions of a typical server, delivering storage and applications.
A cloud server may also be referred to as a virtual server or virtual private server.
Cloud servers provide ease of accessibility, flexibility, customization and are cost-efficient. While network dependency, security, and technical issues are some of the cons that a reliable data center management company can handle.

Physical vs. Virtual vs. Cloud servers, Which is right for your business?

Each type of server serves its purpose and delivers according to the business’s needs. Still, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the exemplary service for you: budget, performance requirements, data security, space, environmental control, workload, and data type.
As the world is rapidly moving toward the cloud- lifting all applications and information, larger enterprises are quickly leading the approach and virtualizing.

The past decisions to move servers into the cloud, either in virtual servers or colocation environments, become intelligent decisions for most companies. The primary benefits of switching to cloud servers are:

  • Affordability- since third-party providers manage cloud servers, it is far less expensive than owning your infrastructure.
  • Scalability– cloud servers respond quickly, scaling up and down to meet demand or any data storage needs.
  • Convenience– users can access the data from anywhere, anytime, and can be easily managed through a single API or control panel.
  • Reliability– since the cloud runs on numerous servers in a managed environment, service continues even if one component fails. It can efficiently deliver the same performance as a dedicated server.

But the reality is, even in today’s world, there is still a use of physical servers. And the decision-making should be done by considering the factors above.

Protected Harbor among the top virtual hosting companies

As a top virtual hosting company, Protected Harbor has accomplished exceptional reliability, stability, and durability with its Datacenter management service. Eliminating the causes of failures, we have achieved 99.99% uptime for our systems. We provide an unmatched service over any other provider with features like application outage avoidance (AOA), proactive monitoring, and technology improvement plan (TIP).
To know more about switching to a cloud server and the migration process, consult our experts; click here.

What is the best IT solution: MSPs, VARs, or solution providers?

Bes IT Solution Solution Providers VARs or MSPs

 

Best IT Solution: Solution Providers, VARs or MSPs?

If you’re looking for an IT Service for your business, you have probably been innodated with acronyms, like VARs, MSP, ASP, NSP, CSP, ISP, SAAS and DAAS. One almost needs a CIA code-breaker to determine which solution does what and what solution is best for their business. Worse, many “wannabe” IT companies make the same promises but fall short on delivery.

There are many IT solutions available, ranging from cyber security, and inventory management to cloud services, and they are provided by IT solution providers, Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

 

What Do They Offer?

IT solution providers sell specific solutions for specific problems. If your computer is infected, they provide you with an antivirus. Whereas VARs will sell you that same product, bundled with extra software. For example, VARS would offer an antivirus solution paired with a spam filter and backup service.

MSPs allow clients to rent software solutions through the cloud. Where IT solution providers and VARs will sell you software to fix an issue, MSPs will also proactively manage it for you. MSPs roll their sleeves up to control a client’s IT infrastructure and systems. This could include software applications and networks through security and day-to-day support.

It seems simple. Where’s the problem?

Most IT solution providers and VARs deliver one-size-fits-all solutions to their clients. Pre-packaged solutions are designed to interest the broadest audience. Due to supply contracts, providers are forced to push identical solutions and charge a mark-up. Occasionally they may offer consulting services or monitoring for even more money. From the client’s perspective, these pre-bundled solutions look the same but are less than ideal.

IT solution providers and VARs offer software, not services, where customer experience matters. They can all respond to a customer’s complaints and requests quickly. But responding to an email is not a customer experience. Instead, a company must perceive the needs and goals of the customer. IT solution providers and VARs are constricted by the software they are selling. So, they have finite customization to cover all of a customer’s needs. Such issues will leave customers with unresolved problems to be covered by other products for another cost. Or customers end up overpaying for functionality they don’t need because of a predetermined bundle.

This is where MSPs stand out. Thanks to the internet, MSPs can offer specific services and functionality, a-la-cart. They are not forced into particular solutions and offer actual customizations. Also, MSPs are in the service business. Their business model requires a long-standing relationship. The more problems customers have, the more problems MSPs have. Hence, it’s of utmost importance for MSPs to listen, evaluate, and tailor-make solutions to keep clients happy for as long as possible.

 

How It Should Be?

In today’s business environment, it is more important than ever to deliver the best customer experience possible. Customers should feel a connection with their service providers. And feel comfortable leaving a vital part of the business in the provider’s hands. The more feedback you get, the better your business can deliver a superior service. It’s as simple as that.

Steer away from IT solution providers who won’t spend time listening to your problems. A reliable managed service provider will design a customized plan covering all aspects of your IT needs. Such as protecting from ransomware and data losses, with the needed antivirus software. They will handle everything from scratch through finalization and ongoing support.

Consider a solution provider willing to spend time getting to know you and your business. A provider who asks questions and interviews you is more likely to design a lasting solution addressing your needs. The perfect IT solution will be tailored to suit your business, empowering you to fulfill and exceed your goals.

At Protected Harbor, we listen to our clients; we consider them our partners and are here to delight them. All of our Technology Improvement Plans (TIP) work on the 3A principle- Attend, Assess and Apply. We listen to customers’ problems, match them to our ability, and provide a solution explicitly crafted for them. This is how we have built long-term relationships with our customers.

With Protected Harbor, you can expect superior system performance and uptime. We specialize in remote desktops, data breach protection, secure servers, application outage avoidance, system monitoring, network firewalls, and cloud services. For quality IT solutions, contact Protected Harbor today.

What Is Managed IT Services?

What is Managed IT Services

 

Introduction: What is Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services allow businesses to assign their IT operations to an expert organization that concentrates in handling these duties. Protected Harbor, known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs), We are responsible for the entirety or portions of a business’ IT systems, as agreed upon in a Service Level Agreement (SLA). IT equipment is typically procured by the client, and depending on the SLA, Managed Service Providers may provide round-the-clock monitoring, issue resolution and reporting, and more.
According to the SLA, managed service providers charge a flat fee for delivery of their services over a set period of time. The SLA defines exactly what services will be furnished and the degree they will be offered, as well as metrics for measuring the success of these services.

Cloud computing has allowed managed IT services to expand beyond the regions and borders that would constrain the average break/fix IT through the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies, as well as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service(PaaS) also. These capabilities allow managed IT services to scale at a rate dramatically larger and faster than in-house IT operation or break/fix providers.

 

Key Terms & Definitions

What is Managed IT Services

Agent— A small program used by MSPs to remotely gather information about the status of machines and devices. Once installed, it allows MSPs to manage systems, update programs, and resolve issues.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)— A combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that works cohesively to ensure an organization’s critical business functions will continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters that might otherwise have interrupted them or will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period.

Break/Fix— An older style for delivering IT services and repairs to organizations in a fee-for-service framework. Essentially, a client contacts a break/fix technician to request upgrades, maintenance, or to resolve issues, and the technician bills the customer upon completion of the work.

Fully Managed IT Services Managed IT services that are coupled with a Network Operations Center to proactively monitor systems, resolve issues and perform work with a level of expertise and efficiency unparalleled to other solutions.

Help Desk— A managed IT service offering that provides information and technical support to end-users. Some MSPs white label their Help Desk services for the client SMB.

Information Technology (IT)— An enterprise solution for storing, transmitting, creating, and using data through computing devices, networks and telecommunications.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)— An MSP offering to SMBs; virtualized hardware over a cloud computing environment such as server space, network connections, IP addresses, load balancers, and other computer infrastructure with which clients can build their own platforms.

Internet of Things— The emergent network of tangible objects and products that contain software, sensors, and connectivity to the Internet and/or private networks and can exchange information based on standards set forth by the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative.

In-House— The process where an organization hires its own IT service providers and pays their salary, benefits, further training, and the infrastructure they oversee. This is typically an extremely costly endeavor, and often businesses that try to procure in-house IT lack the capabilities to fully service their system and an inability to grow.

IT Channel— An industry-exclusive marketplace where VARs, MSPs, and OEMs provide platforms, products and services to end-users by partnering with hardware and software vendors.

Labor Arbitrage— the phenomenon of decreasing end costs by utilizing the abundant labor forces, education, and training of untapped global workforces.

Managed IT Services— Managed IT Services (MITS) refer to outsourcing IT support and management functions to a third-party service provider. MITS providers offer a range of IT services, including hardware and software support, network management, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, cloud computing, and help desk support, allowing the client to focus on their core business operations.

Managed Services Provider (MSP)— An IT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT services.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)— A security platform used to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in an organization.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)— A virtualized platform within a cloud environment that allows end-users to develop and manage Internet applications that would otherwise require a complex infrastructure to launch apps.

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)— a platform utilizing a collection of services and tools that can monitor, manage, and deploy solutions to servers and endpoint devices utilizing agent software installed on endpoint systems.

A service-level agreement (SLA)— Essentially, a contract between a vendor and a client that specifies what the vendor will furnish the timeframe in which it will be furnished and the criteria for measuring vendor success.

Small and Medium-Sized Business (SMB)— On average, business or organization that has 100 or fewer employees is considered small; 100-999 employees are medium-sized. IT channel partners often seek SMB organizations as clients.

Software as a Service (SaaS)— Sometimes referred to as “software on demand,” SaaS is a licensing and distribution model that utilizes a subscription basis for access to software that is centrally hosted by its provider and accessed by end-users via a client.

Value-Added Reseller (VAR)— An organization that adds services or features to a product, then resells it as a new product or solution.

 

History of Managed IT Services

At the outset of enterprise computing, information technology services and business models on a break/fix basis, meaning that computer systems were only managed by an expert when they did not work, necessitating a technician to fix it. This technician may also have been the person who built and/or installed the computer system, due to the proliferation of small IT shops that specialized in these small-scale client services at the time.

However, as time progressed computer manufacturing grew to a large scale, leaving the small IT dealer to focus less on manufacturing and more on break/fix. This system was time-consuming, labor-intensive, costly and reactive. It did not allow the technician room to grow their business or take on new clients without massive investments in labor and infrastructure.

As computing devices increased yearly, the divide between break/fix technicians and the number of computers they could reasonably service under the break/fix model grew wider and wider. Managed IT services emerged in the early years of the millennium to meet this need, shifting far from the break/fix model.

Managed IT services heralded a proactive approach to IT, attempting to conduct maintenance, upgrades, system monitoring, and issue resolution on a routine basis, with the goal of preventing problems before they started. Automation increased Internet capabilities, and cloud computing allowed for monitoring and issue resolution to be provided remotely, enabling more efficient processes and a consolidation of resources.

Efficiency, consolidated resources, and client satisfaction, coupled with fixed rates, the ability to offer greater service offerings, and take on a larger clientele led to managed IT services becoming the industry-standard approach to managing computer systems large and small for SMBs.

 

The Managed IT Services Model

MSPs managed platform utilize a broad range of IT expertise to resolve issues efficiently. Unlike break/fix providers, MSPs can employ the latest processes and software to proactively monitor endpoints, keeping systems up-to-date, and preventing issues before they arise. Managed IT services are also available 24x7x365, allowing end-users to take nights and weekends off while the MSPs do the heavy lifting on tasks and processes done after hours.

MSP services are typically offered at a flat recurring rate in tiered levels, offering a greater level of automation and a higher degree of management at higher levels based on the specified service level agreement. End users only pay for the services they require and can increase or decrease their tier based on business needs and demand.

As with other necessary business functions like utilities, the end-user pays for services provided offsite, such as remote monitoring and management, help desk solutions, backup and disaster recovery, and more. Managed IT services thus become essential operating expenses to maintain core functionality, rather than additional expenses applied during exceptional issue resolutions with break/fix models. MSPs enable their end-users to run their businesses more smoothly and more efficiently than they would otherwise. Additionally, they offer SaaS-based solutions and a pricing model that can’t be achieved with in-house options.

However, managed IT services do not necessarily make the enterprise IT professional obsolete; for the end-user, an IT professional can act as an endpoint liaison that manages the relationship, provides feedback, and analyzes the reports provided by the MSP. Because the majority of routine work is being completed by the MSP, the IT professional is capable of greater efficiency and has the flexibility to tackle larger, more complex projects they would otherwise not have the time or capacity to take on.

 

Benefits of Managed IT Services

Through outsourcing managed IT services, SMBs are able to reap the benefits of receiving IT support and business continuity at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to creating a comparable team in-house. Additionally, MSPs can also offer a wealth of experience from actively managing multiple client accounts that in-house teams would not collectively have.

Additionally, by using an MSP organizations are able to forecast their monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenditure on IT, and are freed from having to focus on this area of operational readiness. This allows SMBs to focus on growing their business without worrying about day-to-day IT issues or requirements.

Another benefit to managed IT services is a greater opportunity for security expertise and successfully enacted security policies. MSPs work with standards such as PCI compliance day in, day out, and should be able to steer your organization within the parameters and regulations it needs to adhere to. For some organizations, especially in finance, healthcare, educations, and other industries, this type of regulatory compliance is mandatory for the IT portion of their business, and requires the expertise and experience that a managed service provider can offer. MSPs can mitigate risk in this way while assuring that the experts in charge of your IT operations are always up to date on the latest information, technologies, and processes that will keep your infrastructure working efficiently and successfully into the future.

In short, Managed IT Services can provide organizations with a comprehensive and cost-effective IT support solution, helping to ensure the reliability, security, and availability of critical IT systems.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your manage service providers in the Hudson Valley New York area, then Protected Harbor is the clear choice.

Source : https://www.continuum.net/resources/mspedia/managed-it-services-overview