clare computer solutions Office 365 cloud migration

Reasons Why You Should Have Already Migrated to Office 365

Enterprise IT has remained much the same although with incredible innovation, and invention, to improve on what has been made readily available to smaller organizations. Sadly, lots continue using outdated technology, underpinning the platforms and solutions that have been implemented to improve your experiences with technology. Businesses presume current platforms are good enough, staff must know how to accomplish their work. Although clunky at times, businesses no longer feel the need to change if it isn’t broken. One of the largest misconceptions is that, migrations will always be a struggle – but we both know that’s not the case.

Although understandable, sticking with legacy platforms mean you’ll receive less and less support over time, eventually having to catch up anyway with technology. Nowadays experts like us provide businesses more productivity then ever. Discover how Clare Computer Solutions can make your migration a breeze. Read more

cloud computing

A Look Back in Time: The Cloud in Review

For years you’ve heard how the cloud is coming to save you, and how the landscape is demanding hybrid & private clouds more than ever. It’s time we take another look at cloud computing for businesses, and where the landscape is in comparison to when I originally published this article in 2017. See how private […]

The 12 Tricks to You Succeeding in Managing Office 365

Although it’s never recommended, some local businesses have taken their chances at managing and manipulating Office 365 configurations. With so much knowledge needed before making any moves, most of the time we only hear the horror stories from how things went from bad to worse. When it comes down to Office 365 management for your business, you need someone with a proven track record of knowing how to monitor, manage and grow your Office 365 tenant effective, this includes not OVER sizing/charging.

If you’re serious about managing more seats and growing your business, the time spent can quickly add up. Luckily for you, with a time-tested procedure, your business can take the pain out of managing mutilate Office 365 tenants or sites. I would not advise anyone, without expert knowledge of these products to tinker with the settings, so our team has pulled together a list of the 12 tricks to you succeeding in managing Office 365. Read more

The Benefits of Using Assessments like Azure HealthCheck

Assess physical and virtual infrastructure, provide in-depth reporting, make informed decisions on costs, and plan smooth cloud migrations. Expand your efficiency and effectiveness around the fastest-growing cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. It can be hard to know where to begin the conversation— especially if your organization doesn’t have deep experience in infrastructure.

Thorough Reporting

Our pre-migration assessment, also known as “Azure HealthCheck,” provides the data needed, to illustrate the true ROI of the cloud, building a migration plan with the corresponding workloads, and consumption. Explore the immediate advantages of Azure with consumption-based models, flat-rate billing, and regional data centers, allowing businesses a better cloud experience than ever before.

Collecting workload and usage data over the course of 14 days, to identify trends and patterns that allow for the accurate sizing of your network including, drives, computing power, processing speeds, and storage. Identifying virtual and physical server dependencies, workloads, architecture and shadow IT.

Detailed Cost-Analysis

Tracking maximum, minimum, and average workloads to accurately project the total cost of ownership in the cloud. Adjust data center regions, and capacity planning tools to make sure, your business-line applications have everything it needs before taking off to the cloud.

Planning Tools

Optimize configurations based on performance needs, NOT matching them to existing hardware, to show best and worst-case scenarios. Explore multiple configuration mappings for migration strategy plans, choosing optimal migration settings and firewall rules to prepare for a smooth transition.

How It Works

Step #1: Scan
We deploy BitTitan agents for Azure in the provided environment, scanning and collecting detailed information about each physical and virtual machine, and any additional nodes on your network.

Step #2: Report 
See live costs for moving to Azure by measuring Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS) or active workloads. Providing businesses with access to detailed reports about individual nodes, processing time, memory/app usage, disk mapping, network usage, ingress/egress speeds and active ports.

Step #3: Plan
Find dependencies between nodes and applications, learning the cloud readiness of each node, optimal migration settings, and network recommendations -planning your move to the cloud has never been easier.

 

Get started with our Azure HealthCheck Assessment for on-premise and virtualized networks

Learn more at www.clarecomputer.com/azure-healthcheck

 

How Hybrid Cloud Computing Has Taken the Market by Storm

If you’re still viewing the hybrid cloud as something outside of your IT strategy, or adoption plan, it’s time to change your thinking. In a recent study conducted by Cisco, and several other partners. The report uncovered, of the IT departments surveyed, 65% hope to prioritize the cloud as we begin 2018. This was a shocking number to most, as hybrid clouds have been around for some time.

Hybrid Cloud Wants vs Needs

The hybrid cloud has become a critical component of companies’ efforts in moving towards a “digital transformation.” Regardless of business size, technology leaders in your business need to begin weighing their options when it comes to on-premise infrastructure and cloud platforms.

For most, cloud platforms were enterprise-class in all respects and should encompass Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform (PaaS) and Infrastructure (IaaS), with a high level of integration between them all. Many believe hybrid cloud solutions using public and private platforms offer the greatest benefits and commonality with on-premises infrastructure. Enabling your business to move workloads once stuck on-premise between private and public clouds.

That’s a serious list of requirements – thankfully, cloud providers are already moving in this direction. With Microsoft offering Azure, Microsoft 365, and a hybrid-stack for those with AWS. It’s no wonder they have taken off as the cloud leader. With Azure recently boasting several SQL Server enhancements, including in-memory support and the ability to move SQL Server applications to the cloud for seamless hybrid cloud use.

What Does It Mean for Business Owners?

With a growing list of cloud vendors in the market, we have already begun seeing solutions that over-promise, and under-deliver. Many are still skeptical of the cloud, having given Azure’s Active Directory a try. Using the security management of Azure and Microsoft, businesses can secure the identity of employees, their access, and some minor support. Encouraging the adoption of the hybrid cloud and safer computing networks.

With these innovations in cloud computing, you get vast transformative capabilities. With scalable platforms that enables you to deploy new applications, augment resources, and move apps between clouds. It’s these tools we see as the first steps in workload and process automation. It’s time your information technology began working for you – if poised correctly, the hybrid cloud can be the answer to the technology innovation your business has been lacking.

Clare Computer Solutions has provided the SF Bay Area with IT support and consulting services for over three decades. Realize the power of your technology today – Contact us to begin using the cloud to answer some of your largest technology questions.

File Sharing: 4 Reasons You Don’t Use Consumer Grade

As the digital transformation begins to gain traction in the market for business technology. File sharing continues to lead many to a more efficient work path. Starting with file sharing through iCloud, and Google cloud. Followed by the Dropbox adoption, and now into Slack’s interface, using drag and drop mechanics, with little permissions around sharing or asset management.

File sharing services are very common these days, and it’s easy to see why. These online services provide an easy way to store files in the cloud, where you can readily access, and share them, from a variety of devices. Many of these services are free of charge, too – up to a point.

For personal files, these solutions do a great job, since they are free! If you’re only sharing personal files – vacation pictures or non-sensitive personal communications – security is NOT a paramount concern. But beware of using consumer-grade solutions for your business.

These personal file sharing services are a prime target for hackers, and you owe it to your business, and all your business contacts to protect data you’re storing and sharing.

For businesses that want to use the convenience of file sharing apps, it is wise to make sure the solution you choose has business-level capabilities such as:

  1. Encrypted data – keeping data safe, during editing, in-transit, and at rest.
  2. Controls – not every user’s needs are the same, and not every user’s privileges should be the same.
  3. Customization – it should appear to the people with whom you’re sharing information that the program you’re using is a part of your company – not a “freebie.”
  4. No Such Thing as Free – at some point, your organization will reach a scale where these solutions can no longer be viable.
    1. (Dropbox & G-Suite are capped capacity, unlike similar O365 variants)

Clare Computer Solutions can help your company get set up for a business-grade file sharing solution, tailored to fit your business needs – Contact us today to get started.

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Hybrid Infrastructure Makes Cloud Migrations More Strategic

Cloud computing holds great promise for the future of information technology (IT). As the technology matures, and the install base grows, more businesses are choosing to mix on-premise and cloud environments, to create a “hybrid infrastructure.”

Demystifying Hybrid Infrastructure

Most businesses are finding their existing IT infrastructure is not suitable to move to the cloud entirely. Issues with bandwidth, latency, and compatibility have made many companies realize that often, moving everything into the cloud it isn’t the best solution. This requires businesses to do some advanced planning, to maximize the benefits of the cloud. Here are some things to consider:

Analyze Current Infrastructure

What applications does your business rely on to function day-by-day? How does it handle sales, marketing, ordering, shipping and receiving, research and design workloads? How do your employees interact with clients, colleagues, and suppliers? How is data stored, where is it stored and how is it backed up? Of all these applications, which will provide benefits if moved to the cloud? These answers to these questions will help your businesses plan to make the move from on-premise to hybrid infrastructure or, possibly, in the long-term, from hybrid to a fully managed cloud.

Consider Bandwidth and Latency

Different programs handle data in different ways. Sometimes the data that flows to the end user device is in small increments. Other times, a large amount of data must be sent to the user’s device(s) often and quickly. Bandwidth matters, of course – a large data pipe can move more than a smaller one. If large amounts of data need to traverse long distances, latency will degrade the user experience, and impact productivity, and responsiveness.

Consider Reliability and Redundancy

The more your business relies on singular data connections, the greater effect an “internet down” event will have. Connection schemes should be designed with reliability in mind. It should be set up for a quick fail-over if the primary circuit ever has problems. Of course, this is a good argument to have assets already in the cloud. If the office connection goes down for any reason, many businesses can have people work remotely.

The advantages of cloud computing are real, but it takes careful planning to fully realize the benefits. Choose the cloud strategy that provides the most benefit for your business, with a trusted partner. Clare Computer Solutions can help you migrate appropriate workloads to the cloud – contact us today to get started.

cloud computer hybrid infrastructure

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The Department of Homeland Security has designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cyber security, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.

Clare Computer Solutions is very involved in helping clients ensure they have the tools and education to mitigate the risks from a variety of cyber threats. The NCSAM website has some tools, too – and they break them into separate toolkits for a variety of users. They call this the “StopThinkConnect Toolkit” – they have some very sensible advice.

Here’s the URL to access these tools: 
https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit

Busy executives may find it difficult to take the time to go over these materials in detail, but Clare Computer Solutions can definitely help. We can have a conversation with you, learn about your business, help you pinpoint your major concerns around cyber security or any technology, and help you devise a road map to prepare your company to avoid problems with cyber attacks.

Threats include malware (viruses, worms, ransomware), and hacking. The consequences can be business disruption, destruction of data, and theft of data. These threats come in from a variety of places – from sophisticated hackers getting through a firewall, to unwitting employees clicking on an email attachment.

Your employees, your colleagues, and especially your customers, are counting on you to take the proper steps to protect your business. It all starts with a conversation – contact us to get started.

Cyber Security Awareness month

When Is it Time to Call an IT Consultant

When is it the right time to call an IT consultant? As information technology continues to change, the lines can be blurred as to when your business should bring in an IT Consultant. Any modern business with more than a handful of people has an IT infrastructure, and this has been the case for at least a decade. What has changed, is people are generally more familiar with technology, and the technology itself has become more user-friendly. Many aspects of maintaining that infrastructure have grown easier.

Another change is the depth to which technology has permeated business operations. It’s not just crunching numbers anymore, or word processing. Technology affects every aspect of a business, from marketing to operations, accounting, and communications. This should be seen as good thing, but managing the IT infrastructure has not become easier. With clouds, and SaaS, VDO, DNS, VMWare, it’s no wonder companies drift off course.

This is where an IT consultant can make a huge difference for your company. Even if you have an in-house IT staff to deal with parts of your network, there are some areas where a consultant can add tremendous value. Here are a few of them.

Strategic Planning

Despite IT being an integral part of most businesses, we don’t see many hiring IT staff with business skills.  An IT consultant can help you align your IT initiatives with your business goals – going beyond technical details and guiding IT decisions and plans with a business context.

Multi-Vendor Management

Most infrastructures contain equipment and services from a variety of vendors. This is fine – you should choose the products and services your business needs. But all these things have to work together, reliably, for your business to really realize the power of this technology. When things go awry in a complex environment, vendors often default to an “not our fault” mode, making sorting out of responsibilities and next steps, a real struggle. A consultant can aid in unraveling issues that span, several vendors’ products and services.

Hybrid Environments

The cloud is here to stay, but most businesses aren’t moving everything to the cloud, for a variety of reasons. For businesses that are considering moving workloads to the cloud, an IT consultant can help by evaluating a company’s existing IT environment and devising a cloud strategy to determine which workloads should be moved to the cloud, when to do it, and how to manage the resulting hybrid environment.

Clare Computer Solutions has helped hundreds of companies in the San Francisco Bay Area grapple with the complexities business encounter with regards to technology, and helped companies integrate IT into their business operations to provide the best advantages. We can help you, too – and it all starts with a business discussion. Contact us today to begin the process!