A Cloud Based IT Infrastructure Must Be Managed

Cloud based computing carries a lot of promise for many Bay Area business owners.?However,?it?s still an IT infrastructure, and must be managed to deliver all the desired benefits to your business.

Most businesses, so far, are?adopting a hybrid approach to the cloud,?moving some assets to the cloud while maintaining other assets in the local data center. This can create some challenges to provide a single management interface.

Cloud Challenges:

“Consumption” based billing models for cloud infrastructures also require some close monitoring.??Many network?processes that aren’t always monitored in on-premise environments (such as network ?transactions?, CPU usage, and disk usage) can dynamically affect costs in cloud environments, and therefore need to be managed.

Virtual servers in the cloud need to be kept up-to-date with regards to patches and updates, too, just as the servers in your local data center.

It?s important to remember that the cloud infrastructure was never intended to be a ?set and forget? solution for your business.

A Different Approach to the Cloud

Clare Computer Solutions has helped many businesses determine a cloud strategy roadmap, to get the maximum benefit from both cloud-based and on-premises environments. In addition, we provide?post-migration support to manage the IT infrastructure as a whole – ensuring it’s kept up and managed.

This includes tracking consumption of IT computing, plus monitoring and managing of asset usage. We provide regular detailed reports to keep you informed as to the state of the network. In addition, Clare Computer Solutions provides consulting to that we can help you look into the future and plan for your business growth.

Don?t miss a chance to take advantage of the modern hybrid cloud technologies. Contact us today to get started!

clare computer Bay area leader in IT

Should IT Support be Outsourced, on Staff, or Both?

Companies need their technology tools to perform their business operations every day. As a result, they have IT?infrastructures that must have support. Users need help, network devices must be managed, and everything has to work together. What?s the best way to handle this? Some companies have internal IT employees whose sole responsibility is keeping those technologies working together.

Some companies don?t want to maintain any staff for skills not related to their core business, opting to outsource support to companies that specialize in IT support and consulting. Many companies go with a hybrid route ? they staff for some of the technology?support they need but outsource other facets to address other needs.

Some of the common drivers in the decision to outsource some of a company?s IT support are:

Depth and Experience of Skills

A support company?s staff is likely to have a broader set of skills, and often, longer tenures in the business. An Information Technology support company is more likely to invest in training for their professionals, to ensure their skills are up to date.

Better IT Coverage

In small departments, if one person is ill, or on vacation, the lack of resources can have a huge effect on the quality of service, leaving behind loose ends for the company’s?IT support. An IT support company will often have enough staff to ensure someone is more likely to be available when needed.

Flexibility in Technology

Some needs are pretty constant, and others may change. If a company were to staff enough talent for every contingency, they would end up over-staffing at times ? a very expensive situation. Some skills are expensive to hire if you don?t need them all the time, such as?project management, high-end router work, server migrations, security work, and strategic consulting. Either technology?support or consulting can make these skill sets available as you need them.

Every company?s needs are different, but the right mix of on-staff and outsourced IT support can be the solution to keeping your company?s infrastructure up-to-date, and working at optimal performance, year after year.

Clare Computer Solutions has helped hundreds of companies achieve the perfect mix, and we can help your company too. It all starts with a conversation ? contact us to get started.

Can Your Business Afford Having Network Downtime?

There?s an old adage: ?An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.? We know it?s true, and yet many businesses don?t apply this commonsense approach to their IT infrastructure. The most common reason is, the owners are too busy with the day-to-day running of the business to step back and consider how much money this proactive approach could save them.

Instead, they choose to ?self-insure.? They deal with IT issues as they crop up and disrupt their business. This is expensive, for several reasons. First of all, emergency work is generally performed at a premium rate. When your IT infrastructure is disrupted, it costs you even more.

 

Look at the ways network downtime costs you money:

  • – Lost productivity
  • – Lost opportunities
  • – Damage to your company?s image

 

Most reports peg the costs of a down network at tens of thousands of dollars per hour. If network problems caused two hours of downtime each month, it would make sense to invest in services and systems to prevent even one of those hours of downtime!

That?s why it?s vital?to take a look at your technology. Downtime issues are not a monthly cost necessarily, but an ongoing unpredictable cost. If your network is properly managed, you can reduce downtime dramatically, and have an improved system in place that addresses unexpected issues much faster.

Modern technology provides cost-effective ways to protect businesses from downtime, even after a disaster. Data and images should be backed up onsite or in the cloud. In the case of an emergency, use this data to restore core functions back to your organization.

The cost to deliver such services and business continuity systems, over a period of time, are consistently less than the costs of reacting to problems. The old adage is still true: It?s better to prevent problems, than to cure them.

Clare Computer Solutions can help your business set up systems and procedures in your?IT infrastructure to reduce downtime, and quickly recover from any disruptive event.

It all starts with a conversation ? contact Clare Computer Solutions to get started!

Time to Migrate: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Has Retired

Did you know that Windows Server 2003 extended support ended on July 14, 2015? What does that mean for businesses like yours? SQL Server 2005 “extended support” has officially ended on April 12, 2017.

Utilizing “out-of-support” versions of server software could lead to some serious issues. This unsupported software no longer receives vital security updates, which leaves your system vulnerable to malware or hackers.

Designed to improve upon each previous version, later versions of software are faster, and more efficient than ever. If you’re not running Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2016 yet, it?s time to consider an upgrade. Take advantage of these groundbreaking improvements in performance.

With the recent release of SQL Server 2016, now might be the perfect time to design a migration plan. We can help migrate your applications and workloads which rely on Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 or 2008 to Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2016 or Microsoft Azure SQL Database.

You owe it to your business to run up-to-date, fully supported software.

Clare Computer Solutions would like to help plan your transition. Updating your software will help provide you with the security and reliability you need. The added value of the features now included in SQL Server 2016 will streamline processes. Before migrating, consider these cloud options. You’ll have the opportunity to migrate to the cloud with Azure SQL Database or to install a hybrid cloud with SQL Server 2016 and Azure.

Updating IT infrastructure is something many companies would like to avoid. But technology moves at too rapid of a pace to put off upgrades and updates that can bring real benefits to your business.

 

Clare Computer Solutions can help – contact us to start the conversation.

IT Projects That Will Transform Business

With so many options to improve your IT infrastructure, do you know which may have the biggest impact on your business? Have you been putting off IT projects because they are too complex or you don?t know where to begin?

There are some projects that can have such a positive effect on your business, they are well worth considering and this may be the perfect time to do them. Here are 3 projects that can transform your business and provide benefits for months, or years to come.

Adopt Virtualization in the IT Infrastructure

As the servers in your network reach the end of their useful lifespans, they could be replaced by virtual machines. Virtualization has a number of benefits, including: reduced energy costs (fewer physical servers use less air conditioning and electricity), better business agility (new virtual machines can be quickly deployed as needed), better disaster recovery (quicker restoration of a crashed server) and reduced management costs.

Utilize Cloud Services

Not everything works in the cloud, but certain workloads lend themselves very well to cloud computing, and in these areas, the benefits (lower management costs, capacity on demand as needed, greater mobility, improved business continuity capabilities) are very real.

Institute a Business Continuity Plan

Technology today can enable your business to have an affordable, and workable plan to get your business up and running remarkably quickly after even a major disaster. The technologies mentioned above (virtualization and cloud services) can be used to make your business resilient to a wide variety of events that, just a few years ago, could have threatened the survival of the business.

The secret to the success of any IT project is to have expert IT project management skills. If your business doesn?t staff that skill set, use an IT consulting firm like Clare Computer Solutions, that can manage your IT projects and ensure that the projects are well-planned, executed on time and on budget. The benefits to having an effective and organized approach to your long term IT infrastructure starts with a simple discussion about your business and your plans and goals. Contact us today to get started!

Watch this video to learn more!

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