April 15th, 2014
You may have heard about the hybrid cloud, but you may not know exactly what it is or how it might be used in your business.
As prices come down and more solutions providers appear in the market, the hybrid cloud is coming into reach for most small-to-midsize businesses. In most cases, the hybrid cloud will actually cost less than traditional solutions.
If you haven't considered a hybrid cloud solution before or want to understand the concept a little better before taking the plunge, here is some info that might help.
What is a hybrid cloud?
Hybrid clouds combine internal infrastructure (the servers and other equipment your business hosts onsite) with third-party servers in an offsite datacenter.
The idea behind this type of solution is to provide a business with the benefits of local storage while also getting the benefits of having their data backed up remotely and available anywhere in the world without having to make costly investments in cloud-specific infrastructure.
One of the use-cases for the hybrid cloud is backup. And there are a few great benefits to going this route.
1. Business Continuity
If your business doesn't currently have the ability to fail-over your IT functions to an offsite data center, the hybrid cloud is a great way to get started without having to make a big investment. Gaining the ability to keep your business running after an outage or natural disaster could make the difference between staying in business or filing for bankruptcy.
And if you've already got offsite datacenters and other elements of IT resiliency in place, migrating to a hybrid cloud may be a way to significantly reduce the cost of implementing and maintaing business continuity.
2. Insurance for your data
Businesses sometimes make the mistake of creating a single onsite backup and stopping there, thinking they are protected against data loss. Unfortunately, a single onsite backup doesn't do much to shore up the risk of data loss.
If a DVD is scratched or a backup tape becomes corrupted, they may be out of luck.
Using a hybrid cloud solution, backups would take place locally and then get replicated to one or multiple datacenters. Having multiple copies stored offsite ensures you'll always be able to restore your critical data.
The cost of buying redundant hardware for a remote datacenter, renting space, and hiring additional staff keeps many businesses away from building fully private clouds.
Leveraging the investments you've already made and using a third-party to address the remote component is one way to lower the cost of cloud hosting.
Using a hybrid cloud also gives the business flexibility to cost-effectively scale up and down without worrying about purchasing hardware that might need to be offloaded later.
More and more businesses are becoming subject to regulatory and standards compliance. Cloud vendors have been paying attention to this trend and have built their hosting to match the most common standards like HIPAA, SOX, and PCI.
By working with these vendors you can leverage the investments they've already made to achieve compliance instead of having to make your own. You may also be able to leverage built-in processes to meet compliance from that perspective.
Interested in learning more?
If you have questions about the hybrid cloud or would like to speak with us about the specific cloud solutions we offer, give us a call or contact us via email and we'll help you find a hybrid cloud solution that fits your needs and budget.
April 1st, 2014
Even the best antivirus and security settings will occasionally be overcome by a virus attack. Having these systems in place significantly reduces the risk to your business, but no solution is perfect.
So what do you do when your defenses are overrun and your workstations and business systems are infected?
Depending on what technology you have in place, you might be stuck with manually removing viruses, which can be time-consuming and as disruptive to the business as the virus itself.
The frustration of having to work through dozens, or even hundreds of computers leaves many business owners and IT managers wishing they could just roll the clock back to before the virus hit.
If you're using a backup and disaster recovery appliance from Continuum, you can do exactly that.
Here's an example:
Imagine your business is using a Continuum Vault appliance to backup your data, servers, and workstations.
The Vault takes snapshot backups every few minutes and syncs them to the cloud, so you have multiple point-in-time restore points stored in multiple locations. Your old backup system didn't have that functionality. It's one of the reasons you decided to go with Continuum.
Then the virus hits. It gets past your firewall and all your antivirus software. It's infecting everything. Your IT team sees it spreading through the network and are eventually able to stop new infections, but in the meantime, most of the PCs and servers on your network are infected.
No big deal. You login to the Continuum appliance and restore workstations and servers to a point in time prior to the virus infection. It takes 30 minutes over lunch.
After the restore, a few people are missing new files they were working on. You use the Vault's single file restore functionality to put those files back on their system.
Everyone goes back to work.
You don't have a Vault?
Chances are, if you're reading this, you probably don't already have a Continuum Vault. You may already have a backup and disaster recovery system in place, but maybe you're unhappy with it or need more functionality.
We've worked with a number of clients to install new Vaults and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Business owners love the piece of mind they provide and IT managers love the ease of use and features.
If you're considering replacing an existing backup and disaster recovery solution or are interested in putting something in place for the first time, we'd be happy to talk. Give us a call or e-mail and we'll answer your questions to help you decide if a Continuum Vault is the right option for your business.