Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Cloud Hosting

data archiving

There are some major advantages to utilizing infrastructure-as-a-service, especially for businesses concerned with up-time and scalability as they grow in their respective markets. IaaS goes beyond simply virtualizing infrastructure, by also adding a software management layer with single pane of glass administration to allocate resources, both external and internal, and to maximize support.

‘Going to the cloud’ is a phrase you’ve no doubt heard before. But does the experience live up to the hype in technology circles and current best practices? These questions are important enough to have decision-makers question whether they can really benefit from the Iaas model.  The Benefits include:

Cost savings – At the first sight, any good look into long term cost-savings are not that obvious. However, cost saving is going to be tangible, although not necessarily direct. Overall costs are bound to go down- you will require less people, streamline your operations and have time and resources to focus on business growth.

Cutting edge technology – Because of their own competitive market constraints, datacenters and data architects are feeling the pressure to always provide the latest and greatest at an easy-to-adopt cost platform.

IaaS saves IT staff time – In examining time savings, it is important to factor in the benefits of automation that some service providers offer. In some cases, automation will not only offset the operational costs, but also optimize the way your data is loaded and saved. This automated optimization can save a lot of money in direct storage and compute costs, as well as the time spent on data prep by your staff.

Focus on business growth – The savings in time and resources, along with the added benefit of knowing fixed costs of expansion of employee needs, enable an important shift in focus, allowing your team to keep critical business imperatives front-and-center.

Scalability and elasticity – IaaS provides an extraordinary level of flexibility and scalability in response to an enterprise’s requirements.  .

Support for Disaster Recovery (DR)/Business Continuity (BC) – IaaS services provide high-level, consolidated DR/BC solutions, further reducing costs and increasing manageability.

The current generation of IaaS providers is all-in on managing complexity by helping businesses optimize with the help of machine learning and the latest developments in artificial intelligence, as well. This last generation includes self-optimizing analytics infrastructure in the cloud, adapting to ever-changing data needs from across many different industries and verticals. These technologies aim to abstract away the vast complexity of components and configurations required to maintain a robust infrastructure allowing companies to instantly utilize their data, processes and environment, no matter what size they happen to be. Easy migration and rapidly decreasing costs make a cloud infrastructure as a service a viable option for everyone looking to increase efficiency, create turn-key growth and forecast costs for IT to a level of predictability not yet seen. SOS is proud to offer this option to our clients and new friends. Contact us to learn more and to organize a complimentary assessment.

Office 365- The Best Option for Business Email

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Cloud Hosting, IT News

Since the early 1980s, Microsoft is the premier choice in business software. Certain industries might use proprietary software specific to their products or services, but it’s almost impossible to find a company that doesn’t use a word processor, spreadsheet or presentation planning software in their daily operations.

On-premise servers have been a significant barrier to entry for smaller organizations that required a stable and secure email platform that was also easy to use and familiar to current and new employees alike. Another server was needed to share files and folders to everyone in the company, along with other essential services. This is no longer the case with Office 365. However, Microsoft makes it a bit difficult to understand the exact difference between the packages it offers, by constantly improving and expanding its business functions and security features.  Sorting through the available options to find the ones essential to your business can be a daunting challenge in of itself.

 

Here’s a brief breakdown of the packages available:

 

Office 365 Business Essentials: $5 per user per month.

 

Includes:

  • Web based version of Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook & Access)
  • Web based services (Exchange, Sharepoint, OneDrive, Teams & Skype)
  • There are no additional security features offered at this level.

 

Office 365 Business: $8.25 per user per month

 

Includes:

  • Web based version of Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook & Access)
  • Web based OneDrive & Teams (Free Tier)
  • Desktop downloads of Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook & Access)

 

Office 365 Business Premium: $12.50 per user per month

 

Includes:

  • Web based version of Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook & Access)
  • Web based services (Exchange, Sharepoint, OneDrive, Teams & Skype)
  • Desktop downloads of Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook & Access)
  • Additional Security features such as two-factor authentication, and secure encryption in transit

 

Determining which of these plans fits your business best begins with assessing factors like the number of users you have, which features those users will need on an individual basis, and just how beneficial some of the newer Microsoft products might become.

 

Another huge benefit to Office 365 is the ability to upgrade at any time, so it makes sense to start with a smaller plan with fewer features to be decisively cost-effective as your business needs change or your organization grows. Along with the feature to subscribe to small business focused apps like Microsoft Invoicing or Connections, which are included in Office 365 Business Premium, this is truly a robust platform that gives control of services and pricing back to the user.

 

SOS helps thousands of users across the nation get the most from Office 365, and ensuring that migrations to the platform occur seamlessly with as little downtime as possible. If you’re thinking of making the jump, contact us today to consult on getting the most from your IT services.

Is Cloud Migration right for you?

Written by Scott Hall on . Posted in Cloud Hosting

Beginner’s Guide To Cloud Storage

Since reliable cloud services for small and medium businesses has been viable, SOS has worked with many clients to get the most from cloud based offerings with minimal impact and improved infrastructure. When businesses make the decision to move from physical on-premise hardware to the cloud, we’ve found the best practices to ensure success start very early in the planning stages. To that effect, if you’re considering taking advantage of the benefits of cloud services, here’s some tips to ensure a successful migration.

 

A Clear Vision for the Present.. and the Future

 

Forecasting growth isn’t a perfect science, but the overlap of IT and your business practices is incredibly important. Communicating that vision to employees and managers is crucial to keep your organization on track during migration and in the future as your business grows and scales.

 

Cloud Governance

 

Governance includes security and access. Which employees will have access to which services and virtual machines? You will still need to have a security mindset when it comes to secured network access and encryption of sensitive data, especially when working with PCI and HIPAA compliance.

 

Know Your Assets and Plan Ahead

 

Identifying your entire infrastructure is very important to successful cloud migrations, especially when adopting a hybrid model where some physical hardware remains. During this phase, best practices dictate that backups of your entire system are critical during this analysis. This will minimize the risks of any potential downtime and make the entire migration process much smoother, while also ensuring that no data is lost. Once this is complete, determine the order of migration, which departments of your organization will be affected and when at each step, and inform end-users of any changes to policy or operations that would require additional training.

 

Start Small and Simple

Beginning with non-critical systems is the best way to put some points in the win column and let your organization experience the benefits of cloud computing and gain experience with it. By encouraging transparency and consistency, everyone can familiarize themselves with the experience quickly and easily.

 

Migration

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to execute. Start with backups of existing data and hardware. Next, prepare and test the new cloud environment for connectivity with end users, and with other components in the cloud. After that, the moving of operational data can begin during your business’s downtime. Be prepared for adjustments to infrastructure, and get ready to test again under working conditions.

 

Monitor All the Things

Develop a comprehensive and complete monitoring process in place with your managed services provider and internal staff, to include as many details as possible, no matter how mundane they may appear. This will give you hard data points as to how your IT environment is actually working for your business, and you can approach performance and cost tradeoffs much more easily as you complete your cloud migration.

 

This outline can be challenge for anyone, and it’s important to have a winning team on your side when making the transition to the cloud. Get in touch with SOS today for an expert consultation and find out if cloud services is a good fit for your business.

Beginner’s Guide To Cloud Storage

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Cloud Hosting

Beginner’s Guide To Cloud Storage

Cloud storage can make your life a whole lot easier.

Are you considering making the switch to cloud storage? If you are on the fence, you should know that cloud storage improves the user experience on many levels. If you are a novice when it comes to cloud computing, you are probably unaware of all of its benefits and capabilities. As long as you have a wireless network connection, you can access your files anywhere. It will make your life easier and more efficient. With that said, here is a beginners guide to cloud storage.

The Basics of Cloud Computing For Business

Written by SOS Tech Group on . Posted in Blog, Cloud Hosting

cloud computing

Cloud computing is the technology you don’t want to miss if you want to move forward in the industry.  Are you wondering what the cloud can do for your business?

These days, the internet runs everything.  Ignoring this simple fact of the future is going to be seriously detrimental to your business strategy, so it’s important to stay on top of every detail.  Cloud computing is a kind of technology you don’t want to miss if you want to move forward in the industry.  Are you wondering what the cloud can do for your business?  First, let’s explore the very basics of cloud computing, and you’ll understand how it can be beneficial for you.

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