Still cloudy about the cloud? A hybrid approach could be the answer

There is no doubt that there are many advantages for moving to the cloud, as we have discussed in previous blog posts. With all the hype and noise surrounding cloud solutions, it is easy to get distracted from the most important issue – which solution best fits your business right now and moving into the future? As part a recent survey conducted by IDG Connect and cio.co.uk, it was revealed the use of third party datacentres or colocation is growing in popularity:

  • 4 in 10 companies cited a major restructure, merger, change of premises or an acquisition as one of the main reasons for turning to a third party resource.
  • 29% pointed to a lack of capital to extend their current facilities.
  • 28% stated that their datacentres were not currently designed for the modern world of high density, heavily virtualised servers.
  • 24% simply don’t have the floor space to keep extending and the same proportion said that they were running out of electrical power and that it was increasingly difficult to hit energy efficient targets based on current designs.

Netshield currently provides colocation services in our ‘out of city’, state of the art datacentre for many of our customers. Before making the important decision of whether or not to place equipment offsite, we are frequently asked to outline the benefits:

  • Reduced costs – Rather than investing in backup generators, UPS and HVAC units and paying the ongoing expense associated with this equipment, we take on this responsibility, providing a secure datacentre environment that is scalable to the evolving needs of your business.
  • Reliability – The peace of mind that you are guaranteed a 100% network reliability. When running an in-house datacentre, this can have its difficulties and related costs. Our network configurations are designed to deliver reliability, availability and uptime for you.
  • Robust bandwidth – As requirements increase, colocation allows you to keep up with more complex applications, maintain service provider diversity and take advantage of volume pricing without the hassle of negotiating and managing multiple contracts.
  • 24/7 local support – You decide how much control you need or want over your own equipment. Coupled with our NetManage solution, we have a remote hands service and onsite service to provide 24/7 management of servers, giving you assurance that there is always a professional at hand to assist you and manage your assets.
  • Greater power capacity & redundancy – Our increased power capacity means that you can take advantage of this to introduce virtualisation and high density computing. Our constant, uninterrupted power supply means constant uptime and the knowledge that there is always a backup in the case of a power outage.
  • Security & data protection – We have multiple layers of security including 24/7 onsite security, biometric and key card entry, cabinet/cage locks, CCTV. Your data and equipment is protected at all times.
  • Business continuity & disaster recovery – In the event of a natural disaster or power outage, we can ensure your offsite servers, equipment and applications will remain available and operational. Even with the increased risk of a terrorist attack, our datacentre is located out of the city centre.

While the ‘cloud’ remains a hot topic, security seems to be at the forefront for many IT managers. It maybe that the cloud is not suitable for every application, perhaps that is due to compliance, specialised hardware dependencies, or the need for direct physical control over the IT environment – colocation is a strong alternative for overcoming these issues. Contact us today to find out more about our colocation services.

Nearly Time to Say Farewell to Microsoft SBS…

It shocked the community when Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the widely used ‘Small Business Server’ (SBS) range. Windows SBS 2011 Standard will be the final offering within the range and is available through OEM channel until 31st December 2013.

It is a sad time for many, as SBS is a popular solution that enabled many businesses to build a comprehensive platform that is robust and cost-efficient. Microsoft has made this decision based on the computing trend of small businesses, moving in the direction of cloud computing for applications and services such as emails, online backup and business tools. 

Although the trend is moving towards the cloud, not everyone supports it in the business community and many still want their data sitting on a server in a place that they can pinpoint.

Microsoft has released the ‘Windows Server 2012’ range to try and fill the gap SBS will leave in the market. It has 3 versions – Essentials, Standard and Enterprise but, unlike the SBS range it does not include Exchange, SQL and Sharepoint and would have to be purchase separately. Although the product is not necessary as simple to set up as SBS if set up correctly, businesses can still manage an IT infrastructure from one box or you could consider moving to the cloud.

For advice or for more information on the discontinuation of SBS or the cloud please contact us today.

Discover the advantages of Managed IT Services with UKTI and Netshield

On the 22nd October 2013, Netshield will be holding an informative seminar tailored for Trade Associations to discuss the advantages of Managed IT Services for the sector, at the British Embassy in Brussels.

Netshield will be working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in Belgium to host a seminar that is aimed at representatives of trade associations and sector federations, who are seeking to reduce the stress of IT Management and improve productivity. It will take place on the 22nd October 2013, at the prestigious British Embassy in Brussels from 9.30 – 13.00 (Central European Time).

Richard Carty, Commercial Director of Netshield commented ‘Netshield has been exporting IT services to Europe for just over 18 months now and Brussels is where our European office is based. By working with a number of Chambers and Associations within this time, we have built a good understanding of the needs and issues the sector face when it comes to IT. This seminar will be an opportunity to show the audience how a Managed IT service can help reduce the stress of IT and improve efficiency’

‘We are also delighted that the British Ambassador Jonathan Brenton, Sam Rowe, communications consultant working with AGEP association management and Glenn Vaughan, Chief Executive at the British Chamber of Commerce of Belgium will be able to join us at the event’ added Richard Carty.

For more information or to register for the event please go to http://goo.gl/5ZYXdz

News: Managed IT Services Provider awarded Gold status by Veeam

May 22nd 2013 – Specialist Managed IT Services provider Netshield are recognised for their technical skills and managed hosting services, by becoming a Veeam Gold Cloud provider.

Managed IT awarded Veeam Gold

Netshield Awarded Gold, Veeam Cloud Provider Status

To be accredited with this status the Managed IT Service provider required a range of Veeam technical and commercial certifications, skill sets, experience and training. The ability to implement and maintain VMware and Microsoft cloud environment products was also required for the Gold partner status.  This reflects Netshield’s ability to be able to deploy, maintain and monitor Veeam products efficiently and effectively within a virtual environment for their customers.

‘We have always used VMware and Microsoft products in our datacentres, which allow us to provide a state-of-the-art virtual environment and Veeam is one of the best agentless Virtual Data Backup and Protection product on the market. So, it was integral for Netshield technicians to be trained, certified and be Veeam technical experts’ commented Tony Sterling, Technical Director at Netshield.

For information on Netshield IT services please contact us

Benefits of Server Virtualization

Virtualization comes in different forms where each one would offer businesses a range of benefits. By far ‘Server Virtualization’ amongst SME’s is the most popular because it allows companies to consolidate existing physical servers using virtualization products such as VMWare and Windows Virtual Server.

Some of the Benefits of Server Virtualization includes:-

  • Reduce capital expenses – by decreasing the number of physical servers, you will reduce hardware maintenance costs, energy consumption and save space.
  • Maximizing use of existing resources – Virtualization makes server administration more efficient, agile and less time consuming.
  • By segregating applications into their own ‘virtual server’ it can prevent the applications from affecting another application when upgrades or changes needed to be made.
  • Faster data backup and recovery as image-based backup and recovery will be faster than tradition methods.

By just virtualizing your IT network servers if can offer a more robust and flexible IT network environment compared to a physical infrastructure. For consultation on virtualizing your IT environment please feel free to contact us