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If moving to the Cloud consider…

Cloud-Computing

Cost – There should be virtually no upfront costs and payments should be made on an ongoing monthly basis. This allows costs to be predictable and so budgets can be managed much easier. The cost of cloud should be less than the alternative of staying in house (including hardware, licensing, staff, power, backup, footprint etc.)

Flexibility – Ensure that employees can access their applications and data from anywhere, at any time and by any method required e.g. PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet etc. Licensing should allow this.

Resiliency – Moving to cloud should give you much increased resilience in terms of power, network, hardware etc. Be sure to check the availability figures quoted by the cloud company, remember 99.7% actually means potential downtime of more than 3 working days per year! Also to note your business is much more reliant on its connection to the internet, without this you cannot connect to cloud so maybe worth factoring in a backup line solution.

Scalability – A genuine cloud computing platform allows organisations to provision resources in real time, for example you should be able to scale your computing resources (processor, memory, disk space) both up and down quickly and easily.

Security – You need to be aware of where your data is stored and could be stored. It maybe that your data is not stored in the UK by default or it might be that it is stored in the UK but replication and failovers copy your data to another country. This isn’t necessarily an issue but depending on the country there are different laws for the security of your data and ownership. Ideally your data should never leave the UK.

Data Protection – The cloud solution should not breach Data Protection laws especially given fines of up to £500k are now possible.

Customer Lock-in – Ensure that you can get your data back at any time whether in contract or not and ideally without large penalty payments, an easy exit is essential! Your data should always be owned solely by you!

Cloud53 takes all these points into consideration with our cloud hosted services and would be pleased to discuss these with you

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Cloud not for you? Think again!

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The world of Cloud Computing can seem a little daunting. The buzz word “Cloud” is everywhere we look, yet many people aren’t entirely sure what the Cloud is or how it may benefit them. The truth of it is that you’re probably already using the Cloud in some fashion, perhaps without even realising it. Gmail, Hotmail and Dropbox are all an example of Cloud services.

Maybe you use Cloud storage services to store your digital information online. You probably also use some form of Cloud based email service. Just because we haven’t thought of email as a Cloud service doesn’t mean that it isn’t one.

According to a recent survey carried out by Citrix 95% of us in the UK believe we’re not actually using the Cloud when in actual fact, we are.
Furthermore 22% of people surveyed confessed to pretending that they understand how the cloud works.

Cloud Computing doesn’t need to be scary. Businesses and individuals need to choose a Cloud supplier who understands their needs and has a proven track record of delivering Cloud technologies. A move to the Cloud should improve your business practices whilst also saving you money.

If you’re considering a move to the Cloud or want to see how much you could save speak to our Cloud experts today.

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Do you backup your data? ……Really?

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When you are asked that question you say a firm ‘Yes’ immediately, after all who would be stupid enough not to? But what is your backup? Is it checked? Is it safe? Is it up to date? Have you tested a restore? These are the questions where people are more hesitant.

Traditionally tapes have been the solid way backups have taken place however to anyone who has had to invest in a tape drive and assorted tapes to a reasonable backup rotation scheme will know how costly this is not to mention the man hours that have to go into this and backup software.

More and more firms are moving to cloud backup as it is simpler, faster, more reliable and a far lower ongoing cost. Security is often an argument heard however how often do tapes just go missing or you see a pile of them on a technician’s desk? Cloud53 backups are encrypted (only the customer has the security key) and stored in a Tier3 UK Datacentres.

How important is your data? Some facts regarding data loss

  • 6% of all PC’s will suffer an episode of data loss per year
  • 31% of all PC users have lost all their data due to events beyond their control
  • 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups – 77% of these have found backup failures
  • 60% of companies that lose all their data shutdown within 6 months of the disaster
  • 42% of attempted recoveries from tape backups fail
  • 20% of all small businesses will be hacked within the first year
  • 40% of small to medium sized firms who manage their own network will have their network accessed by a hacker, more than 50% will not be aware

 

To find out more about how Cloud backup by Cloud53 could benefit you, please get in touch.

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End of 2003 Server = Start of a cloud??

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Windows server 2003 has been arguably the most successful Windows server platform ever released, being quite radical in its day, however its day was certainly some time ago. 2003 server was released on April 24th 2003 when Andre Agassi was the Tennis world no 1, Room 5 were at the top of the charts and the Nokia’s 1100 was the no 1 selling Mobile phone. Even iTunes had not been released.

We have certainly come a long way and many of you still have the trusty 2003 server running but with support coming to an end in July 2015 what do you do? Keep running with fingers crossed? Upgrade to 2012? Or is it the opportunity to shift your infrastructure to the Cloud?

A recent survey showed that 61% of businesses have at least one Windows 2003 server running and that only 8% intend to keep them, the rest favouring upgrade or a move to cloud

To stick with 2003 is a risk obviously, but best to be aware of the facts:

  • There will be no Microsoft support in case of issues.
  • There will be no security updates or bug fixes available.
  • Security vulnerabilities will not be addressed.
  • 64bit software will not run on 2003.
  • 37 critical updates were released in 2013 for server 2003.
  • The last service pack for 2003 was released in 2007.
  • Later versions of Server are far superior in terms of features, performance and security.

There isn’t a simple answer as every situation is different, however it is the belief that the majority will find that the related cost savings of going to cloud will be tempting not to mention increased performance, scalability and flexibility that a cloud can provide. Cloud technology used to be something reserved for big companies but now with the advent of cheap and fast broadband together with lower compute costs it is accessible to all.

Cloud53 will be happy to talk this over should you be in this position. Your 2003 servers are not going to blow up on July 14th but you should be ready and aware!

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Cloud Hosted VoIP Telephony

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These days everything seems to be moving to the Cloud, and telephony is no different. In fact businesses are benefiting by moving their telephone systems to the Cloud and virtualising them into VoIP (Voice over IP) systems. This not only saves businesses costs by not having to run and maintain traditional onsite telephone systems, but also frees up space in comms rooms and cupboards. Moving to a hosted PBX solution can seem a little daunting and it is sometimes a good idea to run a proof of concept before diving in head first.
Our customers typically see a cost reduction of 80% within the first year of moving to a Cloud hosted telephone system – now surely that’s got to be worth having a conversation about?!
Cloud PBX’s don’t have to cost the earth and they are scalable. With a traditional telephone system you’d have to understand how many lines or extensions you wanted and then add some on for future growth planning. With Cloud telephone systems this is not the case. Businesses only pay for what they use on a metered basis. This gives the freedom and flexibility to plan for business growth without the capital investment. Additionally when the time for expansion comes there is no outlay for expensive addon modules or additional bits of hardware. This means that the speed for deployment of additional features or extensions is dramatically reduced.

Here at Cloud53 we have over 10 years experience deploying and working with VoIP telephone systems Our experience ranges from Asterisk systems, Trixbox & 3CX Phone System. We are partnered with 3CX and deploy their 3CX IP PBX in a hosted manner from the Cloud, or alternatively we can deploy and maintain the 3CX PBX using an on premise approach.

To find out how our Cloud hosted PBX solutions could help you and your business give one of our Cloud experts a call today.

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